The past few days of my life have not been much fun from where I am standing. The telling of it will no doubt read like the plot of a very bad “B” movie. Be that as it may here goes.
This past Wednesday, I was out running a few errands. I arrived home mid-afternoon, feeling a little bit odd. So I decided that maybe I needed to put my head down and my feet up for a little while.
I lay down on the queen size bed and pulled the comforter up to my neck. About an hour later, I began to sweat. Now I’m talking real sweat, not just a few dribbles. My undershirt and tee shirt were getting wet. Despite that I felt cold, so I asked Barb to add a blanket. That simply exacerbated the situation and the sweating increased.
Then it was supper time. Did I feel like eating? No I did not, but I made the attempt. The dogs were happy as they got most of it. Then it was back to bed and more sweating. Along about midnight I was having some serious hallucinations. I was seeing colours dancing in front of my eyes. I was trying to talk but no words came out. I must have had a serious fever, but didn’t get up to check and Barb was sleeping so I didn’t want to wake her.
About 2 am I had to get up as my bladder was telling me to attend to some unavoidable business. I trudged into the bathroom, leaned over to raise the seat, and “Wham” passed out and fell into the tub. I woke Barb up and she helped me extricate myself from the situation. And, no, I never did use the loo. With her help I was able to remove my tee and undershirt, and put dry ones on. The ones she took off must have weighed two pounds, they were so soaked.
The next morning, I awoke and got up to have a little breakfast. I have gotten in the habit of late of having Raisin Bran most mornings. I poured a small bowl and added some milk. It was an effort, but I finished it, then returned to bed. I was in and out of that bed for most of the day and evening. I had some hot soup for dinner and returned once more to the bed. Believe me, I was one tired and sick old man. I didn’t know what I had gotten but I new it couldn’t be good. I thought of contacting my family doctor but knew he would simply say to go to the hospital. I felt that I could do better by simply staying in bed and drinking plenty of water. More water in equals more water out, right? Oh yeah, more water out all right, just not how you might think.
I don’t think I spent more than a couple of minutes on the porcelain ring. If I stood to pee, I would fall over so I sat and dribbled. Don’t laugh, when you get old you will see just what I am saying.
By Friday I was feeling a little better, but now I had a new problem. I figure I was vanquishing the beast from my body and it was making itself known with violent cramping. If you have ever had the situation whereby you know you need to go, but you just can’t go fast enough you know what I mean. There was obviously a ton of pressure up there. There was no way I could go to work, so I phoned my employer and told him of the situation. He agreed to cover my shift. I told him I should be OK by the next day but would let him know.
Back to bed and more sweating, and numerous trips to the bathroom. I really don’t know where all this watery stuff comes from. You’d think I would be 5 or 10 pounds lighter after this ordeal. Maybe a couple but no more. Saturday night I went to work as per usual, not feeling near 100% but I need the money. Was in the throne room three times in seven hours there. Luckily it was a quiet night so I didn’t inconvenience any customers.
I arrived home Sunday morning, and promptly went to bed. I awoke about noon and had a little cereal – yes Raisin Bran, in case you were going to ask. Today has seen some improvement. I am not sweating anymore. I have a semblance of my appetite back. I still spend an inordinate amount of time on the cylinder. But I think I have the monster tamed. Now if only I could identify it.
Barb thought it might be stomach flu. I was thinking something a bit more serious like salmonella. We both had a salmon sandwich at noon Wednesday. The only difference was that I had mayo on mine. I don’t know if checking the mayo will tell me anything. The salmon had to be OK or we would have both been sick.
All I can say is whatever it was, it sure knocked the bejesus out of me. I still feel weak periodically, but am improving. I won’t be dancing any jigs anytime soon however. It is too darned cold outside to do anything there. I still have to get the Christmas stuff out and put up around the front of the house. That will have to wait for a warmer day, if there are going to be any. Good luck with that, according to the Weather Channel.
Like I said it has been a fun few days and from the feeling I have right now, I better get my butt back into the throne room.
Good night all
The following report was forwarded via e-mail from the IARU Region 3 chairman regarding the total devastation in the Phillippines after Typhoon Haiyan struck last Friday. We should all keep the citizens of the Phillippines in our prayers in the weeks to come.
