Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Shortwave Ghost" North American Pirate Radio eQSL - Take Two :D

Two months ago, almost to the day, I posted my first pirate radio eQSL - from, none other, the Shortwave Ghost!  That eQSL was from their third show in (what I would come to learn) is a series of broadcasts.  This eQSL is from the 12th show.

For those interested, the "Ghost" posted a link to the entire show (#12) on hf underground forum!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Hitmix Radio" German Shortwave Pirate Radio (via SDR) eQSL


not only did Hitmix Radio send this eQSL today, but included were some great pictures of the station setup (antenna and consoles) as well!  i heard Hitmix Radio, broadcasting from Germany on 6380 khz, via the SDR at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 escarpment trail run race report

as i write this on tuesday, delayed onset muscle soreness has arrived in a big way - and my aching quads are making me relive all the downhills at escarpment - probably a direct consequence of going in undertrained.  while i got thru the race just fine, the low mileage base caught up with me post-race, in the much tougher than normal recovery.  but if walking down the stairs like a ninety year old is the price, i'm happy to pay it :D

this year, in stark contrast to the 2014 edition, when it rained all morning long, this year was dry.  that's not say there wasn't a little rain on the drive up, but compared to standing in the pouring rain waiting for the wave to start, this was a sunny affair!  i was in the very last wave (18) set for a 10:25 start.  that was actually a wave later than 2014 (17)! however, like last year, mainly because of no-shows we essentially went off 3 waves sooner at 10:10 (instead of 10:25). 

as for the race itself, after my pre-race jitters dissipated (within the first 15 minutes or so), i had a blast out there!  once we set off on the ascent to windham peak (roughly 1700+ feet in 3.5 miles) i pretty much focused on the trail to the exclusion of everything else.  i reached windham in 57 minutes - same as last year's split.  but last year, because of all the pre-race rain, it was a real slog up the water-logged trail.  given the dry conditions, matching last year's split wasn't that meaningful.

likewise, the descent off of windham peak last year was pretty rough.  by the time i got to the base of blackhead last year (2:23) i was pretty muddied and somewhat battered!  this year the descent wasn't bad - because the trail was dry! - and i reached the base of blackhead in 2:19 (4 minutes ahead of 2014).  but again, given the very different trail conditions, that 4 minutes edge was more a reflection of my conservatism on the trail, than any serious effort to push the pace.

my climb up to blackhead mirrored 2014, and took the same 30 minutes.  the big difference, however, was it was the first time i ever encountered an aid station that had run out of water - any fluids, in fact, except a thermos of coffee!  that really shook me up because i had a small amount of heed-like replacement drink in my water bottle!  this was a by-product of starting in the last wave - aid stations running out of stuff!  luckily, i was able to get more water at dutcher's notch.

but then, we still had to get to dutcher's notch first!  this downhill stretch trail is my least favorite part of the course - basically a rockly1500 feet descent in 2 miles!  it's tricky because there are some gnarly descents right up front - then things level off for a nice stretch (letting you forget there is still more descent to come) - and even more gnarly descent at the tail end! i lost two minutes getting down off blackhead (49 versus 47) this time around.

at this point, facing the climb up to stoppel point, i still felt pretty good (although i was starting to feel the effects of dehydration).  i had kept pace with last year.  it took 48 minutes to reach stopple point (47 in 2014).  but here is where i started to lose focus.  with only one more aid station, at north point, before the finish - the next 4.4 miles turned into a mixed bag.  i lost a full 5 minutes getting to north point (30 versus 25 minutes).  a lot of that time was spent walking a stretch of the rocky trail.  my form had given out and found myself repeatedly tripped up because i couldn't lift my legs fast enough to avoid the rocks - argh!

then again, there is nothing like the threat of an approaching thunderstorm to suddenly reenergize seemingly dead legs! on the rock ledge that is the north point aid station, the sky got dark and the wind picked up (with a nice backdrop of the occasional thunderclap).  the last leg - to the finish at the lake - is a lot of boulder hopping.  it's a tough 1.7 miles to finish with.  somehow i managed to pick up 4 minutes (47 versus 51) and finished just as the heavens opened up! 

even more remarkable, with less than half a mile to go, i missed a turn and found myself on a huge boulder - not where is was supposed to be.  i retraced my footsteps and found the trail leading around the boulder, and continued on my way!  so, instead of equaling or bettering last year's time, i was a minute off (5:46:58) last year's result!

still i was all good!  and it was good enough to requalify for the 2016 edition!!

here are my race photos and link to the official results.

Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 escarpment trail run - race photos & results

escarpment trail run #6 is in the books! of them all so far, it's easily the most gratifying because it didn't seem as if i'd get to run it in the wake of last month's cataract surgery!  but i healed up enough to get it done - and, surprisingly, only a minute slower than last year's finish! 

here is my 2015 race report.

here are the official results from the Albany running exchange.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

"relmus radio" Netherlands mediumwave pirate radio (via SDR) eQSL

this eQSL from relmus radio, broadcasting on 1655 kHz from the Netherlands is my first medium wave pirate station.  it arrived this morning, on the drive up to the escarpment trail run!  not sure if the grim reaper was an omen of things to come (but luckily, did not come to pass - haha)! 

i heard the relmus radio broadcast on the SDR in Twente.  my very first pirate logged, and pirate QSL for that matter, was way way back in 1977 - from WCPR, also a medium wave (AM) pirate!  i've heard a few more European medium wave pirate stations, hopefully they will reply in the near future.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"sluwe vos radio" netherlands pirate radio 6230 khz (via SDR) eQSL

In addition to the "Mustang Radio" eQSL, I also received this great eQSL card from Sluwe Vos Radio this afternoon!  I believe "Sluwe Vos" roughly translate to "sly fox" - hence the little fox peeking out of the corner.  The rest of the card is a photo of the Soviet-era Duga-3 radar antenna array! That structure has a very interesting history (in terms of the broadcast effects go), as the Wikipedia entry points out.  Thanks Jelmer!

"mustang radio" netherlands shortwave pirate radio 6750 khz (via SDR) eQSL

I just received this eQSL from Mustang Radio this afternoon! What makes this one especially fun to have received is that I emailed the station during the broadcast and got an on-air shout out "hello" from Herman, the station's operator!  Pretty neat.  Thanks Herman!

2015 masters challenge 5k - back to "racing" :D

last night the taconic road runners hosted this year's edition of the masters challenge 5k at fdr park - and it was my first race since the nyrr retro 4 miler way back on june 7!  it felt great to be among runners again!  this cataract surgery business not only resulted in my longest stretch of not running (3 weeks), but also yielded the longest stretch of not racing (6 weeks)!  i needed the surgery, so no regrets on that - but what a lifestyle changeup it was getting my eyesight straightened out.

as for the race itself, it's been more than 10 years since i've done this event.  and then, way back in the early 2000's, i ran as a member of the westchester track club!  but this race is more about the clubs coming together and socializing than serious competition (despite some very fast times - haha).  the post-race party was pretty great!

as for the running itself, i missed my sub-23 minute goal by a solid 20 seconds (23:19).  that result was entirely due to my caving in to the very last hill at the finish - i walked it. but i was very happy to run this 5k and finish it!  slowly, but surely my mind and body are coming back to running... and not a minute too soon because the escarpment trail run is on sunday!

here are the race results from trrc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"radio casanova" netherlands shortwave pirate radio 6240 khz (via SDR) eQSL

Radio Casanova's eQSL arrived in my email this morning!  I listened to Radio Casanova's broadcasts (from the Netherlands) a few times over the last month or so - via the SDR at the University of Twente (also in the Netherlands).  Thanks Ludwig!

I'm actually happily surprised to have collected (and posted) so many shortwave pirate eQSLs over the last couple of month - heard on both my Sangean and the web-based SDR.   When I first started in listening to shortwave back in 1970's, the occasional pirate station was a rarity!  Forty years later, it's possible to log a pirate broadcast practically every night, with a little luck :D

Pirate radio is alive and well!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

r.i.p. - theodore bikel

theodore bikel died today at the age of 91.  while his body of work as an actor - and activist - is enormous, i first encountered him in the role of bando, in "my side of the mountain," where he played a wandering folk singer - basically himself.  "my side of the mountain" is my all-time favorite movie - and that's saying a lot since there are a lot of movies i really love!

i also associate bikel with two t.v. roles, one especially memorable, where he butts heads with columbo ("bye-bye sky high i.q. murder case").  there he played a murdering mensa-member accountant who tried to cover up his embezzlements by killing his partner.  he also played worf's adoptive father on "star trek: the next generation."

so that's my favorite movie, favorite t.v. detective series, and favorite t.v. sci-fi franchise!  not a bad trifecta of acting roles in my book :D

for the full bio - and all his serious stage, screen and activist credits - check out the n.y. times obituary.

rest in peace theodore bikel

"radio fusion radio" north american pirate radio 6925 khz USB - eQSL

another great pirate eQSL arrived in yesterday's email!  this one, "radio fusion radio," was from a north american shortwave pirate.  it's been a while since i've posted an eQSL from a "local" pirate - and one logged on my Sangean ATS 909 (instead of the SDR at Twente)!  radio fusion radio is especially interesting log for me because it's the first time i've heard of this particular broadcaster!

at this point, i have roughly an equal number of eQSLs from north american and european pirates.  i'm also waiting to hear back from a few stations.  so stay tuned, i may have a few more to post in the coming days.

