Rickie Traeger Blog: Rest In Peace Dolores O’Riordan, Meteor Explodes Over Michigan, Northern Illinois ARES and SKYWARN, Photography, X-Files Is On Tonight!



Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Wednesday!

I just found out one of my favorite bands, the lead singer of The Cranberries (Dolores O’Riordan) has passed away 2 days ago!   This is sad, because she was awesome and a hell of an artist!  May she Rest In Peace!

I fell asleep last night, so I missed watching Curse Of Oak Island!  I was super tired though.  So I got some well needed rest.

Speaking of TV shows, my X-Files comes on tonight!   I am super excited!!!

Not too much happened yesterday.  Just kicked back and relaxed awhile.  I been hurting pretty bad lately. As you know I injured myself, and it has been hurting pretty bad. So I been trying to take it easy.

I went to the ARES meeting Monday night.  Driving there and back was a little fun with the road conditions. But I made it there and back in one piece.   I got to meet KV9E (Jerry)  in person. Was awesome meeting him.  I also got to talk to Dave. I haven’t seen him since hamfest.  And we were able to discuss the upcoming Winter Field Day at the end of the month.  And also SKYWARN stuff.  It was a good meeting overall.  Northern IL ARES and SKYWARN is a great group of people and I am proud of them and and proud to be a part of them.  Keep up the great work!

I am trying to work on something for my website here. I don’t want to spoil it yet. But it has been hard to figure out. I like challenges, but at the same time it is frustrating lol.   I will be happy once it is up and active 😉

That is the one cool thing about owning my own website. I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  It is a part of me and I can express what i like and do not like. And say what I want thanks to the Freedom Of Speech. And speaking of, I need to finish up those questions on the About Me page on here.

I been wanting to do more photography in 2018.  I been thinking of a theme to do. I have several in mind. But I think I will leave it up to my fans (or haters lol)  What theme should I do for photography for 2018?

Speaking of photography, I been going through older photos I took and touching them up and messing around.  Below is just one of many. I been experimenting with HDR and also monochrome.

That photo is of Art Nalls Harrier Jet at the Rockford Airport 5 years ago. I was using my T2I camera back then.  I did a little HDR with this photo. It kind of makes it look “vintage” in a way.  What do you think of the photo?

I just found out a meteor exploded over the Michigan area a few hours ago. Check out this amazing video!

I will close this out for now. May Dolores O’Riordan Rest In Peace! You will be missed by many!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Wednesday!

Do not forget the X-Files is on tonight at 7 PM pm Fox 🙂




Rickie Traeger Blog: Who To Follow In Nascar In 2018


Good morning everyone!

I sat here and thought about who I am going to follow this year in NASCAR.   I am a huge Tony Stewart fan and will follow his team for sure. But I told myself that I am going to start following a rookie. Someone fresh and new and begin a new start. So I sat here for awhile thinking, out of the three. Which one to choose?

  • William Byron,
  • Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. ,
  • Ray Black Jr.

I personally didn’t care too much about Ray Black Jr.  I watched him and I feel the other 2 are better. So then I narrowed it down to William or Darrell?

I think both of these drivers are good and have great potential.  I read up on them and watched some their races.  Both have pros and cons for sure.

I sat here and was still at  standstill on which of the two, to choose to follow in 2018.  I looked down at the time on the PC and saw the date.  That is when I made my decision.  Of all things, the date will decide, lol.  

My grandpa Slatton passed away January 2014. His name was William.   Yup, you guess it.

I am going to follow William Byron in 2018.  (And SHR team)  






Rickie Traeger Blog: Volunteers needed for RS


Good afternoon everybody,

I thought I would mess around with the Dragon software so I do apologize if there are  any grammar errors.  I have to get use to my vocabulary.  It has been a while since I’ve last used it.  So please bear with me.

There is not too much to update from the blog I posted last.  So I do apologize.

I am going to make a quick announcement, I plan on adding volunteers to Rockford Scanner. if you are interested in joining our team.  Let me know.

Please take a minute and fill the following out http://rockfordscanner.com/volunteer-for-rockford-scanner/






Rickie Traeger Blog: Good Morning Everyone! Blog Updates On Draculaura, Quadcopter, Weather, SKYWARN & ARES, Etc…


Good morning everyone!

Shout out to the salt trucks crew, they did an awesome job yesterday as the weather came through.  They laid the salt down thick and was hardly an accidents that I am aware of. Many kudos!

