Friday, February 17, 2012

Clicky house call

Tonight I paid a visit to Linn's to see Kristin & Ben and to inspect Ian's Clicky 120CT, which had jammed shut once again. For some reason, it has a defect that I've never heard of in a Clicky before: It was difficult to open when new, continued to be so difficult that Ian was reluctant to use it much for dread of having to replace the battery, and now it had become so completely jammed that it would not budge even with his prolonged efforts at it, so he passed it off for us to have a go at it and we passed it around throughout the night, with no luck. Finally, toward the end of the night, I decided some creativity would be needed. I searched through my pack for possible tools and pulled out two pieces of tether cord, each a few feet long. I tied one cord to each half with a tight prusik knot, wound the cords tightly around their half of the body in the appropriate direction, tied a loop in the ends, and then used some silverware from the table as levers, thus fashioning a crude strap wrench that was able to break the seal. Turns out his Clicky seems to have some kind of strange machining error that allows the threads to lock up when tightened all the way. Since it's not at all necessary for them to be tightened down completely, it's a minor problem as long as it's treated properly. I gave it a good greasing with Nyogel, closed it back up gently, and it was good to go.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I don't walk by moonlight.

And I'll tell you why, because I just realized that I somehow neglected to include that story here. This took place probably in late 2007, early 2008. Taken from a post about it on CPF:

I almost never indulge any urge to walk by moonlight these days. About four years ago, with a reasonably bright moon overhead, I went for a walk on the boardwalk of a nearby nature area (the ranch). I like to see what's around me, so I normally have a light on whenever I'm out walking, but this time I gave in to some peer pressure. I thought of a friend of mine (Piper) who always complained about my lights and insisted that it was much more enjoyable to just walk by moonlight. I decided to give it a try and shut off my ML1. It was very nice, until the bush I'd seen silhouetted next to the boardwalk suddenly jumped at me when I got near it. I jumped back, backpedaled about 20 feet while fumbling to get my light back on, then got the area lit up and saw what had happened. The skunk wasn't trying to come after me or anything, it just thought it would be funny to hide next to the path until I was about a foot and a half away before jumping up on the boardwalk and dashing across a foot in front of me. If I'd been looking off in another direction, I possibly would have accidentally stepped on it or kicked it as it crossed. Now I remember this incident and almost always keep at least a little light burning when out walking in an even slightly wild area.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Man saves son from mountain lion

What's not mentioned is that the knife used was a Spyderco Caly3.5. Not the ideal knife to have to press into service as a weapon, but it sure saved the day when it had to. As the saying goes, the best ______ is the one you have with you.

The aggravating thing is that other written versions of the story completely leave out that the father fought it off, let alone that he used a knife to do it. Instead, it mentions that the lion attacked other hikers earlier and they fought it off by hitting it with a backpack. For this later attack, they merely mention that it grabbed the kid and was now being hunted by rangers. It saddens me to think that this was an intentional exclusion of details caused by our culture being increasingly frightened of common hand tools. To their credit, CNN's video interview tells the whole story and includes a photo of the knife.