Thoughts du jour:

   de omnibus dubitandum est
       - everything is to be doubted
       - René Descartes

   teneo quod donavi
       - my motto

   The cure for boredom is curiosity.
   There is no cure for curiosity.
       - Dorothy Parker
   The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are
   always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
       - Bertrand Russell

   I'm a skeptic not because I do not want to believe, but because
   I want to know. How can we tell the difference between what
   we would like to be true and what is actually the case?
   The answer is science. 
       - Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain

   I can't wait until every one in the world is rational, just until
   enough are rational to make a difference.
       - Isaac Asimov, Bill Moyers World of Ideas interview

   I don't 'believe' in anything. I know certain things
   ... from experience. But I have no beliefs.
   Belief gets in the way of learning.
       - Lazarus Long
       - (Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love)
   Wenn man, was man glauben soll,
   Nicht mehr glauben kann,
   Ist die Zeit eines Glaubens voll,
   Und geht ein neuer an.
       - If one can no longer believe what one should,
       - the time of one belief is done and a newer one begins.
       - Friedrich Rückert 

   Die Gedanken sind frei!
        - (My) thoughts are free!
        - German folk poem/song
   Is "'A simile is like a metaphor' is a simile" a metaphor?
       - xkcd external link

   I calculated the odds of this succeeding, versus
   the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid
   ... and I went ahead anyway.
       - Crow T Robot, MST3K (the movie) external link

   Of that there is no manner of doubt--
   No probable, possible shadow of doubt--
     No possible doubt whatever.
       - Don Alhambra del Bolero, Grand Inquisitioner
       - (William S. Gilbert, The Gondoliers)

What's here?
Family & me
Amateur radio
Red Cross
This website
About us

I've been professionally involved with computers since the mid 70's. Currently I'm retired. That doesn't equate to becoming a couch potato; a few of the activities that occupy my mind and body are the subject of this website.

For a while, these website updates were a bit long in coming. I had to absorb the changes in my life that resulted from the death on October 24, 2013 of my darling wife, Ann. Ann had several medical conditions in her last years that might have sidelined many a person younger than she; but Ann remained an active participant in all the many activities that interested her. Ann was, like me a voracious reader and a lifelong learner. She regularly enrolled in a variety of classes at College of DuPage, our local highly rated junior college. Given that she already held an MSW degree from the University of Chicago, she hardly needed the classes for academic credit. Ann was an accomplished musician as a singer and on several instruments. Yet in the last year she began studying mountain dulcimer. See below for more details.

The end came after Ann had a bad fall at home in late May 2013. Ann never fully recovered from the effects of that, spending most of the intervening time in hospital and in attempts at rehabilitation. My children and I worked together to hold a memorial gathering for her, held Saturday, December 14, 2013—the day after what would have been her 77th birthday. Despite rather inclement Chicago weather, the event was attended by numerous friends, family, and associates, telling and showing their love and respect for a remarkable woman.

Rest in peace, my dearest.  I still have a family with two remarkable children: daughters Karen and Reena.  Both live relatively near me in the greater Chicago area.

We adopted Karen as a toddler, and she is my eldest child. Karen develops computer applications and web-based training. I'd love to say more about this wonderful woman, but Karen is understandably reticent to have too much told of her. She has been a victim of identity theft. O tempora o mores—sadly as true today as in Cicero's time.

Reena was born in Kolkata (Calcutta) India, and was just two months old—and 3 kg—when she came home to us.  Reena teaches science at Spring Wood Middle School external link, a position for which she was hired before she graduated. She is married to her long–time friend Mike. Reena and Mike have a son.

Reena has served as a coach for our local Park District swim team; as an age–group swimmer she set several team swimming records and still has a record posted on the team's bulletin board.

Reena also studied Indian classical dance, and performed with a professional dance ensemble. This included performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park with a distinguished musical ensemble from India. A four–year varsity gymnast in high school, Reena naturally coached her school's pep squad until budget cuts eliminated sports from their curriculum. Her major athletic occupation these days is as a triathlete.

I used to have two dogs, Sasha and Kaya.  Both dogs are half poodle. Sasha's other half is shih tzu; Kaya's is american eskimo dog.

