Dash Cam: Death of the COBRA CDR 840

Death of the Cobra CDR 840 video is online.  The dash cam project started out of necessity.  We have a high incidence of hit-and-run accidents here in the Miami-Dade and Broward county areas.  FHP numbers for 2017, Broward 11,856 Miami-Dade 19,285.  Those are only the hit-and-run numbers for one year.  Hard to wrap around those number huh?  After it happened to me several years ago.  Wish I’d would have had a camera that day!  Lesson learned!

Today, will not drive any form of transportation without a dash cam.  A look at any video posted since this project was started will demonstrate why.  More validation in my mind was how fast the insurance company paid dK2 when they found out that their driver had received citations and dK2 could produce dash camera footage.  They couldn’t write the check fast enough.

The Cobra CDR 840 showed up at Costco sometime either late 2016 or early 2017.  One was purchased for image quality testing.  The camera was used for about a month before deciding to purchase two more.  They were installed in all the vehicles we use.  At first the plan was to delete the footage unless there was an accident involvement.

That changed after a long weekend of viewing several hours of footage.  Watching drivers doing some of the most stupid and dangerous maneuvers a driver could do.  After discovered editing software the dash cam project was born to document the crazy drivers.

That is not what this video is about. The video contains several clips featuring different malfunctions of the camera.  The first scene is from another camera malfunctioning on what I thought would have been really cool.   The Goodyear Blimp floating across the sky would have been awesome to me.  Then it moves through the different malfunctions.  Get ready to enter the Matrix!

After entering the matrix do not adjust your video settings because everything you see is the camera not your video player or computer.  The video ends with an opinion offered as too why we will never use a camera powered like it again.

All cameras worked well at the beginning then all slowly progressed downhill the same way.  Lack of longevity and the power cord did this camera style in for good.  No more cameras with a power cord like the one on the Cobra camera.  New cameras are in operation and collecting hours and hours of footage.  As soon as there is enough footage to  put together a video about the new cameras one will be made.  Check out the video before you buy your next dash camera. -13

 

My Pack Rat Moving Experience

Here is another video from my catch up list.  The video is new, the information is from 2016, 2017.  The important information is in the video.  It’s mostly still images of the containers and condition of them with my narration.  Overall the experience was good check out the video for more detail. -13

 

 

I almost don’t know where to start with this one.  I’ve been sitting on it for some time now trying to figure it out.  Over the last year or so I’ve been watching how the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Amazon do business.  It is not making me happy what I’m seeing/experiencing.

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Replacement order package. Personal information censored.

Before I start dissecting them I’ll make it clear.  If I like doing business with a company I’ll do things to help them.  A few examples are, give them a good recommendation, pick up an item off the floor that I didn’t put there and place it back on a shelf or notify an employee of a slip hazard such as water on the floor before some lawsuit zombie shows up.  One thing I will not do is enable a company to stay in business if I believe they’re doing something illegal, harmful to others or crappy business practices.  I want to have a good experience with a business to share it with others so they are successful.

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Replacement order other corner damage.

I grew up where everyone in the post office knew me by name.  Watched me grow up.  I know the USPS can do better.  Previous experiences with the USPS in recent years has led to disappointment.  I lived at an address where the carrier would have the package in the truck, yet deliver the mail with a “missed you” notice.  The notice stated we weren’t available so they left the notice.

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Bottom of replacement order package.  Properly taped it works like this.

Only problem with that was I was tracking the packages.  Sitting in the front room waiting so I could watch the mail carrier walk up to the front door.  I did watch the carrier.  He got out of the truck with a handful of mail in hand, quickly walked past the front door to the mail box, dropped in what he had brought and left as quickly as he arrived.  After that he delivered mail to the other houses in the area.  Several times.  Of course I didn’t film it.

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These air cushions don’t hold up well with heavy or sharp products.  Many are flat.

He was there and gone before I realized he had left the notice.  I then checked the tracking information to verify I had not misunderstood.  Called the post office they said it was on the truck.  Weren’t interested in why the carrier would leave a notice without trying first.  I was sitting there watching him!  I finally got the package.

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Replacement order package inside damage.

Shift to the more recent experience with Amazon and USPS.  Tracking my package because I need what I ordered.  Morning -package out for delivery.  Midday -not here. Almost 5pm not here.  Sometime after 6pm package delivered.  That’s odd I thought, I never heard a knock, the door bell and the dogs never said a thing.  The tracking information said it was delivered so I went outside to look around from the mailbox to the front door I could not find a package.

