I love knives and always have my SAK on me because I might have to MacGyver something.
The problem with that is I start to accumulate pocket clutter because I never leave the house without knives. Yes. Plural.
Every knife can be used for it’s primary function as a tool, and every knife can be used as a weapon. Some are better tools than others and vice verse.
And, unfortunately, you never know if you might need to get shabby.
One of my very favorite folders is this one:
It’s a KA-BAR (yes that KA-BAR), and I had never seen a folder by them until several years ago in a little shop in Maggie Valley, NC.
In the picture above are a couple of minimal knife sheaths. Topstache makes them. I was looking around on Amazon and found them. I took a chance on the sheath on the left in the picture and loved it. I’ve been trying it out for the last couple of months. It’s very durable and comfortable to wear.
But I needed something a little more straightforward for work, and the one on the right I received today.
It will hang straight on my belt where the other has a slight angle to it. I have a belt clip for my personal phone at work and the other sheath doesn’t fit well with my EDC so that’s why I ordered the other.
The new sheath will sit better at the small of my back. Yes, I’ve already suited up with it. I’m already knifed up for tomorrow.
Anyways, I needed to write something down constructive tonight, so here I am and here you are.
I had a rough start this morning just getting out of bed. My back has been bothering me, and my shoulder started giving me trouble this afternoon. I’m sitting here with coffee and my old friend the TENS unit right now.
I left the house at 7:00 and was on my way to being right on time to work when I took my second major turn, and the truck started shuddering. It didn’t want to pull, and my stomach just sank.
I left on time to be on time. And now, I was late.
We’re getting ready to go on our anniversary weekend trip soon. I do not need to put more money into Bruce right now.
Bruce is my truck. He’s green and temperamental. Marvel fans will get this.
Sometimes you need the right tools to fix a problem. But first, you need to define the problem.
My tool of choice for this situation is the OBDLink MX+. I have had it for a couple of years.
If you ever go to an auto parts store and have them figure out what’s making your check engine light come on, they are using a piece of equipment that does the same thing. This is a simplified version of that equipment that connects to my phone through Bluetooth.
I’ve deciphered more than a few problems with Bruce because of this piece of equipment. Today it was saying that the ignition coil had gone bad. But the ignition coil is only a couple of months old!
It turns out that wasn’t the problem.
It was too early in the morning for something complicated, so we always K.I.S.S.
KISS is an acronym; the letters stand for “Keep it simple, stupid.”.
And simple it was. On the ignition coil is a plug that carries the power to the ignition coil and allows God only knows what to happen in the engine. I can fix stuff on a simple level. I don’t even pretend to understand how the magic happens.
The plug has a small retention clip. This being a twenty-two-year-old truck, that clip had broken. This kept the magic from transferring to the ignition coil, which transforms the magic into something else. I know, pretty technical.
Now, I’m a terrible half mechanic. I don’t always have the right tools with me. My toolbox has work stuff in it. I don’t half mechanic for a living.
What I do, quite effectively, is troubleshoot at life. You can fix most anything just by getting your head to a place where you can think through the problem calmly.
Two fictitious characters from the 80s brought me to this, Hannibal Smith and MacGyver.
Troubleshooting is all about imagination. You have to be able to, and I actually hate this saying, think outside the box.
“Imagination is the most important thing the human mind has.” – MacGyver
I always have three things with me.
1. Duct Tape. Most of life’s problems can be solved by a liberal application of duct tape.
2. A Swiss Army Knife. (Thanks, MacGyver). Incredibly versatile tools that can be found in almost any configuration you want.
3. Zip Ties. I use these a lot at work. Fast and easy to secure a wide variety of things.
The simple fix was to use a zip tie to secure the plug to the ignition coil. Problem solved.
I had called Mags, and Dad had told her he’d come to me when she was dropping off the kids at his house for the day. I told her to have him call our guy with the flatbed before I got my head straight and figured what needed doing.
By the time he’d shown up, I was getting ready to fix it, but since he came, I let him get under the hood. And this was all about respect.
I’ve spent no small part of my life holding the flashlight, getting yelled at while he turned the wrench. But I’ve learned a lot from him. At 72, he’s still a formidable man. Arms like tree trunks and one of the best shade tree mechanics I know. He has forgotten more than I’ll ever learn about an engine.
All of this went down within forty-five minutes. And just like that, I was back on the road.
And that was this morning. It wasn’t the plan, but it was what happened.
A twenty-five-cent zip tie saved me a 150 dollar bill on a flatbed ride.
And at that point, Hannibal Smith steps in.
There’s a plan in everything, kid. And I love it when a plan comes together. – H. Smith
I always look for knife stores when we’re out anywhere, but especially in the mountains.
I’ve visited the Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, TN (that’s pronounced SEVERE-ville, DO NOT get that wrong) and it was a lot to take in. I will most likely make my way there again.
Please don’t get me wrong; I was sufficiently impressed with the place. It was just so big, and good blades can get so expensive, I was a bit overwhelmed.
My favorite knife store in the mountains isn’t the same. The owner retired and sold the store to new proprietors, and I saw and felt the change in the store’s mood when I walked in.
I’ve already had my say with the wife about that. I won’t be bad-mouthing the new owners here. I wish them well.
One of the best places to find some good old steel is second-hand stores, and there are plenty of antique and “junk” stores in the mountains of North Carolina. I use the term junk affectionately. Those are some of my favorite places.
I found this little folder on a table in a new second-hand place that opened in Maggie Valley. A very nice older couple runs it.
I picked the knife up for ten bucks. It was made in the 80s, as far as I can search on the internet. It had a few small chips in the edge, which I figured I could fix on the stone (and I did).
Also, it’s a floral knife for people working with flowers and small plants.
I have never seen a Victorinox single-blade folder like this, so I grabbed it expecting to put it on my shelf.
Once I got it home and sharpened and cleaned up a bit, I decided to make it an EDC for a while. Nice little piece.