Classic GMC Truck Parked Downtown

GMC Front Truck View GMC Rear Truck View

The Better Half and I once again broke our weekend stay-at-home policy today and went out among ‘em in the old downtown Wickenburg district. We had business over that way getting the dogs groomed and while we were waiting, we visited some of the touristy gift shops and attractions. We also had lunch at The Cowboy Cookin’ restaurant where we split a chicken fried steak between us. Yum!

This Classic 1950 or so GMC Truck was parked on Tegner Street across from Town Hall and in front of Ben’s Saddlery. It is a very nice, clean and well maintained/restored truck inside and out. Clickable images.

TBH and I browsed the shops in the area and I bought a new Larry Mahon straw hat to replace my old aging and falling apart cowboy hat that I use around the yard and when walking the dogs. The old one, literally, was coming apart at the seams. It is now in the recycle bin.

There were tourists and snowbirds milling about down there today. TBH overheard a couple of snowbird gents lamenting as to how they might have to stay here in Wickenburg for another couple of months until the glaciers melt in Saskachatoon, or wherever they hail from. Ironically, we locals find the high temps in the 50’s to be too cold for our liking, while some of the snowbirds were wearing shorts and t-shirts today.

Trying for a New Amateur Radio Callsign

500px-fcc_new_logosvg.pngI have been considering becoming more active as an amateur radio (HAM) operator. I have had my ham ticket since high school and there is always an underlying interest for me in the radio hobby, no matter how inactive I may be. I am a life member of the American Radio Relay League and still get my copy of their magazine on-line. I read QST every month and get the weekly ARRL email.

The truth is, that I have had a hand-held VHF/UHF radio for almost five years and only use it once in a while. The radio goes with us in the RV when we travel and is available for emergencies or just for “rag chewing” with other hams.

That brings us to the reason for this post. I have had my current callsign since 1979 or so, and it is a special one that identifies me as a top-of-the-pack Amateur Extra Class licensee. It also, unfortunately, identifies me as being from California by virtue of the numeral “6″ embedded therein. I currently reside in, and am proud to be a citizen of Arizona for which the identifying numeral should be a “7.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a program which allows amateur radio operators to apply for a “Vanity” callsign. I have submitted several applications for desired callsigns but the competition is so great that I have had my applications dismissed thus far. The FCC uses a raffle system to randomly pick a winner for a given callsign and I have competed with twenty to fifty other applicants. I intend to keep trying, however, as the callsigns become available.

One of the applications I made was deeply disappointing. I went to the trouble of finding a “silent key” which is a term used for a ham that has passed on. I found one such ham here in Arizona and submitted some paperwork to the FCC which included his obituary. The FCC cancelled the callsign and it became available. I wanted this callsign since the prefix was a classic W7 and the suffix was my first and last initial. Even more disappointing since the eventual recipient was in the “9″ call area. I am old school and believe in having the regionally appropriate numeral.

As I said above, I am still trying. I have my hat in the ring for three different callsigns at this time.

Gold Rush Days Classic Car Show

Classic Model T Ford Radiator Cap Ornament

We did our annual trek down to the old part of town today where the classics were again gathered for the Gold Rush Days event. The Model T above left was very cool with a big V8 in it that had eight stacks. The Radiator Cap was fancy with a winged ornament shown in the other photo.

The event was pretty crowded today with the probability of blue skies and 80° weather motivating some to attend. I and The Better Half both wore shorts today. The same weather is forecast for the parade which will be at ten tomorrow morning. The parade route runs a quarter mile to the south of us, so we will likely attend that.

Clickable images courtesy TBH.

Monthly Generator Run

Generator Run Day

It has actually been a little over a month since we fired up the little 3KW Honda Generator. We ran it for a while today in the truck bed parked by the “orchard” next to the RV Driveway.

We took advantage of the electricity generated during the run and trimmed up some of the stubble from the lemon tree where the mule deer had eaten the outermost leaves. They did that last year too, but the tree came back with a lot of growth to compensate. The lemon tree, on the left in the clickable image above, looks a lot better than it did before using the hedge trimmer on it. I didn’t take a before picture.

I was going to change the generator oil after this run, but decided to do that next month and help The Better Half who was working on her Xeriscape Garden in front of the garage.

A Classic Ford Sighting

Classic Ford Four Door Sedan

The Better Half snapped this (clickable) image of a very shiny and nice classic Ford heading east on US 60. Judging from some photos on the internet, I think this is a 1940 Ford 4-Door Sedan, suicide doors and all. It’s always nice to see the restored cars around town.

We were headed to one of our stops on “Shopping Thursday” when we get out of our jammies and do our weekly provision shopping. By Thursday (generally), we have made our selection for the weekend menu. We like to prepare special food for Saturday and Sunday Dinner. We’ve been known to occasionally post photos of “What’s for Dinner” here when we feel the meal was exceptionally good.

The weather has been pretty good thus far for January and we actually are forecast for temperatures to reach in the low 80’s early next week with 68 to 75 as highs in the interim. No wonder the aisles at the supermarket and the streets and parking lots are congested with “snow zombies” this time of year. We use the Z-word due to our observation that they seem clueless that somebody else might want to pass them in the aisle as they blankly stare at something on the shelves. These folks are definitely in Colonel Jeff Cooper’s “white” category, being oblivious to activity around them.

An Interesting Bullpup Shotgun

In January, when SHOT SHOW opens, a lot of new and interesting weaponry and accessories make their debut. I was reading the weekly email from American Rifleman Insider today and this beautiful and exotic shotgun jumped off the screen. I was immediately intrigued and had the urge to add one to our selection of security arms.

From American Rifleman:

Last week IWI US announced its first bullpup shotgun, the Tavor TS12, but we didn’t have to wait long to check out this interesting new gun. During Industry Day at the Range at the 2018 SHOT Show, American Rifleman’s Brian Sheetz had a chance to check out this first for the manufacturer who has brought us the popular Tavor rifle and subsequent variations. For more, visit IWI.US.

There is a descriptive video at the American Rifleman link above. Depending on the shotgun shell size, one can load up to seventeen rounds into the three magazine tubes and the chamber. The weapon is friendly to both right and left-handed shooters.

Alas, the MSRP is a bit high for those of us on a limited income, but it was sure fun to fantasize about having one of these in the arsenal.

The Magnificent Seven

2011 Move In House Recent Photo

It was seven years ago today that The Better Half and I took possession of the retirement house we had our contractor build. After many home improvements and landscaping events the (clickable) images show the then and now images of our humble abode. The left image is how the place looked when we moved here; the right image is from last year but essentially how we see it today.

Even after seven years of being magnificently happy here, we are still making changes to the landscaping and other things to try and constantly improve and/or maintain the property. 2018 will likely see new paint for the house, courtyard wall and retention walls. We also still have it in mind to build an RV shelter on the south side of the property with full hookups.

We are still having to deal with some health issues this year with ongoing visits to various medical professionals for checks this and that plus we will probably undergo some fairly invasive procedures which are a little risky, but considered to be necessary for continued well-being. More on that after we’re done with it.

We are looking forward to a great new year with plans to see the families on yet another motor tour or two in the Class A Motorhome. Hope your year is going as well.

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