Typhoon kills many thousands as disaster unfolds
Estimates of those people who died when monster Typhoon Haiyan (also called
Yolanda) hit the central Philippines on Friday ranges up to 10,000, with
many injured and nine million people affected.
The full damage and death toll of the fiercest typhoon ever recorded on land
has overwhelmed emergency services, supported by the military and at least
five major Ham Radio Emergency Operator network stations.
Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA),
reports that among the chaos HERO stations are helping authorities and residents.
In Tacloban the capital of Leyte which was smashed by winds, its streets
filled by ocean surges and is now a swamp-like smelling mess.
Ramon DU1UGZ said that RADNET with Nathan Eamiguel DU5AOK, Vilma Eamiguel
DU5VIE, and the members of their local club are working hard.
“Their HF station is located on the second floor of the Tacloban City Hall,
powered by a generator maintained by the local government unit. Two metre
band communications is simplex because there is no electricity to power their
“The VHF members serve as field personnel who go on various errands – verification
of requested information, liaison work, and bits and ends.
“The officers led by Nathan DU5AOK dispatch their members based on the priority
traffic handled by the HF station.”
He said the Tacloban HERO station has been used by the Red Cross to track
a relief vehicle verifying the welfare of its volunteers who were stopped
and ransacked by those impatient for aid to arrive.
Other requests for help came from the National Telecommunications Commission
(NTC) regional office in Tacloban that needed hand-held radio contacts.
In his report he talks of another local club ACCESS 5 attached to responding
government agencies and relief organisations. A military HF station is linked
with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council (NDRRMC)
which is located inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
“However ACCESS 5 is using VHF very effectively acting as guides for rescue
and retrieval teams in the field, just like some RADNET volunteers,” said
In Eastern Samar, Lester Price DV5PO (also ZL5PO) based in Borongan is providing
valuable situation reports. Lester and his wife had a very lucky escape -
they held on to the doors of their house for four hours until the surge waters
receded, that claimed around 500 lives in the coastal barangay or village
Another third HF station activated by the Department of Science and Technology
(DOST) is using equipment from Nathan DU5AOK and his friend Dominique walked
half a day to the government centre in Palo and the DOST Regional Office.
Dominique, who is actually the office driver, and the Regional Director,
Dr Eduardo Esparancilla alternate as operators.
In DU7 (Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental islands including the island province
of Siquijor), the Cebu Amateur Radio League (CARL) has dispatched a team
to the Municipality of Bantayan – located in the northern tip of Cebu.
This municipality is the hardest hit in Cebu with an estimated 90 per cent
of structures levelled. The CARL team (previously reported on) is handling
HF traffic. Another component is the Chocolate Hills Amateur Radio League
(CHARL) based in Tagbilaran City in Bohol – an area struck by an intensity
7.2 earthquake recently.
The club station DU7BC along with its members Gerry Marmito DU7AU, Ador Lamoste
DU7AL are ready to monitor and relay messages between Tacloban and the principal
The third DU7 component is from Dumaguete City. Roy Alcantara DU7DDJ together
with James DU7JGU (Island Province of Siquijor) are leading NORAD-7 with
long range communications to the Dumaguete local government unit passing
traffic from Tacloban to their area in Negros island. NORAD-7 members also
act as field operators and runners.
In DU6 (Panay, Negros Occidental and neighbouring islands) heard are Bobby
Garcia DU6BG in Iloilo, Iver Astronomo DV6ILA and Arnel DV6WAV in the Roxas
Provincial Capitol as they are embedded with the Provincial Disaster Risk
Reduction and Mitigation Council (PDRRMC).
Scattered all over the archipelago of the Philippines are stations receiving
outgoing traffic from Tacloban and the other affected areas.
Among them are Jojo DU1VHY, Thelma DU1IVT, Romy Isidro DV1SMQ and Max 4F1BYN
- acting as the main receiving stations on a rotational basis since HERO
Other stations are also active in receiving outbound welfare traffic, mainly
to inform family members and relatives of their conditions – Totie DV1TEE,
Lito DU4DF, Atty. Albert DU4ABA, Bobby DU6BG, and Ramon DU1UGZ.
On standby as relays are Doc Piciong DV9DOC, Marlu DU8WX, Butch DU1RP (PARA
SecGen on his mobile station in Davao City), and others.
