My Blog

Potato Salad

Diced Red Potatoes
Chopped Red Bell Pepper
Smoked Sausage
Parsley
Mayonaise
Onion Powder
Black Pepper

This is my own take on Potato Salad.

It is uniqe, but tastes very good.

…There are countless ways to make potato salad by the way…

Wash the red potatoes thoroughly! This is of the utmost importance!
Dice the red potatoes (you may need a few or you may need many depending on the amount of people you are feeding.)
Leave the skin on the potatoes. Not only will this say you time, but it will give you extra nutrition from the skins!
Boil them until they are soft enough to easily push a fork through.

While the potatoes are boiling place some smoked sausage in a frying pan.
Heat it until it is cooked thoroughly.
Save the drippings and cut sausages into small chunks.

Drain the potatoes.
Run cold water in your sink while doing so, as I’ve stated before, to preserve the seal on your sink drains and therefore prevent your sink from leaking!

Place boiled potatoes in a bowl.

Add mayonaise (the more potatoes you have, the more mayonaise you will need.)

Add sausage chunks and drippings.

Add garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Eyeball your spices, you will know when enough is too much.

Cut a red bell pepper into small chunks also and add to mixture.

Add a little parsley for garnish.

Mix and mash entire contents together until it is consistent.

Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy!

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Green Beans

Ingredients:

Fresh or Frozen Green Beans
Cooking Oil
Bacon
Sugar
Season Salt
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Diced Red Potatoes (optional)
Chopped Mushrooms (optional)

When I can (please no pun intended), I use fresh green beans but if this is not an option, frozen works almost as well.
Most canned green beans have a terrible after taste and I consider canning them to be assault, battery, rape and muder of perfectly good green beans.

If using fresh green beans, make sure the tips are snapped off. French style cutting is also an option, but this is very time consuming and can also cause personal injury if not absolutely careful. I use my Case Trapper knife for this very purpose.

If using frozen green beans, allow them to defrost, at least for a little while.

Take your favorite type of bacon and some sterile kitchen scissors and cut the bacon into neat little squares.
*If you use raw bacon and are anal about food borne pathogens like I am, you may microwave the bacon before cutting it, but for best results add the drippings as well as the bacon to the recipe.*

Line the bottom of a medium to large pot with cooking oil, then add the cut up bacon (and drippings if applicable), sugar, season salt, onion powder, garlic powder black pepper and the optional diced red potatoes.
…Eyeball your spices. I never measure! The more green beans you have the more seasonings you will need. You may just be cooking for yourself or you may be cooking for a small army…
*If you add the diced red potatoes, make sure you wash them well, but to save time as well as add some nutrition to your meal, leave the skin on. The skin is good for you!*
You may also add the chopped mushrooms at this time if you wish.

Place pot on a medium to high fire.
Heat the base and frequently stir until it is ever-so-slightly carmelized.

Dump green beans into pot and add some water.

You want enough water to steam the green beans but NOT boil them.

*Steaming preserves the all the nutrients that green beans provide whereas boiling destroys all those nutrients*

Lower the fire.

Mix everything throughly so the flavor of the seasoning base is infused to the green beans.
Cover the pot, but stir occasionally.

The cooking on low fire time may take 1 to 3 hours depending on how tender you want your green beans to be and how much you are cooking.

Serve and enjoy.

By the way, this is how I cook green beans.

My girlfriend has a completely different method.

She doesn’t like my method and I don’t like her method (others like my method and yet others like her method too, though.)

But I frequently tell her how if we had too much in common we would eventually be at each others’ throats.

For the record, I still love her to death though and I revere her immensely!

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Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients
Cooking Oil
Dry Loose Red Beans
Medium Grain White Rice
Finely Chopped Parsley
Smoked Sausage
Bay Leaves
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Creole Seasoning
McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper Seasoning

I don’t give specified amounts of ingredients because some of you may be serving plenty of people and some of you may just be serving yourself.

I never measure my spices, either, instead I eyeball everything.

Soak dry loose red beans overnight for 12-36 hours.
Change water at halfway point during soak.
Drain beans.

Cut smoked sausage into small round pieces.

In a medium to large pot (depending on the amount desired to cook), line the bottom of the pot with cooking oil.
Add the smoked sausage, bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper Creole Seasoning and McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper Seasoning. Eyeball your spices!

