Today was a milestone birthday for Linda. We had our usual leisurely early morning with coffee, fresh fruit, and cinnamon raisin toast (from Metropolitan Baking) for breakfast. We talked some more about our long-term ham radio plans and decided we would order one (1) of the new Yaesu FTM-400DR/DE dual band mobile radios and a slightly more powerful VHF/UHF base station antenna. Our daughter called around 9 AM to wish her many happy returns of the day. My Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS) health insurance shifted her to secondary, with Medicare as primary on June 1st, the first day of the month in which she turned 65.
The temperature was in the low 60’s when we got up at 6:30 AM. The weather forecast for the afternoon had an increasing chance of rain and the possibility of isolated thunderstorms so Linda went for a mid-morning walk. I headed to my office to order the radio and a Diamond X-300NA 2m/70cm antenna. All of the online distributors are selling the radio for the same price. I decided to buy both products plus the RTSystems programming software, from Amateur Electronic Supply (AES). Their UPS Ground shipping is “free” and since they are based in Ohio the shipment will be here in 1-2 days rather than 4-5 days.
I took a break and spread three more bags of brick pieces around the base of the tower and in front of the cable entry box. Back in my office I dealt with some personal e-mail. I sent an e-mail to Scott (KE9FOX) at QTH.com with additional information he needed to transfer the SLAARC website and domain name registration from GoDaddy to QTH.com. I then gathered up a load of laundry and put it in the washer.
By the time that was all done it was getting close to lunch time. Lunch was a big spinach and lettuce salad, baby carrots, a few sourdough pretzel nibblers with roasted red pepper hummus, fresh sweet cherries, and the blueberries/strawberries/raspberries that were left from breakfast.
After lunch I transferred the laundry to the clothes dryer and then got cleaned up. We left around 3 PM for the U.S. Bar and Grill in Wayne and stopped on the way to get a card. Today was John Smallwood’s last day at Wayne RESA and there was a gathering from 3-to-6 PM to see him off. John was the VP of the Wayne County Salaried Staff Federation (WCSSF) and succeeded me as President of the local when I retired. Now it was John’s turn to enjoy a well-earned and well-deserved retirement. This was the second gathering for a colleague in the span of just over a month. Besides wishing John well it was an opportunity to reconnect with other former colleagues.
After a suitable amount of time visiting at John’s party Linda and I drove to the Mongolian Barbecue in Novi for a celebratory birthday dinner. It is a very noisy restaurant but was not as bad on a Tuesday evening as it was the last time we were here on a Saturday. I would have preferred a quieter and more relaxing atmosphere, but the Mongolian Barbecues have a lot of ingredients that we can eat and we find the method of preparation very much to our liking. By the time we had a small bowl of soup, a moderate sized salad, and a good size bowl of ingredients we were full.
I had a brief QSO with Chris (K8VJ) on the drive home. I stopped at the Shell station and topped off the gas tank in my car so we would be ready to go in the morning. We finally got home at 8:30 PM. Linda made some hot tea and we each had a piece of Prickly Pear Cactus Jellied Candy. I restarted the dryer on Touch Up and checked my e-mail. We were tucked in by 10 PM as we needed to be on the road by 7:30 AM tomorrow.