Cutting the cable part four

Cutting the cable part four

The temperatures got into the high 40’s here today in Northern New York, most of the snow melted, and so I did the balance of my antenna work.
In a previous post I had installed a small antenna to test the waters, using techniques I had found on-line.  I had managed to get 8 channels, three of them very good, but I wanted the other 7 channels my chart of channels within one hundred fifty miles said I could get, so I studied antennas and builds on line, ordered some parts, built three antennas in my office (What a mess, parts everywhere), and waited for a nice day to put them up.
The first two antennas were pre-builts slightly modified to pick up what I was looking for. The UHF antennas I looked at online where closed loops, a circle, oval, with a lead on each side. The circle is completed. This is the same concept of the old style UHF antennas we used to attach to our TV sets, a circle. So with the two I purchased I pulled the connector piece and replaced it on one with a VHF connection. A VHF Connection consists of two separate pieces, they do not meet as a UHF antenna does. Think of it like the old style rabbit ears on the TV set top, each aerial is a post connection, two aerials, adjust them to better the reception.
The trouble is, you don’t want to go up on the roof to move those rabbit ears every time you want a better picture, so the idea here is to get the best compromise you can.
There are thousands of designs on-line to help you lay out your antenna, to alter it for UHF or VHF, where to place the pieces for certain frequencies. I am not going to rebuild something that isn’t broken, and so I went with stock antennas for the first two and then altered them to specs I found on-line as shown above. It might seem like a small difference, but it is actually huge. First, it made the two antennas different. If I had left them the same they could have actually received the same signals and wound up cancelling each other out; altering them prevented that, I hoped, and in the end it did. I also pointed these two similar antennas away from each other, and I lined the levels up as well. The back reflector simply improves the signal without blocking signals. The three front poles are Yagi layouts, tuned for UHF and or VHF frequencies. Take a look online and you will find thousands of layouts that will give you exact measurements, spacing, etc. I took these as they came on these two antennas.
That is all there is to these two antennas. No mysteries, no math to do. I purchased them from Walmart https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ktaxon-TA-451B-Outdoor-Amplified-HD-TV-360-Degree-Rotation-Antenna-Digital-UHF-Radio/493322075
The third antenna I designed from what I looked at ad read on-line. I’m not going to list a specific page because there are thousands upon thousands of them. Do a search for Home Built HD Antennas or Antenna Design plans something like that will get you your results.
This is my design, copyrighted for sake of this blog, feel free to copy it, as I used elements of many builds I found, and equations others had to do and I skipped because they did them. For the connection I used a 75  OHM Balun. They are easy to find, cheap, and save you having to figure out the impedance. Using it also sets you up to just connect a 75 OHM cable to it and you are done.
All together I had less than 50 dollars in all of it. It was actually less than that as I used stuff I had laying around, and as I mentioned, I re-used cable from an old Sat-TV installation to run the antennas in, so it was already there and already in the house too.
The thing is, those last seven stations are tough to do because they are in different directions, some UHF some VHF and in order to use them I have to be able to get a clear HD signal. It didn’t need to be a 5, but it needed to be up there.
I went to http://www.tvfool.com/ entered my Zip Code and got a print out of the stations I could hope to get and exact directions to them from my home. Easy as pie.
This allowed me to know where to aim to get the stations I wanted. So, today the steel roof was dry, there was not going to be another day so I did it.
I had all three antennas pre-built (Different directions and requirements to pick up the channels there). I had everything laid out and waiting.
The first thing I did was cut my hand because I forgot gloves, then my hand as I was disassembling the first antenna I had put up. So, I got down and went and got gloves, all the tools; which I shoved in my jacket pockets, and that way I would only have to actually go up on the roof one time.
The whole job took less than two hours. I went onto the flat porch roof, took down the small antenna, installed each new antenna and pointed it, hooked up the three antennas using a two into one for the first two antennas (To keep the cable lengths the same exactly) and ran the other antenna on its own line. Down on the ground I used a Two to one to run them both into the house on one line with the signals mixed.

I now have all 15 channels in HD, including Canada. I did not know that Canadian TV has a new central network. They are all working and I hooked them into Pluto TV with the My Pluto TV APP, and so now our FTA channels are right there on our Pluto TV guide.

If you don’t know, Pluto TV is free. I have it on my Roku and it works perfectly. Once you authorize the app it will add your Over The Air signals to the menu, along with the information the signal carries with it. It is awesome.

So I have gone from a little more than $250.00 a month for cable and WIFI, to approximately $10,00 for Netflix, and $16.00 for Philo. I am still paying for WIFI, for the time being, but I am building WIFI antennas as I write this to access free WIFI services. Hope this was informative for you.


Mentioned here: Cutting the cable Two and Three

Roku TV APP: https://www.roku.com/

Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/

Philo: https://try.philo.com/

Walmart Antennas: Antennas



Cutting The Cable Part Two

Roku TV

I saw a deal a few days back for a 32-inch HD TV from Walmart with built in Roku. TV, shipping and all came to barely over a hundred bucks and so it seemed like the next best thing to review.

A mention: I do not work for or get paid by any of the products I review. They are them, I am me. Just so you have that straight. I review what I want to try or own, and because I am not doing it for any of these companies I say what is what.

