12/28/2005

The previous post

Alright I said something I shouldn't have on here and now I have to take it down. I wass annoyed at another webmaster for what I felt was hiway robbery and instead of making a big mess like always I shall retract the previous statement and hope he forgives me. Stayed tuned for more details

12/11/2005

An e-mail worth saving

Alright this isn't some chain letter where you have to- send this to
like 50 people or your hair will fall out. No this is definitely NOT a
Christmas note, I am not THAT "politically iincorrect"! Finally this
isn't going to- be one of my three page writing masterpieces because
frankly I have getting up since six and at a keyboard, other than mine
own, for three days straight, didn't go in today due to weather!! Those
11am wake-up calls are over, well at least for awhile. A miracle has
happened, I, Justin Mattes, am gainfully, if only temporarily, employed!
As of Wednesday I got a job working at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in
New York City (yes you read right NEW YORK CITY). How did this happen
you might ask? Well a long-time friend, Ben Romney, who is a
radiologist at Columbia called me up a few months ago and said a widow
of a doctor from India of all places donated slides of her husband's
lung x-rays for the University to use for med students to study. The
problem was all of the digital x-rays had the man's name on them, 5,000
in all. According to current HIPA rules (I knew insurance companies were
good for SOMETHING) the names must to be erased off of each
x-ray!That's where yours truly comes in! My job is to dump each photo
into Photoshop and digitally black out the names then save them. So once
again I am helping to prevent medical liability, as hard as I tried I
can't seem to get away from the issue! Maybe I have found my calling?
Alright enough bragging but I wrote this for two reasons, 1 to show I am
gainfully employed and 2) to wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday.

Hope everyone is well and say hi to your families,

Justin

P.S. To giving you an idea of how my family is reacting, I got my
brothers to take me out to a bar last night without ANY coaching from
me! ;-)

12/06/2005

The disgrace of victims

I am now watching the testimony of the evacuees on C-SPAN and it went from a diginified dialogue about what they went through to a sloppy assualt on t he Ferderal government. Too be fair one of the panelists had enough brains to allow just enough of his emotions to show, without allowing them to cloud his judgement. All of the Congresspeople on the panel have been resspectful and let the folks speak their mind. It is understandable the evacuees are upset and I'm not saying the government did a good job, they fail and failed miserablely.
However they lose my sympathy when they say they were gathered and put into "concitration camps". HOW DARE THEY? It is offensive to REAL victims of the Holucast and they need to shut the fuck up! I have been discriminated against all throughout my life, just as much if not more than they have and I haven't once compared the people who have done bad things to me Nazis. This is a disgrace and the American public are getting angry!
These people to me took their pain and turned it into unproductive rheotic without considering the reactions of people who are trying to help them.
I don't believe the woman who said her grandson haad a gun pointed at him mainly because she came off an as emotional wreck. :When questioned whether if it was National Gaurd or local police, she didn't know. She made it seem like the government ordered the National Gaurd to shoot people o-n site. I wonder if the gun was just pointed down and it looked like it was pointed at her grandson
Police and national gaurd are human too, yet everyone expects them to be these nice gentle people who only get angry at the "bad guys"! Imagine being up for days at a time, worrying about their own families while controlling a city like New Orleans in a disasters llike Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. I know I couldn't handle it and I bet the people testifying today wouldn't fare any better! While it is totally understandable why most of the Black people don't trust any kind of authority, I think, they use this way too often. It is like a out of control version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" You could see the exxpressions on the Committees faces, if I were on the panel, I would have said wwhile I understand your plight, you have to realize the police have lost pretty much everything too!
I only heard a few jabs at Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, while President Bush got most of the critism, as usual, as he shoul-d. I was disgusted when I heard the racism over and over again, it was like a bad broken record. They have to- learn not to assume every bad thing isn't about race. You know if I were them I would stop trying to place blame on everyone else and start taking some respionsibility on their own!

11/29/2005

Walking in other people's shoes

I hate when people say that I should walk a mile in some elses shoes. That is just such bullshit and so is the grass is always grennier on the other side. The grass isn't always greener because if it was we all lie cheat and steal to get there. One of the first lessons in life is that it isn't fair.
Ok I am not that religious but I always enjoyed this story. Whenever my great aunt hhears me complain about how my life isdn't fair she tell-s the "Cross Story". Her goal was to make me see that my life isn;'t as bad as I so-metimes make it out to be. One day a man think he has the problems of the world on his shoulders. He goes "God I can't handle this cross. May I please have another?" God responds "OK follow me" and the go into a room filled with crosses. The guy picks one of the crosses up and says it''s too heavy. He picks another up and say it drags on the ground and is slowing him down. Finally the man finds a cross in the corner and said, "This is the one I want!" God turns to him and says "That is the cross you threw away"
Alright we all know the moral of the story, but everytime my aunt finishes telling it, I feel like saying you know I would have marked my cross and still chose a heavier cross. Stupid I know but maybe I could deal with worse problems better than I could handle my o-won.
All this over not getting to see someone this weekend. After all I feel like I am always last in her life, I kno-w deep down I'm not. It starts with this and then I go into the entire nine yards how my brother goes out every night and rareely takes me with him. I know he just feels taking me out is risky and just doesn't need the extra headaches.
Alright I don't want to do everything he's does, I just want my own stuff not to be so far spread out. OK like going out to the bars I don't admit that I physically can't get out as many times as I want. It only hits me when I try to crawl into bed when the evening is over. The point I'm trying to make is sometimes it seems I always pay double the price when I enjoy myself!

