Sixteen Years of Writing!

Today is April 10, 2019.

It will be sixteen years this evening that I decided to become a writer, at least on the amateur level.

This is a special anniversary for my writing “career” because I was sixteen years old when I began. That means that now I have been writing for half of my life.

Though I have been writing for sixteen years, I still have yet to earn a single copper penny from doing it.

I still do it mostly for fun, but also to forward the values and truths I find important and to describe and inform about my various other interests.

Late last month and earlier this month I had tried a new medication, Vraylar, for various mental disorders of which I suffer. It made me completely stable but at the same time, disabled my ability to write. I was so stable that I was unable to be creative at all. It is true that most writers, visual artists, musicians, and all others who are creative either have some sort of mental disorder, use drugs and/or alcohol or have something else wrong with them. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, those flaws allow and sometimes compel creativity. So I’m back on my normal medication and this piece is the first thing I have written since.

What initially fueled my writing and ability to be creative other than the several factors experienced in the months prior to April of 2003, was that I was wrongfully medicated with a terrible drug known as Risperdal, but around late March or early April 2003, I was taken off all medications and had become very lively. That liveliness spawned much creativity both verbal (I came out with some funny and thought-provoking things in those days) and literary when I wrote my first story on the evening of April 10, 2003. This is what I am talking about when I mention medication and lack thereof.

That first story was about a teenage couple that was mowed down in a school shooting. What is scary though is that days after writing it there were at least two school shootings both in my home state of Louisiana. My peers seemed amazed but then soon forgot about it. There were various other times my writing has predicted things that came to pass. More than anything, it scares me when this happens but doesn’t stop me from being creative.

In 2003 and into 2004, I kept the stories I had written on a secret webpage, some of which was saved in the Internet Archives. Yes, I did feel quite flattered when I discovered that in 2017! In 2004 I began backing up my stories on a floppy disk, which I did until 2006 when I began using a USB flash drive.

For the second half of 2004 and through most of 2005, my writing became stagnant. This is because in June of 2004 I suffered a mental breakdown and was medicated with that same terrible medication from June of 2004 to January of 2006. When I was put on a better medication, Geodon, in 2006, I felt much like the same way I did in late March and early April of 2003. It was almost like being continuously high, just perfectly legal and medically necessary!

From January 2006 and onward, I had been writing and it kept on improving.

In June or July of 2007, I had tried a different medication and stayed on it until April of 2010, when I went back to Geodon, again there was that brightening effect and the high highs. I was working as a grocer, which would inspire my “Grocer and Writer” stories, over four years later. In September of 2011, I had quit that job and had lots of free time on my hands, a good bit of which I would dedicate to my writing. I was married at the time and for whatever reason, my now ex wife and some [not all] of my ex-in-laws despised the fact that I was a writer. I honestly think it is because the content of my writing did not and does not conform to the narrative and agenda they subscribe to. My ex wife and and I come from radically different cultures and that alone produced a lot of friction in our marriage. I guess, I married her because I was definitely attracted to her physically and at first she did treat me right, although from the get go she found ways to tear me down and I should have seen this as a red flag, but I didn’t. Hindsight is always 20/20 though.

From 2012 onward I had written some of my favorite stories, many of which are at least partially available on my blog.

I had also begun to start writing personal reflections, essays and articles in addition to my works of fiction.

In the late Summer of 2015, I had tried a drug for my various mental disorders known as Latuda. It was like Risperdal, minus the side effects. I only stayed on it for a day or two, then went back to Geodon. Also in 2015, I was steadily working on my “Grocer and Writer” stories which I had begun on June 30, 2014.

By 2016, I had realized that a good bit of people were offended by those “Grocer and Writer” stories so I began to write off shoots of them that talk the decent values presented in them, but had taken out most of the controversy.

My now ex wife still hated these off shoots and just about anything else I would write.

On October 6, 2016, a month after the untimely death of a fellow, young aspiring writer, I launched my blog. I had realized that I am still alive and I have a gift that needs to be shared with others. I would say that my readers do indeed appreciate what I do and I hold their appreciation in high regard!

Throughout 2017, I continued writing off shoots to my “Grocer and Writer” stories as well as some non fiction pieces while my marriage was beginning to fall apart.

I left my now ex wife on January 18/19, 2018 and the divorce was granted on October 11, 2018.

Being back on Geodon from Vraylar has allowed my creativity to slowly come back and I cannot wait until it is fully manifested once again.

I cannot wait to see what I will write in the next sixteen years!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained…

Notes on the Barometer

I have been fascinated by the weather since early childhood.

I have also had a keen interest in sciences of all kinds, throughout my life though I am not very good at it. I mean I am so terrible at science that I don’t even hold an Associate’s Degree.

However, I do spend a good bit of my time engaged in independent learning.

In this page, I will post the transcript of notes I had taken in my composition book that detail information about Barometers.

Without further ado, here they are:

These notes were taken on October 1st and 2nd of 2018.

The main reference that I will cite is Wikipedia as that is where I got the bulk of this material from.

Notes on the barometer and its inventor(s).

Barometers are used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure.

Pressure tendency detects short term changes in weather.

Measuring air pressure within surface weather analysis is helpful in locating surface troughs, high-pressure systems and frontal boundaries.

The term “barometer is derived from ancient Greek words which literally translate into words that mean weight and meter/measure.

Evangelista Torricelli (October 15, 1608-October 25, 1647) an Italian physicist and mathematician are credited with inventing the barometer in 1643.

Italian astronomer and mathematician Gapardo Berti (1600-1643) may have also unintentionally created a water barometer sometime between 1640 and 1643.

French scientist and philosopher Rene` Descartes (March 31, 1596-February 11, 1650) described the design of an experiment to measure air pressure possibly as early as 1631 but no evidence is there to suggest that he actually built such an instrument.

On July 27, 1630, Italian mathematician, physicist and astronomer Giovanni Battista Baliania (1582-1666) wrote to Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564-January 8, 1642) describing a failed experiment in which he made a siphon led over a hill ~21 meters high. Galileo replied explaining that the power of the vacuum held the water up but at a certain height the amount of water was simply too much and the vacuum could not hold anymore, like a cord that can only support so much weight. This was a restatement of “horror vacui” or “nature abhors a vacuum, a theory which dates back to ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle (384-322 BC.) Galielo restated this theory as “resistenza del vacuo.”

These theories were published in Galileo’s “Discoursi” and they reached Rome in 1638.

Raffade Magiotti and Berti were excited by these ideas and sought another way to produce a vacuum besides a siphon.

Magiotti devised the experiment and Berti carried it out sometime between 1639 and 1641.

A simple model of this experiment consisted of filling a long tube with water plugged on both ends, then stood up in a water-filled basin. The bottom plug was removed and the water inside the tube flowed into the basin. However, only a portion of the water flowed out of the tube and the height of the water inside the tube stayed at an exact level, which happened to be 10.3 meters or 34 feet, the same height that Galileo and Baliani observed to be limited by the siphon.

The most important detail of this experiment was that lowering the water in the tube left a space above it in the tube with no immediate contact with air. This suggested the possibility of a vacuum existing in the space above the water.

Torricelli, a pupil, and friend of Galileo interpreted the results of this in a novel way. He proposed that it was the atmosphere and not the attracting force of the vacuum that held the water in the tube.

Followers of Aristotle and Galileo thought air to be weightless.

Torricelli questioned and challenged this belief and suggested that air indeed has weight and it was the weight of the air which pushed up and held the column of water.

Torricelli believed that the level of which the water stayed at in the tube (10.3 meters of 34 feet) was reflective of the air’s weight pushing on the water in the basin, thus limiting how much water can fall from the tube into the basin.

