Sunday, December 06, 2009

Likewise, as already noted, the 10-meter band is one of my favorites. By extension, this is one of my favorite contests.

When the sunspots are really going, this band can be, 24-hours per day, a worldwide band.

Look for me around the Ten-Ten frequencies of 28.380 and 28.880, the Straight Key Century Club frequency of 28.050, and on 29.6 FM simplex.

Don't forget to check out the map at∝= and add your spots as appropriate.

Check out the article regarding 10 meters elsewhere on the blog.

Hope to see you on 10.

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via QRZ Forums by N8CPA on 12/6/09
As 160M winds down, it's time to start thinking about the other end of HF. The 10M Contest is next weekend.

Unlike the 160M, Phone and CW may be used, locators are states and provinces, rather than sections. And all license classes now have some 10M privileges. So it presents an opportunity to all to get a taste of why contesting is so popular. And you learn a bit about the vagaries of near VHF propagation, Sporadic E, etc.

I will have a few hours to participate, from time to time, at least. And when I do, I'll be in the bottom of the band, CW only. Hope to work you there.

Contest ravers and ragers, you know what to do! ;):D

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Twitter and Rural America

The Tweet says it all.

In Mangum, OK, there was a shooting during a domestic. The outcome was the shooter taking his own life.

We normally take these issues with a grain of salt. These are Big City events. They are not supposed to happen in Rural America ... on a Holiday ... on Twitter.

The Twitter got the news on Twitter, not conventional media. I even learned of this over twitter, since I was on the other side of the State.

In rural America, the use of Web 2.0 is coming around. In two zip codes, I have monitored some of the most touching expressions of life along with the threat to crime and violence. Twitter, along with being a tool for ground truth, especially in weather, can also be used as a monitoring tool, ex. gangs use Twitter to recruit so LEO can use Twitter to monitor.


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via near:73521 within:25mi - Twitter Search by mtdewlvr74 (Shawnna Pierro) on 11/27/09

man i got more news about mangum from twitter than from tv


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Preparedness Principles: Buy Quality and Take Care

Survival Mom regularly offers tips to move people down Preparedness Lane where they can gather items for their 72-hour bag.

For years, Citizens have been saying they don't know how to build a 72-hour bag. After 30 minutes reminding folks of "It's happened before. I will happen again.", "where do I start?" is just ONE question. Even the calendar at gets mixed reviews because Americans still tend to be overwhelmed by the elephant, even when shown the small bites it takes to eat it.

Sites like this help take the small bites.


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via The Survival Mom by thesurvivalmom on 11/24/09

Last year about this time, our family was vacationing in Disney World.  We were having the time of our lives when a depressing thought occurred to me. "This could be our last vacation here."  Likewise, when I was admiring a particularly beautiful Brighton purse I own, I thought, "I might not be able to afford one of these again."  Tumultuous times of unemployment, record home foreclosures, and reckless government spending don't exactly portend a prosperous future.

With this in mind, I've decided to always buy the best quality products I possibly can.  In a way, it seems counter-intuitive.  Our income has decreased, so shouldn't we be switching to the cheapest off-brands on the market?  Not at all.  Going, "cheap" is often more expensive than buying quality in the first place. 

Last month I switched to Levis jeans for my son after his knees had poked their way through the eleventh pair of off-brand jeans this year.  So far, the Levis, all bought on eBay, seem to be tougher than he is, and that's saying a lot!  My daughter needs a pair of winter boots and found a pair she liked that was made of faux leather.  The cheap materials won't keep her feet warm nor will they stand up to the wear and tear that I know she'll deliver.  A pair of $19 boots that are scuffed and ruined in a month are more expensive per wear than a $50 pair that ends up being worn by two siblings and later sold at a garage sale for $10!  That's the real bargain!

photo by afsilva

photo by afsilva

A partner principle to buying quality is taking care of what you own!   "Oh, well.  I'll just get another one!" was a common statement when something I owned was lost or broken.  That's not how I think anymore.  I can't think like that anymore!  There is no guarantee that I'll have the extra dollars to buy a pair of replacement sunglasses.  Instead,  the habit of always, always putting my sunglasses in a special pocket in my purse insures they'll be there when I need them and will be far less likely to disappear.  (By the way, I am notorious when it comes to losing sunglasses!)

I've been teaching my children to take care of what they own.  We make sure that every Uno card makes its' way back into the box and that no puzzle pieces go missing.  There are plenty of bookshelves in the house, and that's where our books belong.  Not only do these extra steps insure our belongings remain in good condition, but it teaches responsibility and respect.

