Forge of the Gods (see the first bullet point below)


    Bullet Points

** Sometimes memories, reflections if you will, can be reshared. Here, from the past, is a reflection from Mexico and a VM discussion of which is better – steel or titanium? Bounce back in the VM Time Machine and take a look. There is a Part 2 here.

** I saw an opinion piece on the news and they mentioned how well Barack (The Half-Blood Prince) was respected by the Russians and how he controlled Putin’s ambitions. The graphic (from Russia) is emblematic of how the Ruskies saw things. They considered him to be a species of catamite at best.

** Another Chemical Spill – Residents in Philadelphia are flocking to local supermarket stores such as Target and Walmart to buy water after a major chemical spill occurred in the Delaware River. On Friday night over 8,000 gallons of latex-based solution spilled into the Delaware River from a chemical plant in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The massive spill caused Philadelphia city officials to send residents an emergency phone alert urging residents to buy bottled water and to not drink their tap water.

** ZeroHedge – Why is everyone pretending that nothing’s wrong? Even if the stock market holds up, something is going to have to break in a big way.

** As far-left ideologies further embed themselves into American society, growing evidence shows that companies embracing woke capitalism tend to alienate customers, drive away potential employees, and lose profits for investors. As with all cultural revolutions, it will take decades to measure the total outcome that woke capitalism has had on the economy, but businesses and investors that depend upon quarterly growth and earnings cannot wait that long. Unfortunately, the financial data for companies that go woke is spotty and largely anecdotal.


  1. Zerohedge. One of the reasons I do not invest in he stock market anymore is I can’t understand why it is acting like it is in today’s economic environment.

    Steel or titanium. Like anything else it depends but your post is a good reminder why steel is not the best choice sometimes. I winder how a good ceramic blade would fare.

    Chemical spills. And another train derailment. This time in North Dakota. All those years of minimal maintenance of the lines are catching up.

      • Many moons ago, I saw a photo in one of the popular science/mechanics magazines. The photo was of a 2-inch cube of ceramic material. The center was still glowing a dull orange, giving off just enough light for a dim photo. The cube was held in the palm of a bare hand. What if we could make engine blocks that did not require a liquid cooling system? Run the engines on natural gas? Almost zero emissions? Oil change every 20,000 miles?

        • No redundancy.

          Why doesn’t Toyota sell Hi-Lux pick-up trucks with diesels that go 750K miles here the way they do in the developing world? I’d buy one tomorrow as a ranch truck. I would not replace it in my lifetime. That’s why not.

          • LL, in the 80s, I drove Hi-Lux trucks in Australia and thought they were grand. I wrote to Toyota recommending they market them in the US as they could whip the tires off Ford, Chevy and GM.

            Toyota didn’t think the same way.

          • It’s a combination of USGOV and Toyota. They axed the FJ Cruiser because people bought it instead of the Four Runner at twice the price.

  2. Re: VM Time Machine links:
    Some blades in my collection- Gerber, Becker, Victorinox, Buck, AG Russell, Henckels, Sabatier, Boker, Cold Steel, Rapala, Mora, CRKT. Various sabers and bayonets, a kukri, an iklawa, and a fearsome barong.
    My impressions: High carbon stainless, heat treated to somewhat under Rc 60 us a good general-purpose blade steel
    D2 Rc 60-62 holds an edge but is difficult to resharpen. (KaBar, Camillus)
    420 softer, easier to sharpen (Buck)
    440C at about Rc 56 a happy medium. Fairly common and relatively inexpensive.
    AUS 8 at Rc 58 is one of my favorites (Al Mar)

    I read with interest the comment describing Wootz steel.

    • I agree, under Rc 60. I have a cool tantung knife. Avoid tantung tungsten alloys because they tend to be brittle. The problem with it is that it’s hard and a challenge to sharpen. I carried it as an undercover weapon for several years. I ended up using to cut meat once many years ago working in Mexico in a bar one night My daughter wants it when I die. I said, “of all my neat blades you want that one?” There is the provenance, you see.

      I bought it from Bob Terzuola circa 1990 (we were both young then – both old now if he’s still alive).

      • I just looked up Bob. He’s 78 years old now. When I met him, he was making fixed-blade knives for operators. It’s not exactly a combat knife in the traditional sense, but it’s an elegant blade in its wicked simplicity. You want a knife that’s long enough to reach the heart either from the armpit, ribcage, or down from above.

        • Al Mar, SOG, Gerber, Randall have offered some nice, stabby fixed-blade models.
          I have a sweet little Boker trench knife. And a wicked Cold Steel naval dirk.
          …But that barong, though…

  3. Trinseo Altuglas (old Dow Chem plant) in Bristol (Lower Bucks) dumps a load into the Delaware…Hmm, move along folks, nothing to see here.

    Then Palmer Candy Factory in Reading, PA blows up last Friday, 7 dead.

    I swear the last 3 years have put people in a stupor.

    • Exactly, move along. By the way, have you had booster #7 yet? Get the booster to slow the spread and you’ll feel much better about everything.

      Pick up a pint of Soylent Green at the market. It’s good for the environment. It’s not long before you’re a useless eater too and you can join the circle of life.

      • I’ll substitute a half gallon of Schwan’s 17% butterfat ice cream, ANY flavor.

        Things blowing up all over it seems, something’s amiss. Oh, and that POS shoots up another school, gal this time…and just by coincidence (there are no coincidences) an anti-gun activist just happens to be in Nashville takes over the podium. Waiting for the Dem’s to start with the gun control BS.

    • Part of it is due to the Covidiocracy screwing up the supply chain and replacement parts, and the people chain thereof. The other part is the MBA/Accounting takeover of businesses which reduce personnel to the absolute minimum or even under the minimum.

