Dreams and Visions of Unconventional Warfare Occurring on American Soil-WARNING Very Controversial…

Throughout my childhood, teens and even into my adult years, I have frequently had dreams about non conventional warfare tactics being used against American citizens on American soil.

In this piece I will attempt to recall the most prominent dreams that stand out in my memory.

They almost always deal with life going on in the immediate aftermath of the attack along with myself and my family attempting to survive the horrendous effects of war.

I am sometimes a technically minded person and understanding some of these dreams will require a decent amount of technical knowlege in electronics and mechanics.

The earliest dream pertaining to this subject that I had was back in 1995 when I was only 8 years old. I didn’t fully understand the meaning of this dream until years later and now it seems to make clear sense to me. It starts off with me being a child and standing in my parents’ front yard. I am standing in waist deep snow. Now in South Louisiana, it rarely snows and when it does snow, it doesn’t even cover the ground halfway. But the reason why it does make sense is because whoever our enemy was used an unconventional tactic of warefare on us. I didn’t understand it at age 8 because I knew nothing of weather modification. Fast forward a few years and I am now lightly acquainted with the said subject. Snowfall knee deep in South Louisiana would have exponentially dire consequences. The people aren’t used to it inasmuch as they don’t know how to handle vehicles in such conditions and they cannot comfortably cope with the frigid temperatures required to have waist deep snow. This would result in a plethora of traffic accidents and cut off links between civilians and first responders. The infrastructure can’t handle it, hence all wireline utilities would be severed and water pipes would burst. It would ruin all crops that are grown here, since we normally have a hot climate nearly year round. People would be sick and starving. Civil disorder and unrest would eventually set in and soon it would be every family for themselves. Now some governments have agreed to not engage in weather modification, but not all. I don’t know how much tactical or strategic ability is possible with weather modification as of now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some entities out there planning to use nature as a weapon. However in the dream, the people were resilient and were building vehicles that could navigate through the deep snow and be powered by natural gas (the one utility that was still available.) In the visions of this dream I saw pipes being connected to the central heating system in my parents house and hooked on the other end to these deep snow capable vehicles to fuel them. All of my family was there and we worked together, but I woke up before I could know whether things ever got back to normal…

The next dream I had was in the summer of 2002. I was standing in my parents’ back yard holding a multiband radio transceiver. Some sort of radioactive bomb had gone off miles away and while we weren’t hurt by the blast, our electronics had perished. Well all except for this radio I was using. It either had vacuum tubes or very robust transistors which protected it from the EMP. I didn’t understand the mapping of the radio spectrum at the time, but it’s amazing what frequencies this radio was capable of tuning in: 150 KHz, 15 MHz and 150 MHz. Each of these frequencies (and the ones adjacent to them) are critically important: 150 KHz is used in most of the world outside the US for trans and intercontinental broadcasting. It is a secondary AM broadcast band known as Long Wave. The exact frequencies range from 145 KHz to 285 KHz. Domestic AM broadcasting in the US (excluding World Band AKA Short Wave) takes place on the Medium Wave band from 525 KHz to 1710 KHz. For years in the United States there were several services on the Long Wave band used as a backup in the case of a nuclear raid. One service I recall is the US Air Force Ground Wave Emergency Network. There were also plans to use this as a medium for the government to keep in touch with its people when all other communications had failed. Long Wave frequencies are also used by various governments to keep in touch with submarine naval forces as they travel through water inteligibly. I didn’t know what Long Wave was until that following December when I had bought a multiband receiver. I also didn’t know anything about EMP blasts until my mid 20s. Moving on, 15 MHz is one of the frequencies for the time signal used by the U. S. Government. I don’t know exactly why I would have wanted to tune it in except to see if it was still running. 150 MHz and adjacent frequencies are very critical for entities in both the public and private sectors. However, I question the readiness of any modern radio on these frequencies after an EMP attack. In the dream though, this was the frequency I was attempting to contact others on. The transceiver had a long steel antenna and appeared to be a vintage, maybe 1950s-1970s crystal controlled model.

In the Spring of 2012 I had a brief vision. It was nighttime and I was outside on my paternal grandfather’s property. There had just been an EMP beamed at us shortly before. All of the electronics were rendered useless. This included all LED flashlights. However, in the dream or vision my grandfather is sowing crops at night by the light of his 1985 Garrity 2 D flashlight. For the record it was an incandescent model. He came up to me and said “Ay!” That’s how he greets people sometimes. He would have been 88 in 2012, but in this dream he appeared to be over 100. My grandfather remarked on how his old flashlight is the only one still working. This dream was truly a wake up call for me and should be to any flashlight user. LED flashlight are great, don’t get me wrong. They’re bright. They’re efficient. They last longer on batteries. And they’re even more rugged. However they lack an extremely important feature-most if not all of them will fail in an EMP blast. Because of the transistors and chips in their circuitry, they are can be damaged by high amounts of radiation. BUT the cheaper incandescent flashlights will still work provided all the mechanics, batteries and bulbs are still in working order. I do have LED flashlights that I carry, but rest assured I also carry incandescent models for this very reason. I would urge everyone to stock up on simple incandescent flashlights that use PR based bulbs while you still can. I also want to urge everyone to stock up on as many PR bulbs as possible. Bi pin bulbs are also a good idea provided you have a model of flashlight that requires them. They will provide critical light when needed and could also make a barter item for food, medication, fuel and weapons. Unfortunately I only see myself taking heed to this warning. If you decide to keep using LED flashlights, keep your stash in a well built faraday cage. A discarded but still in tact microwave oven might do the trick nicely. BUT I cannot guarantee it will always protect sensitive circuitry. Also there could be multiple blasts, so while your flashlights were safe in their cage during the initial blast, there might be following blasts that take place when your lights are in use. Incandescent is the way to go in my opinion. Why isn’t anyone in the prepper community advising this?

The final dream I am going to mention has been a recurring one in both 2015 and 2016. There is a global conflict going on and somehow a teenage couple manages to get a hold of some electronic warfare equipment. They implement it secretly cause all planes in the air to crash along with all sailing ships to become stranded. No one knows it was them who did it and they have huge smirks on their faces. Soon they begin to feel great remorse and they are eventually brought to justice just as I wake up. This current post millenial generation, I hate to say it, is a bunch of spoiled brats. They tend to be quite self serving, inconsiderate and vengeful. I also notice that they are always glued to some form of electronic device. If an EMP were to happen, they would all be in for a rude awakening. All of their entertainment and communications would be shot. They would all throw a huge tantrum and there would be murder, rape, drug use and theft like the world has never seen before. I could definitely see some young people who are angry at the adults for starting this global war that took away all their pleasures wanting to get revenge on an epic scale. I think that this final dream was a warning of how cruel this upcoming generation will be in a few short years and the catastrophic damage they will cause if God Himself doesn’t intervene on behalf of humanity. I know, however that some things must happen according to God’s plan…

By the way I still don’t believe myself to be a prophet. This is just an educated guess mixed with a powerful imagination…

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Flashlights used by Fire Fighters and Consumers Alike…

There are many products, especially flashlights, that are geared towards consumers and professionals alike. This is because they are built well enough to definitely impress a consumer and give a professional dependable, sometimes life saving, service.

This is very true in the fire protection sector.

In this article, I am attempting to discuss certain flashlights that were geared towards both fire fighters and consumers, sometimes one as a result of the other.

I am trying my best to remain in chronological order of the flashlights hitting the market.

…The following flashlights will be discussed…
1963 Eveready Captain with Boat Switch D Cell Models:
Definitely used on the show Emergency! by firefighters and paramedics.

I have been told that it should be rugged enough to withstand use on the fire ground, especially since in bygone times, structure fires weren’t as hot as modern structure fires. This is due to the difference used building materials back then compared to now.

1969 Eveready Captain Penlights 315 (2AA) and 312 (2AAA):
Also used on the show Emergency! by both hospital personnel and firefighters and paramedics.

A CandlePowerForums member known as “bykfixer” said this about the pen lights: “…My mom used it to check us for concusions, light up splinters etc and later my dad used it to inspect gun barrels. My mom worked for a doctor so we had a slew of them back then…”

So, I’m not sure if it was used by firefighters, but definitely by various medical personnel in real life. I don’t know if this gentleman’s dad had these and inspected his gun barrels with them because his wife used them for work or if he knew about them before. However other Eveready penlights were sold as impulse items in many stores during that time period and before, or so I’ve read. Therefore the average consumer used these as well.
1969 Eveready 108 All American Lantern:

A poster on The Flashlight Museum, known as “Plexter” had this to say: “One of the best. For years used by firemen on hook & ladder companies in Chicago. ”

One CandlePowerForums member known as “lightfooted” had this to say: “Yes, yes it [the Eveready 108] was. I can personally vouch for at least one fire department in WA that used the 108 on their engines as well as seeing it in some of the kits on board the Country Response Ambulances (full life support rated rigs) during the eighties…”

Professional firefighter and CandlePowerForums member “Jbones” stated this in reference to the Eveready 108 ,”Although I don’t have a straight yes or no answer for you, I hope I can help shed some light here.. I’m a professional firefighter in Jersey and seeing what we use today in fires, I would say they absolutely could’ve used the eveready [108]! You’d be surprised what holds up in a fire…”

I’ve also read about this flashlight/lantern being used in the railroad and chemical industries, because of it’s ruggedness and resistance to most corrosive chemical substances. I even purchased one on eBay that was formerly used for refueling locomotives at night.  However, I know that it was marketed to consumers as well because of these posts from The Flashlight Museum,

Someone known as “ED” stated, “I GOT ONE OF THESE AS A KID FOR MY BIRTHDAY…AN I WAS SO PROUD SHOWING IT OFF ! LOL….WAS A GREAT LIGHT…TILL THE RUBBER SWITCH COVERING WORE THROUGH AN WATER GOT IN IT….AN THEN FAILED….SIGH…”

Another poster known as “Mason Wolfe” had this to say, “I had 2 of these flashlights when I lived on the farm. Don’t know whatever happen to them, but they were better then anything that you can buy today. I would like to find at least one of these flashlights in red or blue.”

