Monday, December 8, 2008

Colleges are out of the way, sorta. I've applied to colleges in the bay area. So we will see what happens with college now, I'm leaving it up to fate. Whatever happens, will happen, and right now I can't change that. I've been thinking about junior college, it seems like a good idea for a year or two. Get the general Ed out of the way, and then apply to other more prestigious institutions. Maybe even use the junior college as a sounding board, to test different career ideas. Who knows, if I get into one of the colleges I applied for, then I will go there, if not a jc, in the bay area more than likely.

It has been stressful lately, and I have been looking for ways to relax. I've spent almost a full week doing minimal work on school. I've been talking on the radio more as well, keeps my mind off of worrying about college.

Gotta do school, 73.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Things have been real busy in my life recently. The holidays have arrived, and work, along with school, have been taking control. School started again yesterday, and I noticed that it takes me about a day to get back into the swing of things. Maybe it was because I was away from the internet for so long, 5 days, or just sheer laziness, I got nothing done yesterday. Must have been withdrawal pains from the internet.

I got to see my sister over the holidays, I hadn't seen her in way too long. It was nice having someone around to joke around with. Much less have someone who would understand half my jokes. I've missed her a lot, but she is doing her thing in college, and that is what she needs to be doing.

I've been thinking about college a lot lately. I've had a pretty good plan in my mind, then my Dad got a call from my Grandfather. My Grandfather's friend, says that if I want to go to Cal tech then money shouldn't be a problem. Which is awesome, except that I had plans. I was going to go to college up North, and eventually graduate with a masters in economics, and take over a friend's job.

Now I have the chance to go to Caltech

Friday, November 21, 2008

Venting like a volcano...

Procrastination! What a lovely concept. It is the "perfect storm" for procrastination. Just think about it, today is Friday, we coming up on a week long vacation. You seriously think I am going to put up with even an hour of school? Ya didn't think so...

In other news, the fires are contained! Woohoo! That means that we should all be breathing a lot easier now. I'll be going geocaching with a friend of mine tomorrow. Just around town, We may even leave some caches for others to find, but before that I've got work. Yuck, but it gets money into my pockets =]. I'm going to try to leave as early as possible, so that me and Gerald will have more time to cache. After we are done caching we may go and pick up some pizza and watch movies, yay!

I've found a new force in the universe. Something more powerful than electromagnetism, or gravity. Fresh laundry, it is so powerful that a cat halfway across the house is drawn to it. I plan on writing a paper, and expect the Nobel Prize invitation in a few months. My teats subject was one, Schrödinger Bon Schnitzel-Kitty, he was in the living room at the time of the experiment. The experiment was conducted in my room, which is the farthest point from the living room. After bringing in a load of freshly dried laundry, the subject was drawn to the laundry in under 2 mins. Remarkable, it also seems to sedate cats, make them fall asleep on the laundry.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well it looks like the fires are dying down. The Tea fire is now 100% contained, the Triangle Complex fire, and the Sayre fire are 75% & 70% contained, respectively. I haven't seen nearly as much Ash and smoke in the air as the last few days.

In other news Turkey Day is coming up! Which means, yes, more custody disputes, joy. It happens to be on the 27th of this month. So I will give 27 different things that I am thankful for. These aren't necessarily in order of importance.

I am Thankful for:
  1. The wonderful girl that I am dating.
  2. My health.
  3. My family.
  4. Our prosperity.
  5. My friends.
  6. The world isn't blown up.
  7. Chipmunks are cute.
  8. Disco is dead.
  9. I've got a whole lot of tamales to eat.
  10. Joe the plumber is still a plumber, and not a cabinet member.
  11. Lol cats exists.
  12. Ham Radio exists.
  13. That College is coming up soon.
  14. The internet is around.
  15. A zombie is not eating my brains.
  16. Two Zombies are not eating my brains.
  17. Hilary is not president.
  18. McCain/Palin are not going to be in office.
  19. Jack the ripper is dead.
  20. This is almost over.
  21. The VX-8 is almost out for the holidays!
  22. Homemade cookies.
  23. I have never been attacked by a man wielding a tongue depressor.
  24. There are only three left!
  25. Pirates and Ninjas may some day live in peace.
  26. Tom Cruise is a non-violent maniac.
  27. I finished this list!
Yea, I started to run out of things around 6...

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I've got a new website, I'll post a link here, and in my Blogger Profile. It is majorly under construction, but I will get it going soon =].

In other news the fires are still going, the Sayre fire is 30% contained, the Triangle Complex fire is still 0% contained, and the Tea fire is 75% contained. it should be close to two days before all of the fires are taken care of. They have a lot to get done. Ash has still been falling like rain, and the smoke is still prevelant. It is hard to breathe. I took a bike ride to try to find a geocache site near ne. It was a lot harder to bike with all of the crap in the air.