Monday, July 20, 2015

a pair of weekend 10 milers - and one went south!

my plan to run back to back 10 milers this weekend (building on last weekend's pair of 7 milers) started off fine - despite the soggy saturday morning.  i got in a solid 10 miles after the rain passed through - and took a bit of the heat along with it.  it was still very humid, but the relatively cooler temperature let me get in the 10.2 miles at an overall 8:07 pace (1:22:42).  i was plenty happy with that because it was my first double digit run in over a month!

in fact, with sunday's mileage, i would log my first 40+ mile week in over a month.  so the base re-building in the wake of 3 non-running weeks was coming along fine.  but sunday's run turned into anything but routine - it morphed into a death march after the 4th mile!  i was toast in the heat and humidity!  to put the run in context, i walked the nine mile loop 2 weeks ago in a 14:14 pace (when i was under doctor's orders not to run).  yesterday i crawled across the second half of that loop in a walk-run slog.  i did the entire 9 mile loop in 1:27:50, a 9:46 pace - and ducked into my nicely air-conditioned house and drank an entire 20 ounce watered-down gatorade in one slug!  then i sheepishly headed out and mostly walked the last mile (a half mile out and back).

contrasted with the 10 miler on saturday, the experience left me pretty stunned because i've done that loop thousands of times - and this is the first time i've ever crashed so badly.  maybe just a bad day - who knows. but this afternoon, in even tougher conditions - the heat index was solidly above 100 - i ran 6 miles in a typical easy pace (50:22, 8:08 pace).  and that included a comical stop at the high school field house for a sip of water - only to be told that their water fountain was broken!  so i had to use the bathroom faucet to cool off - and passed on actually drinking it!

on the positive side - all these heat wave miles have certainly speeded up my re-acclimation to summer running - haha :D

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"radio montferland" netherlands shortwave pirate radio 6325 khz (via SDR) eQSL

this is the 3d great pirate eQSL to arrive this weekend!  i heard radio montferland last weekend, broadcasting from the Netherlands on 6325 kHz.  it's another station that i logged via the SDR at the university of twente.  it is one more European pirate that i not likely have heard it on my Sangean ATS 909 (under normal conditions).

so far I've only posted the pirate eQSLs that I've received.  But i've also collected a few eQSLs/QSL cards from traditional broadcasters.  while they are not, typically, as colorful as the pirate verifications, i will post a few.

in the meantime, here are a few more European pirate eQSLs.

and here are the North American pirate eQSLs.

"radio tidalwave" netherlands pirate radio 6750 khz (via SDR) eQSL

i received another fantastic eQSL card yesterday.  this one with a perfect summer theme to beat the humidity, came from radio tidalwave, broadcasting from the Netherlands.  this is another pirate radio station that i logged via the web-based SDR located at the university of twente.

it seems that most of the pirates I've logged recently are based in Europe.  here are a few more of their eQSLs.

here are my North American eQSLs.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

"radio carrierwave" netherlands pirate radio 6389 khz (via SDR) - eQSL

this fantastic eQSL card from radio carrierwave was in my mailbox this morning - actually both (the full data and non-data versions)!  aside from its risqué image, it reminds me of shortwave listening in the 1970s!  that's pretty ironic since i logged radio carrierwave on the web SDR based at the university of twente!  that was technology that certainly didn't exist back in the day!

for my other European pirate eQSLS check out this link.

for my north American pirate eQSLs check out this link.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"radio europe" italian pirate radio 6875 khz (via SDR) - eQSL

"Radio Europe" broadcasting from Milan, sent me my very first Facebook eQSL!  That was probably the most appropriate delivery mechanism since I learned that Radio Europe was on the air and broadcasting from it's Facebook post to that effect!  This reception was made possible by the web-SDR from the University of Twente, in the Netherlands.

