Since infancy, I have been highly fascinated by both flashlights and calculators.
Anyone who knows me well enough is already pretty much aware of this.
Because I feel the need to be perpetually prepared, I always carry a flashlight on my person.
Because I think they are cool and useful, I also always carry a calculator in my EDC backpack or on my person.
I didn’t carry both a flashlight and calculator permanently together until late 2012 when I was 25 going on 26.
The combination was a Xenon Mini Maglite painted blue paired with a TI Math Explorer. These are now stored in my tool satchel.
Fast forward to June of 2014, I started carrying a Xenon Mini Maglite painted black with a TI-36 X Pro.
Then in 2019, I would sometimes carry a TI-34 MultiView with either a Mini Maglite painted blue or a Streamlight Jr. LED or both.
In the featured image is my NiteCore i400R paired with a Casio fx-300ES PLUS, which I began carrying in the late Spring of 2020.
The first time I carried a calculator was in early 1995 at the age of 8. It was a discarded Casio fx-991 of some kind that my Mom had gotten from one of her students. But I didn’t pair it with any flashlight.
Then in October of 1996, I purchased a Tiger Electronics Data Pad which was a toy electronic organizer. Sometimes I would pair it with a small flashlight of which, I cannot find any data on. I didn’t carry both of them together that often and they eventually gave out.
In December of 1997, I briefly carried a Royal scientific calculator but I don’t remember the model number. It was another hand me down from my Mom’s students. One morning, while waiting to catch the bus, I observed a low flying plane. I imagined to myself how cool it would be for me to be aboard that plane and using that calculator to assist with computing fuel consumption and other variables needed to fly. I didn’t have a decent pocket-sized flashlight to pair it with.
In the summer of 1998 at the age of 11.5, I purchased what would become my favorite flashlight until I discovered the tactical models, it was a Garrity Mini Rugged Lite, yellow in color. Also around this time, my Mom had purchased a value pack of LeWorld brand calculators and I took the smallest one. It was very compact, maybe the length and width of a bank card, but vertical instead of horizontal. I don’t remember the model number, but if I ever see it on eBay, I’ll purchase it. Anyway, during this summer, my Dad was teaching Special Ed Summer School and was stationed at The School for Exceptional Children in East Houma, Louisiana. Both Special Ed and Regular Ed students were attending there. I would tutor some of these kids and would usually wear a pair of Navy Blue shorts, but had that recently aforementioned flashlight and calculator in each pocket. It was for checking their math problems but also keeping scores on their worksheets they were assigned. I felt pretty important being only 11.5 yet tutoring kids. One of these days in the Summer of 1998, I was shopping while carrying this flashlight and calculator at one of the Rouse’s Supermarkets in East Houma. While I have a photographic memory, I cannot remember if it was the one on East Park or the one on Grand Calliou Road. All in all, I always liked shopping at Rouse’s.
Then after this, I didn’t carry a calculator for about two years, unless I needed it for school. I would still carry a flashlight now and then but would be frequently harassed for doing so.
In January or February of 2000, at the age of 13, I purchased a Value pack of Rayovac Industrial flashlights, a 2 AA, and a 2 D model bundled together for like $8.99. I carried the 2 AA model until it was misplaced. I still have the 2 D model.
In July of 2000, I was shopping for school supplies with my Mom and she purchased me a TI-30 X IIS, the 1999 edition. I carried it at home and school, sometimes with either the aforementioned Garrity or Rayovac flashlights.
In August or September of 2001, I misplaced that Garrity flashlight and quit carrying flashlights for a while. I was more interested in carrying communications equipment instead. I only carried calculators with my school supplies, although the groundskeeper Mister Don Ratcliff, God rest his soul, shared an interest in calculators among other things with me and he always wanted to see my calculator. This trend of not carrying flashlights would continue until 2005, although in late 2003 and early 2004 I would sometimes carry some very budget-friendly flashlights, namely an Energizer Super Charge and a Lumilite Industrial 2 AA, respectively.
