Thursday, December 31, 2009

A mother's reaction

I was at the Plough picking up my mom's dog and she was struggling with a little plastic package of sequiny things she was going to use to decorate the cafe for the new year's party. I watched her struggling with it for a moment to see if she'd have me do it or just keep at it then I asked if she'd like me to do it for her. She promptly handed it over and I opened it with my friendly little bright orange UKPK Rescue. One of the things I like about this knife is that it's so gosh darned cheerful in its vibrant, fruity shade! But of course her reaction was that it looks so sharp and is that really legal. Oy. I didn't show her the on-loan Military I had in my pocket.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Contrasting attitudes

While visiting Tia, she wanted to open up some of the boxes of books she'd shipped home, so she asked for a knife. I handed her my new Cat second, which I thought was oddly perfect for her with its small handle that is actually probably not small for her hands. This is an unremarkable story, just a typical day to day use of one of my knives, but it amused me because Tia gives the impression of being possibly the girliest tiny little big city girl I know, but she doesn't bat an eye at taking and comfortably using whatever knife I give her, from the little Cat to the 8" Kulgera. It'd be nice if it weren't remarkable, but earlier in the evening I found myself in the middle of Ian's knife discussion with a new temporary busser from England who wondered what the point was of carrying a knife at all. He didn't seem uncomfortable around them, like some are, but he didn't get them and didn't see the usefulness. So, after that, it made me smile to see someone apparently so unlikely putting one to use and taking it for granted that I'd have one on me.

Edit: In the busser's defense, his objection was largely directed at Ian carrying his big Para-Military, which I admit far exceeds any actual necessity in this case, though I disagree with the implication that this makes it wrong to carry such a knife if it's preferable and legal. Also, the busser himself carried a small traditional pocketknife while bicycle touring, though I doubt he kept it on him normally.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Tender Trap!

Once upon a time there was a princess, her name was Kaitlin, and she was having a birthday. In celebrating her birthday, we found ourselves in the magical and bluesy land of Cambria Pines Lodge, where I suddenly became savagely hungry. I searched the menu and settled on an old favorite that always comes through for me: chicken tenders with fries! But, when they arrived, I was given no silverware! So there I was, sitting in the middle of a loud bar lounge, moments from perishing, with a delicious basket of chicken and none of the typical implements of gentlemanly consumption. But! I was prepared. I pulled out my Titanium spork (ugh, geek points, but it really is good and worth it) and Spyderco Khukuri and proceeded to lay waste to my dinner with great precision. As I was cutting with the Khukuri, I realized that cutting food was exactly the kind of cutting I got the knife for, the angled blade could not be more perfect for it. I pretty much want to cut all my food with it now.

Upward Descent

Contributed by Sam
Light: Ra Clicky 170Cn
Location: Sacred Tree, HSU

I was climbing my favorite tree, got way up to the top when I thought "oh wait, I didn't zip my Clicky into a pocket"... just at that moment, as I squatted down into position, the Clicky popped out of my pocket, fell the better part of 20 feet, hit a branch, bounced straight up about 4 feet, then continued to fall, hit two other branches which sent it spinning out of control for the rest of its fall, and skidded into the under brush..The Clicky ended up falling approximately 75 feet total.

I decided that since it wanted to do that, I wasn't going to go chasing after it. I remained up in the tree a while, viewing the post-sunset sky. The wind was cold.

After a while I came back down and found the Clicky lodged in the undergrowth of ivy vine. I inspected it a moment, saw nothing wrong, hit the button and it bursted to life.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Knife Has a Thousand Eyes

Contributed by Brian (he provided the title too).

once upon a time i was in a car (a honda, my honda) with my good and close friend curtis. he had just purchased a brand new journal (he's a writer folks) that was wrapped in a very thick plastic. not sure why whoever made this journal thought it needed to be placed in thick plastic, but it was. sadly the brute strength of one curtis could not open the damn thing. so what was i to do? well friends, a while back my other good and close friend ian got married. while attending his wedding he gave all of his groomsmen (myself included) a knife each. not just any knife. a beautiful opinel. now back to the plastic packaging. i took out my wonderful opinel and slid through the plastic like those 2 people did through white house security. after the job had been did (yes did) curtis showed his gratitude by letting me buy him a jameson....... the end.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Other uses for a Manix2.

