A Review of the Jansport JSOA47JK Big Student Backpack

Okay, so we can all be clear with one another, I do not own the featured image on this page. I downloaded it off the Internet though I forget exactly which website.

I had been into the concept of EDC or everyday carry positively since the age of seven.

In my childhood and teens, I carried my valuables and other gear in a duffel bag.

Since the age of twenty-one, I had converted to the backpack format and almost exclusively used Wenger and later SwissGear.

On April 3, 2023, my SwissGear backpack that I had used constantly since 2021 had a major malfunction. The zipper got caught in the fabric liner of the compartment that I used to store my medications. I was crushed.

Wasting no time, especially because I needed something to securely hold my medication and medical supplies, I hit the shopping strip along Martin Luther King Boulevard in the Houma, Louisiana, suburb of Bayou Cane in search of a new backpack.

First I went to Target because that company carries SwissGear and that is what I wanted. However, due to inflation that’s been happening for the past two years, I could not afford one. What would have cost me $50-$65 just a few years ago now costs $80-$100, at least in terms of SwissGear backpacks.

For some time now, I have been aware that there is another very reputable brand of backpacks that are maybe even more rugged than SwissGear and yet mostly more affordable. That brand is Jansport.

I pretty much had my mind made up that if I could not get a SwissGear backpack that would suit my needs and budget, then I would buy a Jansport.

After all, I did have a little experience with the brand, such as:

My cousin carried his toys in one for several years during his pre-teen and early teen years.

My ex-sister-in-law also carried one.

Finally, I carried an entry-level model Jansport briefly in 2018 for an airline trip but later sold it weeks after getting back home.

There was also a lot of mention of how rugged Jansport backpacks are.

After leaving Target on the aforementioned shopping strip, I went to nearby Academy Sports and Outdoors.

It was there that I saw a Jansport JS0A47JK Big Student Backpack with a price tag of $54.99+tax. I decided right then and there that I would purchase it. The total came out to $60.47, which I charged to my credit card. Today I paid that card off in full, which means I now legally own this backpack and that is what this piece will be a review thereof.

While I have not been a student since 2008, I find the Big Student Backpack by Jansport still fits most of my needs for EDC.

When choosing a backpack, I want one where I can have a compartment to store each of the following:
1. My laptop and calculator.
2. My two portable scanners and Weather Radio.
3. My flashlights and multi-tools that I EDC on the regular.
4. My Bible.
5. My eyeglass case.
6. My medication and medical supplies.
7. My instruments used in my computer repair hobby.
8. My chargers and cables for the electronics I carry.

It is a durn near-perfect match for carrying all these items safely, neatly, and efficiently.

My only two complaints are that it does not have any sort of outer D-Ring or carabiner clip for attaching my keys and I do wish there would be a better handle for carrying from the top, in addition to the loop at the top.

I guess having those features for the many years that I used Wenger and SwissGear somewhat spoiled me.

From carrying my backpack for the past month, I think it is more rugged than most of the SwissGear and Wenger backpacks I have carried over the years.

If it can stand up to the rigors of daily school use and everything that goes with it, then it must be rugged enough for someone living on a disability pension and doing a little light commuting, right?

For those wondering, it has a total capacity of 2,100 cubic inches or 34 Liters, a weight of 1 pound, 7 ounces or 0.65 kilograms, the dimensions are 17x13x7.5 inches or 43.5 x 32.5 x 19 centimeters while the dimensions of the dedicated laptop compartment are 15.5×12.5 inches or 40 x 32 centimeters and are composed of 100% Recycled 600 Denier Polyester fabric.

Here is what the company website had to say about this particular backpack and I quote:

“Go big with the Big Student backpack. Two large main compartments offer ample storage for your supplies, a dedicated laptop sleeve helps keep your electronics safe, and zippered utility pockets keep all of your gear organized. Big has never looked so cool.”

Here are some of the features that stand out:
Two main compartments for optimal space and organization-these are perfect for storing my radios, Bible, and accessories.
Single mesh bottle pocket stretches to fit large bottles-very wise to keep hydrated.
Dedicated 15-inch padded laptop compartment with zip closure-perfect for my Asus laptop.
Front pocket with full organization panel and key clip-ideal for storing medication and medical supplies.

So, yes I have been spoiled by SwissGear but in these tough economic times, we cannot spend on luxuries like we used to.

This backpack cost me what I would usually pay for a SwissGear backpack years ago.

And I’m beginning to think a lot of SwissGear’s higher prices are because of brand prestige and not necessarily quality.

Jansport has both brand prestige and the quality to back it up even though it is not as luxurious.

I give this product a 4.875 out of 5 stars.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Jansport JSOA47JK Big Student Backpack.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained somehow.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Emerson LC195EMX 19 Inch Bedroom LCD Television

All right, so we are all in understanding with each other, I do not own the featured image on this page. I am giving credit whereupon credit is rightly due and in this case, I downloaded the image from Wal*Mart’s company website.

As mentioned a time or two before, I took care of my Paternal Grandmother (Maw Maw as she was known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren) from the time her husband (my Paw Paw) passed in September of 2018 until she, herself, passed in December of 2019.

In January 2020, when we were going through her estate, I told my Dad that he could use her bedroom television as his computer monitor and he did so for the next three years.

Earlier this year, his computer finally gave out and I had asked for the television, to use as a bedroom model for me and my wife.

