Today's choice good was suggested to me by good ol' Laser Eyes. He noticed the excitement this particular good produced in me and thought I might spare some words for it. Thanks, B.
We had a gift exchange at a Christmas party this last weekend. Dug and I were to bring two gifts $10 or under. Straight away I found a $9.99 real Swiss army knife. I showed Dug and his response was, and I quote, "Sweet!" Then I thought of a head lamp, no such luck. The only ones Target had in stock three days before Christmas were over twenty dollars apiece. What to get? What to get? I grabbed a deck of playing cards and a deck of waterproof Uno. Dug's reaction: "Ummmmmm, no." (He's not into games.) I suggested the flash light section, and off we went. I showed him the too-expensive headlamp. He, too, agreed it would have been cool. We perused the very bare section and then we saw it. A mini-Maglite. (That's it in the picture below, 5" in real life.)Think of the mini as the eldest child in the Maglite family. It is a two AA battery flashlight. There are also D-cell, C-cell, and AAA flashlights. The baby is the Maglite solitaire single AAA.
I don't know if you know this, but full-size Maglites are the upper echelon of flashlights. They not only act as a powerful source of light, but their rugged aluminum construction and hefty size can not only withstand a lot of punishment, it can also make a handy weapon in the case of emergency.We have a 4-D Maglite (shown above, almost 15" in real life) and it is one of the few household items that has withstood not only our four kids, but myself as well. It's missing its little rubber button protector, but who needs a "pretty" flashlight anyway? It's been dropped, left outside, dropped, used as who-knows-what by the kids, dropped...I might have even used it as a temporary hammer once. (Don't tell Dug.) The only complaint I have about it is that it is pretty heavy. Of course it has to be in order to be so Tricia-proof, but that is exactly the reason for the mini-Maglite! You see how it all works together?
Here's the beauty of the mini-Mag. It is light but still made of that sturdy aluminum construction. It has an adjustable beam just like it's daddy. It is the perfect diameter to hold in your hand comfortably (not too small) and to hold in your mouth if you need both hands free (and don't have $25 for a headlamp!). But wait! There's more! The mini-Mag has an amazing feature, Candle Mode.It is specially designed for those times when you need a general source of light, not a solitary beam. Unscrew the head, set the flashlight in it and you've got yourself a free-standing candle. It is so cool. I can't explain to you how much I love this feature. You've just got to experience it for yourself.
In life I've realized that there are things that you buy as cheaply as you can and there are things that you really need to pay for quality. I think flashlights are in the latter group. When you use a flashlight, you are relying on it. If you think about it, they are generally used in two situations: specific lighting and emergencies. For times of specific lighting: working on your car, looking under your bed, fixing plumbing, it's probably not so imperative you have a great light. But when you are lost, walking through the forest at night with bears chasing you, you want to have a flashlight that not only won't die if you drop it when you trip over that branch you didn't see, but that is bright enough to make wild animals freeze in its intense beam and can withstand the solid ker-thunk of a bear skull. When that time comes, and I'm sure it will, you'll be ready if you have a Maglite. (And can run really fast and have strong enough arms to break a bear skull.)