A final poster known as “BrianM” stated this “Had one of these as a kid myself. I loved the thing!”
1979-Ongoing C/D Cell Maglite:
A FF/EMT and CandlePowerForums member “RWT1405”, stated “I used Mags and then in 1982 started to carry a Smoke Cutter (best firefighting light there was!). The George T. Price Smoke Cutter is now a rare collector’s item, but I believe it was marketed only to firefighters, not actual consumers, hence, it will not be covered [much] in this article.

Though the Maglite was initially targeted to the public safety sector, it is also well popular with civilians/consumers and is probably marketed more towards them, nowadays, as many police entities are forbidding the carrying of C and D cell Maglites because of brutality issues not to mention smaller and brighter flashlights are now available.

1980s-2000’s Garrity Life Lite:
“RWT1405” also stated for this flashlight “The only plastic light I used (in the 1980’s) was the Garrity [Life Lite]…which I carried on my helmet (New Yorker 5A), it was useless in a fire, but I used it a lot at accident scenes and on the fire ground. You just needed to buy them by the dozen, as you just threw them away when they stopped working or started to melt…”

I know for a fact that this flashlight was definitely marketed to consumers as well because it was sold in many department and drug stores as well as truck stops and filling stations. However, on this flashlight’s packaging, there is indeed a picture of a firefighter with one of these taped to his safety helmet.

1984-Ongoing Red 2 AA Mini Maglite:
Over the years, I’ve personally have seen quite a few volunteer firefighters in the fire district which I resided, as well as other districts and Parishes (Counties) as well carry this flashlight in its holster next to their Motorola Minitor voice pager, or, in the case of junior firefighters, their Uniden BC72XLT or Radio Shack Pro 82 entry-level portable scanner radios. Those voice pagers cost about three to four times what the entry-level scanners cost. The Mini Maglite was almost always in the color red. On a slightly unrelated note, back in the 1990s and into the early 2000s many firefighters and sheriff’s deputies in my home Parish (County) wore the infamous Casio F-91W. That watch is “infamous” because it is worn/used by Al-Queda and possibly other radical Islamic terrorists who are skilled in IED making. As you can see, however, there are some good guys who wear/wore this said watch as well. I believe it is “the cheapest accurate watch available” (provided it is a genuine Casio and not a knockoff.) Anyway, there are third-party accessories for attaching a Mini Maglite to a fire fighter’s helmet, the one that comes to my mind is the Black Jack. However, the Mini Maglite in all of its forms is probably the Maglite that is marketed to civilians and consumers more than any other Maglite there is. It could pretty much be a universally used flashlight unless one is working on live electrical/electronics circuits or working in a hazardous environment. I don’t think there would be any other application where a Mini Maglite wouldn’t be suitable.

1988-? Rayovac Roughneck:
I know this flashlight was marketed to consumers and tradespeople alike. However, I’m shocked to find out that it might have also been marketed to firefighters. The only data I have on this though is because I saw a new old stock Rayovac Roughneck on eBay, still in the packaging. There was a picture of a fire engine, hose and trench coat on the retail card. I still do question if this was just a marketing gimmick or if it was truly geared towards firefighters. If anyone can comment or correct, please do so. It’s an oldie but a goody.

As for the modern models that are currently on the market, the line between being marketed to firefighters and consumers is being continuously blurred. This is especially true with online retailing. Many flashlights are geared initially towards firefighters, but consumers get interested in them either because they are flashlight or fire buffs. They also might know a firefighter and see his/her flashlight and be impressed then want one. All they would then have to do is get the model number and make or just do a general internet search. I don’t think the flashlight manufacturers and retail companies who carry them would complain if more people than just firefighters would start buying their product.

So that’s all I have for now. I would like to thank all the websites, their webmasters and patrons that I cited in this article because I couldn’t have done it without you. Kudos very much.

Hopefully, I have been entertaining or at least informing…

Back to “Articles I have Written”

1992 and 2001-2003 Excellent Times for Eveready Flashlight Manufacturing and Marketing (Written in October of 2016)

In this article/essay I am attempting to discuss the Eveready/Energizer flashlights made in 1992 and also 2001-2003 that I thought were superior, wonderful or at least preferable. Maybe this piece could be used as a petition to the said company to bring these models back…

The mid to late 1980s had modernized incandescent flashlight technology to its pinnacle. Flashlight manufacturers of the early 1990s, especially Eveready, capitalized on [some of] these advancements and made them available to the truly average consumer, both in terms of cost and retail availability. I remember seeing some of these as a child and owning at least two of them in childhood. There are many others that caught my attention whenever my parents or grandparents would take me to any retailer that carried flashlights. I am going to mention some of these in just a bit.

In the early 1990s, many consumer and definitely industrial items were still being produced in the USA and possessed that excellent build and performance quality that most American products do indeed posses. Though it’s not widely known or accepted (because it’s not widely known), one could definitely say with confidence that America could be known for its flashlights the way Germany is known for its high quality cars, Japan is known for its robust electronics, Switzerland is known for its fine timepieces, chocolate, tools and cutlery and France is known for its excellent cheese and wine making. So the United States producing the world’s best flashlights (at least in my opinion) is an unfortunate secret that most people are completely unaware of. This statement about American quality flashlights still rings very true today, but was even more the case in the early 1990s.

If any of you executives at Energizer Holdings are reading this, please consider bringing back all of the following flashlights.

Two of the flashlights I owned [or at least] were made in the early 1992 are as follows:

The first one, according to the Flashlight Museum was an Eveready 2251 or 3553. I’m not 100% sure which one it would fall under because it had the body shape of the 2251 and the coloring of the 3553. I also question whether 3553 is an accurate model number. So if someone has the ability to correct this potential error, please do so. Anyway whatever the model number may be, both me and my brother each received one of these flashlights for Christmas of 1992. These were extremely bright for their day and I’m wondering if they might have had a Halogen filled bulb or just a Krypton. Anyway mine kept me amused for hours on end. Over a year later in Kindergarten, we were studying the letter “T” so we were allowed to bring our favorite toy to school since the word “toy” began with the letter “T”. I remember bringing this flashlight to school.

I also owned the Eveready Industrial 2 AA flashlight. The model number was IN-215. It was given to me as a gift in 1994, but I know the model was begun in 1992 and this was probably just new-old-stock. This was my first everyday carry light technically, though I was only seven years of age. I remember this light too was bright as it sported a high quality Krypton bulb. It produced a sharp white beam and was fairly rugged. This was also the light that got me interested in pocket sized flashlights and made me nearly swear by them for years to come and even to this very day (October 2016.) This light’s color and reflector were redesigned in 2006, which was a mistake in my humble and honest opinion. I had purchased two of the original 1992 versions of this light as new-old-stock in mint condition sometime in 2013. Though I’ve opened them and do sometimes play with one of them, I keep them in my flashlight collection box. There is also the 2 D version which I never had as a child, but had several (2006 versions) as an adult. In 2015 I got a 1992 version of it mint in the box, model number 1251, which I don’t use (it’s strictly for collection.) The strange thing is though that it came with a standard PR bulb and not a Krypton filled one. By the way, for those of you who are confused with the Eveready Industrial model numbers, the 1251 (2 D) and 1351 (3 D) are the full featured models which have a spare bulb compartment and the IN-251 (2 D) is the stripped down model. There is also a difference in the 2 AA model namely the IN-215 and the 1151, but I don’t know what the difference is.

While I am on the subject of the Industrial line, there was also the explosion proof Industrial Safety line. The model numbers are the 1259 (2D) and 1359 (3 D). They are built similar yet different to the 1251 and 1351, where they use lowered powered bulbs (generate less heat), namely a PR2 or PR6 for the 2D model and a PR7 for the 3D model. They also have a circuit breaker mechanism in the case of a broken bulb. Those features allow these said flashlights to be uses in areas where potentially explosive materials are present. However, these features come at the expense of brightness. I have one of each of these, (1992 versions at least) but they are for collector’s purposes only.

I also have the 1960s versions of the 1251 and 1259, but this article isn’t meant to cover those years.

There are other lights I had seen either used by people I know or on store shelves. I will attempt to list the ones I can remember now:

I first remember seeing the Eveready K-Beam Work flashlight at an agricultural supplier whilst shopping there with my Paw Paw when I was about 5 (1992.) I thought it was pretty neat and secretly coveted it. What is ironic is that 16 years later, I went back to that same shop and that flashlight hadn’t been sold yet! For whatever reason, I didn’t get it. I could kick myself for not doing so. At some point that same year (2008), I was at a NAPA Auto Parts dealer, I purchased a twin pack of Eveready K-Beams for a horribly jacked up price. They were somewhat different in design than the K-Beam of 1992. About four years ago (2012) I went back to the ag store to see if the K-Beam was still there, but it wasn’t. There’s only one drawback of the Eveready K-Beam and that is if the head was over tightened, it would pop off. This problem is chronic on many flashlights made in recent years. It’s a dumb-ass design (excuse my language) and needs to be done away with. Anyway, I don’t know if the 1992 version of the K-Beam had this problem, but the 2003 version sure did and it irritated me. Other than that, the K-Beam flashlight could cast a bright beam and came with a high quality Krypton filled bulb.