Walmart: I was surprised to see the changes in on-line shopping for Walmart: Including free shipping and even accepting Pay Pal now, which made my checkout a breeze. I looked over the specs before I ordered. I was looking for a replacement TV for the living room. I was also looking to go down a few inches. Sometimes people buy bigger because bigger must be better, and sometimes bigger is not always better. I had purchased a 38-inch HD TV for the living room and it was a little overkill because it is not a big room. It completely dominated one wall. It was also about 5 years old and had lost one pixel that drove me crazy. 28-inch seemed too small, I saw the deal on the 32-inch and took it.

The television was supposed to arrived on a Saturday, it arrived a day early on Friday after work hours, which was nice, no worries about leaving it outside unattended. When I saw the box I thought maybe I had gone too small, after all the next size up was not much more, but after I pulled the TV out of the box I realized it had a very small trim area, whereas the old TV had a good 4-inch trim around the entire screen which made it look much bigger than it was. All in all I was happy with the look of the new TV, but how about the way it worked…

I had purchased a universal wall mount for the first TV and so it worked for this one. That made it a simple matter of taking down the old TV and installing the bracket on it and then hanging it back on the wall mounted bracket. The cables that need to be connected to a Roku included TV are less than the old TV. I would not need my FireTVStick as Roku can access my Prime membership: My Netflix Account, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube, Crackle and dozens upon dozens of other Apps. So I connected what few cables were needed and fired it up.

The Roku app is built into the TV and so it comes right up when you hit the power button. The first thing was to get it to recognize my router. Straight forward, except it will not allow you to use the WPS button on top of your router to connect without a password. You will need to know your password for your router, and of course, if you are in a semi city area as I am, and have the same cable company as your neighbors do, you will need to know which router on the list is your router. This should be easy to do. First the program will list the strongest signal on top. That should be your router. If not look at your router and find the routers number on it and then compare that to the list. Type in your router password and it will connect and keep your router connected.

Once connected I had to open a Roku account. Credit Card or Pay Pal. It was easy to set up. The Pay Pal or Credit card are because there are in app purchases. But don’t worry. You will assign a four digit pin during setup and without that no one, kids, can charge anything to the account. After setting up the Roku account the screen refreshed on my TV and I was ready to set up my home page.

The rest was straight forward. You should have all of your account information for your other apps that you already have, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, Pandora etc. As you install each app it will list it on the home page which is where your TV Will start each time. I installed mine and then I noticed that it had the Antenna connection listed and so I decided to install that too for my local channels.

I had purchased the antenna and put it up a few years back but the TV had no RF connection, only HDMI and so without a converter there was no way to use it. I had purchased CBS All Access to get local news just for that reason. I connected the RF from the antenna and clicked the button. It found my local channels and added them with no problem.

When I finished I followed the directions to move my icons around so I had them lined up the way I wanted them. Done. Let the fun begin.

Previously I had had to use three remotes to get around in the TV. Now just the one suffices and there are even hot buttons for Netflix and a few other apps.

The picture, although smaller seems almost as big with the loss of the huge frame on the older TV. The Roku app loads fast and the search feature is very useful. It knows what you already have and so if you search for something that is included on one of your apps it tells you so; if not it tells you where you can get it. It searches by Actor, Movie etc. I searched, for instance, for Robert De Niro. It returned a picture of him and all of his movies. Amazing.

The picture quality is good. The Blacks are black, the streaming was excellent, no issues. The load when you first turn it on is about a minute, after that everything is right there. Once loaded, when you hover over antenna it will show you what is on whatever antenna channel you left it on. What was better is that my mother, who is in her eighties feels confident enough to turn it on and go find what she wants to watch. Previously she would leave the TV off until I came in and changed channels, because with the TV remote, Fire TV Stick remote and the cable remote she would get lost, frustrated and quit or have to call me. I eliminated cable because the shows she wants are on the local channels or Hulu, and with the Roku app everything is in one place.

All in all I think this is an excellent combination of products. It works well. It does exactly what it says, and that is tough to find these days.

Cutting The Cable Part Three

Outdoor antenna project:

I purchased an ONN 4K 60 mile range outdoor antenna from Walmart. Normally about $20.00 I got it for $8.00 on sale and free shipping as I had ordered some other things.

I had been looking for a cheap, easy to install antenna as more of my ditching cable effort. I did ditch cable, got Hulu and Netflix and dropped the bill by well over a $150.00 even though the Cable Giant still charges me a stupid rate for WIFI, but one thing at a time.

The problem was local channels. Even though I only live about 15 miles from the city, a small external antenna hooked into my ROKU app could only bring in two of the channels and both were marginal. So, when I saw an antenna for $8.00 I thought what the hell, it can’t be any worse than the small external one.

I also had an old Dish Network dish or two laying around, so I took a dish, mounted the antenna to it after I assembled it (That took literally 5 minutes) and put it up and aimed it.

Since cable had wired the house 82 thousand times (I’m exaggerating, but only a little) and Dish had wired it a few times also, there were mounts still on the house and lots of cable.

Why a dish? The dish acts as a reflector and concentrates or amplifies some signals, especially if you know where they are, and I did (In the city, so I checked Google maps, got the direction from my house to the city and aimed it there.).

