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)

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