Category Archives: Blog

Blog

Fitness and Health and Tech

Once upon a time I weighed in at over 300 lbs.  How much over, I don’t know because your average scale doesn’t go over 300 lbs.  I went to the doctor and he told me I’d never make it to 40.  That may have been the one time in my life that someone said something and it actually made me take serious notice.  He wrote me a prescription for all kind of stuff.  I declined to fill the prescriptions and stated I knew what the problem was.  I was too damn fat.  So he tells me he wants to see me back in 45 days.

It’s at this point I decide to change things.  I was sent TAD to Pax River Maryland when I did my first treadmill exercise.  I didn’t even own any exercise equipment.  I ran the treadmill in boxers and black socks, no shoes. I must have been quite a sight.  I ran a mile and I wished it would have killed me.  By the end of the trip I was running my miles daily and kinda digging it.

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Lensatic Compass and Compass Skills

Cammenga 3H Tritium

Yeah, this is a Tech blog but sometimes you just gotta be old school.  Compasses are pretty old school and in fact the first compass known was about 206 BC!  And they were used for navigation first around 1040 AD.

I use a compass to align satellite dishes.  Radio is my hobby and I track satellites such as Inmarsat or NOAA GOES Weather Satellites for fun.

Every phone has a compass but I find them to be wildly off, at least on the iPhone.  However, if you dabble around on the internet other users will tell you they nail satellites with iPhone compasses all the time.   THIS HAS DEFINITELY NOT BEEN MY EXPERIENCE.  They either posses great skills or are lucky as heck.  Or maybe it is geographical.  I dunno.

But I do know a real compass works just fine and a real compass doesn’t need a battery charge or has a screen that’s hard to see in direct sunlight.

And here is the theme of this blog entry:  MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO USE A COMPASS AND THIS IS AS VALUABLE A SKILL AS SWIMMING, RIDING A BIKE, HUNTING, FISHING, ETC.  IF YOU CAN’T USE A COMPASS YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Yeah, you’re laughing at me.  But you laughed at me before the Hurricanes, and you laughed at me before COVID 19.  This Country Boy™ can survive.

Let’s learn some more about the humble compass……….

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Best SHTF Gear Ever

Well it happened.  The Shit Hit The Fan.  How’d you make out?

Here is the best gear to help you through the next one.

Casio Rangeman

Best Wristwatch.  I have a LOT of watches.  This is NOT my favorite watch but it is my favorite SHTF watch.  Casio Rangeman GW9400-1.

This watch is a military favorite.  It has a solar battery that lasts forever and has Multi-Band 6 which syncs with Long Wave Radio stations to keep time with the Atomic Clock.

There are 6 locations worldwide, hence the name Multi-Band 6.

This watch is double tough, legible and can take a beating.

 

More gear:

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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – I Feel Fine

This last week or two has been one of the most bizarre in my 57 years however the chaos all seems confined to Social Media and Media in general.  People are still nice, commerce is still chugging along.  If we didn’t own TV’s and computers we’d never know much was up.

In an attempt to get the REAL story I’ve been creeping on the Police Scanner and the State medical communications.  It’s not been very interesting.  Boring in fact.  If there is a coverup, the people with the radios are covering up their coverup.

Anyway, like REM says, “I Feel Fine”.  Not just figuratively but literally as well.  I’m ready for the whole of humanity to let the crazy out.  I have ample food, a gun with bullets, clean water, communication devices, and alternative power. And most importantly it would seem……..toilet paper.

Bring it on!
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Testing Household Appliances To Save Money

Reddy Kilowatt

Remember this goofy guy?  Reddy Kilowatt. He was a fictional spokesman for the Electric companies and he made his first appearance in 1926.

There were Reddy Kilowatt Youth Clubs and they actively promoted against Socialism and Communism. Those of you who are younger and watch the news could think Socialism in the US is a new and exciting thing.  It isn’t.  They were calling for it in the 1920’s just like they are calling for it now.

His job essentially was to make you think the electric companies were the good guys, and don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways they were.

