Arduous Thoughts

These illusions vanished when later years brought their disenchanting wisdom


Moving to The Netherlands from US

15th of February, 2014

I recently relocated from Northern California to Holland. The move is a big one, but manageable and Holland is certainly an easy country to move to. Please note some of this might be specific to moving from USA.


The visa I have is the Highly Skilled Migrant visa. This visa is pretty straight forward, you must meet a certain salary level and your employer must be part of the highly skilled migrant program. Through this program your employer will apply for your visa for you and the IND will either deny or accept the application. If your employer is in the program and your salary meets the criteria you should be OK. Depending on which country you’re coming from you night need more permits.


I have a dog and so I had to ship him over with me. The Netherlands is very easy with importing dogs. Unlike other countries there is no quarantine. Your pet can fly with you on the same plane you fly over in. Be aware some paperwork required for getting your dog ready is time critical. In California I had to do the following:

  1. Vaccinate your dog. ( Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Leptospirosis, (DHLPP) and Rabies within the last 12 months or a minimum of 4 weeks before arrival.)
  2. Acquire a EU vet health certificate.
  3. Acquire  US health certificate.
  4. Have the USDA endorse your health certificate. This requires either driving to a USDA office or sending the US and EU health certificate to them. They will seal the EU health certificate and you’re good to go!
  5. Inform the airline you will be traveling with a dog.
  6. Acquire a crate that meets the airlines international flight criteria.
  7. You check your dog at the check baggage area and that’s it. It cost me 200$ to ship my dog with KLM.

Shipment of Household Items & Motorcycles

We had some moving boxes (house hold items) plus motorcycles we wanted to ship over from America. The shippers we chose were LC Schumacher Cargo Logistics. We went with port to port shipping because it was more expensive to ship our household items from Oakland to Los Angels than it was to ship across the Atlantic. For all the house hold items we boxed everything into medium sized home depot boxes and drove them to LA. SCL took all of the boxes put them onto pallets and tapped everything together. We dropped the motorcycles off in LA as well at SCL. The breakdown in cost looked like the following:


Moving Boxes 855.00

Insurance for household items 185.00

Motorcycles 800.00

Insurance for motorcycles 775.00

We chose the insurance plans that completed covered us, and as you can see that was a large portion of the cost. Note though the insurance is for COMPLETE LOST. They will not cover you for partial damage, it’s all or nothing.

There will be port fees as well once your stuff arrives in NL. The port fees for our boxes and motorcycles was about 1,200 euros. We were very surprised with this cost since we thought the charges from SCL would cover everything but it doesn’t cover the cost of someone unloading your stuff in Europe.


Hopefully you found this information helpful. If I missed something email me =)



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From a Detention Center

25th of January, 2014
Img from FT

Xu Zhiyong

“I call on everyone to be a citizen, a forthright citizen who exercises their civil rights guaranteed under the Constitution and fulfills a citizen’s civic duty, promotes educational equality so that children of migrants may take college entrance exams at locations other than their hometowns, and calls for disclosure of officials’ assets. In this absurd era, these are the actions behind the three charges against me. Someone has to pay a price for social progress—I am willing to bear all the costs for freedom, social justice, love, and faith.

However defeated and absurd this society is, this country needs courageous citizens to stand up, to keep faith, and to take rights, responsibilities, and dreams seriously. I am proud to put the word “citizen” in front of my name. I hope everyone will do the same—to put the word “citizen” in front of your name. As long as we unite and strive together to take the rights of citizens seriously, take citizenship seriously, and jointly promote democracy, rule of law, equality, and justice in our country, we will be able to build a beautiful China of freedom, social justice, and love.”

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Dutch Radio Spectrum

25th of January, 2014

Now that all of my radio equipment has arrived from America I have been trying to scan the spectrum here in The Netherlands to get an idea of what is going on.

