Thursday, 22 December 2016

09:54 – I have this nagging sense that there’s something I should be doing this morning. I finally realized that it feels odd not to be going to the dentist this morning, as I’ve done four times in the last week or so.

It turns out that Ray is kind of right about cheap flashlights. I just got burned for the first time with cheap flashlights. I’d ordered a three-pack of these on December 10th. When they arrived, I installed batteries in them and put one on the marble-top table in the foyer for Barbara to use when she takes Colin out after dinner. The first one failed the second time she used it. She pushed the rubber-dome switch on the tail-cap to turn on the light, and the whole switch just pushed into the body of the flashlight. Then, the other night, she tried a second flashlight. This one failed the first time she pushed the switch. Two out of three immediate failures doesn’t bode well, so I started the return process with Amazon.

I also ordered a couple of name-brand flashlights to replace them. First, one $30 two-AA Streamlight, and one $13 three-AAA Anker. We’ll see how those do. Now to pull the new batteries out of the junk flashlights and get them boxed up to return to Amazon. I’m still happy with the $4 single-AA lights I’ve bought several of. Only one of those has failed, and that was my own fault. I was carrying it with a jumble of other stuff, and one of the other items ended up pushing in the lens and destroying the LED circuit board behind it.

My real problem with Amazon is that when you order something that’s sold by a third-party vendor but fulfilled by Amazon, you have no idea what you’ll actually get. There’s a lot of counterfeit product out there, and Amazon seems not to care whether they ship you genuine product or a counterfeit knock-off. Increasingly, I suspect that’s also true for items that Amazon both sells and ships themselves.


49 thoughts on “Thursday, 22 December 2016”

  1. It turns out that Ray is kind of right about cheap flashlights.

    Damn, Satan just texted me and told me there were icicles in chamber 1 spreading fast to chamber 2.

    Having a lot of flashlights scattered around, even cheap ones, is a good idea. One or two fails, so what. Just replace them with some more cheap ones. The lights, with batteries, cost less than the cost of batteries in some cases. I consider those lights ones I can grab when the power goes out.

    But for real prepping purposes one or two quality lights, in known locations, is a good idea. Having a cheap light fail on you when needed most is not a good scenario. Having that one or two reliable and quality lights may just make the difference between a hassle and a real problem.

    In my case I have more expensive lights in each vehicle and next to the bed. The real good stuff, as in Surefire, stays on my desk in a known location. Actually have four Surefires and some Fenix lights.

  2. At this point, we have one Surefire, one Streamlight, one Fenix, three Feit, and one Anker, all of which seem to be at least decent quality. And, of course, probably 15 of the Chinese single AA units.

  3. There’s a lot of counterfeit product out there, and Amazon seems not to care whether they ship you genuine product or a counterfeit knock-off. Increasingly, I suspect that’s also true for items that Amazon both sells and ships themselves.

    If Amazon loses control of their purchasing, lawsuits such as this will become a lot more common.

    http://fortune.com/2016/10/28/amazon-hoverboard-lawsuit/

    I’ve long believed that Bezos’ goal for 2016 was to put Hillary in the White House and get the Prime/Fresh fee covered under Food Stamps so the program can roll nationally. I don’t believe Trump is serious about the antitrust, but he certainly isn’t going to sign off on Amazon assuming control of the grocery industry after what happened with the Post this year.

    Living in Vantucky, Amazon became a last resort stop at our house because we paid almost 10% sales tax on anything purchased from the site. Base WA State rate is 6%, but counties, cities, and even sections of cities have local option taxes which really add up.

  4. I’ve also got a mix of cheap stuff and more expensive FLASHLIGHTS. I don’t dare give any of the latter to the fems as they will promptly lose or break them.

    Steady sideways snow right now. I doubt Mrs. OFD is gonna try driving back up here today, either.

  5. I have all three of the Anker FLASHLIGHTS.
    I have not used them enough to say for sure, but they seem solid.

    The big LC130 is not enough better than the next smaller one to be worth
    the price difference ($60 vs. $22 currently) or weight difference. Battery
    life (with bigger battery) is apparently about the same, or less due to the
    three LEDs. I’d rather have two or three of the LC90 ($22) with 18650
    battery and charging port.
    LC90 is just about enough for nearly anything, but it’s still fairly small to
    carry. LC90 has a good zoom focus, too.
    The smallest one LC40 at $13 (I got it for $8) is a good buy. Works good
    with 3 AAA and fits 18650 but does not have charging port. No focus zoom.

