Sunday, 5 July 2015

08:19 – Poor Colin had a bad time of it yesterday evening. Barbara was out with friends for dinner and to watch fireworks, so it was just me to protect Colin from the noise. We shared roast beast sandwiches for dinner, and then Colin curled up next to me on the sofa while we watched Heartland re-runs with the sound turned up loud to drown out the noise of the fireworks. When a particularly loud one went off, he’d crawl up in my lap and snout me to beg me to make it stop.

Barbara and I worked all day Friday and yesterday filling chemical bottles and making up chemical bags for science kits. More of the same today, along with doing final assembly on new batches of kits. And again during all our free time until about mid-September.

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43 Responses to Sunday, 5 July 2015

  1. OFD says:

    Our cats weren’t too fond of the firecracker noise, either, and kept a low profile, except for the big male, who just napped through it all. We’ll see how they are later tonight when the big show starts, and it looks pretty certain that they’ll set them off behind us in the town/state park. We’ll get the noise but not much of the show, as we’re basically right under it and behind our trees.

    Peeps should start arriving for the Bay Day festivities into the afternoon and early evening and it looks to be a gorgeous day.

    I’m doing online courses, and fiddling with radio and firearms gear.

  2. Dave B. says:

    My wife and I have gone to two fireworks displays in the last week. While packing up to leave, I have pulled out my Cree Ultrafire flashlight both times. My wife asked if I take it with me every time I leave the house. Yes, I take that and my Tekton multitool with me every time I leave the house.

    I know that Ray is not impressed with the brightness or quality of my flashlight. It’s good enough for me. I don’t think I would have wanted a brighter flashlight either time I have used it.

  3. OFD says:

    I seem to have a Klarus Premium R5 XT1C light with me nowadays and a Fenix E21 bedside. Later on, when I have time, I’ll post their lumens data and battery life and do the drop-from-a-height test and run them over.

    Other EDC items, 7×24: space pen; comb; house/mailbox keys; Leatherman Micra; a short Leatherman folder; the S&W Shield 9mm, and a SnagMag for it. In the wallet are the usual ID and credit cards, plus a “credit card knife” and a lockpick set (I’m also playing with locks here).

    I’ll have to modify all this when we take our little trip via airline down to NJ and PA ina couple of weeks.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I don’t carry much. Off the top of my head…

    EDC (on person):

    Cell phone
    Digital voice recorder
    Flashlight, Cree Ultrafire (2)
    Knife, Victorinox Swiss Army
    Lighter, Zippo (two: one liquid fuel, one butane)
    USB memory sticks w/ full data backups

    EDC (in purse: original Lands’ End canvas attache):

    Batteries, spare (for radio and flashlights)
    Colt Combat Commander in Milt Sparks holster w/ 2 spare magazines in carrier
    First aid kit (w/ assorted drugs)
    Food, GORP
    Fuel, butane (small can)
    Knife, folding, Case
    Lighter, Zippo liquid (w/ spare flints, wick, & fuel)
    Multi-tool, Leatherman
    Radio, FRS/GMRS/NOAA
    Saw, chain (manual)
    Tinder (vaseline-treated cotton balls)
    Tools, hand, assorted
    Water, (1 liter soda bottle X 2)
    Water filter, Sawyer Mini
    Water treatment, Polar Pure (sealed bottle)

  5. OFD says:

    Yeah, I forgot the cell phone and Zippo for my on-person EDC. I have the USB data sticks but haven’t been carrying them and need to update ’em anyway. Good reminder.

    That EDC purse deal sounds like a small go-bag, which I have had in the past for the commutes to and from work, but again, thanks for the reminder; I should update mine for my apparently regular commutes to and from the VA facilities and any other trips outta town.

    Murkan derps are arriving via a little foot traffic and vehicles parked around here now; the focus will be more toward the town/state park to our rear and beyond our trees. We can hear them but not see them, and by “we” I mean the cats and me. I end up talking to them a lot when the wife is not here, or talking to myself. It’s sad, yes.