Place pot on medium to slightly high fire.
Stir frequently.
Press on pieces of smoked sausage to allow their fat and juices to mingle with the seasoning base.
Heat until slightly browned.

Lower the fire to between medium and low and combine beans and water with enough water for the beans to swim in.
Cover the pot and stir occasionally.

The beans will get softer and softer as the cooking time progresses.

Mash some of the beans against the pot when soft enough (optional.)

It could take between 2 and 5 hours to complete cooking and water may need to be added during the cooking process.

I always taste the food that I am cooking and this helps determine whether it is done or not.

When the beans are near done, take another medium to large pot and fill it with water.
Add a few drops off cooking oil to the water and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the rice and boil for approximately 26 minutes or until rice is soft enough.
Drain rice and for Heaven’s sake, run the cold water in your sink while draining.
*Don’t run the cold water on the rice, but let it hit the drain hole while draining your rice. Boiling hot water causes the seals in your sink drain to deteriorate prematurely, which will cause your sink to leak!*

Serve rice over beans and garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!

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A Review of the STREAMLIGHT JR® LED FLASHLIGHT

By the way, I don’t own the featured image. It is property of Streamlight Inc…

The Streamlight Junior has been in production since 1988 and I believe was Streamlight’s answer to the Mini Maglite.

I believe in the late 2000’s an LED version was put on the market.

And then in the mid to late 2010’s an improved LED version was again put on the market, with a better switch system, more robust pocket clip and brighter light engine.

There was a 130 Lumen version and a 225 Lumen version of this latest incarnation of the Streamlight Junior. I’m not sure which one I currently own. According to website specs, it runs on two AA Alkaline or Lithium batteries. It has a battery life of six hours and a physical length of 6.5 inches, long enough to be located easily but short enough to be carried even when travelling light.

I was in the market for a tactical LED flashlight in April of 2018 and I bought my first Streamlight Junior LED. I was immediately impressed by the performance. I later sold it in October of 2018 because I needed the money.

I had missed that flashlight a lot, so in January of 2019, I purchased another Streamlight Junior LED flashlight and I have been pretty much EDCing it ever since.

It is almost constantly in my right pants pocket or somewhere otherwise nearby.

I’m not sure if mine is the 130 or the 225 Lumen version, but in the words of my ninety something Paternal Grandmother, it’s a “powerful” flashlight. I visit her frequently, especially since her husband, my Paw Paw had passed away. I think I inherited my flashlight interest from him.

She is definitely right about that, it is indeed powerful.

And the battery runtime is pretty generous considering the brightness.

The other night, I was assisting a friend who was working on my car late into the evening and my trusty Streamlight Junior was our light source. It gave us useful light for hours on end. We worked well before and past sunset and until the hour of 11 PM, and I still had useful light being emitted from the LED engine. I had used it daily on the same set of batteries prior to that.

Another example of when this flashlight went above and beyond was back in April or May of 2018 when I was trying to locate the house number of some potential troublemakers at night to warn their location to someone I cared about in order to stay away from them. I was able to see the house number from my car at night and operating the tactically correct flashlight was easy as pie, even in a moving vehicle on a narrow winding road.

Speaking of protecting people I care about from trouble makers; if I purchase another firearm, it will be a Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver, which would be a frequent companion to my Streamlight Junior when and where I am legally able to do so.

I don’t see any design flaws of this flashlight at all and I have owned one on and off for over a year.

Even though it has plenty of battle scars from everyday use, I trust it 100% to light up any situation.

I do have but one complaint and it is:
Why can’t this flashlight be made in the USA?

Of course the Chinese are getting closer and closer to American or even German quality at producing high performance flashlights.

Of course Streamlight is an American company that outsources foreign labor and can actually be traced back to the 1968 Kel Lite which was the original line of tactical flashlights.

It does, sadly outperform all LED versions of its main competitor, the American-made Mini Maglite, I’m ashamed to admit because that is my favorite flashlight.

Since I have no true complaints about this flashlight, I give it five out of five stars and it is right here in my right front pocket as I write this review.

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A Review of the Leatherman Style PS Pocket Tool

By the way, the featured image on this page is not mine, but property of Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.

I discovered Leatherman Multi Tools in early 2010 when I had just made 23.

I’ve owned the Kick, the Style CS and the Style PS. Someday soon, I hope to own the Wingman.

This piece will be a review on the Style PS.

