Well I thought I run through some of the things I’ve been doing and hopefully inspire everyone to step away from the Air Conditioning and get some preps done.
I scored at the Flea market on sunday. I got a D handle pointy shovel for $2, and a D handle flat edged shovel for $3. The flat one has some cement stuck to it I want to remove, but for now that’s still a great deal. The only yard/ditch-digging implements I’m missing is a long spike, a mattocks, and a pickaxe. Almost there.
I need to get a splitting maul and a nice sledgehammer, but I might have to break down and go to a big box store. I like the new fiberglass handled ones. Mum’s had one for many seasons and has survived my brother missing 2 out of 5 times with it.
I got a whole butt-load of electronic and Ham supplies. I got 150′ of RG-8X cable, a 10M hamstick mobile antenna, all kinds of crimpers for coax and power-pole connectors. Next up is to convert and old power supply so it can power my 10m or 2m mobile radio while in the house. I also picked up a SWR reader of e-bay for short money ($25) and it handles from 3-150Mhz. Took me a little while to figure out how to use it, but I got that under control. My mobile 5/8 2m antenna is reading a SWR of 3. that sucks.
Looks like I need to do some experimentation to see if the cable got mangled or if I need to trim the antenna. I need to bone up a little on SWR before i cut anything though. I also need to manufacture a mount for the jeep so I can put the 10m mobile antenna on.
I’ve been studying for the next ham exam, but it has been slow going. Lots of electronics that I forgot over the last 20 years.
I have spent some time fixing things around the house. I have repaired the fence (yet again) where the dog chewed his way out in a blind panic from when the neighborhood was lighting off fireworks when i was away. Poor Thor hates loud noises and I wasn’t home to let him in. A ticket for violating the leash law is all i got, but my neighbor is a little pissed. He scratched up his screen door. I fixed that right way, but he is still concerned Thor might get out again.
Which leads me to my next project around the house. I have it on hold until the fedgov decides how to fuck me with this debt-ceiling crisis, but I wasn’t planning on doing it until August anyways. I’m going to rent me a mini excavator (after calling digsafe) and dig out a good part of the back yard to put in a 16′ x 27′ patio. With a firepit. Should cost me about $1500 and several weekends worth of work. The house really does need some improvements and maintenance I’ve been slacking on. While I have the excavator I’m going to finally dig out a few shrubs and stumps around the house. Right by the front windows are two of them ubiquitous evergreen-cedar plants that got flattened out by all the snow, and somehow doubled in size from the sunlight getting into the middle. They got to go, as they are ugly, and getting big enough to hide burglars. I plan on planting something small but spiky in front of those windows.
I planned out the patio in Google’s Sketchup, a wicked cool free drafting/cad application that I use for everything. I need to draw up some different ideas for the fence and see how they look in 3d before I pick one. I’m leaning towards a five foot picket fence with slats on each side, offset so they alternate on each side. I will NOT just buy the standard, everyday plain 6′ wood fence everyone has. I’m looking at making this functional, and adding value to the home. So if I’m walking away, why bother? That’s why I’m waiting, along with making sure I am picked up full time by this company.
Next on the list is paint the metal railings on the front steps, cut a dog-door in the back door of the house, and replace the main door I use with something more secure. It has a big window right by the doorhandle, which is a joke in terms of security. I’m going to re-use the frame, because it is fairly secure, and I don’t want to take out the umpteen deck screws I used to beef it up.
I have been writing, although not as much as I would like to. Work is still kicking my ass with the amount of material I need to learn and retain. I have a short story about 1/2 written, and I’ll need to spend a session or two editing it before I start looking for alpha readers.
As part of the deluge of reading and learning I have doing. I have also been looking into starting my own corporation for this blog. As you all know I am very concerned (translation: downright paranoid) about protecting my “real life” identity from my real identity. I consider myself Natog, but the other me has a SS# and all that jazz. The other me has to watch what he says so he doesn’t rock the boat at work or endangers its chance for a continuing career in the IT field. Part of this other career will involve government-related projects including DHS projects. The other me will be going for a Top Secret clearance as part of the new job. Although I’ve said some pretty inflammatory things, in particular telling the Commander in Chief to go fuck himself, I’ve never called for violence. Odds are the Fedz will be able to link me to this blog, but there is hope they will miss it. By isolating my other me from the real me via a corporation, I might be able to do that.