So, hooking it up was a simple as spraying the dish with a can of cheap spray paint dark blue to cover the old lettering; finding a few bolts in my junk drawer, drilling four holes in the dish to mount the antenna and then clamping the dish to the old mount on the roof and using the cable already there to run it down to the house.

The antenna did come with cable, the mount, screws, the antenna, everything I needed, but I made it easier by using what was left behind from cable and Dish installations.

Once the antenna was installed and hooked to the existing cable, I ran that to a splitter (2 feeds in 1 feed out, all 75 OHM) also already installed on the house for cable splitting to different rooms etc. So I ran in the new antenna on one side, kept the smaller RCA antenna on the other side (Another tip you can find online that can help the signal when you have more than one input).

So I went in, the TV was on, and still only got two channels, but with ROKU, you have to re-scan the channels. So I sat down, drank some coffee to warm up, it’s cold here in Northern NY already, and waited for the scan to complete.

When It finished it told me I had eight channels. I flicked back to the Antenna setting on my ROKU guide page and looked at them, and sure enough I have eight. There are only two in the city, so I’m not sure where the other six came from, possibly Canada, we’re very close, and in the old days we could pick up a few Canadian channels in analog; and Syracuse a city about 70 miles to the south.

All in all, for a very cheap antenna I would say I got more than my moneys worth. The whole project took less than an hour to do, as I said, I used most of the existing stuff, but the Antenna kit came with a splitter, the antenna and the mount as well as the cable, so I could have easily done it using the supplied parts.

I picked up eight stations well enough to watch them, up to 70 miles away from my home: Including all the major networks, PBS and some sort of Retro channel that shows old sit-coms, a few others I haven’t checked out yet. And, I didn’t know it, but ROKU adds them in a guide format, so I now have a guide listing the eight channels and what is on them when I switch to antenna on my ROKU app.

Problem solved, we now have reliable local channels and then some. I ordered a Yagi WIFI antenna and two Repeaters-Access points from NewEgg that is my next project, and I left a mount on the dish to attach the WIFI Yagi antenna to. 🙂

The Antenna I used: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Onn-4K-Hd-TV-Outdoor-Antenna-With-60-Mile-Range/56136523

Other parts: Used DISH dish, Reused all old cable connections, grounds and splitter: 4 12 mm bolts and lock washers/nuts to hold the mount on the dish. Electrical tape to hold the cable wire to the bracket so it isn’t flopping around up there.

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse, now free at Amazon for the Kindle

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse Kindle Edition

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe.

A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive.
From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The dead lay in the streets while gangs fight for control of what is left. Small groups band together for safety and begin to leave the ravaged cities behind in search of a future that can once again hold promise…

It was the most tired I had ever been. I laid my head down and I was gone for a little while…
The sun is down all the way here. I went back upstairs. Nothing on the horizon. That time of evening when the sun is down and the moon has yet to rise. Very dark. Can’t see anything in any direction. Thought they must be all sleeping in the barn, but I heard some movements out near where I… Never mind what I did there, I’ll get to that soon enough, I guess. I only heard it once, but I know damn well it’s one of them… Some of them…
I don’t believe the whiskey is going to make it to daylight, but I have a feeling I’m not going to make it to daylight either… Feeling funny now, not myself… I’ll try to get this done…
It was the 15th when I came awake in that truck. Hot, but desert heat…
September 15th
It was late afternoon when Johnny awoke. Somewhere in the day Lana had wound up beside him. He lay still, unwilling to let her go, his hand was curled protectively around her. Lana moved and he felt the sleep leave her body. One moment soft and willing, the next a live wire.
“You didn’t cop a feel did you?” Lana asked in a mumbled half sleepy voice.
“Lana, can’t you ever just say something like, good morning?”
She twisted her head around and smiled. The secret smile she rarely ever gave out. “Good late afternoon,” she said and the smile slipped away. There was still something there, but it wasn’t that secret, vulnerable glimpse into her heart that it was usually. She stretched, yawned, and her feet came up against the door. “Next vehicle we get is an SUV so we have some place to sleep too.”
“I don’t know, I kind of liked this,” Johnny said before he could shut his mouth down.
Lana laughed and it was the unguarded Lana once more. “As long as you know what the deal is.” She twisted her head once more, and then her entire body so she was looking directly into his eyes.
“I… I know the deal,” Johnny said. The press of her body was maddening.
“We really don’t need to talk it out?”
Johnny shook his head and looked away. “I’m a little too old for you, Lana. I know.”
Her eyes became sad. “Let me just say these few things.” She took a deep breath and then began to speak. “I am attracted to you. I considered sleeping with you before you became my friend, before I knew it couldn’t work between us. I even considered it after… Maybe ten minutes ago too, but it would cost me a friend because it wouldn’t mean to me what it would mean to you. It has nothing to do with age or anything else.” She held his eyes as if willing him to understand.
“It’s like you see me as this fragile little princess, and I am so far from that, Johnny. So far. I can’t see why you try to see me that way.” She laughed. “It’s a thing men do. Like… Like that is love, you see? Instead of love just being about all the other stuff… The things I admire about you, you about me. The things in common, the things that we share, the parts of you and me that are real that end up in the mix… But no, I’m a princess, unattainable beauty, something to worship, and it has nothing to do with what I really am at all. I have lived that way, tried to live up to that. It’s not possible… The man I need is out there, I hope. Just someone that looks at me as me.” She watched his eyes…