Torricelli viewed the barometer as a balance or measuring instrument instead of a device to merely build a vacuum.

Because pf Torricelli being the first to observe this, he is credited as being the inventor of the barometer.

Torricelli’s gossipy Italian neighbors spread rumors that he was engaging in sorcery and witchcraft. Torricelli thus decided to keep his experiments a secret to avoid being arrested by the Roman Catholic Church.

In order to be more covert, he needed a liquid denser than water, to which Galileo suggested he use Mercury. As a result, he only needed a tube that was 80 centimeters long as opposed to 10.5 meters.

*SIDE NOTE*: While I was initially taking these notes on that evening in early October 2018, I decided to take a few sips of Wild Cherry Pepsi in an attempt to temper the sting of depression which I frequently suffer. Soft drinks, while extremely addictive do indeed help me write better and they do help fight depression, at least for me. Wild Cherry Pepsi is my favorite soft drink.

Decreasing atmospheric pressure was initially postulated by French physicist Lucien Vidi (1805-April, 1866.) He later invented the barograph, a device which records the pressure readings of an aneroid barometer.

German writer and polymath Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe (August 28, 1749-March, 22 1832) invented a water driven barometer based on Torricelli’s principles. It is known as the weather ball barometer and is comprised of a glass container with a sealed body half-filled with water. The narrow spout is open to the atmosphere. When the pressure is lower than it was at the time the body was sealed, the level of water in the spout will rise above the water level in the body. When the pressure is higher, the water level in the spout will drop below the water level in the body. This device is known as a “weather glass” or a “Goethe Barometer.

Mercury Barometer:
A vertical glass tube closed at the top sitting in an open Mercury filled basin at the bottom. The Mercury’s weight creates a vacuum at the top known as a “Torricelli Vacuum.” The Mercury in the tube fluctuates until the weight of the Mercury column balances the force of the air pressure bearing down on the reservoir. Higher temperature levels around the instrument will reduce the density of the Mercury, thus the scale must be calibrated in such a way to compensate for this effect. The tube must be as long as the amount of Mercury in addition to the headspace as well as the maximum length of the column.

Torricelli observed slight changes each day in the height of Mercury in the tube and concluded that this was due to changing pressure in the atmosphere.

On December 5, 1660, German scientist, inventor and politician Otto von Guerricke (November 20, 1602-May 11, 1686) observed that the air pressure was unusually low and predicted a storm which struck the next day.

The Mercury barometer’s design made the expression of atmospheric pressure in inches of Mercury popular. The range is typically between 26.5 and 31.5 inches (670-800 millimeters) of Mercury.

One atmosphere is equivalent to 29.92 inches or 760 millimeters of Mercury.

On June 5, 2007, the governments of the European Union restricted the sale of Mercury, effectively ending the manufacture of new Mercury barometers in Europe.

An aneroid barometer uses a flexible metal box instead of any liquid to measure air pressure. It was invented in 1844 by Lucien Vidi. The box is known as an aneroid cell or capsule made from an alloy of Beryllium and Copper.

The evacuated capsules are many times several stacked together to add movement and are protected from collapsing by a strong spring. Any change in the surrounding air pressure causes the capsule to expand or contract.

This movement drives mechanical levers in such a way that their changes are amplified and displayed on the dial face of the instrument. Many models also feature a manually set needle to mark the current observation and compare with previous and future observations so a change can be seen.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) barometers are extremely small ranging size between 1 and 100 micrometers. They are manufactured using photolithography or photochemical machining. These can be found in miniature weather stations, electronic barometers, and altimeters.

Certain smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3 through S6, the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPhone 6 as well as higher end Casio and Timex watches have built-in barometers using MEMS technology.

Pressure in atmospheres Patm=p*g*h
Where p=density of Mercury=13,595 kg/meter cubed (sorry I don’t know how to do sub and superscript on here) g=graviation accelaration=9.807 meters per second squared, h=height.
1 torr=133.3 Pascals or 0.03937 inches of Mercury.

My personal commentary:
Most weather predictions for civilians are obtained through the mass media and government run forecasting services. Should our enemies hit us with an EMP all of this will come to a grinding halt.

Personal maybe even homemade barometers may make a comeback should this happen.

After all, we would still want to know when will storms be headed in our area so we can spend time cuddling with bae.

A barometer could possibly give some advanced notice of incoming foul weather.

However, all modern conveniences will be gone so will we actually have the time to cuddle with bae?

The weather might be the least of our worries as I’ve stated before and cuddling with bae might be highly frowned upon because cuddling sometimes leads to intercourse and intercourse ultimately means more hungry mouths to feed…

Computer Instruction Notes

I have been EDCing a Composition Book containing notes I have taken on subjects that I’d like to be well versed in. This page and others will feature the notes I have written so others can be as educated as I am on these subjects.

This particular page will deal with my Computer Instructions, specifically on how to get a better operating system for your computer. These are very general, but I still find them to contain valuable information.

The reasons why you may want to change your operating system is either because you are sick and tired of dealing with Microsoft Windows’ painfully numerous shortcomings or the version of Linux you are using is out of date and no longer supported. Maybe you are like me and you liken trying different flavors of Linux to trying different flavors of ice cream.

Whatever the reason, these instructions should be quite useful.

Without further ado, here it is:

…October 1, 2018, is when this was written…

Upgrading your computer’s operating system.

Check the hardware specifications of machine desired for upgrade.

Determine whether your machine is 32 bit or 64 bit.

Search for a distribution that is compatible with hardware specs.

Download the .ISO file.

32 Bit .ISO files work on both 32 Bit and 64 Bit hardware.

64 Bit .ISO files work only on 64 Bit hardware infrastructure.

Athalon AMD is typically 64 Bit.

Intel X86 is typically 32 Bit.

Use Startup Disk Creator (in Linux at least) or Unetbootin (otherwise) to “burn” the .ISO file to installation media (USB stick or SD card.) Use CD burning software to “burn” .ISO file to CD or DVD.

Insert installation media into computer desired for the upgrade, then shut down.

Start up the said computer again and access the BIOS, which is usually achieved by repeatedly pressing one of the Function Keys during and right after power up.

Go to the Boot Menu within the BIOS memory. Here you will modify the Boot Sequence.

Select the device containing the installation media to be the first boot device.

Save changes, then exit the BIOS and restart.

Follow instructions as the new operating system boots.

Restart when finished and be sure to remove installation media…

Donald John Trump: A Polarizing Figure

This is something I’ve noticed for years, but finally, I think the time is right to post what I see going on:

By the way, I have no agenda to push, I have no narrative to forward nor am I trying to sway anyone’s political views.

This is simply a casual observation of mine.

For the record, I belong to a one-man political party, known as The Ethical Party.

This means I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but my one-man party takes what I perceive as the good from both Democrats and Republicans, alike, and rejects what I perceive as the garbage from those two parties.

Without further ado, here I go:

It’s no secret, Donald Trump is a very polarizing figure.

He is someone whom you either revile or draw inspiration from.

There really isn’t any in between.

By the way, it has been like this for him long before he got into politics.

I’ll give examples of how he is both reviled, yet inspiring:

First, I’ll point out how he is reviled:

I have noticed that Hollywood for years has been hating on Donald Trump.

These years date long before he decided to get into politics.

The biggest example I can think of is back in 1990 when NBC aired a made for television movie known as, “The Great Los Angeles Earthquake.” I first saw this movie in 2008 when I purchased it on DVD. My ex-wife now, unfortunately, has that DVD, but she can keep it. I’m glad to part with it and all my other stuff she got when we split up if it means I don’t have to interact with her.

