The Christmas Letter-2010

Well folks here we are another year down. For those who don't  know, or don't remember last year on Christmas Day I sent on an e-mail out reviewing some of the highlights of 2009. I got such a great response, this year why not do it earlier? I also have been going through some of my old writings and retyping them on the computer, this time backing them on an external hard drive so its making me reflect on a lot. I have also come up with some new material, both on my website (http://www.justinmattes.com) and my blog (http://justinmattes.blogspot.com)

First the family, the biggest thing being the death of  my grandmother,Theresa. Almost all of you  know she had Alzheimer for a very long time and moved in with my Aunt Dee in Park Ridge. Up until a few months ago she was very heath physically, but it was getting harder for her to eat and she  really loss strength quickly. Everyone says it was for the best, but I miss her still. I will always remember her warm smile, dinners on  Sundays, her and grandpa going to Florida and so many memories it's very hard to= write about without crying. Although the though that enters my mind the most is she and Grandpa are together again finally. I can't drive in the Allendale area without thin*king about them

The rest of the family is doing fine. Mom and Dad finally have a bathroom attached to the bedroom, of course it isn't finished yet. They are planning to retire in the next few years and move to  Delaware. Part of me wants to stay around here. After all the years of moaning about getting out of the area, I am starting to realize how hard it will be when we do in fact move. Still that's a few years away and if there's one thing I know, anything can happen.

My one brother Chris, his wife Natalie and their son Zander are fine. Zander's is full walking mode now and has already outpaced me. He gets cuter as he gets older.  They will be here for Christmas which will; be very exciting to see Zander open presents. My mom is thrilled  she gets of buy all kinds of toys again.

My brother Pete bought a duplex outside of Philadelphia and has  settled in very nicely. He has been seeing his girlfriend Sue for over a year now. They both ran in the Philadelphia Marathon last month.  My folks, Chris and Natalie, my cousin Jen and her friend Manny and I braved the chill to cheer them on.  I will probablly go down to visit him again by myself in the spring

As for me this year has been long, very long.  +I should have known when I welcomed in the new year with a cold. It seemed as if I just couldn't pull anything off the year without a lot of hitches. My travels were really my downfall! The annual license plate convention was in Arlington Texas and it was one of the worst trips I had. From the ti-me I took off from Newark to the timeI lande it seemed the cards were   stacked against me. I stilll had a lot of fun though. Then the family trip to Delaware I had  my now infamous jet skiing accident, my back still isn't right. That triggered other physical, and there for emotional problems. It was serious and for a first time in years i lost a lot of my independence.  I wound up spending the month of August home. I went back swimming at the Y once a week which really helps.

By October I was back to my old self physically, but there's still stuff going on/. I did do  an overnight at the Hershey Car  Show with Bill Dickerson, a long time license plate  friend from New Hampshiere, drove down here. By 6AM the next morning we were on the road. I actually SOLD some license plates, which is very hard out there. I was also thrilled to get an article out of the trip!!

Well that's about it from Woodcliff Lake, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannauka and a toast to 2011.

All the best


Come for a drink, stay for the music

Sometimes  the best things are left to chance and I couldn't have better proof than the event that happened last evening. My folks went out to dinner with friends and with nothing good on TV I decided to take a trip to the Cornerstone. Usually I go there only on Thursday nights to  hang out with my friends, but the Coronas and shots of Jack Daniels were calling. I got dressed and called up Westwood Taxi, I was sitting at the bar by a little after 9PM.
Usually there's a DJ playing dance music  way too loud, however when I entered the bar that evening much to my delight I saw a drum set being setup in one of the side rooms. The owner who just knows me as "J"  caught me sneaking glimpses and said it was something new at the Cornerstone. They would host a band one or two Saturdays each month, the first band  in this "concert series" was The Brian Dougherty Band. I was very impressed that my "local bar" was starting to host  bands!! The band started playing hit s from the late 60's and early 70's, I was entertained. During the first set I made  up my mind I had to write something the evening. It then occurred to me I needed some notes. So I quickly went  to t he bar and asked for a pen and paper. I received a long sheet of paper from t he credit card machine which  would be the last choice my chicken scratch . Before I knew it I was sitting down a few feet from Brian, the bands lead singer the extremely talented female vocalist Rosie Berlinghof who according to the band's MySpace page, ".....brings a strong, soulful voice to the classics which include Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow and Chrissy Hines." If you think the bands just boasting, let me put your  doubts to rest, she definitely held my attention through  the entire set.
The band also does decent covers of some of the most recognizable legends of rock and  roll including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, CCR, Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Journey and Neil  Young. I enjoyed every minute of it and didn't get home until after 1:30!!
It's too early to say whether or not I will get an "official article" or even an interview out of this entry, but  I can try..............stay tuned!!!
Please visit the bands MySpace Page at:The Brian Dougherty Band.