There is one line of flashlights from 1992 made by Eveready that I’ve read about and hope to own some day. They are the Rubber flashlights with the model number R215 for the 2 AA and R251 for the 2 D. The line was recreated in 2003 as well, but I think I would prefer the 1992 versions instead. I’ve heard stories of them getting rolled over by cars and still functioning! They are made of a high impact plastic tube that is then encased in rubber exterior body. To activate the light, it uses a high quality reverse clickie switch (or so I’ve read.) I’ll also assume that it uses a high quality Krypton bulb.

Let me also say that those Eveready Super Heavy Duty batteries (Carbon Zinc Chloride, I believe) work way past their intended shelf life, but please don’t tempt fate and put them in a valuable flashlight. I’ve had batteries, unused of course, still work after 21 years in packaging. Again, if you’re going to use them, use them in something that is NOT valuable or sentimental. This may have just been pure luck or divine blessing that they still worked after so long. I will not be held responsible for any damage incurred from the reader deciding to use old batteries…

Now that I’ve covered the 1992 versions that I was/am familiar with, I would like to cover the Eveready flashlights that were made in 2001-2003. The LED was beginning to gain a foothold in the flashlight market as it was getting a reputation for being highly efficient on batteries and decently bright. Some of these lights I intend to cover are indeed LED models. But I also want to state that 2003 was the “last hoo-rah” year, or the beginning of the end for incandescent flashlights in the main stream market. However, many of these wonderful incandescent flashlights that were made during these later years are highly desired by myself and maybe a few others out there.

This time period was also the beginning of the end for consumer flashlights being marketed for just consumers and light industrial or office work. Nowadays (2016), “tactical grade” is a common phrase as is “disaster preparedness” when discussing what is desired in a flashlight. I blame and credit at the same time Operation Iraqi Freedom and Hurricane Katrina, among other hurricanes as well, with the public desiring quality quasi military style products. What also contributes to this is the prepper community, economic hardships and political unrest both foreign and domestic. I wrote an essay/article on that subject and that is NOT what this piece is supposed to be about.

So I’ll now continue with the great Eveready/Energizer flashlights available from 2001 to 2003. As a child I was always afraid of being harassed for being interested in flashlights. But as a teenager, I began to give a damn less and less. Now as an adult, I am lauded for my flashlight interest and knowledge. I wasn’t able to purchase many of the those flashlights made from the said time period as I did have other interests as a teenager. However I did find some of them on eBay later as an adult.

So here they are, the ones I’ve actually owned and thought were great:

The Eveready 5109 had a better contact system than the 1990s version, which made it produce a more steady beam even with vibration and shock. However it wasn’t completely shock resistant and dropping one on a hard surface from a moderate amount of height could ruin the contact system. It also came with a standard PR13 bulb, but still was very bright. I bought one in 2007 at Target and I have another one in my collection box.

I’ve mentioned it in other articles but when I was 16 (2003), I purchased an Energizer Super Charge LED flashlight. The model number is RCL1NM1. I still have it and it still holds a charge in 2016! I bought this because I my 4 D Krypton Maglite was ruined by leaking batteries. I decided to give both rechargeable and LED flashlights a try. It was quite dim, but definitely served its purpose.

I bought an Energizer Hard Case 4D Floating Lantern, TUF4D1H, in 2006. This thing was built like a damn tank! It also used a high quality Xenon-Halogen bulb and could cast a beam sharp beam very far with plenty of spill. I lent it to my in-laws and never got it back. I guess one could say that this light was the answer to the Eveready 5109 inasmuch that it could be dropped from a much greater height and still easily function. Energizer still make excellent hard case flashlight in 2016 and I even edc a 2 AA model for working on computers and live circuits.

The Energizer Find Me flashlights, VAL2DL1EN were quite nice. In October of 2002, my family and I had went to the local high school to evacuate for Hurricane Lilli (which didn’t even come here.) I had seen some girls who were about my age using these. I had wanted one ever since but never got around to owning one. In September of 2011 I was given one as a gift. There is a flashing red LED that constantly blinks as long as the light is off and usable batteries are installed. This was meant for locating the flashlight in a dark room. It also came with a high quality Krypton bulb. I hope to find another one soon and writing this article has made me want to check eBay as soon as I am finished. By the way, this flashlight also has a cameo in one of the love stories I wrote.

Here are some flashlights made from that era that I actually never owned, but hope to at least one day:

The Energizer Waterproof Line WP1LB (6 Volt), WP220 (2 AA), and WP250 (2 D). These appear to be on par with something made by Pelican or Underwater Kinetics, just without the need for an expensive and hard to find replacement lamp module. They just use a simple, but high quality Krypton filled PR bulb. These light are activated by a simple turn of the lens shroud. There is also an O-Ring gasket to keep water from flooding the internal parts of the light. Now I said the appear to be on par with the two manufacturers of diving lights, but I’m NOT 100% sure. They might only be submersible to three feet like they may be able to go the whole five hundred feet. I’m not certain either which way because I don’t have the data sheet readily available. Use at your own risk if you use them at all. I would more or less see these as strictly collectors’ items, as they are pretty rare from what I gather.

I’ve wanted an Energizer Rechargeable flashlight, RC251 and had the chance to purchase one at Big Lot’s in the Fall of 2007. However, I didn’t take that chance and regret it. From what I read this rechargeable flashlight used a Krypton bulb, most likely a KPR102. That was why I wanted it. But I didn’t get it. I don’t know much else about it.

There are the Energizer Trail Finder flashlights K221 (2 AA) and K251 (2 D) seemed to be built well enough for their intended purpose which is outdoors at night in the wilderness. They come with Krypton bulbs. When I say they appear to be built well enough, I mean they appear as if they could be dropped in a puddle or pond and still work or fall onto a hard surface from a moderate height and not break. However, I’m not 100% sure so don’t hold me to these [personal] observations if they are indeed incorrect. Remember too, these are rugged but not tactical rugged. I must say that these actually remind me somewhat of the first flashlight mentioned in this piece, especially because of the switch design. I’ve only really searched for these a few times but never was able to find too many results. Does anyone know exactly how rare these may be?

There is an Eveready Sea Beam floating lantern which is actually just the American Equivalent of the Australian Dolphin Mark 5. I’ve had other American equivalents of the Australian Dolphin and I must say that they are built extremely well. I’ll assume that this one was too. It takes a high quality Krypton bulb and has a work stand for hands free use. Of course it is also waterproof and floats. I cannot seem to find one anymore, of course I haven’t looked for this particular model. I know in 2006, Energizer used the same physical design characteristics, but renamed it the Weather Ready Floating Lantern. That one too is hard to find here in The States. Even the modern LED versions are hard to find.

I would like the Energizer Industrial screw-top lantern, the 231IND. It is available on eBay right now and I’ve been debating with myself on whether to get it or not. It would strictly be a collector’s item since I cannot afford those 918 lantern batteries. Even if I could, they are no where to be found locally. There are some Rayovac 918 batteries at my local hardware store. However, if you (the reader) haven’t already figured it out, I tend to be quite anal about flashlights. One of the things I refuse to do (because of my anal ways) is I won’t mix brands of flashlights and batteries. I’ve read that it comes with a KPR113 bulb, that is a Krypton bulb designed for working in 6 volt lanterns. All flashlight bulbs are technically over-driven by the way.

If I could find one and the bulbs it uses were readily and widely available I would definitely try to purchase the Energizer Double Barrel flashlights. The model numbers are D410 (4 AAA) and D420 (4 AA). Okay I guess some of you are giggling because I said the number four-twenty. I would also be willing to bet that some of you are also giggling when I used to word “anal” in the previous paragraph. It’s fine, laugh away. I too have a sense of humor. Now I have a smirk on my face because I realize that you (the reader) are giggling at my choices of numbers and words. Kudos for making me smirk! Anyway, I’ve seen reviews of the Energizer Double Barrel and I would put it up there with a Sure Fire 6P in terms of brightness, color temperature and throw. It uses a very high quality Xenon or possibly Xenon/Halogen combination bi pin bulb. Like I said though it was difficult to begin with to find a replacement of this bulb and it will get more difficult as the years go by. I once saw one of these in a hardware store down the Bayou from me. I guess some of you are now giggling at my Louisiana expression of how I determine directions, that’s okay as well. I should have seized the opportunity and bought it at that hardware store, but didn’t because of the bulb situation.

The final semi-vintage flashlight I’m going to discuss in this piece is the Energizer Eveready Outfitter Lantern with Fabric Bag and Multi-Position Stand, also known by its model number, the FAB4DCM. There is now near zero information on this flashlight, much less where it can now be purchased. However, I believe it was one of the coolest flashlights that Eveready/Energizer ever produced. I’m not sure if it ran on 4 D batteries or a single 6 Volt 908 battery, but either which way I’ve wanted one for years. Unlike the others, I never had the chance to purchase one. What I like most about this flashlights is not only its ruggedness but the fact that it has a satchel integrated with it. You could store a cell phone, a multi tool, a two way radio, or another smaller flashlight in that bag. The last option is probably what I would do. Now it’s probably not completely waterproof (and the bag definitely is not), but both the light and the bag could probably handle light to moderate rainfall. Maybe even whipping and driving rain, but I’m not totally sure, so don’t hold me to it.