This was a more interesting night than anticipated. I ended up hanging out for a little while at Mozzi's with Annamarie, Rebecca, Chelsea, and Micah. After a while they decided to move on to the lodge and Annamarie peer pressured me into going along, but it was 11:55 and they were just closing. We went back down to Mustache Pete's to see if they stayed open any later but they were closed too. Finally it was decided that they would proceed to Rebecca's house, Annamarie declared that I was going too, and Rebecca vetoed any potential noes. So it was settled. We headed over to the artist studio/guest house for our little party, carrying snacks and the makings of some kind of very girly sounding drink they wanted. But, one of the ingredients was Martinelli's sparkling cider, which we too late realized doesn't have a twist off cap, and there was no bottle opener over there. Rebecca tried keys, Micah tried a can opener that looked like it might do it, but nothing budged it. Normally I probably would have had something with an opener on it, like a SAK or the Leatherman Squirt in my little supplies pack, but tonight I was trying to travel very light because I was using my new Nalgene flask for the first time and that allowed me to get away with not carrying any bag. I was a little reluctant to do anything too abusive if not necessary, but when all else failed I finally just hooked the Manix's blade spine under the cap and wrenched it off. It actually worked perfectly and the edge of the cap didn't even scratch the 154CM. Glad I decided to bring that one along since I would not have been so rough on the Khukuri. All in all, a fun and interesting night.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cayucos show

Light: Ra Clicky 140Cgt

Went to the My Javelina/Jesse/Micah/Ryan/Steve show at the Cayucos church tonight. Shortly after I arrived, Kyle came to me for a light to light up dry erase board of lyrics (so Stuff Christian Culture Likes!), so I gave him the Clicky. He gave it a try but the writing was too light to be readable on the white surface so he gave up. Later, he and Micah borrowed it again to fiddle with some gear tucked into a dark corner. I also used its strobe to have a quick mini-rave with Adrian. Manix2 saw some quick use too, had to cut some electrical tape off my notebook to cover the obnoxious flashing red light on my filming camera.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breaking the Dry Spell

Today I received my first new flashlight in about nine months. To my slight surprise, my NiteCore EZ123w arrived, after only two days. My impressions to Samy:
somewhat small and bright spill, tight spot. nice and warm, it makes GT look bluish. looks like spill is brighter than GT. as for the size compared to a Clicky... it's uhh.... ridiculous. it's smaller than my index finger. I just tested it against the 100w, much warmer!  as expected, since they're the same emitter, it's the same gorgeous warm tint as the M60WL. the low, which is suppsed to be like 20, is actually about 10 or a little less. the high, which is supposed to be 100, absolutely blows the warm Clicky away at 70 and looks brighter even when it's on burst.  spill is definitely brighter than burst, spot looks about the same if not also a little brighter. considering that my 100W appears to actually be 105-110, this thing is bright. so it's as warm as my warmest tint, has a better beam than the malkoff, and appears brighter than the clicky, all in a package smaller than the mckinley.  it's also way brighter and warmer than the T1. downside, it's very stiff to turn to full power. ok pretty happy with this little light.  the low is basically a perfect peering around inside level, like a nice little task light. the high is really surprising for its size. big difference in heat management; laid out various lights running at full power,
m60w, t1, twisty, clickies, all barely got warm. d10 got surprisingly warm considering it's got a Q5 running on a lithium aa, not pushed very hard. ez got fairly hot. but then it was the brightest of them all and by far the smallest.

Here's a bad photo for size reference:
From Flashlights

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Santa Barbara Girl Adventure!

Light: Ra Clicky 140Cgt

A quick story from my day trip to Santa Barbara with Kaitlin and Cammi. After a long day of cruising around State St., buying adorable outfits, and discussing the merits of various kinds of underwear, we headed to the harbor for some sushi. As the chill grasp of winter gently entwines its frosty fingers about us, the days grow shorter with alarming rapidity, giving us a sunset time of just before 5pm. As we were leaving the sushi place at 6, we heard a frolickful kersplashing from the shallow water below. I took a look with my Clicky and revealed dozens of tiny little silver sardiney fish zipping about at the surface, as well as a sea star sitting on the bottom a few feet down.