  6. DadCooks says:

    Last night was the quietest 4th I can remember. When we moved here 35 years ago fireworks were legal in all the Tri-Cities. Many brush fires and house fires caused by fireworks meant all the fire departments had all hands on duty for several days before and after the 4th. The hospitals also went on full trauma alert. Now the only personal fireworks allowed amount to just sparklers, pop-ems, and pull-string crackers. You can go about an hour away to get real fireworks on the Indian Reservation but the State Police sit along all roads leading out of the Reservation and will stop and search for the least perceived provocation. Experience folks know how to run the gauntlet, but newcomers are in for a welcoming committee.

    So my Wife is on call this weekend and so far no fireworks related injuries. However, an illegal alien pissed of his woman and she promptly skewered him with a long kitchen knife. Sliced his liver and gall bladder, almost bled out but once again we saved the illegal. He ended up getting a 3-fer, as they say, because when they went in to fix the liver and remove the gall bladder they found a hernia so that got fixed too. They were surprised as he is the 1st illegal alien they have seen in a long time without any tattoos. They are wondering what the wife looks like though.

    Still keeping my powder dry.

  7. nick says:

    Had a nice night out, with some great fireworks. We hung out with friends we only see a couple of times a year, the 4th being one.

    I brought the ‘camp potty’ with and put it to good use. First field test of this essential prep. It’s a five gallon bucket, with 2 of the Kirkland (costco brand, for anyone not yet a member) kitchen can liners, a couple of handfuls of clumping kitty litter, and a ‘riser’ seat for a toilet seat. Although it’s made for a regular toilet seat, the riser has a raised edge that perfectly snaps into the bucket rim. I’ve never had the Kirkland bags leak in the kitchen, so I figured they’d work here, and they did. Used by both kids and their mom without issue. It is a little unstable for the 4yo whose feet don’t touch the ground, but otherwise, even the skeptical wife was glad to have it.

    I did up my responder gear since I’d be in a crowd. I brought my IFAK and my “trauma bag” from my truck. I added a headlamp, and a pack of waterjel burn dressing. I figured if someone had a problem, it would likely be firework related and the waterjel dressing will smother that. I always carry my penlight, but if I needed to work in the dark, I figured the headlamp would be handy. I also brought the Storm ™ led lantern. It’s small but gives off an enormous amount of light.

    Otherwise, normal edc for a family outing- shield in 9mm, spare mag in a Gerber leatherman style sheath (stealthy), phone, benchmade pocket knife, cold steel bird and trout on a neck chain, pelican 2 AA flashlight, cash, wallet, eye drops, altoids tin “boo boo” kit, ‘rigger’ or instructor belt, and some 5.11 tactical shorts I found for $5 at the thrift store.

    My little ‘mechanics tool bag’ has my dual band HT, some power bars, and a couple of other convenience items, in this case, the burn gel and headlamp. I also threw my “blow out kit” or “GSW kit” from my range bag in there.

    Yes, I am heavy on first aid supplies.

    The wife’s vehicle also has the emergency bag in it, and a few useful things tucked into various places.

    As a final precaution, I carried my CERT credentials. I don’t usually carry them, but my wife’s vehicle doesn’t have any of the stickers my trucks do, so I thought it might be nice to have some official first responder ID if anything bad happened.

    Overkill? I don’t think so. YMMV. It gives me peace of mind.


  8. Ray Thompson says:

    I know that Ray is not impressed with the brightness or quality of my flashlight.

    Oh, you misunderstand. Those lights are OK and I am impressed with what you can get for a few dollars. My point has always been that you really need a high quality, durable long term light in addition to the cheap, don’t care if I lose them, lights. The cheap lights do not have the beam quality or light quality or long term brightness (heat control issue) of the more expensive lights. I am also partial to CR-123 lights as those batteries do not leak as AA cells are prone to doing. Grabbing an AA light and finding corrosion has destroyed the light is annoying and that won’t happen with CR-123 powered lights. I have tossed four or five cheap lights because the batteries leaked.

