Saturday, January 23, 2010

People Watch

I had a chance to watch at people at a gun show. I was busy at my knife table, but I took a little time to watch people. Despite the business of selling pocket knives, I’m not really a good observer of the public, but three people caught interest.

It was his badge that caught my attention. It was hand lettered and had his name and the title “Captain.” Being hand lettered, it wasn’t official and he had that retired look. He kinda reminded me of Hank Hill’s father on “King of the Hill”. I wanted to ask him captain of what?




Salvation Army?

Charter boat?

Or just self appointed?

I never got a chance to ask him. He buzzed by on some important mission and I never saw him again.

The next two guys who stopped by later were quite a team. The gun show must have been their Saturday entertainment. It would not surprise me to discover their wives open the door on Saturday morning, plant a foot on their backside and with a sharp push tell’em “Don’t come back before dark!” This of course is followed by the door shaming shut and the sound of several dead bolts clicking into place.

The two of them open and closed and reopen every knife on the table while asking the other “You like this one?” They’ll ask the price, which they pass back and forth misquoting it and attaching it to the more expensive knife while their monologs occasional collide on some mutual point of interest.

If it appears you’ve drawn too fine a bead on one the other will ask “What’s steel is this?” I, of course, try to keep up with the conversation while correcting the price and determine the steel. For variety they season the mix with “What country is that from?” While this is going on they convey the sense they are going to make a purchase, if they find the right knife. They never find the right knife. My wife watches them like a hawk!

One of their favorite ploys is to ask if you’ll trade knives with them. Most of the time they will offer you an older or discontinued Spyderco or Cold Steel in exchange towards something else. Some times it’s a real stinkeroo! In fairness, the knives they offer to swap are always in excellent condition with factory edges.

I use to feel sorry for these guys. They clearly are in the retirement age range, they dress like ordinary Joes and seem to be careful with the bucks. I use to suspect they had limited funds and were liquidating previously purchased knives to have the chance to own a newer and out-of-reach expensive knife. At lease I did until one of them showed me his Spyderco Rock Lobster which retails over $300.00!

I hadn’t seen them in a while so I asked how they were and commented they haven’t been around for a while. One lipped off that his buddy just got out of jail. In retrospective, their knife table manner reminds me of the bill changing confidence scam. You ask for change for a hundred and keep changing the denominations and passing money back and forth until the mark gives you change for $120.

Maybe his buddy was telling the truth.

Let’s not even talk about the older woman in the micro mini-dress, fishnet stocking three inch stiletto heels and her escort who thinks he’s George Custer! You’ll have to experience that for yourself!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I hereby resolve.................

New Year Resolutions 2010

Do you do New Year resolutions?  Most of the time I don't.  They tend to fall into big unobtainable classifications.  You know, get a 12% raise, be nice to the office rat in the next cubical.  They are just plan  unobtainable.  This year I picked 3 REACHABLE goals, so hear goes....

 I resolve in 2010 to do the following:

1 - - I’ll stop rotating through my knives just because the one I’m carrying is getting dull. I rotate through my carry knives because I enjoy having different ones on me. I’ll sharpen each one goes dull. No more big batch sharpening sessions for me!

2 - - I’ll oil my knives more frequently. This includes all the pivots and moving parts as well as wiping down the blade. I’m careful with my knives and I do clean and oil them when they get wet or dirty but they are tools and have to work for a living. But I’m going to do a better job of it this year.

3 - - I’m going to stop asking my co-worker if he wants to borrow a knife when he’s trying to “key” open a taped box. Next to a domestic partner, I can’t think of too many other things more personal than your choice in a knife. He’s an adult and he can figure it out on his own.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Edging into Knife Videos

Knife and Edge Videos

To see the power of the Internet one only has to look at YouTube. The extensive collections videos take the expression “God only knows!” out of the providence of hyperbola.

One can find anything from trivial to the profound. I am reminded of the expression I use to hear in the ivory tower related industries such as physics, chemistry and medicine: “See one, teach one; publish.” YouTube seems to satisfy that dictate.

Even so, there remains a wealth of information to assist us in reaching if not masterly, certainly competency. A word of caution, assumptions are made with every article and video.

I watched Murray Carter grind chips and sharpen blade edges with Japanese water stones, but he doesn’t talk too much about blade-stone angle and nothing was said about how to hold that angle constant More importantly, there’s no internet oversight committee that assures the validly of what anyone, including this knife fancier publishes. That’s what we are all doing, publishing.
Still, there’s a wealth of information about blades, edges and living with your edge.