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Bag 4: Jack Spade Cordura Messenger Bag

Jack Spade was a pretty iconic brand in the world of messenger bags at one time with its own web site and prominent placement in stores but has now been reduced to just a handful of items on the Kate Spade web site. Most items have been discontinued including today's bag, my Jack Spade Cordura Messenger Bag.

Originally priced at $198, I got this bag for $24 plus shipping and it is the fanciest bag I own. It is extremely well-made and appears to be quite durable although it gets very little use at the moment. 

I had a different Jack Spade messenger bag years ago that I used a lot and it slowly fell apart which seems to be the fate of many Jack Spade bags. This one is made from Cordura nylon so I think it will hold up much better. 





Lots of pockets and pouches!





Nice heavy duty zippers

Jack Spade branding all over the place



Fancy! Definitely a keeper!


Radio 4: Sony SRF-39 AM FM Radio

Today's radio is a classic and a fairly sought after radio. It is my Sony SRF-39 AM FM radio and it is popular for it's excellent AM reception and for being featured in an article a few years back about the clear version of this model being the most popular prison radio at the time

It runs on one AA battery which seems to go forever. It was replaced by the Sony SRF-59 which I had at one point but did not like as well. I keep this radio in my bedside table for late night insomnia AM listening although I haven't had much of that for the last few months. I guess getting mentally healthy is bad for late night listening!

The pros - great AM reception.
The negatives - small tuning dial which I have a hard time getting just right sometimes and not so great FM reception except for really strong locals.

I don't use it much but it's still a keeper especially because of that wonderful vintage Walkman logo!

It's a bit scuffed up. That just adds character!

The belt clip. I don't see how you would run in this without jarring the volume or tuning control. 
I can't mow while wearing it.

Tuning plus band and FM Sensitivity switches.

Volume. Mine gets scratchy if you don't use it for a while.

Nice green headphone jack for when you accidentally jerk the cord out which I find I do often with this radio when doing anything active. That's why it's been retired and replaced as my yardwork radio. You'll see the current yardwork radio eventually!

Fish Food: 5/24/2020 to 5/30/2020


This is an archive of my log posts from special.fish for the week of 5/24/2020 to 5/30/2020.


You can find my special.fish profile at https://special.fish/upinthisbrain/

******************
Saturday 5/30/2020
11:30pm
What can be said to sum up today? Here in my bubble, I mowed. I edited a podcast. I watched live video of tear gas canisters being launched down streets I have walked on with my family. 
4:54am
Just woke up completely convinced that today is Friday and thinking about work. Took a good three minutes to remember that today is Saturday and I don’t work today. I do have to mow today since the yard will hopefully dry out a bit after all of the rain we had all week. Also, thinking about a slightly different way to do this starting tomorrow. Maybe. 

****************
Friday 5/29/2020
3:50pm
I finished the book I was reading right as the few first drops of rain started hitting me on the deck. Unless a hold comes in over the weekend, I am not going to start a new book until Monday. Until then, I will focus on mindless activities and try to avoid the news which is simply horrible. 

7:38am
Remember last weekend? You might have thought, “Things can’t get worse” and now here you are at Friday afraid to think at all because somehow things got worse, much worse. George Floyd. A name we did not know a week ago is the latest of many examples of horrible injustice. It just seems unreal. 
Here, I am in a bubble, in the kitchen listening to jazz streaming. The sun is out. I will probably finish reading a book today. I don’t know what else to write. My mind is coming up blank.

******************
Thursday 5/28/2020
8:50pm
Barely awake. Time for 😴.

4:41pm
It’s breezy out here on the deck and I’ve finally had some time to sit out here and read without it raining. It’s going to rain very soon and I will sit out here until the drops start hitting. I have been missing my outside reading time. 

10:57am
Found the source (I think) of why a lot of new fish are suddenly swimming around here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23326329

9:18am
There are just about too many people here to keep up with. I wish the log view sorted by most recent update to oldest. In other news, my bichon is being super annoying this morning. She is typically just regular annoying but some days she is super annoying. Attention, attention, attention. She wants all the attention.

7:06am
The pond is full of fish this morning. How is this happening? How is word getting out? I’ll have to poke around the internets for answers. 

It’s sunny at the moment. More rain coming though. 