    I have several cheaper lights. Have given away a few of them. I have no issue with those lights and think everyone should have a dozen stashed in various locations. But always have another light that you can easily get to when the cheap light fails. The cheap lights are OK but require a solid backup source for light.

  9. rick says:

    Back in the ’80’s when our oldest was about 3, we were at the Oregon Coast for the 4th. He got a bad case of croup and we took him into the local emergency room. He was the only one there who wasn’t a fireworks injury.

    It has been hot for the lats week in the upper left hand corner of the map. It got up to 97 yesterday and they’re predicting 95 today. We’re not used to it. Most people around here do not have air conditioning. I’m thinking of rigging up a river powered air conditioner where we’ll pipe Columbia River water through radiators to cool the house. Our house floats on about 16 feet of water and the Columbia is cold, even during hot weather.

    We watched the Fort Vancouver fireworks from the dock next to the house. We moved two comfortable chairs from our front deck, sipped good beer and had the easiest time watching fireworks ever.

    Rick in Portland

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Ray, you are aware that the Cree Ultrafire can use lithiums instead of AA alkalines, right?

    I’ve never tried it with a 3.7V lithium battery because it’s more than bright enough with a 1.5V AA alkaline.

    Also, you keep talking about beam quality, light color, heat sinking, etc. on an expensive light versus a cheap on. As to beam quality, the Cree Ultrafire has a focusable beam that goes from a wide evenly-lit circle down to a small evenly-lit circle. Eventually, if you slide the collar far enough, it actually focuses the LED chip itself into a very bright rectangle. What more do you want, specifically? As to light color, the Cree Ultrafire looks white to me, and I say that as someone who used to do a lot of color printing and could judge the color of the light from the enlarger to within 5 CC by eye. Yes, a sensitive instrument might discriminate slight color differences between you expensive light and a cheap Ultrafire. Who cares? You’re not printing color with this light, and the beam of the Ultrafire is perfectly adequate for discriminating color, to the extent that *any* “white” LED light source is.

    All the stuff you keep mentioning about reliability is unsupported by any evidence other than the marketing verbiage of the expensive light makers. I’ve seen zero actual evidence that you expensive lights are any more reliable than the Ultrafires. Heat sinking? It costs an extra penny or two, literally. Switch quality? I’ve cycled the switch on the Ultrafire I carry with me literally thousands of times. It worked the first time, and it still works. Construction quality? I’ve run over the Ultrafire with my car, intentionally. It still works, with no apparent damage other than some scratched paint.

    I’ll maintain that my Ultrafires are actually more reliable than your expensive light, simply because I carry two or more of them at all times. If you estimate the reliability of your expensive light as 0.999, that means the probability of failure in your case is 0.001. If we assume that my Ultrafires are ten times more likely to fail, which I don’t believe they are, that means my reliability is 0.99 (per light), and my chance of a failure is therefore 0.01*0.01 = 0.0001. In other words, your light is ten times more likely to fail when you need it than my two lights are when I need (one of) them.

  11. Lynn McGuire says:

    “No Kidding: This Week IRS starts Punishing Businesses for Helping Workers Buy Insurance”

    Just goes along with my thoughts that the Federal Government is becoming more evil by the day. In addition to paying 100% of the health insurance charge for my employees, I also reimburse them a certain amount of money each year for out of pocket dental, vision, or medical expenses.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    So, when Greece introduces the Drachma again, soon, is the IMF going to loan them more money? Germany? Etc?

  13. nick says:

    @RBT, you are talking about the flashlight you got, but I, and hundreds of others, got a cheap piece of crap from the very same link you posted.

    I wouldn’t have anyone throw $4 away on the light I received (and MANY others received too judging from the comments and reviews) as a gamble, when they can buy a light for $5 average cost in a multi pack at costco, including REAL duracel batteries. And if they don’t like it, they can return the costco pack for their money back.

