The Blog of Jim Eatman
© 2019, 2020
Rep In Texas - 1988 to September 15, 2019
I have been "retired" now for four months. I
can't believe that I suffered anguish over it before I actually
quit working. Retirement is very simple, actually.
Retirement is Like
First of all, there are plenty of things to do.
Groceries still have to be bought. Food has to be cooked,
and dishes have to be washed. Carpets have to be vacuumed,
and clothes have to be laundered. Then there are the things that
wife likes to do, which sometimes involve me. Life goes on - it's
not a void by any means.
Secondly, thanks to the wonders of aging, there is
less energy to do it all with. The decline in cellular function
age is unavoidable and insidious.
The question is, what to do with the energy that is
left over after the necessities of daily life are taken care of?
are proactive things to do. I can prepare for the
inevitable, and skinny down the list of my belongings. I can
simplify my life. Otherwise, this horrible task is left to
children or other guardians to do at an inopportune time.
Then there is the gravy. I can do things
that I want to do (within the limits of my budget). I can think
of many, many of those things. If I find that my greatest
enjoyment was my work, or if I needed the extra cash, I could probably
part-time job. I can mentor younger people, or visit the old,
sick, and infirm.
I traveled so much in my life and career that I
have no desire to sightsee. Been there, and done that.
Actually, my idea of a good time is to curl up with
a graduate-level engineering text. Really!
Once I asked my Dad what the secret to living a
long life was. He said, "Drink coffee, and keep moving." He
made it to 86.
Retirement is wonderful. It's a privilege to
retire before a decline in one's health forces it. I am
fortunate, and thankful.
Isaiah 46: 3 - 4:
Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all
the remnant of the house of Israei, that have been borne by me from
their birth, that have been carried from the womb; and even to old age
I am He, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you; I have made and I
will bear; yea, I wil carry, and will deliver.
Vacation of a Lifetime
telegraph is like a very long cat. You pinch its tail in Dallas,
and it meows in Chicago. The wireless is just like the telegraph,
except there is no cat."
My Dad was a radio operator in the Army in WW II.
When he returned home from Europe, he purchased a Hallicrafters
S-38B shortwave receiver.
It had vacuum tubes, and I grew up with it in the house.
Those were the days of the Cold War, and shortwave broadcasts
from all of the combatants filled the air,
competing with each other to win the hearts and minds of the world.
It intrigued me to no end just how it was
that radio stations thousands of miles away could be heard in my
bedroom. There was no cat. You
couldn't see, hear, feel, taste, or smell the radio waves.
My curiosity led me to build Heathkits. Then I "enrolled"
in a mail order course for TV
and radio repair from a Popular Electronics magazine ad - NRI (National
Radio Institute). When I finished high school, I went to college
and got an electrical engineering degree.
When I got out of college, semiconductor technology
was advancing at a very fast pace. I went to work for a large
and forgot about the wireless. Semiconductors were the next big thing.
Fast forward 43 years. Now I'm retired.
The thing about "no cat" still amazes me. So, I got my
amateur radio licenses - and became
a wireless Morse code operator. By so doing, I joined my late
Dad, the radio operator for his battalion commander. I am in the
brotherhood of Jack Phillips,
the wireless operator on the Titanic, who sent the distress
signal. And, I am in the esteemed company of many, many amateur
who had to pass Morse code proficiency tests in order to get licenses
back in the day.
Amateur radio is the ultimate blue collar
vacation. I go places and never leave home. Yesterday I was
in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Montana.
No waiting at the airport. No rental cars. No hotels.
No flat tires.
There are many facets to the ham radio hobby.
Some of us chase storms. Some aid the local authorities by
providing emergency communications
in times of disaster. Most of us are always trying to learn more
about the technology, and to improve our skills.
In the end, the basic miracle of radio never
changes. There is no cat.
Hebrews 11: 1 - 2 (ASV):
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of
things not seen. For therein the elders had witness borne to them.