Sunday, April 23, 2017


Facebook friends have seen (and perhaps had suffered) the litany of anti-Trump and anti-GOP posts. No, I am not stopping it, because resist the Trump agenda is necessary to the future for our great country. Actually, I becoming more vocal.
When I planned my charity donations for 2016, I upped my donation to the National Parks Foundation and for the first time, donated to the Sierra Club. These because of the threats to our wilderness areas and National Parks by the Trump Administration.
A an getting involved in local Sandoval County (and perhaps Rio Rancho) politics. And I had send inquires to join the Rio Rancho "Resist" Indivisible group.
He must take back our county from the right and big business, making it again From, By, and For the PEOPLE!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Congressman Ben Lujan

Well, this afternoon I was out and got active in politics. Attended a function for my congress Ben Lujan (D), meeting the congressman and other New Mexico politicians. Tomorrow there's an ACLU meeting in the area (just a fey blocks from me).
Reports around the area are filtering through about attendace of today's "Science" Earth Day March. Congressman reported 3-5k marched in Santa Fe. Have not heard attendance numbers from Albuquerque.  Saw video of the large crowd in Chicago.  Keep protesting, America!
The photo here is if my Congressman addressing the local group.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Trinity Site

New Mexico played an important part in the development of the atomic bomb.

Los Alamos National Lab was constructed in the mountains of North central New Mexico to research and build the first bomb.  The town of Los Alamos grew as the need for housing for the scientists and technicians.

The location for testing the first bomb was selected as the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in New Mexico.  Later, the range became White Sands Missile Range.

Trinity Site is a National Historic Landmark.  The landmark is a 51,500 acre area on the White Sands Missile Range. The site is open 2 days a year - the first Saturday of April and the first Saturday of October.

This morning, my cousin and I were  out of Albuquerque at "O-Dark-30".  Stopped into Socorro for a light breakfast and heading to the site.  From the San Antonio exit of I-25, head East about 11-12 miles to the road to Stallion Gate. There was a line of vehicles waiting for access to the site when we arrived about 8am.  It took us an hour to get to the gate.  (see upper photo).

He had no problems getting onto the range (you need your state government ID or passport for every occupant and the insurance certificate and registration for your vehicle).  Another 15 miles or so we were at the parking lot for viewing the site.

When we arrived the site, my cousin and I estimated that had to be nearly 1000 people that were already here or already leaving the site.  It is about 1/4 mile walk from the parking lot to the site.  Thankfully, there was a large "golf cart" (8-10 person) with driver to carry "handicapped" visitors.  With my knee problems, I availed myself of the ride to the site.

Of course, everyone wanted a photo of themselves or family at the ground zero marker (see photo to the right). There are remains of the of the original 100 foot tower (basically nothing).  On the fence to the far side of the site had photos of the detonation, and some of the people that were out at the site.  There was ever a "polo" teams at the site!  There is a covered shelter protecting the portion of the original crated cause by the detonation.

The bring in a "fatman" casing on a trailer to show the basic size of the bomb.  The last stop for me at the site was a stop at the the National Park Service vendor to get at least a bood about the test.  Ended up with a good book, at DVD and hat pin.

From there, Don and I boarded the bus taking us over to the McDonald Ranch House.  This was where the plutonium core of the bomb was assembled.  The house was left to the elements for many years until Commander of White Sands decided in was a important part of history and had the house restored.  There are a couple outbuilding at the ranch.  They are basically ruins and think there is no plans to restore them.

By the time we boarded the bus back to the parking lot, my legs had had it.  It was a little after noon when we got into the car and headed back off the base.  On the way back out of the gate, there was still a line of about 2 mile long waiting for access to enter the base!  It seams there was not any "slack" time to visit the site!

We headed back to the highway, intending to stop at the Owl Bar for a burger and brew.  Unfortunately, a lot of other folks at the same idea.  There was a line to get into the bar and for seating.  I am not big on waiting for tables to eat.  I convinced Don (I was driving) and it would be better to get food in Socorro. we stopped at the Bodega Burger Co in Socorro.  (see lower photo)

The weather was a bit "iffy".  Rain moved South further than first forecast.  We had some rain driving down to Socorro.  After our light breakfast, he headed to the site.  It was mostly overcast at the site, sun trying to peak out and even a couple sprinkles of rain while we were there.  We saw there had been a heavy shower that came through San Antonio.  We hit some more rain on the way back North to Albuquerque.

It was a interesting day.  I dropped Don back at his house in Abq,  It was about 4pm when I got home in Rio Rancho.  I grabbed my camera, processed most of the photos, wrote a short facebook post and crashed into bed for a long nap.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

HT Programming Software

Back in the summer, I purchased a new  2M/220/440 Handy Talkie.  The dealer (Grapevine Radio) sold me a cable to program the HT.  These new transceivers have too many options for my liking.  But, that's what they sell, and the Wouxun KG-UV8E w=is well in my budget.

The problem was the programming software.  First, the mini disc of software instuctions were in Chinese.  The installation was in Chinese until you have finished the install - then you could change the language to English.

The software was eventually running.  But it would not recognize the radio for reading/writing programming.  After exchanging e-mails with Jason at Grapevine, he suggested it may be the problem with Windows 10.  He suggested trying Windoes 7 (which I do not have anymore).

I do have 2 old Windows XP laptops, so tried using them for programming.  The software installed, but with the same problem - could not communication with the HT.  Jason suggested other remedies, but at this time I was done with it.

A ham in our club suggested programming cable and software from RT Systems.  I bit the bullet and ordered the CD and Cable for about $50.  A far cry from $15 I paid with the HT.  Ordered the system on Sunday evening. On Thursday, it was in my mailbox.  Awesome service.

I installed the software on my desktop, connected the cable to the computer and HT.  Turned on the HT, clicked on the software icon and my HT was recognized and had no problems reading and writing frequencies to/from the HT.  The cable and software from RT Systems is worth the price.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Your Argument

A new t-shirt I picked up online. I am a little tired of being timid about my Army service. It is, in a large part. because of the way we were treated when we came home. This T-shirt expresses my feelings.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

TV Station Tour

High Desert ARC President Jerry, W6LIE made arrangements for club members tour the facilities of KNME, the PBS station in Albuquerque.  Thanks to the folks at KNME for taking the time to conduct the tour.  I did not make a counot, but think about 20 of us attended the tour.

The tour started in Master Control.  This is the heart of the station.  Stations 5 and 9 in Albuquerque are housed in the facilities on University Blvd.  Each station has their HD channels and 2 SD channels.  Many years ago I toured a commercial station in Wausau, WI, the big change I saw that most of the screens at flat panel LED monitors.  The back wall of Master Control is filled with computer servers, instead of tape recording machines.

From Master Control, we went to the Control Room for the studio.  In addition to the programming control and it's switchers, there were separate Audio and Video control booths.  The photo here is of the control panel.  From there we dropped down to the studio.  Most of PBS programing here is on network feeds.  I understand the busy times have been pledge season and election night overages.  Otherwise, the studios area not used,

We ended our tour by heading over to the Village Inn for food.