Quick … Build a Heathkit!

A group of space enthusiasts have made contact with a satellite launched in 1978.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/29/317190053/after-decades-of-silent-wandering-nasa-probe-phones-home

One of the hurdles to communicating with the thirty-plus year old satellite is finding electronics which can talk that slow … sort of.

Sounds like the set up for a cheesy science fiction thriller.

(You do know what Heathkits are, don’t you? My first computer was a Heathkit H-89, which I built myself.)

Three cheers for the amateurs!

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Firing Doesn’t Fix VA Fiasco

Eric Shinseki’s resignation/firing doesn’t fix the Veterans Administration’s problems.

A friend in Colorado Springs was an Army Ranger exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. (If we tell you where he was operating, we have to kill you.) Agent Orange was a unique health issue. He can’t go to a regular doctor (even if he could afford to). Many veterans’ health issues are similarly unique and complex. He has suffered all the reported appointment problems, added to the logistical issue of the “local” VA hospital being fifty miles away in Denver.

A systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity,” as Shinseki admitted, isn’t cured by firing two people.

If we aren’t caring for the people who put their lives on the line to protect and defend us–local police, fire and EMTs as well as the military services–all our talk about integrity and responsibility is just that–talk.

Lest We Forget …

Memorial Day was celebrated for many years on May 30th, not the last Monday in May (to create a three-day weekend). That’s no great matter as supposedly the 30th of May was chosen to remember the fallen of the Civil War because no significant battle occurred on that day. Not that many other battles weren’t fought on May 30th.

I, however, have reason to remember the 30th. As I explained before, I followed my grandfather, Rev. John Hodge, around the Easton, Kansas cemetery setting flags in front of the stones of veterans.

May 30th was John Hodge’s birthday. He would have been 112 years old today. (It seems so unlikely that I knew, as a vibrant, living person, someone who would have been over a hundred years old.) He died in 1976.

kiss2May 30th is also significant because on that day in 1969–forty four years ago–Treva Parsons became my wife.

So, I’m flying the flag today.

Robert Genn (1936-2014)

Robert Genn died this week. Many never heard of him, but he visited a circle of artists twice each week by an email letter. His postings were both encouragement and instruction, leavened with a fair measure of philosophy.

His daughter Sarah plans to continue–has already started to continue the art letters.

“We live our short spans in the vortex of a miracle, and while we may not be the center of that vortex, it is magic to be anywhere in there.” Robert Genn

Farewell, Robert