Posted on March 27, 2020
Posted on March 26, 2020
Karma – R. Holoch, 2008
Karma is the executed “deed”, “work”, “action”, or “act”, and it is also the “object”, the “intent”. Wilhelm Halbfass explains karma (karman) by contrasting it with another Sanskrit word kriya. The word kriya is the activity along with the steps and effort in action, while karma is (1) the executed action as a consequence of that activity, as well as (2) the intention of the actor behind an executed action or a planned action (described by some scholars as metaphysical residue left in the actor). A good action creates good karma, as does good intent. A bad action creates bad karma, as does bad intent.
As I mentioned in a recent post – I was raised – and I raised my two Sons to base their lives on The Golden Rule. The Golden Rule “Treat Others as They Would Treat You” is a Christian ethic, and I was raised in the Episcopal Church, and I read the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. I knew from an early age that taking the parables and lessons too literally, and looking at fools who use the text and twist it to make money (Televangelists especially – but also Politicians), that they are the “Money Changers” that Jesus threw out of the Temple. I know a shyster, charlatan and Money Changer when I see one. I am no longer religious – and its because religion has been perverted in the US by politicians and charlatans to the point where I am sick of it. I still try to live my life in the way I was thought. Its ironic – but I feel I am more Christian than most self pronounced Christians.
In the positive light of all of this – and one reason why I almost always delete my political rants is because after my initial anger – I realize that “What goes around comes around”. I know I have mentioned this in several posts – but I sometimes have to remind myself when things go way out of whack as they are now.
Sometimes Karma takes a very long time to be apparent – but I do believe it does, and I also “keep the faith” so to speak that good and bad will always at least cancel each other – but more than not – good will conquer evil. Because of this simple philosophy, I can get into the minds of artists from the past – especially those who art or poetry seems “cryptic” and maybe get an idea of what they were thinking. Sometimes it becomes a game of “forensics” – and by looking at their art or words as a photographer looks at a scene from all angles – the “aha” moment happens. That is when its most fun for me. Its also why I like radio propagation – like listening to a Canadian AM radio station instead of the “usual” Klamath Falls AM radio station. Or when DX just seems to pop out of nowhere.
Now you know what my thinking has been since the early 80’s art wise. Because my career is in high tech – coding and working with data all day, when I get a chance to work with my hands – first designing and then building an antenna, or thinking of a photographic scene and then shooting it – or composing a song – it gives me great balance from the day to day data world I spend most of my time in. That and exercise balances my internal scale and also de-stresses me.
And many days – just day dreaming and letting my mind wander is as good as actually “doing something”.
Posted on March 26, 2020
Tonight I am Hearing a CBC Station from British Colombia
Growing up in Northern NJ, I used to love listening to Radio Canada International – it was better than most shortwave radio stations. Tonight – for some reason, either the skip is skipping over KAGO in Klamath Falls – or maybe their power is set lower than normal.
CBC station CKFR’s programming is excellent – much better and more interesting than the tripe we have on the US AM Band – which is Fox News. I am listening how their national health care basically has their Coronavirus covered for everyone. They started testing in January. They are making the US look like a bunch of pikers:
So much for the US “Doing a great job”. Yes – the front line health care workers are doing their best and deserve all the help and kudos they can get – but our government has failed us. $2 Trillion but no ventilators and the most disorganized response to the worst health issue in my lifetime.
By contrast to the US – Canada a rapid response department and they were ready for Covid-19 because they had planned after SARS. The GOP has crippled Obamacare and Trump got rid of our Rapid Response Unit for Infectious disease. As much as I said I don’t want to be political – this is right in my face while using the KY6R Big Mag Loops to do some BCB DXing.
The US can learn a ton from our neighbors to the North. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I will now be looking for Canadian AM BCB stations – what a refreshing thing to listen to smart and very interesting radio – devoid of politics and advertising.
