Month: April 2022

We’re back! Lots of changes

Greetings! I’m very sorry this blog has been stagnant for several years. A lot has been going on to say the least! So let’s catch up!

In July of 2018 I fully retired early at age 55 from my position at Boeing Satellite Systems. I was a Spacecraft Manager / Sr. Project Engineer there. I was very blessed to have a juicy pension that unfortunately pushed me out at age 55. To stay longer would mean losing money in the pension to the point I’d end up working for free. Knowing this early on I saved every penny I could. This allowed me to fully retire without having to continue working. I do miss the job and people terribly. It was interesting work to say the least! But after 35 years at the company, it was easy to turn the page to the next chapter of our lives.

Very soon after retiring the XYL and I escaped California for greener pastures in Central Texas! We bought a 26 acre ranch in McDade, TX! See the video below from the real estate agent! We named our ranch ‘BowTie’.

BowTie Ranch – McDade, TX

You’ll notice there are lots on tall oak trees in which to hang antennas! I currently have a full wave Skywire Loop for 160M (574ft) as a primary antenna. Plans are to eventually erect a nice size tower to hang some aluminum. Since this video was taken, I built a 2500 sqft metal building shop to the left of the white hay barn in the opening shot of the video. The permanent ham shack will reside there. For now it’s located on the second story of the two story house (two houses on the ranch!).

McDade, TX is located about 30 miles east of downtown Austin. As such it’s far enough away to be completely in the country, but close enough to run into town for entertainment and dining.

A bit of McDade, TX History – The wild west town you probably never heard of

McDade is a small quiet rural town of 680 residents about 35 miles east of Austin, TX.  While quiet now, during the late 1800s its streets were some of the deadliest in America.  Although not as well known as other wild west towns, McDade amassed more assassinations, lynchings, shootings and stabbings than Tombstone, AZ and Deadwood, SD COMBINED.  A deadly war between the local gang of outlaws called “The Notch Cutters” and the town’s vigilantes waged for many years.  By 1875, with county law enforcement far away and ineffective, the local citizens took the law into their own hands and hung two suspected outlaws, provoking retaliation with the murder of two vigilantes, which led to the hanging of a third outlaw.  Early in 1876 two men were caught with a skinned cow, the hide having the Olive Ranch brand.  Both men were shot dead on the spot; the cow hide left draped over their bodies as a warning.  Five months later fifteen men, believed to have been led by the son of one of the men shot, attacked the Olive Ranch headquarters, killing two cowboys and burning the ranch house.  On June 26, 1877, vigilantes stopped a dance, took four men out and lynched them.  For five years after there was little crime or trouble.  However, in November of 1883 two men were murdered in a nearby town, and in a separate incident a popular McDade citizen was beaten, robbed and left for dead.  Shortly afterward the deputy sheriff investigating these crimes was shot to death on McDade’s Main Street.  A vigilante committee hung four of the suspected perpetrators.  The violence continued with hangings on Christmas Eve 1883, when three more suspected outlaws were executed.  When friends of the lately-departed showed up in town on Christmas Day, any remaining semblance of holiday tranquility was broken by gunfire. When the smoke cleared from the gunfight outside of McDade’s Rock Saloon, three more coffins were needed.  This series of events is known as The McDade Christmas Massacre of 1883.  The arrival of two state militia companies prevented any further violence, though hard feelings and occasional violent outbreaks and gunfights continued off and on until 1912.

So we’ve been busy these past few years. I’m getting back into being active on the air. I have a lot of catching up to do as far as documenting the new acquisition keys. Speaking of which, my most recent is the new Begali Sculpture Galaxy bug! Only 11 have been made and I got S/N 008. Click the image below to see more about this fine instrument.

Begali Sculpture Galaxy Bug – 1 of 11 made – S/N 008
Begali Sculpture triplets –> Sculpture Galaxy bug – Sculpture Mono – Sculpture Iambic

More to come! Stay tuned!

73 Paul N6EV