    I still like the single AA cheapo Cree(?) FLASHLIGHTS, too, but if you can
    catch the Anker LC40 at about $8 it beats the $4 cheapo.
    [I have no interest in Anker. Found a couple of discount codes elsewhere
    on these, but prices above are probably current.]

  6. I just confirmed that the 18650 battery from the Anker LC90 works (at least briefly) in the LC40 (though it probably needs a sleeve around it to stabilize). The 3 AAA battery pack from the LC40 will not go into the LC90 (probably a good thing since hooking up the USB charger might get messy with lithium or alkaline AAAs).

    The Anker LC130 comes with a larger 26650 battery.

  7. My motto: You don’t always get what you pay for, but you rarely get what you don’t pay for.

  8. My go-to FLASHLIGHT! is the Zebra H600. I use rechargeable 18650s in it (quality ones). I have some other AA Zebra’s and a collection of better lights. Bunch of chinee lights, too.

  9. That looks like a nifty FLASHLIGHT, hombre. And I am stealing a phrase from the tech data:

    parasitic drain”

    Beautiful description of the SJW, FSA and prog zeitgeist in the West.

  10. I’m guessing “parasitic drain” is related to things like remembering (in some sort of memory hardware) the last setting (on, dim, flash, all that silly stuff). Nothing has a simple OFF switch anymore.

  11. No idea, Mr. Spook; that would be my guess, though, too; I just love the phrase for its descriptive qualities concerning our situation in the West. It’s been nothing BUT a parasitic drain on us Normals for too long now.

  12. Come on, Mr. OFD, stay on topic: FLASHLIGHTS !

    Anybody got any idea about that parasitic drain on flashlight batteries?
    Same deal as computer draining automotive battery?

  13. Anybody got any idea about that parasitic drain on flashlight batteries?

    Minimal for the lights with non-mechanical switches. The draw on the battery is so small the batteries will generally reach the end of their shelf life before they are drained. Just check the lights once a year and you should be good. Use a good battery tester such as one from ZTS.

    https://www.ztsinc.com/minimbt.html

    Does a pulse load test while measuring the voltage drop. Works really well. Highly recommended.

  14. My everyday carry is the pelican 1920 two AA cell LED. Of course I got it for free but now that my source is dried-up I will buy them for myself.

    have left the house of the mouse but I am still in the land of blue hair and clear blue skies and unbelievably poor drivers, will be headed home tomorrow.

    Watching the kids swim, mid to high 70s loving life.

    Nick

  15. “…as some of us are old enough to remember the icon/meme of Mr. Reddy Kilowatt!) to enlighten us on the subject.”

    Roger that, back in the day of free enterprise and free market capitalism. Yuuup, before we were educated in Global Warming, Climate Change and the evils of CO2 generation. 10-4, back when we thought consuming greater quantities of electrical energy was good because we would be charged lesser per unit via volume discounts.

    Slim, who will shortly be assisting his high school, junior year, grandson’s physics homework consisting of energy conversion problems.

  16. I went into the (fairly new) local Harbor Freight for the first time the other day; they had moving blankets on sale and the ones I use for wrapping plants need to be replaced. As it happens, they also had a coupon to get one of the flashlights linked below for free, so I decided to try them. They also had a two pack of them for $2.39, but free has some appeal to test. So far, so good, bright enough that you don’t want to look directly into it. I’ll keep it here in the office / computer room. And FWIW, *all* batteries in the house get replaced every January 1; the smoke detector ones also get replaced July 1.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/3-12-in-9-led-mini-flashlight-69052.html

  17. Have left the house of the mouse but I am still in the land of blue hair and clear blue skies and unbelievably poor drivers, will be headed home tomorrow.

    I didn’t think I would miss it living in Vantucky, but I did after a couple of years. FL used to be fun, and it still is in some parts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvUIm0BcRMk

    Legend is that the commercials were never scripted. They put a few drinks in Sam and turned on the camera.

  18. I have several of those free Harbor Freight flashlights, and I don’t think I have seen but one (the oldest) fail, and it still worked in all but 3 or 4 of the LEDs. The included batteries are a hazard, of course; swap them out soon.
    HF also has a sort of hockey puck like light with flash beam and large panel of LEDs, and a magnet and hanging hook. Pretty handy, often free. One catch is that a screwdriver is required to swap batteries (also included).

  19. have left the house of the mouse

    I am heading there on the 12 of January after a short stay in Panama City. Will be staying at the Animal Kingdom lodge. Two nights with two park entrances. Second park will be Disney World. Former exchange student is coming back for a visit and wants to go there. Also will visit Harry Potter land which is the real driving force behind the trip.

