Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Things just got serious for hams in Montgomery County

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 18:54:43 -0500

Subject: FYI Montgomery County residents, tower legislation


For people living in Montgomery county Maryland, new tower legislation. See E-Mails below.


From: Tyler
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 10:39 PM
Subject: Things just got serious for hams in Montgomery ZTA05-10 tower restrictions

I just received an email from Councilman Mike Knapp's office that informs me that the MFP committee just met and has reduced the amateur tower allowances down to 65 feet of height and 100 percent setback without an appeals hearing! We don't deserve this and most of us probably can't afford the process.

You can read about it here:

Obviously, this means war. Please forward this information to anyone or group you know that will be adversely affected by this legislation and I encourage all to start a barrage on their Council people. I will forward all info as I get it.


FROM: Tyler
SUBJECT: [PVRC] Here is the info I got straight from Knapps man Brian re: ZTA05-10

Hi Tyler -

The Councilmember is in session all day, but asked me to get a response to you ASAP, especially given that this legislation was considered in the MFP committee yesterday.

As introduced, ZTA 05-10 adds a new use category, "amateur radio facility," permitted by right if the facility does not exceed 100 feet. At the last committee work session, the MFP committee (of which Mike is not a member) unanimously agreed to amend the bill to provide a 65-foot limit for amateur radio towers, required that an amateur facility be set back one foot for every foot of height from the property line, and allow additional heights to be allowed by the Board of Appeals if it can be demonstrated that additional height is needed to engage in amateur radio communications - that would meet the standard you were concerned about, I believe, as it would allow you a tower exceeding 65 feet if it just won't work otherwise.

The committee meeting yesterday was mainly about radio broadcast towers. The committee voted to set a limit of 275, with exemptions allowed by the Board of Appeals. I do not believe they modified any provisions relating to amateur towers, although they did clean up the definition of "tower" beyond merely lattice towers. The Chairman of the Committee (Mrs. Praisner) can now, if she wishes, call the bill up for further consideration by the full council.

You can see the long memo prepared by staff for the MFP committee
right here. (see the link in my previous email)

The Damascus Towers group referred to in the linked document was put together to fight the construction of an AM broadcast station planned in the Damascus area. The ham radio portion of this was obviously spurred by the Poolesville group fighting our own N3HBX with Praisner in their court.

73, Ty


CEOs have the same crappy internet service as you do....

While trying to get a message to Sea Ray about some ad company of theirs spamming my email, I did a little research and found some hidden email addresses of not only Sea Ray's top brass, but of Brunswick, who owns Sea Ray.

George Buckley, the CEO of the entire Brunswick Corp, responded to my email and agreed spamming was no way to sell boats. He had no idea it was going on but, I suspect, someone's gonna catch hell in the morning. He also asked me what had happened to me in 1997 with regards to his dealer, Sea Ray of Charleston and what happened to my little jetboat that wasn't right. So, I answered his questions with a short version of my sad jetboat story this Sunday morning. I just got a reply from him, tonight I thought you'd all like to get a little kick out of:

His reply:


My internet connection is down at the moment so I'm sending a short note of acknowledgement from my Blackberry. Can't type on this thing worth a hoot.

I'll send you a longer reply once my internet is back up. Suffice to say the Sea Rayder was not one of Sea Ray's better ideas.

I'll be in touch soon.

Best wishes


Isn't it nice to know that the Chief Executive Officer of a major US corporation has the same crappy internet service YOU do? This is the guy with the corp jet, big house on the water, 7 figure income plus stock options....running some really big corporations....Mercury Marine, Sea Ray, Bayliner, Hatteras and a lot of other boating companies, Brunswick Sporting Goods and who else knows what they're into now.

I'm still amazed he replied to my email the first time. Maybe he needs someone to sneak around the company and find out what the hell is REALLY going on!....hee hee.

The messages are legit. I tracked the IPs and server addresses to Brunswick headquarters' main server when I thought it was a fake.