We are having homemade tamales for dinner tonight, Yum! there is nothing like home cooking, especially when you had radioactive food last night, bleh. Might as well get back to working on the site, may you all have a great night, afternoon, or morning!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ham terms...

So I just realized, I have been using some terms that some of you may not be familiar with. So I guess I will list as many as I can, to give you a better understanding of what I am saying.
  • 73: best regards, usually used at the end of a conversation.
  • MARS/CAP: Military Affiliate Radio System/Civilian Air Patrol
  • Mod: Modify, usually used when talking about modifying a radio. Also Modulate/Modulation, which is basically making a radio emission that contains information.
  • Mobile: A Ham that is moving while transmitting. Or a mobile radio which is one that is used in an automotive, runs off of 12V.
  • Mic: Microphone, converts sound waves to electrical signal
  • Call Sign: The FCC license that is given to every amateur radio operator that passes their exam. Calls signs generally are in a few different formats, for simplicities sake I will say that it begins with a letter has a number and ends with a letter. Such as XX6XXX. The number of letters will vary.
  • CW: Morse Code, also Continuous Wave which is an unmodulated signal. Mainly it will refer to Morse Code, which oddly enough is an interrupted wave.
  • Cross Band: Transmitting on one band, and receiving on another. Usually used when you are mobile, more on this later.
  • CTCSS: Short for Continuous Tone-Controlled Squelch System. basically subaudible tones that, usually, activate a repeater, another radio, or some other device.
  • DTMF: Dual Tone Multi Frequency, Which are commonly known as touch tones. Sent via a touch pad on the transceiver, also used for controlling or activating devices.
  • DCS: Digital Code Squelch/Disaster Communications. used for controlling devices, like CTCSS, except digital uses a code with a 23-bit frame transmitted at 134.4 bps (bits/secs) basically a subaudible tone.
  • DB: It is a unit to measure the ratio of two power measurements. usualy used in conjunction with Gain, to indicate the amount of power gain an antenna gives you.
  • Wavelength: The length of any given radio wave.
  • Band: Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Boston, you know band. Just kidding, the band, such as 2 meters, is where a certain frequency is located. The 2m band is called that because of the physical wavelength of the signal being emitted.
  • Frequency: Often abbreviated as "Freq," this is the measure of the oscillation of a given radio wave. Frequency is measured in Hertz which is cycles per second.
  • MHz/KHz/Hz: Megahertz, Kilohertz, and Hertz. Megahertz is a million Hertz, Kilohertz is a thousand Hertz.
  • Duplex/Dual receive: Duplex is where a radio transmits on one freq and receives on another the difference in freqs is determined by the radio's step (see Step). Dual receive is where a radio receives, or listens to, two freqs a once.
  • Simplex: Single freq transmitting, where the radio transmits and receives on one freq only.
  • Repeater: A device that receives one freq, and retransmits what it receives on another freq.
  • Step: Step refers to the Step, like walking forward, that a radio takes to advance the freq that it is monitoring. This is measured in Hz, such as 5, 10, 12.5, 20, 40, 100 KHz steps. The Ham freqs, usually, take 20 KHz, where as FRS/GMRS take 12.5 KHz
That is all for now, I can't think of any more that I will use, but if I do use some terminology that you don't understand you can always google "Ham radio terms" this will bring a few sites that will contain the needed information.


Fires, fish, and something else that starts with f...

Hey everyone, as you all probably know there are some fires burning in LA, Yorba Linda, and elsewhere I am sure. Boy, I can smell and see the smoke from my house. It is blotting out the sun and making it look dusk. Southeast of us seems to be the epicenter of the smoke. The smoke is so dark that it looks like they have rain clouds over there. It feels hot inside at about 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit but outside it is closer to 70 degrees.

In other news, I guess I might as well introduce my pets, mainly because I plan to speak about them in the future, and you should know who the heck they are. I have a 10 US gallon tank which house most of the fish mentioned below, as well as an eel. My parents have a 15 gallon tank which holds the remaining fish. I'll try to include a picture of everyone...
  1. Schrödinger, he is a medium hair cat. He mainly resides on my bed during the day, sleeping 90% of the time. He also enjoys sleeping or playing in the cabinets above my bed.
  2. George, he is a short hair cat. He is Considered "the cat that was dropped on it's head when it was born". Running into walls, doors, people, windows, Schrödinger, and anything else possible. But he is adorable, and loving.
  3. Gold fish (4), no names, mainly called "The Fish." These things are huge though, they must have some whale blood in them. I would estimate between 4-5 inches each gold fish. They were bought from the feeder fish tank at about 15c each. They are close to 7 years old now. They are located in a 15 gallon tank with some loaches.
  4. Noodle, a Tiretrack eel which is located in my 10 gallon tank.
  5. Angel fish, which is in my 10 gallon tank.
  6. Guppies, in my 10 gallon tank as well.
  7. Mollie, again in my 10 gallon tank.
  8. Loaches, 4 in my parents fish tank, the 15 gallon, and 5 in my tank (10 gallon.)
That is about it as far as pets go, unless you count the algae growing on the inside of my tank.

