Weekend east coast storm warning

Well it looks as though we have our first winter storm warning issued for the east coast.
6" to 12" in a few spots, got shovels?
Accuweather link

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Countdown to Winter

     Winter will be upon us in the blink of an eye, many of the trees here in my area have already changed their color and some have also completely lost all their leaves, time to get ready.

I would like to focus today on being prepared with respect to your vehicle, we spend a great deal of time in our modes of transport and we should be prudent with some basic supplies that we should keep in them. It should go with out mention that first and foremost your vehicle should be in proper working order to start with, regular maintenance should always be in your mind because nothing can be more disheartening than being broken down due to something that could have been taken care of at an earlier date, common sense really helps here.

Two things that I really like to keep track of are proper radiator mixture and your battery condition.

An improper radiator mixture has the potential to ruin you whole day, you do not want to walk out in the morning only to find that your radiator has been split due to freezing, or worse yet you blow out your freeze plugs in your motor. Don't laugh people it happens every year but it is one of the easiest things to prevent with a little forethought so please get your antifreeze checked.

Another area to pay close attention to is your battery condition, this really comes into play during cold weather as a battery looses some of it's performance as the temp drops. It really sucks to jump into your car and turn the ignition only to hear CLICK CLICK CLICK. Fortunately this is another issue that can be headed off pretty easily, most reputable auto parts stores will provide a free battery load test that can measure the quality of your battery performance according to the manufacturers specs. Free maintenance here so please take advantage of it. Also while your battery is being tested they will usually look at the cables and more specifically they will look at the connections as this is where corrosion usually develops.

Now luck being what luck is, both good and bad that little guy Murphy will make an appearance and screw things up one way or another. Having a few basic supplies in your vehicle can make the difference between having a minor inconvenience or a major life threatening situation. Face it we all have a few nooks and crannies available to us that we can store a few thing to get us by in the case of a breakdown, why would we not. Below  is a rough list that can be tailored to your needs and location.

  • Spare tire, yeah it happens. You have a jack as well right? Lug nut wrench? While you at it are you sure you can change the tire by yourself? Try doing it in your driveway and see, it would be much better to fail their where you can get help in doing it right than finding out the hard way on the side of the road.
  • Jumper cables? That's like AMEX, you should never leave home without them. As with this item there is a proper way to do it and the internet is riddled with instruction on there proper use, your local auto parts store will help as well. Some jumper cable manufacturers also have written and pictorial instructions that come with their product.
  • Communications, I generally like to have at least two forms and the first being my cell phone and 9 time out of 10 this will work for you. My backup for me is a CB radio due to the fact that it is a stand alone system and it works when cell phone may not, the limiting factor though is that you need to have   someone with in range of you for it to work. Another good option if you do have to travel in bad weather is to let someone know where you are going and what time you are supposed to be there and check in when you do get there because if no one knows you missing than they can't report it, simple common sense. 
The next group of items I would recommend are the ones you can really tailor to your own needs.
  • Blankets, If your car stops running it will get really cold real quick.
  • Snack foods, what can I say, comfort foods come to mind.
  • Water, this can be a tough one due to freezing so you may need to add it daily before you go out or go without.
  • A small first aid kit because you just never know, I would also include a 1 to 3 day supply of any special medications you may be on.
  • Flashlight, maybe a combination flashlight, radio, signal device, more here is better.
  •  Spare jacket, socks, gloves.
As you can see the above list is very basic and it can be expanded upon greatly but everyone has different needs and circumstances to consider.

Do you have a list of items that you like? please feel free to chime in.

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     Yeah it's been a while, darn life and work keep getting in the way here and my brain has not been able to do more than the snide remark in other areas but no matter, not much has changed.

Really it does seem to be true that the more things change,  the more they seem the same. Case in point we seem to have lost a few dictators here of short, hooray the world will be a better place.... Really, Really. It seems that when one dictator is take out there are almost always a half dozen in waiting, oh the message might be different but the proof is usually in the pudding and it usually takes a little bit of time to see how things REALLY play out, Meet the new boss same as the old boss comes to mind. I think that covers the middle east pretty well.

Here on the home front or the good old US of A life goes on, the economy is still a problem and in my opinion will remain so for a good while, some would argue that we have not hit bottom yet, I am inclined to agree. We have the obligatory 800# gorilla on our backs that is called the economy, debt, unemployment and social disorder. Now either one could be a book in itself and most likely will be someday. You could say that those issues have culminated into the "Occupy -your city here-" for good or worse a small part of the US populace have decided to do their own Arab spring of sorts, I think they will be allowed to vent for a little while and then be asked to leave, they won't so they will be arrested and forced out such was the case in Oakland and other places. Where any on it goes is anyone's guess but I am sure it will all cost a boatload of taxpayer money that we can't already afford, what a wonderful circle huh.

For what it is worth and for those who have read me in the past I will admit that I usually sit one the pessimistic side of things, it is what it is I guess. It is not too hard to see all the bad in the world and I scratch my head as I take it all in and a good chunk of it looks like it gets worse all the time, now granted there is a lot of good out there too but as a whole are we really in better shape? Now me being a parent I do want better for my kids and I try to foster an environment that would lead them to that direction. I keep my opinions about where I think the world is going out of their daily lives as much as possible hoping for the best but planning for the alternative. As far as what that alternative is your guess is as good as mine but for me the end result is the same no matter the situation you will need basic items to keep your proverbial ass out of the fire so to speak.

Most of what I try to push in the prepared area are the basics, Water, food, shelter, communication, medicines and protection. What order these come in is usually dependent on the exact situation but what ever the situation is they will usually involve needing many of the above mentioned items. I like to think of them as very cheap insurance, whats a life worth? Especially compared to you having a few extra items around that can help you out in a pinch, the answer Priceless.

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