Saturday, September 23, 2017

Facts are unimportant to BLM

Some NFL players who are part of BLM are demanding that the NFL declare that November is anti-cop month, because 300 people have been shot by police since 2016. There is a problem with that supposed "fact." Here is the quote from the letter that the players sent to the league:

Since 2016, police have shot over 300 men and women in this country. Some of the names and stories are familiar—Jordan Edwards, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, but hundreds of others are not,” 
There are a number of inaccuracies here:
1 Trayvon Martin was shot in 2012, not 2016.
2 He was shot by a private citizen in a case where the trial determined it was self defense, not by police.

When it is so easy to find lies in your letter, how can we trust anything else you have to say?

Chickens roosting

The mayor of San Diego in May denied that the city is a sanctuary city, but the mayor also refuses to allow the city's police to cooperate with Federal authorities who are attempting to enforce immigration laws. 

There has been an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Sand Diego. In case you are unaware, Hepatitis A is spread through the oral-fecal route, where a person who is infected uses the defecates, doesn't wash his hands, and then touches something that becomes coated for the next person to touch and eventually eat. It is an pandemic in third world countries, and when the inhabitants of those third world cesspools with inadequate sanitation come to the US, they bring it with them. Once it arrives in an area, the inhabitants who have the lowest level of cleanliness are at highest risk- the homeless, the poor, and illegal immigrants.

So now that the illegals who are in San Diego have brought the disease with them have caused an epidemic within the city, the city is crying to the Feds for help solving a situation that the city's officials have helped create. I hope the Feds say no, and force the city to deal with its own problems.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sandals

Last year, the wife and I decided to travel to Jamaica. We had never stayed at an all inclusive resort before, so we booked a week at Sandals Negril, Jamaica. It is an all inclusive resort, with everything being covered- food, lodging, transfer to and from the closest airport, alcohol, and unlimited use of the recreation facilities. The cost? $4,200.

We paid for it, and we also bought some extras, which were available for an extra fee:
- ATV ride in the jungle
- Candlelight dinner on the beach
- Couple's massage
- Breakfast in bed
- Champagne delivered to the room
and others. These extras cost in the neighborhood of another $1,000.

We never received many of the items for which we were charged extra, even after we complained to management.

Additionally, most of the amenities were centered around the beach, and  as a consequence, there was not much to do there after dark. Aside from sitting at one of the lounges (where there was no entertainment most nights) and getting drunk, or buying marijuana from the numerous people who were selling (we were not interested) there was little to do at night.

They have tried to silence us through legal intimidation. I can only say this: Sandals resorts are not a good value for the money, do not deliver what was promised or paid for, and will use legal intimidation tactics to silence negative reviews. Avoid them.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Road rage

So there was a group of motorcycle riding college students in Oklahoma who apparently cut off a man who was riding in his pickup truck with his wife and kids. Apparently, the man in the truck took this as a mortal insult, began a road rage argument, and called ahead to have some friends stop them in a roadside ambush.  One of the ambushers fired a shotgun in the air to get the bikers to stop.

The armed friends held part of the group at gunpoint and threatened to kill them, while the trucker beat one of the bikers, and the fat one pulled a knife on one of the bikers and threatened to cut his throat. Then, they stole a cell phone that was being used to film the incident. Here is video of the incident:





At 6:48, the Fat guy, who claimed to be part of the Hell's Angels, told them that losing the cell phone is the price you pay for doing the wrong thing. If you listen 7:44, the fat guy told one of the students: "You shouldn't even be up here, you don't live here. Go home." Then he says "I hope none of you plan on pursuing this with the law."

Well, the posted the video, which drew the attention of the cops. You can count the felonies yourself: Armed robbery, aggravated battery, brandishing, intimidating a witness, and more. I am sure there are dozens of crimes that could be charged here.

This is NOT how you handle a road rage incident. Even though there was an arrest made, the small town sheriff appears to be covering for his locals, and is refusing to make more than one arrest, or even release details. It is obvious that the police are engaged in a cover up.

