12/30/2006

Writing while Intoxicated

Since I can't drive, drunk or otherwise, I figured tonight was the night I do a little experimenting. Yes ladies and gentleman I am drunk and there's no telling what I'll write. F or the record I juszt had four glasses of wine during and after a nice lobster dinner. This might be a mistake but it 's not like anyonce
I have just suffered through the movie "Ten th ings I hate about you" and am now onto "Runaway Bride" but I am too lazy toi change the channelLV livng

12/21/2006

The rare stuff

A few month ago I posted a fairly exciting post about signing on from home with PSK-31.. Here's a little update for those wondering. I have 14 states , confirmed meaning I have received cards from at least 14 people in different states. For those who are wondering, I am running 15 watts which when hitting states like New Mexico isn't an easy task. Since I am using the keyboard people can definitely understand me over the air. To refresh your memory this isn't anything like IMing over the Internet, it takes a lot of patience and sifting through a lot of noise. It also is a matter of timing, a station could be could be booming in one minute and drop out just as quick, even quicker.
I also en joy sending out and receiving QSL cards, which are written confirmations of the contact. Being the clever computer guy I am, I have designed my own QSL card with the Baymen's Heritage license plate and posted it on Bergenscanner.com. Getting the cards give ham's a real sense of accomplishment.
Since this blog has a few radio entries in it such as Field Day Fingering 2005 and Field Day Fingering 2006, I figured maybe people would be encouraged to hop on the air themselves. There's a thrill about reaching other people across the country and around the world that I can't explain. Part of it is I am a US geography buff. Maybe that's the reason why I collect license plates.
I have decided I need to; start adding more of these kinds of entries. So when a rare state pops up on the screen, I'll try to include a little blurp about it on here. Kind of like an online log of contacts! If you are a ham that would like to setup a contact with me, drop me a line using the links at the right of the screen. I look forward to hearing from you on the air!!

11/08/2006

It was a success!!

Time passes quickly!! A few weeks ago I announced there was some debate over whether or not I should read the toast for my brother and his wife . Well it went right down to the wire, literally, my uncle was on standby just in case. However after escorting the Maid of Honor down the aisle, I figured the best man speech was in the bag.
Let's recap the entire two day event up to the walk down the aisle and the toast. I read on multiple websites it's not right for the best man to upstage the bride and groom so I feel like I need to mention Chris.
We drove down for the rehearsal dinner the night before which had an interesting twist. Every time we go somewhere it seems something always makes us late. My family decided it was me printing out copies of the toast AND NOT the accident that backed us up four an hou r. We made it to the church to find Chris pacing out front. I quickly exited the car and made my way to the back room, to sign the marriage certificate. Chris was very relax, as always. The rehearsal went smoothly, I found out keep Chris from running away and reading a speech wasn't the only duties of a best man. Afterwards we enjoyed a nice dinner. Then the "grown-ups" went home and the rest of us went out for drinks.
One thing about having the wedding at night,during the day you get spurts of activity followed by long bouts of standing around doing nothing. Unfortunately I woke up earlier than I had wanted.;
The bridal party got ready at Natalie's parents' house while Chris and the groomsmen invaded their condo. Seven guys getting ready in that small of a space was "interesting" to say the least. Couple that with the fact we were drinking, well it was a sight to see.
After arriving to the church a little later then we planned, everything from there fell right into place. I got the honor of escorting Natalie's mother down the aisle. Walking with her was definitely a highlight for me. I will definitely treasure that memory for a long time. The ceremony was great, despite the traffic everyone made it to the church in time. I got a chance to be alone with Chris, except the photographer kept snapping pictures. Since he was at Natalie 's house the entire afternoon, he s pent most of the time at the church before the ceremony with the guys.
Guess when you have a few drinks in you time does fly. I escorted Sharon, Natalie's Maid of Honor into reception hall we kept coaching each other preparing for the toasts we had to give. Before I knew it the DJ tapped me on the shoulder and I was on. After taking a deep breath and a sip of my drink, I began. The more I read, the calmer and sweater I became. However I pulled it off and knew all the preparation was worth it !! The surprise came when I got a standing ovation! Ever the waiters were applauding
After that the REAL party began for me! I was talking a lot with Aunt Millie, whom I haven't seen since the summertime. All of us danced although the DJ fumbled some of the songs a bit.
By the time we turned around the evening was over4 and we made our way back to the hotel. The family being the party animals we were assembled in the hotel bar for a nightcap before we went up to bed.
Chris and Natalie's wedding was even m.ore fun than I expected. I now finally have a SISTER to come to my defense when my brothers are teasing me!!!!