2 Months of writing

After taking September off to collect my thoughts and really focus  on getting my head straight, I figured October should bring some decent writing......I wasn't disappointed. It  started with the trip  out to Hershey, like I have been doing with the Field Dayarticles, I decided to spruce up the journal entry on here and submit it to the Frog Holl Tag Trader edited by Lynda Walker. Hopefully that will appear in their December issue.
Secodly, and more of a political tone, just in time for the elections, I was writing in defense of former  Councilwoman Joanne Howely, who in my opinion really got smeared for minor problems.While in the end she wasn't exactly innocent, I felt she needed to know someone out  there supported her. I also found ir was a way to keep my batting average  up! It also proved to add to my popularity in town, in good and bad ways!
Third and definitely the most rewarding from a writing standpoint, after a couple years absence I composed three new poems. The first is something new I started toying around with when my nephew, Zander had his blessing back in May. Chris and Natalie wanted me to write a poem Natalie's sister Sabrina could read it. Usuallyh I write poems when people I care about pass away, it's my way of mourning. I tried something new to celebrate a birth. The name of a new born is the second gift they recieve, the first obviously being thegift of life. So I typed ZANDER BRUCE MATTES on the screen. Then I typed it vertically and came up with some advicce for him!! Mom suggested we buy some baby paper to print the poem on and frame it. We framed two copies, one to give Chris and Natalie, one for my mom. A few months later my friends George and Carol Fusco welcomed baby Goergia so I decided to see if lighthning can strike twice and it did!
Unlike over the summer when I questioned if I would ever write again (well not really, just seemed like a long time), this fall joyous and sad events in my life have provided plenty of material.


The Hershey Miracle

I know the title sounds like it should be written in December and not October, but give me achance to explain.  A few years ago I composed the Hershey Review 2005  about going to the worlds largest car show with my folks  and Uncle Chuck. Well I hadn't been there since, admittedlyI have had other destinations that I have written about  previously. The trip was planned by Bill Dickerson, a long time ALPCA friend and mentor.  As with a lot of northeast collectors didn't make it down to the ALPCA Convention down in Arlington, so they opted for the next best thing Hershey. Anyone who has been there knows the show has two parts, the actual car showand a huge flea  market. The last time my folks, Uncle Chuck and I focused our one good weather day (it ALWAYS rains one of  the days in Hershey during the car show) on the car show, this trip was for theflea market because that's primarly where the ALPCA members hang out.
Like we did for a license plate meet back in June, Bill drove from his home from NH Tuesday night so we could be out the door really early Wenesday morning. When I say really early I  mean before sunrise. We got up, ate a good breakfast and were on the road a little after six. This must have annoyed my dad a little because whenever he wants to leave that early I usually groan. So with a mixture of musical tastes on the radio, we were off.
I chuckle everytime I think of this but Bill kept reminding me the show opens at seven in which I replied the vendors are just unpacking, even though most of them arrive Tuesday some even Monday. We finally got there, parked and then made our way across to  the Chocolate Field where the majority of our buddies where setup. We found our way to the main base, where we found Gerry Griffin and Allan Young. Gerry greeted me with a handshake and a beer, I gladly accepted both,. Allan then noticed I had a box of plates sitting under my seat in the scooter's basket. He  mentioned something like I don't waste any time buying in which I replied I brought the plates to trade. Originally I wasjust going to try to sell the plates off my scooter, like people who  sell watches out of the back of their cars. Then Allan started moving some of his plates around and offer to share his space, a common nicegesture among license plate collectors.
After settling down a little Bill and I found our way over to the ALPCA tent where I saw a few more fimilar faces. The host Dick Youga warmly welcomed me with a handshake. He then commented on the fact I had made the ALPCA convention AND Hershey, I was proud of myself.
Unfortunately, Roger had a lot of difficult getting settled  because the show  organizers marked the spaces wrong. Though we had a good talk which I always enjoy. Although we chat online all the time, there is nothing like the face-to-face contact.While the nature of the conversation was generally upbeat, we both aknowledged each others troubles over the summer as well. Him with his heart attack and well mine is my back spasisms. Like the last few years running he and Marco shared a tent. i was
The shock of the show came when I arrived at a fellow ALPCA's members booth and came across some old NJ government plates. Actually I knew this member had older non-passenger plates and knew I was  collecting them. I picked out a fewmunicipal plates for the run. As I was about to pay him I noticed he had a police scanner, an old one. I asked him what he was listening to and he said the local trains and  stuff, I asked him ifhe wanted the Hershey Park  Security frequency. His eyes lit up and I promptly gave him the numbers to punch in!
Bill and I left the show a little after 4, of course I wanted to stay longer, but I knew he had a long drive ahead of him.
As we were leaving the grounds I managed to stop by the Hershey booth. I was likea kid in a candy store...or in this case candy tent! My second trip out to the biggest carshow had come to an end!


