Category Archives: Q

Take the Bullet

quartermaster

As your Quartermaster I will share the gizmos, gadgets and Apps that I have found really useful and that I have made essential in my daily living. All are field tested and Quartermaster approved.

___________________________________________________________

DSC00678

 The Pen

In the article about EDC entitled What has it got in its pocketses, eh? I covered what I carried in my pockets when I left the house. If you would like to read that articles click the picture above. But you don’t need to read it to understand this article.

If you look in this picture from the article in the lower left you hand corner will see a moleskin note book with a pen on top. The pen is a disposable pen that served me well for years. I have thought many times about getting a refillable pen that would become part of me, that I could carry everyday and that I could rely on. My father carried a Parker pen this way  his entire life.

His ball point click style pen was always in his shirt pocket ready for use. If he was signing a check at the grocery store or working the TV guide crossword puzzle he was using his pen. That pen was his pen. It was part of him. When we buried him one of the things that went with him was his pen.

The last time my trusty disposable pen ran out I went to get another and was unable to find one. The stores at least in my area no longer carried that style. Funny how we grow attached to things isn’t it?

So my pen quest began…again.

Now there are more pens on the market than I could ever cover in this article. So I will not cover any of them.

What I will talk about is the direction I went in. Since there are pens that are very expensive I picked what I thought was a reasonable price for a pen. I then decided I wanted something small and easy to carry. Oddly I started seeing custom made pens in all different places.

Funny how you suddenly see things when you look isn’t it?

Engineers offering their pens through kick starter programs, machinists offering unusual designs and independent on line markers. All of their pens appear to be wonderful.

But in the end I didn’t buy any of them.

The odd thing about all these custom designers and fabricators is what they all had in common. It was the  insert… you know the ink cartridge. They were all the same. They all came from the Fisher space pen.

Yes the pen of the astronauts.

I know that the Fisher Space pen is like the obvious Geek choice for a writing implement. However let me explain why it was not mine. If you remember my uncle who lived in Washington D.C. if you don’t you can read the article where I mention him here:

DSC00758My uncle actually carried an original AG7 space pen. Like my fathers Parker pen it was a long style click pen that clipped on your pocket. Below is an image of the original that my uncle carried.

AG79AG7 original Astronaut pen

This pen without a doubt is awesome but I was looking for something small and sleek that I could carry even when I’m wearing shorts. Honestly I also got lost in the idea of having something different from everyone else. Something unique that is part of me.

The problem with being unique is that it usually costs a lot of money.This ruled out a lot of different but wonderful pens that I looked at. They just cost to much. Unique was to expensive. I guess I was more a disposable style kind of a guy. So the idea of a pen simply fell by the wayside.

Then it happened. I got a discount offer from an on line store. If you THINK like a GEEK you can figure out which one it was. They were offering a discount on a Fisher space pen. But it was not the one I was familiar with.

400_Closed_9400 Chrome Bullet Pen

Until I saw the ad for this pen I did not know that Fisher made more than one style of pen. I thought that the AG7 was the one and only pen that Fisher offered. However as I have since learned they offer a wide range of styles. This is the 400 Chrome Bullet Pen. Closed it measures only 3.75 inches. This pen is small enough for me to be able to carry all the time.

Needless to say the pen is awesome.

I recommend it to everyone.

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2014 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

Bluetooth and more

an article from Q

 

 

headsetBluetooth and more

So the law finally passed in Illinois and now you must be hands free while driving. This of course means that everyone now has a Bluetooth. But some people have a Bluetooth and more.

I am one of them.

Whats pictured here is a wireless headset that connects with any Bluetooth device. These devices are wonderful and allow you the freedom to listen to everything from music to television.  No cords to roll up and nothing to plug-in. Play music and take a call.

Imagine hassle free workouts since there are no wires to bother you.

The brand that is pictured here is LG. But there are all different types and brands on the market. I love mine and they work great with my tablet. I can watch movies with the volume as loud as I want no hassles. The same goes for Pandora.

