This is "joeslist"! Your (hopefully) daily taste of the war from somewhere
in the Gulf. You get this because I only get to send 2 emails per day (when
it's working) and I want all of you to be informed, and possibly entertained.
If you'd prefer not to get this, or get it sent to a different address please
contact and tell him this. I won't be offended (much).
I understand what it's like to get WAY TOO MUCH email these days. I will assure
you that I won't be pitching you for a mortgage or penis enlargement, however.
This space is still available and nobody has noticed it yet. Stay Tuned!
If you think that somebody would enjoy this or find it useful, please feel free
to forward it on to them, but let the rest of us know who else is "out there".
Some questions can't be answered due to security constraints. **

Messages for inclusion to this list or private personal ones should be sent
to:  does-anybody-look-at- this -phony -address?*.mil

April 13, 2003 Some of this was lost (I'm not sure why or how).

Friday 13 April 2003 2212 (10:22 PM)  After a short stint back in Iraq,
We're now Floating around the NAG

Environmental conditions:
Temps: Berthing = Very Nice
            Ship Internal = 76f   Ship outside = 78f  hot water = OK
Unusual Smells = sewer smell earlier, now gone
Stormwatch: Same Old Same Old. Ship movement is barely noticable
Apparent Morale (as measured in the Chiefs Mess) OK/Boredom increasing
Boredom index (0=Exciting 9=Excruciatingly dull) today = 8.849
Most Annoying Event = Not annoyed yet today (amazing)
Movies Watched: Roadhouse, Boondock Saints
Food Ratings: * = Sucky  ** = Better than MRE's   *** = Average  **** = Yummy
              ***** = Unlikely ("It's just a tiny wafer")
Lunch = Corn Dogs (***) Stuffed Fish (****)
Dinner = Fried Shrimp (****)
Snail-Mail received = No new deliveries (no Copter today)

Todays newz:
It's going to be slow for a bit, but I thnk that I'll be able to stay in touch.
We're starting to talk about packing up. I hope that we'll be moving on soon.
It's good to get back to real food again. While I was "on the beach", I stopped
eating as the thought of it made me sick (or maybe I was really sick, which is
very possible). But, trust me. I'm doing better now.

Please let me know what's going on out there! Tony, let me know how your NEMO
went the other day. (I called Tony and he was at "The block" in Orange to do a
"John & Ken" remote to raise money for deployed troops who can't pay their (cingular)
bills. Very nice!
Mail bag contents since the last update:

Jimmy sez:

This from a Slashdot thread where the media were being trashed...

It happens all the time. Journalistic practices have gone way downhill since
the web. Many stories on the web are obviously not reviewed by an editor. Heck,
some aren't even spell checked. We're talking about major news networks too,
like CNN, Fox, etc. CNN is one of the worst. BBC appears to be one of the
better ones.

      Re:BBC, the speed of news and editing (Score:5, Informative)
      by ianscot (591483) Alter Relationship on Thursday April 17, @06:55

      A few different times now, I've sent something to the BBC's Web editors
-- a little comment, a suggestion, a minor complaint about phrasing. (Once
they'd put up an article about the ten-year anniversary of Prozac, IIRC, and
their article basically treated Prozac as if it was the only SSRI or
antidepressant around. I pointed them to some stuff about health plans in the
US that had Zoloft on the formulary but wouldn't add Prozac any more, and
suggested a less adulatory tone.)

      In all three cases, they've actually rewritten their stories to reflect
my bitching, at least in some minor ways. Amazing, huh? They responded, and
actually rewrote copy, within a few hours.

      On the one hand, how responsive they really are -- very cool, better than
traditional papers by far and faster than, oh, a certain source of News for
Nerds I can think of... ever try to get a headline changed?

      But was there adequate editorial oversight, if one reader is capable of
influencing them this much? These weren't even rush stories; they were more
like the sort of thing where the "reporting" was largely transcribing chunks of
a press release. They're rushing the stories up, even at the BBC.

