In Answer to Some Questions

A former amateur investigative reporter who is now trying to work the religion page has asked several questions over the last day. Here is my answer:

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

UPDATE—If an intrepid religious report knew his stuff and he wanted to question the bona fides of someone serving as a treasurer of a religious fund, he would allude to John 12:4-6. Of course, that would require a working knowledge of his subject matter.

The Perseus Dark Matter Matter

Video Credit: NASA

Personal Note—I contributed to the design of the cryogenic temperature control system being used to cool the detector array in the Soft X-ray Spectrometer that will fly on Astro-H. The system is capable of holding the detector array at 0.05° above absolute zero with a stability better than ±0.000001°.

When an individual x-ray photon strikes one of the pixels in the SXS detector, the energy raises its temperature slightly which changes the resistance of the cell—the more energetic the photon, the greater the change. The low operating temperature and the tight regulation are necessary to make lower energy x-rays detectable and reduce system noise.

Field Day So Far

FD 2014-1The Carroll County Amateur Radio Club is operating a multi-transmitter Field Day site. We have two stations operating phone (ham talk for “voice”), one operating CW (ham talk for “Morse code”), one operating digital modes (ham talk for “text”), and one operating via amateur radio satellites.

The picture at the left shows Curt WB8YYY operating my low-powered CW rig. His left hand is adjusting the tuning knob. The laptop is used to log the contacts with other stations and to log the radio settings. His telegraph key is just out of the frame on the right.

Some years, the club goes all out to score the most points we can. This year, Field Day is laid back. At around 6:30 this evening, we stopped operating and had a picnic. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors.

Packing Up for Field Day

ArgonautVIMost years, I take a fairly extensive kit of equipment to our ham radio club’s Field Day site. This year, I’m taking a minimalist approach. Although U. S. amateur radio operators are allowed to operate with transmitter output power up to 1500 W in most cases and most Field Day operators use radio in the 100 W range, I’ll be using a 10 W rig and small portable antenna.

I enjoy the challenge of low-power operation. When propagation conditions are good, very little power is required to communicate around the world. I’ve talked with KC4AAA, the amateur radio station at Amundsen Scott Research Station at the South Pole using a transmitter power of 5 W.

I’ll be blogging some from the Field Day site, but non-ham-radio blogging is likely to be sparse this weekend.

73 de W3JJH

My Day

201406191002ZSomehow, I feel that those good wishes from the Cabin Boy™ are sarcasm, but I did have a good day working with the GOES-R Project today. Most of my time was spent mentoring an engineering co-op student who was laying out his first circuit board. Passing on such skills one-on-one is something I find very satisfying.

Not everyone working on the GOES-R program is aware the legal wrangling that takes up part of my spare time, but many of my colleagues read this blog or have heard stories told around the Keurig. Those stories have been the source of much head shaking and laughter.

June Evenings

I stepped outside for a few minutes to see how some things in the yard were doing after the rain, and there they were: Lightning bugs. The sight of them brought back pleasant memories of running barefoot around the yard with a mason jar catching the flashing little creatures. Pleasant memories. 60 year old memories. Summer was simpler then.

My Time On The Stand This Morning

I was present for the hearing in the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. nuisance suit this morning. The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin decided to call William Hoge as a witness. Since my son had accompanied me this morning, he asked TDPK to specify which William Hoge he meant. When Kimberlin specified, “the elder,” I went to the stand and was sworn in.

The hearing related to whether the court could establish personal jurisdiction over Ali Akbar, and it turned on how much connection Ali had to Maryland. (Ali is a resident of Texas.)

Ali has been one of the organizers of BlogBash, a bloggers’ social event held each year along with CPAC. For the past two years, CPAC (and BlogBash) have been held in Maryland. Kimberlin asked about BlogBash 2013 and 2014. I answered truthfully that I had met Ali in 2013 at CPAC and that I had participated in BlogBash in both 2013 and 2014. I answered that, no, I was not nominated for an award in 2013, but, yes, I was nominated in 2014.

I answered that, yes, Ali and I both participated in the fund raising blog Bomber Sues Bloggers. I answered that, no, Ali was not involved in Tetyana’s Fund, the legal fund for Mrs. Kimberlin’s defense against a protective order petition filed by her husband, but that I was the sole organizer of that fund.

Aside: On cross examination, my lawyer asked why our defense fund was named Bomber Sues Bloggers. TDPK immediately objected, and the vehemence of his objection made my lawyer’s point better than my answer might have.

I answered that, yes, I had seen Ali at hearing in a District Courthouse in Maryland.

I answered that, no, I had not received any money from the Bomber Sues Bloggers fund and that I was not aware of anything being paid to a third party for my benefit.

I also answered a few questions about how Twitter works.

And that’s the story of my testimony.


What Would Jackasses Do?

I’m a bit bemused by the recent attempts by admitted atheists and a rather blatant heretic to lecture me on the tenets of my religious beliefs. I’m a Christian, and those critics seem to think that they can hold me to a non-Biblical standard of their imagined Jesus.

Let’s get one thing clear up front. Jesus is not a wuss. That bit about turning the other cheek is often taken out of context by people who rather not remember that Jesus took a whip to the money changers in the Temple. Twice. (John 2:17 and Matthew 21:12) Jesus is one of the Persons of the Trinity. He is God, the source of Truth and Justice.

Gentle Reader, do you believe that it is just to let someone cyberbully a grieving family that has just lost a child? Do believe that it just to allow a convicted violent felon to stalk a family? Or is it just to oppose those sorts of actions?

Jesus told a parable about a crime victim. A bunch of goody-two-shoes types looked the other way, but one guy helped the victim. Do you remember who in the story Jesus praised?

