Showing posts from June, 2020

Radio 8: Prunus J-125 AM FM Radio

Radio 8 - the long awaited mowing radio although I have not mowed with a radio over the last two weeks. It's been too plain hot to have earbuds in. I need all the brain ventilation I can get.

I got this one at Amazon. It's a DSP radio. Signals don't fade out when moving about the yard on the mower. Batteries seem to last a long time. I left the clock unset to help with that (maybe). There is a power port but no recharging function. Sound is excellent but could be louder. The earbuds that came with the radio are not great. I use some old JVC earbuds that fit in pretty securely and block out most of the sound of the mower.

Finally, there is a neck strap and no clip. I prefer the neck strap. Clip on radios tend to come loose when I am mowing so the neck strap is a nice change.

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I took this right from my log since I started typing there and couldn’t stop. It seems blogworthy to me so here it is.

We’ve adjusted our business model to reignite profitability during the pandemic.

Saturday 6/27/2020

Friday was one of those vary rare days when I get to step in the time machine and revisit the past. I spent the day at my high school playing trombone in the band for graduation for my band director’s final official performance before retirement. A few other alumni came back and mixed in with some of the students for this special send-off of the most influential teacher I ever had. I would have never guessed I would be there for his first day back in 1986 and his last day. It was a pretty cool experience and I was the oldest alumni there (class of 1991).

It will most likely be my only performance of 2020. Our spring community band concerts and the summer community band I would have played in at my college were both cancelled and our chances of having community band in the fall are looking pretty slim.

Today is all about rest and relaxation even though I am up early early since my oldest had to be at work at 6am. I went ahead and started some clothes in the washer and was surprised to see another one of my holds came in at the library so I’m ready to dive into that today. I finished a book yesterday and get to start another one today.

Also, it’s a holiday week coming up. Canada Day! Independence Day! I’m ready to celebrate all week. I’m thinking cakes would be a good idea. 

Bag 7: Vintage Jansport Backpack

I don't believe I am going to keep going and post about every bag I have at this point. I've decided over my vacation week that some need to go but I will continue to write about the keepers every so often. Two of the bags I have written about so far are not in the keeper pile but more about that in the future.

This one is a keeper.

I am calling this backpack vintage although it's probably not terribly old. It's modern equivalent is the Jansport Right Pack which comes with a suede leather bottom. This bag has the darker leather bottom plus different zipper pulls. There is no tag in the bag but I am guessing it is from the 2000's. An older bag would probably have Made in the USA on the Jansport label.

Who knows. I like the color. I like the design of the bag. It is comfortable to wear. There are only two compartments and there is no laptop compartment or water bottle holders. It's made for books and folders. It reminds me of the bag I had in college. Nice and simple. 

One little compartment for pens and who knows what.

You may call them scuffs and blemishes. I call them personality.

One huge compartment, perfect for expensive college textbooks.

Oddly enough, I spotted this exact backpack while watching the protest in Atlanta one night.

Not only does he have on a cool backpack but he is also wearing a mask. That's a good dude right there.


Vacation begins at 5PM Eastern and I need it badly. This week has been a bit exhausting. I desperately need to recharge.

We do have a busy week ahead with graduation and our upcoming mini trip but I expect to spend more of my downtime with a book and not on this machine. So, there will be no new posts in the upcoming week but I do plan to pop up with a podcast (either Thursday or Friday), daily tiny updates on my and possibly a photo here and there on Instagram which will pop over to Twitter thanks to some magical force none of us understand.

Have a good week. Back on Monday, June 22nd.

Radio 7: C.Crane CC Skywave AM FM Weather Air Shortwave Radio

Radio 7 and our last radio before a week of blog vacation is the radio I am taking with me on vacation, my C. Crane CC Skywave AM FM Weather Air Shortwave Radio.

I bought mine used for $45 shipped. It's the second one I have owned. The first one died. I am hoping for better luck this time around. I've had it for over a year and it is still going strong so far. 

I liked the radio so much that I bought a second one. For travel, it can't be beat. Excellent reception across all bands with the bonus of having the weather bands and the air band for if you are sitting around at the airport and want to hear planes take off and land.

