Gun Non-Violence

I served in the Army. During my time as a soldier, I engaged in violence, and much of it involved the use of firearms. In the decades since I left the Army, I’ve been involved in several tense situations which could have escalated to violence but did not. In each case, the threat was terminated when the other party or parties realized that I was armed, and that the cost/benefit ratio of engaging with me was less favorable than had been expected. My having a gun resulted in non-violent ends to those encounters.

Not every bad guy will weigh the odds the same way, sometimes deterrence will fail, and force will have to be met with force, but so far, deterrence has worked for me.

Being armed isn’t for everyone, but it has its advantages for those willing to undertake the responsibility.

How I Met Mrs. Hoge

The original version of this post ran eight years tomorrow. While I was going through some old technical files, I found a picture that reminded me of how Mrs. Hoge and I met and our time working together in the music business in Nashville.

* * * * *

I met the young lady who became Mrs. Hoge in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria just before 6 pm on the Saturday of Halloween weekend, 1977.

The Audio Engineering Society was having its Fall convention at the Waldorf, and the main exhibit area was in the Grand Ballroom. I had presented a paper on loudspeaker driver parameter measurement that afternoon and was spending the rest of Saturday checking out the exhibits. It was almost closing time when I got to the booth for Harrison Systems.

Henry Martin, an old friend from Boy Scouts and high school, worked for Harrison. He was giving a demo of a Harrison recording console to a very attractive young lady who seemed intent on learning as much as she could. I waved at Henry, and he waved me over. It was almost closing time, and Henry wanted to get to supper with his wife. He introduced me to the girl, noting that she was just finishing her degree in Audio Production at Indiana University, that my job was currently based in Elkhart, Indiana, and that I had worked as a recording engineer in the music business in Nashville.

The exhibits were closing, so I invited her to dinner. She said no. She had plans that evening with the friend she was staying with. So I asked her to lunch, and she said yes to that.

Lunch the next day was at Oscar’s in the Waldorf. Since she’d never had one, I ordered her a Waldorf salad. I asked if she had plans for the awards banquet that evening. She said that she had a ticket. Who was she going with? No one. I was stunned. There were five or six thousand men at that AES convention and maybe a half-a-dozen women who weren’t booth babes, and this beautiful woman didn’t have a date. How about going with me? OK.

We kept in touch afterwards, did some long distance dating, and wound up both moving to Nashville at the same time a year later. (Back to Nashville in my case.) And about a year after that we were married.

RULE 5 UPDATE—Connie_1983

* * * * *

2021 UPDATE—In late 1978, Connie and I coauthored a paper on concert hall acoustic and recording techniques. It was accepted for presentation at the May, 1979, Audio Engineering Society convention in Los Angeles. She presented the paper at the convention.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Team Kimberlin tell lies, and as this Prevarication Du Jour from six years ago shows, some of them are pointless and mindlessly stupid.

* * * * *

@GrouchyOldLib201505202225ZThe Cabin Boy™ hears all sorts of things. Sometimes they’re from such questionable sources as The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin. Other times, I’m not sure of the source of the voices he says he’s hearing.

BTW, if anyone does need to look up my contact information at Goddard, I’m listed as William J. Hoge.

I’m not sure what the Cabin Boy’s™ purpose is for spinning such outrageous stories, unless he is trying establish a sterling reputation for making it up as he goes along and a proven track record for being wrong.

UPDATE—Why make you have to search for the info? Here’s my current listing in the NASA Directory.Hoge NED

* * * * *

My work at Goddard still constitutes the bulk of my day job. (Hogewash! is run as a business, but the resulting income is trivial compared to my engineering work.) I’ve enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects for NASA. As part of those projects, I’ve designed ultra-quiet power systems for an x-ray telescope and the analog portion of the refrigeration system for another x-ray telescope that maintained the instrument’s detector at 0.05 degrees above absolute zero (± 0.000001 degree). I’ve designed GPS receivers for use in orbits out beyond the GPS satellite constellation. Presently, I’m working on the control electronics for a robot arm that will be used on a satellite that services other satellites and on the control electronics for a scanning LIDAR intended for use on robotic and remotely piloted spacecraft.