I bought my first Leatherman Style PS in February of 2018. I was going through a divorce and staying with a friend while waiting for my apartment to become available. I ordered this wonderful tool on eBay.

I misplaced it somewhere in my friend’s house at some point in April of 2018.

In May of 2018, my apartment became available and I ordered another Leatherman Style PS.

It has been a staple in my EDC gear ever since.

Usually it stays on the right front belt loop of whatever pair of pants I am wearing at the moment. If not there, it is then in my EDC backpack hanging from an internal keychain strap.

Supposedly, this pocket tool is TSA compliant, which means it can legally be carried on aircraft and not get confiscated.

There are no edged weapons (knife implements) featured on this tool, so I guess this is what makes it TSA compliant.

However, I’ve heard many instances where some of these TSA personnel are either douchey, greedy or incompetent and could still potentially confiscate it.

Because of this paranoia and the sentimental value this tool has to me (it has a cameo in story I wrote), I never once took it on a plane with me.

Since it is marketed as TSA compliant, I wonder if it is kosher to bring in government buildings such as hospitals, schools or courthouses?

I’ve never deliberately tried except when it was accidentally on me, but those times I didn’t have to go through a metal detector.

The Leatherman Style PS features eight implements on a gadget that is roughly the size of a sugar wafer.

They are as follows:
1. Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
2. Spring-action Regular Pliers
3. Spring-action Wire Cutters
4. Spring-action Scissors
5. Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
6. Tweezers
7. Nail File
8. Carabiner/Bottle Opener

I have used the Needlenose or Regular Pliers to connect and disconnect my car battery.

I have used to Wire Cutters to prune flowers.

I frequently use the Scissors to cut open the seal on my bottles of Starbucks Frappucino, of which I am a frequent drinker.

I use the Screwdriver, usually to clean my fingernails.

I have yet to need to use the Tweezers

I have sometimes used the Nail File to take corrosion off of electrical contacts.

As stated before I use the Carabiner to clip this awesome little tool to my pants pocket and I frequently use the Bottle Opener to remove the cap from a bottle of soft drink.

I have heard of people in my State (Louisiana) catching a charge for simply possessing a weapon on their person while arguing with someone else even though they didn’t start the argument. I’m ashamed to admit that Louisiana is one of the most if not the most corrupt states in the Union. So, I guess to cover my butt, I try to not carry any kind of object that could be considered a weapon, unless I absolutely need it with me.

This Leatherman Style PS has no real weapons on it, so it should be safe and perfectly legal to carry.

I have no complaints about this pocket tool, except that it requires frequent applications of WD-40, but that is probably because I live in nearly tropical Louisiana.

It fits the bill perfectly, I just wish it could come down a little in price, but American made products inherently cost more than their foreign counterparts.

This could be a perfect gift for a little boy or girl that is too young for a knife and it could be an equally perfect gift for a grownup that frequents weapon restricted areas.

For the record, I give this product a five out of five stars!

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If you were to die right now, where would you go?

Think, as if your life depended on it, if you were to die right now, do you know where you would go?

There is a way that you can know for certain that you will make it to Heaven when you die, but the choice is ultimately yours and I cannot make that choice for you.

Only you can make that choice.

Not everyone will make it to Heaven.

Our sins prevent us from making it to Heaven.

We as human beings are very sinful creatures and The Bible clearly states in the Book of Romans Chapter 3, Verse 23: “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It says ALL. That means you and me and anyone else who has ever lived.

The only alternative to Heaven is hell. It is a horrible place of eternal unceasing torment.

No matter how many good deeds we do, we cannot earn our way into Heaven and thus we all deserve to go to hell.

I know it must seem hopeless at this point, but there is Good News and Hope!

The Bible also states in the Book of Romans Chapter 6 Verse 23: “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Going to Heaven is a FREE gift from God, purchased by the sacrificial suffering and death of His only Son, Jesus Christ. It cannot be purchased or earned any other way. Not only is going to Heaven part of this gift, but God will also meet all of you earthly needs.

So how must you receive this gift?

Jesus Christ clearly stated and it is recorded in the Bible in the Book of John, Chapter 3 Verse 3: “3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

You MUST be born again…There is no other way.

Jesus Christ also stated and it is also recorded in the Bible in the Book of John, Chapter 14, Verse 6: “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

How then can one be Born Again and Come to the Father through Jesus?

