Dropping Committed Relationship Status In Conversation

Have you ever been talking to someone and noticed they dropped the fact that they were in a relationship into the conversation, even though it didn't seem relevant? To hear someone do it it can be annoying if you think their opinion of themselves is so high that they need to warn you that they aren't available, because of course you should be attracted to them. Well, here's one reason they might do it that could make you feel a bit better about yourself and more empathetic towards them:

They could be attracted to you and feel uncomfortable with their attraction towards you. Their unnecessary mention of their monogamous relationship might be a warning to people they're attracted to: "Don't tempt me, I can't control myself." This would ultimately be a sign of insecurity in their ability to be monogamous.

Commitment is Long-term Unconditional Love

If you truthfully commit yourself to someone they will be empowered to love to a greater degree than they otherwise would. You don't even have to commit to loving everything about them or every moment with them, but the commitment to never give up and grow and work together instills confidence in them to love you even when they think it's dangerous, because they know in the long run you'll always love them. With their knowledge that you will ultimately forgive them no matter what, they will allow themselves to be vulnerable knowing that you won't judge them. For, they must be vulnerable in order to love because unconditional love mistakenly seem dangerous. One way that love can seem dangerous is if they believe loving you when you're doing something hurtful tells you it's acceptable and that it encourages it. The truth is that loving someone when they're doing something hurtful is forgiveness which tells them that you *know* they are better than that. Your forgiveness gives them permission to be better. They didn't think they were that beautiful but now your unconditional love shows them that they are. Then they love you back.

Thoughts and quotes from Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community by Malidoma Somé

I just finished reading this short book and man am I excited to read the rest of his books. I don't know much about ritual in terms of spirituality so his perspective is very enlightening and challenges a lot of my Western ideals. For example he suggests asking "the gods or God" for assistance before imparting on a journey, which sounds a lot like praying to me and that is something I've always been uncomfortable with, like when seeing it displayed frequently by Christians. However considering it within the spiritual understanding that I am already comfortable with opens me up to it as a beneficial possibility within my own life. For example I am already comfortable with the idea that everything is connected and asking "the gods or Gods" for assistance could be a way to become more comfortable with that idea by acknowledging that you are not separate and that you are not in control, that a world interconnected by spirit, love, or "the gods or God" in its totality, ultimately determines how your journey will play out.

Here are some great quotes from the book:

"For example, behind the might-looking corporations are a group of wealthy people whose personal lives are lived in marginality. To maintain the show of corporate power, they must give up something of themselves, their spirit. These people start to become invisible because they are mere instruments of the power being displayed, the power being made visible. They take a back seat to the corporation's need to be powerful. They then begin to lose touch with their own souls, with the world of the invisible. This is why they are marginal. The greatest needs ends up being expressed by these people and through these people.

It is the action of those in power that produces the poor, the menial worker, the man and woman in debt and the homeless. Misused power triggers its exact opposite as if that opposite needed to be there to highlight the dysfunctionality of its creator. The menial worker, the man and woman in debt, the poor and homeless exist, as if they must, to highlight the person in power. The person who displays this kind of power needs more help than those who are, more or less, the casualties of this power display."
- Malidoma Somé

"More often than not, we think pain is a signal that we must stop, rather than find its source. Our souls do not like stagnation. Our souls aspire toward growth, that is, toward remember all that we have forgotten due to our trip to this place, the earth. In this context, a body in pain is a soul in logning. To shut down the pain is to override the call of the soul. When this happens it is a repressive measure taken against oneself, which has somber consequences." - Malidoma Somé

I also really enjoyed learning about the grief ritual of the Dagara with the griefers, containers and other role players. There was a somewhat funny but really compelling account of an implementation of a Dagara grief ritual by Western men facilitated by Michael Meade and Malidoma. It was compelling because of how the men involved, in some ways, went out of bounds of the Dagara ritual because they had so much unreleased grief.

Learning Puppet CentOS VM in KVM/libvirt

I am trying out Puppet for config file management with this guide and they provided a CentOS 5 VM with Puppet Enterprise preloaded. They provide the VM file in either VMX or OVF. I chose OVF to use on Fedora 18 with libvirt/KVM. It took me a while to get it to boot properly. Originally I tried using virt-manager to create the VM booting the vmdk file directly, but no matter what I changed the storage driver to (IDE, SATA,virtio) it kernel panicked while trying to activate the root VG. Here is what I did to get it to work:

[jbrier@jb-t520 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07]$ virt-convert learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07.ovf 
Generating output in 'virt-image' format to Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0)/
Converting disk 'learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07-disk1.vmdk' to type raw...
[jbrier@jb-t520 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07]$ ls -lt
total 615692
drwxrwxr-x. 2 jbrier jbrier      4096 Mar 13 11:29 Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0)
-rw-r--r--. 1 root   root   630446080 Jan  7 17:35 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07-disk1.vmdk
-rw-r--r--. 1 jbrier jbrier       197 Jan  7 17:35 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07.mf
-rw-r--r--. 1 jbrier jbrier      5283 Jan  7 17:35 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07.ovf
[jbrier@jb-t520 learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07]$ cd Learning-Puppet-VM--\(PE-2.7.0\)/
[jbrier@jb-t520 Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0)]$ ls
Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0).virt-image.xml  learn_puppet_centos_pe2.7.0_ovf.2013.01.07-disk1.raw

I tried to use virsh define on the generated XML, but it was incomplete:

[jbrier@jb-t520 Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0)]$ virsh define Learning-Puppet-VM--\(PE-2.7.0\).virt-image.xml 
error: Failed to define domain from Learning-Puppet-VM--(PE-2.7.0).virt-image.xml
error: XML error: unexpected root element , expecting 

I ended up using virt-manager to create a new VM and specifying the generated raw file (8 GB or so) and specifying RHEL 5.4 or later as the OS. I did have to switch the storage driver:

View > Details > VirtioIO Disk 1 > Advanced > Disk Bus > IDE

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 ROM modifications

I just want to quickly document some of the things I did in order to root my new Samsung Galaxy SIII.

When I got it last weekend the system had Android 4.1.1 on it and it immediately started prompting me to update the ROM Over The Air (OTA). I chose to defer this so I could research available ROMS as sometimes newer ROMS can be harder to root. It turns out there was already a process to root even 4.1.2.

Most of the guides for rooting use Odin which is a Windows only app however Cyanogenmod has a process documented that uses heimdall which is a free software implementation of the same protocol that Odin uses that is also cross platform (including Linux). I found the ROM I wanted to update to (a rooted version of the OTA update for 4.1.2) here:


I then tried to adapt the process to install Cyanogenmod from here:


This got me to a point where clockworkmod allowed me to install the ROM from the xda-developers thread above.

However after I rebooted my phone booted to a yellow notification that said it had prohibited software on it and to take the phone to a Verizon store. I think this was because I accidentally skipped step 7 above:

7. Flash bootloader zipfile via recovery:

The other possibility (and I barely understand this) is that there were compatibility differences between the boot files I installed and the one needed/included with the ROM.

No worries, someone else had this problem and it can be fixed by entering download mode and reflashing a stock ROM. I did that using this guide:


Now, I think technically heimdall can do this but you have to pass a ton of options and specify each file independently whereas with Odin you can specify just the tar.md5 file, so I fired up a Windows system and just used Odin. That got me back. I followed the rest of the instructions in the last thread to end up with Clockwork Mod Recovery, rooted and with an unlocked bootloader. Then, I used clockworkmod to install the original ROM I wanted from thread 2178482 above.


Now I have a good starting point.. Time to figure out how to remove all these Verizon apps.

Ten-Tec T-KIT 1260 6 Meter FM Transceiver final dying

In the picture above, ignore the Kenwood TM-261A 2 meter radio on top of the Ten-Tec. I got T-Kit as a Christmas gift in 1998 just after getting my license in October of the same year. I had a ton of fun with it the following summer on sporadic E band openings and I have QSL cards from up in the north eastern and eastern parts of the US to prove it. At some point though it stopped transmitting. Last I checked I could hear it fine on my Dad's handheld Icom IC-T81, but only really, really close by, like within half a block. Hooking it up to a MFJ-864 SWR Wattmeter shows *no* movement in needles when transmitting. I went through the manual and tested all the voltages at the test points and they were mostly within the expected ranges. So I called Gary at Ten Tec T-kit tech support and he said he was 99% sure it was the final and suggested replacing it. Unfortunately the original 2SC1971 is no longer available. The replacement for that is the NTE 342:

I got this and replaced it and tried it out and what I observed was that the needle on the MFJ-865 SWR Wattmeter moved once and then went down immediately. The T-Kit went back to operating the same way it had before I replaced the final.

Originally this kit came with a Supplement and a Tech Bulletin to the Supplment. In the Tech Bulletin it provided an extra capacitor and a resistor to create feedback "to reduce gain at lower frequencies, therby stabilizing the amplifier." I had alway suspected something might be wrong with this circuit that could cause the final to short. First, here is the tech bulletin:

Tech-Bulletin-1260-498-1 (click the arrow at the top for full size).