Get Apocalypse Free!

https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Apocalypse-Dell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B00YDAXFLE



Wednesday and a free look at Earth’s Survivors SE4

Happy Wednesday! The work week is chugging along. Here we are to kick off yet another 40 hours of slavery to the man, or, to be politically correct the man or the woman. Rest assured that just when you need that break from the strain of the week beginning, and Thursday seems to being dragging along it will suddenly end and Friday will once again make an appearance. Ahh…

Damn: Almost had myself convinced that it wasn’t Wednesday at all. Well it is and so we will have to deal with it. You there, get that report started! You… Yes you in the corner eating all the doughnuts! Get busy working!  … I see that I would make a horrible boss. My work force would probably mutiny and kill me.

This morning I will leave you with a look at Earth’s Survivors SE 4.

A little background on SE 4 and what it is: SE 4 is the story of Mike and Candace. In the Zombie Plagues Mike and Candace are prominent characters, but in the Earth’s Survivors books they are barely mentioned at all. This book gathers all the storylines of Mike and Candace and brings them together and provides the missing pieces that explain where they went to. This is yet another fan suggested book. Candace and Mike are the Characters that the most questions are asked about in both series. Hopefully this will satisfy those questions…


Earth’s Survivors Se 4: The story of Candace and Mike

By Dell Sweet

The Earth’s Survivors SE series follows follow Mike, Candace and a few other survivors as they struggle to stay alive in a vastly changed world. In the early morning hours of March 1st great change came upon the entire planet, touching the small northern New York town where Mike and Candace lived. Earth’s Survivors SE four is the only story that completes the original story of Candace and Mike…


This is Copyrighted Material!

This material is NOT edited for content


THE EARTH’S SURVIVORS SE 4

The story of Candace and Mike

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: SE Four: the story of Candace and Mike is © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet, all rights reserved.

Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2012, 2014, 2015 by Wendell Sweet, All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Company

The small crowd of people was armed, Mike saw, long before they actually reached the wide street and crossed over into their parking lot. Behind him, in the store, he had heard the sound of breaking glass several times. Presumably Candace and Patty breaking open display cases.

“Think they can see us in here?” he asked.

“Probably too dark,” Glenn answered as Candace and Patty came back with their arms loaded down with high powered rifles and shotguns.

“Careful,” Candace said, her breath coming fast. “These are loaded.” A small line of blood ran away from one knuckle as she passed Mike a rifle that looked like it would be more at home in a war.

“You’re hurt,” Mike said.

Candace laughed. “Just glass from a case… It’s nothing.”

“Not a girl,” Mike said

“Or even close,” Candace agreed with a smile. She stepped close to the front of the entrance way, still deep in shadow, but just behind the shattered doors.

There were a dozen of them when they came to a stop just thirty feet away from the doors. Women and kids, the old man and a younger guy hanging toward the back. The two men and three of the women were armed.

“We know you’re in there,” The lead man shouted out. He was an older man, short silver hair, thin, the ragged remains of a suit hanging from his shoulders. “We don’t want trouble… Just company… Safety… The nights are pretty bad now. I guess you know.” He made to step forward again.

“No… Right there is fine,” Candace said.

The man stopped. “I told you, we come in peace.” The man said as she stepped from the shadows. Ronnie moved out with her and a second later Patty and Mike joined her. Mike motioned to the rest to stay inside.

“Every bad alien movie I ever saw started just exactly that way,” Candace said.

“Is that what you think?” The man asked. “Aliens? Well, I’m no alien… I don’t know what happened but I don’t think it was alien, or aliens, unless you count the meteor that might or might not have hit us. And I’m obviously not one of the gangs or I wouldn’t be out here in the daylight talking to you.”

The silence held a long time.

“You hear me?” The older man said.

“I heard you,” Candace agreed. “What do you mean one of the gangs? Not one of the gangs?”

The man laughed. A short hard laugh that had nothing to do with amusement at all. “Are you serious?”

“If I wasn’t serious I wouldn’t have asked,” Candace told him.

“But… Okay… Why can’t we do this in there? Look at what I have here… A handful of scared mothers with a few children. The young guy at the back is okay. Why don’t we do this in there? I don’t like being out in the open. It’s just the gangs we have to worry about.” He looked off in all directions as he talked.

Candace looked over the group and then over at Mike. “Nothing we can’t deal with,” Mike agreed. Her eye’s met Patty’s and then Ronnie’s. They both nodded. “So you know there are more of us inside. Don’t be stupid.”

“Wouldn’t think of it,” The old man agreed. “John,” he said.

Candace just nodded and motioned him forward.

Early evening

They were all gathered around a small fire that Glenn had started for heat and light. The nights were still cold. Glenn had built the fire in an empty fifty five gallon drum they had rolled out from the back. It the smoke detectors had still been working they would have had trouble, but as it was the smoke just gathered high up in the steel rafters and found its way to the outside from there.

“What do you know,” John asked. “That might be a better place to start.”

“Practically nothing,” Glenn answered. “We all met downtown a few days back… Earth quake… Meteor. Everything wrecked and no answers.”