10/25/2006

Black eye courtesy of Michael J. Fox

In case it hasn't been clear before I do have CerebralPalsy and if you did a serach for my name on Google or even looked through the pages of this blog you'll see while I don 't focus on the topic exclusively, I write about it when the time warran ts. It also gives me a little bit of a license to point out some misrepresentations the general public makes about folks with disabilities. I am also very harsh when people accuse my of usinjg my disability to get sympathy even thou gh I admit I do it on a very RARE OCCASION! I am also extremely critical of people who use it too often.........enter Michael J. Fox.
Unlike most celeberties even before he came down with Parkison's, Fox was someone who people respected, I do too. I am saying not he is flawless nor am I idiolizing him, however he has always stayed somewhat above the fray when it came to mixing politics with fame. He's a devoted Democrat but doesn't think if you're a Republican you're going to Hell. I admired the way he used his noterity to bring a cause close to his heart to the forefront of American politics without accusing anyone of murder -or parading around pictures of dead loved ones like they were campiegn posters. Fox also is pretty political saavy. He has won Emmys for his portrayl of a political advisor to t he Mayor of NYC. Acting isn't all fake. So imagine my surprise when I saw his face, along with body shaking, on a commercial supporting a Democratic Missouri Senate Canidate. I still think he's doing a good thing for millions of people, it's just I want to point to the opening paragraphs of my book--"Living With a Disability" . One of the common themes is not to intentionally elicit sympathy, that's for "disabled people". Fox committed what I believe to be a cardinal sin for people with physical challeges. Now he's under attack from that blowhard Rush Limbaugh .
I am sure Fox is having second doubts, not about his message, but the way it was delivered. He was used, the one thing someone like him should avoid!
Rush Limbaugh's Reaction
Michael J. Fox Foundation

10/18/2006

If I wrote it I should read it

OK here's the scenario my brother made me his best man for his wedding. Two things immediately sprang into my mind, the bachelor party and the toast. Without going into too many details, I, with a lot of help from my uncle, got a group of guys out to Las Vegas. If you're wondering where's that particular entry, keep on looking because I'm sitting on it indefinitely. The second more pressing issue is the toast, not writing it but reading it out loud in front of everyone. It's my decision if I want to read it or not, but I'm getting a lot of external pressure to hand it off to my uncle. Now I have been grappling with this idea for weeks, one day I want him to read it, the next day I want to get up there on my own. Writing speeches is a lot different than writing articles because a speech is not a time to exercise my massive vocabulary or compose these complex sentences. The problem lies with the fact my relatives know how I can drag out my conversations and they don't want me standing up there for hours on end. I can hear the shuffling of dishes as a sign of impatience now. Also the speeches I write are geared to my voice patterns,; I know my pitch is everything but predictable, but I have managed to construct some pretty decent dialoges in my time.

10/11/2006

Signing on from home

Well in two of the entries in this online journal I have talked about getting on the air for Field Day which is the last weekend in June. Well after years of obstacles, Ifinally have setup a HF station at home. It consists of you guessed it, a dual band HF rig and my HP. I written about PSK-31 in two previous artciles, so I won't go into too much details aboutr that. However I will say knowing that I can jump on for a few hours during the band openings is a good thing> I even made contact from folks out in Minnesota which was a thrill and a half!! It's not always easy roping these contacts in, but it is sure rewarding when I confirm a contact.
One of the extra bonuses is working "Special Event" stations where they give out special certificates when you make contact with them. It's just one of the many thrills of being a ham. After a week o f trying to get them to recognize my call, the answered. So now I have sent away for a certificate that should be here some time in December.
Isaac put up this antenna that just rocks. I got into Cuba, even GERMANY with it!! it's a custom made Off-center fed dipole for all you ham radio geeks out there.
The rest of the setup is pretty basic, I'm using my old power supply I got with my first ham rig. The antenna comes in through a hole in the opposite wall of my desk. We got some connectors together and I'm all set.
For the record I have work eleven states already and am on my way to my Worked All States award. Kind of like getting license plates from every state. Every few days the cards arrive in the mail from all over the country, haven't gotten any from the other side of the Atlantic yet, but these things take time. My mother isn't thrilled about me having more paper in the room.

9/11/2006

Project Rebirth

I had this huge essay planned about September 11th. It would start out how my dad woke me out of a sound sleep and just ordered "Turn on your TV QUICK. I would write about how I) fumbled for the remote and saw the replay of the first plane striking the tower and how I stood there in total shock like the rest of the country. Then I went where I also go when I hear of an incident of such magnitude, my police scanner where I would proceed to listen to the events unfold. Altho ugh I have to say I didn't hear the first "MAYDAY" before the towers crumbled.........I'm glad I didn't hear it. The ham radio was tuned to the two ham repeaters used in an emergency in NYC. I just listened and prayed all day long, since I knew a few people who work in the towers, most of them made it out ok, one did not. Like many Americans that day I grieved both publicly and privately. I knew people who made it out alive, I knew people who didn't make it. However on that day I just sat and listened as much as I could.
Now that I set the mood it's time to lift your spirits again! A few months after that horrific day, a website popped up that caught my eye. There are still tons of websites about the World Trade Center and the 9/11 tragedy. Unfortunately like the Kennedy Assassination, many of them spew conspiracy theories and think George Bush had a hand in the attacks. However there is one site that focuses on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center called Project Rebirth! I signed up for the updates to the site and check it out a few times a year. Since there is indeed a webcam on the site, I take a look around at the progress down at Ground Zero. I also is a reminder of what happened that day while giving the country a reason to look forward.
So take more than a moment and go through the site.
http://www.projectrebirth.org/index.html

