Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!!!

How does America compare to Europe? Well, when it comes to alcohol, only California can compete, and when it comes to New Years, only Chandon will do.

General Knot Ties

If you don't get many chances during the year to dress up, at least attempt to look your best for the New Year's Eve; and this being an all American style blog, the perfect accessory is from a small boutique company in NYC: General Knot. Staying true to NYC and mixing in hipster and exclusivity (a lot of the patterns are limited runs of as little as 10) these are not for the weak in the wallet, you're looking at $100 when all said and done -- but it's a New Year and you're worth it -- repeat it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Andes Mint Chocolate

Although I myself personally think that mint only belongs in toothpaste and not in chocolate, I am probably of a minority opinion. Andes mints are proudly made in Delavan, WI, each little chocolate containing that foul touch of mint. One can not also overlook the traditional coloring of the wrapper that goes fantastic with the Christmas season. So if you're like me, pick them up and display them in a bowl somewhere in your living room, perhaps a guest or two of yours will appreciate them, and speaking of appreciations, thanks go out to my friend Michael-Anthony for is great tip. Minty Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Faribault Wool

There is only one thing to do when you're cold -- and it's not to drink yourself stupid; about the only thing to do is to keep warm, and the people of Minnesota are pretty much the experts, besides the Canadians - but this being an American blog we won't talk about them. The good, friendly folks at Faribault make and work with what is probably the best wool available, outside of going to Scotland, but what is even better is that the blanket from them won't embarrass you in front of your friends.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

American Style for your Pets

This was a completely chanced purchase. Soon to embark on a major moving trip, I will be bringing our two kitties with me in the first batch of the move. We still needed one carrier so we drove out to Petco to check out their selection And were very surprised that all Petco branded hard carriers are made in the USA. We appreciate Petco and you pet will appreciate this carrier.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rancourt Shell Cordovan


Treat your feet to something special in terms of comfort and most important style.  Shell cordovan shoes will last you a lifetime, once in a while you might need a re-sole, but the shoe itself is pretty indestructible.  The Rancourt shoe has been made in Maine since the 1960's for a variety of brand names; But, only recently, has the company started making shoes under their own brande name, where the shoes are still hand-made.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Archival Rucksack

This is a true all American; I mean rucksacks have been around since the inception of America - the gold rush was built on them. This amazing, all American hand made rucksack is made from a special 7.68 oz deadstock "tent drill" fabric that was salvaged from a venerable outdoor store in Boston.

So whether you're going to college, weekend hike or just need a man purse to lug around, nothin will compliment and accentuate your fashion style than this rucksack.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sharpie Pens

Japan has Pilot, Germany has Montblanc and USA has Sharpie. And don't worry, today's Sharpie is not just for tagging your gang's name on the local STOP sign or for labeling packages, there is enough variety of product that you could actually use one of them as your daily writer. The classic black is still the main choice.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gojo Soap

For those that aren't aware, New England got hit pretty hard by a snow storm last weekend. Although snow storms aren't that unusual in this area, 12 inches in October while the trees are still fully leafed caused some serious destruction. So today's topic was found by pure chance. We have been without power and heat since Saturday so taking a hot shower after chopping trees and clearing up broken trees and branches became a top priority. Thankfully, at my wife's work there is a locker room with a shower and I was allowed to use it. There, was this soap dispenser with the best smelling soap ever, and what I discovered later was that it's an USA product. So check out Gojo soap next time you're out shopping for toiletries.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Velva Sheen sweatshirt

Nothing says comfort like a good sweatshirt. But, this all made in USA sweatshirt from Velva Sheen also crosses into the fashion world. What started in the 1930's in Cincinnati eventually got saved and resurrected by the shallow world of California. But do not despair, these are truly worth it, and when your friends see that white and blue hand sewn label, they'll know you mean business, and if they don't - I suggest you start looking for some new friends.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Phil Wood Track Hubs

If you're an avid fixie rider, poser or just someone that likes bearings, chances are you've Phil Wood hubs on your must have equipment list. For all the others, the all American company out of California that decades ago got started by Mr. Wood because he couldn't find a suitable sealed bearing hub or his own ride is today the USA equivalent of Campy and Shimano parts - and then some. The hubs come in variety of applications, the track ones shown here come in either high or low flange and you coup also go for NJS certifies Ti variant. I can't recommend these strongly enough.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sierra Designs Vintage Parka

If your only solution to the upcoming winter was to bulk up, I've got fantastic news for you: the all-made in USA Sierra Designs vintage 60/40 parka. This jacket will not only keep you warm, but the nylon blended material also keeps you water repellent.