Whatever direction our economy and our own personal fortunes take, these two principles will never be outdated.  They make too much sense to ever become obsolete.

© 2009, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

DHS Unveils Critical Infrastructure Website for the Public

With this, Citizens have a new tool to help them help their government monitor Critical Infrastructure efforts.

Please use this site to its fullest potential.


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via Home Station by Rusty Cawley on 11/20/09

DHS this week unveiled a new website, "Critical Infrastructure Protection," as part of the agency's attempt to raise public awareness of the importance of critical infrastructure and key assets (CIKR).  The page contains links to critical infrastructure protection programs and plans, as well as resources.  The page is geared toward the general public and the familiar layout is the same as other DHS pages.

See the Critical Infrastructure Protection website here.


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Ducks and Eagles

Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey . He handed my friend a laminated card and said: "I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement." Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf." My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink." Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice." Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke." Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio." And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?"

Wally smiled into the rearview mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, `Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'"

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said. "It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action." Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Johnny the Bagger and Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. They decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about you?

This came from my cousin-in-law in FL. I don't know who the original author it. If it is copyright material, let me know and I will credit or remove.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In typical US fashion, reactionary reactions rule.

However, in Finland, one can get a letter from the North Pole. explains the details.

IF there IS a sex-offender issue in Finland, one can imagine that the local folks managing the program have a plan in place to screen the letter before it's mailed.

Can we in USA learn anything about this from our neighbors?

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Starry-eyed children writing letters to the jolly man at the North Pole this holiday season likely won't get a response from ...

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Monday, November 09, 2009

That mean, hateful Christian.....

The shooting at Fort Hood produced an out-cry from the Muslim community. "Don't judge us based on the action of one man." "After all, he does not represent Islam." "Islam is a religion of peace." A religion of peace?

Can we say the same for the church? Are Christians representative of peace? Can Christians commit adultery, blasphemy, carnality, drunkenness, envy, all the way to zeal for the wrong thing without bringing judgment and probably shame to the Name?

"Oh! John says he's a Christian! Did you hear what he DID?"

Can we be all about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, without producing a judgment in the mind of the worldly? We can't have it both ways. We either are bringing honor to Jesus or we are not.

In the case of the Major, he either represents Islam or he does not.

What kind of church are we building? Search the term one another for ideas. How about being devoted to one another? How about encourage one another? There's even two books on "One Anothering".

When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him. When the church acts like the Church, the result is not "that mean hateful Christian" but rather a congregation that focuses on One Anothering.

After all, it's people, not the building, that makes the Church.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pecuniary Interest has a life of its own. Will this issue ever end?

Now a committee has filed a Petition to allow paid personnel to use amateur radio frequencies during drills and exercises. There may be some merit to this petition, from the "Fight like you train. Train like you fight." part of disaster preparedness and emergency response training.

However, do I need a drill or exercise to learn how to use my new walkie-talkie I brought home from the hamfest? REALLY.

What would be the purpose of the training, drill, exercise for the amateur radio operator? If it's so the folks can see if the radio works, get a couple of volunteers to go around to each of the radios to see if they can talk to each other.

From the Federal Communications Commission's William Cross:


To flesh out a couple of things you asked about in the below e-mail, the
Public Notice (PN) specifically says that the waiver request must come
from the government entity conducting the drill, not from individual
amateurs or others participating in the drill.

As for how the government entity should request a waiver, it should
submit a written request addressing the factors listed in the PN to

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
Attn: Scot Stone

Note that a waiver is needed only for those licensees transmitting
messages on behalf of their employer during the State and local
government public safety agency "occasionally conducted emergency
preparedness or disaster drills test or drill." This may, after
analysis, turn out to be very few licenses or, by rearranging functions
of participants, a waiver may not be needed.

Adding in a new hire that comes on duty after the waiver request but
before the waiver is granted or the new hire who replaces someone for
whom the waiver has been submitted would require a new waiver submission
or a change to the previously-filed request. As noted in the Public
Notice, "...the filing of a waiver request does not excuse compliance
with the rules while that request is pending. The waiver must be
requested prior to the drill, and employees may not transmit amateur
communications on their employer's behalf unless the waiver request has
been granted."

William T. Cross
Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Federal Communications Commission

This was in response to the email that detailed the "rules" and the Government's response to it.

