Guess my ears are too old and mummified from all those years as a broadcast personality (our favored term for “disk jockey”), but all that hiss and sizzle from the CME and local thunderstorms this weekend sent me in a different direction. I did give some guys Alabama for their QSO parties, and I always enjoy doing that. But the band noise, generally yucky conditions, and my continued depression over not working VK9CZ had me doing other stuff I’ve been putting off. And with all that rain, that stuff did not include antenna maintenance or yard work. I’ve successfully postponed that for a few more days.
What it did involve was my next adventure with self-publishing. I make my living writing books and finally got around to doing one on my favorite hobby for the past 52 years…ham radio! RIDING THE SHORTWAVES: EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO (http://www.donkeith.com/index.php?p=24). No big-time publishing house was interested in doing the book. Neither was the ARRL. They say non-technical books don”t sell well for them, and I understand. They’ve been kind enough to sell the book in their online bookstore, so bless them!
Anyway, I went a different route and published the book myself. It has been available for a while in paperback as well as for the Kindle e-book reader. But this weekend…while the bands hissed at me like an audience does a villain…I busied myself getting it formatted and uploaded for every other conceivable e-book reader out there. That includes the Apple iPad, Barnes & Nobles’s Nook, and the free-to-download Adobe Digital Editions reader. Success! After a couple of false starts, of course. Man, the technology around book publishing is changing quickly, just as it is in all media and our wonderful hobby. (By the way, I blog on such stuff at http://n4kc.blogspot.com and sometimes here on AmateurRadio.com.) I also finally got around to designing and setting up a store where I can make available shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs and other items to help people promote our hobby with the message: “I ride the shortwaves. Ask me about amateur radio.”. It’s at http://www.cafepress.com/shortwaves.
Another bit of good news helped through the CME aftermath, too. I got word from the ARRL that not only will the League be selling my book at Dayton, but they asked me to do some signing events. I look forward to it! Please drop by and say hello if you make the pilgrimage…no purchase necessary!
I’m already going to be hanging around the QRP ARCI “Four Days in May” event on Thursday, May 16. It’s at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn, not far from Wright-Patterson AFB. I’m there with Rich Arland K7SZ, author of the ARRL’s QRP book. Rich has been shoving and pushing me to get deeper into QRP, and I think I may finally be catching the bug. Or maybe it is just the ragweed. I do occasionally turn down the power to 5 watts and see what I can do. The challenge is something of a thrill.
Just not when the A-index is 45!