I've just been enjoying this thread of finding True North immensely.
Recently, John, WA0VOR, gave a beautiful and accurate description of how to
find True North. However, his last item of instruction causes many people
great difficulty- so much so that it is entirely likely that having taken
great pains to accomplish all of his previous 5 instructions, when they get
to number 6, they end up pointing South and not North!
6) "Wearing a pair of welder's goggles, stand erect at the West
end of the line and look toward the sun. (On non-election-year
days, the end of the line closest to the sun is East.) Now
slowly (arthritis) raise your left arm.
It is pointing North!!"
You see, John has accidentally forgotten to give the instructions for
finding your LEFT HAND- an obvious necessity. So as not to keep you in
suspense any further- please append this small paragraph as step 5a):.....
You DO NOT need welder's goggles to do this...
5a) Place your both arms straight out in front of you. Now, walk slowly to
the nearest wall in a manner imitating a walk like Dr. Frankenstein's
monster (who's name just happens to have been "the Monster" and NOT
"Frankenstein!"). As you approach the wall, keeping your elbows locked
tight, raise the palms of your hands to stop your forward progress and
gently press them on the wall, your elbows still locked tight.
At this point, all your fingers should be pointing toward the ceiling- or
the sky if you happen to be outdoors. Now, take a half a step backwards and
increase the distance between your feet assuming the position the police
would require prior to searching you for drugs or weapons. This position is
strictly optional as it makes this exercise slightly more humorous... but
Finally, and here's the critical maneuver.... while still leaning with your
palms against the wall, fingers pointing up, notice that your thumbs are the
closest to each other of all your fingers. This is an important point to
check as the rest can get somewhat confusing. (If you are having difficulty
distinguishing between your palms and the back of your hands- please, please
keep as far away from radio towers as possible- never, ever attempting to
climb anything!) Now, keeping all the rest of your fingers gently pressed
together, slowly spread your thumbs down so that the tips of your thumbs are
pointing directly toward each other.
Your almost there now. Looking at the back of both of your hands, you may
have just made the realization that only one of your hands has its thumb and
up-pointing fingers in the shape of the letter "L." Hint: this is your LEFT
HAND! That's right (I mean- correct), it's the only hand with the "built-in"
letter "L" that stands for LEFT! Isn't nature wonderful?..... at least in
English. In French you've got massive problems trying to get your left thumb
to form the letter "G" like in gauche. In Chinese.... well, forget it!
Caution: If you happen to be dyslexic, please ask someone who is not to
point out which hand makes the shape of the letter "L." You should have no
problem discerning the palms from the back of your hands- as the palms
usually have the least amount of hair on them- for most of us anyway.
In order to prevent forgetting which hand is which, as soon as you have
determined which hand is the "Left" one, gently place a several wraps of
Scotch brand no. 33 (or the heavier gauge no. 88 if you can still find any)
black vinyl electrical tape on your left thumb as a reminder. It is not
necessary to seal it with a hot iron or butane torch. You may wish to spray
it with several coats of Krylon Crystal Clear to keep it looking nice and
new. UV light will not affect it so it will last for many years of showers
and coffee stirring.
Also, please do not forget to gently wrap the last turn so as to prevent the
tape from "flagging"... as well as to forestall a cessation of blood
circulation in this digit bringing on gangrene. However, should you
inadvertently loose this digit to gangrene, you will never have to worry
about wearing the silly tape and finding your left hand should thereafter
always be a piece of cake.
Good Luck with getting your bearings.
73's Roger, K2JAS
PS. I have just been up for 24 hours straight in the CQWW contest and I am
having great difficulty telling up from down. Can anyone help me? 5-9....05!
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