What Language!

Oh My!
Some years ago I was chastised by a reader for using the word “sucks”, as in “networking sucks”. He took pains to point out that its origins were pornographic (I’d throw in beastiality as part of the origin depending on your corner of the world – at least in my highschool there was always a donkey involved), and that my use of it was vulgar, and even so far as to promote the decline of the language.

I can sort of see his point, but in reality when I write for Ask Leo! I write to be *accessible*. That means I try to write using familiar terms and in a conversational style that people can relate to, and of course understand.

Almost everyone relates to something sucking.

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A Big What and a Little Why become What I Do

As I’ve mentioned before I don’t have a specific “Big Why” that drives me. There’s no tangible goal I’m driven to accomplish with my life, no dream that I’m aware of that I’m heading towards.

Rather, I’ve identified what I’ve come to call my “Big What” – the characteristics of how I want to live, and what I enjoy doing. The other way to look at that is that I’ve got a pretty reasonable picture of what I want my journey to look like, without really having any particular destination in mind.

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Why Technology Excites Me

In my recent sabbatical/reboot I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is I want to do, and why I want to do it.

What I enjoy doing is actually pretty simple: playing with technology. As I once put it long ago, I enjoy making personal computers and related technologies “dance”. That doesn’t mean I hop on to every new technology or latch on to every latest and greatest fad, but it does mean that I pay attention to most and am not hesitant to try something new when I think it’s interesting and when I think it’s “ready”.

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Base Race

Grade 7 Class Photo
St. Benedict’s Seattle, Grade 7 Class Photo circa 1969 (I’m in the middle row, 4th from right.)

Looking back I think it was in 7th grade that I got my first clear indication of what my future career might become.

We were being taught about number bases. Because we have 10 fingers our numbering system uses ten digits, 0 through 9. This is refered to as “base 10”. There are, naturally, other possible systems that can use pretty much any number of digits. Bases of less than 10 simply use only the digits needed, and bases of greater than 10 would add alphabetic characters in addition to the numeric digits 0-9. Base 16, for example, uses 0-9 and A-F to indicate the 16 possible digits in a number.

Base 2, or binary, is where it gets interesting; at least for me.

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On Dreams, Goals, the Big Why … and Serendipity

As part of my two month sabbatical this year I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’m headed. I’ve jokingly referred to this as figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, because in many ways I’m so very fortunate to have such a large palette of possibilities to choose from. It’s basically involved a fair amount of reading and a lot of thought and introspection. It’s also involving a fair amount of writing, some of which I’ll be capturing here.

The reading has been varied, and I’ll save the reading list for another day, but at around the end of the first month I had a realization that helped get me unstuck.

That realization?

I don’t have a dream.

And that’s OK.

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Toyota Sequoia Radio Installation

I drive a 2010 Toyota Sequoia that we got for towing our 26′ travel trailer. Not long after I got my ham license I decided that the thing to do was to put a mobile radio in it. I did a fair amount of research beforehand, and what follows is what I ended up doing.

I’ll start where most things start, under the hood at the battery:

Power I got a spool of 10-gauge wire and began at the battery with screw-on connectors that lead to a pair of 50A fuses. I’d call them the fuses of last resort, since there’s more fusing downstream, so hopefully these will never blow. The wire goes first to an Anderson Power Pole connector for quick disconnect of everthing, should that ever be needed.

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