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Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2001
It's a little hard for me to take late November seriously when it's 70 degrees and humid everyday. I'm absolutely not complaining, but Virginia just doesn't get this sort of stuff 4 weeks before Christmas.

Why, the humidity alone is playing havoc with my toolbelt. All that leather, you know. Couple that with a sweating Outfoxed. In November.

I have a great deal of fondness for my toolbelt. I ought to, it's the only one like it in existence. Very, very few carpenters I've met have the temerity to wear an electricians pouch on one side and a regular nail bag on the other. I kinda like it, the electricians pouch separates several small hand tools into vertical slots and keeps them in their place so that the hand reaches for them without looking and draws them forth. It also prevents me from doing what I do with the regular bag.

Which is to stuff it full of everything imaginable.

Every so often I get tired of pulling out business cards, candy wrappers, mold, an unidentifiable bolt. In short, anything other than the nail or screw which is suppose to be in there. I dump the whole works and start over (this generally happens not when I have the time to do it, but when I'm right in the middle of something and I just can't stand it anymore).

But Stu, oh my good lord. The man has a twin nailbag system with four pockets each. The whole apparatus suggests two duffel bags on a pair of suspenders screaming for relief. And it compliments his packrat mentality.

I swear, I once saw him pull out not one but two large bottle openers from the depths of one of those pockets. Why he even had one has never been answered.

An architect on a jobsite once complained bitterly about the lack of a sharp pencil. Stu rather nonchalantly dug around in the bag for a minute, withdrew a small pencil sharpener (think of the kind you had in your pencil box as a kid) which happened to have a stem for chucking into a drill. Within seconds, he was holding a whirling sharpener on a cordless drill for the architect's pencil. Of such are legends born.

It would not greatly surprise me to see him pull out a stethoscope, small salad or a color television at any given moment. We have yet to plumb the depths of that bag. He and I mutually agree not to touch each other's toolbags, anyway. For me, it's easy to see why. Just lifting that setup he has would pop any normal man's vertebrate out of alignment. I mean, I'm all for having the tools that you need close at hand, but there's a limit to everything.

We have a completely different viewpoint when it comes to knee protection. Periodically, we are on our knees for some operation or another. I wear a space age looking pair of kneepads with much padding and rubber straps. Stu, a minimal leather patch. Which leads to interesting exchanges.

Outfoxed: "Hell, I've been down here scrambling around on my knees for two freaking hours."
Stu: "Yes, and you seem very content to do so."
O: "I mean, are you going to help me down here or what?"
S: "Well, these kneepads of mine aren't very comfortable."
O: "I can see why. A Cherokee loincloth has more damn leather in it."
S: "How are those Darth Vader Storm Trooper pads holding up for you?"
O: (sarcastically) "Just fine, my knees are fine"
S: "Well then. There you have it. No need for both of us to suffer"

I have to admit, he had a point. Besides which, he probably had no room in the nailbag for proper kneepads. Not after he put that microwave in.

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