Now looking closer at the resistor in this circuit today I noticed it looks brown in the middle, like it is shorted out! Here, take a look:

feedback circuit 1
feedback circuit 2

Am I on to something? Before I replaced the 2SC1971 with the NTE342 I wanted to remove that circuit for fear it was at fault, but I didn't.

In addition to that you may have noticed in the tech bulletin from above it added a DC blocking circuit on the SO-239. I thought maybe something could have been wrong there, but I have no "smoking" gun like the browned resistor from above, but here are some pics of that:

DC Block 1
DC Block 2
DC Block 3

Do you think I should be worried about that?

Especially after finding that browned resistor I'm tempted to remove it completely or replace it and buy another NTE342 and try again! Any advice appreciated.

For reference here are some of the relevant documents from the instruction manual:

(as in the above links there is an arrow above and in the middle of the reduced size image that shows the full size scan)
Schematic 1
Schematic 2
Schematic 3
RF Section schematic and drawing

Circuit Board X-Ray
Mechanical Assembly

Top of circuit board after NTE342
Close up of RF section showing NTE342

Bottom of board after original construction
Top of board after original construction
Back of radio after original construction

I got some good advice from two different people. I have yet to try it out.

Larry Young from RARS

John: Some advice, and a few questions. My first rule when attempting a repair is to try and determine the exact failure and then its cause before attempting a repair, lest the same failure occur after the repair. Did you do any measurements with an oscilloscope to determine if you had drive to the solid state pa, and does it have a protection circuit, as that could be defective. Did you ask TenTec the cost of repair by them ?

No disparagement on you, but if you are not that experienced in solid state PA troubleshooting, the learning curve could cost more than it should. This kind of retrofit as well as repair could be very frustrating. Larry K4LXV

    • After looking at the schematic:
  • John: That Transceiver pa is not complicated as pa's go. Please check the following:

    1. D-19, 1N1418 diode. This establishes the the final pa bias. make sure it is not open or shorted.
    2. R-91 100 Ohm resistor. check its value to make sure it is not open or has changed value significantly.
    3. D-22, MI402. This is is for solid state RF TR switching.

    4. D-23, MI308 Receiver RF protection diode. is also a part of the solid state RF TR switch
    5. Q-16, 2SC1971 PA transistor or equivalent.

    I hope this helps.
    Larry K4LXV

    Stuart Rohre from tentec@contesting.com


    John, First of all something besides the final was bad which caused the new final to fail. The resistor is a good suspect. Do you have a scope?

    That would be a help in finding out if you need the "fix" for excessive low frequency gain, ie any off 6m signals.

    What was the purspose of the suggested series capacitor on the antenna connector, (I am thinking you said series). AC (and RF) coupling by the cap should not hurt. It does put a reactance in series with the antenna, but maybe they were worried about the final collector shorting to an external ground if an antenna cable failed?

    I would talk to Ten Tec again and determine the "why" of each mod. Obviously, some of these rigs worked without them. That need for a mod can come about because the gain of transistors may vary from unit to unit due to production variations. They may not find that out in prototype testing, but only after customer experiences are totaled.

    If you wanted a "beefier" transistor than the NTE replacement, you need to find the same polarity of transistor, NPN for example, equal or greater collector power rating, about the same Beta and F tau, to insure duplicating the operation parameters of the original. The voltage ratings need to be about the same, although higher Vce voltage rating can be useful if it does not increase the capacitance greatly. Not being able to look at a schematic right now, these are general comments aimed at any replacement of an out of production transistor. You could also check with RF Parts Co. who handle some power transistors that are less common now.

    One of the issues with power transistor troubleshooting, is that you must have sufficient accuracy in measurements to recognize an abnormally low resistance. A good visual inspection of all components for signs of heating should be the first thing to do; with high intensity light and a magnifier, upon starting troubleshooting before even powering on a circuit. After replacing components, do resistance checks to see it you have reasonable values, just to catch the rare solder bridge, or bad joint that can happen in replacement soldering.

    Good Luck to you; there should be many hours more fun with the 1260, once you get the final sorted out.

    Stuart Rohre K5KVH

    ARRL International DX phone contest 2013

    I made one hundred seventy contacts with sixty unique countries and of those eighteen were countries I had never contacted before:

    Aland Islands, Bonaire, Chile, Estonia, Honduras, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russia (European), Sweden, Turks & Caicos Islands, and Ukraine.

    I have worked eighty five countries now, with fourty seven confirmed. Here are my DXCC statistics, as generated by my logging program.

