Turning the Flywheel of inspiration and hope.

If there’s one thing a writer or blogger will talk about is the persistent problem of writers block.  It can come numerous sources.  Boredom, stress, family, work, obligations, distractions; the list is endless.

But there is a book that puts all these problems to shame.

Flywheel:  Memories of the open road.

It’s a collection of an automotive monthly magazine put into book form but it is unlike any automotive magazine you’ve ever heard of.  This magazine was created by and for Allied prisoners of war during World War Two.

Soldiers imprisoned in Stalag IVB formed a small “car club” called The Muhlberg Motor Club (MMC).  A membership of six soon grew to over 200 with most never even owning a car.  (Most learned to drive while in the military.)

Not only did they have the challenge of creating stories to write about, but they had to work hard just to get ink and paper!  To create colored ink, they stole quinine tablets from the infirmary.  The glue binding the pages together was created from their daily millet soup.

Under the stress of imprisonment, these soldiers  created storylines, thought of new technologies, wrote and illustrated not only the vehicles of the times but of what the future would bring as featured in a report of an auto show.

Flywheel:  Memories of the open road shows that inspiration and creativity can happen in even the worst conditions imagined.

The Knife Fight

It’s fun to get obsessed.  Dive down into that dark rabbit hole of the unknown and come out like a champion with a treasure.  My latest obsession is finding the perfect pocket knife.

Pocket knives are a deeply personal decision and every choice tells a lot about its owner and the life it leads.  The choices are dizzying.  Blade size, blade metal, serrated or smooth, shiny – satin – flat, clip point or tanto, plain or fancy, number of blades, weight, cost… the list goes on and on.

It doesn’t even have to be a knife either.  Multi tools are every bit as common and offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

But for me it has to be a knife.  I recently owned a Smith and Wesson folder and enjoyed it.  I used it hard and it never failed.  I recently gave it to a friend.  She works landscaping and really needed a good knife.  I have a Leatherman Wingman that I use for my day job, it works ok but in comparison to blade length and overall weight, it’s just not what I want for everyday carry.

So with the question of what to get, I dove down the rabbit hole.

I had a general idea of what I wanted and what I wanted it to do.

I want a non-serrated blade around four inched in length.  I want a solid locking mechanism that will keep the blade locked in position even if I “hammer” it with a stick.  I want a decent thickness to the blade to prevent it from snapping under hard use.  It has to be easy to sharpen and hold its edge for a decent time.

I want to be able to cut thick rope and twine with it, chop little branches if needed, whittle wood, spark a ferro rod, split broom thick sticks to smaller kindling, and cut leftover meats without tearing.  I might even use the pommel (bottom end) of the handle as a hammer or bottle opener.  (They sell Coke in glass bottle here.)

As you can see, this is not going to be a show knife that is pulled out of the pocket at parties to impress the neighbors.  Uh-uh.  This is going to be a hard working tool full of scars and stories.

I’ve been doing research for a few weeks.  It’s one of my favorite things to do because it lets me day dream about the possibilities and discover products I never knew.

My Smith and Wesson Knife was roughly the same size as a Buck 110 Hunter.  The classic pocket knife.


My wife has one.  She keeps it tucked away in a kitchen drawer for safe keeping.  I like the idea of us having matching knives, but also appreciate our differences.   Besides, we have matching wedding rings.  How matchy do we need to be?

But Buck does have some other interesting offerings:  The Bantam and the BuckMax Large.


These knives have the same blade length as the 110  Hunter, but with different grips and blade widths. (The Bantam is a little wider than the 110 and BuckMax.)  If I do get the Bantam, the one on top, I’ll have to find a different color. Orange camo is so not me.

Besides Buck, there is Ontario Knives with their RAT II.

Rat 2

It’s a slightly shorter blade, but very good in all other desires.

Another is the Gerber Freeman Guide.


This one has a metal pommel that could work as a bottle opener and has a good blade length.

Or I might just go with another Smith and Wesson.  They have a model called “Cuttin’ Horse” that reminds me of a smooth bladed version of my old knife.

Smith_Wesson cuttin horse

Any of these will probably work, but I am not going to deny myself the pleasure of checking them out and deciding for myself.

That’s the best part of all.