Posted on March 26, 2020
“Flyover Country” – R. Holoch, 2008
You might have noticed I have changed the name and tagline of this blog. When I started blogging, it was pretty much all Ham Radio, and all DXing. As I progressed through what I wanted to accomplish in that hobby, I found other things I wanted to write about. I’ve tried like the devil to stay away from political topics – but the last 3 years have been ghastly and the worst politically that I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Nancy – R. Holoch, 2008
As I mentioned a few posts ago, when I went through the 2008 Loan debacle and 8 years where Obama had to work his ass off to get my house price back from where the GOP induced Loan Debacle and Great Recession drove it – 1/2 its previous value, I looked to do something creative art wise – and turned to doing these Assemblage pieces. I gave all of them away – because what I found is that the photography – or taking pictures of these pieces as “still life scenes” is what I really wanted to do art wise. So – my Assemblage art was nothing but fancy “props”.
Man Ray – Metronome
I active in Ham Radio as a Novice from 1973 – 4 and then a General in 1975 and 6. Then I bought a car, met a few nice girls, and that was it until 2001 (but with several short and failed attempts to get back into Ham Radio in the 90’s).
From 1977 – 2001 I was much more into art – especially Dada, Surrealism, Photography of all genres. I also was into literature – especially Beat Poetry and stories, but also several other genres. I played in a rock band in San Francisco clubs and had my own darkroom during the 80’s, then the kids came along and so while I still enjoyed art – it was more as an observer. I also became addicted to cycling in 1995 – after back surgery – when the doctor told me no more running – either swim or cycle. I’ve been a Data Architect, Database Administrator and Programmer since 1981 – when I graduated college – so there has been that thread as well – very tech heavy here.
Raoul Hausmann – The Spirit of Our Times
I think the art that I am most attracted to were done by people who lived in “Surreal Times”. The “Lost Generation” is my Grandfathers generation – where they would have been traumatized by WWI – which was a brutal and bloody war – with new war machines used that made the killing and maiming machine all that more traumatic. Then, they had to live in the years of the rise of the Third Reich and ultimately WWII.
In between these wars, there was a parallel with technology, and yes, the furthering of radio. So now you might see the connection between Ham Radio and the art I like most. For me – the design and creation of say the National SW-3 happened close to the time of the surrealists and dada-ists. When you look at their art – many times – they were motivated by new technology and the changes taking place in society around it. Most pieces were created with tongue in cheek – some much more than others – and some were downright jokes (Marcel Duchamps work especially). I especially like the art where you can see the direct connection to technical things – like radio.
Between social and political upheaval and advances in technology it must have been hard to keep up – it could have been overwhelming and seemed “Surreal”, “Bizarre” or “Unreal”. I have enjoyed this art, literature and music since the 80’s – so really, much longer than my Ham Radio en-devours.
Truth is – I hate politics, and don’t really care for most politicians – and until The Great Recession, pretty much ignored politics altogether. As long as our leaders were even passably mediocre, I was fine with that. For me, just not doing any damage was good enough for me. But having my house price drop by 1/2 its value was truly traumatic. I figured if that happens in the US – we are in serious deep shit. We got through that and I thought “nothing will ever be as bad as that”.
Wrong. What we have gone through the last 3 years leading up to today is the worst by far than anything I have ever witnessed in my life. Yes, I want my 401K to be great – but since the 80’s my 401K has gone up and down like a yo-yo, and I just kept my money in the market. That was OK – and it will be OK – but the house price thing really really spooked me. I see Wall Street as one click above Las Vegas – but your house equity is the real deal – and the most important “Bell-weather”.
Politically, I’m actually quite middle of the road – so Wingnut Right and Looney Left persuasions find me pretty boring. But I despise dishonesty, greed / grift / graft, bullying, boasting, sexist, racist, etc – all of the things Trump does. I taught my two sons to never ever be that way – and I never tolerated any of that when they were growing up. I was one of the stricter dads in my area. My German father was VERY strict when I was a kid. My Father taught me to follow the Golden Rule – and that is where I was VERY strict with the kids. When one of my sons pushed a younger kid down at the skate park – I made him go to their house and apologize to the kid and the father (who was understandably angry that my son was being a bully). They accepted the apology and that sort of thing never happened again.