During my 21 years with Goddard, I retired twice. The first time was in 2013 when Mrs. Hoge began working on a degree in Landscape Architecture. I was 65-1/2 and decided to play househusband. After about six months, I was asked to return to help with some design issues on a weather satellite’s power system. I retired again after my wife’s cancer diagnosis to help get her treatment under way. Again, I was asked to return after about six months. I’ve been back ever since.

IIRC, Bill Schmalfeldt hasn’t been asked to return to any of the jobs from which he has “retired.”

Slow Blogging

Blogging was running in low gear at Hogewash! yesterday, and it will slow today as well. I woke up yesterday with a severe pain in my left maxillary sinus caused by an infection. The doc prescribed a course of industrial-strength antibiotics and some very nice pain pills. It may be a while before I sober up.

Golden Blasts From Out of the Past

Our basement cleaning project here at Stately Hoge Manor has uncovered a box of old DJ copy 45s leftover from my time as a radio announcer in Nashville. Everything in the box was at least 50 years old. Here are the four records that were on top of the stacks in the box.Click on the image to embiggen it. You can use your browser’s BACK button to return to this post.

The timings in red give the lengths of the instrumental intros which we routinely talked over back in the ’60s. The Xs identify the A-sides of the records. The small holes in label areas of a couple of the records identify them as not-for-sale DJ copies.

Genealogy, Extended Family, and Thanksgiving Gatherings

My parents grew up in a small town in Tennesse.  A few years after they married, one of my father’s cousins (actually, a first cousin once removed) married my mother’s sister. Their children are my first cousins on my mother’s side and second cousins once removed on my father’s.

Are you following me so far?

Both my father’s and my mother’s families arrived in the colonies prior the Revolution.  A few years ago, one of my aunts on my mother’s side decided that she’d like to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. When she went looking for a Revolutionary War ancestor, she found that she (and my mother, of course) were descended from my father’s great-great-great-great-grandfather who had been in the Pennsylvania militia at Valley Forge. My father and my mother were fifth cousins.  That means those first cousins of mine are also fifth cousins twice removed on my mother’s side and fifth cousins once removed on my father’s side.

It also means that I’m my mother’s fifth cousin once removed and my own sixth cousin.

And none of the family has ever lived in West Virginia.

Alas, we are no longer holding the gatherings of four or five generations of the family for a potluck on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will just be for my son and me, not enough people to justify doing a whole turkey on the grill. We’ll have a venison roast prepared using one of the recipes Mrs. Hoge left for us.

I look forward to a larger gathering next year.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

What are the odds? There’s that six degrees of separation thing about how many level of contacts separate any two people, but how likely is it that any two people a connected via only one degree of separation?

Before I started writing about Brett Kimberlin, I had a vague recollection of him as the federal prisoner who had claimed to be Dan Quayle’s dope dealer. It wasn’t long after I started writing about him that I found the number of degrees of separation between us was one. It turned out that I had connections to several people who had known Kimberlin while he was in Indiana. (Mrs. Hoge went to school at IU in Bloomington, and while she never met Kimberlin, she had several friends knew him.) This post, An Interesting Coincidence re #BrettKimberlin, is from eight years ago today.

* * * * *

We didn’t pick up yesterday’s mail until we were coming in from church this morning. Mrs. Hoge handed me a package that turned out to contain a copy of Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin. A friend finally got me a personal copy via a used book seller.

The book has one of those clear plastic protective jackets that you find on library book, and, sure enough, it’s stamped as being a discarded book from a library. The Monroe County Public Library. In Bloomington, Indiana.

Bloomington is where TDPK was selling drugs when he was a teenager. It’s where the activities that led to his first conviction (for perjury) took place. Bloomington is turning out to be a real source of information. Perhaps some more follow up with personal contacts is in order.

* * * * *

Those follow up contacts have been excellent sources of information. I wasn’t able to publish much of that information directly because of privacy concerns, but it often pointed to which rock to turn over next.

But back to my recollection of Kimberlin falsely claiming to have sold dope to Dan Quayle. That lie didn’t work either in 1988 or 1992, and it was debunked in Citizen K which was a biography authorized by Kimberlin. More recently, his band of hackers failed to tip the election toward Hillary protect our election in 2016, and his anti-Trump efforts don’t seem to be getting much traction this year. (itstime2020 dot org is still stuck below #14,000,000 for its global popularity ranking.)