It is one of my favorite movies, actually, because, I think Los Angeles is a really neat city and would very much like to visit it one day, but also I like the movie for several other reasons: One of my favorite flashlights ever made has a cameo in that movie, the Eveready Commander No. 5122. There is footage of the now defunct railroad Southern Pacific, which is my favorite former railroad. Also, I am highly interested in technology from the late 1980s and early 1990s and there is a good bit of the then current computer, cellular phone and other technologies featured in that movie. I also like seeing all of the now vintage cars and trucks in that movie.

The arch villain in that said movie, Wendell Kaetes, or however his name is spelled, I believe is heavily inspired by Donald Trump. I mean, he resembles Trump physically. He is a real estate developer. He is a shrewd businessman with a quick temper. And there is a line in the movie where he is referred to as “The Donald Trump of the West Coast.” He meets his demise by falling out of his office window of the high rise building he owns when one of the quakes occur. The character has Donald Trump written all over it.

While Hollywood may be hating on him, other entities draw on him for inspiration.

This too has been going on long before he got into politics.

The biggest example I can find is in the Radio Shack Catalogs.

By the way, I do not own the featured image on this page, Radio Shack does-it is straight from their 1996 catalog.

From 1996 until 2001, in order to sell Business Band radios, Radio Shack featured a picture that entailed a businessman in a suit and tie supervising a construction project and giving out commands over a Radio Shack Business Band radio. The model in the suit and tie is obviously a reference to Donald Trump, which I would have never realized had I not seen that aforementioned movie. On one side of him there is a black lady holding the building plans and on the other side, there is a hispanic man going over a checklist. The ironic part is that these two models on the sides of him come from ethnicities of people whom the media vehemently tries to put Donald Trump at odds with.

The reason why I say that the model in the suit and tie is an obvious reference to Donald Trump is that he definitely resembles him physically, he is in charge of a construction project. He appears to be barking orders over the radio. And he is dressed like a businessman. If he isn’t the owner of the construction project going on, he is likely an executive in charge of it.

So, basically, my theory is Radio Shack likely capitalized on Trump’s image and likeness in order to sell their rebadged Motorola and other manufacturer’s Business Band radios.

I’m not sure of their success though, because I don’t have access to their sales data.

For whatever reason though, in about 2004 or 2005, Radio Shack quit selling Business Band radios and this was a huge mistake in my opinion.

This mistake probably was a factor in them going under in the mid to late 2010s.

My biggest question behind all of this is:

Has anyone else noticed these things or am I the only one?

By the way, prior to me watching that earthquake movie, the only time I had ever heard of Donald Trump was on the rapper Nelly’s album Country Grammar. This may come as a shock to just about all of you and I’ve only realized it in the past few minutes, but the lyrics in that said album subconsciously inspired parts of my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories!

If there is anything to be learned from all of this it is that controversy sells and the juicier any content is, the more profitable it becomes…

As a writer, I am well aware of this, though I have yet to earn a single red cent on anything I’ve written. However, when I write something controversial, I know that is what attracts my readers more than anything else.

I hope, you, the reader, find me informative and entertaining…

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

Shopping at Target for Gentleman’s EDC Gear

Target can be an excellent place for purchasing a gentleman’s EDC items.

Well, this statement was even more true years ago, but still is somewhat true even today.

I know, most people associate Target shoppers with upscale suburban women, but there are quite a few items in Target that are perfect for a gentleman.

However, as I previously mentioned, this was even more true years ago than today.

Many of my current and former EDC items were purchased at Target.

The first time I shopped at a Target was in August of 2002. I was fifteen and almost three-quarters years old and one had recently been built in my metropolitan area.

My parents brought me along with my brother and sister to check the store out.

I was interested in what electronics were sold there and was a little impressed that they sold the Motorola FRS and GMRS radios, but they were all out of my price range.

Later that day we went to Wal Mart and I purchased a BellSouth 2231 FRS/GMRS transceiver for about $10. I had EDCed this radio, mostly because, I didn’t yet have a working cell phone to keep in touch with family and I also liked to communicate with the maintenance staff at my high school on there. In these days, I didn’t carry a knife or a flashlight, just a two-way radio, believe it or not.

Fast forward to Black Friday, November 29, 2002, my mom, my sister and I went to a few stores just to look around. The only other time I had seen my mom go shopping on Black Friday was in 1992 at Southland Mall. As much as my mom likes shopping, she hates to shop on Black Friday. I was looking around in the sporting goods section at Target and for the first time, I had seen a real Swiss Army Knife in real life. I saw a whole bunch of them, in fact. In those days, Target had a much wider selection of Swiss Army Knives than they currently do. And those sold at Target came bundled with equally useful accessories. More on that in a little bit. Prior to that, I had knock-offs of Swiss Army Knives, but they were all flimsy and dull. I didn’t purchase any that day, because I didn’t have enough money on me and my parents being overprotective would have not been happy if I bought a knife.

I also saw the Swiss backpacks and luggage sold there, but all of those were way out of my price range. I had a very rugged duffel bag which I would take with me whenever I could, so I wasn’t really in need of luggage at the time. This bag’s zipper busted on me sometime in 2007, though, so that is when I began trying different bags to carry my EDC items in.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2005, I had secured a job assisting the maintenance crew at my high school and the way I became friends with them was by talking to them over their radios!

I was eighteen and a half years old and had a good bit of disposable income with no bills, notes or rent to pay. Also since I was eighteen I could own a knife whether or not my parents wanted me to.

After work, many times I would shop at Target in the sporting goods sections. One day, in July of 2005, I purchased my first Swiss Army Knife, a Victorinox Sportsman. At some point, I had upgraded and gave it my best friend and I hope he still has it now.

Also in 2005, my interest in flashlights was coming back. Target had a wide selection of flashlights in their household section and many of them couldn’t be found anywhere else. There were many rugged, Aluminum pocket-sized flashlights sold there that weren’t sold elsewhere. There was Coast brand LED flashlights. There were Mini Maglites in all sorts of exotic colors as well as the standard colors. There were Inova (as in Emissive Energy Corporation, prior to the Nite Ize takeover) flashlights both in plastic and Aluminum that were the brightest LED flashlights at the time. There were also some unique brands such as Rock River or River Rock. Target does not have such a wide selection these days and I think it’s a shame. All of these would have been perfect EDC flashlights for a gentleman’s pocket

On the afternoon of January 27, 2006, I was shopping at my local Target and looking at Swiss Army Knives, which came bundled with very neat and equally useful accessories. The Super Tinker model came with a compact pair of Simmonds Binoculars. The Recruit ii came bundled with a Mini Maglite (which this is where I was initially inspired to pair a Swiss Army Knife with a Mini Maglite, as I believe all gentlemen should EDC these items together.) The Climber came bundled with some high-quality German-made Victorinox Scissors. That is what I had decided to purchase on that afternoon. The package sold for ~$30, but I know the knife alone was worth at least that and the scissors had to be worth another $35-$40, but they were free! My mom sometimes sews in her free time, so I knew these scissors would be perfect for her. I was 100% right too-she still uses them almost thirteen years later at the time I am writing this. In fact, she recently used them to fix the hem on my pants. I would misplace that knife a few days later, but then my mom found it again in December 2010. Since that time, I have kept it in a secure place because of its sentimental value.

In April of 2006, I had some cash given to me as Easter presents from family members, so I was in Target after school and saw an Inova Radiant 2 AA LED flashlight. At the time, Inova manufactured the most advanced LED flashlights or at least in my humble opinion. Also, they were American made, not like today. I still have this flashlight but unfortunately, it doesn’t work anymore. However, this flashlight did come in handy multiple times for the rest of high school and the beginning of trade school. I would sometimes EDC it if I knew I was going to a very dark area or needed a light with a longer run time.

