The Man and the Pan
Well, it’s been a mediocre Christmas. It isn’t really a big deal here; only two houses in my street put up lights, and one of them was just a single chain along his gutter. The other was a bit more elegant, so don’t worry. We’re not total heathens on my block.
In the aftermath of Christmas in the horrible shopping spree, my dad and I went to a large homewares store in a major shopping centre to get a new Teflon pan. We drove around and around, but there were so many cars waiting eventually I turned off the engine, pulled out the keys and my dad went in to buy the pan himself. I was starting to doze off when a car near me vacated his space, and around half a minute later a man drives into it. As he got out of his car, he gave me a cocky smirk, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Situations like this tickle my God complex a little, where you feel you have a deeper understanding of a scene than others, and are more in touch with the nature of the universe. I couldn’t help but indulge. Hah.
Several weeks ago I bought a small USB microscope from DealExtreme; I frequently shop there for cheap, dodgy stuff. Like vernier calipers with one end of the caliper chipped off; nice one there. The microscope was a pleasant surprise; it worked out of the box with a basic OpenCV camera driver I had knocked together during when I was being assessed for the internship. I had bought it with the intention of checking knife edges; with adjustable focus and built-in, dimmable LEDs, it’s quite good for up-close stuff.
I’m into knives quite a great deal. I enjoy the way they fit in my hand, the sharp crisp snap when you open it, and the effortless way a properly cared for knife will handle things you use it for. I’ve always enjoyed slowly sharpening a knife freehand, I find it helps me relax quite a great deal and it clears my head. The microscope reveals burrs and tiny flat spots on the blade, which I can then polish out further with fine grit-papers.
Another reason I had bought it was to compare what a good factory edge (from a decent company, like Benchmade or Spyderco) looks like compared to something I had done freehand. It will help me improve, I hope, although I’m rather happy with my level of skill so far from what I’ve seen on the scope. I keep a mini Griptilian as a reference knife for comparisons; I think the handle design, blade shape and lock mechanism work together brilliantly and individually too. Although not exactly costly, I find it simply too…good to use (although I’m sure it can withstand anything I throw at it) and instead I use a Spyderco for normal tasks as I’m not afraid to get it wet or grimy, due to the Griptilian’s relatively exposed (and more elaborate) mechanism.
In other news, Georgie and I went to see Bob Evans recently. If you’re reading this you’ve probably read her blog covering it in much better detail, but I must admit it was fun. What she didn’t tell you was that I was reluctant to go until around two days before, but really. I had a great time and I’m glad I went; it was my sort of ideal event setting (I even shook his hand! haha).
I also got a half-year internship at a robotics development lab in my university, where I will be working on vision software for an automated healthcare robot. The software packages are still a bit new to me and I’m a tad rough around the edges, but we’re getting a feel of each other, hoho.
If you made it this far, I wish you a happy New Year. I just hope it’s not the last one, eh. To be honest the blog title has some relevance to the carpark thing earlier, but it mainly came from my dad, who had to write a poem in primary school and he started it off with ‘a man in a pan…’