He gave it to me earlier this month.

I promptly ordered a replacement remote and an antenna for it.

They came in this past Monday and my wife and I have been repurposing this television ever since.

The model and make is an Emerson LC195EMX and according to the information on the back, it came off the assembly line somewhere in mainland China in July of 2009.

And that television is what this piece will be a review thereof.

I am not exactly sure when my grandparents purchased this television, but I know my Maw Maw watched it all night long for at least a couple of years while in bed. And she kept her living room television on throughout the day.

It was either one of two things she was watching-cable news programs or Music Choice’s Classic Country Channel.

I much preferred the latter than the former.

And as much as I appreciate history and my appreciation for history comes from watching the news at my Grandparents’ house as a young child, I did not enjoy it while taking care of my Maw Maw.

Cable news, especially what is available on lower-tier cable packages, has gotten way too polarized and biased.

Since some time in 2019, I have considered myself to be a Moderate, I see good in both sides and I see evil in both sides.

However, my Maw Maw assumed I was a Conservative and that was in conflict with her values since she was an FDR and LBJ Liberal.

So, she would watch these cable news channels, msnbc being her favorite, and then pick a fight with me over whatever the panel of these smug so-called experts were opining.

I would bluntly tell her that what she was hearing was her channel’s narrative and it was very biased.

She would then accuse me of watching Fox News.

To which I would rebuff that I can’t watch Fox News because I don’t have cable.

She didn’t know what to say after that.

I hated having that argument every single day with her, at least after the argument was over she would tell me to cook both of us a piece of Boudin.

And usually, I feel that my political views are no one else’s business, but I’ve felt comfortable revealing them to friends, family, and romantic interests, including my current, and I fervently pray, forever wife. I thank God that my wife and I see almost completely eye to eye politically.

It troubles me to this day that my Maw Maw decided to spend her last days on this earth obsessing over the news, although things became much worse in the months following her death.

Well, I’ve deviated tremendously off course from what was supposed to be a review of a television set.

Let’s get back into focus, shall we?

I know that this is an outdated product by over a decade so, the specs listed on Wal*Mart’s website are not completely accurate.

I will list the specs as accurately as I can:

First of all Wal*Mart’s website stated that the resolution of this television was 720p when last night I was receiving New Orleans TV station WDSU in 1080, although I don’t recall if it was 1080i or 1080p.

Other features include two HDMI terminals, two sets of RCA input terminals for VHS, DVD, or older gaming systems, one set of Component input terminals, a VGA input, and a 3.5 mm input for connecting with older PCs as a monitor and sound system, an S-Video input terminal, an RCA audio output, a digital audio output, and a sleep timer.

The picture quality on this device is downright beautiful. The colors are detailed and vibrant and the image reproductions are very sharp. This is still very true even when receiving an image in 480i!

The sound is also loud, clear, and room-filling, especially for a bedroom model.

Not only did my Maw Maw use this television every night while in bed, she also used it while in a nursing facility for rehab. Then she used it nightly again until her passing. Then my Dad used it as a computer monitor for about three years. And now my wife and I are using it, once again as a bedroom television.

So that should speak volumes about the quality of the components in this television!

What can I say except that Emerson is a reputable brand?

My chief complaint is that the television will not turn on unless the remote is pointed directly at the infrared sensor, however, all the other remote functions aren’t as constrained, which is a relief for watching it while in bed.

The antenna I paired it with is a Clear TV Premium Mini HD Antenna and it has brought in well over 65 channels, granted I am just across the River from New Orleans, Louisiana, but still, this is above and beyond performance!

God willing, I will write a review of that antenna shortly.  [UPDATE: Here is that review.]

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Emerson LC195EMX 19 Inch Bedroom LCD Television.

And yes, I give it a full 5 out of 5 stars!

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and quite possibly maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Kaito KA-390 AM FM World Band and Weather Band Radio

First of all, I am not the owner of the featured image on this page.

To give credit whereupon credit is due, I hereby declare that I downloaded the image from Kaito’s company website.

I had been listening to AM and FM radio since very early childhood.

I had been listening to Weather Band Radio since the age of fourteen-going-on-fifteen.

And, I have been listening to World Band Radio, on and off, since the age of fifteen-going-on-sixteen.

The first time I tried a Kaito Radio was in the latter parts of 2008 at the age of twenty-one-going-on-twenty-two and I was satisfied with the radio’s tuning accuracy, audio quality, and overall rugged enough design.

Recently, I discovered a Kaito Radio that had a similar form factor and user interface, but with fewer features (at least in terms of band coverage.)

That radio is the Kaito KA-390 and it is what this piece will be a review thereof.

When I found out that I would be living in an apartment again, I decided to purchase a radio that would get not only standard AM and FM but also at least some International Broadcasts. The KA-390, I learned, also gets Weather Band, so I was sold!

Earlier this year, I ordered one on eBay and subsequently bought 3 D-sized batteries when it came in.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took World Geography and World History as my two electives. This also gave me two of my three required Social Studies credits.

I would wind up taking every Social Studies course that my high school had to offer!

One day, while having some free time in class, I was reading ahead in my World Geography book.

I remember two pieces in that book, which were published thirty years ago at the time of my writing this piece.

