Adventures

Dmax Armor S5 Active screen protector.

So, time for a new one.
This one fits great; much better than the last. Instead of holes to go around speaker, buttons etc, it’s C or U cutouts around them. It’s thicker, but still slightly recessed inside the “lip” around the phone screen. And much to my surprise and delight, it has a much better glare protection; I can almost use it in full sunlight!
All for another $6 shipped!
It was extremely well packed, a hard box, alcohol wipe, drying wipe, a dust collector pad, stickers to use for locating it, and then tucked in with the screen itself, a micro fiber cloth! Screen itself was in a thin plastic sheet bag, inside a padded bag.

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If it’s half as durable as it is well packed andaccessorized, it should last at least the next 3years!
I’ll have to dig around and see if I can find another camera, a way to take a pic of it on my phone, and post it. Even as boring as that might be to see, it’s still weird to post about it and not actually be able to show it…

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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Damages, Electronics/Media

MYRIANN Tempered Glass Screen Protector, After 3 Years.

About three years and 2 weeks ago I got a tempered glass screen protector for my then new Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. A cheap one.

Its great! Clear and touch sensitive, can’t tell any diference in using the phone. Easy to clean, and so far I have yet to mark, scratch or stain it, and I’ve been on a messy construction/remodelling job site all week.
It was easy to apply, with a glasses cleaning cloth, the included alcohol wipe, and antistatic dust collector cloth… peel the back, press it in place, and press the center, and the adheasive magicaly self levels out all the air bubbles… It wasn’t even a one time deal, the adheasive will lift, and allowed me to move it twice to get the best fit, yet its still on there solid if your not trying to move it.
Now, it doesn’t fit Exactly right. Its a touch too big at the top and botton edges, and since my phones screen sits in a recess with a lip around it, the top edge of the protector is held just slightly above the surface of the screen… But its and area like 1/8” wide, but maybe 1/4” long above the speaker… Big deal

The same goes for the 1/8” wide bar that crosses across the bottom below the buttons, for like 1” its off the screen. Again, who cares?
Both spots are only sitting about half way up that lip, and because of the lip itself nothing can get under the protector in those areas, so it doesn’t matter. Otherwise its a perfect fit.
Here is the card that came with it, for the item/brand info if anyone is interested. This was like $6 shipped.

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And amazingly it’s lasted all thee years. Mostly;

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My phones screen by comparison is immaculate! Not a mark or speck on it!

I’d say that cheap $6 screen protector definitely did it’s job, and I more than got the good from it, and beyond the investment!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Damages, EDC, Electronics/Media, Usage Reviews

Selective hearing protection? Alpine MotoSafe ear plugs, part 1.

One more new item, that came in yesterday, arrived all the way from the Netherlands. (Couldn’t find a stateside dealer that had the model I wanted, so I ordered direct from the manufacturer. Could actually only find two dealers in the USA anyway! )
As part of my healthy hearing concept, along with adding the face shield onto my motorcycle helmet, I started looking for better, more active hearing protection.
The problem with foam ear plugs is the constant outward pressure they use to seal, it’s uncomfortable and makes my ears sore after a days commute both always.
But I didn’t want to jump in and invest in the full custom molded ear plugs.
And both styles tend to be full sound suppression, so you end up sealed off from your surroundings, with all sound deadened. There are rubber plugs that only filter out harmful sound, leaving conversation or traffic hearable, but I’ve never found rubber plugs that seal worth a damn, or that aren’t like the foam, and too tight. (For instance ear buds tend to drive me nuts and make my ears sore).
Anything that has custom molding and also let’s through lower conversation type sound frequencies are really spendy.
Then I found a half way product;

https://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/product-category/motorcycle/

They are a sound filter, supposedly they cut the frequency of wind noise, but allow traffic and conversation sounds through. Also, the rubber tips are semi-custom forming, in a thermo form rubber; Every time you insert them, your body heat softens them and they custom fit to your ear canal, sealing without outward pressure.

