Lighters have gone a long way since traditional ones. Now we have things like a so called “Tesla lighter” – which is actually an electric arc generator and you can ignite stuff with it.
These lighters are super cool, some have a coil and a single arc (2-in-1), some have just a double arc tip. They all look pretty nice and cost around 8-15€, depending on whether you want cheap or functional or nice-looking.
Usually Tesla lighters emit a high-pitched frequency sound when activated, maybe it’s just with cheap ones, not sure. They also work in all conditions – wind can’t blow it out (although since it’s all electronic, water isn’t his friend, unlike with flint lighters when you just have to wait for the flint to dry).
Since I play airsoft and use grenades (which are made with firecrackers), I use a cheap jet lighter and sometimes it’s hard to ignite them reliably. It’s resistible to medium winds, but not reliable enough to work on the first try and so I have to keep pressing it to get some fire going. It’s time consuming and enemies can always hear the clicking.
Yes, I could buy a more expensive jet lighter that is much more reliable, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on that. Tesla lighter seems like a good alternative, but I didn’t want to buy one because they are a bit costly for such a thing and also they don’t have any way to hang them the way I want.
Recently I started playing airsoft, I came across it when a friend asked me if I wanted to try it and the game he wanted to go to had a cool backstory. At the start I was skeptical about this pseudo-war, role-playing soldiers and stuff with fake guns but cool looking gear. After a few games with rented equipment, and the first game’s first half hour being somehow awkward until I encountered an enemy and got some bb’s shot in my leg that hurt, after that I started to like it a lot. Now I’m playing it every weekend with my own gear and an AK-47 imitation.
The gun that I bought came in a cardboard box, which isn’t permanent or convenient to carry. There are hard and soft cases to buy, but those, as with many things in airsoft, apparently, are a bit expensive. So I decided to make my own hard case, which is essentially a wooden box with a lid – nothing fancy.
This is a program designed for small Du/Tri-athlon sporting events (but probably more for tri-) where running and biking (and swimming?) can’t be done in the same place, so this program helps with that, and usually for swimming, the pool is not at the same place…
I did this when some guy approached me with such a problem he had when organizing these events, and the solution he was using was rather… poor (though he had no choice at the time). He was using some Excel document which looked like it was made by a mad man. You’d paste in the times and press the start button. Then Excel would freeze completely and eat up 100% CPU for no reason like wtf.
In essence how this works is, when athletes go through one section (i.e. running), the times are recorded in some time-logging program, like a spreadsheet maybe, athletes relocate to where they’ll be doing the next section (i.e. biking or swimming), recorded times are loaded into the program and the program counts down time difference and beeps when it reaches zero for each athlete.
Since the last time I wrote about this original script for license assignment in Office365 cloud there were some changes. Now there are two parts of the script, for different groups of people in the company. And had to add timezone and language assignment also. And some more debugging output too.
For the first part of the script it didn’t change much, just added a line to assign the same timezone and language for everyone and changed a filter template.
Then I added a second part of the script, this one has a bit more logic. This group needs to be assigned the same timezone but different language (for the interface). By different language I mean Lithuanian or English.
I shuddered awake, penetrating cold sending ripples through my body. It was freezing here, and I didn’t know where here was, only that the surface I was laying on had leeched away what little heat I had. The soulless chill of the granite permeated me like the endless cold of death, reminding me of the dream from which I had so recently emerged. I flicked my eyes open and let my vision settle, re-calibrating until the ceiling sharpened into focus. Slowly, I pushed myself up, expecting with every moment to experience a lance of pain, but nothing came.
My hand brushed against the 1911A that I had tried to take my life with. Sticky blood coated the weapon, and dirt and dust had gathered on its once-gleaming finish. I touched the side of my head and felt the matching stickiness. My hair was stiff and matted to the touch, shifting and splitting into smaller strands beneath my fingertips. Trembling, I took the clip out and counted the rounds. One was missing.
I woke in a pool of my own blood, the gun still clutched within my hand. Above me, the sky was a cold and lifeless gray, and around me I heard the keening and rattling of the wind. It howled down the narrow alleyway, scouring the ground for trash and grit and hurling them into the air, a stinging, scourging force of nature in the city. Pop cans clattered across the chipped, uneven brick, coated with a grime that had lasted for an untold count of years, and rats scurried from one bag to the next, clambering over and amongst the refuse. I turned my head to look around, and it was then I recognized the place that I had come to rest.
As I stood the wind whipped back my coat, its icy tendrils battering my shirt and writhing around my chest. They clawed against my skin and penetrated, reaching deep into my bones with mindless, numbing cold. My heart convulsed, stricken by the chill, and I shuddered, feeling as though someone must be walking on my grave.
I tumbled the clip out of the gun and shucked the cold brass into my hand, counting until I reached eight. My hands shook, and sweat trickled down my brow. Two shots. She had fired two shots, and I had slept right through it. The bullets clinked together as I dumped them in my belt-pouch. The sound of falling, dripping water was deafening in the silence.
After a time, the stillness penetrated me. I sank to my knees and ran my hands along the ground. The stone was smooth and wet, slick with moss and algae, poor footing but excellent breeding ground for all manner of germ-ridden beasts. Glinting eyes in the darkness answered my suspicions. I reached for my gun to ward them off, but some instinct warned me not to fire. I realized whatever had taken Sophia was not afraid of bullets. I let my gun rasp back into its holster with my hands now firm and steady, if covered with filth of unknown origin. The shell casings reflected the light of my headlamp, distorting it into an oval. I sealed them into an evidence bag and pocketed it for safekeeping.
The door swung open with an echoing boom that rattled down the hallway beyond and back throughout the entry chamber. Torches which had sprung alive at the door’s opening now flickered in the draft, barely staying lit. I put my crowbar back and stepped inside. A chill ran up my spine.
Beyond the firelight’s dim glow, only the beam of my headlamp illuminated the dusty darkness. Skeletons and discarded implements of battle adorned the passageway like the macabre decorations of a Halloween long past and fain forgotten. Upon the walls there lay an arch of torches like the heralds of arrival in this ancient place. We walked beneath them with a rapid step.
The forest air was moist and pungent, smelling strongly of the good, damp earth which underlay it. Above me droplets fell from dripping trees, glinting brightly in the sunlight of midmorning. A cool breeze swept between the conifers, rustling branches and sending shimmering waterfalls of light cascading to the ground. I felt it kiss my skin with tenderness no human being could ever match, and deep within me something stirred, awakening an ancient longing for the source.
Ahead of me the trail dissolved into a clearing. As I came up to it I caught a flash of color in the corner of my eye, a scrap of cloth snagged on a branch where it had torn free from its owner’s garment. I recognized it as the same pink that Sophia had been wearing, and wondered how she had managed to lose her hoodie. I cast an eye around, thinking she must have dropped it, then realized that her shirt had been visible with its longer hem. I tucked the scrap of fabric into the pocket of my cargoes.
I took a long, slow draw of cigarette smoke, holding it deep within my lungs before exhaling it into the cool morning air. The sky was a clear and brilliant blue, and as the tendrils wreathed around my head they dissipated and dissolved into the ether, vanishing from all perception like the mists of some ephemeral slumber. I took the cigarette from my mouth and breathed deeply of the cool, clean air. Before me, mountains loomed as timeless and impenetrable as the Earth itself, the standing testament of Mother Nature’s ancient glory. I beheld the vista that had dominated over all the landscape since before the race of man had walked the Earth, and in my heart the wild call of some primeval nature shuddered into life. I felt my neck hairs prickle with a feeling that I could not shake. This was a raw and wild land.