Showing posts from 2008

Remembering Allendale

A little while ago I was reminded of a dark memory......the death of my grandfather a few years ago. It seems someone is losing their father the same way, and out of respect I won't mention who, don't ask. However upon hearing this news I remembered how my grandfather suffered throughout the holidays. I remember the last Christmas he spent with us, his spot on the couch was replaced by a medical bed. The pain patches and other medications were placed on the exact spot where "important papers" once occupied a glass table in between the couch and the TV. I vividly remember the way the house "felt" that Christmas. After years of joyous events that went on, weddings, baptisms and numerous holidays within the walls. It was the site where I had visited every Sunday for dinner, the smells only grandma's kitchen couldx make. Or during the summer when grandpa would grill outside while watching us swim. I remember the basement...the grandkids "office spac

They did nothing about it

You folks know by now I tend to comment on politics from a truly non-partisan approach and I definitely condemn the IL Governor, he evens LOOKS like a sleezebag from the picturs and videos I have seen. The guy virtually has zero allies, I mean even President Bush still has he Cabinet and a handful of Congresspeople defending him. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich can't expect even one ounce of sympathy from the people of Illinois, but they reelected him just one month ago. You can't honestly tell me that a month ago everything in the Land of Lincoln was great and that this came out of right field. I can't believe people can indeed be that blind. It amazes me that the parties have that much influence on people that they would blindly just retain the status quo. I would bet you the next election cycle the Democrats unfortunately retain control. However it has been documented that the Republicans have their own sets ofc ethical issues to worry about so they aren't free an

A chance encounter--Part II

Continued from A Chance Encounter---Part I As we made our way out to her car in the back of my mind I had some major flshbacks from the almost nineteen year when I enter the Woodcliff School System. I thought about the times the kids used to tease m e on a daily basis. I thought ho no matter what I did or how much I tried I simply could not fit in. I had a couple of kids who talked to me but never "friends" just people who at least undestood my physical and emotional troubles enough to at least talk to- me. However the kids who were nice to me tended to be outsider s as well so I felt alone. I was never teased in public, well expect that one incident in the library very my manhood what question and to prove the creeps wrong I threw a chair clear across the room! The girls were worse, they just plain ignored me. Which to a socialable guy like myself is pure torture and emotionally crippling. There are so many horror stories over the eight years it would take about twenty-fi

A chance encounter-- Part I

It all started with a "reluctant"| trip to TJ Maxx with my mom in Westwood. We were nearby and she just conned me with "just a quick peek". We were roaming around and suddenly an old friend from Woodcliff Middle School walk through the doors......Allison. She was another member of the Wodcliff Lake Bunch that didn't go over to Pascack Hills. Now I won't going into complete details but th e switch was great for both of us. Neither she nor I really ever fitted in with the "Woodcliff Lake School" crowd, she moved to Park Ridge after grade school in Woodcliff Lake. (More about this in Part II) So Allison and I moved on to bigger and better things. Now I can lie and say we all of sudden reunited at TJ Maxx last night, when the truth is we've seen each other on and off for years. We always promised we'd get together and catch up, but never did. So last night SHE suggested we go out for a drink. Of course given my past experiences with that li

PV Class of 1998 Reunion

Alright followers of this blog must be doing a double take because about a year ago I wrote about the 1997 Class reunion. Well a little background. If you read the June 24 th you'll figure out I did high school in five years instead of four. Well both the Class of 97 and the Class of 98 made me one of their own so I went to two junior and two senior proms, going to two ten year reunions seemed like the natural progression. Besides Jeff has been wanting me to reunite with an old buddy Mike Miller, another PV alumni, and I didn' t want to disappoint him. I also worked hard those fives years to make friends and I wanted to see how everyone was doing Ironically it was in the same place as last year so that was a bit of a downer. Last year I got a ride this year I had to rely on Mom and Dad's Taxi (a downer in itself.) Even though I would never convince anyone I got there 45 minutes before the event started just so nobody would notice they dropped me off. OK I screwed up the

1st Garden State License Plate Meet

I posted this to the ALPCA and Yahoo lists about the license plate meet that occured this past Saturday the above photos were taken by Jim Moini and Justin Mattes Ok usually I'd come up with something very clever to say about this meet but all I can manage at this time is WOW! This day made all the hard work worth it. I swear Marco and I kept reminding ourselves this was our FIRST meet, I lost count 60 names in the log!! Despite the heavy rain at times, collectors came as far as Michigan and even Quebec to see what has been talked up for months. Advertising DOES WORK! I was VERY HAPPY to see Dave Kuhen on the slow but steady road to recovery. I want to say a th ank you to our auctioneer Ron Ridolph who did an excellent job, I promise I'll have a microphone next year!! Chuck Sakryd served as backup auctioneer and head sorter. Kurt Stentiford did an outstanding job as a solicitor for last minute donations while his dad Tim, editor of PLATES, did a tremendous j