One of the best part of the show was the on-air shout outs to listeners from the DJ - including one to me (replying to my email)!  Thanks Alex!

My other European pirate eQSLs can be seen here.

My North American pirate eQSLs can be seen here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

a pair of weekend 7 milers + one :D

as my post-op running base-rebuilding continues, i ran a pair of hilly 7 milers over the weekend.  that's pretty much in line with my doctor's orders - who, by the way, took out the remaining two stitches (left eye) this morning!  i celebrated by running the same 7 miler again when i got home this afternoon :D

not only am i getting in the miles to rebuild my base mileage, but also to get re-acclimated to the heat and humidity.  before the 3 week hiatus from running, i had a decent number of hot summer miles under my belt.  but even with a lot of walking in those non-running weeks, getting back to running in heavy humidity was tough (like starting over tough).

on the positive side, the string of 7 milers came in at 58:20, 58:00 and 57:05 minutes, consecutively.  the more fascinating tidbit is while i struggled in the first two runs, the third one (this afternoon) was a relatively fast first 4 miles and then each successive one got tougher (including some walking on the hills in 6 and 7). but i still managed to finish it almost a minute faster than the 7 miles on sunday!

what that tells me is that some of my speed is coming back!  however, the endurance isn't keeping pace - haha! 

"radio 42" european pirate 6285 khz (via SDR) eQSL

yesterday an eQSL arrived from Radio 42! it's only my second QSL from a European pirate station (but hopefully a few more are on the way).  it has a small typo - the date should be july (not june) - but otherwise the data are correct.  it was logged, like all my other European pirate stations to date, via the web SDR based at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands!

my other European pirate eQSL, from Enterprise Radio, can be seen here.

and my north American pirate eQSLs, via the Sangean ATS 909, can be seen here.

stay tuned, i'll post more pirate QSLs as the come in (including a few that may happen to arrive the old-fashioned, hard copy, way - via snail mail) :D

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"radio pig international" - WPIG - shortwave pirate eQSL

this eQSL from WPIG - radio pig international - is a very unexpected surprise.  i heard the broadcast last month but, without an email address, posted a report on the HF Underground pirate forum instead of sending in a reception report.  then, yesterday, a couple of listeners posted WPIG eQSLs - and one was kind enough to post the email address as well. 

so i sent a copy of the forum post to WPIG and shortly thereafter i received this fantastic eQSL back from Ira Pigg himself!

Oink oink Frank!
Here is your WPIG QSL
... oink oink!
Ira Pigg

i love it!  many thanks Ira - for the QSl and the broadcasts!


check out some of my other pirate eQSLs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

3 weeks later... back to running :D

4 mile done!  it's been 2 weeks since the second cataract surgery (left eye) - the minimum designated "no running" period per my doctor's orders (and that came a week after the initial surgery on my right eye).  this has been the longest stretch that I haven't run a step.  I seriously cannot remember having not run for a period of 3 weeks.  in fact, I doubt that in the last 15 years I've been sidelined for more than a week (if that long) without any running. 

I've had some setbacks (hematoma at umstead, anemia the following summer, chronic compartment syndrome a few years back, a nasty scalding of my hand last fall) but quickly bounced back (relatively speaking).  even with the chronic compartment syndrome I was able to run a little (e.g. low mileage).  this was a totally new - and at times utterly frustrating - experience.

it's a small price to pay, however, for the benefits - better vision!  in fact, the best benefit of all is having my "night vision" restored as a result of getting rid of the cataract in my right eye.  now I can drive at "night" again - for better or worse!

so it's going to be an interesting next few weeks as I get my running legs back.  I've basically power walked over these last weeks to keep up some sort of cardio.  but 14 minute miles aren't the same as 8 minute miles (or racing, for that matter).  despite the heat and humidity, the 4 miles took me just over 34 minutes (an 8:32 pace).  i'm way happy with that! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

"enterprise radio" european pirate 6945 khz (via SDR) eQSL

"enterprise radio," broadcasting from northern italy on 6945 kHz over the 4th of july weekend is my first european pirate eQSL!  it's one of a number of stations i logged recently, listening via a webSDR (software defined radio) based at the university of twente, in the netherlands! 

i've been experimenting with SDR because i'm looking to purchase one. it's an entirely different experience from the classic (old-school) tuning the dial via a regular radio.  i'm planning a separate post on SDR - so stay tuned.

in the meantime, enterprise radio is my 7th shortwave pirate eQSL (albeit i'll probably post an asterisk next to it because it wasn't logged in ny) - and first one from europe!

