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'The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas at the same time and still retain the ability to function.' - F. Scott Fitzgerald

'I have sworn eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.' - Thomas Jefferson

'No matter where you go, there it went.' - T.S. Lawrence

[I needed a way to filter out the caffiene.] My name is Todd Sherman. I was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey on January 15th, 19-sumpin-somethin. (sigh) We moved around a few times while in New Jersey, at least twice that I can remember. I think it must have been when I was around two when we moved to Long Branch. Then finally, probably when I was around five, we moved to a three story house in Ocean Grove.

The BEST pizza in all the WORLD comes from a little place called Pete and Elda's Bar/Carmen's Pizzeria in Belmar, NJ! If you're ever in the area you HAVE to check that place out. They've been around for fifty years! Be prepared, though! Call ahead. The lines can get long! (If only they could deliver 950 miles in just ten minutes. (sigh!))

I lived in New Jersey until the age of nine in 1973, when the family moved to Ocala, Florida.

In 1975, we moved from Ocala to Gainesville, Florida, where I've lived ever since.

In 1977, I attended Gainesville High School, where I graduated in 1981. Our logo was a `purple hurricane' which, actually, looked more like a purple dust wheeze and, seemed to do more towards making people scratch their heads and do a double-take than in striking any horrific fear in their hearts during a football game. (Though I will say we were 5A State Champs the year that I graduated.)

[Raisen's DL] My three little favorite pet fur-balls -- Muffin, Raisen, Bran, have all made their way to kitty heaven, now. And then let's not forget our Pesky Pet Mosquito, `Bzzt!'

To continue...

My current kitties also number three. Their names are Stormy, Cloudy, and Reiney. Stormy is a perfect black American Shorthair. Cloudy is a smokey long-haired Himalayan. Reiney is something on the order of a long-haired Maine Coon. Stormy likes to sleep next to me now, but as a kitten liked to sleep under my chin. The other two prefer the end of the bed with us at night. Stormy also likes to jump up and hug my left shoulder. Kid you not, if I let him go he'll just hang there. He was given to me as a kitten as a gift from my girlfriend in 2009. He likes to sleep in odd places: in the upper storage area of the master bedroom closet, in the towel rack in the master bedroom, and atop the window couch in my office room, catching all the outside activity, there. Cloudy likes to eat...and sleep...and eat...and sleep. Doesn't matter where or in what position. And if not doing that, she likes to sit guard in the backyard Florida Room, catching all the outside action. I call Reiney "neurotikitty" because he was a feral kitten and he kinda tends to run all around the house chasing things that aren't really there, or chasing his tail, or coughing up furrballs in the most inconvenient of places. ...And when he meows there is sort of a neurotic/paranoid sound to his voice combined with a sort of wild but lost kind of look. LOL.

[Me during Amateur Radio Field Day in 1987.
Note the look of a dead-tired, irritated man,
who has been sitting all through the night,
listening to nothing but unending Morse Code
in his ear.  This is a desparate man.] I sort of have a wide and varied range of hobbies and interests, which include the likes of: Amateur Radio (my callsign is KB4MHH - I learned Morse code from 0 to 13 wpm proficiently inside of 2-1/2 weeks.), a little bit of Radio Frequency Scanning, occasional Amateur Astronomy, following our Space Program, Computers, Meteorology (weather-related stuff), Genealogy, Photography (especially astro-photography, weather photography, any kind of sky photography), and of course, caring for and playing with my three little "kitties." (Gee! Did I mention them already?) I've recently started uploading videos of space shuttle launches as they can be seen from here in Gainesville, Fla..


[ AC-SKYWARN logo ] These days I am the Founder and Coordinator of Alachua County SKYWARN. SKYWARN is a National Weather Service-sponsored program. Started in 1997, the program's main purpose was to educate people about severe weather and in how to spot the signs of severe weather and how to properly report them to the NWS and to local authorities. We call these people "Storm Spotters". Storm spotters help give advance notice to the public of dangerous severe weather events, and in so doing, it is hoped, they could help to save lives. As of 2010, ACS has been around for 13 years. I'm very proud of this program and of the good that it is doing for people. We even have a Blogspot blog site, now, as well as both Facebook and Twitter pages. Feel free to visit both.