Stereo wireless bluetooth connection. No wires no plugs no hassles.

As your quartermaster I am telling you need one of these in your life. The brand and style is your choice. But get the wires out of your life. The freedom is wonderful.

By the way they are great when driving.

uhuraUhura swears by them…

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2014 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

That 7 inch Tablet

DSC00773

 

So If you recall back in September of 2013 I was on my way to buy a Kindle 7 inch tablet. As soon as I published the article Kindle went an pulled the unit I wanted from the market.

Funny how that works isn’t it?

Well in the end things worked out even better. I found a  a 7 inch tablet just before Christmas for only $99 which was exactly what I wanted in the first place. The draw back for me with the Kindle was I would have to side load the Google Store in order to integrate the apps I currently use on my phone and computer. When Kindle made the switch I went looking for other options.

In the end what I got was a wonderful tablet made by a company called Medion.

 

Here’s the Run down

 

  • An excellent 7″ HD multitouch display – which has a brilliant 1024×600 pixel resolution. Which looks awesome for games and videos. (Trek looks great!)

  • ARM cortex A9 (1.04GHz) duel-core processor- which has really fast response even when you are multitasking. The internet streams wonderfully.

  • Android 4.2 jellybean- which has proven itself to be one of the leading performance platforms do to smoothness of handling.

  • 8G of internal memory-which is ample storage room.However this tablet unlike other tablets is this price range is expandable with a microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC to 64G. Which I love the option to load up if I want to.

  • 1 DDR of RAM-  this interface  allows higher transfer rates. Again quick and fast no waiting.

  • USB – thanks to a microUSB 2.0 host function you can directly transfer data from a USB stick or connecting a key board or mouse. I love this option for archival reasons.

  • WI-FI – fast wireless lan IEEE 802.11n-standard technology. Personally I use a portable WI-FI device when out, but this works well with public hot spots. This will work seamlessly with your home network as well.

  • 2 Integrated cameras- a 0.3MP front webcam with microphone and a rear 2.0MP camera is perfect for photo’s and video chats.

  • Bluetooth 2.1- get a wireless headset with this unit and watch movies or listen to music on the go. This feature is really great. Nothing better than listening to Pandora while working around the house.

Along with pre-installed apps it runs Google Store which is just what I wanted in the first place. The Medion Lifetab E7310 – is just so loaded with features and options it’s hard to believe it’s only $99.

I really have found that this tablet works in my life. It feels great and looks good and seems durable. In fact it’s perfect for the messenger bag or backpack. The best part is that I’m not paying a big phone bill or spending as much as a laptop for it.

I can listen to music, watch movies, read emails, play stupid Zombies or even make a Skype call… all from my deck.

Personally I decided to make the tablet it’s own TEK. What I mean by this is I did not just mirror the apps I had on my phone. There are a lot of apps on both devices that are not mirrored at all. However I made the tablet more the master of the cross used apps and my phone  the slave.

Why?

Well chances are If I’m gonna watch Netflix I’m going tablet and if I’m using Navigator I’m going phone. In the same way Theater apps like Cine-mark or IMDB are more phone since I’m already out and emails on the tablet are more coffee on the deck in the morning kinda things. If you have a tablet you will understand what I mean. Apps seem to find their purposeful place.

The last thing I will recommend is a stylist. Get a good one. Very helpful both with the phone and the tablet. Nothing worse than pushing the wrong thing.

Medion, a gadget maker based in Germany,was bought by Lenovo in 2011. Since Medion deals with Aldi foods globally the LifeTab  is probably the most widely available of all the budget Android tablets on the market.

That’s right I got this wonderful little tablet at Aldi foods.

This thing really is the Cat’s Meow!

 

Remember to facebook

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2014 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

 

 

 

REG

EDC II

pauldouglas_1296677775_snowmageddon

 

Have you read  What has it got in its pocketses, eh? 

In it we discussed EDC.This is an acronym for Every Day Carry.

REG is our acronym for Roadside Emergency Gear.

The list that follows has served me well over the years.