They brought power into our homes and businesses and that’s a tough act to follow.  Now though, the power company would like you to conserve power as much as possible which is an interesting concept because, hey, they sell power.

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Best Tech of 2019?

So here it is, New Years Eve…….I’m up at 1 AM and reading “Best Tech of The Year” articles.  Either one of two things has happened.  Either nothing tremendously wonderful happened in Tech this year or the imagination and writing skills of journalists are now nearly non-existent.

Every list shows the latest cell phones or drones, or gaming device or newest TV offering.  I’m sorry, but that just isn’t that inspiring to me.   I may be a dinosaur but newer is not always better.  Case in point.  Look up the home entertainment category and most lists have some SONOS player.  That’s a networked streaming audio system.

I’ve been using Logitechmediaserver so many years it isn’t funny.  It streams Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Pandora (I dropped my Pandora subscription) and many, many more services.

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1908 Saint Gaudens $20 Gold Piece and God

Hey, it’s my blog.  Everything doesn’t have to be technical if I don’t want it to be.   I was with my gf’s family over Christmas and somehow or another Roosevelt came up.  I snuck in my favorite Roosevelt story which dealt with the 1908 $20 Gold Saint Gaudens coins.

Roosevelt was deeply involved in the US Mint and felt that our US coinage should be more spectacular.  In 1905 he commissioned Augustus Saint Gaudens to design new gold coinage ($2, $5, $10, $20).

Roosevelt also felt like that the phrase “In God We Trust” was inappropriate as the coins could be used in criminal activities and he didn’t want them bearing the name of God on them.  So in 1908 the $20 coin was struck with no In God We Trust motto. While his heart was in the right place the public outcry was quite the opposite and sufficient pressure was placed to return the motto in late 1908.

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Lonesome Lady

On July 28th 1945 a B-24 named Lonesome Lady took of from Yontan airfield in Okinawa to attack ships at anchor at Kure Harbor. The aircraft was shot and subsequently crashed in a small field just outside of Iwakuni Japan. The village the actual crash occurred in is called Ikachi. A local resident, Mr. Keiichi Muranaka raised funds to place a monument at the site of the crash. I find it unique that in a small field in Japan a monument to a crashed B-24 exists.

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LONESOME LADY MONUMENT IN IKACHI JAPAN

The crew members all bailed out of the aircraft and with the exception of the pilot and the tail gunner were all captured and taken to Hiroshima where they died in the Atomic Bombing. The pilot was taken to Tokyo and questioned and the tail gunner was taken to Kure. In 1999 a monument was placed in Hiroshima for American POW’s killed during the Atomic Bombing.

The Lonesome Lady Monument is located just off Road 70 near Ikachi Japan.

lonesomelady

Below is a Google Earth KMZ file which can be downloaded which will get you exactly to the site which is darn near impossible to find without assistance. You can download the waypoint into your GPS or simply print off turn by turn directions in Google Maps.

Lonesome Lady

So get off the base in Iwakuni and go out and find the Lonesome Lady Monument. It’s not something you’d expect to find in rural Japan.

Get Home Bag

After having lived in Eastern NC for about 6 years I’ve already gone through an ice storm, two hurricanes, and innumerable near miss hurricanes.   I haven’t actually evacuated yet but evacuation is always a real possibility.   I figure there could be a period of discomfort, leaving or coming home where you could be stuck somewhere.

Some call it a “Bug out Bag”. I call it a “Get Home Bag”.  At any rate you should investigate putting one together for yourself.  You never know.   After much studying and consideration these are the items below that I put in my kit.  The kit will probably always be imperfect to some extent and may need tweaked but for now……….this is it.

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FreeNAS Server

A few years back I built a home server based on information mostly obtained from this blog  I never really knew how bad I needed this server until it went down about a month ago with a motherboard failure.   My server was built with these components:

And  of course I’m using the operating system FreeNAS which is free and is pretty much the best Server OS there is.  Yeah, that’s debatable, I know.

I also use something called OpenMediaVault on the little teeny tiny piece of the server you can see in the right side of the picture.

The little piece of the server to the left is my backup to the backup server. Can’t be too safe!

 

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