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To some the polar vortex is Armageddon…. to others just another winter day!

January 30, 2019

….just a short posting to say thank you to the news media. Yes I said the news media because I have been down lately and their nightly news brought a chuckle to this old man. They opened with dire warnings of bodily harm if anyone went out during this cold snap and proceeded to show how important this cold wave was when they showed that they had six reporters covering the event. One would never know that our government is broke and spending money it doesn’t have at the same time pushing for open borders so they will have more uninformed people to vote for them.

Granted -20 is cold, I know because for 14 years I experienced it every winter, but did you know in Fairbanks Alaska they do not close schools when it is -20 but they may when it is 20-30 above zero? Apparently the parents in Fairbanks know how to dress their children for extreme cold but in the lower 48 they don’t…. and the reason for sometimes closing schools when it warms up is because roadways and sidewalks are solid ice and definitely dangerous to walk or drive on.

So the government
in the lower 48
has shut down mail delivery
and canceled flights
but still 5 people have died
because of the cold and snow.

How formidable must the people be
who live with these conditions
every year of their lives?


Drumbeats of racism…. no just more fake news

January 23, 2019

If you advance the video to approximately 1:18:00

You will see Mr Phillips confront the Catholic school children

not the children confronting him as reported in the news.

…and one may ask why is it that if you do a Google or internet search

you would be hard pressed to find this video in the results?


By now unless you live under a rock or never watch or listen to the news you have heard about the death threats a teenager from Covington Kentucky has received courtesy of the anti-Trump news media. It was initially so bad that even his own school was thinking of expelling him and the Catholic diocese of Kentucky, before verifying the story, apologized for his actions. It is one thing to see the daily swill of fake news perpetrated against the President and his allies but to attack a young man simply because he has on a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat is not only sadistic but insane.

Like most stories in the news these days one can form different opinions of what happened depending on how much one sees of the video of the actual encounter. Looking at the original YouTube video one could assume that the youth  indeed confronted the native American demonstrator and proceeded to smirk or taunt him.

However when you watch the longer YouTube version of the encounter starting with the demonstration by a group named black Hebrew Israelite’s or black nationalists in the article on Zero Hedge you see the Catholic school group was taunted by obscenities and at the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips incident) they call one of the few black students the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him.

So from this is a glaring example

of today’s news media

one can see that

their purpose in society

is that they are nothing more

than the propaganda arm

of those opposed to certain religious, moral or ethical beliefs

regardless of age or position in society.



Talk radio or spending time with a loved one…. one old mans view

January 18, 2019

My family from around the world meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska

….come on that is a no-brainer even for an old sometimes confused curmudgeon like me, talk radio isn’t even in the same league as being with loved ones whether family or friends but your quick answer missed the point…. many people live alone and far from family while others like myself are an acquired taste and have few true friends so we have a radio or TV on just to fill the background silence.

I’m not saying whether this is good or bad just the way things are and this isolation grows exponentially with age because as we get older it takes us longer and longer to do the simplest of things. For example the mere fact of getting up from bed and out the front door that used to be almost a single uncomplicated action now requires what one did to plan a major road trip.

Even considering the longer time it takes those older bones to get flexible after a night of little movement in bed and how long it takes to just get washed and dressed, back when we were younger we could have gotten the entire family ready for that road trip in the same amount of time. Then we come to the part where we have to use our un-caffeinated brain and figure out whether to take our water pills and medications depending on the logistics of nearby facilities makes just getting out the door akin to a dissertation for a doctoral thesis.

So though living alone we always have
the radio, TV and computer
it is the ability
to be near and spend time
with ‘understanding’ loved ones
that breaks the sameness of life
on this end of the road.

Just a thought…. Washington through my eyes

January 8, 2019

I started this posting a number of times with my usual ‘first paragraph look back’ at something that connects with the news of the day but I have decided against it because the incident which you may have heard or seen on your evening newscast is troubling in and of itself. I have written a number of times about the loss of respect that this nation is garnering and last week a shining example of why we are losing it was evident in our nations capital.

One may not like but would not be surprised to hear that rapper Snoop Dogg using profanity to describe President Trump’s supporters but it is an altogether different matter when a newly elected Democratic representative Rashida Tlaib showed her true feelings as she used profanity when talking about impeaching the President.