So what's so awesome? Well, besides that it looks amazing, every aspect of this jacket is American made:

We started by re-creating the classic 60/40 line, now called the Vintage Heritage Collection. We are proud to say this whole line of high quality jackets and vest were made in the United States. Oakland, Ca was where Sierra Designs was founded in 1965, so we thought it fitting to bring the production and assembly home. The fabrics were milled woven in the original factory mill on the East Coast and the designs were re-created in our current Boulder, Colorado headquarters. We can truly say these products were made in the USA.

So there you have it, no longer is lard your only mode of insulation for the upcoming weather, your significant other will thank you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Case Pocketknife

"That's not a knife, this is a knife..."; well, we all can't carry a mini- machete in our back pocket, but a gentleman can and should carry a nice discrete pocket knife around. What started in 1888 as a traveling company is today an institution for made in USA, made by hand cutlery tools.

Whether you're going hiking or you pull one of these out at the next board meeting and start carving your name into the table, rest assured you will be getting looks that are nothing short of envy and admiration. And with the variety of styles available, you can rest assured that you won't see the same knife in the hands of your poser hands.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Psycho Bunny ties

I was really surprised by this tie as it came as a surprise gift. Not only is it stylish, designed by Robert Godley under his Psycho Bunny bran but it's also hand made in the USA. The silk is from England though, and is 100% silk. The style of the tie is your typical East Cost prep with a little fun, which you really have to look for to notice. A true classy item that will give you years of style if properly taken care of.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wagner Custom Skis

OK, so we have discussed custom skis before, especially this week, so where do Wagner's fit in? Well, if you want custom, they're pretty much the going standard - but, what makes them truly special and really worth it is that Wagner is also a green company. So, if you care about how your ski is going to be custom made, you might as well pick the one that will have the least environmental effect. Check out Wagner and know you're contributing to something bigger than your run of the mill consumerism!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hart Skis

What started in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1943 as a cribbage boards making company today is one of the most prevalent ski companies in the world, and what's better than American made? Hart makes skis and boards for the pros, but rear assured that you will look like one even if you're on the bunny slope, and you actually might get confused for and American Olympian since all they ride on are Harts.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dale Ski Boots

For over 40 years now the good people at DaleBoot have been making custom ski boots for their customers out of their shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. Literally every part of this Made in USA boot can be specifically made for your feet, so even if you have that slight case of elephantiasis on your left foot, rest assured that you will still be able to ski not only in style but comfort too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ruwe Pencil Co.

Even if you're not a real engineer or drafter but just play one on TV, you can still appreciate a good pencil; and what's better than an American made pencil? One made in Greenwich, CT. That's right, the humble little town o millionaires, billionaires, Hedge Fund CEOs, more Ferraris per capita than Dubai - is also a manufacturing center. This specific Ruwe pencil is for drafters and allows you to make notes an corrections on polyester drafting film, but rest assured that they also make a fine selection of your run of the mill #2s.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Balance 1400

These news sneakers from New Balance come in a variety of flavors, but one thing remains constant, they're made in Maine.

The more stylish one with suede, pictured, are made specifically for J. Crew, while other models resemble more modern running shoe are available thorough a variety of sporting goods retailers. So no matter what your goal: looking good or running well, these will walk all over China-sweatshopmade Nike.
(http://www.newbalance.com)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cabela's Wool Socks

How do you keep your feet ballin? If you've answered "barefoot" you're only partially right. While it's OK to be barefoot in the summer, it's a fashion no-no once it gets colder outside. To simply remember this, remind yourself of the "no white after labor day" rule and add a pair of socks. To keep you in style and in comfort, check out these wool socks from Cabela's... That's right, Cabela's. I wouldn't believe it either, but I actually bought a pair there myself. (http://www.cabelas.com)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Danner Boots pt. 2




A few posts ago I did an overview of Danner boots.  Well, I actually went out and bought a pair.  A good friend of mine saw them in a local store and immediately bought a pair for himself and told him there was another pair in my size.  Two days later I was a proud owner of Danner Mountain Light IIs.  A detailed review will follow in some weeks when they're fully broken in and some nasty weather is here.  In the mean time, to get your "appetite" going, check out the attention to detail and the pride of the workers that sew these boots together.  (http://www.danner.com) 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jacob Bromwell's Frontier Frying Pan Extended Review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the very nice folks at Jacob Bromwell (Eric and Pam) and was offered an opportunity to review one of their products. I immediately got excited as this is an all American made product and is something that I would actually seek buying. I had an idea of doing a camping/hiking trip and thought it would be a good opportunity to bring something from Bromwell along.

