Saturday, January 29, 2011

What to Celebrate in January

January is almost over and that means two things: The Dale Warther Expo Knife Show is coming up and January is almost over.  

To celebrate this winter milestone, my wife and I went to Russo’s ( for dinner.  Let’s be honest.  It’s not cheap, but well worth it for a once-in-a-while treat.  I recommend the Navajo Taco, but you are forewarned: If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen and away from this dish.

What’s it like?  It’s a 90 mile an hour head-on collision between Creole and Southwest cooking!  The staff has very little control over the hotness of the peppers used in the recipe.  The wise diner asks, “How hot is the taco running recently?”  Enjoy!

We’re closing in on the Dale Warther Expo.  I’ve ordered knives for the table and now I just have to wait for their arrival.  Frankly, the show is a conundrum to me.  I want to sell quality knives and I’m willing to make a little less money to get a good knife in your hands.  But most of my customers seem to want three dollar knives.  There is by definition no such thing as a quality $3 knife!

I could sell more knives and make more money with junk knives, but I know they’re junk and you should, too.  If you depend on them, they will fail you. 

The Warther Expo has the potential to attract customers looking for quality knives, but if I overstock, those knives will not sell later at the gun shows.  It’s tough line to walk, so there isn’t any sense in complaining.

Personal note
I got the Spyderco Citadel I always wanted.  I approached the new owner (remember they bought the bag of knives?) and we settled in to negotiate the sale.  It was a tremendous bargaining session that degraded to arm wrestling and ended up with a spitting-for-distance contest, but I got my knife. 

Now can I carry it?  The police officer I spoke to just shook his head.  “Murky, very murky, the law is, young old Jedi.  Own you may, but neither sell or buy can you.”  (Yoda mode off!)  He suggested his department was more interested in activity and intent.  Of course, there is this if-you’re-not-noticed, you’re-not-noticed strategy.  If you use it in self-defense, you have more than enough problems, so carrying an automatic knife may not be of any significance to you at that point.

On the internet front:
My wife found a link on how pocket knives, specifically Gerber autos, are made.  I have always had a fascination about how things are made and I think this video is very interesting. 

At the end of the video the narrator explains how this knife is just too deadly dangerous for us civilians to own.  Apparently how you open a knife is the defining feature that makes a knife deadly.

Last words…………………
Do you know who this person is?   
During toast to China's president (What?) Hu Jintao 19 Jan 2011

Sure you do.  It’s Hillary Clinton.  Up front I should say, I don’t like Ms. Clinton.  I think she’s a carpetbagger and that clinking sound you hear are skeletons rattling in her closet.  Real skeletons, not just bad acts.  But nobody without a trial deserves a photo like this.  It was taken by a professional news agency and frankly, they should have destroyed it.   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Treasure at the Gun Show and I Was There!

It was a pretty good weekend, knife related. I was at the Medina Gun Show and managed to sell a few knives and I had a lot of fun talking to people. Everything was going great and then a fellow walked up to me and said:

“Do you buy knives?"  He was holding a big, torn glossy shopping bag in both arms.

I used to say no, but now I say “Sometimes, but I’ll be happy to look at them.” He handed me the bag, and I was expecting low-end Frost and Iron Warrior. I can’t tell you how surprised I was. The bag was filled with unused Spydercos in excellent condition. He had a wonderful selection of both new and discontinued models.

I have to admit, I immediately wondered if they were stolen. I’ve never seen such a treasure trove. He explained he was a collector and wanted to sell them as a lot.

He had a Citadel 83mm Spyderco Auto.

CPMS30V steel, aluminum handle, 3.35-inch blade, 4.8 ounces of comfort

I fell for the Citadel’s blade shape. The grip and blade are just right for my hands and I really think they have the best positioned release and lock.

The round gray button is the release while the sliding switch is the safety.

The only thing that could be better would be a small button safety and a current size beveled release button in the present locations. This way you could just slide your thumb over the safety and onto the release in one smooth motion. I’m a big fan of smooth, continuous motions. Let’s not be herky-jerky when working with tools.

Actually he had two.  I’ve only seen them at the Spyderco booth at the SHOT Show - where I couldn’t get one to write about for love nor money. I mentally added the prices and figured he had at least $1000 of knives there.