They way I look at it is if they find it they find it. I’ve never posted any secrets or information about my employers, and see no reason anyone reading this would want to know. This isn’t a forum for that. This is to help noobies get prepared, encourage others to continue to prepare, and to bitch about the stupidity inherent in the Federal and State governments. It is for me to pass on what I’ve learned and to learn from others. No biggie, right?
Back to what I’ve been doing. I spent some time researching a security camera system for the house, but I’m kind of stuck. I’m torn between a turnkey solution and a home built one based on Linux. Cost would be about the same. the linux system would be way more flexible but take longer to implement. The turnkey would be limiting but easy to set up. The turnkey’s cameras are all wired, where I could go with some wireless for the linux. I could also get moveable cameras with the linux system for only a little extra cash, and remotely control them. I also have a friend who wants to put in a camera system as well, and we could send images to each others house, in case the bad guys take the computer equipment. this is going to be difficult to do with the turnkey, but it’s a snap if its a linux system. My buddy is clueless about Linux, so that means I have to support it…
I need to revisit my micro-BOB. I always have access to the Jeep, so I now have the space to build something with more redundancy, and more food and water than what I have with the micro-Bob. I’m going to rig up my iphone as a video camera so I’ll have a video to go with the blog post. I’d like to do more videos, so if you have suggestions, please let me know.
I just proofed the post so far and I have a crapload of stuff to do. Just a few more updates.
My exercise program is working well. I am getting stronger every week, and I’m really wailing on that heavy bag as a warm up. I have lost a bunch of weight, a full 2″ from my waist (I wear my belt below the buddah, so that translates into 4-6″ from my middle) I need to go find another leather belt because this one is wrapping around the side too much. I do need to do more cardio, then my weight loss will accelerate even more. For a diet I basically have reduced my portions, and don’t eat crap. The hardest change was to stop eating muffins for breakfast and switch to a smoothie.
My smoothie consists of:
- ~1 cup of filtered water (love the berky btw)
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- 1 1/3 scoops of tropical punch Gold Standard Whey protein
- Handful of frozen berries.
In a blender, add the water and oats and puree them. then add the rest and blend until smooth. I gulp it down with a fish oil capsule, a zyflamed, and a multi-vitamin. You have to use the protein powder to make it edible. Uncooked oats taste like chalk. yuck! I now am impressed enough with the Zyflamed to recommend it. I was only taking 1 a day, when the bottle says to take 2. I’m still over 300lbs, so i might up it to three. I have noticed my shoulder and wrist don’t bother me as much, and the soreness from working out goes away quicker. YMMV, talk with your doctor and all that CYA crap.
I’m now of the mind I’d like to continue some training in the martial arts. I took some a long time ago, but I’m not going to go and join up with some ninja-dragon-kempo guy. The only people teaching what I want are in California these days, so I’m going to learn it on my own. I need to find some Uke’s (uke=training victim in Japanese) and a place to train a couple times a month. I stopped by one of the dragon-kenpo-jujitsu places in town, but it was in the middle of a kids class. I’m going to reach out to my old sensei and see if he will give me lessons once a month (hourly rates are expensive) for myself and a few friends. He closed his Dojo and went back into construction. He’s a great martial-artist, but a terrible business guy. I expect fees in the area of $150/hr. If he is willing to teach 5-6 of us it’s worth it. Maybe he will re-open his dojo… He deserves to teach – he’s very talented and respected.
I will say this: Do not bother with any Kenpo, Kempo, Kung-fu, or any of that shit. It’s pointless. I judge an art by their physics and philosophy. Akido has great philosophy, but they help each other throw themselves around (poor physics), and they don’t train in groundfighting. Akido + Brazilian Jujitsu would be a good combo to learn, but two classes is expensive.
I have learned that I learn faster on my own that with regular instruction. this goes for Kosho Shorei Ryu as well as calculus and electronics. Time is short, so I need to find a teacher who is not looking at my wallet. The dragon-ninja crap is a viable business model, just don’t try it on me in a fight.
I’ll keep everyone posted as to how things go. Now get outside and get sweaty. Build a fence, work the garden, and feed your mind!