Another facet of the operations is the use of Echolink by CARE-4 in Naga
City (DU4) and COMPASS in Tondo, Manila (DU1).
Ramon DU1UGZ said, “Basically, the Tacloban and other stations in the disaster
areas permit only outbound traffic as priority messages.
“This is a policy decision by NTS Co-Chair Jojo DU1VHY and as requested by
RADNET. We can classify the messages as follows: We Survived Messages, institutions/government
agencies to their central or partner offices in Manila, and urgent requests
for specific form of assistance or relief items.?
The relief and retrieval operations are moving slowly and the HERO operations
are probably going to last a week or more from today.
He said that Telecoms companies are steadily restoring cellular mobile services
and today there was intermittent limited coverage in Tacloban.
“As the primary telecoms services are restored, there will be less reliance
on the amateur radio service in Tacloban.
“This will mean a more difficult period because the remote areas not reached
yet by government and other agencies will now demand communication links.
?Our assets will be thinly spread resulting in gaps which only a robust service
such those found in first world countries,”" said Ramon DU1UGZ.
Currently an average of one to two minutes is spent per message, and depending
on band conditions, the rate of traffic per hour would be 40 to 60 messages.
A more in-depth analysis is not possible until all HERO stations are closed
and submit their log details.
Ramon DU1UGZ notes that news media has started to notice ham radio, but don’t
understand that the HERO network is playing an important role in the disaster.
“Although there’s some very brief TV exposure they are yet to adequately
report on the voluntary service it provides, and the emergency communications
to the agencies and community in times of disaster,” he said.
The typhoon cut a path of destruction in central Philippines on Friday, but
the fast-moving Category 5 weather system missed the densely populated capital
Philippines President Benigno Aquino inspected Tacloban City where almost
all buildings were lost as huge surge waves came through its streets. He
pledged that local authorities are to house about 45,000 families and give
The President said he was lost for words to adequately describe the enormity
of disaster affecting 36 provinces. He has declared a national calamity.
A large international relief effort is under way although it remains mostly
chaotic with rescue workers struggling to reach some remote areas. Some 22
countries and the European Union have pledged help.
Also the losses include 71,000 hectares of agricultural land with crops of
rice and corn hardest hit.
- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.
Last week my wife and I along with her sister spent several days travelling through Southwestern Ontario. We journeyed to Niagara Falls, but did not stop as the weather was simply wet and miserable. We carried on to Fort Erie where we spent the first night.
The next day we drove to Kingsville, near Leamington, where we took the ferry to Pelee Island. It had stopped raining but the humidex was in the low 40′s which for you less enlightened is well above 100 deg F. I found our time on the island to be enjoyable but my companions were somewhat less enamored. Frankly they couldn’t wait to leave. So we did, on Wednesday afternoon.
The third night found us in Wallaceburg, where we once again spent the night, and returned home the following day. What makes the stops on Pelee and in Wallaceburg unique from my perspective, was being able to pass messages directly into Ohio and Michigan on two meters. As most of you know, I live to pass traffic. I passed several messages Wednesday afternoon while awaiting the ferry to Mike KC8WH in Tiffin OH near Sandusky. The following evening I checked into SEMTN on 2 meters and passed a batch into Michigan to several different fellows. I am sure that they, as they were used to getting my messages with a Westplain ON place of origin, were thrilled to get them from Pelee and Wallaceburg.
I am attaching a couple of pictures from Pelee Island to this post. One of them is a picture of the world’s smallest winery. It is a scaled down version of the original winery built on the island in the mid 19th century. This winery was the first in Ontario, and has since become a ruin. There is still a winery on the island to this day, producing a variety of local wines. If one is interested the model winery is available for the “smaller family”. Given that it is onl;y about 5 feet high it would be difficult to enter. Even the stone used to construct it is scaled down to match the original as much as possible.
The other picture depicts a local highlight. At some point in the past someone either on purpose or not, added a pair of old shoes to the branches of a tree on the northern end of the island. Over the years, visitors have added their own and now there are over 250 pairs of shoes in the “shoe tree”.