John nodded. “Okay,” He rested his head in his hands for a moment, and then looked up. His eyes were red; the bags under his eyes bruised and heavy. “The second. It happened overnight, the first, the end of the first. I don’t know what it was, anymore than you do, but I suspect the meteor they said would miss us didn’t. Maybe that started a whole chain of events. So, aliens? No. I think our own government did us in though. I can see your view too, because there is something alien about it. About the way we would view it, the way you would view it. Yesterday the planes came over. Big Cargo planes. Sprayed blue stuff over the entire city. We thought for sure we were done right then, but whatever that was it didn’t kill us, didn’t seem to do anything to us… But I wonder, I really do…” He seemed to zone out for a second.

“John?” Glenn asked quietly.

He laughed. “Sorry. I need sleep. Sleep is what I need. Gangs,” he took a deep breath. “This city, most of the cities I’ve been hearing about on the CB are controlled by Gangs now. They’re out all night rounding us up. The other survivors…” He frowned heavily. “I’ll be straight, not much use for other men… ‘Less they think like them. Not much use for the children either. Women, gas, cash,” he laughed again. “They seem to think a day will come when it will all be worth something again.”

“You don’t?” Candace asked.

“I don’t,” John agreed. “I think somebody mucked up badly… I can’t believe it was all an accident. Washington? Dead. L.A.? Dead. New York? Dead as well. There have been reports of the President being killed. In the end the Secret Service deserted him. The few that remained fled. The whole thing fell apart. And it’s no better in other countries from what I have heard on the CB. Some of it could be exaggerated… Could be fear talking… But I don’t think so. I think most of it is absolute truth. I think it all failed and we’re on our own. That’s what I think.”

Candace looked over as Patty sprang to her feet and walked away into the darkness of the store. “I’ll be back,” Candace said. She got up and followed.

“I appreciate the truth, John,” Mike said.

John nodded. “Upset us too. Nothing for it that I can see.”

“Where are you from,” Mike asked.

“Rochester… Haven’t heard much from it except there is a glow to the west… Could be they still have power there.”

“Hey inside!” This from the parking lot that was now edging quickly toward twilight.

“Shit,” Ronnie said. “Forgot all about that.” He jumped to his feet and headed to the opening, Mike right behind him.

“Guess we’ll have to post a guard or something,” Mike agreed. He stared out at two small groups that stood in the darkness looking around at the deepening shadows. Ronnie spoke.

“What is it you want?” Ronnie asked.

“What is it we want? Are you kidding me? We want in there, out of the cold, the night.” The guy was tall and dirty looking in the darkening light, but Ronnie supposed they all probably looked a little rough. “Talking like that ain’t gonna get you in here,” Ronnie told him. “In fact it will get you an invitation to hit the road.”

A woman who was leading the second group, off to the right of the first group spoke up. “Look, man. We’re all on edge right now. We just want to share your shelter. Manny is not so good with diplomacy.”

“Manny?” Ronnie asked.

She nodded to the other group, “Manuel… Manny.”

“These groups ain’t bad,” John said from beyond the doorway, hidden in the shadows.

“You vouch for them?” Mike asked.

“No… I won’t go that far. I will say I have seen them around… They are not part of the gangs that are all over the place at night in the city. Not these two.”

“Good enough for me… Ed? Ronnie? Anyone else have an objection?”

“We’ll just watch them kind of close,” Dave said.”

“Okay… Well, somebody better go get Patty and Candace… Just to be safe.” He turned back to the parking lot and the two waiting groups. “Slow,” he called out. “Slow and keep those rifles pointed down.” …


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The Zombie Plagues: Plague

The Zombie Plagues: Plague

THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES: PLAGUE

The Zombie Plagues: Plague is copyright © 2017 Geo Dell. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Geo Dell

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Geo Dell

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.


Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print

This excerpt is used with permission

This excerpt is NOT edited for content and is rated 18+


They decided on the blue duffel bag that Billy had pulled from the floorboard of the Ford. The bag was a mess, something he hadn’t noticed at the time, and April made him take it to the shower and clean off the outside of the dark blue nylon first.

Ten bricks of the duct tape wrapped stuff that Billy assumed was cocaine, two more of the flat-black hand guns. Several spare clips and boxes of 9 mm ammunition, and two thick wads of bills, rubber banded. They appeared to be all one hundred dollar bills. Billy handed them over to April to count, while he pulled out his pocket knife and dug into the side of one of the bricks: Brown instead of white.

“Heroin,” he said as he showed April.

She raised her eyebrows.

“Worth more than coke anyway,” Billy said. He dug into the remaining bricks. Two more were heroin and the remaining bricks were cocaine He closed the holes with pieces of the duct tape they were wrapped with.

“Jesus,” April said. “There’s almost eighty thousand dollars here.”

Billy looked at her and licked his lips. He added the other four bricks he had grabbed from the trunk of the car: Two were cocaine, the other two heroin, “Six and Eight,” Billy told her. “There has to be close to a quarter mil. here… At least… I don’t really even know what something this big sells for.”

April picked up the paper bag from the glove box. It felt like something was rolled up inside the bag. Solid… A brick shape, but smaller than the other bricks… More cash maybe, she thought. She unrolled the bag and shook it out: Two smaller bundles of cash, again all hundreds, and a wallet. She handed the wallet to Billy as she counted the cash.

