Second article in the ongoing struggle-to-loose weight series of blog posts.  Everyone, when they first approach the issue of having to loose weight, have their own personal challenges to face.  Each of us, and I am speaking to those who, like me, are overweight, out of shape, perhaps obese, has had a unique journey getting to where we are today.  A journey filled with bad decisions, failures, poor lifestyle choices, and so on.  None of us are where we are today because we were making good decisions about our health, about our diets and our (lack of) exercise.  I mean, let’s be honest- if we were making good choices we wouldn’t be where we are today.  So I think the first thing to do is simply accept the fact that the decisions I have made to end up obese were the wrong ones, they were mistakes and failures.  So what now? Continue reading “Challenges”

Getting in Shape While Pushing 50

Today I weighed myself, 262.5 pounds.  Yep, that officially puts me in the obese category.  My BMI is 35.53 kg/m2 which means that I am in the level 2 obesity range.  Dangerously obese, pushing morbidly obese.  And I feel it.  I am lethargic, I lack energy or the motivation to really exercise or move.  Pretty much all I want to do is sit on my couch, eat junk food while playing video games and watching movies.  And that is what I do.  This past weekend, I spent the entire time doing just that.  The furthest I walked, in two days, was from the couch to the mailbox (one time).  Pretty sad.  In fact, I would have to say desperately sad.  So here I am issuing myself a public wake up call.  Starting today I will loose weight.  I will eat better.  I will exercise more.  I will get into vastly better shape. Continue reading “Getting in Shape While Pushing 50”

The Radio Amateur’s Code

by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA (1928)

The Radio Amateur is:

CONSIDERATE…never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL…offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE…with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY…slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED…radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC…station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

This original Amateur’s Code was written in 1928, but is just as true today as it was then.  A great piece of radio history that we really should keep in mind.

2 Meter Band Plan

2 Meters (144-148 MHz)

144.00-144.05 EME (CW)
144.05-144.10 General CW and weak signals
144.10-144.20 EME and weak-signal SSB
144.200 National calling frequency
144.200-144.275 General SSB operation
144.275-144.300 Propagation beacons
144.30-144.50 New OSCAR subband
144.50-144.60 Linear translator inputs
144.60-144.90 FM repeater inputs
144.90-145.10 Weak signal and FM simplex (145.01,03,05,07,09 are widely used for packet)
145.10-145.20 Linear translator outputs
145.20-145.50 FM repeater outputs
145.50-145.80 Miscellaneous and experimental modes
145.80-146.00 OSCAR subband
146.01-146.37 Repeater inputs
146.40-146.58 Simplex
146.52 National Simplex Calling Frequency
146.61-146.97 Repeater outputs
147.00-147.39 Repeater outputs
147.42-147.57 Simplex
147.60-147.99 Repeater inputs

Notes: The frequency 146.40 MHz is used in some areas as a repeater input. This band plan has been proposed by the ARRL VHF-UHF Advisory Committee.

Original Here

Why do ships use “port” and “starboard” instead of “left” and “right?”

Unlike left and right, “port” and “starboard” refer to fixed locations on a vessel.

Since port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous references that are independent of a mariner’s orientation, and, thus, mariners use these nautical terms instead of left and right to avoid confusion. When looking forward, toward the bow of a ship, port and starboard refer to the left and right sides, respectively.

In the early days of boating, before ships had rudders on their centerlines, boats were controlled using a steering oar. Most sailors were right handed, so the steering oar was placed over or through the right side of the stern. Sailors began calling the right side the steering side, which soon became “starboard” by combining two Old English words: stéor (meaning “steer”) and bord (meaning “the side of a boat”).

As the size of boats grew, so did the steering oar, making it much easier to tie a boat up to a dock on the side opposite the oar. This side became known as larboard, or “the loading side.” Over time, larboard—too easily confused with starboard—was replaced with port. After all, this was the side that faced the port, allowing supplies to be ported aboard by porters.

Original Article.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

One day, after celebrating Mass, the aged Pope Leo XIII was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared that he had expired. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion: “Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!”

He had been shown a vision of evil spirits who had been released from Hell and their efforts to destroy the Church. But in the midst of the horror the archangel St. Michael appeared and cast Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell. Soon afterwards Pope Leo XIII composed the following prayer to Saint Michael, which is the original version: Continue reading “Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel”

Old Catholic History

This article was written by an Old Catholic Benedictine brother who lived in an Old Catholic community in Woodstock, New York. This writing is somewhat dated in that it was written and published in 1941 for a local newspaper, The Catskill Mountain Star.

Old Catholics

The vicissitudes of time and the machinations of men give words strange connotations. Often they no longer fit the mental pictures they create. When Woostockians looked up to Overlook Mountain and saw high on its slopes the gray clad figures of a religious community rehabilitating the deserted little chapel below Mead’s Mountain House, they were puzzled to hear the several young men calling themselves “Old”, displaying an evangelistic enthusiasm for a faith they called “Catholic”. They were completely nonplused when one of the older men of the community in overalls addressed a similarly clad younger man “Father”.

With the passage of days, however, Woodstock had grown to know and like these men as they have grown to like Woodstock more and more. Through the first summer Sundays the bell that echoed down the mountainside from the Church of Christ-on-the-Mount called increasing numbers to worship with the young “Old” Catholics and with the advent of winter a place of worship had to be found in the village. Then in an old red barn, adjoining the Woodstock Country Club on the Saugerties-Woodstock road, whose hand hewn beams and weathered boards teem with memories and the romance of bygone days, they prayed for the common healing of the ills of humanity together with people who have been previously unchurched, dechurched or never-before churched. But with the exception of those with whom their activities have grown, and the friendly folk with whom they visit, the paradox of “Old” and “Catholic” and “young” and “evangelistic” still remains. Continue reading “Old Catholic History”

Rethinking Password Policy


A password policy is a common part of every companies overall security policy. Most password policies are set in stone, and have been essentially unchanged over the past twenty years. We think of the ideal password as a random collection of letters, numbers and random characters. Common password policies often include rules such as:

    • Both upper case and lower case numbers are required.
    • At least one number and one special character.
    • A minimum length of 8 characters (and often a maximum length is set).
    • A prohibition against certain rules or sequences of characters.
    • No personal information (i.e.. cannot use ones first or last name).
    • Cannot repeat the previous dozen passwords.

Password must be changed every 90 days.

These are all pretty standard and have the desired effect of forcing fairly complex passwords. After all the more complex the password is the more secure it is, right? Or do they? Let’s look at two examples.
1. Super.001 – This password meets all the requirements above. It has the advantage of being very easy to remember, Has four different character types, etc. Most people would be able to remember this password without much effort, which is ideal. But, it is a password that is subject to one very serious issue, predictability. That is to say, the users next password is going to be Super.002 and then Super.003 and so on. While they all meet the complexity requirements of the aforementioned rule set, they are a serious breach of ideal information security since knowing one password makes it real easy to guess the next iteration of the same users password. Continue reading “Rethinking Password Policy”