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Author Topic: How much of a role does alcohol contribute to the bad behavior on the bands?  (Read 5111 times)
NU1O
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 11:34:17 PM »

But... Like other issues involving alcohol or abusive behavior, drunk drivers and drunk OM's DO get noticed. Perhaps more than their numbers would warrant. As stated by others, radio attracts all kinds but IMHO is more prone to introverts, loners and the socially awkward (present company excepted). Would that correlate with increased alcohol use? Maybe so, but not in my experience. I should mention I rarely listen to the rag chews on 75 Meter 'fone and maybe that's a factor, but on 20 and above it's more CQ Contest than a bad re-run of Cheers.

 
There are many reasons why people drink and although I spent about 10 years in the "adult beverage" industry only rarely would a customer talk about why he or she drank. Most drank responsibly but I regularly saw those who abused the product and I often stopped selling to certain customers although that was really just placating a relative because the problem drinker could just drive to another store.

I bought and managed a package store when I graduated from college and what many would find surprising is although women do not drink as much alcohol as men there are probably just as many women with alcohol problems as men. Many women drink alone or they hide it. They also drink more wine which is not considered hard liquor, like when a guy has a Scotch on the rocks or a Martini.  I had several women customers who would come in when I opened at 9 AM for a pint of high alcohol content wine. I think their husbands were at work and they were really buying a sedative.  

Many women would come in after work for their bottle of Chablis or Rose while a man would come in for a 6-pack or a few beers and a few nips.  If a woman is consuming a 750 mL bottle of wine each night and a guy is drinking a six-pack and a few shots they each have the same problem but the average person does not look at wine the same way they do beer or hard liquor. It's actually a very clever marketing strategy by the alcoholic beverage companies because it opens up half the population as a market and it makes wine drinking socially acceptable. I have a strong suspicion the big adult beverage companies are behind a lot of those cooking shows aimed at women which always end with the chef selecting the proper wine (and I am just about positive the celebrity chefs are given all the free wine they want). The average person can't really determine what kind of wine they are drinking so it's all for show. Wine also has a much higher markup than hard liquor or beer so it's very attractive to every person in the selling chain.  

Based on my experience in the liquor business I disagree with you with one of your points: people who have trouble fitting in socially definitely drink more. I could see that when I worked in an uncle's bar part-time while going to college and I could see it in my own store. Drinking to excess is a way of self-medicating and trying to escape the actual problems which are causing one to drink to excess.

Where I do agree with you is there is much more drinking on 40 and 80 meters than 20, 15 and 10.  Those groups of guys that have those low band roundtables are socializing but instead of doing it in person they are doing it over the radio. They are often on for 3 or 4 hours and if you ever listen to the conversations they are really no different than a bunch of guys who go out drinking together. I'm not a Psychologist but I'd bet many have trouble interacting in person so the drinking and rag-chewing is a substitute for a night on the town only it becomes just about a nightly night on the town.

All of the various posts have convinced me alcohol is not a root cause of all the jamming and interfering with the DXpeditions we routinely experience but it may play some small part since drinking is quite common with a subset of hams.

73,

Chris/NU1O
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 11:55:04 PM by NU1O » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2012, 11:40:13 PM »

I think that trying to find the CAUSE of the bad behavior as some failing of the PEOPLE that do it is not particularly important.  It doesn't really matter if they're drunk or mentally ill or mad at DXers or just a plain old garden-variety asshole.  I think the important problem is that we feed these people complete and comprehensive information about the frequency of every mildly interesting DX station.

I strongly disagree. If you want to fix a problem you need to know what is causing it. Obviously it is different with people as opposed to machines but the reasoning is the same.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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KY6R
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2012, 05:07:49 AM »

Quote
If you want to fix a problem you need to know what is causing it.

Its an interesting topic - but fixing the problem - good luck with that.

The ONLY solution that works is to ignore the Social Miscreants. Cops only add to the problem and become yet another jerk, no different than the first offender.

The problem with ignoring someone until they go away is that it takes great poise, patience and perserverence.

Something modern society seems to have abandoned.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 05:17:13 AM by KY6R » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2012, 06:10:46 AM »

Quote
If you want to fix a problem you need to know what is causing it.

Its an interesting topic - but fixing the problem - good luck with that.

The ONLY solution that works is to ignore the Social Miscreants. Cops only add to the problem and become yet another jerk, no different than the first offender.

The problem with ignoring someone until they go away is that it takes great poise, patience and perserverence.

Something modern society seems to have abandoned.

When has society EVER had great poise or patience?

It will no doubt be very hard to change human behavior.  Both carrots and sticks will be needed.

I do like the suggestions that would block anonymous users from posting to the DX clusters.  It's only a small step but we need to start somewhere. I don't have a problem with eliminating the comment section, either.

