The Son of Schmooby Boozeday Park Place Log

i know you kids love your new-fangled energy drinks, but i'm old school, and frankly, if a vivarin washed down by a mountain dew isn't sufficient, then i don't need to be awake for whatever it is you're babbling about.

just because it's sung doesn't make it a song.
    — the legend of the guardians: the owls of ga'hoole

so you're really leaving?
    with alacrity.
what's 'alacrity'?
    a heavy heart.
        since when?

y'know, hurt is a funny thing: the same thing that makes one person angry, can put another person into grief.
    — the tale of despereaux

when are air mattress makers going to provide us a way to tell when they're properly inflated instead of merely telling us not to overinflate them?

this is an age of lazy moral relativism combined with aggressive social insolence, in which many people have been trained to distrust and reject all categorical answers, and even (i've noticed with alarm) to dispute points of actual law without having the shadow of a leg to stand on.
    — lynne truss

a vivarin at the beginning with cake and ice cream at the end.  all last days should segue straight from the caffeine buzz to the sugar rush.

The Schmooby Boozeday Park Place Log

in theory, since they're not spending any time putting glasses away, they should be able to sweep up their opps-i-missed-the-garbage-can-sorry mess.

yes, well, fancy it must be hard meeting your hero and seeing that he's real and not a myth.
    — the legend of the guardians: the owls of ga'hoole

outside rack full!
    well whose fault is that?

as long as we have our spirit, then nothing, no one, can ever take away our humanity.
    — vexille

middle rack full!
    i don't think i care.
        you're not sure?
    being sure would require more energy than i have.

well, if you know anything about fairy tales, you know that the hero doesn't appear until the world *really* needs one.
    — the tale of despereaux

those dishes are really stacking up.
    yeah, someone should fire me.
i'll tell them.
    i tried, but it turns out they won't wash themselves.

The Wan Smile Park Place Log

if you can cavalierly say that you've suffered through migraines, you haven't, and you're not fooling anyone who has.  (as an aside, if you'd like to be taken seriously, don't mention your headache, because if 'anti-sympathy' was a word, that would be a quick way to garner some.)

extensive testing with other people has revealed a critical development flaw: when playing against myself, i am susceptible to groupthink.
    — r. eric reuss

well this is what it looks like when you've actually *fought* in battle.  it's not glorious.  it's not beautiful.  it's not even heroic.  it's merely doing what's right, and doing it again and again, even if some day you look like *this*.
    — the legend of the guardians: the owls of ga'hoole

far overhead, i hear sounds upsetting the air.  i never imagined that swallows flapping their wings could produce that kind of sound.  it's amazing, when you think that it's coming from little birds, flying high above everything.  but i find myself resenting that kind of disturbance.

against the wind, their tiny and fragile wings bend as if they would crack at any moment.  it's even more moving when you consider how swiftly the swallows are moving through the air.  the sound of their wings is as clear as could be because of the surrounding serenity.  or maybe it was because of the emotions the sound brought out of me.  the stirring energies of the swallows moved me, and i was relieved to find that even now, some things could still surprise me.

to fit in better with the seasons, *i* would prefer it if the swallows flew more softly.  but who am i to tell the birds how to fly just to better suit *my* sense of beauty?

    — ronin warriors - message: unnamed episode (#4)

The Helmet Fire Park Place Log

i was joking about it beforehand, but shaving the beard you've had for ten years is no laughing matter.

more idealism, but at times it can be a good servant of the realist.
    — ponderosa (day of the dragon)

if vampires were ex-werewolves, i could understand why they wouldn't want to see themselves in the mirror.

what the flame does not consume consumes the flame.
    — aeon flux (chronophasia)

digging holes doesn't build character; shaving your beard builds character.  and by "builds character", i mean, "makes you want a drink".

i do not entertain hypotheticals; the world as it is is vexing enough.
    — true grit ('10)

ask my how bad the economy is.
    how bad is the economy?
i shaved my beard.  (ba dum bum)