Yesterday was warm and I was hoping to get a flight in. But the ceiling was low and it was wet out. So I did not get a flight in, as I was hoping for.

I bought a cheap VR setup. It was $9 at Walmart.  I was able to VR for the first time yesterday. Definitely an experience. I know everyone has probably experience Virtual Reality, besides me lol. But I was able to do it yesterday. I downloaded an app called Haunted House. I was hoping that it would scare me. But it did nit, but it was still a cool experience to do VR and walk around. It takes 15 hours, to recharge this thing, ouch!  But heck, for $9 you can’t beat it.

We had a good turn out for the Northern Illinois ARES and also SKYWARN nets last night. Had some new voices in there.  Definitely good to hear!  If you want to join in (Have to have your ham radio license) or if you want to listen in. It is Thursday nights on 147.195 repeater.  ARES is at 7 pm. SKYWARN is at 8 pm.  Be sure to catch them both!

Draculaura I think is getting ready to molt.  If you do not already know, Draculaura is my pet tarantula.  She has not been to active recently.  And been doing a couple of other key things, that gives me hints she is about to molt.  She has yet to do so, since I bought her.  So I kinda been waiting.  I keep her well fed, so it is just a matter of time. I will post updates on her as they become available.


January 12th
Kiss a Ginger Day
National Curried Chicken Day
National Marzipan Day
National Pharmacist Day




Rickie Traeger Blog: Happy Thursday! Drive Safe Today With The Weather!


I want to start off by wishing everyone a safe and happy Thursday!

As many of you are aware, this afternoon and evening weather is going to be a mess!  National Weather Service has been issuing statements on todays system for a bit now, warning everyone.

I hope and I pray that the salt trucks get out and pre treat and salt the roadways today, before it is too late!!!  I can not stress that enough!!!

I can not tell you how many time I have literally heard officers screaming for them to get salt trucks out, because of the road conditions and the salt trucks refusing to come out.  Sad and scary situation.

They are well aware of todays weather conditions and can start to prepare the roadways (At least the main roads)  and keep them salted. It is not like they do not have enough salt, because our winter has been pretty mild so far.

Time will tell. And there will be many people driving when this stuff hits us.

NWS is saying this is the stuff as soon as it hits the surface, it is going to freeze.  The VERY DANGEROUS stuff!

I went to Walmart earlier this morning and grabbed several bags of salt. They ranged from $5 to $20.  I grabbed the $5 ones. They were back in the automotive area.  I would recommend you going there ASAP to buy some, before they sell out.

Because if the NWS is right, which they usually are.  This afternoon and evening is going to be a mess, especially driving.

Even walking and your everyday stuff like going to and from the vehicle, taking the pets out, etc… will be a mess to even try walking.

The NWS has put out enough information now, so when it does hit there is plenty of time to prepare and treat the roadways before and during and afterwards.

Everyone please be safe today!

January 11th
National Arkansas Day
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
National Milk Day
National Step in the Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day




Rickie Traeger Blog: X-Files Is On Tonight!!! Finished Reading Murder & Mayhem in Rockford, IL. Also January 10th National Holidays.


Good morning everyone!

I want to start off by saying Good Morning and also warn everyone to be careful driving this morning. Roadways have become very slippery in some areas and several accidents are coming across the airwaves. So if you have to travel, please allow extra time and drive slow.  CLICK HERE

X-Files is on tonight!    I am super excited!!!   I will be glued to the TV later on tonight watching my X-Files 🙂  And will probably blog later on tonight about it.

Sorry I did not blog yesterday. I spent most my day reading a book. I finished reading the whole book in 1 day. Been awhile since I been able to do that. The book is called “Murder and Mayhem in Rockford, IL” by Kathi Kresol

She did a wonderful job in the book. I was impressed. I learned a lot about the history of the area. And some very interesting facts.  She did a good job on the history and stories.  I want to send a shout out to her for doing an awesome job in her book. I am going to be buying her other books probably this weekend.  I do highly recommend you buying her book

Check it out at ~ CLICK HERE 



I was able to change my oil yesterday.  When I took it to Walmart to do an oil change last time, they over tightened the bolt and broke the washer. So I had to change the oil and replace the bolt and washer. Everything is back to normal now.  Thank god. I had to personally do it. Was not bringing it anywhere to get done. That way I knew if there is an issue this time, it would be my fault, lol.  I was going through oil like crazy for awhile there.  But I was able to do some well overdue preventive maintenance and shes all good to go now. So I can go and work some scenes again.