The technology genie is out of the bottle so suggestions about going back to the days w/o clusters are out of the question.

73,

Chris/NU1O

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AF3Y
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2012, 06:48:00 AM »

AF3Y/Gene

We are in the same boat, except I think you have more patience than I do. 

  Gene, do you find your location to have significant receiving improvements due to salt water proximity?

  Is that offset by the thunderstorm static?


Me?  Patience??  Dang, I almost split a gut laughing at that one. Sorry...... My LACK of patience has ALWAYS been my major problem along lifes highways. More than once, IF I had just waited a little while, I would have come out WAYYYYY better. As I age, I do seem to find a little more patience tho Grin Chasing DX almost DEMANDS patience (or luck) for success, IMHO.

Rx is my biggest problem. Living in a age-restricted manufactured housing development, I am basically restricted to a vertical antenna. The homes, as you would imagine, are packed pretty close to each other and any of my neighbor(s) interference is just feet away from the vertical.  My home is about 100 yards from the intercoastal waterway, which is brackish (partly salt/partly fresh), I believe. The ocean is approx. 3 miles as the crow (or pelican) flies. Nah, no help from salt water.

Thunder crashes? Yep, part of the benefits for living in paradise. hi hi

Still, I am not freezing my butt off when Jan/Feb come around, and springtime is not far away. Cheesy

73, Gene AF3Y
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KD4GIE
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2012, 05:23:57 PM »

Guys...nice to see some commentary on this topic.  I am glad I am not the only one who had similar thoughts.  I am 39, work in public safety and work teaching safety to regional industries on my time off from the fire department.  Last week, after several consecutive days and nights of working, I finally had an hour or two in the shack...gotta spend some time with the wife and kids too.  PT0S was 5/7 on 40 meters...they had a broad split 5 to 25 up.  I am sure you all experienced the same thing...the split cut into the usual ragchewers claimed turf.  They (ragchewers) in turn, dropped down to the PT0S tx freq and keyed up on the dxpedition, jammed, made noises, tuned, etc.  I didn't have the patience or energy at that time to stick around...I cut the power off, exited the shack, and headed back across the farm to enjoy a beer and relax.

I agree with the posts that point out that many of the operators have a me, me, me attitude.  Don't get me wrong...I fully respect any operator that wants to ragchew and certainly wouldn't want to cause interference to him or her.  But I also advocate respect, flexibility, and courtesy.  Just because an operator and his associates have met on a frequency the same time everyday for the past 20 years doesn't give them exclusive ownership or dictatorship on use of that frequency.  We are granted operating privileges...not rights.  Again, I stress courtesy and respect.

I'll give you an example.  From time to time, I will ragchew with some local operators around 28.535.  We typically ragchew on this frequency when the band is dead.  If we start hearing and seeing increased activity, we will move up to 28.700 or higher...No big deal.  Unless there is a contest...it is usually quieter there and out of the way of folks wanting to work 10 meter dx.  I feel that this is pretty courteous, professional, and good operating practice.

A few years ago, I ran into a similar problem on 20 meters.  A rare dx station was operating on 14.200.  There were some daily ragchewers on 14.205.  The topics of their conversations ranged from Tiger Woods to the sitings at the local Wal Mart.  Nothing critical as far as communications go.  On 14.205 their signals were S9 + 30 or more.  They easily bled and wiped out the S3/4 DX on 14.200.  I went further up the band to check the area from 14.325 to 14.350.  I couldn't find any activity there...what a great place to ragchew.  These guys knew they were making life hard for the folks wanting to work the dx...several stations asked them to QSY...they sternly replied "no".  I sent a polite e-mail to one of them asking why they conducted as such.  The first response was reasonably polite indicating that they will operate as they please and others will just have to deal with it.  I replied with another e-mail and suggested that it would be good operating practice to move further up in the band where it was quieter and typically away from frequencies that dx operators utilize.  I explained my 10 meter ragchewing operations as noted above.  His second e-mail basically told me that they will operate where they want, for me to get over it, and to "F@*K OFF".  Real nice huh?  It wasn't worth investing any more precious time.

No, I am not a new operator, nor do I fit the profile of "AARP" yet.  I have been licensed since 1990.  In that time, I have posted in a forum once or twice.  I enjoy all aspects of amateur radio.  The guys on 14.205 still hang out there...or in the area of 205.  Some of my Elmers state, "Yeah, those same *#sholes have been there awhile". 

Many folks in our country should reevaluate there sense of entitlements.  It's a privilege to operate, that can be revoked.  Can you imagine what operators in other countries were thinking when they heard the behavior around the PT0S freqs?  Activity from older operators that know better.

My apologies for the long post.  I appreciate any dialogue, thoughts, or responses.  Safety and happiness to you all and your families during the holidays.  Hope to work you on the air.