Thursday evening past, my wife and I travelled to the city of Kanata, west of Ottawa, to attend the Harlem Globetrotters game against the Global Selects. We had seen them once before, some forty years ago in the old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. This time we had excellent seats, – on the floor at the south end, directly under the basket. Being in the second row, we were able to see everything but were unlikely to have a player land in one of our laps.
Needless to say thew show was tremendous. The modern version of the Globetrotters may not be a wizardly as the earlier incarnations, but they still know how to put on a show. To the tune Sweet Georgia Brown they put on a show of precision passing and great shotmaking before the actual game. During the game the fun continued, with the inevitable bucket of water directed at the fans followed by one filled with confetti.
They even encouraged a four-year-old boy to join them on the floor to attempt some of their moves. This kid did an amazing job of it too.
Attached are several pictures I took at the game. They are smallish but I imagine if one were to copy and paste one could enlarge them without much effort. I also shot some video clips which I will try to upload at a later time.
From the ARRL Newsline
J. Kenneth Pulfer, VE3PU, of Ottawa, Ontario, passed away Sunday, March 31 after a long illness. He was 80. In 1994, Pulfer became the Secretary, then Secretary Treasurer for the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), that country’s IARU Member Society. He also served as the RAC’s Vice President for Government Affairs and Vice President for International Affairs. When former ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, retired in 2009, Pulfer took over as Chairman of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector’s Working Party 5A Working Group 1, the “home” of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services in the ITU structure. He served as an IARU Technical Representative for 15 years, culminating with the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12).
“Ken Pulfer was a consummate gentlemen and a tireless worker for the IARU,” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, told the ARRL. “His efforts as Chairman of the ITU Working Group cumulated with our success at WRC-12 in obtaining a secondary allocation at 472-479 kHz. When Ken announced his retirement at the annual dinner of the International Amateur Radio Club during WRC-12, he received accolades from many of those present, including ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Touré, HB9EHT, and from the heads of a number of delegations. He was a well-respected member of the ITU community. We will all miss his keen intellect and support of the Amateur Radio Service.”
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, recalled two of the many highlights of Pulfer’s volunteer career with the IARU: “The first was his extraordinarily patient and dogged effort to secure protections for the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Service at WRC-03, where an allocation for spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs) was created at 432-438 MHz. The story is told in Ken’s own words in the September 2003 issue of QST. The constraints placed on SARs include significant protection for amateur satellites — quite an achievement given that the allocation for amateur satellites at 435-438 MHz is on a non-interference basis. The second was his success in persuading the Canadian administration to give its active support to an amateur MF allocation, which contributed greatly to our achieving the new allocation of 472-479 kHz at WRC-12. Once again, it was Ken’s persistence that carried the day.”
“Ken’s chairmanship capped a long professional and volunteer career in engineering and spectrum management, and was marked by the successful effort to obtain a secondary international MF allocation for the Amateur Radio Service at 472-479 kHz,” said ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX. “Ken spent 15 years in his retirement representing the Radio Amateurs of Canada and the IARU at various meetings in Geneva. His professionalism, insight and positive attitude inspired and improved all who worked with him.”
Licensed since he was a high school student in Manitoba, Pulfer received his first call sign, VE4KP, in 1949. Six years later, after coming to Ottawa to work for the Radio and Electrical Division of the National Research Council of Canada, he became VE3PU. In 1984, Pulfer — now the NRC’s Senior Vice President — received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba, his alma mater, in recognition of his contributions as “a very distinguished engineer and Canadian.” In 2012, the Radio Society of Great Britain awarded Pulfer with its annual Calcutta Key Award — given for work associated with international friendship through Amateur Radio — for his work on behalf of the IARU with the ITU.
“Amateur Radio’s strong position in the international telecommunications community has only come about because of the willingness of remarkable people like Ken to contribute their talents and extremely generous portions of their time on our behalf,” Sumner said. “Their effectiveness sometimes requires that they stay out of the limelight, but they should never be forgotten.”
In accordance with Pulfer’s wishes, no services are planned. Cremation has occurred and spreading of his ashes will occur at a later date.
RIP Ken ._ ._.
George Hart, W1NJM, the “Father” of the National Traffic System has become a Silent Key. George was 99 years of age. He will be greatly missed by everyone who uses the NTS daily or even occasionally. It was George’s vision which led to the creation of the system which passes hundreds of messages daily across this great continent and to other parts of the world.