Fellow Pittsburgh alumnus Myron Cope has passed away. A local legend, Cope was an integral part of Pittsburghcana. Outsiders may have found him hard to bear but, just as I did as an outsider, I learned to appreciate the man and understand how much he meant to Pittsburghers. He was truly one of a kind and his golden voice and witty perspectives will sorely be missed. yoi!
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This was the original stove in the house and, thus, dates back to 1974. It's a Hotpoint drop-in.
A beauty, eh?
Here's a view of the top.
Sure, lotsa wear and tear and although it looks like crap, it still works. An element burned out and, although I replaced it once before, we feel it's time to upgrade; mainly due to the 'it looks like crap' aspect. The last remaining 'built to last' appliance in the house is a GE dishwasher that dates back to 1984. A few years ago we replaced the Kenmore garbage disposal which dated from 1980 and the previous owners had left the receipt for that; cost: ~$15. They left the DW receipt here too and I think that was around $600. In fact, even though we are the third owners of this house, we have almost all the manuals and accompanying receipts for everything. The first owner passed on most of the manuals and accompanying receipts to the second owners who passed them on to us. I can't overstate what a nice gesture that is.
Now that I think about it, there is another quality relic in the house - a Sears toilet in the downstairs bathroom. I had to fix a leak once and remember seeing that inside the tank the code 'M33AUG 4-77' is stamped; and that code is actually stamped, not inked, into the tank on the inside. I have replaced the other two toilets since we've been here.
I am sure I'll like the new range, even though I'll probably have to RTM in order to figure out how to bake something for 45 min @ 350; heck, probably have to read it to figure out how to boil a pot of water.
As for an over/under of 34, take the under.
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reminding us what party he belongs to.
Here are links to two recent stories from the AP. See if you can guess what's missing from the story about Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of the 11th largest city in the US.
Detroit Mayor: Scandal Hurts City Image
Judge Grills E-Mail-Deleting Texas DA
Look at which story mentions party affiliation. When the accused is a Democrat, the AP omits party affiliation.
These are not isolated examples. How about this story:
Texas Vote Fraud Charges, Were They Democrats? AP Won't Say
Or this one from CNN. But CNN wastes no time in reminding us which party Sen. Craig belongs to.
Let's not forget the NYTimes:
Senate Ethics Committee Admonishes Larry Craig
Documentís Disclosure Adds to Scandal Over Detroit Mayor
Or maybe this one about a Maryland Senator:
Former Md. Sen. Bromwell Sentenced to 7 Years
Bromwell is a Democrat, but you wouldn't know it without a little research.
Liberal Bias? Nah....
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The Technician license, the license I have, is the first license to earn in amateur radio. With it, you can transmit on the allocated frequencies 6M and up which is 50MHz and higher; also known as the VHF/UHF bands. The 2M and 70cm (often called 440 because the range is 430-450MHz) bands are the most popular bands here. Hence, the dual-band transceivers you see are almost always 2M/440. The radio I bought for portability transmits on the 2M band only - 144-148MHz. There is a lot of activity on that band and generally the contacts are through repeaters instead of direct contact. The General license allows many privileges on the higher wavelength bands, like 160 down to 10 meter (1.8MHz to 28MHz). These are the HF bands and are used for greater distance contacts be they U.S. and North America or Europe or S. America or wherever, depending on what frequency you are using. The next, and highest class, license is Extra and that gives full amateur privileges on the amateur bands.
As for the VX-150, I like it and I've had no trouble hitting the Bangor repeater (147.045) or the W3OI repeater (146.940) in Allentown on 3W; 5W is the max on this thing. I programmed in 16 local repeaters that I should be able to hit from various points locally and, since the scan range is 140-174MHz, a few other frequencies like weather and police. Once I travel around with it I will program in other repeaters I pick up - in Berks and other nearby counties, maybe some Philly or N. Jersey ones, Jersey shore, and Pittsburgh, and others as I pick them up.
I plan on taking the General in March or April and then by summer purchasing an HF rig, power supply, and antenna and getting all that set up. So, for now, I'll just be on the 2M repeaters wherever I go.
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Last spring my daughter and the neighbor's kid came running down to me to tell me a groundhog was by the swingset and wasn't moving and they were scared of it. Thinking this was odd, I grabbed a shovel and went to investigate. I saw this mangy looking groundhog just sitting there. I walked right up to it and got within the shovel handle's distance and the varmit didn't run away. So, I prodded him with the shovel and he got a little upset, bit the shovel, but eventually ran and went into a hole about 10 yards away. He looked all ratty and I had a feeling he wasn't well. About 30 minutes later, I saw him again by my garden. So, I called the police, and an officer came out and shot him for me. I tossed the thing into the woods.
Last August or September, I was eyeing three turkey vultures out in the field behind my house. They were having quite a feast. Curious, I walked out to see what lunch was. The birds flew off and I saw a dead groundhog with what was an obvious gunshot wound in the neck and side of the face. Obviously, it wasn't the one the officer shot because that incident happened months before, but I still wonder who shot it.
