Sunday, February 26, 2012

Losing My Temper

The Dalton gun show this weekend was certainly interesting.  I found several things I was looking for and I lost one I normally keep.

I lost my temper in a big way.  This doesn’t happen very often.  I normally just fume inside, and then vent on my way home or on my blog.  In fact I almost lost it twice at the show.

The first time I had a customer who would not believe me when I told him Camillus was made in China.  He just wouldn’t believe me.  I mean it’s listed on the package and honestly, the quality isn’t the same as compared to when they were made in America.  I can be mistaken about country of origin or type of steel in the blade, but I never lie to a customer.

He almost throws the knife on the floor and tells me:
“This is terrible.  They should be shot!”

Camillus was unable to compete in today’s markets and went out of business.  Somebody bought the name and moved it overseas.  You have to understand, Camillus didn’t ask me (or apparently him) about making knives in China.  I’ve had about all I can take of the automatic response that a knife made in China or anywhere other than the USA is by definition a “crap knife.”

“Let me show you some made-in-the-USA knives,” I said.  “Why don’t you buy an American made knife from an American knife seller?  Maybe if we buy enough American knives we can convince the manufacturers to bring production back to America?”

“I bought enough American knives,” he sniffed and walked away.  I didn’t see any in his translucent plastic bag.  Clearly a near miss on the temper scale!

By the end of the Sunday I went for a walk and bought a few little things I was after.  I returned to find a fellow opening and testing all my Benchmade knives.  He had borrowed a pen from us and was writing the numbers down.  

I’ve seen this before.  It usually means they will go online and search for the best deal.  I’m okay with that.  I usually give them a card and suggest that if they find one, email me and I’ll give them the best quote I can.  They seldom do this, but it is the way of sales.

“You’re going to see if you can find it online?”  I asked.

“No, I’m going to have my buddy, who’s a dealer, order me one.”

So in other words, his buddy doesn’t want to invest his money in buying Benchmade knives so our shopper can try them out and then decide which one he wants.  But it’s okay to come over to my table and check ‘em out and rub my nose in the fact that I cannot possibly make a sale.

I admit I lost it.  Now, Sister Mary used to say bad language was a sign of the illiterate and un-educated.  I agree with her.  I could have said:

“You are clearly are a nasty, pathetic waste of humanity who will certainly die alone and unloved in a hospital for advanced stage syphilitic patients.  And I hope when you get back to your kennel tonight, your mother bites you.”  That would have been the smart thing to say.

Instead I said: "Get the f**k away from my table.  (You should) Eat sh*t and die on your birthday.”

Childish?  Yes.  And I regret it.  I’m still P.O.ed and I know Sister Mary would have been disappointed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My friend, Scott

His name is Scott.  I’m proud to have him as a friend.  My wife and I met him because our circles of interest include shooting, knives and adventure.  We aren’t drinking-buddy-close but I always looked forward to seeing him at the range and at activities like Camp Perry and knife shows.

I always thought our friendship would grow tighter and I’m still convinced that will happen.

Scott’s on a rough stretch of road now.  This patch looks rougher to me than the others he’s told me about.  

Nobody knows what God’s plan is for any of us.  We don’t know at the time what difference will come from the million trivial decisions we make everyday.  We just put one foot in front of the other and think we know where we are going.  Sometimes we need a little help.

Please keep Scott in your prayers and thoughts.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know him or me.  It doesn’t matter if you read this today or in ten years.  Your thoughts and actions are known by the ultimate score keeper.

I cast my bread on the waters and trust.  That’s enough.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Knife Show March 3-4 2012

Just a reminder.   We’re coming up on one of the two big Northeast Ohio knife shows.  The Western Reserve Cutlery Association is sponsoring the Dale Warther Memorial Knife Expo on March 3rd and 4th at the Dover Armory.  The armory is at 2800 N. Wooster Ave. in Dover, Ohio.  The doors open at 9:00 both days.
Here's a link to a website with a little more information:

Knife shows have a different feel than gun shows.  Everything seems a little more relaxed and everyone has a real interest in knives.  The truth is, I like gun shows, but knife shows have a special place in my heart.  It’s hard to explain, but the vendors and customers seem to have more in common and are friendlier.

You can find a link to the WRCA on my sidebar.

I hope you make it down there.  Parking is free and admission is $5.  I believe the Lions have the food concession.  Here’s a hint:  Come for the knives, but stay for the sausage sandwiches…..  

I’ll see you there…………….

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Knife Talk

I just got several new knives in for an upcoming show at the Medina Fairgrounds.  I see each knife as a ship that passes by in the night.  I get to see them and handle them and then they’re gone (at least I hope) to a new home.  They may not be what I would choose to own, but each one has a charm of its own.

Bryan Baker makes a simple peasant knife from high carbon Swedish steel.  Modeled on a popular form from Bavaria in the 1600s, he gives it a modern twist with brass adjustable screws and a polypropylene handle.  The knife is made in New Zealand and based on how knife rights are circling the drain, it’s only a matter of time before some bureaucrat decides it’s too dangerous for the common peasant of 2012.

Simple knife doesn't mean only simple applications!

The 3-inch high carbon steel blade is hand ground with a water cooled stone giving it a convex blade.  Carbon steel always reminds me of flint and fire making.  The pattern is simple and reliable.  The knife is held open by your hand. 

It’s not really an attractive knife, but if I had a hunting lodge or was backpacking up north, it’s the kind of knife I’d want tucked away safe and sound, just in case.

I also got a Benchmade Bone Collector folder.  The photos don’t do it justice.  The blade is made from D2 steel and the green and black micarta handle is deeply grooved.
Benchmade Bone Collector

It’s a little thicker than some, but it’s well proportioned for the size of the blade.  It has Benchmade’s axis lock and I simply love them.  The lock is so easy to use and it helps make Benchmade one of the nicest opening knives on the market.

Most Benchmade's are set up for tip up carry.  This one can also be set up for left or right carry.

If you haven’t held one, do yourself a favor and find one.  I think you’ll like it.  My best friend took a look at it and said, “They sure know how to build a knife!”

So right!

PS: Don’t forget.  The Dale Warther Memorial Knife Expo is coming up March 3rd and 4th.  It will be held at the Dover Armory.  Parking is free and admission is $5.  No matter the type of knife, new, collectible, factory tactical, or custom made, you’ll find it there.  It’s one of the few pure knife shows in Northeast Ohio.  I hope you can make it.