here are the links to my earlier (north american) shortwave pirate eQSL posts:

"radio free whatever"
"free thinker radio"
"boom box radio"
"the crystal ship"
"the voice of pearl harbor," and
"shortwave ghost"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

joey chestnut defeated by matt stonie at nathan's hot dog eating contest

the Nathan's annual hot dog eating contest is a regular part of my 4th of July -- and watching joey chestnut win it was almost an automatic bet... until today!!  Instead of garnering his ninth consecutive mustard belt, he lost to matt stonie by 2 hot dogs (60-62)!  stonie, no newcomer to hot dog eating (he took second place to joey last summer) - at one more hot dog than chestnut did last year, while joey was one short of the 61 he ate in 2013.  neither one came close to joey's all time best - 69 hot dogs.  that record may stand for a few more years!

i last posted about this annual event back in 2009 - it was joey chestnut's 3 mustard belt that year (and he downed 68 dogs).  now we have a great re-match to look forward to in 2016!!  it will be even more fantastic if kobayashi got back into the mix!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"radio free whatever" 6950 khz usb pirate radio eQSL

here is the newest pirate eQSL- from "radio free whatever" - via, of all places, HF Underground, a great online shortwave pirate radio forum!  by way of background, HFU is fantastic resource for anyone interested in pirate radio broadcasts.  one essential feature is the discussion forum devoted to current pirate logs - where listeners share information about what stations are currently on the air.  the posts generally include reception reports - and are frequented by the very broadcasters being discussed and reported.

so back to "radio free whatever" a station i logged over memorial day weekend and again a week later on june 6.  while i received an email verification, there was no eQSL.  I've logged it before and since, but those were the only two reports i submitted.  yesterday, dick, the radio free whatever DJ replied to a forum post asking about his eQSL policy:

"We did E-QSL for a while but we got behind a little over a year ago and haven't since. We used to do nice personalized QSLs but it got tedious to do a dozen or so after least for me Mr. A.D.D. So I asked Assistant Stavin to do it. After all, HES THE FRIGGIN ASSISTANT. I produce each show myself in the studio. I spend hours listening and flagging new tunes to share on RFW. Surely just doing the QSLs would be an ok chore for Stavin...but then his computer crashed and then he got incarcerated, and then he had some mini strokes, and then he had biblical leprosy, uh herpes, I mean um...SHINGLES. Yada Yada Yada, one excuse after another. Yeah so he won't do them. I'm tired of disappointing people over the QSL thing so I have an idea. Maybe I can post a generic QSL on here for each show y'all can download. It's a hell of a lot easier to make one than like 10 or more per show."

not only was it a great (and sincere) reply, but it's also a great idea.  since this hobby is built on the honor system, anyone who would "claim" a generic QSL for a station that wasn't actually logged (putting aside the question of "unidentified" for this purpose), is pretty lame.  so dick's idea to post a generic jpg goes a long way toward satisfying the demand for QSLs when a station is faced with limited resources.  this could cover most broadcasts, with personalized QSLs issued for special broadcasts/events.

just saying...

as for me - this eQSL is pirate number 6

july 2015 race schedule

it seems decidedly strange to post a race schedule when i haven't run 1 step in the last two weeks - and still have one more week on the sidelines, per doctor's orders, following my cataract surgery! still, i'm ever hopeful about lacing up and getting back on the roads to run (and eventually, race) again.  next wednesday, the 8th, i can officially return to running - and will probably celebrate with a few laps around the high school track! 

my goal for the remaining weeks this month, leading up to the escarpment trail run on sunday the 26th, is to simply rebuild some base mileage and endurance.  finishing escarpment at the end of the month, despite the 3 week hiatus from running and training, is my objective :D

along the way i hope to get in a few short races - the more ambitious target is the norwalk summer series 5 miler on the 11th (i'll see how things stand after on friday, after a couple of running days back).  but the westport summer series 3.8 miler the following weekend is probably a more realistic first race, post-surgery.

i'd also like to get in the masters challenge 5k on the 22nd - and test out my newly restored night vision on the drive home from fdr park!  that's one of the major benefits from the cataract surgery :D

so, on a purely provisional basis, here's how it looks so far:

7/11 - norwalk summer series 5 miler
7/18 - westport summer series 3.8 miler
7/22 - masters challenge 5k
7/26 - escarpment trail run 30k

as always, if you're at any of these - say hello!