11/28/2005

The week of Thanksgiving '05--Part II

Being it's the Monday after Thanksgiving I should label this as such, but I am not renaming "Part I". Alright the traditional Wenesday night barfest continues, with a twist this year. People that think New Year's Eve is a big drinking holiday don't go out the night before Thanksgiving. Knowing you have four full days to mend your wounds from a very late evening helps too. In a way it's even better than Christmas Eve, only different is you arenn't looking forward to the next morning.It came into question a mulititude of times if I could survive the walking. Although thee timing and the amount of drinking, was perfet! The bars up in Pearl River NY held something called a bar crawl consisting of a number of bars all within walking distance, yes even by my standards. It's something my brother wanted to do last year, but wound up staying in one bar. Alright the night began with an opening round at Felix's House. Ok all Thanksgivings open with drinks at Felix's, but that's another trademark of the night. Then onto the bar crawl, which was the main event of the evening. We started out slow, but as the night went on, we hit five bars. The guys weren't going to drag me along at the end of the evening, but then again for some reason I did OK not my own that night.
I did meet some of my friends, both from high school and from the fire department. A perfect balance be tween two things very important to me. I seldomly like to combine the different aspects of my lif. However on the night before Thanksgiving they seem to mesh perfectly. For one night only friends that I haven't seen in a very long time, suddenly come out of the woodwork.
Although the conversation basically never changes, you can feel a difference. It's another year gone zooming past. Filled with the joys and sorrows we all deal with in life. It used to be about how about it's going in college, now it's how's the job. Small talk is slung around as glasses of alcohol keep flowing from the bottles and taps.
It's the type of tradition not found in books on Americana or television ads enticing you to get out for big holiday discounts the Friday morning after you stuff yourself the night before. This night is reserved for rekindling old friendships, while taking stock.
I am glad I shared it with friends

11/21/2005

The week of Thanksgivnig '05--part I

Ever since I was little I could always remember I like Christams better than Thanksgiving (what kid doesn 't?). Alright that still maybe true but I can say with a straight face I like the week that leads upto Thanksgiving better thaN the week leading upto- Christmas. Maybe it's because Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, no matter what the DATE it falls on. One of the very few highlights of going to school here was that the week before Thanksgiving was always half days, it still remains the same today, Monday and Tuesday are parent-teacher conferences and they make Wenesday a half day jut because it's the day before Thanksgiving.
The night before has become just as important, it started in high school when we had the tradition Pascack Valley bon fire. Ok I only made it the t h e last two of my five year at PV, but they both were what I would consider two of the higlights of going to high school.
Now that we're older my other brother Peter and I go out to the bars the night before which has been a big deal! We just go out It's a tradition that has been past down from generation to generaion With the exception of New Year's Eve it's the best time to drink!

Also see:The  Week of Thanksgiving '05--Part II

11/09/2005

I should have written myself in

Jon Corzine was never actually in danger of losing the election, it just seemed that way. Right from the beginning everyone knew, and publicly aknowledged Corzine was the dead on favorite. It was a simple as getting a Democrat far enough away from McGreveey, he fit the bill. Some might argue he is just another "looney liberal" but he falls short ofd a Kennedy, Polosi or the worst of the bunch, Howard Dean. I met Corzine a few times, knew he would always be n the right side of the issues, but I am in no way declaring my undying loyality to the Democratic party. They have so much wrong with their orginization, it's sickening. Howard Dean being in charge is all the evidence I need to prove my theory. Putting a medical doctor in charge of a political orginization is JUST AS BAD as having a trial lawyer at the helm. An exception to the rule is Lindsay Graham of South Carolina who would get my vote any day of the week

I split my vote, I seldomly vote strictly on party lines. It drives the people I talk politics crazy, but that's how I vote. For those who call this method hap-hazard consider that has anyone 100% agreed with one canidate? I mean people usually vote based on a sole set principals they are devoted to and that's all they consider. I am more open-minded, I see no point in being loyal to one side or the other. BOTH seem to alienate anyone that doesn't fall in with the rank and file of the party. On that note the problem I had with Forrester is he wanted to cleanup only the meses the Democrats made, he didn't reflect on any of the Republicans problems. I didn't expect he would, just hoped.
Forrester lost not because of his ideas, which in theory were excellent,p but people saw right through them. Whenever he talked about corruption, he meant DEMOCRATIC CORRUPTION, that's why he lost. He didn 't sell the idea of self-reflection, he didn't aknowledge his own party needed reforming also, he couldn't, he would have lost his base! What should he have done different?

Politicians who don't always follow the majority find themselves in a tight spot at one time or another , take John McCain and Rudy Guiliani for example. People would give their eye-teeth to see them be President. Unlike the previous three Presidents, and most of the Democratic canidates they are truly uniters. That's the kind of politician I would be ! I can 't understand if the majority of Americans consider themselves "middle of the road" why can't we elect a "middle of the road canidate". Sure folks running for office make every attempt to portray themselves as a canidate for "everyone" but that seldomly has been accomplished. Once they are in office, all the talk about "uniting people" goes from a roar to a whisper.
I point again to Howard Dean, the downfall of the Democratic party.; He, like people on the right is an extremist. To him ALL Republicans are WRONG, no matter what. A Republican can critize Bush and deep down Dean wouldn't trust her or him. That is WRONG! I wonder what would Dean do if John McCain ran for President in 2008?

