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Thread: So... Once Upon a Time...

  1. #181

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Once upon a time on a big project, it was announced that there was going to be a big ole shin-dig for the community when the first half of a new bridge was opened. The original half was going to be closed as the community were going to be invited to party on the old bridge for two days. At 5pm on a Friday the new bridge would be opened and the old bridge closed.

    It was an invitation only affair. All the bosses were bragging about going. Us pee-on's had not been invited. So I get a phone call from a twirp boss guy saying I was tapped to park cars that Sunday (with a forecast of over 100). "What?!? No ******** way I'm doing that ********." He says "ok" and hangs up. My supervisor calls me up and asks why I wouldn't park cars. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING YOU SO N SO, NO ******* WAY!!! I QUIT". He says "are you seriously quitting?" "Yup". He says "now?" "Yup, right ******* now you *********". He says "well we wanted you to park a few cars today when the mayor and the press arrive to cut the ribbon at 10:00am". I said "well I'll do that but I aint doing it Sunday". He says "Sunday? What are you talking about?" I say "you guys drove me in the ground day after day, month after month while you set in a climate controlled ivory tower and now won't even invite me to your stupid little party? Screw you man". He says "Sunday? No, nobody says anything about you working Sunday". "What party?" "I need you to park the mayor in 15 minutes". "Are you quitting or not?"

    I say "so you don't need me to come out here on Sunday?"
    He repeats "Sunday? What in Heavens name are you talking about? Sunday?" I said "uh, boss can I take back everything I just said?"

    Turns out the twirp boss was tapped to park cars on Sunday and tried to shirk it off on me. While wearing an old dirty vest and hard hat, I parked the mayor, local big shots and the press then walked up to the ribbon cutting ceremony with my SLR camera in hand. The mayor was giving a speech when I walked up and he stopped. He says to the press "make a hole for that guy" (talking about me) "he helped build this dam thing" (thinking I was one of the workers I suppose due to the safety gear I was wearing). I politely took a photo as he posed for the cameras and stepped back in the crowd.

    I'd forgotten that one Mono until you told your "oops" story. lol.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 06-15-2019 at 12:40 PM.
    John 3:16

  2. #182

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    I'm glad things ended on a good note for you. I just honestly wish my situation was the same. The meeting did indeed turn out to be nonsense. I, and the senior Security Officer/Fire Marshall were the only ones who attended the mandatory meeting a few days later. None of the other guys suffered any consequences for not being there. It was literally a refresher course on Fire Safety. Something my Fire Guard qualifications had covered more in-depth. And certainly didn't require a refresher.

    Everyone else simply got the same stapled stack of papers the two of us did, later on. With a sheet to sign saying they got the "workbook" and had read the darn thing. Obviously everyone else just simply signed. Again, nonsense. The client's representative wasn't even at that meeting. Only reason I didn't quit on the spot is because that site is, by comparison, the least headache-inducing out of all the client sites I ever worked at. Also, it's not in Manhattan. Meaning I can drive there. Not having to share a subway train with the dregs of Society. And honestly, that's putting it mildly with an objective look at the NYC subway system. So I stayed.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  3. #183

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Sometimes the job becomes work. Other times it's a pleasure. I figure it like this as I get older and the toilet paper roll called life nears its ending, having fun or not time flies unless you're being tortured.


    Some once upon a time flashlight stuff on a Fathers Day morning:

    Once upon a time I was adding electrical circuits to an automobile. The transmission lines were already taxed by incan light bulbs. So just splicing in another receptacle was out. I began researching LED lighting in automobiles. Not long before that I needed a bright light at work and my minimag was not cutting the mustard. A coworker rolls up with a 300 lumen LED light the size of my forearm. Think 2D Maglite. Only this thing was rechargeable and very bright. I did not know that the novelty thing called an LED was capable of such awesomeness. 300 lumens from an LED? Seriously? It was 2014 or so. Yes I was stuck in a time warp.

