To-Do’s: The Tyranny of the Urgent and then the knife things

Tyranny of the Urgent- the things that require immediate attention. Might be important or might not be. But one thing they are is urgent.

Most of us suffer from the Tyranny of the Urgent, especially on the first day back at work after the holidays. Well, today was that day for me.

My day was full of things I had to get done- appointments to schedule, calls to make, paperwork to do, expenses to turn in….all seemed to be urgent.

In one respect, the last three weeks of work was all pushed forward to today. Before the holidays, I worked really hard to “clear my desk” so I could relax and take off, and then I get back and I’m already behind. Isn’t that the way it is?

I got to the office and started methodically working down my “To- Do” list. I was making significant progress getting the urgent done in order to get to the important.

Urgent doesn’t necessarily mean important.

Once I got the most urgent done, then I was able to do the next item on my “first day back to work” list and this task was important- I mean really important.

I had to go get a cashiers check and get it in the mail.

You know why this particular “To-Do” was so important, don’t you?  I had to pay for the knife I came to terms on over the holidays. 🙂

Hi-resolution pictures transmitted, price discussions ensued and the deal consummated- all electronically, and from 2500 miles away. I love technology.

Now you know why this task was so important- the sooner I got the money sent, the quicker I get my new old knife. Priorities, Priorities.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Interview with Tom Marino- George Schrade fan and Push Button Knife Collector

Collector Tom Marino holding a New York Knife Co. display knife

Met a new collector friend at Parkers Show near Gatlinburg, Tn on Friday. As I roamed the isles, I passed Tom Marino’s table and couldn’t help but notice this huge New York Knife Co. display knife featured front and center. It was etched “Hammer Brand” and had bails on both ends so it could be hung.

Tom is a member of the Northeast Cutlery Collector Association and sets up at shows throughout the eastern-half of the country. As I admired his NYKC display knife, we got to talking. He is a huge George Schrade and Push Button Knife fan. The minute he started telling me about them, I recognized his passion immediately and pulled out my iPhone to record all the nuggets.

Allow me to introduce Tom Marino, as he shares his passion for the Push Button Knife and George Schrade, its inventor.

This interview is posted at the CutleryNewsJournal YouTube Channel.

The Dilemma of Knife Condition Grades- The good, the bad and the ugly

New collectors of older knives are faced with a serious dilemma. Simply put- they don’t have a frame of reference to grade a knife’s condition. And the knife price guides we all use don’t define knife condition grades with absolute specificity.

Setting aside the brand of the knife, condition grading (the “scoring” a knife’s condition) is the most commonly accepted practice for determining a knife’s value.

This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. You may not remember the anxiety you felt when you first started out trying to figure out whether a knife you were looking at was worth the asking price based on its condition or not. I do. The implications meant money- in some cases, lots of money.

Say you find a knife with the proper knife operations (walk and talk), the handles are crack and chip free, the blades are full, but one of the blade’s tang stamps isn’t legible anymore, so what is that knife’s grade?

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Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The knife that helped build early America

EleToeLogofinal-2Every collector has a favorite.

Whether it is a single knife, brand or pattern, we all have a favorite. If you don’t know by now, mine is a pattern- I’m what is called a pattern collector. This simply means I try to acquire all the different variations and brands of this one knife pattern.

My favorite is the vintage pattern commonly called the Elephant Toenail (although it’s had many nicknames over the years, as you will see).

The Toenail was instrumental in helping build America in its early days. It isn’t the oldest knife made here, but was probably the hardest used work knife produced by the early American cutlery companies. It’s amazing any of them survived.

Over the last few days I’ve been playing knives on my Mac and put together a short little presentation about this old knife. Thought you might like it too. 🙂

Another Knife Auction Underway

wardsauctionAnother knife auction is underway and is being conducted by Ward’s Auctions, a collectibles auction company. Eric Ward, President of the firm, contacted me about this sale. He wrote, “We are well known for ammo, boxes, advertising posters & calendars for hunting & fishing, but not so much when it comes to the Knives- NOT YET ANYWAY!”