The wrong reasons for the right arguement

The hot topic of the day is the proposed  Mosque at Ground Zero. One the one side you havew people whining about freedom of religion, most of whom want to take the phrase "One nation under God" out of the pledge of allegence.  On the other side you have people claiming building the mosque steps from Ground Zero supporting the religion that the terrorists used to justify  the murder more than 3,000 Americans, some of the Muslim. Truthfully I still believe the ladder,  on the other hand I won't sitting here and claim the people who support  the Mosque are insensitive to the families of the victims.
Something has been going through my head something I don't think anybody has brought up. To me the obvious reason not to build a Mosque steps from the most devastating attack on American soil in history is one of vengeance. While Muslims tend to inflate the "hatred"* they get from fellow Americans, I can understand howmost Americans view the religion in a negative light.   So let's just say for the sake of argument there are very negative views of Islam in America. Let's pretend Muslims are being targeted for attacks in America, which is totally nonsense, but stay with me for a second. If Muslims  are supposedly so hated in America so much and people want to "get even for 9/11",how would someone go about doing it?? If everything goes according the Mosque will open on 9/11/11, ten years after the attacks. I wonder how long it will take before the Mosque gets attacked? Maybe a "patriotic American" will see building the Mosque as a threat and do something to destroy it? If it gets attacked then it proves what the Muslim community has been saying since 9/11, most Americans hate Muslims. However only one -person attacked the Mosque. So how is it that Muslims think on the one hand most of them are peaceful and when one of them attacks us, it's just one person that just happens to be Muslim. However when Muslim GETS ATTACKED  it proves  America (or should I say "non-Muslim") America is a racist country.
That's why I object to the building of the Mosque, it will be targeted from day one. Now after 9/11 you know how many Mosques where attacked in America? ZERO NONE ZILCH, not one Muslim was killed out of vengeance. I think that's because Muslims in general are small public targets. Sure some may have been harassed, but there wasn't a national round up, no internment camps. People in general have been very tolerant but I think this might be their tipping point. People who object to the Mosque say it sends the wrong message to the extremists, they are right, however it sends the wrong message to ALL extremists. An extremist who thinks Islam was behind the 9/11 would see the Mosque as a threat and destroy it no matter what the cost. Some say if we  live in fear all terrorist won, I agree. I also think building the Mosque in a way symbolizes the 9/11 attacks never happened.


Doing it Delaware Style

Ok I wanted to post something positive after all the troubled writings I have posted and wanted to stay on the travelling theme for summer, so the family week in Delaware seemed like a perfect fit. Also this adds to the mobile posting series that started with Pete's apartment last September and continued evry so often. We're in Delaware with mom and dad, my brother Chris and his wife Natalie, my brother Pete and his girlfriend Sue and our Unclev Chuck. This was part of my mom's 60th and Uncle Chuck birthday celebration which included a joint party a few weeks ago, this trip and a few other surprises.
The rentals  down here in Delaware are a bit different, instead of renting from a Saturday to a Saturday or Sunday to Sunday, the renters start and endon a Thrusday but it works out pretty ok. The house is located in a community that's footsteps from the beach

One of the  best features about the house we're occupying is not only are we steps from the beach, there is a screened in porch and multiple decks, even a crows nest. I have made very good use  of the wireless Internet connection and halfway through this post I decided to move the laptop outside to the screened in porch. I queued up a little JamesTaylor, Neil Young and a few other artists while I write this entry. Not a bad way kill some time alone.
The btrip so far has included a boat ride on a pontoon boat, jet skis and of course a round of golf. Round that out with a couple of trips to the beach to dip in the ocean and play bocchi ball,  this has been a very good trip  so far, although not with incidentr. The jet skiing was very fun until I fell off. I was riding with Chuck, which is always interesting!! Of\ course I enjoyed it right up to the part I fell off. Chuck decided to turn was I wasn't ready and the jetski went one way and I went another!! The thing of it was when I hit the water I was fine, it was the split second between I fell off and hit the water that was sheer terror.
To top it off I got to spend time with my nephew Zander, this morning while the crew is out fishing, after the wave runner encounter the only way I'm going back in the water is via the beach! Mom and I took him for a walk, I played with him, watched cartoons and now he's in for his nap.
The week is going by fast but I really don't mind lounging around..



