Monday, March 31, 2008

Video Possibly Explains Cockpit Accidental Discharge

Here is a video showing a possible explanation for the accidental dishcharge of a pilot's handgun as he was preparing to start his landing approach.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Heading For Jericho?

Interesting essay on Chuck Baldwin dot Com

:A friend recently turned me on to the CBS television series, Jericho. I watch so little network television that I confess to never having seen the show before this week. Obviously, then, I am quite uninformed as to the overall plot and previous episodes. What I saw Tuesday evening, however, stunned me. Why? Because it very aptly depicted what could become a very real-life scenario for these United States in the not-so-distant future." (Emphasis mine)

Read the whole article by clicking here.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Earthquake Preparedness - Tools

Last time, I told you about how I had let my emergency water supply deteriorate and what I was planing to do to rectify the situation.

Today, we'll talk about what tools you should have. The list is pretty simple. You won't be rebuilding your home right away so you won't need a shop full of tools. What you will need is a few essential tools, that are placed in a way you will likely be able to access them even if portions of your home are uninhabitable.

First you need either a gas meter wrench or a 12-15 inch adjustable wrench to turn off the gas supply to your house. Our utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has a good page with info on turning off the gas supply, and when to do it. Click here.

Additional tools to have handy are a Multitool, like the Leatherman or Gerber models, a good hammer, pliers and a set of adjustable wrenches. Again, you'll not be rebuilding your home but may need a tool for minor repairs or set up.

That's it. Pretty simple, isn't it?

Thousands of brand name tools at discount prices!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Earthquake Preparedness - Water

As I promised yesterday, I will tell on myself about how badly I had let my disaster/earthquake kit deteriorate, and what I am planning to do to rectify the situation.

Today we'll talk about emergency water supplies.

All the sources I've checked said 1 gallon per person per day is the right amount to set aside. How many days is the question. The minimum appears to be 3 days worth, 7 days being even better. For a family of four, that means up to 28 gallons. Not impossible. However, I do recall reading an article 2 (or more) years ago which stated in the event of a catastrophic earthquake, the water supply to the bay area could be lost. I seem to recall that article claiming it would take 90 days to re-establish a basic/emergency level of service, and up to 2 years to restore full service. But my memory could be wrong about that. I could not find that article online, but I did find this article on the website which states that ' "The Bay Area's Sierra Hetch Hetchy water supply is highly vulnerable to disruption for up to 60 days following a major earthquake," stated Betsy Lauppe Rhodes, a spokeswoman for the utility, in an e-mail.'

Is it feasible to store 60 gallons of water, per person? I guess that depends on how much room you have for storage. Imagine placing a 55 gallon drum of water in each person's bedroom in your home. Makes it kind of a daunting task, doesn't it?

Now comes the "tell on myself" part. I used to always have a couple extra cases of bottled water. They run about 3 gallons per case. Right now, I have 1/2 of a case. I do drink bottled water constantly, and when my awareness is heightened I will have several cases on hand. But as time goes by and I use my stock, I replace them at a more leisurely rate. What I am thinking of doing is buying those 2-1/2 gallon jugs for the kit storage, that way I won't be so tempted to use them when I run out of bottled water.

Don't forget, your hot water heater will probably have 35+ gallons of water available, and if you have a pool or hot tub you have another source. Just be sure to have a good water filter. If you have a well on your property, make sure you have a means of getting water if the electricity is out.

Here is a link with good info about Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage

One thing I have done, and still do, is reuse those water bottles. I read one time that a freezer should be around 75% - 80% full to operate at peak efficiency. So I started filling water bottles with tap water and placing them in the freezer (or removing them) to maintain about 80% space used. That will provide extra water, but since that amount is constantly fluctuating I will not count it as part of my supply. In addition to being a source of water, if the electricity is out for an extended period of time, these frozen bottles will help keep foodstuffs cold.

That's it for now, your comments, suggestions and ideas are always appreciated.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Bad News For The Home Team


Bad news for the home team. One of them anyways. Kevin Frandsen ruptured his Achilles' tendon in a minor league game today and will likely miss the season. Frandsen had been counted on to be a utility infielder. The Giants were already thin at infield position before Frandsen's injury.

More here

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Earthquake Preparedness

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle made me think about earthquake preparedness. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have been told for years to have a basic disaster kit at home. Here we call them "earthquake kits". In other parts of the country I've heard them referred to as "tornado kits", "blizzard kits" and just plain "emergency kits". They all share similar uses and have much of the same materials. And for years, when it is in the forefront of attention, the kit is analysed, added to and brought up to snuff. Then as time goes by, items are removed and used, forgetten to be replaced, and basically the kit dwindles down to where it would be of dubious value in a disaster.

Such is the case when I checked my kit after reading the above noted article. So I am going to begin a series of posts where I will tell on myself, and as I bring the kit back up to snuff I will tell you what is in it.

Tomorrow, Item #1 - Water.

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Cell Calls on Flights

Via this article we learn that Emirates Airways is allowing passengers to use their cell phones and text messaging devices on certain flights.

I am not sure if I like this. Not that there haven't been times I've wanted to use my phone during a flight, but I am more concerned about having to listen to an endless amount of prattle from other passengers around me. I'm sure they'd feel the same way about my conversations.

My idea, not that it matters, would be to allow text messaging, but not talking on the cell phones. A person could then still communicate with whomever they wanted, and other passengers would be spared the horrid details of their botched lobotomy.

Just my 2 cents.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gadgets Gone Evil

From comes a list of gadgets that turned evil. Some are humorous, some whacky, some downright weird.

Read the article here.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Must Be Here

Spring must be here. They've been getting ready for basebal in AZ & FL for over a month. But the true measure of spring has just passed. Yesterday the Oakland A's & Boston Red Sox were getting ready to leave for a special trip to Japan. They were each to play a few exhibition games against japanese teams, then open the season against each other with 2 games in Tokyo. When all of a sudden there was a snag. It seems that the players and the manager of each team will get a 40K stipend for the "inconvenience" of traveling to Japan. Imagain, having to fly to Japan on a chartered jet, stay in 5 star hotels and eat the very best food. All on your company's dime. So in addition to your salary (which for many of them is over 1 Million a year), you get $40K in pocket change for your onconvenience. Rough life, huh?

The sticking point became when many of the players found out the coaches who were to accompany them were not getting paid extra, as had been promised in the beginning. So the players voted to boycott the trip unless the coaches were paid.

I am at a loss. I am glad to see the players looking beyond themselves for a change. But given that all are getting their normal salaries, traveling 1st class, staying 1st class, what exactly do they need an extra $40K for?

Just my 2 cents.