While it sounds like the firm is focusing more on future knife auctions, the sale they have currently scheduled is a liquidation of knife inventory spread throughout the firm’s next four scheduled auctions. The first is going on now and ends November 20th. The November sale inventory consists of Case, Marbles and Winchester knives and begins with lot #9323.

The other three auctions are set for next year, so if you want to keep up, then bookmark their site or sign up for their email list updates and auction announcements.

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How many knives will a trillion dollars buy?

How many knives will one trillion dollars buy? I didn’t have a calculator with enough digits, so thought this would help put it in perspective.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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BREAKING NEWS: House of Representatives just passed the bill

This just in via an instant message from KnifeRights– Here’s what it said, “House passed Homeland Security Appropriations Bill with our Switchblade language intact. Next step is the Senate.”

Bill passed by a vote of 307 to 114.

We’ll keep informed up to the minute as we follow this important issue to the knife industry and enthusiasts.

Sporting Knife Industry Coalition & SwitchBlade Act Update

AKTI_logoDavid Kowalski, Communications Coordinator of the American Knife & Tool Institute, updates the Sporting Knife Industry Coalition’s attempt to retain the current defintiton of a switchblade.

AKTI – House Bill H.R. 2892 on Hold (Update on 10/12/09)

The fate of AKTI’s attempt to save all folding knives from a proposed revocation of import rules for assisted-openers by U.S. Customs now appears stalled on a debate centering on the fate of prisoners at Guantanamo and the length of a proposed southern U.S. border fence.

In the meantime, AKTI and the knife industry coalition supporting action against the revocation have been to D.C. again. That was part of a focused effort to gain acceptance with key House committees and subcommittees.

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Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Does a knife qualify as a work of art?

Hope Diamond Est. Value- $350 Million

Hope Diamond Est. Value- $350 Million

It used to be wealthy collectors could donate their works of art for a tax break.  Then the 2006 Pension Protection Act came along preventing donors from realizing the tax benefits on the appreciation of the art’s value and limited the time to complete the donation. So, with a stroke of a pen donations dried up.

The Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal in its article Restoration Work on Gifts of Art reports wealth advisers and estate lawyers stopped recommending the practice soon after the act became law.

Now, several in Congress are coming to the rescue by proposing changes in the 2006 law at a time when artwork is declining in value. In fact, the art market has dropped 30% so far this year and is approaching 2004 values, according to Mei Moses Art Indexes.

Is what we have here an art bailout?

With that said, is what we really have here an art bailout? The specifics get complicated, but real interesting. Did I tell you under the proposed changes the donor can make incremental donations of the piece of art over 20 years? This provides for the collectible to increase in value and provides increasing tax breaks to the donor as it appreciates. And then the one that got me- the museum is only required to exhibit the artwork proportionate to the incremental ownership interest gifted over every five year period, which means the donor can keep it for however much time not gifted. In other words, he can give it and then keep it- at least most of the time. I like that one.

My gracious, this sounds like a couple good ol’ boys got together one evening at their favorite Washington establishment and devised a tax break scheme for their ultra-wealthy hunting buddies.

knifemuseumThe question we only care about is- Does a knife qualify as a work of art? I might be willing, as some of you, to gift a knife to the National Knife Museum if I can keep it for most of the allowed 20 year “gifting period” and account for its appreciation too by realizing additional tax breaks.

I am sure there is some limit on the initial value of the piece of art to like, a million dollars, or something like that, so even if our knife is ultimately accepted as art, it won’t qualify.

Guess I’ll just go cut something with mine then and let the uber-rich keep their gifts.

My Favorite Knife Video Contest 2nd Place Winner

The second place winner is “Bear Hunter by OY Navaho” submitted by Keelen Grimm.

Keelen is an active member of iKnifeCollector– the new knife collector community. Congratulations Keelen!

Now for the moment we have all been waiting for- the First Place Winner….

Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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