I have been collecting license plates for fifteen years and have heard the war stories of  people getting screwed out of plates. Every now and then some piece of trash gives collectors the real run around andit's mostly annoying. However nothing prepared me for what I was getting into when I first starting talking to Juan Esperenza. Like  all new collectors he wanted every plate under the sun and started  "friending" people on Facebook. Of course since I was friends with fellow ALPCA members I accepted, pretty soon the nightmare began. Juan started making bad deals and bidding on plates with no intention of buying them. This obviously ticked a lot ofpeople off, so he was running out of people who would want to deal with him. He then started messaging me on Facebook because I had thrown a few plates, that wer never for for sale Every single plate I  put on my Facebook page he asked if  it was for trade, I said no. Finally after months of harrasment I told him I had a few NewJersey plates for him if he send me some plates first. He wanted to know why and I said some people have had bad dealings with him and thinking it over I decided  the trade was off. Let me make that clear NO PLATES ever got sent through the mail in either direction. I had thought the deal folded... He kept bugging via and I just hit the delete key.
A few weeks later  the e-mails gentle turned into threats, he even called my house while I was in Arlington. He even tried calling the police which got nowhere. He called my house again and my dad announced if he contacted me again, we would call the police. Finally Juan had the nerve to file a complaint with ALPCA's Complaint Chairman who  repeated asked him to proove HE SENT ME PLATES,which he obviously never sent. Jerkweed Juan refused to come up with the details of the deal  because he didn't aagree to my terms. The Complaint Chairman, who I have met at every convention  and is the nicest guy, request Jerkweed Juanstop contacted me, Juan still to this day insists I screwed him. Well he doesn't know what screwing is, . Since he refuses to stop harrassing me I am taking it to the next level. He wants [plates, well here's his address and phone number, tell him Justin Mattes wishes he cuts his hand on a rusty plate and gets a nasty infection. I got  his address from one of his stupid e-mails and  his phone # off my caller  id. Let him know how you feel about what he's done to not only me, but countless other collectors
Juan Esperanza
3262 W.  16th Ave
Eugene, OR 97402
(541) 606-2258

See also Jerkweed Juan is back


Arlington Wrapup

Below is a post I sent to the PLATES Listserve. I plan to write something on the other activities like I did for the Erie trip last year. Bottom line despite the numerous troubles I ran into,  overall I had a blast.

Well I have been reading all the reports and figured it was time I pass one along. The convention honestly ranked one of the worst I've been to and before everyone gets on the defensively accuses me of not appreciating all the hard  work the Board put into this convention let me preface I had a great time at the actual convention but between having my flight diverted, I was traveling alone this year, and the hotel treating me like a second class person that didn't understand what I was talking about. First of yes I know you can't control planes from diverting and the flight crew WAS GREAT, but they overreacted when I started showing signs of nervousness/ My flight was diverted to Austin for two hours because of the storms in Dallas. I  couldn't help but being uptight but the flight staff felt they kept having to reassure me. I was more worried about John Ferguson's flight being delayed but he got in early.When we finally saw each other we hugged and laughed that the incident with the airlines was our one "little glitch". I got to hotel and checked in, they had me booked Tuesday through Friday when I specifically asked them for one night at the ALPCA rate. My mom had booked the one night on her credit card When I went to check out Wednesday morning (I was moving in with Dave Kuhen which was my original plan ) the front desk said I couldn't checkout until Saturday morning. With the help of Jeff Minard and numerous calls home, the hotel straightened everything out but it drained my bank account.  The cash I had on hand was it. I later found out I would get a refund for all the nights, since the admittedly screwed up my reservation. The front desk gave me a line that my debit card wasn't going to be charged until after I checked out, they lied, because when I checked my balance, the full amount was charged. It was   finally fixed by Friday but because of the screw up, funds were tighter than usual. The hotel gets a D!

The convention part was great I saws old friends and made  some new ones. I would like to publicly commend Clark Wothe on hosting the 1st ever Regional Presidents meeting. It was very informative and we made some great progress. Also the displays were amazing, it was hard to vote for just one. I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted but I remember the displays. I liked the breast cancer display as well,m but again they weree all very impressive.

My biggest thrill was hanging out with John Ferguson, the "Toms" Allen and Smith, Susan Allen and John and I went out to this neat BBQ place and I was given a sheriff's badge with the name "Kevin" on it, which I will explain in a minute. The highlight of that evening was definitely sliding down the slide sandwhiched between Susan and John. Hindsight  being 20/20 I  geuss the slide was better than being put on one of those roller coasters over at Six Flags!

The auction was a bit of a surprise for me because John Ferguson and company present me with a Mississippi #29 NASCAR License plate for all my speed demon antics at the convention. The would have presented it to me at the business meeting Saturday 7morning but my pplane was taking off longbefore the business meeting even started so the auction was the next best thing,. To top things off they made Steve Raiche present it to me and if you ever seen an awards ceremony, you know Steve's classic style of mixingf whit, humor and heart touching emotions together. It was probablly one of the nicest gestures one ALPCAn could do for another. It's rumored that a video will appear up on Youtube one of these days.

