I remember seeing this ad in Boys’ Life when I was a kid. (You can click the ad to embiggen it.)Ads like this are politically incorrect these days, but IIRC, there seemed to be fewer problems with kids misusing guns when I was growing up.
My friends and I had been sitting at a table in the school cafeteria talking about politics and how interesting it was going to be to watch Barry Goldwater (who we presumed would be the Republican nominee) run against President Kennedy in 1964. I took a break from the conversation and went over to the desert area to get some ice cream. The girl behind the counter was transfixed by the transistor radio in her hand. When I started to talk to her, she shhhed me and turned up the volume. The announcer was repeating a news flash from UPI about the President being shot in Dallas.
I walked back over to the table and broke the news to my friends. We left and went down to a classroom with a TV set. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Walter Cronkite relay the story from Dallas. There were no more classes that day.
There will be a lot of retrospective stuff published today, and I suspect that much of it will either omit or distort one key fact—Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed President Kennedy, was a leftwing nut job; he was a communist.
To those of you kind enough to say, “Thank you.”—You’re welcome.
To those serving now—Thanks.
The hearing on The Dread Pirate Kimberlin’s motion to compel Google to give up the identity of Kimberlin Unmasked in the Maryland Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. lawsuit was the last item that the court heard this morning. Other than the judge and his two clerks, the only individuals in the courtroom were Brett Kimberlin and one of the Kimberlin daughters; Kimberlin Unmasked’s lawyer and a law student working with him; Google’s lawyer; and my son William and me. There were no other eyewitnesses. I was present both as a party to the case (I am one of the et al.) and as a blogger/reporter.
Putting on my blogger hat …
TDPK spent around 15 minutes trying to make his case. His presentation was not well organized, but the judge got the gist of it and cut him off. There were a pair of affidavits submitted to support Kimberlin’s motion. One was objected to on the grounds that it was from TDPK who is not allowed to testify in Maryland courts because of his prior perjury conviction. The other was from a member of his family. I will not discuss that affidavit because it deals with a Kimberlin family matter which I believe should remain confidential for now.
Kimberlin Unmasked lawyer made a proper defense of why his client should remain anonymous. The judge did not agree.
Google’s lawyer took no position on the merits of the matter. He submitted a draft motion of what Google was willing to provide, and Kimberlin agreed to that order. Google will provide the current IP address and current name associated with the account in question.
After the judge recessed the court, TDPK went over to the two lawyers to work out some details. I was sitting close enough that I overheard the conversation. Neither my son nor I heard either lawyer offer any sort of apology to Brett Kimberlin for anything.
After Kimberlin left the area, I went to Technical Services and bought a copy of the courtroom audio for the hearing. This report is based on the notes I took during the hearing and a review of that audio.
I have been informed that Kimberlin Unmasked will not appeal the judge’s order. The Gentle Reader can make of that what he will.
Putting on my party-to-the-case hat …
I will have no further comment on the hearing or the judge’s ruling.
UPDATE—I will clarify one point. The second affidavit was not from Mrs. Kimberlin.
Fall color to go see. Deer season coming and a trip to the range for practice. Other personal stuff.
After checking my balance at the credit union this afternoon, I discovered that I received my first Social Security payment on Friday.
Now, I’m not sure who Xenophon (the Troll) thinks is my flock. If the troll is thinking of the folks who follow me on Twitter and WordPress, it’s true that there are some things that I haven’t shared with you. Here’s what I did for the past 24 hours.
Most of yesterday afternoon was spent working on the layout for a printed circuit board for a prototype microphone preamplifier that I am designing for a client. As you can see by scrolling down on the Home page, I did get a bit of blogging done. Saturday evening, I read a bit, tweeted a bit, did some paperwork related to one of Brett Kimberlin’s frivolous and vexatious lawsuits, and, at 11 pm, I was on Becca Lower‘s Internet talk show with Aaron Walker. And so to bed.
I got up around 6 this morning and did a little blogging as well as preparation for church. I don’t have any pastoral responsibilities at church for now (so, strictly speaking, that isn’t “my flock”), but I did preside at communion. After church, I came home and found @x3n0ph0n’s nonsense in my Interactions on Twitter.
And that’s the last 24 hours, more or less. Yes, I do have a life in the real world off the Internet.
Team Kimberlin is entering a downward spiral. The recently filed lawsuits are poorly drawn attempts to intimidate their perceived enemies. The overreach is mind-boggling. The flailing attempts to find something, anything, with PR traction are a clear sign of fear that the tide has really turned. It has. So a deadbeat dad (who is hiding from arrest warrants) is throwing out all kinds of baseless nonsense, innuendos, and flat-out lies to a group of followers so small that he doesn’t have to take off both shoes to count them.