    Re:BBC, the speed of news and editing (Score:2)
    by dusanv (256645) Alter Relationship on Thursday April 17, @09:48
        Same here. I also complained about a BBC story and the editor got
back to me and fixed it. Same with CNET (except that in this case I
was wrong and the editor pointed that out to me - I thought the PowerBook was
the first DVD burning laptop but it turns out it was a model from HP that beat
Apple by a couple of weeks). Nice folk both of them. Unlike CNN.
John Higdon says:

Thank you for your donation to Joe's fone phund. I guess I'm going to
have to put up a toteboard on the web.

We sailed past this bill in good shape. It's the next one that has me
scared to death!

Thanks again.


Joe thanks y'all:
Thank you so much. The communication makes this suck so much less.
Joe Mauk asks:

Is it true that one of the dolphins went AWOL?

Joe replies:
Yes! Actually it has happened twice. They didn't get quite enough time to acclimate to the
local conditions (yecch). Frankly, as smart as there are (and they REALLY are smart), it
is really a pain in the ass to move them around and make them work. There are theories that
all the press that they got was for the purpose of "saving the program" (it is Ungodly
expensive!!!). We actually did a mojority of the work faster with our device, but the
press thought that the dolphins were cuter (they are).

Larry Sez:

Germany's Grundig, one of Europe's best-known consumer electronics makers, has
filed for bankruptcy.

The move follows the failure of rescue talks with two potential partners,
Taiwan's Sampo and Turkish Beko.

Grundig, founded in 1945 and a key participant in Germany's post-war revival,
had been struggling for years.

In 1996, it was spun off by parent company Philips, but failed to get its
finances in order.

There is no news yet on the fate of the company's plants - including two in
Germany, and one each in Portugal and Austria - or its 3,500 staff.


Joe sez:
That's sad, but the company's products haven't been exciting for a while (at least to me).
Joe Mauk responds to an earlier Joe Soapbox comment:
> It always cracks me up how the education "establishment" is
> so intimidated
> by rank
> amateurs (parents) attempting to do a better job than "professional"
> teachers. I
> think that some of it is the stigma that it has with some
> people that think
> that it's
> only about religion (never mind if they can read or not). I'm
> glad that what
> you've
> been doing, which has worked so well, can continue.
> Talk to Y'all later. It's rack time.....

Whoaa! Take it easy here. There are teachers in the audience.

Joe responds:
No offense meant. It's just that the NEA and union's position often bashes "home schooling".
My niece (Hi Amanda!) who's home schooled also has teachers who are great! I had the pleasure
of visiting her "school" (actually an education resource center) and giving a presentation
on deployments and discussed with them their "troop care package" project. At the time, I
didn't have the foggiest idea that one of the packages would find it's way to me. They did
a great job! Sent out a bunch of great (and useful) stuff and made a lot of guys happy. Thanks
CHEP (and Amanda!). I'll be writing them if I can get a good address and some full names. I think
that you should ALWAYS write a thank you letter when people go the extra mile and do something
really nice like that! There are a bunch of student drawn pictures on the wall (excuse me,
BULKHEAD) from Arrowhead school (I think Lake Arrowhead? I'm trying to find out).

It was good to get your cell phone call, sorry about missing you.  Made a change to my cell number
and guess my old number the battery ran down so I wasn't able to take your call.  I am glad all
is going well.  My new Cell number is XXX-XXX-XXXX  Look forward to hearing and talking with you
later buddy take care, and stay safe.

Greg Ogonowski sends:

hey joe- just got back from nab.

radio crowd is getting smaller and smaller, as you might imagine.
we had a good first day, and a good first half of the second day.
the rest was slow.

Joe adds:
You'd really like BFBS. It's got live jocks, strange British "pop" music,
and lots of jingles. Lots of good production and great news.

Greg continues:
all the action is on the multimedia side, still.
even with the .com crash, the multimedia, video, and streaming is still
going.  that's a good sign, since i think it is a sign of the times.

we had much interest in optimod-pc.  it was good to finally say it was

the hot product that i found was something i've had on my things to do
list, but the germans beat me to it again.  the germans are good at audio
and associated applications.  a german kid showed an elaboate audio editor
running on windows ce, pocket pc.  he had to rewrite the kernel and mem mgt
to make it work, not a surprise.  a very cool product.  we are going to try
to add an isdn terminal adapter to connect to opticodecs.  imagine live
remotes from a pda!

Joe responds:
There are a lot of reports being filed on PC's these days. It was interesting
to see how that all works.