Later, back at Linn's, it helped with the important task of showing off the day's finds to other girls.

Side note: The knife I carried for this was my little old Cricket, to comply with the more restrictive laws of Santa Barbara.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A new convert

Years ago, I got the first Spyderco of anyone I knew and started telling everyone how great it was. When Joe lost his fiddly little Kershaw Chive, I told him to upgrade to a Spyderco and he ended up getting a Dragonfly, which he still carries probably four or five years later. I had a few years where I stopped buying or carrying them because I couldn't find a design that really fit me, so I ended up carrying a yellow Benchmade Mini-Grip because it was the only knife that did work for me and completely satisfy me at the time, but I never stopped recommending Spyderco above all others. At some point, Ian followed me and started buying Spydercos instead of the cheaper stuff he'd been carrying for years. Then, recently, Samy needed a small but capable knife that would be school friendly and stand up to his use, which was perfect since Spyderco does small knives better than anyone. I gave some suggestions, he looked through the options, and eventually he ended up with a Lava. Now, a few months later, he wanted something bigger and with teeth for more serious uses, so he got his second Spyderco, a Scorpius. Yes, I'm proud of him.

Here's his initial report when he received it:

Well, you're not online and I wanted to tell you that the Scorpius came... It's one hell of a knife!

The handle is pretty comfortable, and mine has the lanyard hole at the 'snout' of the handle, and not where an eye would be for a dolphin.. Maybe mine's an old version? [It's actually a newer version.]

It's big! Fits in my hand pretty well, and the handle shape allows for two different holding positions, which I like.

The blade is a bit stiff, and while playing with it, I gave my self a little nick of the skin... Got some blood on the blade already...Gotta be careful with this one.. The lava is child's play comparatively.

Anyway, hope you're having fun, wherever you are.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ProPoly down!

Contributed by Joe
Light: StreamLight ProPolymer 4AA Luxeon

Tonight, we lost a flashlight.

In preparation for tomorrow's night hike, I prepared to replace the batteries in my Propoly. I'd brought it on my recent Joshua Tree trip, but it inexplicably failed to light. I assumed those pesky rechargeables had run themselves down again, and threw it back in my bag. Now a month later it was time to recharge.

But there weren't rechargeables in it.

There were alkalines.

Leaking alkalines.

The reflector is crusted and tarnished; the diode looks intact; and the lens has a bunch of hydroxide dust on it.

After cleaning with a bit of vinegar (staying away from the contacts) it still won't light. That's right, the indefuckingstructible
Streamlight was done in by its own treacherous batteries.

Tonight, we lost a friend.

But I'll see about that "If you can break it show us because we won't believe you" Streamlight warranty.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October blackout

Lights: Ra Twisty 70Tr, SureFire L1-R, Milky ML1, NiteCore D10, ZebraLight H30, 2D MagLED, StreamLight ProPoly 4AA Lux

Tonight we had another power outage. This year is ending up being a throwback to the good old days of Cambria going out a few times a year. I stayed in and set up my lights in the room, which actually made for quite a nice environment, better than normal. I had my 2D MagLED standing on a shelf with a paper reflector on top to light up the room; the Twisty with 19670 body hanging in the middle of the room and pointed at a wall; D10 standing on table with a translucent film can cap on top; and the ML1 on low, NovaTac, and red L1 pointing at walls. Of course I kept a Clicky with me, but for my personal light I kept the H30 clipped to my chest, providing a nice even light to walk around, eat dinner, and read some Sherlock Holmes. My dad occasionally used the ProPoly I left on the table.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Influence stories - Knife carry

I was recently thinking about my possible influences as a kid that led me to start carrying a knife at such an early age, and I remembered an incident that may have played a role. I was probably 10 or 11 and I was walking around my neighborhood with Ian LeSage (yeah, another one), my best friend at the time, and when we got down to the Harvey St.(?) beach access we found that some local punk kids we knew had strung a strong string across the road at about waist level. We decided we'd better save the day and take it out before someone hit it, so we grabbed a rough rock and started trying to saw through it. We didn't get very far before a car did come along, so one of us started waving our hands at it to stop while the other kept frantically sawing, but it ignored us and drove right through it, snapping it and I guess doing no damage. We had good intentions and were trying to help, but we were unable to follow through because we didn't have anything sharp and were forced to try improvising in an inadequate fashion. To make it worse, I think I probably already had a couple pocket knives by that time, so it was a good lesson in the value of EDC.

But well before that, I remember wanting a pocket knife more than anything. I remember hanging around the old HART sidewalk event they used to have in town and looking around their old storage shed, thinking maybe a pocket knife might magically appear if I just kept looking for it everywhere. I was probably about 6. When I was probably 7, I finally realized my dream. I gathered up like $10 that I'd saved from my allowance, had my mom take me to the hardware store that used to be where the antique place is now in the Creekside center, asked the old guy there for the price of the little traditional pocket knives I'd seen in a glass counter, and then told him I'd be taking one. I think the price was around $6. It never occurred to me that he might have refused to sell a knife to someone my age, and it's sad to think that nowadays he probably wouldn't. But he just smiled and fished one out for me, like he knew he was playing a key role in a rite of passage. I was so happy to finally have my first knife, and it was probably just about the most expensive thing I'd ever purchased at the time. It's still around somewhere; it's a little two-bladed clip point with an imitation-wood plastic handle, probably just over 3" long closed and very thin. I carried that knife for probably around a year before I was given a Wenger Swiss Army Knife for Christmas (I think) when I was 8, which I used for years.

I've sometimes wondered what gave me such an incredible desire for a pocket knife at that age, and today I think the answer just might have hit me. What I realized is that one of my favorite childhood books was My Father's Dragon, which I found in my garage and read probably around age 7. In a climactic scene, Elmer must free the dragon from his tether by sawing through the thick rope with his pocket knife before the jungle creatures that enslave it can catch them. I think that may have elevated the value of being prepared with a knife considerably for me. Also, around that time my mom was seeing a guy named Larry, who was known to always have a small pocket knife on him. I liked him a lot and used to hang out at his house playing computer games sometimes. The example he set of always being prepared for little tasks that could come up probably stuck with me too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blog policy update

I've been kind of thinking about it for a while, and tonight I decided to go ahead with it. Though I'd like to keep the primary focus of this blog on flashlight stories, I'd also like to open it up as a place for stories of other kinds of EDC items, such as knives, since most light carriers tend to have other tools on hand. Hopefully this change will provide some interesting new variety.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lava Flow

Contributed by Sam
Location: Campus Apt.
Knife: Spyderco Lava

Situation: We ran out of toilet paper....

Casually, I walked down to my building's community advocate, and was intending on leaving a drawing on a dry-erase board of me sitting on the toilet with a gleaming question mark where the roll would be.

It turned out that she was inside her room; so she saw me approach and opened the door wondering of my query.. I stated my purpose, "Hello, we have run out of toilet paper, are you who I get it from?" She got up to help right away, grabbed a key card and opened up the utility room...

She walks over to a box, scuffles with it a bit and then says "Ah.. hang on, I gotta get something to cut this with"... No sooner did I say "I've got something," I had the knife out, opened and ready to be handed to her... She looked surprised a bit and said "oohhn nooo" and pulled her hands away, then said "you do it!" .... So I carefully cut through the tape securing the box shut, closed the knife, pull out a bag of rolls, and thanked her for her time.

Now, we will not be left ass-ringed on the toilet, contemplating what type of college ruled notebook paper would be most effective.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Atascadero walk

Lights: Ra Clicky 140Cgt, Fenix E01

Went for a late night neighborhood walk with Michelle before heading home from a movie night with her and Chris. I used my Clicky and mostly kept it at 35 and 100lm. It was a dark night with some light from streetlamps and houses, so a lot of light was needed. Michelle made me happy by having the little Fenix I gave her. It was a nice walk, full of crickets, a passing freight train, and warm overhill night air. The only worrisome moment was when we got some attitude from a dog. I switched the light to the other hand and went for my handy Manix, but it was just barking from a yard. After that I kept my half-full Nalgene in a more convenient spot so I'd have a better alternative.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Cambria outage

I had intended to go to first home Coast football game of the season, but around the start time my lights went out. Then Ian called from Linn's; they were out too and he needed me to come down and provide some illumination so they could close up. Turns out the whole town was out due to someone hitting a power pole on Santa Rosa. I took various long running lights down: Ian put the Magled in the dishwashing hovel and claimed the Zebra as his getting-around light, Katie took the ProPoly to finish up her work. Ended up not being needed for very long, they were closing and we all left together shortly after. I left them with the Zebra, Mag, and ProPoly for the night. The game was cancelled and played at the other team's home the next day.