      You can only keep a complex system running so long without throwing money at it, and when a complex system breaks, you’re talking serious money, like deciding to quit or just outsourcing levels of serious money.

      Toss on increasingly stupid-levels of bureaucracy and regulations over every damned little thing, and the influx of illegal workers to replace the legal workers who won’t or aren’t allowed (by law or by the bean counters not wanting to pay them) and you get a perfect storm for the breakdown and destruction of all our complicated systems.

      The failures don’t need even to be purposeful. Shit’s gotta be fixed, especially old shit, or it’s gonna break.

      All these screwups and fires and failures don’t surprise me one bit.

      Seriously, combining old equipment, lack of maintenance and lack of cleanliness or high levels of custodial work and what do you get when something breaks? Fires. Big fires. Big oily fires. Big oily fires that spread to accumulated waste piles and fluff and smutz and stuff not sent to landfills because of regulations (store on site is the way lots of waste is handled in today’s regulatory world.) So big fires that destroy everything and are hard to put out.

      Or in the case of Palmer’s, a pressure explosion that kills, due to lack of maintenance and lack of inspection of pressure vessels.

      • Spot on…we now have an aging population with a skills and the youngins don’t want to work if there isn’t an App to guide them or Instagram photo op…and Mike Rowe has been promoting The Trades for two decades.

  4. Titanium for bike frames, please. Not claiming they are the optimum material (for definitions of “optimum”) but it was the grail material when I was young and impecunious. Now that I’m old and poor, I’m building up (slowly) a GT “Forte” Ti (3Al/2.5V) frame from the late 1990’s. Not gonna be period correct. As for beryllium, some madmen made a one-off Be bike frame as a demonstration project. It went for $25,000 USD, and this was maybe 30y ago.

    No personal experience with Ti (or Be) blades. In a box above my desk are just steel knives.

    Re the Vlad and Barry graphic: I’m not sure that the bicep is the male body part that Barry would grab, but then again, what do I know about that sort of thing?

  5. Staying quiet – saw a meme showing young children in a classroom, where they are told to sit down and be quiet(it could have added a bit about listening obediently to the authority figure/teacher), then saying something about if people wonder why no one is speaking up, here’s the reason.
    Train up a child in the way he should go…
    Titanium – knew a SCA fighter who had chain mail made out of titanium.

    • Now the cry of racism applies to posting memes on line. It’s called “digital blackface”. But it’s ok to post memes with negros if you are (or identify as) one. Fortunately this blog is overseen by a fat, illegal alien, lesbian, female non birthing person negro named Whoopie…after the flatulence cushion.

        • I didn’t realize how insensitive you are LL. If ever meet ya, a glass of what you what you think is the best bourbon is, is my treat! How refreshing. I know we are all going to be assigned the same bunkhouse for retraining, I do know some of the best bunks, up close to the meager wood stove are taken…

          • I suspect with these guys it’ll be the fun bunkhouse with all manner of subversive goings-on. Whats that saying, “At our age life in prison isn’t much of a deterrent.”

    • There’s a guy whose wife’s family is in Vietnam and makes either Titanium flat maille (all welded) or Stainless or regular steel flat maille (one row with welded rings, one row with riveted rinse.) You place an order, guy’s family makes it, dips in in about 5 gallons of cosmoline or equally nasty storage grease, and it’s your responsibility to use whatever means possible to get said grease off the maille.

      Suggestions are using a hot-water/steam pressure cleaner, boiling the maille and skimming the grease off, soaking it in gasoline and using a regular pressure sprayer after a good 3-4 day soak, or however you wish to just destroy your local environment.

      Stuff looks nice, and holds up nicely, either in titanium or in stainless. Regular steel rusts too easily in Florida…

      • to clean the cosmo off of 500 each m4 rifles, i found water and dawn in a heated ultra-sonic cleaner worked well, followed by hydrophobic lubricant in another tank. had to change the water after every ten or so weps.

  6. As to what material to use, the answer is whatever is the best you can afford for what application you are using it for.

    Over on another blog, someone asked a bunch of machinists what the best wundermaterial for super knives is that will hold an edge forever, question being asked because a bunch of hog-hunters wanted a single knife to do all the skinning of a bunch of feral hogs they’d be killing.

    The answer, from a host of people was… between light laughter and basic scorn the answer was, no, you do not want some wundermaterial knife. What you do is go to Cosco or Sams or Slaughterhouse Supply and just buy a large box of whatever pattern knife works best, and have one guy of the slaughtering team doing nothing but touching up knives that are salvageable and tossing the others away. Because that’s what real slaughterhouses do.

    • A scalpel is designed to cut raw meat. They’re cheap, either new on amazon or surplus on ebay. A good size of blade for butchering deer and pigs is size “60” with a rib along the back for stiffness. It’s about 2-3/8″ long and used for human autopsy, I read.

      There’s a folding pocket knife using the same blades marketed to hunters with the brand name Havalon. But, how do you clean it? Whereas scalpel handles are designed to be cleaned, put them in the dishwasher.

      Change scalpel blades using your multitool pliers, not your fingers.

      Gerber Vital Zip is a gut hook that takes box cutter blades.

  7. IDK why Philadelphia is suddenly panicking about the water… AFAICT, the Delaware has been a chemical spill for 175 years or so…

    If the treatment plant says the tap water goes to no-drink (geeze, do your damn job), you don’t have to go panic-buy supermarket water, just drive over to Trenton (or somewhere else close-by) with some dang jugs, and fill on a different system’s taps.

    Everybody seems to think they live in a space colony or something, nowadays.



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