LTC Harvey M. Dick: Aug 9, 1927 – Jan 28, 2012

I am a graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. To be honest, I am not exactly sure what possessed me to pick that school to attend. It was about as far away from my home in California as I could get. It represented the epitome of military discipline and Southern culture – both completely alien to me. But in August of 1987, I arrived at The Citadel and managed to survive the ordeal, emerging in May of 1991 with both the highly coveted Citadel Ring and a bachelors degree.

During my four years at The Citadel, there was one gentleman who stood out larger than life… and that was Lieutenant Colonel Harvey M. Dick, Assistant Commandant of Cadets. His primary responsibility was to oversee the discipline of the Corps of Cadets, a task he carried out firmly and fairly. He had a booming, slightly higher pitched voice that carried a great distance. He had the tenancy to refer to any cadet who was doing something wrong as a “Delbert Dumbass”.

The Citadel is not an easy place. Beyond the academic rigors and outside the classroom the rules of conduct and appearance were strict. Free time very limited. Failure to comply with the rules resulted in swift punishment that was realized through the awarding of “Tours” or “Confinements”. A Tour was one-hour, at a specially designated time (mainly during the weekend), were a cadet walks back and forth across the barracks with an M-14 rifle in silence. A Confinement was an hour spent at your desk studying. Both Tours and Confinements were performed in uniform with brass belt buckle and black low-quarter shoes shined to a brightness known as “blitzed”. Until a cadet had finished serving the required Tours or Confinements he (and I say he because while I was there it was all-male) was restricted to campus (a dry campus containing little entertainment). While on restriction, a cadet had to sign in on the hour, every hour during non-class days from Reveille to Taps (assuming they were not actually walking Tours or sitting Confinements at the time). If, for some reason, a cadet failed to report on time…. the punishments increased.

To be fair – there were no surprises as to what a cadet could or could not do. So when LTC Dick meted out punishment, it never really came as unexpected. LTC Dick believed that if you did the crime, you do the time and that you’d be a better man for it. If you really believed that there had been a miscarriage of justice, you could go to LTC Dick’s office, plead your case, and beg for mercy. If your argument was unique, original, or really compelling he may have let you slide. Otherwise you were told to “About Face” and hit the highway.

Despite his role as the senior disciplinarian, he was beloved by the entire Corps of Cadets. At football games (which was mandatory attendance for all cadets (in uniform too)) a cheer often went up where half the cadets yelled “HARVEY” and then the other half would yell “DICK”…. over and over until he would stand up and everyone would cheer. Another football favorite was when the band played the theme from Hawaii Five-O and LTC Dick would come down to the sideline and stand on a surf board that was held aloft by the male cheerleaders. He was really the only senior officer we ever saw who actually displayed any sense of humor.

From a discipline standpoint, I did okay. I never got a Tour but did sit a number of Confinements. I successfully avoided any major trouble and with that managed to avoid LTC Dick. Until May about five days before graduation……

To make a long story short, back in March I had brought a bottle of whiskey into the barracks and had placed it in an unused set of drawers in my room which I shared with another senior. The room was designed to fit four, but there were only two of us – we were seniors and got the extra space for that reason. Possession of alcohol on campus had just been changed from a punishment of 120 Tours to expulsion just three or four months earlier. Here is the kicker – I forgot about the bottle. We had made it to May, finals complete and preperations made for walking across the stage to get our diplomas. At the end of the year the cadet company commander and TAC officer (an active duty Captain) conduct an inventory of all the furniture in each room. I was out with my fellow seniors in downtown Charleston drinking beer when the TAC officer discovered the whiskey bottle in the drawer. Upon my return to campus I was informed what had happened and told that I was restricted to campus until further notice. My heart dropped through the floor. Five days before graduation. My parents and realtives were coming out from California. Punishment for possession of alcohol was expulsion. The TAC officer came and talked to me to tell me there would be a Diciplinary Board that would meet to review my violation of the rules. At this point, I did not know where to turn. A classmate recommended I go see LTC Dick. I went to his house and he brought me in and sat me down. He listened to my story, never blinking, stairing straight through me. He told me to go back to my room and wait for my TAC officer to tell me what would be my fate.

They let me off the hook. I was told that had I “lawyered up”, finding the bottle would have been considered “illegal search and seizure”. Knowing that all of us cadets have no expected right to privacy (I had taken a Constitutional Law class afterall), I knew they had just given me a pass. But I can tell you that for my few remaining days at The Citadel, I walked on pins and needles… amazed when I was handed my diploma but a better man for the lesson I learned.

In hindsight, I believe LTC Dick knew that I was going to graduate when I went to see him. He rightly let me stew in not knowing my future for a few additional and painful hours to let the lesson sink in.

