The Shack

by John Oden (KC0QEH) [from eHam]

I will never forget the first day with the new technician license.

With gleeful anticipation, I proceeded to the two-story shed out back. I picked out the perfect spot just above the ladder in the upper floor; this in an effort to keep the cables as short as possible. My genius was to put a table under the ladder with a chair on top and use the upper floor for the ham desk.

This worked great until winter came to Minnesota. I built an insulated walled-in platform on top of the table with a door. I built a wall across the upper floor that stretched to the ceiling.

I added electrical outlets and an electric heater. I was in my glory while I figured out how to get a 2nd hand computer to control the FT-847 and the Yaesu 5500 rotators.

I must have climbed the ladder 1000 times in an effort to get the long yagi’s and 2.4 GHz dish pointed in the right direction.

On January 2nd 2004 I made my first contact on AO-40. Then I heard it; the scratching sound in the ceiling of my newly insulated shed.

In the middle of my first Satellite QSO a Giant Squirrel dropped right into my lap!

I immediately stood up in a space that was too small to stand straight up. As my head crashed thru the sheet rock every nut the squire had squirreled away for the last three months rained down on my feet.

Realizing this squirrel was as big as a cat and not happy, I decided it was time to be somewhere else.

In my haste to leave the area I slipped on the nuts and smashed the wooden chair I had been sitting on with all my 280lbs of self.

I was still able to scoot through the door that I had to kneel down to get in to faster than any other man alive.

My foot missed the 5-gallon bucket I was using for a step. I landed flat on my back on the floor. The Giant Squirrel ran across my chest and burst through the heavy insulated shed door held shut with a bungee cord.

It was then I realized 3 things.
1) I was still wearing my headphones.
2) I still have a QSO in progress.
3) I just got my butt kicked by a squirrel.