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April 27, 2008

Rampaging City Buses

-Patrick S Lasswell

Pushing my good friend Scott in front of a bus suddenly seemed a requirement after I met his wife. Although we had sailed together on the same ship for years, endured the same struggles, and shared cigars at the ends of the Earth, terminating his existence seemed like a very good idea. Scott had married far beyond his desserts and in order to restore the balance of justice in the universe it was necessary for me to wed his widow. In the end, of course, I did not carry out this justifiable homicide. In the first place the clever bastard never got near public transportation while I was around him again. In the second place, arranging for twenty more buses to take out the suitors lined up around the block to comfort the widow with diamond spangled jewelry was beyond my logistical capacity. Finally, if the lady in question ever found out my involvement with Scott's demise, she was perfectly capable of exacting an epically gruesome revenge for years.

Denied the circumstances that would allow me to murderously show my respects to the lady, I waited until I could find someone of her caliber for myself; which I did nine years ago. Although a civilian at the time, before we got married she accepted that I might return to military with the assurance that she supported me in anything I felt important enough to do. This week I wrote an article and was startled to discover that more women of such exceptional character were out there and they even agreed with me on a potentially very contentious subject. It turns out that real ladies are not threatened by men's magazines. When their husbands are gone; clean, safe and lonely sex is not a problem. When their husbands are home; the dirty magazines just can't compete.

These ladies refuted the folly and small mindedness of others who apparently view all nude imagery as sexual slavery and other routine biological functions as harmful addictions. Apparently it is offensive to some people that healthy young people are attracted to the sight of healthy young people and because of this it is necessary to outlaw biology. Their religious views are the paramount matter of importance in the military and the possibility that they could find something offensive in the military exchanges was of greater significance than any possible comfort provided by offensive publications.

As a long service veteran, allow me to assure everyone who reads this that there are really important things to do when you are fighting two wars at the same time. Attending to the vaporous complaints of non-combatant busybodies intruding into the private lives of the troops is not important, which probably explains why it is being handled by officious congressional aides. That real service wives are stepping forward and speaking out against this incredibly bad legislation reassures me that priceless gems still abound.

Ladies, I salute you for your courage, forbearance, forgiveness, and decency in supporting the troops in what they need to get by. Thank you for supporting and understanding your husbands in all things and sharing your wonderful existence. Just remember to keep your men away from rampaging city buses, because single troops know your worth.

Update: I just talked to Scott, unsurprisingly he still is married to his gem and she still supports him.

April 24, 2008

Harmful Addictive Masturbation

-Patrick S Lasswell

About the closest I ever came to killing anybody during my military service was during a locker inspection when an officer purposefully degraded my personal gear under the auspices of “health and comfort.” Normally your locker was your own, but every once in a while some idiot would bring drugs back to the ship and the “health and comfort” inspection would follow. As a rule court martials would throw out evidence gathered at these extremely suspect evolutions, but it did serve the purpose of keeping stupid sailors honest and hiding their weed in the ventilation ducting.

I have never done drugs and the officer in question was not looking for contraband. He was deliberately demeaning me because he had the opportunity to do so. He was a sawed off little twerp who was forgetting about the responsibility to lead and was engaging in some kind of petty mind game. It filtered back to him through diverse ways that his conduct was beyond the pale and would not be accepted in the future. I stood by and let him mockingly go through every item of my personal possession without incident. My shipmates stood by me to the extent they could, equally shocked that this officer would so forget himself to take the attitude he did. Eighteen years later it still raises my blood pressure.

Amongst the worst things this commissioned short man's syndrome did was comment at length about my collection of men's magazines and examine them page by page. Now Congressmen Broun of Georgia wants to do the same kind of thing for the entire military by labeling us perverts for purchasing Playboy at the exchange.

When I raised my hand to join the military I openly swore to obedience, even from from malicious shrimps appointed over me. I accepted a fairly substantial amount of poverty as part of my service; the pay rates were pretty clearly written. But I never swore to chastity, and it seems beyond the pale for this Congressman to ask it of me in word, thought, and men's magazine. Congressman Broun's aides describe him as an “addictionologist” and qualified to pass judgment on the sexuality of the entire US military. Has anybody ever checked the good doctor for obsessional intrusiveness?

