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Random Thoughts, Number 1 - 19 March, 2016

This is just a set of random thoughts that have occurred to me over the past month or so.  None of them are enough for an entire page, so I am
just setting them out together.  I suspect that there will be more of these.

  • There are certain phrases that are supposed to be used on marine radios.  "Mayday", "pan-pan" and "securite" are included.  So is "over"
    and "out."  10-4 is not.  The only people who should use 10-4 are police officers and, maybe, long distance truckers.  If you feel the need to
    say 10-4, please use "affirmative" instead.
  • There are several VHF radio channels designated for conversations between recreational boaters.  Channel 17 is not one of them.  It is
    specified for "Search and Rescue."  I realize it is convenient and it doesn't seem that people are using it.  That doesn't make it right.
  • There is a button somewhere on your radio that switches the transmission power from 25 watt to 1 watt.  Figure out where it is.  A radio with
    an antenna on a forty foot mast can transmit about ten miles in a straight line.  That means that you are blanketing an area of three hundred
    square miles with your signal.  If you are calling the boat that is a mile away, you really don't need to blast out all 25 watts.
  • If you are doing something stupid on the water, and someone calls you on it, apologize.  Don't try to make out that you were doing it
  • Sometimes, you get some place faster by going slow, and you save a lot of fuel doing it.
  • It does no good to hurry up to a bridge if you know the bridge isn't going to open for twenty minutes.  You just end up going in circles.
  • I am not generally in favor of the government issuing boating licenses, mostly because the government that would do it would be
    state governments and not the federal government.  So we would end up with fifty different boating licenses, which would create even more     
    confusion than we currently have.
  • One the other hand, it would be nice if there was some way to be sure that people had a basic understanding of boating before they
    got in a boat.
  • One of the stupidest comments I have ever heard is that we should not make a law against something because only honest
     people would respect the law.  Of course honest people would respect the law.  If everyone was honest, we would not need the law.  We
     need the law in order to allow the police to arrest and the courts to convict and the jails to incarcerate dishonest people.  If there was no
     law against something, how would we stop bad people from doing it?
  • When was the last time you used a semi-colon?  
  • When was the last time you factored a quadratic equation?
  • When was the last time you needed to figure out the area of a trapezoid?
  • Why do we still teach these things in school?
  • I know that the answer from people who think these things are important is that we need to teach it in school so that we need them
     in order to teach children to think logically.  Well, why don't we just have classes in logical thinking?
  • As much as I hate waiting for a bridge to open, I admit that does seem to be a good balance between the needs of boaters and the
     needs of motorists.  Also, if I KNOW that a bridge doesn't open except on the hour, I can plan accordingly.
  • If you live along a waterway and you know boats are going to pass by, go out periodically and wave at them, please.  It can get boring out
    here and waving at people is one of the fun things we can do.
  • If you put on a bug spray that someone else claims protects them from the bugs - and you still get bitten, is it that the bug spray doesn't work
    for you, or you have better bugs?
  • If you are on a boat in the backwoods of the ICW and you don't have internet service, does news still happen?