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Thread: Night Shift

  1. #91

    Default Re: Night Shift

    Tonight I was prepared for a Maglite battle royal. However the contractor forgot to notify the folks that handle communications between companies that send over size loads from point a to b. So in other words while the contractor was out in the main road that goes from Buffalo to Miami or something there could be a ginormous something or other that left Philly 3 days ago for Atlanta and gets stuck behind us……uh, not good.

    My celphone rings and if it's officer so n so with the State Police who informs me my contractor is not authorized to work on that road tonight and it's up to me to make sure he doesn't have to arrest anybody. Gulp!! Nuff said.

    My lineup was to be the ML25 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 LED version, versus a 3 cell incan with 2x 18650's using a Streamlight TL3 bulb, versus a 2 cell with 2x 18500's and a 4 cell xenon bipin, versus Gen 1 LED with a pumpkin orange lens, versus Maglite 2D classic LED mega thrower versus a Maglite 3D with a Malkoff drop in. And for kicks and giggles a 1974 2C Kel-Lite using 18500 fuel and a 4 cell PR base bulb versus a Maglite 2C classic using 18500 fuel and a 4 cell bipin bulb.

    For pure throw my money rides on the 2D classic mega thrower to win, classic 2C for runner up and the 1974 Kel Lite to place.
    John 3:16

  2. #92
    Enlightened Jean-Luc Descarte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    Poor communication kills. Or at least sets work back significantly.

  3. #93

    Default Re: Night Shift


    A completed strip of roadway in a land time forgot.

    Speaking to a local fellow who pulled into where I was sitting as an observer, truckers really like the little candles between skip lines, especially the red ones as that keeps them referrenced after driving miles after mile. As in they know that aint the side of the road they want to be on.

    Most of my time was sitting in a truck with flashing lights at hill crests. See, there were numerous blind spots due to vertical changes and often the truck out front grinding the grooves into the pavement would be a couple hundred feet out front of the truck placing the reflectors and crash cushion truck behind that one. So when truck one was on one side of a blind spot and the others behind him were visible, I sat on the crest of the hill that was causing the blind spot with my lights on to ensure motorists passing the crash cushion truck stayed in the same lane as they passed over the hill in order to prevent said motorist from crashing into the back of a big ole asphalt eating Tonka toy.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-01-2020 at 01:18 AM.
    John 3:16

  4. #94

    Default Re: Night Shift

    I guess I could put this in the "Coronavirus II" topic. But since it seems some folks latch onto any post in there to try to start an argument, I'll post this here. (I'm at the point where I'm almost exclusively posting updates in that topic instead of responding to others.)

    So, my night shift job is at a huge building with cameras everywhere. The outdoor ones are extremely well concealed. Management has made it clear that they don't want the HUGE parking lots turning into a hang out for the Homeless. So much so that they've given all the security officers permission to kick them out. If they refuse to leave, call the police. Let them deal with it, mention the call in your daily shift report. And, management will 100% back you up.

    Sounds great.... on paper. So, lately I started noticing a certain vehicle that would enter the lot just after 10:30pm, and leave before my shift ended, around 7am. This went on for a handful of days. The vehicle definitely looked out of place among the mainly current model Chevy SUVs and Malibu sedans. And out of place among the current model Toyota Prius, and RAV4s. (Fleet vehicles.) And out of place among the higher-end cars that were personal transportation vehicles.

    Walking by one night, I noticed a guy sleeping inside. He wasn't doing much of a job of trying to cover up either. Unfortunately, the client keeps a couple of the gates open 24/7 for monetary reasons I won't get into. Though nothing illegal. Just makes our job harder. Well, on this night, it wasn't just the guy sleeping in his car.

    Mild rain. While doing my rounds, I spotted someone asleep in an alcove that kept the rain off of them. Lying down with a white towel covering up most of their body. That's how I knew it was a homeless person instead of someone who might have fallen, hit their head, and needed help. This was also after hours on a weekend night. Made my way back to the desk to get my pepper spray. Been at the client's site for just over 5 years and this was the first such thing that ever took place there while I worked the night shift. Went back outside, stood a few away with my pepper spray concealed in one hand. I had put a 20 dollar bill in the other.