Several years ago, a groundhog had dug a hole right underneath the window sill of the window for the computer room. He would come out sometimes sit on the window sill and scare the heck out of me. My cat sits there too so seeing a groundhog when expecting a cat catches you off guard. I tried for about a year to get rid of him with a trap. Eventually, I dumped some poison (a TSP solution, after I used it to scrub the wooden steps to the porch) down the hole and covered it up. He never came back. The hole is still filled in to this day.
I know Groundhog Day has a strong tradition here in Pennsylvania and has roots in a German religious holiday called Candlemas, but I still don't get it. Groundhogs are a nuisance.
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They hacked this one down a bit. Perhaps my original was a little long and a tad harsh. [Link]
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I have no equipment yet, other than borrowing my dad's handheld 2M transciever. So I've been listening; it's like hanging out in IRC but not being permitted to type anything. I will likely purchase a dualband mobile transceiver to use as a base station. I am eyeing the Yaesu 7800R. Once I buy the 7800 and a power supply and antenna, I should be good to go. With the technician class license and that particular transceiver, the range will not be very far so I won't be talking to anyone in Texas or Brazil anytime soon. I will need the next license up (General) and a HF transceiver and the appropriate antenna to do that. So, once I get my call sign, I'll be on the air.
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It turns out my standard route is 10.9 km, or about 6.5 miles, round trip. I had estimated about 5-6 miles going by the mile posts on the path and then adding in the route to the path that runs along the river and is only about a 1/2 km from my house. The terrain locally is fraught with hills and it's uphill to my house so it's a hard 10.9 too and it's steep enough that I have to walk some of it on the return trip home. Some parts of my usual ride are difficult to maintain a 20 kph speed.
Anyway, the device is called a 'cycle computer' because it also tracks your speed, distance, average speed, calories burned, tells the temperature, and a few other things. On my last ten-point niner, the computer said I burned 355 calories which doesn't seem like a lot. I think taking the terrain into account, I can add at least 75 to that. Still, though, 430 calories is only a few beers or a hot dog. I know you burn calories throughout the day doing the daily things one does and little things can help. One thing I never do is take the elevator. Four floors or less, I walk it, unless it's a situation where the elevator is the only option, or I have the kids and strollers and such with me.
In the warmer months, I try to bike at least three times a week. In the winter and early spring, I have to sneak in a ride when weather permits. Exercise is important. More Americans should do it.
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New England over Jacksonville (take Jax and the points on this one)
San Diego over Indianapolis
Seattle over Green Bay
Dallas over New Jersey
Of the four NFC teams left, I like none of them. Seattle would be "rootable for" except for the fact that Holmgren is waaaaay overrated. I have to root for the New Jersey Giants <shudder> to upset Dallas but I don't see it happening. I have no beef with any of the AFC teams left some hopefully an AFC team will win the Super Bowl.
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So, what did I learn?
1. I must improve my Gimping skills.
2. Never ever count a Clinton as out. It's 1992 all over again.
3. She will make the Obama campaign look like the Titanic, especially after the kiss of death he received from iceberg John Kerry.
4. On second thought, who cares who John Kerry endorses?
5. I need to stop picking on her. The more I do, the stronger she seems to get, even if that strength is built on tears.
Foreign policy doesn't work like this:
HC: "boo hoo, please don't test another missile"
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Mrs. Clinton, we must protect ourselves from evil American imperialism."
HC (weeping): "but you can hurt people with those things. It's not fair! You need to take an anti-bullying class. These focus groups have done well here in the US by turning everyone into a wimp. You should try it; it brings out your sensitive side."
HC (stomping and hissing): "It's not fair, you meanie! Why won't you listen to me?"
MA: "Well, now, since you starting stomping and crying, I guess I'll change my mind. I'll cancel the missile program. Tea tomorrow? And sign me up for one of those classes, too."
HC: "Tea? sure, just don't tell Bill. He gets so jealous when I socialize with foreign men, especially those who are just as subservient to their master, like he was to me for those eight years. Between you and I, though, don't tell anyone I said that. To the American people, I call this 'experience.'"
MA: "Ok, will do, and if I get out of line again, just throw another tantrum and I'll remember my place."
HC: "Sure thing; gotta run; heading down to Texas today to throw a few hissy fits to secure the border. Later, I'll call Hu Jintao up with my sob voice and work on that trade deficit."
So it goes. Boo hoo.
The road to the White House is tough, but not half as tough as being the President.
Oh, and I don't pick on her because she's a woman. I think we, as a nation, are ready for a woman president, but she isn't the one.
And, imagine the ridicule someone like Condi Rice would face if she cried like that! Once again, Hillary knows how to play the media and she played those cards perfectly and, in turn, the voters bought it hook, line, and sinker. Either that, or the non-New Hampshire residents she bussed in really put her over the top.
I've beaten this dead horse enough. It's too early in the year to discuss this coming election. I fell into the trap.
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