[ AC-EMWIN Satellite dish receives signals from the
GOES satellite ] Another spinoff program that I created and that I run as Project Manager and Coordinator is called the Alachua County EMWIN Project. EMWIN stands for the Emergency Manager's Weather Information Network. Quite simply, we can download the latest weather bulletins (and some low-res graphics) from the GOES weather satellite and then redistribute them by various means - to email, pager, cellphone, PDA, [ ICON: Scanner ] web pages, and even to client programs connected to us over the Internet. So, say, if you wanted the latest thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings sent to your cellphone or pager, we could do that for you...at no charge whatsoever. It's all offered free to the public as a public service. Very proud of this program, we well. :) See the above link for more information about the project and how to make use of it. In 2002, I received an email from Ken Allen, then Asst. Emergency Manager at the Alachua County Office of Emergency Mgmt., advising me that the Florida Division of Emergency Mgmt. had a spare EMWIN receiver that they were looking to give away to an organization that would actually make good public use of it. (I still have that email, somewhere.) The Alachua County Office of Emergency Management didn't want it because they already had one of their own, and they really didn't have the manpower or the funds to afford a second one (as Dave Donnelly put it to me). ...So they thought that Alachua County SKYWARN would be the perfect organization to handle something like this. I called the contact, John Fleming, of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and made arrangements to receive the equipment. The only caveat John gave us was that we make the bulletins available to the public over-the-air. I agreed. A week later, John personally drove all the way from Tallahassee to my house, and the equipment was given to my custody. I knew that there was MUCH more that could be done with an EMWIN system than just over-the-air retransmissions, and I liked the idea of the ability to also give the local public a means of receiving free weather bulletins distributed by cellphone, pager, email, and a plethora of other means. So I grabbed at that opportunity. In the next few months we found a place to put the equipment - originally inside the Gator Amateur Radio Club station and atop the Shands Dental Science Building on the UF campus. But in 2009 a GARC club member actually hacked into the server and the equipment has since been moved to another more secure location where it could be better supervised and controlled. The over-the-air transmissions never really panned out. The equipment required by the end user was just too cost prohibitive, really. Even five years after we'd started, John reminded us that "You know, no one really uses the over-the-air transmissions." So we all agreed that it would be okay to shut off the transmitter. In the meantime, AC-EMWIN has provided so much more than the OTA transmissions to the local area public - providing free weather alerts to the general public via email, pager, cellphone, FAX, and to personal web sites. To our credit, we provide nearly a thousand percent more than was originally asked. We're very proud of that. With all the hardship that we've had to endure from jealous ham radio organizations who stalked and harassed and interfered, we never let the adversity and the hard times get in the way of the MISSION. The mission was what was important. You know...we even distribute our bulletins to a number of various Facebook and Twitter pages, including Bradford County EMA, Gulf County EMA, and possibly very soon (as of August 2013) the Lee County EMA Facebook page, too. Today?...a few EMAs. Tomorrow?...the world! :) Feel free to visit both our Blogspot blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

[US Census Bureau logo] I work as a Field Representative for the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Basically, aside from doing the well-known census every ten years, the Census Bureau also sends out important survey forms for U.S. citizens to complete. The surveys are Congressionally mandated (i.e., required by law to be completed). If nothing is heard from the respondent, then they will atttempt to call them. If no results, there, then they send out the Field Representatives. "FR's" are sent to locations that did not return a form, for whatever reason - incorrect address, refusal, or whatever. If they have a phone number, we make an attempt to call them. If the number is no longer in service, disconnected, or attempts by phone fail, then we will drive to the location to verify that it is still occupied, still even there, or occupied. If occupied, but there is no answer, then we are authorized by law to make as many attempts as is necessary at different times of the day to get ahold of the respondents and complete the survey. We're actually authorized to ignore "no trespassing" signs as many times as is necessary until we can make that first contact. The Census Bureau considers those surveys that important. Basically, I read survey questions off a laptop to the respondents. I type a Y or an N or a figure into the laptop. I smile. TOUGH JOB, HUH??? Obviously travel in your own vehicle is required, but the Bureau reimburses you at a very reasonable current government rate. The rate of pay varies between about $12 and $14 an hour for the average FR. The job is perfect for college students and retirees because they can work varied hours that they can choose. But you get to see so much, and meet so many new people, too. So far, my range of travel has been pretty much all over northeast and north central Florida, encompassing various cities in the counties of (starting north) Suwannee, Columbia, Alachua, Levy, Marion, Putnam, and Flagler. It's not a bad job at all. I like it. It's fun. I get to meet lots of new and interesting people, and see lots of new and interesting places within my own and surrounding cities and counties. ...And you feel like you're doing something important because the answers to the questions in these surveys are used in so many ways to help the country, and I consider myself to be in the service of my country while doing this job. You can live in a city all your life and then you work for the Census Bureau and you end up in all of the places that you never knew existed. That's actually kind of fun and exciting, especially if you've got the explorer bug in you. :) Yup. I like it.

