36 Hours …Book Review

I grabbed this book as I like reading end of the world books. While this wasn’t as good as One Second After, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of the interesting things are the links to prepper sites and an app that tells you when something like this is happening. I am going to but the 2 other books based on this one already and will update this post accordingly.

CAD Programs

I went to technical school to be an engineer but what they don’t tell you is that a 2 year degree in the real world makes you a drafter. I spent many hours learning AutoCad and since I no longer work as a drafter I didn’t have access to any CAD software. Designing stuff is still fun for me so I spent hours trying to find the best CAD software that was most like AutoCad. Of course since I don’t make any money drafting I also wanted to buy the software cheap or free! Here is the list of CAD programs I checked out.

My Benchmark
  • AutoCAD (~$1320 annually) is now subscription based and not even something I would consider since it is a subscription.
  • AutoCAD LT ($360 annually) is probably exactly what I would have bought if it wasn’t a subscription.
My CAD Winners
  • SketchUp (Free version) this is pretty slick for a new user and if you are just learning a CAD type program I would recommend it. The Pro version is around $700 and a bit to high for me to justify the cost but if I was ever to use it for a side job I would buy it and make sure the job covered the cost. It is more of a 3D modeling program than 2D. While I really liked it it wasn’t that close to the feel of AutoCad which is what I was really after but it still made it into my toolbox.
  • DraftSight there is a free version which did everything I wanted. I went ahead and bought their pro version cause while it was a subscription it reverted back to the free version if I decided to not renew. The pro version is normally $300 but they have deals all the time and think I got it for $150. Renewal each year after is $99. Looking back I should have probably not bother with the pro version cause I simply haven’t messed with those added features yet but who knows.

This isn’t even close to all the programs out there but after all my research these are the ones I selected. Comment below if you have found others like AutoCAD.

Our Piece of Heaven… Land in the Mountains

We live near Charlotte, NC. Although it is awesome to be close to darn near anything a person could want, it does come with a few trade-offs. The trade off that is the biggest concern happens to be sheer volume of people and the land space that we are all crammed into. The traffic…don’t get me started.

Road
Road outside our driveway

When I was growing up I always wanted a big piece of land to plunk a house on. In order to do that in an area close to where we work, well that just isn’t going to happen without a lot of luck and a lottery ticket. So what does one do if they want a large piece of land and everything near them is expensive? We went to the mountains and bought a piece of land. Sure it takes a bit of time to drive there but the air is cleaner, there isn’t a lot of noise, the stars at night can actually be seen and the best part is everyone has their own space.

Camp site
Camping spot in the winter

The process to building a full blown house is simply not possible right now because of money required and the fact that we do not want to go into any debt to do that. Right now we use the land to do some camping and for some good old fashion exercise by working on the land and hiking.

3D Printing

Ok why do I want one of these so badly? They are not even being made yet but it just seems like it would be really cool to make whatever I wanted (some imagination required).

Pros

  • you can make anything you want…there is even a guy that open sourced gun parts for 3D printers
  • the resolution is awesome …most 3d printers look like someone used a tube of toothpaste to make the objects

Cons

  • it cost $3300
  • the size it prints is very small

Form 1 3D Printer

Mosquito Control

I saw this video the other day and since we seem to have some real issues with the blood suckers around the yard I figured I would give this a try on a budget. So I had these fans sitting around the garage gathering dust and thought they may be under-powered but would be good to decide whether or not to spend any more money in this way.

I decided I would put them together in a 2×2 manner to get the most air on one area.

Here is the finished product working hard in the yard.

In most blog circles this would be an update but I am slack and I have put the fan outside 4 days of the last week. So I bet you are wondering how well it is working. It works great if I have it in the right place otherwise there is simply not enough air drawn to the fan to catch the blood suckers unless they happen to fly to close. If they do happen to fly close they are caught. The first day I had it running it got about 20…I was quite happy with that. The last 3 days I moved it around the yard and was lucky to get maybe 10 more. I plan on tracking electricity usage to see how much that is. I noticed even on the day I had it going and it got 20 it didn’t happen all through the day but happened right around dusk which of course coincides with when the experts say they come out. I also noticed that if I don’t want to leave it on all the time I can just point the fan in my direction and they really can’t get to me. So if it don’t catch them from the one side the other side of the fan keeps me cool and keeps them away. All in all a good use of my time. I think I will add some wheels to it so it is easier to move around. Almost forgot if you decide to make one for yourself and don’t want to use it to fan yourself with if may be to your advantage to line the fans up in a row since most all the mosquitoes get caught around ground level. Course that is only an opinion based on a week of use.