I figured why not, if they work then great, if not, then I’m only out around $20… A risk that I thought was worth it.
They have several variations for different activities, and two specifically for motorcycle riding. A “Tour” version, and a “Race” version that is a little stronger/higher decibel rated. I opted for the race version. At only a few decibels difference, I figured if they work as advertised to cut only wind noise, and leave other sounds, I still wanted as much protection as possible.
So far, in limited fit tests I find them a LOT more comfortable than foam plugs, and more than a lot of rubber plugs and ear buds I’ve had too. I won’t say they “disappear” to where I don’t know I’m wearing them, but I’ve only had them I for 5 to 10 minutes so far.
Have not gad a chance to ride with them yet.
Bug I can say that they let in conversation level sounds really well, and actually without loud sounds, seem like they do very little. But they did cut out the sound of my truck exhaust more than they cut out talking.. Not a lot more, but more.
I’m reserving and conclusions for after I test them with the noise they’re made for; wind.
They come with a little zipper pouch for carrying, and I sprung the few dollars for a hard key chain style carry case, and a safety cord that keeps them tethered together.

My only complaint so far is that the insertion tool they come with, a little plastic thing that’s supposed to grip the plug, and you use it as a handle to insert them, then turn them slightly in your ear to help them seal; It doesn’t snap onto the plugs, it’s far too big, and thus can’t be used… So I can’t really grip them to rotate them upon insertion.
Not sure how much, or if this effects how they seal/work. Will find out either way how they work though, as soon as I can.
Will let y’all know how it goes. 🙂
Categories: Adventures, ATV, ATVing, Field gear, Motorcycles, New Gear, Preparedness, Riding, Vehicles

EDC Mid April, to Mid May 2018

🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Uncategorized

Auxiliary truck lighting and 110V wiring. 

I now have a 110V cord hard wired, or permanently mounted anyway, in my truck. Run from under the center of the dash in the cab, out the firewall, and ending in the drivers side inner fender. Should come in handy for any 110V current tools I might want to run off of my power inverter. 


I’ve actually wanted to wire a setup like this in both the front and back of the truck for a while, just never got around to it.

So, Why now? your asking…

Weeeeelllll….

What do you get if I’m bored, not feeling the season, wanting to do something festive, and just plain silly fun, and have a brand new 20′ spare set of Christmas lights just laying around?

😀  😉 

Cut up a couple old cords, one from a dead fan, the other from a dead string of lights, to make a small extension cord. Cord ends wouldn’t fit through the hole in the fire wall, and I needed a custom length anyway, so I put it through, then installed the 2nd end, thus my now permanent cord.


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Dug out the old power inverter I cary in the truck;

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Lots of zip ties;

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And voila!

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Yes, I know I’m a total redneck… And that I’ll Never live this one down. But its just so freaking cool to drive around! 

One guy that passed me on the 4 lane, as he went by me slowly, his passenger suddenly did a double take as they came up even with my front fender… The guy just about Garfielded himself on the window! Just so hillarious! 

That reaction alone was worth it if no one else noticed… And a lot of other people noticed. Got lots of smiles out of people on our quick trip to town last night. 

If nothing else I “lightened” up a few folks evenings, hopefully for the better… Definitely got me feeling a lot better

Next year I’m thinking I’ll hang a wreath in the middle of the grill, and light it, and run the other lights on out down the full bed length.  😀

Merry Christmas everybody.  🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Christmas, Custom, Customized, Decorating, Fabrication, Funny, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, MacGyverism, mechanical, Modifications, Sillly, Silly, truck, Truck gear, Winter

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 

My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  😀 This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter

Field Holster; chest carry. 

I’d decided that I need a new holster for my .357. (Vintage Ruger Security Six, 4″). Field holster I guess you’d say… I don’t concealed carry often anymore, just open carry for hunting/hiking. 


Until recently I’ve done belt carry, have a great pancake holster from Simply Rugged that works phenominally. 

But I can’t do belt carry anymore;
Problem #1, it kills my screwed up hips, and #2 at current weight loss level/clothing sizing, keeping my pants up is impossible with the weight of a gun…Hell, it’s hard enough without the gun. Lol. (belt tight enough to hold it all up, cuts into back/hips too much, back to problem #1)

I’ve tried regular shoulder holsters. No go. Got a leather Galco “miami classic” style for a full size auto, have had it a decade, worn it a total of maybe ten times. 

Borrowed a buddies Uncle Mikes vertical nylon job for hunting last month. Wore it once. Rode ok once adjusted, but where it was secure and somewhat comfortable, I couldn’t reach the gun to draw it! 