The White House Meeting

Ok Ok Barack Obama and Joe Biden won fair and square so President Bush and the VP Dick Cheney invite them for lunch at the White House. Now for all the bad things Bush has done these eight years he still is a gracious host. He shows Obama around the White House, they tour the Rose Garden , Bush gives Obama his first ride on Marine One, even offers to help= Obama move his desk into the Oval Office. For all the bickering they've done this past year the day is pretty flawless and they finally have made their peace Meanwhile down to hall in the VP's Office Dick Cheney and Joe Biden aren't quite hitting it off. Cheney is packing up his books, popping his heart meds while Biden is seeing how he's going to redecorate the office. They are constantly getting in each other's way and it seems they'll start throwing jabs at any moment. Finally Cheney's done packing and starts to leave the offices. Biden asks Cheney if there's anything he could do

Time to replace those bumper stickers

This was just too funny NOT to post!!

Post-election reality

I am not back-peddling here, the previous post was written to make people think I would vote one way when I really voted another. People read what I wrote and assumed I automatically would for McCain, not this time. Like I did with John Kerry I took a long look at George Bush and even though I still don't believe John McCain is a "Bush Clone" I was concerned about McCain's health and I just don't know enough about Sarah Palin to trust her. So it wasn't a vote against McCain, it was a vote again Palin.. This country couldn't afford Palin as VP. That's why I voted for Obama! I voted against B ush the last time and I voted against Palin this time. Odds are McCain's people downplayed his illnesses. Secondly I would like to put on the record that I partly choose Obama because he is a minority. That might seem a bit narrowminded but again while Palin said she would be an advocate for children with disabilities, I didn't hear the specifics that woul

A preview of Election Day

Question to the group: Are you tired of all t he election day coverage already? The good thing is it's finally over. Now I'm not trying to minimize the importance of this election, it is indeed extremely crucial. However if you haven't made up your mind, I appreciate your position, as a matter of fact I am one of you. In this campaign I always said I could never vote for Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton or Dennis Kusinich. I couldn't vote for them because not matter what they said, no matter how m uch they smiled, I couldn't trust them on one general issue......NONE OF THEM could bring the country together! They couldn't do it! I was already to vote for Obama if Thomspson Romeny or any other Republican was nominated. At first glimpse he brought hope, new ideas, and supposedly a "new form" of politics. Obama seemed he really could unite the country and his handful of endorsements from some high prof ile Republicans made him seem viable.

Forget Joe "the plumber"'s Justin "the writer"

Alright I had to jump on the bandwagon basically because I am ticked that some "plumber" , who it has proven to be not even registered to vote, is get all this attention over taxes, while the health care issue takes second fiddle. Now OK both Obama and McCain have talked about other issues plenty, but they haven't found one "every day American" to represent all the people concerned about health care, energy,education the environment or any other issue. The candidates talk about everyday Americans and they throw out names and cities like people actually know who they are talking about. Each candidate tries very hard to humanize this race and they both are doing the best the can, but it's not good enough. Of course they can't talk to every single American, bust from what I'm seeing there's not enough of a cross section. The media loves sound bites, no matter whether on TV, radio, newspapers or th Internet (God help you if you ONLY get your news o

No SASE required

Alright if you're a ham you know the deal with QSLing. Usually the deal is when you make a contact eac h ham sends out a QSL card, paying the postage and everyone is happy. There's no better way to end a contact than to recieve an envelope in the ma il with your callsign on the front. It is a thrill that never get old, at least to me. It's not really a secret that for me qsling is a bit tricky, just like everything else physical in my life. I have to carefully load the evenlope into the printer lining it up just right while hoping it doesn't get jammed. Sometimes when printing the QSL itself the p=aper gets stuck. Also because the printer is downstair, my broke awhile ago I deal with my dad ask "What are you doing down here?" or don't mess anything up! So when individual hams say they require a SASE I really frown becaus the extra hassle is worth much more than a postage stamp. It also occurs to me some hams are just plain lazy many that do require a SA

Hilghighting comments/reader stats

The entry on June 24 th highlighting a journal I was working on back when I graduated high school has gotten some pretty spirited feedback. No doubt since the PV Class of 1998 Reunion is coming up noext month and my fellow classmates have definitely Googled "Pascack Valley High School 1998 10 year Reunion" or something along those lines and they stumble upon This Journal Entry . Now two of my former classmates have dropped me a note which makes me want to continues just writing random thoughts. I know entries around here tend to drop off every now and then but I think maybe I'll keep this updated aa bit more now that I know people actually read this blog. As outlined in the original entry one of the main reasons why I started this blog was to get instant feedback. It's also the reason why I added the Feedjit box on this page just for me to track the traffic and make sure I'm not the only one viewing this blog. That's why I finally got, b