My opinion of Brunswick's assets may change.....


Guts or Balls

We've all heard about people having guts or balls. But do you really know the difference between them? In an effort to keep you informed, the definition for each is listed below ....

GUTS - is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to ask: "Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?"

BALLS - is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say: "You're next."

I hope this clears up any confusion on the subject.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Amateur Radio - Maryland laws

This message is for information only. No action is needed at this time.

You may recall that early this year the General Assembly considered Senate Joint Resolution 2, Amateur Radio - Support and Encouragement. It passed the Senate 46-0, thanks to an outstanding panel of witnesses in the Senate hearing and strong support from the amateur community. The bill made no progress in the House, despite vigorous support from the Amateur community. The Baltimore Amateur Radio Club's legislative affairs team met with House Speaker Busch several weeks ago, and he explained that the House feels that resolutions are a poor way to make public policy -- bills are preferable.

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier and Del. Wade Kach are planning to introduce a bill in the upcoming General Assembly session containing the following provisions:

(a) The governing documents of homeowners associations (single-family and townhouse communities) adopted after Sept 30, 2006 must contain a specific statement that assigns sole authority over Amateur Radio equipment to FCC and local government. (b) Existing homeowners associations may not amend their documents on or after October 1, 2006 to further restrict or prohibit Amateur Radio equipment.

Our strategy from a year ago has not changed; this is the bill that the team expected to have introduced at this time if SJ2 passed. Speaker Busch found nothing objectionable in the 2006 bill, but urged us to explain it to all the groups that may be interested and if possible incorporate their views, before it is introduced.

We wanted to start with the simplest possible legislation that would do some good right away. This legislation is NOT retroactive – it does not affect existing covenants or rules. It stops the spread of antenna prohibitions, but has no effect over the existing ones. This is because we have been told that retroactivity would make this bill unlikely to pass. It does not affect condos because they are far more complex, with the common property intermingled with the residents' property -- some condos may own the interiors of walls, some may own balconies, all probably own the roofs and all surrounding land.

This bill removes the authority of the HOA over amateur antennas and related structures, but does not add to the existing authority of local government. PRB-1 and P.L. 103-408 now require local government to accommodate Amateur Radio reasonably. PRB-1 requires the minimum practicable regulation to achieve a legitimate purpose. Experience with this bill will guide future legislative efforts.

The 2006 session begins in about 60 days. Between now and then we intend to do two things: (1) get the views of groups that may be affected, including, of course, as many Amateur Radio clubs as possible, and (2) acquire written statements of support for the legislation from educators, emergency managers, and others around the state. I will send more information on item (2) as soon as I develop the format for the statements. I will also let you know if the bill changes significantly. The only thing you need to do now is decide whether to invite me to visit your club and when. After the sesssion starts in mid-January, there will be more for you to do. Your support for SJ2 last winter was widely praised.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Official Australian Army Correspondence...

Makes one so proud to read the truth

Letter to his CO from a Captain answering his CO’s “Request for further information.”


In your icy, indeed hostile, telephone call of yesterday, you requested a report about the alleged proceedings involving my soldiers. As the reports from the local authorities and the head of the Australian legation were undoubtedly a complete fabrication, I welcome the opportunity to put the truth of the matter forward.

Your kind offer to “buy a round of drinks” for the troops at the end of the deployment was taken and the CSM ensured that appropriate quantities of libation and food were purchased against your credit card, with festivities being held in my hotel suite. An enjoyable evening ensued but insufficient supplies had been obtained, so several members of the company left for further purchases at a local bar.

In a truly magnanimous gesture, ten bar girls from that establishment helped carry the beer back to the hotel. To demonstrate our appreciation of their assistance, we served them some cool drink. They then offered to show us some local culture, and, in order not to offend, we allowed them to dance.