In the states you have which is rigorously maintained by the community and just about everything is documented. Sadly though nothing in NL seems to be documented on RR. But alas, I have found a few sites which has some documentation of the spectrum. I plan to update this wiki post in the future with more websites and confirmed frequencies as I find them.

Trunked Public Service

It seems a significant amount of the trunked systems are run by Entropia and are MPT1327. For a list check out:

Pager Frequencies

Some pager frequencies I have confirmed from Haarlem are the following:

Frequency: 169.635.000, Filter bandwidth: 18200 Protocol FLEX-A

 Frequencies Resources

There is 14 pages of frequencies in this database:


More to come soon!


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Best Reads of 2013

29th of December, 2013

Some of the books I really savored and some that really struck me off balance (see Ginger Man) are listed here. If interested click the title of the book for a link to purchase at the respective site.

2013 was a year of historical fiction, memoirs, and other cultural anthropology for me. I moved to Europe, you can see the trend here. :)

The Gate by Natsume Sōseki

A humble clerk and his loving wife scrape out a quiet existence on the margins of Tokyo. Resigned, following years of exile and misfortune, to the bitter consequences of having married without their families’ consent, and unable to have children of their own, Sōsuke and Oyone find the delicate equilibrium of their household upset by a new obligation to meet the educational expenses of Sōsuke’s brash younger brother. While an unlikely new friendship appears to offer a way out of this bind, it also soon threatens to dredge up a past that could once again force them to flee the capital. Desperate and torn, Sōsuke finally resolves to travel to a remote Zen mountain monastery to see if perhaps there, through meditation, he can find a way out of his predicament.

City of My Dreams by Per Anders Fogelström

A dashing tale of a young boy moving to Stockholm in the seventeenth century. He knows no one in Stockholm but against all odds survives and shares a stunning tale of perseverance and hardship. A story about a city and its all encompassing grasp on its inhabitants.

Portrait of a Turkish Family by Irfan Orga

Describes in chilling, yet affectionate, detail the disintegration of a wealthy Ottoman family, both financially and emotionally. It is rich with the scent of fin de sieclé Istanbul in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. His mother was a beauty, married at thirteen, as befitted a Turkish woman of her class. His grandmother was an eccentric autocrat, determined at all costs to maintain her traditional habits. But the war changed everything. Death and financial disaster reigned, the Sultan was overthrown, and Turkey became a republic. The red fez was ousted by the cloth cap, and the family was forced to adapt to an unimaginably impoverished life. Filled with brilliant vignettes of old Turkish life, such as the ritual weekly visit to the hamam, as it tells the “”other side “” of the Gallipoli story, and its impact on one family and the transformation of a nation. “”It is just as though someone had opened a door marked `Private’ and showed you what was inside…. A most interesting and affectionate book.””-Sir John Betjeman. “”A wholly delightful book.””-Harold Nicolson

Corduroy by Adrian Bell

 Adrian Bell was a rather frail young man of 20 when, in 1920, he left the bohemian life of London to work on a Suffolk farm. Out of that experience he wrote Corduroy, one of the classic accounts of life in the English countryside.

The Ginger Man by J. P. Donleavy

First published in Paris in 1955, and originally banned in the United States, J. P. Donleavy’s first novel is now recognized the world over as a masterpiece and a modern classic of the highest order. Set in Ireland just after World War II, The Ginger Man is J. P. Donleavy’s wildly funny, picaresque classic novel of the misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American ne’er-do-well studying at Trinity College in Dublin. He barely has time for his studies and avoids bill collectors, makes love to almost anything in a skirt, and tries to survive without having to descend into the bottomless pit of steady work. Dangerfield’s appetite for women, liquor, and general roguishness is insatiable—and he satisfies it with endless charm

Title picture craftily stolen from book— (one of my favorite book stores in CA).

