Scribbles, &c.

CQ CONTEST, Man as gift

The 2017 CQ WW DX SSB contest was a few weeks ago. On the last afternoon of the contest period, I started scanning bands and looked for interesting big-gun stations that were getting bored. With my current setup - janky antenna and nothing in the way of an amplifier - I figured it might be worthwhile giving digital modes a rest for a few hours. And hey, what do you know? I was able to log phone contacts with Bonaire, Jamaica, Italy, Cape Verde, and a few others. That the massive antenna systems on the far-end were doing lion’s share of work, no question. Still pretty nifty. I submitted my log for the hell of it and wound up with a whopping 494 points. Not at the bottom of any of the lists, so I’ve got that going for me. The aforementioned giant contest stations and dedicated single operators logged scores in the millions, by way of some relative comparisons.

Not long after the contest, I made a voice contact with CO8LY on 17m, a ham in Cuba that I’ve actually logged before on other bands with digital modes. It was nice to hear his voice. Finally got the Azores in my book, too. My antenna is now running to a tree out back, thanks to quite a bit of rope+paracord setup as a halyard and a wrist-rocket slingshot to get the whole thing started. Quite the Wile E. Coyote afternoon, I don’t mind saying. The current configuration is something of a proof-of-concept, and while the system’s still not at an ideal height, it sure feels like I’m getting out a little better.

Confirmation bias? Or effective way? shrug The longer term plan is to switch out the 54' wire with one just about 125', which should put the far end closer to the top of the tree and get it higher still. I’d love to give a doublet or G5RV a try, but the vertical portions of either would wind up dangling down in the middle of the backyard, and there’s no point in tempting the dog or kids with something like that. Long term, some sort of vertical is probably in my future, but I still want to wring everything I can out of what I’ve got.

Switching gears to theology: parts of JP2’s TOB that I’m still sort of getting my head around - well some of many, anyhow:

  • Man only comes into the fullness of self-knowledge through community
  • The second creation account in Genesis shows Man understanding what he is not (by encountering the animals) and what he finally is (through his encounter with Eve).
  • The other is simultaneously different (at an obvious somatic level) and the same (in shared humanity)
  • Man only knows the other through the giving in totality of himself as a gift to the Other.
  • As a gift, the physical embodiment of Man is the visible and perfect symbol of the invisible reality, namely, that he is also Spirit, much the same way that any physical gift that we give to someone is an outward sign of something else.
  • In receipt by the Other as a gift, Man comes to know himself as a gift. There must be a giver, a thing given, and a receiver. The gift must be given and received in its totality, not under terms or rejected, in right relationship.
  • Absent this anthropological understanding, the physical body becomes a thing to be treated like any other material object, used, possessed, discarded.

I can’t recommend Prof. Mary Stanford’s 3-part podcast, Theology of the Body 101, highly enough. It only seems to be available via iTunes, unfortunately. It’s engaging and quick (I could have listened to 2-3 more hours' worth of the material as she presents it). Our parish’s confirmation preparation group (of which I’m a part) is doing double-duty with a series of TOB evenings for the confirmandi and their parents. This is probably the sort of material we all ought to be listening to by way of an introduction to the main ideas.