    Woke the guy up. Thankfully he wasn't violent. Just obviously a bit drunk, and chose to walk all the way to this alcove at the far end of the lot from both of the open gates. He was genuinely shocked to hear about the presence of video cameras all over the property. I respectfully told him it would be best to leave. He began complying immediately. Though slowly. I handed him the $20 after he at first refused, and told me it was okay. I politely insisted until he took it. Letting him know not to ever return here again. Otherwise next time, I'd have to call the police.

    Thing is, the police in the area come in all the time to use the restrooms or sit and eat in the public seating areas during their meal breaks. They know us, we know them. They're very friendly with building security. But they don't play around. Most places, the Homeless have no problem with the police being called on them. They arrive, refusal to leave, get arrested for trespassing. Minor charge. End up in jail for a few hours. To them, now they have shelter and can look forward to a free meal. Maybe some free medical attention if they're really hurting. As for the criminal charge? What have they got to lose? Not as though they have a job they'll be fired from if their boss learns they've been locked up. Judges typically find them guilty, sentence them to Time Served, and release them back onto the streets.

    Things are different in this neighborhood. The police are aware of what the Homeless sometimes do for shelter and a free meal. And they really hate having their time wasted like that. They don't ever take things too far. But let's just say the local Homeless population here knows not to try to get arrested for shelter and a free meal because that's not what they're going to end up getting. I waited by the alcove as the homeless guy slowly walked away in the general direction of the main gate. No need to follow him. If he went anywhere else in the lot, I'd see him on the security cameras at the main desk later.

    So now, went to deal with the other individual. The one in the car that stood out from all the other ones. The one parked in an isolated spot. SureFire Tactician in one hand, pepper spray in the other. Used the same respectful approach. Thankfully the guy responded in kind. Told me how he was a Veteran, how he was out of work due to the pandemic, how he recently got kicked out of his apartment because he had no money coming in. And, he was now living out of his car. Told me about a good friend of his, also a veteran. Same thing happened to him. But he killed himself over it. Not sure if he was lying about that last part. Hopefully he was. Gave him my condolences. Respectfully told him he had to leave.

    He told me that he never bothered anyone, never caused any trouble, always left early in the morning. I agreed with him, he was right. Trouble is, cameras all over the place. And I've worked there long enough to know that the manager always gets around to checking them. Had I let the guy keep using the lot like that, the client's manager would have found out about it soon enough. And when he gets mad, someone usually gets fired. So, my job was being put at risk. I spoke to him man-to-man. Mutual respect. He understood. And that was it. It's only been a couple of nights. Thankfully neither individual has returned, and I hope it stays that way.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  5. #95

    Default Re: Night Shift

    At one point in my life I slept in the bed of my pickup a couple of nights.
    Later I had a nice apartment but I never appreciated it fully until one night while working a night shift on a night you leave for work with a jacket and carry another knowing you'll need that too. Around midnight I was on a coffee run and saw a person about my age under the eve of a porch at a bank folding out his cardboard box shelter and unfolding his newspaper blankets. When I arrived back at my apartment I opened kitchen cabinet doors marveling all the food, then my fridge doing same, I turned on the faucet and ran warm water while giggling like a 3rd grader who got away with looking up teachers skirt. Then I laid on my carpet and started doing snow angels……

    Tonight I got the chance to photograph the Maglite ML25 gen 1 and gen 2 in a way that shows where those extra 20 lumens went. Throw.


    The Gen 1 reaching out about the length of a football field shows trees and such ok


    The Gen 2 reaching out same length even better.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-01-2020 at 08:47 PM.
    John 3:16

  6. #96

    Default Re: Night Shift

    I wish I could have done something. I hope the first guy took the $20 and used it for food. Or at least, some of it for food. I hope the other guy found a new spot he could sleep at, at least until he finds work again. Obviously it's far from reasonably priced to live in NYC. And unfortunately, the number of New Yorkers now living out of their vehicles is much higher than ever.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  7. #97
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    Seems like the homeless are increasing in number in the big cities. I'm concerned they might freeze to death out on the streets of those northern cities. Most probably feel like no one cares. Monocrom, sounds like you do.
    Bykfixer, I like those beam shots. Please keep going. This is a good thread to share your experiences as a consultant in construction and to share your fun with flashlights. Man, that newer 2c ML25LT sure blows the older one away!