9/06/2006

The Traveller

I know this summer I have neglected my writing a little, but I wil l maqke it up in one shot with a review of my travels this summer. Between two trips upto Lake George, a stint down in Atlantic City, going tp a graduation party in Connecticut, I think I can fit the definition of a "rolling stone". Well I should start by saying the job at Columbiaconcluded in Mid July leaving me with more than a little spending money. So with my second to last paychech in hand I quickly cashed it and went down to Atlantic City with Pete and Jason. They made out, I broke about even. I couldn't have had a better time
The first trip upto Lake George was a bit shaky because it was Chris and Natile(have to put them together becau-se they aree getting married in November) Pete, Jen, some friends and myself. It got really interesting when one of Chris's friends, despite my warnings, setup a tent right in front of the townhouse. I) objected but it took s omeone else from th e homeowners association to get this screwball to knock it off. There were a few other incident s like that but I will not get into any of the detail for fear of drastic retaliation from my siblings// Ok maybe I am excersing a little poetic license there.m
A few weekends later I found myself upstate again a bit torwards the end of August to vist Gail, a former teach from PV, who I have kept in touch with ever since. Yet another friendship that has grown outside of high school. She lives with her husband Micheal up in Deposit, NY which is quite a hike from good old Bergen County NJ! We did a lot in five days inc luding a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I have to admit I'm mildly interested in baseball, but it was neat seeing the old bats and gloves along with the "Who's on First" exihibit!! The next day we went to an old-fashion county fair. I haven't been to one of those in a very long time.
Yes I have definitely made my rounds this summer and that's why entries havee been scarce around here. However that is going to change with the colder weather I'm sure!

8/08/2006

When TV commercials are really bad

Thi=s post could only be written after midnight during a week in the summer. I won't label myself a complete "couch potato" because most of the time when I'm home I watch TV while doing something else, like writing or chatting with friends online. However I have seen the same damn commercials for Geico and it is driving me nuts. Ok you have to see the one wit h t he stupid lizard, that's baD enough. T:hen to make matters worse then have G eico commercials of celebeties talking about this stupid lizard. I doubt they are paid a lot of money, and even i0f they are, is their self-esteem really that low?"
There was a TV commercial Hummer came out with that got my dad's blood boiling, this time I could sympathize. In the beginning of t he commercial, it had kids building soapbox racecars. Then it shows them lined up to race with one car bigger than the rest, obviously representing the Hummer. The race starts and you see all of the soapbox cars racing along while the bigger one decides to take a SHORTCUT. The point they producers were trying to make was because it was built bigger, it can cheat. So let me get this straight you build a bigger and better vehicle, but you still need to cheat in order to win? (Warning I am starting to sound like my father here) What kind of message does that send?
If yopu think I need to stop watching so much TV just think about this, I don't watch daytime soaps, I watch the news. Secondly these commercials come on multiple times during the same show, it's not a mystery they are trying to brainwash you! My dad said the the entirew idea behind cable was you paid so there wou ld be less commercials, that never happened! As a matter of fact it has gotten worse. I want to know besides kids around the holidays, when have people been convinced by a commercial to buy something? I would really like to know!

7/20/2006

Let's see what happens

During my daily cruise around Woodcliff Lake I bumped into Paul Arsonsohn, the Democratic Canidate for Congress running against current Congressman Scott Garrett up for reelection. We shook hands and I did my typical push against medical malpractice damage caps. Then he asked me to drop him a note and maybe we'll see each other again so here's the note stayed tuned for the reply:
Mr. Aronsohn,

We spoke briefly during your walking tour of Woodcliff Lake this afternoon and I wanted to follow-up on our conversation. My first impressions aren't my strong point and I do tend to ramble. So I appreciated you taking a few moments from your campaigning to chat with me regarding medical malpractice and disability issues. Before I get into the heart of my e-mail let me briefly tell you a little about myself. I have lived in this town with my parents and two younger brothers all of my life. As you might have figured, I was born with Cerebral Palsy, caused by a severe lack of judge on the part of my mother obstetrician which has had it's own set of challenges. I have had to be very resourceful when I was growing up, and I struggled often to get by. However my parents have guided me so I can lead a somewhat independent life. One of the most valuable lessons have learned is sometimes the right way isn't always the most popular way.This lesson in life has been the backbone of my life philosophy.
As we discussed I am obviously against caps on non-economic damages because they unfairly y discriminate against young children. That's only part of the problem, in every bill the Republicans have snuck in a clause regarding the statue of limitations. This basically eliminates people like me from having their day in court. I have fought this issue in Trenton and in Washington DC for years and will continue to fight whenever it arises. I tell you this because I have a track record for fighting for people with disabilities, especially young children. However that isn't the only issue I am passionate about. would like to help you defeat Scott Garrett anyway possible. He has done anything and everything wrong for people with disabilities from stem cell research to insurance reform. He protects the interests of the wrong people. I would like to discuss these issues with you in person at your earliest convience!
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!

Justin Mattes
Woodcliff Lake
Phone number

7/13/2006

It would have been nice

One of the most common themes of this blog is travel. Either before, during or after a trip, I usually jot a few thoughts down. I could have been the trip to Tennessee,which required multiple enteries or a trip upto the winery, where one was more than enough. Travel is very important to write about because it helps me remember the good times. So writing a trip NOT taken seems to be a little "off" but stick with me!
I have mentioned before that I have been collecting license plates for awhile, eleven years to be exact. I mentioned the club I belong to has a convention every year where we gather to trade plates and stories. Well this year the Convention is goinng on right now in sunny California! I almost had my folks flying with me out there, but "life happens". While I am disappointed I am not rubbing elbows with some of my friends. However that is the way it goes when you can't drive or even cut your own food.
Collectors say the convention is a lot more than tens of thousands of license plates, the two conventrions I did get to were proof. I wrote in the e-mail to the collector list that I wondered who showed up with what display. There were also a few Californians out there cruising around in antique cars and hot rods.
After a few days of mulling this entry over I decide to add one final note to this little narrative. There are a few collectors who seem to make the trip look easy. I resp onded to one such e-mail by saying, "if you pick me up at the airport, yeah I'll go!
Although it did spark an interesting response from a ]fellow collector who offered to meet me at next year's convention...........stay tuned!!

