Small Clubs with Heart

It’s rare you hear about a club in the US in any of the major sports, where a team resides from a small city. It just doesn’t happen. Small market clubs end up being a loosing proposition in many cases. Just take a look at your favorite sport and I am sure you can relate. San Diego Padres are considered a small market club and will never compete with the likes of a Yankees or Boston.

In football…sorry, soccer for those Americans who don’t follow European football it is decidedly different. There is the Barclay’s Premier League, which is top flight football in European. All teams in England strive year after year to be promoted. Beyond the Premiership is the Coca-Cola Championship League, which is home to teams relegated from the top league or teams who achieved success to be promoted. The other lower divisions are the League 1 and League 2 under the Coca-Cola Championship. No sport in the US is like this, where a small team is promoted, the only comparison could be a minor league affiliation in baseball, even that is a different.

Last season saw Burnley, town of 22,000 inhabitants be promoted to the Premiership. As with many lower division teams it is always a great thing for the team and the fans who are loyal to the end and support their club at all levels. Burnley opened home play last night against last season’s champion, Manchester United. Most gave Burnley no chance in hell of winning, let alone scoring a goal.

An interesting note hear while watching the game last night (on my DVR). The entire town of Burnley could fit inside Wimbley, which is home to Manchester United (holds 70,000+). Yet last night was not to be for Man U, who could just not click, while playing a weaker opponent. It was a great feeling watching and experience a lower division club, newly promoted after 33 years taking on the same team tame relegated them from the Prem 1-0, 33 years prior.

Burnley was able to gain the advantage last night on a great volley to the upper corner of the near post that would end up being the game winning goal (only goal of the game) for a 1-0 victory. Everything was going Burnley’s way from deflected balls, to penalty saves to the break. Man U could not muster much in terms of coordination and seemed to be frustrated by what Burnley did to them. Some claim Ronaldo could have pulled 1, possibly all 3 points for Man U. We can only speculate.

While Burnley might not win more than 4 or 5 matches this season, they have begun this Premiership in grand fashion, by taking down the perennial champions. This match was a great spectacle! One that will live long in the hearts and minds of Burnley. Even if they don’t win another match this season, I think we saw the sort of heart the club had, as well as some talented players on the pitch. If you get a chance, catch a replay of this match.

Getting Up to Speed

Seems there are times where I get into these ruts where I end up pushing the website to the back burner, but usually return some with regular news. While many won’t have any interest in what I am discussing, it’s just one of those things I like to keep updated, especially when going back years later to reread what I wrote.

While nothing has had my undivided attention, the looming strike at work may be coming to the forefront as of Sunday evening. While it would be nice to have some time off, having that extended break would come with no paycheck. So a few days…sure. A few weeks…not really. Any period longer than that. Uh, no. I really don’t have an opinion I feel needs to be voiced about the situation. I say that because I don’t want anything to come back and bite me in the ass. And while the Internet is a vast, back hole, somehow I could see my opinions doing that. So, with that said, if indeed there is a strike, I will honor it, along with others in my union.

As I have said before, many employees who have never worked outside this company do not know how good they have it. United was a living nightmare for at least 5 years! Pay cuts, benefits cut, pensions cut. Yet, because of the love of the airlines, I wanted to stay. Unfortunately it got to a point where I knew I would not be able to provide for my family and have a comfortable retirement. So I did what was BEST for me.

That is probably my only point of contention when it comes to outsiders voicing their opinions when they do not have the full story. Each person in their given situation has the choice to get out and make life better for themselves. That is what I did and I was fortunate (and a bit lucky) to be hired by BART. I am thankful every day for it to, even those days when the shit is hitting the fan and things go from bad to worse. So while others might bad mouth some employee groups, those individuals can change things for the better, yet many will choose not to. I guess it is easier to bitch and complain, than doing something to better your situation.

Enough of that. I am still somewhat behind on the website for various reasons. I seem to have projects started that I cannot seem to finish or tackle a new job with finishing others. Just ask my wife. I have been meaning to get some well needed updates posted, but time has not permitted me that luxury. Not that I finally have my former game PC up and running in support of my ham radio, I should have the web cam back online shortly.

It’s funny, but as much as I complained about Facebook, I seem to frequent the site every day. Steph, you can STFU and stop telling me, “I told ya so.” Anyway, you can find me on Facebook with some updates, but this will always be my main playground. More later, as it is time to get off work.

CAT Port Broken

Okay, it is now official the FT-1000MP has a bad CAT port. After running a small utility I found the PC could not communicate with the radio. I am now looking at Ham Radio Bug (WA4GEG) to repair the unit and get it back to me before we are into the serious contesting. Although none of my attempts ever fall into that category.

Thankfully I was able to get the loaner FT-1000MP up and running, talking to the old PC for the recent NAQP CW Contest. I ended the effort with 116 QSOs on 20M and 40M for about 6,300 points in 5 hours. It would have been nice to see if I could have worked 80M with the new SteppIR BigIR Mk III, but time would not allow me this opportunity.

I have been working on the grounding of W6ONV. Thanks to Glen (K9STH) and his “grounding primer” I picked up off his web site. I have driving 4 8′ copper ground rods, one of the opposite wall of the shack and three in the backyard as based on his recommendation. I am still waiting for my copper, insulated buss bar to arrive so I can ground all the station equipment.

The next real attempt will be for the NAQP SSB Contest that comes up August 15-16. Now if I could just get the Alpha 76PA to work with something resembling full power instead of the 400-500 watts I usually get out of it for SSB. It could be a tuning issue, as N6WM and N6RO have suggested. I will have to pick up a dummy load and try to tune the amp again before the contest, since I will need the linear for the SSB contest.