"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter, - but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement." - William Pitt, former Prime Minister of Great Britain
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - God bless Curt Shilling - one of the last real pitchers the Red Sox had.
And FUCK ESPN. With a rusty framing hammer. Sideways. With much vigor: ESPN Suspends Curt Schilling for Comparing Islamists to Nazis
I hope Shilling sues the fucking life out of ESPN for breach of contract. Unfortunately, ESPN's pockets are probably significantly deeper than those of Shilling, though a good and hungry Constitutional lawyer would shake things up.
Saturday, August 15, 2015 - The peak of the Perseids meteor showers was in the middle of the week and I work third shift. Chances of catching any of the action were at best very limited. I think the first night's attempt was either Tuesday or Wednesday and I was either blessed or lucky to catch one tear of Saint Lawrence as it streaked down to the east-northeastern horizon. It was very vivid but not a monster. I'm not complaining!
The next night I went out, though I'm not sure whether I caught one out of the corner of my eye or was just experiencing some illusional trace or flash from some of the ground clutter lights.
Although my work shift prevented me from the luxury of extended sky watching, I was at least able to sneak out for a quick smoke and catch one meteor. It's a little sad to think so many folks weren't even aware of the Perseids. It's more sad to think that others knew and couldn't be bothered to try seeing them. Such is life, I guess.
Monday, August 10, 2015 - Perseids meteor showers this week! And with a new moon on Friday, there won't be any interference from moonlight to muck things up. Now if only the weather holds. FMI, check this great page out: Perseid Meteor Shower in 2015.
Sunday, August 2, 2015 - Updated the Random Radio Thoughts page. Again. More coming ...
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - Updated the Random Radio Thoughts page. More to follow ...
Monday, July 27, 2015 - After seeing yesterday's entry on this page, it occurs to me that it's out of place. This page is intended primarily to announce website updates. Though yesterday's entry surely doesn't qualify for an essay type page of its own, it is worthy of being "aired." So ...
... I've added a new page called Random Radio Thoughts and fashioned it after the website's Overheard page. It's not a radio blog nor a radio diary; rather the page title pretty much explains what it is. I hope you find it enjoyable to visit and that visits are frequent.
Sunday, July 26, 2015 - Swapped out the 24-gauge speaker wire EFHW radiator with 30-gauge magnet wire from the apartment window to the car mounted mast out in the parking lot. Works great. Trade off: 24-gauge more robust but heavier - 30-gauge lighter but more fragile and susceptible to kinking when deployed or retracted.
Right now it's just thrown over some convenient tree branches with a lead fishing weight on the end. It's "pretty stealth" and has allowed me to do some daytime operating - a real luxury compared to the running the antenna out at night for a few, scant hours of radio fun.
Just stumbled across this excellent webpage (Thanks to SOTA Beams): The End-fed Half-wave (EFHW)
And here's another excellent find (Thanks to Jim Kearman, KR1S): Crystal Sets to Sideband.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - This year's Field Day report is (as) finished (as it will ever be) and uploaded to the website. You'll find it on the top of the list on the Radio Matters page.
Some other things are in the works here. Stay tuned!
Monday, July 20, 2015 - Added a ham radio related piece. Check it and other radio matters out on the, ahem ... Radio Matters page. Field Day 2015 report in the works. Stay tuned.
Friday, July 10, 2015 - Updated Overheard.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - Updated the bookshelf page. Working on two new pieces: one on fishing; the other on ham radio. Stay tuned.
Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Added four new entries to the Overheard page. Try to control your excitement ...
Monday, March 9, 2015 - A recent wintertime walk to CVS reveals, ahem ... news about newspaper sales. Check it out on the Overheard page.
Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Added a new entry to the Overheard page.
Saturday, January 17, 2015 - Another WWII veteran has passed away. This one doesn't hit close to home; it's a direct hit: RIP, Dad.
Sunday, December 7, 2015 - "A date that will live in infamy" - 73 years since the Japanese attack on US forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Never forget.
Friday, December 5, 2015 - TGIF and yay! Adirondack vacation 2015 plans significantly improved this morning!
Though campsite choices 1 and 2 were already reserved, I was fortunate enough to make a grand score with securing site 114A for September 5 through 16. It's a great little waterfront site that will serve me well for my vacation. Psyched and delighted!
Though there is a still a slight chance of grabbing 114, a larger site that I had this year, it will require regular reservation update monitoring, intricate timing, frequent prayer, and a good deal of luck. So if it happens: great. If not? STILL great!