    All reservations are made, FastPass+, dinner. Disney will be sending the wrist bands in a couple of days.

    some of us are old enough to remember the icon/meme of Mr. Reddy Kilowatt!

    When I lived in The Dalles Oregon with aunt and uncle (I was seven and turned eight) I really enjoyed going to the local theater for $0.25, cheap as it was sponsored by Mr. Kilowatt. Got to see a Buck Rogers serial, some other picture, a newsreel, then another Buck Rogers. A small bag of popcorn and a small drink was also provided.

    But to put it in perspective gas was about $0.10 a gallon so the event cost the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gas. Gas is now $2.10 a gallon and I can get into the matinee at senior discount for about $6.00, roughly 2.15 gallons of gas. But a small popcorn and a small drink is $10.00. I never purchase that stuff.

  20. Also will visit Harry Potter land which is the real driving force behind the trip.

    If you see someone getting a little too into Harry Potter Land, point a stick at her and yell Enstupidiate! Then gasp and say “It worked!”

  21. How about a 220v space heater?
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M2VUDM

    Unlike the picture on Amazon, my unit has a rocker switch, not push buttons ala GE ranges.

    Never knew there was such a thing until a couple of weeks ago. I have a friend in a house in South Texas and his “climate control” is a 220v window unit heat pump. 18,000 BTU I think. Biggest thing Lowe’s had. It just barely cools the house and really doesn’t have enough punch to heat the house.

    So I bought one. Tried it out here to make sure it worked. Nice! Gave it to him for Xmas. No bow on the box because I forgot. And why waste a bow, he’s just gonna throw it away if the dog doesn’t eat it first.

    I bought another for me. It looks plain. Not ugly… functional. 4000 watts on high. You can do the do the math yourself but I figure it’s equal to five or six 120v space heaters. It has a thermostat and high and low for heat level. One speed fan, not very loud. The washing machine is louder. Damn thing puts out some heat. Plus it heats the room much faster (and quieter) than the pellet stove.

    Ok, I can’t run this off of the generator. For that matter, until we pull and trailer the generator from the motorhome, I can’t run the central heat pump either. I can run everything but the water heater and the electric range from the current generator… including the pellet stove.

    The problem with the pellet stove is that if the power goes out for very long, it shuts down. A safety thing. I approve. But I can see it becoming a problem when I have to gas a running generator…

    Pellets are ~$7 for a 40# bag. Or, they were year before last. 50 bags to a ton takes a while to use. One bag burns for about 15 hours on heat setting 1. The lowest. I’m pretty sure electricity is going to be cheaper…

  22. @Ray, I’ve got some advice, but we’ll have to wait until I have a keyboard.

    Nick

  23. Nick, could you drop me an email when you get back home? ISTR you said you have a new email address since the last one I used but I can’t find it.

    I’m at steven dot furlong at gmail.

  24. I went and saw “Rogue One” with my Dad today in Victoria, Texas. Highly recommended if you like Star Wars Movies 4 – 7. Very dark. Very, very dark.

  25. “Both the transnational elite and populist right sense the stakes involved here. As news of the barbarous atrocity spread across Europe, the reactions were instantaneous and predictable.”

    http://buchanan.org/blog/europes-future-merkel-le-pen-126291

    And the Left will once again try to double down, over there and here. “Gee whiz, there seems to be a lot of trouble associated with bringing in a million hadjis; let’s try it again, only this time with TWO million!”

    But they may have shot their wad with this latest obscene atrocity by a hadji POS, as Patrick notes; the days of the Left asswipes ruling Europe are coming to an end soon.

  26. I started off my day with an interesting voice mail. I called 911 on a fairly serious accident Sunday night on I-69 south of Wharton, Texas. I was about the fifth or sixth car through the accident scene. There were 2 to 5 cars involved, I could not tell. I did not stop as there were several people already walking around. I pulled over about a half mile down the road when I recognized the location and called 911. They got everything I knew, not much !, and dispatched EMS and Fire to the location.

    This morning, the lady called me and thanked me. I was apparently the first to report the accident. She told me that they were driving 75 mph, the speed limit, and all of a sudden an unlit truck was across the interstate. Her husband swerved and managed to rip off the driver side of the car by hitting the back of the truck instead of the center. No one was hurt thank goodness. The driver of the truck did have a Texas DL but he only had Mexican car insurance. Not good.

  27. It’s all good, amigo; they come here out of love.

    And good on ya, mate, for making that call and doing it safely. Hats off!

