Words of humor, inspiration and personal guidance

The following is a random collection of interesting, humorous and thought-provoking material. Only some is directly related to radio -- the rest is related to life itself. Click on any link to go the full text of an item.


The Amateur's Code -- The Radio Amateur is:

CONSIDERATE...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL...offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE...with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY...slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED...radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC...station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

---- The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928 ----

Put some Zen in your life

Your file was so big.

It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.


The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.


Chaos reigns within.
 Reflect, repent, and reboot.
 Order shall return.


Program aborting:
 Close all that you have worked on.
 You ask far too much.


Windows NT crashed.
 I am the Blue Screen of Death.
 No one hears your screams.


Yesterday it worked.
 Today it is not working.
 Windows is like that.


First snow, then silence.
 This thousand-dollar screen dies
 So beautifully.


With searching comes loss
 And the presence of absence:
 "My Novel" not found.


 Stay the patient course.
 Of little worth is your ire.
 The network is down.


A crash reduces
 Your expensive computer
 To a simple stone.


Three things are certain:
 Death, taxes and lost data.
 Guess which has occurred


You step in the stream,
 But the water has moved on.
 This page is not here.


Having been erased,
 The document you're seeking
 Must now be retyped


  Serious error.
 All shortcuts have disappeared.
 Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


1000 Marbles...

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time-to-time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital. He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."

 And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail -- he went on, and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focus more on the really important things in life.

There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time. It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles....

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend. "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you."

Pass this on to all of your good FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you. And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS.

And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have AT LEAST ONE GOOD FRIEND!!

.. And that's ME !

Gender association in the English language

An English teacher was explaining to his students the concept of gender association in the English language, he noted how hurricanes at one time were given only female names, and how ships and planes were usually referred to as "she". One of the students raised her hand and asked, "what gender is a computer?"

The teacher wasn't certain, so he divided the class into two groups: males in one, females any other, and asked them to decide if the computer should be masculine or feminine. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendations.

The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to as masculine because:

      In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

      They have a lot of data but are still clueless.

      They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem.

      As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to as feminine because:

      No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

      The native language they used to communicate with other computers is
incomprehensible to everyone else.

      Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

      As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

Tiger Woods in Newfoundland

Tiger Woods drives his new Volvo into a service station in St. John's on his tour of Newfoundland. The attendant at the pump greets him in a typical Newfoundland manner, unaware of who the golf pro is.....
"How are ya, today".  Tiger bends down to pick up the pump and two tees fall out of his shirt pocket on to the ground.
"What are dey, Son? says the attendant.  "They are called tees. replies Tiger.
"What are dey fer??  enquires the Newfoundlander. "They're for putting my balls on while I'm driving." says Tiger.
Lard Jaysus!!! says the Newfie,  "Dem boys at  Volvo tinks of everyting."

Load Nosmoke.com

After experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor, incognizant user called the system maker's technical support line for assistance...

Technician: Hello. How can I help you today?
Customer: There's smoke coming from the power supply on my computer...
Technician: Looks like you need a new power supply...
Customer: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files...
Technician: Sir, what you described is a faulty power supply. You need to replace it...
Customer: No way! Someone told me that I just had to change the system startup files to fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the right command...

For the next ten minutes, in spite of the technician's efforts to explain the problem and its solution, the customer adamantly insisted that he was right. So, in frustration, the technician responded...

Technician: I'm sorry. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there's an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem...
Customer: I knew it!
Technician: Just add the line "LOAD NOSMOKE.COM" at the end of the CONFIG.SYS file and everything should work fine. Let me know how it goes...

About ten minutes later, the technician received a call back from the customer...

Customer: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking...
Technician: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
Customer: MS-DOS 6.22...
Technician: Well, that's your problem. That version of DOS doesn't include NOSMOKE. You'll need to contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch. Let me know how it all works out...

When nearly an hour had passed, the phone rang again...

Customer: I need a new power supply...
Technician: How did you come to that conclusion?
Customer: Well, I called Microsoft and told the technician what you said, and he started asking me questions about the make of the power supply...
Technician: What did he tell you?
Customer: He said my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE...

