No. 20 June 21, 1997
(Low Impact, Vegetarian, Environmentally Safe DX)
Never again. Never again will I digress on a Dennis Miller-ian rant, clanging my tin cup against the iron bars of indignation. Never again. DX is my life, my soul, my mission, my singular footnote in history. I shall not forsake it. -and- As I sit before my hot, throbbing Kenwood, I hear the passionate cacophony of a hundred keyers: "CQ AA." Beneath this, the babbling of Indonesian fishermen closing in on tomorrow's Mrs. Paul's™ fish sticks. Below that, a storm over the great plains rubs clouds with a million volts in cycling crashes of static. Under that, the Sun hurls streams of particles against the earth's photosphere in a steady "hissssssss." At the very floor, electrons pass through substrates like millions of babies crawling on Persian rugs, babbling gleefully. "599 39," I send. The All-Asian exchange is a signal report plus your age.
I'm a big admirer of USA companies that have continued to survive and provide superior goods: Hewlett-Packard and Motorola, to name two of them. Although it appears that the Disney company has been profiting on the legacy of Walt, modern business practices have been engorging the enterprise through acquisitions and marketing. Truly, the mission of any public corporation is simply to enrich its shareholders. Any service that Disney provides to the community is strictly at its own volition. My personal boycott would have something to do with super-inflated executive salaries and ever-repetitious product that panders to research designed to reduce the entire audience to a specific homogenized group. It's none of our damn business, thank you, and as long as we continue to support the company, the money will flow just as before.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Robert White, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been struggling with Motorola for years. He contends that they provided defective transmitters for his cellular and paging systems and that he was given free pagers to distribute as a sort of "consolation prize." Now, Motorola says he owes them a few million dollars. This has driven White and his communications business into bankruptcy. Here's the "kicker:" White's fourteen-year-old daughter wrote a letter to her idol, Steve Forbes asking him for advice to help her father. Forbes, for whatever reason, sent the letter to Christopher Galvin, CEO of Motorola. Galvin, recognizing the subject of legal actions turned the letter over to company lawyers.
We have just left that dream world of American pride and industry, the place where Paul Galvin hatched a simple idea: every car should have a radio. We're now on the "bottom line" level. The Motorola Lawyers introduced the letter as evidence in their lawsuit and sent a copy to each of White's creditors. Whoever is on the side of truth in this issue isn't clear to me, but the use that Motorola made of this letter is downright unethical, and seems to be right in that 'bottom line" mentality where the new ethic is written behind the shield of mega-corporate anonymity. The figure in this lawsuit wouldn't make a dent in Michael Eisner's salary. What possible good would come from this bloodthirsty tactic? Ahhh, it's a topsy-turvy world out there, just like the world of DX which is, of course, the subject at hand.
Here at LIVE DX we intercepted this letter and present it as a public service to all who are impatient and are wondering when cycle 23 will begin:
"To: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
From: (Name withheld)
Subject: Cycle 23
As I have been telling you for many years, I have been checking propagation on several amateur bands at all hours. I cannot for the life of me figure out how you can give out those disgusting numbers and mislead my colleagues, the amateur radio fraternity. Anyone with half a brain can plainly see that cycle 23 has begun. The hell with those reverse sunspots above the equator. My dog is named Spot and when he runs backwards, I don't get on the radio and announce "eighteen months to cycle 23," no sir! I quick grab the scoop, plastic bag and a roll of toilet paper.
In my modest and humble way, I have easily contacted the recent Scarborough reef and Spratley islands, not to mention Heard Island on eight bands. Don't give me that "67" solar flux. It's been six years since the top of cycle 22. There are only five years left to get to the top of 23. Can't you guys add?
If you will give me the telephone number of the person who announces the "solar terrestrial indices," I will call him every eight hours with the results of my propagation study. I guarantee you that after a few days of "Solar Flux One-Fifty," cycle 23 will stop dorking around and get its butt in gear.
Think of it: By next week, we can be on our way to the top of twenty-three, and with my ten-percent bonus added, this can be the biggest peak ever!
I am sending a copy of my software patch, the "The Flux Inflator" to W6EL, so that he can upgrade his program. You suits better watch out, because we Hams are going to pass you right up!
WWV and WWVH regularly announce the "solar-terrestrial indices" at 20 minutes past the hour on 5, 10, 15 and 20 Mhz. Which frequency you receive and which station (WWV, Boulder, CO or WWVH, Hawaii) are also good indicators of propagation.
There are interesting stations out there: VS97, the last of the British-derived call signs from Hong Kong, destined to be a deleted country. Saint Paul Island, amid the shipwrecks and shoals in eastern Canada, will be on during early July. There's still ice floating around in the neighborhood.
In the "aaaaarghhh" department: Unni, LA6RHA, will be operating from rare Jan Mayen Island, JX. This Norwegian island has seen little activity and really needs to be activated, but: No low band operation? Fifty watts? No CW? Vertical Antenna? No split frequency? No night? Wow! What are our chances? Zilch - July 25 - August 1. Aaaaaargh!
I do have this great idea, though. I know right where to go to get those "solar-terrestrial indices" pushed 'way up. Who has that kind of clout? I'm writing directly to Christopher Galvin at Motorola. See you in court.
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