I took a car full of items to the help center yesterday so two months worth of donations are finally out of here. 

*******************
Wednesday 5/27/2020
7:32pm
It has rained here all day. This is a good reason to go to bed early. Goodnight, fellow fish. 🐠 

3:59PM
There are a lot more people here all of a sudden. 🤔

9:21am
I'm on a conference call. 🥱
Also thinking about some changes here. New lists, etc.

7:16am
The holiday has thrown my whole week out of whack. 
Drinking orange juice with breakfast was a rare treat growing up, normally reserved for vacations. Now it’s right here as close as my fridge. It’s weird. 

*****************
Tuesday 5/26/2020
7:21pm
It is very hard to walk away from social network websites. There are people I would completely lose track of if I closed my Facebook account today and because of that I find Facebook to be a necessary evil. But is that good enough? And what a terrible marketing strategy to have, “Let’s make our site a necessary evil.”
I have the same dilemma about Twitter but more so, especially when things like this keep happening:


So, do I close my account and then have a vulture come in and take my user name? Do I stay as one of the good people, not letting the bad people win? Do I lock it down and just stop using it?
Using the site makes me feel like an accessory and an enabler and one person walking away won’t matter but how long can I/we support a company that just doesn’t care?

9:06am
As predicted, it has been super busy at work today plus we have a small home project happening today (painting) so that has added more work to the day.
I do have a backpack coming in the mail today and there is nothing like pressing down on the gas on your weird little collections. 
I have the trombone beside me early today so I can get some practicing in in-between the insanity.

****************
Monday 5/25/2020
11:02pm
A good day. Tomorrow will be busy. It makes me tired just thinking about it. 

4:02pm
And I saw this guy and he started grooving when “I Will Survive” started playing on the intercom: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAn_EoHjFhqqSk5xT16oWxJGIH6bjdznb4Kkwg0/?igshid=geossanupo9g
Both made this an excellent Monday.  

11:34am
I went back to bed until 9am and fought a sinus headache the whole time. It’s better now but now the rain appears to be coming. I wish I could honestly say I read all morning instead of wasting time on my iPad but I cannot. 
Shoutout to my friend @altmilan who blew away his lists and started over this weekend. I am thinking about list changes also. 
Also found that @frdwn has the perfect words for today:
“lazy summer days 

i think i need to sleep

let's get some coffee”

7:34am
Today is Memorial Day and my first weekday off since February. I really need to turn in and use some vacation days before this year gets by me. 
It’s also wedding anniversary 24 today. We have no big plans. We’re still trying to stay in and avoid big crowds, etc. 
I’m hoping today will be a nice relaxing calm day. 

****************
Sunday 5/24/2020
5:22pm
Editing is done. Plan is to zone out for the rest of the day. Got up WAY too early this morning. 

1:38pm
Starting to edit the podcast for tomorrow. It's a long one. Fingers crossed there are no issues.

9:01am
I just moved last week's log posts over to the blog. Looks like it is going to be sunny and hot here again today. We went from spring to summer just like that.

3:54am
It’s archive day!
I’m up at the kitchen table eating some Nutter Butters with the corgi laying down on the floor beside me. No Nutter Butters for him. He is snoring loudly as I write this. 

Radio 3: Radio Shack PRO-2018 Desktop Scanner

Today we even up the count at three bags and now a third radio discussed here and I am also finishing the scanners I have. Why do I have three scanners? I don't know. Why do people collect thimbles, plates, etc.? I don't know. 

The good thing about having three scanners is that I know I will never need another one. I have what I use and I got this one because I wanted a scanner I could listen to plugged into power for long periods of time without running down the batteries in my handheld scanners. On some days like today when I have no podcasts to listen to, I listen to planes taking off and landing in the background. Some days I listen to jazz, some days I listen to planes. I'm weird.

The reason I got this particular scanner is that it is the desktop version of my Radio Shack PRO-404 Handheld Scanner. It's exactly the same. It programs the same way and is programmed identically, channel to channel. It sounds good. It can get quite loud. It has pretty good reception.

Here are the pictures:







If we use an app, are we supporting and enabling their poor policies?

In Sunday's Orbital Operations, Warren Ellis wrote:

Is your Twitter off?  Why not?  You already stopped using Facebook, right? No doomscrolling!  