I want to congratulate Jon Corzine, hopefully he will pull New Jersey out of the gutter. If he doesn't I know how I'll vote the next time around!!

10/30/2005

The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement

As I did with Peter Jennings a few months back, I wanted to pay my respects to Rosa Parks in my own way. If you do a search for "Tribute to Rosa Parks" on your favorite search engine you will get more than you could ever want her life and now her legend. Ms Parks (she never married) has achieve more than any of the top figures leading the civil rights movement today because she left definance as a last measure. . The true civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King being the most recognizable, used definance as a last resort and united not only Black but any other believers in civil right. They changed people's minds by appeal to their hearts. They preached they you can't always use the same tactics and you must draw attention to your cause without seeming totally unreasonable. They also knew small battles would win the war and knew the difference between equal justice and special treatment, something that the new "civil rights" leaders utterly lack.
What made Ms Parks so unique is she didn't just defy the law on behalf of herself or one particular race, by refusing to get up from she stood up for ALL minorities. Her act of courage inspired anyone who has ever been mistreated by an insitution to fight back, but to do it in a way that gets noticed.
Take a good look at the way she led her life, then you'll understand why she'll be missed so much!!
May she rest in peace

10/24/2005

Good Intention, Bad Idea

The best ideas can have the worst results. People feel they have to show rank in order to seem important. The lastest debate oon t he license plate list is a discussion over whether or not we should be grading collectors based on the number of good or bad transactions completed. I t doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, I know I wouldn't want a "black mark" next to my name just because a deal went sour. Most collectors realize when someone goes on a rant about a paricular transaction, people have to take it with a grain of salt. Repeat offenders usually are very easy to spot, they only really want to deal with strangers and try to keep the transactions as quite as possible. It's sad but true. However I am not ready to broadcast evvery single reason why I feel someone screwed me. I geuss I trust people too much, in return I do want them to trust me. Notice who endorsed the idea, a ruthless plate collector who doesn't leave room for the slightest error. I advanced a theory about this person based on facts and he took it completely the wrong way. A simple questioning of his ethics led to a week long suspension on the list. I bring this up because he obviously doesn't trust too many people himself and therefor will use this system as the ruler to measure all collectors. I hate being labelled, this new theory is doing this very thing.
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

10/09/2005

The Hershey Review

If I wrote everything that went on over the last few days most people would be bored after the sixth sentence. Going out to Hershey was just like going on any other trip in which I convince my folks to take a few days off from work. For someone who has zero expirence as a negotiator, I think getting my folks to take three trips to virtually unknown destinations.
Antique cars buff from around the world converge on the Chocolate, White and Red Fields.. I had my "travel bike" all charged and ready to go with one goal in mind, finding license plates. Hershey is the biggest "unofficial" license plate show ever without the typical feel of a regular meet! I bought about seven plates which isn't that many considering there were thousands of vendors around! The only problem was I hahd one day to cover miles of ground and had to stift through the junk. The result five plates one was a sovunier plate from the car show itself. The one New Jersey plate was a n old courtesy plate. It wasn't a pair but then again it was a #1 from Morris County so I really didn't care.
Some interesting scanner news I picked up the frequency they were using to coordinate the car auction. Yes the good old Close Call feature came through once again. I love that scanner.
Getting back to Hershey is going to be next to impossible because my father refusess to go somewhere more than once, although we did go to Hershey years ago so miracles do happen. It doesn't count because it wasn't during the car show! I want to hit the flea market again! On the other hand there are so many other places I have to see first!!

10/01/2005

A less than graceful exit

Alright if you who have been into police scanning and on the Internet more than a month know about Jim Fordyce's website. For those who don't know about Jim's site, let me just fill you in. Jim's site was THE PLACE to go for general information about scanning. His list of links was longer than any other site out there. As a matter of fact a lot of scanner sites copied his links page because it was always up-to-date. Jim was also one of the first to succesfully put together all kinds of general frequency information. It was a resource many people, especially yo-ur humble writer, utilized to keep an eye out for the latest a nd greatest in the world of scanning. About two years ago Jim introduced message boards for the Northeast US, covering states from Maine down to Virginia. While he wasn't the first to think of frequency message boards, he was allowing other people to help him keep an eye on things. He deputized fellow scanner buffs in the various counties to keep an eye on the various boards.
The first version really didn't hold up too well, I had trouble getting in! So the second version was introduced after about a year. It handled ten times better! We were all happier and posting really took off! Although it made it easier for the creeps, and you know who you are, to wreack havoc! Jim also seemed to leave moderators in the wind, meaning we cou ld only delete posts and not block users. We helped each other out the best we could, so it wasn''t as bad as I thought at the time!
Things got tough, especially when people started stepping on each other's toes. There were some nasty flame wars but it was the hackers that brought the thing crashing down. Ironically I don't think it had anything to do with scanning, I think some flake out there just wanted to have some fun! So Jim shut the site down, without telling anyone!
He just shutdown shop! Now people all over the net are saying it was his right to do whatever he wanted to the board. I agree i t's his board but I feel since I donated my time to help keep thing thing running, he should have let people know what he was doing before hand! I have gone on record stating my case in a number of places but I wanted to put my thoughts here so they don't get lost in the obyss of the scanner message boards!!

