Sunday, November 14, 2010


Greetings Bloggies.

Its been a while since I have written. I am back in vancouver. I came back on the 5th. Its good to be back but thats a separate post. This is a post I thought up while at Rabbit lake. Stuff, we all have it especially the people who read blogs.

I would say I am not the most materialistic of folks living in industrialized consumer economy, but I have my share of stuff. What got me thinking as my aged steel toed work boots absorbed water through their partly delaminated soles was that how little of the stuff I own has really brought value or utility to my life. In this case value stemmed from devices that have helped me earn money. I could do a separate post on items of personal or sentimental value.

I'll start with the foundation. Boots. I have two pair of quality boots between the two of them nearly every dollar I have made was spent standing in them or walking in them. Acquired first were the Scarpa hikers, my third pair of proper hiking boots and the first not to fail on a poorly placed seam. They have been resoled once but the resoling left them tighter then they were originally. Many an afternoon or evening was spent tramping across naked metavolcanics in a greenstone belt. That 2.5 billion year old pressure cooked volcanic rock wore those soles out.

Boot number two the work boots. Heavy bricks of hard rubber and leather. Not much for walking but a great boot to stand in. Stand I did, looking at rock in boxes for days on end leads to standing. They had one weakness I did not know about till after I got to the north. It turns out the hard compound rubber in their sole gets piss poor traction on snow or ice, worse then nearly any shoe I have have ever owned. Despite that they have still managed to have a huge number of hours logged in them. I debate resoling them. They might be worth it but that would also be a symbolic admission that I believe I will return to the lines of work that those boots represent, something I am aiming to avoid.

Next up is the multi tool. The least used item on it is the can opener. The knife has most often been used to sharpen wax china markers. I once tried to one of the longer narrow, not knife parts to pry off a hubcap on a truck. The truck was stuck with a flat on Prosperous outside Yellow Knife. I was trying to change the tired and had never seen the arrangement that truck presented to me. There was a plastic hubcap which had on it plastic lug-nuts. In the kit was a second tire wrench sized for the plastic nuts. Never having seen a hubcap that did not just pop off I could not image an arrangement as insane as that. So I did what I thought made sense, try to lever off the cap. I failed and had to beat the tool back into shape to fit it back in the housing.

Of the items that make me money perhaps most iconic is the hand lens. When pressed I will answer that I am a geologist. This is a suitable answer to outsiders as I have not yet attained a standing in the related professional organization. After a rock hammer the hand lens is iconic of geology. The pair, a cheap 10X and a vertigo inducing 30X have often let me identify tiny specks of gold that would have other wise passed me by. The flip side is true, they have also removed false positives from my data collection.
The art to using the 30X one is to focus your eye on the target and then slip the lens between you and it, you will never find what you were looking for if you go at it half assed.

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Nice post. I'd go for resoling the boots just in case they are needed, and then put them in a dark corner as a signal that you don't really want to use them to earn money....