Eric generously provided me with a Frontier Frying Pan, in smaller 6 inch size. The package arrived a few days later at my door step:


A few, somewhat negative, impressions followed:


The sticker!!! Instead of using some water solvable adhesive, the stickers are done with some permanent glue and you have to scrub pretty hard with a wire sponge to get the damn thing off. Also note the sharper edges on the pan's circumference.


Second, the pan came with some rust sports on it, what bothered me was that they actually had someone's finger imprint in them; that means that someone was handling the pan with wet hands when they should have been more careful.

OK, so let's get to all the good stuff. The pan is definitely more of a camping tool than it is of a backpacking tool. To fully take advantage you want to have some butter, bread, eggs, meats with you - stuff that you wouldn't try to bring on backpacking trips which usually consist of light, dehydrated food. Busting this thing out at your campsite will make you feel like you're about to eat like a king, compared to everyone else eating their oatmeal soaked in hot water.


Make note, before you start cooking regularly with this pan -- you want to season it.  I actually seasoned it back at home on the stove with regular vegetable oil. In general I like cooking with butter, so that's what I used for this evaluation. The pan warmed up very quickly on the direct flame but the handle stayed nice and cool; there was no need to use gloves or a towel when touching the handle.


Making toast is a breeze.


Cooking an egg is a little trickier. A must is not to skimp on butter and controlling the amount of heat to the pan by either taking or keeping it on the flame.


Finished product: breakfast of real champions.

Overall, the pan performed great in the real world test, as seen from the pictures and judging by my satisfied stomach. If you're camping often, this is an absolutely necessary item, it's easy to maintain and travel with and it will definitely take your food a few notches above grilling hotdogs.

The few negative things about the pan can be fixed very simply: take the "sticker guy" and make him into a "buffer guy": 1) prevent him from adding stickers to any surface of the pan 2) buff down the sharp edges on the perimeter of the pan.  After these two simple steps, the pan will be worth its weight in gold.

(http://www.jacobbromwell.com)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Edelbrock

What drops panties quicker than a Roofie? The only answer I can think off is an American made V8. Add Edelvrock parts and that's like at least two roofies getting dropped into that drink...

Old man Edelbrock doesn't put his name on any crap; and the stuff that he does put his name on will make your Ford or Chevy scream like no other car. (http://www.Edelbrock.com)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hero Bags


Although not the most glorious of products, the Hero Bags will give that Louis Vuitton a run for its money, assuming the old man Vuitton can even run, being French and all...

Hero Bags makes simple hemp bags for all sorts of occasions, from getting a tote for your wine bottle to a lunch bag to a grocery shopping bag.  All of the bags designed in San Francisco and sewn in the USA.  This is a great alternative to using multiple plastic bags while grocery shopping.  Not only do you look cool with these, not only do you support the good ol' USA, but you're actually being green by doing that.  (http://www.herobags.com)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Randolph Engineering Sunglasses



The timeless trend of "Aviators" probably comes from these guys.  The original US Government supplier makes all their frames in their manufacturing facility in Randolf, MA.  Worn by professionals and celebrities they're sure to be in style for decades to come.  The frames themselves come in variety of styles and are also configurable by size of the frames and which type of lens -- including polarized.   (http://www.randolphusa.com)

Monday, September 19, 2011

We-No-Nah Canoes

Canoeing is in the American bloodstream; if it wasn't for canoes Sacajawea might not have had her portrait on the dollar coin and good old Meriwether Lewis might have never committed a suicide... But, onto some happier thoughts -- really, who doesn't love canoeing?

With the folliage season coming up there is no beater way to get out into the open than pedaling your canoe on a slow movin river or a lake. The We-No-Nah guys have been making canoes for decades, in the land of 10,000 lakes - Minnessota - so they definitely know how to build then. And build them they do, out of Kevlar, so they're are both strong and light. Buy one of these and you'll use it for a lifetime and even pass it onto your kids. (http://www.wenonah.com)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Keep the printing presses going!

