yeah, I feel you. the old dudes around here are always on in the early mornings- not that I'm upset about it. they usually have good things to say about life and technology. young people are out there, but you usually have to find where they hang out in your area. wireless experimentation in general is something that I feel is grossly underrepresented in the making/hacking sphere, it'd be nice if amateur licensing could grow a little.
your mag mount is probably fine. those are good. it might not be a 2m/70cm antenna, maybe just one or the other?
because your kenwood is an all-mode radio, you can do crazy shit like meteor scatter and ft8 on 2 meters. also, packet in general is really interesting and fun. I kind of want to start up a microwave mesh net in my city, but it's a lot to handle. maybe a PBBS would work instead.
sorry for the cringe image related but it made me laugh