August 2010 NAQP CW Goals

Wow, I might actually get to sit down and enjoy 8-10 hours of contesting beginning on Saturday at 11am. It is the summer version of the NCJ sponsored, North American QSO Party using CW (Morse code). I’ve had some good intentions over the last 3-4 months, but due to a lack of time off from work I have not been able to participate in the WPX CW or the NAQP RTTY this year. Both were on my list. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Now I have planned to put in a good effort this weekend.

I have participated in the August NAQP (CW) in 2009 and 2010, for only a combined total of 6 hours. Now with some more Morse code practice under my belt and some improved solar conditions I am looking to put in a very good effort. The January, 2010 contest saw my best effort to date with 186 QSOs and 75 mults for a total score of 13,950.

Unfortunately with some earth directed CMEs and geomagnetic storms we might see some very frustrating conditions. As I prepare for the contest the A=15 and K=5 with a SFI=109 and SSN=81. Regardless of the unsettled activity, I will do the best I can. Just what that is? I am adding about a 25% increase over my 186 score in January, 2010. That would result in about 225 QSOs and 80 mults. If I can hit those totals my final score should be about 18,000 points.

Alternative to Big Pharma?

As I wrote about the last few days (LDL is BadI’m Hungry) I am making a concerted effort to change my eating habits. While it might not be easy, much like any individual trying to kick a habit or change something in their daily route, it won’t be easy. Yesterday while clicking around Cooking Light, under the their vegetarian section I ran across a top rated chili recipe, just one of numerous recipes I might have to try in the next few weeks.

One problem I am trying to resolve is understanding cholesterol and the medication, which is a “statin” that was prescribed to me. I am not a fan of “big pharma” as they are out to make a buck and really don’t care how they do it. Like many big pharma drugs, statins have some nasty side effects. While my doctor told me not to worry, he still scheduled me for blood work in 8 weeks to make sure my liver is not reacting negatively. Gotta love that, huh? A drug that might help, causes more problems. Way to go big pharma!

While I don’t want to be on medication, I am exploring other options, such as a more regimented diet and supplements to help reduce my cholesterol levels. I won’t cite my doctor as being “wrong” but I do not believe I am getting the entire truth. Conversely, information I am reading and reviewing might need to be taken with a grain of salt. While I am not looking to turn this into a conspiracy piece the last thing I want is to be lied to, which leads to future problems, causing more doctor visits and more medication.

Now spending time reading articles and comments from people and medical professionals, there are proponents on both sides of the high cholesterol issue. I am hoping to see some a decrease of possibly 25% by the end of October. Hopefully diet plays a major part in this decrease, aided by the statin for a few months. Further reading is required, but I believe I can achieve a lower level by changing my diet, as well as added supplements, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, Vitamin C or even a multi vitamin, like Centrum.

Interestingly enough, here is a List of 10 Myths as it relates to cholesterol. As I mentioned, there is unending information that must be sorted through. Hopefully I will find a healthy and safe alternative than needing to remain on the big pharma medication. This is not how I intend to live life.