I should probably point out that there is a difference between a "Field Representative" - which is what I am, and a "Census Taker". A Census Taker is a person who is hired on a temporary basis JUST for the purpose of helping with the 10-year census. A Census Taker is the person who goes door-to-door during the time of the "Decennial Census" ONLY. Then the job is relinquished at the end of the Census. The "Field Representative" works with surveys and while the job is still considered "temporary", it a little more permanent than the Census Taker's job. As long as there are surveys to do, the Field Representive will have work to do. Both the Census Takers and the Field Representatives are sent out AFTER the forms have been mailed out. Where there was no response to the mailed out forms, and where phone contact attampts were unsuccessful, a live person is then sent out to see what the story is, and to obtain the data. People might be ignoring the form. People might not trust who we are. The address could be temporarily vacant - such as an apartment dweller who moved out. The address may have been demolished or burned down. There could be any number of reasons for a non-response. They send live people out to get a live eye on the situation and to see what the story is. If occupied, they try to get the respondent to do the survey.

For more information on how to get a job as a Census Taker in your area, please see the Census Bureau's web site.

So there yuh go. I work and volunteer for two branches of the Department of Commerce: the U.S. Census Bureau, and the National Weather Service. 8^)

Me and `Midnite' in 1979.  (Midnite died in 1989.) Favorite music? (sigh!) ...ANYTHING! I have pretty eclectic tastes. ...From classical to rock, oldies to new stuff...I can handle it. :) You know what I'm especially into though? ...soundtrack music...stuff that can really move you. There's some things to be said for soundtrack music. You should sit back and listen to Apollo 13, Stanley & Iris, Meet Joe Black, Dances With Wolves, Batman Begins, and things like that. I like to make home movies now and then as well, and occasionally I'll throw some short cut of movie soundtrack music in the background for an added emotional effect. I'm not much of a fan of country, however. And I don't understand today's Rap and I don't think I ever will. I like music with ORIGINALITY. I don't like hearing rip-off's of someone else's previous work. That's cheap. I like to hear artists who think and invent their OWN music. I appreciate WORK in music. Today's Rap...I don't see much of that going on. These people have no brains, they can't sing, so they just talk...with a background beat. Really hard work, there. God, *I* could do that!