 The attendance wasa bit disappointing  especially since the convention was centrally located. I feel it was a good meet but I need to go on record as saying location wasn't the greatest. This isn't a swipe at the people in Texas nor is it a dig at the Board, but I had such misfortune, I had to get it  on record.

Looking forward to Charleston,WV next year hope the gang recoups by then!

Justin Mattes ALPCA 6748


Field Day Fingering 2010--N2SE on the air from Darlington Park

After a year off due to the 2009 ALPCA Convention in Erie, PA  conflicting with Field Day weekend 2009, I entered this Field Day with  my own laptop and a new antenna. As in previous posts I mentioned I now havea Toshiba laptop which I use remotely whenever possible. So this year I can truly call the station my own! Paul,KC2CJW brought the Pompton Lakes OEM vehicle which was  decided to be my home base. It was definitely one of my more interesting setups because I also toured the van to check out there radios and of course what was in them. This year the 10-70 club, callsign N2SE, setup a station at Darlington Park just down the road from our usual location at Campgaw Ski Lodge. It seems the county scheduled their hazardous materials recycling day the same day as Field Day weekend. However it worked out fine because the attendance was down from last year. We were still a lively group

I did have some problems with my new Buddystick  antenna.First of all note to self NEVER listen to dad when he says the antenna wire is long enough. I showed up aty Fieldday with an eight foot piece of coax and they all laughed at me.. After getting  over the initial snickers the guys set me up with a thirty foot piece of coax and I thought I was off and  running. I didn't get too far because I was missing every call. A station called CQ and he would get a major pile-up. I looked down at my radio to  find my SWR was out of whack. So with the help of Tim KA2A I adjusted the coil to 20 meters, which was a little better but I was still getting clobbered. I thought this year I would be racking in the contacts, but it didn't work!!

The 20 Meter calling frequency is 14.070 but I find that for Field Day hunting a little closer to 14.071 nets better results sometimes. One of  the biggest problems is unlike other PSK contests hams jump on PSK just for Field Day weekend and don't understand how the mode works. People were calling CQ right on top of me and I just couldn't get a clear shot. So my solution was to just hunt for other stations calling CQ, which proved to work out a little  better, but I still wasn't racking the contacts in like I did in previous years.  Then there was a ham who is always on PSK who wasn't participating in Field Day. Courtesy only goes so far because he was answering people calling "CQ Field Day" and then trying to have a regular qso. I tried to avoid him.

Like every other year I have worked Field Day, there were things that worked out perfectly while other stuff was disappointing. Although like always I had a lot of fun, slept better than usual  too thanks to Mike,W2MLS's camper. Everything in the end worked outand I can't wait to do it all again!!


Plenty of blame to go around

I was watching the Senate Hearings on the oil spill in the gulf few weeks ago and as soon as Tony Hayward opened his mouth an environmetal activist interrupted the hearing and had to be escorted out. Now Tony Hayward deserves every single bad thing that has happened to him, but he isn't a demon nor does he deserve to be demonized to the point where he can't control the cleanup.  He didn't personally cause the leak, but needs to  answer some tough questions.  There's a problem with having him be the only bad guy. Why doesn't the government understand they are partly to blame?  The dergulation of the oil companies are partly to blame. Why can't the government work with BP  instead of fighting with them?
If people think I am defending BP consider this comparison. For years it has been argued that torturing terror suspects doesn't prevent terrorist attacks. Well let's turn that around a bit. Beating up on BP doesn't solve the problem either. They know they screwed up and I have a feeling they know people are hurting. However Iwould stay away from people who constant;ly bad-mouth me. Putting the boot on their necks prevents the oil companies to move. You want action
 The big problem with the oil companies is that they= can't drill anywhere but the ocean, so this stuffis going to continue. I think the big problem is balance, the oil comnpanies want to drill absolutely everywhere and the environmentalistsd want to ban drilling completely. We need to develop safer ways to drill while investing in different sources of energy, including nuclear!


Google wishes Pacman a happy 40th birthday

It started out when I opened Firefox web browser this morning I heard what sounded like Pacman noises coming from my computer speakers. I skimmed the Yahoo homepage(the startup page on my Firefox) and no Pacman references so I shut Firefox and reopend it. Again the fimilar sounds of the game where now growing from a cute flashback into an annoyance was still there. I shutdown Firefox a second time and reopened it. Problem was still there, I could feel my blood pressure rising and my paitence fell by the second. Once again I closed and reopend Firefox, did a virus check on my computer, everything was Kosher. I again turned the sound on again and bam. So that caused me to throw my mouse and broke it. Thankfully it didn't hit the screen!! I finally figure out that Firefox's browser feature on the address bar constantly pulls feed from the browser's in the drop down menu. So when I deleted the Google section from the website, the mysterious Pacman sounds went away
So here it is Google, youi tried to do a good thing and you wound up annoying you users so much they haveconsidered never using you again. I spend my Friday uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox and now I need a new mouse, all because you wanted to celebrate a yellow head chopping on tiny white dots while avoiding ghosts. Notthe brightest thing  Google havs done!!!