Making a call

Alright this is like catching lightning in a bottle, but I actually made it to a fire call. No I didn't see flames shooting fifty feet in the air like you see on TV, but I was excited. The fire was in the back of the house but I got to see all the coming and goings as well as a handful of towns working together. The wonder is I actually got beyond a road block by sweet talking one of the female police officers into letting me in.I also told a little white lie because I said I would be right back and then eventually rolled out of there when the mutual aid started to pull out. Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge and even the folks from River Vale showed up! The fire was in the back of the house, so I can't really comment! Anyway below is the page sent out over the fire buff pagers
WOODCLIFF LAKE (BERGEN) **WORKING FIRE** 21 OAKWOOD RD M/A REQ TO THE SCENE
A/C/W EAN503/ EAN388. 10:04a.m.

9/21/2005

Loggins and Messina revisited

Loggins and Messina are playing at Radio City Music Hall tonight. If a cute girl about 23 reads this, has a car and no boyfriend, call me.........my number is "easily accessible" on the net! Alright fat chance on all three happening within seven hours, but can't a guy dream. I can honestly say I grew up with Loggins and Messsina because my folks played their music all the time.' At the time I didn't know that Loggins was actually Kenny Loggins, who I have loved ever since I can remember... For those who don't know the story behind "Danny's Song" basically Loggins wrote it for his brother Danny and his wife who had a baby. Danny wrote a heatfelt letter to Kenny and in turn Kenny wrote his song, Danny's Song. Years later a girl I knew in high school had the tape of Loggins and Messina's Greatest Hits in it. She played to song one night when we were going out. When I opened the cover I read the story behind the song, I immediate wrote my own feeligns. That was over eight years ago. I have since revised the writing a few times. However I wanted to share the original version, thank God I never throw anything I wrote away. As an introduction I am including what Loggins wrote about the song

From Kenny Loggins: Traditionally when someone has a child, you gift them a gift. This song was a gift to my brother Dan and his wife Shelia for the birth of their son. Just after Colin was born, Dan had written a letter to me filled with his emotions and hopes. I took some of his feelings and words, added some of my -own and returned them to him in song. K.

From "Living with a Disabilty" dated July, 28th,1997
I will always live a middle of the road life. Don't want that much money, just want to- be happy. Used to think money bought happines, it doesn't. That's why I want [to get] out of this area. It just is all based on who has got a better house or who's CEO of what company. Give me a wife who loves me, a few kids and a good job doing special effects and I'lll be happy. I have all the luxeries I ever want right now, an old American classic car would be nice, but then thaqt's it.; Having more money then you need to live comfortabll to me can destroy a family. I can live with what I have now, I just need a person t o love me the way I need to be loved. I) have learned taking things for granted can kill dream in a heartbeat. So be careful with what you have, always treasure it...... JM

9/14/2005

Home Alone in a storm!

Original tit le I know but tonight is unique not because I am home alone at night, but because there's a mean storm outside! Call me a chicken, you can mock my cowardness but come on storms can do damage! I have seen storms do damage we all know that. When I was younger someone explained the thunder was angels bowling and lightning was God turning a flashlight on and off. Sounds good to me until I drove by a 100 foot tree struck down by lightning! Alright I may be overreacting but you get the idea.
The home alone part is tough. Alright granted my folks never go out and don't go out for long periods of timpe, but it's ALWAYS AT NIGHT. I mean don't get my wr ong there are times I wish I had the house to myself. This is not the prblem, it's the night time I hate. I mean am I right here folks? Give me your opinion!!
I wrote about a storm before and now this entry. People are probablly asking why am I writing about the weather, it's boring! Don't I have anything better to write about than the weather? I don't know, maybe since I am a skywarn spotter there's an inate bug for me to write about it. I mean people photograph weather, why can't I write about it? Look if the news media can cover damage after everystorm, I can cover it during the storm. I don't see the difference!!

9/11/2005

Encrypted comms and interoperability don't mix!!

First I would like to extend my thoughts and prayers to the surving members of the 9/11 attacks. Without rehashing everything I heard that day, one thing is for sure I never have felt more helpless than I did on that day. Although I know I'm not the only one. That being said I am going to take a slightly different approach.. that of a radio geek!
As we saw a few weeks ago during the hurricane the high and mighty "digital and encrypted" trunked systems came crashing down during the first hour s of the storm. There wasn't anything anyone could do, the most sophisticated communication device, bullhorns and PA systems in patrol cars. The only way to get a message out was to do it via amateur radio, plain old over the radio waves. No computers, no special digital radios, just free and clear communication. Are the officials listening? Probabllyt not. While I agree there are times certain police communications ashould be protected, the same system failed the emergency services of New Orleans and in turn failed the people I am not here to point fingers, there's too much of that going own right now. I am however going to point out from a communications standpoint that thne public safety officials are putting too much emphasis on protecting their communications than being practical. With all the critizism pointed at the President, the Governors and the local officials, there isn't enough blame being put on the industry that make the radios. The states and cities spent millions of dollars on upgrading communication systems and they FAILED. Radios that were considered "state of the art" FAILED ONCE AGAIN.
As a scanner listeniner obviously I am against digital and encrypted communications. Those who want full-time encryption have to answer this question, when has digital communications saved a life in a fire or a medical emergency? Never, not one time.
On 9/11 the radios failed, studies show the older radios would and did work, thus saving lives. You might have heard the families of the fallen firefighters and police officers are suing the manufacturers of the radios. Will it change the way we look at emergency communications? Only time will tell. However think about this, more departments are going back to their old systems. Why aren't the radios companies wake up and smelling the coffee??

