Oct 6

Pondering Thoughts

Revisiting a old published article!  Just because it is still relevant!

A recent conversation/situation made me think about some things. In my day job as a Diesel Truck/Heavy Equipment Technician, I drive a Dodge 3/4 ton truck with a service/tool bed on it. There are 3 compartments on each side with various shelving and such.

My tools are compartmentalized for the most part, with the tools I use the most in the center drivers side, mostly for lighter duty work of various complexities.  The front box on the drivers side are my heavier duty sockets, rackets, and wrenches. Also my various sprays and cleaners.  The rear drivers side box are pry bars, breaker bars, hammers, and large crescent and pipe wrenches.  In the boxes on the other side are separated by air tools, electrical and diagnostic tools, oils, air hoses, and of course one that is packed with various items left over and pack ratted for odd reasons that come in really handy sometimes.

Anyway, one evening on the way home, had to make a pit stop at Home Depot, so I locked the compartments in case someone decided they needed my tools worse than I did.

The next morning, the boss called kind of early. We had a regular customers truck broke down on I-10 and I had to get there quick to replace some air lines. Out the door I dash, without conducting my usual key, phone & wallet check before leaving the driveway.

KeyringsI get to the location of the broken down truck and checked out the situation. I knew the needed parts were already enroute, as the driver had done a good job of describing the issue. Went to get the correct wrenches for the job and ….  crud, the doors are locked on the boxes and the keys …. well, they were on the nightstand at home.

It was too far back to the house to get the keys, the parts driver is already enroute and a couple of miles away, and I do not have the correct tools. Out comes the Leatherman, as I know the front compartment lock can easily be jimmied. Remember, this is the compartment with the heavy duty stuff.

Just so happens for some reason a 7/8″ wrench was in there and a pair of channel locks. Guess they were tossed in there from a rush to get packed up and head home one day. And my Leatherman of course.

After a little longer than it should have taken, the job was done, the truck was on the road, and I was cutting back roads to the house to get the missing keys, as my next job site was not far from home.

A truck was loaded with several thousands of dollars in tools, and the right ones were not within reach, but the job got done.

In our lives as Emergency and Public Service communicators we find ourselves sometimes without the right tools for the job, but we have others that will work with a little bit of thought.

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Dec 28

Every day is a good day to send CW, but January 1 is reserved for Straight Key Night. Enjoy CW as it has been sent and enjoyed since the earliest days of Amateur Radio. This 24-hour event is not a contest; rather it is a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. The use of a straight key to send CW is preferred. Beginners are encouraged to be a part of this event. Go as slow or as fast as you wish. Mistakes do not count! NO ONE will make fun of you, BUT, you will have fun! There are no points scored and all who participate are winners.
Straight Key Night is held every January 1 from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC. All authorized Amateur frequencies, but activity has traditionally been centered on the HF bands. For contest information contact contests@arrl.org
Bob – W2IK
Dec 21

Note: This post has zero to do with Ham Radio, but we thought it was strange enough, or perhaps just dumb enough, to share with our readers.  It really shows how stupid some folks can get…  Lee N5NTG

Original Story By Kim Wilmath and Robbyn Mitchell
St. Petersburg Times

TAMPA, Fla. December 18, 2009 — A turkey-frying stunt Friday by the MJ Morning Show injured a firefighter, destroyed a van and alarmed fire department officials, who say the intentional blaze was unauthorized.  Tampa fire spokesman Capt. Bill Wade said he was “very disappointed.” Officials from WFLZ-FM 93.3 were not available to comment.

The DJs used a crane to drop a turkey carcass through the open roof of a plumbing van that had a vat of burning oil inside.    An inflatable snowman stood near the van’s open side doors.    Clear Channel broadcast the whole thing live from its studio parking lot.

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Sep 12

I found these photos, and more, at www.ThereIFixedIt.com web site.  I laughed so hard at some of them, that I just had to share the orginal link back to their web site.  Here are a sample of how folks are using duct tape in a unique manner perhaps, something every ham radio operator knows is an essential part of their emergency prepardness kit. 🙂

Apr 29

There seems little to concern us, if you ignore the more hysterical media, but the site below may be helpful to your Team. I expect if you click on your ‘refresh’ icon it will update the map to show you the latest information from the CDC.


If you refer to it as H1N1 flu (its correct name that sounds a little like a radio call sign), rather than ‘swine flu’, you will make life a lot easier for many farmers. Keep in mind too that 30,000 Americans die annually from other strains of flu. I don’t have Canadian stats. To this point there has been only 1 U.S. death from H1N1 and 0 in Canada. Washing your hands lots is the best prevention. Head for your doctor if you get any symptoms of flu to be on the safe side.


Apr 2

train comingIt was no April Fool’s call to 911 Wednesday, but some may have thought so. Instead, it was a dangerous train accident in Sherman early Wednesday morning.  This story has nothing at all to do with Amateur Radio, but I’m assuming that most of us would have had more  brains that this fellow demonstrates (when you listen to the 911 recording, you’ll understand what I’m referring to).

It was breaking news on KTEN News Today: According to Sherman Police, a Ferrari became high-centered on the railroad tracks, and the train just couldn’t stop, slamming into the high-priced sports car.

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