I’ve had nylon ones twice in the past before. Got a great vintage Bianchi leather job that a good friend gave me, but it’s too big for this gun(actually hoping to convert it to chest or bandoleer carry for my .41 mag Blackhawk ). 

Anyway, I can Never get any slight semblance of comfortable, or secure, at the same time, and never an easy draw either way… 

Add to that the layers of straps you get with the holster, a backpack, and a rifle sling while out and about in the woods… Just no. There’s too much of the world sitting on my shoulders anyway, don’t need to add more! ;)

I’ve thought about a bandoleer setup, but that ends up on the hip cross draw… hard to reach (yes, I still have a bit of a spare tire to reach around, and add a heavy jacket, forget it!) and in a place that would interfere with backpacks, pack frames, and I think a slung rifle.. 

So, my last ditch idea is to attempt to try a chest rig… 

They’re actually extremely popular up here in AK for bear country fishing, and some hunting. 

Yes it hangs on shoulder straps, at least one..but the weight sits on the chest, not under the armpits. And it should pull on the back more than straight down on the shoulders.. I think. I’m thinking it will be more secure feeling and more accessible. And probably more comfortable, leave me some range of arm movement without under arm binding. (Hopefully!)  

So, a couple weeks digging around, and some fantastic suggestions from friends on a forum, and I made a choice. 

I ordered a holster last week. I’d seen these before, and looked at them off and on, but wasn’t sure.

But I decided for the cost –About $40– I couldn’t really go wrong.. If nothing else I could modify the snot out of it. ;)

But really, I decided I needed something low cost to try, to see if chest carry was even the answer, without dropping $70 to $150 depending. Expensive risk, if it turned out chest carry wasn’t my thing.

So, the make is Skyball Mountain Holsters. Amazingly, made in USA. Only places I can find them are Facebook and Ebay, apparently it’s a small business, no dedicated website.

I dug around and found out that the current Ruger GP100 is super close in size to a Security Six, so I ordered the one for a 4″ barrel GP100.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262234099076

It fits the gun perfectly! 
(Being a open non formed holster, it actually fits All of my mid frame ~4″ hand guns almost perfectly!)

These are built a little different than the average chest harness. The average seems to be an around the body horizontal strap, then the holster sits on that or straps down to it. Then the shoulder strap goes over and attaches to the horizontal strap on your back.

This one is the horizontal strap, and then the shoulder strap goes around from the holster, and BACK TO the holster…

It works. But it adds another strap crossing under your arm, and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable crossing that high under my arm. (I’ve a bit of fat there and it presses in anoyingly)

But even having said that, this thing is SUPER comfortable!! 

I threw it on with the 357 over a light hoodie a few nights ago, and went out and split a days worth of firewood. 45 minutes swinging a splitting maul, lifting, moving logs, etc. and I only had to reposition it a few times. That’s pretty upper body active, more so than any average time I’d normally be wearing a gun.


My only little problem is the way it sits, all the tension is pulling to the left side… The straps don’t hold it to the right if it’s pulled left. But it’s a left hand draw. So it drifts left during draw. Grabbing it with the right hand durring draw fixes it obviously. But I might not always have that hand free, so it needs a hold down strap on the right.

There is a loop on the barrel end of the holster (probably for a hold down), so adding a short cord, I’m thinking shock cord for a little movement, should be easy, run down to my belt.

One other thing, not really a problem, is the chest strap, on me, is extended almost all the way out. Not a design flaw, I’m just a big guy. So I’ll have to get an extension strap for wearing it over a heavy coat. It’s all 1″ strap, and all ends are held with SRBs, so it’ll be easy/cheap to add/remove as needed. The shoulder strap on the other hand, oddly has like another 10″ of outward adjustment, it’ll be fine.

Overall, I really like it. It works, and is verry comfortable. 


As to mods, I’m trying to find the site I saw a T shaped side release buckle on recently… 

It was simple the male or female side of the buckle, but the strap side had the slots on it at a 90 to the buckle… So you can slide it to any place on a strap and have the buckle T off. It was for camping/hiking packs, like to add a sternum strap or similar. Just can’t find it again! 

Anyway, was thinking one of those or similar on the around the chest strap, put it in the back, and clip the shoulder strap into it, doing away with the under arm strap. 