    Accurate color rendering is critical for first aid use, and is pretty important for map reading. I’ve verified that stuff in my daughter’s throat looks VERY different under incandescent light and the cheap blue from the cheap flashlight I received. I also find that my aging, many times damaged, eyes do not see well in the blue-ish light from cheap white leds.

    Fit and finish are legitimate criticisms in an EDC light too. The silky smooth, rounded corners of my pelican 1920 are a pleasure to hold, won’t rub holes in my pants or catch on the fabric like all the sharp-edged machined fins on the cheap light.

    As a matter of personal preference, I like the single function lights for edc too. I want to push the button and get light, push it again and get dark.

    The cheap light beats NO light by a wide margin. It is a cheap way to put lights in different stashes, and because it uses one battery and has a low brightness mode, it may be good for long term use as general light against the dark.

    I’m just arguing that for very slight increase in price you get a known model with the option to return it vs. the crap shoot of ordering online. If you want $4 flashlights buy the costco multipacks.

    I’m also arguing that the things you use every day should be higher quality, better fit and finish, and a form factor that fits your requirements. The flashlight I received doesn’t meet those requirements for me.

    YM D V, and that’s good. There is room for a lot of products on the spectrum… remember when your choices were Maglite, or a plastic coated 2 D cell light?

    I don’t think you need to spend $100s on a light, unless it’s a weapon mounted light, but I don’t think you are well served by buying the cheapest light around either. There are lots of good lights that work well. There are lots of lights in the $4-6 each range that DON’T require playing roulette with your money. And a small increase in price gets you into pro quality with streamlight, or pelican, in a penlight format.


  14. Ray Thompson says:

    I’ve seen zero actual evidence that you expensive lights are any more reliable than the Ultrafires.

    I have had three of the cheap lights fail due to some issue, switch or internal I don’t know. One had been dropped from a height of about seven feet and quit working. The light would not turn on. I suspect the battery impacted the terminal and damaged something. I have had two of the cheap lights damaged by leaking batteries, Duracell to be specific. Enough evidence for me.

    I’ve run over the Ultrafire with my car, intentionally.

    Actually pounds per square inch is not much when dealing with a single tire on a car. I have had my foot run over by a car and suffered no damage. I can run over a piece of thin wall copper tubing and not damage the tube. A tire on a car is not much of a test.

    Ray, you are aware that the Cree Ultrafire can use lithiums instead of AA alkalines, right?

    Yes. But run them with a lithium for an extended period and the LED will suffer significantly. There is no current regulation and no decent heat dissipation.

    As to light color, the Cree Ultrafire looks white to me

    Not if you set a camera on daylight white balance, take a properly exposed image the light on a truly white surface. Check the RGB values. If you have a light that is truly white it was purely an accident. The color varied quite a bit on the four lights that I had. Generally not a big deal for most folks.

    In other words, your light is ten times more likely to fail when you need it than my two lights are when I need (one of) them.

    I generally have three lights on me whenever I am out and about. Especially when flying or staying in a hotel. Two of the cheap lights and one high quality light. On my last trip to Europe I had four lights, two in my pocket and two in my carry on bag.

    The cheap lights are OK to have, several of them in fact. But I still want at least one high quality, known to be reliable, guaranteed by the manufacturer and used extensively by the military, police and rescue personnel because of the reliability.

    The next Amazon order that I place I will be getting some more of the Cree cheapo’s to replace the ones that quit working or were damaged by leaking batteries.

  15. OFD says:


    They’re baaaaaaaa….aaaaa….ck…..

    Who needs spendy flashlights when it’s Apocalypse above the skylights???

  16. MrAtoz says:

    Happy 4th: 8 dead, 41 wounded in Chicago! Obola, Jackwagon, Sharpless, anyone? Yawn.

    RAAACIST for bringing up BonB crime, I know. Crickets.