Greg goes on:
talked to my contact at voa.  he says they still use optimods on all their
installations.  chances are you're listening to them.  if you get a chance,
and have the disk space, try to grab some air checks to your laptop if you
have it with you.

Joe replies:
I'll see what I can do. The VOA FM station in Kuwait is on 96.9 and is mono, low power
and possibly horizontal only. BFBS kicks their ass. VOA does use the KLOK/KWIZ news
sounder however. Still sounds good to me. :)

talk to you soon.

Todd says:

FYI:  HFT doesn't stand for High Frequency Technologies.   We came in
after John Richard saw the PFF 2000.   He said, "High Fucking Tech."

That is funny about Dr. Motwani.  Was the boob job conversation better?

Joe comments:
I thought that the transition was interesting. It seemed like a natural segue to the guys
having the conversation. (Eye Doctor = Boob Doctor). I just thought that it was cool that
they knew who Dr. Motwani was! (Advertising works) They were debating whether they should
wait to have the Navy do the procedure or go to Dr. M. Cost was an issue. Maybe he has a
military discount? :)

Todd goes on:
Jimmy reminded me that you can dispute your changes with the PUC in
California and just mail them a check instead.  I bet Cingular will not
want the bad publicity and just drop all the charges.  I wouldn't let
the scumbags get away with what they did and reward them by paying

Joe responds:
Yeah, I will. They're such weasles.
Todd Lesser
Voice: +1 619 XXX-XXXX      Fax: +1 619 XXX-XXXX
Todd adds:

I see you aren't offering penis enlargements.  Do you think it would be
inapproriate to SPAM Joe's list with a 900 number?

Joe Asks:
Are you offering penis enlargements?

Todd continues:
I am glad to hear that everything went well and that you are safe.

I just got back in town, from a funeral in New York for my roommate in
college - David Bloom of NBC.

He died of a blood clot outside of Bagdad and it was non-combat

Joe Replies:
Yes, I heard about that. Very sad, I'm sorry. Quite a few were lost in the press this time
around, though I know that his case wasn't directly related to the war (except that his
confined work space contributed). I'm doing OK (except for the past few days I've had some
kind of unpleasent intestinal thing with annoying symptoms). The environment out on "the
beach" wasn't very sanitary, with no refrigeration, hardly any water and lots of flies and
rabid dogs (sounds like Barstow). I'm back on the ship, where at least I can be clean and
comfortable while I'm dying of boredom.

Martha Higdon (John's Sister) writes from her lavish Swiss hotel room (with DSL!):

Ahoy from Geneva.  It's hell being in such a gorgeous place while confined to a hotel room
having nervous breakdowns and heart attacks.  You probably know that drill.  But at least
I can snap the scenic photos of what other people's lives must be like.  I'll be here five
more days, but they'll seem like a year, AND I still won't have seen Geneva.  But maybe I'll
have made enough money to come back for fun.  I will never, however, be able to stay at this
hotel unfunded. 
Hope you're well and can come home soon.

Joe responds:
I'm sorry that you won't be able to "check the place out". I had a similar experince in Spain
recently :) . For those who don't know Martha, She works on (mostly high profile) legal cases
(criminal) as an investigator/evidence/data consultant (Martha will correct me if that is as
bad a descrition of what she does as I think it may be). She has a wicked (if slightly evil)
since of humor.
John Said:

Got a quick phone call last night. Joe's off the ship and going to
Kuwait. No details, but he is off the ship for now, which will
explain any missed issues of WarWatch.

Joe corrects:
I was in Kuwait for about 20 minutes while the helecopter loaded/unloaded, then I was off to
Iraq, a little further forward this time. We were at another factory/port town, this one not
as f&*$ed up as Umm Qasr, but still awful. There were a huge number of Brit's and Aussies at
this place, they'd set up a huge shower facility, had a "laundry squadron" (I don't know that
there were 'laundry squadrons'! But leave it to the Brits to bring civilization with them
even to shitholes like this. PS: Robb I'm bringing back a UK 'daily field ration'. They have
Pate in them! The Brits also like to sunbathe, are often nude and have a lot of women along
with them who do the same and aren't bothered by any of this. Civilization! The Brits
invented it! They also brought, telephones, sattelite TV, fresh fruit, air conditioning and
tea. Nice.
Tony Dinkel sends:

>Hey Larry:
>Does Tony get this?