Please feel free to change whatever you like. Be Shaken, not stirred. This is just how I do it. Use mine until you adapt what you do.

So what should we keep in our car…just in case?

 REG list

1. Jumper cables…don’t be cheap get the long ones.

2. Tire Pump… these are great and inexpensive. Plug them into the dash when a tire looks low. Also they sell extension cords for the car’s power supply. These cords can be found at most truck stops. Up to 12′. Use toll change on tolls not air pumps.

3. A full size spare…donuts do not cut it. If you do not have a full size spare get one.

4. a Jack and tire iron… having a full size spare is no good if you don’t have the tools to change the tire.

5. Thermal coveralls… Keep them in the trunk. If you have to change a tire at -20 you will thank me.

6. Snow Mobile gloves… again… if you have to change a tire you will thank me.

7. Full head wrap… like a ski mask. Something that offers facial protection. Again if you have to change a tire you will thank me.

8.  Snow brush with scraper… just get a big one for a truck even if you have a car. The kind with a telescopic pole. But make sure it has an ice scraper.

9. Flares… If your stuck and visibility is bad you’re gonna wish you had them. These are better than reflectors when visibility is poor.

10. Flashlight… I am currently looking at the ones you crank up to power since I have bad luck with flashlights. They are always dead when I need them

11. 50/50 pre-mixed anti-freeze… somehow everything goes wrong in the cold. You don’t have heat without anti freeze. A funnel is wise also.

12. oil…always carry an extra quart. Good habits.

13. Tow strap.. even if you don’t have a truck with a hitch…everyone else does and they could help… If you have a strap…

14. Blanket… and not a fleece throw either. Again… get a good one. Waiting for that tow truck you will thank me. A thermal sleeping bag is better.

15. Window wash.. the kind that doesn’t freeze. Not the cheap blue stuff.

16. A lighter… you never know. I have heard stories of truckers who used candles and a coffee can to stay warm…

17. Basic tools…a loose battery cable and you will wish you had these tools. Make sure this kit has a good knife.

18.  Spare wiper blades… they are cheap and easy to change. You will wish you had them when yours goes bad.

19. Cell phone adapter… your battery may not have enough cranking amps to turn your engine over but it can help keep your cell phone alive until you get help.

20. Energy bars… Protein bars are the best. They will keep you from starving.

21. A first aid kit… again don’t be cheap. Build a kit that includes things like a pressure bandage to stop bleeding and rubber gloves.This may save a life.

22. Water… I carry water with me all the time but if you don’t you should.

23. Boots… again you may have to walk. Look at the picture above. Keeping boots would not hurt.

24. Clothing… I always have extra cloths. You should carry them in case you get wet.

25. a full fuel tank.. a winter must.

The last thing you need to have is road side assistance. Either through your insurance company or through plans like AAA.

This is what is in the car and does not include my GHB (Get Home Bag).

Read more like this in

Winterization

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

 

BEING TONY STARK

ironman_tony_stark2

Since the 2008 release of the film Iron Man every time we talk TEK at my home we talk Tony Stark. TEK is any new innovations in technology that has or is coming to market. With the coming of XBOX ONE next month the potential for being Tony Stark has arrived.

Voice and facial recognition combined with motion capture will allow the XBOX ONE platform to be an interactive experience that is unparalleled. If you have not seen or have not taken the time to have a look at what this device will be able to do click the link below:

XBOX ONE

As a kid I grew up with rotary phones with cords, televisions that had replaceable tubes and cameras that had blue flash bulbs that left you blind for hours. But while I was growing up I watched Star Trek. Here I saw the future. View screen (Flat screen televisions), communicators (Nextel direct connect), Uhura’s wireless ear piece ( blue tooth ear pieces), visual communications (Skype Calls),  imaging from space (Google Earth) and  a computer that took voice commands like the XBOX ONE are all ideas realized in my life time. All of these were childhood visions of the future that became reality.

I wonder a lot about the future. What life will be like for my son after I’m gone. Will he have the same sense of aw and wonder that I have had in my life time watching this technology come into florition ?

