Saturday’s Sharp Shots

 

These are the photos of the art knives from the knife show I recently attended in Toronto.  The first four are from the South African maker.  They were not on display at this show, but are taken from his advertising.  Note the patterning in the Damascus steel of his blades, and in other photos.

529082014429082014

 

 

 

 

329082014229082014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one from a lady maker from Wisconsin.  It has no finger nick, but can be opened manually.  If you don’t tell the nice policeman, it also has a hidden spring, and an adjustment stick which turns it into a switchblade.  Don’t you feel safer that the Government has banned these things? Some of the makers put out notes about their knives’ content.

SDC10639SDC10639 - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next bunch are by a maker who produces fine knives, but also spends hours and hours scrimshawing beautiful pictures on the handles.  Do you like the coming-and-going, wildcat pair, in color?  He did the same type of thing a few years ago, in black and white – chalk on ebony, and carbon on ivory.

SDC10648SDC10647  

SDC10645     SDC10644

SDC10646

Hardly recognizable as a knife, this was the most artistic (?), and most expensive.  Note the $14,500 price tag.    8O

SDC10643

 

 

 

 

 

Looking somewhat like an Eskimo ulu, this is actually modeled after a European knife/tool used to scrape the excess off the backs of hides for tanning.  Aside from looking pretty, this one has a razor edge, and can be used to prepare food, or at the table to slice roasts, etc.

SDC10641

 

 

 

 

 

The son bought a $1200 Katana from the same guy who made the blade of the Katana that he won, three years ago.  I’ll show pictures of them in a future post.  In the meantime, the rest of these are gorgeous.

SDC10642

 

 

 

 

 

SDC10640SDC10637A razor sharp meteorite knife, cheap at $2300.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SDC10636

 

 

 

SDC10635

 

 

SDC10634

 

 

 

SDC10633 SDC10630

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SDC10632SDC10631

Sharp Saturday

 

129082014

 

 

 

We had planned to go to a knife show in Toronto on a recent Saturday.  The son’s medical emergency on the Friday afternoon seemed to put that in jeopardy, but when he survived the Attack of the Killer Kidney Stone, we decided to proceed, with the grandson and fiancée, and him well medicated.

The regular Canadian Knifemakers Guild spring show has been suffering, so, this year, they decided to do something different.  They waited till mid-summer, moved it downtown, to an upscale hotel, and made it an invitational Art Knife Show.

This show had as many makers as the usual one, but instead of tables with 50 or 100 hunters, skinners, or steak knives, each maker displayed only 1 or 2, or a few, but worth what a whole table of those others were.  Prices started in the high hundreds of dollars.  The most expensive single knife I saw went for $14,500.

There were makers from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Utah, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas, as well as France, Germany, Austria, Brazil and South Africa.  Most shipped their knives ahead, some using the Post Office, others by courier.  One guy packed his two knives with his socks and underwear, and checked his baggage with the airline.  TSA will X-ray it, but only worry if there are firearms or an explosive device.

Almost all of these knives were decorated with gold, silver, various jewels, ivory or titanium.  One maker also does his own beautiful scrimshaw.  I have read about the South African maker in my knife trade magazines for years.  Many of these makers can afford to make such expensive knives because they already have prestigious jobs.  They do it for the satisfaction, the creativity, and the bragging rights.

The top Canadian maker is a Nuclear Physicist, somewhat more than a Homer Simpson.  The fellow from South Africa displayed a folder with exquisitely carved hippo-tooth ivory.  It’s easy for him. He’s the country’s best dentist.  Another, with a price tag of $4500, was made of 4.5 Billion year-old meteorite-based steel.

Despite any decoration, or price, he insists that all of his creations are working knives.  A lady asked him if “the meteorite” was sharp.  He picked up a scrap of paper, and shaved a couple of strips off it.  The knives in the teaser photo at the top are his.  For those interested, return tomorrow when I will publish a mostly photo post, with shots I took at the show.

