Miscellaneous observations

To fight the stupid persecution of the letter Z, please follow me on Twitter. Keep on ZEDDING!

A few interesting stories…

First, call about a long distance call.  HERE   In 1977 Voyager 1 was sent to the outer edge of the solar system.   In November, NASA wanted try to extend the probe’s life by doing a course correction with thrusters that haven’t been used in 37 years.  Voyager is so far away now that it took 19 hours for the confirmation signal to return.

Next, a Tulsa cop’s life was saved in a shooting incident because of a challenge coin he was carrying. HERE  I am still interested in challenge coin exchanges.  As a matter of fact, I just got my collection out of their box and rediscovered my own in another box.  I was going to have another one made for the occasion of the 100 millionth visit to to this blog, but time got away.  Had a design ready and everything.  Oh well.

Next, I am outraged.  This and the next story in line indicates that there is no limit to stupid.  It seems that there is now an attack on the letter Z because the Russians have Zs on their tanks, etc.  “Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the world to “criminalize” the letter ‘Z’, saying that it represents “Russia’s war of aggression.” Ironically he spelled the word ‘criminalise’ with a ‘z’, rather than use the correct English spelling with an ‘s’.”   Really.  This is a thing.  What’s a Fr. Z to do?  Maybe… since once the alphabet included as a last letter the “ampersand”.  &.   Fr. &?   And… or rather &, it has variations:

Since I share my native place with the late Prince, perhaps I should just go by &….etc.

& to make this easier…

Next, in a event at a homeless encampment in LA, Rep. Maxine Waters – once again making it unnecessary to check the Babylon Bee today – got frustrated with the crowd & told them, the homeless, to “go home”.   Yes, ladies & gentlemen, Maxine Waters.  Keeping our country on course.  HERE

However, on that page, an interesting thing popped up when I turned off the ad blockers so I could read that story (something I almost never do).  A video ad played in the pages main player for a site called Ham Radio Prep (hamradioprep.com) which purports to take you from step A through Z to get your Ham Radio License.  As it turns out right now they have a sale on for the Tech and General Exam prep courses.   It also turns out that I’ll be clearing out the cookies on my machine.

Getting a license isn’t that hard & it opens up all sorts of options in a world that is going to have some challenges.

Is it time for you to get that license & put some equipment together?  It is IMPORTANT that you start to NETWORK with others in your area, including a priest or two.  We don’t know what is going to go down in the next few months.

For these USA, here is one study guide for the entry level license: Technician

Make sure that any version you get is the guide for exams through 2022!

The Kindle version is about $10.

And there is this.

&, at QRZ, for example, there is a link to practice quizzes. HERE

To fight the obscene war on the letter Z, please follow me on Twitter.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Ham Radio, Just Too Cool, Liberals, Look! Up in the sky!, Random Thoughts, You must be joking! and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    The Fr. formerly known as Z?

  2. Mariana2 says:

    Father Ci-devant Z?

  3. Credoh says:

    On the point of ham radio / comms kit, depending on how things pan out, a Faraday cage of some description may be worth considering, lest there be any EMPs around. I still have a valve radio kept safe and mechanical clocks. Just a thought.

  4. The Vicar says:

    Don’t worry, Fr.Z. Congress won’t outlaw your name.

    The FEC, the SEC or the CDC will be just send you a letter saying you need to lock down until you accept that you need to be trans lettered.

  5. iamlucky13 says:

    “Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the world to “criminalize” the letter ‘Z’,”

    Wars in general tend to prompt irrational behavior. The Japanese internment in WWII has significant local relevance in my area, for example. The Ukrainian foreign minister’s idea certainly is absurd, but fortunately much less severe.

    Another example cancelling a name, although perhaps not such an illustrious one as our hosts’, occurred a few years ago in Portland. Early in the city’s history, a man by the name of Patrick Lynch donated some of his land for schools. In gratitude, several schools were given names appropriate to their relationship with his farm (eg – Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood).