I at least want our politicians to be civil and follow the golden rule. Hell – in retrospect – George W Bush was that way – and bless his heart compared to the monster we have in the office now. I blame him for the Loan debacle – or at least his party and administration – but at least he was a decent guy – actually I’ve come to learn he is a very nice guy. I’ll forgive his shortcomings with the economy.
Anyway, I am going to try to tap more into the Dada and Surrealist art and my favorite literature – and see if I can “channel” more of their tongue in cheek artistic themes and stay away from direct political ranting. Its more of a challenge, will be more fun – and there are way too many other political rant sites out there – that’s why I (almost always) end up deleting my political rants. I like how the Dadists and Surrealists matched the crazy, insane times with what came across (intentionally) as “anti – art” or plain nonsense. Duchamps Urinal was the most crass of that genre.
I will continue to post antenna blurbs and maybe even some more QRP tidbits – but hopefully you see now how my life has never been ONLY Ham Radio – and it never will be – hence the Dada influenced new title and tagline. We live in crazy times – I plan on matching that craziness a little bit. I’m sure I will chuckle in the process.
In fact, I have something “cooking” right now – that hopefully lets me vent with a simple image or two and only a few words. It’ll be a fun challenge.
Posted on March 24, 2020
OK – lets see if I can search the globe for very promising solutions to the Covid-19 problem. Turns out – there are hackathons right now where desperately needed products are being invented and tested. Here are some other mask links:
And WOW – get this – 3D Printed respirators / ventolators:
There is help for the human race – and guess what? Its not coming from your government – its coming from YOU. Brightest news that I have seen since Cuomo’s Press Conferences.
NOW – about that “Lets Make America Great Again” – by bringing back Manufacturing – here’s our chance!
Posted on March 22, 2020
The K9AY Loops – a Receive Antenna That Was a Game Changer for Me Early On
Before I got into the DX Engineering NCC-1 and NCC-2 (and before that the MFJ phasing unit), I tried the K9AY Loops and had great success – until my neighbor installed “something” in his house. All of a sudden the K9AY Loops were swamped with noise – and so I had to switch from this electrical low band antenna solution to magnetic loops.
I found a New In Box K9AY Loop System, so I purchased it
I have a good place to set one up that is far from any house – so I will set it up and do some tests between the best receive antenna system I have ever had (KY6R Big Mag Loops – phased through the NCC-2 and with remote ALA100LN Wellbrook Preamps).
If they work well this time around – I will phase them against the phased KY6R Big Mag Loops – just for laughs, and using the NCC-1. I will do lots of A-B testing.
I always am up for experimenting with receive antennas – I find this part of radio the most fun and interesting.
Posted on March 22, 2020
Cycling is a Way to Get Your Freedom Back
During this weeks Shelter in Place order, most people I know here in the SF Bay Area are in tech and are working from home. Three years ago I sold my car and have been only using a bike to get around – until a month ago – when Kat bought a new car and now the old BMW X3 is mine. I hardly ever use it – I still prefer my bike to the car.
What I learned early on – and it was counter intuitive – the bike makes me feel free. The car makes me feel like I am stuck in a regulated box. In the morning I whiz by a long line of cars dropping their kids off at school and then frantically trying to get that last parking spot at BART. They can have that stress – not to mention the additional cost. Paying for a monthly parking spot is pretty expensive these days – and burning gas while stuck in a long slow line just sucks.
This week – with everyone sequestered at home – I’ve seen all kinds of people of bikes with big smiles on their faces. They just realized how we aren’t stuck in our homes as a prison, and that its very easy to “Socially Distance” on a bike – since getting closer than 3 – 6 feet is downright dangerous. On the rails to trails people are a bit close, but on the roads – nothing. There is hardly any traffic – so I feel like I have the road to myself.
One of the best silver linings in our newly minted dark cloud.