Monday, December 27, 2010


Has someone at work ever asked you if you have a knife so they can cut something? Then, after they use your knife or you cut whatever item they needed to be cut, they say something totally stupid like...

"Why are you carrying a weapon?"

There are many versions of that. Some quite stupid like asking why you are carrying "that sword" when it's just a folding pocketknife with a blade four inches or less.

"Is that thing legal?"

This has been discussed on various forums many, many times. This has been going on for quite some time. I hate to sound rude, crude and socially unacceptable, I know it is unpopular to have these thoughts and opinions and even more crass to voice them - but are people becoming more stupid? Some people would say that I am stupid for thinking such a thing.

Yet, it appears as though people really are becoming more stupid as the years wear on in this country. Someone asks you if you have a knife and then you produce one and hand it to them or cut something for them and then they ask you why you carry such a thing. I usually answer something like this: "To cut things that need to be cut, like you just needed something to be cut..." And the temptation to look at them immediately after you say that and contort your visage to resemble one of the hillbillies in "Deliverance" and allow a big and noisy "DUH!" to tumble out of my mouth is almost more than I can bear.

I know a lot of this has to do with the media, special interest groups and changing social norms and a host of other things, but, still...this is common sense! I am 42 years old and I feel as though I have more in common with George Carlin (RIP) than at any other point in my life. I used to think that Carlin was really hard on people and just made a lot of money making fun of people.

No, he really was on to something. I don't know how this country can flourish in the future with all of these stupid people running around.

Sometimes I need to cut something, so I carry a pocketknife.

Sometimes I need to write something down, so I tend to carry a Moleskine or a Rite-In-The-Rain Notebook, sometimes both.

Since characters don't generally appear on paper magically, I usually carry one or two pens as well. Imagine that!

"Time is of the essence." Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. I usually carry a watch because when I want to know what time it is, I don't want to have to ask someone.


Since there are many hours of the day that are actually late evening, early morning or nighttime, I generally carry a flashlight. Darkness is never more than a few hours away, right? Sooner or later, darkness will occur. I don't carry huge Maglite flashlights, but I generally carry a small pocket flashlight and/or a penlight. Why? To see stuff in the dark that needs to be seen. Even in the daylight, something falls behind the desk or something, a flashlight is a handy thing to have, is it not? Power might go out in a large building, you might need a light just so you can properly watch your step and not take a fall, etc.

"You sure do carry a lot of stuff. Why do you do that?"

Well, it just seems to be the intelligent thing for me to do.

Extra car only has one ignition. So, I only get to use one set at a time. That having been said, once in a while because of life's stresses or whatever, you can lock yourself out of something that you need to get back into. Locksmith calls can be very expensive. Having spare keys cut is a lot cheaper than one Locksmith call, let alone multiple calls over a period of time.

"Why do you carry an extra set of keys?"

Because spending $5.25 on an extra car key and door key for the home is a lot cheaper than ONE Locksmith call.

Yet, people just don't get it. They think it is stupid to do these things and I sit and scratch my head and think they are stupid for not carrying these simple items.

Everyone has a wallet, right? Well, on rare occasion, I see someone with a wad of assorted papers, some money and a beat-up Driver's License wrapped up with a rubber band or something. So, I guess we cannot even assume that everyone has a wallet. But most people do. Why? To carry stuff that needs to be carried. Most people tend to see the value in this but not in the other things I am talking about.

Cellphones (Errah, excuse me, "Wireless Phones."). I avoided them like the plague for years. I had friends who spent astronomical amounts of money on cellphone calls over the years and I simply refused to purchase one. Then I started working as a supervisor for a company and they issued me one for work. Then after I left that position, I went ahead and purchased my first cellphone. That was about five years ago. I actually made it to about 37 years old without owning one. There were other issues involved as well. Payphones began to disappear from the sub/urban landscape and those that were left in place seemed outrageously expensive.

I don't live with a wireless phone plastered to the side of my head and definitely not while driving. I use a Blue Tooth Device and I have for about three years now. Why? Seemed like the common sense thing to do. I observed all manner of idiocy on the roads with people using these marvelous little devices and I don't want to be an idiot, so I purchased a Blue Tooth. Simple, isn't it?