One piece was about how World Band Radio brought international news to people in both remote and oppressed countries, which influenced revolutions throughout the world and especially in Eastern Europe.

Another piece I read in that book was about a shipyard electrician in Poland named Lech Walesa who started the Solidarity Movement, which eventually threw the Soviets out of Poland and was instrumental in contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Lech Walesa may or may not have been influenced by listening to Radio Free Europe.

Nevertheless, in later years I did further reading about him and I can say that I find him to be an inspiring human being.

The only thing I disagree with is his allegiance to the roman catholic church.

The piece I had read in that book on World Band Radio mentioned me, the reader, to picture a family in a cramped apartment, probably in an oppressed country learning about the revolutions taking place around the world. They were likely receiving this news on a radio that is capable of receiving broadcasts from around the World, hence the name World Band Radio AKA Shortwave Radio as it is otherwise known.

I don’t like the term Shortwave, because it is grossly outdated and equally confusing, especially to those who aren’t as tech-savvy as myself.

I had watched some videos on how American and other Western Secret agents handed out these World Band Radios to people in oppressed countries to receive Radio Free Europe. This is not unlike how the American Military handed out Kaito radios to oppressed peoples in the Middle East during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

So, I have been married for almost a year and I picture my wife and I, preparing dinner together in our kitchen and listening to this KA-390, either to whatever foreign broadcast we can understand or more likely domestic news and music.

I am not much of a fan of digital signal processing, but at least it eliminates a great deal of interference.

The reason I am not a fan of it is that tuning around on World Band Radio is difficult enough with an analog tuner and throwing in DSP much further increases this difficulty.

Honestly, in my part of the USA, the only foreign broadcasts in English that I can receive are those from Cuba and China (by way of Cuba.)

There may be one or two broadcasts from Eastern Europe, but they are not in English. Although there is something quite appealing about Ukrainian music.

While not useful for receiving Weather Alerts, it is still very accurate and clear.

I could picture taking it on a small boat to receive Weather broadcasts or as I suggest for several other lower-end weather radios, monitoring the progress of severe weather from a safe room.

As for World Band, when it is indeed able to lock on a signal, the signal is clear enough to be legible and the audio quality is very pleasant.

Like my other Kaito radio from two and a half decades ago, the KA-390 is built reasonably ruggedly but performs better because it runs on 3 D batteries as opposed to the 2 AAs, an 18650, solar panel, and crank.

Might I add that this also features a small LED flashlight, which may be useful during an extended power outage.

I plan to take it should my wife and I have to evacuate from a hurricane, for a whole number of reasons.

There is also a bedroom television that I inherited from my Grandparents’ estate that I also plan to use should the need to evacuate arise.

I do enjoy using this radio and I cannot complain at all.

The company website had this to say, and I quote:

“Powered by 3 D size batteries and designed for everyday home use as well as outdoor recreational activities, the KA390 portable radio keeps your (sic.) informed and entertained, an ideal and indispensable tool to keep on your bedside night stand, on your kitchen counter, on a benchtop in your garage, in a motor vehicle, and so on.

Featuring modern advanced semiconductor circuity with low-power consumption, the KA390 has a whopping continuous playing time of up to 300 hours with 3 fresh batteries. And with its comprehensive coverage of AM, FM, shortwave and NOAA weather (USA and Canada only), the KA390 picks up radio signals from near and far for entertainment, sports, talk-shows, and worldwide breaking news, and delivers real-time weather forecast around the clock in the USA and Canada.”

All in all, the Kaito KA-390, has that old analog feel, somewhat, but with modern components, making it useful for radio listeners of all ages, except for maybe the very young.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Kaito KA-390.

I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars, only because it lacks the lower portions of World Band Radio, especially between 5 MHz and 6.995 MHz.

That is my one complaint.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A review of a [Imitation] Leatherman Raptor

Just to cover my butt, I am not the owner of the featured image on this page.

I give all credit whereupon credit is due and in this case, I downloaded the image from eBay.

Since the late 2000s, I had been a fan of Leatherman Tools.

I bought my first Leatherman Tool in January 2010.

Since then, I have acquired and EDCed several other Leatherman Tools over the years.

Since the mid-2010s, I had coveted a Leatherman Raptor, but could never justify the cost of one, especially since I am not employed in the medical profession.

The Raptor series of Leatherman Tools is geared specifically towards paramedics and emergency medical technicians, although, I have also seen emergency room nurses carrying them as

I still think it is a neat multi-tool, even though I would never be employed in such a career.

I can’t explain exactly why I like this tool so much, except that between leaving my now ex-wife and the awful events of Hurricane Ida, I had lived in an apartment complex in the Houma suburb of Bayou Blue. While some neighbors gave me grief (Karens), I had other neighbors who were good as gold.

There was one middle-aged lady whose nephew I had befriended through my church. I and others would hang out at her apartment. She was shut in, due to her weight, and also on Oxygen.

As I have done since childhood, I always EDCed my gear in some form of a bag, and there was no exception when I would visit her.

She and several other neighbors began referring to me as “Inspector Gadget”, because of the tools and electronics I frequently carried.

I helped this lady fix her medical devices, phone, and tablet and I even installed her television antenna.

Sadly due to a fall, she sustained shortly before Hurricane Ida, my neighbor had to go into a nursing home.

My wife and I went to visit her and we hope to visit her more often in the future.