Well, the Bible clearly states how in the Book of Romans, Chapter 10, Verses 9 through 11: “9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

Believe on Jesus. Recognize that you are a sinner, you have offended God and deserve hell. But equally importantly realize that God loves you and doesn’t want you or anyone else to go to hell. That is why He sent Jesus to take your punishment and my punishment and what took Him three hours to pay for our sins in full, would take us an eternity to pay for our sins but they would never get paid. Confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and believe with all your heart that God raised Him from the dead and trust in Him and only Him as the provider of your entry into Heaven. Do not put your trust in your good deeds or your money or your family or your church or anything else aside from what Jesus Christ did for you and me and all of humanity! Surrender your heart to Him and He will gladly take you in!

That above is how one becomes born again and that is how one comes to the Father through Jesus Christ.

When one becomes born again, he or she will receive The Holy Ghost immediately and The Holy Ghost will allow and compel that person to live for Christ, but that person needs to continuously yield to The Holy Ghost moving on his/her heart. This is the mission and desire of Jesus Christ and is stated so in the Bible in the Book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 5, Verse 15: “15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

My current pastor frequently tells us that we don’t have to clean up our lives in order to come to Jesus and that He will take us just as we are, but once He takes us in, we will begin to have a desire to clean up our lives especially the more we yield to The Holy Ghost moving on our hearts! He will cause you to want to repent of your sins through His loving conviction and you will have more success in repentance and victory over your sins by yielding more and more to Him!

Just know that you will sin again, as long as you live on this earth you will still sin at some point or another but if you genuinely come to Jesus, all of your sins, past present and future will be totally forgiven!

Jesus Christ is knocking on the door of your heart and I know it. How do I know it? Because of the fact that you are still reading this! Furthermore, Jesus says how he wants to enter your heart and the Bible records Him saying so in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 3, Verse 20: “20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Will you open the door to Jesus?

Will you let Him in?

This is the MOST important decision you will ever make and it will affect your eternal destiny and position.

I cannot make this decision for you.

Only you can.

Please choose Jesus.

If you do indeed want Jesus to save you, just talk to Him like you would talk to your best friend or a good, loving spouse. Let Him know that you know you are a sinner and you are sorry for offending Him with your sinful choices and that you know He is willing to forgive all your sins. Ask Him to forgive you and to rule your life from this point on. Ask Him to come into your heart.

If you do this earnestly and genuinely, you should feel as if the biggest burden was totally lifted off of you and you have been set free. That is exactly what happened to me in July of 2004 and it was the best choice I ever made!

If you did indeed choose Jesus and have surrendered your heart to Him, let me say Praise God and Congratulations! Now, the next step is to find a Bible believing church to join where you will be around people who will help you grow in Christ and encourage you in your walk with Him.

The other thing to do is to tell others what you have learned and what Jesus has done and is doing for you…

A Review of the Realistic (Radio Shack®) Pro-32 Handheld Programmable Scanner Radio

I am a very sentimental person.

I also frequently think about what technology was like around the time I came into this world (especially radio and computer technology.)

Because of that, for years, I had wanted to own a Realistic (Radio Shack®) Pro-32 scanner.

Why?

Because it was put on the market in 1987, the same year I was born.

In 1987 this was Radio Shack’s premium handheld scanner. It retailed for $299.99 (which would be the equivalent of $674.84 in 2019 Dollars.) I bought mine second hand but in very good condition with the original box and paper work for $25 even (more on that in a bit.)

The Pro-32 runs on 6 AA Alkaline or Rechargeable (NiCad/NiMH) batteries. It also uses three watch batteries to power what was a vast memory (200 Bank+10 Monitor Channels) in 1987. The Frequency ranges it covers are:
30-54 MHz FM
108-136 MHz AM
138-174 MHz FM
AND
380-512 MHz FM

This scanner must have been a failure, because it was only featured in the Radio Shack Catalogs from 1987 to 1988.

In 1989, a significantly more sophisticated model was put on the market, the Pro-34. This better scanner also ran on 6 AA batteries, but did not require watch batteries for the memory. In addition to what the Pro-32 received, the Pro-34 had more frequency ranges:
806-823 MHz FM
857-868 MHz FM
AND
896-906 MHz FM

Many police, fire and EMS services as well as some bigger businesses would begin to migrate to 800 MHz in the 1990s.