This was a surprise find, or maybe I just don't look over the copyright page in my books enough. My most recent read "the McMafia" is a product of good old USA. And to be honest, if we print books here than we're not as bad as I thought. Book printing has always been an art of the educated and eye openers, people used to go to the fire for printing books.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Todd Shelton Jeans

Today I started thinking about jeans; America used to be a country of mills that would produce raw material that would end up as someone's favorite pair of jeans. Obviously it's gotten harder to find that pair that would still be made in USA, and even harder to find one that was made with American denim.

Todd Shelton makes all his jeans in his shop in NYC, from salvage USA denim. Keeping things simple, there are only a few colour variations and only two styles: slim and a little looser. (http://www.toddshelton.com)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My lawnmower survived Hurricane Irene



Yes, my lawnmower, an all American Made Craftsman 4.5HP machine that I received for free from my next door neighbor survived the Hurricane Irene. How might you ask? Well, let me explain. Living in a city suburb with a one car garage and owning two cars and having very, very large trees on the property all came into play. In order to fit the better car into the garage in a case that a tree would fall on it, certain things needed to come out. Well, literally the only thing that needed to come out was either my commuter bike or the lawnmower. Since I got the lawnmower for free and it's used, I figured that it would come out, I'd rather have my bike than a lawnmower (I'm sure my wife would disagree). So I rolled out the lawnmower to the back yard and into some bushes, where I figured it would be safe, relatively speaking -- how safe can you be uncovered in a Hurricane?

Although the winds, thankfully, never reached the promised 80+ mph speeds, we did get solid 2 days of torrential downpour. I mean it poured and poured and then poured some more. It poured so much that my neighbors backyard got flooded. The only other time I saw it ever flood was a spring ago after massive amounts of snow would melt over a few days and we had rain the next day. If you would like to read more about the impact of Hurricane Irene on central Connecticut, please check out this post.

I thought the lawnmower was dead, and was actually looking forward to getting a new one (borrowing one from my parents :) ). So today was the trial day, two weeks after the storm. I press the cold prime button three times as directed and start yanking the start cord... nothing happens. This goes on for about a minute, it's really dead -- it must have flooded so badly that the poor guy finally died. Somehow I look in the gas tank and it's empty, so what the hell -- let's fill it up and and give it a try. Gas goes in, three more prime pumps and about 30 seconds of yanking the start cord and the thing fires up like the day it left the factory. This Craftsman is a true testament of a quality product, and if I will ever need a new lawnmower I know which brand I'm going to chose. (http://www.craftsman.com)



Friday, September 9, 2011

Jackob Bromwell Skillet

More information will be coming up, but this is just a sneak preview of an all American product review. The Jacob Bromwell company has been manufacturing authentic camping and outdoors gear for over a century now, and we have an opportunity to review it first hand in real life environment. Make sure to check-in in the next couple weeks for a detailed review on how this skillet performs during a hike on the Appalachian Trail. (http://www.jacobbromwell.com)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anderson Little Blue Blazer


The classic blue blazer with gold buttons is not just for sailors, but please don't feel the ridiculous need to wear this with any sort of a jean either.  Made in USA since the 1930's and previously dealing with a full assortment of men's gear, Anderson-Little got resurrected as a classic-navy-blazer-only tailor.  And, I have to say that's not a bad thing.  So far, the only options available are either the traditional gold buttons or the silver ones.  I wish there was a double-breasted variation of the jacket with peak lapels, but perhaps that will be added with time, or maybe it's just not American?  (http://www.andersonlittle.com)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Field Notes

Whether you're the next Lewis or Clark or just a hipster trying to write down your grocery shopping list, nothing does it in American style more than Field Notes notebooks. These are not the China made Moleskins, these are true workhorses that are all about business and simplicity, made in Oregon. My only question would be whether the paper is fountain pen friendly?