Just recently I got my answer. My son sent me a text with the link that I am about to share. The text read as follows ” Watch this. This is really Tony Stark.” I have had a glimpse of my son’s future. I was speechless. To see the future I saw click the link below:

 a Day Made of Glass

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

The Seven inch Tablet Rant

DSC00747

In Children of a Lesser Smart Phone we discussed avoiding the PHABLET. We decided to let our phone be a phone and our tablet be our tablet. However just as we discovered with the phones trying to be tablets, when you take a closer look at the tablet market what you find is the tablets are trying to be a laptops. Or at least notebooks.

When the price of your tablet runs between $300-$500 dollars you are now buying a laptop. Or at least you should be since you’re in that price range. So the question is what is the reason your buying a tablet in the first place?

For me the tablet is just a bigger version of my cell phone. It allows me to use apps I like, Facebook, Twitter,  Netflix or play stupid zombies and watch YouTube. Your home Saturday night watching Svengoolie and you want to post on his fan page how much you love his new coffin the tablet is there for you. You don’t have to leave the couch.

With the laptop you have the whole don’t drop it , to big and clumsy deal. Oops… it slid off the couch again. And everyone’s favorite, oh I need the cord it’s gonna die. With the tablet you get up in the morning, put on the bath robe with the command emblem, slip on your tribble slippers, your Tallahassee tarp hat ( Real Deal Brazil), your glacier glasses(a la Macready), get your finest brew and head out on the deck. Then in your zero gravity chair you can bask in the sun while you read the exploits of Guy Montag. (Which if you’re keeping up on this months read you should be a little over 62% complete on your Kindle)

By the way I love my zero gravity chair. I highly recommend it. But this is to clumsy with a laptop. Another advantage is portability. I can drop it right into the military messenger bag ( which is not a British gas mask bag). With a laptop it’s another bag to carry. Does the tablet need a removable key board? No its a tablet not a laptop. No I don’t want something else to carry around. No if I wanted a Notebook I would have bought one.

So you’re wearing your union jack ball cap( yes the one worn by Moriarty in  Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall) and your black robe with the Batman insignia (because sometimes your just Batman. Sometimes everyone just needs to be Batman) and your making your grocery list. (Yes I know, but I love the dichotomy) You realize your low on Vanilla and Vinegar so you can’t make Bilbo’s pancakes. (posting Sept.21) Your shopping app on the tablet syncs with the cell phones app. Easy to handle and convenient. Your not wasting cell phone battery and you’re not dropping your laptop on the kitchen floor.

This is what a seven-inch tablet is for. Not the 8.9 or the 10.4 inch screen. Not the one with the detachable keyboard. Not the $400 one. Just a simple $100-$150 dollar tablet doing what it was intended to do. Useful, practical,convenient and portable what else do you really need?

Do I need a front and rear camera? No. If I am taking a picture I’ll use my camera. No if I am skyping I will use Xbox One. Just let your tablet be your tablet.

OK, if you really want to know I will be getting a Kindle Fire HD. With the current price drop the device comes in at $150. This is with 16g memory and free cloud storage. I love my E-reader from Kindle so this will be a perfect complement to that.

No this is not a paid endorsement. No I don’t get one free for blogging about it. The truth is I think for the money it’s a great little device.

I hope this rant helps clear your mind about what a tablet should be and do and why we have them in the first place.

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

 

 

Children of a Lesser Smart Phone

DSC00759

 

Recently U.S. Cellular decided to sell their Chicago market to Sprint. Of course I am a U.S. Cellular customer. While I am sure Sprint is willing to make me a sweet offer to transition to their service I have already been informed that I can not keep my phone.

Yes I have to get a new phone.  So I started looking at the current market and the hottest products. I also started looking at the treads for portable electronic devices.  No this is not going to be a lame phone review or a side by side.

Now tell me if this sounds familiar. You went out and got yourself the latest and greatest on the cell phone market. If your lucky the down payment was around a few hundred dollars. The rest of the cost of the phone is absorbed into you month bill over the next two years. Something along the lines of twenty dollars a month for twenty four months.

