Going back

Justin Mattes surprised my "niece" Georgia!! He has been visiting at Fusco's Market today!! We miss you!!
File this under a "Feel Good Post", where I'm not going to write aan opinion on current events nor insight some wisdom to the public.  Even t hough I LOVE Cape May with 90% of my heart, there's still 10% left in Woodcliff Lake, sorry living in a town for 38+ years can do that to anyone. Of course every  time we go up there it drops my "Cape May Cred" back a few points I hear my friends at the VFW jokingly say "Yeah, move back North ya Yankee". Truthfully parents still have doctors located in Northern NJ and so we need to go up there a few times a year for their check ups, especially my mom.  So we need to make the 168 mile trip up the Garden State Parkway! We did it once this summer when my  Uncle and Aunt visited from Texas! Then we did another trip up in late October for my license plate meet in Elmwood Park, I used  up a lot of brownie points for that one, but it was worth it to see my friends, since they won't come to Cape May (hint,hint).
So each of these treks north requires two mandatory stops, Golden Dynasty  in Franklin Lakes and FUSCO'S Market. I actually DIDN'T stop at Fusco's Market once and I think the family took it as an personal insult.  It's usually for my traditional "root beer and sour cream chips" which is affectionately labelled "The Justin Mattes   special" because I seldom get anything else, beside the occasional  hero!!  Also the last time I was up there I timed it so I had lunch there and got to chat with George. I had what I felt was "upgraded status" which meant I went behind the counter to sit down awhile!
The last couple of times I announced to the world i was going north, it was all over Facebook. This time it was a "stealth mission". Dad had doctor's appointments in Spring Valley, NY so I convinced him to drop me off at Fusco's on his way. Of course I had to convince him George would be there so it wasn't a total surprise!! However George was happy to see me even if he knew about it ahead of time. I walked in as if I never left Woodcliff Lake. All George could do was smile, we immediately got into a conversation! He *would never admit it but h e missed me like I missed him! His two older girls soon go off the bus from high school and went and got the youngest daughter. who's  in kindergarten, and came over. I've seen them all grow up but I remember when the youngest was born, I even wrote a poem for her. She was shy around me but her sisters always encouraged her to "give Justin a hug"/ When we met this time sh e didn't need any  coaching, as soon as she saw me she ran into my arms. George snapped the picture above and immediately posted it on Facebook~! Oh I just melted. I love all three of them as if they were my nieces.
I say this all the time I love Cape May with all my heart, but I go back to Woodcliff Lake any chance I get. I go back because of family and people like the Fuscos who always welcome me home no matter how far I have travelled


In hot water

You would think Cape May moving to Cape May would open  up; plenty of blog entries for me, it hasn't been that easy. Mostly because so much has happened since the end of June, from 4th of July fireworks to celebrate Congress Hall's 200 Th Anniversary, so many chances I have missed just to come on here to vent. It hasn't been that easy\ because I haven't set aside enough time to write, usually I'm wasting time on Facebook which leads to trouble. Especially now that the weather is getting colder so I  won't be able to go outside aS MUCH

The latest was a double whammy. Out of all the political posts I have made, and even lost a few friends over I knew deep down something I would do would really get me into hot water. I commented about the riots and while I didn't use any foul language , I portrayed a whole group of people in a very negative light, or that's how it sounded.   Now I have a guy who I utterly respect trying to smooth things over. This is not the first time my comments caused a stir but this was the first time someone actually whacked me offline.. I would go into details but I decided it is best to put it behind me. All I will say is unlike other incidents, this one was a real wake up call. I forget some times there are people who truly can't leave things on the Internet, they have to take it offline. I need to rethink my online presence

Secondly a close friend has just lost his father and I just made him feel worse. I know he's depressed and he's been going through a lot. He mentioned he was going to take his life, he's done this before and I thought the way to snap him out of it was to  inform him I so worried for his safety I called the police. He was furious and offended when I told him I was bluffing . He said he was just blowing off steam. Normally when I piss him off he just unfriends me and after a few days I go crawling back and eventually he accepts my apology. That's after multiple attempts. This time I wanted to be in control so I suspended my account, I disappeared!

So I decided both incidents was a sign that I needed to go into hiding. Facebook has this cool feature to "suspended" your account where you go invisible to the world without deleting your account. I knew a few people who have done this in the past and suddenly pop back up after weeks, even months without notice.