Today and tomm. is supposed to be nice temps. outside. Thursday night will be back to normal with teen low temps and back to reality of winter, lol.  So if you have any outdoor activities that need to be done, get them done today.  High of 45 today. Which is like a heat wave these days.  It will definitely melt to remaining snow, if the sun pops out.

January 10th

  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • National Save The Eagles Day

Scheduling an appointment to get your heating system tuned up, would be one of the many ways to participate on January 10 for National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. Did you know that tuning up your heating system can save you up to three to ten percent?

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day encourages people to look for ways to reduce energy costs and save on their energy bills.

It is often in the little things that you do that can save you big money on your energy bill, such as:

Weatherproof your home
Replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows
Replace old furnace with new energy-efficient furnace
Properly maintain furnace
Use solar heat if possible
Turn down thermostats
Turning off lights when leaving a room
Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs
Run dishwasher and washing machine only when fully loaded
Lower water heater temperature
Take shorter showers
Unplug unused appliances
Carpool whenever possible
The above list is just a few of the many ways to conserve energy. Use these tips, along with others you may already have in practice, many available online and you will be able to create energy and financial savings the entire year.


Do what you can to conserve energy.Use #CutYourEnergyCostsDay to post on social media


Save the Eagles Day is observed annually on the 10th of January. Some species of eagles are on the endangered list. However, due to the work of scientists and the public, the Bald Eagle was removed from this list in June 2007.


There are more than 70 species of eagles throughout the world.  The only exception is Hawaii, where no species of eagles reside. Poaching, pesticides and other dangers continue to threaten eagle populations.


Use #SaveTheEaglesDay to post on social media.

I enjoy posting these National holidays.  I try to as much as I can. I think it brings awareness to things and people can learn.   I was thinking about posting the National Holiday for the weeks also. But have yet to do so.  I think it be a good addition.

Depending on how I feel, I might be adding a new page to my website here. I don’t want to spoil it yet, but I hope to bring a new page to my website here 🙂  I been under the weather a bit, and busy doing other stuff, I have yet had the chance to work on my website much the last week or so.

I will close this out for now.  I hope everyone has a good and safe Wednesday!



Rickie Traeger Blog: Amateur Radio & Storm Spotting 2, Just Finished Reading And My Personal Review on It

I just got done reading a book called Amateur Radio and Storm Spotting 2.

Check it out at ~ CLICK HERE

Figured I would write a quick review on it.   I would rate it a 3 star, out of 5.

Before buying the book, I was reading the reviews from people online.  So I had a lot of expectations going into it.  Based on the reviews.

I use a Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, as my reader. Very good Kindle!

The Bad: When I hit the 64% mark, the main book ended!  I was like WTF!!!  The rest was appendix!  This is my main reason for the 3 star rating.  I was expecting it to be a lot longer than it was.  The appendix area was alot. I personally feel that the main book itself should have been longer.  Based on the reviews and what I was reading from other readers, it was a long book. Well, I flew through this book pretty quickly.  Literally.

Also, the information was so-so.  I am a trained storm spotter for many years now, so I guess I should toss this information out there. So I knew everything that was in the book already pretty much.  So it was easy for me to read through and understand.

If you are just starting out, it is a good book and might be a little too much to take in at times. But there are several areas that do provide some good education to learn from.  It gives you the basic outlines on the in’s and out’s.

To be honest, you could probably learn more from a simple google search.  But I still do recommend people buying this, to help support the authors.

The Good:  There were some areas that I did learn some stuff.  Even though I know alot, I did learn some new stuff.  I do like how they posted the links to the sources and in the appendix gave you a tutorial on how to do live maps.  I been wanting to learn how to do the live maps, but never really took the time to learn yet. So this book did spark that interest once again.  I did enjoy how one of the authors is kinda local, out of the Woodstock area. 2 Counties over.  That was another cool thing I did enjoy about it.  I also liked how they provided some examples of the AAR (After-Action-Report) and also their personal experiences.  So it kinda made it a little more personal while reading the book.

Overall:  I do recommend people buying the book to support the authors.  I had a high expectation going in to read the book based on other reviews.  So I wanted to be open and honest on my review, without doing spoilers.  The book is shorter than I expected. But at times, it had some good knowledge. If you already know alot about weather, then you might want to pass on this.  If you are just starting out or wanting to start your own Skywarn group, then buy this.  They do provide some good links and examples in the book.  And I like how they did positive re-enforcement in the book as well.  They are right, no situation will ever be identical. You will always be learning. If you say you know “everything”  then you are lying.  Because even though you may know alot, you will never know everything.  So, there is always room for improvements and training.  I do like how they pointed this out, because it is true!