The email sent to a number of amateur radio interests states:

Below is a copy of a press release from the FCC #DA 09-2259 stating
the local governments must request a waiver for paid staff to
participate in non-emergency radio communications on behalf of their

Another unanswered question would be how long should the jurisdiction
submit the request? In other words, how long is the wait expected to
be. I know the drills I plan are weeks and months before hand.

However, what about the new hire that comes on duty after the waiver
request but before the waiver is granted (since we don't know how long
this process might be)? Will there be a method to get a quick answer?
If the new hire replaces someone for whom the waiver would have been
submitted is a new waiver submission required?

Answer: No method to get a quick answer. Waiver request must be submitted in writing to the address given above. Jurisdiction would need to file a new request for waiver.

From the FCC:

Transmissions by amateur stations participating in government disaster
drills must comply with all applicable amateur service rules. While
the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary
noncommercial communications service, particularly with respect to
providing emergency communications, is one of the underlying
principles of the amateur service,

1 the amateur service is not an emergency radio service. Rather, it is
a voluntary, non-commercial communication service authorized for the
purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical
investigations carried out by licensed persons interested in radio
technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

2 State and local government public safety agencies occasionally
conduct emergency preparedness or disaster drills that include amateur
operations. Some entities, such as hospitals, emergency operations
centers, and police, fire, and emergency medical service stations,
have expressed interest in having their employees who are amateur
station operators participate in these drills by transmitting messages
on the entity’s behalf. The Commission’s Rules, however, specifically
prohibit amateur stations from transmitting communications “in which
the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest,
including communications on behalf of an employer.”

3 Given the public interest in facilitating government-sponsored
emergency preparedness and disaster drills, we take this opportunity
to provide a clear process for requesting a waiver, and the
information that we require in order to consider granting such a

4 Waiver requests should be submitted to the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau by the government entity conducting the
drill, and must provide the following information: (1) when and where
the drill will take place; (2) identification of the amateur licensees
expected to transmit amateur communications on behalf of their
employers; (3) identification of the employers on whose behalf they
will be transmitting; and (4) a brief description of the drill. We
emphasize that the filing of a waiver request does not excuse
compliance with the rules while that request is pending. The waiver
must be requested prior to the drill, and employees may not transmit
amateur communications on their employer’s behalf unless the waiver
request has been granted.

In an actual emergency, the Commission’s Rules provide that an amateur
station may use any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to
provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate
safety of human life and the immediate protection of property when
normal communication systems are not available.

5 In those circumstances, rule waiver is not necessary.

For further information regarding matters discussed in this Public
Notice, contact William T.
Cross of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, at
(202) 418-0680,
By the Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Chief, Public Safety
and Homeland Security
Bureau; and Chief, Enforcement Bureau.

1 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.1(a). See also Recommendations of the Independent
Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications
Networks, Order, EB Docket No. 06-119; WC Docket No. 06-63, 22 FCC Rcd
10541, 10576 ¶ 111 (2007) (noting that the amateur radio community
played an important role in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina and other disasters).
2 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.3(a)(4).
3 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.113(a)(3) (emphasis added).
4 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.925.
5 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.403. See also Amendment of Part 97 of the
Commission’s Rules Governing the Amateur Radio
Services, Report and Order, WT Docket No. 04-140, 21 FCC 11643, 11667
¶ 52 (2006) (clarifying that amateur
radio operators who are emergency personnel may use their amateur
radio stations while in paid duty status, but not
addressing the prohibition against transmitting messages on behalf of
an employer).

Previous to this, the American Radio Relay League announced guidelines on the Pecuniary Interest topic. In an email, Laura Smith, Special Counsel for the FCC, stated she was in agreement with those guidelines. That could have been end of story. As the reader can see, from above, it was not.

As some have suggested, I will not remove amateur radio from the Emergency Operations Center, I will not submit my licenses for cancellation, and I will not quit my job.

In the mean time, the emergency manager, Logistics Section Chief, or the Communications Leader has three options:

1. Use the Military Affiliate Radio System and the willing operators there.
2. Use volunteers from Amateur Radio Emergency Service or the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service as a buffer to keying that microphone in behalf of the jurisdiction.
3. Continue to use the Part 90 equipment they already own and hope the hams will honor their Part 97 obligation to be that existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators.

Hams will have to support their local government, if RACES is to be the case. There are the anti-government types that will refuse to do so.

Perhaps this PowerPoint decision tree may be helpful.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How can we insult Jesus MORE?