  8. #98

    Default Re: Night Shift

    Soooooo many channels to choose from regarding why the larger homeless issue that continues to grow. At one point in my life the vast majority were bums. Just flat out bums. But things have gotten so dang complicated now a days that millions of ordinary people are a paycheck away from being homeless.

    I remember a day setting at a table in a big city eating a slice of pizza and across the street were two ordinary looking dudes wearing trench coats. Nothing special. Suddenly a policeman pulls up and starts talking to them. It seems as though they had walked into a convenience store and stuffed multiple cases of beer in their trench coats and walked out. A postal worker had seen it and reported it to the store clerk. Apparently the store clerk scoffed and said "they just want to get arrested so they have a warm bed tonight". The postal worker got mad and called the police on these two bums and the store clerk. The policeman apparently explained to the frustrated postal worker how these fellows do this often in fall and winter trying to get arrested so they can be fed and have a place to sleep. So the policeman approaches the two fellows who give up the stolen beer without incident.

    I was with 2 fellows who had found spots in that city to ride their bmx bikes to perform stunts and I was the camera man. The 2 bike riders had never seen such a thing as that and walked across the street and handed to two bums some pizza. I said "don't do it, don't feed the bums"…… well for the rest of that day everywhere we went bums kept pestering them for money. And off in the distance were those two guys in trench coats. Eventually we were robbed at gun point for their bikes and the camera I was using. Off in the distance were those two fellows with trench coats. So on the drive home one of the bike riders said to the other "that's the last time I feed a homeless guy"……

    I had worked in big cities before and had seen all kinds of tricks pulled on nice, trusting people. But I had also had the distinct pleasure of helping a man who just needed a boost. Divine intervention if you will. This one guy kept popping up where I was. A gas station, a Taco Bell, what have you. Obviously homeless but he never asked me for anything except a few minutes to talk. Just talk. One day I saw the guy pandering. I had been shopping one Saturday near Christmas and had saved $50 to drop in a Salvation Army bucket. But there were none in that town. None.

    I see the guy at a red light and pulled down my ballcap so he could not see it was me. I handed him the $50 with my head turned like a driveby drug deal and went on my way. The next week I saw the guy at the construction site where I work scraping up concrete blobs on a new concrete pavement lane about to be opened to traffic. Thousands of small dollops of concrete had fallen off loads of concrete moving from point a to b. And here was this man crawling around on his hands and knees scraping them with a paint scraper. A few days later he goes whizzing by me driving one of those concrete trucks grinning from ear to ear. He told someone there that some stranger had given him $50 one day that he used to buy some work boots. The person telling me that said "that was pretty cool that a stranger did that". I replied "yeah that was cool, huh?" A few days later I was moved to another assignment in another town.

    Being a consultant I thank my guardian angel each time a client says "hey we need a cleanup guy over here at aisle 24"…… because that's usually what I do. Cleanup. Kinda fun at times. Kinda frustrating at times. If personalities don't clash we usually have a successful cleanup, the customer and I together.

    So the night shift assignment (this time) is coming to a close. I dread adapting to working nights yet you see the world from such a drastically different view. Kinda like being on the dark side of the moon I suppose. Being a flashlight nut allows me to enjoy my hobby in ways regular folks don't even know exists. I used to go to stores and buy flashlights to give away when I was the only dummy with one. But I learned over time that most will use it until the batteries die or leak and never fix it or replace the batteries. Often times they are like those two guys with trench coats I mentioned. So I just quietly go about my way waiting for a time when a flashlight will matter to someone, and give away one I keep in my truck for such a time. Right now I have 3 new in package lights intended as give aways. Same with a $20 bill I keep stashed in my wallet so when the right circumstance presents itself I can lend a boost to someone who needs it.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-06-2020 at 11:17 AM.
    John 3:16

  9. #99
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    That's cool bykfixer. I sometimes give away a flashlight to someone hoping they will find it much more useful than the puny floodlight on their cell phone.
    Last edited by greenpondmike; 10-07-2020 at 09:15 AM.