In December of 2006, I purchased from Target a Victorinox Super Tinker with Simmonds Compact Binoculars. I still have both.

Sometime in 2006, Target cleared out all of these Swiss Army Knives with neat and useful accessories and this was a big mistake in my opinion.

In January of 2007, I purchased my first Blue Mini Maglite from Target, as my Black one was getting very beat up. I had it until I misplaced it at some point.

In February of 2009, I was shopping at a Super Target and purchased an Energizer 3 Watt Tactical LED flashlight. I had EDCed both on my job and in leisure time until I traded it to my best friend sometime in early 2010. I hope he still has it.

In July of 2009, I purchased my first Wenger SwissGear backpack until I upgraded with another in March of 2010 and again in September of 2011. All three were purchased at Target.

In March of 2015, I purchased another Energizer 185 Lumen Tactical LED flashlight at a Super Target on Clearance.

Around this time, Target began to stop selling some of the Tactical flashlights they once sold, another big mistake in my opinion.

A year later, in March of 2016, Target quit selling the Mini Maglites, which I was able to get a Silver one on Clearance, for about $4, which I keep in my glove box.

Also, in March of 2016, I ordered a Casio G-Shock Wristwatch, which I wore until June of 2018, but still have.

In April of 2016, I managed to purchase the Victorinox Recruit ii and Mini Maglite bundled together in mint condition on eBay, but this was previously sold at Target a decade before.

In the past two years, most of the flashlights sold at Target were only appropriate for a domestic setting, though there are a few exceptions. Also, their selection of Swiss Army Knives has very much dwindled.

However, the said retailer still carries some decent items that are geared towards gentleman.

For example, in February of 2017, I purchased a Coleman Illumilast 2AAA LED flashlight at a Super Target, which I EDC on and off and I even wrote a blog entry partially about. In November of 2017, I bought another Wenger SwissGear backpack, which I still use AND In December of 2017, I bought a Wenger SwissGear bifold wallet, which I also still use.

There are a few EDC items in the sporting goods section, such as an OutDoor Products tactical LED flashlight with a strike bezel, I purchased one in October of 2018 and currently EDC it, though the pocket clip broke off. Also, a couple of Gerber products are sold in the sporting goods section, such as a Gerber Dime Multitool.

So, Target COULD be a place for a gentleman to buy his EDC gear still but imagine how much better it could be if the retailer would start carrying more items designed for EDC.

I think the company has reasons why they don’t carry some of these items anymore, but my post will become political if I begin to elaborate why.

But how about making Target a place not only for ladies to shop but also for their husbands and boyfriends to come shopping with them and not being bored to tears?

Those are my thoughts and experiences.

I hope, you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…

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The Radio Shack Weather Cube

As I recently stated on Facebook, “The Weather Cube was an entry level Weather Radio made for and sold by Radio Shack from about 1969 to 2012…It had undergone design changes quite a few times, but is still a classic. I keep one in my living room and was just listening to updates on Tropical Storm Chris on it. I always pictured it being furnished in an off grid cabin in Yellowstone National Park. I also plan to write a blog post about this cool Weather Radio in the upcoming days…”

Well, here it is:

This piece will be dedicated to the history and features of this classic Radio Shack product.

The Weather Cube does only one thing-receives the U. S. Government’s and possibly a few other countries’ Government’s Weather Broadcasts.

It does not have an alert siren, S.A.M.E. feature or standby mode, just on demand weather information from the nearest weather broadcast station at the push of a button.

Still, this item sold very well and was built very well.

It has almost a cult following by YouTubers and other electronics collectors.

I would guess production began on the Weather Cube back in 1969. The reason why I would guess this is because it was first featured in the 1970 Radio Shack Catalog and known as, “The Barometer that talks.” This neat little device was cleverly marketed to “Anyone who flies a plane, farms, goes camping, owns a boat or spends time outdoors…” The price was $14.95 that year ($97.09 in 2018 Dollars.)

I don’t know how long it was in the research and development phase prior to that, but this truly was a genius product as millions were sold and a good bit of them are still in use, mostly by collectors.

The 1969-1970 version featured one frequency, 162.550 MHz. I believe it was crystal controlled but with fine tuning. The catalog number was 12-164.

In 1971, the catalog number changed to 12-165. The price was still $14.95 ($90.92 in 2018 Dollars.)

Then in 1973 or so, the Weather Cube also began receiving 162.400 MHz in addition to 162.550 MHz. This is because 162.550 MHz had become extremely congested and skip would occur in the spring and summer (also times when severe weather was most common.) The 1973 version was capable of tuning between frequencies 161.400 MHz and 163.500 MHz, which means it could have potentially tuned in some railroad, marine and federal government frequencies in addition to weather. It could have heard the Southern Pacific Railroad, which commonly used 161.55 MHz and was still in existence until September 11, 1996. The price also went up by one dollar to $15.95 ($90.52 in 2018 Dollars.).

In 1974, the Weather Cube for that year tuned between 162.400 MHz and 162.550 MHz. I believe it was done with a switching between permanently installed crystals, but could be wrong. The price jumped up yet another dollar to $16.95 ($86.64 in 2018 Dollars.) Of course, there had been some improvement in the radio.

In 1975 162.475 MHz was added as an additional frequency, but it wasn’t mentioned until the 1977 Radio Shack Catalog.

Between 1975 and 1976, the catalog number for the Weather Cube changed from 12-165 to 12-181.

I would imagine some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s, that the Weather Cube supported reception on 162.475 MHz in addition to the other previous weather channels.

Also in 1980, the price went up by another dollar to $17.95 (54.89 in 2018 Dollars.) It would remain that price for the rest of its design run, ending in 1992 (where it would have been $32.24 in 2018 Dollars.)

In 1989 or so, four additional Weather Broadcast Channels were assigned, though few Weather Radios would come to support all seven right away. These new frequencies are 162.425 MHz, 162.450 Mhz, 162.500 MHz, and 162.525 MHz

From 1969 to about 1992, the Weather Cube had the same outward appearance, though the frequency controls and frequencies available varied over those years. The appearance was made of simulated Rosewood, had a silver play button on the top front and a speaker that fired from the top. The antenna was telescoping and in the back right corner. They were powered by a standard Nine Volt Battery.

There was no Weather Cube to my knowledge in the 1993 Radio Shack Catalog.

Then in 1994, a new Weather Cube design came about with a catalog number of 12-239. It was made of a no-nonsense black plastic with a top firing speaker shaped in three-quarters of a circle. The fourth quarter in the front was the play button to turn the radio on. The telescoping antenna was located still in the back right corner. The volume and frequency controls were at the bottom and I believe the tuner was rotary not crystal controlled. This probably caught all seven Weather Channels but I’m not 100% sure. The price went up another two dollars and four cents to $19.99 ($33.99 in 2018 Dollars.)

In 1995, this new Weather Cube was advertised to receive all seven channels.

This Weather Cube would be featured until the year 2000 (where it would have cost $29.25 in 2018 Dollars.)

In the year 2001, there was no Weather Cube featured in the Radio Shack Catalog.

There was a different entry-level desktop weather radio featured in the 2002 Radio Shack Catalog, but it wasn’t cube-shaped and it also had a talking clock. The catalog number was 12-256. The price went up by a whole ten dollars to $29.99 ($42.01 in 2018 Dollars), but in all fairness, it featured a talking clock. It also ran on three AA batteries.