Here's the story:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

HSU Room Lighting

Contributed by Sam
Lights: Ra 170CT & 85Tr, NiteCore D10 (Nichia 083), CMG-R
Location: Campus Apartments

Upon arriving at school for Fall semester, I began to live utilizing the few items I brought with me from home.

The harsh florescent-tube lighting of the room was too bright, and wasted too much electricity for me to just be sitting in here, staring at a book...I noticed that my roommate had bought a desk lamp, that burns a 40w bulb.. That wouldn't do for me.

So I began inspecting my room, noticed that the bed frame was made of wood, creating a surface which I could attach things by hook or pin. Promptly I purchased some finely wound hemp rope, maybe about 1/8 in diameter, and some clear plastic push pins.

With these items, I created a small rope line, which I could then attach things to and hang down above my desk.

As you can see, the 170CT with some diffusion works well as a temporary light source. I use the 85Tr as a permanent fixture there, making use of both its white and red output for late night computer work.

The CMG rides on the ceiling above my bed, providing ample book reading light and preserving night vision sensitivity. It is powered by nimh eneloops for long term use.

So far this setup has served me well. I have plenty of light output no matter where I am in the room. I also have a headlamp if it becomes necessary..

Spending my evenings without the main room light on makes me feel better. The harsh artificial light is unnecessary compared to flashlight usage and the reduction of electricity is a positive side effect.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Club 109 camping trip

Lights: Ra Clicky 100wwCT, Ra Twisty 70Tr, ZebraLight H30-Q5, StreamLight ProPoly 4AA Lux, AmondoTech N30, Garrity 2D incandescent

Went camping in San Simeon with Ian, Katie, Brian, and Tia. There wasn't a whole lot of light usage really, but I had a few observations. The 100wwCT was my main light (as usual) and handled all of my getting around and looking for stuff. It also lit up the whole area when I had to chase some raccoons. Its tint was also good for checking out the cooking meat. The Twisty with 19670 tube was basically left on red the whole night, so that it could be found when left sitting around outside and then as a night light in the tent. Some of the others discovered that the Zebra H30 was very good for rolling bits of shrubbery into a combustible tube. I think the H30 ended up being Ian's favorite of the night, he used it for everything. The N30 HID was fun just for blasting light into the sky, but it had no real usage. I gave Tia the ProPoly to use while getting ready for bed. And of course the star of the show was the blue plastic Garrity 2d incan, which had impressive throw for its low output. It was obviously the coolest and most classic light present.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leak in the ceiling

Contributed by Sam
Light: Ra Clicky 170Cn

Last night, Regina noticed a leak in her bathroom ceiling. She called up maintenance to have a look; only a preliminary assessment could be made and they'd have to come back with more tools in the morning.

They arrive the next morning, armed with a sawzall and some other equipment. They proceed to cut a hole in the ceiling and realize (drum roll) that they can't see anything! Too dark! "Someone get a flashlight!!" I hear them argue amongst each other.
.. I figure that I will aid them, but only until I see what they bring as a 'flashlight'..... and (drum roll again, please) a red anodized minimag!!! yesss!!!!

OK, so I was kind of excited that these people were trying to actually use a minimag for their work, but a better part of me took over and I prepped my 170CN for maximum output.

I walked in there confidently and said "Here, use this instead." and the guy is like "whoa, that's a flashlight?...yea.. whoa, that's a flashlight.." Yeah..

He looks down at me "how much did this set you back?" I looked up "About $200" ($50 less than what I actually paid) and he nodded and went back to working with it.

I hovered around a while as they worked and as they finished he said "Wow, we should get the department to buy us these instead!" I agreed and gave him the web address and said they could get a similar light for about $100 which would work well for their duties and could use rechargeable batteries.