9/07/2005

Hams get noticed

Alright call me biased but I think ham radio operators really aren't getting enough credit. I have heard or read about the numerous communication failures when I know one communication aspect has been up and running constantly since before the storm hit, that's the HF (High Frequency) Net provided by amateur radio operators like myself! You know I cringe when I hear on the news "all communication is down". I along with other ham radio operators wished someone would say something about the efforts of our comrades in the south. Leave it to a fellow ham to bring our operations to the forefront! You can call half of us cazy, because we are, but when it comes down to it, we always come through. We were there in the wars from Veitnam to the current stuff in Iraq and we are coming through in not only Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but were helpi So when one of us writes about we whe do in times of disaster, we all like to pass it around!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9228945

8/31/2005

Help the hurricane victims

As a writer and a webmaster I feel I have to assist the victims of the hurricane anyway I can. I have been posting the following message all over the internet. On mailing lists, bulletin boards and anywhere else I can get my hands on. So I might as well post it on my blog as well. Also below are so other links that might be helpful.


This really isn't scanner related and I don't want to start a discussion about Hurricane Katrina but I am not only donating money to the Red Cross I am also putting a link to the Red Cross on http://www.bergenscanner.com I suggest folks with scanner websites do the same. This is something simple and only takes five seconds .. We need to show our support!


PLEASE SUPPORT THE RED CROSS!! http://www.redcross.org/

Other useful links:

Fema.gov

MS Emergency Management

LA Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness

8/30/2005

Decisions decisions!

Ok here's the deal about the last post, I held it off for a week because I didn't know if it was worth posting! I have been thinking about moving Bergescanner.com to a different serve, it has taken me two weeks to get the ball rolling. I have an open invitation to write another article for Plates Magazine, the sole consistant writing gig that allows me to publish anytime I want, but I can't get myself to start writing stuff down. I started this post at 4:24 PM, it's 5:00PM! The problem is I never prioritize! One thing leads to another and the cycle continues. I don't call it procrastinnatiopn but something's up.
Shock of shocks last night my parents (well my mom, and then dad agreed) brought up going to the CP Conference together, which has always been their plan. However I am not really happy about them going. So my reaction was sayingf I don't know if I want to go, the point is I don't want to go with them. I would never actually admit that but I think my mom knows it anyway. So then she suggests instead of the CP Conference we can go to the car show out in Hersey, another one of those things I always want to do. The bottom line I think is they have more stuff to do in Hershey than in Maryland! Secondly my mom doesn't want me to travel to an "unknown" destination by myself.
So here IT IS the CP conference or the biggest antique car show in the world that I have dreamt about going to ever since I can remember. The point of it is I would want them to go to Hershey even if I could got alone! I can't say the same thing about the CP conference. I think while rambling on here I have just made up m y mind.......Hershey here we come!! Stay tuned

8/21/2005

Visit to a winery

By the title you would think I would be posting this from thr West Coast, but actually the folks dragged us up to Orange County NY which is about an hour away! This was a true genuine "family outing". It was of course the three of us, my younger brother Pete, my Uncle Matt and his girlfriend Shannon. Now I'm not going to claim to be a wine freak now, but I did buy my first bottle of wine. The question is when am I going to crack it open? Knowing this household it will be gone inside of a week but I might actually surprise everyone and let it age for a good long time. Any suggestions out there? I can't say. Although I'll tell you a did enjoy the wine tasting part of the trip, for the record there wasn't as much spitting at this winery as you see on TV. There now you kids can say I told you most of this stuff you see on cable is indeed fake. Now picture the six of us sitt ing around the table with a bottle of wine. I was tempted to shout out "where's the cheese and crackers?"!

8/18/2005

Fortune Cookie

I got chinese food last night and usually I ignore the advice but this particular message struck me: "One who admires you greatly is hidden before your eyes." Well maybe that person reads this blog? Or even better visits my websites? Hey it could happen. Now I don't really call myself "supersticious" (watch a black cat is going to come strolling in my bedroom as soon as I click the "publish post" button) but I do sometimes cast fate into the wind. People who don't believe in a little fate difinitely have a closed mind.That's not to say people who have too much fate and there is such a thing, aren't just as looney. Back to the fortune cookie, the problem is I don't think folks realize it might take awhile for the fortune to kick in! Although last night when after I opened the fortune cookie, I accidently spilt soda on it and it ripped in half, so doesn that mean the fortune is no longer valid? Note I didn't throw it anyway, I carefully (that is a realitive term around someone like me) carried the now two pieces of paper up to my room and laid them on my desk and that's wheree I found them when I woke up this morning. Now do I put them in my bank or throw them away? I will let you ponder that for awhile.
Take it easy

8/09/2005

Brief note on Peter Jennings

Usually when a famous person passes away there is about a week or two of fanfare and then it fades into the background. I hope people really think about his impact on both the country and the world, not just for the next few days, but whenever they watch the news. There's a lot of debate on wether the media as a whole is drifting into rough waters. You have people saying it's too far left or right depending on the way you look at it and what channels you watch. Peter Jennings rose above that, he never let his personal views cloud his judgement, but his style always came through. When he interviewed people Jennings was always respectful and always got answers. He just knew how to interview people in a way where he got answers without making people feel uncomfertable! That's what made him a good reporter. Too many journalists like to make the people they interview uneasy, Peter didn't do that. He respected people, you can't say that about a lot of these "journalists". Jennings wasn't "elite", he was above that. Jennings asked hard questions, but always thought he was lucky people took time to talk with him. Not too many in the media today take this approach. If you don't talk to reporters you got something to hide or they think you are a flake. Jennings was beyond that, his critizisms meant something. He wasn't vicious like some of his counterparts.
My heart goes out to his family, may he rest in peace............

8/03/2005

SAVE CRESSKILL FIRST AID

Sean sent this to me and I thought I would test the "BlogThis!" feature since they are also using Blogspot. I haven't been following the story so I can't really commment. Just check their site out, might be interesting for those living in Cresskill:

SAVE CRESSKILL FIRST AID

8/01/2005

Change of Venue

Before I beginning I have to say I got to the Saugerties Lighthouse today. It was a long ride up north to Kingston but my folks and I pulled off another day excursion. Maybe it was the hike in the woods that got me psyched to see my seventh light or the look on the keeper's face when I politely asked him if he had a stamp for my lighthouse passport, it was a great day.. The Saugerties Lighthouse is connected to the main land via a foot bridge but during high tide it is on a island. It's on the Hudson River which I call "my river" because it 's always close by even when we go upto Lake George. Funny thing about the lighthouse, the base is made of stone which makes for a very strong foundation. We were in a swamp, it smelt bad but I didn't care I was in my glory. Hey I walked a little under a mile to go see it. That would make anyone happen.
This particular light is also a bed and breakfast. Tell me that isn't a good idea? Alright the dreammin-vacation would be a weekend at the light with............ I won't name names but the folks who really know me most have a few good ideas. Or it woulld be a hell of a place to just go and sit down for lunch. The bitch of it would be carrying the cooler into and out of the woodsn. One of the few rules they have there, you must take out what you bring in. I mean I totally agree. It gives new meaning to the phrase "pack light"! Although just think about it three days of fresh air, climbing to inspect the Frensal lens and keeping up a tradition that started over a hundred years ago

7/25/2005

Planning the site out

As a designer of several sites I have to admit one of my worst mistakes was just jumping in without any plan. I first got on the web one night during the summer when I didn't have an idea what I was doing. The word "index pages" didn't mean a thing to me, neither did I understand the difference between the HTM and HTML file extentions. It was a police scanner site and that was it. I should have understoo that to make things orginized you need to put things in directories. duh! And everything was on one page there wasn't any rhyme or reason to it. There it was and it didn't even occur to me to separate the pages or how everything looked jumbled together. The main thing was it, I Justin had a website.
Over the years I have learned well some what. Take the Tripod site. A few years ago Tripod "accidentally" deleted me website, hey it's free s o it happens. So I panicked and instead of waiting to see if it came back up, I immediately moved to Geoccities. Now rebuilding the site wasn't the problem because luckily I did back most of my website up! HA! The pain was e-mailing everybody to say the site had changed!! Alright it too k a few days to get everything setup. By that time geuss what happened? the site was back to normal!! OK so I couldn't maintain both and unfortunately my loyal to Tripod won over to my common sense. So I left m license plate site on Tripod, and decided to keep my writing on Geocities. Are you confused yet? It turns out Yahoo eventually bought Geocities anyway. That's why I also have an e-mail] with Yahoo, but that's another story.
To make matters worse before I went over to Geocities I started another website up with tripod which I forgot about all together, under jaymatt1978. The username look fimilar? It shoud it's the address of my blog AND my e-mail. I should probablly have the thing trademarked !

7/20/2005

Missing in Action

Alright I wrote two radio entries now it's time to go the my other hobby, license plates. Am I a Rennisance Man or what? One of the links o=n this site goes to the Automobile License Plate Collector's Association which I have been a proud member (even though inactive for a brief two year period) for eleven years. If you take into account I joined when I was 16 and didn't know anyone else in the aclub when I joined, it 's another one of the little facts abou t myself I proudly tell people. Last year ALPCA celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in Providence Rhode Island, man did I beg my folks to go! It also happened to be over their wedding anniversary so I took them and one of my brothers out with us since he was in nearby Connecticut. The details lwill remain sealed since in old J M fashion there was a little screw up Anyway I did it all, manned a post at the souvenior desk, donated a few plates to the auction, and picked up a few amazing plates to add to the collection. I also enjoyed meeting people I have corresponded with online throughout the year. The look on people's faces when I say "Hello I am Justin Mattes" is indeed priceless! So the question remains "If this was last year why are you writing about it now?" Easy answer I missed the Convention this year! Yup it was in Souix Falls SD! A little of of range in terms of both logistics and the fact hitting my folks up two years in a row just did not fly. I am writing about in not out of sorrow I could have been there thi-s year, but I geuss I am so axnious to visit other parts of the country. Although my other reasoning tend to have to do with getting the Club to have a Convention out in the East again! See If I show up it means that it has to be important. I don't intentionally to sound arrogant but come on convincing my folks to go with me isa a lot harder than say a spouse. Or if you have kids you can, "Make them go!!" Maybe maybe not! Next year it's in California which doesn't seem likely but you just never know what kind of scheme I'll think of to entice my folks. We'll see what happens

7/18/2005

Summer storms

Well we just survived some wicked weather tonight, I have to write something about it. The winds kicked up abot 5pm and the rain soon after! It came in and out of town faster than a speeding bullet! Something out of the movies I swear
y dinner was cut short because I wanted to spend the time at the command post listening in to the action. You know I never understood the need for more than one scanner until tonight. I have one just sscanner all the fire channels which came in real handy. You always hear folks say keep the emergenc y channels afew key presses away, tonight that advice finally paid off tonight. The damage on Glen Road was completely unreal, tree limbs were all over the place. I even saw a huge limb on a car truly amazing. Now the advice about not going to a scene is true, you should NEVER GO TO AN EMERGENCY SCENES but you can drive past! I know the owners of the car and all I can say is thank God\ nobody was in the car. Over all the storm went through pretty quickly and luckily nobody got hurt.