The Pro-34 costed slightly more at $329.99 ($680.07 in 2019 Dollars)

What I find amusing though, is the Pro-32 seems to be the direct ancestor of several entry level scanner radios such as:

The Radio Shack Pro-79, which came out 15 years later in 2002 and is more power efficient (runs on 4 AA batteries instead of 6 and the memory is flash based instead of requiring those watch batteries) and costed $99.99 ($142.04 in 2019 Dollars.)

The Radio Shack Pro-82, which came out 16 years later in 2003 and has the features of the Pro-79 in addition to push button dedicated searches for certain radio services and costed between $79.99-$99.99 ($111.09-$138.87 in 2019 Dollars.)

The Radio Shack Pro-404, which came out 22 years later in 2009 has all the features of the Pro-82 in addition to a Signal Stalker/Spectrum Sweeper and PC programmable features and also costed $79.99-$99.99 ($95.28-$119.10 in 2019 Dollars.)

The Radio Shack Pro 649 which came out about 27 years later in 2014 and is almost a younger clone of the Pro-404, but can tune in more narrow frequency steps on certain bands and costed $99.99 ($107.94 in 2019 Dollars.)

The closest modern equivalent to it is the Whistler WS-1010, which came out 31 years or so in 2018 or so and has all the features of the Pro 649 but double the memory and costs between $79.99-$119.99 ($81.40-$122.11 in 2019 Dollars.)

I had checked on eBay quite a few times trying to buy this scanner, but there was always a problem purchasing it.

A few weeks ago, I had tried for the final time, when my transaction didn’t go through. Within seconds of the failed transaction, The Good Lord Himself told me stop and wait because I would be purchasing one at Ham Vention 2019 in Ohio.

I’m beginning to learn to obey Him and this time, I did just that.

And do you, the reader, know what?

The Pro-32 scanner I bought a Ham Vention was in much better condition and cheaper than any of the ones selling on eBay!

Any Christian (but only a Christian) is a child of the One True God. And God is a passionate loving Father who wants only the best for His children. This is a very small but still valid example of that.

By the way, this particular scanner is not very common. Case in point: It is vintage and it wasn’t in production very long. That means there probably aren’t too many in existence anymore. It would have taken basically an act of God for one to be available at the flea market, for me to see it there because the flea market is the size of a horse track and covered entirely with vendors and for no one else to purchase it. So the fact that God Himself told me I would be purchasing one at the Ham Vention flea market, strengthens my faith in Him and my walk with Him and it should be good testimony for believers and non believers alike!

I was planning to go to Ham Vention to purchase gently used flashlights and calculators in the flea market anyway, like I did last year.

I am indeed a ham and in fact, I do hold a General Class license.

Those of you whom were forwarded to my blog from Q R Zed already know this, but I don’t like to give out my call sign.

I’m not too active on the radio, because of where I currently live.

My lease forbids any sort of transmitting antennas and neither do I want to interfere with any of my neighbors’ electronics, because I tend to enjoy peace and detest drama.

So for that reason, I basically stay on 2 Meters and 440 with low power portable radios and usually only during emergencies.

I do all my HF, high powered long antenna activities at a friend’s house with his equipment.

So why besides it being as old as me would I want a Radio Shack Pro-32?

I mean, compared to the modern scanners: It is bulky as a brick in size and weight. It is power hungry as a starving pit bull in a butcher. It is slower than molasses in the dead of winter when it comes to scan and search speed. It is analog only which makes it obsolete, at least partially. And the coverage is limited.

Yes, that is all very true.

…BUT…

I find that for what I listen to most which is railroad and marine traffic, older scanners are far more sensitive than their modern counterparts. They clearly pull in signals from farther away that most modern scanners cannot even detect. Japanese electronics, which this particular scanner was made in Japan, seem to overwhelmingly outperform their Chinese and Vietnamese made descendants in ways where performance truly counts.

I interpreted the date code (5A7) to mean this particular unit was made in May of 1987. That means it was made thirty two years ago this month (the same month I bought it)!

What amuses and amazes me the most is that the model number is 32, I am 32 (at the time of writing this) and it is also 32! God definitely has His hand in this!

This concludes my review on the Radio Shack Pro-32.

I would like to thank and cite Radio Shack Catalogs for the picture (which I do not own) and the technical details.

I hope you the reader have been informed and entertained by this piece. Thank you for taking the time of reading and may God richly bless you!

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