It uses 2 AA rechargeables and charges with a USB cord. That is a fantastic feature and the 2 AA batteries last a long, long time.

Of all of my radios, this is my favorite one to shove in the bag when I'm leaving the house. It's like the Swiss Army Knife of radios. It does it all and does it all quite well!

Left side - another green headphone jack and the USB in for recharging the batteries

The right side tuning knob and analog volume - much better than digital volume that I never seem to get just right!

The back!

You even get a nice pouch for travel.

This is an excellent radio - one of my favorites of all time!


From my log today (slightly modified to add context):

Got my bloodwork done this morning. Also got a prescription for blood pressure pills although the dose is very low so OK. They said I need it for, and I am quoting here, "longevity" so I am now at the age where I get to worry about longevity.

Bag 6: Jansport High Stakes Multi Laguna Beach Backpack

What a weird, long name for a bag - the Jansport High Stakes Multi Laguna Beach Backpack.

You can get the Jansport High Stakes Backpack in all sorts of designs. This design appears to be out of print now. I got it off eBay shipped for $12. This bag and my Jansport Digital Student Backpack, discussed as bag 3, are the two going on vacation with me. I got this bag to take down to the beach with my Kindle, snacks and other beachy stuff in it. It arrived with a bit of sand in it from California so obviously someone else used it for the same thing.

It's a very simple backpack. One big pocket on the front and one big main compartment. No water bottle holders but I will have a cooler with me at the beach anyway.

I just like how it looks. I will be upgraded one level of coolness by being seen in public with this cool bag.

Radio 6: Radio Shack Weatheradio Alert 12-246

A bit of nasty weather came through here about an hour ago courtesy of the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal so we'll look at a weather radio today, uh, I mean weatheradio because that's what Radio Shack called them for many years.

This radio, the Radio Shack Weatheradio Alert 12-246, was manufactured in 1999. It's a nice dial controlled weather radio which picks up all seven weather radio channels available in the United States and Canada. It also features an alert option. However, it does not have S.A.M.E. functionality so any alert for any county will set off the alarm feature. Also, I'm not sure how long it will last in alert mode with it's three AA batteries. My guess is maybe a day or so.

I won't be trying that. This is the radio I toss in my bag when I am leaving the house on a day when severe weather is possible and I use it just to listen to the broadcasts to get an idea about what's heading this way.

It has very good reception. It picks up two stations at my location quite well and a third station is audible with a fourth station cutting in through static but barely audible. This is a nice contrast to the Sony Walkman SRF-M37W which picked up no stations at all!

Finally, it features the nice, vintage Radio Shack logo!

Hold down the TEST button and scare the crap out of any people or small animals within earshot!


I'm making little adjustments today.

First, I've been wondering if I can benefit in someway from using this site a bit more during the day? 

Second, I finally had to do something about Twitter lists. They had grown from being a usable tool to becoming overwhelming. Click one list to check the weather, click another to check the news, click another to see what the creative folks I follow are doing today, etc. etc. I had eleven lists. Now I am down to five that are truly reference only like one that follows severe weather accounts which I don't need to look at every day.

I went through and followed all of the accounts from the other lists that I deemed worth keeping and let the rest fall away when I deleted the lists. I will adjust from there. I think it will be beneficial to have one nice feed vs. multiple lists especially if it reduces my time using the app which I do still feel is valuable - most of the time. 

Third and last, I added local railroad frequencies to my scanners. I have a major railroad yard close by but I have never, in thirty plus years of having scanners, monitored railroad traffic. I don't know why because I find it pretty fascinating especially after finding this channel on YouTube.

Tuesday's disjointed thoughts

It's one of those funky weather days here as the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal pass just to our west. The humidity is at gross level. The light coming in the window here in the home office is somehow bright and dark at the same time. But, no rain yet which is quite odd.

A week from today is graduation (finally) so hopefully the weather will be better since it is supposed to be outside this year.

I'm on vacation next week so there won't be any activity here all week. I am planning to get at least one beachcast out over at Up In This Brain but that's about it.