Even if the motorcyclists were in the wrong, the locals escalated the issue, and then  committed robbery and battery. This goes WAY beyond self defense. This is how NOT to defend yourself from road rage.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Looting, display of a firearm, and curtilage: the law

If you have a generator outside during a power outage, how can you legally protect it? What law would allow you to point a firearm at a looter who is attempting to steal your stuff? In order to protect your survival equipment, it must be within 'curtilage' , according to Jon Gutmacher, the attorney who is the author of  FLORIDA FIREARMS Law, Use & Ownership

If you place your generator within your fenced yard, it becomes 'curtilage' meaning that it is a part of your house.  Read his opinion here. Here is the money quote:

As a general rule of thumb -- if you're concerned whether you can display your firearm  if you see someone who might be trying to steal it,  and it is not already inside a fenced area -- perhaps the quick solution is to erect a  temporary fence that attaches to the main dwelling house and surrounds the generator.  It must be at least 3 feet high, but can be as simple as using chain or heavy rope between short posts -- as a temporary fence.  You can even have an opening, although I think it legally smarter that any opening be closed when not attended.  Even if you can step over it -- as long as it is at least 3 feet high -- it's within "curtilage".  That way,  any unlawful entry into the gated area is a "burglary" and a forcible felony, and display of a firearm and a verbal threat should be totally lawful. 

If you live in Florida, owning and reading this book is a must. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Looting and security issues

During the storm, we began seeing reports of looting in south Florida. Some were reported by the local branches of the MSM, with video. Some, it turned out, were false. For example, this came out from one sheriff's office:

You may have seen a post on social media that citizens are being robbed at gunpoint in their homes by individuals posing as electric workers. Beware of internet/social media rumors, we have not received any calls regarding this. Utility workers will be out to do damage assessments as soon as it is safe to do so and AFTER the storm has passed. Right now there are three times the amount of deputies on the road to keep you safe during this storm.

A market in Tampa was looted by thieves who backed a stolen truck through the front of the store.

My wife returned to work today to find out that at least three homes of coworkers and students had been looted while the power was out.

The second powerless night at our home, we were sitting in the living room with all the doors and windows open for cooling, reading books by LED lantern when BOOM a loud report sounded outside, I told the Mrs to shut off the lights and, as I got up, BOOM a second report sounded. I grabbed my AR15, turned on the EOTech sight and ran outside to take cover by the car. My immediate thought was that a neighbor had caught some looters.

Then a third report, with a bright flash coming from one street over. About the time that registered, a starburst shell popped overhead. Fireworks. My wife logged into the Facebook Page for the neighborhood watch and complained. Shooting fireworks during a disaster with a blackout. The reason they gave? The guy said it was his wife's birthday. "Besides," he said, "the kids loved it." My wife told them that this was inappropriate with everything that was going on. She was answered with the following picture from the neighbor who was shooting the fireworks:
Some of my neighbors are ignorant assholes.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tools to help you bug in, or "hunker down"

There are a few things that I had in the house that really made getting through the Hurricane with the level of safety and comfort that we had possible. Most of this stuff, you probably already have:

A set of Black and Decker 20v tools. Since they all use the same battery, buying these tools meant that I had plenty of batteries on hand. Having a bettery operated chainsaw meant that I could save the fuel for use in the generator:
  1. Cordless Drill
  2. Electric Chainsaw 
  3. Reciprocating Saw
A Fluke Multimeter: The fact that it measures true RMS, and allows you to check frequency is a good feature to have when measuring generator output. Besides, Fluke makes the best meters in the business, IMO.

A good set of screwdrivers, a pair of adjustable crescent wrenches, and a pair of Klein wire strippers.

A case of Chem lights: These are good for when you are in your safe room, and need long duration light without killing flashlight batteries.

A couple of these. Be careful, some of them are made by inferior companies. I know, because one of mine didn't hold a charge for more than an hour, even if it wasn't being used.

A cable bike lock, to secure your generator while it is outside running. I chained mine to the second car during the day, and when I shut it down at night, it went back into the garage.

A propane stove, and the adaptor to use it with full sized propane cylinders. Also, make sure you have at least two cylinders.

Good work gloves. Your hands are essential to survival, and an injury during a natural disaster means that you are now useless. I use mechanic's gloves from WalMart. They cost about $15, and are much better than gardening gloves or generic leather work gloves, because they are more comfortable and allow more dexterity.

Plenty of rechargeable batteries. While we ran the gennie during the day to cool down the freezer/refrigerator, we also watched TV and recharged batteries, and got cleanup done. These tools were vital to making that happen.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

To New Yorkers and other Northerners

During the power outage, I began following my local utility's page, because the page is giving updates throughout the day, informing customers when power in their area will be restored.

One customer went to the page, and rated them one star. In the comments, he began saying that the power workers here were stupid and lazy, and if this storm had happened in New York, power would already been restored. I pointed out to him that when Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, it was of Cat 1 strength, with winds of only 80 miles per hour and a storm surge of 4 feet.

