Saturday, 17 November 2007

Way Better Than The Sunday Papers

In a further attempt to put the Sunday papers out of business by giving you something more worthwhile to read, I’m pleased to present the literary wit of Albert A Rasch.
Mr Rasch blogs an excellent chronicle of his adventures afield. He has a lively turn of phrase, you’ll like him.

These are two of my favorites.

Charged! Hog Hunting Adventures.

Charged they were, misadventures they nearly were!

“We drove up to the guides ramshackle house, the driveway entrance marked by a couple of mismatched fire hydrants (ill gotten to be sure). A couple of hounds of questionable pedigree lifted their mange ridden heads to see what the wind was dragging in, and wearily dropped them back into the dust wallow they were in. A little cur with half an ear came up happily to meet us, his tail just a waggin, and a look on his face, that in hindsight could have easily been taken as "Please, take me away from here!" But I was more taken by the charnel smell in the air; a mix between a slaughterhouse and a municipal waste dump. It wouldn't be long before I was to find out what caused that peculiar and most disagreeable odor.”

A Nice Walk In The Park

Where fitness is tested, and lessons in preparedness are learned.

“As I was licking the last bit of bacon grease, tomato, and mayo off my finger tips, I thought of how fortuitous I was to live on some land, far from the foolishness of subdivisions and McMansions. I made a comment to my wife about it. She nodded in agreement, and offhandedly remarked that, not only had I not shot any of my firearms in quite some time, but that I hadn’t even done any of my usual scouting either. Handing me the keys to the gun safe, she said I should really go and spend some quality time by myself and do a little shooting and maybe some scouting. “Who knows,” she said, “there could be a hog on the prowl somewhere.” Well I certainly didn’t need anymore encouragement.”

Have a good weekend

Todd’s Desert Scandi

I’ve recently added Todd’s knife making blog, Primitive Point to my blog roll.
Here’s for why;

Over the last year Todd has made a journey as a blade smith and knife maker and his blog details what he’s learned along the way. Part tutorial, part philosophical thesis, he’s obviously gained a lot more than a draw full of cool cutlery from his efforts.

Todd’s based in Arizona and all the materials he uses are gathered from the local environment, for the desert scandi that means a handle of mesquite root: long weathered in the Arizona sun and L-6 steel cut from an old lumber mill saw for the blade.

He’s made numerous other blades from wombled* materials, files, tire irons, rail road spikes and truck springs. His Damascus from cabling is a thing of beauty even before has wrought it into a blade.
For me the attraction of his work is in its usability, these blades aren’t draw queens, kept behind glass by a collector; they are the EDC of the enthusiast. Take ‘em into the backcountry, butcher game, chop vegetables and split wood. Whack ‘em and they just look more ‘lived in’, these are tools that grow more ‘you’ in the using.

‘I just started collecting junk I found while on my walks. I remember finding a steel table base. That eventually became the bottom of my forge. I remember finding a large nail. The head of it become the rivet in my tongs. I started looking and seeing things in new ways. Each year my experience has opened my eyes wider. I now see in ways I never did before. I see what things can become. Recently I wanted some nice wood for some knife handles. I went to an exotic wood store and drooled over their selection. I couldn’t afford any of it, of course. My brother took a trip to Brazil. I asked him to bring me back some wood. He couldn’t because the country is not allowing any wood to be taken out. Finally, something clicked in my brain and I saw the wood that surrounded me, free for the taking. I took out my saw and in no time had a couple dozen really nice mesquite blanks. I found roots and branches and pieces that had lain in the bottom of washes. I found all sorts of patterns and colors in the mesquite within easy walking distance of my house.’

If, like me, you’re now seized by a compulsion to commission a knife. Please let him know you heard about his work here.

*From the wombles theme song
“Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folks leave behind”
PS He also makes bread!