I went to visit my other Dad today.
No, I really only have ONE DADDY, but my friend's dad has always treated me like his 3rd daughter...albeit the red-headed step-child, but still. He and his wife threw us the most amazing engagement party...you should have seen the FIREWORKS afterward!
Tom will always hold a special place in my heart. He is retired, loud, obnoxious, excited or ticked-off about EVERYTHING, and always doing something new. Well, I say something new, but most of his things revolve around Ham Radio, gardening, and computers.
I went over today to pick up a computer monitor. I ended up getting the FULL GUIDED TOUR of the grounds. The new greenhouse, his hydroponic garden system, every plant in the greenhouse, where they came from, how they grow, the temperature system in the greenhouse, the system in place while the thermostat is broken, the path outside the greenhouse, the compost bin, and the worm farm.
Then we started to walk around his 3 arcres or so. Where the tree line used to be, where it is now, where it will be in the future, the old Ham antenna, the new Ham antenna, The ebay Ham antenna, how the old antenna is going to hook into the new antenna and make it like 6 MILLION FEET TALL! I even learned about the winching system on one of the antenna's. Don't ask.
On to the front yard where Tom helped me remember a bit of biology...plant identification, he's got White Oaks, Pin Oaks, Red Japanese Maples, Blue Firs from Christmases past, ( I remember when they were like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree and now they are HUGE!) and Japanese Cherry Trees, we also stumbled across roses, peonies, azaleas, and various other flowers.
I almost stepped on a SNAKE.
That ended the outside tour.
Tom and I went inside so he could show me the computer system that runs his Ham gear. I have no idea how he figured it all out, with 3 computer screens, various large black boxes with dials, one keyboard, and a mouse he managed to talk to someone in South Africa, Macedonia, South Russia, and the U.K. all in like three minutes flat.
I say talk, but really all that transpired between each party was their respective call names, how clear the signal was, and where they were from. Then they thanked each other politely, and verified each other's "Ham Meeting" in some way shape or form. He logged a bunch of jazz into the computer and was off on another call.
I am now the valedictorian of people who know a little bit about everything, and nothing in particular.
Anyways, this was a very, very loooooong post to tell you about a memory I had while I was visiting. When I was like 13 Tom was going to a ham radio festival: Ham Fest. T- (Tom's daughter) and I were invited to go along and sell water and sodas. We were able to keep 50% of whatever we sold.
That sounded like an AMAZING! DEAL! for us. Cute boys (or so Tom said), fun in the sun, and Cold Hard Cash!
Sound too good to be true?
Well it was.
Boys, not cute--at least to my 13 year old mind, nerdy ham boys and their dads mostly, although I vaguely remember a few men in uniform...
That 'fun in the sun' part? It was a record 114 degrees outside! But! That did make us the most popular spot, we had COLD water!
The cold hard cash part? Multiply 200 cans of water and soda by .50cents and then subtract half, what do you get? 50 WHOLE DOLLARS--TO SPLIT AND SPEND HOWEVER WE WANTED!
The day had been a success.
I wonder where we spent our money? Probably some 'Sassy' magazines and a can of coke. We were rebels.