Sunday, March 31, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - Amateur Radio

Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz during this year's installment of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!

I confess to having a definite lack of early inspiration on a theme this year, so I'm going with basically the odd random things that 1. Make me Happy and 2. Make me....ME!

So A is for Amateur Radio.  I will keep this really short, since it's one of those things that if you're not interested in it - I could start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher.

In a nutshell, from the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League)'s website... Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.

First of all - the URL of this blog is my callsign.  N8LTG.  Technically, using proper phonetic spelling, it's said "November 8 Lima Tango Golf" but this is me we're talking about so it's "November 8 Lisa the Great".  I've called myself Lisa the Great since I can remember.  
It's also on the license plate of my car.
I've been a licensed ham since 2009 and drove around with an extra antenna on my car for 2 years before that since the Spouse (who has been a ham for 25+ years) was trying to inspire me in a not-subtle way.  I finally just dove in, took a one day class, took the test at the end of the day and there you have it.

I honestly don't use it for much.  I used to volunteer each month to drive to remotely located outdoor warning sirens for the first Saturday of the month siren tests and report in to the county, but I haven't done that for a while.  I'm also Skywarn qualified because severe weather is cool. 

I use my radio mostly for search & rescue stuff (more on that for my "S" post)!

I couldn't begin to guess how many radios the Spouse has, but here are mine. 
This is my handheld (HT) that is programmed with all  my search & rescue frequencies.
This is an Anytone and I also have a Yaseu.
This is the mobile that's in my car.
a Yaseu FT-7900 Dual Bander


Monday, March 25, 2019

#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal - finally!!

Theme Reveal #AtoZchallenge Tenth Anniversary 2019


I really hope this isn't an omen as to how my April is going to go, 
since coming up with a theme has been a struggle!  
struggle fail GIF by College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin
Anyhooooo, here it is!

My favorite things / guilty pleasures from A-Z.  

Embrace my randomness & weirdness, folks!


Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Wooo, I'm going to use this as a catching up post!  Ya know, since it's been close to 3 weeks since I posted last.   Holy crap - I don't know what happened! 
I really didn't think March came in like a lion, but it's pretty much leaving like a lamb!  I'm perfectly OK with temperatures in the upper 40s to upper 50s range in the last week of the month.  I'm a Michigander - that's hoodie weather!

At my VFW, I volunteered to be the chairperson of a scholarship opportunity.  So Chuck & I took the required info around on March 1 to 6 local high schools to drop off.  We will randomly choose 3 applications and they get $1000 so it's nothing to sneeze at!
If they only knew!  LOL!

 That night, I met up with the sisters & Mom at this little "uniques" shop and we painted these 2-sided pallet guys.   It was fun and everyone had a different vision for basically the same idea.
I'm happy with them.  Everyone else stressed about the eyes - mine are black dots!
I love Facebook memories!
...and 3 years later?
OMG, I do believe I have found my tribe!   I was reading some other blogger's posts about Halloween conventions - and since you know Halloween is my jam, I turned to Google to see if any were in Michigan.  Instead I found the Motor City Haunt Club!   On the 9th I went to my first meeting and tried my hand at "corpsing".  
This is one of many different ways to recreate rotted flesh (like everyone needs to know how!) we used pantyhose & liquid latex.  I knew that this was a thing, but I'd never done it because it doesn't fit in with my Halloween shtick.  It was fun, tho. 
I also became a member!  I chatted with quite a few people and everyone was really nice.  The club holds a big garage sale at the end of September that I really hope I'll be able to help out at.  They hold "haunt crawls" going around to member's displays and to 'professional' haunted houses.  We get discounts into said haunted houses!  All sorts of cool stuff. 

the MCHC meetings are held at a college campus in Detroit - and it's only a few miles from the huge, awesomely beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery that I've been wanting to go explore forever!!  A lot of notable Detroiters are buried there like Edsel Ford, Horace & John Dodge, Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin - to name a very few.   
I'll have to explore by sections, since there was just too much to look at in one visit. 
I must have said "oh WOW!" 100 times, just driving around!

