My DXing hobby has come a long way since its '99/'00 peak. Back then, I lived in New York, was finishing High School, and had a largely-unobtrusive part-time job (Wendy's)... probably didn't hurt that it was the high point of a sunspot cycle. I had just joined the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association and was at my most active point in TV DXing, my shortwave radio was brand new and I discovered "numbers stations", I just got my third scanner was even AM DXing enough to count in my logbook, which I decided to start keeping when I joined the WTFDA. I looked forward to the day when I would get double-hop e-skip and even entertained the idea that I could get triple-hop, F2, or trans-Atlantic tropo once in a blue moon.
College, expanding work hours, and the rotator burn-out changed things in 2001. When my family moved out of Patchogue, my first and longest-running QTH, my time and interest bottomed out. Getting back into DXing would remain on my To Do list until 2006. Then, I had just moved to Florida, got a new job and place to live, and was finally becoming re-acquainted with something called free-time. 2006 was easily the best DXing year for me since 2000, the pent-up DXing urge in me was finally satisfied.
Now, this is the last summer for which active analog TV targets will be up in the United States. I decided a few months ago that I wouldn't pursue digital or international targets, since they were never a big part of the hobby for me, a hobby for which my interest in is in decline. Last month, I was surprised to find myself with this year's first good tropo opening, but not feeling like DXing... it was more of a chore I imposed on myself that night. Difficult as it was, I decided to stop actively monitoring tropo, reminding myself that it's supposed to be fun. Fortunately, my heart is still in e-skip and I'll be monitoring that normally through this summer.
We grow up and we move on. The reasons I associated to my loss of interest are diverse: internal and external, circumstantial and deep, some effect non-DXing interests as well. Though the homogenization of local television and the forced transition to digital may have sped things up, DXing was something I would find myself giving up anyway. The hobby is something from my childhood that I'll fondly remember + that I hope gets a good going-out this e-skip season. Don't get me wrong... I'll always be a DXer in some fashion or other, and I certainly don't believe in "growing up" for growing-up's sake, but if I'm not enjoying something as much anymore then I need to be honest with myself about it and make room for newer interests can come into bloom. (dang, I promised myself I wouldn't be so poetic)
Today is June 11, the anniversary of my first IDed e-skip catch.
For the last time, Happy Ionosphere Day. 73z
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