Biking, 2017

My goal for 2017 was to bike more than 2,000 miles.  I thought it was pretty impressive, but as it turns out, many of my biking friends in the area consider 5,000 miles to be a more ambitious goal.  But then I’ve been biking seriously again only since my motorcycle crash.

Here’s my 2017 results:


I achieved my goal in late October, about a mile from our house. 


Later, my friend Allen and I rode the “Tour of the Moon”  over the Colorado National Monument.  I was wearing a jersey from a friend I discovered on Strava; he and his wife retired and live  in the French mountains; he was an architect and she was an educator.  He rides about as often as I do, although he’s faster.

Here are some random scenes as I racked up the miles:

With Michael Starks along the Poudre Trail in Fort Collins

With Allen along the Rio Grande Trail from Glenwood Springs to AspenIMG_20170727_144755152
  Our favorite coffee stop, Bestslope Coffee in Fruita, Colorado
Ridgway, Colorado
Ridgway, Colorado
Other photos along the route:
Reeder Mesa

Merry Christmas 2017

We wish all of our friends and acquaintances a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2018.  Or at least a year that doesn’t have as much dismal national news as 2017.

Georgia and I have spent the year doing the usual things that retired people do; if you follow us on Facebook, you know probably more than we remember!  You can scroll down the posts here to see what some of our activities have included.   I’ve been riding my bike a lot (achieving a goal of 2000 miles this year) and working with my amateur radio (my call is KØGUZ). Terry also has a ham radio license (KEØHNW) and he has had a lot of fun packing it in to mountaintops and contacting other hams, using battery power.  I’m not into climbing a 14,000 foot peak, but if you can drive most of the way there, I’m game.  This is me, my radio and antenna and computer, on an unnamed peak in Utah:


Georgia, with the help of  friends, has learned how to quilt, use her sewing machine and play the addictive and very complex game of Mah Jong.  She hosts regular games with three neighbors. 

And of course we’ve spent as much time as possible with our grandchildren – three live nearby in Grand Junction, and the youngest lives near Durban, South Africa.  Our oldest just started high school.

We took a couple of weeks to visit friends in North Carolina, and a week with Sue and Charlie Fienning and their friends in Pawley’s Island,


and we went to Wyoming to view the solar eclipse.  Paula (Georgia’s sister) saw 90% of it from Cheyenne, but Paula’s husband Michael and I drove north about 75 miles to see the 100% eclipse.  It was awesome.


Above:  Michael and me just before we we were abducted by space aliens during the total eclipse.

The population of Wyoming more than doubled as hundreds of thousands of Colorado residents streamed northward to view the event.  It was really worth it.

Our year is ending with a visit from our South African granddaughter and her mommy.   After a couple of days here, they flew to San Diego to be with Jackie.

Arrival from South AfricaEnjoying the beach

We hope that this is a sign that 2018 will be a good year.

Steve & Georgia

FT8 Checklist

The following information deals with my ham radio hobby, and is designed to be shared with my friends who may want to try a new, low power weak signal operating mode that’s become very popular: FT8.  We’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Here’s a checklist of useful information which you’ll need as you  get ready to use FT8:

  1. Bookmark the main FT8  page: and the online manual: You’ll need to refer to the manual often.  Download the latest version of WSJT-X, which at the moment is 1.8.0. 
  2. Fix the time on your computer. Click here to see how far off your time is now.  Follow the instructions for your computer in Section 3 of the manual to install one of the recommended programs which will make sure you are in sync with everyone else. 
  3. Google is your friend.  Search for your rig and “FT8” or “JT65”.  There are likely to be several helpful YouTube videos explaining exactly how to set up your rig to work with these modes.
  4. Dig out your rig’s manual because you need to interface your rig’s control signals with the program.  If you’re lucky, you got a USB cable with the rig or may have another way to interface the two.  If not, you may need to get a Signalink.
  5. If you want to use your computer’s sound card, follow the adjustment procedures in Section 3.  Most people have better luck either using an external USB sound dongle or an external device such as Signalink.  You also need two stereo 3.5mm plugs to go from the dongle to your rig’s audio input and output. 
  6. The software will create its own ADIF file which you can import into your favorite log, or the online logbook.  In addition, several other logging programs interface directly with the software, including Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD), and the DXLab suite or Log4OM.  I use N3FJB’s Amateur Contact Log.  Whatever you use, get it working with the ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) and .