Breaking out into the sun

Well, our onboard supply of propane held out overnight. We managed it carefully, setting the thermostats lower and throwing an extra blanket on the bed. Think of it like nursing a car to the next gas station when the gauge is on E.

Slow down, easy on the throttle, coast when possible. We won’t know how close we cut it ’til we refill.

This morning arrived clear and sunny, headed for a high in the mid-40s. We switched over to heat pumps around 11am, and the extended forecast tells us that we can rely on electric heat at least through January 10th.

It’s still winter, of course. What remains of last week’s snow, mostly on north-facing slopes and rooftops, reminds us that we still have a ways to go.

That’s fine. We’ll take the respite, gladly.


Our bedtime YouTubing usually involves content that’ll help us build and live on The Mountain, or videos dealing with prepping and bushcraft. Whatever the subject, we take notes (mental and otherwise). We pick up useful tips. Every now and then, we discover tools that’d make things go faster, easier or better.

A couple of weeks ago I could tell that Deb’s interest had been piqued by a folding knife featured in one video. (Yes, she’s a knife girl. And yes, I’m a lucky fella.) I bought it and presented it to her on her birthday last week.

It’s a Kubey Flash (style #KU158), picked up on Amazon for $35. And while neither Deb nor I is inclined toward Chinese knives (I had something to say about that here recently), we looked at this as a low-cost, low-risk proposition. Out of simple curiosity, we figured it was worth a look.

The Flash is a medium-sized folder — 8.5 inches open, its blade 3.75 inches long. The black-coated D2 blade deploys via a “flipper” mechanism and is held open with a liner lock. Handle slabs are G10, fitted with a pocket clip (which is reversible).

We haven’t yet put the Kubey to work, so all I can offer today is my first impression that this is (probably) a decent knife — not great by any means, but not dime-store junk, either.

I’ll start with what (I think) I like about the Flash. It was shaving-sharp right out of the box. It’s lightweight. The flipper operates with surprising smoothness, testifying to the apparent quality of the pivot bearings. The textured G10 handle has excellent grip. The pocket clip allows for deep carry. The choice of D2, a near-stainless tool steel, is admirable (caveats to follow).

What don’t (I think) I like? First of all, the blade pattern — a “reverse tanto,” I guess — is purely a tacticool design with no practical advantage that I can see. I’ve also never had a preference for coated blades, though I do own a few. And D2, while it takes and holds an edge well, can be a ring-tailed bitch to re-sharpen when it gets dull. Kubey says that its D2 is 59-61HRC, even harder than my old Queen slipjoints that always get me cussin’.

One other observation — though the Flash doesn’t feel cheap, necessarily, it doesn’t feel substantial. I haven’t put my finger on why that is. I measure every folding knife against my go-to Benchmade Griptilian (street price $100 when it was being produced in 154 CM), and this is no exception.

So let’s go there.

The full-size Griptilian feels more like it’s ready to work, but I can’t point to a spec supporting that perception. The Flash is heavier, if only slightly, so it’s not about weight. Its blade is a little longer and a bit thicker, so that’s not it, either.

My best guess is that the Benchmade’s contoured handle swells, filling the hand, while the Kubey’s slabs are flat. Maybe that’s what it is.

Deb and I didn’t expect to be gobsmacked by the Kubey Flash. We’ll use it in the woods and by the fire and develop an informed opinion. As long as it doesn’t fall completely on its face, it may find a home somewhere in our kit.


While hunkered-down during the recent arctic assault (and when we weren’t trying to keep the water running and the heat going), Deb chose to pass much of her time watching Deadwood, the three-season HBO production. I joined her for some of it, and I have to say that it’s an excellent series.

On those occasions when I take time to consume that kind of entertainment, which isn’t very often, I tend to be an admirer of skilled actors, which Deadwood has plenty of, and memorable quotes from the dialog. My two favorite lines (subject to change) both are delivered by the notorious Al Swearengen, proprietor of The Gem Theater:

“The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back.”

“You can’t slit the throat of everyone whose character it would improve.”

Now that’s wise counsel — principle from a pimp. I’ll leave it at that.


Having a beer on August 19th, 2021 at 624 Main Street, Deadwood, South Dakota — the original site of Saloon Number 10, where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered on August 2nd, 1876.

Afterward we visited the graves of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane.


Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB


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