That folks, is all of the vintage and semi vintage Eveready flashlights I have owned and enjoyed or wish to own. I hope I have been entertaining or at the very least informative. I hope it has been a pleasant trip down memory lane and I realize that we all should travel on there more often. I understand that you might check some of these dates against the Flashlight Museum, but while that said organization does a GREAT service to all flashlight lovers, their manufacturing and/or marketing dates are frequently incorrect. I’ve noticed that and several others have noticed that as well.

Now, on a personal appeal:
If you wish to see any of these flashlights make a comeback, please contact Energizer Holdings and Eveready Battery Company. Flood them with emails and social media messages. Let them know what you want. I’ll assume that most of you reading this have at least some experience or knowledge of flashlights and the more you have the more seriously you might be taken by the said companies.

That is all for now, I wrote this in a single sitting, but I now have other business to tend to.

Good day (or evening.)

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Vintage Consumer Electronics (Written in 2013)

Vintage Consumer Electronics Among Other Things:

I was born in 1987 and my childhood took place in the late 1980s through the 1990s.  It was truly a wonderful time to be alive.  The economy was decent and almost everyone had plenty of disposable income.  That is NOT what this article is about.  I will TRY to keep the pollitical controversy to a minimum (it will be quite difficult.)  This article, rather, is about the awesome devices that were manufactured and available in those times.  The main focus will be on the various consumer electronics from that era.  This has been on my mind for quite sometime, but I finally decided to write about it.  Funny story:  Earlier in the week I was watching a rerun Married With Children on one of the VH1 channels.  That channel plays two episodes every weekday from 2:00-3:00 PM Central Time.  In both episodes (which were originally aired in 1989), Peg was listening to an AM/FM receiver.  Watching this reminded me of how much I enjoy the devices from that time period and that show gave me the inspiration for writing this.

The electronics of today do NOT hold a candle to those retro electronics.  Sure they have more features, along with plenty of bells and whisltes…BUT…They aren’t built to last.  We have shamefully become a throw away society.  Don’t get me wrong, I GREATLY enjoy technologies like WiFi, 3G/4G phone service, digital storage media and high-speed internet access. I have become highly dependent on these and would be in deep trouble without them.  By the grace of God, my Asus Eee PC netbook has lasted for four years at the time I am writing this!  It is made in China, but by a Tiawanese company.  Pray tell me, how in the hell did that happen?  Anyway, I hope to get MANY MORE years of reliable service from it.  I have a Pantech Link that I purchased this year at my local CVS/Pharmacy.  This quick messaging phone had been on the shelf for about 3 years.  It was made in South Korea and that was one of the main reasons why I acquired it.  So far, it has preformed very well.  I also have three scanners and two Weatherband radios that were not exactly brand new when purchased (but still new enough to be modern; 2008 to present.)  Most of the “modern” electronics I own, were purchased as new-old stock.  I do this on purpose for two reasons: 1) I can’t always afford the latest and greatest. AND 2) I do NOT like how everything is going to be a touch screen interface.  However, I have accepted that the transition is inevitable and know that I will have to take it in a stride…BUT…It would sure be awesome if we could marry today’s technological innovations with the building quality of the vintage devices.

By the way:

I do NOT buy products manufactured in China, UNLESS there is no other alternative.  The only good in Chinese made gadgets is they have features that were non-existant 20-30 years ago and can be had for a realistic price.  Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Also, know that China does NOT have the quality control standards that the rest of the industrialized world does.

NOW:

With that being said, I would like to talk about the awesome gadgets made from the 1980s and early 1990s.  Those amazing transistor radios and the then-novel intergrated circuit radios were a household item.  These analog slide rule (and/or rotary) tuned devices preform just as well as the modern phase-lock-loop tuned radios of today.  Even more, they immensely outpreform the slide rule and rotary radios of today.  Unfortunately, the use of these vintage devices quickly becomming a thing of the past.  Internet media has taken a huge toll on the popularity of terrestrial radio.  These awesome receivers are mostly stored away in closets and hardly ever used.  However, in times of natural (or man-made) disasters they are brought out of the woodwork and prove themselves time and time again. There is still a demand for them from collectors.   There is also a demand for them from folks who desire a simpler way to get entertainment and information.  A good example would be the middle-aged working class man who enjoys nighttime sporting events.  Many times these games are NOT carried on a local station and would cost extra on pay-TV. Because of the robust build and quality circuitry, these older radios can easily pick up distant AM stations after sunset.  This would indeed allow that sports fan to hear the details of his sportscast.  Yes, there are modern AM receivers that can tune distant stations but they usually cost $100+ per set and your vintage set will preform nearly as well.  Best of all, these radios still offer a plethora of FREE music and information for the masses.  When I say free, I mean totally free.  The only expenses to the user are the initial price of the equipment and the power (grid current or batteries) to power it.  There is no subscription fee and not even a need for internet access!  These radios are quite common on ebay and any local thrift store.  Many of them can be had for a steal!  In the recent and even current economy, people are buying more second hand items.  Now, if only, these damn companies could build their modern products to have the same longevity and reliability as they did years ago.

Here is my point:

These electronics were meant to last. They were made in a time when technology was beginning to become more compact, rugged and user friendly.  Countries like South Korea, Japan, British Hong Kong were producing quality, competitive goods.  These countries still produce high quality goods, but on a much smaller scale (damn it.)  South Korea makes damn good mobile phones and Japan makes wonderful amateur (ham) radio equipment.  Unfortunately modern day (Chinese) budget electronics are not built to the same quality as they were in the 1980-90s and it is a DAMN SHAME.

Words of advice:

If you own one (or more) of these vintage machines, make damn sure to take care of it.  Check that battery compartment often.  If you use it infrequently; remove the batteries.  All it takes is one battery leak and your radio will be ruined.  Keep it in a cool, dry place in your home or jobsite.  Though they are generally rugged, treat them as gently as you can. Do NOT raise the volume to its maximum setting as this will eventually ruin your speaker.  If you follow these tips any of these electronics might last another 20-30 years.  The only issue is when the weakest circuit fails; the whole device fails.  This is NOT common occurence and some of you more advanced readers out there can repair without much trouble.  Damnit I wish I were that advanced (maybe, one day.)  Believe it or not, Radio Shack still sells electronic components for this very purpose.

Personal Experiences:

Over the course of my young life, I have come across several of these vintage electronics.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s, my parents and neighbors had several transistor radios.  I had a few too growing up.  The first one I remember was an AM/FM Sears Transistor Radio that I was allowed to play with.  My dad also had a Zenith AM/FM portable and from the mid 1970s until 2004.  Those two were awesome machines.  My dad would listen to Saints and LSU on these while muting the television (many WWL listeners did and still do the same.)  In the mid 1990s the quality of these devices began to decline.  More and more were beginning to be made in China.  For Christmas of 1995, I received a Lennox Sound AM/FM receiver, which also had a cassette deck.  It was all right, but could have been much better.  I kept that thing locked on Mix 104.1. Now, that same station (though changing formats several times) plays the same music from the 1990s along with some contemporary hits as well. It is now known as Voodoo 104.  Ask any 90’s kid and he/she will tell you that there was no iTunes or Youtube.  If you wanted a copy of your favorite song, you would tune in a station that played it and record it to a cassette (which would then become a mix tape.)  I did this for hours on many summer days.  Another vintage radio I can remember was a Hitachi AM/FM transistor that was given to me by a janitor at my high school.  Mr. Earl Smith was his name and he is gone now. God rest his soul.  That radio came in handy during hurricane Katrina when I was with my family up in Bossier City.  They wanted to know what was going on in New Orleans and it was nighttime, so I tuned in WWL.  Now for you well seasoned radio listeners, this was no big deal…BUT…It was downright amazing to my family.  Last January, I scored a 1985 Realistic (Radio Shack) 12-636 off of Ebay.  Man, this thing was/is awesome.  It was made in British Hong Kong 28 years ago and still works perfectly.  Last March, I was shopping at Goodwill and saw a Radio Shack BoomBox.  I don’t remember the exact model number, but it was red, had two tape decks and had a VERY good AM/FM tuner. I would imagine it was made between 1984 and 1994. This machine already had batteries in it, so I tried it out.  It worked wonderfully and was also Korean made.  The price tag, I think, was $5.99.  Unfortunately, I did NOT buy it and I could kick myself for that decision. 

Good idea:

Take advantage of your local thrift stores and garage sales.  You will eventually come across a radio like one of these.  When you do, sieze the opportunity and buy it.  99% of the time, you will get it for a very low price. If/when you find one make it your business to purchase it.  You will be pleasantly surprised. Even if you only use it for disaster preparedness, it will serve you well.  Examine it:  Look for any physical damage that might hinder performance.  Ignore minor cosmetic damage, because it still could work well in lieu of its age and appearance.  Feel it to see if it has a decent build (usually the heavier it is, the better.)  Try out the controls and see exactly what stations you can pull in.  If the telescopic antenna is damaged; don’t be discouraged.  More than likely; you could be able to replace it with a new one from our local Radio Shack.

