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# 325 :: Keyring

December 29, 2004

We scurry on with our materialist lives. We return Christmas presents that were the wrong size, we drift into post-holiday sales and buy things on a whim. We ignore horrors that do not affect us. It’s a peculiarly American behavior. Heads appropriately buried in “our” culture we can ignore the active stupidity of our leaders, […]

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#a428 :: Undesirable keychain tag

April 20, 2009

At some point last month, my mother-in-law gave my daughter (age 7) a little keyring with a big fob that spelled out “Love” in lurid gold-chromed script. It was schwag from some utterly-too-grownup movie, as evidenced by the little stamped-metal tag proclaiming the brand. Here’s what ensued the moment I laid eyes on it: Me: […]

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#a412 :: Nerf one-shot pistol

April 3, 2009

Stuff a foam dart down its hazard-orange bore, pump up the air chamber with the piston slide and blow the captured pressure with the thumb valve. And piff you’ve fired what probably amounts to the most reprehensibly disposable and insulting form of non-lethal ammunition known to man: the rubber dart. It’s got a belt clip […]

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#a224 :: Amelia’s USB

September 25, 2008

A soft, mushy, pungently overripe spot has formed in my brain over the years to accommodate certain industrial finishes. I sweat and pant for the chrome of bicycle handlebars, the deep metalflake of kustom kars, the wrinkled black baked-enamel of 1950s cameras and the liver-colored hammertone of certain antique audio gear. So it is with […]

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#a116 :: Chinese stainless-steel swivels

June 9, 2008

The Great Keyring Refitting is proceeding according to plan. As I’ve mentioned, my keyring – packed with a bruising handful of keys, tools and heavy metal fetishes, needs draconian reorganizing or the nasty fistful of steel might just sever my left femoral artery next time I bend over to tie my shoes. This pack of […]

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#a106 :: Nano clips

May 30, 2008

My keyring is getting out of hand. Time to reorganize. I ordered these online, taking a guess at the size. They’re too small. So now I have 10 each of three kinds of precision-made, stainless-steel fasteners. A still-gnarly fistful of keys and tools. And a new order in to the manufacturer.

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#a100 :: Atwood HexBaby

May 24, 2008

Little slabs of steel, plasma-cut and and grinder-shaped by hand. Peter Atwood makes rock-solid finger tools. ‘Nuff said. This one’s good for prying open paint cans and yanking stubborn nails and splitting things and opening beers. Coupled with the Leatherman and the chain mail, it makes my keyring a nasty fistful of metal. Which is […]

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#a60 :: Nite-Ize S-biner

April 13, 2008

Little bitty spring-tip flip ‘n’ switch hip clip. Comes in many sizes I have yet to find an actual use for it. Too heavy for the cartoonishly overloaded keyring. Too light for much else. Max load 10 lbs. So why did I spend $1.99 plus tax on it at Fry’s? It’s fun to fiddle with, […]

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#a56 :: Atwood Tactical Whistle

April 10, 2008

Peter Atwood hand-makes the most exquisite pocket tools. I discovered his work last summer via Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools newsletter. That one post, and a subsequent re-post at BoingBoing made the New England tinker suddenly rock-star famous – and made his marvelous little wrenches, knives, prybars and uncategorizable nifties virtually impossible for anyone with a […]

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#a45 :: Chain mail

March 29, 2008

I think I must be magnetic. I yearn for metal. I gather it to me, carry it around. Half my keyring actually functions. The other half is clogged with crap that won’t fit in my pocket genteelly, but weighs heavy in pocket and hand, delighting my fingertips. This handsome chunk of stuff was hand-made by […]

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#363 :: Leatherman Squirt

February 12, 2005

I am homo sapiens, a tool user. GRUNT. I feel naked without a blade. Ill-equipped for the day without my pocket knife and PDA. Impotent when faced with a Torx screw that needs budging and a toolbox full of flatheads and Phillipses. I’ve gone through quite a few pocket multitools: the Swiss-Tech Micro-Tech was nice, […]

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#26 :: Hohner Little Lady

March 3, 2004

This may or may not be the world’s smallest harmonica. At less than an inch long, it plays a full chromatic scale. The tongue and lip work is demanding, but you can actually play ittybitty tunes on it, then either clip it to a keyring or stick it back in its little fitted box. I […]

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#10 :: Gerber multi-tool

February 15, 2004

Pliers – cutters – file – small screwdriver – tweezers – big screwdriver – Phillips screwdriver – canopener – knife … fetish object. It folds to a small, dense block of articulated titanium and clips to a keyring. It is a perfect machine. Okay, so it needs a serrated blade or a corkscrew. It is […]

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