LTC Dick gave up his role as assistant commandant in 1993 but continued to remain deeply involved in The Citadel up until his death this past Saturday. In my association with the military since my days at The Citadel, I can’t think of an officer that I have had a higher degree of respect and esteem for. I hope Saint Peter remembered to shine up his halo before LTC Dick arrived… or ol’ Saint Pete will be walking Tours!

Huntington acquires trove of Lincoln, Civil War telegrams, codes

…. The cardboard-covered telegraphic ledgers of up to 400 pages had been stowed away by Thomas Eckert (1825-1910), a pioneering telegraph operator who ran the U.S. military’s telegraph office at the War Department in Washington, D.C., from 1863 to 1867. The collection also includes ledgers from 1862, when Eckert served as telegraph chief for Gen. George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac

In February 1862, two months before sharing command with Grant at the Battle of Shiloh, an important and extremely bloody Union victory in Tennessee, Gen. Don Carlos Buell sent a telegram from his headquarters in Louisville, Ky., to unknown recipients code-named Andes and Ocean, complaining of “constant intrigue to displace army officers” under his command, “which I beg you to defeat … until I tell you there is just cause. I learn that Col. Hazin is one of the purposed victims. His removal would be gross injustice and a serious loss.”

After the concluding signature, “Alvard” — Buell’s code name — appear three additional words: “Good for Alvard,” a nod of approval by a telegraph operator putting in his own two cents. Tsapina said she also has found instances in which telegraph operators tacked on insider investment tips to one another, based on how the battlefield news they were transmitting might affect the market price of cotton or gold.

Read the full article here

What’s going on in the hamshack?

(1) Two shelves are up. I offloaded my computer that handles the weather station, my printer, the EchoIRLP node, and the TM-D710A that supports both the weather station via APRS and the EchoIRLP node. I put wheels on the hamshack table after I moved it from the rental we were in to our current house. This raised the table to the perfect height, allowing my chair to slide under. The wheels also allow me to swing the table out to get to the back side and take care of any wiring issues with a fair degree of ease. But the weight of the equipment that piled up on the far end of the table made it hard to move. With the equipment I rarely touch placed up on the shelves, the table is much easier to move.

(2) I got my West Mountain Radio Super PWRgate PG40S hooked up. And it works! Additionaly, I have an UPS hooked up. So I should be good for backup power to run the weather/APRS station.

(3) The maps are up! I have the world map and a North America map. It looks like Millennia Arts no longer produce these maps. Who can blame them? I purchased these maps in 2006 and how many additional entities have there been since then? I’d imagine it is just not cost effective to produce up-to-date, high-quality maps like these.

(4) My kindergardener had a weekend project to collect 100 of something. Why not a 100 QSL cards? I dug through my pile pieceing together a variety of cards. Not quite ready for DXCC submission, but going through my tub-o-cards has motivated me to organize my card collection (… and prep for my DXCC submission).

(5) Speaking of QSL cards, it is time to address the “log problem”. Since my first DX contact (VP5VAC, 21 May 2005, on 6M), I have jumped around to differnt logging programs (and different computer OSes). I have txt files, MDB files, and adi files. Logs from special event stations, lighthouse activations, Field Day, Iraq, Korea, and just sitting in front of the rig spinning and grinning. I have used LoTW and eQSL. I’ve also had a few different callsigns. It is time to establish the MASTER LOG. One-stop-shopping for all my contacts that exist currently as some form of a digital log. The tool to get me to where I need to be appears to be DX Shell’s Contest LogChecker. The application will allow me to take many different types of formated logs and combine them together.

(6) Were we speaking of QSL cards? Jeff, KE9V, says he is getting out of the QSL card game. [AE5X as well] I can understand his motivations and why he arrived at the decision to forego the hard copy QSL card. I may, someday, arrive at a similar decision. Although it looks like AA6E is proud of his card. But as of now, I still love QSL cards… desinging my own, sending them, receiving them, getting that fat package from the Buro, etc. That being said, I designed a new QSL card for my new QTH here in Lansing, KS:

…. I hope to receive them soon – and hope to work you soon so I can send one your way. closed in U.S. on Wednesday

From: will join Wikipedia and Reddit, and protest the proposed U.S. SOPA/PROTECT-IP legislation by closing down on Wednesday.

The outage will only affect clients in the United States (or those with IP address mapping an U.S. network operator – the targeting is not fully accurate).

Although the law is being made in the U.S., it will break the Internet on a global scale by making sites such as liable for links and content posted by the users of the site. Sites like are commonly run by individual developers or small volunteer teams. Due to the huge volume of automatically published user-generated content (50 packets per second currently!) it would be impossible for me to go through it all before publishing. If some APRS user would post links to copyright-infringing material, even when that material would reside somewhere else than itself, could be shut down in the U.S. and there would not be much that I could do about it.

I read earlier about the Wikipedia outage. I wonder who will be next to jump on the protest bandwagon. There is nothing that warms the cockles of my heart more than a good ol’ fashion protest.