Part of military service is forgoing a substantial amount of sexual activity. We are often isolated geographically from people with whom we can form healthy relationships. Even when we are at home, the requirements of the service often occupy us in eighteen-hour days and seven day weeks for months on end. For junior service members it is difficult to attract a wife with the explanation that as a couple you will probably have to go on food stamps when a child comes along. It is difficult to imagine one thing we need less than an “addictionologist” putting one more barrier to clean, safe, and lonely sexual release.

If the good doctor is so worried about harmful addictive masturbation, why doesn't he focus his attention on earmarks?

April 15, 2008

Telegraph Misrepresents ESA Satellite Diagram

-Patrick S Lasswell

When satellites are shown the size of Scotland, space looks very crowded! The folks at Pajamas Media linked to a Telegraph story purporting to map out all the “space junk”. Regrettably the European Space Agency diagram shows all the satellites, it just does so entirely out of scale. In case you haven't been following the latest developments in space, humans haven't actually lofted any satellites with surface area comparable to Scotland. In fact all of the satellites in orbit today would probably fit side by side with room to maneuver in an average Wal-Mart parking lot. They would rattle around a major stadium's parking. In case you haven't done the math the orbits around the earth are bigger than the surface area of the earth, which is itself larger than a Wal-Mart parking (although just after Thanksgiving this may not appear to be true).

scispace115.jpg
Image (c) ESA

In addition to the scale issue the Telegraph author presented the diagram of all the satellites in a way that indicated that they were all “Space Junk”. In fact the bulk of space junk is clustered around the Near Earth Orbits that require more onboard fuel to resist drag caused by the upper fringes of the atmosphere. When the low flying satellites run out of fuel, they slowly wind down and become “junk”. These satellites are thrown away because it is cheaper to put them into orbit with extra fuel than it is to build a refueling capacity in, send up additional tanker satellites, match orbits, and then de-orbit the tanker. Most of the satellites in the diagram are in and around high geostationary orbit that are much more stable and less likely to become junk.

Who is Paul Eccleston and why does he hate satellites?

Update: Thanks to Kate for the SDA-lanche

April 14, 2008

Building a Zombie-Proof LED Light: the LightBiscuit!

-Patrick S Lasswell

biscuit plate.jpg
A Plate of LightBiscuits. Available in a variety of colors and extremely resistant to zombies. Photo (c) Patrick S Lasswell

After years of building the brightest LED flashlight adapter, I was able to convince my friend Mike Boyd to try something else, but I had no idea that it would result in the world's first Zombie-Proof LED light. My idea for a simple cup machined out of aluminum and covered with polycarbonate plastic sparked his interest and convinced him to try a new product. Mike designed the circuit board and contracted out the machining of the cup. I went to a local plastics place for the polycarbonate window and got the other hardware.

Single_White_Zombie_Proof_Light.jpg
Single White Zombie-Proof LED Light. Photo (c) Patrick S Lasswell

The design was not intended as zombie protection from the beginning. Mostly it was the result of two engineering types tired of lights that failed for one reason or another. Since material to build a sturdy light was available, we built it sturdy. Round stock 6061 Aluminum was the source of the aluminum that works as a housing and an integral heat sink. The front window is 3/8” polycarbonate plastic, strong enough to stop a bullet, just because we hate building things that can break. No zombie has ever been able to crack the case on this light, and we very much doubt any ever will. The light is even strong enough to shrug a little buckshot when the undead are too close for precise targeting; the round case shoulders soft lead aside much better than square lights will.

Zombie_Proof_LED_on_9V.jpg
In a pinch this light will spotlight zombies all night long on a single 9 volt battery even though it is designed to be run on 12 volts Photo (c) Patrick S Lasswell

For when you are not under actual attack from zombies, this is also a very nice light for other purposes. Very efficient Luxeon (c) brand LEDs make this light able to run on little power, so it is much better for camping than any flickering florescent lantern. It is also available for homes and business under threat of something really scary: out of control regulators and lawmakers. This light is more green than any mercury filled compact florescent, and comes in a variety of colors including three shades of white. In fact, if a perfect lighting color for your workplace is more important than fighting off walking corpses we can accommodate you with custom color balancing. So now you can save the planet while being tastefully lit and protected from zombie hordes.

Update: Also, the LightBiscuit is available in Ultra Violet and Infra-Red (UV-IR), but for UV the window is replaced with a crystal to reduce transmission loss over time. Good UV breaks down long chain molecules like polycarbonate plastic.