So what does all of this have to do with my Leatherman Raptor? You, the reader, may ask.

Yes, that is probably a good question.

I will try and answer it:

My former neighbors saw me as sort of a handyman but also in some ways as a step between what they could do and what first responders could do.

And I also frequently carried at least one scanner radio.

All of this made me want a Leatherman Raptor even more.

My wife saw how much I wanted one, so she bought me the next best thing for Valentine’s Day and that multi-tool is what this piece will be a review thereof.

And for anyone wondering what I bought my wife for Valentine’s Day, I will tell you:
I bought her a 5 D Cell Maglite with a Xenon Bulb.

Back to the review:
Yes, it is an imitation of a Leatherman Raptor down to every detail and seems to be as solidly constructed as a genuine Leatherman Raptor but for a small fraction of the cost.

Even if I were to get a real Leatherman Raptor sometime in the future, I will still cherish this one because my current and I fervently pray, forever wife bought it for me. I love her so much and I thank God for her!

So, even though it isn’t a real Leatherman Raptor, it has all of the appearance and functions of one.

I will now break tall the features down:
1) Folding Multi-Purpose Scissors-These are just like EMS shears and probably the most useful daily feature.
2) Seat Belt Cutter-Very handy when performing a vehicle extrication but could also be useful in everyday cutting applications.
3) Ring cutter-Another feature almost strictly for EMS, although maybe it could cut some wire as well?
4) Ruler-This could be helpful in a plethora of applications.
5) Wrench-Specfically an Oxygen Tank Wrench that I wish I could show off to my former neighbor.
6) Window Breaker-Also very handy performing vehicle extrication but in a pinch would be used in self-defense.

This multi-tool can be folded away and clipped inside a pants pocket until needed, thanks to the sturdy pocket clip. Also, the tool stays locked in place when unfolded until the push button locks are activated.

I think this particular multi-tool most resembles the original Leatherman Raptor and not the Raptor Rescue or Raptor Response, but I could be wrong.

All in all, it is a great tool.

Even for an imitation, I have to give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it is perfectly functional.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the [Imitation] Leatherman Raptor.

And I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Space Heaters and Rice Cookers-So many Young Adults Living in Poverty

I like many of those in mine and the following generational cohort live below the poverty line.

The purpose of this piece is not to explain why so many younger people and even those in their mid-thirties to their forties such as myself are prone to living in poverty.

Rather, it is simply some of my observations of choices such people make and items that they use.

That is why the title of this piece is “Space Heaters and Rice Cookers.”

I also wanted to title this “Space Heaters, Rice Cookers, and Broadcast Television”, but thought the original title was more catchy.

Many of these people live in trailers, some that are decades old and the central climate controls have long been shot. It could also be that they may live in site-built houses that are old enough to have been built before centralized climate controls.

Therefore, to have comfort in the winter time, many of these people resort to using space heaters, which can sometimes result in serious injury and/or loss of life if the end-user is not prudent. If they don’t have access to a space heater, they have also been known to lay a mattress on the kitchen floor and turn on the electric oven or stove.

In the Summer time, they cool their dwellings with cheap window air conditioners, and nowadays one does well if one of these cheap window units lasts for the season.

Sadly all of this runs up the electric bill!

There was a time when window air conditioners were made very well, in fact, my maternal grandmother, God rest her soul, had some window units that lasted at least thirty-five years!

The next item that I observe myself and many other impoverished younger adults using is a rice cooker. This could be for the following reasons: Rice is a staple around the world, though now increasingly here in The States, vitamin, mineral, and energy-dense food, it is quite affordable on almost any food budget, it keeps well in storage for an extended time and when paired with the right foods such as beans, it offers a complete protein, in addition to energy. Rice also makes more luxurious foods stretch further when they are served over it. I also many times heard teenage boys playing football and shouting at each other to stay on the opposing team member like “white on rice.” I think of many impoverished young men who were lifted out of poverty because of their athleticism, but the phrase “white on rice” rings low income with me for whatever reason. Rice cookers are quite efficient, especially when one either cannot afford a microwave or owns a low-wattage entry-level model of microwave. I didn’t realize that rice cookers were an appliance associated with poverty until I was watching an episode of Steve Wilkos and he mentioned it in an episode of his show I watched a few years ago.

Sadly space heaters and rice cookers operate by converting electricity into heat. And depending on the individual model’s wattage they can potentially run up an electric bill. However, they are needed by impoverished young adults for subsistence and comfort (sometimes life-saving warmth.)

And that brings up my next point:

Broadcast Television-I was probably one of the few teenagers who watched broadcast television, just for experimental purposes. My parents always had and still do have cable, but I wanted to experiment with what I could catch over an antenna. This was before the digital mandate and many times the picture was very snowy and the audio scratchy. I was amazed when pairing a digital television with a decent antenna how the picture was, dare I say even prettier than a picture carried on cable?! And many people around my age get it now. They may have wanted cable in their childhood and teens but realize that it has skyrocketed in price, yet plummeted in quality and this has been going on for some time now (since about 2010.) Because of technological improvements to broadcast television, there are more channels, with more diverse programming. One can even see shows that were originally for cable but now can be seen for free with digital television and a decent antenna. While I was married to my now ex-wife, I installed an antenna for my then-now ex-in-laws. Since their antenna was a really good model, I use to enjoy watching television at their residence. My ex-wife demanded that we subscribe to some form of cable, even though we couldn’t afford it and this was a major point of conflict in our former marriage. Cable is not even available where my current (and I pray, forever) wife resides, but even if it was we wouldn’t subscribe to it. I’m just glad there is a fairly decent antenna that comes with the place, that pulls in the channels fairly decently. I just wish the news available on broadcast television was either more moderate or better yet apolitical.