“How much are you asking?” I asked.

“What would give me?” He replied and added, “I know what they’re worth.”

I just don’t carry that kind of money with me. So I walked him over to my friends who buy and sell knives. After they dickered a bit they came to an agreement and money changed hands.

How much did they pay?

Sorry, you don’t get to know that. But I think they did well.

What did the old fellow have?

A partial list includes:

Police, plain edge C07

Citadel, C119P

Cricket, stainless steel C29

Dragonfly, plain edge C28BK

Native 3, plain edge C78

Scorpius, plain edge C87

Poliwog, plain edge C98

And perhaps the holiest knife of all,

The D’Allara Rescue.

9/11 found NYPD Officer John D’Allara on the phone to Spyderco. “I need knives, rescue knives. The searchers don’t have the right stuff. Can you help me?”

Of course they did. Who wouldn’t? People from all over the USA drove to New York City to help after the Trade Towers collapsed.

John climbed into the debris field and starting passing out the much needed knives. An unstable steel plate slipped free and crushed John.

As I understand it, Spyderco recovered that plate and used some of the steel plate in the building of each D’Allara Rescue Knife. And when the steel is used up, the D’Allara pattern will be retired, never to be reissued. I can’t think of a holier knife than that.

Well, actually I can, but Osama bin Laden hasn’t been captured….Yet!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Ready: Dale Warther Memorial Expo

It’s been a hard day and a long drive home and the Muse has taken the evening off so I’m typing solo.  I think he’s out carousing again.  When he gets back I can smell beer and sawdust.  It doesn’t bother me too much, but I’d rather be out with him than at work.

The last couple days have been interesting; I put two knives up for auction on eBay.  I wanted to help out a friend who wanted to sell them, but didn’t feel comfortable doing it online.  

The pink Delica with a plastic clip had a reserve price and the bidding just, and I mean just, made the limit.  Spyderco hasn’t made a plastic clip knife in quite sometime.  This one was squirreled away in a dresser drawer and never carried.

The other was a nice NRA knife made by Benchmade.  I was hoping it would go for a little more, but my friend is happy with the sale.  I like the knife, but the position of the lock made the knife, in my opinion, difficult to thumb open.  Still, it’s made in America and a Benchmade to boot.  What’s not to love?
I thought both knives were worth more than the winning bid but I’ll concede you have to find the right buyer.  I am also reminded of the sign I saw at a flea market:

“Why is my stuff sh*t while everyone else’s sh*t is stuff?”  

I’m not sure it makes sense, but try selling stuff and I’ll bet you come to agree with it.

It was exciting to anticipate the bidding.  Most of it happened in two phases, one right after the knives got posted and the other in the last 10 minutes.  There is something addicting about watching the auction.  Every time you check you expect the bid or the numbers of watchers to increase.  When it doesn’t happen you worry and second guess yourself. 
Ahhhh, but let the price increase and it’s drinks-on-the-house happy.   During the last three minutes you’re constantly refreshing the screen, like a down-on-his-luck gambler sticking quarters in a Vegas slot machine.  We both are convinced this time will be the one.  Wow!  That’s a lot of excitement over a sale.

Speaking of sales - -  The Dover Knife Expo, now named in honor of Dale Warther will be this February 12 and 13 at the Dover Armory (2800 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, Ohio).  Use the link in the sidebar for WRCA for more information.  There will be a nice selection of used, new and custom knives on display and for sale.

I’m stocking up on knives for the upcoming show in Medina, OH this weekend.  So I came home to find the following waiting for me. 

I'll take one from the right, two from the middle and one from the front row!

It was a lot of work to get everything priced and entered into the inventory sheet but my wife helped me and it went fast.  I’m not really complaining about it.  You see, it was a lot like Christmas all over!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cutting Down the Highways

It comes as no surprise that many traffic accidents are the result of divided attention.  Look down to change the radio settings and if someone steps out from between parked cars, you’re in trouble.  Many states have made it illegal to talk on a cell phone or text while driving equating them to driving under the influence.  Ohio tried to pass legislation outlawing texting and driving.  Unfortunately this didn’t pass.