 The problem is I tried just not going on Facebook for a few days, but then I found I had dozens of notifications waiting for me in various groups and tags. I also know people have deleted their accounts, but there have been multiple warnings of spammers hijacking names! So here I am suspending my activities on the popular social network. I actually find it kind of refreshing, but truthfully I'm goin


Dave Kuehn- an ALPCA Original

Nothing is more upsetting than to come on this blog to try to comprehend another death of a friend. Dave Kuehn was one of the first members of ALPCA I actually met in person. when I first joined back in 1994 my first meet was in New York City the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Some how I got my dad to drive me into Manhattan to a community center in the middle of the city. We arrived to ind a group of collectors from the area and surrounding states and sign on sheet. I vaguely remember actually meeting Dave but I remember him showing off rare and valuable Connecticut plates for sale. When someone inspected them Dave gave a brief history lesson on the plate, where it came from and if it was for sale. Usually he notice the young collectors at the shows and give them a few pointers on how to build  up their collections. Dave knew where we were coming from because he started collecting as a teenager himself. Dave joined ALPCA when the club still held their yearly conventions in school gymnasiums, I have heard stories of older collectors giving Dave rides before he had a drivers license. He even rode his bicycle to some meets, it was real dedication rarely found at such a young age. There have been members as young as three years old join the group, but usually the kid's father signs the kid up and pays for his dues. Dave was the older members "nephew/stepson/grandson" and they loved him, everybody loved him. They were there when he he got his license, graduated from high school, took over his father's printing business.
Dave was the start of the third generation of collectors and one of the last t o build a state collection literally one plate at a time. In today's world of eBay and e-mail groups, Dave remained "old school". He once chased a single plate for years, waiting for the owner to sell. Dave NEVER pressured anybody and appreciated the art of the deal as much as the plate itself. As Dave mentors in the club started aging, he took on more of an active role, helping run meets, taking over some, then becoming the Colonial Region's Treasurer. Dave was always good with numbers, h e helped his family printing business at a young age. Dave even printed the ALPCA Newsletter at an enormous discount, just because he want to give back to the club so much. He grew the Colonial Region to the point where the meets attracted members from across the country and around the world. I remember the first time I got to attend the Yorktown Heights meet, Dave knew how hard it was for me to attend those meets and smiled when I walked up to the registration desk. While the other members signed themselves in when it was time for me to attempt to write my name,I embarrassingly asked him for assistance. Without any fuss Dave slowly turned the book around and wrote my name. He started to write my last name and I could tell he would get stuck, everybody misspells my last name, I said "M-A-T-T-E-S" as clearly as possible. Dave smiled kind of an unspoken "Thank you". I struggled to get the bills out to pay for my admission, Dave just said what I heard millions of times before, "Take your time". Ever since that day h e has always remained my mentors.

My adventures at the 2010 ALPCA Convention were just horrible, my flight down was delayed, arrangements I thought were made fell through. When I requested a roommate, only two people responded. In dealing with the other member, he and I got our lines crossed and he wound up making other arrangements, I was left with a hefty hotel bill on my personal debit card, and no roommate. My mother back in New Jersey was horrified, I had to spend my entire bank account savings on a room. Without getting into details Dave heard of my problems and offered to split his room with me so I had money for the convention. When I assured him I would pay him back every cent, he told me he trusted me. He also reminded me he had met my folks many times an d had no problem calling them if I "got out of line". We both knew he was half joking and half dead serious. Dave always felt the need to give back, even though he gave back to ALPCA ten times over. That was who Dave Kuehn was, always giving a helping hand to people who needed it. He didn't do it for recognition, he did it because it was the right thing to do!!

Dave's sudden passing has stirred up all kinds of emotions throughout ALPCA. He remains a force within the club, not because he was an outspoken member, because of the way he treated fellow ALPCAns. Dave Kuehn LOVED ALPCA, you don't need me to write anything more. He loved the members like his own family. His knowledge of Connecticut license plate history is unmatched!Dave grew with the club, becoming one of its most caring members. Anyone that knew him, respected him, a quality few men can claim. I will miss you Dave, the talks we had, the wisdom you bestowed and the honor of being called your friend. God speed my friend!

