Focus, Under Fire

This, is awesome: Two square meters of sunlight, focused to a single point and it’s hot enough to melt literally any known material.

I’d wager that most people don’t know how much energy it takes to melt steel or rocks, but how much it takes to get a fire going in the fireplace — that’s something I’d bet many more people could get their minds around.

Just look at how quickly the 1×2 is inflamed! It’s not just fast — it’s instant! There’s no heating period. No tinder, spark, or additional fuel.

Now that would be a neat tool to have available for the next family BBQ.

Up On the Wish List

Compared to some of my friends, I’m definitely not a “knife guy”. They go so far as to have a separate knife for every occasion. By “every”, I really mean every. They also discuss methods, styles, tactics, procedures, the best way to sharpen, hold, wield, store, carry, display, etc for every conceivable purpose.


Me, not so much.

I’m a simple guy, really. As I’ve said before, I have a basic knife for everyday tasks and a multi-tool. I much prefer a well-chosen multi-taskers. Sure, I sharpen them, but I skip the two hour long sharpening sessions with a $300 whet stone set with the $75 strop to clean up the job and instead go straight to my field sharpening kit because the results are faster, sharper, and far more consistent.

Anyway, on to the actual point of today’s post: whilst reading this morning’s news, I saw an ad for these guys.

They have a couple of knives that I’d rather like to obtain. Some of which, even Boy Wonder has expressed an interest in. Guess we’ll be adding some things to our Christmas wish lists.

Being Prepared

I’m at work. A typical Wednesday afternoon so far.

Joe, another engineer — and who used to be my manager — comes over to my desk, and asks before I could turn around, “Hey, what do you have on your belt?”

A can of chili con carne slides across my desk.

I smile as I reach for the Gerber. “Oh, I suppose it is just about lunch time,” I say.

“Yeah,” says Joe, “I knew you’d be prepared! I’ll come to you first next time, too.”

I deploy the can opener and hand it to him. “Extra caution, please, sir — I’d feel really bad if you cut yourself using one of my tools.”

While working through the lid, Joe comments on the Gerber. Says he likes the Gerber tools and that he has one much like mine that he keeps with his camping gear.

Being naturally curious, I ask him why he doesn’t keep it with him. He says, “Well, because it’s for camping!”

Yet, here we are.

In an office.

Not camping.

Joe handed the Gerber back. We talked about families and kids for a few minutes, then got back to our projects.

I found myself pondering the interaction.

So, let this be a lesson for everyone: buy a pocket knife and a multi-tool. Keep them with you at all times. You never know when you’ll need to open a box, can, crate, disassemble, repair, or otherwise make mechanical adjustments with what you have on hand. They may even save your life… or at least make your lunch more accessible.

If I had the funding available, I’d buy one of these things for everybody on the team as Christmas presents… let’s see: $30 to $40 each depending on the supplier and there are ten other people on the team. Hmm… maybe next year I’ll see about budgeting for that.