I was not poor as a child and adolescent.

I grew up in a lower-middle-class environment as a young child and it became upper-middle-class sometime between my tweens and teens.

However, I have been receiving a disability pension since age twenty (for various mental afflictions) and worked on and off in my late teens to mid-twenties.

At the age of twenty-four-going-twenty-five, I stopped working altogether.

I also injured my back at the age of twenty-seven, when I fell down some stairs while bringing up groceries.

So I am not working poor, but I have associated with many working poor adults to have been able to write this piece. It was either people whom I knew through the church, ex-in-laws, jobs that I worked in the past or just living in South Louisiana.

Many of us on disability pensions also are subject to similar conditions as the working poor though in some ways they have it better and in other ways, we have it better.

I also use a rice cooker and watch broadcast television on the regular, though I have been fortunate enough to not need a space heater as of yet.

People such as myself and other impoverished individuals and families are often sneered at by the middle class and some older generations. They don’t realize that the economy has changed and not for the better, mostly because they have been fortunate enough to be shielded from all these economic downturns and stagnant wages.

I could go on about this, but The Good Lord is telling me to cool it.

I probably should conclude the piece now, before I start getting more offensive than I need to be.

I need to get back to blogging on the regular, it’s just I need to find the time.

Back to “Articles I have Written”

A Review of the Energizer Hybrid Power Tactical Flashlight

So, in case anyone is wondering, I do not own the featured image on this page. While I bought my particular unit at Target, I acquired the image from Lowe’s. This is me giving credit whereupon credit is rightly due. It also shocks me that this product is not featured on its company website, namely Energizer.

So, as other posts suggest, I frequently shop at Target.

And just about every time I visit Target, I check out the flashlight section.

For the past year, I had seen the Energizer Hybrid Power Tactical Flashlight.

I know I said in a recent post how Target seems to be discriminating against men and I still stand by that belief, but this is one of the very few products sold at Target that most men would find appealing. However, there was only one on the shelf.

My sister and her husband gave my wife and me a Target Gift Card as our wedding present and among other things at Target, I purchased this flashlight and that is what this piece will be a review thereof.

For anyone wanting to know, the model number is an Energizer YMHT61 and my unit came off the assembly line in March of 2022.

Earlier this evening, I went to my family’s property where it is dark enough to test this flashlight out.

One of my cousins saw the light and thought it was an intruder.

An uncle by marriage later asked me if I was back there and I told him how I indeed was.

Now, some of my family has a neighborhood watch going on, I guess because this neighborhood in which I grew up is nowhere near as innocent as it once was, but an entire block is occupied by my family.

Everyone was relieved however when they found out it was only me testing out a new flashlight.

My reaction is that I was initially disappointed.

The beam distance is nowhere near as far-reaching as I thought it would be.

But that is my only complaint.

I like how it has a removable and rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that can be charged via USB.

And in a pinch, it can also be powered by 6 AA batteries.

I also appreciate how it is long enough to be used as a melee weapon but still concealed in a coat pocket or deep pants pocket.

This flashlight also features a crenelated strike bezel for further self-defense purposes.

On High Mode, it puts out a total of 1200 lumens for 4 hours with a beam distance of 200 meters.

On Low Mode, it puts out good enough 250 lumens for 15 hours.

There is also quite an effective self-defense strobe mode that is very easy to activate!

Ten years ago, these numbers would be considered science fiction!

It is rated to withstand a 1-meter drop on concrete although it can probably take much more than that due to it being tactical grade.

It is also rated to be used in driving rain but probably not much more moisture than that.

So I don’t think this would be at all appropriate for a tactical search and rescue situation.

However, I think it would be perfect for light-to-medium-duty security work, such as at a mall, church, truck stop, or possibly even a low-profile marine terminal.

What I think it would be ideal for is home defense, either for confronting an unknown knocker at the door or even against an unarmed or even lightly armed home invader, especially in total darkness! This is where the strobe and strike bezel come into play.

So, some might not be happy that I used a wedding present gift card to buy a flashlight when I already have so many.

However, these same people need to realize that shady people are roaming around where I live and some are knocking on doors in the middle of the night harassing residents.

I needed to upgrade my flashlight for confronting someone in such a situation and the Energizer Hybrid Power Tactical Flashlight fits the bills almost perfectly.

This flashlight set me back $44.99 plus tax, which considering everything the price is almost fair.

If I had to, I would give it a 4.25 out of 5 stars, because I think the throw or beam distance could be better and the spill is a bit too wide. Everything else is perfectly fine.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Energizer Hybrid Power Tactical Flashlight.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Radio Shack® 12-259 or 120-0522 Handheld Public Alert Weather Radio

Just to bring everything to light, I am not the owner of the image featured on this page. I am giving credit where credit is rightly due and in this case, I cropped it out of some Radio Shack literature.

I had wanted a sturdy pocket-sized weather radio since my late teen years and since then I have tried several.