Side note: Upon hearing about Dave's death there were immediate calls for his induction into the ALPCA Hall of Fame. In order to be inducted an ALPCA member must first be nominated and then voted on by the former ALPCA Presidents. If that happened, Dave would be the first member inducted so soon after his death. I objected not because I felt Dave isn't worthy of the honor, but the 2017 ALPCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony happens at the convention, in 2017 the convention is in Ontario California, 3,000 plus miles from Milford Connecticut, where Dave called home. The majority of Dave's ALPCA friends live on the eastern seaboard, it just wouldn't feel right. However the 2018 convention is in Valley Forge, PA. I wrote the following reply the best I could under the circumstances....it got overwhelming support

I wrote this in response to people's calls to induct Dave in the ALPCA Hall of Fame in 2017 at the convention in  Ontario California. I suggested we wait until 2018 at  the Valley Forge Convention!! 
I AGREE however talking it over with another member who was close to Dave , I think it would be best to wait until Valley Forge, PA in 2018 BECAUSE not a lot of Dave's friends can attend California. I KNOW folks might not agree, but we want to do this right. It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of when. This is not like me but I'm not going to debate this to death. I gave my opinion, I'm basing on knowing Dave for 20+ years and I'll go along with whatever people decide.

Part of this tribute was published in the December 2016 PLATES Magazine. 


8th Garden State Meet

Hosts Ed Bulter ALPCA# 6661and Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748

For the third  year in a row the American Legion Post 157 in Elmwood Park NJ played host to 62 ALPCAns and visitors. Collectors joined us  from as far away as Utah and South Carolina which made the meet all that more successful!!  Tables filled with plates made for quite of selection to buy and sell. Brothers Jon and Phil Leib once again brought an impressive collection of rare and odd New Jersey plates.  My hats off to my cohost Ed Butler who  manned the registration desk and kept the entire show running smoothly!!  Adam Garstka did another wonderful job as the official photographer for the meet . We have a great group of volunteers to keep these meets running smoothly!!   The party continued when we went over to Charlie Bloods for a late lunch and lively discussion. I again want to thank everyone who came ou t and am looking forward to doing it all again in 2017!!

Submitted by Justin Mattes, ALPCA 6748


Final Debate Questions

Unlike my postings on Facebook, I have stayed away from the circus known as the 2016 US Presidential Election on my  blog. For the record I don't believe we're voting for the lesser of two evils, I believe we're voting for the lesser of two absolute psychopaths. I could spend the rest of the post outlining my thoughts on why neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton should be president. I could also lay into the sitting President of the United States for not taking a cue from the previous Commander-in-Chief and keep his mouth shut. We know who he's supporting in this race, there was never any question. It never ceases to amaze me how the first black president feels he always has to remind us he is the first black president and has to test every single boundary set forth by the men who proceeded him . Out of the many issues I had with Bill Clinton I need to give the man credit, he never went after George Bush when he and Al Gore were running. Sure he wanted his sitting VP to win, but he let the race play out even during the recount, Clinton stepped back and accepted the decision, even though it wasn't the outcome he desired.  Clinton beat Bush's father eight years earlier and Bush conceded gracefully. It's too bad, if Trump wins,  Obama won't follow the Bushes' and  Clinton's lead. Ironically if Trump wins, Hillary Clinton supporters will indeed say it was rigged

Tonight Chris Wallace moderates the third and final debate in Las Vegas, which tells me the debate commission does indeed have a sense of humor even in this serious of times. ,One of the overriding themes of this election is tone. Both Clinton and Trump have had major gaffs and have done little to recover. They both have loyal surrogates trying to smooth over the rough patches. Something to keep in mind while Trump does his rants on Twitter, Clinton seems to think all of Trump's supporter are racists. She also has a chance, as the first woman nominee of a major party to highlight other women in politics, both Democrat and Republican, who gave her this platform
OK down to business, for a better part of a year I have found the true meaning of "bipartisanship". One of my hopes for Donald Trump is he would have truly pivoted. Instead of complaining about a "rigged system" he could have over come it by suggesting ways to work aro und it. He started to do this when he stood up for Bernie Sanders during the primaries, too bad Bernie supporters or Bernie himself didn't acceptt it.  I feel sorry for Bernie in some way. Other ways I think he's completely nuts. I think I found a way to get the parties a little closer together. Chris Wallace should ask the following questions to both candidates:

1) Name one thing the opposite party represents that you support.

