Search My Notes

There are many pages of posts on many subjects, and only a few show on this main page. Search for the subjects that you are interested in.

Topics covered in here tend toward Gadgetry, Weapons, Books, Tools, and a lot of other things that have captured my interest.

Please note the "Linked From Here" tab on the results, which lists search results from sites I have linked to in my posts.

Free Digital Topo Maps

TopoQuest is your ultimate resource for USGS topographic map viewing, and free downloads of USGS DRG (GeoTIFF) digital map files. If you're into hiking, camping, fishing, prospecting or just a GIS enthusiast, TopoQuest has the USGS topographic maps you need available for online viewing.

Current coverage:

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Hardocp & Tom's Hardware: Computer Hardware Info

If you are looking for all the information about increasing the performance of your PC, is the web site to visit. It has all kind of tips, reviews, and the latest news & products to help achieve maximum PC performance, as well as forums & discussions.

Hardocp has information about Apple & PC CPUs, chipsets, consoles, cooling, games, gaming systems, heat sink and fan units, memory, miscellaneous, mobile tech, modding, motherboard, networking, physics processors, power supplies, system guides, video cards, and more.

Tom's is the best source of PC-related hardware news and information, complete with forums to answer your hardware questions. It's an online publication focused on technology that was founded in 1996 by Dr. Thomas Pabst.

Tom's Hardware provides articles, news, price comparisons, videos and reviews on computer hardware and high technology. The site features coverage on CPUs, motherboards, RAM, graphics and displays, storage, and computer peripherals. Tom's Hardware has a forum and featured blogs. A unique aspect of Tom's Hardware is the 'Build your Own' section where readers can learn how to build their own computers. Tom's Hardware readers are tech enthusiasts, high-tech buyers, consumers, information technology decision makers, purchasing influencers, and industry analysts.

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Join Women Against Gun Control.
Take the Women Against Gun Control Pledge and you qualify for a membership in Women Against Gun Control, a grass roots volunteer organization dedicated to preserving our gun rights.



It's not surprising then, that more women than ever want to keep their rights to own and carry a gun.
The reason is simple: Women are concerned about becoming victims of crime. Guns give women a fighting chance against crime.

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Ian's Shoelace Site

Ian's Shoelace Site is a fascinating site, with every variety of knot and lacing pattern you can imagine from the ornamental to the practical. I stumbled onto it looking for information on a knot and then stayed to browse. What I found made me change the way I laced & tied my shoes.

He even has a book out on the subject:

Book Cover

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Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight runs a chain of discount tool stores. The company was founded in 1968, primarily selling through its mail order catalog. The company offers more than 10,000 tools through its Web site, mail order catalog, and retail stores. The overall selection of items is broad and may be unmatched by any other retailer. Harbor Freight has over 330 retail store locations in 43 out of 50 states.

Most of their stuff is made in China and the quality might not match American-made goods, but the prices are still bargains for what you get. They have a lot of happy customers.

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Knife Making Supplies

Knifekits has about everything you can think of for the do-it-yourselfer who makes knives, sheaths or holsters, everything from belt clips to videos.

Click for Folding Knife Kits...
Click for Fixed Blade Kits...
Click for Knife Making Parts...
Click for Knife Making Steel...
Click for Knife Making Tools...
Click for Sheath & Holster Making Supplies...
Click for Handle Material...
Click for Pouches & Display...
Click for Accessories...
Click for Instruction & Training...
Visit the Boneyard... Click here.

I've ordered from them. The service is excellent, the prices reasonable.

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Firefox, Thunderbird, and Add-ons

I use FireFox for browsing, the fastest, safest web browser out there.

For Email, I use Thunderbird, cloned from FireFox.

One of the many features they share that I like is the ability to customize them with Add-ons, so I thought I'd list the ones I use all of the time.