Enough is enough--Political Incorrectness

Students Sent Home Over American Flag Shirts

I was doing my usual morning  surfing and came across the above disturbing articel  where students were sent home for wearing American flag shirts yesterday during the Cinco de Mayo celebration. The reason: it might offended  people.  You have go to be kidding me? This is an absolute outrage! I bet if they were wearing Mexican flag shirts they would have been cheered. I also bet if you walked around Mexico City wearing the American flag on the Fourth of July, you'd be called racist. I also wonder if I went down to Mexico and called one of the they companies they'd say You think they were wear swatiskas for God's sake.Another thing where are those bunch of cowards also known as the ACLU??
It's gotten out of hand and needs to be stopped. The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves. 
Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration of Mexican heritage which is a wonderful thing. I'm all for it, but I won't sit here and do nothing while people spit on the flag of myt country. The key is tolerance should work both ways. I see a big problem with people labelling everything they personally disagree with as being racial.  Someone needs to tell them that wanting people who want laws followed isn'tracist! Wanting secure borders isn't racist. Wanting people to speak our langauge isn'tracist!! It's time we take back thisc counrty!!


Tiger....take a page from Phil Mickelson's Playbook

Nice move: Phil Mickelson brings his wife's doctor in to caddy

If you're not into golf you probablly don't know the backstory of Phil Mickleson and his wife, Amy and his mother Mary, both diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. Tom Buchholz, a radiation oncologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, took such good care of the two most important women in his life and to show some appreciation Mickleson offered the one-time caddy the opprtunity of a lifetime. Buchholz does indeed know the game he had c addied and ran a golf proshop in Westchester NY. Some say Mickelson did this for publicity, they don't know what they are talking this was an honor.
Which bring me to Tiger Woods, no I won't pile-on him like everyone else, but a word of advice going out to Tiger. Think about what Mickleson did and then take some stock in your own life. I'm not saying you should do exactly the same thing nor do I wish you or your family harm. However the world works in weird ways, maybe the reason why Phil won is because he wasn't distracted with otherstuff.Mickelson did something to thank someone. He is a true winner, on and off the golf course. Not becauseof his words, but because of his actions !


Yes I am running

A few days agoI posted a letter I wrote to the ALPCA Listserve stating my dismay over the current President's actions! It was a continuation of a p=ost I made about a year ago entitled
Swing Vote and the ALPCA Election which was my take on the movie Swing Vote which I saw the night before I voted in the ALPCA election. I watched the mo=vie in the context of thinking about the ALPCA Election.
Fast forward a year later. After a lot of soul searching, I decided to run. It actually started with a conversation with Tim and just snowballed. At Erie I won an award for my display "Route 66 by Wheelchair" that got my picture in the magazine;. I also co-hosted my second meet in Washington Township with Marco Tramelli. I also plan to go to a few more meets during the year.

Director Profile

Reaction to closing the ALPCA listserv

I apologize for the delay in this e-mail, but as you might not know Northern NJ lostpower Staurday nightanbd had limited access to my e-mail until today.

Instead of shutting down the list the Board should,d have warned Whit that even though THEY WERE WRONG, he should, as "member #1000" been able to forgive and forget, unfortunately for the rest of us it didn't turn out that way. I am convince that if Whit had let it slide, the list would still be functional today as it was before this blowup.Some may blame Steve and that is their right, I for one blame the Board members who voted to shut the list down, Steve was just the middleman. As for the comments about Board secrecy, lack of accomplishments, censorship and other criticisms, I feel the Board took those as attacks, and while SOME OF THEM might have been unfair, it should have given the Board pause and do something it rarely seems to do. Look at themselves FIRST before pointing fingers at the membership.
The Board acted in bad faith by shutting the List down. It was in fact probably THE WORST MOVE in recent ALPCA history. I submit to you Gus the only reason why Jeff called for a vote is not because it was in the Club's best interest, but because it was discovered the BOARD hasn't been open about the operation of the club. The call for the vote was itself a questionable action because Jeff isn't going to be President for much longer and he isn't going to ever be held accountable for this horrible action that has done more damage to this club than ANYTHING WRITTEN ON THE LISTSERV. From day one Jeff says he never wanted this list because he insisted he didn't like seeing personal attacks. BULL! He saw the membership was becoming aware of the Board's numerous missteps in keeping the Club on the right track and shut the list down to save what little reputation he has left before leaving office. Sure Jeff sounds all noble when he bellows, "Don't put in an e-mail what you wouldn't say to a persons face" but we all know I have shot down that theory as I have repeatedly tried to respectfully discuss several issues with Jeff.It should be the slightest questioning of the Board will be met with a fierce counterattack , not addressing the issue at hand. However some of us felt this list was setup to fail from the beginning given who was initially put at the helm.