They are great and they can save your life or the life of someone else. I text very little with my wireless phone which also makes me decidedly un-hip, un-cool and pedestrian to some people. It's a good option to have for communications, I can see that and I utilize it at times. But it also seems stupid to have such awesome capabilities in a wireless device to simply use it in this manner constantly. It's a phone, after all, isn't it?

My little Casio Rock is a wireless phone with a lot of unique capabilities. It even has a very bright LED flashlight for a camera flash and the camera is not too shabby either! Compass, Thermometer, Sunrise/Sunset, High/Low Tides, it has a lot of handy tools. It's even a great little MP3 Player and I can play music through the Blue Tooth or through a Stereo Blue Tooth (wireless) Headset...something I have not yet purchased because it's a communications device first and foremost, but I still have music loaded up on it...

It also has a really great set of stereo speakers built into it that sound very good!

Of course, it has a calendar, alarm clock and memos and it is also a Mass Storage Device like a USB Flash Drive you might carry on your keychain. Pretty cool tool!

Throughout my life, there have been many times when I needed that knife or flashlight or that pad and pencil or pen. You ever run into a long-lost acquaintance or friend and you have nothing to scribble their phone number or address on? I mean, with a wireless phone, you can input all of that and if you pay attention to your surroundings in your day to day life, you will see many people doing this. That's fine. It's easier, for me, to simply jot stuff down in a little pocket notepad and transfer it later to whatever storage area I wish to use.

Maybe you're passing by a new Sushi Restaurant or the new Asian Happy Wok is opening up down the street and you want to jot down the number. Maybe you are waiting for the Wife to exit the grocery store and you see something hinky going down (Police euphemism for "suspicious.") and you want to get a general description of person or persons involved, what they are doing and make model and approximate year of vehicle and a tag number. All things that are easier to do in seconds with a notepad and pen.

You might need the flashlight to do that as well, "hinky" happenings sometimes happen in low levels of light. Then you might need the wireless phone to call the police! See! Cross-pollenation of gear!

This is obviously not an all-inclusive list of things to carry every day, but just some random thoughts on some of them.


wcy said...

Pay phones! Wow, I remember making a few calls in high school with the dimes I had in my loafers.

My cell phone is a simple, no-camera job.
I do carry a high quality single AAA stainless Maratac LED flashlight that performs far in excess of its size and weight. A Fisher telescoping pen, and a tiny Valiant pen in the wallet for writing. A Victorinox Executive in my pocket, that gets shown. A various "other" knife doesn't get much daylight. There are other items, but that's part of the "core."
In high school and college I wore a denim jacket and always had a AA mini maglite (later a Solitaire), a zippo, A Victorinox Explorer, and a handful of band-aids. So many problems were solved with those items.
The Explorer has a phillips head screwdriver that made it super handy.

wcy said...

Long before my wife and I were interested in each other she asked me, after I used it to help her in a task, "Why do you carry a knife?"
She had been conditioned as a social worker, and really didn't realize the silliness of the question. I replied,
"To cut things."
"No, really why?"
(Just now I checked, and she remembers this:))
Quickly, she saw the practicality of having a knife at all times. She has given a few SAKs away with my caveat "Carry it. Either you will use it or someone else will."
Quite a few non-knife carrying folks have changed after having a gifted Victorinox Classic in their pocket or purse for a couple of days. "Gosh, this is so handy!"
Yes, yes it is.

Years back I was at my kids' elementary school. Something needed opening. Either a kid or teacher handed something to me and a parent (father) down the hall saw my little SAK slip-joint with its 1" pen blade and called out, "Are you allowed to have that in here?" He was sincere. Our eyes locked and he possibly glimpsed and understood the derision and contempt that danced in my eyes, "Live in fear" I calmly said. Other teachers had and have since seen me use a knife in the school to solve problems and it has never been an issue. There is a modicum of sense in the school.

A flashlight is needed so often. I have been humbled for I have often taken having one for granted. BoGoLight is a great site with a section on light's importance.
Light, it's needed, I love it, 'nuf said.