19 things it took me 50 years to learn by Dave Barry

  1. Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

  2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

  3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

  4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

  5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.

  6. You should not confuse your career with your life.

  7. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

  8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

  9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

  10. Never lick a steak knife.

  11. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.

  12. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.

  13. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

  14. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

  15. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.

  16. "The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

  17. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

  18.  A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

  19. Your friends love you anyway

More wise advice from children

"The only accidents are the ones you make in your pants." - Ari K, age 7

"Everyone has feelings, except for snakes and principals." - Donna Maria G, age 9

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and the world laughs at you."  - Rob P, age 8

"If life gives you nothing but lemons, make up a better shopping list for it."  - Steven B, age 8

"Don't eat ladyfingers - even if you know the lady they came from." - Susannah K., age 6

"When a movie is PG-13 that means how many minutes your mom will let you watch before turning it off." - Jon G., age 12

"Moses came down with the Ten Amendments, which were God's Bill of Wrongs." - Susie F., age 7

"Doctors automatically know what's wrong with you.  They have a sick sense." - Beau M., age 10

"My dog had worms.  I think he was going fishing." - Emma B., age 4

Changes for better quality of life

 Consider the following questions as you ponder your current quality of life: 

  1. What does the change in the quality of life look like or feel like?
  2. What have you denied yourself in life that you feel youre due?
  3. How dramatic a change of life are you prepared to accept?
  4. Could you accept a dramatic change in housing to obtain the change in life?
  5. Whats really important in the coming years?
  6. Whats of little importance in the coming years?
  7. Whats on your life to do list?
  8. What is missing from your life now?
  9. What is wrong or uncomfortable with your life now?
  10. What activities do you wish to be involved in?
  11. How would you add more fulfillments to life? 

DXer's Creed

In the Light of Day, and Dark of Night,
I'll crank my power full to the right,
To show my RF strength and clout,
And repeatedly my callsign shout!

Because I must, I must divine,
If in Lord Howe I'm 5 and 9!
And in Tonga, Gabon, Mayotte,
I need to know my signal's hot!

3B9 and VU7,
Send me straight to DX heaven!
Calls from lands oh so exotic,
If I miss them, I'll go neurotic!

To snag the rare ones, I'll use each trick:
I'll skip work, I'll call in sick!
I'll miss birthdays and traditions,
Just to work DXpeditions!

And when my family members whine,
I'll say, "Hang on, there's VQ9!"
But should I incur some wifely wrath,
I'll just cry, "Not now! Ten's hot long path!"

To keep my rep as pile-up buster,
I stay logged on the DX Cluster,
And I read each bulletin,
QRZ and Ohio Penn.

And though my money gets swiped by tramps,
I'll keep mailing crisp "green stamps",
In the hopes my work so hard,
Nets for me a third-world card.

The QSL, the Holy Grail!
The DXer's joy that comes by mail.
And though we prize these souvenirs,
It sure takes long--it seems like years!

With each contact I near my goal,
Of DXCC Honor Roll.
And with ev'ry packet spot I'm seein',
I keep hopin' for a North Korean!

And so I'll say, "5-9, 7-3,"
"By the Buro's fine by me!"
By Boulder K and Grey-line edge,
I promise here, I make this pledge:

In the Light of Day, and Dark of Night,
I'll crank my power full to the right,
To show my RF strength and clout,
And repeatedly my callsign shout!

1999 K5IQ All rights reserved

The Old DXer

The sunspots were roaring and the Old Dxer was working DX night and day.
The faithful XYL had had it with his QRZing and blew her stack.
"DX DX DX - thats all you ever think about!" she groaned
"Why I'll bet you don't even remember our wedding date!!

"I mostly certainly do" was the immediate reply.
"It was June 14th, 1958 - Thats the night I worked
the XT1, the CR, and the AC6!!

-- By AC6V


T'was the Night Before Christmas
T'was the night before Christmas and all through two meters, 
not a signal was keying up any repeaters.

