A Couple Month’s Difference

The linear park changed a lot over the last couple of months. There is now much vegetation and it doesn’t look like the desert.

We often walk the linear parkway from Room Street east to Saliman Road (and sometimes beyond). There are lots of birds and a few other critters we encounter along the way. Some areas are infested with California Ground Squirrels, which The Girl loves to chase. Dogs are permitted to be off-lead and it’s a good place to give her a run.

The winter months held this area in bleak grays. There was some water, of course, and a few waterfowl. But mostly it was cold, gray, and dead. When we walked the path a few days ago, I noticed that it now looks like a wetland. (It is.) The contrast was a little startling and called for an image.

Healing Nicely

This is a happy, if somewhat impatient dog. She’s healing nicely, although she still looks a bit Frankenteinish.

A couple of mornings ago I opened the inside door to let in some morning sun. The Girl immediately gravitated toward the warmth. (She was putting some not-so-subtle pressure on me to go on walkies.) The pose demanded an image.

Although she still looks a bit Frankensteinish, her wounds are healing nicely and the sutures will be removed tomorrow. They don’t seem to bother her and she leaves them alone. She’s really very easy to care for, unlike me.

Key Smart

This Key Smart is part of my EDC.

About two years ago (maybe a bit more) I tired of the jangle of keys in my pocket, their weight, and from being poked when I sat or moved such that they snagged me through my pocket. After reading about a number of alternative modes for carrying keys (which we all must carry), I purchased an original Key Smart from Amazon.

The Key Smart is not the most expensive tool for carrying keys. It is adjustable and can carry more keys than I do (about a half-dozen). Care is required to get the tension right on the screws or you might strip the female end or leave them unsecured, which means you might have a “key explosion.” I read a few reviews that included horror stories of lost keys, which were accompanied by negative reviews and “star” ratings. I believe these are undeserved as they represent user error (or SUE, AKA “Stupid User Error”) and a lack of care and attention to one’s carry kit. I have had no problem with the carrier after making some adjustments to the tension on the retaining screws.

After two years of EDC, the anodizing is holding up well. There is a bit of brassing at high-contact points, though.
I noticed a few follow-up questions on Amazon a few weeks ago. There was some concern that the “paint” might wear off. As far as I can tell, my Key Smart is anodized aluminum and has held up quite well. There is some brassing along the edges, which is to be expected for an EDC piece of kit. I don’t think this detracts from the appearance; I think it shows that an item is used and loved.

To carry my Key Smart, I purchased an S-Biner (Nitecore, I believe and actually I purchased a multi-unit kit). I hung the unit from a belt loop for awhile, but decided I didn’t like that. It didn’t feel secure. It was “floppy” and banged around a bit when I was active or in a confined space. Therefore, I fashioned a loop from some Coyote Brown paracord, with the loop about eight- or ten-inches in length. I use a larks head knot over my belt and clip the Key Smart’s S-Biner to the loop, which then hangs in my pocket without touching the bottom of my pocket.

The weight is carried on my belt (which is beginning to look like a Bat Belt), there is no wear-and-tear on my pocket, and my keys don’t touch the bottom of my pocket or any of the contents of my pocket.

This works for me. I carry all my regular-use keys in the Key Smart with the exception of my 4Runner key. That lives in my second-level EDC kit.

I’ll make a photograph of a pocket dump one of these days and post the contents. I might do the second-level EDC kit then, as well as the third-level and my pack kit at some time.

Nevada State School

This is one of the structures along the perimeter of the quadrangle area. The structures are used only for storage now. At one time this was a thriving community of teachers and orphans.

I started carrying my Fuji X-T1 a few days ago on our daily walkies. I decided that enough time passed that I should be carrying a real camera again, with good glass. Mornings are one of my favorite times to make images, especially early when the sun is low.

The Girl and I have walked this area many times (almost every day since returning to Carson). It was once an orphanage and school run by the State of Nevada. Now it’s only a collection of structures used by the state for storage. Sometimes the structures are used by Carson City Sheriff’s deputies to work K-9 units. Most of the time the area is populated (sparsely) by canines and their handlers.