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Original order package as left at the front door.  Personal information censored.

Aware of the package thievery going on I was sure someone had taken it between the time it was delivered and the moment I looked for it.  As soon as I realize the package was not here I contacted Amazon.   I told them the package was not here. They said the package was here.  In the mail box.  I’m thinking, what like the one in the featured image? If not there it might be a the neighbors house.

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Original order package.  Personal information censored.

So lets follow that, I’m at home, no one knocks, rings the bell or does anything to alert my dogs then decides to leave the package at the neighbors house?  I asked how would that happen given the fact I was at home.  Did the carrier decide to suddenly take it next door without leaving a notice?  What the…..?  So now I’m supposed to walk around the neighborhood and try to figure out where it package is.

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Bottom of original order package.  3 tapes and stretch wrap visible.

So much for the “delivered to your front door” idea.  And, hell, no I am not going to look for a package not delivered as agreed.  The reason I say delivered to the front door is because the package will not fit into a mailbox.   The largest mailbox I’ve seen won’t handle that size box.

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Close up of corner damage.

Back to the Amazon call.  I let Amazon know I was not looking for packages around the neighborhood like an easter egg hunt.  That I wanted them to resend the order.  They did.  It was there early the next day to their credit.  Here is the major problem as I see it.

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Close up of USPS tape, stretch wrap.

Enabling.  Integrity.  As the Amazon employee was reordering my missing items I was able to ascertain the following practice by the USPS clearly condoned by Amazon.  The employee stated that I might want to wait until the next day to see if the package would be delivered.  Said that the USPS will mark a package as delivered when it has not been then make the delivery the next day.

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Deflated packaging.  This is how it looked when I opened the package.  Nothing was touched before the photo was taken.

That to me demonstrates a complete lack of integrity by anyone participating  in the practice.  I repeated back to confirm what I had heard and the employee did confirm I understood correctly.  Twice!  If a representative from either one of them reads this and attempts to explain it away remember this, “I repeated back to confirm what I had heard and the employee did confirm I understood correctly.  Twice!”

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The shinny side of tape.  Workers who use paper tape dispensers know what this means.  Notice the cardboard box below it.  Not a hint of adhesion.

We have the USPS marking packages as delivered when they clearly have not been and Amazon telling customers to wait for their “already delivered” packages until the next day for it to be –delivered!

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The place where the cardboard is disturbed is where the clear and USPS tapes were applied to the box.  The paper tape properly applied should to the same thing to the box.

NO and NO!  Not only is it a total lie it looks like fraud.  An attempt to deceive.  Are they doing it so they don’t have to refund shipping fees or to keep up quotas?  There is something going on.  I won’t participate in crap like that.  This reminds me of when I was an investigator.  I always seem to stumble onto some kind of crap going on when I’m not looking for it.

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Shinny paper tape and nearly no damage on the box where it would have been attached.  Why I think the box was not delivered that day.

More on the delivery.  Next day, I’m at my desk, the dogs and I alert when we hear an unfamiliar dropping sound near our front door.  We investigate.  I notice two packages at the front door.  The top package looked ok with a little damage the one on the bottom was trashed.

There they were.  My original order and the replacement setting on top.  Somehow my original order magically appears at my front door.  The package falling apart.  The box had Amazon tape and what looks like three other types of tape and stretch wrap on it.  The contents were undamaged.  That was a surprise considering what the box looked like.

Based on my experience using a tape dispenser it looks like the Amazon tape did not get either enough or any water on it so it did not stick.  A few of the photos show how shinny the tape is on the adhesive side.  If the tape had the proper moisture on it, it would have stuck to the box.  My photos aren’t that great but it can be seen. Have to check the water level on those dispensers or this kind of thing will happen.  I know from using one.

I want the USPS practice of marking packages as delivered when they have not been to stop.  It’s fraud and lying in my view.   I want Amazon to package their products better and stop using the USPS as long as they do business like that.  I’ve stopped ordering from Amazon and using the USPS for shipping anything other than everyday mail.

Wasn’t sure what to do with this now I know.  It’s all here just post it.  Sorry it’s taken me this long. -13

Mega Medic Bag / MOLLE 2 Pack Frame Attachment Points

The first video I made on this bag.

 

The Dyna-Med Mega Medic bag is one of my favorite bags to use.  Only problem is when I pack the bag it gets heavy.  Sometimes 35+ pounds.  I need a better way to move the bag than hand or over shoulder carry with that kind of weight.

I have a broken MOLLE 2 pack frame I like to use for experiments so I don’t break a good one.  By chance I laid the frame next to the mega medic bag setting on a table one day.  It was easy to notice how close they were in size so I set the bag on top of the frame and this is the result.

A video how I modified the mega medic bag to attach to the MOLLE 2 pack frame.  It’s not a how-to, it’s a how I did it video.  The process was simple but time consuming.

Put the bag on the frame, pick the best spots to attach webbing.  Mark it, get the dimensions for the webbing, mark the cut the pieces.  That process took maybe 45 minutes to an hour.  Thinking, trying ideas, changing my mind.  That over, once the webbing is ready its sewing time.

I knew sewing was going to go slow.  The pieces I’ve added would have been sewn on much sooner in the assembly process reducing the time drastically.  The time was no problem since quality/accuracy is more important to me than speed.  The webbing straps make it easy to attach to the MOLLE 2 frame.  Think this took more like an hour plus but I’m not sure.

I did notice over the last few videos how bad the audio is so I’ll attempt to make it better. Several issues there that must be addressed.  After I’ve updated the kit contents I’ll make another video about the bag to include kit content and modifications. -13

Video of modifications.

Worm bin notes: Death of a roach

Update 7 for bins 2 & 3.  Bin 2 is looking good.  No foul odors.  Looks like there is a notable amount of waste left in here than in bin 3.  This is indicating I need to move more worms from bin 3 over.  The difference is clear to see.  Moisture level seems good.  I’ll need to add more cardboard soon.  Better add some sand next feed time.

Bin 3 is working like a well oiled machine.  It’s unimaginable how much they can change the landscape inside the bin.  Somehow they move half a mango to make it look like it’s sinking into the soil.  Totally amazed by that.  Seems like there are more of the white dot and skinny bugs in bin 2 than in this bin.  Maybe they’re subsoil when the waste gets that low.  I can see them move in and out of the soil when I watch them.  Mostly I see them on top.  No foul odors.

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Last post I mentioned roaches.  Thought it was going to be a big hassle to find it.  Wow was I wrong.  As I was moving the cardboard out of the bin the roach ended up in my hand.  At first I didn’t know it was there because it was in the gloved hand.  I then noticed something kind of squishy.  Thinking it was a small pile of worm bunched up I quickly looked where my fingers sensing the difference.

It was the roach, or a new one.  I was in disbelieve it was that easy.  Couldn’t have planned that in a million years.  Once I realized my luck I threw it on the floor and killed it.  The cats sitting there supervising me.  Hope that was all of them.  -13

Video Update 7 Below

Worm bin notes: They aren’t alone

Update 5, bin 1.  Amazing progress.  There are worms everywhere in that bin.  I thought they would be concentrated in the thicker soil under all the food waste I’ve been feeding.   What a surprise to find then in numbers under the decaying grass introduced last week.  They all look healthy.  The roly poly are also doing well I could see many smaller ones running around in there indicating reproduction.  They might overrun the bin.  If they do I let them loose on my yard compost pile.  It is an experiment.

When I lifted part of a mango I found another unidentified insect alongside the worms.  Was able to get a close up on video.  It looked like something I’ve seen when pulling bark off a rotting tree.  Maybe I’ll be able to figure out what it is.  Guessing it was in the soil that the worms were in when I introduced them to the bin.

Can’t remember if I was going to start putting waste on the thinner soil side this soon.  After seeing the number of worms under the grass I will.  Start building it up.  Couldn’t be more fascinated by this bin and it’s progression.   The distribution and number of worms, rapidly reproducing roly polys and a new species.  Added strawberries, sprayed a good rain to keep the moisture up seemed a little dry in there.  The hard part at this point is knowing how much waste to put in without creating a stinking mess.  Don’t want to over do it.  -13

Video Update 5 Below

Vacuum Sealer Projects: FIRESTARTER

The simple vacuum sealer. One of my favorite appliances made for home use. I’ve always wanted to have the ability to vacuum package my own stuff since I opened one in the 70’s.  It might be survival supplies, clothing I want to stay dry and compact, or something good to eat.  Around here seems like the sealer gets used for non-food items as much as repackaged food or snacks.