Perhaps this good news will provide enough of a push for me to dig out the notebook to transcribe notes of WN1MB/2 adventures and massage them into something presentable for the website.
Sunday, October 5, 2014 - Expect an addendum/supplement to Adirondack Vacation 2014. A couple of new photos have arrived, some memory cells jogged, and I'm sure a more detailed review of the notebook will provide some more storytelling.
Saturday, October 4, 2014 - One month ago I was enjoying a relaxing vacation camping in New York State's beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
Instead of the relatively few and and thinly captioning of photos from last year's vacation on the website, this year I took quite a few more photos. And after manipulating and reviewing the photos, and quickly scanning my notebook, it occurred to me that more of a story needed to be told than mere captioning could provide.
Thus, generating this year's vacation posting for the website took on a life all its own and took a bit longer than I had expected.
That said, I hope you enjoy the site's newest addition: Adirondack Vacation 2014.
Monday, September 22, 2014 - Late last week at work I was sneaking a smoke out in back of the building. Something caught my attention out the corner of my eye. Upon concentrated peering into the darkness, I saw the most adorable raccoon - probably born earlier this year. He was as suspicious of me as I was of him, and he scurried off into the brush.
A couple minutes later I spotted him, or another raccoon, skirting the edge of the property up against an adjacent building - all the while keeping an eye on me. Then I saw another! And another! And one more! Yep, four of 'em in a row. They got to the corner of that building and a fence, and made their way through a convenient opening.
Thank you, God.
Upon leaving work a bit early this morning, I was greeted with a different kind of surprise on my walk up to the parking lot.
"Why hello there," I said out loud. "Nice to see you again! How was the southern hemisphere?"
It was the constellation Orion the Hunter, in all its glory, freshly clear of the eastern horizon. Though a pleasant surprise, it is also a sure sign that autumn is nearly upon us and winter ain't far behind. heh.
Having recently returned home from a well needed week of vacation in the Adirondack mountains, I've been on-off busy with a vacation essay of sorts chock full of photos and accompanying text. I'm about halfway through the process, so please be patient. I believe it will be worth the wait.
In the meantime and if you haven't checked it out already, a good "warm up" would be Adirondack Vacation 2013 - a weeklong escape from the madness.
Wednesday, July 24, 2014 - As I'm staring at that S-7 noise level on the Argonaut S-meter, I'm reminded that I should get cracking on documenting some of work I've done on the radio as well as existing mods - and then post 'em to this site. I'm thinking of perhaps changing to a different page layout to do so.
That's all for another time, though, as I've some things to do before dinner and the unavoidable trip up the hill to work tonight. Sigh. Three days down; two to go; and tonight's pay day. And so it goes.
Monday, July 21, 2014 - Got out of work early this morning (yay!) and wanted to get on the air and play some radio. Upon firing up the trusty Ten Tec Argonaut 505, I was greeted with the nearly omnipresent S-7 noise level that plagues my apartment. So I dropped ten and punted...
...and wrote up a new one for the website! Check out the misadventures of WN1MB/1's Field Day 2014.
Sunday, June 29, 2014 - Operated a little Field Day today from Platt Hill State Park. Now I have two Field Day essays to finish...
Friday, June 20, 2014 - TGIF! Fresh addition to the Overheard page. Also working on some other items. Stay tuned.
Monday, May 26, 2014 - Memorial Day: for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Added a fresh entry to the Overheard page.
And if you're in the United States and enjoying a long weekend over the Memorial Day holiday: YAY!
If you're NOT in the United States: HAHA!
Sunday, May 18, 2014 - Several news sources this past week have been pushing the story that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting bids for .40 caliber submachine guns (!) and 30 round capacity magazines.
That said, it has become fashionable for left-tarded pols to push for legislation limiting firearm magazine capacities to 15 rounds -- for We The People.
See the numbers? See how the deck is being stacked? See the end game?
The U.S. Government in 2014 is the enemy within. It is the tyrannical force that our forefathers warned us about.
And the U.S. Government fears We The People. Hence their huge gun and ammo purchases whilst they whittle away at The Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I have work to do today, so I'll leave you with this:
"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." -- Thomas Paine
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - While on one of my daily visits to friend Dave Stone's website, Living Out Here, I stumbled upon a photo that took me by surprise.
In an Alpine, Texas, shop window there's a sign exactly like one I saw here in Winsted. I even included a photo of the Winsted sign in an Overheard entry on this website back in 2010: More Signs of (Mad) Times Volume Two.
