What do you EDC?

EDC is the acronym for “everyday carry.”  Most times this is referencing things in your pocket that you might carry.  Many people include things you wear as well.  For me, this means my EDC stuff includes: keys, pocket knife, wrist watch, and cellphone.  I suppose depending on how you interpret the term, I could also include my cross necklace that I never take off.  These are all things that regardless of where I am going or what I am doing, I have on my person.  Since I work in a school district, my pocket knife I bring to school is actually a small safety ceramic cutter made by Slice, it gets the job done most times but I miss having my normal pocket knives when this is all I can carry.

The reason I’m posting about this though is because it got me thinking about the types of EDC items.  For me it breaks down into two categories: those items that I have only one of, and those that I have options for.  My keys and cellphone I only have one of, so that is what I carry.  My cross necklace, I do technically have others, but always wear the same one.  But for pocket knives and watches I have options.  I’ve found that having 4 or 5 options is ideal.  My pocket knife collection includes blades ranging from 1.75″ to 3″ (plus the tiny ceramic one) and different styles.  Depending on what I’ll be doing that day I decide what to carry.  My watches include a dressy analog watch, an older Timex, and my normal everyday watch which is an old Fortis manual wind watch.  I’d like to add a quartz watch like a Bertucci A-1S as an everyday watch for when I’m splitting wood or working on cars etc so I don’t damage the Fortis.  Someday I’ll do that.  But at least my pocket knife collection is complete.  I see no need to purchase any more pocket knifes for the rest of my life, unless or until one goes missing or is damaged beyond repair.  I like that feeling.  I have five total and each one was very carefully selected for certain attributes and qualities.  None were horribly expensive either with the entire collection being worth only $125, or $25 per knife (though it isn’t evenly distributed like that).

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My version of the Shinola Runwell

I love the aesthetics of the Shinola Runwell Men’s Green Face.  However, it is quite pricey at $550 for a watch.  Sizing is reasonable on the small version (36mm) and ridiculous on the largest (47mm).  They are all the same price.  So I decided to use a brown strap and emulate the look with my new to me 1975 Fortis mechanical hand wind watch.  At 34mm it is close in size to the smallest of the Runwells and I think it looks great!  The strap came from clockworksynergy.com again, like last time.

Of course, the benefit to the Shinola is that not only does it look great, but it’s made here in the USA as well!

Left: 47mm Shinola Runwell Men's Green Face, Right: 34mm 1975 Fortis Mechanical Hand Wind w/Brown Nato

Left: 47mm Shinola Runwell Men’s Green Face, Right: 34mm 1975 Fortis Mechanical Hand Wind w/Brown Nato

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A new time piece

12 years ago, Christmas day 2003, my wife (then my girlfriend), game to me a Timex Carriage watch.  For the last 12 years I have worn said watch and it shows it’s wear.  After the band started to fail, and has been repaired, I decided I needed a new watch.  Being short of cash flow, and always interested in something different, I decided to go the used watch route.  In this case, very used.  I stumbled upon an interesting phenomenon where there are many manual wind watches from the early 1970’s to mid 1980’s being sold on eBay from India.  These watches are frequently cleaned and the dials repainted, then shipped out to the US.  I found a 1975 vintage Fortis watch, 17 jewel ST96 swiss movement, in great shape for $12.50 shipped to my door.  The band it came with was new, but garbage.  It broke when I tried putting it on and wasn’t going to be repairable.  So it is wearing the gray cloth strap I wrote about earlier.  Pretty slick, right?  And at 34mm case width it is the same width as my Timex and perfect for my slim 6.5″ circumference wrist.

** Edit **
I let it run out to see how long it’s power reserve is, 49 hours 20 minutes! Since I wind it every morning I have no concern about it running down on me now.

1975-fortis-1

1975 Fortis manual wind watch, swiss ST96 movement

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The perfect, comfy, watch band?

timex-cotton-strap

Timex Carriage with cotton strap

After my metal watch band broke on my 12 year old Timex Carriage, I needed a replacement.  I decided against metal due to the coldness in the winter.  And against nylon due to it’s plastic nature and the fact that it just isn’t environmentally friendly at all.  I finally found a band though, made of cotton!  Unfortunately, it is in limited supply because the company is no longer making them.  No matter, I got one and it is SUPER comfy and I think it looks great to boot!