Around 2009 or so, the Weather Cube made a comeback with an all-new design. The new catalog number was 120-500. There were some significant design changes such as the main part of the cabinet was made of a red plastic. It also had a front instead of a top firing speaker, which was black. The play button was grey and had a blue LED light to indicate that the radio was turned on. The telescoping antenna is still in the back right side of the radio and the frequency controls are rotary. It is designed to receive all seven Weather Channels. This latest and so far final incarnation of the Weather Cube ran on 4 AA batteries. It was sold until 2012 and had an MSRP of $24.99 ($29.35 in 2018 Dollars.) It was discontinued in the Summer of 2012 and actually, I purchased mine on clearance in early July of 2012 at the Radio Shack in Southland Mall. My hat still goes off to the girl (now a wonderful woman) in Radio Shack who reserved it for me, some six years later.

Since Radio Shack isn’t exactly in business anymore, I don’t think a new Weather Cube will be made for a long time, if ever again. If I ever came into serious money, I would start a company that could make replicas of all the cool vintage flashlights and electronics that are no longer on the market. There would definitely be some incarnation of the Weather Cube.

When the weather cube initially hit the market, weather broadcasts were done by a recorded human voice. Nowadays it is mostly computerized and that takes away most of the personalization in Weather Radio, at least in my opinion. I do keep one in my living room, loaded with Alkaline batteries from the Ruble, I mean the Dollar General.

While the Weather Cube has plenty of aesthetic appeals and makes an excellent conversation piece, people probably aren’t really willing to spend over $20 for a weather radio that won’t automatically activate. Also, very few people aside from hobbyists and collectors such as myself and those on YouTube will sit and listen to a Weather Radio broadcast on a regular basis.

I still say it would be the perfect coffee table or nightstand item to be furnished in an off-grid cabin either in the Smoky Mountains or Yellowstone National Park, but not many people actually listen to my ideas.

UPDATE May 2021: I actually wrote a story in which a Weather Cube is featured in an off grid cabin.  However, the I’d imagine the cabin to be in Minnesota or Michigan, not the Smoky Mountains or Yellowstone since it is near a lake and up North.  The model I pictured is either the either the mid 1990s model or the late 2000s/early 2010s model.

Here is a link to that story.

It was always advertised to receive Weather Radio broadcasts from transmitters up to 25 miles away. I have received them successfully (and mostly crystal clear too) on my Weather Cube from about thirty plus miles away, or so.

They do make excellent weather radios for power failures or getting vital weather information during an actual tornado but pocket-sized entry level battery-powered weather radios have since entered the market which is more convenient to carry to a safe room. Some of these were Radio Shack models others are made by companies such as Midland. The model that comes to my mind first is the Midland HH50B, which I hope to write an article about in the near future.

I guess this concludes my piece on the Radio Shack Weather Cube and I hope it has been a wonderful trip down memory lane for all you weather and electronics buffs out there!

Reminiscing my Reactions to the Government Shutdown of 2013

It was October 1, 2013. A government shut down had begun. I was temporarily staying with my parents, waiting for an apartment to become available. I had lost my house that previous April.

I had gone to bed that previous night knowing that the shut down would likely happen.

That morning I had woke up and turned on the television. Talk about the shut down was on virtually every news channel.

The first thing I did after hearing confirmation that the government was indeed shut down was turn on my weather radio.

I was relieved to hear that the government funded weather broadcasts were still being transmitted.

Then I prepared for my day. I had bills to pay and errands to run.

Because of the shutdown, I was in a bad mood that neither Obama nor the members of Congress could get their act together.

This probably was also a catalyst moment in me wanting to create The Ethical Party, at least on my subconscious level.

I will stand by my belief that the two main parties have failed us for long enough.

I was angry for that period of time, though I kept it concealed very well.

The way I managed my anger in that whole situation, and quite successfully was cracking controversial jokes throughout the days of the shutdown.

I took to Facebook and those around me in the businesses I had to visit with my jokes, getting reactions of shock and laughter.

One of the places I went was the AT&T store to keep my Go Phone service on. There were few workers, so I said something along the lines of how the place is short staffed like the U. S. Government is going to be.

Afterward, I was driving with my wife, soon to be ex-wife now, and there was a radio station out of Baton Rouge that played a lot of Gordon Lightfoot’s songs. We both frequently listened to that station. I was parking my car at a grocery store in Houma as “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot was ending on my car radio. I remember telling my now soon to be ex-wife that I thought I looked like a younger, shorter and chubbier version of Gordon Lightfoot. The main reason is the curly blonde hair and certain facial features. We stepped out of my car and walked through the parking lot. At the exact same time, there was a ship passing through Houma on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway or the Houma Navigation Canal and for whatever reason, the ship sounded its horn. I immediately thought about the song about the Edmund Fitzgerald, sung by Gordon Lightfoot, because I had just mentioned him. That’s how my mind works many times. I even posted about that to Facebook, but then felt paranoid and guilty about my controversial humor and even went as far as to worry about the crew of that ship that was going through Houma at the time. I think I might have even prayed for the crew of that ship and that they have a safe voyage wherever they may go. If I prayed, my prayers were answered because I don’t think there were any maritime accidents in Louisiana during that time, even though Tropical Storm Karen was threatening the Gulf Coast. Praise God. I also felt terrible about what was going through my mind, because of what happened to the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald back in 1975.

My anger about government incompetence had put me in a bitter mood and the only way I could deal with it in a healthy way was to crack controversial, distasteful and borderline sick jokes.

It was probably wrong of me to do that, but I was younger than I am now and therefore probably more foolish than I am now.

Later that day I had cracked a joke in a Facebook post, questioning the accuracy of my then wife’s Atomic clock receiver. That was much more tasteful than the previous jokes, I guess.

Two days later, I had posted to Facebook how my Weather Radio alerted me of a Tropical Storm Watch, then later Warning, but the storm actually went elsewhere eventually. I was thankful that the weather broadcasts were still occurring.

Another two days later, the Tropical Storm Warnings were canceled.

Yet a week later I had posted a joke, questioning whether the Voice of America service was still being broadcast. Yes, they were, I tuned them in on shortwave moments after posting. Was that really necessary to keep the sovereign and secure status of the USA? I mean it is mostly a propaganda arm anyway.

I was on YouTube on October 16, 2013, and found a video that played the Jeopardy Think Music for an hour straight. I shared that video to Facebook and included, “Now if only someone could hook this up to loudspeakers and play it on Capitol Hill!!” in the post.

Sometime later that day, the shut down ended.

In January of 2018, there was another government shut down, but I was in the process of leaving my wife and moving out that I didn’t have the time nor the mental energy to be so opinionated nor was I in a joke-cracking mood. Also, I was almost five years older and wiser, so I had learned to still my tongue or my fingers more frequently.

I hope this piece has been informative and enlightening.

Forgive me for the politically charged content.

I am a [Potential] Alcoholic

I am a [potential] alcoholic.

I’ve never drunk consistently enough to where it actually caused serious problems, but the urge in me to do so is definitely there.

In this piece, I will try to explore why I am this way.

There are plenty of alcoholics in my family tree and definitely into my extended family, on both sides.

The first time I remember consuming alcohol was in 1989. I was around the age of two. An uncle by marriage was sitting at my paternal grandparents’ kitchen table and sipping on a can of Miller Lite. For whatever reason, he gave me a sip and a few minutes later I passed out. Later that day I woke up on the floor of my grandparents’ den and Richard Simmonds was on the television.

Another time in the Summer of 1990, my parents had a few cans of Budweiser in their refrigerator. I was three and a half and opened one of those cans then took a sip, but was absolutely disgusted by the taste. The ironic part is now, in my early thirties, Budweiser is my absolute favorite beer and I thoroughly enjoy the taste of it. I remember going up to my dad and saying how the “Coke”, or what I assumed to be Coke, in the refrigerator was “sour”, then pointing to the can. My dad starting freaking out with great concern and asked, “Eric did you take a big sip?” I told him that I didn’t. Had I actually taken a big sip, he would have probably called 911 out of concern for my well being.

