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Loss of Logic

The events leading up to this make for a long story which might be told sometime in the distant future, but this is remarkable in and of itself.

Not all that long ago, I and the rest of the techs on the floor at work were told we were not to discuss firearms on the floor anymore. It seems some people were made nervous when we talked guns. It’s not like we had long discussions of a violent nature. We’d just talk amongst ourselves about the fun we’d just had or were going to have with some rifles and pistols and inanimate targets out in the wide open Nevada desert.

I brought this up to one of the Human Resources people while discussing a different matter behind closed doors. The response was basically that firearms have become too closely associated with senseless acts of violence by most people so we need to cater to them.

I’m still not a happy camper, but I’m getting by.

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North Korea

Looks like North Korea has decided again to play nuclear brinkmanship and the U.S. is going to try to negotiate again.

I’m getting sick and tired of this BS. Really. Think about the classic definition of insanity.

As much as I hate the thought of people starving and such, it’s time to put a siege mentality in place. We give North Korea food so that their populace doesn’t starve while the leadership spends money on weaponry and live in luxury.

China continues to stand behind North Korea. Let them provide the food and all other aid. Cut off the U.S. aid. Let some back in when the actual reactors are in another country and the facilities smoking piles of rubble.

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I Can’t Even Get Through A Request!

I don’t know why it is, but for some reason I can’t seem to get even halfway through a request without the word “NO!!!” being given in response.

Just the other night I was sitting on the couch with Cindy and watching a special about air power. I managed to get “Hey dear…” out before I heard “No.” It never fails. That’s been par for the course at home for a while (mostly jokingly).

Today it happened at work. I was chatting with my manager when I asked him if we still had the repeater space up on the top of the Stratosphere hotel. What better place for a ham radio repeater? It would be perfect. I asked if we still had the space and he said he wasn’t sure. I managed to get all the way to “I was thinking that if we still had the space that maybe I could…” before the big “NO!!!” came. I asked what he might fear about the proposition to which he replied “Everything.”

Similar reactions have occurred with friends and science teachers.

Go figure.

Oh well, back to shopping at United Nuclear :)

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Ham Radio in the 21st Century

Many people think of Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) as hunched over a large bench full of receivers, transmitters, amplifiers, and meters. They picture a forest of antennas outside of the station.

Some of the time, they’re right. Just take a look at the station and antennas IZ4FVW has set up. Before I go any further, I have to say that yes, I’m jealous :)

The fact of the matter is that these days, it’s not all necessary. It sounds like fun to use a big antenna and some power to talk halfway around the world. But you don’t need it.

With my little VX-6R only puts out 5 watts on frequencies that don’t go too far, but I can still talk to Hawaii 8) How can this be? Repeaters and the Internet :D

Repeaters are great things. You don’t see them in CB, Family Radio Service (FRS) or very often in the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Repeaters do just what their name says – they repeat signals. The advantage of using repeaters is that you can use a relatively low power transmitter to talk to a repeater which will then rebroadcast that transmission with higher power and usually from a better position – like the top of a building. Repeaters are often linked together into systems which can reach for hundreds of miles.

This was a great system but it got better when someone decided that it might be interesting if one were to link repeaters via the internet and Voice Over Internet Protocol – VOIP. By linking repeaters over the internet, it’s possible for someone like me with a small, hand held radio to talk to someone else almost anywhere in the world.

All this can be had for around $100 total investment along with a little studying and a test.

As LawDog says, it’s great to live in the future 8)

Here are a few links for more information:

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KE7VYA – New Ham Radio Operator in Las Vegas

Yep, that’s my new callsign – KE7VYA 8)

I’m now the official holder of a Technician class license from the FCC which allows me to operate an amateur radio station :)

I’ve purchased a Yaesu VX-6R radio which puts out 5 watts on the 2 meter band, 5 watts on the 440 MHz (70cm) band, and 1.5 watts on the 220 MHz band. I also now have a MFJ 1724B magnet mount which is now on the roof of my HHR for operations while actually on the road.

Brochure cover for my new radio - the Yaesu VX-6R

Aside from being a transceiver on the bands I mentioned above, the VX-6R is a great receiver for anything between 50 KHz to 999 MHz except cellphone frequencies which must be blocked by law. This means I’ll be able to chat with other Hams and listen to the Thunderbirds at Nellis :D

Much more on Ham Radio to come in the near future :wink:

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Shine On, Richard

I was perusing the interwebs and came across a sad news story – Richard Wright of Pink Floyd has passed away after a long bout with cancer.

I was and still am a big time Pink Floyd fan and I’m glad I got to see David, Nick, and Richard together in 1994 in San Diego.

Richard wrote the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” for the album “Dark Side of the Moon.” It was a tribute to founding member (former member since the ’60s) Syd Barrett. I think appropriate today for Richard.

Shine On and Godspeed.

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9/11/2001 – Seven Years Later

September 11, 2001

It seems like it was so long ago – a lifetime at least. Not seven years by any stretch of the imagination. Blogging has been light lately – lots of stuff in the background as you can surely imagine. This date (which needs to be a National Holiday as should Pearl Harbor Day) is one of those days I ensure I post on.

I just went back and re-read what I wrote last year on this date – Remembering September 11, 2001 and it all hit me again.

A couple of things crept back into my memory after reading that post from last year. I remembered my “closer” at the dealership asking me if I thought I could still do the job. I lied and said yes. I couldn’t do anything worthwhile on that lot for at least two weeks. I went to Wal Mart, picked up some window paint, and converted the back window of my Cavalier into an American flag. That flag got some good response down in Coronado for some reason :) Some of the guys at the dealership took to calling me “Captain America” which was intended as an insult. I took it as a compliment.

I went looking on YouTube for a suitable tribute video and came across this one. It reminds me of that day in that Blessed Union of Souls is one of Adrienne’s favorite groups and she’s the reason I know them. She’s also the reason I came through that day as well as I did. Please watch it all the way through. You might cry. I did. The video hit me even harder than my own writing. I think we tend to forget and minimize the events of that day without realizing it. 9/11 is a day we all revere, but it needs to be revisited in video every once in a while to bring back the full impact. We need it. We need to remember and not only the seven year old memories in our heads, but to refresh them with material from that day.

Seven years on and yet it seems so long ago. I will keep those who perished and those who lost family, friends, and colleagues on that day in my thoughts and prayers. I would hope you would do the same.

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LawDog – Another Author You Must Read

Law Dog is a law enforcement officer with a serious gift for writing :) I can’t remember how I came to find him online, but I’m sure glad I did!

I’ve read quite a bit of his archives, but the three stores I’ve liked the best so far are I don’t know if the ending is sad or happy., The Pink Gorilla Suit, and Next time I’ll keep my mush shut.

This guy is GOOD :D !!!
Continue reading LawDog – Another Author You Must Read

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