As we were backing out of the driveway to go to our weekly ham radio breakfast we noticed a large mailbox sitting on the ground next to ours. It was still attached to the upper half of its wood support structure. The number was 593, which is not an address that occurs on our street. We left it there and went to breakfast.
We had a mid-sized group of 15 people at our SLAARC breakfast this morning. On the drive into breakfast we lost power to our GPS every time I transmitted on the 2m ham band. The GPS and cellular booster worked fine all day yesterday with the new 12VDC extension splitter, but I did not use the mobile ham radio.
After breakfast we went directly to Chuck’s shop in Novi to see if we could retrieve the old refrigerator using our car. A measuring tape quickly revealed that the fridge would not fit without removing the seats. Even then it would be too long to close the rear gate and hatch on the Element. At breakfast Harvey (AC8NO) offered the use of his van and labor to help move the fridge and I will probably take him up on it.
On the drive home I chatted with John (NU8M) on the South Lyon 2m repeater and we were joined by Mike (W8XH). After John signed and dropped off Linda tried different combinations of power connections while I talked with Mike. Based on that test the splitter appears to be the problem but we could not determine if it was a voltage drop issue or some form of RFI.
I stopped on the way home to fill the gas tank in my car. When we got home I put the mailbox in the back of my car and we drove to the end of the street but it clearly did not come from one of our neighbor’s yards. When we got back to the house we also noticed that there was a footprint on the side of our mailbox. Closer inspection revealed that the post was slightly loose in the ground and the box was leaning (bent) slightly to one side. Clearly someone had tried to kick it over (and failed) and there was a very high probability that it was the same person(s) who probably broke the other mailbox and left it on the ground next to ours. We discussed whether we should report it to the Livingston County Sheriff Department but did not take the time right then to do so.
Linda needed to make a grocery store run and then prep the food for dinner and pick up the house. With company coming later I did not want to get all sweaty working in the bus and garage so I worked in my office editing and uploading blog posts. I quit around 3:30 and was writing blog posts when Steve and Karen Limkemann arrived at 4 PM.
We always have a nice visit with Steve and Karen and they are good sports about eating the vegan food that Linda prepares. Linda made a sweet and sour collard greens cole slaw and vegan potato salad ahead of time. She cooked corn-on-the-cob on the stovetop and heated vegan beer brats on the grill along with onions and green peppers. Steve and Karen brought a Malbec wine which we enjoyed before, during and after the meal. Dessert was fresh strawberries with cashew milk snickerdoodle ice cream. Really, what’s not to like?
Steve and Karen have rented a house trailer in a trailer park near Venice, Florida for the last few winters. I think they rented it for January, February, and March and split the time with another couple, but I may not have my facts completely straight. The owners of the trailer are from England and decided after this last winter that they want to start using it during the winter so Steve and Karen lost the use of it. They really liked the park and its location so they bought a trailer that was for sale and already set up. We visited them two winters ago, but we were several hours north of them. This coming winter we will be much closer to them while we are in Arcadia during January and February and plan to see them more often. Venice is a very upscale place and there is an excellent vegan restaurant within easy walking distance (a mile) from their trailer park.
We talked about trying to catch the tail end of the Perseids Meteor Shower but the peak was earlier in the week, they would not be visible at our location until midnight, and then only low in the northeast sky, which is not an ideal viewing direction from our yard. Steve and Karen had a 45 minute drive to get home and left around 10:30 PM. By that point it had been a long but very satisfying day for us and we were straight away to bed once they were safely on their way.