I have been doing the same thing. Getting that smart phone. Taking the upgrades. The phones now are almost tablets. In fact the hottest electronic device is the 7″ tablet.  In September Sony will release the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.  This cell phone is rumored to have a massive 6.44-inch display and is also rumored to feature a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a micro SD slot and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

Here is a new word for your lexicon “PHABLET.”  This is your phone-tablet. No I did not make this up. I found it in Cyberspace… just drifting.

Life has a funny way of leading you if you listen to it. My girlfriend recently got a 7″ tablet. Then she got a good deal on a new cell phone. ( Yes she had U.S. Cellular too ) She took a lesser smart phone to save some money. When I say lesser smart phone I mean lesser that a Phablet.

The question is do I want to step up to a Phablet or not. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra would be the Phablet to have. But then an I got an idea  forming in my head. (Yes I mean that in the Terry Gilliam sense).

What about a lesser smart phone and tethering a Kindle fire HD to it ?

Tethering for those who may not know is using your smart phone to create a WIFI hot spot. This will allow you to operate devices like a tablet off of your cell phone. When I ask people why they are willing to drop almost a thousand dollars (when all is said and done) on a Phablet, they say they want a bigger screen. This way they can watch movies, YouTube, Facebook,etc.

Isn’t that what the 7″ tablet is designed to do?

At home I will use the tablet instead of the phone. The only time I will need to tether is away from home in areas without WIFI which are few and far between these days. All the apps I use are available for the tablet so that’s covered. The only real question now is service. Who will give me the internet without additional charges. Tethering should simply be covered by your monthly data allowance. Unlimited data plans tend to restrict tethering or even charge extra so you have to watch the terms of your provider.

Now as far as toting around the tablet I always have my GHB away from home so this will fit it perfectly. Remember our Motto...

It’s funny how cell phones are trying to be tablets and tablets are trying to be laptops. For me it seems to be a little to much. I’m going to take a lesson from the girlfriend. I’m gonna save my money. Buy an unlocked phone out right. Avoid the two year contract. Pay month to month. If I’m not happy with one provider I can go to another. I will let my smart phone be my smart phone and my tablet be my tablet.

Tethering somehow seems more Bondian anyway.

Thanks girlfriend…

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

 

To Kindle or Not

DSC00673

 

I am a Bibliophile. Biblio from the Greek word Biblion which means book or books and -phile is a suffix which indicates affection for or loving. So I am a book lover and an avid reader. The first mature book I read was Bram Stokers Dracula. My first job was in a library shelving books. As a child I read the entire set of Golden encyclopedias and as an adult I read the entire Bible. This does not make me smart by any means. I only mention it so you understand that I love to read.

 

 

DSC00749

 

While its wonderful to have shelves filled with books on all sorts of subjects, it’s quite another  thing when you have to move. Throughout my life as I moved from place to place. In moving I had to make choices. What was moving and what wasn’t. What was staying and what was going. What was once a vast library ( in my eyes) has dwindled to a few shelves of books. Sacrifices made along the road of life.

The physical books that I currently collect are divided between non-fiction works on theology and works of fiction that I enjoy reading and re-reading. Barnes and Nobles has offered many of these works of fiction in leather-bound editions. Some of these have appeared here on the View screen on board the Ship.

 

0510132059

 

Moving to and living in a much smaller space has led me to think minimalistically and efficiently. I have also found that this life style fits me. From storing important documents to maintaining a household budget I have found electronic solutions to many of my efficiency problems. While keeping a vast library of books has a certain esthetic quality for a Bibliophile, it is not practical way to live. Over time pages yellow, bindings dry rot and dust constantly accumulates. You fight a loosing battle trying to preserve your library.

Please understand I am not speaking about the individuals whose libraries contain rare first editions or prints that are hundreds of years old. These are collectors of another sort. I am talking of individuals like me who read on a daily basis, individuals who are constantly in bookstores, individuals who have books waiting to be read.