2) Name one thing in your own party that you don't support.

3)Let's say you had to appoint a person from the opposite party to your cabinet,what position would they hold?

4)Presidents have a special bond with their predecessors, would you seek advice from former presidents?

5)  How would personal troubles you've had in your own life affect the decisions you make as president?

6) Name something about the United States you would want the world to know that they don't already

7) What, if anything, did campaigning teach you about yourself? How can you use what you learned to help the country

8) What was the biggest risk you took during this campaign?

9) It's the day after you received your respective nomination. Besides family and your VP pick, who is the first  person you would seek advice from?

10) What is the best piece of  advice you have gotten on the campaign trail? How would you use this advice in running the country?

Again Chris Wallace has more important questions to ask than these, but I believe these  questions really give insight into both Donald Trump  and Hillary Clinton. I will post these on Facebook and Twitter


Plenty to say about Speechless

ABC, the company behind hits like Rosanne, Home Improvement, Modern Family and Last Man Standing, my now second favorite show on the network, once again nailed it with Speechless. Speechless stars Micah Fowler, a teenager with CP who plays JJ  Dimeo, who has moved into a new neighborhood, going to a new high school. He uses a wheelchair and can't speak but uses a pointer and pictures to convey his thoughts and feelings. JJ's mother, Maya, played by Minnie Driver, is his protective, sometime overbearing mother is out to ensure he gets a decent education. This causes Maya and her husband, Jimmy, played by John Ross Bowie, to move JJ, their other son Ray, played by Mason Cook, and their daughter, Dylan, playeds by Kayla Kennedy

As JJ enters his new high schoolne of the requirements Maya makes to the school is to provide JJ with a full-time aide, at first they choose a hyper-active woman, but she didn't work out. I thought the writers ripped this scene out of my own life! I was cheering at the Tv he school was also physically ill-prepared to get JJ into the building and wind up getting into the building using a ramp  to take trash out. While there, they run into the janitor, Kenneth, played by Cedric Yarbrough, connection formed. JJ's first aide is this woman who babies him and is trying to please Maya too much.It's obvious she's headed out the door. The show can only handle one crazed woman, and that's Maya for sure. Halfway through the pilot JJ and Kenneth bump into each other at a fair and things click. Maya marches into school and says Kenneth should be JJ's new aide. Kenneth understands what JJ needs socially, which is  where I hope the show goes. I'm hoping Maya will let go a little and  Jimmy won't be a total dufus going forward. Although based on the shows, I listed above, it doesn't look

I went on IMDB and Facebook just to take a peek at the reviews, they were about right on par for every new show. Some loved it, most of the negative comments stemmed from Maya's treatment of other people who she thought crossed her son. While I understand this is often the basis of the comedy, it's going to grow old quickly! The writers need to lay off Maya, and focus\ on teen issues, like they did in the shows I mentioned earlier. I lost  interest in Modern Family because they overplayed their diversity message big time!!   T he audience was constantly reminded, "We're different, so you needaccept us". There wasn't any true push back to resisting inclusion, something wasn't right, it had to be corrected by the end of the show. Although some might say this is the point of these shows, I want Speechless to be "different". It's this mentality and writing style  that attracted the negative feedback.

Having Micah Fowler play JJ is a big step  in the right direction in including people with disabilities in our culture. One of the show's writers has a son with CP, which is another step in the right direction. It would be another big step if they allowed someone with CP to offer an idea for an episode or two. Someone who has been through it and knows what JJ is going through. If I were Micah I would be dropping ideas and hints to the writers, I would even allow someone t o  voice these ideas for me. If I knew the show's creators greenlighted an episode written by someone with  CP, that would leave me..........speechless.