    Ok, so between that night and searching for LED sockets for that car I researched online and this Candle Power place kept popping up. One night at 2am I'm bored at work, so why not pop in and say hello? Once I got past the roadblock of the initial three posts I thought it was easy. The "what's this" thingy kept showing me stuff I did not understand. I'd hit send and get "WRONG, TRY AGAIN". Post 4 was probably my favorite post here. I'm in, I'm official....

    At that point I thought "man, there aint nuthin' better than these Coast lights". I kept seeing SureFire this and SureFire that. "What kind of stupid name is that for a flashlight?" I thought. "Now Energizer Hard Case"...thatz a cool name for a flashlight. And why would somebody name a flashlight after a Russian flu bug? Malkoff?

    One day I tried one of those SureFire numbers. Still believing any flashlight more than $35 was a waste of money I plunked down $55 for a G2x Pro. "This this better be good. Heck it doesn't even zoom".... Welp that sucker opened the flood gates to a full blown case of flashaholic disease with a Malkoff fever.

    I worked a lot of nights then and figured an onset of fatigue was due to a sarcadian rhythm issue. When I returned to days it got worse. I abandoned the car project due to lack of interest and lack of energy. Instead I spent a lot of time between naps reading and learning about flashlights. By this time I probably owned about 50 flashlights. Before joining here I already had a slew of $6 work type niche lights with telescoping ends or magnetic base. But now I owned a slew that were fed off old SLR camera batteries.

    Along the way I began meeting people online who were involved in flashlight repairs, designs or the industry in general. A friendly bunch of chaps. "Us weirdos gotta stick together" I figured. I began collecting antique lights and restoring them since the car project was out. I could restore a flashlight between naps while sitting on my sofa. One day I received a PM from a long time member asking if I'd mail a couple of Maglites to him across the planet. "Gladly". Then one night I'm reading about a famous SureFire engineer had left SureFire and started his own gig. Being a consumer of flashlight know how I read all kinds of old threads about this "PK" fellow and became a fan. Now at that time I was accumulating a plethora of lights from the old days while adding some SLR camera fed LED lights to a collection. Mostly Streamlight back then. But I tried one of the lights by this PK chap and that was that. My holy grail. Yet the masses were not thrilled by them for a variety of reasons.

    Being a fan of the underdog I spoke favorably here and often. Meanwhile another not-so-famous flashlight guru Bill Utely had sent me an autographed copy of his book. An encylopedia of flashlight history. The fellow who requested the Maglites had done a thread about his book long ago and I ordered one from Bill who was now advanced in years and focused his life taking care of an ailing wife. Famous collector Steve Gitterman had shown me a host of tricks to get old non working lights going and old dull working ones to shine brightly again.

    The fellow who requested the Maglites member Lightlover put me in touch with PK. Holy smokes. They had become friends in early (pre-Greta) CPF days and apparently PK had done a lot to help CPF stay afloat at one point. I received word that Bill Utely's wife had passed on to her reward about that time. And another light collector David White and I were communicating about details of old flashlight history.

    Communicating with PK led to some great stories at 2am Monday my time, 2pm Tuesday his time. He was learning how to live in a foreign land while launching his own flashlight company. He did not strike me as an eccentric at all, but was a very down to earth, very generous person who happened to understand the physics of lighting technology. Some he invented, some he learned from other great minds of the time. Meanwhile another member here (Poppy) had started a popular thread to show flashlights while travelling. Me, I never went anywhere but my wife did. So she'd carry one or two of my lights and show it with something cool in the background.

    I started a small business selling PK's new lights. Being they were not very well received by the masses, and the target market was folks whose jobs are largely done in secret, I was not getting rich by any means. Yet again I was meeting people and sharing stories. Unsung heroes who are like good plumbers...when they do it right nobody knows they were there. PK decided to go back to his roots from SureFire days and focus on pure tactical lights for military and specialized law enforcement. Bill Utely has disappeared into his own world where he is still writing history down, but not flashlight related. Poppy pops in here from time to time and Lightlover is somewhere across the big pond in obscurity.
    Meanwhile the lethargy thing was solved with a couple of old guy pills where worn out body parts just need a hand from the Pheizer corparation.