7/06/2006

Canadians v. Americans

This is the transcript of the actual radio conversation
of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast
of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation
released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship.I say again, divert your course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert your course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS
LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP
IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC
FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED
BY THREE DESTROYERS,
THREE CRUISERS AND
NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS.
I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE
YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH,
I SAY AGAIN, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH,
OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN
TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
`

6/29/2006

Field Day Fingering 2006--aka N2SE back on the air Part I

Ok if you didn' t read last year's post regarding the Amateur Radio Field day go back and take a peek! Even though this wasn't my first Field Day, it certainly was the best because not only did I use my own radio, I got to actually stay up during the entire event instead of going home when the bands just starting to heat up. Over the past year I became real close friends with the 10-70's VP, Isaac,NJ3C, he's gotten me to the meetings this year ands has really helped me setup my base station right, though I'm STILL not finished! Anyway Isaac,NJ3C, knew this year he was going to try to get me to stay overnight, it's not like we sleep that much anyway!! So anyway I had my radio and arranged for a laptop, "borrowed" a table that was in the lodge and patiently waited as Paul,KC2CJW, built my station. Paul and Issac had an unspoken deal, Isaac would get me up there, and Paul would set me up. Well after a handful of tying different laptops to see if they worked with my radio, we finally got my station up and running. Now like I said last year I do PSK-31 which is radio done via the computer. It's a lot more complicated then IMingt because i t's done via ham radio air waves. Last year Paul did a lot of the grunt work , kind of the same as this year, but I was a bit more comforterale on my own. The weather was kind of cruddy this year so I setup shop inside which was a bit crowded because the ATV station was also setup right behind me. However I managed fine partly because someone was l ooking over my shoulder the entire time. I didn't mind in fact I enjoyed the company. Being in the lodge also gave me unlimited access to t he soda (alcohol-free weekened) and more importantly the bathroom. The only downside was I wasn't used to th e software to connect the computer to the radio, so that made things a bit "interesting"".
As for the contacts I didn't bump into my "friends" from Mississippi, KK5K, but I still racked up 70 contacts. Half of them were thanks to my one of my ham radio "mentors" Jerry,NO2T who decided not to put up his own station but just keep an eye on me. We both picked off a couple dozen stations before he went home around 1:30 am(remember this is a 24 hour event). Jerry and I were like two guys going hunting, we kept each other going, took turns at just burned up the airwaves as best we could.
When it was all said and done we had stayed up until 2:30 in the morning logging. By that time Jerry was falling asleep in his chair. We looked at each other and without saying one word, shut down the station. I did attempted to stretch my back, but the damage had been done. So I did the next logical thing, I made my way down the hill to Isaac's tent and unwrapped my sleeping bag. (Note to self: BRING A MATTRESS PAD NEXT TIME) Isaac was hot and heavy on CW so I just collasped on my sleeping bag.
I awoke promptly at 7:45 to find Isaac asleep so I got up as quietly as I could, well not really but he was dead tired so it didn't matter. When I got back up to the lodge I found Jerry already going. He went over to get yet until refill of coffee! We racked up another couple of QSO's and then decided to call it a day!
To think I'll be doinlg all again next year...........hopefully with a bigger bottle of Advil!!!!!!
73 for now

6/15/2006

Solve one problem with another

On a news website, one that is truly independent, two stories caught my eye. One was about Bush's "domestic spying program" and another was about how there need to be a crack down on illegal immigration. Both deserve all the attention possible as they do affect everyone in the country. I often remarked how ironic it was that the government is tryi ng to make it harder for us to keep an eye on them (i.e. more and more encrypted radio systems) while making it easier for them to spy on us (i.e. the Patriot Act). I am also up in arms on how some groups often go after these major corporations for breaking laws and then give individuals a pass when they enter the country illegally. By now you are asking yourself how am I goingf to connect these two totally different issues t ogether? The answer is simple, only put people living here less than five years under surviellance. I don't mean be secretive about it, I want the government to be very open and direct about this policy. Is this a "voilation of civil rights"? I don't think so because illeagal immigrants are indeed BREAKING THE LAW. They shouldn't be here in the first place, so why do they need their civil rights protected?
Ok so all illegal immigrants are supposed to be deported on the spot, but we all know this rarely happens, usually they are released to roam free throughout the country. This theory is designed to serve as a deterrant to make illegals see they ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! If they know in advance this is our policy maybe they wouldn't come here in the first place? I really don't care a bout a foreigner's civil rights if her or she doesn't have the common decency to come into the United States legally. I bet you Congress would really turn heads if the made this kind of proposal!