This got me thinking a bit about the time I spend on Twitter. I spend hardly any on Facebook and most of the time I spend there is when I have to do something as a page manager for the groups I volunteer for.

I have minimized my Twitter time through the use of lists which I highly recommend but even lists don't keep out all of the negativity. And the search function is unusable since all of the trends that pop up are typically garbage.

But, I can handle all of that.

What I am having trouble with is the latest round of Trump vs. social networks news concerning his tweets about Joe Scarborough and early voting. What Trump is doing to the Klausutis family is despicable and the way Twitter and Facebook allows it to continue is even more despicable.

This picture has nothing to do with this post. IFTTT puts an error in place of an image if there is not an image with posts so enjoy this picture I took yesterday. I tried to take a picture of the huge piece of gum I had spit out on the road while it was raining and my phone kept focusing on the drops on the car window instead. 

Oddly enough, Trump is apparently going to sign an executive order today that would make social media sites more liable for any misinformation posted via their sites. Wouldn't this give Twitter more of a reason to ban Trump since they would be liable for the misinformation he posts? Same for Facebook which seems to think that anything Trump posts is fine and it is up to us to figure out what is and is not true.

I wrote the following on my special.fish log Tuesday:

It is very hard to walk away from social network websites. There are people I would completely lose track of if I closed my Facebook account today and because of that I find Facebook to be a necessary evil. But is that good enough? And what a terrible marketing strategy to have, “Let’s make our site a necessary evil.”
I have the same dilemma about Twitter but more so, especially when things like this keep happening:


So, do I close my account and then have a vulture come in and take my user name? Do I stay as one of the good people, not letting the bad people win? Do I lock it down and just stop using it?
Using the site makes me feel like an accessory and an enabler and one person walking away won’t matter but how long can I/we support a company that just doesn’t care?

So, this blog post will still generate a tweet because I don't want to lose connection to my friends on Twitter and the app stays installed on my phone and tablet. I have carved out a nice place there through lists and liberal use of the mute button so the way I use the site is not giving me issues.

But my dilemma is that my use of Twitter and other similar sites enables people like Trump and others who use the site to spread lies and to rally supporters to do who knows what. Knowing that I am a part of that is what I struggle with and it is getting harder and harder to justify. 

Radio 2: Radio Shack PRO-404 Handheld Scanner

Since I listen to my scanners the most lately, here's another one and the next radio I write about here will be the other scanner I have before we move on to broadcast radios.

Today's radio is my Radio Shack PRO-404 Handheld Scanner. This is the scanner that got me back into scanner listening. Like my Uniden BC125AT, I use this scanner to listen mostly to airplanes, airports and paramedics. 

I like this radio more than my Uniden because it has analog squelch so I can find the perfect place to set the squelch. It is also louder than the Uniden and it runs off of 4AA batteries instead of two so it goes much longer. This is the scanner I used during and after the tornado that hit here in March.

It seems similar to the Uniden reception-wise with the Uniden performing just slightly better on the air bands and I am sure that is due to the Diamond RH77CA antenna I have on it.

Here are the pictures:

I have a convenient label on the side showing which banks are which since this scanner does not have text labels.



Antenna coming right at you!




Bag 3: Jansport Digital Student Backpack

Normally I would alternate between bags and radios but since this bag arrived today and was hanging up to dry outside after being cleaned, I thought I might as well take pictures and feature it. 

This is a Jansport Digital Student Backpack that I saw on eBay for $17 plus shipping but there was a best offer option so I offered $10 and they accepted so yay for me.

I guess they sold it cheaper because it is missing the standard removable laptop sleeve but I don't plan to use this with my laptop.

I bought this bag specifically to use as luggage for my June mini-vacation to Florida. I am really bad about taking too much stuff on trips so my goal is to take only this bag with my clothes and toiletries and any other thing I need including my Kindle and a radio. This bag has a 38L capacity so it should be perfect. I will also take a smaller bag to take back and forth to the beach and when we are walking around. I'll have pictures of that bag later in the week. 

Yes, I wanted plaid.

Nice front organization pockets.

Lots of storage room!

Left side

Right side featuring the rare for Jansport water bottle holder. 
Most of their backpacks don't have them for some reason.

