I made a video for the Sparky and got it up on youtube last night. I wanted to show the knife in better detail and show what it can do, so go listen to me ramble for a few minutes about sharp things.
While on a quest to find some cured bacon, I came across Patak Meat Products, in Austell, GA. I have been looking for a quality meat store for a while, especially one that offered some cured and smoked meats that I could take backpacking without worries of spoilage. I have been to many meat stores over the years, and have never really found one that was all that great. I submit PMP as the best meat store ever (yes, I know they are called butcher shops), for several reasons:
UNO – Location – PMP is in the middle of nowhere in Austell, which is already in the middle of nowhere. OK, Austell is right next to Atlanta, but Austell still feels like the middle of nowhere. We passed by a Marathon facility with a hell of a lot of petroleum products silos, several trailer parks, a few sketchy neighborhoods, and a junk yard or two. Mind you, PMP is a very nice, clean, neat looking group of buildings, with several high end German vehicles sitting out front, so their choice of locations was interesting. Maybe zoning laws do not take kindly to a buttload of meat. I know it does not sound like a good location, but it is maybe 10 miles from me, which makes it a fantastic location.
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Here are some more shots from Callaway Gardens. You can find larger versions of all of them in the forums.
My wife and I headed to Callaway Gardens yesterday to see what was going on in the world of butterflies and flowers. I haven’t been there in at least 10 years, and that was only for the Christmas lights show, and she hasn’t ever really looked around the grounds of the gardens, so we both were not prepared for some of the wonderfulness that we came across.
The day started with the Butterfly House (or whatever they call it), which is one of the gardens’ main attractions, and for good reason. You walk in to the lobby, with butterfly artwork and fat rednecks everywhere, then stroll through some double doors into the hatching area. From what I can tell, they let the caterpillars form cocoons in a lab type area, then pin them up in rows in a display behind glass so visitors can watch the process. Judging from the amount of butterflies in the conservatory combined with the short life span of a butterfly, taking care of the cocoons is a constant process.
Several people have contacted me, asking that I start offering a fire kit for sale on Going Gear, so this is that kit. The kit is a refinement of several that I have made for myself and others, and is one that will cover a wide range of situations.
You have two quick and easy flame/spark sources, a bottle lighter (no fluid included) and a firesteel. You have three types of tinders: wax and sawdust, fatwood, and PJ cotton balls. You have a striker/tinder scraper with the hacksaw blade piece. You have duct tape to hold the tinder scrapings in windy conditions, or to do just about anything else, since duct tape is the most awesome thing [i]ever[/i]. You even have a badass plastic container from Target brand travel sized Q-tips. Finally, you have a ranger band to hold it all together. Of course, being a fire kit, especially from a pyro like me, you can burn the case, the ranger band, and the duct tape as well if you are really hurting to get a fire going.
Ideally, the firesteel and lighter would be used in most situations, since you can usually find natural tinder in the area to get a fire going. If you are lazy or everything is soaking wet, then you turn to the included tinders (or the case, ranger band, and duct tape).
I finally received the firesteel knife from the knifemaker, Erik Boese, a couple of days ago. I am giddy with excitement over this thing. It is exactly what I wanted it to be, so hats off to Erik for doing a great job bringing our ideas to reality. I think I am going to go with Sparky as the name for it, since that sounds awfully appropriate for what the knife is. I wanted to wait until I had some nice shots of it before posting too much more about it, so I took care of that today: