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.