The voices in my head…

…are often in plural, consisting of several characters.

In this case, a BigTime DXer, Dr. Phil and my accountant.


Me: Hey guys, did you hear about the new amp kit from Elecraft? I’m thinking about buying and building one!

DXer: It’s not really a “kit” – you’re just the assembly minion.

Me: Don’t spoil my fun.

CPA: It costs $2000 and you’ve got a daughter about to enter a private university. Do you think this is a wise decision?

Me: How did you know the price? You’re not even a ham…

CPA: Like everyone else in the known universe, I read your blog.

Me: Hey, thanks. Did you like the article about the guy that…

CPA: Don’t try to deflect the question – in this economy, you’re buying an expensive version of something you already have? I question not only your financial wisdom but your overall common sense. Or lack thereof.

DXer: John, am I correct in thinking that your antenna is a mere dipole?

Me: Actually, I am now referring to it as a one-element, non-rotatable wire Yagi. And your point is?

DXer: Your money would be better spent improving your antenna system, not simply “becoming louder”. A dipole hardly justifies the addition of an amp to your station. How about a reasonably priced tower and an el cheapo tribander?

Me: How will that benefit me on 40 and 80 meters?

DXer: You can shunt-feed the tower, dummy – or have you never read ON4UN’s book?!

Me: Yeah, I read it. My favorite part was where it explains that a vertical is not an antenna for a small lot due to the necessary ground system required.

DXer: Yeah, you got me there with that little “torpedo of truth”. Took the “Sheen” off of that idea, didn’t you!

Me: Hey, good one! But back to my point, here’s my thinking – I know all the catch-phrases – “You can’t work ‘em if you can’t hear ‘em”, “Listen, listen, listen”, “Be where the DX is”, etc…and I know that watts are no substitute for skill. But the facts are these: First, I can hear them – have you had a chance to tinker with the K3’s APF function? And second, as you well know, with each new country worked, the pile-up for the next one is all the more intense.

DXer: I agree with you about moving up the country count ladder. As for the APF, it’s hit or miss – sometimes too much ringing.

Me: And at other times…?

DXer: Yep – sometimes it’s all the difference.

CPA: John, is your wife okay with this expenditure?

Me: I’m taking her to Vegas, Zion and Sedona next month.

Dr. Phil: You’re going too. Have you done anything exclusively for her that compares to the expense of this new gadget you’re buying?

Me: Enough already with the psychobabble! I hate how you guys just twist things around to the point where they don’t even make sense anymore! Jeez, Louise – quit raining on my parade! The essence of all this is that by buying the KPA500, I will be quintruplicating my power output.

Dr. Phil: “Quintruplicating” isn’t even a real word – what will Google Translate do to that for non-English speakers who read this? Don’t you care about them? Why the xenophobia?

CPA: And you already have a 500-watt amp from Ameritron. Again, I’m questioning your intelligence – you buy what you already have AND you reverse-engineer words to make them fit the light tone you want to portray in order to deflect from the real issue.

Me: Shouldn’t Dr. Phil have said that?

Dr. Phil: What I will say is this: it is fairly common for men your age to do something similar, usually involving some context of “more”…more horsepower, more square footage, more RAM…or in your case, more watts. They are usually trying to compensate in some way, if you get my drift.

Me: You promised you wouldn’t bring that-

DXer: John…John – settle down, he didn’t mean it that way. He also doesn’t understand about QSK and its benefits with CW that your current amp is not capable of.

CPA: What is “CW”?

Me: Continuous Wave…Morse Code.

CPA: Why is something that is conveyed by broken up, stacatto bursts of energy referred to as continuous?

Me: I have no idea.



  4 comments for “The voices in my head…

  1. April 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Bad luck. When I have these discussions the accountant in my head, who like me is a pessimist, says “Buy it. If you leave the money in the bank the best that will happen is that you get a paltry rate of interest. The worst, which is quite likely, is that the bank will go bust and you’ll lose all of it. Think of the radio as a capital asset you can sell when times are hard and in the meantime you can get some use out of it.”

    Unfortunately as a stealth operator with no interest in DXing I have no use for a KPA500.

    • April 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      I usually don’t have such verbose conversations with my mental accountant – instead, I’ve found that he can’t hold his liquor worth a damn and that one or two beers/margaritas is usually sufficient to bring him ’round to my way of thinking…

  2. April 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    John what I do when the little voice in my head starts to talk I tell it “your breaking up I can’t hear you”

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