Dove in head first

When my folks put the Woodcliff Lake house on the market to move to Cape May, I made a promise to myself. I knew the Cape May had more opportunities for me for all kinds of reasons, but I needed to act quickly. The VFW next door provided a perfect n etworking tool. Unlike other bars where either my brothers and/or friends usually served as ice breakers, I marched into the VFW alone. It was again a struggle connect with folks who saw past the awkward body walking around, but I soon made friends without any external assistance. Over the course of my visits to the VFW I befriended the then police chief who immediately recognized both my skills, whit and fascination with politics. Being the radio geek and fire buff, I usually pester him with some police talk. He, seeing my genuine interest and perseverance was more than happy to comply. Of course during that time we formed a bond, hey I can't help it, and given my interest in both public safety and politics, saw me as a sounding board. It wasn't long until he was picking me up for a ride-a-long, not really just a tour in an unmarked car with his top lieutenant. I was made aware the police department and the mayor didn't always see eye-to-eye, the mayor is a real micromanager to the extreme and that caused scuffles. The current mayor resented the police chief and his head officers and has done everything to make their lives a living hell. Without tipping my hand thde chief unjustly, and in some opinions illegally, got demoted. The "ex-police chief" was, and still is, embroiled in a so-called "scandal" complete with trumped up charges and the whole nine yards courtesy of the mayor, I can't and won't go into details right now but there's no doubt the entire department is getting screwed because the current mayor is an overzealous prick. I honestly can't describe him any other way. He has to micromanage every single little things with the city, including the police, when the chief resisted, the mayor declared political war on the police. Of course me being an ardent supporter of law enforcement and my interest in politics, I managed to insert myself into this dust up. I ca n't tell you how upset I am over the treatment of the former police chief and one of his now retired lieutenants. It's weighing heavily on the entire department, every move they make under scrutiny because of a mayor intoxicated with his own power. The problem is this isn't the first time the mayor has injected himself into somewhere he doesn't belong.Being Cape May is a small town, all of this is buzzing arou faster than Flight of the Bumblebee! I could go into details but I more than likely make a major mistake and want this post to be as factual as possible! The retired lieutenant was burned and burned bad, he needed to do something. The current mayor has a history of overstepping his boundaries and the only way to stop him is to get him out of office! So my friend the lieutenant has decided to challenge the current mayor this November. This fellow has the will, desire and drive to bring honor back into the Cape May Mayor's Office. He needs a tech-savvy person to show him what happens when politics and the digital world intersect.. Take one part my interest in politics, my computer skills and my need to find a niche in my new hometown, I was drafted for the position! Now i'm assisting with Facebook updates, trying to explain twitter and getting a man into the position I feel only he can fill.


An Olympic Challenge

An Olympic Challenge The 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing in Rio! I go on Twitter to find top stories about the events down south, some Olympic and World Records being broken especially by Michael Phelps, Lilly King an Katie Ledekey. Ledekey broke her own world record in the 400 meter free-style race won the hearts of every American back home! Her post-race interviews are what you would expect from her, a mix of shock ,excitement and pride. Then there's Lily King who broke the Olympic Record for the 100 meter breast stroke. I have a special place in my heart for the aquatic competitions because of m y love for swimming. I think the free-style events are some of my favorites to watch, I have tried to mimic some o fmy favorite strokes to watch. She's caught a little flak for taunting her Russian counterpart, Yulia accused of using of doping. With Russia's behavior latel y in the word it is almost certainly true! .Ibtihaj Muhammad mad history in a different way becoming the first American to compete in the Olympic Games wearing a hijab, the traditional Muslim headdress. I saw the entire US Olympic team cheering on each other, celebrating their wins together and showing true sportsmanship throughout these games! This is what America is all about, showing pride in themselves and representing a country they love. Even though I love all the Olympic Games, diving is by far my favorite. I watched some of the synchronized diving where two divers are on the platform instead of one. It's just amazing how two people can perform the exact dive at the exact same time. You can tell how pumped up the divers are when they exit the pool!! The judges seem to have eagle eyes because the scores are so close. One little slip up can cost people a medal. I watched as athletes from all across American represent our country with pride. They remind all of us America is great despite it's occasional downturns. Whenever they step onto a field, dive into a pool, or step step into the ring, all of us need to support them. GO TEAM USA Here's a challenge I posted up on Facebook: A challenge, for me included, we take a break from politics during the Olympic Games to cheer on TEAM USA. No Trump, No Clinton, No Johnson just TEAM USA!! WHO IS WITH ME?????