6/04/2006

Right Place, Right Time

The phone rang at about 9:00am and I hear my dad say one minute and walk up stairs. I automatically assumed it was for my mom, then the foot steps grew louder. "Justin, phone call", he said partly annoyed because he had to walk up stairs. Who could be calling me on a Sunday m morming? Jeff was in Connecticut, Sean never calls unexpectedly. It was Larry on the other end of the phone. Larry is another fire and scanner buff who takes me to some of the wet downs and parades, he was in Mahwah for work and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the Newark Fire Munster. I moaned yes and as soon as I put the phone down I hopped, more like stumbled, into the tub and raced to get ready! He pulled up, we packed the walker up and left.
We got there and the trucks were just starting to pull into the lot, kind of like an antique car show, but strictly fire apparatus. It was definitely OK by me!1 The lead truck was the Newark FD antique Mac truck. The license plate read Q/Q WTC343, a dedication to the three hundred and forty-three firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11/01. Kids were climbing in the hose bed to ride in the parade. I thought it was neat the Newark Fire Department let them do it. Larry half jokingly said, go ahead jump on! I didn't go for it, but peered in the cab. I saw this beauty at a few 100th anniversary parades and always dreamed what it'd be like riding shotgun.. Just then the driver of this piece of moving history stepped behind me. He said he couldn't fit me in the back, I couldn't climb up there anyway! I kept looking at the cab. The driver said, "go ahead hop in!", I looked at him for a split second and quickly opened the door and jumped in. Seeing antique fire engines is neat but actually sitting in the passenger's seat gave me goose bumps. The first thing I noticed was a brand new Motorola radio sitting on Newark's fire dispatch channel!! Of course I wanted to scroll through it to see what else was programmed in, but I didn't want to do anything to get myself kicked off the truck. I stuck to ringing that bell. People waved at me and smiled, probably thought I had been involved with the Newark Fire Museum for years. It was definitely a very nice surprise!
Larry stood on the corner snapping pictures of everything that looked cool to him as it passed by! I admit I directed him to a few nice shots. He go pictures of some of the older truck radios and the old plectron inside the museum itself!! I sometimes think that camera is glued to his head like the scanner is glued to my ear!
When all was said and done, both of us had a really amazing time! It was kind of sad to overhear the munster wasn't as good as in the past, but we had fun!! Now if you excuse me I have to review to new frequencies I picked off during the festivities! I can't wait to do it all over again next year!!!
P.S. For those who know about my "Top 100" the Newark Munster rates as #18

Larry took some amazing pictures you can view them here:
http://wetdowns.net/event-pics/2006/2006-newark-muster.shtml

5/11/2006

The DJ should be hanged

Did you hear about this? There's a DJ out there who said over the air he'd rape another DJ's daughter. Put aside the fact the police should have hauled his ass off right after his broadcast, if I) were that child's father I would have shown up at the guys house with a few of my closet friends and three feet o-f rope. Seriously folks we have all said violence doesn't sovle anything. However I really think the threat of violence does have it's place, especially when it comes to protecting children. "We all have heard it befor about the child rapists that get something like five years in prison. Give me a break. This is the perfect reason to take justice into our own hands sometimes, don't label me as an anarchist! I still believe in justice and the courts system, however like I have said before, the times are changing. It has become harder and harder to keep these guys locked up!

4/21/2006

Exlpain this to me

Alright if you haven't heard about the "Duke rape c ase" you are living in a bubble, but here's a recap. Lacrosse players from Duke University down in North Carolina hired a stripper for a party. She claims she was raped, innocent until proven guilty remember? I am not going to give my opinion of the case, there are too many people doing that right now. I can't really comment on the accused because they aren't really doing anything different than anyone else accused of rape. They're denying it, allowing their lawyers do the talking and hanging low.; Anybody with half a brain that position would respond the same way. When something like this comes up in the news, no matter what t he outcome, I always think there is something missing. That's the problem when tragedies like this happen, all anyone does is repeat the same thing in fifty million different ways. All the reports ask the same questions in fifty million different variations. Bottom line is until I hear the final verdict or see some overwhelming evidence, I am remaining totally neutral.
There's a problem here, just because these young men used poor judgment, doesn't automatically mean they are guilty. Although I agree the season should be cancelled because even if they are innocent, doesn't mean there isn't a lesson to be learned. I hate hearing how they did absolutely nothing wrong when the did. They shouldn't have hired the stripper in the first place.
Onto the stripper herself.
What kind of "victim" hires a PR person days after g oing through that trauma? If I were her, I would have asked for a shrink. While nobody blames her for what happened, if it even did happen, I don't know of any victim responding to a crime. I have to admit, I did lose a bit of sympathy for her when I heard she hired a PR firm. People say it all the time, "rape is never the victim's fault", however I am not convinced these are the actions of a true victim. True victims would want to make sure this tragedy never happens again. True victims would never try to "profit" from crimes against them. I have seen a lot of victims in my day, they all acted differently. Most of them wanted to be left alone.. None of them hired PR firms days
after their attacks!!

4/12/2006

Writing from the road--almost

When I first got into Dover and saw that I would have access to the Internet from Jane's house writing seemed like one of the main things I wouldf do while I was down there. Well my goials wher edrastically cut short. Even thought at the time it didn't seem like we were doing a lot, Jane and I managed short trips out every day. For those keeping track, we didn't go into Nashville except to go to and from the airport. Jane said Dover was more important and I had a great time! Oh yes I say this to everyone, "I went to Paris!", Paris Tennesse. Al-right I confess I didn't know about it either until I got there but they did indeed have a replica of the Effiel Tower and no you can't climb it.
We ate out alot and I even tried fried catfish, which for the record didn' t kill me, yet!
I'll never forget where exactly Jane lives, on the banks of a river. Of course the steamboats floating up and down the river helped also but you get the idea. She lives in a new development which is right between a Civil War battleground and a graveyard, very nice thoughts while drifting away to sleep in a pull-out couch.
The plane ride back to New Jersey was especially interesting especially since I bought Jeff a miniature metal cannon. I actually forgot to put in into my luggage and left it in my carry-on. Well sure enough the security clowns......I mean gaurds hand-checked it and allowed me to go through with it.