I like dining out at different places just for the different experience. You'll often find me in a different restaurant every time I go out. Unfortunately Gainesville and Alachua County don't have much in the way of special places. I tend to like family owned places, small places, because they seem to put more pride and effort into it, and the tastes aren't bland or something that you're "used" to. I do have some particular favorites. I like Satchel's Pizza, and if you miss pizza from up north places like in New York and New Jersey, I've found that Big Lou's Pizzeria on Main Street is excellent, too. For big portions, and a fun, old fashioned dining car atmosphere and a menu with a wide variety of food to choose from, then you HAVE to go to Floyd's Diner in High Springs. Grill Master's went out of business and I really liked their prime rib. They turned me on to using Montral seasoning on meats when I cook. Olive Garden is nice for a change now and then. Outback is someplace I go when I want steak; but then, Gainesville doesn't have many steakhouse choices. We used to have a Steak & Ale, and a Lone Star Steak House, but they both burned down long ago and were never replaced. Golden Lights was THE ONLY Chinese restaurant in Gainesville that I liked to go to. It was a family-owned business and I was impressed with how much pride they always took in what they served and how much effort they put into cooking it the RIGHT way. They didn't use fry vats to prepare your chicken chow mein. They cut the meat and sliced the vegetables, and threw it all into a hot wok and they did it RIGHT. Most chinese restaurants in town nowadays cook everything in a fry vat and it always tastes HORRIBLE. Golden Lights closed their doors in 2008 because the rent where they were staying was kind of high, and because the family worked so hard that they never had much time to take vacations and spend time with family. Mr. Han's is nice. It's got a dimmed light atmosphere and they, too, cook more traditionally. But Golden Lights was nearer to me, so I tended to go there more often. UPDATE - 2009: Golden Lights is BACK! They're now called the Silver Dragon Restaurant. I even designed their web page! For subs I prefer Larry's Subs over Subway. There's another new italian grille in town in Hunter's Crossing called Piesanoes Stone Fired Pizza that wasn't bad.

No kids. I do have a girlfriend, though. I'm going to keep her name private however, 1) because she runs a business, and 2) because being a leader in a couple of visible organizations now I've had some very odd, really bad people in a couple of local ham radio organizations attempt to actually attack and harass my friends and associations before. After experiencing that, I began to take my privacy and the privacy of my friends a lot more seriously. Regardless though, I will not allow others to prevent me from enjoying life, and from pushing forward with the things that I've always wanted to do.

Here are my beliefs in life...

I believe that those who say that Santa Clause isn't real are lieing; in things chocolate or strawberry -- including ice cream and milkshakes; that things can go better with Coca-Cola (TM) *OR* Pepsi (TM) depending upon one's mood at the moment; that Murphy was an optimist; in doing things my own way at the most inopportune time; and in my kitty-cat, Raisen. (Deja vu?)

[Raisen:  Peek-A-Boo!] I believe that cats can talk - they just don't think we're worth talking to at this particular moment, and that they are much more intelligent a species than we. When they finally decide to talk to us they will announce a Press Conference and share their advanced knowledge with us.

I believe that dogs and men must be more closely related somehow in the evolutionary chain than was originally thought. We think so much alike. (Grrr!) When we've compiled our findings we'll announce a Press Conference and share our advanced knowledge with the public. For now though, we're in a Pack Meeting and when we have time we'll get right on it. Just not right now. [`YYYYES!!! TOUCH-DOWN!!!'] Oh, uh...sorry. Where were we again?

I believe in the human spirit. Before we can attempt to join any religion (and that can be Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or any other religion), we must first understand what it is to be human. Contrary to the teaching of many a minister - who will propound that one cannot learn how to be a good human being until one first has the Holy Spirit inside - I propose that it is actually exactly the opposite...that before one can know enough to understand what it is to be a good religious follower, one must first understand the joys and pains, and the good and the bad of being a human being; and one must experience it from both sides. Until one has experienced the bad, one cannot possibly fully and completely understand how important it is to be good. This comes with the first-hand experience of life, and not from someone else telling you that this is the way something should be. This is called wisdom. Anyone attempting to practice religion without it is just the equivalent of a dog in a Pavlovian experiment doing what it has been trained and tortured to do, instead of acting based on conscious, consciencious aforethought and understanding.

I believe that it is important for us to treat each other kindly, fairly, and humanely at all times. To not do so has the potential to physically, mentally, or emotionally, and permanetly ruin someone else's life, or quality of life.

To those who are good to me and who treat me with respect and like I matter, I am a very loyal and dedicated friend. I don't like it when people try to bend me and mold me into something they think I should be. I prefer to be accepted as I am, and to be treated like I'm okay just fine just the way that I am. I accept other people the way they are and I don't try to change them. I expect the same treatment from other people. I can accept anyone else's religious beliefs, and I will never be heard to make fun of your religion, or to berate you if you have none, or to try to "convert" you to mine. I want people in my circle who are willing and capable of treating me with the same respect.