John 17 says it pretty clearly. Three times Jesus asks that his
followers be united. Count them in the New American Standard Bible.
Verses 11, 21, and 22 contain the verses, in RED, if you have a Red
Letter edition, indicating that Jesus spoke those words asking Father
God that the believers would be one, united, together in one accord
for a purpose.

What's the purpose?

It's "that the world may believe" in verse 21 and restated in verse 22.

Folks, it's an evangelistic issue. Not since Col 1:6 has "all the
world" heard the Gospel. How could the first church do it and the
rest of us fail?

Maybe it's a lack of giving Jesus what He asked His Father to have His
Church, His Bride, become ... one ... so the world would believe.

How can the world really believe when they see people who call
themselves Christian fighting among themselves? Why should they
believe? What do we have that the heathen don't?

Point people to Jesus. God will honor it. The world will accept it.
John 12:32

Don't point people to a denomination. If God did not build it, they
labor in vain. Psalms 127:1

Monday, September 14, 2009

Given the fact that I'm no longer an AT&T customer, this article about Iphone versus Blackberry is very well written.

The BB is an easy piece of equipment to learn. The BB is easy to learn. If you've owned a phone at all, then the BB will be even easier. In fact, compared to the Palm I once used, this phone was easier to use.

Glad I had for the BB deal on Sprint. Two free phones for the wife and me and all the data I can use. Spending, now, less money for more minutes on Sprint.

It just got better! Any ... as in ANY ... mobile phone can call me at no charge and I can CALL any mobile phone at no charge. THAT is a good deal better than the others.

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via BlackBerry Cool by BlackBerry Cool on 9/14/09


Here at BlackBerry Cool, we thoroughly enjoy making BlackBerry and iPhone comparisons due to the transition that is occurring over at RIM. As RIM is dealing with an increasingly large consumer base, the device is constantly being compared to the iPhone, and RIM must think about how it's going to create a BlackBerry device that satisfies consumers, but remains true to its enterprise user base.

In the end, enterprise will always be a focus of RIM's products, because it gives them a competitive edge. This doesn't mean that RIM can't satisfy two different types of clients, it just means they're going to have to get creative and innovative – fast.

CNet recently published a piece regarding the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone, and then the revelation that made the author, Adam Richardson, switch back again.

According to the author, "Basically it comes down to the fact that the iPhone is really good at the stuff I do 10% of the time, but pretty poor at the stuff I do 90% of the time."

Again, it all comes back to the fact that RIM makes an enterprise device with its core values being security, reliability and efficiency. These are the features that have the author converting back to BlackBerry.

Here is what the author describes as lacking in the iPhone:

General Usability

  • Typing – The iPhone has a very frustrating typing experience.
  • User Interface – While the iPhone is a simple interface to learn, the BlackBerry interface is far more efficient once you learn it. Shortcuts make the BlackBerry experience much faster, while the iPhone experience remains consistently slow and simple.
  • Cleanliness – As with any touchscreen device, the iPhone's screen soon gets covered in grime.
  • Form Factor – The device is too thin to be held close to the ear for a long period of time.
    Battery Life – The iPhone has a much shorter battery life than the Bold.

  • Memory – While BlackBerry users often complain about the amount of available application memory, it is a clear benefit of the BlackBerry that it offers the opportunity to expand at a relatively low cost.


Generally, the issue here goes back to the fact that the "iPhone is really good at the stuff I do 10% of the time, but pretty poor at the stuff I do 90% of the time." Here are some issues with the iPhone's email:

  • Separate Email Accounts – Going back and forth to get email from separate email accounts is not only inefficient, it is incredibly frustrating.
  • New Emails – You have to unlock the iPhone to see if there is a new email. This is ridiculous if you're checking your email every 3 minutes.
  • Sent Folder – The sent folder isn't populated in real time, so you have to wait for the server to find an email you just sent. This time could be crucial if it's an important business email.
  • Font Sizes – The iPhone has no ability to customize font sizes, therefore impeding your ability to view multiple emails at once without scrolling.


