What’s in your Bug-Out Bag?

I started assembling my first Bug-Out Bag a few months before Hurricane Ike in ’08. Amy made fun of me for it at the time but stopped heckling after the storm, when more than once I had something we needed “In the bag!”.

(updated) Here’s the Google Docs spreadsheet listing the contents of my current “Emergency Preparedness / Uh-Oh / Bug-Out” bag..

Do you have one? If so, what’s in it? Do you keep a separate emergency kit for your vehicles?

Project Completed – DIY Berkey Water Filter

Finished another weekend project – a DIY water filtration/purification system using Black Berkey filter elements. I like the Berkey filters, but $200+ for a Berkey Light system is a bit much. However, you can buy the filter elements separately and make your own water containment units.

I followed a procedure pretty close to what is detailed here, except I drilled four holes and used two nylon bolts with rubber washers and wingnuts to hold the lid to the bottom of the top bucket, instead of relying solely on the elements and their plastic wingnuts to do it.

Total cost: right around $125.

Haircut and New Glasses

While out running errands today, I stopped by the Piney Point Barber Shop for a trim, and came home to find that my three pair of glasses from Goggles4U had arrived in just over a week from when I ordered.

So, here I am with the haircut. Which pair of glasses looks best?

Number 1:

Number 2:

Number 2, with Clip-On Shades:

Number 3:

Your thoughts?

Eye-Fi Card: Success

About a week ago Woot! had a special for a last-generation 2G Eye-Fi SD card for $20, so I ordered one, and then a SD-to-CF adapter from Amazon. I had hopes that the combination would work in my eight-year-old Canon Digital Rebel dSLR.

The adapter arrived a few days ago, and the Eye-Fi card arrived today. After using its special USB SD reader to configure the card, I popped it in the adapter and loaded up the camera.

Took a picture, and a few seconds later it popped up in a window on my Mac with a progress meter as the uploaded completed. I also have the pictures automatically uploading (as Private) to my Flickr account.

For $45, I’m really happy – and the upload speed is a lot faster than using the camera’s built-in USB 1.1 as well. Here’s one of the test pictures.

My New Guitar

I’ve not played guitar since before Amy passed away a year and a half ago, and before that I had to sell my Les Paul Studio, MiM Strat, and Peterson strobe tuner when we got into a financial bind. After she passed away, I still had my SRV Signature Strat, but didn’t feel like taking it out of its case.

A week ago, that finally changed. I’m still paying things off, but am making progress and figured it was time to treat myself to another guitar, as I’d really missed my LP Studio. However, I’m too much of a penny-pincher to go down to Guitar Center and throw $1100 at the cashier.

An Agile AL-2000 from Rondo Music has been on my “Eventually..” list for a while now, and while poking around Rondo’s site found that the Douglas Shadow Pro Gold was even cheaper than the Agile. I figured “Good enough for getting my calluses built back up if nothing else..” So, $144 and a week later…

Now I just need to find a good guitar tech here in Houston and get a proper setup job done. I’ve contacted Ron Pace, but haven’t heard back from him yet.

The Belt Story

I shared this with a mailing list of friends last night, and realized that I’d not posted it here.

I was born in ’74, and “grew up” in the 80s of course. Don’t remember the year, but it was pre’84.

Was grocery shopping with my mom and little brother, and of course, I was being a little pissant. She threatened to spank me if I didn’t behave.

My little smart ass piped up with “You can’t spank me, you don’t have a BELT!”

Mom stops right there, walks over to the Cowboy ™ (this was early-80s Oklahoma, remember) at the end of the aisle, and says “Excuse me, sir. Can I borrow your belt? I need to spank my child.”

“Certainly, ma’am.” And he whips off his cowboy belt (with name on the back, of course) and hands it over.

She storms back to me, whips my ass, then returns the belt to its owner. “Thank you.” “Anytime, ma’am.”

I never smarted off in the grocery store EVER AGAIN.