Beau of the Fifth Column on Homeland Security — lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

No matter how much we want to bury our heads in the sand, it grows ever more important that we don’t. Forgottenman has Beau’s latest speech on how scary things are getting in our nation. No matter what side of the issue you are on, you need to hear his talk HERE.

Beau of the Fifth Column on Homeland Security — lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown


I don’t recall precisely when, but somewhere in the misty past I’ve written mentioned the old Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) of yon. Well, I’m about to mention it again. It began about 1982 or 1983.

A son-in-law had just started at Oregon State, bent on earning a Computer Science Degree. And he turned me on to computers. I wanted one. Choices were limited, not only in size, but cost as well. I finally took a Commodore 64 home. I was in over my head from the get go, but friends and a Commodore user group kept me afloat until I discovered the BBSes.

A host of systems sprouted up overnight—Rhinoceros Kitchen, The Machine, Bill Board, Com-Line, Cloud 9. At least two dozen were within a local call radius. My favorite BBS was Dr. Rom.

Faster computers with larger storage were soon affordable. Along came the Internet. No more long distance phone bills. No more SysOps pulling the plug when my time limit was reached. The BBSes fell by the wayside. Even Dr. Rom. He sat in the garage on standby until 0001 hours, the morning of year 2000 when his plug was pulled.

Somebody had to pay for all this speed and convenience. Today, advertisements flash on and off, while others nearly crowd out the text and photos they are supporting. I yearned for the ad-free BBS days, the days when Fidonet, the worldwide group of 1500 hobbyist/enthusiasts provided email around the globe, often for the cost of one local telephone call.

This past week a friend on the west coast sent me a URL for an active BBS, a  Fidonet. WHAT?

One clue led to another and by dinner time I had unearthed 430 active BBSes, some that have remained active for 30 years.


Whipped (Flash Fiction)


Dan and John both looked whipped as I entered the motel office.

“This lady wants ninety dollars,” Dan whined.

“Ma’am, we’re three old guys tryin; to spread Joe’s ashes at Apache Creek,” I said, holding up a quart jar of ashes. “Joe’s sister is coming from Vegas in the mornin’, John rode a motorcycle from Oregon, Dan came from Show Low, and I just got here from Dallas. Can you give us a discount?”

“Well, seventy dollars?”

“Done!” I said, handing her five twentys.”

“How’d you do that?” asked Dan.

“Ya gotta ask,” I said.

(98 words)

An exciting Mail Art call

Over on the International Union of Mail Artists’ (IUOMA) website, a mail art “call” has recently been posted…

(a call is basically an invitation to mail artists to participate in making and sending mail art to a provided address, for use in a specific exhibition, project, thesis presentation, etcetera. Often there are rules, such as size, or medium, or a theme for the mail art project…)

The call that caught my attention tonight was from one IUOMA member who is “Helping to Start a Permanent exhibition on the most remote and isolated Island on the planet : TRISTAN DA CUNHA”

What a MARVELOUS place to send mail art! Just look at the ADDRESS we all get to use:

Post Office & Philatelic Bureau
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas,
Tristan da Cunha,
South Atlantic Ocean

Have you ever sent mail to a dreamier address than this? Imagine, not even…

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Shutdown Turned Showdown

Nancy would not allow Trump to bully her. And he finally blinked.

We all heard the number of people affected as 80,000. I don’t remember anyone coming up with a family number – kids, parents, spouses, those relying on each of the 80,000. How many would be, a half-million?

There should be a means for tossing out someone who has so little regard for others.

How To Lower Blood Pressure Instantly In An Emergency?


How To Lower Blood Pressure Instantly In An Emergency?

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

There is a force when blood pumps from the heart into the arteries, this force is generated by the contraction of the heart and are simply called blood pressure. This condition is known as hypertension. Arteries are the vessels that distribute blood from the heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.

Hypertension is also known as “Silent Killer”. It is because people don’t find any symptoms as late as there’s damage to the heart.

Hypertensive Emergency

When the blood pressure spikes very high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully. This force can damage the blood vessels or other…

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Yellowstone Lake

A close friend, the late John Sturman, and I both retired in spring 1999. While we shared ham radio and bicycling, our ways physically parted that spring. He and his bride drove to Yellowstone Park to work the concessions for the summer, Barb and I hopped on a Suzuki motorcycle and headed for Arizona in order to experience the Sonoran Desert. After we were settled we established a Morse code contact every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon, Mountain Time. Our point was not to share a lot of information, but hobby, and maintain our friendship. Our chats usually lasted about a half-hour. Code is slow–20 wpm at best. as opposed to about 250 using sideband (voice). But maintaining a friendship is not based on words exchanged, It’s based on time shared.

In the autumn of 1999 John was heading home. So through the use of email, telephones, and ham radio we managed to schedule a reunion at a motor park in Baker, Oregon, a night to share some savored rum and discuss our summer experiences. My experiences were run of the mill life on the low desert floor. John’s experience, however, was focused on the vacationing folks and activities occurring at Yellowstone Lake.

John, a skilled photographer and photo finisher–in the days before digital photos–quickly nailed a job in the photo lab. That afforded him the opportunity to process and view thousands of photos. Some interesting, others not so much so. However, a geological team was already established photographing the floor of Yellowstone Lake. Twice each week a younger member of the team brought in a few frames by for processing. This individual usually waited for the pictures. John, making certain the machines were reproducing the images on the film couldn’t help but notice this man’s shots were always of  bump on the lake floor. A superimposed grid was displayed on each frame, but without the graduation values thereof, they meant little to John. Toward the end of summer the bump which was always centered appeared to have grown larger, but John didn’t know how much, millimeters, centimeters, even meters?

His new friend didn’t volunteer much information other than his team had been monitoring this subject for about fifteen years. This was the first year there was any activity other than the release of steam on occasion. When John asked what it was, he was told they didn’t know. It might be a new geyser. Maybe a volcano vent. maybe a volcano itself. It was too early to know.

John’s health began to fail and he was unable to return to the higher altitude of Yellowstone, so he and I were not able to discuss a second chapter. Now, twenty years later, it’s making headline news that generate theories and opinions that stretch from hither to yon.

This morning someone reported the sighting to four UFOs near Yellowstone Lake. True? Who am I to say? Another twenty years would put the date at about 2040. I wonder how the headlines will read?