Again, the calendar is a feature that is used by smartphone users on a regular basis so it's crucial to have a system that is both efficient and easy to navigate. The iPhone, being a strictly consumer device, is lacking in calendar functionality in many respects:

  • New Appointments – Creating new events on the iPhone is a slow process. The iPhone's UI means it takes several navigation clicks to create a new even, versus only 2 on the BlackBerry.
  • Weekly View – The iPhone does not provide a weekly view for the calendar. This is crucial and the BlackBerry offers it because they understand the need for a good calendar.
  • Snooze – You can't snooze for meeting reminders.
  • Date Navigation – You can't navigate to specific dates on the iPhone calendar system. On a BlackBerry, it's incredibly easy with the simple G (go to date) shortcut.
  • Event Comments – The iPhone calendar system doesn't let you add comments to accepting or denying event requests.


While many BlackBerry users are always on email, having a decent phone is an important part of a quality smartphone. The iPhone lacks the following:

  • Dialing – Dialing specific contacts on the iPhone is tedious if they are not in the contacts.
  • Muting – Muting the call on the iPhone requires looking at the screen. On a BlackBerry, muting the call if you're on a conference call is as simple as pressing the top button.

Adam Richardson said it best, "I'm not trying to bash the iPhone and say no-one else should like it; this is a very personal choice. But at least for the time being, the Bold is a much better match for my needs."

Read the article for a more personal look at each of these gripes with the iPhone.

[Twitter: @LouTreize RT @AlanMoote: Goodbye iPhone, hello (again) BlackBerry]

© BlackBerry Cool for BlackBerry Cool, 2009

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Outdoor baptisms, according to USA Today, are dwindling because of a number of factors.

It appears that one has been omitted. Maybe today, folks don't see it as essential as the first church did.

While citing "indoor pools, mega-churches and modernization", the story gives one pause, if the modern American church even believes what the first century church held about the topic.

Doing a search for baptism at, the results are overwhelming that the act was important then.

Leaving the topic on the mode, the timing, the candidacy alone, the importance alone is worthy of note.

Just in the Acts of the Apostles alone, six references to baptism (the word) show the one case of water baptism being administered twice. If once is good enough, then the record will reveal why it was done again.

In fact, read the entire Acts account. Never was the act put off, stored up, or delayed. THAT practice was enacted by the second and third generation christians, as revealed in the writings of the early church fathers.

Now, it's not important where you are buried so that you can rise to walk a new life. Indoor or outdoor is fine. What is important is that you are. Given the choice of being buried inside or outside should be the choice of the one being buried. I've done both. The latter is a little chilly in the winter.

If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.

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No one keeps statistics on outdoor baptisms, which are performed predominately by Baptists and Pentecostals. But officials at ...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Communion was served at First Christian Church. THAT's not news. It's done that way every Lord's day. What's new is it was different. It was the congregation's first service at the new location. The service was outside. If you can imagine, it was hot and windy.

That's not going to stop Communion though.

The Fellowship meal is not one to take lightly. Paul described the potentially harmful side effects this way:

28But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

29For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

30For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. I Cor 11:28-30

Because of the desire to do Bible things Bible ways, the Restoration movement has long been a fan of communion on the Lord's Day, even if it's in a vacant lot under a tent on a hot, windy Sunday.

Doing Bible things Bible ways, the congregation went back to the temporary building for Communion II, a pot luck dinner. an Acts 2:46 kind of communion.

This was an interesting Sunday in Altus America. It's been an interesting communion event.

Yet, even this is not new. The Military has been observing communion in austere conditions for years.
Photograph credit: H/Major John W. Forth, Chaplain of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G.), displaying his field Communion set near Caen, France, 15 July 1944. Aikman, H. Gordon., Photographer

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Roadside Assistance

Being stranded on the side of the road never comes at a good time. 

Therefore, now is a good time, while one is not stranded, to check to see how to get help when the vehicle is out of gas, the battery is dead, or the keys are locked inside.

Help can come in three ways.

1.  Check the auto insurance policy.  Many companies offer this assistance as part of the overall coverage.  Some charge extra.  Some do not.  Check your local insurance agent for details.

2.  With more people having cell phones, many carriers offer roadside assistance.  Most charge an extra fee for this service.  Check your cell phone provider for details.

3.  Motor clubs such as the American Automobile Association or the GM Motor Club offer coverage for a price.  While the price may be more expensive than the auto insurance or cell phone coverage, there are other benefits in the form of discounts that often come with the motor club membership.

Of course, the ham radio community has yet another option.  Giving a call on the local repeater is often answered with someone coming to your aid.

Nevertheless, make plans while there is no danger because, when danger comes, it's too late to plan.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

With this message from the American Radio Relay League, it's also time
to remind our folks in Hurricane Country to begin NOW to prepare for
these potentially deadly storms.

gives tips for disaster preparedness.

Don't forget that gives you help as well while gives information about the Are You
Ready book.

Contact your local emergency manager or the American Red Cross for
information about what hazards you face locally.

Make a plan based on those hazards. Include evacuation planning, as
in, what will you do and where will you go, if you have to leave your
local area? How will you get there?

Build a kit that supports the plan you just wrote.

Practice the plan.

Then, help someone else who has not done this.

As for the hurricane nets, please, also, visit
for information about the net.


ARLX007 National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC Sets On-The-Air Station

The annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test from the National
Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami takes place Saturday, May 30,
1300-2100 UTC. "The purpose of this annual Station Test is to test
all of our radio equipment, computers and antennas using as many
modes and frequencies as possible. This is not a contest or
simulated hurricane exercise. New equipment and software will be
tested, and we will also conduct some operator training," said
WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Volunteer Coordinator Julio Ripoll,

Ripoll said that WX4NHC also will be testing new computers and
software, as well as conducting operator training. "NHC Director
Bill Read, KB5FYA, will be at WX4NHC, making contacts," he said.
WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF and UHF, plus 2 and 30 meter
APRS. Suggested SSB frequencies are 3.950, 7.268, 14.325, 21.325 and
28.525 MHz, +/-QRM; WX4NHC reports that they will mostly be on
14.325 MHz and will make announcements when they change frequencies.
WX4NHC also will be on the VoIP Hurricane Net 1700-1900 UTC (IRLP
node 9219/EchoLink WX-TALK Conference) and on South Florida area
VHF/UHF repeaters and simplex; APRS and e-mail will also be

Stations working WX4NHC exchange call sign, signal report, location
and name plus a brief weather report, such as "sunny," "rain" or
"cloudy." Non-hams may submit their actual weather using the On-Line
Hurricane Report Form. QSL to WD4R and include a self-addressed,
stamped envelope. Do not send cards to the NHC. Due to security
measures, no visitors will be allowed at NHC during the test.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What happens if NOTHING happens?

There's a glaring similarity between Y2K and H1N1. Care to guess what it is?

There have been those that have been saying it's blown out of proportion. Nothing is going to happen. This is the Government over-reacting again.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control reports 2532 cases and three dead from the outbreak. Already, this is worse than Y2K where NO reported deaths occurred.

... and Sunday church was impacted, or was it?

Last week, a minister friend of mine from IA noted:

Just had a H1N1 Virus alert Sunday in Children's Ministry and church- Had to disinfect rooms and anti-bacterial lotions for all kids... No Handshaking (or holy kisses) and No Communion or Offering plates passed.... Had to Postpone the church annual banquet & Kids Parent's Night!!!! 6 possible (not yet confirmed) Virus cases in area is what triggered it all!!

Compared to the service I attended this week in Oklahoma, Communion and Offering plates were passed. It was Mothers' Day. The Kids led the service. Friendship time was complete with handshaking. I did not see anyone other than me use hand sanitizer in the assembly. There was no coughing, wailing, or gnashing of teeth.

Continuing the comparison, Iowa has 43 cases. Oklahoma has 14. No deaths in either.

Like Y2K, the influenza event has brought a lot of attention and, as a result of that attention, some Citizens are saying, "For What?"

Here are a number of thoughts related to Y2K and H1N1. Centering around the question, What IF nothing happens?

1. There is evidence that the Citizen is taking heed of the H1N1 public awareness campaigns.

Three-quarters of the people responding to the poll say they are following news of the outbreak of swine flu, also called H1N1, the novel strain that first emerged in Mexico and then spread around the world over the last two weeks.

These figures surpass the number of Citizens preparing for Y2K. Perhaps the threat is perceived as being more real in 2009 than it was in 2000.

The point here is, IF the Citizen is heeding public information efforts, then the NOTHING that happens can be attributed to the success of Government in getting the word OUT about what to do about the outbreak.

2. Mitigation Works

Often it's perceived as more sexy or something that we get a budget-busting mitigation project funded, when, in reality, the price of a human life is not even factored into the project.

The Government will spend money hardening the levees around a city (and not saying this should not be done) while neglecting to assure the Citizens in the area that the levees, even after hardening, may fail and that the Citizen, being responsible for their own survival, should have a plan for evacuating, having a means for evacuation, and practice their plan using the means they have identified.

The National Hazard Mitigation Association is excited about opportunities to foster the message that Mitigation works. Both they and FEMA have examples of mitigation projects that have proven to save lives.

