Friday, December 16, 2011

Balloon liberation

Knife: Spyderco Bug

I spent the evening at Mr. O's retirement party at the new(ish, but we still call it that) grammar school. In one of those classic moments where something you always have but rarely make use of is needed and you don't have it, my friend Des asked if I had a knife to cut off a balloon that was tied around a small child's wrist. Now, I'm not hampered by the type of under-developed morality that confuses law with morality (or with religion), but I do try to be a stickler for knife laws, partly because I generally agree with them, partly because I feel that knowing and observing them is simply a part of responsible knife ownership and of being a good ambassador in a world that has developed some unfortunate prejudices and misconceptions. So, unfortunately, I had to tell her that for once I couldn't help her with that, because state law prohibits any kind of blade on a K-12 campus (don't quote me on that, but it's what the law boils down to) and I try to follow that even after hours. However, after a frustrating few seconds of frustration and irony, I realized, wait, I actually can help because I forgot to take my tiny Bug, which I guess I don't even really consider to be a knife, off my keys. And that's how the Bug saved the day. Cutting that tough ribbon off a kid's wrist sure would have been easier and safer if I'd had one of my usual blades available, such as the sheepsfoot on my UK Rescue or the hawkbill on my Ladybug, and it also would have been much easier if I'd been left to handle the job myself rather than having someone getting in the way trying to help and removing all the slack, but I was glad that I still managed to help, even if it was only because of fortunate forgetfulness.

And then Michelle pulled out her Tasman. Oy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mobile mustache trimming

Tonight I went to the theatre for Jim's 99th birthday. Lots of people there, lots of nice food for him, music playing. It was nice. Except for one thing that was ruining everything: I could feel an out of place hair from my mustache poking me in the nose every time I moved my face. So I slipped away to the green room where I knew I could find a mirror, located the offending hair, and let the Spyderco Military deal with it. Yes, clearly an appropriate tool to trim a single hair. Facial hair is ridiculously tough though, so I'm glad I had something very sharp. Scissors still would have been better.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hospitality Night 2011

Involved: Me, Dylan.
Lights: HDS Clicky 100Chc, SureFire M3LT, NiteCore D10, assorted unknown lights and glow sticks.

The town was hit by a freak windstorm (reported as hitting 50mph) that did considerable damage, requiring the replacement of 10 power poles. This is very rare; we have wind pretty regularly, but usually it takes the combination of wind and rain to do extensive damage, so any kind of outage without rain is very rare. This one did it though. Power was out when I woke up, came back midday, and went out again around 4. Fortunately it went out just before I was going to shave off my beard, not during, so I didn't have to go out with half a beard or try to take off 2" of fur with a regular razor.

Went to Hospitality Night (every year on the first Thursday in December the downtown shops stay open late and serve festive treats) around 5.30 and found the whole town dark except for the highway traffic lights. It was beautiful actually. I parked near the Bluebird Inn, went to Painted Lily but found it closed, then continued toward the east end on foot, almost entirely alone and by the light of my flashlights. Again, it was beautiful.

Found some signs of life in the east village. The bakery was open and lit up, giving out cookies and stuff.

Mozzi's saloon was lit by candles and glow sticks and had a good crowd. Ran into Dylan near there, so I went back in Mozzi's with him while he had a beer. Chatted pleasantly with Garret (a local rancher and schoolmate through high school) a little while he played pool by torchlight. I must say that warmed the nostalgic corners of my heart. I remember a full decade ago he had a little keychain squeeze light on his keys, and I think it was LED; that would make him probably the first LED flashlight owner I knew and the first EDC carrier of a pocket light. Now, there he was with what looked like a pretty standard multi-5mm light hung from the hanging lampshade over the pool table.

The most interesting light I saw tonight.

After his beer, Dylan and I walked west, played with flashlights a bit near the rodeo grounds, then took my car to the Plough for an appetizer of spicy soup that they'd intended for the hospitality visitors. They were lit up by candle I think, pretty dimly, so I stuck one of my lights (I think the D10) on a table for some area light. Had to light up the kitchen area to get some soup too.

After helping the Plough get rid of some of the soup, Dylan and I walked around the west end, visited the pet accessory store that for some reason had a generator, wandered down past the lit up and densely packed Main Street Grill, got some M&Ms at the Shell, and then headed back. Around that time, at about 8, power returned to downtown, lighting up whatever decorations had been left on from earlier. After a night of walking through the darkened village, it was a bit disappointing.
The chamber of commerce's Christmas tree.

The town's biggest flashlight, returned to life.

With Hospitality Night mostly called off and the novelty of having the village blanketed in darkness now gone, we both headed home. Not the kind of evening I'd been looking forward to, but certainly a memorable one.

Power remained out at home for about another half day. I missed my computer, but other than that it was a nice change. I kept things well lit with my usual Clickies, ZebraLights, and the occasional LED Mag.