UPDATE—I seem to have stirred up a bit of a tempest in one tiny portion of teh Twitterz with this post. The Gentle Reader should note that I have not identified anyone by name. However, the following observations by Jesus and Paul may be useful in sorting out who’s who.

First, Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount:

By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Second, Paul, from his Epistle to the Galatians:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. Let’s not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.

… Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don’t give up.

Of course, Christians are not perfect. We are still works in process. If God were finished with us at this point, he would not have taught us to pray “… and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

UPDATE 2— Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control …@PatO201405031924Z

Mrs. Hoge Gets An Email

Mrs. Hoge received the following email. Note that it has a bogus return address. The headers show that it was sent via a remailer service.

From: televisionwatch@gmail.comd
Subject: Local “minister” WJJ Hoge is no one to admire. Vile harassment lobbied against disabled man.

A copy of what has been sent to Sheriff’s office, the local news and, of course, the forestry board. Thank your husband for any attention you get.

WJJ Hoge of Westminster, a man who claims to be a minister, is waging a petty war against a Parkinsons sufferer. Why? Because they dislike one another. Mr. Hoge has admitted ownership of the content attached in the link below. It is filthy and meant only to emotionally harm his “enemy” and nothing more.

One other time Mr. Hoge was angered, he created this online movement meant to harrass local officials:

Everyone Blog About Howard County SA Office

This man claims to be doing the lord’s work, believes he is standing up for Jesus. In truth, he is a bully, a hypocrite and someone who can only create walls and vitriol. Online harassment is something we take seriously when it involves children, but we ignore it when it comes to disabled adults. Is this what Maryland has become?

His wife, Connie, is a member of the Forestry Board and, therefore, a public figure.

Mrs. Hoge forwarded this message to me, and it popped up on my iPhone while I was at a Candidates’ Forum being held in the studios of our local public access cable station. There were two panels that night. The first was the candidates for Sheriff. The second was the candidates for State’s Attorney.

Sometimes it’s good to be able to share things with your neighbors.

UPDATE—The Cabin Boy™ says he didn’t send the email.@PatO201405030151Z

The email refers to “what has been sent to Sheriff’s office,” but the complaint Schmalfeldt filed is timestamped 18:00 on 30 April, and the headers for the email show a timestamp of  “30 Apr 2014 17:48:48.” (See the comment section below.). Now, who other than the Cabin Boy™ would have been aware of the contents of the complaint to the Sheriff 11 minutes before it was filed?


Prevarication Du Jour

The Cabin Boy™ keeps up his whining about the lack of intersection between his narrative and the real world in a post at Patriot-Ombudsman (No, I won’t link to it.) called Powerless in Howard County. He includes the following comment about me.P-O20140327What I do ain’t rocket science. It’s applied quantum mechanics.

“Rocket science” involves simple Newtonian physics. Quantum mechanics is a much more sophisticated discipline, and the suggestion that I am employed doing less advanced work borders on defamation.

An Evening in the Real World

I’ve spent most of this evening engaged in the real world. After work, Mrs. Hoge and I had some business to take care of near DC. After a leisurely dinner down there (Mmmm, Tilapia), the drive back to Westminster in the snow was pretty with the snow dusting the branches of the trees along the road.

Now that I’m back at work more or less full time, there will be hours long periods when I don’t attend to blogging. I’m told that one of my most ardent readers has interpreted my having a real life interacting with the real world as hiding. No, it’s caused by having a life.

BlogBash 2014

I’ve just left BlogBash 2014 to the younger crowd and have settled in for the night in my hotel room. First of all, congratulations to the all the award winners, especially Stacy McCain who won in the Activist Blogger category. I was amazed to have been nominated in that category, but I’m not surprised that Stacy was the winner.

Last year was my first time at CPAC and BlogBash, and I enjoyed meeting many bloggers whose work I admired. This year, it’s been a pleasure finally meeting some of my codefendants in the Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. RICO Madness.

I’ll have more to tell you about BlogBash and CPAC over the next few days. For now, it’s time for an old man to get some rest.

Back in the Saddle Again

This evening I agreed to go back to work full-time for a while. I was enjoying my semi-retirement, but my former colleagues working on the GOES-R program have persuaded me to rejoin them. I’ll begin on Monday at Goddard Space Flight Center.

GOES-R is the first of the next generation of weather satellites.

Video Credit: NOAA / NASA

Ice Storm!

We’re had an ice storm overnight here in Westminster. There’s a thick coating on everything outside. Neither the electrical or telco lines to stately Hoge Manor have been affected yet. However, we are hearing the occasional thud of a widowmaker dropping out of a tree. So far, we’ve lost a sizable branch out of a maple in the back yard and another out of an oak in the front yard. The most substantial damage has been to an ornamental cherry tree in the front yard. It may be so extensive that we’ve lost the tree.


UPDATE—I can see several hours with my chain saw in the near future.

A Busy Signal

Yesterday, I tried to connect to Mossberg’s website. I wanted to look up some information on an old shotgun that’s been in the family since before I was born, an old pre-WWII bolt action .410. I couldn’t get through.

And then I found out that Mossberg has just released several Duck Commander models.

That explains the increased traffic. I guess I’ll wait for the rush to subside. It’s still busy this morning.

Birthday Frivolity

Mrs. Hoge is organizing our family’s annual New Year’s Eve open house which doubles as my birthday party.

I’m taking the rest of the year off. I’m be back around tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing … if it’s clear tonight, go outside and look toward the south. That very bright star you’ll see near Orion’s feet is Sirius. It will be due south at your local midnight on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.