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Techno-Nerd-O-Mania

How the Mighty have fallen-- My RAZR phone with cracked glass and packing tape

You wouldn’t know it but I used to be a techno-dog of highest order.  Yeah, sure did. Back in the day.  Al Gore had just invented the Internet.  I had a 300 baud modem and an IBM 8088 machine.  I used to call a local BBS and download craploads of free crappy software and run it on my monochrome monitor.   State of the art back in the day.  Back then a website was the cranny out in the barn where that spider built her web.  We called a local phone number and logged onto a computer that somebody had running a BBS in their living room and accessed the files on their hard drive.  If someone else was online, we got a busy signal and had to call later.  I remember my electron-envy of a sysop who had a one gigabyte hard drive  for his BBS that cost about a bu-thousand dollars and gained him notoriety  all over the country.  That danged Al Gore was just a smart old dog of the woods is all I got to say.

Well, that was then and this is now.  If it is not Plug N Play and on sale at Fry’s or free shipping from Amazon, I pretty much just pass it on by.  Even going into Best Buy makes my head hurt– just too much electronic bacchanalia for me to process without a brain pain. If you need proof, just take a look at my RAZR phone.  Hey, it works ya know and I don’t hardly answer it any more anyways unless I know you and think you have something interesting to say.

There are a few subjects that I do not broach here.   Granted, not many but there are certain limits.  I do not talk about exactly where we are or where anybody else is for that matter.  I do not talk about things belonging in the bedroom.  I do not talk about how deep the ammo is stacked.

Miss K and I have been discussing a certain subject quite often lately.  That subject centers around the idea that there is a real possibility we may see a degradation in services and an absence of items to which we have been accustomed – maybe sooner than later.   Things like maybe the electricity may not flow all the time reliably at the flick of a switch or maybe the supermarket would have empty shelves in some aisles or maybe the popo wouldn’t be here PDQ with a quick call to 911.  Just stuff like that..

We talk about our priorities and our preparations for an eventuality that may never materialize.  Heck, it beats watching Judge Joe Brown on the flat screen.   I had been running a list on Amazon for months.  The list  was just  stuff that I thought of offhand that would fill a gap in our preparations.  It was a well thought out list If I do say so myself.  Stuff that would see general daily or weekly use even if there was no Pocky Lips.  Wonder what we ended up getting?

Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques,  Yep, the Terlingua Refuge is gonna be built out of sacks o’ dirt.  About the only thing that is feasible out thataway.  It joins books on offgrid solar, water catchment and aquaponics.

 

WD 1tb hard drive

WD 1tb hard drive

Kingston Digital 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive and Western Digital1 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

I am amassing so many manuals and files and the like for our Terlingua Project  I ran out of digital storage.  The flash drive was $18– the 1tb drive was $70!  Holy cats that is cheap!

 

 

 

 

 

SONY AM/FM Shortwave Radio- RAZR phone for size comparison

We did not own a battery powered radio unless you count the ones in the vehicles.  I had this Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave World Band Receiver with Single Side Band Reception on the ‘wish list’ the longest of any item.  It was kinda pricey at $140 but I heard the other day that Sony may discontinue this model for a much inferior product.    That makes it now or never in my book so we bit the bullet.

 

Lacrosse BC1000 Battery Charger

It seems that little batteries are always a painin’ in the butt here.  The remote for the TV dies or the camera needs batteries and it happens all too often.  I had tried rechargeable batteries back when but the performance was dismal and the charger was one of those cheap and stupid ones. The instructions cautioned you to charge for 8 hours–no more-no less!!!  Christ on a biscuit, who can remember stuff like that?

The solution was a La Crosse Technology Alpha Power Battery Charger.  About $60 bucks.   It will charge AA and AAA batteries, It will test them and rejuvenate them as well….and the good part it does it all auto-magic-ally  and I don’t have to remember when to turn it off.  I dug through the junk drawer and came up with 7 NiMH junk batteries.  It managed to refurbish every single one of them.  Gotta love it.    Along with the charger I got an assortment of Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries.

GoalO Guide 10 Adventure Kit Solar Charger with 4 Goal Zero AA Batteries

The last little item fills the void of what you do with all these battery powered personal items if you don’t have electricity. The Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit with 4 Goal Zero AA Batteries is a  portable solar charger that folds up about the size of a little notebook.  It will charge AA and AAA batteries and also comes with a rechargeable power pack.  You can charge any small item either off the power pack or the solar panels with a USB port.  So far, I have charged my Zune off of it and Miss K was able to charge her iPhone as well.   I charged the Zune in about 2 hours off the battery pack.  Then I recharged the battery pack in about 2 hours just off the solar panels.  Pretty nifty little package that appears to be constructed very well.  Cost was about $120

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8 comments to Techno-Nerd-O-Mania

  • You probably already have a system for all those digital files, but I’d suggest Evernote (free) as an org point. It’s free and it syncs and it’s eminently organizable and searchable, and supports tags. Very, very handy. And it works on smartphones, like that there Razr 😉 or the iPhone, too. Give it a look. It’s been indispensable in business, and now personal project management (ahem) — saved my butt many times, man.

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    • Andrew

      Acccchhhhhhhh! Something else to learn. Dammit Scott

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  • Thanks for this post, Andy. These will definitely go onto the (ever-growing) list as I prepare for full-timing.

    I’ve referenced your blog, at least a couple of times, on my favorite forum, cheaprvliving.com. I’ll add this post, too! I really appreciate your experience and willingness to share!

    Thanks, again!

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    • Andrew

      Thank you ma’am. I appreciate the good words and the link from the other website.

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  • Joel

    “That subject centers around the idea that there is a real possibility we may see a degradation in services and an absence of items to which we have been accustomed – maybe sooner than later. Things like maybe the electricity may not flow all the time reliably at the flick of a switch or maybe the supermarket would have empty shelves in some aisles or maybe the popo wouldn’t be here PDQ with a quick call to 911.”

    Well, another possibility is for ya’ll to rejoin the rest of us out here in civilization-land. Not as full of adventure, I grant you, but if you’re a fan of reliable electricity, sewerage services, regular garbage collection and mail delivery, police and fire protection and the other amenities familiar in industrialized countries, they can be found in the, you know, city. Just sayin’.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love camping.

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  • David

    Just clicked the link on the Sony radio and Amazon showed only one available fro $250!

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    • Andrew

      Hey David,
      Sounds like supply and demand at work. I had heard that radio was going to be discontinued because of high manufacturing costs. I would assume that is what is going on.

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