Thursday, 15 June 2017

09:21 – It was 64.5F (18C) when I took Colin out around 0640 this morning, clear, bright, and calm. It’s already up to 82.3F (28C).

Barbara has to run down to Elkin this morning to pick up the beer for the charity golf event. She’ll make a supermarket run on her way back, since she’s booked solid tomorrow. Then we’ll spend some time this afternoon building more science kit subassemblies.

I’m taking the Technician and General Class amateur radio exams next week, so I need to get serious about preparing for them. So far, I’ve been coasting on my memories from being a ham radio operator 50 years ago. Obviously, some stuff has changed since then.

So yesterday I decided to visit HamExam.org and take the practice tests. I started with the Techician Exam, for which I have the official ARRL manual but haven’t read it yet. I took the test three times and averaged 33 of 35 questions correct. Passing is 26 correct. Then I decided to give the General Exam a try. I ran through it three times as well, and averaged 30 of 35 correct, with 26 again the passing score. That’s just not good enough. So I intend to spend some time over the coming weekend reading the ARRL books and studying the exam questions, for which the correct answers are provided. I’ve never failed a test in my life, and it would be embarrassing for this to be the first.

More email from Lisa overnight. She’d mentioned earlier that she intended to continue building their deep pantry until they reached at least a one-year supply of food and asked what she should focus on next. She has a Sawyer PointZeroTwo water filter on order as well as a supply of HTH. They have a wood stove, for which she just ordered another two cords of firewood, which is to be delivered in the next few days. They have a couple portable radios and several flashlights and lanterns, with a decent supply of batteries. They have a reasonably good first-aid kit, and none of them are on any critical medications.

About the only thing they’re really short on is defensive weapons. They own two .22 rifles and an old 12-gauge shotgun, but not much ammo for them. None of them other than her sons has shot at all for at least 10 or 15 years, and only her husband and father-in-law have ever so much as fired the shotgun. They bought the .22 rifles for her sons when they did an Appleseed course or similar a couple of years ago.

I suggested to Lisa that she should first find a local gun club or range and get all six of them signed up for a beginner class in gun safety. Then head for Walmart or whatever and buy a hundred rounds of buckshot for their shotgun and six bricks of .22 ammo, one for each of them. Then get each of them out to the range for several sessions and shoot 500 rounds each at targets. Then we can talk more about what defensive firearms they should buy.