04/11/13

What’s this all about…

What’s this all about? I have a couple blogs I keep up. Including this one. But the thing is they are all specific in topic, niche or genre. But here I will talk about whatever I want. If I want to talk about work I can and then the next post can be something different. Guns, ham radio, electronics, projects, trucks, travel, travel, bitchings, or just whatever. I will also re-post almost everything from my other blogs here.

Let me give you a little incite. I’m a cluster fuck. I had no drive when I was younger and don’t have a strong foundation in something. But I’m old enough and invested in those things that I’m stuck. I have got to finish what I have started, but have no interest or probably ability to because of proximity. I would like to restart this thing and now I am driven and wish enough to get it done six times faster than before. But there are people in my life that would frown upon this practice or worse. I am stuck and I do not much like being stuck.

c’est la vie

I am a very smart individual. I do not always come across that way cause I am always around people who are not interested or knowing in things I am smart at. I am not being  jerk, I was in the 90th percent on my SAT’s back in the day. I need to read more and overall maybe be a little more diverse in things I intake.

I swear to much.

I have always, by my definition, been the fat kid. I never swam in a pool with my friends cause I was that kid that wore a t-shirt in the pool. I was the fat. Plus I did not know how to swim till like age 19 or 20. Although to my defense I do legitimately sunburn easily. I am formerly a ginger as well, but I have browned out now. Again to recap, the fat kid, but I am rectifying that. 2006 I was doing well. I had shed a lot of weight I even had some straight lines in places, but then I moved.

When that happened I worked next to a eating establishment that was very tasting. Very tasty indeed. So I ate there/their cheeseburgers, phillys and other sandwiches for a year. O fuck me. Not only that, this new job was slow. Brand new store that had just opened in an emerging area of town. I.e. no business. Sedimentary conditions does not go far enough to explain the pace. So I got fat, from 2007 to the U.S. Thanksgiving 2010 I gained 50 pounds. Damn it!

Flash forward. I peaked this past January at 215 pounds. Damn it! At least that is the most I weighted myself at. I honestly probably peaked at 220 pounds. I am, according to my drivers license, 5 foot 10 inches. Lie being the key word, I am 5 foot 8. Damn it, no NBA, to round. Right now as I sit writing this; I exercise regularly(gym 3 times a week) and have started cycling again. I also do not eat shitty(for you, it was rather tasty) food from Andy’s Cheese Steaks. Nor work at the fucking, if you build it they will not come, Sherwin Williams. Bet you thought I was not going to name names. Hah.

When did shit hit the fan for me you ask? Let’s hop up a bit. By now it is late 2012 and I have not really eaten Andy’s for like a year and a half. In a pinch I would stop in but I would get chicken something. It is late December I have just given Sherwin Williams the finger and said fuck you guys I am going home. ~Cartmen It is wedding time and thank fucking shit the tux fit. Actually it fit pretty well, but neither here nor there. My new wife and I hit the honeymoon, a cruise down south to magical places I have never been.

Now to the point where ‘shit was hitting the fan’ our last stop. Second to last stop. Honduras, and a zip-line trip was the plan. To start with I thought my fat heart was going to explode from the 200 yard, up hill, on gravel, in the fucking jungle, hike to the starting point at a 45 degree angle. Fuck me. It was bad. They had water in orange coolers up there. You know it is bad when even drinking water makes you feel worse. Water is in everything how can it make you feel worse, it did. I wasn’t scared of any of this, it was a blast. But the catch to all this fun; at each stop to change lines you come to a stop, pull up on the cable a little so the guide can unhook you and then pull yourself up on the next cable to be rehooked. We did this maybe 10 or 12 times. It’s all fast paced no chance to stop and take a breather.

The last stop. I am going to die. My pulse from the relatively little physical exertion is in the 200 range. Although it’s hard to know with my veins retracted in from my high BP and dehydration. On the last platform I’m stuck, if I pull up one more time I am going to be in a Honduran cardiac ward. I am not sure there was one. Somehow I get on the cable and kind of like a blob hang there and ride down to the last point. I am pretty sure I made blob noses. I make it down to the shop where we started and my amazing wife gets us(me) a cold big bottle of water. In my mind my EMT training jumps in. When the ole brain works. I have done a blanch test on my finger, failed I close to try dehydration. I wasn’t even sweating anymore by the time we got done. NOT good. Next I am thinking ok where can Maggie get aspirin, would anyone there be able to do a 12-lead or have an AED and can she carry me to the boat? She is pretty bad ass, so I assumed so.

So SHTF for me when I almost died(felt like it) on my honey with my new wife in a unfriendly country. I remember sitting on a bench feeling embarrassed about my condition. I would have been super embarrassed if I had really had a MCI. I felt I let Maggie down cause if something had happened, really that entire day, I do not know how protective I could have been. I let myself down.