The Inertia Guy Park Place Log

if i had a brick made of grammar, i'd throw it at you.
    — hobby_lavastorm

who knew that the vornado would be just as useful up north as it was down south?  (stupid heat bubble...)

we can undo only what others have already forgotten.
    — aeon flux (reraizure)

i like putting 'the' in front of sicknesses (etc) where it doesn't belong: the measles, the scurvy, the pneumonia, the strep.

you can't find out everything from books, you know.
    i think i read that once.
    — the secret of kells

i also like treating spice names as diseases: chervil, galangal, turmeric, malabathram, chives.

what do they want?
people don't want justice.  they want vengeance.
    — quo vadis

The Alice Through the Looking Glass Log

what kind of insects do you... rejoice in?
    i- i don't rejoice in insects at all, because i'm rather afraid of them.  well at least the large ones.  but, i could tell you the names of some of them.
and of course they answer to the names...
    i never knew them do it.
well what's the use of having names if they don't answer to them?
    no use to them, but useful to the people who name them, i suppose.  if not, why do things have names at all?
i can't say.  furthermore, in the woods over there - they don't have names.  however, go on with your list; you're wasting time.

crawling at your feet, you'll observe a bread-and-butter fly.  its wings are thin slices of bread-and-butter, its body's a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.
    and what does it live on?
weak tea with cream in it.
    but supposing it couldn't find any?
well then it would die, of course.
    that must happen fairly often.
it *always* happens.

am i addressing the white queen?
    well yes, if you call that addressing; it isn't my notion of the thing at all.

may i help you put your shawl straight?
     i don't know what's a matter with it.  it's out of temper, i think.  i've pinned it there, and i've pinned it there.  there's no *pleasing* it.

but... it must come sometimes to jam today.
    oh, no, it can't.  it's jam every *other* day.

some people have no more sense than a baby.

how old did you say you were?
    i'm, uhhh, seven years and six months.
you never said a word like it.
    i thought you meant 'how old am i?'
if i'd meant that, i'd have said it.

i haven't seen the two messengers either.  they both have gone to town.  just look along the road and tell me if you can see either of them.
    i see nobody in the road.
i only wish i had such eyes to be able to see nobody.  and at that distance, too.  why it's as much as i can do to see real people by this light.

nothing like eating hay when you're faint.
    i should think throwing cold water over you would be better.
i didn't say there was nothing better; i said there was nothing like it.

who did you pass on the road?
quite right.  this young lady saw him too.

let me tell you a tale.  to comfort you.
    is it very long?
yes, it's long... but it's very, very beautiful.  everybody that hears me say it, it either brings the tears into their eyes, or else...
    or else what?
or else it doesn't, you know.  the name of the tale is called 'haddock's eyes'.
 that's what the name of the tale is, is it?
no, that's something quite different.  that's what the name of the tale is *called*.  the name really is, 'the aged, aged man'.
    oh.  so, i ought to have said, 'that's what the tale is called?'
no you wouldn't.  that's quite another thing.  the tale is *called*, 'ways and means', but that's only what the tale is called.  see?
    well what *is* the tale then?
i'm coming to that.  the tale *really* is, 'a sitting on a gate'.

you may read it if you have a mind to.  nobody is hindering you that i know of.

there's no such word in the language.
    it is in this paper.
let it stop there.

fan her head. she'll be feverish after all that thinking.

The Muggy and Humid Park Place Log

the will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.
    — speed racer

too often we ask, "why did this happen to *me*?", when we should be asking, "why *did* this happen to me?"

growin' old isn't for sissies, kid.
    — wall street: money never sleeps

what's a biopic?
    i think it means it's bori-; i mean, biographical.

i'm just as old as you.
    yeah, but not in your brain.
    — the secrets of jonathan sperry

who are you trying to fool with the eco-box?  we know you just want to use less plastic.  and we find ourselves very annoyed.

i'm not in the habit of arguing over the color of red herrings.
    — aeon flux (the demiurge)

done gardening already?  too hot?
    it is, but it's really that i can only take so much pointless at one time.

that's the most grammatically confused cluster of words i've ever come across.
    — imdb suz-mal

