Wednesday, November 1, 2023

BAOFENG UV5R Radios for SHTF situations.

When you are caught off guard by an emergency, the ability to communicate with friends, loved ones and authorities can be extremely important. 

Remember, in a bad storm or SHTF situations The Internet, Phone lines, cell towers, and other methods of communication may not be operational.

But you can be prepared and take matters into your own hands. One of the best ways to communicate with your family or preparedness group is with a walkie-talkie. To handle a SHTF scenario, you’ll want to go beyond the cheap toy or old CB style models and get something versatile and programmable. A solid one that can handle a true SHTF situation.

If you haven't already heard of it, this is the Radio that EVERYONE should own.

Actually, you should really own at least a pair if not more of them.


As one of the most famous names in the global radio industry, the brand BaoFeng is synonymous with it's UV-5R ham radio. 

VOX capable and the K1 type connector for headsets, speaker/mics, throat mics (so you can look tacticool!)

128 FM/NFM channels can be listened to & saved with offsets, CTS,DCS for each channel.

The A & B dual-band operates independently.

Offer privacy codes & a busy channel lockout.

There are 3 background lighting color choices.

Chirp software compatible.

It is a little tough to learn how to use.

You are required to have a license to transmit with it (does anyone care when the SHTF?)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Levin Giant+ Solar Panel Charger 12000mAh

So I got this cool 12000mAh Solar Panel Charger thing.

You know, you charge it up and toss it in your bag so when you are out at the lake (or in my case, at the Grandson's baseball game) and your phone dies, you can just plug it in a recharge on the go.

This one is pretty nice. It has 2 USB ports so you can recharge 2 devices at once.
It has a built in flashlight (that has an emergency SOS mode, very cool).
And of course, best of all, it can be recharged using the sun!

Now in fairness it does take SEVERAL days of FULL SUN to charge it back up (actually you can never fully recharge it in the sun) but even just one day of sun will give you at least 20%-30% charge on an iPhone. That's not bad.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just Ask Alexa

NEW – Audible: Play audiobooks from Audible with Echo. Plus, Echo supports Whispersync for Voice to continue right where you left off.

NEW – Calendars: Check your upcoming schedule by asking what’s on your Google calendar.

NEW – Shopping: Restock on previously purchased items by re-ordering Prime-eligible products in your Amazon shopping history.

NEW – Connected home: Control compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, and Wink devices with your voice.

NEW – Traffic: Hear commute time and the fastest route to your destination.

NEW – Sports: Ask for sports scores and schedules from the NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, NHL, NCAA, WNBA, and more.

NEW – Pandora: Listen to and discover music from Pandora's library of over 1 million tracks.

And now Alexa (The Amazon Echo) can handle multiple timers and alarms!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Amazon Echo, your very cool personal assistant.

So now everyone can have an Amazon Echo of their very own.

This was just posted to Amazon's home page!

Dear Customers,
Today, we are excited to announce that Amazon Echo is available to everyone.
We launched Echo as an invitation-only program in November to learn how customers would use and enjoy it most. The response has been overwhelming.
Amazon EchoAmazon Echo
Echo was born from a simple idea: create a computer, controlled entirely by your voice. This idea required some incredible invention. It had to understand natural language requests, from many voices, from across a room, even when music is playing. It also needed to be informative, entertaining, and useful—while always getting smarter.
With seven microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo achieved this goal by enabling far-field voice recognition. And Alexa, our cloud-based voice service that powers Echo, provides information, music, news, weather, and more—and she is constantly learning new skills.
Since launch, we have added streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible, calendar access, live sports scores and schedules, traffic reports, re-ordering, control of connected devices such as lights and switches from WeMo and Philips Hue, and more. Many of these features are a result of feedback and suggestions from our customers—thank you.
I am excited by what the team has done in a short period of time with your help—and we're just getting started. We hope you enjoy Amazon Echo.
Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO
P.S. — See what some of our early customers are saying about Echo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Amazon Dash Button

So I finally managed to get my hands on a Tide Dash Button

Very easy to setup!

The Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon shopping app on your smartphone to connect to your home Wi-Fi network and choose the product you want to reorder with Dash Button.

Now here's the catch. There are not a lot of choices. We prefer to use Tide liquid but that wasn't one of the options. We don't use Tide Pods so we went for the one choice of powder they had (glad we like that scent).

Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends a notification to your phone confirming your order. And to make sure the kids don't just keep hitting the button and reordering stuff, be default Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered (you can change the setting in the app).

Place it. Press it. Get it.

Dash Button comes with a reusable adhesive and a hook so you can hang, stick, or place it right where you need it. Keep Dash Button handy in the kitchen, bath, laundry, or anywhere you store your favorite products. When you're running low, simply press Dash Button, and Amazon quickly delivers household favorites so you can skip the last-minute trip to the store.

My wife pressed the button and two days later (Sunday no less), there was the box on the front step.

We're still waiting to get low on Paper towels so I can mash the Bounty Dash Button that I got too!

Monday, January 5, 2015


This is very cool!
I got one for Christmas and it rocks!
Real R/C (not infra red controlled) with Camera and Stunt mode.

Insert a Micro SD card into the slot, charge up the battery (usb charger included) and off you go.
You can record Video or Still pictures using the controls on the remote (you can turn them on and off).

Check out the video it took from in front of my house.

Put it in Stunt mode and do flips and barrel rolls with the flick of the controller.
For being so small it's very stable and easy to fly.

One thing I will add though.
It records audio and I have no idea why because all you can hear is the sound of the blades humming.
I turned down the volume on the video I recorded because you would not believe how loud it was on the recording!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Under Desk Gun Safe - How to safely keep a Gun at work.

So after having my neighbor shot dead in his driveway and having some guy get shot in my office complex parking lot (our office building was roped off inside the crime scene) I decided I had been to close too many times. So I got my Concealed Carry License and started carrying my gun with me every where I go. Well that includes the office. Fortunately I work for a firm that also believes in our 2nd amendment right and many of us carry and keep our guns in the office.

But I was worried that with our clients coming and going and many of the employees occasionally bringing their children to work, it just wasn't a good idea for us to have loaded handguns in our desk drawers or computer bags. So I started looking for solutions. I needed something that could be mounted securely under my desk, use a simple combination to open and that would accommodate a medium framed automatic pistol.

I came up with two viable options

The Gunvault SpeedVault SV500 gun safe

And the HOMAK HS10036683 Electronic Access Pistol Box
HOMAK HS10036683 Electronic Access Pistol Box, 10 X 3.5 X 7.5 Inch
The Gunvault SpeedVault SV500 gun safe priced at about $150 (often on sale for less) has EVERYTHING you would want. It's easy to install, easy to use, has a key backup and when it opens a LED lights up your ready to draw pistol and you are ready to rock and roll. They even have one that just uses your fingerprint to open!

The HOMAK HS10036683 Electronic Access Pistol Box is not as fancy, does not have a key backup (but has a emergency backup in case the batteries die) and is not designed for a speedy draw of your weapon. But it's about $100 less than the SpeedVault.

In my case, being able to rapidly draw my pistol from under my desk wasn't the main concern.
Keeping a loaded handgun in my office and close but safely away from others was. So I went with the HOMAK.

Now my pistol is safely tucked away under my desk and I have peace of mind.
I still think I will purchase the SpeedVault  for my home though. That is one place where I want a fast easy access gun safe that I can put beside my nightstand, next to my bed.