  • Adblock Plus: Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them.
  • Forecast Fox: Get local or international weather forecasts from, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar with this highly customizable and unobtrusive extension.
  • Image Zoom: Zoom in on web page images & photos with the scroll wheel.
  • NoScript: The best security you can get in a web browser! Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.
  • PDF Download: Use PDF Download to do whatever you like with PDF files on the Web. Regain control of them and eliminate browser problems, view PDFs directly in Firefox as HTML, and use the all-new Web-to-PDF toolbar to save and share Web pages as high-quality PDF files.
  • Tab Mix Plus: Eenhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager.
  • Video DownloadHelper: Download helper is a Firefox extension to help in downloading media files from the Web. In particular, it is able to store on your disk movie files for which the web site does not provide a "Save File" feature. In addition, DownloadHelper can download, in 3 user clicks, all the image and video files linked from a Web page.

I used the great email program called Pegasus for a lot of years, but finally switched to Thunderbird because I didn't care for the way Pegasus handled HTML documents. I had a lot of ingrained habits and features I was used to with it, but these extensions gave me all of the things in Thunderbird that I liked about Pegasus.

  • Attachment Extractor: Extracts all attachments from selected messages and then can delete, detach or mark-read.
  • Contacts Sidebar: Displays all available address books in a sidebar in the 3-pane-window of Thunderbird. It makes all your contacts easy accessible from the main window to quickly write messages, or to edit the properties of a contact card.
  • Image Zoom: Adds zoom functionality for images.
  • Mail Tweak: Too many features! Here is the list.
  • Minimize To Tray: Minimizes Mozilla windows into the system tray. Also includes a right clickable tray icon menu to further load only the windows you want visible
  • Quote Collapse: Collapse and expand quotes
  • Tagzilla: An add-on to Mozilla that lets you add a tagline, random or specifically chosen by you, to the end of an email or newsgroup posting, or to the clipboard. (I am a tag-line-aholic!)
  • ThunderBrowse: View linked web pages in Thunderbird instead of your web browser.
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The Atlas Obscura

Odd places, great photos, fun browsing:
"The Atlas Obscura is a collaborative project whose purpose is to catalog all of the "wondrous, curious, and esoteric places" that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist. Anyone can enter new places into the Atlas Obscura, or edit content that someone else has already contributed."
Joshua Foer & Dylan Thura, Co-founders

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Clips and Mags, a source

Joe Lowe sells clips/magazines for a lot of older firearms.

  • I always try to stock the older hard-to-find clips and magazines along with the newer ones. I've got a pretty good selection, at gun show prices. I also buy, so if you're over-stocked or have some old weird looking Magazines around, please give me a call. You can e-mail me for specific needs or for faster service, call me at 972-986-8158.
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News Aggregators

I use two internet sources for most of my political reading. One is Libertarian, a stance I like. The other is overwhelming non-partisan and dishes out the dirt impartially. Both of them bring out stuff that both Fox (Right) and CNN/CBS/etc (Left) either overlook or prefer not to mention.

Libertarian: Instapundit
Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee. He writes various law review articles, opeds, and other stuff and is a Contributing Editor at Popular Mechanics.

He says: "I’m interested in everything, but my chief interest is in the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty. The vast majority of my writing touches on this in one way or another." He also reads and posts about Science Fiction books.

NonPartisan: Memeorandum
Bills itself as "The latest political news and opinion from left to right and back. Blogs and mainstream news outlets features on a single page." It hits many topics that the mainstream media fail to mention.

(Me) (Blacktail Books)

WIKIBOOKS: a free library of educational textbooks

Over 38,000 pages of online textbooks produced under the GNU Free Documentation License as a free alternative to expensive proprietary textbooks, so that anyone can copy, modify, reuse and redistribute our textbooks.

Searching & browsing are both supported.
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The RX-321 Web Site

I built this site to be a center of information on this relatively scarce Tentec radio. Roughly a hundred of these RX-321s were ever produced, and what little information was out there was widely scattered.

Yeah, I'm kind of blowing my own horn here, but honestly, a lot of folks contributed their knowledge and skills to help me, and I am grateful to them.

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Advanced Googling

Google has a ton of advanced features, from a calculator to currency conversions, street maps to weather and translation services.

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Canadian Fire Information

This is the current wildland fire information for British Columbia.

This has wildland fire information for all of Canada.

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Forest Fire Information

InciWeb : Incident Information System.

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk fire incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:
  1. Provide the public a single source of incident related information
  2. Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community

The site provides current incident-level information on the extent, cause, location, and containment of fires. Each incident page provides maps, information on fire behavior, and an RSS feed to get automatic updates on specific fires. You can search the database by state and by incident name.