3/26/2006

Made it in one piece

Well hello from beautiful Dover Tennessee! Yes indeed ladies and gentlmen I am officially here at Jane's house typing this entry on her computer. The table's a bit shaky so I won't write a lot but I figured I pop on here in case anyone is wondering how I did on the plane. It was great although I didn't get to use the free drink coupon Jeff gave me, they don't serve alcohol at 10 am. Although I certainly made up for it later last night!! J(ust kidding. Anyway
Well I accomplished one of my major goals I set out went I decided to go on this trip. Jane took me to a bluegrass competition yesterday and I got to hear parts of "Dueling Banjos" LIVE! Alright it was almost certain I would hear the fimilar Southern tune sometime during the week, but I never imagined it would be on the first day here!

3/19/2006

Tennesse here I come

Just when I thought it was never coming here I sit six days until my plane departs. My friendx Jane's roling out the red carpet. The best part-- this is yet another trip I am conquering all by myself!! It just hasn't felt "real" to me but now I have the confirmati0on for my airline tickets in my possesion and mom's reviewing of what clothes I'm bringing down with me, this is as real as it gets!! This trip is also taking some major prep work, last Saturay I went to the DMV to renew my photo id. For those out there who care, I am actually proud of myt picture. Now that the new ids are digital, you actually can preview the pictures which give a chance to review the mug shot.
Jane and I met in Washington while we were doing the medical malpractic lobbying. Over the serious of three day trips Jane and got a chance to talk. We both discovered each other's gift for writing and the friendship grew. She is a strong lady, no wonder my mother likes her. I learned a lot from her during the times we spent. So at the end of our first trips
Anyone out there have any advice besides don't take any knives or guns? I will go into details about the trip itself I would like to introduce the factors of this trip. This has been about three years in the making, mostly because mom tried to talk me out of it for the longest time. However I sweet talked for months and she finally caved in. She knows I have been trying to put this t ogether for a long time. Jane also put in a few strong words in my behalf! She really is the force behind this entire scheme.. Mom was convinced and now I am headed down to Dixie!!

3/15/2006

A grown-up Birthday party

OK so birthdays have always been a bit bitter sweet for the old Jayman, bu t there have been some highlights. I'll start with this one because it was a "guy birthday", meaning all my guys friends took me out to Hooters over there in Paramus for beers and wings. I picked it for the girls but my birthdays have been known to have a hint of nostalgia behind them. My grandfather built the Howard Johnson's resturant that now houses Hooters, s ee I'm n ot quite turning into a "dirty old man". I wish I had in in the original resturant, bu t this was better"!' I was surrounded by three friends, my brother, his friends and plenty of "eye-candy". My dinner was a "JMclassic", it only consisted of buffalo wings and ice cold beer. For those out there wh o know me, yo-u know how much I love my buffalo wings! I am not a big beer fan, give me my "Jack
Daniels" any day. However with a batch of spicy hot chicken wings, give me a BUD an yday!! So there I was just sitting there enjoying the company and thinking about Grandpa smiling down from above. I didn't get so drunk where I stumbled and fell,'but just drunk enough to ease the pain in these twenty-eight year old bones at least for a little while. The best part was I as with true friends and one borther, I wish it was two, but hey you k can't haved it all The birthday ranked just below the one a few years in Florida! To top it off " Sweet Home Alabama" came on the jukebox, I sweaer it wasa sign from above. My dinner was a "JMclassic", it only consisted of buffalo wings and ice cold beer. For those out there who know me, yo-u know how much I love my buffalo wings! I am not a big beer fan, give me my "Jack
Daniels" any day. However with a batch of spicy hot chicken wings, give me a BUD an yday!! So there I was just sitting there enjoying the company and thinking about Grandpa smiling down from above. I didn't get so drunk where I stumbled and fell,'but just drunk enough to ease the pain in these twenty-eight year old bones at least for a little while.
The birthday ranked just below the one a few years in Florida! To top it off " Sweet Home Alabama" came on the jukebox, I swear it was sign from above. EveryEverytime I heard that song I think about family and good friends. I was in the company of who I would consider extended family. Sean being the older brother I never had, Jeff and Brian being the younger brothers that sometimes drive me nuts but would take a bullet for me. Of course my brother Pete who despit all his bitching and moaning manages to show me a g ood time whenever he can.You can say it was a birthday not only to rememberm but worth writing abour. birthdays have always been a bit bitter sweet for the old Jayman, bu t there have been some highlights. I'll start with this one because it was a "guy birthday", meaning all my guys friends took me out to Hooters over there in Paramus for beers and wings. I picked it for the girls but my birthdays have been known to have a hint of nostalgia behind them. My grandfather built the Howard Johnson's resturant that now houses Hooteres, s ee I'm n ot quite turning into a "dirty old man". I wish I had in in the original resturant, bu t this was better"!' I was surrounded by three friends, my brother, his friend and plenty of "eye-candy" to dream about. I come home ands climb the stairs to my room and a king size Hershey bar from mom and dad is sitting on my desk waiting for me. So it's a bit corny to write about my birthday; but you want to know something, I'm getting too old to really care!!