Congress St Command on the Air

Congress Street Command

One of the most exciting things about moving to Cape May was getting a new desk and shelves. My room in Cape May is smaller than the one in Woodcliff Lake, so that has made me get rid of most of the junk, which makes mom very  happy. It all has made me setup my scanners better than sliding all over a shelf when I go to change a setting or two. The mount was purchased from Scanner Master and is designed perfectly to fit that corner of my desk. My old desk required me to take my eyes totally off the computer screen to see who was talking which usually meant my hands off the keyboard. Now a quick glimpse is simple and I have even perfected my touch typing even more. Those two white wires are going to an antenna splitter on top of the shevling  Everything is in a hands reach even the switch to the overhead lamp  just out of view of the picture!! The top scanner is my workhorse, the BCD99T which I loaded with 90% of the Cape May County frequencies. I also dumped some Cumberland, Atlantic and even some Delaware stuff in there. Plus I activated the marine search system, which is always hopping.It's a must!! 90% of the traffic is on Marine Channel 16 (156.8000) and Marine Channel 9 (156.4500) but every now and then the other channels pop, which makes for some good stuff especially during the summer.
The other big thing is the Coast Guard base down here. The biggest monitoring target is aviation, namely military aviation!! I have monitored "Giant Killer" out of the based in Atlantic City on 255.00 and 249.8000.  Trying to get more UHFstuff in but it will all come. On the VHF side I get both Atlantic City, Dove and Philadelphia approaches which is cool because up north I only got! It's still a work in progress but the potential is absolutely amazing!!


All in time

As a writer you would think I'd have some profound words to express my deepest gratitude, I will try to do my best The whole night I had firefighters I've known for 10,15, 20+ years shake my hand including former fire chiefs! People who have laughed with me cried with me, shared a beer or two or three with me. Who have ALWAYS treated me as one of their own ! I also need to mention both Chief Joe Higgins and Honorary Chief George J. Fusco, both of whom I know are sitting up there looking down and just smiling! To be made an Honorary Member of the Woodcliff Lake Fire Department by a fire chief who I went to school with as well as one of the most recognizable firefighting names in the Pascack Valley area is something I will ALWAYS treasure. I again want to thank Chief George Lucia Jr. and ALL the members of the Woodcliff Lake Fire Department for this incredible honor. I am PROUD to call all of you brothers! THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
P.S. To answer a personal question, yes it made the TOP FIVE!!!


Support Rob Sheehan

I just posted this on the Cool Cape May Facebook page in support of "Captain" Rob Sheehan. The use of quotation marks is denote Rob should really be Chief of the Cape  May Police While I can't go into details the basic Chief Sheehan got railroaded by a corrupt mayor and city manager. They took petty misunderstandings and  blew them into some kind of  criminal activity. After a year of court battles and mudslinging all charges against Rob were dropped, although technically he's still fighting the city

 It is really a shame what Rob Sheehan has gone through., I may not know him as long as some of you but I can tell you one thing there's not a nicer guy around Cape May. As for being police chief, Rob fits Cape May perfectly because he grew up here and understands how to run the department to keep the city, its residents, business owners, their employees,and visitors safe. There's something everyone needs to remember, even though Rob got demoted, he still has all the responsibilities as a police chief, without the title. This needs to be corrected and needs to be corrected NOW! Usually there are two sides to every story, not in this case. Those responsible for this nonsense took a simple oversight and just blew it way out of proportion just to drag Rob's name through the mud.. They have done everything they can to rip him to shreds...........but it hasn't worked. Rob is a good man and respects everyone he meets. As much as we all love Cape May, this entire debacle put a black eye on the city. Rob and his family need and deserve our continued support


First Cape May Working Fire

Well last Monday  night there was another  good thunderstorm down here in Cape May and  lightning hit two houses over on the other side of town. Of course the famous Cape May fire horns w ere going full blast however it was the thunder bthat woke me up! I grabbed the scanner tuned it to Cape May fire and boy was it busy. Lightning DID strike more than  once because a row of houses caught fire. Pretty soon trucks  from Lower Township and even Wildwood were racing into the city I was still half asleep but knew this was going to b e big!The radio traffic bounced between the main Cape May Fire frequency and their fireground.

Since Lower Township is just north of Cape May they got dispatched to the scene first but stayed on their own frequency while their chief talked to Cape May directly.   The Coast Guard has \a base down in Cape May and hey're very active in the community! So when Cape May has a fire they call the Coast Guard for mutual aid.

Cape May County does the majority of dispatching for the fire departments. I just have a little BC125AT down there right now so I can't hear everything. Although  unlike North Jersey where I want to listen to as possibly  , I am only interested in Cape May for now, although that's going to  change when we move dow n there for good. I have already planned how I'll setup my radios down here. Use the BC15T just to scan Cape May City and enable the marine service search on the sacanner. The use the BC996T  as my work horse mainly searching for military UHF. I have this setup DOWN pat!!