2008 Grip Dip Results

An interestting e-mail arrived in my inbox this afternoon. Mixed in with the usual stuff about license plates and lighthouse come the Grid Dip results. This was the first PSK contest I actively participated in meaning I sent in my logs. It wasn't really to score points, but just like everything else on ham radio I decided to just go for it. Imagine my surprise when I found out 28 QSO'S was good enough to take FOURTH PLACE in my category!! I wasn't even trying to compete but I just wanted to see what happened!! There were three operators ahead of me, N3FX,N5PFW and W4EEH, respectively. All of them are serious contesters, so it was a real honor to be on the board with them!! I also would also like to add that I have been expanding my police scanner site to be more inclusive of ham radio. The direct link page is located here: KC2GIK's PSK-31 Webpage Below are some links off of to my logs for not only the Grid Dip but other c ontests as well.

CQ Lighthouse--N8ET/mm

A few weeks ago was the annual Lighthouses on the Air Event. In previous years I just listened to the contact on SSB mainly because I was only working QRP. Combine that with my speech contacts would be impossible!! Now I have been a member of the ARLHS for a few years, but haven't had that much success with lighthouse contacts. Usually when people activate lighthouses there's a massive pile-up. Fellow members of the ARLHS have tried to work me but band conditions have been iffy. Then the end of June Bill,N8ET announced he was going to activate some lighthouses on Lake Michigan from his boat Wings . Everyone one was excited, me included. Some of the sharper members realized this might be my big chance, as it was I had been striking out the last few times people have gone out to activate. One of the Jim,KA3UNQ, was just as determ ined as I was for me to make a lighthouse contact on phone! I heard Bill for a few minutes and decided to wait for a clearing. Finally the bands coo

CQ California/TARA "Grid Dip"

This past weekend was the TARA "Grid Dip" which is a PSK contest where you try to get as many Grid Locators as possible over a set period of a few days. It is one of the contests designed for PSK only so there's a lot of action. Like the repeaters if you do enough PSK-31;. For the first time I intentionally stayed up late (besides Field Day) for radio purposes. After awhile I saw KJ6P callsign calling CQ. Like a few other contacts from far away at first I couldn't believe it but then the signal got stronger. As a laugh I answered and would you know it he saw me!! Unlike my Orego n contact I made last year this was a very quick QSO/. Quick or not it's stil- a nice contact and he was as edgar to get my card as I was to get hard card. The day it arrived in the mail I whipped out the old digital camera and snapped the above picture! Of course it took a few more days to actually post it on "Mattes's Madness", but you know how my writing patterns c

Congratulations to Jeff and Jess


Seeing Salt Lake

The first day of the convention I do more gabbing than buying, this year was the same.Activity on the floor was brisk,, I didn't make the parking lot meet or whatever you guys call it but I did make the line up Wednesday morning. A thought about those who gripe, or think to gripe, about high entry #'s. I don't really see the difference. Maybe it was just that I didn' t look hard enough but for the first hour I saw more people talking than trading. I don't think I bought my first plate until towards the end of the first day! I didn't hand out as many fliers as I had hoped but people just said I have the information already. I gave the stack to Jeff "Faz" to put on his table, hopefully he handed out a few. My heart did stink a little when upon entering the hall I saw before me a wheelchair run before me. It was a beautiful display, I just wish it was mine. I didn't catch who did it, but if you're on the list congrats The Welcome Reception was

Field Day Fingering 2008--N2SE from Campgaw

Yes it's the Monday after the last weekend in June, that means it's time for Field Day Fingerings 2008!! Once again I transmitted with the 10-70 Repeater Association from inside the Campgaw Ski Lodge in lovely Mahwah New Jersey. The past three years running I have been doing PSK-31, but this time with my new Yaesu FT-897. Believe me it made all the difference In the world! Like every other year Rocky had to struggle with the computer not noticing the interface right anyway but with a bit of trouble shooting I was running by the traditional 2:00 start. This year my co-pilot was Tim,KA2A (yes I love that call too. Now if we can only get him to get ham license plates) who was jumping on my station every time I got up to stretch which unfortunately was quite often. In the end though we both roped in quite a few stations. There were two major pluses this year, one I had the FT-897 so I was able to bust through some great interference and second, unlike in previous years,