Rickie Traeger’s Saturday Blog: Youtube, Phil Schneider, Ham Radio, Etc…


I want to wish everyone a safe and fun weekend!  It is still cold outside, but it is suppose to “warm up”  Sunday, so that will make things a little easier for us.

I want to send a shout out to the St Anthony ER staff and CT scan.
Keep up the great work!

I been spending more and more time on Youtube.  Pretty much anything you can think of, is on there these days.   I been watching the conferences and interviews with the UFO topic, and Phil Schneider, etc…    Note: Click on Phil Schneider name, to watch the last interview he ever made.  Pretty interesting stuff.   I also been watching videos on how to make ham radio equipment, How-to videos, DIY videos, weather videos, etc…   I love how Youtube is a wealth of knowledge these days.  I guess I should toss another disclaimer in here, lol.  Not everything you see or read is true, so use common sense and your own judgement for your opinions on the content on Youtube.

Speaking of weather.  Northern Illinois SKYWARN net starts up this Thursday the 11th at 8PM on the 147.195 repeater. So tune in and listen!  If you are a ham radio operator, then check in.   ARES net is at 7pm.

I was listening to the Friday Night Fun Net with Jimmy last night.  And listening to other ham radio operators goals for 2018.   And Gary response was reading the manuals to his radios.  I like that goal.  I need to do that on my end as well. I have a radio, that I need to learn the in and outs of.  So I think that is one of my goals for 2018, learn the in and out of my ham radio.

I am going to pop off here for now. I want to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Weekend!






Rickie Traeger Blog: Quick blog for Friday. Happy Friday!



I missed Thursday’s blog, sorry.   I been under the weather a bit, so haven’t did much recently. So there is no new updates to blog about.

I am hoping Sunday is “warmer”  so I can take the girls out sledding. It has been too cold to go this winter. But it supposed to “warm up” to around 30 degrees on Sunday, which is going to be a heat wave, lol.  They were calling for snow, but sounds like the chances are becoming slimmer and slimmer each time I read the forecast. I was hoping for snow, but it is now not looking like much (if any) on Sunday.

I re-programmed my ham radio the other day.  I used to have all the repeaters in for a 100 mile range. But I was not able to it a lot of them, so I figured it was pointless to keep them programmed in the radio. I decided to re-program it for the local repeaters and also to work satellites.  Speaking of!  They are launching several ham satellites in 2018!!!  They also launched Fox-1B recently. I don’t think it is active yet though, but it is up in space now 🙂

Speaking of space, that China satellite that is coming back down to Earth out of control is supposed to come into our atmosphere around March. And the USA is in it’s path as of the recent predictions.  Kinda scary knowing this thing may crash in the USA, considering the size and also the chemicals on board it that will cause havoc when it crashes. Very dangerous chemicals that will be exposed when it crashes down to Earth. If by chance, this thing lands near you, do NOT touch it or breath in the air.

Winter Olympics are coming soon!  go Team USA!!!





Rickie Traeger Blog: X-Files Season 11 is Back On!


OMG, I am super excited that X-Files season 11 came back on!

As you know, I am a huge fan of the X-Files!

Wow, it was soooooo good to see tonights episode!   I think everyone aged, but Monica though.  Heads up I will probably be putting some spoilers in here.

The show was good!   I have been anticipating the show for awhile now!  And when it came on, I made sure there were no distractions, lol.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 2 new FBI agents, will probably be replacing Scully and Fox at some point in the future.   As long as the X-Files show goes on, I am open to this idea. But prefer Mulder and Scully as long as possible.

I hope they bring in the episodes of paranormal investigations in the future. I know the theme is finding William.  But I hope they stay on theme of doing paranormal investigations as well.

The ending of tonight episode, was mind blowing!  Cigarette smoking man said he was the father of William!!!  If Mulder finds out, I bet he kills him. Then the other 2 that wanted Mulder to kill him, will get their wish.

I wonder what the real agenda is behind those 2?  They said for space exploration. But there is obviously another agenda. It is the X-Files 😛

I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil it for those who have yet to watch tonight’s episode.  So I will close this out.

I am beyond super excited that X-Files is back on!  And look forward to many episodes and seasons in the future!!!