Rochester Review--Part II

Like all other conventions getting there and the action on the trading floor is only  part of the fun. Nestled between the Wednesday Welcome Reception Dinner and the Friday Night Auction is Thursday night which usually means an actual night on the town. Clark Wothe usually acts as our recreation director and always finds something that emphasizes the city we're in. This time it was a boat ride through part of the Erie Canal
system. Around five thirty a bunch of us assembled in the hotel lobby and piled into our cars to make the twenty minute trip from Rochester over to  Lockport where after a quick bite we b/oarded the boat to travel the Genessee River and the  Erie Canal. I have never traveled on a canal before and while I have seen the process on TV and understand how it works, sitting on a boat while it rises  is a completely different adventure. The boat we were on was originally the west coast and the pilot gave a little history of how it got to t he Erie Canal

Another little bonus is I FINALLY saw "dock plates" in use. Ever now and then I get  email request for dock plates and I had no idea what they were or that they were even collectible. However people can say the same thing about automobile license plates I guess.  Unlike automobile plates, dock plates are stationary that are like street numbers on houses

I watched documentaries on the Panama Canal on TV  but to be in an actual working lock is quite an experience! The only thiung missing was of course my scannere, which was being repaired.....again. although the boat had a marine radio parked on Channel 16 (156.800). I never monitored an actual river before but there wasn't a lot of traffic


They think they got it hard

Every time folks on the ALPCA Listserve moan about the costs of going to the annual convention I feel the need to explain to them I pay a price no dollar can cover. That being said I have no idea if I'll even make it out to Fort Wayne Indiana, but it just felt like folks needed to be reminded of some genuine dedication to the hobby

   Fellow Convention Attendees

Every time I read about people complaining about the costs of getting to 
a convention I have to sit back, take a swig of Pepsi and just smile. I 
have often been accused in numerous circles I don't know how much money 
it takes to get to our annual event, but let me share with you another 
perspective. While you all are questioning prices, I'm talking to my 
folks about how I'll be careful. I get constant reminders "They can't 
hop on a plane to come help me if I get stuck".  While you folks 
complain about driving for hours, I'm trying to find someone to room 
with, because that's the only way I can go to a convention. While you 
folks argue over line numbers, I'm struggling to explain to people I 
don't know how I can get on and off a plane by myself, but need a little 
assistance with my scooter or walker.  While you folks grumble about the 
location of your tables, I'm holding my breathe until I see  friend 
waiting to drive me to the hotel. While you're unloading plates I'm 
explaining to a hotel employee I'm rooming with someone and asking them 
for a key. While you're complaining about who knows what to ALPCA staff, 
I'm just happy I made it to another convention.  Anybody want to trade 
their "costs" with mine?

See you folks in Ft. Wayne

Justin Mattes 6748

Attending my 11th convention


Goodbye Aunt Millie

RIP Aunt Millie, my first penpal, my 3rd grandma. I will miss your letters, playing "office" with the cousins and all the chats. You always knew how to cheer me up. Say hi to grandma, grandpa and Uncle Jack............until we meet again

These days when someone passes people remember them b y posting a Facebook status. Friends of the mourner "Like" the comment and reply with condolences. As much as I have been on both sides of this kind of Facebook status, I feel there are certain times where more  needs to be said, a lot more. I found out earlier this even my Great Aunt Millie, my mom's aunt, grandma's oldest sister passed away earlier this week. Like me she was the oldest in here family, she had four younger sisters.  Aunt Millie didn't have grandchildren until much later in her life, so when she visit  my grandparents house, she " borrow" u s for a week. Back when it was just my  brothers and two or three cousins she devote one full day to each of us.  We go to the park behind my grandparents house. Man she spoiled us more than grandma, yes that was possible.

She worked on the stock exchange for awhile and inspired my cousins and I to "go into business". Of course my girl cousins started their own  fa shion company. While I had a transportation safety operations. I won't get into details now, but Aunt Millie was an "employee". We even write letters, she had the Levittown (where she lived) Branch while I was based in my grandparents basement.  I still think about it and smile. Every letter  I have written stems  from corresponding  with Aunt Millie.