Everyday on my migration from work to home I see evidence of texting and driving.  You can too if you look for it.  Watch for the slow but steady drift into another lane combined with the jerky head bob as the driver looks up to confirm he or she is still on the road.  This activity is occasionally punctuated by the texter jerking the car back into its lane.

But I saw a topper the other day.  It was a man driving an SUV big enough to have its own zip code with his elbows.  No, he wasn’t handicapped, well not physically at least.  He was holding an orange in his left hand and cutting into it with a knife held in his right hand.  See what I mean about how he might have another type of handicap?

I resisted blowing my horn at him to see if I could get him to cut himself.  I was afraid he’d lose control of his metal juggernaut and kill someone.  He still may have.

My wife just got a new knife.  Free!

She was our local supermarket and they were passing out promotional knives.  I’m not going to tell you who made it; I don’t want to give them any publicity.  It’s called Paring–Partner.  It sports a surgical stainless steel blade so dull that if it was used in surgery you’d have a valid malpractice claim.  It was so dull I’m not sure it isn’t really a spatula.

It's sooo dull and it isn't even sharp!

I probed around with a magnet (this stainless is magnetic) trying to find out if it has a rattail tang.  I think it’s a partial tang blade simply molded in plastic.  It’s made in China, and the retail price is $5.00.  I don’t know if anyone would buy this knife at five, but it does suggest reasons why I have trouble selling good knives.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Hero


Say goodbye to 2010.  It wasn’t a horrible year, but Lord knows it wasn’t a great year, and greet baby New Year 2011.  Good Luck to us all!

I have a new hero for the new year.  No, it has nothing to do with a knife, but it does have something to do with those irritating people who think they don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else.

Now I’m not talking about wearing white socks with black wingtips or sneaking a 40-minute lunch when everyone else takes 30.  Those things affect you and not the people around you.  Zoom ahead in the closed traffic lane and then cut into line so you don’t have to motor along at 15 mph like everyone else and you deserve the one finger social salute.  Still, it’s a minor bump on the road of life.

But now, endanger a plane full of people by not complying with the lawful orders of the crew, I think you should be taken off in cuffs and prosecuted. 

So when the teenage boy decided he didn’t need to turn off his iPhone on takeoff as instructed by the cabin attendant he moved into that special class.  Now I’ve been told by crew members that we have to turn off electronic devices because during those dangerous moments of take-off and landing there could be interference with the communication and navigation of the plane.  True or False?  I don’t know, but the minor inconvenience in exchange for getting off the plane at my destination seems more than reasonable.

Should an evacuation be required after a hard landing, that hard plastic case could bounce off someone causing a head injury and making an already bad situation worse.  At best, you would have only one hand if necessary to help rescue yourself, delaying others.

So when this teenage rebel without a brain decided he was special, Russell Miller acted.  He “Gibbs” him.

You know, that open hand slap administered to the back of the head to tell you to wake-up and make better decisions.  The iPhone was turned off.

Unfortunately, Miller was arrested when they landed in Boise, Idaho.  So much for the western myth of the lone man standing up to wrong and people standing with him.  They arrested the wrong fellow.  The teenager should have been taken off in cuffs.

I urge Mr. Miller’s lawyers to move the case to the jurisdiction I’m in.  Give me a shot at the jury pool and I’d find him not guilty and pin a medal on him.

Strong words?  Maybe, but are we sheep or a nation of people who know the difference between right and wrong and support right? 


There’s a comedian who claims humor is all around us and we just have to look for it.  He's right.  Look and you will find.

Last year a distributor sent me a 13-month calendar with nice advertisement photos of knives and knife brands.  The last page is January 2011.  It sports a nice Blackhawk auto-knife, the CQD Mark 1 type E.  It’s a nice knife sporting a black AUS 8 blade in a high friction handle.  It’s marketed at the military and police, but even with the auto feature, a fine knife for civilians.  (None of your backtalk. - - Sometimes we’re not too civil ourselves.)

It’s lying on a suppressor (AKA silencer) and visible are the words “Front” and an arrow.  Well, it makes sense; it could have female threads at both ends.  But there’s more, the next line down says “Towards Enemy.”  I never thought we needed to remind people which way to point the gun.

Happy New Year and stay pointed on target.