    Highlights of the contest:

    Learning on IRC from #logbook that South America was easy to contact on 15 meters and 10 meters and deciding to hook up my, as yet, unpackaged LDG AT-100ProII Antenna Tuner which I got for Christmas from my Ham Dad, KG4AZX so I could try and work them using my 20 meter dipole. It worked. WIthout it I wouldn't have made contact with Paraguay, Chile, Nicaragua, Bonaire or Honduras.

    Hearing several Japanese stations, but not getting through to them. I heard them on 15 meters Saturday night during grey line for 20 minutes. Next time I'll have a proper 15 meter antenna.

    Hearing my old neighbor, Ken, AC4RD from right down the street booming in trying to contact the same DX station I was trying to contact, I said "Hello from Raleigh, NC" and he came back and we had a laugh before getting off the frequency.

    Hearing a station in Belarus, where my girlfriend was born, and trying to work him only later realizing he was outside of the limits of my license classification. Next time.

    My girlfriend tonight, aftering not being able to spend much time with me, and me being sleep deprived during the little time we did spend together, telling me she was "going to throw out your ham radio set."


    Someone asked me how many hours I spent on the contest and from looking at my logs when I was making contacts It looks like about 13.5 hours:

    2013-03-02 02:54:00 	1.5
    2013-03-02 04:30:00 	
    2013-03-02 11:53:00     2.0
    2013-03-02 13:36:00
    2013-03-02 14:54:00     3.0
    2013-03-02 18:05:00
    2013-03-02 20:52:00     3.0
    2013-03-02 23:58:00
    2013-03-03 00:24:00     2.5
    2013-03-03 02:48:00
    2013-03-03 11:41:00     1.5
    2013-03-03 13:07:00
                               13.5 hrs

    Life is not a Zero-Sum game

    In a thread on my facebook wall we are discussing cultural appropriation and racism, fun stuff, I know. I was googling around for something related to that discussion and happened upon the wikipedia page on reverse racism which mentioned this:

    "A recent study conducted at Tufts and Harvard sought to quantify perceptions of reverse racism by surveying Americans who identified as White or Black. The study's title, "White People See Racism as a Zero-Sum Game That They Are Now Losing", indicates its findings: that Whites feel as though they now suffer disproportionately from racism. (Blacks felt that anti-Black racism had decreased over time, but did not perceive increases in anti-White bias.) These results were constant for people of different ages and levels of education."

    I read the study and it reminded me that I wanted to respond to the cultural appropriation thread from a spiritual perspective. I'll do it here instead.

    We are all motivated by the belief that the world is a zero-sum game. Like whites believe that if minorities gain, they lose, so do we apply the same concept in every relationship we have: From interactions with people on the street all the way up to our closest relationships with our partners. We give to get. When we don't get what we want we remove ourselves in order to punish. We do this because we think we are separate, and that's the only way to get things, but we are not. If you give love, love will be returned. I mean that literally too. You could come up with a million examples of how there isn't enough for everyone, but they would all be wrong because they will all exist in a world that believes life is a zero-sum game. If you want to know what that world could be like, practice forgiveness (love). the next time you feel like someone has hurt you or not given you what you want, forgive them (give them love). In the end, each and every one of us just wants unconditional love.

    Thunderbird Change Time display from 12 hr to 24 hr


    Using the script from above I found what I wanted

    start thunderbird like so

    $ LC_TIME=de_AT thunderbird

    If you use LC_ALL=de_AT Thunderbird will use german completely, not just for time/date

    Now how can I easily launch Thunderbird from Gnome 3 on Fedora 18 easily?

    EDIT: Make a script and add it with alacarte:

    Automatically remove last machine sshed to from known_hosts file

    If you ssh to machines that get reprovisioned often you get the familiar ssh warning:


    You can use ssh-keygen -R $hostname to remove it from your known_hosts file. Thanks to Evan McNabb for that one. He suggested aliasing 'dk' for "delete key" into your ~/.bashrc like so:

    alias dk='ssh-keygen -R '

    which works well, but you have to copy paste the hostname you just sshed to after 'dk'. The other day I figured out a way to automate 'dk' into removing the system by pulling the hostname from bash history. You can put this in your .bashrc:

    function dk() {
    ssh-keygen -R $(history 2 | head -n 1 | awk '{print $3}' | sed 's/.*@//')

    Since I'm learning bash more extensively and for others that don't already know what it does: it uses bash command substitution like '$(echo hi)' to first run the history command and show the last two commands run (the ssh and history commands) and then head is used to only print the first line, awk is used to print the third column, the user@hostname part and then sed is used to replace any username@ with nothing, then that hostname is given to ssh-keygen -R.

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