26 March 2020

The Meincke Show Podcast - The G.O.O.D. Plan - Get Out Of Dodge Interview

The Foothills
The first interview of the author, Andrew McMillan of The G.O.O.D. Plan - Get Out Of Dodge,  on Mark Meincke's - The Meincke Show Podcast:

EP# 60, Andrew McMillan, author of: "The get out of dodge plan" (the G.O.O.D. plan) by The Meincke Show Podcast • A podcast on Anchor

Thanks Mark for the opportunity to share The GOOD Plan to the world.

Until next time...tackle your fears!!


24 March 2020

Big Rock, Foothills County, Alberta

Big Rocks, Foothills County, Alberta

Big Rock (photo by V.A. McMillan)
 Iconic landmark in the Foothills. 

Be safe out there.

Big Rock (photo by V.A. McMillan)

Big Rock (photo by V.A. McMillan)

Big Rock (photo by V.A. McMillan)

5 March 2020

Something Old is Something New - COVID-19 & The Last Canadian by William C. Heine

Dall River at the Turnagain River, Northern BC (2009)

1981 Copy of the Cover
As the world struggles to get a grip on COVID-19 or Coronavirus or whatever you wish to label it as; there are some tough days yet to be faced. As new and scary as this pandemic is, one has to ask is this really a new event or experience??

I said to myself, this story sounds vaguely familiar...and then I had a look on my book shelf and retrieved my 1981 copy of The Last Canadian a gripping tale written by Canadian author William C. Heine in 1974. This is a Cold War thriller of a tale of a Soviet biological weapons attack on Colorado and the precipitating spread on disease across North America and then the world. The tale focuses on a family man recently arrived in Canada and his exploits to save his family and escape the ravages of this plague. 

This story is as much about Cold War intrigue as it is about personal and family survival. Planning and preparedness are also found in this tale. I will omit how the story progresses and will skip exposing the ending; in case you wish to read this story yourself. Safe to say, this is a worthy tale to read...better to read it now; than, later this year when in self-isolation waiting for COVID-19 to pass.

Until next time...read a good book!!

20 February 2020

The CADEM Lab @ NAIT and The 2020 Emergency Management Stakeholders Summit

The Centre for Applied Disaster & Emergency Management (CADEM) Lab @ NAIT #EMSS2020

Entrance to CADEM Lab
The 2020 Emergency Management Stakeholders Summit at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) on 19 & 20 Feb 2020.

A cutting edge conference to bring together industry, government agencies, and academia to network and learn together to advance successful outcomes in emergency management.

These are just a couple shots from the Centre for Applied Diaster & Emergency Management (CADEM) Lab.
One of the Main Displays in the Interactive CADEM Lab @ NAIT

There were at least 6 screen on four walls that displayed information for incident management. At least three interactive consoles that were linked to the large screens. The CADEM Lab allows incident teams to work through simulations of incidents to improve knowledge and skills.

I will post an update in a few days.

Until next time...get out and network!!


5 February 2020

ROAMPROOF PWR27 Portable Power Unit

Elbow River at the Glenmore Reservoir (Nov 2019) by V.A. McMillan

Opening the Box - ROAMPROOF PWR27
January 2019: Kickstarter campaign PWR27 from ROAMPROOF has been an interesting process. The original information video showed a portable power unit that could survive a drop from 1000 feet. Later videos showed the unit being dragged behind a vehicle down a gravel road. Okay, you have my attention.

The unit provides DC power via a pair of USB ports and AC power from a single 110V plug-in. There is an LED light for emergencies and a lanyard hole, to tie a leash to.

The units were being offered at some incredible introductory price and the number of units were in limited supply...and the time to secure an order and support this campaign was running out. Click here to stay informed on this campaign. 

A couple days go by and only 15 units are left. I had supported a couple Kickstarter campaigns before but never for an electronic device. Delivery time was estimated for the end of March 2019.

Solar Panel on the Back of the PWR27
The adventure begins. Product designs, production interruptions, something else, then President Trump and the Chinese have a trade war, tariffs, shipping delays, packaging and re-packing, more shipping delays; and, then they leave China. 