So much for the "only in Winsted" aspect of that particular sign. Apparently it's just a mass produced novelty sign, which a quick web search using the terms "no hippies sign" pretty much confirms.
Another burst bubble. No worries - I'll survive this little personal tragedy.
P.S. Visit Dave's site: it's a wonderful place to spend some time.
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - I don't know what has come over me, but for the second consecutive day there's a new update. This is so out of character...
Please consider checking out some photos and stories in Adirondack Vacation 2013 - a weeklong escape from the madness.
Now to get to work finishing up that ham radio piece...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - I'm a couple days late with it, but I offer you Fishing 2014 Report 1.
Now to build a fire under my ass and finish up my ham radio Field Day piece and a little photo essay of some shots from vacation time in the Adirondacks -- both of last year! Keep your fingers crossed...
Monday, May 5, 2014 - Updated this page's QUOTE OF THE MOMENT. Considering the new quotation, it might better be called QUOTE OF THE CENTURY. Be that as it may, I strongly advise clicking the link in the quote's attribution and reading the entire essay. It's a long read, but well worth it.
Then for the next hour just sit and think.
Instead of any promised additions to the site, I'm currently working on a quickie about fishing endeavors so far this season. With any luck it will be uploaded later in the day.
Oh yes ... for the record, today is the 5th of May. Welcome to America. Embrace its culture and please check your "Cinco del Mayo" bullshit at the door. Otherwise, GTFO.
Comprende, there Pancho?
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Added a new entry to Overheard.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - Here's your perfunctory happy new year wishes for 2014, one of the more bullshit "holidays" celebrated by many around the world. You can bah humbug Christmas, but for me, I'll celebrate the birth of Christ. You can celebrate the second hand sweeping across the 12 of a clock on just another day.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - Here's wishing you and yours a merry Christmas. Please remember the reason for the season. And give yourselves a break today and skip checking out the Drudge Report or other online time sinks. Instead, spend your time with family and friends.
Saturday, December 21, 2013 - I just had a wonderful experience that's worthy of sharing. Check out Goodwill Towards Men.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - Well, it's done! My 2014 Adirondack vacation plans are on more solid ground. Yesterday morning I reserved a primo campsite at Eigth Lake Campgrounds on the water! That way my faithful boat, The Arturo, will be right at my site and ready for fishing adventure.
It's a great site and as I remember, there are some trees that should provide interesting antenna possibilities for planned WN1MB/2 operations.
I'm both excited and relieved. One less thing to worry about. The site is reserved, paid for, and I can't wait for September 2014!
Still working on the Field Day 2013 report. Should be online soon.
Monday, October 14, 2013 - I'm sick and fucking tired of all the talk about sequestration, government shutdowns, budgets, and especially "raising the debt ceiling." Excuse me? Debt "ceiling?"
It's not a "ceiling" at all. Debt is a hole. And those dirty bastards in Congress who refuse to present a budget, let alone a balanced budget, can't control their spending habits, so they want to dig the nation's debt ditch even deeper - all under the guise of merely "raising a ceiling."
You want to know what I'd like? I'd like to see Geitner, Bernake, Lew, Greenspan, Yellen, Kim, and Lagarde all waterboarded to extract exactly what the fuck is going on with the U.S. and world financial situation. And if one or more dies during interrogation?
Too. Fucking. Bad.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Just a couple of things from collected notes:
While on an impromptu smoke break at work at about 3 A.M. on the morning of the 17th, I noticed Orion rising in the eastern sky for his annual winter visitation. It was Curt Holsopple, K9CH, a co-worker at ARRL, who pointed out Orion to me when about all I knew about the night sky was the Moon and the Big Dipper. Ever since then, I've both enjoyed Orion's return to the northern latitudes and saddened when Orion heads south.
The Harvest Moon was strikingly beautiful on the night of the 18th.
I don't know ...
... whether this is a particularly bright moon, or
... if it's due to finally having a new pair of glasses built upon a fresh prescription, or
... because the air is especially clear, or
... if it's due to some combination of the above.
Of particular note was how distinct and defined the Moon shadows were. It was quite amazing.
Spent about four hours fishing on the 18th. It was rather slow, though I did manage to haul in a rock bass, blue gill, perch. and rainbow trout.
An added bonus was seeing one of our resident Bald Eagles fly by twice. The second pass was extra special for a couple of reasons. The Sun's light was a just the right angle to really highlight the white feathers on the eagle's head. And pass number two was quite a bit closer than pass one. Of course, in retrospect, the new glasses helped, too.