I can remember in the Summer of 1995, at the age of eight, I had just fully learned how to read and would read everything I could. Almost every day, I was in Conoco station where my dad would purchase Gasoline and a can of Sprite for me. I saw a sign in there that read “Ice Cold Beer.” Though I hadn’t really been exposed too much to alcohol at that point, I can remember having a strong craving for that beer. I also used to love to go to gas stations because of the smell of beer.

From 1991 to 2001, I had attended an extremely strict catholic elementary school with an extremely rigorous curriculum. It got tougher as I advanced to each grade. By Seventh Grade, (2000-2001) during the little free time I had in school, I would frequently read from the catholic Bible. The book I was particularly interested in was Sirach, which isn’t in the Protestant Bible. From reading Sirach, I had learned that alcoholic beverages were intended by God to be a way of temporarily forgetting one’s trouble and having a good time at social gatherings. It made clear sense to me. That coupled with the fact that we were constantly working on school projects which added an unnecessary amount of stress to what should have been a carefree childhood. Supposedly, this was to prepare us for a four-year college. But notice something: A lot of students attending four-year colleges frequently binge drink because of the stress brought on from the God awful load of school work they are required to do. This, back in 2001, was the catalyst, in me becoming aware that I am a [potential] alcoholic. The only reason why I didn’t become a drinker at that point is that I had no access to alcoholic beverages. The reason why catholics have no issue with drinking and even drink heavily on religious holidays could possibly be from the book of Sirach. Since Sirach isn’t in the Protestant Bible, most Protestants detest drinking altogether, though some Protestants still drink behind closed doors, but feel convicted and ashamed when doing so. Well, I myself am Protestant and have been from 2004 to 2005 and since about 2008. Case in point, I do drink behind closed doors but definitely, feel convicted and ashamed when drinking. In fact, earlier tonight, I went out on a drive and stopped at a store on my way home to make a few groceries. I almost purchased a can of cold beer, but thought better of it.

On March 15, 2003, I was sixteen and had met a pretty (and plus sized) girl while doing volunteer work. We seemed to hit it off quite well but then she dumped me a day later. I remembered what I had read in Sirach, plus many of my high school friends consumed alcohol on a regular basis. I decided to drink this pain away. So, I had invaded my parents liquor cabinet and drank as much Jack Daniels as possible. This was my first time drunk, but I must say my spirits were lifted and I was in a much better mood for the rest of the day. Whiskey causes most men to become extremely belligerent, but it makes me quite jolly and much friendlier than when I am sober.

In October of 2003, I was sixteen going on seventeen, it was Friday night and I was at a party where I had consumed five beers then half a fifth of cheap Vodka. I was very loud and very jolly but couldn’t even walk straight. I was the life of the party. It is truly by the Grace of God that I didn’t get alcohol poisoning that evening and that I eventually vomited it back up. However, this experience had cemented my love for alcohol. I eschewed the laws on the books about alcohol and had already eschewed the laws on the books about guns. This made me decide to commit to the Libertarian Party, after hearing a radio broadcast about a week later. I was a registered Libertarian from ages 18 to 19, when I became what I am today-Independent. I still have quite a few Libertarian tendencies though, but I recognize the need for some government and the Libertarians no longer appeal to me completely.

In June of 2004, at the age of seventeen, I broke down mentally and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I had plenty of misdiagnoses and improper treatments prior to this, but in retrospect, I showed the symptoms of Schizophrenia ever since the age of six This meant taking medication for the rest of my life, which was not to be mixed with any alcohol. For the next four years, I pretty much became a teetotaler. I took Risperdal from ages fifteen to sixteen (because of a partial misdiagnosis), then seventeen to nineteen for Schizophrenia. From ages nineteen to twenty, then twenty-three to pretty much the present day, I took and still take Geodon. From age twenty to twenty-three I took Abilify.

In 2008 I became twenty-one, the drinking age. Alcohol was tolerated with this drug, so I began to drink beer every now and then. I had income with little bills and I was of age to buy my own alcohol. Also for most of the age twenty-two, I was working and would frequently have a beer after work. My then girlfriend didn’t like it, later wife, soon to be ex-wife, because of alcohol’s effects on her family members. She assumed I’d be the same way, but she was and still is dead wrong. I’ve never done anything irresponsible or violent even at my very drunkest.

In late 2011, at the age of twenty-four going on twenty-five, I would go out drinking in a bar room with a former coworker. This was my reward for me helping him with his computer. Also, around this time, I was told by a very competent physician that one beer per day wouldn’t hurt me and would actually be quite beneficial.

Towards my late twenties, I was in an unhappy marriage. I have my own faults don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t deserve to be emotionally neglected or even put on the proverbial back burner like my wife constantly did to me. I also didn’t deserve to be constantly put down, especially where my writing was concerned. I just stuck with it though, because I had felt that doing so would honor God. A family friend would frequently drink with me and supply me with beer and whiskey. My wife hated this with a hot passion, yet she was the cause of my desire to drink.

In the Summer of 2017, this family friend took his two sons, plus my wife and I on a trip to Tennesee. One night during this trip, my wife was harping on me about everything under the sun (or moon-it was nighttime.) The family friend got aggravated with her and brought me out drinking. We came back plastered. When we got back to the cabin, I was jolly as could be and the two boys were enjoying my drunk company but my wife was cursing me out. She probably would have hit me, had no one else been there as she had done several times behind closed doors over the course of our marriage.

Later that summer due to a temptation which I eventually never actually gave in to, plus years of emotional infidelity, frequent neglect and total mistreatment, from my wife, I was desiring a divorce. The temptation, though I remained faithful to my wife, taught me that there are nicer women out there. Because of this, my wife began doing things behind my back. I had drunk so much during the period of time, that my hair began to fall out. But by the Grace of God, my hair has all grown back and is thick as ever. Despite all the drinking, I never caused any injury, no not even insult. I know durn good and well not to drive or operate machinery when under the influence. I flat out refuse to, even if I had just one little beer. It’s not worth the legal implications of a drunk driving charge.

On January 17, 2018, I had just made thirty-one and was told by a secret informant what exactly my wife was doing behind my back. I bit the bullet and decided I would leave her. In preparation for this, the same family friend took me out drinking after I admitted to him what I found out. We had gotten totally plastered that night. I was in very good spirits, frequently giggling, despite knowing what lied ahead of me, though I couldn’t stand for very long without falling. We sobered up in my car, then when the alcohol was out of my system, I drove to his house and I slept for that day.

I moved in with another friend a day later, then in May of 2018, got an apartment where I am currently staying.

Since that night in January 2018, I have casually drunk a few times, but never enough to alter my judgment or consciousness.

The reason why I am not a full-blown alcoholic is that I cannot afford enough alcohol being on the fixed income I get for being schizophrenic. I do have an addiction to flashlights, but that is a totally harmless and actually beneficial addiction that only consumes what little extra spending money I have. I look at this too as the Grace of God in just a different manifestation. I pay for my rent, necessary expenses, and utilities responsibly, so if I want a flashlight here or there, to whom does it harm? No one!

To those who criticize me for liking flashlights:

Would you rather me be a full-blown alcoholic and use my spending money on alcohol?

Flashlights are not going to cause cancer or other health problems of any kind.
Flashlights are not going to impair my judgment or coordination.
Flashlights can be used as an instrument of self-defense, whereas alcohol totally hinders self-defense.
The worst thing flashlights do is sometimes freak out neighbors or people on the street.

I’m not trying to be self-righteous and I realize some may think I am.