About Vintage Televisions:

Televisions from 1980’s and early 1990’s were built extremely well, but are now partially obsolete.  Becuase of the government mandated June 2009 Digital conversion, you won’t be able to receive the free antenna broadcasts.  Of course you can easily buy a converter box and set it up.  A few of them feature a built in cable tuner, so watching expanded basic should not be an issue.  Even the ones that are not cable ready are still useful with most gaming consoles (make sure the gaming system has an RF modulator that broadcasts on channel 3/4.)  The more sophisticated models came with RCA AV terminals which would allow almost all consoles to be used.  These televisions are constantly showing up in thrift stores.  Another story:  I had a 1992 Zenith Sentry 2 televsion from 1992 until 2010.  It came with multiband cable options in addition to the air channels.  It also sported various picture and audio settings.  During its later years, I used it for DXing. On many summer nights, I picked up stations from hundreds of miles away with just a simple pair of rabbit ears. 

What NOT to keep:

There are some devices from this time period that are NOT worth holding on to.  They are indeed well built, but no longer practical.  Unless you are a collector, consider recycling or donating them to a museum.  Cellular phones from the 1980s and early 1990s were designed to work on a system that is no longer available (1G AMPS.)  Needless to say, they are rendered completely useless.    Cordless phones (49 MHz) from those days might still work when connected to your landline, but are highly subjectable to eavesdropping and interference.  Any one with the simplest scanner can clearly hear all that is said on them.  Also, your WiFi, Bluetooth, cell phones and all other devices that emit RF energy will hinder its preformance.  Scanners from the 1980s and early 1990s are getting to be obsolete as well.  They are horribly inefficient when it comes to power consumption.  They have limited memory capacity.  They will NOT intercept trunked radio systems properly and CANNOT decode ANY digital communications.  The government mandated narrowbanding, which began on January 1 2013, seals the fate of doom for these scanners even further.  They will NOT be able to properly tune in most transmissions, even on conventional analog frequencies.  Granted, you could still hear VHF Marine, Ham radio, Weatherband and SOME aircraft communications for years (maybe decades) to come.

On a SLIGHTLY unrelated topic:

Before I close, I want to talk a little bit about flashlights from the 1990s.  I figure it’s a topic I am more informed on than anything else.  This was a wonderful time for portable lighting tools.  Brands like Garrity, Energizer/Eveready, Rayovac and Maglite were all staples.  Krypton bulbs were a standard feature on every decent model.  Most people in my neighborhoold had a Garrity Tuff Lite or a Rayovac Workhorse. Every now and then you would see an Eveready or Rayovac Industrial flashlight.  I was the first in my neighborhood to own a Maglite.  At the time, Maglites were known to most people as the best flashlights out there.  They were also too expensive for the “average” consumer.  Remember, this was 1998 and only the “richer” folks had internet access.  Therefore none of us knew about the higher end lights like Streamlight and Sure Fire   Needless to say; and everyone around me was impressed when they saw my Maglite turn on.  Now, unfortunately, these vintage flashlights are quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Higher powered, but poorly built LED imports from China are taking their place.  What many fail to realize is that LED flashlights, like transistor radios are only as good as the weakest component in their circuitry.  If that one component goes out, the whole flashlight is ruined.  These foreign lights are generally non repairable.  However, on an older flashlight, the bulb can easily be replaced.  The overwhelming majority of vintage flashlights take flange based PR bulbs.  PR bulbs can be purchased at your local hardware retailer and even your grocer.  Many times, you can find them for a discounted price.  There are also LED upgrade bulbs that are designed to fit in the place of a PR bulb.  Take caution with these can sometimes overheat. Make sure you carefully follow the technical specifications.  As long as you take care of your flashlight mechanically, it could very well last a lifetime.  Many of them are already very rugged.  They are designed to stand up to all kinds of abuse, but don’t push it.  Maglite is probably the most rugged of them all and they have wonderful customer service. Tony faithfully stands by his products.  In most cases, when a part on their flashlight fails, they replace or repair it for free.  If you own an incandescent Maglite (non-LED C or D cell model) hang on to it.  There are Maglites from 1979 (their year of introduction) that are still in working order today.  Eveready/Energizer makes most of their flashlights in China now, except for a few Value and Industrial models.  Rayovac has really let itself go in some ways, but has also come out with some innovations.  Unfortunately the bulk (if not all) of their flashlights are foreign.   Garrity, had gone out of business for a while, is slowly making a comeback.  Hopefully their website will be back up soon, but that’s a whole other story… To find a good vintage flashlight, try your local thrift store, flea market and sometimes garage sales.  Most likely, if you can find a vintage radio at one of these places you can probably find a vintage flashlight too.   American made flashlights both vintage and current are the absolute best.  There are also some decent vintage ones made in British Hong Kong and Portugese Macau.  Other countries that produce decent vintage and modern lights are Malaysia and Thailand.  Every now and then there are actually some good Chinese made models, but be cautious.  Heed my word and stock up on as many flashlights as you can.  Like vintage radios, flashlights (vintage or modern) can prove a critical instrument during times of disaster. Take good care of your flashlights as they might be of value years down the road.  Treat them as I have advised you to treat your radios:  Be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place.  If you are not using them on a regular basis, store them in a familiar spot.   Keep the batteries near (but not in) them.  I personally carry a flashlight of some kind with me everywhere I go.  I think everyone else should do likewise.  You never know when you might need one and it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Flashlights that were carried by ordinary folks (and not first responders) helped dozens of others get out of the Twin Towers safely on 9-11.  What if you are in a mall or subway or parking garage and the lights fail?  Think about that and maybe you will realize the importance of carrying a flashlight.   For all you single men out there:  Imagine how you could impress a lady with your flashlight in a situation of such.

Finally:

That’s all I have to say.  Hopefully, you weren’t bored to death.  Thank you for putting up with the sub par grammar and please understand that I try my best.   Please forgive me if I was too technical (or not technical enough.)  Try to use this information to your advantage.  Now that my sermon is over, please pass the collection plate (just kidding.)

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I Carry a Flashlight on me at all Times-You Should Too! (Written in May of 2015)

For the overwhelming majority of my existence, I have been fascinated by flashlights.  I don’t know the explanation behind it.  I do know that just about every child ever born is also fascinated by a device with a button or switch that can light up the dark.  Unfortunately, most tend to outgrow them at some point or another.  I never did.

I’m not the only one who never outgrew flashlights.  In fact there are many people from all walks of life who have an interest in flashlights (or torches as they are known in the rest of the English-speaking world.)  There are even forums dedicated to those who are interested and I belong to several.  I have written about my many experiences with flashlights on those forums.

There was a time in my life when I was mocked by my peers for my hobby, albeit a very brief time.  So, for that time I suppressed it to keep the non necessary shame to a minimum.  I only enjoyed flashlights in secret.  This was from ages eleven to sixteen.

I was 16 years old (2003) when my parents upgraded from dial-up Internet to cable broadband.  At the time, I used a Maglite which ran on four D batteries.  When the Charter technician came to drop the cable line from the attic, I kindly assisted.  He had a small LED flashlight which put my Maglite to shame.  It was brighter, the batteries lasted longer and the size was several times more compact.  I had read about LED flashlights previously in the C. Crane Catalog, but this was the first time I had seen one in real life.  This impressed me.

That following October, my brother used my Maglite, left it on and ruined it by leaking batteries.  I knew I wanted to replace that flashlight, but with an LED model.  So I purchased an Energizer rechargeable LED.  The reason being was that I did want to use all my spending money on new batteries.  This light was mediocre in brightness, but lasted forever on a charge.  I still have it, but it sits on my shelf with the rest of my collection.

It was now 2005 and Operation Iraqi Freedom was in full swing.  The economy was fairly decent and it seemed that tactical and outdoor gear was marketed to the public like never before.  I was shopping at Wal Mart one Sunday in May and saw a Garrity LED flashlight made of Aircraft Aluminum.  It had red and blue lens filters (red for night vision, blue for tracking blood of wounded game) and a clicky tailcap switch.  It seemed almost like a “police style” flashlight, but for less than $15.  I purchased it the following Thursday, May 5th 2005.  Since then I can count on one hand the times I have been somewhere and didn’t have a flashlight on my person (more on that in a bit.)

That light sure came handy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  In September 2005, I upgraded to a Dorcy LED flashlight of similar style.  This one was brighter with a 1 watt LED engine and resembled the higher end Sure Fire models.  I purchased it and carried it until December 2005, when I upgraded to my first Mini Maglite.

For the rest of my senior year, I carried that Mini Maglite on me everyday.  I also wanted to carry my Swiss Army Knife, but didn’t want to get caught and spend five years in the slammer.  I remember I was off for the final period of the day, so sometimes I would walk around the halls shining my Mini Maglite into the classrooms and getting many laughs.  I actually got written for doing this by my English 4 teacher.  Yes, that’s the same one who said what my writing is “lovely but inappropriate.”

From that point forward, I carried several different versions of a pocket sized flashlight, usually a Mini Maglite.  I currently carry an LED Mini Maglite at all times, and usually have another one as a backup in my back pocket.