Note: No zombies were harmed in the development of the LightBiscuit or any other InReTECH.net product. InReTECH.net does not admit the existence of zombies or advocate attempts to raise the dead, even for conversational purposes. InReTECH.net makes no guarantee of your personal survival in the event of a zombie attack. LED lighting, no matter how incredibly cool, is not a replacement for an actual emergency plan.

Update:
Thanks again to Kate for the SDA-lanche
Welcome to the Canadian Gun Nutz forum denizens, please take a look around and enjoy. In delicious bit of irony, I'm spending this weekend pitching this light at a Gun Show! Please feel free to drop a note in the comments section if you have any questions.

Baker's Rack Wire Shelving

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Equipment Storage Organizers

What is it? Baker's Racks Wire Shelving (industrial)

squarepostwireshelves.JPG
Photo (c) F.E. Bennett Co.

What does it do? Holds gear off the ground (or floor) away from pests and excessive stacking loads.

Why do we need it? Metal wire racks allows air to circulate. Baker's racks are sturdy enough to withstand shipment in ISU-90 boxes while keeping cased gear separate. Allows seabags to be stored so that each is accessible and spoilage is minimized. Assembles quickly with minimal training. Available casters allow entire rack to be moved while loaded. Industrial wire shelving holds substantial loads that residential grade product does not. Allows fire fighting sprinklers and hoses access.

Where can we get it? Material handling equipment vendors. F.E. Bennet Company. http://www.febennett.com/ (NOT Costco, Home Depot, Lowes)

What kind should we get? Square Post Open Wire Shelving. Available in a broad variety of sizes. For heavy loads, use smaller shelves with more posts to better distribute load to the floor. http://www.p4i.com/ecommerce/eComm?template=iCatalog/0158&cust_no=110286&ship_no=-1&user_id=

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? various

How much does it cost? $6-10 per square foot of shelving, not less than $200 for a full sized rack.

Why is this better than what is issued? Open purchased wire shelving will fit the unit requirements much better than issued or salvaged wire shelving will. Expensive shelving that works will protect gear much better than cheap shelving that fails.

What stupid things will be done with it? Overloading. Loading jagged objects directly on wires causing breakage of racks or gear. Loaded into metal floor shipping containers without plywood dunnage to protect floor. Left unsecured to walls and shipped where tipping is possible. Loaded with wet gear and not dried for months. Purchase home use instead of industrial shelving. Assembled badly.

Additional supplies needed? Plywood dunnage for loading into ISU-90 boxes or other containers. Dead-blow plastic hammer for setting shelves. Spare sleeves.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Persons willing to donate money will not be turned away.

Grommet Kit

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Equipment Modification Tools

What is it? Grommet Kit

K235_jpg_lg.jpg
Photo (c) C.S. Osborne Co.

What does it do? Adds a reinforced hole.

Why do we need it? Grommets let the team rapidly customize standard items for optimum use. Grommets on drying towels allow them to be hooked and clipped for ready use. Grommets added to tarps help hold over gear exactly to better keep weather out. Repairs torn-out and worn out grommets. Grommets added to laminated sheets allow documents to be securely held in place.

Where can we get it? W.C. Winks Hardware http://www.winkshardware.com/

What kind should we get? C. S. Osborne Grommet Kit No. 235 Size 2 (3/8”) Nickel Grommets for non-tactical use. Kit comes with brass grommets for non-field use. Tactical (blackened brass) grommets are available, will update when found.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? No. 235 Size 2

How much does it cost? $30

Why is this better than what is issued? Ordering entire kit and correct sized additional grommets from professional hardware clerks at open source more certain to deliver needed product than finding same thing in stock system. For occasional use, a simple kit is more useful than the massive purchase oriented stock system. It is easier and more efficient to fill out one open purchase than seven 1250's.

What stupid things will be done with it? Unauthorized uniform accessorizing. Operating the kit incorrectly. Placing shiny nickel grommets on tactical gear.

Additional supplies needed? Mallet. Replacement (nickel) grommets.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Persons willing to donate money will not be turned away.

Drying Towels

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Reusable Maintenance Towels

What is it? Wiping Towels

handtowels.jpg

Photo (c) JerseyTowelSupply.com

What does it do? Dries and clears gear from the field before storage.