Remembering

Today would have been Mrs. Hoge’s 66th birthday. One of my favorite memories of our time together is of her 24th birthday. It was the first of her birthdays that we celebrated together.

Connie and I met at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York in 1977. We kept in touch over the next few months. In the summer of ’78, I had decided to move back home to Nashville, and Connie, who had just finished her B.A. in Audio Production at Indiana University, was also planning to move there as well. As part of tying up loose ends, she was finishing up an album project for a local Bloomington band, and asked me to help with the sessions. I had some free time between leaving one job and starting the next, so I spent a couple of weeks in Indiana working on the sessions. (The picture on the left is from a feature article about her from the IU campus newspaper.)

While I was there, I took Connie out to dinner for her birthday at one of the fancier restaurants in Bloomington. Instead of a birthday cake, she asked that we order Baked Alaska for desert. When it was served, Connie was delighted. She took real pleasure in the taste and smell of the dish and the feel of the simultaneous hot and cold. There was something marvelously attractive about her in that moment, and it was then that I realized she was the one I wanted to make my life with.

It took almost another full year of courtship to convince her to say, “Yes,” and a few more months to say, “I do,” and then we shared a wonderful 37 years together.

Well, I’m Glad That’s Done

The Real Wold has been imposing itself on my life more than usual this week. I’m a member of a team designing (and eventually building and testing) a widget that will be part of a robot mission for NASA. Today, a Preliminary Design Review was conducted on our progress. I was one of out team’s presenters at the review. Over the past week, I put in about 60 hours of work with the team getting our presentation together, and that took a lot of time out of my other activities, including blogging.

BTW, we passed the review.

I’m gonna go get a good night’s sleep.

The Day It Finally Bothered Me

Being required to stay at home for the past month has resulted in occasional inconvenience, but hasn’t been truly bothersome. Attending church and other Zoom meetings over the phone had been my biggest annoyance. (Zoom isn’t installed on any of my devices because of security issues. I connect to those meetings with a landline phone.) My son happened to pick up toilet paper, paper towels, and other household staples at Costco a few days before things went nuts, and the stores where we shop have generally restocked well after the initial disruption. Working from home has actually been more productive because I’ve had fewer interruptions and meetings via Microsoft Teams usually have run more efficiently than face-to-face meetings. Doing The Other Podcast from Studio B here at Stately Hoge Manor is easier in some ways and more challenging in others than schlepping gear to an undisclosed location each week.

But yesterday, something about the shutdown finally truly bothered me.

Yesterday was Arbor Day.

My late wife Connie was deeply involved in issues related to natural resources, especially trees. She served as the President of our county’s Forestry Board and was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council of Forest Sustainability. The photo on the left shows Connie in a hollow sycamore tree. It was taken while she was with a group of Forestry Board people measuring trees to determine the largest of various species in the county.

Connie died on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. On Arbor Day, 2017, a group of friends planted a sycamore tree in her honor in a county park. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised to learn that I go by the park from time to time to see how her tree is doing. Yesterday, was the first Arbor Day that I missed going. The park is closed.

Mental Illness on the Left

Steve Hayward has a post over at PowerLine that takes a look at some of the correlations found in the raw data in the Pew Research Center’s latest American Trends Panel Survey. The top line conclusion is that Liberals are more than twice as likely as conservatives to be found to have a mental health condition. The work is by Zach Goldberg, a Ph.D. student.

One interesting graph in the PowerLine piece shows the percentage of respondents reporting having been diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia across the political spectrum. For very liberals the self-reported number is 32 %. For very conservatives it’s 11.8 %. The difference is so wide that the lowest value in the confidence interval range for very liberals is well above the highest value in the possible range for very conservatives.

I followed the link to Goldberg’s work at Thread Reader, and found more interesting material. One graph that stood out to me shows the average scores on the Big 5 personality battery made by white liberals who did and did not self-report a previous mental health diagnosis. Note that the while the scores on the Yes side are more skewed from average, they are still well within one standard deviation of average.Here are my scores on the Big 5 personality battery. (Note that the vertical scale is twice that of the graph above.)
It seems that my personality is mostly the opposite of a mentally ill liberal. I’m below average on neuroticism and agreeableness (I’m hard to get along with, but that doesn’t really bother me), and I’m above average in extroversion and conscientiousness (I’m pushy about getting things done). The only main personality trait I share with liberals is openness to new ideas, but most of them aren’t as open as I am.