Times I didn’t have a flashlight with me:

1.  During a severe thunderstorm in February 2006 (it was in my pants pocket, but fell into the sofa during the course of my sleep.)  I actually wrote about that event and posted on several places on line.
2.  My high school graduation on May 20 2006-they were quite strict and maybe I was being overly cautious, but I didn’t carry it on me just because I didn’t want my diploma taken away.
3.  My first day in D. C. in June of 2006-I didn’t want it confiscated by security from any of the government buildings where they search you.  I carried it the second day when I saw how the lights in the subway would frequently blink.
4.  My cousin’s wake in October 2010-just out of reverence for her, her parents and her children.  I have however carried flashlights to other memorial services since.

So I guess I like to be prepared, so that’s why I carry a flashlight.  I had read many stories of people who had Mini Maglites in the WTC during the September 11th attacks and guided others out to safety.  I think of myself in a shopping mall, subway or parking garage and the lights failing.  I would be prepared and so would anyone else who thinks like me.  We also frequently get tropical cyclones where I am from and that usually leads to power outages.

For all you single men out there: Imagine how you could impress a lady with your flashlight in a situation of such!  Ladies, you might also attract a decent man if you do the same.  We’ve talked about that situation quite frequently on Candle Power Forums.

What type of model to buy?

I would suggest anything that could run on one or two AA or AAA batteries and preferably use an LED.  Also try to purchase one that has at least a five hour run time.  One made of metal is definitely preferable as it is more durable and more than likely waterproof.

There is a plethora of on line as well as brick and mortar dealers who are willing to supply you with the right light.

Be sure to have an incandescent model as a backup, but be just as sure to have spare bulbs.  An LED flashlight would most likely be ruined by an EMP blast, but an incandescent should still work.  The original Mini Maglite is still sold at Wal Mart for less than $10 and comes with three extra bulbs.

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CB Radio-A [Preventable] Wireless Wasteland (Written in October of 2015)

All of the wireless communications that have government regulations and for the most part are properly enforced-except ONE. And that is Citizen’s Band Radio. The government hardly ever enforces the rules that are required and it is a shame. Many (but not all) users of the service deliberately interfere with each other and use illegal amounts of power. Also many people just say random repetitive foolishness over the radio. There’s a complete lack of courtesy, sensibility and refinement. It wouldn’t really be that hard to enforce the rules that forbid such behaviors. SO, why is there no enforcement? CB could be a very good thing for the people especially in emergencies, but also an alternative to Internet social media. But there is no enforcement.

I will give some examples on how the other communications mediums available or decently enforced.

Marine VHF radio is strictly and [for the most part] successfully regulated and it is just as easy (sometimes easier) for anyone to purchase equipment that operates on its frequencies.

FRS (Family Radio Service) is basically a UHF version of CB, but because of the low power output and limited [factual] range on these radios, so it’s harder to deliberately cause widespread interference. The government purposely put these restrictions on the design on the equipment. I am willing to bet that this was put into place because of the anarchy-like atmosphere that doomed 27 MHz CB.

Commercial, Ecclesiastical and Philanthropic broadcast (terrestrial, over the air) radio and television are heavily regulated by the government over the content of their material, but also the technical aspects of making sure broadcasters don’t interfere (be it deliberately or accidentally) with each other.

Business Band radio (wide area at least) is carefully regulated that their equipment doesn’t interfere with anyone and that no outsider hacks their repeaters. However with Itinerant and other simplex on site Business Band radios, interference happens from time to time, but it is only slightly worse than when it happens on FRS.

VHF Airband Radio is EXTREMELY regulated and EXTREMELY enforced. I’ve been listening to aircraft communications on and off since 2003 and I have never once heard an outsider talking on the reserved frequencies. I’ve never heard any chit chat type conversations amongst aviators or with the controllers and the ground crews, just strictly business. Surprisingly though (and especially because of online shopping) a VHF Airband transceiver is fairly easy for anyone to purchase, it just costs a much prettier penny than your average CB, Business or Marine VHF radio.

There is MURS (Multi Use Radio Service.) This is a VHF version of CB created in November of 2000 from five recycled business band frequencies. It also has half the [legal] power limit of 27 MHz CB. 2 watts effective radiated power to be exact. MURS requires no license or fee of any kind. There are many different modulation schemes to choose from and play with which means there is plenty of potential, especially if one doesn’t feel like getting a ham license. Unfortunately type accepted equipment is required and there aren’t many type accepted radios to choose from. Also it is not widely known of and one has to do an extensive and informed online search in order to get the right radio. I never really understood why MURS transceivers aren’t sold at Radio RadioShack or Best Buy. I detect a HUGE shortcoming and discrepancy on all parties involved with decision making on the manufacturing and retail availability of equipment used in this potentially wonderful service.

Finally, there is Amateur AKA Ham Radio. This service was meant for people who enjoy experimenting with wireless communications and also proves itself indispensable in times of disaster. There are frequency bands for this service in all parts of the radio spectrum and a plethora and modulation schemes to try and play with. However to enjoy this service, one must have competence in electronics and operating procedure and a sensible degree of ethics (at least pertaining to the use of his/her communications behavior.) I myself have been a licensed (Technician Class) Amateur Radio operator for a little over 10 years, but I don’t like to make that fact well known. (Update:  As of March 2018 I now hold a General Class license!)  I’ve been listening to it on my scanner since October of 2002 and any time someone abused his/her privileges, was unethical in any way pertaining to communications on the said service or if an outsider had hacked the frequency, the problem was dealt with quickly and efficiently. To begin with it was rare that something like this had happened. However, one would think it would be more common for someone who is unauthorized on a ham radio frequency to be using it or causing interference, but it was rare. And guess what? Ham radio equipment can be purchased just as easily as CB, Marine VHF radio, FRS, or Airband.

So, why are all of these other radio services easily enforced, but 27 MHz CB radio is a wireless wasteland. I’ve have proven that it should not be too hard to enforce the rules, so why are these rules not being enforced? Questions. Comments. Complaints.

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[Incandescent] Flashlight Technology Was Modernized in the Mid-to-Late 1980s (Written in February of 2016)

Between 1984 and 1988 the [incandescent] flashlight industry was modernized.

Prior to that several things must have happened first:

The Kel Lite of the 1960s had provided flashlight users with aircraft aluminum and many flashlight producers jumped on that bandwagon.

In the 1970s Halogen and Noble fill gasses were starting to be used in flashlight bulbs.

At some point the bi-pin bulb was created.

In the 1980s Laser Products (now Sure Fire) introduced using Lithium camera batteries to power flashlights

These innovations lasted well into the next two decades until LED’s became more efficient in terms of brightness, run time and compactness.

What made these lights so great (and will be discussed) is the development of the high intensity bi-pin bulb, Halogen and Noble fill gasses and for at least one of the models high density Lithium camera batteries.  When the flashlights of 1984-1988 used one or more of these technologies, all flashlight users were astounded and still are.

Since about 2012, LED models have been better than their incandescent counterparts in all but a few applications.  They are getting closer, but not there yet.

These lights still have a niche use and can still be fit for medical and military applications where excellent color rendering and night vision compatibility are needed.

Let me also stress that each of these flashlights (if in their original stock condition) will all survive an EMP blast, whereas many if not all LED flashlights will be ruined.  I seriously believe that flashlight companies should put pressure on their LED circuit designers to come up with an EMP proof LED system.  Seriously, how hard could it be?  Until then, everyone should cling to their incandescent flashlights, just in case our enemies decide to fry our electronics.

The following flashlights and their features will be discussed in this piece.

They are as listed:
Eveready Halogen Line 2251, 2352, 2252, 209 and possibly others.
Rayovac Roughneck Line R2C, R2D, R3D, R2AA, etc.
These first two lines came out in 1988 and seemed as if one was the answer to the other.  These light incorporated the use of rugged but affordable plastics and high quality, long lasting Halogen/Xenon bulbs.  Well the Rayovac Roughneck line initially used Krypton bulbs when they first came out but later used Xenon/Halogen bulbs as well.  They could take a beating, had a quality switch system.  The Eveready 2251 was rebranded for Radio Shack.  The Eveready 209 was one of the American versions of the Australian Dolphin.  The Australian Dolphin didn’t get a Xenon/Halogen bulb until 2007 when the Mark 6 hit the market.

Mini Maglite, Brinkmann Copies and Streamlight Junior
These lights ran on 2 AA or 2 AAA batteries but had the brightness equivalent of a 2 D cell flashlight.  From my research I read that they even claimed this.  A 9-14 Lumen output appears to be a true statement.  All except for the Streamlight Junior used bi-pin bulbs, which hadn’t been used yet to my knowledge (and someone correct me if I am wrong.)  Some of the Brinkmann copies had a lockout push button tail switch to prevent accidnetal activation.  At least the Mini Maglite seemed to be a revolutionary light in the world of EDC gear and of course personal lighting back in 1984.  It still is today for many, myself included. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “The Mini Maglite 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.”  Brinkmann tried copying the Mini Maglite and was hit with a lawsuit, but later produced their own versions of pocket sized flashlights.  I’m not exactly sure if Streamlight was sued because of their Junior model or something else, but I never tried that model to begin with.

Maglite Solitaire use of a high quality bulb running on a single AAA battery, very high quality material and minimal size.
The brightness on this model is mediocre, but for what it was intended (finding that key hole in total darkness) it is still a winner.  Mag Instrument had designed a light that was bright enough, yet weighed less than an ounce with the battery installed.  This light too was achieved because of bi-pin bulb technology.

