23 Dec. 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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The Cute Puppy Ate My Blog

I'm lying, of course, but it's an easy lie to get away with.  C'mon - if you had a choice of finding my usual scribbles or a picture of a cute puppy with links to still more of cute puppies, wouldn't you suspend your disbelief?

Here's What Really Happened

I had a bad idea.  Of course, since it was mine, and since I don't generally consider my ideas to be bad ones, I didn't recognize it as such right away.  The idea was to offer suggestionsadvice evenon charitable giving.  December is when the charities kick into high beg.  As do many, I have a few "causes," with emphasis on "few."  If I were less selective and offered a few bucks to every "worthy cause" there'd be more emphasis on "few" as in how few bucks I'd have left, and how few each of the causes would get.  Less, I'm sure, than the bookkeeping would cost.  So I'm selective.  I have criteria and I think they're good ones.  I started to blog about these criteria with the notion that maybe you would rethink your own donations in their light.  (It was definitely not my idea to suggest the specific charities for you to consider; that I would have known immediately was a bad idea.)  I started scribbling.  I stopped.  And started and stopped again.  Each time I started, I felt uncomfortable, verging on meddlesome, propounding my especial wisdom in this area.  I kept this up for quite a while, and finally decided that it was a blogitem that wasn't meant to be.  I still follow my criteria, which I think are pretty sensible.  But I'm not encouraging anyone else to do so.  It would be difficult to do in any event, since I haven't mentioned what they are.  After two weeks and many words scribbled and deleted, my advice on charitable giving is this:  Do what you please.

Here's What Else Really Happened

I went defective.  It is near the beginning of snow season here in Northern New Jersey, and in past years I have personally attacked that affront to my warmer sensibilities with MP3 player and two remarkably sturdy blue plastic shovels, not to mention my recalcitrant if not actively-malicious snow blower.  A week ago Nature delivered unto me and my unsuspecting driveway a benign-looking but nonetheless dire agglomeration of snow and ice.  I think, or more properly, my back thinks that shoveling the ice was a big mistake.  I'm normally reasonably robust against physical insult, but apparently not this time.  Ascribe, then, the further paucity of items to the incompatibility of sitting at the computer blogging with the discomfort of sitting at the computer with muscles in rebellion.

That's Tragic!  Are You OK Now?

Not completely, but well enough to scribble.  That squishy human stuff in there doesn't like me any more than I like it.

What Else is New?

There's a new DXCC Entity!  It gets top billing in the "What's New" category although precious few who aren't ham radio operators of the subclass "DXer" will care.  A few times I have whined about the irresponsibility of the North Korean government in preventing their own citizens (not to mention everyone else) from operating a ham station from that verdant and salubrious territory.  North Korea was, until a week ago, the only "country" with which I have failed to confirm a radio contact.  Quite the annoyance if you're me, although I recognize that others may have different problems with the DPRK.  Now there are two countries from which I lack confirmation: North Korea and the exotic Caribbean territory of St. Barthelmy.  St. Barts is a French possession, previously under the sway of nearby Saint Martin.  Due to minor political changes in France, followed by the United States Department of State's accession to same, it now counts as a separate entity for ham radio purposes.  Has France in a stroke doubled my irritation at not having "worked them all?"  Hardly!  Thanks to a few Finnish operators, who swooped down on St. Barthelmy as soon as the ink was dry, and thanks also to characteristics of radio propagation, which are as favorable for the Caribbean as they are unfavorable for eastern Asia, I have already "worked" this new entity.  I don't have my confirmation (QSL card) yet, but it shall surely arrive, leaving the DPRK my nemesis as always.

Any Follows-Up?

A couple.  Although my letter to Warren Buffet has not yet elicited his personal response, I have no doubt that it will, soon, as I am sure he is pondering it over the holidays.  I also received my book from Scott Adams, which I duly read, and which I can now blurb without lying.  I think a review may be in order.

Is The Above Enough to Break Your Hiatus?

Yes, although I'm hoping that shoveling the ice didn't do it first.

NP:  "Lady Come Softly" - H.P. Lovecraft

Richard Factor

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