Northerners in general, and New Yorkers in particular, have this condescending attitude that everything "up north" or "up in New York" is sooo much better than here, and that is largely attributed to the opinion most of them share that the people in the south are stupid, fat, lazy, uneducated hick rednecks who spend their days humping their cousins and lynching blacks.

Even my wife and her family, being from New York, agree that the loud mouth New Yorkers are wrong. To illustrate:

Compare the strength of Sandy to Irma.
Irma hit Florida with 142 mile per hour winds. Twice as many people lost power here as did in New York during Sandy.

By the time Irma got to this area it had been over land for almost 14 hours. We had sustained winds of 85 mph, and gusts to over 100 mph. That makes Irene in my area comparable in strength to Sandy in New York. The difference? We didn't demand that they call Irene a "Superstorm" and didn't freak out. Except for problems with fuel delivery, most restaurants and stores were open by Tuesday, as long as they had power.

Part of my neighborhood flooded. The only way a vehicle could get in or out was 2 feet underwater. We were on our own, and our flooding was far from the worst.

When winds finally died down to below 35 miles per hour, the utility crews were able to safely work. They reported that 65% of utility customers were in the dark. Within 24 hours, that was down to 50%. (They restore shelters, hospitals, fire stations, and other essential service areas first.) They then concentrate on repairs that will bring on the most customers the fastest. By 48 hours, only 45% were in the dark. Another 12 hours, and only 25% are still without power. They are now down to repairing outages affecting individual streets. They plan on having all customers restored by Midnight on Sunday the 17th, six days after the storm hit. Less than a week.

Compare that with Sandy:
 Sandy leaves millions without power for days or even weeks

Cleveland residents, who had almost no winds, complain that power was out from Sandy for days.

Even Manhattan, where sustained winds were less than 50 mph from Sandy, was without power for four days. The other boroughs, a week or more.

Millions without power in the outer boroughs for over a week.

So don't lecture me about how New York is better. I have lived through more hurricanes than I care to remember. I was a professional responder to nearly a dozen of them. If you don't like the way we handle them or the way we do things here, go back where you came from. We won't miss you.

If you like it here, listen to the people who live here you might learn our way is just as good, or even better. You might decide that you want to become one of us. We would love to have you. Heck, I married a New Yorker. I hold no grudges.

Remember: you joined us, we didn't join you.

Lessons learned

The electricity came back on at 4:30 this morning. The Hurricane Irma event now appears to be over, at least at my house. Wife goes back to work today. I go back Monday.

Here are the stats:
13.5 inches of rain
103 mph maximum wind gust
53 hours without electrical power

I didn't even have to dig into emergency food supplies.

Stored supplies used:
29 gallons of fuel (I only had 6 left)
2 cases bottled water
1 chem light (for light during the worst of the storm while we were taking cover in the safe room)
1/4 tank of propane

Damaged:
We lost a tree, with another small tree needing to be staked up.
The cable from the house to the satellite dish will need to be replaced.
The UPS powering the satellite system is dead and will need to be replaced.

One of the things I learned from past storms was that during the storm and the days immediately after the storm, it is easy to get cabin fever. You can't sit there and watch the news without driving yourself crazy. So we did during the pre-event checklist was record lots of programming for entertainment. While the gennie was on to refrigerate food, we watched movies and TV shows, and our Internet was up. At night, while the power was off (I didn't want to be the only house on the street that was lit up at night- that makes you a conspicuous target) I read books on the Kindle. She entertained herself with her Kindle Fire.

Next time, I will have more fuel for the generator. I also want to get some better window covers. Other than that, things went well for my preps.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tragic news

I just found out that, although my family weathered the storm, not all were so lucky. A firefighter that I worked with for several years passed away during the storm. Details just now are sketchy, but from the few facts I was able to gather, it appears that he was at home during the peak of Hurricane Irene and had some sort of medical emergency. When he was finally able to get to the Emergency Room several hours later, he was scheduled for emergency surgery, but by the time weather and road conditions allowed an on call surgeon to arrive, it was too late.

When he showed up for his first day at work at the age of 22, I remember that he was wearing a backpack. He is what you would call a very big man at 6'4" and 300 pounds. Someone asked him if he had brought a change of clothes, as firefighters are known to do. He replied that t wasn't clothes, but his lunch. His nickname was born. We called him lunchbox.

He just turned 35 years old, and leaves behind a wife and a 3 year old son. As you can imagine, his family is devastated.