A Summer Holiday: Day 1 – Rain!

And just like that we’re on June 15th, or a couple of hours away anyway.

It’s been a chaotic couple of weeks, jumping right into Viking History and trying to stay on top of it. The research topic for my final paper needs to be reported by Sunday and these week my research proposal. I’m currently debating the Viking political and judicial system or the Viking settlement of Kieve Rus. You know, since I just finished Russian History. 

I can’t believe how much time school sucks up! I love it, but it does take a lot.

But I’m officially on holiday for the next three days. And I’m camping. Beach camping but camping nonetheless. And it’s pouring rain. I mean pouring! It’s off and on–like, it will downpour for 20 minutes and then clear up for another 20 and then down pours again. It’s amazing. 

I love hearing the rain. It’s refreshing, you know? And it may seem a bit weird, but I like the fact that it’s pouring on the first night of camping. As I mentioned, refreshing so it’s like washing away the tensions of “reality” and starting a clean slate of fun with family.

And maybe, finally, I can get some writing in and sneak on my data plan to post. And read a lot of books. And finish my cross-stitching pattern that I started about two months ago, lol. Big plans for only a four day holiday but there’s no harm in thinking big.

Random 411: The Wonderful World of Amateur Radio

One summer my family was thinking of camping up in the mountains. It’s a beautiful campsite, a popular campsite, but it’s remote. Cellular phones don’t work up there and there is only one place with a landline. This got me thinking about alternate modes of communication. If I can’t use my cell phone and I’m nowhere near a land line, is there any other way to communicate? Any other way to send for help that doesn’t include a whistle or a handheld mirror?

Enter Amateur Radio.

There are so many websites, blog posts, YouTube videos on the subject that I feel bad adding to that mounds of information. However, I’ve heard so many comments like “you can just text” or “well, my phone has GPS.” In fact, someone scoffed at me when I mentioned having a Technician Class license and said: “with the internet and all the advances in technology, you wasted your time getting one.” Usually, I shrug my shoulders with a smile and say something like “well, I am a geek” and walk away. To each his own, you know? 

Well, I just sat through an Emergency Preparedness Seminar. I was reminded that on an island with around 70,000 people–90,000 if you count the visitor population–there are only about 200 first responders/firefighters and about another 200 police officers. If you add the AMR workforce you add around  50 more hands on deck. That is only 450 trained emergency professionals servicing possibly 90,000 people. This doesn’t include the military personnel that’s also stationed on the island, but still, we’re talking 90,000 people. I was also reminded that if you take the worse case scenario and there has been damage to the main infrastructure, it could take up to seven days for outside aid to come in. We’ve been encouraged to build an emergency kit with supplies for 14 days.

What does this have to do with Amateur Radio?  

That’s just it. That’s my point. On an island that is about a five-hour commercial flight to mainland USA, it’s scary to think I cannot call for help. Ninety-thousand people texting and/or calling on their cellular phone. I know technology has come a long way, but again, if you take the worse case scenario and, say, hurricane force winds knocked down two cell towers I may not be able to use my cell phone to call for help. I didn’t want that limitation and/or restriction. 

And while I can charge my radio by an electrical outlet, I can also convert my battery pack to use AA batteries which extend the life of communication and not reliant on electricity.

It may not be for everyone. You need a license and to get a license you need to pass an exam. The exam is 35 questions in which 26 of them needs to be answered correctly. Questions on frequency and FCC regulations. But for someone who can be a sitting duck if the worse happens, having the license and ability to communicate with others is worth the $15 admin fee (volunteers administer the test so you’re only paying for the cost of administering the test, not paying the volunteers, just to make things clear) and $30 for a radio. I don’t need to rely on infrastructure. I can help others who don’t have a license and looking for their family. It makes me think of a saying someone once said to me, “I’d rather carry it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

I have a Technicians license that, I admit, I’ve rarely put to use, but the point is I have it.

And it’s good for ten years.

And since I have it, I can learn all that I want to amateur radio. 

And now that I’ve been reminded how valuable that skill set could be in times of need, I’ll be studying to upgrade my license to a General class this year. 

Cheers to no restrictions and the opportunity to be self-reliant (in terms of communicating of course)!

And at the very least it’s another way to connect with others on a global scale 😉.

There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.

Stephen King


Wise Words: An Effort to Win

I recognize that winning is not everything but the effort to win is.

~Zig Ziglar


I can’t take credit for finding this quote. It actually came from Brook Noel’s “Good Morning” affirmations. For those not familiar, Brook Noel has this awesome organizational program called Make Today Matter. In one of those “Good Mornings” it had this quote along with the affirmation: I exercise my power and choice to live my dreams. Great affirmation. Love it. But mind kept replaying the quote.

I guess it’s because we always hear that phrase “well, winning isn’t everything.” Sometimes I tend to agree with it. Other times I don’t. When I really, really, really wanted to win at [insert whatever it is], it’s hard to agree. When you’re dealt a bad hand, literally and figuratively, or when someone cheats (because we all know it happens from time to time).

