All of my life, I've been a minimalist. I don't like having a bunch of stuff in my pockets, on my belt,  etc... I just don't like having a bunch of stuff on me at any given time. I've always been that way. Wallet, chapstick, phone. That's it. I had just started working at Z94 back in 2006 when that all changed.

I was fresh off my move from Texas, in this new station for a few weeks when I remember the big boss asked Critter and I to do something. Probably one of those jobs the maintenance guy didn't want to do, so why not send the two that will do anything right? Critter had contorted himself into a position to fix some wiring in our Bat Cave server room, and he asked to borrow my pocket knife since he wasn't in a position to reach his own. I don't think I even got the full sentence out telling him I didn't have one when he said those words that haunted me...

"What self-respecting man doesn't carry a knife?"

We had a good chuckle over it. 99% of our communication is giving each other hell, but it got worse as the days went on. Every day since he posed that rhetorical question to me, he'd ask me if I bought a knife each morning when I walked in. I finally broke down and started looking for one, something a minimalist would carry.

I can't tell you how many tiny pocket knives I bought in those first few months, but I didn't like any of them. I tried the trusty Swiss Army Knife, garbage. Half a dozen small Old Timer and Case knives, also garbage. I finally decided to think outside the box and try the new little Leatherman tool that had just come out. It was technically a pair of scissors, but had a good blade and little screwdriver/file tool on it too. It's super light, tiny, and instantly proved really handy. I was sold.

Nothing about it has changed over the last seventeen years. Well, they have different models that are TSA approved swapping the knife blade for micro-scissors and the scissors for tiny pliers, but I like the original. Funny enough, as much as Critter made fun of it in those first few years, it always seemed to be the handy little tool that gets us out of a problem-solving hardware jam.

Over those seventeen years, even though I just bought my third, I'm still using my second. I mean, really, I'm still using my original first tool... but as it's seen many uses in opening manure and getting temporarily lost in fertilizers, I keep a clean one in my pocket that only gets used in non-messy situations. The third one was really only bought because it was on sale, nearly half price. As they're super handy, I know I'll probably never need another one.

Sharpening can be a little tedious. The scissors aren't the easiest thing to keep sharp, being so small and most sharpening stones being so big... so I just use one of those little diamond fishing hook sharpeners. Really keeps my little tool on my list of things I can't leave home without. Thought I'd pass that along since it took me so long to discover. You just can't beat 'em in a pinch.

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