On the contrary, I can totally relate to and very much sympathize with people who have more dangerous addictions to whatever they may be.

It is but only by the Grace of God that I am not a full blown alcoholic, just a potential alcoholic…

Back to “Personal Reflections”

ASDF Movie Questions and Speculations

Since about 2011, I have been a fan of the ASDF Movies.

I had seen some kids watching them and when I saw the “I Like Trains Kid” character, I could only think to myself and eventually be public about it, “No fair, I liked trains before it was cool to even like trains.”

I even commented that on YouTube.

Of course, then someone called me a “hipster.”

Anyway, I could still watch these ASDF Movies over and over again and laugh myself silly.

At some point in 2014, someone whom I will refer to as my “bestest buddy” and myself wrote down most of these questions and speculations we came up with about some of the characters in the said cartoon.

Here they are without further ado:

Desmond the Moon Bear:
He was sent him to the moon because he was very smart and knew how to speak English. Since he spoke English, he was launched into space by the USA and not the USSR/CCCP. His memories of being in the rockets were probably wiped out somehow.

The Girl Who Wanted to go to the Moon:
We thought she would miss the moon and/or other planets but went into the sun and burned up. She might not have made it through Earth’s atmosphere and fell back down. Then we wondered if the moon talked to her like he talked to the couple on the hill when he wanted them to kiss. This could be why she and Desmond never met. Also, when she was leaving the earth did he talk to her like he told goodbye to the guy who blew his brains out?

Stegosaurus and The Mine Turtle:
How did the stegosaurs learn how to speak English to the guy who traveled back in time? How does the stegosaurus step on the mine turtle and survive?

The I Like Trains Kid (my personal favorite):
Does the train just hurt whom the I Like Trains Kid wants to hit or does it hurt everyone nearby? Does he have some kind of power to guide the train to his target? Does he get hit? In one scene he does get it, or at least it looks like it. Maybe it is because he had no target that time. If only I myself had the power to summon a train simply by saying, “I Like Trains.” Of course, I wouldn’t use the train as a weapon, unless my life or the life of someone whom I care about was in danger.

The Die Potato: When the potato was about to be smashed but his assailant was rolled over by the train; was the potato also smashed by the train? Who taught the potato how to handle a firearm?

The Boy that Turned into a Pie:
Maybe he baked a pie and hid. Maybe he turned into the pie, by baking himself, but then the pie might taste like steak. How would he have turned into a perfectly shaped pie, like the pie flavored pie? Could the baby on fire be trying to bake into a pie by his mother, since she wanted more jewelry? Maybe she wanted to have a bake sale?

Child Arrested for Doing Homework:
Maybe this takes place in a dystopian society where any types of learning are forbidden. Maybe there was a free-thinking teacher who assigned the student to read some forbidden book and do a report on it, hence that it the homework the child was arrested for.

That’s all I have for the moment.

Hopefully, in the not to distant future, I can further elaborate on this.

Also, I am willing to accept input on your thoughts if you yourself also watch ASDF Movies…

My EDC Flashlights of 2016

I wrote this article in 2016. It is 2018 at the time I am posting this, but a good bit of the information still rings true. Apparently, it was late in the evening when I wrote this, which is usually when I am most creative. I still EDC some of two years later…

I have decided to write short review of the pocket sized flashlights I rotate with my EDC gear, as of Early 2016. Some are popular, other’s not so much. These are VERY budget friendly, as even the most costly [pocket EDC] model can be had for <$35 at the overwhelming majority of online, brick and mortar and hybrid retailers.

I realize that one should have both LED and Icandescent in his/her (or vice versa, depending on the situation that arises) EDC gear.

LED Models:
If you are a heavy flashlight user (meaning every day, several times a day), you will want a flashlight that is rugged, easy to maintain, efficient on batteries and bright enough for any given task. LED models fit these specifications perfectly. The few drawbacks of LED technologies is that they are overwhelmingly NOT user serviceable, MOST models give an untrue color rendition of any object being examined, and the scariest; they probably will NOT survive an EMP blast. In fact any electronic device that utilizes transistors and microchips as their semiconductors will fail. That’s just about everything except for a very few exceptions of devices that are probably only used in the military sector. That brings on a horrible wave of depression when I think of it and I have to ask God to comfort me.
My current EDC choices are:
UST (Ultimate Survival Technologies) Moon Force 2xAAA Glo Model. <$20.
Energizer Hard Case Professional LED Task Light 2xAA Model. ~$14-$17.
Terralux Light Star 80 2xAAA Model. <$20.
5.11 Tactical TMT PLx 2xAAA Model. <$35.

Now that all has been said about LED models; here is a list of mine:

UST (Ultimate Survival Technologies) Moon Force 2xAAA Glo Model. <$20. I mainly have it as a just in case of the worst thing besides an EMP blast. It can be located in the dark. It has a battery of 40 hours in low mode whilst still giving off a decent 10 lumens. It also has an emergency signally mode that has it preprogrammed to blink “SOS” continuously. This is a must have if traveling and one becomes stranded and or injured. The only drawback is that I find as the batteries age, one must strike it in addition to pressing the switch in order for it to turn on. I think of this in a situation where I would be in an aircraft downing in the middle of nowhere or being kidnapped and thrown into a trunk.

Energizer Hard Case Professional LED Task Light 2xAA Model. ~$14-$17. It is a cross between a consumer and a tradesperson’s flashlight and can be used for industrial use or outdoor nighttime activities. At 250 Lumens on high mode, it is the brightest flashlight in my current EDC gear. Its body is composed of a ABS plastic and steel. This allows it to be both rugged and chemical resitant and non conductive (excellent for performing maintenance and repairs on various pieces of machinery.) There is also a low setting which makes it appropriate for close up inspection of work While I wouldn’t advise for self defense from humans, it can be an excellent way of scaring away smaller animals (like a racoons, possums and even randy or dominant cats) that torment your pets and children. I mean, if the blinding brightness doesn’t deter their attitudes, a good hard whack upside the head or high velocity throw at their hind legs will surely scare them away but won’t leave any severe or crippling injuries. It will make them think twice about harming your elderly, juvenile or pregnant/nursing pets as well as undiscerning children. I claim no responsibility for any injuries you or your loved ones may sustain from the animals. For an extra measure of your safety and CYA purposes, please shout “GET” at the animal in question when engaging and only use force it it doesn’t comply with your command. For larger, stronger preadtory animals, there is a plethora of blades and firearms to choose from, but this piece is dedicated to flashlights. It will survive an impact of 7 Meters (21 Feet) on concrete and because of being built of high quality plastic, it won’t show the battle scars too much either. What if our enemies use some sort of dirty radiation to generate the EMP waves? What if all these little bastards mutate, get stronger and have all kinds of superpowers and attack you and your infirmed. When you shout “GET” they will laugh at you mockingly. What if their mutated bodies will then be able to absorb the blows from whackings and hurlings that once sent them away with their tails between their legs? Okay, I know there are plenty of possibilities but no more. This is supposed to be about science fact, not science fiction. The line between the two subjects keeps blurring though.

