Article – How Google is secretly recording YOU through your mobile…and storing the creepy audio files

DID you know that Google has been recording you without your knowledge?

The technology giant has effectively turned millions of its users’ smartphones into listening devices that can capture intimate conversations – even when they aren’t in the room.

Just for the sake of curiosity, I followed the directions in this article to see if there was aything on me. Apparently, at some point I had turned of most of the tracking stuff. But not all. My YouTube viewing history was there. (Fortunately, it was my viewing history for only Youtube… IYKWIMAITYD)

I have met some people who gently insist that, when having conversations with them in person, the phones be disabled or left elsewhere. Perhaps there’s some merit to that.

Interesting article and very much worth reading from a privacy standpoint. You’d have to be insane to think that there aren’t .gov actors who take advantage of these sorts of things.

Article – How To Wash Radioactive Material From Your Body After A Nuclear Blast

This is what passes for news, I guess. I imagine somewhere in Yahoo’s offices and editor was desperate for some sort of NorK-themed article to use for clickbait and this is what they came up with. Is there anyone here who really didnt know that washing off radioactive fallout is a good idea?

Even though North Korean leader Kim Jong Un outlined his plans to rain “an enveloping fire” around the U.S. territory of Guam and then opted not to fire missiles at this point of time, Guam’s office of Civil Defence has still carefully laid out a new set of guidelines on Aug. 11, that teach how to take cover before an explosion along with facts like avoiding hair conditioner after a nuclear explosion.

I very much question the utility of this article. Nonetheless, I offer a link to it for those who might see it differently than I.

Only you can prevent forest

It’s forest fire season here in Montana. At the moment the air quality index is reading “Extra Chunky Style”. Remember when you were a kid and you were toasting marshmallows around the fire? The smoke would eventually settle on you as a target and basically follow you around the campfire? Yeah, it’s like that.

Not much you can do about it, it’s just part and parcel of living in Free(er) America.

I’ve been busy with ‘real world’ stuff lately so posting has been thin, but fear not…there’s plenty of brain droppings a-brewing.

And, as several people pointed out to me, speaking of elevators……

Elderly Denver man died in elevator after twice pushing emergency button

I’ve some interesting links people have emailed me about elevators and how to escape them…I’ll be putting them all up in a post later.


When I was a kid, I remember watching a tenant in the building I lived in open an elevator door by sticking a butterknife into that little round hole that we see on the door. I also remember, back in the day, that elevators had trap doors on the roof of the cab. Nowadays, the newer elevators have no such trapdoor nor little round hole on the interior of the cab. The idea being that in an emergency, the last thing rescuers want is elevator passengers crawling around the roof of the elevator.

I’ve never found much info about how those little round holes on the elevator door worked, though. And am curious about how a person would force open elevator doors these days.I know some of you reading this work in fields that might have some knowledge on the subject…anyone have any links to any references on how to escape or force your way into an elevator?

Gun Show

The big Missoula Gun Show is this weekend (starting today, actually). I’m going to put on my human suit, trot down there, and see if I can turn a Gold Cup into a pair of Glocks (or a Belgian HiPower).

Although, come to think of it, I could use an ACOG……..

See you there.


ETA: Merciful Crom…I like an SKS as much as the next guy, but when you dump $300 worth of Tapco and UTG crap onto it and bbua-tize to make it an AK47 you hit the point where you should just buy an AK47. Seriously.


Ah Craigslist…how I hate thee. Full of severely weird people selling $20 yard sale items for $100 because they aren’t classy enough to have an eBay account.

But…once in a while…..

Picked up a few of these that were only a couple years old for $50/ea. Got ’em on the charger now.  (By the by, I’ve been very pleased with the Schumacher brand of chargers.)

This is part of a small project I’ve been wanting to do. I want to have a small battery bank that I can use for running emergency lighting and communications equipment. Doesn’t have to be terribly fancy, but it does need to be fairly simple and reliable. We’ll see how it goes.

Icom R6 programming

A year or so back I decided that I wanted a small scanner that I could keep in my Bag O’ Tricks ™. The notion was that in a crisis I wanted a way to monitor what was going on around me. The criteria was that it had to be of good quality, run on AA batts, have as broad a range as possible, and be extremely compact. I eventually settled on the  ICOM R6. 

It is indeed small and handy. But thats part of the problem. To pack in all those features into a tiny little envelope, there’s a good deal of button pressing and less-than-intuitive key-combinations. I’d been meaning to take advantage of the radios ability to interface with my computer and use the computer to program the bloody thing. To that end, I wound up with this.

Basically, what I wanted was something that was menu- or spreadsheet-driven where I could just enter a list of frequencies, delegate them into selectable banks, and label them as necessary. This software does a pretty good job of that.

I’d been meaning to get around to getting the software but I had blown it off as other things in life took precedent. However, after being flat on my back last week during the earthquake and having no idea what was going on, a little pack-of-cigarettes size receiver would have been exactly what I needed to find out how the situation was forming up.

Ticom, of Sparks 31 fame, is my usual resource for info on all things radio but he can be a little tough to find sometimes. If you can find him, or find his blog (which seems to move around from time to time), he’s a wonderful like-minded individual with an expansive encyclopedic knowledge.

So…I reprogrammed the R6 with all the info I had on local fire, cop, EMS, sheriff, and other freqs…threw in the FRS range of freqs as well…and feel a tad more confident to be informed should we have another event where I am caught absolutely flat footed.