And he can’t even be sure that they really believe him.
UPDATE—Stacy McCain has something to say about Neal Rauhauser here.
I’ll be spending much of today going to and fro in the Earth and walking up and down in it. Personal errands, interviews, stops at a couple of courthouses (not in Carroll County), …
Alas, almost everything I find or confirm today will have to stay off-the-record. For now.
Although the NASA System Engineering Seminar I was planning to attend today has been postponed because of … oh, never mind … I’ll still be spending most of the day going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it as I tend to some very interesting errands.
Who knows? Some interesting blog posts might result from what I find.
The Daily Mail has an interesting article about this map from the U. S. Census Bureau about what Americas say about our ancestry. (H/T, Instapundit) Click the map to embiggen it.FWIW, I’m descended from William Hoge, a Scot who came to America in 1680. Mrs. Hoge is a descendant of Nicholas Potter, an Englishman who came in 1634.
Mmmmm … Kona coffee.
One of my hobbies is amateur radio. I’ve been interested in radio since I was a kid, but when my friends were getting their ham licenses back in the ’60s, I got a First Class commercial license. While they played with 75 W Heathkit DX-40s, I was running a 50,000 W Continental Electronics 317C at WLAC.
I never got into amateur radio as a personal hobby until my son William took an interest. We took our licensing exams together. Since 1998, I’ve been licensed as W3JJH. William and I have had the opportunity to get involved in community service as ham radio operators. For example, during Hurricane Isabel, we were the radio operators at the Alternate Emergency Operations Center for our county and ran the net control station for the backup communications radio net. Emergency planners sometimes forget the resource they have in volunteer ham operators. Our county did once, and decided they could rely on cell phones for backup. The tornado hit the cell tower.
One of the other things that William and I do together each year is participate in Field Day. During that event, hams from all over the U. S. and Canada set up portable stations in the field and practice handling brief message traffic. It started in the ’30s as an emergency drill. Now, it’s as much a social event. The picture at the left shows me during Field Day 2003 operating a station that sends text-based traffic.
Amateur radio is a multi-faceted hobby. My main interest these days is trying communicate around the world using as little power as possible and designing and building as much of my equipment as possible. The ham buzzwords for that are QRP and homebrew.
UPDATE—Back in the ’60s, you had to be at least 18 to use a CB radio. My First Class commercial license allowed me to legally repair a CB radio before it was legal for me to use one.
One of the ministries that I have been involved in for the past five or six years is helping with people who are trying to deal with various problems by working a Twelve Step program of recovery. Something that the drunks and addicts have taught me is that they can’t be successful in their recoveries unless they focus on dealing with their own problems. One of them once told me, “I have to let the other guy do his own inventory.” That has stuck with me.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t take note of someone’s normal behavior and have expectations of his behavior in the future, but I try not to analyze the other person’s motives too deeply. It’s enough challenge for me to deal with the internal reality of my own life. Of course, there always seems to be someone who is willing to analyze me.
Just because WJJ Hoge III is a bitter old man, a useless old man, a man of small accomplishment, a man who has something he is trying real hard to prove to himself — that he is RIGHT!
Now, I could be wrong. I could be deluding myself. But that doesn’t fit with my understanding of myself—except for the bit about “old.”
Bitter? That means angry, hurt, and resentful because of some bad experience. Yes, I’ve had some bad experiences in my life, and some things have happened to me where my response has included anger, a natural human response in many of those situations. However, I feel no sense of resentment. I’m actually quite happy with my life.
Useless? Oh, come now. Can’t I still serve as a bad example or a laughingstock?
Small accomplishment? Perhaps. But big enough for me. As I look back over the past 65 years, I can see enough contributions to family, church, community, and career to have a reasonable level of satisfaction.
Trying to prove I’m right? Well, sure. Most of us would rather be right than wrong. OTOH, I’m willing to be proven wrong. That’s OK; being wrong is a part of continuing to learn and grow.
Do I have character defects? You betcha! And when I start trying to get inside of another person’s motivations, I find I have a tendency to assume that his motivations are similar to mine. The usually aren’t. So, rather than mapping my problems on to his, I will let the other guy do his own inventory, and I will keep trying to do a better job of understanding my own.
This afternoon, I’m focusing on my life in the real world by attending an engineering seminar at Goddard Spaceflight Center about the planning for the OSIRIS-REx mission. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will fly to asteroid Bennu, rendezvous with it, fly the spacecraft in close proximity to characterize Bennu’s surface and identify the most promising sample site, navigate to the surface to collect a sample, secure it, and safely return it to the Earth’s surface.