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D-Star Quick Start Guide

20th of September, 2013

The first thing you should do is read this guide written by VK3ANZ. She does an excellent job describing D-star. There is also significant text covering a lot of the nomenclature that make up the system. Guide Here

Hopefully you know more about D-star and how things work. One of my biggest difficulties was knowing if I was hitting a D-star repeater. Unlike tradition repeaters that have a curtsey tone at the end of the transmission D-start repeaters kinda do what ever. Some of them will play back a bit of your last TX audio others will simply do nothing. I found a few sites which can help you see if you made it to the repeater:


If you need further help, you can always ask on the forums at radio reference.

Well hopefully this information helps, as it did for me!

W6SYS — 76


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Oakland Library

9th of June, 2013

The Oakland library is a monochromatic edifice up on a hill, over looking Lake Merritt. The exterior of the building is composed of cool white stone, juxtaposed with articulated glass windows. Reminiscent of a military establishment, holding the tools to protect the people from the tyrannical leaders that fill us all.

You walk in and immediately notice the warm somber air creep up against your skin (austerity measures no doubt). The arduous ceilings reaching high up, out of reach. It holds the uncouth lights of cheap metallic plastic with little square holes which permit the light to creep through. The shelves are covered in shiny plastic wrapped books, as if to keep diseases from penetrating their spines. The literature that is organized on the shelves was old and of no interest to us. Books are an extension of our society and culture, with time they fade away, bleed into the obscurity of history. At times we are compelled to live in a renaissance, but mostly we move forward, and these shelves become tighter. The place seems to attract similar looking beings. Wry dusty people of a different age. Sitting in old wooden chairs; some sleeping in the balmy quiet space. The only bustle is of the librarians, busy at work keeping the old books congruent. It’s a small price we pay for our erudition.

Immediately I want to leave. This place lacks any felicity or elegance. I cannot say it lacks soul, for it does have a soul; but one you want to escape from. It’s the end of the line, the hospice full of souls slowly slipping away into the night sky.  It’s too late, we never acted, it just faded away.

“A failure to seize hold of the rejuvenating power of antiquity is an abuse of history.”

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The Choice of Apples

19th of February, 2013

We want to build a solid foundation of morals and beliefs for our ethos. Otherwise thoughts and actions can be discursive and fickle. We also allow ourselves to be a free radical, easily persuaded by a fallacious orator. As I continue to refine and become more puritanical I decided the best area to start would be with IT. This is my chosen field, I should have opinions on the subject. I decided to do away with all my Apple products. I felt OS X and iOS becoming a beautiful walled garden. Allowing only what was deemed acceptable to enter and thus succeed. There was also the massive consumerism that swarmed around anything Apple. I was sick of always buying the latest Apple product even when I had no real reason to upgrade. So I would immediately switch to Android and Ubuntu.

Now I’ve had time to ruminate over these decisions and I’ve concluded this was a folly. Before we pass judgment we need a baseline or idea to go off of. At my core I hadn’t defined or grown the foundation used to judge and compare what was right or wrong. I care about innovation, I care about people making software that helps improve the lives of its users. It also must not impede the lives of others who do not want to use such systems.

Communities should be allowed to grow around these products. The community though shouldn’t be contained in a walled garden, it should be allowed to fork the ideas and distribute them. Innovation can be fueled by openness.

Our world though, is complicated and multidimensional. We are constrained by economic boundaries. If our hard work is to continue, it’s dependent upon the financial success of the product or idea. This might contradict the innovation assertion I made before, and yes it does, to an extent. We must push and innovate while observing the economic boundaries that once crossed will destroy our chances for further innovation and success.

With our economic and political system we the consumers have the choice of what to purchase. We cannot blame Apple for acting successfully in the market. If we in fact do not believe in the consumerism that swarms about Apple; don’t purchase their products when they come out, instead wait until it makes sense for you. We cannot fault any business for acting in a way that is successful and upholds the product and idea.

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launchctl plist lint

24th of January, 2013

If you have to deal with launchd plist often this command might be of use:

plutil -lint com.cipher.backups.plist

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