Here's an inside picture before I take it to Florida and it comes back with sand in it.


Fish Food: 5/17/2020 to 5/23/2020

This is an archive of my log posts from special.fish for the week of 5/17/2020 to 5/23/2020.


Check out my special.fish profile at https://special.fish/upinthisbrain/

Saturday 5/23/2020
6:23pm
About to record the In Your Earholes podcast for Monday - https://inyourearholes.com/. I typically just edit but this time will speak and edit.
1:13pm
The Buick transported me down to my father’s house today. I brought pot pies and two cycle engine oil. We ate at a socially distancing restaurant. His iPad just finished updating so now I can head back home. 
6:04am
Up with dogs again on the only day I can sleep in. Now I must decide between trying to go back to sleep or brewing coffee and heading to the deck. 
3:23am
Still winding down after one of the dogs woke me up at 3am and then I discovered a dog mess that I won’t describe but had to be cleaned up. Ugh. Not the best start for the three day weekend.

Friday 5/22/2020
5:25pm
I mowed after work because it wasn’t raining finally but it was like mowing a swamp and the humidity was nuts. It’s hard to believe it’s Memorial Day weekend. This crazy year is flying by. 
9:50am
I made a slideshow of recent photos from my phone at the bottom of my page. Since I was too lazy to use a special site for this, I made a private page on my Blogger blog and used the insane URL's Blogger assigned to the pictures to make this work.
7:33am
The rain arrived early so no deck time this morning. I am settling for staying at the kitchen table to drink my coffee and read a bit. It looks like it will be a quiet day at work but I don’t want to say that out loud as I might jinx it. 
1:21am
One of the dogs woke me up and I’m having the toughest time getting back to sleep. Also thinking the cup of decaf I had at supper wasn’t as decaf as I was hoping for. ☕️ 

Thursday 5/21/2020
8:32pm
It was another busy day at work as people get ready for the long weekend. I am hoping tomorrow will be a bit quieter. It was also a busy day chore-wise with clothes to wash and I just remembered that there is a load that didn’t make it out of the dryer. Oh, and it rained again. I got in from the deck this morning just as the first drops started falling. 
Last news of the day: I checked out another book. I couldn’t wait for my holds. If I’m not reading something, I just feel out of whack. It’s always been like that for me. Hope you are well, you being whoever has dropped by to read this. 
7:45am
I’m outside spending time on the deck before the next round of rain arrives. I can see it in the distance now which stinks. I know, I would complain if we were in a drought also but this is just about nuts. I think it started raining in October of 2018 and hasn’t stopped much since. 
I wish all sites were like special.fish. I enjoy checking in from time to time during the day to see who updated. I know most people only update once a day. I’m not sure why I’ve decided to write multiple times a day. I guess I have a lot of words to get out (Worms, Roxanne. Worms!!).
If I see someone has their Instagram link here, I typically follow them. Twitter sort of stinks, especially compared to this site, but I think Instagram is OK.
2:41am
One dog had to go out at 2:22am and then the other two had to go out also so here it is 2:41am and I am going to try to go back to sleep.

Wednesday 5/20/2020
8:35pm
In line at the Dairy Queen. 🍦 
Today was nuts at work. NUTS. 
And it rained most of the day. 
I really need to get out of the house more but can’t do that too much just yet. 😷 
I hope things are going well where you are. I know it’s tough for some of you that I read on here. 
11:57am
Guess what? It's raining. Again. It's been crazy busy today to make up for yesterday's calm. :-(
7:24am 
Moved a folding chair out to the deck so I could get a bit of outside time before I go nuts inside. Without a book to read, I’m mindlessly looking at apps on my phone and I have the scanner on listening to planes take off and land plus EMS crews dealing with this morning’s local nonsense. 
5:34am
I had to go to sleep early last night. Being up so early each morning was/is finally catching up to me. It’s crazy foggy out there this morning and unfortunately once again too wet from all the rain to sit out there with a cup of coffee and enjoy it until the fog burns off. 
Goal for today: be a delightful bag of garbage. https://twitter.com/mondomascots/status/1262934165906833409?s=21