Sometime in 2016 I started to update our fire starting kits.  In the past my fire starting kit included military surplus matches/trioxane fuel bars/toilet paper packet, flint/steel/char-cloth/extra cloth/in a tin, Bic brand lighter, a Doan Magnesium Firestarter, pine heart wood, magnifying glass, and wildcrafted tender that was constantly in need of replacement.

I always use the lighter first.  All the rest of it backup or an aid when the flames needed a little help.  The updated kit for everyday fire starting is very small, natural fibre tender, lighter and WetFire if the fire needs help.

FS IMG_1575

The survival fire starting kit has more options based on the many fire starting failures and successes I’ve experienced over the years.  I know what does and does not work for me.  There is nothing like suffering as a motivator.  If at all possible I won’t do without a heat source.

The updated kit is set up to be self contained within an individual survival kit or pack.  All of the items within the kit are vacuum sealed individually.  Each vacuum package is over size to allow the package to be reused after opening.  The length is long enough to allow the end to be rolled up then held closed with a rubber band included in each package.

Not sure if this would work I tested to see if this would be enough to keep out rain or a dunk in water.  Part of a paper towel was placed into the package.  The torn edge was rolled then held in place with a rubber band.  The sprayer on the sink set to high, water blasted on the package from every angle for a minute or so with no leak.

A similar test was set up for dunking.  The same package used to test before was used for this test, nothing was changed on the package at all.  The package was held underwater in a drywall compound bucket for about thirty seconds to a minute.  I held it down by hand and moved it gently in the water to simulate a quick immersion in a body of water. Thinking as if this was in my pocket and I fell into water somehow and was able to get out quickly.  Again, the result, dry.

Wouldn’t it be great if I’d filmed it.  But no! It was an after thought.  Not so much as a photograph.  Getting used to that now.  Better off doing your own testing for sure.  The packing material rolled tightly along with the compression of the rubber band worked much better than I expected.

The contents are mostly modern.  I’ve eliminated the old time flint-steel and military surplus trioxane/matches/T.P.  The kits may still contain military surplus like a Doan’s firestarter  or folding knife since those seem to last forever.

Added UCO matches to the standard book matches and Bic lighter.  Anyone who has not seen the testing done on the UCO matches should see it then make up their own mind.  If it gets down to lighting a fire with matches I think those are my best chance of getting it lit.  They are the only match I know of that will still be lit if I manage to drop it in water.

FS IMG_1596

Various types of tender.  A tin of pine heart wood with a high pitch content, cedar and hardwood shavings, alcohol prep pads and WetFire cubes.  Magnifying glass and fresnel lens.  Swedish Fire steel purchased on sale with either a Camillus military stainless four blade folder or a Victorinox Pioneer knife.

FS IMG_1595

All of it packaged in a waterproof vacuum sealed pouch made at home.  It measures roughly 5 1/2″ x 8″, 1lb 3oz or 540g. The kit will never be a problem to keep on hand.  The last addition to the kit was a by accident item.

A friend came back from a professional convention and handed me several nylon carry bags.  I looked at them, they had cord configured in such a way to configure a backpack.  Didn’t think much of the flimsy things so I set them aside.  About an hour later a thought smacked me in the head like a hammer.

IMG_4035

I grabbed one, folded it a few times, it fit the fire starting kit profile.  Like it was planned that way.  The thought that hit me was how useful the bag would be in gathering all the small stuff needed to start a fire that is difficult to transport without loosing valuable resources.  The thought was what if the fire starting kit was the only survival item I had on my person a way to carry things would be very helpful.

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Sure the bag is made of imported nylon and cordage.  The thing is, all it has to do is work well once for a short period of time.  If the bag is not overloaded I have confidence it will hold lightweight items for a few days until help arrived or conditions changed.  The already made kit and the bag were added to another vacuum pouch then sealed.  That way the bag can be retrieved without having to open the fire starting kit if its not needed.

Don’t forget the tear notch!  Must have the tear notch no matter what your preference!

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Tear notch samples

This video was filmed in early 2017 after getting all the items together.  I noticed after making the package in the video I had left the knife out.  That’s what I get for not making a checklist.  It was not filmed but the knife was added as soon as I moved some of the stuff visible to the right.  The knife was covered by some it.

This is a kit I never want the need to use it.  Because if I do need to use it, it means something has gone wrong. -13

The video.