I’ll be back to the Interwebs later this evening.
Video Credit: NASA
Mmmmm … hot dogs.
I’m an Eagle Scout, and I’ve continued to take part in Scouting as an adult.
When friends went to Africa for a year long mission trip, Mrs. Hoge and I took over as leaders of their Girl Scout troop.
When the Jewish Community Center in Nashville wanted to start a Boy Scout troop, I served as their Scoutmaster for a year to help them get going. (No, I’m not Jewish.)
Here in Maryland, I’ve served as a Troop Committee Chairman, a Cubmaster, a Unit Commissioner, an Assistant District Commissioner, a Venture Crew Advisor, and a Merit Badge Counselor. I’ve helped organize local participation in the Jamboree on the Air, an international Scouting event via amateur radio.
One of the things I’ve done throughout my career is teach graduate-level courses to pass on the experience I’ve gained practicing engineering. The first such course I taught was in 1976 at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. It was an intensive short course on loudspeaker engineering. My piece dealt with driver synthesis, that is taking a set of specs and producing a driver that meets them.
One of the students in the course was a local Colorado Springs resident who owned the land at the top of Cheyenne Mountain. He had retired off of the rental of transmitter sites for broadcasters, two-way radio users, etc. He invited the course instructors up to the top of the mountain during one of the breaks. It isn’t as tall as Pike’s Peak, but it still offers a wonderful view.
Left to right: Laurie Fincham (then with KEF), Me (then with CTS), Richard Small (then with the University of Sydney), and Neville Thiele (retired from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Not pictured: J. Robert Ashley (UCCS), Don Keele (then with Electro-Voice), and Paul Klipsch.
I began working the power system for the Burst Alert Telescope of the Swift satellite in 2000. I designed several bits and pieces that wound up in various assemblies in the BAT, but I was primarily responsible for the low-noise voltage regulators that powered the amplifiers in the sensor array. That regulator assembly was called the XA1VR. There were 16 of them in the BAT.
Because house calls are impossible on most of NASA’s hardware once it gets on orbit, reliability is a major design concern. That means that so-called space-class parts are used almost exclusively. This was a significant problem in the design of the XA1VR because there were several key components which were not yet available as space- or even military-grade parts. The pass transistors were a particular problem. Not only were they not available in the sort of hermetic packages normally used, the manufacturer had no plan to make space-class parts available until well after the scheduled launch date for the mission. Because commercial plastic parts had to be used, there were additional handling precautions that had be taken with the assemblies.
All 16 flight units of the XA1VR and all the spare units were delivered on time. They were the only assemblies delivered for integration into the BAT on schedule. They were the only assemblies that required no rework. The service life requirement for the mission was two years. All 16 XA1VRs are still working on orbit after almost a decade.
Image Credits: NASA
The picture shows an XA1VR (mounted in the frame that holds it and 8 sensor blocks) being inspected after handling during system integration. The bundle of white wires carries the high-voltage bias power for the x-ray sensors. The bias potential is supplied by an adjustable regulator in an assembly called the Block Voltage Regulator. The BVR takes power from a low-voltage bus and generates a slightly-greater-than 300 V low-current internal bus. (That part of the BVR and the overall design of the BVR assembly was done by my colleague Lowell Fry.) That bus fed individual 0 to 300 V adjustable regulators, one for each sensor block. I designed the adjustable regulators. Because the currents being controlled were so tiny, bipolar transistors had to be used in those regulators. Here we had the opposite availability problem. Such transistors were common parts back in the days of discrete transistor television sets, but, by 2001, they were no longer readily available as current production and completely unavailable as new space- or military-grade parts. Fortunately, we found some old-stock military parts, and I was able to design a workable solution using them.
From time to time, I’m able to post some new science from the Swift mission. I feels good to have been a small part of getting it off the ground.
UPDATE—Broken link fixed.
I’ve published a few papers and articles through the years. One of my favorites was a short piece of technical correspondence in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society called A New Set of Vented Loudspeaker Alignments. The paper describes a class of filter functions made up of cascaded two-pole functions with the same resonance frequency and how they can be applied to loudspeaker system design. The result is a single peak in the frequency response. I facetiously named the class of loudspeaker alignments BB4 for fourth-order boom box.
The day my copy of the Journal with my paper came in the mail, I got a phone call from a friend who was a professor of electrical engineering. He let me know that I had just published the meat of one of his graduate student’s proposed master’s thesis, and that the guy was having to start his research all over.