On May 5, 2005, I began to carry a flashlight permanently. I have since been through a plethora of different models, but now in 2020, I’m either carrying a NiteCore i4000R or a Streamlight Jr. LED.
In the Summer of 2006, I began carrying a 2 AAA Mini Maglite, which is the smaller Mini Maglite, on and off.
In the Summer of 2007, I was carrying that previously aforementioned flashlight more often and paired it with a really neat LeWorld calculator that was solar-powered and had a greenish segmented LCD instead of the plain black and white segmented LCD I was used to. The iPhone came on the market around this time and I remember saying as I would pull that calculator out of my pocket, “Wait, I have an iPhone too…This is my iPhone!” Well, it did slightly resemble an iPhone or at least I thought so. I misplaced it around 2015 but I wish I knew the model number so I could get another one on eBay.
In December of 2007, I purchased a TI-89 on clearance at Radio Shack and I did carry it on me at times until I sold it in the Summer of 2009. There were several flashlights I had paired it with.
In the Summer of 2008, I was required to use a TI-84 for school, because a TI-89 was forbidden. I flunked that class anyway, twice actually, which was the equivalent of college algebra 101. I’m very deficient in Algebra hence the reason I can repair computers but not program them.
From November 2008 to September 2011, I was working, at least most of that period and didn’t think much about calculators, although I did carry a very basic Texas Instruments model on some of those jobs. At one job, in the Spring of 2009, I was selling shoe molding to a customer and pulled out that calculator to compute how many linear feet to cut for that customer. He ended up tipping me $10 when he saw me pull out my calculator, not bad since I was making only $8.50 an hour! He commented on how I was the smartest yard hand there. Not to blow my own horn, but maybe I was. I know I was overqualified for that job, but hey, it was 2009, all jobs much less good jobs were scarce. I think the fact that I was overqualified was what got me laid off months later. All in all, I had carried that calculator with one of my Mini Maglites or an Energizer 3 Watt Tactical flashlight and a Klein pocket knife. In January of 2010, I acquired a job as a grocer and while I could have used a calculator, I never really carried one save the cheap company-issued units. When I was given the dairy clerk job for that grocery company, I did all of my figurings with pen and paper. There is indeed a calculator made by Casio that is designed for retail and warehousing, but it isn’t readily available in The States. That’s a big mistake on Casio’s part if you ask me. I did always have a flashlight on me at that job and anywhere else. My coworkers took note of it and some even gave me flashlights. Not a single person harassed me about my flashlight interest. In September of 2011, I quit due to drastically reduced hours. I haven’t been employed since.
In 2012, I was frequently helping family, friends, and now ex-in-laws with various do-it-yourself projects. I soon realized a calculator that could do a quick and easy fraction to decimal conversion would be quite helpful. I knew a TI-Math Explorer would fit the bill, so in November of that year, I searched on eBay and found one in near-mint condition for $6.99 and free shipping. I had just enough in my checking account to cover the purchase, so I did. It has indeed helped with many do-it-yourself projects. This was the beginning of me permanently carrying a calculator as well as a flashlight.
I now have a calculator or two in my EDC backpack as well as a few flashlights for whatever situation should arise. They have come in handy quite often and yes I do show off sometimes.
As long as I can help it, I plan to carry a flashlight and a calculator for the rest of my life.
I’m no longer harassed for carrying flashlights but now and then I am still harassed for carrying calculators. However, I frankly don’t give a durn at all.
By the way, there are different ways people pronounce the word calculator and I usually get a big kick out of it. Most say it the normal way, but some say “cack-you-later” and others say “cackle-ater.”
There’s even a rap song about calculators and it is pronounced the first different way.
It always made me laugh hearing that, for so many reasons, even though there is a lot of filthy language in it.
All in all, I guess this concludes my piece about how I carry a calculator in addition to a flashlight.
My back is killing me and not only that, I have to go check on my laundry.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed as well as entertained, and may God richly bless you!