Ra Clicky saves the day again!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Searching for bats in the belfry

Light: Ra Clicky 100wwCT

I went to pick up Tia at her house but ended up waiting a while, so I wandered around outside. I heard someone come out of the house, but it was Tia's mom, and she was looking under the house's overhangs with a huge camping style flashlight that cast a very narrow spot of incandescent light. From about 50 feet away, I hit burst on the Clicky and brightly lit up the entire side of the house; she looked around like a plane was landing. When I got there, she explained that she was looking for bats because she'd heard a noise up there the previous night. She went back to looking for them with her big light, so I turned mine on again so she could actually see what was up there clearly. She had a good laugh about how much brighter mine was despite being so much tinier. When Tia came out, she admonished her mother for encouraging me....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wedding prep

While preparing for her bride's maid role in Ian & Katie's wedding, Tia needed to cut something to put in her shoe. At first I gave her the Benchmade Kulgera, but I thought better of it when I saw her holding it in her tiny hands trying to cut through some kind of thick tape. I took it back and replaced it with the Persistence, which is a more manageable size and better suited to such grunt work. Glad I had both along.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reservoir Canyon cave

Lights: Ra Clicky 140Cgt, SureFire L1

Received my replacement tails from HDS and took them for their first use inside a cave at the base of the grade. I used the Cgt and L1 and found that it's true what many say, that caves have a strange ability to absorb light. With the Ra and SF both on high, I had a combined output of around 210lm (250 with burst) and it was merely adequate after coming out of the sun. The L1 was clearly more useful, its focused spot lost less light to the dark walls and filled the narrow space well with its spot.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Death of a Stallion

Me, Ian, Katie
Lights: Me - Ra Clickies 140Cgt & 100wwCT; Ian - NiteCore D10

In the evening I went out to return some stuff to Ian and buy Sam's red L1. I got to Linn's a little after 10, hung around for about an hour talking cameras and stuff with Ian while the closing finished. We left around 11.30 and he immediately took off while I called Sam to let him know I was coming. I pulled onto Main and my phone started ringing, so I stopped at the intersection and answered; it was Katie. She asked if Ian had left and said she'd just heard someone crash badly at the bridge right below their house. I told her Ian probably hadn't had time to get there yet but said I'd check it out anyway....

I arrived at the bridge, drove slowly past, and saw a damaged car with no lights on sitting on the other side of the rail with its nose facing back towards the park. I kept going to the park, turned around hurriedly, and raced back to the scene. I parked as close to where they were as I could, saw two people just out of the car, got out to ask if they were ok. The guy, tall and very clean cut looking, came up and started telling me he'd just crashed his car (obviously), etc., and made it clear he wanted me to stick around and help. He appeared completely fine, the girl with him was a little shaken up and had injured her left hand, so I was more worried about her. Fortunately, Ian returned with Katie a couple minutes later, he'd been going through there at about the same time and seen him losing control, went home to get his light and Katie. I hadn't gotten a good look at the car yet since it was in the shadows and I was busy looking them over and trying to help, but when I finally saw it in the light I realized it was a *Nice* car. Turns out it was a gorgeous dark blue metallic Ferrari 575M. Pretty tragic. Eventually the fire department/ambulance/sheriff/chp/Ron the tow truck guy (that's who all showed up) started arriving about 10 minutes after we called. Quite a scene. Ian got to help the tow guy by telling him how to get the F1 gearbox in neutral. Ian and Katie took the girl back to the hotel, I followed the tow and chp, watched the tow guy take the car to his house for the night. I got home at 1:30, after spending almost two hours there.