“Ben Neo,” Billy said aloud. He pulled a thick wad of cash from the wallet and handed it to April.

“Ben Neo?” she asked.

“The dude,” Billy explained. “License, credit cards… That cash. A key,” he said, holding up a brass key.

“Probably his house,” April said…


By Geo Dell 

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SG Scrapwood update, building guitars

SG Scrapwood update.


I did some more work to the SG project. I had last left it with places that I had filled and leveled out. The whole idea it to follow the grain on this which has been raised using a wire brush. So I spent a few hours sanding it all down and trying to get the deep scratches out of it.


I also built the rest of the loaded pickguard. I made a matte black mask for it, dug up some gold knobs to match the gold hardware, and adjusted some routing so it would all fit.


The other pieces, the nickle and the gears, will be countersunk into the top. Once I have all the scratches out I will spray this in two coats of black lacquer primer, sand that down to expose the grain, stain the grain and the exposed inset pieces and then clear coat it in two or three coats of matte clear.


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Check out Geo Dell’s Guitar Works series and learn custom guitar work #Guitar #Kindle #Luthiery GUITAR WORKS



 

The Zombie Plagues Book One. If the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?

The Zombie Plagues Book One

If the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?


THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES:

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.

A great change was coming to the Earth. Catastrophe was about to change everything her people took for granted. It made some wish for death, but death was no longer a guarantee. For some death had become some other sort of life. A life they could not easily leave.

Several lone survivors live through what will become the dawn of a new world. The only thing these people had in common is that they all lived in the same small city in upstate New York. Before the week was out they would be thrust together in a struggle for survival. Before the month was out those that survived would begin to seek others who had lived through the catastrophe that had blighted the Earth. Looking for ways to stay alive…


The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2009 – 2015 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This material is used on this blog with permission.

This material is not edited for content and is rated 18+


Evening

Dinner was eaten without a great deal of enthusiasm. No one found themselves too far away from their weapons. Mike made a point of talking to everyone during the meal, just a few words to see how they were doing, what was on their minds, or at least the most pressing thing on their minds.

Everyone was concerned about what could happen next. Two people had run off. Yes, they had set their weapons down, but there were weapons everywhere that they could pick up any time they wanted, weapons much nastier than the ex-GI who called himself Sin had gotten for them.

Mike had looked the two rifles over. They were both the same. A carbine that held a fifty round clip and was either semi or fully automatic with the slide of a small button. If the first guy hadn’t gone right down, he could have cut down Tom, Bob and the others easily. The second guy had laid his rifle down without firing a shot. What if it hadn’t gone that way? What if it didn’t go that way the next time? Those were the questions that mattered to everyone.

The second man and the woman had turned and run. Tom had berated himself for not stopping them, but as everyone had pointed out to him during the evening, what could he have done? Shoot them? Certainly that was not an option. But then Tom had said what was on everyone’s mind. What if they came back? What if they came back with Machine guns? Hand grenades? Or even, what they had the first time which were really very close to personal machine guns anyway, as far as Tom was concerned. Knowing that, and Tom had thought about most of that as they had suddenly bolted, but knowing all of that, that he or one of them may very well have to deal with those same two people again in the future, shouldn’t he have shot… To kill? To maim?

No one had answered at first when Tom had tossed his own doubts out and asked, but Mike had been about to. Before he could, Patty had spoken up.

“That’s a maybe, not a fact, not an absolute. And you can’t see the future. Maybe, maybe, someday we’ll have to deal with them. That doesn’t make killing them an option, doesn’t make it right. I mean, I’m scared too. They could come after us. Do they know where we are? But,” she lowered her voice which had risen with her passion, “It’s only fear. They might, they might not. If they do, I’ll shoot to kill. But until they do…

Do something… I couldn’t,” she finished.

Mike had let the conversations run their courses and nearly everyone had had something to contribute. But it became apparent that after dinner was over they were going to have to discuss it more fully, decide what they wanted to do about the situation, what the group wanted to do.

Mike looked around. The sun was setting slowly in the North East. The day had been a long one with nothing settled yet. The trucks had been unloaded and the supplies carried inside the cave. The back of the Suburban had been cleaned up. Dinner was over. The dog, which was still lacking a name as far as Mike knew, was nosing around playfully with the two children, wagging his tail. The children were smiling, coming out of themselves already. Mike was surprised, but happily so. The chill of the night was moving in on the air that rose from the river and flowed across the asphalt and dirt at the front of the cave.

“Why don’t we take this inside?” Mike said at last. “We’ll all get comfortable and figure out what to do, how we want to handle this.” It seemed that everyone had been waiting for that announcement. Within just a few minutes everyone was picking up items and heading into the cave out of the growing darkness.

Mike watched the two children laughing as they ran into the cave with their newest friend close at their heels, tail thumping against their legs. Mike looked over to where Annie walked with Patty and Candace. She was smiling also, in spite of the day. In spite of the heaviness of his spirit, he felt a smile rise to his own face. He hurried to catch up to Candace and the others, walking into the cave with them.

~

Tom went first. It was obvious to everyone that he blamed himself for letting the two run off, but it was also clear that no one – some after hearing what Tom had to say, some after giving it more thought – had placed the blame on Tom, except Tom himself.