  10. #100
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    I miss working night shift especially at the old #3 abandoned mine in Adger. Several of the teenagers that rhode their razers and 4 wheelers out there knew the importance of having a flashlight. A lot still used that cell phone light. They had their razers all decked out with lights to the point I had to cover my eyes when they were coming towards me. Out there an incan mini mag was bright. I used to shine my ML50 and my 6d mag incan on a pile of dirt off in a distance and the 6d would make it look red (like the true color it was) and make it stand out real good. The ML50 would light it up, but it made the dirt pile look gray and it didn't stand out as well. Now I work dayshift and if I try to show anyone how bright a light is it doesn't look bright at all. They just have to take my word for it or think I'm nuts. I don't recommend saying anything good about a light under a thousand lumens in the daytime.

  11. #101

    Default Re: Night Shift

    One thing I have learned over the years of working at night in country side locations while surrounded by lit construction equipment is variety is a good thing.
    My hard hat lamp is an optional flooder or thrower. At 100 or so cool white lumens through the floody honeycomb lens it always lights my path for a pace or two when in a shadow or away from lights. I call it spill prevention light. As in it keeps me from spilling in a ditch or a rut beside the road. A quick twist of the lens will provide a nice spot and if more light is needed a quick double twist puts it from around 65% to 100% output. The Streamlight double clutch using Petzel helmet clips has been very useful a few years now.

    Knowing my next destination and duty comes in handy. Is it Metropolitan well lit, a place so dark a BiC lighter makes you squint or something in between. Settings are probably the most useful thing. 1000 lumens in total darkness is too much. 100 in heavy light pollution is not enough. It goes against everything a tint fan, flashaholic would enjoy but a good ole baby blue beam zoomy is probably the most useful light I use on construction sites at night. Flood or pencil beam capable, the blumens contrast nearly all light pollution. I just hold my nose and aim away. Sometimes even strobe comes in handy. A strobing zoomy set to pencil beam is like a laser pointer. Want someone to see an overhead object, or other reason attention needs to turn to something the flashing pencil beam aimed at said object does the trick. Especially in loud conditions when the words "look out" can't be heard.

    In daytime a pencil beam is useful at competing against sunshine or lighting something dark. For a shadow the max lumen light is required for sure. But for lighting inside a pipe or manhole in bright sunlight a pencil beam, even from a light like the Maglite ML25 does the trick. Yet a wrist strap is a good idea. Believe me, there have been places I used the Elzetta Bones or ML25 to light up that if I dropped it I would probably just leave it there. Dangerous crevices, sewer manholes etc.

    One day I was working near a big ole pipe my boss wanted to peer into. Now this guy had asked a few times "anybody got a shovel? An empty water bottle? A flashlight?" Folks around would shrug their shoulders. I'd say "flat or round? (shovel) Large or small? (empty plastic bottle) Flood or thrower?" So this day he peered into the pipe and could not see anything. By the time he had knelt down to the pipe and found out he could not see I had walked to my truck and retrieved my Elzetta Bones. He looked in my direction and I underhand tossed him the flashlight. It was loud where we were, but I read his lips say "my man" lol. One day his assistant called me MeGeyver. That was a compliment too. He said "MeGeyver, got any duct tape?" I said "I have Bat tape" went to my truck and pulled out a roll of duct tape covered with Batman logos. lol.

    The last few nights I have been around the machine that grinds asphalt. Between all the dust from that thing and ragweed pollen I feel pretty lousy. But tonight I'm going back to a place where stripes will be placed. Plus it's going to be dark there and not all lit up by light pollution and deisel powered sunshine fumes. As a bonus, a lot quieter.