Again I am a Bibliophile. I love books. The crisp clean pages, the stiffness of the spine and the smell of fresh ink are the best parts of getting a new book.The idea of an E-book was quite repulsive to me.  For years I ignored this technology. Five years ago I moved and in that move I sacrificed my library of books. Sometimes life forces us to make choices we would rather not have to make. Almost my entire library was a casualty on the road of life. Only a  mere handful of books survived. I mourned for a long time. The pain of this loss still lingers. Every now and again I will reference one of the books I had once owned. Shadows of a past life.

Never look back, Lawrence. Never look back. The past is a wilderness of horrors. –Sir John Talbot ( The Wolfman 2010)

Life is meant to be lived and I am thankful for this new life. Part of this re-birthing for me has been to look to new ways, to new solutions and to embrace the future. Free Cloud storage is the way that I could have saved my library. This is a new solution to an old problem. Being able to again have and keep an enormous library, and access it through a single device anywhere is glorious.

 

0510132141a

 

I now own a Kindle Touch from Amazon. Part of my library is on my bookshelf and part is in the cloud. While I am still waiting for some titles to come available I must admit I love the Kindle. Not to mention the enormous amount of books you get for free that you would otherwise have to pay for.  Are you ready for this… over 2.5 million free titles.

Talk about a library!

The selling feature for me is the free cloud storage. What good is it to down load hundreds of books only to break or lose your E-reader ? Then all is lost. But if it’s always there in the cloud and you have multiple ways to access your library then this option is priceless. I am not trying to tell you to buy the same device I did. This is not intended as a sales pitch. I am not getting kick backs from Amazon. Go out there and shop and compare. Look at all the options and touch and play with them. See whats best for you. But make sure you have unlimited free cloud storage.

A built-in library doesn’t hurt either. ( 2.5 million titles is Awesome ! )

From the day I was born there were books on shelves in my room and God willing  there will be books on my shelves until the day I die. There is still nothing better than getting a new book, opening its crisp clean pages, feeling the stiffness of the binding and the smell of the fresh ink. But sitting down in your comfortable reading chair with a warm cup of tea and being carried off on another adventure is just as enjoyable on my Kindle. Being able to adjust font size doesn’t hurt my aging eyes either.

 

DSC00750

 

To Kindle or not …that is the question… Or is it ?

I think the real question is what is really important to you. Is it having the physical tangible book or the stories that lie with the book ? Are the exploits of poor Edmond Dantes any less harrowing when read on an E-reader ? Does Jonathon Harker’s Journal seem more desperate because of the quality of the paper stock on which it’s printed ? For me the answer is simple. The story is what I love and why I have books to begin with. The story is what is important not the format.

Anyone who has ever read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury understands it was never about the format.

 

DSC00757

 

This article was written In Loving Memory of                                                                       Ray Douglas Bradbury Aug. 22, 1920 – June 15, 2012                                                  My favorite Gospel is St. John also.

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

One Device to Rule Them All

imagesCAY3OCT4Imagine you simply tell your television to turn itself on.

Imagine,  it recognizes you.

Imagine,  a home screen that is filled with your personal tastes, your movies, your music, your games and Internet. Not the last channel you watched.

Imagine, through a series of hand gestures  you can move through pages, expand images and open and close features.

Imagine, by your verbal commands you can move though your personalized features.

Imagine changing channels by naming the program you want to watch.

Imagine it remembers what you like to watch.

Imagine taking skype calls while watching a movie.

Imagine running you fantasy players while watching the game.

Imagine, watching a movie, listening to music and searching the net all at the same time. On the same screen. From the same device. Without using remote controls.

Imagine picking up your gaming controller and it recognizes you and loads your gamer profile.

Imagine your games, movies and music are cloud stored. No discs to load.

Imagine your phone or pad can access and control it.

Imagine one device to rule them all….Imagine XBOX ONE !

Xbox-Next-Gen-2013-Xbox-One-Reveal-019-1280x720

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM

 

What has it got in its pocketses, eh?