04/9/13

Exercise

So I have been working out quite a bit. Well maybe not by some peoples standards but by my own absolutely! Tonight I went on a bike ride. I was quite pleased with it. It was 3.104 miles. Reasonable terrain and not much path traffic. I am a ham radio operator and there is a technology we have called APRS. I used that to track myself and measure my route.

Untitled

04/9/13

K4eqm.com – System Upgrades – Anderson Power Poles and more…

If you follow my postings you know my station is down now. If you don’t, you should know that my amazing Yaesu FT-950 is in Yaesu’s shop being fixed. I was working a state QSOP and it died. So in the mean time I am learning and upgrading.

One of the nicest, handiest but cheapest upgrades I’m doing is installing Anderson  Power Poles everywhere. Specifically 45amp Black and Reds. That’s more power than I’ll ever pull but I would rather be safe than sorry, plus I use 12 gauge stranded. All my power connections. I only have one power supply at the moment and no fancy West Mountain Rig Runner accessories, yet. So I can easier connect up my different radios. I’m not going to go into what a power pole is here, least not in-depth but I will link a video at the bottom. I should say as well this includes my mobile station as well.

This video is not ham radio centric but it’s well filmed and explains them well.

04/9/13

System Upgrades – Anderson Power Poles and more…

If you follow my postings you know my station is down now. If you don’t, you should know that my amazing Yaesu FT-950 is in Yaesu’s shop being fixed. I was working a state QSOP and it died. So in the mean time I am learning and upgrading.

One of the nicest, handiest but cheapest upgrades I’m doing is installing Anderson  Power Poles everywhere. Specifically 45amp Black and Reds. That’s more power than I’ll ever pull but I would rather be safe than sorry, plus I use 12 gauge stranded. All my power connections. I only have one power supply at the moment and no fancy West Mountain Rig Runner accessories, yet. So I can easier connect up my different radios. I’m not going to go into what a power pole is here, least not in-depth but I will link a video at the bottom. I should say as well this includes my mobile station as well.

This video is not ham radio centric but it’s well filmed and explains them well.

04/9/13

Repost from ae5x.com – New CW/SSB all-band QRP rig (not a kit)

X1MNot only did they take my advice and change their name from Wouxun to ImportCommunications, they have migrated down to HF.

Although I have no desire to own one it is interesting to see new rigs being developed in China. So far most of the HF rigs from various Chinese manufacturers have been kits.

Wouxun – oops, I mean ImportCommunications  – now has a $300 non-kit HF transceiver on the market and a US distributor to make it easy for us W hams to buy one.

Here’s the particulars from their website:

Frequency range RX & TX:  0.1 ~ 30 MHz*
Modes: USB, LSB, CW
Power output: 5 Watts
Operating voltage: 9.6 ~ 14.5 vdc
Operating current: 0.35 ~ 1.2 amp
Receiver Preamplifier:  Yes
Memory Channels:  100
RIT Function:  Yes
Automatic Internal CW Keyer:  Yes
Backlight
On/Off:
  Yes
Keyboard  lock:  Yes
Dimensions:   3-13/16 x 1-9/16 x 6-1/8 inches
Weight:   0.65 kg  ~  1.43 lbs
PTT Microphone:  Included

Not mentioned is the selectivity. Perhaps a perusal of the manual (available online) will answer that and other questions.

Here’s the link to the product and here is a more informative link to the US distributor.

.

And coming soon:

The 6-160m “MK 2″ version:

mk2

.

.

04/8/13

ITS Tactical.com – Creating a Plan “B” Map to Increase Your Chances of Survival

I recently did 2 things. I moved to a large city and read this article on ITS Tactical.com. It was written and post by a “TOM F.” on APRIL 8, 2013. I could sum up and paraphrase it but instead I’m going to repost it with links to the original article. It’s a good one and they have many more over at ITS Tactical. Let me just say, this is from ITS and I give all props to them.

 

Creating a Plan “B” Map to Increase Your Chances of Survival

Ask yourself this question “If a major catastrophe happened tomorrow, would I be ready?” I know in all honesty my answer would have to be no, which is a very scary scenario for me.

I do my best to budget, plan and to continue to fill my supply closet with food and water, but we all know in our current economic state that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the funds to build up our supplies for “The End of the World as We Know It,” or whatever term you’d like to use.

Plan_B_Map

I’m sure there are many people out there who are like me, doing their best to build up their supplies so their family will be safe, but feel they’re not where they need to be to survive. What can we do to remedy this? I don’t want to go into debt so that I can have a fully stocked supply closet. I’ve personally put a lot of thought into this very situation. “What would I do if things went bad tomorrow?” “How long could I last on what I have?” “What would I do if I started to run out before things got better?” These are some of the questions I have spent countless hours thinking about.

Don’t Count on Grocery Stores

Many people think that if a major catastrophe happened, they could just take a trip down to the local grocery store and stock up on everything that they’d need for the next few months. This is not only a very unlikely remedy, but also a dangerous one. Here is an example why: It was winter time a few years ago, when the city I live in was hit with a huge snow storm, almost three feet of snow fell in twenty four hours.