Ten years ago-June 24,1998-PVHS Graduation

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my high school graduation......and the "unofficial end" of the Journal. I had always thought the 1998 Pascack Valley High School graduation ceremony would be the last entry but t he different big events happened, and I had to write about them. Then I started this blog which is a bit more of a relaxed format. Now I could go into the different friendshipsI had and still have o-r write about the events that made my high school year memorable, but that's in the Journal and in my autobiography. Instead I wanted t o highlight my thoughts of THAT DAY , kind of a reflection piece so here is the one journal you'll ever see on Mattes's Madness . If there any 1998 PV alumni reading this entry, PLEASE COMMENT June 26,1998 For the first time in along time I feel the urge to write! This has been a crazy couple of days that I won't soon forget. First of all, I finally got out of high school for good,that's a big accomplishment. One

Trolling different bands

Let me preface this by saying my first HF rig bit the dust right after Field Day last year. I couldn't even usx it for Lighthouses on the Air!! So I was off HF from the end of June until a few weeks ago when Isaac visited from Germany and we hooked up my Yaseu FT-897 I bought of Mike,W2MLS, in December/. Unlike the Patcomm which is a dual band QRP rig, the FT-897 is an all-band, all-mode radio, in other words my first "real" HF rig!! So of course with this new fllexibility and a lot more power. I tried 10 meters when Isaac was here and managed to pick up a station from of all places Hillsdale,NJ which for those who don't know is the next town over. Talk about your major DX!! Although I also bagged Georgia on 10 Meters and a few guys on 30 Meters It's just something different some new. I would compare iit to fishing in different waters. My old rig I only had the two bands which is the equvilant of having two streams to troll. with this new rig, I can expl

Memorial Day Parade 2008!


California Trip 2008

Well since Natalie wanted a report I figured I would kill two birds with one one stone and write something here and just drop her the l ink to this entry. We had ten days of relaxation, a little less sun then we hoped but it was great to finally see my Uncle Matt, Au nt Shannon and little Tess out there instead of them flying to New Jersey. Even though I went out with Chris a few years ago, this trip we did it all. A trip to Universal Studios, a drive upto wine country and swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Mom, Dad and I flew out on a Wenesday so that gave us two days before Pete and Chuck joined us. Also Shannon was on a business trip in Germany so my folks and I spent some time with the newest edition of the family, my soon-to-be 2-year old cousin Tess. We took her to the park where I got to sznap some shot of her playing on the swings, and the slide she must have went down that slide more than a dozen times. I felt more like an uncle help her up those stairs and making her laugh I thi

He HAD to resign

Well it's official the disgraced Elliot Spitzer finally resigned. When the news broke Monday people from both sides of the aisle called for him to= step down. Unlike the Clinton scandal the Governor did have a handful of supports, I have to question their devotion to the state of New York. Spitzer broke the law, period the end. Who would want to support the highest law enforcer who broke the law? It's just unbelievable. From what I hear the irony that Spitzer was known as a tough on crime guy is now asking for a light sentence. I don' t think that should fly. Honestly I really think they should go harder on him because he was truly leading a double life. Priding himself on being tough on corruption when it turns out he was just as corrupt as the people he prosecuted in his early career as a District Attorney and Attorney General. People can forgive lapses in judgment, but people can not and should not forgive hypocritical behavior. Just a few comments on the Lt. Governor.

2008 Presidental Campaign --My Style

I have never endorsed a canidate on here but there 'sw a first for eveything. As a self-proclaimed political junkie I have been glued to the election of 2008! Now many want to peg me as an extreme right or left winger depending on the atmosphere, but I am and alway will be an independent. I voted for John Kerry in 2004 not because I liked him, although I admmired hisa courage. My vote was against Bush and to correct a mistake that I made four years earlier. As you might have read on the Internet I was involved in the medical malpractice debate=. Since Bush was totally for the insurance companies and wanted to cap damages on medical malpractice lawsuits, I voted again him. Kerry wasn't any bargin, but I would rather die then vote for a third party. Bush won anyway and continued to flush the country down the toilet. Now here it is the beginning of the next election cycle and with it comes a fresh set of canidates. I was originally secretly rooting for Rudy Guiliani and defin

The end of an era--Tri-Boro radio signing off

I purposely didn' t post anything in January because I wanted the first ramble of 2008 to be radio related. The 10-70 Repeater VHF contest was a few weeks and I did use my brand new Yaesu and made a decent amount of contacts. However instead of rehashing another contest, I decided to wait until another big radio event to break in the new year. As of a little while ago Tri-boro Dispatch has been disbanded and now the dispatching services for Montvale, Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake are handled by Ridgewood Emergency Services. Now this has been in the works for over a year, talks, debates and other political wrangling I don't care to discuss. After all this today it became a good deal, well actually it was in testing mode all week. Not only were all Tri-boro's channels were active, but every unit in the Tri-boro area was coming up on the air introducing themseleves. I wish I could get a copy of the tapes!!!!! The dispatching has been taken over by Ridgewood otherwise known

New Year Eve 2008