When I ordered the strap from Amazon, it came in after just a few days.  Unfortunately they sent me a 20mm band instead of the 18mm I needed.  I emailed the company, Clockwork Synergy, directly and they resolved the issue by sending me the proper strap as well as a return envelope to send the wrong one back.  They were very friendly as well, so much so that I plan on buying another strap from them soon.  This time I think I might go with nylon anyway, because I really like the “Heavy Duty Nato” (sometimes known as “Zulu”) strap that they sell.

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Saddleback Leather – Sleeve Wallet

I’ve had back problems on and off for a while.  I’ve started going to a chiropractor, and she recommended that I remove the wallet from my back pocket.  It didn’t comfortably carry in the front pocket, so I got a new one that does.  The Saddleback Leather “Sleeve Wallet.”  I know I tagged this Made in USA, but this is actually made in Mexico.  Or at least mine was, they have a USA model now as well.  It holds “up to 12 cards,” though so far I only have three in mine since that is all I need.  I carry license, debit card, and one credit card.  Perfect!  And it fits just right in normal pants pockets without any bulging, even in dress slacks.

Saddleback Leather "Sleeve Wallet" - Picture courtesy of saddlebackleather.com

Saddleback Leather “Sleeve Wallet” – Picture courtesy of saddlebackleather.com

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Lollipop

So US Cellular finally released android 5.1 for my 2013 moto x. And, I love it!

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Tracy

I’ve never felt as
Weak nor as strong
As I have
The past week long.

Holding the world up
But can’t stay standing.
No sleep on the menu,
Only labor demanding.

We made it through
And 6 days later,
We’ve found ourselves
In a place way better.

I thank the Lord.
I doubt myself.
I’m not fully sure
What this was all about.

All I know is
I did my best.

– Joseph Raymond 2015

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Tracy Nichelle Raymond

On August 18, 2015 our beautiful little girl was born.  Welcome, little one.

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Command line combine pdfs

The other day I needed to combine some pdf files into a single multi-page file.  I hadn’t done this in linux before, so I did some searching on the ol’ internet.  Sure enough, found an easy solution.  UbuntuGeek.com shared this tool: PDFTK.  This is the perfect tool and works with a little command line magic.

First, install PDFTK with this:  sudo apt-get install gs pdftk

Then run it to combine PDF’s with this: gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOUTPUTFILE=combined.pdf -dBATCH 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf

That command is for where you are combining 1.pdf, 2.pdf, and 3.pdf into one pdf called combined.pdf.

That’s it!

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My acoustic guitars

My mid 1970's Toyota acoustic guitar.

My mid 1970’s Toyota acoustic guitar. Notice the fender washers below the bridge, showing how I repaired the bulging top.

I now have two acoustic guitars, a mid 1970’s Toyota and an early 1970’s Harmony Stella.  They are both inexpensively made guitars and both were given to me.  The Toyota while in high school and just recently, the Harmony.  They were also both trying to blow themselves up for a while.

When I received the Toyota, it had a whole in the top of the guitar, to the right side of the sound hole.  Well, it technically had a sticker over the hole.  I played it like that for a few years, then eventually upgraded the sticker.  Then decided to patch the hole.  I used tissue paper and Elmer’s glue.  Then I painted the quadrant black.  After a few more years of playing the Toyota, the top started literally pulling right off the guitar, bulging up more than a half inch.  At that point I added two aluminum binding posts to pull it back together, with fender washers on the back side of the guitar.  This repair fixed the issue and I still play the guitar on a fairly regular basis, 8 years later.

My mid 1970's Harmony Stella acoustic guitar.

My early 1970’s Harmony Stella acoustic guitar. Just as free as my Toyota and also needing work. All fixed and playing well now.

The Harmony came to me almost unplayable.  It needed a neck reset as the action was more than 1/3 of an inch!  I used a saw to cut the neck heel and then bolted it back together.  The top of the guitar under the fretboard overhang was sunk in a lot too, so I made a bolster from a dowel and glued that in.  It is now ugly, but playable.  Even with the super thick “C” shape neck and poor fretwork, this guitar actually has pretty good tone – I was very pleasantly surprised.

This shows how I cut and then bolted the neck back in place.

This shows how I cut and then bolted the neck back in place.

 

Interior shot showing the brace as well as the wing nut on the neck bolt.

Interior shot showing the brace as well as the wing nut on the neck bolt.

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