7/08/2005

A different Lake George Trip

Alright a little family history for this post!! We have been going up to m y grandparents' townhouse in upstate NY for 22 year. It's something we'll do until whenever my grandfather decides to sell it. I mean he's not going up there any more because of problems I won't get into. Although surfice to say he nd my grandmother are at the age where travelling is a big deal,.
Going up there has meant different things to me throughout my life. When we where younger my brother's and I looked forward to going to Great Escape, an amusement park! Over the years we have had some good times up there. One of the highlights was a few years ago when Chris and some of his friends took me up there. I mean it was the first time we went there withoout the folks. Oh man I could write pages on t hat, but I won't!
Alrigh t this is the kicker of this trip, my uncle Chuck and I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels. It's not like we haven't had a drink before but something abot drinking with him that. As a matter of fact the both of us talked and just hung out

6/30/2005

When nobody wants to talk

A quote from a mailing list poster, "I have not received any RailScan group messages since 6-22 and I waswondering if anyone else is receiving messages? Perhaps there is just a problemwithmy account?Any help would be greatly appreciated."

Alright why in the world do people do this? Hint if you didn't do anything to stop getting e-mail chances are ipeople just do not have anything to say. It just bothers me when people start these discussions and it then goes way off topic because someone questions wether he or she is STILL ON THE LIST. The general idea of these mailing lists is to discuss a hobbby and to highlight news related to the hobby. Now I am just as guilty as the next person when occasional "off-topic post" but I have faith in the moderators to keep me and everyone else in line. Perhaps I would have reacted differently of the person guilty of posting an note like that if he added something related to railscanning at the end, but he didn't. The saddest part about it is the list is moderatored all the time!! Still this guy got through! I don't know maybe I also have too much time on my hands when I can take time out of the day to write about something so stupid!

6/27/2005

Field Day Fingering 2005--N2SE on the air

Alright that might sound gross but let me explain. For those non hams out there basically Field Day happens every last weekend in June where ham clubs across the nation try to make as many c ontacts as possible. This yearly activity has been around a lot longer than I have and it gets me on the air. Right now my entire ham station is in the crapper, it will be there for awhile.
Anyway like almost everything else in this world, the computer enhances everything 100 times over. There are all kinds of "modes" meaning different ways to transmit, there's plain old voice contacts, then there's CW (Morse Code for all you non-hams) you can even do Amateur TV stations on the ham bands. Getting back to the computer, PSK-31 (Phase Shift Key) is among the new digital mediums we are utilizing. Think of it as online chatting but using radiowaves instead of internet. I roped in contacts from a half a dozen states, even KK5K out of Alabama. Yes folks you never know who or what you'll find on the airwaves. Alright I have to mention I was up at a ski lodge as the Mercury hits 85 here, a perfect place to do some signal hunting. I drank a lot of soda to keep me going (in more ways than one I might add)!:

6/15/2005

Justin's Rules for Blogging

Please read this first:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/warningyourcleverlittleblogcouldgetyoufired

I am not saying I'm the autority on blogging because I have only been doing it for a few weeks. However I have written in public forums and have been exposed to every kinds of reaction to my writing known to man. People questioning wether I wrote something is probablly the worst feedback someone could get. So I take my writing, wether it be an article, a letter or even a quick e-mail very seriously. This is coming from someone who puts a greater value on the written word over the spoke one! It's easier to deny something you say, you can write it off as an emotional reaction. When you write something you can't take it back, that's it! People try to do it all the time, I have tried a few times. It never works because folks on the recieving end assume that if you put in the effort to sit down and compose a note, you mean ever word. Atleast I do, sometimes I throw a few things in for "effect' but usually I write from the heart but I also let my mind filter stuff out. You can be passionate about something without having it control your emotions. I used to be guilty of that, but you don't see any of the writing on the Internet, yeah like you would look for it anyway. Back when blogging first started "real reporters" scoffed at the concept. Now they are starting to be seen as competition. Here are some "rules" I made up (they are more like guidelines but it doesn't have the same ring):

1. Write like people read it. Yeah stupid but true. Ok it's yor blog but make people want to read it, show your opinion, but don't go overboard. While it's true you want to get your point across, you need to give something more juicy so they'll read moree

2. Respect the people who you write about. This is hard especially when it involves anything political, but even if I disagree with someone, I don't want to see them hit while they are down. People confuse hating a person and disagree with them. It seems the line that divides critizism and attacking is getting more blurred. This is something nobody likes, but everybody does it anyway. Folks need to get a clue attack the other side only gets you so far than people stop listening, AHEM Mr. Dean (had to write it)

3. Expect negative feedback even when you say something 'everyone SHOULD agree on' there is always some person waiting in the wings with rotten tomatos. Some of my best letters are crtizing other writers, of course the seldomly get published.

4. Expirence sometimes helps. I can tell the bloggers who have been p ublished on paper and the ones who just decided one day to hop on the 'Net and fire away. Although getting printed might defeat your entire purpose of blogging, usually after getting published changes a writer's prospective. I started out writing a Journal, then progressed into articles and now have started blogging. Each a different medium, each has its good and bad points. All formats are good practice! When I started this blog I said to myself, oh no I'm back to the Journal. Now I'm starting to see the difference.

