A stack of short entries today...
Product Review: Auto Buddy from Emergency Essentials
I won this in a random drawing that Emergency Essentials had on their blog site last week. The delivery was amazingly quick. When I got it this past Monday, I looked it over. It has four tools, a 9 LED amber light flashing beacon, a single white LED flashlight, a seat belt cutter, and a car window hammer. It also has a magnet base to attach it to your car while the beacon is going. I put in two AAs and began my evaluation. I ran the flashlight for about an hour. I went in the backyard and the shed after dark. It was adequate. better than some lights, not as good as others, but adequate. I then started the amber beacon flashing. I carried it outside and considered leaving stuck to my truck's bed, but figured it might draw unwanted attention. I ended up sticking it inside my bed tool box, and leaving it there all night in sub-freezing temperatures. When I came out to go to work the next morning, it was still going strong, and had been for about 10 hours. I was concerned about the magnet strength. It held OK to the side of my truck bed, but I've been on the side of the interstate getting buffeted by 18 wheelers going by. Would it hold under those conditions? It was still dark as I headed to work with it stuck to my front fender (I did not have the beacon going). I planned to see if it held until I got to the interstate, about 10 minutes away. About a mile from the house, going 40-50 mph on a bumpy country road, it fell off. I drove the short stretch a couple times, but it was dark and the light was obviously in the ditch. This was Tuesday morning. Tuesday night, it was already dark by the time I got home, and again I could not see it as I drove that stretch of road. Wednesday, I got off work at noon, so when I got near place it fell off, I parked and got out and walked. There it was, in the ditch, a little scuffed, but fully intact and everything working fine! This thing is durable! I have not checked the seat belt cutter or window breaker, but in looking at them, they look like they will easily work as designed. So, would I recommend the Auto Buddy? I sure would. It is currently $11.95, but if you buy 10 or more, they are only $8. A little late for stocking stuffers, but these would be great for new drivers, co-workers, and other family members. Mine will ride in the door pocket of my truck, and I'll be getting one for my wife soon.
al-Qaida Threat to Poison Buffets
I mentioned this on Facebook. From what I gather, there is pretty good intel to suggest this is a viable threat, and before it got reported to the public, "they" had already briefed corporate security types from restaurants and hotels. Is it reason to completely avoid salad bars and buffets? I don't think so. I'd say just pay attention to others who are using them. Maybe take 15 minutes to drink your tea before eating and use that time to observe. Frankly, I'm surprised more people don't get sick from buffets just from communicable diseases and poor hygiene. The sneeze shield and "please use a clean plate for each trip" are not really that encouraging. Any time you eat something that a stranger prepared and served, you put yourself at risk. Barring further information developing, I think we'll still have our year-end feast at Texas de Brazil.
White Christmas of Doom?
The weather reports as recently as last night showed us getting 12-18 inches of snow here in Central Virginia. As of today, it is questionable. If the front moves in slow, we could be closer to that 18 inches, if it moves in fast, we could be in the 6 inch range. I got the new carb put on the generator, along with plenty of treated gas, so we are ready should we lose power. I have alternative heat sources, and we have winter kits in the cars (but if it is that bad, we won't go out). Historically, folks around here wipe the shelves at the grocery store if there is a hint of the slightest snow in the forecast. I can't imagine what the stores are like today. Thankfully, I don't care! We've got plenty of supplies to see us through.
Music review? In a blog about preparedness? OK, it's a little off the norm for me. An old friend, Ryan Hood (we used to be cops together back in the day) has just released his first album, Coming Home. Ryan left Virginia several years ago to move back to the small town of Athol, Mass., where he was raised. I've always known Ryan to be a talented musician, but he also is a great song writer. The songs on Coming Home are inspired by his love of the outdoors, small town living, and the rural lifestyle... the same things that many of us love and strive for. I got my copy of Coming Home yesterday and am very impressed. I'm going to ask a favor of you all. Please visit RyanWHood.com and listen to some samples of his music. If it speaks to you like it does to me, please consider buying a copy of his CD. It is professionally produced, recorded and packaged, and I think it is well worth the $15.
I hope that each of you has a very merry Christmas and a bountiful New Year. Celebrate as you and your family wish, and stay safe. Leave a comment telling us about any good prepping gear you get or give this year. I'll be back after Christmas to share my list, and what I will accomplish with my preps for next year.