SureFire 6 and others.
These lights took advantage of compact but high capacity camera batteries to power their elite quality lamp modules. To top it off Laser Products (then owner of Sure Fire) used high quality aluminum for the bodies of their flashlights (a technique borrowed from Kel Lite and Maglite.) The company initially produced lasers for aiming systems on weapons, but then decided to develop a tactical flashlight that was (in my words) “shorter than a Mini Maglite, but bright as a 4 D Cell Maglite.”  it was an instant hit (especially in the tactical world.)  I’ve had conflicting reports on when the first Sure Fire flashlight was made.  Some say 1985, others 1987 and then even other sources say 1988.  Either which way, it was the elite flashlight for the elite of users.  Sure Fire still is in my honest opinion the elite of flashlights for the elite of users.  Unfortunately it has a price barrier that only the elite can justify breaking.
All of these flashlights mentioned were great, though advances in LED technology have put them on the wayside.  However, one can still get some of them brand new and one can still get some of them as NOS or even used and still in fine working condition.  For the Sure Fire, Mini Maglite and Maglite Solitaire there are still modern version of these with slightly different configurations, but still incandescent.  I hope this has been a pleasant trip down memory lane.

I am open for corrections.

Do I leave out any models?

Let me know…

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Tactical Grade Equipment Marketed to Consumers (Written September 2016)

I’m NOT going to reveal my views, neither past nor present, on Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, there is one aspect of that said conflict that the American (and potentially global) consumer has benefited from, and that is:   Within the first few years of its beginning, tactical grade (and therefore inherently more durable) items are now marketed to the public and many times at an affordable price.
Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, very few consumers knew about (much less purchased) any type of “tactical grade” products.   I don’t even think the word “tactical” itself was a household word as it is now.
For example, the only [semi] tactical flashlight that was widely available to the general public was Maglite.   Energizer and Rayovac made your average run of the mill flashlights, but nothing that was tactical grade. Now there are many types of tactical flashlights for the American consumer to choose from.  New flashlight companies have formed, many of them specializing in just tactical models.  Fast forward to 2016 there are dozens to hundreds of tactical LED flashlights to choose from.  The one aspect that I am very leery of is:  Will LED flashlights survive an EMP blast?  That is another story though.
The impact wasn’t just felt with flashlights.  Prior to that war, many consumer electronics had that goofy Platinum color. This went on from about 1999 to 2005 and even slightly thereafter. I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t stand that look.  It was most common on cell phones, but was also on radios, televisions, CD/DVD players, etc.  Thankfully it is now a rare appearance.  Now most of these items are either a glossy black or a no nonsense white.  Two way radios, are now water resistant and can withstand greater impacts.  Ironically their communicating range is horribly exaggerated, but that too is another story.  Back then the radio was stated to have a range of two miles and you indeed could communicate in a two-mile radius.  Now thirty or more mile ranges are advertised, but one is lucky to get three quarters of a mile.  Shame …As for cell phones, many OEM and third party protector kits have been manufactured and marketed to protect them from all the dangers of use and abuse.
The Casio G-Shock line of watches came on the market a little less than 20 years prior to the 2003 American invasion of Iraq.  While it had always been popular with athletes, hunters and fishers, it also was and still is a staple in the military.  It is featured Black Hawk Down.  However, I now see teenagers wearing G-Shocks (or at least knock offs of them.)   I bought my first G-Shock this past March and I wouldn’t trade it for any other watch.  [Well except maybe for something made by Victorinox.]
Speaking of Victorinox, pocket knives have also become more tactical.  These new models are now very crowded in display cases at many sporting goods retailers.  This wasn’t always the case.  There were always the folding pocket knives with the spear point blades and wood or rubber handles.  Now there are knives with tanto points, assisted opening mechanisms, high quality, sometimes glass infused plastics are used for handles and Teflon coating is featured on all the metal parts.
So, yes, I credit this conflict Operation Iraqi Freedom with the proliferation of rugged, tactical items being marketed to the general public.
But, Operation Iraqi Freedom is no longer ongoing?
What I believe continues to make these items popular is that the economic downturn has caused consumers to purchase items that they know will last longer because of their ability to withstand abuse.   I’ve heard it on a few forums that “a poor man can only afford the best item once.”  Many people have less disposable income, it’s just a simple [and unfortunate] fact.

But, I also credit YouTube with providing a medium for people to do reviews and demonstrations of these wonderful items.

What I feel most of all is making tactical gear popular with the American public is that many people are prepping for disaster like never before.  There has been a rise of natural and man-made (both accidental and malicious) disasters.  There is also the constant threat of another economic collapse always right around the corner.  Lastly, there is the constant threat of terrorism from any given extremist group.  With these three factors combined, people realize that our military and public safety personnel might be overwhelmed and maybe even crippled some day and it will be every family for themselves.  I hope that this is only a picture of what could be.  I hope there is still a chance for America to get its act together and confront these issues head on.  In the meantime, I believe that companies who produce tactical gear will do well for some time to come and consumers can be thankful that they have access to tactical grade products…

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One Time I Didn’t Have a Flashlight (Originally Written in October of 2011)

One of my non-writing hobbies is collecting flashlights…At all times I either have one on my person or very close to me. I feel naked without one and it troubles me greatly when I can’t have one with me (very rare does that happen.)

Here is the story and I hope you enjoy:

I was a senior in high school when this happened to me:

~January/February 2006

I would always sleep with my Mini Maglite in my pants pocket, and this night was no different.  In Louisiana, the late winter is almost, always very stormy.  We get severe thunderstorms and sometimes even tornadoes very frequently around this time of the year.  This night was one of those stormy nights.

I lived about 2.5-3 miles (as the crow flies) south of the BNSF Lafayette Subdivision Mainline  and a strong north wind had been blowing.  There was also a severe thunderstorm going on in the night, which knocked off the electricity.  I was sleeping on the living room sofa as I had usually done every other night.

In the course of my sleep; my Mini Maglite had fallen out of my pants pocket and deep into the sofa.  I had woke up in the middle of the night to the crash of thunder and realized the electricity was off.  I reached in my pocket for my flashlight but it wasn’t there.  At the same time a high speed freight train was passing through my town (I didn’t realize it was a train at the time.) The north wind was still blowing carrying noise of the train further  to where I lived.  Usually in that part of Raceland you have to be outside to hear the train passing through.  However, with the north wind blowing, the sound was much louder. My mind didn’t process all of this right away and one always has 20/20 vision in retrospect.

I panicked, as I had heard many people describe the sound of a tornado similar to a freight train. The electricity was off and there was a bad storm going on even further caused me to assume that there was a tornado. I seriously thought it was headed straight for me.  I fumbled around in the dark trying to get to my parents’ bedroom and warn them when:

I heard the horn of the train.

I initially thought it was warning sirens; but then thought to myself  “…wait a minute Lafourche Parish does not have warning sirens, right?”   I realized it was a train and not a tornado, but was still shook up and distraught because at the time I was a severely back-slidden Christian; I was wondering what would happen if it was time for me to meet my Maker.

At daybreak the electricity was back on, and I reached deep into the sofa and found my trusty Mini Maglite.  All was well, sort of.

I enjoy telling this story, and I wonder if anyone has similar stories they would like to share about times they wish they had a flashlight.

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I am a Hopeless Romantic (Written on August 13 2016 [Though I Cannot Prove it])

Ever since the young age of only seven, I have been a hopeless romantic. I didn’t know to call myself that until I was told so by a family member when I was 16. The driving force behind this is unknown to me, but I’m glad it’s there.

So at the age of seven, I used to imagine what I would do when I grew up. Many thought I would be either a chef or a policeman. However, in the back of my mind I fantasized about myself writing the storyline for a cartoon. It entailed a knight coming to rescue a young damsel from a dragon or other similar beast. I am sure there was plenty of influence from what was aired on children’s television during the animation rennisance of the 1990’s. Now I never once revealed this memory to anyone before. In fact this is the first time I mention it, aside from the draft of this piece I wrote in a composition book.

Back in 1994 very few households had Internet access. YouTube wouldn’t have been invented for another eleven years. This meant that the main source of children’s entertainment media was either through cable or broadcast television and VHS tapes. Children’s television seemed to be more satisfying and genuine back in those days, though. In fact as a grown adult, I can still get on YouTube and watch those old shows with undivided attention. Also video game systems weren’t as detailed and interactive as they are now, so they too eventually became boring. I would say that Millenials spent much more time outside than the following, current generation.

I remember my parents watched As the World Turns from 1986 (a year before I was born) until 1997 and then from 2003 until it was cancelled in 2010. As a young child I hated watching that show, but stayed in the room many times while it was on. I’m wondering if staying in the room inspired my hopeless romantic feelings at least on the subconscious level. Also my granparents always had the CBS soap operas (including ATWT) ever since I’ve known myself and they didn’t stop watching until I along with my siblings and cousins were in their house and there was a sex scene being shown. This was some time in 1997 and our ages ranged from five to ten. So, after that, my grandparents quit watching all of the soap operas.

Being a hopeless romantic naturally meant that even as a young child, I was girl crazy. I experienced my first kiss at the age of eight, in fact. My peers recognized this almost immediately and some would tease but others would encourage. School officials detested it and I think it was the cause of later persecutions from them that would follow, until I transferred schools between seventh and eighth grade.

I began to surpress these hopeless romantic feelings around the age of eleven and God I wish I hadn’t. They would resurface from time to time and gradually became stronger around the age of fourteen when I allowed them back in. I was medicated on and off from ages twelve to sixteen and then constantly from seventeen onward.

