I tried out my tech special Kenwood Hybrid boat anchor last night and made my very first HF transmission...and subsequent contacts on the OMISS 40M late net! I don't know how screwed up my radio still is, but I have it fixed enough for me to talk to 14 folks from Delaware to California on a dipole 6 feet off the ground so it can't be too far out of whack!
Pretty exciting actually. Communicating over 1700 miles makes me sheepishly look back at how excited I felt after talking 70 miles on a turn-key mobile 2m rig. I can appreciate how hams felt talking to each other in the pre-"unlimited minutes" mobile phone age.