I’ll wear it/use it a while as is and if I don’t get used to that strap there, I’ll look into moddling it. But for now it’s fine!

Fat guy in a holster;

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My view;

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And the bonus, I can pick and chose what I want to carry;

4-5/8″ Blackhawk;

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Ruger MK2;

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Beretta Stamped SAA;
(3.5″ barrel us a little short in there, but I think it’ll balance ok/hang ok)

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Browning BDM 9mm;
(Which is great for now since this is my usual winter woods carry gun. No bears then so I don’t need the .357 etc.)

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:)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Backcountry, Clothes, GetOutdoors, Guns, Hunting, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Outdoors, Woods tools

Grousing around, Oct 2017

Grouse hunting… 
My first time out.

A friend and I have been trying to get out to do this together for about 2 years now, finally got to go. 

Ended up with his teen son along, and got two other friends to go, one that has a fancy German hunting dog.

We even put it off a week, last minute plans from last Monday so to make sure one guy could go… Turned out great, we got a few inches of snow in the week, make the birds more visible on the ground!

I borrowed a buddies 12ga auto shotgun to take since I don’t have one.

2.5 hour drive south to a 70 acre private property plot we have access to(Church bible camp) just north of Mt. Denali, and the foot hills of the Alaska Range.

 2.5wonderful hours hiking around in clear  5F weather, fantastic company and country… 4,000 grouse tracks everywhere. Millions of rabbit tracks.
Some fox and lynx tracks.

We’d talked about other game, and unfortunately lynx is closed until Dec 1st, but fox is open, and rabbit, and I was hoping to see a rabbit.   

And I wouldn’t have argues with getting a fox pelt either to be honest!

 Hiked 2.5 to 3 miles in flat country trails, open forest and fairly thick brush/black spruce country.

$$$ fancy hunting dog tracking all over the place. Really cool to see that, finally. (Friend has been trying to get me out to see the dog for almost 2 years now.)

Never saw an (game)animal.
No, take that back… we saw one camp robber. Lol.

Now, it was mid day by the time we got down there after we worked out some issues, drive was slow because of hairy roads in places…

We honestly figure the birds were all up in the trees roosting by the time we got out there, and once a spruce grouse is in a spruce tree it’s invisible.

But it was a fantastic trip regardless of not shooting anything! Really was fun just getting good out and enjoying God’s creation with some friends.

I didn’t actually take the shotgun after all. Talking to my friend that I’d planned this with,  he didn’t have one either, so he and his son would be with .22 rifles.  

I remembered that last year when we started talking about going, I bought a new Skinner sight for my Dad’s(now mine) Browning SA-22.

 Figured it was a great brush gun, it’s super small, light, and short,  points fast, be a dream to carry. It’s also a take down gun, for easy packing.

Also knew we’d be in Super dense cover at tines, and that 12ga is Loooonnnggg. Be a bitch to swing in the brush..

So I took the .22.
And it did pack and carry marvelously!  Do need to get a sling mouth set on it to make it a little easier, in thrvthick stuff (bith hands free)and a dedicated short pack case for it.

One other friend was supposed to have a single shot .410 along, but couldnt find it, so he had a 12 ga. pump.  Figured the other guy would gave a 12ga. But he chose to just wrangle his do for us.  But we did end up with one shotgun in the mix, for any fast flight shots.

The country;

The group minus me and the dog;

Two friends;

Same two friends in this shot, if you can find them… even the relatively open forest was hard visibility beyond 20 feet!

Tracks;

The .22;

Something cool (I think) I started doing with another tube fed gun, a Ruger MKII magazine makes a great speed loader. Just push the rounds off one at a time. Easier than a hand full of loose ammo. 

Cutlery that I took for cleaning animals;

The red Mora fixed blade I bought that morning… Had to take one guy to grab a hunting license before we went.

I was walking around the sporting goods store while he got it, killing time,
and was amazed to see real Mora knives for sale with the fishing gear!  Never seen them locally before, just online.  Even stranger, it’s in a small home town shop (one of a kind,  not a chain store).  Even though I do have a couple already, I couldn’t pass it up for $9.99 😉 

Anyway, still a great day without the birds, and the season is open all winter. Thinking I’ll start taking a .22 along with ice fishing trips etc. Never know what you might see! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Sentimental, Wildlife, Winter

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