****

After we had sated our eyeballs, it was time to think about our stomachs.  I was willing to try either of the hamburger/French fry wagons across the street.  We couldn’t afford to eat in this hotel. The grandson has a friend with Toronto relatives, who has treated him to downtown tours.  He insisted that we walk a couple of blocks over to the Eaton Center, and he treated us to a lunch at an upscale burger joint in the lower level.  We got to see the impressive old 1850 sandstone City Hall, framed against the new monstrosity, which looks like a flying saucer coming in for a landing in a bay of the Mother Ship.

UFO Old

UFO

Watching TV out of British Columbia recently, I saw an ad for Mucho Burrito Grill.  My regulars know my fascination for Tex/Mex food, :burrito: so I researched the chain online, and tried to find out where they were.  The “locate restaurants” button didn’t locate anything for me.  Instead, it asked me where I was, and offered to show nearby outlets.

I specified a 500 kilometer range, and asked about Vancouver.  The map showed several in Washington State, and a covey in B.C.  Similar queries showed a bunch, centered on Edmonton, Alberta, and also Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  There were only two in Manitoba, both in Winnipeg.  I could find nothing in Ontario or further east.

Big Smoke Burgers’ burgers are served on actual plates, with metal cutlery, and their fountain drinks in glass glasses, a refreshing change from the usual food-court cardboard and Styrofoam.  As I sat, inhaling their gourmet creation, with mushroom gravy, and spicy cole-slaw dressings, I looked up across the huge eating area, and my eyes fell on a Mucho Burrito Grill.

Since it sat in the direction of the washrooms, when I was finished eating and wanted to wash up, I stopped over to investigate.  Mostly, it was as much of a disappointment as the Del Taco restaurant in Detroit.  I could get as good or better at Taco Bell….all except for a plate of nachos a customer carried away, that actually looked as good as the advertising picture – perhaps if we do this again next year.

Since it had begun raining outside, we decided to make our way back the few blocks to the subway through the warren of underground tunnels and shopping areas beneath the streets and buildings.  Fiancée works at Starbucks, and needed a coffee fix.  She used her employee discount card, and stopped at a Starbucks beneath one bank building.  We walked to the next building – and there was another Starbucks.  We turned, and walked under the street to the next building – and there, was another Starbucks.

Starbucks makes good coffee, and runs a nice corporation, but I regard them as pretentious.  These outlets were all in the financial district, beneath big banks and investment houses.  You decide.

All in all, a most enjoyable and educational day.  Pics, or it didn’t happen, so remember to come back tomorrow for photographic proof.

Flash Fiction # 17

Grapevine

 

 

 

 

 

Seinfeld Script

Once upon a time, there was an arrogant old geezer who felt he could write because he occasionally strung a few words together.  He saw a pretty picture and said, “I could compose a Flash Fiction about that.”

The more he stared, the harder his brain cells ossified.  What was that thing?  He was like Curly the Stooge, “I’m tryin’ to think – but nuthin’s happenin’.”

He read what several others had written, but that just gave him a dozen themes that he couldn’t plagiarize.  “It’s useless.” he said, “I’ll never get a 100 word story out of this.”

The end.

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday picture as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Stoned

 

I should have mentioned earlier, that I’ve become a new Grandpa, well….adoptive.  Earlier this spring, another of my pet rocks had a baby.

SDC10582

 

 

 

 

 

This is Momma Stone.  We took her in when we found her, pregnant and abandoned.  You can probably tell, from her patient demeanor, how she’s been able to put up with me for years.  She just sits quietly at the corner of the garage, enjoying the warmth of the sun when she can, and reporting to me, the amount of rain and snow we’ve had.

One of her daughters, a nice little egg, has been hanging around out on the back deck with a few other teenage stones.  I convinced them, when they’re not busy tweeting and texting, to hold down a plastic cover on a small table.

This spring, when I wanted to put the cover out again, I gently picked her up, and found that Jack Frost had sneaked into the back yard and slipped a little moisture into her.  She gave birth to an even smaller stone, right in my hand.  Mother and child are doing well.

SDC10624 SDC10622

 

SDC10623

 

 

 

 

Inclusions like this happen millions of years ago, when erosion breaks off chunks of the original granite of the Earth.  They roll into stream or oceans, and are tumbled around and abraded till they are smooth and rounded, and finally are covered with fine sand, lots and lots of sand, and then, piles of water.  Over millennia, the pressure of the water compacts and solidifies the sand into sandstone, and these little Easter eggs are often concealed forever.  It was only luck that gave us these two.