Ian and I used our lights to clear away small debris from the road and redirect passers' attention towards the water treatment plant, hoping no one would notice the smashed up Ferrari hiding behind us and pull over to possibly create more trouble. We also helped them check the car interior for their stuff, search through purse, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

VW wranglin'

Me, Ian, Will
Lights: Ra Clickies 100wwCT & 140Cgt, Mag 4D

I got back into town a little before sunset, so I went for a drive through town and along Moonstone. As I was coming out on Weymouth, a bigol truck passes me by
from the highway to upper Weymouth, and it's pulling a trailer with a car on it. So I'm like wait a minute, that bigol multicolored Dodge with huge steel bumper is Will! And that's Cammi's Ghia! And following behind, that's Ian and Katie in the GTF! So I chased 'em. Followed up to the new house, watched and photographed as they they unloaded it. Then Katie stayed there (because she was all fancied up and too pretty to play with VWs) and I went back to help them get their bug, which involved picking up the front end and moving it up onto the trailer since we didn't bother bringing the keys. Near the end of it, Katie called to ask if we needed the keys. I told her we didn't and that everything had gone smoothly... which was completely a lie. It was lots of fun. Lots of lighting too. I used the 100wwCT I was carrying to give Will some light to work by. Later I got 140Cgt too. When we unloaded the bug, Will drove it off the trailer and found it had no brakes, so I used both Clickies to light up the driveway as he went zipping down it. Dean commented on what a bright little light the Cgt is... while it was stepped down to about one quarter power. (Note to self and reminder to others: make sure I get a copy of my recording to him soon.)

Flashlight quote/incident of the day:
While giving Will light to hook up the trailer
Ian: mine's brighter *shines 4D Mag at me*
me: oh yeah! *shine back with wwCT*
Will: hey, I don't care whose is brighter!
me: whoops, sorry Will, I should have done it like this *turn wwCT back to the job, pull Cgt out with other hand, blast Ian with burst*

Friday, March 20, 2009

Moving day (another)

Lights: Ra Clickies 100wwCT & 140Cgt

Once again helped my mom move. Got to new place after dark, made good use of Clickies. Mainly used ww since the gt has a screwy tail that will need to be replaced. More problems with that one... Really appreciated its sustained 100lm flood when it came time to sweep around for any dropped things when clearing out the truck.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Clicky walk

Lights: Ra 140Cgt, Ra 100wwCT, Ra 70Tr, NT 120P, HDS B42XRGT, SF 6P-M60, SF G2Z-M60WL, SF L1(gen6)

Around 4am this morning I went for a walk down to the beach to compare lights and see how my new wwCT fared. So here are my brief observations.

140Cgt: This is a great light. Using it confirms my opinion that this beam style is the most useful and practical. More than any other, it just cuts a huge swath wherever you point it.

100wwCT: Good throw, very adequate, but no better than the Cgt, short of L1. Color is just beautiful of course, and that helps to give it an advantage over Cgt at a distance. Also, it just kills the B42 for throw, which it should, but it's still impressive since the 120P never really seemed to.

70Tr: Might throw a little better than ww at 70. About same at 100. Good but not amazing.

120P: Seems actually more floody than Cgt. Doesn't throw as well, but near field seems slightly brighter; very even illumination. Its mediocre tint makes things look just that little bit flatter and less pleasant, but it's really not bad on its own, at least on light surfaces like rocks.

B42XRGT: Using this light is fun, such memories, good times. It'd stood the test of time well, its tint is still very nice and it's always been able to throw very well against the 120P, even at barely more than a third the power, about. But I think it's finally done. It still carries better than any of the competing lights, but the wwCT beats it for tint and destroys it in throw. So I guess that is the true successor, at last. It took a long time to find a light I truly think is better, and it's still not better in every way.

M60: I use the M60 as my throw reference, it's the big gun when I'm not carrying a hotwire or HID. That's why I was surprised when it didn't really impress me. Admittedly, it's running on primary CRs still (since its turn as a moto headlight), instead of its usual RCRs, but it should still be doing about 230lm, so I figured it would destroy everything. It did not reach dramatically beyond the L1, just lit up the surroundings much better; a lot of light, but not a very substantial throw advantage.

M60WL: Still the best tint, just a little bit richer than the Ra. More but dimmer spill. Other than that, pretty much the same; roughly same output and throw.

L1: Impressive throw. Clearly outdoes all the other single cells, comes respectably close to the M60 (on primaries). Really solid little light, despite the fact that it's the only stock full production light going up against more expensive boutique lights and semi-custom builds. It did itself proud.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Clickies!

