An Old Photograph
I took this photograph when I was a teenager in Miami Senior High School. It was one of the first portraits I've ever taken for a photography class. I asked my school crush, Zeidy, to let me take her picture. What's interesting enough was that while I took photography in my senior year, it was only with the full intent of napping since all my requirements for graduation have been met. Yes, I would show up to class, place my book bag on the table, and go to sleep. The teacher, Mr. Rodriguez, did try his best to get me to participate, but at the time, I found photography annoying, and I had no interest. I had no interest in anything back then. Everything seemed so.... dull. Uninteresting. Fast forward many years later, a girlfriend at the time gives me an old camera... and I start to play with it.
Next to the entrance to my place is a wall rack of running medals. They remind me of a time where running marathons and races was the norm for me. This year I decided to go back to this norm. Besides... all my running tech shirts are getting old... considering that I have not done a race in over 3 years. I need new medals and new shirts :).
As I drive towards the Everglades, I notice something. I put on my emergency lights and park to the side. "Daddy, why are we stopping?" my daughter asks. "Look to your right, across the canal. What do you see?" I say to her. "Someone is walking," she responds. "Want to know what I see?" I tell her as I turn on my camera, "I see a man making a fateful decision to leave his hell in search of something better." Through my peripheral view, I see my daughter looking at me, then looking towards the figure walking in the distance. "I don't get it, daddy," she says in a low voice. "You will my love, one day you will," I tell her. And with a melancholic sense, I take my favorite photograph of 2019 thus far.
Stones and Knives
I was cooking one day, and I went to slice a tomato when I noticed that my knife was rather dull... the tomato fought back! I looked online and found the best knife sharpener I could get. It turns out, the Chef's Choice 1520 was being hailed as one of the best money(consumer-grade) knife sharpening systems out there.
I placed an order and waited for its arrival. While waiting, I kept on looking online about ways to sharpen knives. I came across a forum where knife enthusiasts spoke about the Chef's Choice sharpening system. It turns out, many were dissatisfied with it and said that it damaged their knives. It did not improve sharpness all that much, overate the blade, and the awful scratches it left behind.
Curious, I kept on reading.
It was mentioned that the best way to sharpen knives is through the use of whetstone. A whetstone? What the heck is a wet stone? I kept reading and started to look into whetstones. NO THANKS. Whetstones are pretty expensive, and I think I would do just fine with the Chef Choice.
It arrived, and I used the Chef Choice Electric Knife Sharpener with one of my cooking knives. I could smell metal being shaved off. I made sure I used only stages two and three to hone and polish, not the first stage that does a restoration.
Curious about what I read in the knife forums, I place the blade under my daughter's microscope to take a look...
My knife is damaged! DAMAGED! I couldn't tell by only looking at it, but when taking a closer look, it clearly showed the damage this supposed best in class knife sharpener did! I was glad I only ran one of my knives through this thing and did not damage any others. Not that I have the most expensive knives, but I do use Victorinox knives (a great set for amateur cooks).
I revisit the idea of whetstones, and after a day or two of looking into this, speaking with others in forums, I order some off Amazon. The total cost was about the same as the electric knife sharpener. So, during my two days wait, I go on YouTube and start looking at sharpening techniques and tutorials using whetstones.
I specifically enjoyed this video.
And so, the stones arrive, and I begin the process of repairing my knife.
After following the YouTube video for a bit, the knife started to look a little better, so I took it under Blu's microscope again.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of scratches at the edge of the blade. It seems significantly more smooth. What a difference! I continue doing this process until the gap is the blade is gone.
Excited after my first repair, I proceed and sharpen ALL my kitchen knives, and all of them cut as if they were just purchased!
The lesson of the story? Never use electric knife sharpeners, especially if you have good quality kitchen knives.