Doug, KD4GIE
Prince George, Virginia

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NU1O
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Posts: 2749




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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2012, 10:42:59 PM »

Guys...nice to see some commentary on this topic.  I am glad I am not the only one who had similar thoughts.  I am 39, work in public safety and work teaching safety to regional industries on my time off from the fire department.  Last week, after several consecutive days and nights of working, I finally had an hour or two in the shack...gotta spend some time with the wife and kids too.  PT0S was 5/7 on 40 meters...they had a broad split 5 to 25 up.  I am sure you all experienced the same thing...the split cut into the usual ragchewers claimed turf.  They (ragchewers) in turn, dropped down to the PT0S tx freq and keyed up on the dxpedition, jammed, made noises, tuned, etc.  I didn't have the patience or energy at that time to stick around...I cut the power off, exited the shack, and headed back across the farm to enjoy a beer and relax.

.......
.......

Doug, KD4GIE
Prince George, Virginia

Doug,

I didn't catch this post the first time around as you added it about 2 days after what I thought was the final post. I caught this post while searching for an older post of mine.

You made some very good points and I read you hardly ever post to these forums.  You should think about posting more often as I think you could add a great deal to the discussions.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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K5JZ
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Posts: 119




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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2012, 04:20:03 AM »

I do not drink alcohol while I operate the radio, and rarely off the radio for that matter except for some occasional wine with supper or an occasional cordial or two when I'm having difficulty winding down and can't fall asleep. When I have a cordial at night I am typically watching an old movie which is another hobby. I can't ever recall having a cordial in hand while I was on the air.

Last week I had my cousin over during the day to help me with some antenna and yard work and while out with him picking up yard supplies I bought a 12 pack of beer. We each had a few beers with supper and then we headed to the radio room where we had a couple more. During the mid - 80s to the early to mid-90s he was in the Army and his job was to maintain and repair RTTY machines. He was really impressed with what the little K3 could do with respect to decoding digital modes.

I wanted to make some contacts for him so I selected a strong CW signal with a good fist so he could see the QSO decoded on the K3's tiny screen. I am normally pretty accurate when I send CW at 20 wpm but with the beers I had consumed I was making a lot more mistakes than normal. Not wanting to embarrass myself further I switched to Phone and my cousin listened to a few SSB QSOs before heading for home a few streets away. I shut all the gear off when he left.

We have a separate topic in this forum on how disgusting the behavior was on 40 meters the other night with respect to the PT0S pileup and somebody suggested the bad behavior during the pileup ranks number one among human endeavors for the level of stupidity. Obviously that's a vast overstatement as humans do a lot of stupid things but interfering with a rare amateur radio station is not the most stupid thing we do. I pointed out all the bad behavior going on at baseball (and other sporting events) parks where the foul language is rampant and where there were several deaths due to violence committed by fans in the past year or so. Much of the bad language and violence are due to fans who have consumed much too much liquor.

In the late 1980's I had sold a business and I had downtime to do as I pleased.  I'd often join groups of regulars on 40 and 80 meters late in the evening to the early morning.  There was a lot of drinking going on as guys would regularly say they needed to QRX for a "refill" or to make a run to the bathroom to relieve themselves.  

The dirty little secret of ham radio is many regularly get tanked up every night. I'm not singling out ham radio as it is just a subset of the general population and many people drink nightly until they fall asleep or the liquor makes them pass out.

I've never seen this topic discussed in the time I have been reading this forum but we all know drinking booze while on the air occurs.

Is alcohol consumption something that contributes to or causes the bad behavior we see on the amateur bands?  Since the worst behavior is said to have occurred at night and drinking at night is fairly common with some hams I wonder if that contributed to that bad behavior?

What are your views?  

73,

Chris/NU1O


It is not the alcohol my friend. It is people themselves. Look around you as you drive to work. These people are scared and angry. The world is becoming a more dangerous place by the day. We have a world economy on the brink of disaster. Europe and its banking system are at a perilous point. Our own government is spending well beyond anything we can hope to recover from and in the midst of a depression... and if we used the same formula that we used in 1925 at the height of the Great Depression, to calculate the unemployment rate... we are there... and our government is talking increasing taxes on an largely unemployed populace and there is even talk of the Fed taking over 401K's and IRA's and managing our own retirement money etc etc etc. Look at the ME... a total disaster over the past 12 years. Iran is on the verge of having Nukes and Israel and the PA are fighting again. People are angry and scared and they lash out. Some of it is DX'er envy and jealousies. Some people are just... well you know.

A prime example of this anger and rage, was the riot and the injuries sustained while shopping at a Victoria's Secret store in California last Friday. People were taken to the hospital for fighting over sexy underwear. The list is a million miles long.