I discovered the Radio Shack 12-259 at the age of twenty, though I didn’t purchase it at that time.

The model number was later changed to a 120-0522 or a 12-522, depending on the source, and given a red cabinet as opposed to an olive green cabinet.

I think Radio Shack was promoting the color red for some of their products to promote preparedness because the prepper mentality began around 2008 and has taken off full force since. Maybe they even partnered with the Red Cross and that was the idea for the color red. I think pocket-sized weather radios should be bright yellow, but that’s just me.

I am referring to it as the 120-0522 because that is how it is referred to in the literature which I acquired from Radio Shack and is so shown in the featured image.

Even though money was tight for Christmas of 2009, I was still given some cash by family members and went to my local Radio Shack to see what I could buy.

I don’t remember if it was on sale or if I paid the full SRP, but I saw one, and I bought it.

I also bought a tin that was filled with Enercell batteries.

I carried it in what was my EDC backpack for the next almost three years.

Then, sadly, sometime in 2012, it just stopped working. No matter which Weather Channel I tried tuning in to, nothing would be received. I had assumed it was dead and sadly chucked it.

I was highly disappointed because it seemed like the perfect pocket-sized weather radio.

In July of that year, I purchased a Radio Shack Weather Cube, which I had until a wicked woman named Ida did her very wicked deed.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, I purchased the predecessor model, the 12-259.

I even dreamed about me carrying it in my EDC backpack in a shopping mall, trying to stay safe during a tornado. I even attempted to make it into a story based on myself and a certain young lady that I was talking to. For the record, this event occurred between my ex-girlfriend breaking up with me and meeting my current [and I so fervently pray, forever] wife.

For those who are wondering, my 12-259 came off the assembly line in October of 2004.

First of all, let me say that I have tried quite a few pocket and/or travel-sized weather radios.

The closest competing model to the 120-0522 or 12-259 would be the Midland HH54/HH55 series radios and I will say right now that the Radio Shack 12-259 or 120-0522 had a better antenna skin. And this is shocking because normally I would say that Midland makes the best weather radios, hands down and Radio Shack in the 2000s to 2010s was very much a has-been.

I have only owned my 12-259 for about a year, but it has assisted me in tracking some severe weather, especially in the months following Hurricane Ida.

I even EDCed it in my backpack from time to time.

Both Radio Shack models are Public Alert Certified.

The reception range could be a little better but that would mean a longer antenna would be required.

There is also a travel and home setting, which would make this ideal for road trips to keep tabs on the weather or keep as a bedside standby radio when anticipating a power failure.

An optional AC adapter can be purchased, allowing the end user to conserve the batteries for a real weather emergency.

The speaker is loud and clear.

The cabinet is made of smooth but sturdy polymer plastic.

The dot matrix LCD is clear enough and even has a bright backlight.

I believe the backlight on the 120-0522 is blue whereas on the 12-259 it is indigo.

My chief complaints are that it eats batteries like a starving pit bull that was locked in a butcher shop and it loses the signal way too easily.

There is a feature that will alert a siren should it lose the signal in standby mode, but this proves more annoying than usual.

I would recommend this product on the following conditions:

If one is using it to travel at all (even commuting on foot.)

If one works, plays, or is otherwise frequently outdoors.


If one wishes to use this in a safe room to monitor the progress of inclement weather and lives close enough to a weather radio station. And when I say close enough, I mean twenty-five miles or less.

My 120-0522 is long gone but I still use my 12-259 from time to time.

In later years Radio Shack products seemed to be lacking in their quality, performance, and longevity. This was not the case in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Certain countries are better at producing electronics than others, but I digress.

If I were to give these weather radios a rating, it would be about 4.25 out of 5 stars and this is because of the frequent signal loss. It seems compactness and portability were traded for antenna gain.

All in all, I hope that you, the reader have been informed enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

PS, Here is a video of this weather radio in action

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A Review of the Realistic (Radio Shack®) 12-162 Mini Pocket Weatheradio

Just to let you, the reader, and everyone else knows, I do not own the featured image on this page. Truth be told, I cropped it from the Radio Shack Catalog.

I had been collecting various weather radios since the Summer of 2012.

In the latter part of 2018, I was divorced from my first wife and suddenly had much more financial freedom than before.

I will also say that on October 28, 2022, I married a wonderful young lady and I hereby declare that she is my biggest blessing ever. I find myself frequently thanking God for her.

Nonetheless, in the latter part of 2018, I had more financial freedom than ever before.

And for the record, my finances are in better shape now than in 2018.

So because of this financial freedom, I was able to enhance my weather radio collection among other interests.

I had seen some vintage commercials about the Realistic Mini/Pocket Weatheradio 12-162 on YouTube and wanted one.

I thought those commercials were so neat. Furthermore, they truly captured the time in which they were recorded, namely the early-to-mid 1970s, especially with the emergence of soft rock. The scenes from the bedroom window showing nighttime thunderstorms and then the waves crashing on the shore and the calls of seagulls make me think of the many soft rock hits of the era.

So, I was romanticizing such a weather radio and I ordered one, not knowing that the antenna was damaged. I ended up selling it for parts.

I ordered a duplicate in 2019 and used it on and off.

The Realistic 12-162 was put on the market before 1975, which means it technically was not supposed to tune in to the third weather radio broadcast channel (162.475 MHz.) That said frequency was introduced in 1975.

