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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
Each Friday afternoon about 4PM, I sit down at my desk to reflect back on the week gone by and review in my head everything I have accomplished and everything I still need to do. Truthfully? I have lists to keep track of my lists.
I maintain my “prepping to do” lists on steno books, the old-fashioned type with a spiral on the top. I have dozens with some devoted to stuff and others devoted to skills. And then there are five or six dedicated to blog-related tasks. Cripes!
Each page is it’s own to-do list and as the list grows, I turn a page and start a new one. Funny thing is that once I start a new page, I rarely go back. I really need to toss them all and start over.
There really is a moral to the story and that is if you think that the day will come when you are completely free from the list of prepping things to do and prepping things to learn, dream on. It just isn’t going to happen.
The Survival Buzz #166
We Passed the Ham Radio Technician License Test!
By now many of you know that both Shelly and I passed our Ham Radio Technician License Test. I scored 33 correct answers (our of a total of 35) and was so elated that I did a happy dance. The original plan was to also take the General test just for kicks but I was so stressed, I just wanted to get out of there.
The testing was done in the meeting room at our local library in Friday Harbor. You are handed a yellow (or was is orange?) test booklet and a score sheet. As I was taking the test, I wrote notes in the test booklet. Oops. Apparently that was a no no and I had missed that part when reading the directions.
A bigger problem, though, was that I skipped over questions I was not sure of, planning to come back to them later. The issue was that I somehow got out of sequence and was marking the answer, as an example, to question 20, on the line for question 21. Oh man. I was really messed up.
The kindly proctors from our local San Juan County Amateur Radio Society gave me a new score sheet so I could start over. It is amazing that I even passed! These days the FCC does not mail our call signs so each day I check the FCC database to see if I am listed but so far, nothing. Maybe on Monday.
I know that for many, a Ham license has opened the door to a fantastic, life-long hobby communicating with like-minded folks from around the globe.
My goal? Emergency communications, of course. Both Shelly and I plan to become proficient enough to be able to communicate when there are no other modes of communication mode available.
As you may recall, we were without cell, 911, landline, and internet services for a couple of weeks when the underwater cable from the mainland to our island community was broken. We are close enough to Vancouver Island that I was able to roam to a Victoria BC cell phone tower and get a call out to George Ure. But other than that? Nothing. Speaking of George, my Baofeng radios are on their way home to me from Texas so once my license comes through, I should be able to get on the air.
That about covers it for me this week. Now for some announcements.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Speaking again of the Baofeng’s, this tip came in from “WB4WXD”:
I did want to point out a reference for the BaoFeng radios that converts a “Chinglish” manual to true understandable English free of charge.
It is called the Chinese Radio Documentation Project and is located here: //radiodoc.github.io/
It’s a good manual for all users, not just new ones.
I printed out all 66 pages and also put a copy on my iPad. If you have a Baofeng, you will want this guide.
Ready for some giveaways? The following two giveaways are currently accepting entries.
Remember, the deadline for all giveaway entries is 6:00 PM Pacific on Tuesdays.
In addition, all winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
The Final Word
I am once again keeping things short. To be honest, I can be pretty boring and find that most of you, as you describe your weekly preps, are far more interesting that I am.
So over to you. What did you do to prep this week?