Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 9:00 P.M. 8-27-11 Update...

If I heard the radio correctly five minutes ago, they just reported Irene has entered the area of the mouth of The Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.


Classic Gear: U.S. Government Issue Lensatic Compass

Some people are fond of saying that a certain piece of gear is "bombproof." The USGI Lensatic Compass is such a piece of gear. Mine is dated 12-59 and it's still going strong. I have had mine for approximately 25 years. I don't even think anymore to calculate how long it has been, I stopped at 25 years. But the compass is older than I am!

The one thing you should probably steer clear from is the Tritium version of the USGI Lensatic Compass. You know, the type that "glows on its own" without an additional light source. They are definitely awesome pieces of gear and function the same as the regular USGI Lensatic but they go for two times the cost of the standard model, sometimes 125% or 150% more, depending on who you are dealing with. Most of the people on E-bay and forums are not listing the date of manufacture so you are probably just wasting your money as the Tritium has a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

While these are excellent compasses, top-notch gear, if you don't get resupply from the great helicopter in the sky, you might want to stick with the standard, rugged and accurate USGI Lensatic Compass and purchase a Petzl Headlamp, battery caddy and extra Energizers for it with the spare loot you save.

USGI Lensatic Compass = Excellent lifesaving gear.

USGI Lensatic Compass with Tritium and manufactured one year or less from time of sale = good deal if you can justify the additional cost for the ability to see the compass in darkness without a flashlight.

USGI Lensatic Compass with Tritium and no date of manufacture available or over a year old = if the individual or dealer still wants top dollar, avoid them.

Hurricane Irene, 1:00 A.M., 8-27-11

Marching ever closer. Everyone is freaking out. I heard a story from two different sources of borderline fistfights at Costco over bottled water on Friday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene...11:00 P.M.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Hurricane Irene... 8 P.M.

Looks like this will be an event for me and "Blackthorn."

The only way it will get worse for me is every bit it drifts more to the west from this point and if it goes west of Baltimore, I will get the east wall, as with Isabel(le)...which was one hell of a night.

Hurricane Irene...

As of 5:00 P.M. EST, it looks as if she doesn't get a Carolina Bounce, Maryland is going to take more of a hit than expected but less than Hurricane Isabelle a few years ago.

And Hurricane Irene takes a turn more to the west today...

From this afternoon...National Weather Service...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricane Irene...almost 14 hours later...

Just another snapshot and projected path from The National Weather Service.

Hurricane Irene

She is now a Category 3 Hurricane.

Image courtesy of The National Weather Service.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first real earthquake...and a lesson learned, too...

Well, I survived my first real earthquake. I can remember three very minor tremors in years past, the latest was last year, that were more of a novelty than anything else.

This one was shaking! I was at a 7-11, sitting in a vehicle and I thought one of the motor mounts broke and something was wrong and then as soon as I had that thought, it got quite a bit stronger. So, this was around 1:45 - 1:50 P.M. EST. It was first recorded as a 5.8 and then they reported 6.1 and it has apparently settled into the 5.9 range.

Man, people were everywhere!

What lesson learned?

Verizon Wireless was down for the count in less than two minutes, yes, 120 seconds and I tried to call my wife at work, my son at home and two different friends and a client as well, "Call failed, please try again." I think out of a dozen tries I got through once and that was to my son, at home on a landline.

If there is a real disaster, wireless phones are not going to be much good at all. Better look into three GMRS Radios, home, work, mobile.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watching the news? What's old is new again...some Kipling for you this morning...

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
and the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn,
that water would certainly wet us, as fire would certainly burn.
But we found them lacking in uplift, vision and breadth of mind,
so we left them to teach the gorillas while we followed the march of mankind.

We moved as the spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come,
that a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the hopes that our world is built on they were utterly out of touch,
they denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
they denied that wishes were horses; they denied that a pig had wings;
so we worshipped the Gods of the Market who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, they promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed they sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the fuller life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The wages of sin is death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
by robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
but, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
and the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
and the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true.
That all is not gold that glitters, and two and two make four,
and the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man,
there are only four things certain since social progress began.
That the dog returns to his vomit and the sow returns to her mire,
and the burnt fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the fire.

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins,
when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
as surely as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return! - Rudyard Kipling