The banging on the walls of my room had, by now, quite honestly, become invasive, and it was disturbing the dancers, so we arranged an amusing little deterrent. LT Brown’s impersonation of a Police Officer was quite clever as he goose-stepped to each room and harangued the occupants with a very witty diatribe about disturbing hotel guests. I personally heard nothing of his alleged threats to life or limb in as claimed by the sister of the local Police Chief whose room was, unluckily, next door.

I suspect that this woman was the sneak who called security and hotel management but I absolutely refute that the shout “Stand To, enemy approaching!” was made. The simple coincidence of security arriving just as we stood the double bed on its side across the door to make the dance floor bigger is obvious. The major damage to the room occurred when a group of gatecrashers, whom we could not know were hotel security, forced their way in just as most of us happened to be leaning against the bed watching the dancing.

The subsequent events in the foyer of the hotel are an equally vicious distortion of the facts. I was explaining the importance of the post activity celebrations to the General Manager of the hotel, and stating that other guests were obviously fabricating their stories of the noise and drinking, when CPL Smith and several others from HQ Coy (in keeping with their pursuit of physical fitness) organized the race up the drapes which hang along the foyer wall. It says little for the workmanship that the fittings were torn from the wall before most of the company was even halfway up.

At this stage SGT Williams, our Orderly Room SGT attempted to rescue the situation with her depth of knowledge of local culture. Her rendition of the Fertility Dancing Maiden in the foyer’s ‘Pool of Remembrance’ was nothing short of breathtaking. Normally this dance is performed wearing just a sarong skirt but SGT Williams’ extra step to “ Au Natural” was a bold step forward. Unfortunately, during one intricate step, SGT Williams slipped and fell beneath the fountain, but we were lucky that SSGT Johnson had the great presence of mind to strip to avoid getting his uniform wet, leapt in to help.

The tiles of the pool were very slippery and it took nearly ten minutes of threshing about before he could actually complete his rescue. Such concern was there for these two exemplary member’s safety, that the many of company jumped in to assist, and I deny that this massed rescue attempt could be construed as a ‘Water Polo’ game!

Order had nearly been restored when the fire started. I prefer CPL White’s version of events that the drapes had caught fire from being against a light fitting, and that he dropped his cigarette lighter whilst trying to escape the flames. Had hotel management fulfilled their responsibilities and used fire retardant material instead of velvet, the fire would not have spread to the rest of the hotel.

The responsible attitude shown by my soldiers in assisting the bar staff to carry out drinks from the cocktail party is to be commended, not condemned, and the attempt by many male members to extinguish pockets of fire using natural means has been totally misrepresented in some quarters.

I made an official protest about these matters when the head of the Australian Legation visited us at the Police Station the next morning. However, not only did Ambassador Downey not attempt to refute the preposterous allegations made against me and my soldiers crew, but also failed to secure our release immediately.

I trust that now I have outlined the correct version of events, we may allow ourselves a discreet smile as to the lack of social sophistication of some of these developing nations and put all this behind us. In my opinion my soldiers behaved in accordance with the finest Australian Army traditions.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Being a mom:

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?"

"Yes," was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."


Have A Wonderful Day!


Thursday, November 10, 2005

What part of your body goes to heaven first?

The nun teaching Sunday school was speaking to her class one morning and she asked the question, "When you die and go to Heaven, which part of your body goes first?"

Suzy raised her hand and said, "I think it's your hands."

"Why do you think it's your hands, Suzy?"

Suzy replied, "Because when you pray, you hold your hands together in front of you and God just takes you hands first."

"What a wonderful answer!" the nun said.

Little Johnny raised his hand and said, "Sister, I think it's your legs."

The nun looked at him with the strangest look on her face. "Now, Johnny, why do you think it would be your legs?"

Little Johnny said, "Well, I walked into Mommy and Daddy's bedroom the other night. Mommy had her legs straight up in the air and she was saying, 'Oh God, I'm coming!' "

"If Dad hadn't pinned her down, we'd have lost her for sure."

The nun fainted.