EDC I

0510132141a

What has it got in its pocketses, eh?

“S-s-s-s-s,” said Gollum more upset than ever. He thought of all the things he kept in his own pockets: fish-bones, goblins’ teeth, wet shells, a bit of bat-wing, a sharp stone to sharpen his fangs on, and other nasty things. He tried to think what other people kept in their pockets. ( J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit )

We know what Gollum keeps in his pockets. In his world these are important items. Goblin teeth, a bit of bat-wing and other nasty things are what we could call Gollums  EDC. I always wonder what other nasty things he carries.

EDC is an acronym for Every Day Carry. The term normally refers to a small collection of tools, equipment and supplies that are carried on a daily basis to assist in tackling situations ranging from the mundane to the disastrous. When we use terms like this, it is to invoke a philosophy or spirit of preparedness. If you have not read our article in Elementary called “Be Prepared” it about motivating ourselves to think ahead.This is where my interest in EDC sprang from.

I live in the suburbs just outside of Chicago and we have been hit with floods and snow and terrible storms over the last few years. These have left us without power and water  for days. It just makes good sense to be ready. If you have never been to Chicago we have a saying here,” if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes it will change.”

I also drive a great deal on weekends, usually 300 miles or so.  I have learned to be ready in case  a breakdown leaves us stranded. It was  when I was equipping my truck with roadside emergency supplies that I discovered the idea of EDC. If you search the Internet you will find a lot of sites dedicated to survivalist or disaster readiness. So I started thinking about what I should have and where. What I came up with are lists for myself. Here are the acronyms I employ for the various lists of items I carry, where I carry them and when.

EDC LISTS

OYB– On Your Body. This is “What has it got in its pocketses ?” If you are just running to the store, this is what goes with you in your pockets. No purses or backpacks or messenger bags… just your pocketses.

EDC– Every Day Carry. This is whats in your pockets or messenger bag or back pack or purse or car. This is the standard list of what your taking where. For me this is my lunch bag.

GHB– Get Home Bag. This is the bag I take when going more than 5 miles from home. It has things like a tooth brush and power cords for cell phones and change for vending machines.

REG– Roadside Emergency Gear. This is what you keep in your vehicle. This will be things like a spare tire, a jack, jumper cables.

Good Bag– This is your Get Out Of Dodge bag. This is similar to a the “Go bag” that you see in spy films. Ours is to survive a big disaster that forces you out of your home. This is set up to keep you alive for 72 hours on foot in the wild.

I would be failing in my job as Quartermaster if I did not cover all of these with you. Since our Motto is to “Be Prepared” we need to ensure that you are carrying everything you need.The idea is not for you to just duplicate what we are doing. What we are trying to do is to have you think ahead and customize your EDC to suit your needs. This is very personal, very individualized, very “Shaken, not Stirred.”

For instance I do not own a boat. So you will not see a acronym for this on my list. If you own a boat you should create a list of what do you need to carry with you on a boat outing. This will be your standard supply check list for the boat. Or your boats EDC. Maybe you have a camper, what do you need to take with you when you go camping?

The Five Mile Rule

Most of my lists are based on the distances I’m traveling from home. Lets see how this applies.

We are going to make a quick run to the store. Assuming the store is 5 miles or less. The 5 mile rule is what I use. I do not bring my GHB unless I will be traveling more than 5 miles. I can walk , bus or cab this distance without any foreseeable issues. Many survivalists take a lot of gear a short distance. I try to be an essentialist. So lets start with Gollums question, What has it got in its pocketses?’ We will use the acronym EDC in all our examples:

So we are going to the store, what are we taking? What is our OYB – EDC?

Here is my list as an example.

DSC00678

Keys– both car and house keys.These should never be on the same ring. If you lock your keys in your car you can’t get in the house to get a spare. I have also learned to keep a spare car key on the house ring. You may also want to hide a house key in your car. Here is an important rule: Never put your keys in your console of your car and think you will remember them when you get out. That one cost me 50 bucks.

Cell Phone– I prefer a smart phone. Mine goes everywhere with me.

