Where did I find those other 60 hours a week?

So I finally pulled the plug on the day job six weeks ago. For the first time since I was 18 years old, I don’t have a regular pay check coming in. Unless you count that Social Security thing, which is hardly enough to call a “paycheck.”  I had big plans for all the new spare time I was going to have in retirement, including actually getting on the air more, seeking out long, rambling ragchews, working more PSK31 and RTTY, doing some QRP, maybe even building a kit or two and trying out an antenna idea I’ve been contemplating.  Contemplating for a dozen years.

Truth is, I only retired from one of my several jobs.  For some reason, I quit the only one that actually paid me a regular wage, which automatically brings my sanity into question.  But like a gas occupying a vacuum, the other things I do quickly expanded to take up all my available time, including what the day job once took.  I have no idea how I was able to work those sixty hours a week at the old vocation!

Some of you may be aware that I am a writer, too, and just published my 24th book.  I’ve also finally gotten around to putting one of my novels–my second book, published way back in 1997–up on Amazon.com as an eBook.  (I hope it finds a bigger audience this time because it is near to my heart, the story of a young man who falls in love with the magic of radio, goes on to a career in broadcasting as a deejay, and eventually his best friend, who just happens to be a ham, saves his bacon…using a trick many of you will recognize.  It’s titled WIZARD OF THE WIND and, yes, there is a lot of me in that story!)

I’m also finishing up an amateur radio book, one that has been in the works for a while, too.  It will include some of the articles and short stories I’ve put up on eHam.net and more.  I want it to not only entice those who develop an interest in ham radio to go ahead and take the plunge but to also encourage those already in the hobby to explore other aspects and become true evangelists for it.

When I was writing WIZARD OF THE WIND, I actually took a weekend job at an oldies radio station for a year, working a weekend deejay shift,  just to get that old feeling back.  It really helped me put it into words as I worked on the novel.  Maybe now is the time that I should be getting on the ham bands more, broadening my own horizons so I can capture the magic of the hobby as I work on the new book.

I think I just talked myself into getting off this blog and seeing what the DX clusters are saying.  Or watching the waterfall for a bit on 20M PSK31.  Time’s wasting!

Don Keith N4KC




(A blog about rapid technological change and its

effect on society, media, and ham radio)

Don Keith, N4KC, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Alabama, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Where did I find those other 60 hours a week?”

  • Matt W1MST:

    Congratulations on becoming (voluntarily) unemployed! I’m excited in a selfish way — I’m hoping it will allow you more time for writing about ham radio! I love reading the posts on your blog and here on our site.

  • Marty AG3EK:

    Not to complain or anything, but the amazon page for your 24th book has absolutely no description of what the book is about. I can make some assumptions based on the picture of the front of the book, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover…. 🙂

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Don, I am going to be retiring in and around 7 years from now. I am very fortunate to have a company pension. I have been taking some time now to think as to what I am going to do for some of my spare time when I retire. I have my hobby in place but I would like to have some type of self employment arranged as well. I have to start thinking about that now as it is just not going to happen when I do retire….and I am told by those at work who are on their way this year that it sure does come fast.

  • Don N4KC:

    Matt, thanks. Yes, I have the ham radio book project underway and an idea or two for some other things amateur-radio related…if I ever get to them!

    Marty, interestingly enough, there was a description on the Amazon page as of yesterday. Not sure what’s going on. But there is plenty of info and an excerpt on my web site: http://www.donkeith.com.

    Mike, I did not think I’d ever retire really, though I have been preparing financially for the day for 40 years. I still could not really afford to take the step had it not been for writing and some consulting I do for my former employer and to Wall Street analysts and venture capital firms. My friends who have retired tell me how busy they stay and how quickly the time passes each day. I doubted them, but now I can attest: it is true! Good luck to you, Mike.

    Don N4KC

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