Just a few minutes ago, I was prepping the pictures I took for the next radio I am going to share here on the blog later today. I took pictures of several radios and bags outside last week when the weather was nice so I would be a bit ahead. 


I realize I just wrote this in the same format as my log where most of what I write is added in at different times during the day so it's all pretty disjointed. It makes me wonder if this type of post should just live over there but for now I think I will keep popping in here from time to time with this kind of nonsense to break the endless onslaught of bag and radio posts.

Bag 5: High Sierra Chip Messenger Bag

Today's bag (and yes, there are many, many more to go) is my High Sierra Chip Messenger Bag. I got it via eBay for about $12 shipped.

It's a bigger messenger bag that is able to hold a 15 inch laptop.

The material seems to be pretty durable and it has one thing many messenger bags lack - a water bottle holder!

The color is a bit bright but the more "normal" colors were more expensive. It's not about fashion. It's all about price!

It's a great bag for a trip to the coffee shop or the library. Jam in the laptop and head out!

Padded laptop sleeve

A big pocket for chargers and whatnot

Places for notebooks and pens

A zipper pocket for who knows what

The awesome water bottle pocket

The spec card

Fish Food: 5/31/2020 to 6/6/2020

This is an archive of my log posts from for the week of 5/31/2020 to 6/6/2020.
This is the final time I will be sharing the archive of my log. I'm staying on but am going back to resetting the log daily and not backing it up. Anything I deem worthy of saving will be written and posted here instead.

You can find my profile at

**Friday 6/5/2020** * Thoughts go here. * It's oddly quiet around here this week which is disappointing since I would rather be here than on the usual suspects like Tw***er; etc. which is once again turning into a rage and gatekeeping cesspool. * I got two of my library holds within 24 hours of each other. I'll be doing a LOT of reading this weekend! * Vacation week is just over a week away. First vacation of 2020. * This morning has been a DRAG. Everything happened at once. Work stuff. Dog barfing. Etc. I really need some time off. I just noticed I have had no time off since Christmas except for school trips. I just need to make it one more week without melting down! 😬 * Updated my above description of Twitter to add gatekeeping. * Recorded and deleted two tries on 495 today. Haven’t deleted anything in a while. Just felt like they were adding more noise to noise. Will take the weekend to clear the mechanism and see what happens Monday.

**Thursday 6/4/2020** * It's 12:11am and I am out on the deck as the oldest dog does what dogs do at 12:11am. I thought, why not get out the Asus Transformer and update my log? Like it's normal to sit outside on the deck typing away right after midnight. It is humid, so humid that I can close my eyes and between the sound of the breeze going through the trees and the humidity, it reminds me of standing on the beach. It's really quite perfect out here. * @altmilan Yes, she is fine. The car will be getting some new parts. It was a slow speed deal, thankfully! I'll have to discuss on the podcast at some point. It's a hoot of a story. * First far off thunder clap of the day - 9:36am. 🌩️ * Final report of the day. 9:21pm. Exhausted. Mopped. Cleaned bathrooms. Worked. Got dragged to Walmart to do the weekly shop to top it off. Did finish a book and start another so those are positives.

**Wednesday 6/3/2020** * Started the day around 5:15am with dog stuff and a fun sinus headache. * I’d like to read a bit more today than I did yesterday. * I have a lot of clothes to wash today. * Pictures on this page have been updated! * It’s 11:43am. Out on the deck. It’s hot. Dang hot. Humid. Gross. I’m caught up at work. Patched up a spot in the yard and planted new grass. Finally finished submitting my daughter’s insurance claim from the hit and run where she was hit and some idiot drove off. Took a week to get all of the needed documentation gathered and submitted. Now it is time for lunch. I am hungry.