Tuesday 5/19/2020
3:43pm
I finished reading "The Memory Police" today and I don't know where to begin on that. If you need an uplifter, this is not your book so reading it at a time like this is probably not great. But is there really a great time anymore? I just expected to really love the book and I came away feeling that it was good but not as good as I was hoping it would be. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic. Anyway, I will now wait for another library hold to come in so I may be taking a few days off of reading which is fine since that was book 29 I have read this year so far so something good has come from staying home so much. For the rest of the evening, I have no big plans. At 5PM eastern, the work laptop gets closed and I am going to zone out for a bit. 
9:46am
Typically, I have read while out on the deck with a radio playing but lately I find more enjoyment from having nothing but the sounds of the outdoors, especially the birds singing and/talking back and forth and the radio stays inside on the shelf most of the time. 
7:04am
Another morning that it is too wet to sit outside and read to start the day. I am settling for the window being open as I sit at the kitchen table. I have ideas for blog posts and other creative thoughts but I am not sure how much I will be able to get done before the energy to do those things either slips away or ends up being allocated to something else. I reordered my lists this morning.
3:36am
I’ve been up for about 20 minutes. At first, I was goofing around on my iPad but then I started cleaning up my Twitter lists so I can take quick glances at what I want to see a couple of times a day and that’s it. I want to spend as little time there as possible but still keep up with people I care to keep up with.
I like being up this early. My preference would be to get up around 3am and go to bed around 7:30pm. The first few quiet hours would be wonderful. I would use most of the early time to read, I bet. But then all of my meals would be off. Breakfast around 3:30, lunch around 9:30, supper around 4? No, that would not work.  Back to bed!

Monday 5/18/2020
4:56pm
We are venturing out to eat 😷. The spring clean out continued today with school supplies and office supplies resulting in a big box for the help center and two extra bags of trash. 
12:03pm
Lunch by DiGiorno because I was too lazy to leave the house. Going through and cleaning out odds and ends today.
8:34am
I just finished writing about last night's weird dream on the blog: https://www.nonrandomobservations.com/2020/05/weird-dream.html
I usually don't share stuff like that but it seemed like the plot of a NaNoWriMo novel although I have stopped doing that also. 
I pulled out my Logitech K520 keyboard that I found a few years back at Goodwill so I could type it up faster on my Asus Transformer. Writing on a full-sized keyboard made me feel like a real writer until I went back and read over what I wrote and whew, oh, brother. My 11th grade English teacher is probably whirling in her grave. 
All of a sudden, it just got very dreary outside followed by pouring rain almost immediately and just as quickly, the wind picked up and the rain stopped for a few seconds before resuming again. 
6:02am
I’m up, I’m up. I was too tired to write something when the dogs had to go out at 4am. I’ve already done some stuff at work and fed and pilled the corgi. Next, a quick shower before fully jumping into the rainy day that awaits. 

Sunday 5/17/2020
9:49pm
Too tired. Must sleep. Tomorrow I am hoping to freshen up/rearrange my lists here. 
2:44pm
Posting over on Gossip's Cafe as uitb. http://gossips.cafe/ I posted The Weight by The Band under tunes earlier and then someone contributed a link to Up On Cripple Creek which I am listening to right now, of course. Timeless.
1:59pm
Last week's log has been moved to an archive post on my blog. Links are below.
The help center here is going to be closed another week so I've been accumulating donations since all of this closed the help center in mid-March and now I find myself retrieving items out of the donation boxes. First, it was some track pants which I bought a while back when I was walking several miles a day. Now, I have retrieved a radio I thought I didn't need any more (really, I don't) plus a bag I thought I was done with which I bought on an impulse and never used but then used today and I was like, wow, what a great bag. Why have I not been using this? As part of a dream last night, I recall someone in dreamland asked me if I had any extra t-shirts around the house. This was perplexing when I woke up but now I remember that there are several t-shirts out in those boxes so that has to be connected somehow, right?
12:20pm
Now it’s lunch time and I was just at McDonald’s three hours ago. This is slightly embarrassing. 
9:27am
Destination: McDonald’s
3:44am
It’s archive day. At some point, I’ll archive off log entries for last week and post a link to where that ends up. I’m out here on the deck since one of the dogs needed to go out. The weather is perfect. Birds are chirping but the sounds are a bit different this late/early. No biting bugs are out so this is a great time to be outside. 