Throughout all of grade school we were forced to write stories for English class. I usually half ass wrote them as I felt all this writing was either punish work or busy work or a combination of the two. I just did what I had to in order to get by.

After transferring schools, I did still did endure some persecution, but not from school officials. Rather it was from peers. Eighth graders can be very cruel. Then, around freshman year I eventually became accepted and even liked, though every now and then there was conflict. Also there was much going on in my head stemming from medication or lack therof, various emotions and feelings, conflicts, friendships, love interests and just being young. Up until that point, I had hated writing. But then on the evening April 10 2003, I was lying awake in bed with so much cycling throughout my being. I got up and logged onto the family computer, played music through my headphones and wrote my first story. It was about two teenage lovers whom were mowed down in a school shooting. The next day there was at least one school shooting in Louisiana and possibly another one if I remember hearing the news correctly. I have semi-accurately predicted certain events in both my personal life and in the news through my writing. I do NOT claim to be a prophet in any sense and probably it was just a coincidence that happened multiple times. But ever since that evening in April of 2003, I have been writing. Most of my stories are love stories, that is true, but every now and then I do write other genres.

I did show some of my early stories to classmates and I would even tell them out loud during in school during times when there was little or no work being mandated. I got mixed emotions as a result. I got laughs from the guys for the comic relief and tears mostly from the girls who were touched about the love my characters expressed for each other. Most definitely, mission accomplished is what I can say about those reactions. I would also post the stories on a secret webpage and would get mostly positive reactions from the readers. The audience was mostly other teens, usually female, and there have been many online relationships that came and went from barely more than the simple provoking of their emotions.

I can be credited with the quote “The ability to provoke emotions is a wonderful gift.”

I know for a fact that the written word is powerful. I liken it to music and visual art as far as causing emotions to overtake the mind and sometimes body. I now know that I must be careful how I use the written word and be careful about who sees my writing.

My cover was almost blown during an English class in late April of 2003. It was right before Easter Break and I was working on a composition which impressed the teacher. She had asked if I did this “for fun.” I was speechless. She then pulled up my personal webpage on the computer in front of the whole class. Thank God though, that my stories were not posted on my personal webpage, but rather on one that wasn’t immediately linked with my name or any other such identification. This could have been a potential crisis for the simple fact that the first story, as I said before, involved two teen lovers being mowed down in a school shooting. That could have had me expelled and possibly arrested or at least commited because of the zero tolerance policies of modern society. Fortunately, soon after, the bell rang and I rushed to my next class.

In the summer of 2003, I revealed to several family members that I wrote love stories. One of them called me a “hopeless romantic.” I felt that description fit me well, hence me writing this piece.

During that wonderful summer I wrote many things, listened to powerful music and meditated on various subjects. This really caused my creativity to flourish. I only have a few of the pieces that I wrote during that time period and one day I might rewrite them and make them better. Even before I was a foamer, I did indeed write a story about two teenage runaways who decided to sneak onto a train and get away from all the troubles and pressures in their lives. Naturally they soon fell in love.

In the spring of 2004, I had actually walked to the very place where I imagined that that aforementioned story took place (Schriever, Louisiana.) I stayed there a while and meditated on my story. Then a huge freight train came. It was the first time I saw a train up close. The train caused the ground to shake and the locomotive whistle, when sounded, made everything in my hands vibrate as well. Now I had been fascinated by trains as a child, but for the longest time, I had forgotten about them. The interest was briefly reignited in February of 2003 when I discovered that I could hear about railroad operations on my scanner, but that is another story. It wasn’t until October of 2011 that I became fully interested in trains like I am now (2016.) Okay enough about trains, Eric John, after all they are not what this piece is [primarily] about. Whatever you say, E.J. God I’m talking to myself and answering myself, in writing. Yes, I only wanted to add a little humor.

In the fall of 2003 I briefly started watching ATWT with my parents, but I didn’t watch the said show religiously until the summer of 2004. I had figured out that soap operas are the perfect shows for a hopeless romantic such as myself. I’ve also been known to [briefly] watch Passions in the summer of 2005 and then later The Young and The Restless from 2014 to 2015. However, because of spiritual convictions, I quit watching soap operas altogether. This happened in May of 2015. Now before I continue let me clarify: I am NOT saying that everyone needs to quit watching soap operas. However I feel the need to quit, because I personally get addicted to them and sometimes they become obsessions. In the fall of 2004 I had a teacher who asked everyone in class what they wanted to be doing in the next ten years. I said writing my own soap opera. Well that dream has yet to come true and it’s been over ten years, almost twelve to be exact. However, I have written a few teen and young adult dramas, but none are actually published.

Also in the summer of 2004 I got saved and therefore became a Christian. This was and still is definitely the best thing that ever happened to me, though I don’t always show it. Amidst all of the bad things going on in my life at the time, this event was truly an anchor that held everything in place and also a beacon that guided everything safely. Unfortunately by March of 2005, I began to backslide.

From late 2004 all the way to December 2005, my writing, while still a little present, had become stagnant. I blame it on a medication that didn’t work right. This medication flattened my emotions and prevented me from feeling any pleasure. However, I did briefly write something in April 2005 which was inspired by the video game series “Harvest Moon.” Then again in July 2005, I began to write a drama that took place on the ficticious Archangel Island. It was a continuation of something I began in January of 2004. Writing was extremely difficult during this time due to the lack of emotions and pleasure.

Then in December of 2005, I began working on a religiously charged story. I would like to believe that this was the first story I created that was written better than all previous ones. It was also one of the longest stories I ever wrote. Unfortunately it was extremely anti Christian, because at the time, I was a severely backslidden Christian. It is a shame what a human being is capable of under ill motivations. Eventually I repented little by little and at last destroyed all copies of it in my posession, but I’m wondering how many hard drives around the world still have it on them. This is because I had shared it with many people from 2006 until 2008 or 2009.

In January of 2006 I had a medicine change and all I can say is that it was like a fleshly rebirth. Almost immediately my emotions were no longer flat and I could be feel pleasure again. That miracle drug by the way is known as Geodon, of which I still use over ten years later. There were other medications I tried during that ten year period, but I always find myself coming back to Geodon. This new lease on life had given me the ability to be very creative and lively. I credit this to Geodon’s brightening effect. Not long afterwards, I created a video game series, which was definitely not of God and so I too destroyed it as well. I was still severely backslidden in 2006 and I didn’t begin to recover until the fall of 2008. What I am most thankful for is that God did NOT give up on me and patiently waited for me to come back to Him. Not only did He wait, but He also used varying methods to gradually draw me back to Him. This whole experience enforces my belief in the doctrine of “Eternal Security” also known as “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

From 2007 and definitely until 2013, but also into the present I began writing love stories with a ulterior motive-exposing false religion and [sometimes] preaching the true Gospel. However I question my effectiveness of the latter and it sometimes troubles me. I rarely try to expose false religion on social media, but I would like to think I present the Gospel to a lost world on sites like Facebook. There is always definitely room for improvement.

I got married in January of 2010 to a girl I had known for three years. We had both seen heartbreak in our lives and I guess we were ready for commitment. We were in a romantic relationship since the day we met and just six days later she stated that she wanted to marry me. We began lving together less than a month after meeting each other. Yes, this too was a result of being backslidden. I had met her while working for a grocery company, but the first time I saw her was as a child (we were both nine) at another grocery store, one town over. Unfortunately, being a child in the 1990’s before everyone had cell phones and even fewer had Internet access, we had few ways of keeping in touch and I never approached her. We probably wouldn’t have gotten along at the time anyway. After we married I began working for another grocer (after several failure of other jobs.) I guess grocery work is the only thing I’m good at. The same girl (now woman) I’m married to hates most of my writing and that tears me up. However, she does put up with my quirks and bad habbits. I know I’m very far from being a perfect husband, even despite being a hopeless romantic. Unfortunately as of January 2018, my marriage is breaking up and we plan to file for divorce…UPDATE:  MY divorce was granted on October 11, 2018 and it was a clean break.

In the summer of 2011 and into 2012 I began working on a futuristic dystopian story. It takes place in New Orleans after the second American civil war. New Orleans is now Nazi Orleans, due to the party in control of the city. There are two lovers who fantasize about bygone times and plan to escape. However they are caught then released by a sympathetic policewoman. Sadly though, my female character dies from her injuries caused by her arrest and a pre existing condition. Consumed by grief, my male character blows his brains out. This story came to me in a dream back in February of 2003, about two months before I actually began writing. I consider this dream to have an influence on what prompted me to begin writing, as I had meditated on it countless times.

Between 2012 and early 2013 I continued my love stories which also expose false religion. I had them put together in a group know as PDA or Public Displays of Affection. This name comes from the false religious system that persecutes anyone engaging in the said behavior on any of its property.

I haven’t listed all of the stories, because some I don’t remember and others I’m too ashamed of myself for writing. I do plan to keep writing unless something hinders it. I don’t know if anything could actually hinder the entire process, but it’s not a good idea to tempt fate. I only hope and pray that I will always be able to write and hopefully my writing remains romantic, but at the same time doesn’t offend God.

Currently, I’m working on several different stories, some old, some new. Some I am willing to share, others I realize are either offensive or not believable. I’ve also written some essays on varying topics, which are generally less offensive than my fiction.

I hope this piece has been at least informative and will shine a light into my mind and allows the reader to see how it mostly works.