(http://www.fieldnotesnrand.com)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Filson Oil Finish Bomber Jacket

Old man C.C. Filson was a simple lad whose fashion came more from necessity than from style -- function over form. Fast forward a century ahead and function is very much complimented by form at Filson, even so much so that when you see a Filson product you know exactly what it is and where it came from. Although not everything is still made in their Seattle factory, as long as you stick to the heavy classic wool and cotton products you should be OK. (http://www.Filson.com)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Merry Labor Day

Although the American worker is even more at risk of disappearing than Lindsay Lohan overdosing, this weekend we salute them. And perhaps I'm being overly negative because I saw a lot of good American stuff in the last couple days at the Minnesota State Fair. I also managed to pick up a few American clothing articles although everything is vintage. So here is a salute to everyone that still produces something in the USA, and to those discriminating enough to seek out these products. Merry Labor Day - and don't forget no more wearing white!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Danner Boots

Whether your kicking ass or hiking the Appalachian Trail, these Made in USA Danner boots will keep your feet protected and in comfort. Skillfully made in Portland these will last you a lifetime, literally; and even if they start to wear down, Danner will either re-sole or even completely recraft them for you. These come in variety of styles so even the mist discriminating taste will be satisfied. (http://www.danner.com)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping your American Style clean

Green is in style: While not the most glorious of products, but probably most useful and is still American made. And for a true stylish patriot that also cares about preserving the environment it doesn't get any better. Originally created some 35 years ago to take out coffee stains from industrial sized bean grinders, Simple Green is an all natural, low toxicity product that will deliver cleaning power for taking out those Californian syrah strains from your American bow tie. (http://www.simplegreencleaner.com)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leatherman

Leatherman is not just a brand name, it's actually the name of the creator -- Tim Leatherman. Mr. Leatherman has started his company over a quarter century ago in Portland, Oregon and it's as strong as ever. Te utility knife and tool combination is a favorite of everyone from a shop worker to an electrician to a surgeon golfing out at the country club on a Sunday morning; very few products are able to transcend the lines between consumer age and social status like the Leatherman. And now with the Skeletool line, the classic has been tastefully updated for the modern day - and as always, it's still proudly made here in the USA. Just don't try to bring it on an airplane with you.
(http://www.Leatherman.com)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Edison Fountain Pen

Nothing portrays elegance like a fountain pen. Taking the time to unscrew the cap, properly align the nib to the paper and finally make that stroke is an absolute writing joy. You don't have to limit yourself to the cheap made in China pens that are found in your office's supply closet -- make a statement with a custom, made especially for you all American fountain pen from Edison Pen Co. There are no shopping carts to add your pen to, you find the type of pen you like, the finish that you like and you contact the pen maker directly. No two pens are alike, and you can rest assured that this investment can be passed on to the future generations of yours. (http://www.edisonpen.com)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Messenger Bag

One of the new American icons is the bike messenger. These proud people work the streets day after day with no consideration for weather, all in an effort to deliver that valuable message from one overpaid attorney to another. And whether you're a real bike messenger or a poser engineer that only dresses up as one after the office hours, you'll want a Bailey bag strapped over your shoulder.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Ultimate KitchenAid

The KitchenAid mixer is a true American made product for over half a century now. I've never seen it used for anything other than mixing chocolate chip cookie batter, but to be honest that's more than enough. The point here is that it looks good enough to always be displayed on your counter and portrays to your guests that you're truly a household of the great American style. This ultimate kitchen accessory is also the ultimate wedding gift, and perhaps should even be the wedding gift to all your friends - and so you don't run out of options, it comes in variety of colours.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Water Bottle

What started over half a century ago as a simple plastic pipette holder ended up today as the iconic water bottle. Nalgene not only makes water bottles, but is also prevalent in chemical industry. My Nalgene bottle has traveled with me through out the world and feels at place both at work in a meeting as it does on an overnight camping trip out on Appalachian Trail.

A true American icon that will give you a lifetime of service. (http://nalgene.com/)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The New American Roadster

It's 2011 and in this environmentally conscious world even the car manufactures are thinking about mixing pleasure with business. Unfortunately as the Big 3 are still pretty much clueless and the Ford F150 is the best selling motor in America, there is a light at the end of this exhaust tube.

Starting in 2003, some real bright californians got together an decided to build a green car that also has performance. Take a pinch of british motoring in terms of Lotus and throw in a bunch of American engineering and you get the Tesla roadster.

Hitting 60mph in less than 4 seconds in complete silence and 0 emissions is sure to impress your neighbor driving that Escalade Hybrid.

Today, after selling over 1500 vehicles worldwide, Tesla is moving with plans of developing other platforms. The business of starting a mass produced car company from scratch can also act as a guide to other American companies. The car is a little pricy, but you really do get what you pay for. (http://www.teslamotors.com)

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