Janet Dove went on for quite some time about it in an obvious attempt to cheer Tom up, but that didn’t look to be possible, Mike thought. Then Nell spoke, relating what the woman who had been shot had told her before she had died.

“She told me he had been stationed at the base, but he’d been A.W.O.L. for quite some time before things went bad. No one knew his real name; he went by the handle Sin. The other guy, the one that ran off, called himself Death. It was some sort of private joke between the two of them,” Nell grimaced, as if to say she saw no joke, private or otherwise. “No one knew whether they had served together or only ran into each other once things got bad. But they had both been soldiers, and they decided to walk back out to the base for weapons.”

“They never did make it back out there though, but found the two rifles they were carrying somewhere in town. The other woman that ran off was Death’s woman. They all met each other on the street. Emma, and Wanda, the one who ran off, had met Death and Sin. The four of them had found Ann and the two smaller children a few days after that. She just kept telling me Sin wasn’t a bad guy, just wired,” Nell finished. A low murmur greeted her last words. Mike looked around.

“She didn’t say she thought that; she said the woman thought that,” Mike said. Annie spoke up in the silence that took over.

“Did a lot of cocaine,” she said quietly. “All the time. Death did a lot of speed. Between the two of them you never knew what they might do. Sometimes they mixed it. They tried to get me to do it…” Her voiced trailed off to nothing.

Mike shook his head, bad thoughts running wild through it. “There was nobody else, Annie,” he asked?

“No,” she answered.

“Well, that’s something,” Bob said.

“You think so?” Lilly asked. She looked pasty sitting next to Tom. Too pale. Too fragile. Too young to be involved in all of this.

“Well, it’s only two is what I mean. And they saw there were more of us than them,” Bob finished.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Candace said. “They saw a few more. And they’re only two. There are probably others. That’s what we really have to talk about… others… the fact that we could’ve already had this problem several times over. Who knows how many little groups are wandering around out there? Are they all like that? Probably not, but how are we going to be now?” She looked around, “Trusting? Naive?  I hope not either. But we will be some way. We have to be. We can’t close our eyes and just tell ourselves there aren’t people like that out there, because there are.”

“So, that’s it,” Mike said after a few moments of silence. “We need to discus it. What options do we have? Who has some ideas?”

“Better weapons,” Tom said.

“At least that,” Ronnie agreed.

“No more going out on trips split up,” Nell suggested.

“Maybe we should leave now,” Tim threw in.

“Maybe we should,” Lilly agreed.

Tom had lowered his head as he often did when he listened. He would turn his head toward the speaker and listen as they spoke. His head shot back up and his eyes focused on Lilly, but he said nothing. Candace shot Mike a quick look. Mike shrugged his shoulders.

“No guarantee that we wouldn’t run into the same type of people no matter where we might go,” Mike said.

“Probably would,” Patty added.

Candace nodded. “Bad is bad. It’ll be everywhere.”

“If we went back to the land,” Bob said, “Far enough out, who would there be to bother us?”

“But,” Candace said, “Not everyone wants to do that, Bob.”

“Maybe it’s the only way,” Bob came back.

“I don’t want to do it,” Patty said. “But I don’t want to live in a cave either, and here I am. I also don’t want to live in fear of what someone might or might not do.”

Mike raised his hands palms out in a gesture of conciliation. “We can talk about leaving,” He said.

“Maybe we’re all not wanting to go to the same place,” Janet Dove said.

“Maybe,” Mike agreed. He tried not to show it, but her remark surprised him. He knew she wanted to go back to the traditional Native way of life, but, hell, everything was nature now, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that the same thing?

“I didn’t really want to go,” Tom said. “But,” he looked over at Lilly, “Now, I don’t know.”

Even Candace’s head shot up. It seemed everything was a surprise tonight, Mike thought.

“Maybe,” Mike said, “We need to air all of this out.” He waited until all the little side conversations that had sprung up fell silent.

“It seems everyone has something on their mind. Maybe this is the best time to get it off your mind. Speak your mind. Let it go. We should work out where we all are, where we want to be, where we’re going to, what we’re working towards… I’ll be honest,” he paused, “I was surprised twice in a couple of seconds. What I thought I knew about some of you… What I had thought you had said, turned out to be wrong. We can’t… No… I can’t tell you what to do, but we shouldn’t do that to each other. We should all know what page we’re on. True?”

“It’s not like you can’t change your mind,” Candace said. “It’s your mind, your life. But to plan for all of us, we need to know where we’re going, where we are, don’t we?”

Bob spoke: “You’re right, of course. I guess once Sandy came along we started to think more about the real kind of life we wanted to live. I have always wanted to live, but I think I speak for Jan and Sandy too, I have always wanted to live the Native lifestyle. I want to go back to the land…  I mean really go back. I don’t want to live in a cave either. And I’m not saying I want to live in a longhouse even. It’s the way of life I want, the stories I heard as a child. Only do it right this time, not give up our land, live on it… with it. Can you see that?” He seemed defensive but enthusiastic.