    So today I figured why not share some of my favorite photos of flashlights.

    A few PK related;

    An ad for his new company.
    I took a photo of my car keys and he doctored it up the PK way.


    He sent me some prototypes.


    Lightlover said "make it tailstand".
    An early PR-1 with prototype tail stand tailcap next to his personal favorite invention the E1.


    One that never happened.
    PK had begun a collaboration with Chris Kyle Frog Foundation but legal stuff stopped it from happening. Nothing wrong happened, just communications got cut between them and the idea for special edition CKFF lights never happened.


    PK's first try at re-entering the weapon light realm.
    Note the bullet on the right. His PRX being torture tested along with a new model of rifle for combat.

    Now some antique stuff;

    AA lights from the 1930's to 1970's.


    A very early light bulb
    From around 1912 this was for a 2aa pistol shaped number and it still works.


    A couple restored
    From about 1915 neither burned brightly but with tips from Steve Gitterman they look and act like new.


    A depression era promo
    If you had enough dough to buy flashlight batteries you also got a free flashlight in about 1934.


    A search and rescue light
    Back when the light bulb was king and more batteries meant more output, this giant head 7 cell number could easily light up to 500 feet. Big deal for the 1950's.

    From the LED museum;

    A wooden 2x AA light by Menards.
    It turns out chain store mogul John Menard is a flashaholic. In about 2014 he sold these throwey wooden numbers for about $10 at Menards department stores.


    The tiny light with big output.
    An outfit called Pentagon entered the military lighting tool market briefly. The 1xAA "Molle" light was nearly as bright as it's 6 volt incan competitor the Pelican 2320.


    The Timex of LED modules
    The P60L took a beating and kept on working. It had been run over by a bulldozer.

    One for the Poppy thread.

    Somewhere in buyou country.
    The pink elephant said "holy crap I drank so much I just saw a flashlight." The flashlight said "holy crap I drank so much I saw a pink elephant".

    So once upon a time I needed a brighter flashlight. And the rest is history....
    Last edited by bykfixer; 06-16-2019 at 10:00 AM.
    John 3:16

  4. #184

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Fantastic story and photos.

    It's unfortunate that SureFire sued PentagonLights out of existence, despite never having proved any of the allegations against them and never getting a judgement against PL. That was a great little angle-head light.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  5. #185

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Eh, the whole thing was unfortunate.
    Last edited by bykfixer; Yesterday at 06:42 PM.
    John 3:16

  6. #186

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Yes, very unfortunate. PL made some good lights.
    Last edited by Monocrom; Yesterday at 07:02 PM.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  7. #187

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Pentagon was competing with Streamlight, Pelican and SureFire.

    Once upon a time the company entered into a contract that required 100% US made parts. This was before the "when available" clause.

    Lots of misinformation swirled about. But it boiled down to a large investment had been made for the contract and they had to withdraw.

    The SureFire story was unrelated.

    Streamlight made a large booboo at one point and nearly met the fate of Pentagon suffered later. They managed to secure a big contract with their Scorpion which saved them. But Streamlight engineers had helped NASA during the Apollo days and had found favor in the US government hiarchy. SureFire, pre-SureFire had also helped the US government with the invention of two things. Pistol laser and the not widely known at the time fiber optic cable. Hence the name Laser Products early on.

    Pelican was known for dive technology and waterproof containers. They entered the police light application but were not competing with the big boys on the big boys turf like Pentagon was.

    Pentagon had some great ideas and built some pretty good stuff. But when they decided to compete with the big boys on the big boys turf, their war chest was nowhere large enough to survive and they had not gained the favor from beaurecrats. The SureFire thing was the straw that broke Pentagons back.
    Last edited by bykfixer; Today at 07:01 PM.
    John 3:16

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