Do-It Yourself

There are some things we should do ourselves and there are things that we should farm out to others. When I was younger it made sense for me to do the manual labor and use sweat equity to increase the value to my home. As I’ve gotten older, many of the things that I used to do myself I now prefer to turn over to professionals. These include many jobs requiring power tools and almost everything that requires working at altitude. I like my fingers as well as my other bones, and keeping them intact is a priority these days, thank you very much.


I used to love working with power tools, but there comes a time when you realize that you can do 3 other tasks in the time it takes to drag out the saw horses, electrical extension cord, circular saw, safety goggles, and wood. Then there’s the fact that the bifocals don’t really help to see what you’re working on – it’s either too close or too far away. Add to that the other 27 other tasks you could do in the time that you spend waiting in the emergency department to get stitches, x-rayed, etc. and it makes good economic sense. It’s also what we call – “An easy decision.”


Some things, though, are best done by one’s self because they express that essence that makes each of us unique. I spent a lot of time photoshopping pictures from my daughter’s soccer games. No – I’m not airbrushing team members, but sports photos can’t always be composed properly in the camera since there’s little time to get the shot, so cropping makes for a much better photo. Then of course there is the reality that all 12 year old girls don’t have the exact same skin tone. They tend to vary from black through several shades of brown to basic Caucasian to blonde oh-so-pale with freckles. I tend to balance the skin tone to best suit the girl with control of the ball. This is the type of thing best done personally.


I’ve been planning for a long time on making my own QSL* cards. In ham radio parlance “QSL?” means “Can you confirm contact?” and QSL translates to “I confirm contact.” It has been traditional to exchange QSL cards after making a contact as proof of the encounter. While many hams now use electronic QSL cards, I don’t have a lot of time for radio operating, so I don’t make as many contacts as I’d like; as such, a real 3 1/2″ x 5″ postcard type QSL card is more fun.


This coming weekend I hope to take time to finalize the design of the QSL card I’ve been working on for about a year. In fairness, let’s just say I started the project about a year ago. Since this represents me to someone with whom I’ve shared a conversation but never met face-to-face I’ve decided that it should be made by me rather than printed by a professional. The trick is getting enough time while I’m in the mood to finish this project.


It’s on my list for this weekend. Wish me luck.


* “Q” codes are three letter abbreviations beginning with the letter Q and not followed by a U used as shorthand in amateur radio. These hearken back to the days when amateur radio communications – like all radio communications – was conducted using Morse Code. Abbreviations and Q codes make life easier when you’re communicating at roughly 5 – 30 words per minute.




One response to “Do-It Yourself

  1. Good wisdom in this blog post. It comes down to being honest and wise to what we are capable of doing, so we know what we should do and what we should delegate.

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