“I can see it,” Mike said. “I can’t say it’s for me, not yet. Maybe it will be someday,” he shrugged his shoulders, “But… But I don’t know what else might be left. Could the world really be destroyed? All of it? Everything? I can’t imagine it, not all of it. Not everything. I’m not saying I want my T.V. back, but I’m not sure I want to move into a cave either.” He grinned and looked around. “But I did. I’ll admit that. It’s the first thing I did. Maybe that says something… and not just about me. But that’s me. If Bob’s not talking about living in a cave or a long house…” He shrugged again. “I don’t know… We each have to make up our own minds. You have to live true to you, because if you don’t, you are nothing.” Silence held. Bob nodded his head a few times.

“So… What are you going to do, Bob? What are you really talking about? I mean, say it so we know,” Patty said.

Bob looked from Janet to Sandy. “We have to decide, but we will go – we just haven’t decided where yet –  back into the wilderness… the lands… somewhere isolated. But we want to bring more people. It wouldn’t work with just a few of us. So we would like to go with you with the understanding that we would eventually go out on our own,” Bob finished.

“So you would try to recruit people from the people we meet along the way?” Ronnie asked.

“You make it sound like stealing,” Bob said.

“No. No,” Ronnie said. “I don’t mean to make it sound that way. But it makes it kind of hard to get behind. Here we would be trying to bring people together, and you would be trying to convince them to something else. We’d be trying to get them to work with us, and you’d be trying to get them to work with you. It might drive them away if they think we can’t even agree how it should be between us,” Ronnie finished.

“Stealing,” Bob said again.

“No… It’s… This is a community,” He looked to Mike and Candace who nodded for him to continue.

“So… it’s a community and we would be trying to get everyone to work together. You see?”

“Are you saying you wouldn’t have us because of that?” Sandy asked.

“No one said that at all,” Candace said.

“Certainly not,” Mike agreed. “It’s not like that. If you want to come, you come. I can see where you would be an asset to us. I can also see your need to do this thing you want to do. I can see where you would need more people to do that. I can see where I might be convinced to go with you. Let’s not shut doors. Let’s not start mistrusting or trying to read things into what we say. Ronnie asked the questions any of us might have. In fact I would have if he hadn’t.  The people you need for what you want to do are probably not going to be the same people we need for what we want to do. It’s a different type of life. Different people… Different ideals… Different purpose, dreams, directions. How could that hurt either of us? I don’t see where it could. Let’s not go back to the old world view, fear of what we don’t know about each other; let’s just let it be. No one has decided yet to go with us or you. We don’t even really know if we’re on opposite sides yet,” Mike concluded.

“I agree,” Ronnie said. “I didn’t mean to imply that I have some great plan or idea. I could find myself wanting to go with you when the time comes too. Mike makes sense. Maybe we don’t want the same things, maybe we do. And after today, I think it would be safer if we all travel together. Less inviting to trouble.”

Bob nodded, satisfied. Silence held for a few seconds.

“He’s not coming back. I know that,” Nell said. Her eyes teared up. “My husband,” She added after a short pause. “I lied to myself, you know. I don’t want to believe he’s gone. But I don’t want to wait here, stay here; I want to go with you guys. This place is… like a city of dead,” she finished.

Make that three surprises, Mike thought to himself.

“I want to go,” Tom said. “I… I want to go.”

Mike nodded.

“I want to go,” Lilly said.

Mike had been sure that if Tom had said he wanted to stay, Lilly would have wanted to stay too. Now he wasn’t sure. It seemed now it might be the other way around.

Annie was looking from face to face.

“I don’t want to stay here,” she said at last.

“You could come with us,” Tim said. He smiled. “You want to, right?” he asked. His smile faltered a little.

She answered him with her own smile. “I want to.”

“Good,” Tim said.

Mike looked around. Amazing, he thought. “I’m amazed,” he said. Echoing his own thoughts.

“When?” Bob asked.

“Today changes it. Doesn’t it?” Patty asked.

“Does it?” Mike asked.

“I think so,” Ronnie said.

“I do too,” Tom agreed.

“Yeah, it has to,” Sandy agreed.

“Well, then it does,” Mike said. “What do we… what do you want to do? Leave sooner?”

Yes, they all answered in unison. He blinked, surprised again. “My concern is winter,” he told them. “I don’t like this situation either. We could have two people out there with weapons waiting to come after us… Coming around, maybe taking shots at us,” He shrugged. “Or maybe they’re as scared as we are. Just as scared. And maybe we shouldn’t over react because of that fear. In any case, the days are colder. It’s still winter. It could snow at any time. We have shelter here. Yes, it’s a cave, but we’re not cave men because we’re living in a cave. It’s shelter. We know the area. We know where to get gas for the trucks, food, supplies.”

“It’s close to April,” Patty said. “Just a few days really.”

“So we could shoot for getting ourselves ready to go by April first,” Mike said. “Supplies.” He looked around at the supplies in the vast cave. “April first. If the weather’s good, we go,” He paused. “Everyone agreed?”

Another chorus of Yes answered him. Even the dog barked and wagged his tail. The looks on nearly everyone’s face showed relief. The dog’s enthusiastic and well timed bark caused most of them to break into laughter. Relief, Mike thought.

“Until we go,” Mike waited for the talking and the laughter to die down “We only go somewhere together, and we take one of these carbines when we do.” He held up one of the rifles they had taken away from the two young men just hours before. “The other stays here to protect the cave. Double the guards at night, starting tonight.” He paused again, but no one spoke out. “Guess that’s it,” he said quietly. “We’ve decided.”


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