Rusty and I got Chuck ready for St. Patrick's Day.
He needed both shoulders repaired (with electrical tape!)  and a change of clothes. 
 He usually wears the tuxedo onesie.
I have stuff growing in my flower beds!  
I've seen robins all around but still no crocuses in my yard. 
I went out after eating pie on Pi day (the 14th) with the family and raked my front yard.  It was up in the 50s so it was glorious out there!   It still looks pretty rough since the last time the yard was mowed was at the end of September before Angel's 21st birthday party - and the very next day I started setting up my cemetery.  Normally I keep the back & side yards mowed like normal thru October, then in November after the cemetery comes down I'll mulch up all the leaves that finally fall and spread in my flower beds.  I didn't do crap last year!  So I was raking up cold, wet leaves that had smashed into the long grass. 
I'm hoping to get out there again this weekend and do some more raking in the side & back yards.  There are a lot of smaller branches that have fallen that'll make a nice little fire in the firepit.
Last Saturday was our annual St Patrick's Girls Night Out and sister Linda had discovered that there was an ABBA cover band playing at a theater not from from Laurie's house.  So we got tickets! 
I only knew about half the songs, but it was still a lot of fun.  
Sunrise on St. Patrick's Day

On the agenda for St. Pat's was breakfast, then meeting up with niece Catie while she tried on wedding dresses!  Such fun!  She went in knowing what she wanted / didn't want and fell in love with the second dress she tried on.  Her wedding isn't until next year, but she was happy to get something BIG crossed off her list.
  Yesterday was pretty slow at work, so I made a grocery list & to-do list for when I got home, I was going to be all sorts of productive.  I'm sure you can guess how that turned out!  I came out of Kroger and looked at my phone at saw 7 messages on my search & rescue chat app, the first wanting to know if we could respond to a search.  Since I had a car load of groceries and was thinking it was a drill - I said I was unavailable.  But as I drove home and more info came trickling in - I realized that it was real!  So I hurried and put away the stuff that went in the refrigerator, changed clothes, grabbed my stuff and messaged that I was on my way.  
So this guy drove onto private property, texted a picture of the barn to a friend and told her he was looking to buy this property (it wasn't for sale), left his keys in the car and disappeared.  I guess the actual homeowners called the police and they did the initial sweep of the property before calling us in.  We were out there for a good 2 hours and had just sent one of our K9s out when the guy came meandering across the field just as the sun went down as if he'd been out for a nice (7+ hours) stroll!!   I'm really thankful that it turned out so well.  I've heard a lot of searches end up being for remains - and while I think I'm pretty level-headed and chill....I don't know how I'd react to seeing a real dead person!
It must have been a slow day for local law enforcement, since at one point there were 7 Lapeer county sheriffs and 3 state troopers there!   They didn't do a whole lot, but the sheriff's sergeant told us he was impressed with what he saw in regards to our team.  I know Lt. was happy to hear that, since it'll get back to the actual Sheriff. 
My Monday evening dance classes are great!  Hiphop is more for exercise, we learn a different combination each week and it's usually good for a laugh, too.   Our tap dance is going to be in the recital in June!  There are 7 of us and we're going to dress up like old ladies and dance with walkers.  We have a medley of songs - Pretty Woman / Man, I feel like a Woman / Hot Hot Hot / Little Old Lady from Pasadena.  This is going to be hysterical!   Someone told Angel she had to be the Blanche (from the Golden Girls) of the group, since she keeps wanting to do these moves that the rest of us can't - splits across the top of the walker??  No way!

Holy crap - I STILL don't have any ideas for the A-Z Challenge next month and they've opened up the Theme Reveals!   I only have until the 28th to put my theme on the sign up form!
scared kermit the frog GIF