Hmmmmm.

No wonder I have trouble getting along with these people.

Interesting Cook Books

Over at Instapundit, Helen Smith has an Amazon link to a book titled How to Cook a Wolf. (BTW, that link should provide credit to Instapundit if you buy the book.)

That title reminded me of the first gift I bought for Mrs. Hoge. We met in New York, and for our third date we went walking around midtown Manhattan together. One of the places we stopped was a Barnes & Noble store. We found this book on the remaindered table. She thought it looked interesting, and I bought it for her.

Being Prepared

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up with his take on overreaction to the Wuhan virus pandemic. He points out that some of us Boomers are better prepared (mentally, at least) to deal with evaluating how we should handle risk, and that we bring a different perspective from many younger folks, especially younger media people.

That’s true, but it’s also true that underreactiong to the risk can be dangerous. Indeed, it’s smart to avoid any unnecessary risks.

I possess two qualifiers for being at increased risk of complications if I contract the virus. I’m 72 years old, and while it’s been 16 years since the last one, I’ve had three heart attacks. The NASA facility where I normally work has gone to mandatory telework, but I began working from home as soon as telework became an option. I shop at odd hours or online to avoid crowds, and I take other reasonable precautions.

More important, I was prepared to be able to take those steps well before the pandemic hit. Experience with illness and minor natural disasters led me to put in place the resources i would need to operate at home under odd circumstances.

Stacy opens his post with a discussion of the Boy Scout Motto—Be Prepared, and he writes about a couple of points of the Scout Law—A Scout is Cheerful and A Scout is Brave. I’ll add a comment based on the Scout Slogan—Do a Good Turn Daily. Part of my preparation has included setting aside resources to be able to help others. We’re going to have to help each other through this mess.

I Spent the Early Part of the Morning Shopping

I woke up early this morning, and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep until the alarm, I got up and went shopping at the neighborhood Safeway. At that time of day, the store is essentially empty, and the overnight crew is busy restocking shelves. They were almost done by the time I go there. It was interesting to see what had been picked clean and what was still seemed to be at the usual stocking levels. Bread, milk, toilet paper, processed meats, certain canned goods, and certain frozen foods were either almost or completely gone. The rice and kosher foods were depleted, but still in stock. Fresh produce was abundant. There were plenty of paper goods other than toilet paper.

I also stopped by a Trader Joe’s a bit later in the morning. The store was more crowded than usual, but almost everything was in stock. In fact, the milk section was absolutely full when I picked up a gallon of skim milk.

When Mrs. Hoge and I lived in California, we began keeping a stash of non-perishable food as part of our earthquake preparedness, and we continued to maintain that stash when we moved to the east coast. We have hurricanes here. While we’ve cycled food into and out of that stash (stuff won’t keep forever), we never had to use it because of a natural disaster. I don’t know if I’ll have to dip into it during the current disruption, but it’s there.

Meanwhile, my podcasting partner Stacy McCain has offered some useful observations on what the various levels of government are doing to address the Wuhan virus pandemic. At the end of his piece he notes that “I’ve got 28 rolls of toilet paper, and the means to defend my family against any marauding bandits.” It turns out that my son made a run to Costco just before all this broke, and one of the items on his shopping list was toilet paper. We don’t have 28 rolls, but we have more than a month’s supply. And we’re well armed.

μολὼν λαβέ

Meeting People at CPAC

Among the first new people I met at CPAC this year was someone who grew up in my hometown (Nashville). We would have gone to the same high school but I’m a couple of decades older. I also met someone who grew up in one of the towns where Mrs. Hoge and I had lived in California. In fact, when she was in middle school, she lived on the next street over and about two blocks down from us.

It’s a small world after all.

Slow Blogging the Week

My blog output this past week has been below normal because I’ve been dealing with a rather nasty case of acid reflux. During the first half of the week, I only got about 2 hours of sleep each night. Finally, I found a proton pump inhibitor that got the problem under control, and I’ve been catching up on sleep.

I hope to get back up to speed over the weekend, and I intend to participate in The Other Podcast on Saturday.