3/12/2006

Enjoying the Arts

When you don't do something often enough, you sometimes forget how enjoyable it can be. Last night I attended Les Miserables-- A Concert Review put on by the New Jersey Choral Society, which was basically the play with just the music. As seasoned I thought I was about Broadway plays, nothing could prepare me for such a wonderful evening out. My neighbor and I sat in the autoriuml of Bergenfield High School along with abou t 100 observers as the choir belted out songs from the 100 year old play. Since it wasn't a full musical som e of the characters gave background information about the play and the French Revolution in general. Live music helped a lot, it always does in these kinds of plays, I have been to a few was they played prerecorded music and it wasn't the same. One of the neat touches was the choir dressed as well as the preformers on stage.
For more information you can visit their website at http://www.njcs.org

3/03/2006

The Old March Wind

Man it's March 2nd and the high today is 27 degreess and windy, not exactly prime conditions to take a ride in the old scooter. However I did want to do something productive with my day so I decided to jump back to a Marh day in my past! OK maybe it wasn't exactly March but it 's close enough!! When I was very little my mother hand this poem "The Old March Wind " by Jan Conder Soleging hanging up in my room. I remember it vividly because she had hand-copied the poem out of the book. So for a little chuckle I looked up the poem on the Internet and decided to post a copy on here. I don't think I could have thought of as better way to open up the month of March!!

We had a tug of war today,
That old March wind and I.
He tried to steal the new red kite
I took outdoors to fly.
He huffed and puffed. I pulled and
pulled
And held the string so tight.
That old March wind gave up at last
And let me keep my kite.

Jean Conder Souleging

2/26/2006

Time to get a little wet

If you look closely at the right hand column, you'll see I have added yet another link to wetdowns.net. Actually one of my scanner buddies set to site up and I'm just keeping it up-to-date, I don't mind. Besides you're looking at a guy who loves to have his name on websites. Larry Morin is a scanner buddy who has taken me to a few of these events and we always talked about doing a site together. Sure he and I have helped on each others sites, but this is our first actual joint project. Larry builds them but is too busy to keep them updated. That's where I come in. I keep track of the datess and make sure all tfhe information is accurate! Which actually fits in nicely with my background as an archivist, seems like I was made for this kind of thing. It's very simple just fill in the blanks. OK it might not be the most exciting website on t he planet, but it does get a lot of hits and is growing.
In the past I have been burned by doing websites with partners, on more than one occasion. However Larry and I seem to be working on bthe same page, so I am considering myself very lucky. He and I run a few sites independently so people can see our different trademarks,. IOt's kind of incredible to actually take an active role in maintaining a site with someone else instead of worrying about everything yourself. I have learned from past mistakes that you have to set bounderies and stick with them!

2/13/2006

Love thy "enemy"?

Ok over the weekend former Vice President Al Gore critized President Bush for basically singling but Arabs after 9/11. I don't get it, Gore has Bush on an issuesjust as important, the environment and yet he has to attack Bush where Bush is definitely still strong. He says Bush has lead abuses against Arabs, but I don't see it in the newspapers. You know ever since 9/11 there has been this overall undercurrent about the "backlash against Arabs" but there really hasn't been any widespread hate towards the Arab world. It has all been very one sided. The sad thing is nobody cares this time. While our global image isn't the greatest right now because of our stances against those who want to harm us. I worry about a lot that's going on in the world, but one thing that won't keep me up at night is how Arabs view our country nor how we view Arabs!
Secondly why in the world is Al Gore defending people that hate Americans? Let's face it the majority of Arabs around the world hate Americans. They hate everything about us, our way of life, our support for democracies, and the religions we practice. We were hated long before George W. Bush became the 43rd President of the United States and we will be hated long after he leaves office. This is a fact Al Gore doesn't want to face, but it's true. He is so angry and so vengeful, he'll say absolutely anything to get noticed. If someone hated me, improbable but maybe, I wouldn't care if I hurt their feelings.
Lastly, and then I'll get off the soapbox, these people are against us and our freedoms. So who really cares if their rights are abridged anyway? I say that the price of coming to the country just went up a notch. If we can't secure our borders with national gaurdsmen maybe if we show people we'll be watching them, they won't come into the first place!

2/10/2006

Pretty Cool Project

Alright I have already covered lighthouses on here and there have been times I wanted to post an article but felt it would be too boring for everyone. Although I foundthe Cape Canaveral article kind of interesting. The group is the lastest one to venture into such a massive undertaking. The entire State of Florida has always had a soft spot in me heart anyway and seeing this article brings a little tear to my eye! Alright I am overreacting as usual but it's still amazing to see the whole process unfold. Youi have to hand it to the writer of the article, he gets 100 for the title, Cape Lghthouse Goes Topless for the First Time in 100 Years. How cool is that? Give me an article to write like this and I'd be a very happy fella!! Anyway reAad the article and post a comment or two on here.

