Friday, May 3, 2013

Cat night light

Light: Peak Matterhorn 1 LED, High power.

Lately I've been feeling very nostalgic for my Peak lights that I carried up until the end of 2006, when I switched to my first HDS.  I pulled them all from their storage spot on a shelf, dug out the spare bodies, mix-and-matched them into configurations I hadn't seen in years, and, rather to my own surprise, started regularly carrying the little single LED Matterhorn.  To be honest, my primary Clicky, the G2 170Cn, has started to develop the dreaded switch intermittency, so that's partially what triggered my nostalgia for these trusty old twisties, and it's also why I suddenly felt the desire to back it up with a tiny, old, utterly reliable 5mm AAA light.

Anyway, I just pulled the Matterhorn out of my pocket and was idly examining it when an old story occurred to me.  This was back in 2008 while I was staying at my mom's place in SLO.  She wasn't there that night and I also had to leave for the night, but her cat would be staying there, alone and mostly in the dark.  As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed how dark it was in the bathroom, where his litter was, at night with no night light and the main light off.  Cats are, as I recall, six times more sensitive to light than we are, but they still need some light to see, and it was just about pitch black in there.  I thought a moment, then remembered that I was carrying my little Matterhorn with me, for whatever reason (I think I had a week of nostalgia-carrying it back then too).  So I hung it from the towel rack and left it there for the night, ensuring that Humphrey would have at least a soft glow for the rest of the night.  I don't know how helpful that was to him, and it's certainly not any sort of exciting use, but it made me feel so much better knowing he wouldn't be fumbling in the dark in there.  It made me feel so much better that even now, all these years later, it's still the story I think of when I look at this light, and I still feel such an appreciation for it because of that, for being there and being just right for the task of helping out my feline friend, who has since become only a happy memory himself.  Sometimes, it really is the little things, and even the most basic flashlight, in the right place at the right time to perform the most basic task, can make a big difference and a lasting memory.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Flashlight Day walk 2011

December 21st, 2011
Involved: Me (HDS 100Chc), Samy (HDS 120CThc), Dylan (Petzl headlamp).

This is old news now, but I completely forgot to mention the traditional night walk I took for the 2011 National Flashlight Day! I'll soon move this back to its proper date, but since it was so long ago I'll leave it up here for a little while before burying it.

For anyone not familiar with this wonderful holiday, this video should be everything you need to know:

I started the celebration with my traditional annual cleaning and lubricating routine.  I didn't do all of my lights because I've learned in years past that being unnecessarily thorough turns it into a real ordeal. Instead, this year I just selected the lights that see regular use and freshened them up with some Nyogel.

Here's the high CRI Clicky, ready to go.

And then around 10PM I headed out for a ranch walk with Samy...

and Dylan (who brought along his Petzl headlamp)...

and decorated pine trees in the middle of the nature preserve.

I mostly used my high CRI Clicky on 17670 body.  Sam used his Clicky.

For old times' sake, he gave it a good toss for us.

We ended up walking a narrow trail down the backside of the hill to the trail road that intersects with the highway.  Here we are walking blurrily through the night:

Along the way we encountered some impressively sized golden mushrooms.

And the old well, now covered.

It was a nice celebration of portable illumination.  We spent about an hour just wandering through nature and admiring our shiny toys with childish glee.

And then we packed it in for another year.  A good time was had by all and (hopefully) we all left thinking that we should make a point of taking another such walk soon.  Sadly, I now know that this would be the last such walk for a long time to come, and that Flashlight Day 2012 would go mostly uncelebrated.  It's so nice to get out in the quiet darkness and make use of our lights, I can't believe we don't go out and do this all the time.