Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Quality Sharp Objects

The P.E. class in Tai Chi which I took at LCC this past term went nicely. Doing Tai Chi is pleasant. I think regularly doing a lot of stretching helped me even more than learning Tai Chi.

As I mentioned before, this past term was the Chen style short form. Next term I am taking the class again, and the topic will change to the Tai Chi Sword form.

Oregon is one of the knife-making capitals of the world. This state makes some beautiful knives. It's like jewelry for men. People who like knives have heard of Benchmade. People who spend a lot of money on knives also know the name William Henry.

So far I have only benefitted from Eugene having an amazing cultery store with employees who are fun to talk with and willing to let me interact with knives way out of my price range.

They also let me hold their swords. Oregon makes few swords; the best in that cutlery store are from Hanwei Forge. Perhaps after completing next term's Tai Chi Sword class I will splurge and get myself a moderately nice one. (At this point I know very little about Tai Chi Sword and cannot make an informed decision about how a real Tai Chi sword is better than a wooden one.)

I could invent an excuse to get myself the Benchmade knive I linked to above, but I won't. I already have a small, very pretty, and sentimental knife on my keychain that helps me open shrink-wrapped packages and such. I have no need of a quality pretty knife, and my belt is already busy with a cell phone and PDA.

My grandfather had a saying that no man should feel guilty about spending money on something he would own for the rest of his life. (Because so very little of our money is spent on anything besides housing, food, clothes, utilities, home maintenance, medical bills, etc. -- and men tend not to buy jewelry.) That is a wise saying. But it is also true that buying something I would seldom use or enjoy is silly.

Back before I was married I owned no kitchen knives. I had a nice, fairly large, folding pocket knife. Why would I need more? I never did while camping! (I also didn't own a scissors. Surprisingly, this only caused any difficulty once or twice a year.)

These days the knife I use most is an inexpensive Joyce Chen cleaver. My wife and I have nicer kitchen knives, but I've found that like using a cleaver for nearly everything, even cutting apples.

UPDATE: I saw that Benchmade Opportunist again today. It did not seem as pretty as the last time I had looked at it. I wonder if one store's copy had a slightly more nice piece of wood than the other, or the wood had a better grain?