In my relationships, I am the same way. To those who are loyal and dedicated to me, I am just as loyal and dedicated and I go out of my way to try to make the other person happy and to feel wanted and needed and important; and I try to keep my promises harder than most other people do. Believe in me 100-percent, without question or hesitation, and I will believe in you the same way. That's all I've ever wanted in a relationship, really...trust, faith, and belief.

...But I am not a kickable puppy. I am not a trainable show poodle. I do not appreciate people who try to bend me and shape me into something I am not. I don't like being yelled at, or forced, or to have reverse psychology used on me so that you can manipulate me and/or so that you can get what you want out of me. I don't like having "limitations" or "barriers" to the friendship or relationship thrown up in front of me. That is, "we can't be friends UNLESS you're (this)," or "we can't be friends UNLESS you first do (this)," etc. Accept me as I am or you will not last long with me. This is something that I have learned in life. If you think that you can MAKE me follow you, or that you can make me do what you want me to do, or that you can turn me into something you'd like "better," then we won't be friends for very long. Accept me as I am...or leave. But I will not be controlled, or abused.

[Crawler lightning from Paynes Prairie
in southern Alachua County.] I love thunderstorms and lightning. They are indeed the most exciting and awe-inspiring naturally occuring shows on earth. I could sit and watch them for hours, and I'd always end up being surprised and enthralled. That having been said, I believe that the area of the Midwest Plains states is God's own, personal, and private playground. He picked the Midwest Plains for a reason. It is there in that least populated of places where all of His frustrations are privately vented. For this reason, let only those who Know and Understand be the ones who dare to venture forth to try to witness Him. [CG lightning from Paynes Prairie
in southern Alachua County.] Anyone else is a Fool, and risks eternal ripping, pounding, squashing, and drowning. So says me. So...when's the next bus out there again?

I believe that you're not right and that I'm not wrong, but (to be fair) it could also be possible that I'm not absolutely incorrect and that YOU'RE not necessarilly right. (Kidding aside, I actually think in quite the opposite way of that. I'm prone more to listen to both sides of the story, to weigh all the facts, and to withhold any judgement until all the facts are in - regardless of how irritated others might get with me because of that. When I discover that I am wrong, I'm usually the first to apologize - even though others might think it unnecessary or a waste to do so.)

I believe that Carl Sagan was an alien, and that Albert Einstein was secretly his father. Regardless, I was fascinated by both of them in growing up. (I think I probably heard that in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.)

I believe that my cat, Stormy, is actually human. (There he is, again.)

I don't believe in haunted houses, ghosts, UFOs, Von Daniken, Nastrodamus, psychics, or in Mary's face appearing in trees, windows, walls, cloud formations, or church bell towers. I don't believe in anchovies as a thing that should be eaten by any sane individual, or in any of those nasty rumors being spread that Gene Roddenberry died a few years ago.

I used to have a detailed family history online, but I've removed it for because it started to seem like insurance companies and were using them more than the legit genealogists, these days. There are too many weird people out there. Here's a link to what still remains: Todd Sherman's Genealogy Page. It inludes links to some family photo albums containing photos of non-living people, books, old trinkets, and such-like.

Here are some of my really amateur astrophotography attempts - including some pics of Comet 1996B2 Hyakutake, and of comet 1995-C-O1 Hale-Bopp! (This is really amateur stuff, okay?)

Some of my Severe Weather-related Photography and Videography. (Also pretty amateur.)

[Aug. 2, 1997:  Funnel cloud look-a-like visible from here in Whitney Mobile Home Park.]

And of course, some photographs of my departed pets:

Photographs of Stormy, Cloudy and Reiny can be had from my Facebook page.

[IMAGE] Me at 2

Me at age 2, spraying my father with the water hose as he worked diligently on something that really didn't need getting wet. I remember this picture. (Taken about 1965 in Point Pleasant, NJ.)

[ 'The Writing On The Wall' - Some art I created after Raisen died, in memorium. 'RMS' Stands for 'Raisen Muffin Sherman'. ]

About The Author
Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
E-mail: afn09444@afn.org
Created: September 24, 1995.
Last updated: August 09, 2013.

© Copyright 1995-2013 by Todd L. Sherman. All Rights Reserved.

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