But what got me are the words that follow that phrase–the effort to win is everything. The effort to win. That changes the perspective for me because isn’t that the real reason why we get upset when we don’t win? It seems the effort we put into the task deserves a win? But when your focus is on the effort, the process, and not the result, or the outcome, it seems to fulfill itself. At least, that’s the way I read it. You did good. You tried. You worked hard at it. And that should be what matters in the grand scheme of things. If you strive to do the best, you’re doing the best. 

What a paradigm shift!

As an aside, this Good Morning really was a good one. Brook notes Zig Ziglar’s whole quote which mentions how women gives birth to boys and/or girls and not doctors, lawyers, etc. yet when you read obituaries doctors, lawyers, etc. dies so somewhere between being born and dying we choose how to live. Very awesome food for thought. 

What to post, what to post: June ramblings

I have read 32 books out of 60 for my GoodReads goal. Five books ahead of schedule. I’ve watched several movies that I can review, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So why am I having such a hard time posting?

I guess my head is stuffed to the gills (I chuckled just now. I mean, chuckled? That doesn’t sound right. Scoffed? Snickered? Yeah, more like I just snickered. That’s better). Two sides are competing for attention. The academic side and the entertainment junkie side. I can’t seem to snap out of the academic side. I guess it’s all those research papers I’ve written. I’m thinking about all the what-ifs history provides, especially now that I’m transitioning from Russian History into Viking History. 

 I can’t seem to snap out of the academic side. I guess it’s all those research papers I’ve written. I’m thinking about all the what-ifs history provides, especially now that I’m transitioning from Russian History into Viking History. I want to fill my time chasing down these what-ifs and if I’m not going to do research on it, I want to get lost in a book. It’s just been so interesting.

I hear you whispering: Such a geek. You don’t have to tell me. 

And boring! Well now, that’s subjective.

And now I get to choose a research topic I want to explore for my Viking History research paper final. How awesome is that? Right after researching the Muscovite Law Code of 1649 I get to explore the judicial system of the Vikings. Not that that’s going to be my research topic but I am considering it.

To be honest, the only television show I’ve successfully kept up with is Scorpion and I’m behind two episodes. Yes, yes. I haven’t watched the season finale yet. Again. Weekly research papers. 

Excuses, excuses. A blogger finds the time! 

I have spent some time thinking about what to post. I’m not just researching and stuff. I’ve been kind of combing through past posts and finding what I like and what was liked. It’s interesting to see how things have progressed. I mean, I jumped into the blogosphere just because. I went from random things to deciding on reviews to questioning reviews back to reviews and then just random things. All rolled up into one blog with the title of Information Junkie.

Plus, it’s June. The middle of 2017 is coming to a point. It’ll be that time to review the first half of the year. Not because it’s on the agenda or anything but because it’s a habit I seemed to have developed. And I’m not even a planner type person!

Ah, summer. How badly do I wish life can be more on the Phineas and Ferb side of than the everyday ho-hum making a living side. Which makes me think, what would I do if I had no obligations? This merits some thought. Perhaps another blog post. Hm . . . 

So, what to post, what to post. 

Is it June already? Take 2

That has never happened to me before. I typed out a blog post last night albeit halfway to dreamland, hit published, saw that it got published before reaching dreamland, and now it’s no where to be found. Not in Trash or Scheduled or Draft. Well, I did find it in draft, tried to publish it again and said “cannot add to database” and then poof. Gone. Interesting.

And while it is what it is I am a little disappointed that it didn’t get published on June 1st. Moving on.

My, my, my. June already. So. Fast.

What I can’t believe either is that it’s been 14 days since my last post! I know was zoning out a bit but I didn’t mean to go dark for that long.

The first seven days was me zeroing in on my final research project for Russian History–the Law Code of 1649 and the beginning of serfdom. No matter what kind of history I study I tend to gravitate towards the judicial system and entertainment. Like “we have television and movies, what did Imperial Russia do for fun?” And I was fascinated by the work the Odoyevsky Commission did and how one key section set the course of Russia’s economy. And I had the unique challenge to gather all this data and structure it into a power point presentation (which I aced by the way. 100 out of 100 points, thankyouverymuch). Up next is ⚒Viking History⚔️, class starting Monday, and I. Can’t. Wait! 

And then I have been binge reading. The weekly paper assignment for Russian History set back my reading schedule and with the week off between semester I just had to catch up! Battlemage and the Crown’s Fate have been out since early May and I still didn’t reread! I so far behind. 

And today my allergies have left me exhausted. I was going to squeeze out a review but the discovered my post disappeared. So … until tomorrow for that one.

We are heading into my least favorite season but we’re just one season away from my favorite season 🍂💛🍁💛🌾.

Happy June!

At the Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

So, reporting live from my seat in the theater. With all the studying and stuff it’s nice to head to the world of make believe for just a little bit. Mental break!

We’ll see how it goes!