    Since we’re talking about Portland, this became a controversy. The conclusion was reached that because others had appropriated the name to describe the extrajudicial killing of English loyalists during the revolutionary, and then to later other crimes including the murder of African Americans, even the name itself was a problem. Among the comments were arguments that honoring a man who helped make the schools possible made them think of ancestors who had been murdered, and that students did not feel safe.

    As a result of the crimes of others, it was determined that Patrick Lynch had forfeited the privilege of being honored for his civic contribution, and the schools’ names were changed.

    Mel Brooks knew how to handle this better. In his adaptation of Robin Hood, instead of going after the names of the innocent, Richard I (respectably portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart) levied a particular severe penalty on the name of the guilty man. Observance of that penalty has continued to this day.

    I have seen a few amusing plays on Mr. Putin’s name, although unfortunately nothing that quite compares with how Mr. Brooks dealt with John’s treason.

  6. In a world where a Canadian M.P. can claim that “Honk, honk!” really means “Heil Hitler!” without getting run out on a rail, the attempted cancellation of “Z” is no surprise.

  7. Fr. Andrew says:

    Um…how then shall we spell the name of the President of the Ukraine?

    President &elensky?

  8. In a world where people can seriously advance the notion that the letter “Z” is offensive (what’s next? The number “1” (since it’s the loneliest number…thank you Three Dog Night)?), it’s good to know that NASA still has the mojo to even consider executing a course correction to a craft in interstellular space, launched when I was still in college. Those are some steely-eyed rocket men.

    The mind boggles at 1) the mathematics involved in plotting not only the course but correcting/predicting for the 9.5 hour difference in position and velocity, 2) that NASA knew where to point the antenna with that accuracy (the signal strength at that range had to be a fraction of a femtowatt way down into the background noise level…and we’re talking about equipment built when transistors were mostly discrete, you could still buy vacuum tubes at Radio Shack, and if you wanted your own computer, you had to buy the kits and solder them together yourself), and 3) having the patience to wait for the return, adjusting the receive antenna to where it would actually receive the signal.

    That, people, is how professionals do things.

    19 hours of music on hold waiting? Almost as bad as calling the DMV.

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Perhaps you could consider the surprisingly popular and enduring ‘et’ of the notae Tironianae as well as the delightful ampersand? – some versions of the Tironian ‘et’ sign even look rather Z/Zed-like, if Wikipedia may be trusted on this point.

  10. OzReader says:

    Perhaps you could adopt the Interrobang if Z is to be cancelled?

  11. The Cobbler says:

    So what’s the story behind St. Peter’s and-per-se-and?

  12. Iconophilios says:

    Perhaps, in honour of Bl. Karl’s death on Madeira, might you replace your Z with a Ç as the Portuguese do?
    It is thought that the Ç comes from the old Gothic letter for Z anyway.

  13. Imrahil says:

    The thing is the Ukrainian government is asking other governments to punish those who use the symbol Z; it is quite clear from the context when they do so.

    In the natural interpretation of what they said, they don’t want to criminalize any other use of the letter any more than the original Hindoo use of the swastika is criminalized by those jurisdictions who justly punish Nazis for showing. And there are much more uses for the letter Z of course than for the swastika.

    There are people who proudly show flags, tshirts and the like with a Z on it in order to say “we support Russia in its attack”. What the Ukrainian government wishes is laws to be able to say, and I suppose prosecutors that actually do say, “we’ll lock you up for that”. Nothing more; also, of course, nothing less.

  14. IaninEngland says:

    It just goes to show, doesn’t it: “Sin makes you stupid”.

  15. matt from az says:

    The Voyager carries a record of some sort with greetings in nearly every language. My friend’s parents said the greeting in Armenian. I don’t believe in aliens, but it’s pretty neat knowing that their voices will travel through the universe until the end of time.

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