Why do we need it? Gear stored wet and dirty mildews, corrodes, and fails. Gear stored dry and clean lasts longer and works better. Waterproof containers like Pelican Cases keep moisture in as well as out. At the end of exercises and operations in the field, time for proper maintenance and dehumidification is generally not available. The presence of a large number of drying towels, stored in their own waterproof container will allow tired team members to quickly clean and dry gear as it is being stored. Dirty wiping towels can be washed, dried and re-used.

Where can we get it? Auto supply stores and truck stops. Costco.

What kind should we get? White terry-cloth if tactical requirements permit.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Various

How much does it cost? Less than $1 per towel in bulk

Why is this better than what is issued? Informal maintenance, like drying gear before storing, increases team cohesion and mentoring. In many instances, before feedback can make it through the formal maintenance bureaucracy, new gear will be issued. Towels are more absorbent than rags and more reusable.

What stupid things will be done with it? Mechanics will wipe up grease. Washing dirty towels will be assigned as a punishment and neglected. Towel fights.

Additional supplies needed? Grommets. Mesh bag to hold wet/dirty towels for washing after use.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Persons willing to donate money will not be turned away.

Pelican Cases

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Stackable Equipment Cases

What is it? Pelican Cases

Pelican1610tan.jpg
Photo (c) B&H Photo

What does it do? Organizes and stores equipment in rolling, waterproof, shock resistant, stackable, and durable packages.

Why do we need it? Old, heavy, breaking, broken, and irregular packing cases cost time, effort, and energy, complicating logistics. The Pelican case lid securing clasps are intuitive and do not tear uniforms or gouge people. New cases allow opportunity to reorganize to meet your team's current requirement and throw out old junk.

Where can we get it? Directly from manufacturer. http://pelican.com/home.php

What kind should we get? The 1610, 1620, 1650, and 1660 cases should be purchased in quantity. Having a selection of cases allows your team to loadout according to their needs instead of the available boxes.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? GSA# GS-07F-0214J
Case #1610: NSN # 6760-01-491-2807 (smaller for heavy items like books)
Case #1620: NSN # 6760-01-491-2816 (holds up to six PRC-117 radios)
Case #1650: NSN # 6760-01-491-2821 (useful for electronic test equipment)
Case #1660: NSN # 6760-01-500-9632 (large for bulky items like printers)
Case #1750: NSN # 6760-01-491-2838 (for tripods and rifles)

How much does it cost? Cheaper than you think or I can post for military. Worth every penny for civilians.

Why is this better than what is issued? Most equipment and gear is stored in random collections of old boxes inherited from other units. Most of these boxes require external support or many hands to move. Wheeled Pelican cases can safely be moved by a small number of people. The cases are designed to be stacked with each other. Sensitive items can be shipped commercially in locked Pelican cases.

What stupid things will be done with it? Overloading. Failure to stencil (or mark with paint pens) will cause lost and stolen boxes. Identical boxes subject to confusion when packed together in large numbers. Gear packed wet will mildew when allowed to sit inside waterproof cases.

Additional supplies needed? Set of dry wiping towels for cleaning gear before long term storage. Paint pens for marking cases. TSA locks. Sensitive material locks.

Note : Retired General Peter Pace, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff recently joined Pelican Case as its new CEO. It is good to find a company that gives veterans a chance.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

April 12, 2008

Professional Camera Lenses

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Quality Imaging Gear

What is it? Professional Camera Lenses

24_70_28L.jpg
Photo (c) B&H Photo

What does it do? Focuses light for cameras.

Why do we need it? The current conflict and most expected conflicts in the foreseeable future are political wars, which means they are information wars and imagery tools are a primary weapon. Quality professional lenses provide much better images, more quickly, and under worse conditions than lenses provided in kits.

Where can we get it? Local camera stores, online giants. B&H Photo is an excellent source with a GSA portal: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=getpage&Q=gsa.jsp&O=RootPage.jsp

What kind should we get? (April 2008) Exact lens used will depend on camera used and the team mission. A multi-purpose zoom lens is a strong choice. The lower number the f-stop possesses, the less light will be required. For Nikon cameras, the 18-200mm VR is very versatile, although subject to chromatic aberration at extremes. For Canon cameras the 24-70mm f2.8L is versatile with substantial low light capability, although the auto-focus works best with a center focus only. Generally, the better the lens, the heavier the glass.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Various.