No words I could write could exemplify the crassness and disrespect Ms Tlaib is showing for the office of the President, and to have the audience that she was speaking to rise up with cheers and applause only shows that there are many millions of people across this nation who have the same lack of respect.

I guess we do not have to wonder
why our children are acting out
with no respect for adults or authority figures
they simply emulate
what they see the adults do and say.


January 2, 2019

*A tip of this old mans hat

and a short posting

for the hams that follow my blog.

…. even though my oil stove was roaring sitting in my radio shack, (aka…the loft of my cabin ), there was visible steam coming from my morning coffee, I think the temperature outside at -20° is what made it a loosing battle. But with enough layers of clothes I would repeat my thrice daily ritual of taking a sip of coffee and turning the dial ever so slowly never wanting to miss any chance at a contact that would rise above the background noise.

I had recently placed my antenna, a single strand of copper wire 35 feet up in the trees in front of my cabin in hopes of reaching out the 3,000 plus miles to my son’s home in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. A lofty goal no doubt but I had already spoken with Hawaii in the west and Germany to my East, so Philly should be doable if the ionosphere would co-operate. My reasoning for targeting my son was based on the fact that he was the driving motivator for me to obtain my ham license. He was licensed before me and on his visits to Alaska was always letting me know the benefits of having a radio station out here in the wilderness where there was no phone service.

So whenever my son had a few hours open we would schedule a time to try and make a contact, but for the most part the ionosphere was not very cooperative until…. August 6th at 03:50 UTC when rising from the roar of background noise was my son calling KL1HB. Though the contact was extremely week (3/1sent-3/3 received) almost to the point of making it indistinguishable from the background with an exchange of information it was my first contact with my son in Philadelphia. The next day at roughly the same time contact was again made and this time (5/7 sent 5/5 received) it was strong enough to hold a good QSO.

That first contact with my son marked with red

People look strangely at me when they find out that I am a Ham and a few even ask why bother when today we have the cell phone and instant messing…. My explanation though simple most of the time goes over their heads….. With cell phones and social media for the most part you know who you will be communicating with.

When operating an amateur radio
and calling CQ
you never know who may return you call
and just sometimes
that contact
is more rewarding than speaking with someone you know.

A Christmas thunderstorm…. redux

December 29, 2018

Similar to the DC-3 I flew out of Temple, Texas back in 1966

….it was a relatively short flight for a commercial plane, only 129 miles between Temple Texas and Dallas, but standing here looking out at the tarmac I could understand why the flight was delayed. I was on a 14 day leave and was heading out from Ft Hood to spend Christmas with my parents, but first one had to get to ‘civilization’ and a much bigger airport with planes capable of flying thousands of miles instead of hundreds. My flight was delayed because of severe thunderstorms and as I waited I wondered what effect those fierce lightening bolts and strong winds would have on a real airplane?

Funny thing about the circle of life is that it is happening whether we realize it or not. Thursday as I was traveling with my children to the airport in Dallas I received a text announcing a delay in my daughters 4pm flight back to Alaska. This was a direct result of, what I thought was a mild thunder storm, but apparently was much more severe. The news this morning spoke of hundreds of flights canceled yesterday because of the storm with today’s backlog a direct result.

I understand that severe winds and maybe a direct strike by a lightning bolt could bring a plane down but why a backup lasting for days, doesn’t the airline have extra planes at their hub waiting for just such an occurrence? Could the carrier just shuffle the stranded people to other flights… are the airlines so fully booked that there are no extra seats, and if so could they not afford to have those extra planes on standby? That said and after a delay my daughter finally arrived in Alaska at a little past midnight and only had to wait till 2am for her bags to catch up with her.

All in all I do wish the Christmas holiday did not have to end and she could remain with me or at the very least I could travel back home with her. Her long absence in my life made here visit all the more enjoyable. Plus being around my grandchildren was enhanced by her presence. My daughter-in-law opened her home to my daughter and provided many wonderful holiday meals even though she still had to work every day.

This was

the first Christmas

that seemed just a little more special

than all the other ones

that this grumpy old man

managed to have

a great time

and even

a smile or two!


My daughter on my left and my son in the foreground at our last family meal together in Texas

Twas the night before Christmas……

December 25, 2018

when all through the house

not a creature was stirring

except the family

show here after decorating the tree.