The city was crippled; the roads were virtually un-drivable, many homes were without power and according to the news it was only going to get worse. Within a few hours the store shelves were empty. I had to walk to the store near where I was living, because my car was stuck in its parking spot. I was amazed at the sight of a bare shelved store. What surprised me more was that it had been only a few hours since the storm had started and everyone was stocking up for the next few days of bad weather.

I nitpicked through the store trying to find your average grocery list items and was unable to. The next morning I was watching the news and was even more surprised to hear news stories being reported of the police being called to local grocery stores because of people fighting and hurting each other so they could get the last gallon of milk. It took about a week and a half for the grocery stores to recover and get new shipments to stock their shelves.

City Officials asked the local food banks to open their doors to the general public because many families were out of food. In a Colorado town where people should be accustom to large snow storms, a mild case of pandemonium broke out over three feet of snow. People literally were fighting in the grocery store over milk and bread. Imagine the chaos that would take place if something of substance were to actually happen. This experience cemented in my mind how dangerous things will become when people are desperate to feed their families.

I will share with you what I did to remedy the potential supply shortfall that many of us could face if major catastrophe happened before we were fully stocked up on supplies, I call it the “Plan B Map.”

The Plan B Map

Start out by visiting your local Wal-Mart or similar type of store and find a road atlas for your state. Within this atlas you will be able to find some fairly detailed maps of your neighborhood. For now, mark those pages and set the atlas aside. When you have a few hours of time and are ready for a drive, get in your car with a note pad and pen. Go around and make a list of every single business, store and shop within a two mile radius of your home. Also find every single source of water; ponds, rivers, streams, swimming pools, water towers, water wells, etc.

Once you’ve finished this task, head back home and make index cards for every location you have on your list. Now comes the hard part. You will have to go through these index cards and think about each and every business. You’ll have to decide if there’s the possibility of any type of useful item that might be kept or used by that particular business.

A few examples are as follows: Dental offices often have bottled water available to their patients. I happened to have 5 dental offices within the two mile radius of my home. I also have a gym about four blocks from my house that has two industrial refrigerators full of energy drinks, bottled water and protein snacks that are available to sell to those that work out there. I also have a bicycle shop three blocks from my home that had shelves and shelves of energy bars, protein bars, energy drinks and all sorts of things geared towards the outdoorsman.

Within my two mile radius, I have nine ponds, three swimming pools and two streams. You’ll be very surprised on the amount of resources you’ll find in unsuspecting places. We’re not just talking about food and water either. The doctor’s office close by will also have very useful medical equipment. The hobby shop will have needles and thread, string, twine and craft wood that can be used for fires. There’s almost an endless list of the items you can find right around the corner.

Putting It All Together

Now combine your maps and your index cards, marking each location on your maps with a number. That number will correspond to a number on an index card. That index card will have the useful items that are available at that particular location. You’ll want to plan routes to and from all of these locations. Include places to stop or hide in these routes and even alternate routes in case you see something on the way that you don’t want to pass on your way back.

Create a list of importance, meaning which locations have the most important items. Many of us spend a few nights a week walking our dogs. Instead of just walking around the block, start trying out the routes that you’ve made. This will give you the opportunity to adjust your routes if needed to avoid certain things. Keep you map and index cards updated to new businesses, or businesses that have changed locations or closed down. You’ll also need to update your list of importance as time goes on.

As more time passes your immediate needs will change. As you continue to work on your personal stock of supplies, the things that at one point that were important, may become less important because you had the opportunity to stock up on that item. Pay extra attention to the sources of water that you find. These may be sources for more than just water. Are there fish in the streams or ponds? Do you see ducks and geese in these areas frequently? Think of all the different ways you can take advantage of these water sources because they can be food sources as well.

Transportation

In addition to making the map, you’ll also need to have a way of transporting the items you go after. You cannot rely on the idea of having a vehicle to drive. So this means you will have to come up with an alternate way of getting to your locations and a way to bring supplies back. For my situation and surroundings a bicycle is the most practical for me to utilize. Not only is it faster than walking, I also have the ability to attach duffle bags or backpacks to the frame and rack.

You’re now done with your “Plan B Map” and you’ve figured out a form of transportation other then your car that fits your situation and surroundings. Keep up with your map and your index cards. Don’t feel like you have to throw your map and cards away if you’ve reached your goal of the amount of food, water and supplies you wanted to stock up on. Even if you’re fully stocked, you never know what situations you may be faced with.

Your map and index cards could be an invaluable asset no matter what you level of preparation you’re at. If you’re diligent with this project, you’ll provide yourself with a safer way to scavenge for supplies if faced with that need. While everyone else is fighting it out at the gas stations and grocery stores for the last couple cans of food, you can safely make trips to and from the locations marked on your map.