We love the green, the large trees, and the fact that off-leash work is permitted. Most of the others who visit are friendly, or at least polite. The Girl loves to romp in the grass and there are plenty of California ground squirrels to chase. They are cagey, though, and she has yet to catch one of them in this area. (Some others have not been quite so fortunate, though.)

On this particular morning we walked on the capitol grounds. I was hoping for something interesting to present itself for a photograph. There was no joy, however. But this capture was one that pleased me. So I thought I would share it.

Carson Lumberyard and Flume

The site of the historic Carson City lumberyard and flume, with a very happy dog.

It’s difficult to imagine, but a century-and-a-half ago this site was covered with logs from the Sierra Nevada waiting to be processed into timber for mining and other applications. A large flume was used to convey the harvested logs to this site, where they were staged for milling.

Now it’s a linear parkway and a favorite place for dogs and handlers to play. When we do morning walkies in town, it is one of our favorite routes. The Girl loves the fact that ground squirrels populate the area and provide prey to chase. Then she loves the cool, moist grass (obviously) for a nice romp and roll after hunting rodents. I like the cool that emanates from the grass and the shade of the large trees surrounding the site. Plus there is a sense of history that hangs here. I know that men worked this area to make a living. Their energy still lives here. It is nearly tangible.

The Girl’s vet called me a couple of days ago. The mass he was concerned about was a hemagiopericytoma, which is an old term for a soft tissue sarcoma. The pathologist called it Grade 1, which means that there is a 15-percent probability that it will return or metastasize. The margins were clear so he got all of the dangerous tissue. It is the best we can do and I’m not going to worry about it.

But I still f*ing hate cancer. I remind myself regularly that there is only here, there is only now.

Schrade SCHF15 EDC Blade

The Schrade SCHF15 is a fine EDC blade.

Some time ago (can’t remember anymore) I bought this Schrade SCHF15 blade. Although Schrade has a rather mixed reputation, some of their knives are quite good. I like this blade quite a lot. It is a full-tang fixed blade with a useable 3.5-inch (more or less) Tanto point blade. The weight is about right for a fixed-blade EDC, the G10 scales are nicely sculpted, and the finger choil and jimping work for me.

I like Tanto blades for their penetrating power. The hollow grind lightens the blade and provides very good cutting power. The sheath that accompanies the blade is decent and is adjustable. I’m going to put a lanyard on the sheath, remove the belt loop, and make it an IWB draw that will draw when the lanyard is stretched. That will make appendix carry straightforward and I won’t have the blade digging into my side or blocking access to my sidearm.

The honed/stropped edge of my Schrade SCHF15 EDC blade.
I noticed that the edge needed some attention, so I put the Schrade in my KME sharpener and rebeveled the edge and get it nice and sharp. The bevel angle was a little flat at 27 degrees (I prefer about 25 degrees for edge strength) and the factory bevel was a little uneven. But it cleaned up well and only took me about a half-hour to finish the job.

I stropped the edge on my Stropman strop (wonderful product) and it has nearly a mirror edge. It is razor sharp as well.

I think this will be my EDC fixed blade for quite some time. I like the design, the heft, the balance, and the scales. I think this one is a keeper.

Frankenstein’s Monster

The Girl came through her surgery fine, with the exception that she now looks like Frankenstein’s Monster. I didn’t photograph the hip incision/sutures… they are the worst and will take longest to heal.
Although I haven’t written in quite a while, it isn’t that I haven’t thought about it. I suppose I was in something of a slump, not making photographs and not doing much writing. Travel was hard and there is quite a lot of work at the moment.

In May it was time for The Girl’s annual. I had questions about some lumps and bumps that I felt on/under her skin. As Doc worked through her regular review, he decided to biopsy a couple of her lumps. The one on her left hip was particularly concerning to him.

He put the sample on a slide and checked it under the microscope. He called it a “Round Cell Tumor” and indicated that is is malignant, although the opinion of a pathologist would be required to confirm that diagnosis. So she was scheduled for a bit more than her usual skin treatment. The work was done yesterday.

She was whiny and clingy last night (can’t really blame her) but is back to herself today. We have not played rowdy because she’s on restricted duty until her wounds knit. A pathology report will be provided next week after the laboratory has time to process the tumor. Hopefully, the margins will be clear and she will be fine.

I f*ing hate cancer.