Sunday, August 22, 2010

Survive an Thrive Emails: Police Scanners

As far back as 2008 when we lived in Martinez, CA we've been well aware of the gas issue. Where we used to live, simply listening to our police scanners apprised us of drivers at various times along HWY 24 North and South running out of gas. What would happen is the CHP after determining their situation filled them up with 5 gallons of gas. I think that amount became less, more like 3 or 1 with the price of gas or perhaps based on whether or not they could pay at the nearest station.

The following would not fit in the comments section of your video so I (Debbie) thought you might find it of interest. We too limited our driving and fillups quite drastically when we were still in California-the phenomenon of putting only a few dollars, $5, $10 or $20 in cash or even change is something we're not strangers to during this economic disaster/recession/depression. The phenomenon of people selling food from their homes Jim was aware of going as far back as the 1970's from his days down in southern California. I do know however, that because of the health department, in most places surveillance is so tight that the very idea of me for example preparing gourmet biscotti cookies to go with hot coffee and finger sandwiches distributing them from business office to business office would in this day and age result in a health department or possibly some law enforcement action since the goods would not be prepared in a 'commercially certified kitchen.' Unfortunately, while this was easily and legally done up to the 1970's and I think even Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies got started that way it is no longer a legal option unless of course, you're in an area where local health and law departments simply choose to look away en masse.

There is much that we are aware of simply due to Jim's usage of police scanners (plus military police background for all sorts of surveillance and survival) and his showing me how to use them. For example, we are well aware of the fact that much of the criminal or suspicious events such as armed robberies, home invasions, car robberies, dumpster diving, theft of recyclable curbside items and even dramatic situations such as the numerous suicides (through job loss/foreclosures that show up in obituaries as 'died suddenly' especially if under the age of 60) and murders are on the rise and scariest of all, they receive a 'hold the press' order with many of them never reaching the local news or papers. We think that if you're in a relatively affluent community or perhaps an area where more chances of diplomats or government officials etc.staying in hotels locally the stories tend to be hidden more often, for example Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Martinez and Moraga's incidents tended to receive many more 'hold the press' orders whereas Concord, Pittsburg/Bay Point, Vallejo and Antioch-less 'hold the press' with faster reporting of events to almost none concealed. One instance of one of the more bizaare situations we both heard on the scanners late at night was that of an eastern european/Russian found dead in a hotel in Lafayette, CA. The most unusual thing about it was the 'transfer' or disposition of both the body and the case to Oakland which we never heard about again-not even within the months following!

If you're interested, go to Radio Shack, buy a Trunking scanner and have the Radio Shack rep hook it up by USB cable to download the channels most used in your county/counties which will include police, fire, air and others. If you work through the manual to use it-you will through regular listening acquire a heightened awareness that no amount of mainstream media will ever provide. Another thing, online you will find plenty of sites where users will post scanner channels that may not have been downloaded initially which adds to a broader scanner info. experience if for example police decide to use a few more channels to switch to.

Also, when in California in the early days of my using a scanner since it's legal to carry one in your car it actually saved me from a shootout in progress on Monument Blvd. in Concord one day which I would have turned on to for my monthly trip to Costco. Concord police were busy setting up road blocks and as I turned off 680 decided to make a detour to another place that I had planned to shop at. I waited in the parking lot listening for 15 minutes to monitor progress; fortunately they apprehended the gang guys so I knew that once I was through shopping I could go to Costco next. Another incident this time in Nevada was a driver without plates caught with close to 200 lbs. of pot and almost 100 lbs. of heroin.

Now, Nevada as our State Farm agent told us says 'yes' to some things and 'no' to others so scanners in our truck are not permitted (but one of our loaded 9mm pistols sitting on the passenger side seat in plain view is) so what we do is plan most of the shopping at certain times of the day knowing now that many more people here are armed for example. We'll listen a few minutes before going out and if one of us leaves the other will listen to the scanner and call to let the other know if a robbery is in progress or anything involving violence-there was either an assault and robbery or armed robbery for example at Dillard's store on S. Virginia here in Reno today around 4:15 PM and if one of us was out that way we would have called to key in to what was happening.

In closing, yes, we are all living in challenging times each with differing economic and personal resources and the best advice to anyone is to be as creative as possible remaining alert and as best prepared for whatever comes your way!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Outcry over police brutality caught on camera

Survive and Thrive Emails: Ca to Reno

Hey G4T, Thank you for the inspiration! Like you I along with some 200 of us were laid off when my loan company decided to close in California. I set deadlines for when I would have work, when the typical couple of days to a few weeks for finding a replacement position did not materialize since ALL of my industry contacts were 'in the hole' with me I laid out additional deadlines along with a huge self promotional effort that effectively burned out my printer. When odd jobs and my husband's small pension were soon going to be eclipsed by an imminent hike in our rental that used to comprise just under one third of our combined income we decided to do something really odd and maybe this will help others to find an affordable place to stay until things improve. I went to google and started keying in phrases such as 'rent $300' or 'rent $500' etc. along with States starting with the Western ones thinking that if we didn't find anything within California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona or Texas we might end up as far as Oklahoma where husband's relatives are. Well, long story short, we moved from the Bay Area to Reno, Nevada and found a place for a mere $400 per month that includes utilities, water, garbage and security, plus we're right near all major shopping and first class entertainment and events if we want it. The best part? we look at it this way, it's an 'extended vacation' from the madness and while we're having fun limited only by husband's small Veteran's pension it will be temporary until we finalize business plans that are completely unrelated to my prior career path so I hope our ideas help somebody out there looking for a change from a very expensive place such as the Bay Area or perhaps the East Coast for example to a dramatically less expensive place for a locum tenens.

Good luck and keep up the good work!