Friday, December 22, 2006

5A7A video

One of the great things about the explosion of YouTube in the last year is that there is now a central place where you can look for videos corresponding to a special interest you might have. As for me, I'm always on the look-out for cool DXpedition videos. They are fun to watch, of course, but I'm also making a mental list of do that, don't do that when I critique them. Here's a very nice video from the 5A7A Libya DXpedition. Thanks to KE9V for the pointer!

There are a number of things you can pick up even from this short clip. There was a discussion of antenna placement early in the video. I'm sure they did some work on that before they left, but the ultimate decisions were made once they were on-site and had complete knowledge of the situation. Notice the orange and white hazard tape at the 2:08 point. I'm looking for stuff like that, too, to mark guy lines and radials as tripping hazards. Video taping the set-up to the group snapshot (probably for the QSL card) is also a good idea. I'll be sure to do that.
There are plenty of these videos out there and I'm guessing there is at least one interesting idea in each one. Watch them. Enjoy them. Learn from them.
Finally, I got a fortune cookie yesterday that was surprisingly on-point. Mostly, these things contain lame, bland, or English-grammar-challenged snippets that are less like predictions ("You will meet a kind stranger") and more like observations ("You are a kind and generous person"). Still, tradition holds that you read the fortune aloud to the group at the end of the meal, and we did just that at lunch yesterday. Mine read, "I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it." If I had to sum up my life on a fortune cookie, I couldn't do better than that!
It takes a little courage, a thick skin, and a willingness to look foolish (often, truth be told) to live this way, but I can think of nothing better, nothing more joyful. I am doing these trips, these 100 Pound DXpeditions not because I am already well-versed in all that might go into them, but precisely because I am not. I learn by thinking about things and then acting on those thoughts. MIT's motto is Mens et manus - "Mind and hand". While I wasn't smart enough, or wealthy enough, to go to a prestigious institution like MIT, I've always lived by that tenant. I hope these brief notes left here will encourage you to try to new things, also. I've found that a willingness to apply your mind, eagerness to use your hands, and perhaps a little heart goes a long way.


Post a Comment

<< Home