Fail.

wp-1489082198710.jpg

Last week the garbage collection driver forgot to swing back around and do the pickup on my side of the street. So everyone’s bins were still at the curb when I got home at around 8pm. 3-1-1 exists for these sorts of non-emergency situations. We use that number to report dead animals, fallen limbs, and so forth. That night the system was trying to route calls to emergency services from AT&T’s mobile 9-1-1 customers as that portion of their network was down for several hours. The network has been repaired but during that time customers were unable to reach 9-1-1- operators from their mobile phones. The outage covered at least 14 states, so it’ll probably be difficult to determine how many people were attempting to call during that time.

Back in 2010 the ATM network went down, city-wide, for a couple of hours. Upon hearing that many people realized they didn’t have, and needed cash. Supposedly the Point of Sale terminals at grocery check-out lines were working. But eventually the grocer is going to get tired of $20 bills leaving the store with packs of gum being the only thing purchased. Yes they have a duty to the public but they’re in business to sell groceries, not so much as money changers.

We rely on these systems heavily and we get anxious when we’re not able to get cash, or when the card reader is acting wonky at the gas pump. This is going to happen from time to time. You can only store so much cash, so many batteries and candles. Sometimes the crises have to pass. We have to endure the outages. Failures happen and we do what we can to survive them.

First Aid Kits

My ex used to ask, whenever I took gloves or a flashlight, or some other tool out of my car, why I’m “so prepared.” My answer was always, “I have this stuff in case I need it.” I’ve also been teased by coworkers for having things in my possession for dealing with minor inconveniences like hangnails. The scanner went down needing the rollers cleaned. The manufacturer sells something to clean the rollers but the employer didn’t bother to purchase it. What they did have was a can of denatured alcohol, but no swabs. I keep a few swabs in my bag. I took them out and started cleaning the rollers so we could keep working. I travel fairly light. So I have what I consider a minimum of preps, and one of those things is a first aid kit.

2016-04-11 06.32.46

I look at things like pocked knives, pens, watches, and first aid kits as little insurance policies. They’re there when I need them, but many times I don’t. All of my workplaces have been in offices and rarely do the first aid kits stay stocked. They start out new and within a few months you’re down to one alcohol wipe and a single glove. Now some businesses stay on top of this. But usually, when I need something, it’s not there.

2016-04-11 06.38.12

I take this kit with me on the trail for my hikes. I don’t get headaches or upset stomachs very often, but there’s aspirin, ibuprofen, antacids, a couple different kinds of antibiotic/antimicrobial ointments, some gauze, bandages, alcohol wipes, scissors, tape, and tweezers. If I can’t patch up my problem with what’s in here, then I need help.

Some things expire and have to be replaced before I use them the first time. That’s the idea…the having, not the use.

Another hole in my EDC preps

I sat in a waiting room yesterday for several hours. I hadn’t charged my phone and iPod fully. The iPod was first to go while I was reading a book in the Stanza library app and checking email intermittently. I had to go there in a hurry so I didn’t grab my bag with the AC/DC kit. I know…cardinal EDC rule broken. I have one Energizer xPal battery. I need another one to keep in my pack. Of course this will increase the weight but there were no outlets in sight.