One time Chris had a weekend soccer tournament out in Long Island, right near Levittown, I really wasn't thrilled about going for three days. Aunt Millie got wind of this and immediately called and asked if I could  stay with her. My mother knew Aunt Millie would find a way to see me anyway, so she agreed. I had Aunt Millie all to myself for the weekend! We talked, watched movies, ate ice cream, just the two of us.

Then there was the time in Florida when Aunt Millie was down at the same time visiting my grandparents as my mom dad two brothers and I. As it happened my two uncles were down there also. That along with the fact  it happened to be my 22nd birthday made the trip very very special.

I haven't seen Aunt Millie in years, she visited a year before grandma died.  


Thanks Brian Gelnaw

 A lot of my blogging friends occasionally allow guest post to their blogs, some good some bad, but I have to post this post  by my friend Briann Gelnaw. Brian and I  forged a friendship the way a lot of my post-high school friendships were forged, at the Cornerstone in Hillsdale. Yes he was one of the  "Thursday Night Crew" just like Alex & Jamie. Brian has taken the 50 days 50 friends challenge where he posts a picture a day of a friend and writes how he met  them. Well  today he decided to highlight yours truly.I consider it an early birthday present:

Day 22: Justin Mattes 

It must have been the year Sanchez came to the Jets. I talked shit all season, and with good reason...as far as I was concerned they were going to win the whole damn thing. Super Bowl was ours!!!! Well the Jets lost in the AFC Championship game. My friends busted on me, my brother in law laughed and told me how the Jets will never win. Then from the other side of the room this guy who I just met that night waves me over. Beer in his hand he toasts me and says that he's sorry my Jets lost...and that they suck!!! Enter my friendship with Justin. He's one of a kind. Biggest heart around. He's a wise ass, and needs to be to run with the crew. He's also a very loving person who would give you anything he had. He writes poems that are amazing. He constantly is looking to engage people and to bring a smile to their face. Justin always has time for anyone. I've never seen him in a down mood...I've seen him a little tipsy, but never down. His ability to connect with others is amazing. His laugh and smile are warming to the soul. I don't know too many people who can start off a friendship by insulting the other, but Justin did....and I'm a better person because of it and him! I don't see things in black and white, but with Justin's help I sure see more color, beauty and clarity. He's opened my eyes to what you can do if you believe in yourself. Justin has touched the hearts of so many in our small community. What he doesn't know is that we take that love, that joy, that laughter that he has given and we spread it out through the world. His one smile can turn into a thousand smiles. "A waterfall starts with one drop of rain"


Justin's Internet Reading List-- Part II--Bloggers Read

A year ago I wrote an entry entitled Justin's Internet Reading List Part I  where I highlighted the blogs I read on a regular basis and comment often. Two of the people I have known even before I starting blogging so I really feel like reading their blogs is  like catching up with old friends, a way to stay in touch. Many bloggers on the Internet, whether they be blogging about politics, relationships, children growing up or more specialized, license plate collecting or raising a child with a disability or having a disability yourself usually do a lot of reading about topics that would write on their own blogs.

For instance Ellen Seidman (Love That Max) often highlights other issues surrounding kids with disabilities in general, not just CP, I can tell based on her profile she's written for a number of parent magazines as well and has attended blogging conferences. David Schoenberger (DC Scanning) uses his blog to supplement his website to quickly post radio  frequencies he's found during major events. I get e-mails whenever these blogs are update, when an e-mail comes I scan the headline to see if I want to read the entry of the day and then move on

I cringe when bloggers say they barely have time to write  their own blog, they don't have time to read what else is out there. You need to read what other people are saying, other points of view. I WATCH Fox News and I READ the Huffington Post, which I often walk away from the laptop because I'm so angry;! However I peek at it still just to get a different point of view. I even occasionally go on the DailyKos if I need to raise  my blood pressure !

I don't actively advertise I'm on Twitter but you can follow me  @justinkc2gik  I read more than I tweet, I even retweet more than I create original material. Expressing  thoughts in 140 characters isn't my cup of tea, but I comment. Like a lot of people I follow TV Shows I like, @nbcchicagofire  @LawandOrderSVU1 and @LastManStandingABC . Actually I'm more active while watching these shows than any time else! If you want to write on the Internet get a Twitter account stat, you'll thank me