**Tuesday 6/2/2020** ⬛️ 5:28pm: It’s crazy hot so let’s grill out. **Monday 6/1/2020** Today’s weather forecast: ☀️ Today’s mood: 😜 ((Check-in 7am - at the kitchen table - it’s only 51 degrees outside this morning! A crazy way to start June!) * I think the site is on GMT so a new day begins at 8PM Eastern @altmilan * I have pre-eye doctor appointment anxiety for some reason. Why I hype these things up in my mind, I don’t know. * I think of the start of each month as a chance to reboot and shed things off that don’t work. I’m always itching for change but have no idea what I want to change. * ➡️ You should be subscribed to 1000 Words of Summer : ⬅️ ((Check-out 5:46pm)) * The eye appointment went well. No changes. No new glasses needed. * Today was the last spring-like day. Tomorrow, Summer looks like it’s coming to stay. **Sunday 5/31/2020** Today's weather forecast: ☀️ Today's mood: 😑 ((Check-in 8:31am - on the deck with an Orange Gatorade and a Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bar)) * I have an idea to do things a bit different here on the fish this week. We'll see if it sticks. Fish sticks. * I just finished archiving last week's posts over to the blog. I moved links to the archive down to a list. * Goals today? I hope for a more relaxing day than yesterday. I spent a lot of the afternoon on yard work and then I watched another four hours of the protests and riots on television. I read this article yesterday which explains what is happening now yet was written in 1968. It reminds me of watching Driving Miss Daisy when I was in high school and Morgan Freeman's character saying "Talk about things changing. They ain't changed all that much." They still haven't. They tell us to vote and voting is not enough. What's happening now is not enough because it's all been done before and nothing has changed. * I want the things I do, this site, the blog, the podcast - to all be diversions, places to escape from the news like this and the coronavirus but that's just not realistic right now. ((Check-out 7:30pm - sitting in the recliner)) * I think I accomplished my goal of a more relaxing day. I spent most of the afternoon in this recliner doing as little as possible. * Eye appointment first thing in the morning which I always dread. Thank goodness it only happens once a year. I've been lucky and not had a real change in the last few years but I know I'm reading a tad worse now so I expect I'll need new glasses. I think I'll put that part off until later in the summer, though, if the change is not too much.


I was up way early with one of the dogs. It's a blur. I don't remember which one. I took this picture with my iPad because the sky looked cool. But there was so much dew that I couldn't sit out on the deck and enjoy the moment and now at almost 9am, it's already blistering hot so there's no way I'm going to sit out on the deck and do anything today.

I'm even going to postpone mowing this weekend. That's how hot it is going to be.

I would typically share nonsense like this over at but it was completely down earlier and now it's sort of up but I can't login so I don't know. I'm thinking this will be the last week I archive posts from there and post them over here on Sunday's. It's too much of a bother and I might use differently moving forward. Time will tell. 

Weekend goals? (these normally end up on the fish)
  • Stay in the air conditioning
  • Read (two books I had on hold came into the library at almost exactly the same time)
  • Attend family activity today and be sociable 
  • Lose 20 pounds between now and my physical Wednesday morning so the doctor doesn't give me the annual talk (this isn't going to happen but just writing it down acknowledges that I know I need to cut back on donuts)

Radio 5: Sony SRF-M37W Weather/FM/AM Walkman

Here's another Sony radio sort of related to the last radio I wrote about here, the Sony SRF-39 radio which was an analog radio. This one is a digital radio. I'm not sure if the internals are similar to the SRF-39 or not. Performance-wise, it is fairly similar. 

It uses just one AAA battery and it seems to have great battery life.

The digital tuning is a plus. You can go right to the station you want and save it as a preset. You can then turn on the lock and none of the controls will get messed up (except for the volume but it is fairly hard to knock around) if you are mowing or running or whatever.

The downside is that every button press generates an annoying beep. Ugh! Also, FM is easily impacted by changes in direction or obstacles that get between the radio and the signal and this causes dropouts at times which can be sort of loud and jarring at times. That is why this radio was replaced as my main mowing radio after I also gave up on mowing with my SRF-39.

The addition of weather band on this radio is pointless where I am. I can't pick up a single weather station on this radio. 

The best part is I found this radio for just $1 on the shelf at the help center where I take donations! What a bargain!

A clock! Also, completely unnecessary! 

It's roughed up a bit but it was just a dollar!

The top with the hold switch and volume control.

Just like the other Sony, another green headphone jack!

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!