My Favorite Things This Week


My wife and I spent a few minutes after Monday dinner on the Rick Beato YouTube Channel “What Makes This Song Great.” Beato sliced and diced the Gordon Lightfoot classic “If You Could Read My Mind.” If you haven’t found Beato’s unique and engaging form of music appreciation class yet, give him a try.


I usually wander down to my ham shack about an hour before sunset on these winter evenings. Monday, there was fair signal propagation to the west, so I spent a few worthwhile minutes chatting on the 20-meter band with Tony in British Columbia – call sign VA7TF. The next signal I came across was Masa Kaneko in Nagano, Japan – call sign JA0LBE. He said I was “booming in.” Music to a ham’s ears. I get a kick out of describing my home as “The home of Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Kentucky Derby, and good Kentucky bourbon.” It seems to bring a smile to their voice as they instantly recognize those Kentucky icons. “Ahh, yes! Ahh, yes! Kentucky Fried Chicken! Very good! Very Good!” It is always a thrill to fire up my radio, never knowing what I’ll find, and get the reward of a friendly voice from a foreign land. Some hams spend hours on the air. I am content with a couple of quick contacts now and then. Radio. What a miracle.


The “Kraft Television Theatre” was TV’s first anthology series. It was live television drama, written by some of the best, including Rod Serling. The show opened with a miniature cameraman on a dolly. In 1954 Kraft offered a toy version of their famous cameraman for 50 cents and the end flap from a Velveeta carton. They’re not that rare, but they are collectible, so in a fit of overwhelming nostalgia, I purchased one in the original packaging. It arrived today.


I was moved by the Tuesday evening ceremony at the DC reflection pool memorializing the 400,000 and more dead from the COVID pandemic. The Empire State Building turned red for the moment,

We tearfully joined the moment here at Squirrel Manor.