****

Speaking of becoming the parent of a small stone….On a recent Friday, I had agreed to take the daughter, LadyRyl, and her friend, and three of the friend’s cats, to a veterinary, fifteen miles away, in the next city.  While daughter and I waited, her cell phone burbled.  Since grandson only works till noon on Fridays, I suspected it was him checking in.  She shook her head and handed the phone to me.

The wife told me not to be any longer than necessary returning home.  The son, Shimoniac, works midnight shifts.  He had gone to bed at 11:00 AM, but had wakened about 1:30 with pain and nausea.  After throwing up food he ate three days ago, and then nothing but brownish bile, it settled into a sharp, grinding pain in the lower right quadrant.

Getting the two gals and three cats back into the car, and home, was like….herding cats.  Finally accomplished, I got back home to find son in the recliner, with an ice pack on his abdomen.  It can’t be his gall bladder; they took that out 20 years ago.  The wife had her appendix rupture when she was a child, and was worried about that possibility.

Get some outdoor clothing on, grab your Ontario Health Card – and off to Emergency we went.  Like every other place, hospitals have gone electronic, and do-it-yourself.  You touch a screen to print your admission form.  You get to sit with a triage nurse, but you swipe your health card to prove that the Government will pay, and to enter basic information.

There was a large flat-screen monitor on one wall, displaying the Emergency Department page from the hospital’s website.  It gave driving and parking directions, paying special attention to the road work that shuts down several local streets, right outside the hospital.  It also showed that they were currently treating 23 patients, with 18 waiting, and an estimated wait time of 3.5 hours.  It’s 4:00 PM.

Pleasantly, surprisingly, they called him at 6:00 o’clock – only a two hour wait, but the hard part is still ahead.  Not knowing if or when I might get supper, I got a hot chocolate and a toasted bagel at the in-house Tim Horton’s.  I read parts of an abandoned newspaper, and filled in the crossword puzzle.  At 7 PM, just as I was going to ask about him, they informed me that I could go in and see him.

He had had his blood pressure taken, had blood drawn for testing and, despite being dehydrated from the vomiting, had managed to provide a urine sample.  They were going to do an ultrasound, but decided that a CAT-scan would provide better information.  They were going to inject him with an organic dye for contrast, but, for what they suspected, didn’t need it, and decided against it.  They were also going to inject a pain-killer – but the CAT-scan was free right now, so off he went.

I went for another walk to combat stiffness, and he got back around 9 PM.  He got his pain shot, and we waited.  Usually stoic like me, he doesn’t often complain about pain.  When the admitting nurse asked him what it was like, on a scale from 1 to 10, he told her that it was a solid ten!  The pain shot soon had it down to a throbbing three.

The son had been treated by a Doogie Howser MD-young Canadian doctor, named Robert Beaver.  He was accompanied by his resident minion, an even younger oriental Doogie Chen, who does all the scut work.  They returned just before 10:00 PM, and told him that he was the proud parent of a 5 MM kidney stone, which was about half-way down the tube to the bladder.  5 MM is the size of lead in a mechanical pencil.  It’s amazing how something so small can cause so much pain and internal upset.

In and out in just six hours, it wasn’t the best day either of us ever had, but, all things considered, not bad.  He should pass the stone on his own, if he drinks lots of liquids.  He was be contacted by a urologist about a week later.  If the problem has gone away, he won’t need an appointment.  If not, we start talking about lithotripsy, to break up this tiny stone with guided sound waves.

Until either of those occurs, he gets to exist with the help of the same high-octane pain pills that I recently received.  Ain’t life fun??!  :?

P.S.  Two Mondays after, the hospital just called to confirm a Tuesday morning ultrasound appointment that the doctor’s office *forgot* to tell him he had.  Wish him luck today.  8O

Heaven On Earth

SDC10346

 

 

 

 

 

A Briton, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.

“Look at their reserve, their calm,” muses the Brit. “They must be British.”

“Nonsense,” the Frenchman disagrees. “They’re naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French.”