Yes, I joined the net a few days ago.  I have enjoyed your musings very
much.  I have forwarded several of them to people that know you and also
some people that don't know you.  Everyone seems to enjoy your point of

Sorry about your issues with chachingular, the human interface can be

Did you get your Iridium yet?  I had one for a few days last week.  Its
pretty sad but if its all you got I guess its ok.  You can almost tell you
are talking to a human.  But we all can't be lugging Inmarsat B terminals
around.  It makes 16kb adpcm sound like a broadcast circuit!

Joe Responds:
Can you say "vocoder"? No, it isn't here yet. I've had some experience with
it before last year in the Indian Ocean, and it was a bit flakey. It was,
however, a life saver. We had no other options out there and for the past few
days without communications from my guys, I wish that they had one too.
The reasons for the lack of comms are (in this order):
1. No desire to communicate with the Command Post ("I don't need no
micro-management from those boneheads. I can take care of myself!")
2. Frustration with previous failed attempts ("That shit never works!")
3. Shortage of gear. We're just starting to replace our sabers and other radios
and there isn't any money because the leadership thinks that it's more important
to outsource our computer network to EDS$$$ and cancelled the radio purchase
4. Incompetence. These are "operators", bomb guys. They don't want to screw with
non EOD related stuff.

Tony Continues:
The link budget also seems a little short with the built on antenna.  They
also gave me a little magnetic patch external ant.  With it on top of the
car I could actually hold a call.  Overpasses are another matter.

Joe adds:
You're right, and the little mag antennas help some. There is no free lunch.
I have a hard time getting our people to understand things like antenna gain,
antenna bandwidth and really basic stuff like forward/reflected power and
whether connectors are put on properly (basic Mobile UHF summer lessons).
They had an encrypted SATCOM circuit going (mostly), and complained that it kept
failing. They had no indication of received signal strength, no indication of
forward or reflected power and aimed the crossed yagi antenna with only a compass.
They were dumbfounded when I suggested that they put the radios into "Clear text"
(unencrypted), use FM and adjust the antennas for the lowest received noise. When
we did this, the antenna was aimed in a direction that they said was impossible,
and they had no more drop outs for the entire deployment. Oh yeah, after we
re-oriented the antenna, they switched back to encrypted. :)

I'm writing a "lessons learned" paper that suggests that they carry throughline
wattmeters, connector and adaper kits, and test/rework all cables. Frequency
selection was also poor, with out main channel being in the 66 mhz region (for use
with hand helds). These radios also required $89 lithium batteries (pure unobtainium
at this time) at the rate of 4 per day per radio. The command only had two battery
eliminators ($5k each for a 24 volt 4 amp supply). Amazing.
Tony goes on:
Do you have any JPEG's of you in action?  My son's class is putting up
pictures of friends and family members who are serving.  You would be #3.  
It doesn't have to be exceptionally good, black and white, small would be
great.  Can you send and receive attachments?  Too bad I didn't catch you
when you had that aussie's sat term.

Joe Sez:
I can't send or receive attachments because of the small bandwidth available
from the ship. As soon as I get to a place with halfway decent bandwidth or if the
iridium phone shows up, I'll send out some of the better ones. We have some amazing
JPG's too.

Tony continues:
I am also curious if you could consent to an interview on the John and Ken

Joe sez:
Gee, that would be interesting. I can't think of a reason why not. I'd be interested
in what kind of topic they'd want to discuss so that I can be well prepared (and appear
to be less stupid). I might also have to check with a PAO.

Looking forward to your homecomming.


Joe Exclaims!
Me too! Sooner is better!

Jim Gottlieb reports in:

On 2003-04-12 at 17:53, Talbot CEC Joseph E ( wrote:

> with spray paint "USMC Fox was here" everywhere. And of course, Marines
> couldn't just go through a door, they had to blow it up.

I was just thinking earlier today that it's a good thing you joined the
Navy instead of the Marines, and were able to stay pretty safe there at
the coastal resort.  I'm glad to hear you may be heading home.  I was
about to send some of your bills on to John, but maybe I'll hold off a
week or so and see if you show up.