After exactly a month away, My 140Cgt is back from the shop, and it brought a 100wwCT with it! Hurray!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Morro Bay wetlands (Dying Flashlight Game)

Light: Ra Twisty 70Tr

Went into the wetlands just before sunset, ended up staying longer than expected and went all the way out to the little sand spit. It was heavy dusk by the time I headed back and the only light I'd brought was the Twisty on an RCR it had been using for probably a couple weeks. It quickly dropped from full power to 35lm. When I got off the spit, I had to choose between going straight back to the road and back to my car or taking the longer, trickier, but less treacherous route around through the wetlands again. Knowing that a dying RCR will plunge through the levels pretty quickly... I decided to take the long route to make the dying flashlight game that much more satisfying. It had stepped down to about 17 or 9lm by the time I got out, but it kept going long enough to pick my way through the half soaked paths and across a small stream.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Woodland Stretch

Contributed by Sam

Into the darkness I went. Up the streets, down the pavement, and eventually into the redwoods.

Using my 100wwcn to light my way, I scaled a small hill and found a favorite tree I like to sit against.

Just before reaching the tree, I heard sound behind me. I look and see a man, with his dog. I turn off my flashlight.

Arriving at the tree, I squat down and become completely silent and still.
I heard the man talking to his dog.

"what do you smell?"
... "what do you smell?"

The dog's collar rang out like a small bell as it climbed the terrain.
They were both in the dark.

..."what is it boy?"
"what do you smell?"

The dog arrives at my tree, presses against me.

I press my hand against it, and felt the dogs face go by in an instant. His nose smelling, breathing..
I say "Hey doggie" in a very low voice as he smells me.

The man arrives now too.

"Hey.. man.... what'cha doing?"

"I'm enjoying the dark..."

"Ah yeah, that's a good thing to be doing."
"I'mtaken my dog for a walk"

Then the man talks to his dog, and they go back the way they came.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Basic Plunge

Light: HDS B42XRGT

I was hanging out at Linn's with Ian, Katie, Tia, Cammi, Van, and Kellen. After their style presentation bombed, the girls ignored us and started on their crazed wedding planning. Van played his iTouch games, his new favorite pastime, but I got bored. Eventually, I couldn't resist the temptation. Tia's glass of ice water had been sitting ignored the whole time, so I turned on the B42, set it to secondary, turned it nose up, and dropped it in the glass. It sat there for the rest of our night there, about half an hour.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

M60 fills in on CX500

Lights: SF 6P w/Malkoff M60, HDS B42XRGT, Ra Twisty 70Tr

After some Linn'sing, Charlie and I hung around the behind the bank lot like old times. He had his cig, I had my Dragon Pearl green tea. We reminisced about bank wall tennis, car chases, old friends, the usual stuff. Got a visit from a familiar face from the past, watched some raging drunks running and screaming at each other on Bridge. Around 12.30 we decided it was time to take off, so Charlie went to fire up the motorcycle and got nothing. It's been a rainy weekend, so we figured the starter got wet or something. The headlight came on but looked a little dim, run switch was where it should be, but the starter didn't respond at all. After 10 minutes of rocking it and peering at it (with B42 and 70Tr), we finally resorted to bump starting it. First attempt only showed us how easy it is to get a 500lb bike to slide along damp pavement. Second attempt fired it right up, but suddenly it had no headlight. We let it run a little, peered at it some more, banged on the lamp, jiggled wires, jiggled ignition, nothing. He shut it off, found that it would now start up fine on its own and the headlight would flicker whenever the starter was pushed, but it died completely as soon as the engine started. We eventually had to give up on getting it to work. I switched the M60 module over to the 6P for better cooling, put in primary CRs for more reliable power, wrapped the light in electrical tape with some padding to help it sit securely, then paracorded it to the middle of his gauge cluster. It worked pretty well, plenty good enough for him to ride behind my car at 30mph through town to leave it at Tia's house. By that time it was about 1. We set off around 1.15, I got him home to Cayucos about 1.30, and he snuck into his house through the back.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Post-tea sunset walk

Me, Samy
Lights: Ra Clickies (140Cgt and 140Cn)

After the Samy farewell tea at the Cozy, Samy, Noelle, and I went down to moonstone to watch the sunset and wait for the rise of the full moon. We walked around a bit, sat and watched the ocean, and ended up using the Clickies quite a bit after sundown. When we got back to the car, we both used them to bounce light the cabin.