Category Archives: personal

Survival Bag

Several years ago, I went out and bought a 2 person 72 hour bag at OSH. I augmented the pack with a few items (marked in italics below). At the time, I thought it wasn’t bad, but now that I look at it, it seems woefully under stocked.

  • 12 125 ml Bags of Water. 5 year shelf life. Expires April 2015. 4 per day per person.
  • 12 400 cal Food Bars. 5 year shelf life. Expires April 2015. 2 per day per person.
  • 1 Whistle
  • 1 pkg of 10 facial tissues
  • 2 Emergency Blankets 84 in x 52 in
  • 2 Ponchos Red
  • 2 Chemical Light Sticks. 6 inches long. 12 hour duration.
  • 2 pairs of Latex Gloves
  • 2 Dust Masks
  • 1 First Aid Kit. Contents below.
  • 1 Multitool (Leatherman Surge) with extra screwdriver bits.
  • 1 Flashlight (Mini Maglite). Requires 2 AA batteries.
  • 4 AA batteries. Shelf Stable until December 2023

First Aid Kit

  • First Aid Guide
  • 2 500 mg Acetaminophen Tablets
  • 2 200 mg Ibuprofen Tablets
  • 2 325 mg Aspirin Tablets
  • 1 pkg “Antibiotic Ointment”
  • 3 Antiseptic Wipes
  • 3 Alcohol Wipes
  • 6 0.75 inch x 3 inch Adhesive Bandages
  • 1 0.375 inch x 1.5 inch Adhesive Bandages
  • 1 Butterfly Closure Bandage

We also have an Eton FR-500 emergency radio.

So what’s wrong with this pack? First, its for two people, and there is three of us. Second, the water packets urge 4 packets per day per person. That means there’s only enough water for 1 person for 72 hours. That’s a major flaw in this pack. If worse came to worst, you are going to end up dehydrated. Third, the pack doesn’t contain toiletries for Maximilian, which is a concern for a kid his have. Finally, there’s not enough medicine, and not enough of the right kinds of medicine. This first aid packet is set up for headaches and scratches. It seems like a disaster first aid pack should at least contain gauze and tape to bandage wounds.

So what do we need? Well, without getting very exotic.

  • Toiletries for Maximilian, along with a change of clothes for Maximilian.
  • Food for 3 for 72 hours, including food that can be chewed by Maximilian.
  • Different medicine
  • More detailed first aid kit

Our baby bag typically already contains most of the toiletries, but its usually only set up for a few hours. For 72 hours, we’d probably need 9 to 12 diapers, a box of wipes, and a tube of balm. It’s not that big of a deal; and over the months, we’ve learned to keep it stocked, if for no other reason than convenience.

But what about the other things? The first aid kit and the food? I don’t know what we need just yet. I do know that we need a different backpack though. There isn’t any more room in the bag we have.

Oblique Strategies

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Brian Eno has released the sixth edition of his and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies. Limited to 500, this edition contains some new cards. When I read about this, I immediately ordered mine. I know it’s bit lame, especially since it’s the sixth limited edition (well I guess it’s actually the fifth limited production run, with the actual fifth edition being unlimited) of cards dating from mid-1970s, that you can download from the Internet, but I still wanted my physical artifact.

A Statement from the Hoffa Family

My name is Michael Crancer. C-R-A-N-C-E-R. I have been asked by the Hoffa family to read statement to the media. There will be no questions at this time.

This morning at 10:13 am Eastern time, James Riddle “Jimmy” Hoffa died peacefully in at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize. He was surrounded by his children James Junior, and Barbara.

Thank you.

Nah. It’s just the same ol’ same ol’.

Great Job Receipt Checker

Today, I saw a mother and her son steal a box of Honey Nut Cheerios Marion, Illinois Sam’s Club. They walked right out with it.

My dad and I were getting ready to check out when I saw the woman and her late junior high, or early high school son walk through one of the many closed but not roped off checkout lines that are endemic at all “discount department stores” these days. They went to the concession stand at the front of the store and bought a bottle of water and stood there until someone went to leave and was being “checked” by the “receipt guard.” When she was occupied, they walked right past to their car.

The cart was empty except for the Cheerios.

I thought about embarrassing the receipt checker by asking her if she checked every receipt, or perhaps asking to talk to the manager, but I didn’t. It would have embarrassed my dad, and probably got the woman fired from a job that doesn’t even pay above poverty. And for what? Participating in security charade that exists nationwide?

Nah. Fuck The Man™.

Longbranch

My favorite coffee shop in southern Illinois is Longbranch in Carbondale. Well it used to be, or maybe it still is by default. I don’t know. It’s different. It’s a very different place that I fell in love with back in high school. I know I’ve changed in the past 20 years, but my tastes on coffee shops hasn’t.

Basically, what was once a coffee shop or “coffeehouse” as Longbranch puts it, is now a vegetarian cafe. It’s not like Longbranch is doing a bait and switch, it says “vegetarian cafe” right on their sign.

Back on 1993 or 1994 when my friends first started going to Longbranch, it was dark with candles in the tables, a bookcase of tattered paperbacks and board games, a big long table down the middle and cigarette smoke hung I. The air. I felt so grownup and sophisticated going there, talking politics and music with my friends while being surrounded by college students.

Back then the back room was a vintage clothing store. It was always dark and seemed weird and boring and a bit disturbing and pointless, so I never went in there. I still hold those thoughts about used clothing store.

Years later, the clothing store moved into the building directly behind Longbranch and the back room became the quiet smoke free section with table service for the kitchen that served quesadillas and vegetarian pizzas, and hosted open mic nights on a tiny stage. The was a big difference between the front and back rooms. The front kept its smokey and funky mystique, while the back was bright and more subdued.

Eventually, Illinois passed a law banning smoking in all restaurants &endash; which from a public health perspective is for the best &endash; and that hurt the ambiance for me, I was in the minority for thinking that back then, but I still think it. I’m sure the smoking ban changed the clientele. I know many people stayed away from the Longbranch because the didn’t want to brave the smoke to place their order. (It was a bit strange to have the smoking section in the front, but that’s how they rolled back then.)

I think it was in the early aughts when Longbranch remodeled and expanded rand reoriented the bar and expanded the kitchen. They got rid of the last recliner and couch and brought in little metal cafe tables and chairs. I think that’s around the time they started billing themselves as a cafe too. It’s probably better for business, but it’s just not the same.

It’s just not interesting to watch people eat faking’ bacon BLTs, and waiters asking if anyone meeds something. Maybe it’s because I only come back when school is out and so no one is here (Probably. Hopefully.), but this place has no appeal to me anymore except nostalgia for place that is both here and not here.

Oh well. At least Cafe Pergolessi still exists.

BarBot

I’ve been strongly considering making a barbot (a.k.a. a drinkbot), even thought don’t usually drink at home. I haven’t given much thought to its cosmetics, instead I’ve been focusing on mechanics of the bot. I figure, the mechanics will dictate the form, and if one sprinkles enough LEDs on it, can look look fine.

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