InciWeb is also available on Twitter.

Related organizations & information:

U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Office of Aircraft Services National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration

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Book Stuff From LibrarianChick

  • Abacci eBooks - Free eBooks of the world's great classics formatted for Microsoft Reader
  • Alibris - Over 60 million used, new, and out-of-print books
  • AudioBooksForFree - A collection of free children, fiction and non-fiction audiobooks
  • Audiobooks - Download 2 free audio books every day
  • Baen Free Library - A number of Baen Books in electronic format
  • Bartleby - Unlimited access to books and information online free of charge
  • Bibliomania - Thousands of free e-books, poems, articles, short stories and plays
  • BigWords - Price comparison to find the lowest textbook prices
  • Blue Rectangle - Quick book reviews by real people on video
  • BookBurro - Find the lowest price for that book, or see if it is available at your library
  • Bookyards - Free books, education materials, information, and content
  • Chegg - Buy or sell used college books
  • Classic Short Stories - Dedicated to the short story and to those interested in reading light prose
  • Creative Commons Books - A list of works consisting of over 35,000 words that are or have been commercially available in hardcopy and have an ISBN
  • DailyLit - Too busy for books? Read them by email and RSS
  • Digital Book Index - Provides links to more than 128,000 title records
  • eCampus - Buy and sell your new and used books and textbooks
  • Etext Center - Over 2,100 publicly-available ebooks
  • Fairy Tales Collection - A collection of the world's fairy tales
  • Free Classic AudioBooks - Free audio books in either mp3 format or m4b audio book format
  • Free Curricula Center - Develop and share textbooks, instructor guides, and other educational materials
  • Free Management Library - Complete, highly integrated library for nonprofits and for-profits
  • FreeTechBooks - Online computer science and engineering books and lecture notes
  • FullBooks - Thousands of full text free books
  • GetCheapBooks - Buy cheap books & cheap textbooks
  • Gnooks - Discover new writers you will like
  • Google Book Search - Search the full text of books and discover new ones
  • ManyBooks - Free eBooks for your PDA, iPod, or eBook reader
  • OCLC FictionFinder - Provides access to 2.8 million works of fiction
  • Paper Portitude - From the Grimm fairy tales, to the poems of Robert Frost, find your favorite classics here
  • Read Print - Thousands of free books for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast
  • Textbook Superstore - Buy and sell textbooks online
  • Internet Book List - A comprehensive and easily accessible database of books
  • ISBNspy - Compare book prices online when you're on the go using this mobile accesible site
  • LearnOutLoud - Over 10,000 educational audio books, MP3 downloads, podcasts, and videos
  • Library2Go - Download best selling digital audio titles 24/7
  • Library Connection - Downloadable audio book catalog
  • LibriVox - free audiobooks from the public domain
  • LiteralSystems - Free human-recorded audiobooks
  • Litsum - Free literature summaries
  • Online Magical Library - A number of ebooks about magic in many cultures
  • Page By Page Books - Hundreds of classic books you can read right now, all absolutely free
  • PaperBackSwap - The source for free paperback books
  • PlanetPDF - Free PDF eBooks Archive
  • Project Gutenberg - The oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet
  • Rare Book Room - Some of the world's greatest and rarest books, photographed at high resolution
  • Read Print - Thousands of free books for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast
  • Squashed Writers - All the books you ought to have read in their own words, but magically Squashed into half-hour short stories
  • Swaptree - Trade your books, DVDs, music or video games for thousands of items that you want for free
  • SwitchPlanet - Trade books, movies, games and music
  • Textbook Revolution - Textbooks and select educational resources of all kinds
  • The Free Physics Textbook - This site publishes a free physics textbook in a number of different languages
  • The National Academies Press - Read more than 3,000 books online for free
  • The Online Books Page - Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web
  • WhatsOnMyBookshelf - Trade and discover new books to read
  • What Should I Read Next - Enter a book you like and this site will suggest what you could read next
  • World eBook Library - Combined collections create world class Internet public access to over 75,000 free eBooks and eDocuments
  • BookBump allows users to easily build, maintain and expand their personal book catalogs. Searching through and sorting books is a breeze as well.