This site reflects my various activities. Many of those are somewhat technical. Unavoidably, I have to use words (including acronyms) and phrases that may be unfamiliar to some of my readers. I try to explain as much as possible in place; where there is a link to someone other web resource that I know provides further useful information, I provide a link to it. The links to these sites are flagged with the "external link" symbol.

I also have a supplementary web page that has a glossary, which provides brief explanations or definitions of many of the terms used here and on related sites.

Though I am retired, my family keeps me busy; I also have several other activities going on concurrently:

About this site

This web site has been constructed to conform to W3C standards for web browser interoperability, and is checked each time it is updated to assure that it continues to be fully conforming. The first two icons on the left at the bottom of this page will invoke the W3C checkers for the xhtml code itself, and for the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) data and format. You can use those links to check these elements for yourself, if you wish.

I also make a practice of loading the site in the latest versions of Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer (IE) after any substantive changes, to validate the site's appearance. The last of those browsers (IE) is less than adequate, however—particularly for the appendix page which makes use of several essential Unicode characters, which cause IE to hang up. Since Mircrosoft is apparently abandoning further development of IE, I would recommend any current users strongly consider migrating off of it. Firefox on Linux and Windows is the browser platform I primarily use for development. If you should have any problems using this site in your browser, please be so kind as to leave me a message via the mailto e-mail link below, or e-mail me directly at or General constructive comments about the site content or format are also welcome. I only ask, with Horace: "Quicquid praecipies, esto brevis" (whatever you advise, keep it short).

In addition, I have carefully followed the guidelines for accessibility for persons with disabilities, as provided by W3C-WAI. See the link below. Again, if you have any issues with being able to access this web content, I would appreciate your comments and suggestions. One result of making the content widely accessible is that you will not see here any "cute" features like blinking or animated items. I do know how to create such, but refrain in the interest of my readers.

In particular, you will find that links open by default in the same window as this page. It is considered undesirable from an accessibility point of view to open new windows without the express permission of the user. If you want a new window—or a new tab, in more recent browsers—the usual option is to right click the link, and say so. Otherwise, to return here, simply use the "back" button on your browser. Again, I know how to open new windows, but don't. That keeps me straight with the WAI.

The internet is notorious for changing. I have provided a number of links to other persons' and organizations' web sites so you can follow up on items I mention that may be of further interest to you. The links to these sites are usually flagged with the "external link" symbol. The only exceptions to this external-site link flagging will be in tables, where an entire column of the table contains such links; in that case the introductory text for the table will state that those links are external. Since I have no control over the format and content of these external sites, they may or may not be as user friendly as this one attempts to be.

Web sites may also come and go or move to other URLs. So that I can regularly verify that all the links I reference are still valid, I have a link on this page that will check every link I've used. Look in the lower left corner of this page for the Linkcheck logo. You can even use this process yourself. If I've been lax in checking, you know now how to contact me.

Amateur Radio in particular is a somewhat technical field. Some use of technical terminology, particularly acronyms, in unavoidable. For those in the know, there is no problem. For the rest of you, I have flagged the more obscure items. These appear as distinctive color, brightness and type face in the text—specifically as orange, if you see color normally, and your browser renders it properly. If you mouse over any of these words or acronyms, you'll get a brief explanation of it. For an example look back a few paragraphs to the "WAI" reference. Unfortunately, I cannot provide a textbook to explain everything. Where I know of a web page with reliable and relevant detailed information, I have provided a link to it; and yes, that is not infrequently Wikipedia. For organizations, their own websites must generally be considered authoritative. I've also provided a start towards a general glossary of terms. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this aspect of the site, let me know.

This web site was originally based at When they decided to eliminate web site hosting for their e-mail customers, I obtained the current domain, named by my amateur radio call sign, from GoDaddy®. external link I have found the GoDaddy domain registration and web site hosting services easy to use and reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

Apart from a couple dozen small graphics, mostly PNG, and a few moderately sized PNG family pictures on their own page, this web site is all hand-coded xhtml and css. The text file data is entered using a plain text editor—no, not vi; I'm not a masochist—and sent to the hosting site via ftp, all under Linux™ (Ubuntu® 17.04) and bash.


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You can also e-mail me directly at, or I'm also on Facebook as ne9et, and Twitter @gbgreene.