It had been a couple of afternoons’ part-time work for me.
BTW, I was a member of the Editorial Review Board of the JAES back in the ’70s.
Back in the early ’80s, I led the engineering team at JBL. When I joined the company, the average time it took to develop a new product was about 2 years and most of the product line lost money. When I left, product development time was around 10 months, product quality had improved (by design), and product profitability had improve dramatically (also by design).
In the early ’80s, JBL had a reputation for displaying vaporware products at trade shows. The J-Series was designed, tooled, and a successful pilot run completed in the three month period from October to December, 1982. When dealers ordered samples at the January, 1983, Consumer Electronics Show, they had real production units from the pilot run waiting for them when they returned from the CES. That was an important step in improving dealer and customer satisfaction with the product line. Designing the products to cost meant looking creatively at all aspects of the manufacturing process. It turned out in this case that the most significant cost saving came from improvements in our woodworking processes.
There were lots of pro audio, car audio, and musical instrument products that came out of our department during my tenure. The last products I worked on at JBL were for the high-end consumer L-Series. My favorite of that series was the 18ti.Here’s an interesting problem that I personally developed the solution for. Tweeter voice coils need to be very low mass. The best material for the tradeoff between electrical resistance and mass is aluminum, so we used aluminum voice coils in our high-frequency drivers. Aluminum is not easily solderable. We crimped beryllium-copper leads to the ends of the voice coils in order to have a solderable connection. If too much force was used to make the crimped connection, the fine aluminum wire would fracture, and the connection would be mechanically unreliable.
I suspected that the cracked structure of the aluminum would act like a point-contact diode. It did. When a high-frequency current was applied to the poorly made voice coil assemblies, the current was noticeably distorted. This provided a means of testing the units following crimping. Testing stopped bad parts from being used, and it also allowed the manufacturing engineers a means of calibrating for the maximum useful crimping force for each type of voice coil. Eventually, one of the manufacturing engineers came up with a better assembly process that allowed direct soldering to the aluminum, but the test method also worked to find poor solder joints.
Post production audio consoles are used to add the soundtracks to film and television shows. The dialog, special effects, and music all come from diverse recorded sources and are mixed to produce the final product. Note that there are four operator positions at the console. Disney uses a separate engineer to handle the dialog and effects and two to handle music. One guy on music is more common.
One problem that studios faced before console automation was how to handle multiple language releases. It was complicated and expensive to remix a movie from the ground up just to change the dialog. The PP-1 was the first automated console available to the industry. It was an analog console with its main functions such as signal level and routing digitally controlled, and it had a data base system that memorized operator inputs 30 times per second. With the effects and music under computer control, redubbing dialog is much simpler. 35 years later, this level of automation is commonly available on a Mac or PC.
I was one of the engineers who designed the PP-1. My main contributions were the 3-/5-channel plus surround panning circuits, the monitor system, the low-noise processor master clocking system (there are over 50 microprocessors running in sync), and the Autograph. The Autograph was a fully automated reverse engineering job of the industry-standard Cinema Engineering passive graphic equalizer.
Our team started working the initial design of the PP-1 in November, 1978. Serial Number 1 was delivered to Disney in May, 1979, and commissioned over the next couple of months. The first feature film to use it was The Black Hole.
Our cat Bob is an indoor/outdoor cat, and he occasionally brings in fleas. This afternoon, we fogged the house. My son went to work, my wife went to a bridal shower, and I went to the range for some practice. I took Mrs. Hoge’s S&W Model 60 .38 Special, a Browning Buck Mark .22 LR target pistol, and a Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP.
After limbering up with the .22, I practiced with the Model 60, aiming with the Crimson Trace laser grip. My results were strikingly better with the laser compared to the normal sights, but that’s not surprising given that I’m 65 years old and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.
The target above is the result of 50 rounds through the Kimber at 50 feet. I’ve always done well with a Model 1911, but this is one of the better targets I’ve shot recently.
On 7 February, 1994, I had a heart attack. In October, 1996, I wasn’t feeling well, and when the doc checked me out, he sent me for a bypass. In April, 2000, I came within seconds of dying from a massive heart attack. In August, 2004, my stent count was brought up to five after a third heart attack. I have coronary artery disease. It profoundly affects my life. (It’s been almost 20 years since I had a bacon cheeseburger.) But it doesn’t define who I am.
I am defined by what I believe, by what I do, and by where I do it.
Christian. Husband/Father/Engineer/Blogger. America.
Those are the first things that come to mind when I define myself.