The first thing I want to show you is a knife I bought recently. I was not too sure if I would keep it for myself, or if I was going to give it to my son on his birthday, but I have decided this one is a keeper for me, and probably eventually will become his. Who knows, I may yet get him another for his birthday, but I think I have a better present in mind right now.
As for the knife, it is a Spyderco, Bill Moran model. I had wanted one with a drop point blade but that was not available, so I got this one. Now that I have it I like this blade more than the drop point with its more classical lines. That is about all that is classical on this knife though. The polymer handle (or whatever it is) is pretty decent in the hand. The sheath is molded plastic (or again whatever), and the knife fits into it snugly. The sheath is adjustable to be carried in several positions. Not a bad investment, I think, at only about $55. Now I have a nice accompaniment for my pistol as it sits on my belt with the knife. The blade will come in handy on hunting and fishing trips, and I hope i never need it for self defense; but in that last regard I follow the motto of the Boy Scouts: "Be Prepared".
My next acquisition was free. I got it tonight (Sunday night, it is now Monday morning by 5 minutes or so). It is a Thayer's Kingsnake. Well truth be told, I sold or gave this snake to someone about 4 years ago. I may have bred the parents to produce this one, I cannot recall right now. I know I had some that were jet black, and yes they can produce young that look like this. My friend Bill V dropped it off with me tonight. He liked this snake a lot. So much so that he actually saved this snake from death's doorstep one day a couple of, or a few, years back when another kingsnake he kept it with began to constrict and eat it (that is why they call them kingsnakes, they eat other snakes). The way he brought it back was by placing a straw into its windpipe and giving it artificial respiration. Bill is a NYC Fireman and knows how to save lives, even an animal's life. He recently started school for a second career, and has little time left to do anything else. So he has cut back on his snake collection. It was difficult for him to give this one up. Nice snake, to bad he did not get it to me on Friday, I could have taken it to Saturday's LIHS Reptile Expo and probably made him some money with it. If you are not into snakes you probably cannot figure how someone would want to pay money for one, but this one is worth at least $150, maybe $250 in this one's condition. These kingsnakes are also known as the variable Kingsnake because that when they are born they can be one of several color and pattern variations from jet black to orange with saddles to the one shown, to a tri-colored phase, and others in between. This phase is one of my favorites.
My other acquisitions, 5 of them, all came to me Saturday at the 18th Annual LIHS Reptile Expo. I was so busy while there that I did not even realize, until someone just about knocked me on the head, that one of my animals displayed in the judged show had won a first place ribbon in its category (tortoises), a first place trophy in the more general category of Turtles/Tortoises, and the Best of Show trophy for all the animals in the judged show. I have been an LIHS member for about 17 or 18 years now, and while my animals, and Brendan's animals, have sometimes won best in a specific category, or best in a more general category, we have never won the Best of Show before. If indeed I have been an LIHS member for 18 years now, what a nice coincidence that I won the Best of Show for the 18th Annual LIHS Reptile Expo. The sad thing is that I fell asleep early tonight, a long nap, and only woke up after my chance of playing the pick 3 number for the NY Lotto was over for tonight. I would have played 018. Maybe tomorrow. The man whose name shown is on the plaque on the trophy was a past president of the society, and a friend. A great guy, and a man who knew how to keep people interested in the LIHS. It was under him that our membership reached into the hundreds.
Oh yeah, the trophy was for my female Hermann's Tortoise. I have had it about 3 or 4 years now. Got it as a little one from another society member. It sure has grown up to be one good looking tortoise. I must admit while I am thrilled to have won, it is also humbling. You had to see the competition; and you have to realize that the guy who has won for the last few years in a row decided to drop out of the competition to give some of us other members a chance. I owe a lot to him, to the guy from who I got the tortoise, and to the tortoise and Mother Nature. Without all of them doing their parts, then maybe there would have been no trophy for me.
All the best,