Blue Tooth-  Hands free driving. This is the greatest invention because I don’t have to hold the phone anymore. I can actually do things again.

Ear phones– I like music. They are also handy for watching videos.

Wallet– cash, bank card and identification. Drivers licence and insurance cards. Medical cards also. Possibly a spare car key in the wallet.

Money Clip– I carry this with maybe ten dollars in singles. The reason is that any would be mugger will think that is all the money you have. Much better than flashing cash.

Glasses– I wear mine all the time so this is a no brain-er. But maybe you need reading glasses, or possibly sun glasses.

Lens wipes– I have a lens cloth in a small plastic wallet. I also keep pre-moistened lens wipes here…and a couple of disposable dental picks.

Hand sanitizer– a have a tiny purell bottle.It’s always with me.

Wet wipes– travel size. I learned about these when my son was born. If you spill coffee like I do these save shirts. I am also a germ-a -fobe.

Lip Balm– I use chap-stick. Mine is blue.

Aspirin– this is a tiny box that holds nine tablets.

Comb– Ace unbreakable just like my father.

Pen– for now I have been using a disposable. I have been looking for a refillable pen that’s not expensive.

Paper– I carry a lined moleskin note pad. This is for information I need to keep. For other things I just use my phone app note pad.

Handkerchief- Mine are usually red or blue bandanna’s. Sometimes I’ll carry a black one with skulls just cuz it’s fun.I never blow my nose with these. This is for the woman in your life. This is just me being old school.

Pocket knife– a small knife is always handy. Be sure to check the laws in your area so you don’t get yourself into trouble.

Belt– I have several belts. They are all leather. I always wear one. You don’t need to see my underwear and I don’t want to see yours !

Wrist watch- My watches tend to be very simple. Just a numbered face and hands. Nothing else. There is a lot to be said for classic style.

Sounds like a lot to carry right? It’s really not. Pen, paper, wipes, lens wipes, hand sanitizer and ear phones just stay in my coat or light weight jacket depending on the season. I just grab my coat when I leave and it’s set to go. The contents only come out when the garment needs to be cleaned and are returned when done. The remaining go in my pockets when I get dressed in the morning.

The idea is to be tactical and minimalist. Time for an equipment check.

So lets start with your key ring. Do you have keys that you don’t use anymore? Do you have keys that you don’t know what they are for anymore? Get rid of them. How about those little rewards cards on your key ring? Go get your cell phone. Download an app called KEY RING. This app allows you to scan your rewards cards into you phone. No more cards on your key ring or in your wallet. Get rid of them. What else is on your key ring? a flash light? The cell phone app is called BRIGHTEST FLASHLIGHT.What else is on your key ring? what about charms, bottle openers, shoes,etc?  Get rid of them. Now go make spare keys. Go get them!

How about that wallet. Do you have phone numbers on slips of paper? Load them in your phone. Business cards ? If they are important numbers add them to your phone. If not throw them away. Rewards cards ? KEY RING app for the cell phone. Gift cards from three years ago that have no money left? Get rid of them. Again, Cash,bank card, identification, drivers licence, insurance cards, medical cards and possibly a spare car key. I didn’t list charge cards because I don’t use them. If you have some get rid of them.

Does your blue tooth receive stereo? does your cell phone create a wi-fi hot spot? Does your Pen double as a weapon? does it contain a handcuff key? Do we need these things?

Again your EDC is very personalized. Your set up will not look like mine…and that’s OK. That’s the idea. You take with you what you need.I have a marble bowl. At the end of the day I drop all of my pocket contents into this bowl. When I get dressed the next day the bowl contents go into my pockets again. I try to keep my routines simple and my EDC  minimalistic. You will notice I don’t carry a flint strike, a mini-crow bar, a tactical flash light or the worlds smallest lighter on my key ring. There is no Para-cord 550 bracelet. If you feel you need these things then by all means do what is in your best interest. For me…I’m just going to the store.

 

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper

 © 2013 GEEKUSEXTREMUS.COM