How much does it cost? (April 2008) Not less than $500 Not more than $1,800 for each lens. Competition keeps lens vendors honest and usually money spent translates directly into greater image quality.

Why is this better than what is issued? Quality lenses capture images faster, more completely, and with greater clarity than cheap lenses can. During critical situations, the speed of the lens and the precision of image it captures are of paramount importance. Professional lenses are not cheap but improve overall performance without requiring extra training.

What stupid things will be done with it? Failures in accountability. Incorrect lens choice for mission. Unnecessary lens replacement in dusty or moist environments. Hoarding. Exposure to weather beyond the capacity of the lens to endure. Smudges. Harassment. (If treated like a rifle in all things except muzzle discipline, cameras are much less susceptible to stupidity failures.)

Additional supplies needed? UV filter for transparent protection of the lens face. Lens storage bags. Replacement lens covers.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

Semi-Professional Digital Cameras (Pro-sumer)

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Quality Imaging Gear

What is it? Semi-Professional Digital Cameras (Pro-sumer)

canoneos40d.jpg
Photo (c) B&H Photo

What does it do? Rapidly captures quality images with relatively low operator training.

Why do we need it? The current conflict and most expected conflicts in the foreseeable future are political wars, which means they are information wars and imagery tools are a primary weapon. Quality imagery is more believable and will help the team better than badly presented imagery. Consistent use of image recording will prepare the team for operations under media scrutiny. Recording suspicious behavior allows for better transfer of information between watch teams. Recording imagery will allow greater recall for watch teams. The presence of alert watchstanders recording suspicious behavior will deter attacks. Digital imagery is much easier to manage than chemical (film) imagery. New semi-professional cameras are much better than previous models and this page will be updated to reflect the changes.

Where can we get it? Local camera stores, online giants. B&H Photo is an excellent source with a GSA portal: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=getpage&Q=gsa.jsp&O=RootPage.jsp

What kind should we get? (April 2008) Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D300, Sony A700, Olympus E-3, Pentax K20D are all very good cameras. All cameras for serious use in hostile environments must have a metal body. The Canon EOS 40D has a greater range of high quality lenses available for it. The Olympus E-3 has a better dust and weather protection method. Lenses should be purchased separately (and a following post will provide information on lenses). Lenses provided with kits are lower quality and are insufficient to critical requirements, the distortion in color and shape acceptable for casual use will not serve for critical needs. Images that can be deliberately mis-interpreted or denied will be deliberately misinterpreted and denied.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Various.

How much does it cost? (April 2008) Not less than $1,100 Not more than $1,800 for the camera body.

Why is this better than what is issued? Quality cameras capture images faster, more completely, and with greater clarity than cheap cameras can. During critical situations, the speed of the camera and the precision of image it captures are of paramount importance. Semi-professional cameras are inexpensive enough to purchase several, effective enough to record what is required, and simple enough to use without professional training. Higher quality digital cameras will also record the name of the individual assigned the camera on each image recorded, increasing accountability.

What stupid things will be done with it? Failures in accountability. Unauthorized image distribution. Hoarding. Exposure to weather beyond the capacity of the camera to endure. Smudged lenses. Harassment. (If treated like a rifle in all things except muzzle discipline, cameras are much less susceptible to stupidity failures.)

Additional supplies needed? Compact Flash memory cards, laptop for image analysis, external hard drives in the terabyte range for image storage, camera bags.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

Paint Pens

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Permanent Marking Devices

What is it? Paint Pen

ArtlinePoster-group3ww-l[1].jpg
Photo (C) American Marketing Inc.

What does it do? Applies paint to mark a variety of materials permanently.

Why do we need it? Available in a variety of colors, paint pens provide a more distinct way of quickly and permanently marking equipment. For the many things that would benefit from painted signage but do not require formal stenciling, paint pens are quick and effective. Because the pens are personal gear, they do not require HAZMAT handling or storage.

Where can we get it? Office and Grocery supply outlets, manufacturers.

What kind should we get? Try a number of different kinds, but a Sharpie brand is available. Additionally, high (furnace) temperature and industrial versions are available. http://ami.thomasnet.com/category/industrial-markers-1047?

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Depends on requirement.

How much does it cost? $3-6 each pen. Available in sets.

