Friday, September 30, 2011

September usage commentary (with some thoughts and opinions)

Not a whole lot to report for September because I pretty much spent the month locked inside working on photos. That being the case, my primary usage of EDC-y stuff was in lighting my room with my flashlights since my wired lighting is so abysmally bad (funny/ironic).

A few notes for the month:
3rd - The Woman in Black came to the end of its run tonight, so I stopped by the cast after-party to document the event. They were opening gifts and one of the young fellows in attendance pulled out a small traditional pocket knife. Later, I pulled him aside and commented on it. He started to explain why he has it as if he felt it needed some kind of defense, but then I showed him my Military. Cool to see someone from a slightly younger generation carrying one; these days it seems like so many of them regard their phones as the only worthwhile tool with which to equip themselves.

8th - This is something new: a story about not carrying. This was the day of the first home football game at the high school. I love going to local sporting events and photographing football games, so I always go to the home games. The unfortunate part is that it's illegal to carry basically any bladed implement on high school grounds. So, before every game I have to go through a funny routine that feels rather unnatural to me. I load my pockets, but the checkoff routine changes to: Phone, keys, NO KNIVES!, wallet, light, hand cleaner. I go through the pockets of my bag removing all additional knives (usually my UKPK Rescue), SAKs, any multi-tools... it's sometimes kind of fun to go through and pull out yet another knife that I didn't even remember I had stuck in there. I even take the little Bug off my keys. The process leaves me feeling very underdressed. I'm not a very insecure person and I don't feel any separation anxiety over a brief period of forced ill-equippedness, and the truth is there's hardly any chance I'd even want to cut something while there, but I'm set in my ways and have decades of built up habits, so there is a definite feeling of relief when I return to my car and get my pockets back in proper order.

10th - I took part in a wedding. Since I don't have much to say about actual usage here, I'll take this opportunity to say I don't actually believe in the idea of dress knives. Obviously, I'm a strong advocate of carrying various helpful tools and gizmos at all times, that's essentially what this blog is all about. Obviously I'm comfortable with knives and regard them positively. However, if you're dressing for a formal event, the appropriate knife to carry is not the one with the shiny carbon fiber and chrome that somewhat matches your outfit, or the one with the endangered animal bone handle or the Damascus blade, and it's not whichever is your most expensive that you can't bring yourself to actually use so you wear it like jewelry. The appropriate knife to carry is whatever will go unseen and not drag down or damage the usually light cloth of formal clothing. Perhaps it differs depending on where you are, but, in general, if you're dressed in your best for a fancy event and you've got a visible knife sticking out of your pocket—or a screwdriver or a wrench or a roll of duct tape—it's not going to reflect well on you, even if you think it's the coolest and most interesting part of your outfit. That said, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't carry a knife to an event, but I am saying that buying a knife with the idea that it will be for formal occasions is a little silly, and probably mostly just an excuse to buy an unusually expensive knife that you realize isn't practical. So, getting back to today, the wedding that I attended and took part in: what did I carry? The knife I chose was my Spyderco Khukuri. Yes, because I regard it as a special knife that I like having with me for special occasions; yes, because I think it has a certain strange elegance to it; yes, because it's expensive and it's difficult to disassociate price from class sometimes. But really, it's just a nice knife that's also very thin when folded, so it disappears in a back pocket and remains completely hidden under a suit jacket. It definitely wasn't purchased with any intention of making it a dedicated dress knife or matching it to an outfit. It's scaled in foliage green G10 after all. As for a flashlight, well... I just stuck my Clicky (170Cn) in my other back pocket. It's heavy, it's bulky, there's nothing about it that's really appropriate for formalwear carry, and choosing it seems to defy my support of going for a minimal, unobtrusive route. But, it's just what I carry every single day, it feels strange not to have one, and in the end it doesn't matter because, like the Khukuri, it remained hidden under my jacket and no one knew I had it on me. Which, as I said, is the only important characteristic of a "dress" tool.

11th - I saw Eisley again. Carried much the same stuff as last time, though didn't get into a conversation about it with the band this time. Don't want to take anything aggressive or intimidating into a club environment, so I took my friendly little green UKPK. I kept it out of sight, but really the only thing they were concerned about was my camera gear and where I'd be pointing it. Carried a Clicky of course, but upgraded from 140Cgt to 170Cn. The real hero amongst my EDC items ended up being a pen, my Parker Jotter. I got a few autographs last time, but this time I decided I wanted to try to get every single one of them. I didn't think about it until I was actually there though, so I was glad I had a decent pen along.

And that's all I can think of. Like I said, September was mostly an indoor month for me.

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