Terralux Light Star 80 2xAAA Model. <$20. This flashlight gives off 80 *you guessed it* Lumens, but I forget for how long on a set of batteries. Unfortunately the company’s website is not up to par at the moment. I like this one and carry it because it presents the best of both worlds, but is legally an LED. Therefore I must declare that I highly doubt it surviving an EMP blast. The reason why I say it gives the best of both worlds is because it has the brightness, durability and effeciency of an LED, but due to recent advances in LED technology, it produces light that is similar in color to an incandescent with fresh batteries. This means that in any profession where color rendition matters, this light is a winner. [Theoretically] all colors being inspected and examined will show their true appearance. This light also has a grip on it that is mean for holding it with your teeth comfortably and still having both hands free to work. Another simple but brilliant idea is that this light has the ability to place the clamp upside down and clip it to the duck bill of your cap. Please for CYA purposes make sure the light is point away from your face when you wear it on your cap. Also this light has a forward clickie switch which means you could secretly communicate morse code, or cause a seizure to someone who is trying to harm you. For the sake of CYA, let me caution that you could probably be sued or even prosecuted for causing a serious injury if your attacker hurts his/herself during the seizure, even if it was purely self defense. I shouldn’t say this because it will give some epeleptic the urge to hold someone up in the hopes that he or she will get an blast of light in the face, go into a seizure and then sue his or her victim. Welcome to modern America. Do you even wonder why enemies both foreign and domestic would love to bring us to our knees and what better way of doing it than sending all of our technology 200 years into the past?

5.11 Tactical TMT PLx 2xAAA Model. <$35. This light is 90 Lumens (10 Lumens brighter than my Terralux and nearly just as efficient if my memory serves me properly.) It seems to be made of a slightly harder grade of Aircraft Aluminum than the Terralux, which I would like to use it as my Kubotan light. It too has a forward clickie so we please refer to the previous paragraph about the advantages forward clickie switches. It is a decent all around lighting instrument, but was initially targeted to law enforcement and military customers. That means that it probably can stand up to most forms of use and abuse. I only wish it had a crenelated bezel, like my 2xAAA Bushnell flashlight. And of course a 12 Hz strobe feature would make inducing a seizure (or at least extreme disorientation) in your oponent even easier.

Incandescent Models:
If you absolutely need excellent color rendition of the equipment, (or tissue and organs for that matter) want a flashlight that is user servicable (hence an exponentially longer lifetime of service) or just plain want to be prepared should any disaster fry all modern electronics. Also their startup cost is a fraction of the startup cost of an LED model. The drawbacks to incandescents are that since a glass bulb is the only light emitter, they are horribly more fragile than their LED counterparts, they devour batteries like a starving pit bull in a butcher shop, their bulb life is also relatively short, meaning the user must have extra replacement in his/her edc bag. Then there is the facet that frightens me most: Their replacement bulbs may some day be discontinued, because of the potential selfishness and greed or poor descision making on the part of their manufacturers. Given the political instability at home and abroad, I will stress that incandescent flashlights are a MUST not only as a backup device in the event of an EMP induced LED failure, but also to have as a barter item (extra bulbs as well in this case) for food, water, medicine and weapons/ammo. Because of the relatively low price of both the flashlights and their bulbs, They will indeed be worth many times their MSRP. I am shocked to realize that I have never heard anyone from the prepper community state that flashlight bulb futures could be a publically traded commodity, seriously not even as a joke. Has anyone besides myself ever thought of this?
My current EDC choices are:
Mini Maglite 1984 Original 2xAA Model. ~$8-$20.
Mini Maglite 1987 Smaller 2xAAA Model ~$7-$16.
Pelican MityLite 1900 2xAAA Model. ~$10-~$20.

Now that I have stated the extreme pros and unfortunate cons of incandescent models, here are the ones I rotate in my EDC gear:

Mini Maglite 1984 Original 2xAA Model. ~$8-$20. This was probably the flashlight that revolutionized the industry and was a trailblazer in the subject of all things EDC. I have been using this model (not the same one, but different ones over the past 10 years. I also have given them as gifts to friends and family. While not on the bleeding edge of today’s flashlight technology; it is still a tried and true favorite around the world. This is a flashlight that can be used in both the medical and custodial arts and anything in between! It can meet the needs of a surgeon but still be affordable on a janitor’s wages. The only complaint I can say about it is that bulb and battery life are poor. A fresh set of Alkalines will emit 14 Lumens from the bulb and last between 3 to 5 hours depending on the quality of the cells (you get what you pay for definitely makes a clear statement in the world of batteries.) A new bulb will burn for maybe 8 to 10 hours before flashing out. Maglite upgraded their bulbs designed for this flashlight several time over the years. They were always bi pin bulbs, but their physical and chemical features have changed over the years; Vacuum, Krypton and Xenon respectively. What I recommend this model for is anything where light is needed in a post EMP blast world, but also has much praticality in normal everyday life. I have used it for close up inspection work when repairing/inspecting the insides a computer tower many times. I have also read and heard where it was esential in performing or assisting surgery in the mission fields where the electricity is intermittent at best, reading an instrument panel on any vehicle, craft or vessel at night when the proprietary lighting has decided to quit on you. Also, from what I gather, firefighters like this light because of its ability to project a focused beam with minimal glare in a smoke or mist filled room. There is even an implement sold by a third party that allows this flashlight to be securely mounted to their helments. What tops it all off is that it was invented and still made here in the States by a highly ethical and kind-hearted, though rightfully shrewd at times, eighty something business executive and tradesman named Tony Maglica.

Mini Maglite 1987 Smaller 2xAAA Model ~$7-$16. This is the smaller, lighter, and dimmer underage lover to the original Mini Maglite. I swear their relationship is consensual, but for CYA purposes I assure you the parents of the younger party gave their full blessing to the relationship and even paid for a lavish wedding. In fact: One year later they had a child whom they named Solitaire because of its dull light output and inability to stay in a committed relationship to its key lanyard. Wow lack of medication breeds creativity, but creativity is soon beaten and gang raped by paranoia, depression and anxiety. Okay all joking aside. This flashlight was developed for medical and industrial purposes and I would say it was mediocre in filling those roles for. However it holds a special place in my heart for the simple fact that it was brought into this *racking my brain desparately for a properly fitting adjective* world in 1987, just like me. Sometime I think in 2015 she got her act together and began using a Xenon bulb. Now she is a medical profession, specializing in eye exams because of her color correct Xenon light, and her dimness has an advantage because the pupils only contract minimally. I think she would make a great use of her candle mode in a post EMP world for seperated young lovers to write each other since there will be no phones texts or emails to communicate. I think she might also inspire a huge generation of creative writers as they create stories, plays, songs, poems, doctrines and manifestoes. Then again, will we have freedom of expression once order is restored?

Pelican MityLite 1900 2xAAA Model. ~$10-~$20. I have a love and hate relationship with this model, due to owning ones that had their bodies warp, bulb modules burnout prematurely and even one of them being stolen from me. However, the laser precision Xenon fired beam 11 Lumen, overall ruggedness and especially the strong association with the maritime industry (and my gongoozling hobby) not to mention its Class 1 Divsion 1 Group C and D approval were all deciding factors in me giving this model one more chance and even placing it in with my EDC gear. It will hardly dent your checking account (neither will it send you into massive debt.) Well, let me clarify: If you use it heavily, it will develop an addiction to batteries not unlike a chain smoker’s ongoing and scandalous love affair with Nicotene. Like any other incandescent model it will thrive in the post EMP world (especially in areas where hazardous fluids have been released because of the near universal failure electronics will sucumb to.) In the still normal pre EMP world this light will be ideal when working on live electrical or electronic circuits is an absolute must, but please remove the damn key ring first if yours has one.

Another indispensible use of small flashlights.
Someday, I would love to take up the art of the Kubotan, which is a style of martial arts that teaches the use a hard, pen-sized object to strike the pressure points of a would be attacker and disarm him/her. A metal, pocket sized flashlight is ideal for these techniques and some were even built with this in mind (I believe the Mini Maglite in 1984 was one of these.) With enough skills mastered could even halt the most heavilly armed attacker in a close quarter combat situation. This is something that should be taught to and encouraged for all patrons and staff of all schools churches and hospitals, especially with the rise of mass shootings as of lately…