However it was able to tune in the first two channels 162.55 MHz and 162.4 MHz and since 162.475 is right dab in the middle, with patience it can also be tuned in on this radio since it employs a rotary tuner.

I was able to get footage of mine receiving KIH23 out of Morgan City, Louisiana which indeed broadcasts on 162.475 MHz.

Sadly, I lost my second one to a very wicked woman named Ida.

If I would have lived closer to a weather radio station that broadcast on one of the two original frequencies and it would have been the 1970s, this radio would have been halfway decent.

It appeared to be built to withstand light rain and uncomfortably hot or cold temperatures and maybe even a little sea spray (as the commercial implies) because of its tough plastic cabinet.

In other words, this weather radio was meant to be used outdoors to get vital weather data whilst outdoors and on the go.

This was also Radio Shack’s first pocket-sized dedicated weather radio.

The Realistic 12-162 was first introduced in the 1974 Radio Shack catalog and came up for sale on October 1, 1973.

In 1974, it sold for $14.95 which would have been the equivalent of $90.37 in 2022 US Dollars.

The price peaked in 1975 at $15.95 or $88.35 in 2022 US Dollars, although there were sales of $5 off according to the aforementioned commercial that caught my interest in the product. I would assume that commercial aired in 1975 so if it was on sale for $10.95 in that year it would be the equivalent of $60.65 in 2022 US Dollars. This means that inflation may have been worse in the 1970s than it currently is because a pocket-sized, entry-level weather radio retails for about half of what it would have retailed for in those days, inflation-adjusted.

According to my digital collection of Radio Shack catalogs, the Realistic 12-162 was not listed in the 1976 catalog.

In 1977 and 1978 it sold for $11.95, which would be the equivalent of $58.77 and $54.62 respective American Dollars.

In 1979 it was replaced by the Realistic 12-156, which I do not yet own at the time of writing this piece but do hope to own one day, God willing.

I don’t understand the use of blue for the cabinet color of the 12-162 and 12-156. Yellow would have been a far better choice.

I mean Radio Shack had other types of radios in the color yellow, but maybe the shade of blue was associated with stormy weather.

When the Radio Shack 12-162 was on the market, Weather Radio was still in its infancy or at least early childhood and nowhere as mature as it is in 2022.

I do appreciate the compact size and rugged cabinet, but the antenna is flimsy as can be.

However, this radio would have been quite useful for those in maritime hobbies or occupations, farmers, hunters, and travelers, especially anyone commuting on foot.

If it was before 1975 I would give this product a 4.5 out of 5 stars because I do not dig the flimsy antenna.

However, the Realistic 12-162 was a huge milestone because it was the first dedicated weather radio that could indeed be EDCed.

I guess this, therefore concludes my review of the Realistic 12-162.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you.

PS, Here is a video of this weather radio in action in June of 2020.

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A Review of the Realistic (Radio Shack®) 12-161 Pocket Weatheradio Alert

Just to clear the air, I do not own the featured image on this page. To give credit whereupon credit is due, I cropped this image out of the 1980 Radio Shack Catalog.

My wife and I had a little money left over for the month of November 2022. She purchased a few items and I purchased a vintage but still in very good condition Realistic 12-161 Pocket Weatheradio Alert.

For those wondering, mine came off of the assembly line somewhere in the Republic of China in December of 1979.

This means that at the time I received it, it is almost forty-three years old.

However, it works just flawlessly.

The speaker’s sound is crisp and clear.

The reception is dead on.

There is even no static in the volume potentiometer!

I have been keeping it near my bedside and listening to the weather forecasts almost every night since it came in.

The only drawback is that it only receives the three main weather radio channels and not the other four intermediate channels but in 1979, there were no intermediate weather radio channels and wouldn’t be for at least a decade.

I never owned the 12-156 (which is the step below the 12-161.) However, I have owned two of the 12-162 weather radios which is the predecessor model to the 12-156. As much as I think a rotary tuner is cool, it is not anywhere near as reliable as the crystal-controlled tuner that the 12-161 has. Also, the 12-162 seems to be much more flimsy than the 12-161.

I get it though, the 12-156 and the 12-162 were meant for the outdoors and traveling, for getting weather data on the fly. They are more weather resistant and because of that, they were made of that plastic whereas the 12-161 is made of some plastic but also brushed Aluminium.

I could picture those younger boomer teenagers and older Xer children taking the 12-156 and 12-162 while walking to school and even carrying it in their coat pockets.

The 12-161, however, was maybe meant for a traveling business person, to be placed at the bedside in his or her hotel room. The standby alert feature enforces this theory of mine.

I could also see some people using this for off-the-grid living and needing emergency weather information.

Still, a rich or nerdy boomer teen or Xer child may have also carried one of these.

The price of the 12-156 in was $12.95 throughout its production run from 1979 until 1982 ($39.99-$53.16 in 2022 US Dollars.) The 12-162 was at its highest price in 1975 at $15.95 ($88.35 in 2022 US Dollars.) It would sometimes go on sale for $10.95 in 1974 or 1975 ($66.19 and $60.65, respectively.) Near the end of its production run in 1978, it sold for $11.95 ($54.62 in 2022 US Dollars.) However, throughout its production run, from late 1979 to 1984, the 12-161 cost a whopping $32.95 ($94.51-$135.25 in 2022 US Dollars.)