The Narrative Thematic Park Place Log

your mom said you were pushy, but i just thought that was the alcohol talking.
    — wait - what?

raging headache?
    not for long.  the combination of half a vivarin, two glasses of water, and a candy bar usually work well for me.

y'know, the interesting thing about skeptics, atheists, is that, uhhh, we're always looking for proof, certainty.  question is, "what on earth would we do if we found it?"
    — the rite

i guess it wouldn't be proper for me to have the bad people in my tv show wear jewish stars even though it's often said that turnabout is fair play.  (smirk)  darn it.

terrible what passes for a ninja these days.
    — speed racer

you geniuses really thought her mis-speach might be something *other* than a medical condition?  seriously?

don't say anything.  your words would be meaningless, maybe even insulting.
    — firefox

just when everyone's babbling about charlie, suddenly there's something orders of magnitude more important to talk about.

there are two types of people: those who truly listen, and those who wait to speak.
    — robocop: dark justice

The Lap Grinder Park Place Log

you bite cannot touch me...  ever.
    — bleach: dark souls

what's that site?  it's like a database of movies.
    you mean the one on the internet?
    no idea what you're talking about...

terrible and majestic, the ancient fear-giver knows none himself.
    — me

guess what a flashlight doesn't help with.  exactly: letting you know that you're about to step into snow up to your knees.

you flatter me, captain.
    oh, how clumsy of me; i meant to accuse you.
    — the sound of music

now that computers can locate my hands, they can locate the weapons they're being pounded with.  just because you wanted to beat nintendo we're one step closer to the first robot war.  way to think ahead, microsoft.

choosing not to believe in the devil won't protect you from him.
    — the rite

don't you get cold using the snowthrower?
    no, because i use it with conviction.

one step ahead of the game isn't a plan, kid.  two to three steps ahead - beating an enemy's move before it's even made - *that's* a plan.
    — the a-team

Heliotek HTE-1A review

Heliotek Inc is one of those companies that unfortunately hasn't reached critical mass, but among people who keep one ear to the ground of the flashlight world, they have a definite following.  I can't imagine that this post is going to be the deciding factor in them getting the recognition they deserve - (smirk) even though it is read by literally dozens of people - but i'll at least sleep well knowing that i've done my part.  This is written from the standpoint that you're somewhat familiar with the previous model (HTE-1 v2). Since that won't be the case for many people, i've linked to a few reviews of it.  ...  (still) not updated, but they'll ship the 1A if you order the HTE-1

I happened to e-mail Heliotek when they were in the process of deciding which LED to go with, so i had known the new version was coming before it hit the street and had been chomping at the bit.  You can't *use* the HTE-1 and not appreciate the thought that went into it, so i was rather amped to have everything i know and love and twice as much light.  At the same time though, different is different, so there wasn't any guarantee of a complete lack of "that's a shame..."

So now that i'm all preambled out, i guess i should finally get around to the actual review part of the review.  The short answer is that i like it.  A lot.  Not twice as much as the HTE-1 v2 since a torch is more than its output - what a concept, eh? - but LED technology has been marching right along.  Now granted, not everyone will have a use for a dive-rated, severe weather torch with solid reach and on-board diffuser that exudes quality and is able to toss 75lm out the front for no less than six hours while floating, but what if you find that you do?

As the name implies, the HTE-1A isn't a significant departure from the previous incarnation design-wise.  It's still driving an LED at 1.2watts and directing that through a reflector that would demand respect if it wasn't so humble.  That being said, don't think there aren't several changes, it's just that most of them don't jump out and bite you.

The one that drove the new version is not surprisingly ye olde LED.  While the Luxeon-I in the HTE-1 performed with much aplomb in the country, ambient light - more specifically, the decreased contrast that ambient light brings to the table - took the edge off.  The 1A sports a Cree XR-E (Q5 brightness, WG color bin).  The HTE-1 performed fantastically for its time, but with the new LED, it's really come into its own.