The antennas reached up from the tower quite high, 
to catch the weak signals that bounced from the sky.

The children, Technicians, took HT's to bed, 
and dreamed of the day they'd be Extras instead.

Mom put on her headphones, I plugged in the key,
and we tuned 40 meters for that rare ZK3.

Then the meter was pegged by a signal with power!
It smoked a small diode and I swear shook the tower!

Mom yanked off her 'phones, and with all she could muster,
logged the signal right now on the DX PacketCluster.

Then I ran to the window, peered up to the sky,
to see what could generate RF that high.

It was way in the distance, but moonlight made it gleam:
a flying sleigh with an eight element beam.

The little old driver, he looked slightly mean.
So I thought for a moment it might be Wayne Green.

But no, it was Santa -- the Santa of hams,
on a mission this Christmas to clean up the bands.

He circled my tower, then stopped in his track,
and slid down the coax right into the shack.

While mom and I hid behind stacks of CQ,
this Santa of hamming knew just what to do.

He cleared off the shack desk of papers and parts,
and filled out my late QSL's for a start.

He ran copper braid, took a big rod and pounded,
'til all of the station equipment was grounded.

He tightened loose fittings, resoldered connections,
cranked down modulation, installed lightning protection.

He neutralized tubes in my linear amp
(never worked right before, now it works like a champ!).

A new low-pass filter cleaned up the TV,
and he fixed all the settings in my TNC.

He fixed the computer that would not compute,
and backed up the hard drive and got it to boot.

Then he reached really deep in that bag he had brought,
and he pulled out a box - a new rig, so I thought.

A Kenwood?  An Icom?  A Yeasu, for me?
If he thought I'd been bad, it might be QRP!

The ultimate station!  Did I deserve this?
Could it be all those hours I worked public service?

He hooked it all up, and then all very quickly,
worked 100 countries all down on 160.

I should have been happy (it was my call he sent),
but the cards and the postage will cost two months' rent!

He finished up, then left a note by the key:
"to a good ham from Santa Claus -- 73!".

Then he grabbed his HT, looked me straight in the eye, 
punched a code on the pad, and was gone -- no good bye.

I ran back to the station.  The pileup was big,
but a card from St. Nick would be worth my new rig.

Too late, for his final came over the air.
It was copied all over and heard everywhere.

The ham's Santa said what a ham might expect:
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all, good DX!"

Reprint from...  Chicago FM Club and the Rocky Mountain Radio League

Miscellaneous good words

God grant me the senility to forget people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference!

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
violent.  It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the
opposite direction."  Albert Einstein   


When you have come to the edge 
of all the light you know,

And are about to step off
into the darkness of the unknown,

Faith is knowing
one of two things will happen:

There will be something solid to stand on,
or you will be taught how to fly.


A Few Good Lines from Steven Wright

For those of you not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the guy who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen...and replaced by exact duplicates."

Here are more of his thoughts:

- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

- I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

- Borrow money from pessimists-they don't expect it back.

- Half the people you know are below average.

- 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

- 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

- A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

- All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

- Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

- I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

- OK, so what's the speed of dark?

- How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

- If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

- Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

- When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

- Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

- Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

- Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

- I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

- If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

- Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

- 24 hours in a day ...24 beers in a case . . . coincidence?

- Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!

- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

- I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.

- Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

- If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

- The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

- The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.

- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

- The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.


Oklahoman Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage we've know.  Enjoy the following observations he made of life and the world around him.... 

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men:

    - The ones that learn by reading.

    - The few who learn by observation.

    - The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. And Finally: After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him... The moral When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


P.S. .and about growing older............

First, Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second, The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third, Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth, When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth, You know you are getting old when every thing either dries up or leaks.

Sixth, I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh, One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth, One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth, Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth, Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called. Today it's called golf.

And finally, If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

The material on this page has been gathered from a variety of sources over the years. Where possible, the creator of this page has acknowledged the source. In most cases however, the source is unknown. This collection is presented here so that everyone who visits the page may enjoy the material.  The BCDX Club takes no credit for any of the material and (in the absence of the author of the material) thanks all authors for the use of their material.