    Tonight I will carry one I don't use a lot but enjoy. The modern day version of the Rayovac Sportsman from 2015. A 200 lumen 3x aaa throwey number with a rubber grip and a glow in the dark safety ring at the end that doubles as a small traffic wand. It's kinda like an indestructable. It can also run off an 18500 but I choose to use aaa batteries in it.
    John 3:16

  12. #102
    Flashaholic greenpondmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    You had me on the edge of my seat for a moment, bykfixer. I thought you was going to say that someone dropped one of your lights in a hole. I recon I was wrong about those bluish lights. Seems like they're very useful.
    In the past I thought I could find a light that could meet all needs, but it pays to have a different light for different circumstances.

  13. #103

    Default Re: Night Shift

    Just a quick update: Neither homeless man has returned to the client's site. I hope they are both doing better.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  14. #104

    Default Re: Night Shift

    Prayers go out to those folks. It's getting pretty cool at night in my state and I'm well south of NY. Brrrr.

    Last night I was reassigned to an area with mixed lighting and darkness. It was a night for a flooder at times to walk by and a spotter at times to ID blemishes in a pavement in shadows from well lit equipment. The Rayovac sportsman did the trick if the shadow was 75 feet or less. The helmet mounted light was used the most in low/flooder mode but a warm spectrum aaa minimag got the call a lot too. I really like that light. One guy thought it was a light bulb casting the beam. "That's pretty bright for a light bulb" he said. I did not correct him.

    To me that one is like a 3D Maglite with fresh batteries that fits nicely in a shirt pocket. The crew I mentioned a few posts ago that had zero flashlights back then were all carrying flashlights last night. It's funny how you can 'rub off' on people without trying. See, at times I would walk up and provide light when they needed. Other times I'd stand at a distance and watch them struggle with a celphone for light. Now none of them realize with a jacket on I have about 5 flashlights on my person.

    Tonight it has been confirmed I'll go back to the same place and watch a continuation of the same operation. I came to realize my E2D with a 350 lumen warm Tana does not provide enough light in that operation, yet my 63? lumen warm minimag does……Weird. It's all about the candella I suppose. The Maglite ML25 does a better job than my ML125 and XL 200. Fed by eneloops that is one amazing flashlight for mixed lighting conditions. And the gen 2 having a low means you can throttle it back some in low light so it doesn't blast out too many photons. So the Sportsman will go with me again along with the warm minimag a special guest, the hotwired 1973 2C Kel-Lite. I want to compare that one to the ML25 since it has quite the throwy spot light.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-08-2020 at 03:06 PM.
    John 3:16

  15. #105
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Just a quick update: Neither homeless man has returned to the client's site. I hope they are both doing better.
    Compassion is a rare trait these days. Many times I have tried to lend a hand up to someone who needs it. Sometimes it is rewarding, sometimes not so much. I always keep an eye out for those who need it.

    A lot of tow behind campers parked along back roads in upstate. New trend this year. Working third shift for the last 11 years I have aquired a few lights ( ok more than a few ). It has been a fun hobby.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  16. #106

    Default Re: Night Shift

    I see lots of compassion these days DD, but…… when I see a person who looks like they just got out of the shower, wearing clean cloths holding a cardboard sign saying "have cancer" or "homeless mom" or other phrase to draw sympothy littered at every red light it kinda makes me say "wow, this is getting ridiculous". Is the homeless problem real? Sure it is. Yet when you hand a $10 bill to a homeless person and they say "is that all?" sympathy goes out the window. I carry a cooler with food in it at work and typically offer that to the panderers.

    When I worked in Greensboro NC they were required to have a pandering permit. At red lights you'd see people with a little ID card on a neck lanyard showing they had paid their quarterly pandering fee. No kidding. They even tax homeless folks in that city but, one day I saw a guy get dropped off from a big van and when he got out he put on a velcro arm cast and dark shades, walks over to an intersection and holds up a "blind, please help" sign. No kidding. In Durham NC there were homes in places that housed homeless people in exchange for a 'cut' of their daily take.