  17. Lynn McGuire says:

    I can carry my concealed weapon in 35+ states with my Texas CHL. Why can’t I carry my weapon in Chicago? If SCOTUS is going to give equal rights for same sex marriage across all the states, why not for clear second amendment rights?

  18. nick says:

    yep, putting aside the whole trying to license a 2nd A right,

    If my driver’s license is required to be honored, and my marriage license is required to be honored, why not my CHL?

    There are a few other things that don’t get reciprocity, mostly heavily regulated fields like cosmetology, medical, and money. It is the rare state that recognizes the license to practice medicine or law without at least a test. And few of them will let you give medical, legal, or money advice.

    So I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, and I don’t want to be the test case.

    This summer, I’m flying directly to MI instead of transiting thru IL and Chicago Ohare Airport mainly so I can transport and carry without worry. This will cost my family more, but it is worth it to me to avoid Chicago entirely.


  19. SteveF says:

    It’s because guns are evil, Lynn. On the rare occasion when eeevil guns won’t take control of your weak flyover-country mind and make you shoot an innocent person who’s just trying to help himself to the American Dream, the eeeevil guns will leap up by themselves and shoot some innocent person, like an innocent 24-year-old child who was unable to come into this country with so-called “proper documentation” because of racism.

  20. OFD says:

    “I can carry my concealed weapon in 35+ states with my Texas CHL.”

    I’ll have close to that when I get my Virginia CC, and of course here in VT I don’t need no stinkin’ license.

    “This will cost my family more, but it is worth it to me to avoid Chicago entirely.”

    Good call; I’d do the same. I’m flying to NJ in a couple of weeks so won’t be packing heat, there, or in PA. Not worth the hassle. I avoid troublesome situations and if it comes close enough to me, I can handle it. Probably. More so than the average Murkan schmuck anyway. And I’ll have “non-lethal” stuff while I am down there anyway.

    “Happy 4th: 8 dead, 41 wounded in Chicago! Obola, Jackwagon, Sharpless, anyone? Yawn.”

    S’OK, podner; that territory is run by the Obercula Crime Family, with one Rahm Emmanuel as their capo di tutti capo and ain’t he doin’ a great job? You better say yes, and yes again, it is blatantly rayciss of youse to bring up that chit; report at once for re-education.

  21. Lynn McGuire says:

    So I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, and I don’t want to be the test case.

    Man, is that ever true!

    The wife and I are driving up to the very, very dangerous town of Whitney, TX for a family funeral tomorrow. Graveside at noon. I will be packing heat and I may get heatstroke.

  22. OFD says:

    Calais, Maine. Not known for the genius quality of its residents, but hell, that could be said about pretty much anywhere in the U.S. of Amnesia, these days. I bet that hurt.

    “… the very, very dangerous town of Whitney, TX…”

    Is you just joshing us here or is that fo’ real, homie?

    Now this is some funny chit right here: we gots about two or three thousand derps in the immediate area all massing for the fireworks, of course, and vehicles are parked and jammed up every which way on the street, in the neighbors’ driveways, on lawns, etc, and I have a pretty good-sized empty space in my driveway with my car parked all the way to the rear by the back door and NOBODY has tried to park here. I have not made any appearances out front or in the driveway, so it can’t be my fearsome viz.

    It’s like we’re radioactive here or sumthin.

    Wife called from northern NB and when I told her about this, she said it’s the “vibe.”


  23. nick says:

    useful thing, that ‘vibe’.

    I’d work on honing that!


  24. OFD says:

    No one even TRIED to fucking park here. Funny as shit. Wife sez it’s the vibes; “they know you’re armed and dangerous.” I said, how can they know? “It’s the vibes.” Must be so, or like my brother said, they smelled a big ol’ rat, and thought it was a trap.

    It was like a dead zone, or the eye of a vehicle parking lot hurricane; all over the ‘hood here, but not in this driveway or on our front lawn, such as it is. Weird.