  28. My 2 AA LED flashlight is now the 270 lumen Maglite Mini Pro for $20. Not fancy, just on and off, no strobe.
    https://www.amazon.com/Maglite-2-Cell-Flashlight-Holster-Black/dp/B005UUSAAM/

    I am giving all my family members these for Christmas. I managed to score over a dozen of them at the old Big River price of $16 last fall.

    I have about a thousand AA batteries in my battery and bulb closet, aka the hall closet, so I like 2 AA flashlights. This flashlight is a little more efficient than my old Fenix E21 / E25 so I usually get two nights out of the batteries.

  29. I’ve got some advice

    Any advice is appreciated. Send it to me via email at rayt435 at comcast dot net once you get a keyboard.

    only had Mexican car insurance. Not good

    Indeed. The driver that called you will be having their insurance pay for the damage to their vehicle. The driver that caused the accident will pay nothing and get off with minor charges and fines that will be less than the deductible the other couple has to pay.

    When wife was young her younger brother was stuck and killed by a wetback that was driving illegally. MIL lost her son. The driver was in the country illegally and was deported after about a week. Two days later he was back in San Antonio and driving again. Known because MIL spotted him driving on the same road. Called the police and they said they could do nothing. MIL has zero love or tolerance for the wetbacks.

  30. some of us are old enough to remember the icon/meme of Mr. Reddy Kilowatt!

    I remember “Connie Rod” from the Army’s PM magazine back in the day. The PM mag was written like a comic book so mechanics could understand it. Connie had large breasts and short-shorts and doled out PM advice. MrsAtoz remembers her. Didn’t phase her a bit. I’m sure the feminazis have ruined that.

  31. ,em>I went and saw “Rogue One” with my Dad today in Victoria, Texas. Highly recommended if you like Star Wars Movies 4 – 7. Very dark. Very, very dark.

    I like it, but why did they all have to die? Sniff.

  32. “written like a comic book so mechanics could understand it.”

    written like a comic book so chopper pilots could understand it.

    FIFY

  33. We had similar comic-book-style pamphlets with a large-breasted blonde in shorts and major cleavage telling us how to clean and maintain our M16s and M60s; I had a line once not long ago at picking a couple of those up again for auld lang syne but lost it. One of her lines was very suggestive indeed but CRS Syndrome kicks in again and I can’t remember it.

  34. Okay, another of Dad’s Navy Boot Camp stories.

    We had several hours of classroom instruction each afternoon after lunch and a morning of PT and obstacle course so everyone was tired. It was Phonetic Alphabet class, a real waker-upper (yawn), slides for each letter. Well the slides come to “J” “Juliett” in all her naked buxom glory, everybody woke up and no one will ever forget Juliett. 😉

  35. One of her lines was very suggestive indeed but CRS Syndrome kicks in again and I can’t remember it.

    Something about getting the cleaning rod nice and lubed up before sliding it in? I don’t remember if that was in the booklets or if that was joked about but not actually in them.

  36. I’m old enough to remember when the Army claimed the M16 was “self-cleaning” and required zero maintenance. That probably killed a lot of our guys. I knew a couple of guys who served in SF in Nam at the time. One of them humped an M14 and the other a Garand because they didn’t trust the M16.

  37. I like it, but why did they all have to ZZZ? Sniff.

    SPOILER alert ! And remember, in Star Wars B, the plans to the XXXXXXXXX were stolen at great cost.

  38. “…Something about getting the cleaning rod nice and lubed up before sliding it in?

    Yeah, it was along those lines but damned if I can remember exactly what it was, and I assume it was deliberate.

    …”the M16 was “self-cleaning” and required zero maintenance.

    The early models shipped over there had to be babied and by the time I got there, not so much, but still, in a steaming hot and stinking muddy environment a lot of the time you wanted to keep it clean. I ditched mine as I was almost always toting the Pig. And I kept that bugger as clean as I could and always tried to snitch extra asbestos gloves. I also saw Marine LRRPs and Green Berets toting M14s and also FN-FALs.

  39. Well, my instructors told me, with enough bananas they could teach a monkey to fly a chopper.

  40. I need small bright flashlights for my job. These have met the need beautifully. They are as bright as I could wish, the only down side, they have a tendency to eat batteries. A single AA is probably only good for a couple of hours, so I use rechargeables most of the time.

    Takes a couple of weeks to arrive from china but worth the wait. Quality is good, only have had one fail in the last several months.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/121791916706?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

  41. Ditto. I bought a dozen or so a couple years ago, on RBT’s good recommendation. Gave away most to family members. Happy with them.

Comments are closed.