Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, January 05, 2018

New EDC Knife

I have carried pocket knives for the last 50 years. I got my first one for a nickle, at a flea-market in Nashville (and I still have it), when I was six. In school, I sneaked them in, and ended up getting a special "hall pass" to carry one in high school, because I got tired of sneaking around. I was able to convince the principal that I was responsible enough to carry a knife without misusing it. Teachers regularly came to me to cut packages open, etc.

A good knife is one of the most useful tools you can own, and I just can't seem to get through a day without using mine. The only time you will see me intentionally without a knife in my pocket is if I'm flying, attending court, or in some other setting where they are prohibited.

But, my Every-Day-Carry pocket load is a bit of a challenge, sometimes. In addition to my knife, I regularly carry:
nail clipper (another multi-use tool)
change (sometimes)

So, I prefer a small knife, to save pocket space, and one which can be opened with one hand. For quite awhile I carried assisted-opening folders with pocket clips. But, I found that the clips wore the fabric of my pants, and the knife would catch the edge of my hand as I reached in my pocket for my keys.

I also prefer less-expensive knives. Carrying something everyday lends itself to wear and tear, loss and/or confiscation (I have forgotten I had a knife in my pocket 3 times, within the last 5 years, as I was flying somewhere. So, I had to dispose of them at the airport.)

Last year, I started carrying small fixed-blade knives with flat Kydex sheathes. These are designed to be worn around the neck, hanging from a chain or cord. I carried mine, minus the chain, in my hip pocket with my sketchbook. I liked freeing up the space in my front pocket, and it was a comfortable carry, but I found that keeping up with the sheath was something of a pain.

So, I attached the sheath to the knife with a leather cord, so that I could pull the knife out and the sheath would stay attached. I t was a workable solution, but not ideal.

The other day, I was perusing knives online, and I saw a small neck knife that I really liked the blade shape on. Looking at the specs, I realized that it was even smaller than the knife I was currently carrying, so I bought one.  Minutes later, I ran across the Kershaw Pub, a friction folder that looked ideally suited to hip pocket carry.

Naturally, I ordered up one of those, as well. I figured I would choose which one I liked best, out of the two new knives, and try carrying it for a few days to see if I liked it well enough to make it permanent. The M-Tech fixed-blade was under $10.00, and the Kershaw Pub cost a princely $16.99, so I figured I could afford to try both out.

They arrived, today, and I pulled them out to compare them with the Shadow Ops knife (also under $10.00) I've been carrying for a few months:

With the pen to give them some scale, you can see how small all three knives are. The Pub is quite a bit shorter than the other two, and about the same thickness. That is a plus for the Pub...

The knife on top is the new M-Tech fixed-blade. I particularly like the shape of the blade. The point lends itself to drilling small holes through plastic or leather (something I use my knife for more than one would think). That's a plus for the  M-Tech. The Pub is much more like a utility knife shape.

The grip on the Pub is comfortable in my hand, and I can easily open it with one hand.

Plus, there is no sheath to worry about with the Pub, and it features a handy bottle opener and flat-blade screwdriver, which allows me to remove the Gerber Claw tool from my keychain. So, I am going to carry it for a bit and see how the blade shape suits me.

Knives ... yet another thing about which I tend to geek out.


Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Christmas Blues and Bruise

On the Friday before Christmas, I was riding my new winter commuter build to the coffee shop, trying out the new gearing, when I hit a patch of particularly slick ice at about 18 mph. I hit the ground hard, left knee first (closely followed by my ribs on that side). I don't think anything broke, but the knee swelled up pretty big, and I have some bruised ribs for sure.

I hit the ground right at an intersection, and slid to the second house from the next intersection. The ice was hard enough that the bike slid as far as I did; the pedal never even dug in and slowed or stopped it. As I got up, I knew that I was hurt, but I continued on to Kaladi Brothers for my morning coffee.

I stopped on the D.U. campus and took a couple of pictures, then went to the coffee shop. As I sat, I flexed my knee, periodically, in an effort to prevent it from becoming too stiff to ride home. I didn't want to bother anyone, calling for a rescue, and i knew that it was going to be a challenge to ride, even if I kept the knee flexible. Every time I flexed the knee, the pain would make my vision start to go black, and I would feel nauseated, so i would let up and do it again, a fter a few minutes. It was a strange visit to the coffee shop...

But, it worked, and I was able to ride home, in a slow and ouchy sort of way.

I took last week off, at work, in order to recuperate. Eleven days later, the knee is still tender to the touch, and I have a limited range of motion. I can bend it to sit in a chair, or drive, but I can't make a revolution of a bike crank. (And, yes, I have been icing it and taking ibuprofen.)

Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of projects done, since I was trying to stay off of my feet, for the most part. By Thursday, I was able to bend the knee enough that I could install my new anti-gremlin bell on my motorcycle. Carol got it for me, for Christmas, to replace the one I lost when I broke the clutch cable on the Scrambler.

I used a stainless steel zip tie to hold it on. The copper wire, which held the original, is in my tool

I also got Ted's school-desk tabletop guitar finished...

All I had to do was design and cut the pickguard, and do the final setup on the bridge. It came out really nice.

By Saturday, with the help of an afternoon nap and numerous shots of Wild Turkey as we played, I was able to get through our show at Englewood Tavern with little discomfort. It was a hoot playing there, and we will be returning. I just need to arrange it.

Needless to say, no New Year's Day Bike Ride, this year. I'm hoping to be able to ride within the week. I figure that I will wait until the scab on my knee is gone to worry about the knee joint, itself. I figure it will take at least as long to heal as the skin over my kneecap will take. If it's still a problem after the scab is gone, I will call the doctor.

More, later...