Joe responds:
"Coastal resort?" Yeah, it was safer then when the Marines were there, but still
not real nice. Bills? They should all be going to john. Please forward them.

Jimmy continues:
> Watching CNN/Fox News/CNBC et all is truly mind numbing,

Fox is always harping on about Al Jazeera, but they're no better; just
on the other side.  The others are a little better, but from what I've
read and heard, networks like the BBC do more reporting and less

It's sad that Fox is beating CNN in the ratings.  I guess our esteemed
masses prefer the Jerry Springer style of news reporting.

Joe Sez:
They're both miserable. CNN started the BLANK "alert" and the obnoxious "ticker crawl"
at the screen bottom. I refuse to watch Headline News because it looks like an overly
busy website. It's shrill, distracting, and you can't tell when something is ACTUALLY
happening. I much prefer BBC.

Jimmy continues:
> Fox news reported the finding of a mobile "bio weapon lab", but when it was
> shown it looked more like a camper.

The networks are so afraid of being beat to a story that any and every
thing gets reported because they won't actually spend the time to do
any fact-checking.  Not to mention that viewers can be hooked in for a
few more minutes with "Coming Up.  We'll tell you about a biological
weapons lab found in Iraq."

Joe sez:
I hate "Teases". In fact now, I just tune out when they tease.

Jimmy Quotes me:
> Todd: I heard an unpleasant story today: I heard that David Bloom died
> covering the war. Have you heard anything?

Todd is in New York today for the funeral.  Very sad.

Please send along my condolences. This war certainly touches a lot of us this time.

Jimmy quotes John:
> On behalf of Joe, let me thank you for your contribution to Joe's
> finances! I know he appreciates that.

I told John he should pay the PUC and file a complaint.  I wouldn't
give in so easily, especially with such a large bill.

Joe sez:
Yeah, I'd like to get the guy that I spoke to (it should be on the record when it
was ordered, right?) and see if he knows any better now. The biggest problem is I
have nothing in writing. I did explain the ENTIRE situation, and where I would be
to him. There was clearly no misunderstanding on my part. I asked SPECIFICALLY (since
it seemed like a good deal). Is the service regulated by the PUC? I think that more
milage could be gained with publicity.

Jimmy comments on my remarks about the Iraqi Information Minister:
> No, I've heard of him (of course)! He is one of our favorites! I
> particularly liked his "They are not in Baghdad" comment

Last night Jay Leno had a Jeopardy sketch where he was one of the
contestants.  Very funny.  Like the game hasn't even begun and he
declares that he is the winner.

> John talks about his recent squanders:
> > My shiny new Macintosh has an out-of-the-box problem: the modem
> > "speaker" doesn't work so I can't hear call progress. I'm thinking
> > I'll wait for some other problem to show up before sending it in.

Nah, he'll just buy another one and hope it doesn't have that problem.  :-)

Joe replies:
You know John too well.

Jimmy goes on:
BTW, I'm now a Switcher.  Todd and I got twin 12" Powerbooks.  Very
nice machine.  We are also now providing Internet service to the
fireplace store via 802.11b.  We had to place the AP in my window in
order to get decent signal in their office on the opposite side of the
building.  I left it open to the world to allow free access for
passers-by.  It's connected to the same network as our Free ISP, so
security shouldn't be a problem (he hopes).  Used Orinoco (AKA
Proxim)'s new AP-600 base station and a Linksys Ethernet bridge for the
PC at Wilshire Fireplace.

Joe replies:
Congrats! They're nice machines and the OS kicks ass. When I get back, lets put
up an antenna pointed at the train station. How's the ISP going?

Jimmy sez:
In other news, Lucie is leaving the employ of High Frequency Technology
and starts a job at UCSD on the 28th.  She expects it to be much less
stressful.  They've given her the project of setting up a Java
framework for a web server and told her she has two years to do it.  No
wonder Brian Cantor, when I asked him why he's stayed at UCSD for 30
years, answered "no deadlines".

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that the worst malady afflicting you is boredom.

I'll send you some text news in separate messages...

Joe sez:
Many Thanks! The text news is very nice! I generally read Google News, Wired News and
Slashdot. I really miss google!!!