“No clothes, no shelter,” the Russian points out, “They have only an apple to eat, and they’re being told this is paradise. They are Russian.”

****

Three guys were standing at the top of the Empire State Building in NYC.

The first guy says to the second, “You know, the wind currents are so strong here in NYC that one could step off the edge of the building and literally float in mid-air due to the upward thrust of the thermal air currents.”

“No way, man, you’re crazy,” said the second guy to the first. So the first guy steps off the edge of the building and just floats in mid-air for about 20 seconds and then returns to the roof of the building.

The second guy is simply thrilled and says, “Watch me do that” as he steps from the roof edge into the open air. Of course he falls like a stone straight down all the way to the waiting pavement below–SPLAT!

The third guy, who has remained quiet the entire time, leans over to the first guy and says, “You know something Superman, sometimes you can be a real asshole!”

****

A woman posts an ad in the paper that looks like this:

Looking for man with these qualifications:

  1. Won’t beat me up. 2. Won’t run away. 3. Great in bed.

She got lots of phone calls but met someone perfect at her door. The man she met said, “Hi I’m Bob. I have no arms so I won’t beat you up; I have no legs so I won’t run away.”

So the lady says, “What makes you think you are great in bed?”

To which Bob replies, “I rang the doorbell didn’t I?

****

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

Economy is denying ourselves a necessity today, in order to buy a luxury tomorrow.

Most love triangles turn into “wreck-tangles!”

Heard in a conversation over 40 years ago:  “If they think I’m going to pay a dollar for a haircut, forget it!”

Professor: “Joe, name two pronouns.” Joe:  “Who, me?

Receptionist: Doctor, there’s an invisible man in the waiting room. Doctor: Tell him I can’t see him.

What happened to the dog that swallowed a firefly?  He barked with  de-light.

What happened to the guy who stayed up all night, wondering where the sun went, when it went down?  It finally dawned on him.

What position did Monica Lewinski have in the White House?  Missionary!

Why do blondes hate making Kool-Aid? They can’t get the six cups of water into the little envelope.

 

Flash Fiction # 16

If The Shoe Fits

parked

“I want you to take me out shopping.  I need a new pair of shoes for Susan’s daughter’s wedding.”

More shoes??!  Imelda Marcos used to borrow from you.” was the first thing he thought – not the first thing he said.  That was, “Yes, dear.”

Perhaps the comment he made after the fourth – or was it the fifth? – shop, wasn’t entirely enthusiastic.  She’d become a bit curt.

“Fine then, you don’t have to come in.  Just wait for me here.  I won’t be long.”

Right….he’d just glimpsed The Count of Monte Cristo in the mirror, all long straggly beard and hair.

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday picture as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Tony’s Cell Phone Info

Phone
__________________________________

4 Things you might not have known about your Cell Phone

These are things that you can do with it: For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.) There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things you can do with it.

FIRST (Emergency)

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you

find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile

network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the

mobile will search any existing network to establish the

emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number

112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

SECOND (Hidden Battery Power)

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys

*3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve

and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery.

This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell

phone next time.

THIRD (How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? )

To check your Mobile phone’s serial number, key in the
following digits on your phone: *#06#.

A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is

unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it

somewhere safe. If your phone is

stolen, you can phone your service provider and give

them this code. They will then be able to block your

handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your

phone will be totally useless. You probably won’t get

your phone back, but at least you know that whoever

stole it can’t use/sell it either. If everybody does

this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile

phones.

And Finally….

FOURTH (Free Directory Service for Cells)

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more

for 411 information calls when they don’t have to. Most

of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle,

which makes this situation even more of a problem. When

you need to use the 411 information option, simply

dial: (800) FREE411 or (800) 373-3411 without

incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell

phone now. This is sponsored by McDonald’s.

This is the kind of information people don’t mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG – http://www.avg.com/
Version: 10.0.1430 / Virus Database: 2639/5576 – Release Date: 02/02/13

 
Tony has returned after almost a year of an illness so serious, he almost died from it, and is passing out helpful information again.  Archon is so old fogey-ish, he can’t even turn on a cell phone. All above claims should be (taken with a grain of salt – taken with two aspirin, and call me in the morning, if your phone works) verified.    :)