    Well, it’s the oldest house on the street, maybe in the whole ‘hood; I’ll have to check. And I kept all the lights off, nice and dark, except for the motion-detector floods out back. And the former neighbor who was born here about 85-90 years ago told wife it’s had “paranormal activity” here. Only thing I’ve noticed is the cats will often stare suddenly and follow with their eyes from the living room as if someone is walking down the stairs, but of course no one is there, or no one I can see, LOL.

    I probably scare them more than they scare me; stone-cold sober fucking psycho. And a Roman Catholic Latin Rite traditionalist believer. Now that’s some scary shit right there.

  25. OFD says:

    RBT is correct; we are not at Three Percent yet and the situation looks kinda grim, despite Fed printing presses and their willingness to keep kicking various cans down the road…

  26. Miles_Teg says:

    RBT wrote:

    ” EDC (in purse: original Lands’ End canvas attache):

    Colt Combat Commander in Milt Sparks holster w/ 2 spare magazines in carrier”

    You don’t wear it?

  27. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “…by “we” I mean the cats and me. I end up talking to them a lot when the wife is not here, or talking to myself. It’s sad, yes.”

    I talk to myself a lot. It’s good talking to a charming, high IQ polymath… 🙂

  28. Lynn McGuire says:

    Whitney has dangerous heat at 12 o’clock high, that is for sure. I’ll be wearing a cap and sweating. This will be a small funeral, maybe only 20 of us.

  29. SteveF says:

    I talk to myself a lot. It’s good talking to a charming, high IQ polymath.

    What do those two sentences have to do with one another?

  30. Miles_Teg says:

    I wonder if Greece can stay in the Euro and also reneg on its debts.

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Greece’s position is now that they won’t repay what they owe, that they won’t comply with lenders’ terms for existing or future loans, and that (oh, by the way) they want those lenders to lend them more money. Yeah, right.

  32. OFD says:

    And they’re being described as “defiant” and “stubborn,” etc. I don’t think this is gonna end well for them, or for the so-called EC. And once again, Germany runs the show over there; you just can’t keep a bunch of murderous, aggressive sons of bitches down. Why would I say something so terrible?




    What’s kind of odd is that the English are largely descended from them but have fought them in two world wars and now are mere shadows of their former imperial selves.

  33. Miles_Teg says:

    I’ll bet the Greeks will get the dough, or at least some of it, and that taxpayers all over the world will be on the hook for it.

  34. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That’s the safe way to bet …

  35. SteveF says:

    What on earth could the creditors even take in lieu of the money owed? The traditional remedy of seizing the young women as slaves would work only if there’s a big enough market for slave girls with mustaches.

  36. OFD says:

    “The traditional remedy of seizing the young women as slaves would work only if there’s a big enough market for slave girls with mustaches.”

    Mustaches? Hell, how about a market for slave girls with eyebrows darker and bigger than my mustache???

  37. SteveF says:

    The eyebrows don’t bother me, but the hair on the lip does. And the hair on the chest. I had a Greek* girlfriend for a few months, and she had more hair on her chest than I do.

    * American, but her parents were immigrants from Greece.

  38. Miles_Teg says:

    One of my friends had two young women chasing him. One was pretty but by no means beautiful, with no excessive hair that I noticed. The other (not Greek) was about 20 kg overweight, had a light moustache, sideburns and tufts of hair on her chest showing above the not-so-low neckline of her blouse.

    The big girl is the one he married. I couldn’t believe it.

  39. Miles_Teg says:

    Talking about Greek ladies… If these a representative then the most obvious common factor is big boobs…

  40. OFD says:

    Dunno what they’re celebrating ’cause they in fo a world of chit now. Maybe they love their racks, but in general, they’re too effin short and hairy, like hobbits.

  41. DadCooks says:

    For hairy women let’s not forget the Italians, French, and Scandinavians (not quite as visible because they are mostly fair haired).

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