The CHEAPEST mitigation project is a consistent message from our Public Information Officers that a bad thing is going to happen and the Citizen needs to plan for that bad thing. While it's not perfect, the message going out has produced at least 44% of the Citizen has a kit ... a cache of supplies ... to fight the War on Tornadoes.

3. Plans work

Assuming that nothing is going to happen in H1N1, was the planning for naught? General Russel Honore would certainly say NO.

"...if a guy can do all this preparation for a tailgate party, you ought to do a little preparation for hurricanes. Go buy some tarps, man, get a little water and put it in this garage, get rid of one of those machines and get a generator. We need a culture of preparedness so people are prepared in their homes."

All you have to do is identify the hazards you face, prepare a plan for overcoming the hazards, develop the resources to support the plan, and go forth to fight the War on Tornadoes.

It worked for Patton in WW II. It will work for us today. Eisenhower said it best, "The plan is nothing. To plan is everything."

Simply put, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

For example, in one jurisdiction, around Katrina time, the local responders practiced Mass Immunization and Prophylaxis efforts. A number of complaints were recorded. "It won't happen here".

Not many months later, the jurisdiction had a winter storm. It was the worst ever in the State, regardless of what others say.

The local jurisdiction used the Command and General Staff from the MIPS drill to run the Winter Storm event. Was it perfect? Shoot NO. Did it work? You Betcha! Were there needs for improvement? Of course! However, the jurisdiction had already done the hard part.

There was a plan.

Where's yours?

Don't write off H1N1 too quickly and assume it won't happen to you. In the words of Bush, "Stay the course". The work is not for naught. Plans and Efforts have utility in other events and disasters.


Lloyd Colston KC5FM
Altus, OK USA
Director Altus Emergency Management
Trustee of WX5EM QCWA #31935
CARF #294 Ten-Ten #10231
Croatian Telegraphy Club CTC # 1.931

Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure triumph over the great enemies of man — war, poverty, and tyranny — and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous consequences of each. --Adlai Stevenson

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Free Ham Radio E-Magazines


Sent to you by KC5FM/WX5EM via Google Reader:


One of the topics tonight on the weekly round-table (8:00 PM Pacific time every Wednesday on Mt Constitution Repeater 146.74 -.6 tone 103.5) was favorite Amateur Radio periodicals.  I thought I would pass along three monthly publications that are perfect for the cost conscious ham- they are free for the downloading.

World Radio - The venerable newsprint monthly ceased paper publication but was purchased by CQ Magazine and continues to publish in PDF format.  Be patient when you download an issue- their servers are slow.

Ham-Mag is a very new publication by F5SLD, recently published issue #4.  The magazine is available in its primary language, French as well as English.  Articles include technical, operational and general interest features.

The K9YA Telegraph is a very slickly produced club monthly that features primarily historical and CW related stories.  Sample issues are on the site, but you need to subscribe to get a link to current issues.


Things you can do from here:


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Have You Ever Considered the Internet a “Mission” Field?


Sent to you by KC5FM/WX5EM via Google Reader:


via Online Church Blog by Tony Steward on 4/14/09

This is a guest post by John Saddington, the Creative Web Director at North Point Ministries. He also writes at Church Crunch about the intersection of technology and the church.


A few years ago this would have been an even more absurd thought than it is now but change is happening rapidly, not just at the White House.

More and more people are spending their time online, reading material that they once bought on bookshelves, received on their driveway every morning, or watched on TV. The amount of time that people are spending online is also increasing as more of our daily routine and lives are wrapped up in the activities and applications that enable us to "function" on a day-to-day.

Isn't it appropriate, then, to consider the internet as yet another opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel? It's a field of opportunity, and our mission is critical.

Being "on mission" or "missional" with my time online is becoming an ever-increasing passion and is one that has spurred me to think critically about the what and the how in terms of engaging with an online landscape and culture.

Although there are many ways to creatively interact with others online and be "on mission" online there is one specific way that have consistently proven to be successful in terms of reaching those that have not heard of Jesus Christ, and that you can easily begin to apply in your own context and within your own strategy:

Providing Value

From my Seminary studies at Dallas Theological Seminary I've learned that a successful strategy that has worked on the physical mission field is providing great value to the surrounding community in which the missionary resides. Investing in the local community provides avenues for conversation, inroads to the local economy, helps foster and develop trust and "authority" in others lives, and gives the missionary a platform of friendship to others.

