NDAA 2016 – Military Carry Provision

On November 25, 2015, The President of the United States signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law.  This is an annual policy bill that marries with the defense appropriations bill (not yet signed) to provide policy guidance and funding for the Armed Forces.

One provision of this policy bill requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to establish a process by which installation commanders may allow military members to carry weapons if deemed necessary for personal or force protection purposes.  It remains to be seen how this policy will take shape and how many installation commanders will actually decide to allow it. Continue reading

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Mobile VHF/UHF with Handheld

I was first licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1983, but an interest in computer technology and a growing Internet presence largely fulfilled my “tech craving” and displaced any remnant of ham radio activity remaining in my life by the early 1990s.

However, over the past few months, ham radio has begun to grow on me again, predominantly as a means to communicate during emergency situations when traditional means are no longer available.

In my first step back into the ham radio world after a couple of decades of inactivity, I bought a dual-band handheld radio along with a few accessories to expand my coverage into local repeaters while operating portable (radio in hand) and mobile (in the car).  I’ll describe my choices below.

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Illinois Concealed Carry and the Military

Introduction

In July 2013, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (FCCA) that allowed, for the first time, licensed carry of concealed firearms in the State of Illinois. The FCCA is now known as Illinois code 430 ILCS 66.

Military personnel and their family members of legal age assigned to a permanent duty station in Illinois often want to exercise their right to bear arms in order to protect their own lives and the lives of their families. This primer was written to explain some of the issues unique to military members living within this state.

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Comparison – YouTube HD vs. Vimeo HD

I continue to be very impressed with the GoPro HD HERO2 camera, but have struggled to post high quality videos online that sufficiently demonstrate its quality. That is, until now.

YouTube offers a high-definition video mode. I’ve uploaded from my iPad on several occasions but have been disappointed in the visible artifacts present in the HD-quality mode. Continue reading

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Grilled Salmon

Salmon on the grill is easy to prepare, very tasty, and provides some good and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids for your body.

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Grilled Squash

Along with the proliferation of zucchini and yellow squash from our garden comes new ways to prepare and eat these fine vegetables. A friend gave us the following recommendation, which has become our new preferred method. I promise–these will literally melt in your mouth.

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Local Eateries Near St. Louis Metro East

We occasionally venture out of our home to enjoy some local food at our favorite restaurants and have discovered what we consider to be some true gems. If you are new to the area, or happen to be looking for some new places to dine, here's a quick run-down of our favorites.

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Garden Progress Report – 6 weeks and counting

It’s amazing how quickly these things grow! Our garden has taken off and we might be able to harvest some produce in a week or so. The zucchini and yellow squash, which we planted from seed, are growing very quickly and threaten to take over a significant portion of the raised bed in which they’re planted.

Happy gardening! Continue reading

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English-to-Spanish Translation FAIL

Yesterday we got a laugh out of seeing this sign, in a Mexican restaurant, no less. Can you figure out what is wrong? Hint: it has something to do with the tilde (~).

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The “black gold” compost mix has arrived!

Thanks to the kindness of a good friend, we received a truckload (about 27 cubic feet, or 1 cubic yard) of “black gold” compost mix this morning purchased from St. Louis Composting in Milstadt, IL (http://www.stlcompost.com/products-compost.htm). Total cost was $22. Reportedly this mixture will grow just about anything. A couple of hours later we had this in our raised beds and are now ready to begin planting.

Our beds are 3′ x 8′ and 6″ high, so it took around 24 cubic feet of soil to fill these with some to spare. We also decided to add the excess soil to another small unraised section of the garden, and covered it with a weed mat.

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