Christmas Letter

I composed the following e-mail to my friends. Kind of a makeshift Christmas card. I got some pretty nice responses already. Definitely a Merry Christmas!!

This time of year I usually receive a lot of e-cards from friends, even people I don't know too well maybe from a list or somewhere else where we swapped e-mails. Then today I received a Christmas Card from a friend, actually a fellow license plate collector, from North Carolina but included was a letter outlining how he, his wife and two kids were doing, I enjoyed it better than the card because we never really chat viae-mail or on IM so I enjoy reading it. The letter inspired this e-mail about my family and myself. While I always promise to be short, I always wind up writing more, that's my great Aunt Millie's (grandma's sister) Influence.

Anyway the most exciting event was my younger (always have to sneak that in) brother Chris and his wife Natalie welcomed their first son, Zander Bruce Mattes into the world on July 13th. I actually was there when he was born because my folks and I decided to drive down to Philly when Natalie went into labor. He really is cuter than the picture and is already getting big. We have seen them a handful of times since and they will be coming up here this weekend after celebrating Christmas with Natalie's family. Like every other baby that's come into our family my cousins fight over who gets to hold him. Although that's where the "Uncle Jay Card" comes in, I get to hold him whenever. I only get overruled by Natalie Chris or my Mom, kind of neat. Zander is getting bigger and cuter every time see him.

My other brother Petey, ok Pete so he doesn't kill me, moved down to Philly in May.He's still working for ITT but as a sales engineer, a job he enjoys. Pete actually moved the Manionk,PA (I KNOW I spelled that wrong) to a pretty cool apartment complex. I spent a week down there this past September while my folks went down to Delaware with friends Yes we didn't kill each other. I also got to attend two of his friend's weddings. Both guys I have known since they were in kindergarten. My "cousin" was the best man in one of the weddings. I also attended my friend Dustin's wedding back in April. I don;t think my bank account, or my dancing shoes, have recovered.

Mom and Dad are both doing fine, as always. Their bringing up retirement a lot and have been actively looking at homes in a warmer climate, meaning NC. Although I serious doubt a big move is in our future,. They are planning a BIG summer vacation next year for the Outer Banks. They added a bathroom onto their bedroom, dad's do-ing the inside so of course it's unfinished. We also went down to South Carolina to visit my Aunt Katy, Dad's sister, my Aunt Ilse, flew in from CA. It was funny and I got to shoot pictures of the Sullivan's Island Light House.

As for me, I saved the best for last, everything is status quo. For those who remind me I need to take better care of myself, I am still doing swimming at the Y in Ridgewood once a week. I continue to do what I do best....WRITE. I'm keeping up with my blog aka "Mattes's Madness" , a handful of newsletters (especially my ham radio club newsletter where I have been offered a monthly column) and still manage a "Letter to the Editor" when I see an issue I feel strongly about writer who needs to be taken down a peg. I also continue to travel to license plate conventions. This year it was Erie PA where I won an award for my license plate display Route 66 by wheelchair. I also hosted my second license plate meet with my friend Marco in Washington Township this past November . A lot of work but it's worth it! I STILL am the world's busiest unemployed man

Alright I will; rap this up with my warmest wishes for this holiday season and a toast to 2010!!! Please give my love to your families and keep in touch.
As always
Justin "Jay"Mattes KC2GIK


Back on PSK

Well I wanted to write this a few weeks ago but as usual got distracted. As reported here previous I have a new laptop which is now a couple months old. I don't know who is happier,me or dad, since I was using the downstairs computer for a few months. Almost everytrhing was back to normal except for the fact I was still off the air with PSK-31. Isaac my ham buddy who moved back to Germany a year ago promised when he visited we get PSK back. I was thrilled because this meant one step closer to a "more portable" setup. Well Isaac came, with his wife Grit and their new daughter Sarah in tow, and once again worked his magic. I need to tweak some things after the left, but I was back!!
It lasted a week and then the USB Port I used suddenlydied so Chris rigged up an extention so I can use the USB port on the other side of the computer. It's been working fine ever since. In this short amount of time I have racked up some interesting contacts.One of the things I'm still aftere besides lighthouse contacts is special event stations. I have been on two weeks and have made two contacts to special event stations. One was the National Weather Service out in Witchia Kansas for Skywarn Recognition Day and the other was an event celebrating the 100 th Anniversary of the Canadian Park System. Not bad if I say so myself!
As you probablly figured with this new laptopthere is a potential for portable PSK operations. Well I figured out that I needa mobile antenna and a better power system. However this is just the beginning!!


The myth of unity

As you know by now Chris Christie is Governor-Elect of New Jersey. Christie,a Republican and a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan, invited The Boss to play at his inauguration. Springsteen turned him down because he b"doesn't support candidates";. Oh really then why did he do some fund-raising concerts for Obama? Secondly I don't5 think anyone who knows anything about politics would label Springsteen anything but liberal. Springsteen also LIED when he said he doesn't support candidates. Bruce appeared with Barack Obama and Jon Corzine numerous times and called for the impeachment of George W. Bush on numerous occasions. So Springsteen's statements he isn't political are offensive because they insult his fans' intelligence.
Barack Obama's first message as president-elect was one of unity. Now obviously that has been thrown out the window by both parties. However Chris Christie renewed that same optimism by inviting one New Jersey's most recognizable faces to play at a celebration honoring the state and Springsteen dismissed it.
While I wil always enjoy Bruce Springsteen's music, but I'll never accept his political views. Not because they are so far out of touch with my own views, but because he should know he is New Jersey's son FIRST. Bruce Springsteen owes New Jersey a lot more than New Jersey owes Bruce Springsteen


You need a LITTLE secrecy

The breach of security at the White House last week was an example of why "sweeping changes" in the way business is conducted in the Oval Office isn't always a good thing. I recall the die-hard Obama suppporter moaning about every little thing Bush did in the White House needed to be undone. Well Bush never had "uninvited" geusts visit inside 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue, at least within the gates. Should I saywe don't know if there ever was a breach into the actual White House. Yes I know about the various incidents on the grounds but they were handled with professionalism one would expect from the Secret Service.
Obama's "open door policy" backfired and will continue to backfire. He needs to take the incident seriously and learn from this mistake., Why Obama? He sets the tone for what goes on in the White House. While critizing Bush, Obama said Bush should realize no matter what happens, he is responsible for everything thath happens in the White House. Now that he's been in the White House for awhile I hopehe starts to see what a hard job it is to bePresident.
People have been putting heat on the Secret Service. W hile it is their mistake, and someone should pay, you bet heads will roll, let's take a minute and turn it around. What iif someone was on the list and for whatever reason wasn't admitted to the party? Would the reactio-n be any different? There would have been questions of favortisms. God forbid the couple was a minority, the entire White House Secret Service detail would be order to take sensitivity training. The last thing this country needs is yet ANOTHER Professor Gates scandal.