Friday, July 30, 2021

Memories of Sophie

When Jaya started demanding a dog, Jyoti looked around at local shelters and online.  After some searching, we discovered Sophie on Craigslist.  Her family couldn't keep her at their apartment anymore.  Our family was very excited to get a dog.

2006 - on the way to a hike

However, soon after Jyoti discovered she was allergic and her prior family asked to take her back.  It was heartbreaking for Jaya.  But in another twist, Sophie missed us and her family returned here to us a few weeks later, this time for good!

2006 - upon Sophie's return

Sophie was full of energy and loved hikes.  Her favorites were Manchester Preserve (aka Pipe Hike), San Elijo Lagoon and Cardiff.  She had countless walks at those and other locations.  My favorite memories are of walking with her in nature.

2007 - hike at south side of lagoon

2007 - muddy paws

2008 - jogger hike

2008 - lagoon nature center

2008 - pipe hike


2009 - Lake Hodges bridge

2010 - lagoon nature center

2012 - makeshift leash

2013 - seeing her leash gets her excited for a walk

2014 - coming back from a hike

2015 - east of Lake Hodges

2016 - beach hike

2017 - Carmel Valley hike

2017 - lagoon nature center

2017 - she loved our old Passport/Rodeo

2018 - caught in the rain at Cardiff

2018 - very furry at the beach

2018 - Sophie selfie

2018 - Sophie's view of the ocean

2018 - pipe hike views

2018 - windy day at Cardiff

2018 - more beach hiking

2018 - ready to turn around

2019 - Anza-Borrego flowers

2019 - at Bengt's spot in Cardiff

2020 - one of her last car rides

2021 - last walk at the lagoon

She was the most cheerful dog. She always was excited to greet us when we got home.  And she loved hanging out on the couch with us chewing a bone.

2008 - at my parent's old house

2010 - chewing a bone on our old leather couch

2011 - a bone bigger than her

2018 - sitting on laundry

Sophie loved people food, especially meat of any kind.  She often would avoid her kibble in the hopes of getting a treat of chicken or steak. Up to the very end, she would get very excited when she smelled chicken in the house.

2017 - wagging her tail to get some chicken

Sophie was fine being a solo dog and avoided other dogs.  When we took her to dog parks, she usually just sat there and watched the other dogs.  She would even avoid drinking from community dog bowls; we would have to bring our own bowls or refresh the water.  We tried getting another dog but Sophie not having it and had a tantrum.

2007 - one of the few times she played with another dog

Like all dogs, she loved to sleep and she spent lots of time in sun spots on the couch or in her basket.


2020 - lots of sleep late in her life

2018 - fur ball

2017 - happy sunspot

2017 - cool concrete

2016 - her favorite outdoor chair

2014 - among the pillows



Sophie hated swimming, baths and anything having to do with water.  At my parents old house, we put her in the pool a few times so she could swim around and find the steps before drowning.

2016 - getting a bath


After a long active life, her health started to fail.  A few years ago her hearing went out.  Next she started to have problems jumping on the bed and going up the steps.  As her arthritis got worse, her eyesight started to fail.  We stopped taking her for walks.  Her dementia increased this year and she needed constant care.  Since she couldn't make it out of the doggie door, we often returned home and found accidents on the floor.  Good thing we had tile.  She wore diapers at night in our bed. In the last few weeks, she was having a hard time going to the bathroom and would yelp on occasion.  We knew it was time.  We drove up to visit Jaya one last time and went to the vet hospital where she worked.  It was quick and peaceful... and very sad. 


2021 - saying our final goodbyes

Here is just a small sampling of her adventures.


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Fitness Update

Since my last update, I set a goal to gain muscle mass.  I have never been able to put on much weight even when in high school.  For about 18 months, I teamed up with a trainer at LA Fitness.  It was cool and I definitely got in better shape but didn't really see much mass.

My next attempt was Athlean-X.  I had been watching Jeff Cavalier's videos and they struck a chord with me.  Maybe it was just Jesse.  I bought one of the programs and hit the gym.  After a year of doing them (with several lock-down breaks) I have seen real results.  I am finishing up a program in the next month and will start a 3rd after that.

Blog Maintenance

I updated the background image to a cool Sierra picture from summer 2020.  Also been cleaning up some pix.

Friday, July 16, 2021

DIY End Fed Antenna Mistakes and Success

 A rite of passage of every ham is building our own antenna and as my first test, I picked an end-fed antenna kit from the ARRL shop.  This was my first kit and the first time soldering in long time so I expected some mistakes along the way.  However, some of the mistakes were made due to the instructions in On the Air magazine missing some steps or not clear.

The biggest mistake was to not remove the enamel on the wire before soldering it to the connectors.  I discovered this with my trusty multimeter.  I had to unsolder the connections, scrape of the enamel and resolder. 

An amateur soldering issue was that I touched the case with the iron several times and it melted the rim.  I had to clean up the rim in order to get the lid on again.

I found that the HF Kits instructions were better, especially when making the external connections.

Overall, it was a fun project and I will surely build more antennas in the future.

Primary side connections and counterpoise

Monday, July 05, 2021

Independence Day Weekend

We had some relatives in town for the Independence Day weekend so did some San Diego type activities.  We headed to Moonlight Beach; it was overcast but still nice.  On Sunday, we went to the zoo.  Most of the animals were active and we saw the feeding for the cheetah's, Fennec foxes and wombat.  Lastly, we caught the Del Mar Fair fireworks.  Good times!