Thats about it guys, 73!

EDIT: It seems the smoke is now centering to the Southwest and Southeast of us, it seems to be fairly dark to the East still.

EDIT2: It has cleared up to the East and seems to be mainly in the South, Southwest, and West are, also a bit dark to the North as well.

Edit3: Here is a map showing the fire.

Friday, November 14, 2008

VX-6r a great radio!

In amateur radio you have a few different users.
  • Commercial radio users
  • Amateur radio users
  • Homebrew radio users
These all have their different pros and cons. Some people favor Commercial radios versus Amateur radios. In my opinion Amateur radios are my first choice, because they have lots of different tools built in.

For instance take the VX-6r a tri-band handheld, 144 MHz, 430 MHz, 222 MHz. The first two bands are the most popular VHF/UHF Amateur bands in Southern California. This radio has tons of different features that I enjoy having. Many of them are listed Here which shows full specs and features for the VX-6.

Some, but not all, options are as follows:
  • Mic gain control
  • Password protected
  • Submersible for up to 3ft for 30 mins
  • 24 memory banks
  • Memory bank continuous scanning
  • CW training feature
  • Very bright white LED light
And the list goes on... There are a ton of features, and they are all handy. you can also preform a mod on this radio to open up full TX ability. Warning: If you do this mod, ONLY TX on 6m, 2m, 220 MHz, 70cm, and FRS/GMRS Freqs. No other bands, you will mess up your radio, it is only made for these freqs. The mod is certified by Yaesu as a MARS/CAP mod. Warning: As all Hams know only transmit on freqs that you are licensed for.

Commercial radios are very good as well. They have excellent audio quality, they are built sturdily, strong signals, and they are cheap. The only problem I have with Commercial radios are thus:
  • A lot are limited to certain "channels" or memory presets. If you want to go to 446.400 MHz and it is not programmed into you radio's channel then there is no way to get there, without hooking the radio up to a computer and programing in that frequency.
  • Many do not have display screens.
  • Because there is no display screen you must memorize which freq is in any given channel.
  • You can not change the power level without hooking the radio up to a computer and programing the power level for that frequency on a certain channel.
  • Many have an MDC or equivalent tone burst at the beginning or end of every transmission, this can get annoying, it can be turned off, but only if you hook it up to a computer.
Now of course this does not pertain to all commercial radios. I have seen some with screens, and I have seen some with a free frequency navigation, but not many. They are great if you are not going to be moving around much, and conditions are fairly stable in your area. Also if you use only a few frequencies, then they are great radios. They are heavy and solid, they can take abuse, and they are cheap!

Homebrew radios are another world. You can customize, program, and make them the way you want to. They tend to be larger, and more simple than Amateur radios, and Commercial radios. They are made by the Ham so they are what you want them to be, but you have to have a lot of technical experience, and you must own a lot of equipment, some of it fairly expensive.

In the end it all depends on the Ham who is looking for the radio. They are all great radios, it just depends upon your tastes.


Hey it works!

Test of the blog via email option. More procrastination in action!

This mobile text message (Carrier withheld)

Hey there Delilah!

Hey... World... I doubt this blog shall be read by anyone other than me, and close friends. So with that, it'll contain some stuff, to an outsider, that may not make any sense.

I really created this blog to avoid doing some essays I have stacked up. Amazing the lengths you'll so to procrastinate, huh? It is interesting to see how people use different tactics. My little sisters, for instance, read manga online to avoid school. I get things done that I have been meaning to do, but they have absolutely nothing to do with school. As I type I have a star office window up with an half baked essay.

I guess now would be a good time to introduce myself. Hi! Call me Derek, Most who read this know my real name, good for you. I'm an Amateur Radio Operator, or just Radio geek to those whom don't know what that is. As far as musical tastes go, I listen to anything, except for rap, literally anything. Polka, Rock, Classic Rock, Classical, you name it. I enjoy reading Sci-Fi, Fiction, Fantasy, Alternate History, Non-fiction, yea anything, just not romance. I'm a tech geek, I am pretty good at magic tricks. I love flying, planes, and anything that has to do with them.

Okay, I think I have procrastinated enough for now. Back to work! Talk to you stalkers later.