http://www.blackanthem.com/scitech/military_2006020110.html

1/30/2006

A review of the job

Alright it's been a month since I started working at Columbia Presbyterian so it's time for a little recap of how it's going! Since we last visted this topic I have been working from home using a program called Timbuktu. Basically I can control the desktop from the computer setup at Columbia from home.I jus t open a new window lo into the network, and I'm ready to roll!! Yes folks I have gone to work without taking a bath and getting dress first. Yeqah I know there are people out there who are feeling very envious right now. Especially those who have to wrestle their way into New York City at six in the morning. I still get to wake up around ten, go downstairs for a lesiurely breakfast and then come back upstairs and get to work. I pull up th e computer at Columbia and get down to business! I averange about 50-75 images a day, which is very respectable considering the connection can get caught up sometimes'. This can be a bit of a pain because I am not too quick at the mouse bu t I do have my own speed and don't want anything to get in my way. There are already too many obstacles, I don't want any more!
I did get a handsome paycheck last week, no details, please don't ask! No I haven't bought a new radio, YET. I did manage to pick up one license plate, hey I needed to buy something. Bad thing is I didn't5 get a chance to get drunk with my first paycheck, maybe I'll save that for the second!!
Otherwise it's coming along nicely, I am not tired of it yet. Although I did have to sacrafice one writing project this year. Usually I do the Year in Review on the license plate list the last week in December, which disappointed a few people I'm sure but I need time away from the keyboard. It was a bit sad not doing it but I just didn't have it in me. For those who don't know what I 'm talking about, which is the majority of the group, for th e past few years I have been excerising my skills on an e-mail group for collector. People on this list post not only license plates they want or have tro sell, but comments on the hobby as well. ;There have been a few times where I have gotten into scrapes with the moderator, but every year for the past few years I havbe highlighted a few comments I thought would raise eyebrows./ I got an e-mail abouot it a few days ago and I haven 't had t he heart to answer. I will as soon as I put this entry to bed!!
Well that's about it from good old Bergen C ounty. I will be back in a few days............'

1/26/2006

Fellow Ham and Writer

If you notice my links have gotten bigger, one of the links goes to a fellow ham radio operator's blog, Ed's Ramblings. Eddie Muro and I have an unique friendship, we have known each other through the Internet for the better o f fifteen years, but have never met in person. He is the one person I haven't met, bet trust completely when it comes to rad io matters. ED has written for just about every scanner radio magazine out there. From the American Scannergram to Monitoring Times, he is one of the most recognizable names in the amatuer radio and scanner writing arena. When I wrote to him about picking up my first freelancing gig a t the Pascack Press he wrote explaining how another scanner hobbyist from New York City tapped him to help out covering Long Island. He's had to deal with some of the same crap I have dealt with, stories geting butchered, not getting proper credit where credit was due.
One thing about Ed is, he understands why my writing is important to me. He got injured and couldn't work for a few months, so he turned to his writing to supplement his disability payments. It's was his words that kept me writing articles even when I wasn't getting published. Ed clued me in to what I started to find out on my own, writing has opened doors and been there when many other supports seem to disappear. So when Ed e-mailed me to inform me he had started a blog, I felt just adding him to my list of growing links wasn't good enough, I had to write about it as well. After all I had to find a proper way to thank the person who got me my first two writing jobs, and gave me the confidence to continue to master this craft better known as writing! Thanks ED!
73 ,
KC2GIK

1/11/2006

Chalk one up for the little guy

I have always rooted for the underdog and when Jeff sent me this article, I just had to post it. I like mice, especially when they are in cartoons. From Jerry to Speedy Gonzales, whenever mice appear, they are portrayed as smarter than all the other characters in the cartoons! I can only imagine on how the artist might portray this particular episode!


January 8, 2006

Mouse thrown into fire sets home ablaze

FORT SUMNER, N.M. --A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire.

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it.

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house.

No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.

Unseasonably dry and windy conditions have charred more than 53,000 acres and destroyed 10 homes in southeastern New Mexico in recent weeks.

"I've seen numerous house fires," village Fire Department Capt. Jim Lyssy said, "but nothing as unique as this one."

? Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

1/01/2006

New Year's Resolutions

Alright the ball has dropped and the champaign bottles are empty. Now it's time to say this is the year I am really going to change things for the b etter. We all do it wether it's trying to quit smoking, trying to lose weight or trying to improve ourselve in some way, shpe or form. I can remember a time when I said, this is just another year, but that has changed draastically.
My father is reminding me he and my mother aren 't going to be around forever.
A little review of my life in 2005. Well the year started out with a bang because by some stroke of luck I managed to sweet talk my brother into taking me out New Years Eve, even though I was in bed my 1 am! In Februrary my mom and I took a trip down to Washington, it was my fifth trip down in three years, hopefully one of the times I'm down there I'll actually gety to go into other building beside ones called Durksin and Heart! It's amazing to see younger kids going through what I have gone through.
In other travelling excursions I seemed to get to two more lighthouses, Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse in April, which was extra special because I got a "private tour". We went there on the wrong weekend, luckily a volunteer saw us and opened the lighthouse just for me. I can say I climbed yet another structure successfully!! A few months later in July I managed to get my parents to take me to the Saugerties lighthouse. The only bad thing is the stamp for the Saugerties light bled through. It doesn't matter though!
In previous post I wrote about trips up to Lake George, I don't know how long we'll be going up there because of the current situation with Grandpa, but trips up there will always be memorable.
Of course the biggest trip of all was going out to Hershey for the car show, something I have been trying to do for many years. Of course in good old Hershey's tradition it rained most of the time and knowing my dad we'll never be out there again, but it was very enjoyable.
I think that comes to one of my resolutions, to keep on travelling as much as I can. My independence needs to be maxiumized. I still have the same hope I did back in second grade.......to travel the country meeting new people!!
Happy New Year!