Wednesday, February 08, 2012

EDC Considerations

For quite some time, I've been giving more thought to a better EDC (that's 'every day carry') for my personal set up.

At the moment I am toting a Maxpedition M-2 belt pouch that has plenty of room, too much girth, and no effective organization. Generally, always on my person are the following: my cell, a lighter, Spyderco folder, Leatherman, and flashlight. While it's on the belt, finding and actually keeping things in this pouch is a hassle. The zippers and clips are a certfiable pain in the ass too, and so more often than not the pouch remains open throughout the day.

Because of this I've searched high and low to find the PERFECT solution, and after hours of dedicated searching, I think I've found it--a custom skinny sheath called the Skinth.

Created by a fellow prepper, various custom set-ups and ideas for a variety of needs exist for the Skinth. While the name is kinda gay sounding, I really don't give a damn. There are simply no other sleek options out there for what I want, so a Skinth XL will be coming my way sometime in the near future.

My hope is that the pouch will disappear along the waistline, generally appearing much like a quasi-yuppie smart phone holder. And speaking of phones, I am preparing myself for the possibility that I might actually have to get a conventional holder as well, which will suit me just fine.

Also on deck for purchase is a new Protac in AA by Streamlight. My Microstream went missing some time ago, though I expect it turn up eventually. How was it lost? Well, you see when you sit down at a certain angle with the Maxpedition M-2 pouch open... You see where this is going. My bad.

Finally, I am considering the purchase of the CQB tool/knife from Spartan blades. Thank you Mercop for another awesome idea/product recommendation. In his video, he demonstrates the awesome utility in having a go-to knife for off-side back up. I was mega impressed. Essentially, he shows a modern adaptation of how the samurai carried their blades and used them. Notwithstanding the $160 price tag, I think this set up, if used and trained with regularly, would be absoluetly *bleeping* devastating and effective.

And that's why I like it.

As gear goes, the quest continues for awesome stuff. However, training with it, knowing deployment options, AND ACTUALLY USING THE SHIT is generally way more important than fru-fru carry cases. Though those kick ass too.

Over and Out. Peace,


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Back on the Road

The Jeep that is.

I owned a Mustang once. I mean twice. Both were great in their own right. A 1967, old iron that carried respect and inspired awe, and a 1998, that owned the streets in modern fashion--at least to my mind. I was somewhat sad to see the '67 hauled off after I sold it to a father and son team off ebay. "Relief" is perhaps the best word to describe the emotion I felt when I took the money and ran, almost literally, to the bus stop after selling the '98. With 267k on the odo, it had more than paid its dues, carrying me from A to B during the best and worst of times.

But the Jeep. The Jeep. A Wrangler in 4WD with the legendary 4.0 under the hood. It's a whole different ball of wax altogether.

Jeeps are built like little tanks. Whereas Mustangs are built for speed, Jeeps take an entirely different approach, much like the turtle in the turtle and the hare parable. Mile for mile, the Jeep keeps marching along. It is not concerned about speed or obstacles, only about finishing the race.

Except when there is an electrical problem, that is.

LOL, I love Jeep Wranglers and their XJ (Cherokee) brethern. They inspire within me a wanderlust that can only be satisfied by getting behind the wheel and slamming the gas. If one can deal with their idiosyncries and not mind being stranded here and there occasionally, then owning a Jeep can be an absolute joy, albeit one that can be difficult to explain to others who don't share the same gluttony for occasional self-inflicted hardship and challenge.

These were my thoughts as I was lampooned on shoulder near the interstate by my house one morning several weeks ago, dialing AAA. I felt no animosity towards me vehicle, only a sense of angst that I couldn't get it to start, and awe mixed with fear at the mechanical conundrums that lie before me. Thank goodness for the Jeep forums, which helped in diagnosing and resolving my issues.

Things that got replaced/installed in this process:

*Champion 7034 sparkplugs
*Crankshaft Position Sensor
*Camshaft Position Sensor
*CCV Valves & Hoses
*Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

The K&N air filter was cleaned, as well as the throttle body, Idle Air Control Sensor, fuel system (BG44k), and the battery, after being tested, had it and its cable leads cleaned up.

The Jeep is up and runs incredibly strong right now, but one last hurdle remains before full harmony can be achieved--the Fuel Regulator/filter on top of the gas tank. The check valve in it has failed, and so I have to crank 2 sometimes 3 times to build up enough fuel pressure to get her to fire up.

Through all this, I have grown ever closer to my '01 Wrangler, especially after driving the minivan to work. While the latter vehicle is perfectly comfortable, I love the fit and feel of my beast 4WD. After all this I am now inspired to spend stupid money on insane modifications that will actually kill MPG and street manners, and create increased off-road performance and personality.

Tragic or not, I just love these damn things. I guess I do fit in out here after all, lol.

Over & Out,