Bag 2: Eastsport Gear Bag

This is the bag I refer to as my coronabag. It hangs on a hook in the kitchen and always goes with me when I leave the house since it contains my masks and hand sanitizer. I also put my sunglasses and sometimes my Kindle Paperwhite in there along with other odds and ends I think I might need.

I got this bag at Walmart years ago and it has been used a lot but only shows a little wear. I've tried other bags in its place - fancier bags with more pouches and water bottle holders - but I always come back to this one. It is simple and durable.


Check out that fancy tag and zipper.


Yes, there are pouches in there for a small notebook and pens. I never use them. I'm not sure I ever noticed them before I took these pictures.

Note the Style (315180W1-BLK) so you can go right out to eBay and get your own. 
Walmart no longer carries these. 

Velcro!

There is the shoulder strap. I typically leave this in the car when I am out and about so it doesn't get a whole lot of use unless I am unloading the car and my hands are full.

Stay tuned! There are plenty more bags and radios to write about!


Radio 1: Uniden BC125AT Scanner

The first radio I'll write about in this exciting (?) new series is my Uniden BC125AT Scanner.

I've owned it for about two years. I bought it off of Amazon as a return and it arrived looking and working like brand new.


All that is left here to listen to is the airport and airplanes, paramedics, local sheriff, and business radio frequencies used in warehouses and restaurants. Everything else has gone digital but that still leaves plenty to listen to.

As you see below, this scanner has programmable alpha tags so you can tell what you are listening to. The programming cable came with the scanner and the software was free to download online.


I bought a Diamond RH77CA Antenna which came highly recommended and really pulls in the air band like no other scanner/antenna combination I have ever used. Yes, I enjoy listening to just the air band some, especially when I am sitting outside reading. Listening to planes take off and land is very relaxing.


I attached a label to the back showing what I have programmed by band.
The scanner takes just 2 AA batteries and they are rechargeable in the radio although I don't do that.


Here's a full view to give you an idea of the height of the radio with the Diamond antenna.


Hands down, this is the best scanner I have owned in all of my years of owning scanners with a few caveats:
It's a tad complicated to use. Many of the buttons do multiple things.
Air band is fantastic but my Radio Shack scanner (that you will see here eventually) seems to outdo it on the other bands by just a little.
Digital squelch is not great. I feel like this scanner misses transmissions because I can't get the squelch just right which is also not a problem on the Radio Shack scanner.

Of course, this scanner is a keeper.

Bag 1: Lands' End Square Rigger Attache

The first bag up for discussion is my Lands' End Square Rigger attache.
I bought it last year on eBay very cheap after suddenly remembering this as a bag I saw many years ago and some times in thrift stores in the years since. It was a nostalgia purchase. 

Read the text from this ad I found online if you want to know more about this bag. Note that the price was $37.50. If that was the price in 1985, the bag would cost $89.35 in today's dollars.


I have only used the bag once since I got it and it ended up in the stack of help center stuff recently but was saved at the last minute.

Why did I save it? I don't know. Maybe because it's sort of unique? It's also in pretty decent shape for a bag that is at least thirty-five years old. It's a bit faded, especially the strap (which was apparently optional!) and handles. It's the same color as my Buick so that instantly makes it cool.

Most of these bags have initials on them since that was a standard feature for either free or really cheap. I have no idea who VNA was.

I love the Square Rigger patch.

Look at those zipper pulls. The zipper goes all the way around the bag as is noted in the ad above: "the smoothest, longest-running zipper ever made by mortal man"! It does still work perfectly.

The handles are faded but show little wear. They are thick and sturdy.

Here is the inside of the bag. It's a canvas briefcase. Another ad says, "It swallows overloads without complaint, has inside pockets for my calculator and appointment book, even a snap hook for keys."

Here's a closer look at the pockets. Obviously, this bag pre-dates laptops although a laptop could fit in there. You would just need a good sleeve to add some protection.

This bag was made in Boscobel, Wisconsin - population 3,231 as of 2010.

The owner tag was never filled out. There's a little lint back there I need to brush out.

Based on the history of the bag alone, I'd say it's a keeper. It's the oldest bag I have and I plan to find some uses for it and not let it just hang idle on the hook behind my door.