This inflation is hurting everyone, but I won’t speak any further of it, lest this blog becomes political.

However, I will let the numbers do the talking.

I think that you, the reader, can now see why I have the theory that I have.

The 12-161 would have been a pocket portable weather radio for the well to do and 12-156 and 12-162 were for those who needed weather radios outdoors or just cheap access to vital weather data.

I am still wondering if any school children carried weather radios on their foot commutes to and from school or anywhere else they went in the mid-1970s throughout the 1980s.

I could not find any conclusive data about this.

I cannot yet write accurately about the 12-156 but I can say that in terms of longevity, the 12-162 was a poor performer in later years and both fell apart on me.

However, the 12-161 is robust and still working well almost 43 years later!

If it were 1979 or 1980, I would have to give it the full five stars.

In 2022, I would give it 4.5 out of 5, because it only has the three main channels, no S.A.M.E. feature, and probably would not be good for outdoor travel.

And there are now weather radios available in 2022 that indeed do have those provisions.

I guess this, therefore concludes my review of the Realistic 12-161 Pocket Weatheradio Alert.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

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Is Target Discriminating Against Men?

Almost three years ago, I had written a piece describing what types of EDC items a gentleman may carry that could be purchased at Target.

In that piece I had briefly mentioned how Target is selling less and less items geared towards men and how I didn’t want to further elaborate because I basically did not want to stir any controversy.

I now think Target has taken it too far and deliberately does not want to cater towards men or at least rugged manly men.

By the way, I will be the first to admit that in me there is a battle between a rugged, prepared, dynamic man and a soft, urbane and weak man. My disabilities bring out both of these men even though one would think that the disabilities would only bring out the latter.

My local Target and several other Targets of which I frequent seem to be low key discriminating against men, by selling less and less of what men would shop for.

When I was in my late teens, Target sold some really nice flashlights, decent multi tools as in Gerber, real Swiss Army Knives in fact Target was the first place I saw a Swiss Army Knife in real life for the first time almost twenty years ago, and just good outdoor gear in general. Fast forward to 2022, Target sells flashlights that would only be useful in a domestic setting although the said retailer carries one or two kinds of flashlights that could be labelled as “tactical” but I question whether they would hold up in a truly tactical situation. Target also no longer sells multi tools or Swiss Army Knives

Might I also add that my local Target used to have a food court that sold some fairly decent hot dogs, popcorn, chicken tenders and other on par foods but sadly this food court was converted into a Starbucks. The thing is, though, there is another Starbucks not even a block away from this Target. I think most men would prefer a hot dog instead of a latte` that they could enjoy while their wives or girlfriends shop.

By the way, I think I should try opening a coffee shop that would cater to men. We could have black coffee severe with sugar, heavy cream both or neither. We could have fried eggs. We could have V8 Juice. We could have toast. And maybe bacon and sausage. And if anyone is wondering how I take my coffee, I will tell you: five eights of my cup with strong black coffee and chicory if available and the remaining three eighths with heavy cream, in my younger years I would have taken sugar, but now I think that sugar masks the true flavor of the coffee. And if it is cold enough, I will take it hot and black, just to warm me up and get me going on a cold morning. Recently I have also been drinking English and Irish breakfast teas as well.

I’m a little off on a tangent, but I think Target is discriminating against manly men because of what wicked people in high places are trying to label manliness as toxic masculinity. At least that is what I think is going on and maybe I am being a little paranoid. And just for the record, if I can be proven incorrect, I will happily recant these positions that which I hold.

I will admit that there is such a thing as toxic masculinity and if left unchecked, it can do great damage at all levels and even ruin society at the core. But let’s not discriminate against gentlemen and those who enjoy things that are historically labeled as “manly.”

So, no, I do not believe men should be jerks, especially towards those of the opposite sex, but I believe they can still be gentleman and retain just about all of their masculinity.

I strive to be a gentleman and I believe my wife would call me a good man as would my pastor.

I’m not trying to be macho or anything like that, but I still am a man and I would appreciate it if Target would sell products that I like-I don’t think that is too much to ask.

Target used to be a wonderful place for both men and women to shop and let me just say that my wife and I shop at Target quite frequently.

My EDC backpack was initially purchased at Target as was my wallet (both SwissGear) and I will continue to purchase these at Target because I am partial to the brand SwissGear and Target is the only retailer that sells SwissGear products locally. It would be nice if Target sold more SwissGear products, but I do not like the road they are headed on and I wish things would change.

It seems as if Target is acting more like something out of modern California than Minnesota in the 1960s and I wish this could be reversed.

I will admit that the electronics section at Target is still decent and yes I am somewhat of an electronics nerd, anyone who reads this blog at length will realize that. It would be nice if Target could sell some scanners, desktop computers, weather radios and Android tablets. It wouldn’t hurt to have a wider selection of calculators as well.

I notice that they don’t sell too many electronics that work off grid and maybe because preparedness is frowned upon by those same wicked people in high places or maybe I am again being paranoid.

It was draining to write this piece, but I believe it needed to be said, because I do not like the way things are going and me pointing out what is going on at Target.

If you, the reader, are reading this then that means it has my wife’s approval.

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece.

I hope God intervenes on behalf of humanity, but still I know that this world must come to an end, but I pray that in the mean time, He still richly blesses you.

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