    So while working at night at a place where there was a mixture of dark and not dark my Rayovac was used again. I like that light more as I use it. The crew that at one point did not have flashlights all have 3 cell Maglite ML25 flashlights now. I asked why such a large flashlight. The response was "we keep losing smaller lights". So I finally learned how come a crew of people who work at night for a living did not have flashlights. They kept losing their 2x aa flashlights. I saw the foreman's flashlight at a distance and saw it looked like a Maglite, but which one? So I asked. He says "oh this old piece a junk aint very bright". I discovered he is the only person I have ever met who did not know the Maglite beam can be adjusted. As you might know the ML25 operates like a minimag. So he would twist the head until light came out. Now the thing I like about gen 2 ML25's (or at least the ones I own) is that when light begins to come out it is at near optimum throw. The 3 cell version begins with a floody beam with a giant hole in the middle. I showed him how to dial his light to best beam and use the tailcap for on/off. Later I saw him showing one of the workers his new discovery. I showed him my gen 2 ML25 and he was blown away at the difference. Now what he probably does not know is his 3 cell light on old batteries is dimmer than with new as the 3 cell version dims to about 50% over time. My 2 cell has freshly charged eneloops and rock solid regulation.

    Now the guy I work for is all buddy-buddy with this crew where they laugh and joke all night. I tend to stay at a distance and only communicate with the boss (unless safety is involved then I speak to whomever is closest to solve said safety issue). I learned a long time ago that being that way keeps the contractor on their toes wondering what it is I'm jotting down in my pocket sized notebook. So that was why I did not know the reason nobody carried a flashlight was because they kept losing them. The foreman and I met way back in the 1980's when he ran the steam roller and I was an inspector who was often asked "are you even old enough to drive yet?" We had not seen each other in 20 some odd years and tonight may be the last time I see him for another decade or so. I have a hardly used 2 cell ML25 (2nd gen) I'm going to give him tonight. It had PowerEx rechargeables and a glass lens but I put in a stock one and some Rayovacs because it is likely the glass lens would get broken and that he does not have a charger for the batteries. My hope is when they have the chance his crew will stop in a Wal Mart and scoop up some 2 cell ML25's while they still have some.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-09-2020 at 02:31 PM.
    John 3:16

  17. #107

    Default Re: Night Shift

    Last night I was Mr Fixer. Flashlight fixer.

    So I present this gen 2 ML25 to the paving foreman (with tailcap loosened slightly. ) and he instictively twisted the tailcap tight to turn it on. Yesssssssssss!!! He thanked me at least 10 times. Then he hands me his old Coast PX25 and says "can you make this work again?" Upon opening it up I could see leak goo galore. He had attempted to clean it but it didn't fire. "I dunno" I said. He said "take it, you can have it". Another guy walks up with a Nebo Slydez (the Slide that with focus able beam) and says "this keeps shutting off". It still had factory batteries so I inserted some Rayovacs I carry and viola, good as new. I explained it is apparently regulated so once your batteries get low it shuts off. Here comes a 3D cell Defiant next. "This thing keeps turning off". I did a spring stretch and a whack-a-palm and it began working correctly but then stopped again. A slight untwist of the head got it working until it was turned off. Turn it back on and same thing. A palm whack got it going. I said "go buy a Maglite". Here comes a dim Coast HP7. 4 new Rayovacs and that was like new. Yup, I was the flashlight battery Santa Clause last night.

    I have contacted Coast about a new battery cage for the PX25 but first it'll get a bath in Tarn-X…… Nope, no go still.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-10-2020 at 08:29 AM.
    John 3:16

  18. #108
    Enlightened Jean-Luc Descarte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    At least they have lights now, they're starting to learn.

  19. #109
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    It is far better to have and not need than to need and not have. I have way too many lights but I still look for new ones to fill some holes in the arsenal.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  20. #110

    Default Re: Night Shift

    It was fitting as we parted ways.
    Back to getting copeous amounts of vitamin D for a while then maybe some bridge re-coating inspection at night in a few weeks. That would require floody flashlights due to up close work.
    John 3:16

  21. #111
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    Default Re: Night Shift

    I hold a DOT Level 2 Concrete Inspector certification, but I have never had any desire to use it instead of my CDL; your posts are the first I’ve been even remotely tempted.

    ...but, nope, even as I write it (sitting in my driver’s seat) I realize not even getting to use my lights for real is enough to get me out of the truck.

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