The units arrive in the USA - October 2019. Then, the next batch of shipping issues. I get a tracking number, yes! The tracking info says the package is leaving Utah and heading for Compton, CA. Hey, I am north not west. Then, shipping is interrupted, again. 
Inside the box

It would be the final shipping interruptions that truly tested the patience of many of the supporters. I crossed my fingers and thought positive thoughts that my PWR27 would arrive if I waited just a little longer. January 2020 - a new series of company updates to the supporters. The third new shipping contract and the units should arrive soon. The end of January 2020 I receive an email from the US Postal Service and elect to receive email updates. 02 February 2020 and my package has arrived in Canada. 05 February 2020 and my package has arrived at destination post office. Today, 05 February 2020; my ROAMPROOF PWR27 portable power unit has arrived. 

The Canada Customs form attached to the box stated to value of the unit in Canadian dollars was $261.55, I am sure my pledge was wee bit less than that, but the Canadian dollar has lost some ground against the USD since my pledge. To add injury to insult by the Customs department there are additional charges totally $42.25 ($18.31 for Duty, $13.99 for GST and $9.95 service charges.) So, we have a free trade agreement with our American cousins but I guess small packages do not qualify.
Power Supply
These photos show what is in the box when a PWR27 arrives. First, there is a very fine display box with a magnetic closure. The interior is filled with foam and cutouts for the power supply, USB cable, lanyard, and a series of European power adapters. 
USB Cable

European Adapters

AC Plug-in
The power plug-ins are covered with silicon or rubber covers to improve dust and water control. The covers have some sort of cord keeper so you won't lose them. We will see how long they last. 


27,000 mAH (99wH)

TSA Approved

IP67 certified dust and waterproof

Integrated solar panel

Drop tested to 1000'

Crush proof to 2 tons

2 lbs (0.9 kg)

6.7" x 5.7" x 1.37"

USB Ports
 I will post an update once I have had an opportunity to put this unit through a bit of testing. No, I do not plan to verify the 1000' nor the waterproofness. I will take their word on it.

Until next time...find some new gear to test. 


LED Emergency Light


1 February 2020

A Rex Murphy Interview Worth Watching - Illuminating The Current Narrative

Photo by V. A. McMillan

Rex Murphy, great Canadian interviewer and seeker of truth; is seen on this video from Rex TV interviewing Dr. Patrick Moore. These two gentlemen discuss many important topics that impact Canadians and many other citizens of planet Earth. This is an hour of quality viewing. Tough questions asked and unpopular answers given.

Until next time, don't accept the status quo...dig deeper.


9 January 2020

The Fairy Glen - Mystical Isle of Skye (Repost from Steemit)

This is part two of two; of the reposted series from my Steemit site. Here is the link to part one: So Many Castles, So Little Time - Castles in Scotland 2017

The Isle of Skye, Scotland is home to many interesting and dramatic sights/sites. Whether, castles, waterfalls, mountains, beaches or Glens. You could spend a very long time on this little island and still not see everything. The Fairy Glen is quite famous. So, we wanted to see it for ourselves.

Having misplaced our Lonely Planet guidebook, we had to use the old fashion method of finding what you seek....ask a local. The friendly staff at The Skye Museum of Island Life were able to give very good directions. We needed to return to Uig and just beyond the Uig Hotel was a road for Balnaknock. About 2 miles down that road would put us very close.

A short walk from where we parked the rental car we saw the loch beside the road and saw the path on the far side. A short hike up (to the right of the butte) and you are at The Fairy Glen. As one photographer in the area told us, the whole area is part of The Fair Glen, but the more photographed area was behind the butte.

As you crest the rise into The Fairy Glen you immediately notice the plethora of small stone cairns, built by visitors to the glen.

Sorry, for the spots on my lens, but it was raining while we were visiting The Fairy Glen. This is a very magical kind of place. I am not sure is Wicca is still practiced, but it would not take much imagination to see a place like The Fairy Glen being chosen as place to honour Mother Earth.

I am not sure of the history of this place, but I can say it is very ancient. Stone walls abound, but they are so old that the ground has grown back over these man-made structures. Once I returned home I used Google Map - satellite mode, to look around The Fairy Glen, there are many foundations, walls and old crofts in the area. But, these structures are much easier to recognize from the air than from the ground. To experience mystical things you must travel to mystical places. Enjoy your journey.

I hope you enjoyed some new material and new photos. Please, if you copy and share these images just add a link back here to Mountainman's Mantra; so, folks can visit the originals for themselves. I am all for sharing pictures; lets just recognise the original source.

Until next next...see the world for yourself.
And, bring home photos and memories!