73,
George K5JZ








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AF3Y
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2012, 05:06:52 AM »

Getting WAYYYYY too political here........ Roll Eyes

73, Gene AF3Y
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K5JZ
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2012, 05:20:10 AM »

Getting WAYYYYY too political here........ Roll Eyes

73, Gene AF3Y

I see only the reality of life today being discussed and no mention of politics or political parties. If we can't discuss the truth of our world and our state of living today... especially when it affects or Hobby... then we have already lost. This is a time when we should all be talking together to try to find solutions to all of these problems and to make life better for all Hams and by default... all Americans. Ham Radio is just a microcosm of society at large.

73,
George K5JZ
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AF3Y
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2012, 07:14:00 AM »

It is not the alcohol my friend. It is people themselves. Look around you as you drive to work. These people are scared and angry. The world is becoming a more dangerous place by the day. We have a world economy on the brink of disaster. Europe and its banking system are at a perilous point. Our own government is spending well beyond anything we can hope to recover from and in the midst of a depression... and if we used the same formula that we used in 1925 at the height of the Great Depression, to calculate the unemployment rate... we are there... and our government is talking increasing taxes on an largely unemployed populace and there is even talk of the Fed taking over 401K's and IRA's and managing our own retirement money etc etc etc. Look at the ME... a total disaster over the past 12 years. Iran is on the verge of having Nukes and Israel and the PA are fighting again. People are angry and scared and they lash out. Some of it is DX'er envy and jealousies. Some people are just... well you know.

A prime example of this anger and rage, was the riot and the injuries sustained while shopping at a Victoria's Secret store in California last Friday. People were taken to the hospital for fighting over sexy underwear. The list is a million miles long.

73,
George K5JZ


Oh My GOD!  The sky is falling!  (Or is it just the garbage coming out of the black helicopters that are hitting the ground??)

A workman for one of the satelite TV companys was at a friends house a year or so ago. He told my friend that Obama was going to make ammo for guns so expensive that you could not buy it, with Taxes. Well, I can still buy all I want, and at reasonable prices. Did I mention this guy had about 3 teeth in the front, which probably matched his IQ? He is typical of the rumor mongers who see nothing but doom and gloom. FUNNY!

Takes all kinds, I guess.

73, Gene AF3Y
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 07:20:08 AM by AF3Y » Logged
K5JZ
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2012, 05:01:02 PM »

It is not the alcohol my friend. It is people themselves. Look around you as you drive to work. These people are scared and angry. The world is becoming a more dangerous place by the day. We have a world economy on the brink of disaster. Europe and its banking system are at a perilous point. Our own government is spending well beyond anything we can hope to recover from and in the midst of a depression... and if we used the same formula that we used in 1925 at the height of the Great Depression, to calculate the unemployment rate... we are there... and our government is talking increasing taxes on an largely unemployed populace and there is even talk of the Fed taking over 401K's and IRA's and managing our own retirement money etc etc etc. Look at the ME... a total disaster over the past 12 years. Iran is on the verge of having Nukes and Israel and the PA are fighting again. People are angry and scared and they lash out. Some of it is DX'er envy and jealousies. Some people are just... well you know.

A prime example of this anger and rage, was the riot and the injuries sustained while shopping at a Victoria's Secret store in California last Friday. People were taken to the hospital for fighting over sexy underwear. The list is a million miles long.

73,
George K5JZ


Oh My GOD!  The sky is falling!  (Or is it just the garbage coming out of the black helicopters that are hitting the ground??)

A workman for one of the satelite TV companys was at a friends house a year or so ago. He told my friend that Obama was going to make ammo for guns so expensive that you could not buy it, with Taxes. Well, I can still buy all I want, and at reasonable prices. Did I mention this guy had about 3 teeth in the front, which probably matched his IQ? He is typical of the rumor mongers who see nothing but doom and gloom. FUNNY!

Takes all kinds, I guess.

73, Gene AF3Y

There is not one single statement that I made that is not true. Everything that I said is verifiable. This is not the place to discuss any of this further. I am glad that you are optimistic... I hope that you are right. Most of the people that I know are living in hard times... including myself.

73,
George K5JZ
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2012, 03:05:22 PM »

It's mostly about age!  I am no spring chicken but one thing I realize is that the older people get the more scared and intolerable they get to everything, especially change.  This does not apply to everyone; some older people are exactly the opposite. Age seems to amplify a person’s younger personality, the Pessimists become more pessimistic and the optimists become even more optimistic.    Most of the Hams that behave badly are just lonely guys that have nothing but a Mic and a bunch of fear and anger.  How many times have you heard that the guy causing the problem lives alone?  Ever heard of an A-hole on the radio that had a great family and was a joyful person to be around?  I bet not!

Ham Radio is supposed to be fun yet some people seem to go on just to make themselves and everyone else miserable.
 
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