This latest, and maybe final, list closing, is partly Whit's fault because while initially he did nothing wrong, his mass e-mail gave what the Board felt was the proper reason to shut the list down. I found this highly insulting because it finally publicly shows Whit only cares about himself,. not the wellbeing of the Club. I also find his statements wreak of hypocrisy especially since only a few months ago he scolded me for "speaking of behalf of ALPCA" (which I NEVER DI D) and then sending out that massive e-mail to the membership. The Board took that as the "last straw" and dissolved the list. Again I would like to point out Jeff Francis mislead the Club when he said " a few people ruined it for the rest of us" when in fact it was WHIT'S massive e-mail that was solely responsible. It was HIS echoes of "censorship" I feel if he didn't send that e-mail, the list would still be intact today.So much for "common sense". Feel free to correct the record Jeff, I feel like Glenn Beck and his red phone to the White House. While I agree with some of what Whit says, his approach isn't embraced by any other member

Thirdly I have said this a few times and I have yet to read otherwise, the timing of this mess is a bit too perfect. I keep asking myself why shut the list down in the middle of an ALPCA Election cycle when the list is the perfect forum for those seeking office to answer legitimate questions about the wellbeing of this association? Why not have the people be able to respectfully debate it is certainly better than a few paragraphs on a page? Why can't those members who don't play by the rules be banned from posting? No matter what the outcome of this election I will not stop asking these simple questions because I feel it's about time the Board come up with some straight answers

Respectfully yours
Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748

> __,_._,___


Storm damage 3/13/10-3/15/10 Part 1

I sent this e-mail to a couple of OEM CONTACTS this past Saturday. I want to divide this up into two parts because the police scanning aspect is also very first storm using the Uniden 396T.
I am submitting this report via my aunt's house in Park Ridge because Woodcliff Lake is still without power.The power went out sometime between 5:00-8:30 because I was out for dinner, it was my brother's and my birthdays and getting home from Allendale was a challenge. We had many detours and passed huge limbs coming home. We we detoured from Glen Road onto Spring Valley going into Park Ridge. What should have been a 15 minute drive took over an hour. We go home to find out we were without power. We have been boling our water and using the woodburning stove. Damagewise our neighbor up the street had a huge tree li mb come down blocking the upper part of Glen Road and was still blocked as of 4:00 today. I read in the paper we might be without power until Tuesday. I hope that isn't the case. I geuss I 'll be celebrating my actual birthday out somewhere other than home!!
Fire Dept has been pumping out basements since last night and I heard a couple of ambulance transports.. On the way over to Park Ridge I saw tree limbs cut up along the side of the road. The wind gusts were bad last night and have since died down. Hearing all kinds of reports over the radio
That's all from Park Ridge. Hope everyone stays dry and thing get back to normal before long. I am posting this on my blog as well as maybe some pictures.


Net Roster Order

While 90% of my ham radio experiences have been positive these last ten year there are still times I think maybe I should hang up the mic.Now I have felt most comfortable on PSK, but I started out on 2 meters just like most hams. Now in the beginning the other hams were just as nervous as I was talking over the air. Then I started to become morerelaxed and that made things a bit easir, on both ends of the repeater. I have my good days annd my bad days, but it is very seldom I get heated over ann overincident, tonight during the RACES Net I choked
The format of the net recently changed. The old way was the net control went down a list of stations and I usually fo-llowed the same persopn. Recently that changed to what's known as "Net Roster" order, meaning you have to listen to the entire order not to miss your spot. Well I thought the trick was to write down every station. So I started typing every station down and the signed on. The problem was I lost one of the stations and lost my place. That screwed me up and I panicked. What's worse is I flew off the handle, a common occurance.
Now frequent readers of the blog will tell you when I get upset I blow up and then regret later. Tonight it happened over the air, I feel horrible. People say there's more people listening than talking. Well one of my transmissions tonight was totally unprofessional. It only happened for a second, but that's all it takes. I was very upset and once again I didn't know how to control. I let that good old anger get the better of me once again. Now the other folks on the net are great but I screwed them up too, that turned a bad situtation worse. I threw the mic down and that was it.
Now the once a year in person meeting happens to be this weekend, so again my timing fpor this episoded co uldn't khave been worse. Althoough the net control did e-mail me and said not to worry about it. The last thing that went through my mind is I had to write this down>


Response to Jeff Francis

I just read ALPCA President Jeff Francis's second post to the ALPCA Discussion List. Time and time again he relies on other people to provide4 him information, or should I say misinformation to make his off-the-wall, out of right field comments. Every single time Francis wants to post to the list he sends an e-mail to Steve Benson the list moderator, who does an excellent job, and Steve posts it. To me that means he doesn't really want to know how the membership feel I am posting a response here because I don't want to see it rejected:

I read President Francis's post to the list (via Steve Benson) extremely disturbing on numerous levels, mostly because he's cherrypicking a few out-of-line posts and assuming most of the posts are written in that tone. Sure hesays these negative posts are in the minority, but then I ask why hasn't he hasn't posted a positive message, like an update on the archives?
In response I ask President Francis to look at the list archives like I have done over the past few days. I didn't read EVERY post since this list was created, I just took a sampling and out of the hundred random messages I read from different members I found maybe one or two were harsh. I admit I am gulty of fanning the flames a few times. However never once did I consider leaving the list. This list has more positive features that unfortunately been brushed aside, I will site one example.
This list was suspended for a month in September of this year because the Board felt things "got out of hand" this couldn't have come at a worst time for us in the Garden State Region because we lost a meet site and were trying to keep members updated. Even though this list was still open to meet announcements there was no general discussion and that resulted in a bit of confusion. Something I was trying to avoid
Jeff's always saying "Don't type something you would n't say to someone's face" I submit to Jeff that writing something and saying something are two different things. Nobody understands this concept better than me because Iliterally can't say words I can easily type. Admittedly at times my written words have caused me to backtrack, but I think we all have been in that position. Also there is a flip side, don't take everything written so seriously. At the end of the day we all should understand this IS JUST A HOBBY.
Jeff needs to realize this list at time does spark some fierce debate but when things get too heated Steve is there with the hose to cool things down. Thank you Steve for doing a great job!

Justin Mattes 6748


PSKFest 2010

Ok the final sign I am back on the air is my first contest which was the PSKFst 2010, the first major PSK event of the year! I tell you it wasn't a disappointment because I cracked down and really got going. Although admittedly I did take a few breaks. One of the aspects of good contesting is endurance because you see the same callsigns after awhile and it can get frustraing. However I posted decent qso count which was pretty exciting.Truthfully I just don't want to come in dead last in my catergory . Anyway it way a great way to start the new year on the air!!!


Logsheet for 2010 PSKFest

Contest Results for 2010 PSKFest


Few vistiors

I always wanted to write but waited for a time when other writing was at a lull. There are indeed a few thingsI have in the works but one of the things I added quite awhile ago called "Feedjit" whhich tracks the locations of IP addresses, not the actually IPs. It also tracks what websites people come from.I have the link to the blog on a few signature lines for forums I post on. It also trackswho came on here directly by entering the url
Here's a sampling of the visitors that came on this site directly within the last week

Charlestown, IN
Bear, DE


KC2GIK's Ham Shack

Well after years of looking at shacks, it was time I built my own, with the help with my mom. Real simple the top shelf is my BC996T. Bottom shelf BC15, a Radio Shack Weather Radio and Yaesu FT-897 which is hooked up to the Toshiba Satallite Laptop on the right.


Finds comments upsetting,undeserved

This appeared in the January 1st edition of The Community Life .

It concerns me deeply that a citizen of our town can be as vicious as Mr. O'Brien was when writing about the ethics investigation of Mrs. Howley. He accusing her of downright stealing from the borough which is untrue and un fair because Howley did in fact pay for the items in question, so the borough didn't give her "something for nothing".
She did the honorable thing by inquiring on how she could pay the back taxes, which to me seems to amount to pennies on the dollar. Is this what politics in Woodcliff Lake has come to?
Howley said she may have saved $5 or $8 over the course of five years by using the Borough's discount card. Let's be clear taxes on these items go to the State of New Jersey , not the Borough of Woodcliff Lake. I don't see the tax collectors knocking on Mrs. Howley's door over something so minor. She openly admitted she used a lack of judgment, something we all do from time-to-time and came clean about it. Mrs. Howley paid more than the back taxes O' Brien sees only this says the ethics laws are black and white, but any lawyer would argue all laws are up for interpretation.
Mrs. Howley did in fact breach ethics laws, but instead of making excuses she admitted her mistake and did everything in her power to fix them. She did this only after an extensive review of her actions. Not because she was avoiding the issue, but she wanted to make sure all of the facts were on the table before she commented. With all the talk about government responding hastily and without all the facts, I would think Mr. O'Brien would at least acknowledge Mrs. Howley's thoroughness on this issue. O' Brien asks "Where are the financial checks and balances?" I ask where is the call for the CFO's resignation? It was his responsibility to review the purchases, point out Mrs Howley's errors and gave her a chance to correct them.
I have known Mrs. Howley all my life. She has been an asset to Woodcliff Lake numerous volunteering ventures to her kindness to citizens. She has done so much for this community for so long I fine it very difficult to believe she is capable of doing this on purpose.
Justin Mattes
Woodcliff Lake,NJ

Community Life Online Letters for 12/31/09