Back again. Tech gadgets. skiing, flying.

How were your holidays? mine were fine, thanks for asking.

As many have noticed I was on my usual holiday sabatical. I apologise for those close readers, and for those that emailed me, you probably noticed I haven’t been on email for a while either.

This brings me to my first topic of note.

I can be pretty confusing to people, I guess. In more ways than one I’m sure. but, in regards to email, computers, internet etc…

People see me as always being connected. Sure, anytime people see me I have a good chance of having a cell phone (which I love to hate and hate to love). A ham radio, a laptop, GPS and who knows what else type of tech gadgets. People are interested to see me surf the web and send/recieve email on my cell phone (and I do occasionally talk to someone on it). People see me skiing with a small ham radio antenna coming out of my ski backpack, people see me riding my bike with an antenna, ham radio and GPS mounted on it. They see my truck with two 7′ antennas on it, GPS (same one), satelite radio, cell antenna, and flashing lights (storm chasing).

People see this as me being “addicted” to technology. Wrong! Actually, far from the truth. I do enjoy gadgets, they are quite fun. and to a large extent they serve purpose.

The cell phone and or Laptop are for my network. The Hangar Z Network. My servers host several personal sites as well as organizations and companies. So, I like to know what’s going on with it. If anything goes wrong I get a call on my cell phone. I rarely talk on the home phone, almost exclusivly use the cell. but as stated before I hate cell phones. I hate carrying one, but it’s needed. I do know where the off button is and I’m quite fond of caller ID. When you have a cell phone, you have to be. If I don’t feel like talking I don’t answer. It’s the same as if I were at home. If I’m out to eat with my wife or in a meeting etc… and phone rings (vibrates) then I’ll glance at the caller id and see who it is. if I don’t think it’s important I won’t answer. I have voice mail, I’ll check it as soon as I’m free. If it’s important there is an option on my voicemail to send an urgent page to my phone. Do this once and I’ll call you back immediatly. do it twice and I’ll call you back soon and question why. do it a third time and I’ll ignore it the fourth time. Of course if you keep calling my number I’ll probably answer it after the second time. Don’t abuse it.
You can also send me an urgent marked email to my main account (which you either know or don’t need to know) this will page me on the cell phone and I can read it immediatly. this is often the choice if I’m in a meeting. or regualar SMS text messaging. by the way, my cell phone doesn’t even work at my parents and grandparent house. 🙂 Don’t get offended by me screening my calls. if I didn’t have the cell phone and I was out of the house they’d be no chance of me answering. so consider your chances better with it.

(trust me, I am going to make a point here)


As for my Laptop. I can access alot of my network from anywhere in the world via commands from my cell phone or via the web and I can check my main email via the cell phone. But there are several things in my network that are locked down pretty tight which require certifcates and other passes to get into. I carry a USB drive that has alot of these on it, ofcourse password protected and encrypted (and that’d only get you in the door then I have pass sequences memorized).

But for the most secure services I have certifcates and software on my laptop. So, when out of town I generally need to have access to my laptop, incase.

additionally, I have 10 email accounts recieving over 600 emails per day. The laptop takes my email accounts with me… a hundred are spam and never get past my server. 300 are linux email lists emails, 50 or so are ham radio list emails another 50 for security stuff and the rest legit. So my laptop downloads and sorts these. it runs checks on any that aren’t sent to a email list and rates them by importance to me based on certain critera and training to what I tell it. btw, if it has FW: in it, you just went WAY down to the bottom of the list, unless you are one of the two people that forward only good stuff.

As for the Ham radio, I do a lot of ham radio stuff, public service disaster response, emergency commo and storm chasing. it’s saved my bacon several times too. don’t leave home without one.

satelite radio; My wife and I regularly make 6 hour drives through the idaho mountains. The drive to my parent’s house is 5 hours. you can reliably recieve FM radio for 25 minutes of the drive. 20 minutes on this side and 5 minutes on the other side. At one trip per two weeks (our current average) that’s 9 hours. Even our CD collection gets old after a few trips. Enter satelite radio, 100 channels anywhere. never gets old. (go with sirius, not XM).

With all this technology surrounding me I can to some extent understand why people think I’m addicted. but realize, this is what I do. I work in comptuers, I study computers, I work in telecom, I play with telecom… this is what I do, it’s not something I rely on. I can quite easily go hunting, backpacking, skiing, fishing or whatever and never touch such technology. (aside from the ham radio, which is a safty issue). When I go to my parent’s I don’t always take my laptop, my cell phone doesn’t work and usually don’t even touch a computer except when my family needs help with something. I have no problem going without tech for weeks even. So, don’t accuse me of being addicted.
(I’m sure there was another point here, not sure what it was).

Next topic

Joy and I went to Lost Trail skiing the other day. the snow wasn’t deep (only three feet). so far it’s been a bad snow year, but the quality was the typical idaho montana snow. GREAT!
it’s snowed since then and bogus has just opened night skiing. I plan to go sometime very soon, I could use a day/night of skiing.

At this rate, I’m not sure when I’m going to fly again. Weather has been bad and I’m waiting on a good enough day to go on cross country to Sun Valley and Burley. Now my solo endorsement has run out (first of the year) so I can’t go solo until after I fly with cammie again. which will be on the sun valley trip. so we’ll see when the weather clears.

gotta go. must work.

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