Why is this better than what is issued? Ink Sharpies are standard issue but mark poorly on dark surfaces. Stencils take a lot of time to prepare, and a lot of administrative overhead to store materials for. Paint pens can be safely kept in a pocket until needed, and with acceptable penmanship can mark a host of objects permanently and visibly.

What stupid things will be done with it? Graffiti. Misspelled words. Bright color stains on uniforms. Tactical equipment marked in ways that assist the enemy. Smeared markings if handled before minimal drying. Bad penmanship. Avoid pastel shades for military purposes because they invite rude comments.

Additional supplies needed? A rag or industrial wiping towel to wipe off mistaken marks. Replacement pens. Additional colors.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

Handtruck

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Cargo Handling Tools

What is it? Handtruck, dolly, or handcart.

Dutro-Steel-Handtruck-58PBP-DLX.jpg
Photo (C) Material Flow & Conveyor Systems, Inc.

What does it do? Efficiently transfers heavy loads from storage to transport and back.

Why do we need it? By transferring load to the axle and wheels, handtrucks reduces the effort and strain necessary to carrying material. Back and joint injuries, wasted time loading things slowly, and wasted energy carrying things stupidly all expend people resources in ways that degrade the team. Quality counts and a good handtruck is much better than a cheap one. When only a few people are around, they can do a lot more work with a handtruck; getting less important work out of the way. When only a little time is available, handtrucks get the job done quicker. Cheaper, more readily used, and much less dangerous than a forklift for small, heavy loads.

Where can we get it? Any number of local material handling companies or the manufacturer itself. http://www.dutro-handtrucks.com/

What kind should we get? The Dutro 58P-DLX with folding nose option and non-solid wheels works at home station and in the field. It can go up stairs and over (good) gravel roads. The folding nose option allows oversize loads to be carried. The Deluxe version has wheel guards to keep loose loads like tents and seabags from wrapping in the wheels. The non-solid (balloon) tires handle bumps and gravel better at the cost of absolute load limit. The height of this handtruck makes it easier to tilt back when carrying heavy loads. The steel construction makes it sturdy and easier to repair. http://www.dutro-handtrucks.com/Dutro-General-Purpose-Handtrucks-2.htm#dh58PBP-DLX

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? 58PBP-DLX-FN

How much does it cost? About $130 with options listed, probably a little less with a military purchase. (Spring 2008)

Why is this better than what is issued? This is what professionals who lift things everyday use. This will be new, and not abused for years. This combination of features has been tested in the field and found to be excellent. This handtruck will be taller, with better wheels, and a greater capacity for load lifting than anything issued besides a forklift.

What stupid things will be done with it? Idiots will put a person on the cart and push them around. It will be taken home and used to help move individuals. Different units will try to steal it. It will be left out in the rain for weeks. It will be locked up by the Supply department and not get used, resulting in injuries and waste of service resources like time and energy.

Additional supplies needed? None.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

Description of Things Your Team Needs

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Description of "Things Your Team Needs"

What is it? Things Your Team Needs Blog Entry

tytnentry.JPG

What does it do? A formatted series of descriptions of things that will make a military team more effective.

Why do we need it? An organized lists of useful items for military organizations telling you what works, the exact kinds of things that work in the field, a cost estimate, and other details is useful for people trying to improve the effectiveness of their team. Many people entering the service have limited life experiences and buy inadequate gear because they do not know what works.

Where can we get it? http://moderaterisk.net until further notice.

What kind should we get? The recommendations of Patrick S Lasswell until other people contribute their own input of useful items.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? None.

How much does it cost? Unpaid Reserve Drill Credits for Patrick S Lasswell

Why is this better than what is issued? Supply departments have no incentive to provide formatted descriptions of useful items. Supply departments are more accountable for the gear on the books than the success of the mission. They are not opposed to success, but they are not accountable for it, either. This gear is for the people who need to accomplish the mission beyond the minimum requirement. This lists things your team needs that nobody tells you about in a way you can understand. Troops providing their expertise about gear they know works will be published, so a range of good ideas is available.

What stupid things will be done with it? Threatened supply people will probably try to stop its publication. Companies may try to influence the writer with gifts that he cannot accept. Somebody may try to get the writer in trouble for telling the truth.

Additional supplies needed? Your experiences with great gear that works are welcomed. Please submit your ideas in the standard format so the writer does not have to edit from scratch.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.



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