The same thing can be applied to the online mission field. If you can provide "value" to the context and local sub-culture in which you find yourself or explicitly put yourself in, you'll begin to reach people that you "knew" were there but who may never have come to converse with you otherwise.

A great example of this is my work and development of Wordpress themes and applications. A specific example is my release of a Personal Branding Theme called Ipseity. You can read some of my thoughts in more detail about how I used this Wordpress Theme to reach people strategically through my blog here.

The bottom line is that people who have not yet heard or encountered the Gospel are pouring into my blog because of this Wordpress theme that they are interested in using. As a result, they will begin to encounter "other" targeted content that is more spiritual in nature which is more valuable from my perspective for them to consume. Many of these people Subscribe to my RSS feeds as a result, and now I have an inroad to them on a daily and continual basis.

This is how I personally am "on mission" with my gifts and through my online properties. By providing value to the community, not just the Christian community, I'm enabling connections with people in an effective manner, timely, and valuable manner; they are coming to me and my blogs and I don't even have to entice them or advertise or try to sell them anything.

Even more importantly, it doesn't cost me a penny.

What can you do to be providing value to your local online community in which you find yourself? How can you be more "on mission" in terms of your gifting, talent, and calling online?

A little thought can go a long way, and the "payoff" couldn't be any greater: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is being read (and understood) by those who have not yet heard.


Things you can do from here:


Monday, April 06, 2009

Sent to you by KC5FM/WX5EM via Google Reader:

via Online Church Blog by Tony Steward on 4/6/09

This is a guest post by Paul Watson who is a leader in evangelism and missions in online communities. You can read more of Paul's fantastic blog at .

I am the most disconnected with Christ when I am the most disconnected from lost people. The darker the place, the more my need to Christ slaps me in the face and I have to drop to my knees and seek His holy embrace and drink from His Word.

  • I pray more because I need Jesus.
  • I pray more because the stories that come out of darkness overwhelm me.
  • I seek fellowship with other Christians because I need their encouragement and support.
  • I want accountability because I need it to survive.
  • I read Scripture because I have to have it to bring Light with me as I wander in dark places.

Because walking up to strangers in the mall and saying, "Hey, I'd like to be your friend." is a little awkward; I prefer to meet people online. At some level or another, people are online to connect. So talking with some random person is not weird, it's normal.

Here is a quick way to jump into the online world and strike up conversations with lost people that love them to Jesus:

  1. Get a Twitter account. ( Take the time to set it up right with a picture and a non-religious bio. (People online have had run-ins with religious fanatics. They are hyper-sensitive to religiosity. You don't want to turn them off with your bio. Don't worry. You don't have to tell them you love Jesus. You will show them you love Jesus.)
  2. Download Twhirl. ( Follow the instructions and connect it with your Twitter account.
  3. Set up filters. In Twhirl you can set up filters so that when people use specific keywords. I have friends who have two kids. They adopted the youngest. They set up filters for 'parenting' and 'international adoption' because these were terms they felt they could talk about. They were also non-religious terms that non-Christians would use in conversation.
  4. As your filters pick up tweets, reply when you have something to add to the conversation. Twhirl makes this easy with the little @ button on people's profile picture. Press it to reply to that person's tweet and then type your message.
  5. As you get to know people, there will be opportunities to pray for them. Do it. Let them know you did it. I've never had anyone get mad at me for praying for them, especially when I've taken the time to get to know them. Say something like, "So sorry to hear that! Wish I could buy you coffee and we could visit. Prayed for you and your family just now. Keep me posted." In doing so, you identify yourself as a spiritual person who is willing to talk about spiritual things. As God works in their hearts, lost people who are spiritually seeking with be drawn to you.
  6. Read their blogs. Many people have links to their blogs in their Twitter profile. Read them. Comment if you have something to add. Don't flame them or pick an argument on their blog!

Remember: as you engage lost people and disciple them to fall in love with Jesus, you join God in His work. You are in the center of Jesus purpose and mission.

And, in running to the lost you will find a deeper passion for Christ than you've ever had before.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by colston

The Jackson County Commission has a burn ban in place. Please contact your local fire department to learn when it is safe and under what conditions one may burn in Jackson County. is the Oklahoma Forestry Web site. Here one can obtain the most recent information about burn bans in the State. is your current weather information from the National Weather Service.

Please be careful during this potentially dangerous time.

Track this satellite (Thanks N2YO)

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