6/13/2005

Armstrong Tower Review

The first word that came out of my mouth was "WOW"! I have honestly only have said it a few times and meant it, this was definitely one of those moments. Anyone who has been on a hill- in Bergen County has seen this things and probablly 90% of the them say how awful it looks ! The problem with that comment is people who say it don't have a clue what the tower has done for all kinds of broadcasting, especially FM. When the World Trade Center collasped a lot of the companies that lost their antennas had back-up services at Alpine so they were back on the air in no time! I got an inside look at the repeaters used by Conrail and NJ Transit there were a lot of paging companies. It was a once in a life time oppritunity because like everything else after 9/11, security is definitely A LOT tighter!! FYI they call it both the Armstong Tower (named after the inventor of FM radio) and the Alpine tower!
For the people keeping tack I did bring the BC246T but didn't get that much action which was a little disappointing because I saw people walking around with VHF ht's! This is one o f the few time close call didn't work! Oh well!
Alright definitely one other highlight was meeting another one of my radios buddies up at the tower,. Now I don't use his real name because he's just knowned to every as KP. He's an engineer over at NBC and has access to all kinds of radio equipment. Like other companies NBC uses equipment oly once durig major events and then throws it away. So he had a scanner just lying around brand new and asked if I wanted it!! "Another radio" my folks said, but it's nice just to have one dedicated just for fire. I always sell my old radios and use the money to purchase new stuff. So for once I have two working base scanner going at once which is very cool! Thanks again for the scanner KP!
Not bad for a Saturday......... Although it could have been a LITTLE cooler!!!!!!!

Go to the Armstrong Tower Website

6/09/2005

The Oppritunity of a Lifetime

Man this is coool! I am going to a celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the first FM broadcast made from the Armstrong Tower in Alpine at 12 noon this SaturdayJune 11th!!! I am definitely bringing my scanner with me because the transmission will be on 42.8 MHz!! This is one of the best scanning oppritunities out there. People can also tune into the program o n a regular FM radio one 89.1!! It's so neat being on the site of the first FM transmission EVER!! For details click on this link:http://www.cscmgt.com/news/2005-04-11-armstrong-press-release.html

I happen to know Chuck Sackermann, the President of CSC, the company who owns the tower. So he invited me up there to witness the program and to see the tower up close!! Hey maybe I'll climb the tower also, justkidding guys and gals!!! So this Saturday if you listen in you'll hear "Justin and his mom are there!! OK maybe you won't but hey it's going to be neat anyway.
Alright enogh bragging and I am past my half an hour posting limit!!

Also see Armstrong Tower Review

6/03/2005

Parades and other things

Alright I sound like a little kid when I say this but I love a parade. Every few years a town hosts what they call the New York/ New Jersey Firemen's Parade in Emerson. You know they invite "every department" into this one town they march and at the end have this huge block party. Make one wonder what would happen if one of the towns had a really big fire. Now I have been on both sides of the line, a few year back I rode with Teaneck Box 54 and loved it! The one bad thing was my scanner went dead. Nice going on my part, I forgot the extra battery pack for my radio sitting on my desk at home. Oh well! This time I am totally prepared, extra batteries and all!! So if you are in the area, stop by, I posted all the info on Bergenscanner, including the route and the frequencies for the parade. I'll also write up a little review of the parade Who knows? You might even see my ugly face walking around(with my walker in tow). Free drinks to anyone who comes up to me and says they read this entry! I know I'm a geek but what can I do? Hey you won't catch me sleeping outside the movie theater just to be first in line to see STAR WARS. I do have some dignity! Take it easy!

5/31/2005

Memorial Day in AC

Alright can you think of a better place to be on Memorial Day weekend? One of my brother's, Pete, graduated college a few weeks ago, so my other borther Chris and I took him to this comedy show in Atlantic City. We had a BLAST. You know going down for one night is just enough for Jersey folks. You have to love the "tourists" who say thuey are spending like a weeke down there. That's just nuts!!!!! For the record I wound up dropping $50 to the roulette table which seemed bad that but I have quickly recovered!
For those scanner nerds in the group, I AM ONE OF THEM. I had my 246T with me and DID get some close call hits which I will eventually post but not today. I did get a lot in I just haven't reviewed it yet!! I plan to build a page on Bergenscanner dedicated to close call hits but have been too lazy to do it!!

5/24/2005

The CP Conference

Alright this is it! For those who don't know I am 27 years old and have Athetoid CP, no I am not going to go into my life history but I am going to give you folks some links in case you're interested in finding out about CP. Anyway there's a conference down in Maryland in September, I chickened out. This year I think I'm going to go, I'll keep you folks posted. In the mean time visit the website!!

http://www.thecpgroup.org/

http://www.wheelchairjunkie.com/

5/23/2005

Welcome to Justin Mattes's Blog

Usually there's a lame welcome message as a first post, why should I be any different. You read a little about me here a little of what I have been up to. I love to write and figured why not share my thoughts with the world!! Includede with this will be comments on my hobbies such as police scanners and license plates. Check out http://www.bergenscanner.com for frequencies for Bergen County and http://jmattes.tripod.com/plates for my license plate website I'm going to really work on this at least a few times a week as a writing exercise!!! I promise all the posts won't be as stupid as this one so give me a break!! So here it is my blog!! OK it might be lame in the beginning but just you wait I might surprise you with my wit !!!Visit often because I plan to post often! Take it easy!!!

Justin