The fact that Heliotek gives minimum out-the-front lumens instead of the amount that is theoretically being produced at the emitter deserves commendation. (OTF lumens are always less due to heat, reflector/optic, and window losses.)  No matter how you slice it, 75lumens is a good amount of light, but what's really impressive about the Heliotek is that it could do that for seven hours while being shorter than a 2C Maglite and a little thicker than a 2AA MiniMag at the "body" end without giving up the throw of the D-cell one you used that was impressive for about an hour.

Following the "if it ain't broke" line of thought, it's shipped the same way it's always been, right down to the little baggie to keep the extra set of lithium AAs dry when they sit in the little holster-pocket.  The first thing i did - to satisfy the little kid in me - was check out the serial number and Cree.  I'm not sure what i was expecting with the latter, but it looked like a Cree on a pedestal set inside a fantastically deep reflector.  Consider it the smooth bore of the parabolic world.  That done, i popped in two cells and made sure that the laser spot is still there.  In spades. In fact, it's a little larger: 4in (10cm) at 7ft (213cm) instead of 3in.  Woo-hoo!

A quick side note for those who have a previous model...  Comparing them, the HTE-1A's inner surround - what i call the corona - is noticeably smaller.  At 7ft my previous one measures 28in (71cm) wide; the current measures 22in (56cm).  We can thank the confluence between the XR-E's different-from-Luxeon distribution pattern and Heliotek's desire to keep the focused spot for this.  Since the spill of the current is brighter than the corona of the previous, i expect time will prove this little more than "notable", but like i said, different is different.  The spill width is unchanged at 56in (142cm).

Another change previous owners will notice is the end cap.  It now has a little notch opposite the lanyard cut-out.  This isn't its purpose, but you can use it to make fishing the lanyard lock-pin out a snap.  The bigger alteration though is that for some unknown reason the current version is marshmallow that they painted black.  Gotcha!  It's really GE Lexan resin, same as the front.  They've chosen to lock it down with the main lanyard slot opposite the switch.  I've used the HTE-1's rotation feature (albeit more along the lines of "because it's there" than "because it really mattered"), so i was disappointed to see it gone, but there was a complaint by someone who used one on a ship about the end cap pulling off.  I have no idea how that was managed, but i'm generally not one to argue against making something even more bullet-proof.

I actually like the looks, but regardless, it feels good in the hand, with the {momentary/constant}{on/off} switch still having the ever so solid-sounding clicks on the constant-on/off side.  Unlike every other torch company out there (as far as i know), Heliotek uses Santoprene on the battery case, which seems not unlike what Monadnock uses on their Super Grip batons.  For those who aren't familiar, trust me: it's good stuff.  The weight clocks in at 6.4oz (181g) loaded with the clip and lanyard.  It's not the smallest torch around, but, maybe due to the balance point, it feels lighter in hand than i expected.  For comparison, a loaded 2D Mag-lite is a bit over 24oz (680g) and a loaded 6D is 51oz (1446g).

It throws just as well in the real world as the indoor pictures suggest, but my giving a number for the throw wouldn't do it justice, because it's the shape of the beam that makes it so impressive.  It not only has that tight hot spot, but a corona which is bright enough to be useful even at distance, and for mid-range stuff, the spill is easily bright enough that you don't have to "search" for what you're looking at.  Something i didn't notice at first is that there's a secondary spill.  It won't win any awards, but it's bright enough to be useful, and i'm sure it contributes when the diffuser is being used.  Speaking of the diffuser, its beam is very similar to that of the Pierce M10w, and since that's the torch i always have in my pocket when i'm at home, that's rather high praise coming from me.  Multiple-level "throw" torches are good for not blinding you, but are a less-than-ideal compromise.

Heliotek tests all their circuit cards for efficiency prior to installation.  Definitely not something i was expecting.  Additionally, each torch is given a 15-minute (900s) random frequency vibration test and a water submersion test equivalent to over 200ft (61m).  And just to complete the package, their customer service is top notch.  (smirk)  Just don't expect to reach them on a Friday during the summer.

I'll add the pictures once i get a chance to figure out how to have blogger format them the way i want...