fresh back from the Blade Show in Atlanta, GA, followed by a side trip
to Pryor, OK, before returning home to Oregon. What a great
was! This year was markedly different from past years
insomuch as I
didn't spend a great deal of time preparing especially for the show. I
had instead, devoted my shop time before the show completing several
custom knife orders in an effort to better serve my existing customer
base. I was totally relaxed heading to the Big Show. Honestly,
with the changing times, I didn't know what to expect at the show, but
I was pleasantly surprised by the brisk sales.
Knives and Whitecranes are Hot Items|
past, during the first few hours of the Blade Show, my customers would
rifle through my kitchen knives and buy most of what I had. During the
remainder of the show, the last few pieces of culinary cutlery would
sell. This year, the trend varied significantly. Customers
made a bee-line straight for my neck
knives and to my Whitecrane
knives accounted for more than 75% of this years
sales. I had a large
percentage of repeat customers, but a few new customers who told me
they specifically sought my knives at the show. Almost every person who
had requested a VIP pass from me showed up. I felt great about the
shaving demo went great with nary a hitch, nor a drop of blood. The
room was completely packed full of spectators, with an
audience spilling over into the hallway. As I began shaving,
men walking past
the demo were heard saying "That guy has got b...lls" and his mate
said, "Or maybe he's crazy!" This got the whole
room laughing, and the
air of humor continued for the rest of the 35-minute demo.
of the front row spectators couldn't resist with the wise-guy jokes and
I enjoyed flowing right along. We were all in stitches for most of the
time, which made for a truly unique experience as I stood there
laughing and shaving my throat with a 24-inch machete!
I think the
humor took the edge off of everybody's tension.
got a wonderful round of applause when I shaved the last couple of
whiskers and several attendees then came forward to purchase my
sharpening DVDs. I suspect I'll get invited to do that performance
again. If you haven't already, take a look at the YouTube version of "Shaving
with a Machete."
Knife Auction -|
Knife bidding starting at just $1
was so busy with tending the table and preparing for the shaving demo
that I didn't have time to organize a proper auction for the famous
YouTube kitchen knife. The knife is currently for sale and I'll accept
offers on it until the end of June. The highest bidder will
get it, complete with a signed certificate of authenticity.
bid is ONE DOLLAR!!! Have fun bidding!
Click on image to
view YouTube video
just two seats left available for the following summer classes:
7~8, 2009 Class 101, Forging and Completion of a Personal
Neck Knife -- Room for one more student
1~6, 2009 Class 500, Original Intensive 6 Day Class,
Including 100, 101, 201 and 301 -- Room for one
interested in attending a summer class should call me right
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Cutlery in the Press|
will be partnering with Troy Von Kutzleben in a
fundraiser for the
National Alopecia Areata
will be shaving Troy's head with a Koshinata machete.
Troy's story that will be published in the National Alopecia Areata
Foundation Newsletter in the fall.
diagnosed with alopecia areata a couple of years ago, or at least
that’s when it became evident. It is not of great concern to
me, as I am a 38-year-old dad and don't mind having to shave my head.
Luckily, bald is beautiful these days. I thought my story might be of
some significance and could provide some insight into the disease.
started in March of 2006. My wife was out of town and I was hanging out
with my buddies. We were headed to a (motorcycle) track day over the
weekend. While having a couple of beers, I thought, wouldn’t
it be cool if I shaved my head. I had a full head of hair, but had
progressively worn it shorter and shorter. I had considered shaving it
previously, but thought my wife would surely disapprove. See what a
couple of beers can do to your judgment. I thought, "Boy would she be
surprised!" That's what marriage is all about. So I shaved my head on
Friday night. My buddies and I went out on Saturday night and I got a
few compliments and I thought, "Hey this is pretty cool."
Sunday we went to the track day as planned…. note to self...
pulling a motorcycle helmet off of a shaved head is like pulling Velcro
apart… must find alternative solution for future outings. On
the track session after lunch, I crashed. I was going about 70 mph and
didn’t make a corner. I ran off of the track into the
emergency pea gravel, a.k.a. kitty litter. The bike and me got
separated. From all accounts, it was pretty spectacular.
remember much about the ensuing hours after the accident. I did manage
to call my wife from the emergency room gurney to tell her that I had
had an accident AND that I probably ruptured my spleen AND they were
going to have to operate to remove it AND she may want to come see me
as I will be in the hospital for at least a couple of days or weeks. I
told her not to worry and that I would be fine and then gave the phone
to my brother to give her more details. That's all I really remember
about the events prior to the surgery.
my wife showed up at the hospital several hours later (I was in
Birmingham, AL and we lived in Atlanta, GA) she saw me in all my glory:
IV tubes, NG tube, ET tube... and a shaved head. She thought surely I
must have brain damage. After asking around with the nurses and them
not knowing anything about it, she began to think…. "I bet
he did it himself!" Sometimes it takes a 5-month pregnant woman a
little time to put two and two together. Finally, the nurses admitted
that I came in that way. I was going to be in trouble when those tubes
awoke from the anesthesia my wife was kind enough to not give me a hard
time. I had ruptured my spleen and they had removed it. I also
fractured three ribs, my left clavicle and left scapula. With the
morphine drip, all I could think was, "Cool, more scars.”
my clavicle was broken, I was not able to continue shaving my head. I
was an amateur at this point, so one-handed shaving was out of the
question. At first everything appeared to be fine. Then, after a couple
of months little patches of baldness began to form in various places on
my scalp: They were irregular in shape and size, but no bigger than a
dime. I thought to myself… this doesn't look very cool. I
went to the dermatologist and was diagnosed with alopecia areata. So
then I decided that I am going to shave my head again.
Surprisingly, my wife agreed to help. So, since then I have been on the
"bald is beautiful" track.
let my hair grow out for a couple of days, the spots are apparent. Some
are the size of a quarter, others as small as a pencil eraser. Some
spots do have a few hairs growing in the center. When I do shave, the
bald spots appear more pink (and tender) than the rest of my scalp.
What can I say; I’m a sensitive guy.
treatments I received from my dermatologist have been steroid
injections, topical steroid foam, and topical steroid cream. The cream
and foam don't really seem to do much. And the shots (two or three in
each spot) are too cumbersome to deal with on a regular basis, although
they do seem more effective than the topical solutions. Since I don't
really care about having hair, it's not worth the treatment. And, I
don't think my kids would recognize me if I had hair.
not really sure what brought this about. The two most obvious possible
causes are my splenectomy, since it's an immune organ and/or a drug
reaction. I was given antibiotics and various vaccinations in the
hospital. I was given IV morphine for pain. I regularly took oral
hydrocodone for pain as well. I did note that the hydrocodone caused a
reaction in my skin complexion. Now that I am no longer taking it, my
complexion has cleared up. But I still have my "spots', as my daughter
likes to call them.
thought my story might be helpful in identifying possible causes for
other people. If there is anything that I can do to help further
research in the subject, I would be willing to participate. As I said,
it's not a big deal for a 38-year-old guy. But I can imagine that it
could be devastating for a 13-year-old girl. So let me know what I can
do to help.
Another great thing about being bald is that we ride our motorcycle
sidecar rigs in the local Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Ride for
Kids every year, toting sick or recovering patients in our sidecars.
It's a very special event. I think me being bald helps the kids in
chemotherapy to feel more normal. We always joke together about our
matching haircuts. There's a reason for everything.
our next email news,
Sharp and may God richly bless you!
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