Regardless, what a magnificent creature!
Saturday, September 14, 2013 - Having successfully navigated through 24 hours of another Friday the 13th, it's time for a bit of an update.
On Monday I returned from a week of camping in NY State's Adirondack State Park: a six million acre nature preserve. To put things in perspective, that's a land area just a bit larger than the entire State of Massachusetts! It was a long overdue and much needed vacation week away from the noise, dirt, dust, and politics of the factory floor. It's hard to imagine a more polar opposite environment.
Conventional fishing was punk at best, so another form of "fishing" was employed - that being fishing for contacts with the Ten Tec Argonaut 505.
More to follow.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - Well, it's done. Over. Finished. No, not another marriage, but still a relationship of sorts.
In August of 2008, I switched the operating system on my computers from Puppy Linux to Arch Linux. And for the vast majority of the time since then, Arch had served me well, being both rock solid and fast. Some of the Arch devs recently decided to switch over to both grub2 and systemd - changes in and of themselves being perfectly fine. However...
In the opinion of many, including me, the documentation to affect this switch on existing systems was sloppy at best and convoluted at worst. So instead of fighting with both the poor documentation and arrogant "helpers" on the distribution's forum, it was time to bid adieu to Arch Linux.
The main, workhorse computer here is now running Debian "Wheezy." And it's wonderful. It's stable, albeit noticeably less snappy than Arch, but serves my needs thus far quite well.
There are a couple of things I'm working on for the website that I hope to get posted soon - perhaps over the long, holiday weekend.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - Added "Well that took long enough" to Radio Matters.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - Added to the Who is page.
Saturday, January 26, 2013 - Where was the outrage over April 19, 1993? Why weren't Bill Clinton and Janet Reno held accountable by being tried, convicted, sentenced, and executed?
For clueless twenty-somethings mumbling "Waco?": edify yourselves.
Credit: image from and a hat tip to Live from the Alamo City.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 - DIVEST FACEBOOK AND FUCK MARK ZUCKERBERG. In case you missed or thoughtlessly passed over this, Facebook bans Gandhi quote as part of revisionist history purge. Click the link. Read the article. Think.
Though Zuckerberg and Facebook are entitled to set whatever user aggreement they wish, their feet should be held to the fire for as much as shitting on the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution with their blatant censorship.
And though The People have the right to click "I agree" to whatever user agreements they wish, when doing so supports a social media business which shamelessly limits Freedom of Speech, then The People should revolt. Hard!
Send FB into the shitter. Cancel your Facebook accounts. Divest. Speak out.
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - The sham of an RNC changed rules mid-convention, much to the dismay of Ron Paul delegates, and nominated a RINO. And the Republican's RINO nominee lost to the democRATS' Marxist-Muslim-usurper in the national election.
God help us all!
In other news, I've returned to ham radio: a longtime hobby of mine from which I had been on an unplanned, extended vacation. It's great to be home again. Expect several new updates in the Radio Matters area in the near future. Of course, updates will be announced here.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - STOP THIS PLANET! I want off!
And here's why.
Monday, May 28 - Memorial Day, 2012 - RIP, fallen heroes.
Updated Quote of the Moment on this page, and added this to the Overheard page.
Friday, May 11, 2012 - The things we hear. Yeesh! Updated Overheard.
Friday, January 20, 2012 - SOPA and PIPA FUCKING SUCK! And so does ANY member of congress who supports that Orwellian, without due process legislation. DONKEY PUNCH THE BITCHES. HARD! Then fuck them with rusty framing hammers. Deep. And at an angle.
Sunday, January 1, 2012 - Happy new year. Here's hoping 2012 surpasses your wildest expectations.
Saturday, December 31, 2011 - On this last day of year, added to the Bookshelf page.
Sunday, December 25, 2011 - Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, peace on Earth, goodwill to men, and remember the reason for The Season.
Friday, December 9, 2011 - Though the file has been sitting on the website since October 2009, I just realized it was never "announced" along with the other product reviews that had been. So without further ado and if you're so inclined, check out the review written for QST Magazine on the Mosley TA-53-M multiband Yagi antenna.
Saturday, November 12, 2011 - Yes, I survived the Great October Snowstorm of 2011. No, it wasn't much fun or very pretty. Details at a later date - maybe. Until then, check out Overheard for an Eagles Before They Sucked update and linkage for some related eye and ear candy.
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - Changed this page's Quote of the moment. Updated Quotes page accordingly.