Many of us strive for “lives lived sustainably” while deep in the bowels of our garages, we harbor Harley’s, Hot Rods and other acts of “motorized mayhem”.
I’m on record as saying that “if you have a Tesla Roadster in your garage… I’m probably not the guy you want to talk to about building your sustainable home…”
I mean, a Tesla Roadster never saved anybody any money and it’s not exactly spewing carbon credits out of it’s “mock exhausts”. It’s anything but “sustainable” right?
Well, after Tesla announced that they were migrating their new battery technology as upgrades to the Roadster (an EV – electric vehicle – that they no longer even produce) the Tesla Roadster became capable of trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco, nonstop. That’s 400 miles, folks.
Now… I have to eat my words. Elan Musk has officially bitten me on my big Corten butt…
After five years of poking fun at Tesla, I’m eating a little EV crow. I’ve found that if you put enough ketchup on it, you can gag down almost anything…
(I said “almost”… some things remain unpalatable… like McMansions and McDonalds Jalapeno Cheeseburgers… for instance!) LOL!
It’s a sad day, folks…
It’s time I started getting my young son ready for a world where vehicles carry him to and from at high speed – without that throaty exhaust that gave us goosebumps and made us giggle with delight…
Behold, the Broon F8 EV (electric vehicle)!
The Broon is a masterpiece of sports car engineering and features all the things that you’d expect from a modern day sports car. The Broon F8 sports slick design, a top-of-the-line power-train complete with an optional dual-motor all-wheel drive, Bluetooth compatibility, and a touchscreen tablet control panel.
I’m told that the Broon F8 has a governor that limits speed to just under 10mph.
(I’m guessing that a little bit of tinkering will change that to a more suitable speed, as you chase your kid down from behind on your bicycle, or heaven forbid, your Nike’s…) :)
Now, I have a little bit of experience with an earlier evolution of child-sized EVs. Back in the day, when my daughter was little, We cannibalized a pair of those kid’s (mostly plastic) electric trucks you can buy at Walmart and turned a “Barbie Hauler” (custom painted bright pink metallic, mind you) into a 4wd electric hot rod capable of chasing me around the block as I went on morning runs. The local thrift store has gotten a pair of them and we scooped them up, thinking that we’d play “Mad Mr Tesla”… many years before Elan’s time…
It took us about two days to figure it out.
Living next door to an Air Force base had it’s advantages, Our rural neighborhood was filled with AF geeks who, when they weren’t manning underground bunkers defending our freedom… were some diabolical SOBs intent on watching little kids teach their dear ole’ Jarhead dad a lesson or six about playing with voltage.
The AF had spent millions of dollars teaching those geeks to “twist” tech into stuff that would make MacGiver look like a simpleton…
And as Jarheads, we were always taught to realize the potential of our assets and then “go where no fool has brazenly gone before…” so we just figured out what kind of beer those geeks drank and the rest was history, as they say…
I mean, the US Automotive industry was started by electric cars. I’m not even kidding. Until Henry Ford perfected the assembly line, EVs were “the norm” and not “infernal combustion engines” powered by gas or kerosene… The first US auto race ever conducted was won by an EV.
Yes, it was. Look it up.
But I digress…
Rewrapped electric motors to provide a little extra “uumph!”, bumped batteries to feed the beast, a new wiring harness, some paint, leather and custom vinyl decals proclaiming the pink terror to be the fastest “Armed Barbie Truck” on the planet…
Yes, we’d “hood mounted” a paintball gun to it so she could fend off a pair of obnoxious farm dogs down the road (plus a roll cage in case she actually tried to flip the beast) and she was all set to terrorize the neighborhood.
We even let those geeks put their own special squadron insignia on the truck, just to give them a little bit of “street cred”…
By the time we were finished, the lil’ battery powered terror had cost us about $300 in recycled junk and scrap parts (and a case or five of “girly” imported beer consumed by those geeks as we tinkered with my daughter’s new ride). No, we didn’t share our Guinness with them. It would have been wasted on them. They didn’t drink “real” beer at “Aluminum University”. I know it’s true. I’ve been there…
Seeing as how the truck (storebought from the local Walmart) would have cost us about $300 new, we were pretty proud of ourselves – as idiot fathers often are.
My little one would rise at 0500 and don her driving suit (yep, we had her a padded driving suit custom made to match the truck complete with “Barbie” name tag as a concession to her angry mother, who knew where we slept and threatened to kill us in our sleep if her little baby got so much as a stone bruise) before she’d climb in, put on her helmet and safety belts and then throw dirt roostertails into my face for several blocks of mostly dirt roads as we ventured out into the countryside in the name of early morning PT sessions the neighbors quickly began referring to as “the silent death”…
We simply called it “chasing health”. :)
It was so efficient and so quick that I found I was often the one chasing HER down, all the while eating her dust as she giggled with glee. I quickly figured out that the damned thing would do 20mph, flat out. I quickly abandoned trying to run her down on foot and switched to my mountain bike.
Luckily, it was so inefficient that it’d run out of power within a few miles and I’d limp into the garage behind her, spitting out mouthfuls of dust as she giggled wickedly at having avoided getting lapped by dear ole’ dad…
When she finally outgrew it, we sold it to a rich neighbor down the road (who should have known better) for a considerable profit.
I’d later heard that he had a heart attack while out jogging behind his grandkid a few years later… but luckily, I’d already moved out of the area, redeployed to “meaner pastures”.
I never liked the guy anyway He was a “smart-assed know-it-all AF corporate cowboy/desk jockey” who annoyed us on a regular basis – usually about the loud noises coming out of our garages as we started our Harleys to ride to work at 0630 each morning…
What? I never said I was “nice”… ;)
Fast forward a little more than a decade…
Enter the “new millenia” of pint-sized electric motors…
I give you the Broon F8.
Of course, as stated before though, it’s not a real car — it’s a toy for kids. Rich kids of course, as it is quite expensive for a toy — with the laundry list of options putting the price tag between $895 and $1,000 or more. It’s been pointed out that you could actually find a decent enough, used, gas-powered car for that much to be honest.
Okay, so it’s not a $300 “father killer”, but it’s still pretty cool. In my part of Montana we’d have to at least throw some “camo paint” on it and add a brushguard in case the kiddo hits a deer in the driveway…
Now all I need to do is figure out how many more photovoltaic panels I have to add to my array to keep the damned thing running! :)
While some members of the Black Community continue to blame “White People” for every crime under the planet, they seem to fails to realize it is members of the black community themselves that have misled, endangered and basically let down their own children.
A “Black People’s Grand Jury” in St Louis has indicted Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown.
It matters not that this “self-appointed mouthpiece of the people” has no authority or jurisdiction.
It matters not that this mockery of justice is just another attempt at undermining faith in the judicial system that spent months investigating this event.
It matters not that scientific facts in the case bear out that the “eye-witnesses” the turmoil was accelerated by lied about the events that tragic day.
It matters not that these “mock grand jury members” wear Communist headgear complete with “Hammers and Sickles” as they make their proclamations about “justice” to the press.
It matters not that this matter has already been reviewed by authorities who have ruled that this death – while tragic, was unavoidable as Officer Wilson sought to subdue a much larger man (who just happened to be black) who had assaulted him in an attempt to prevent his arrest for violent felonies (robbery) committed earlier in the day.
This “self-appointed” Grand Jury wants Darren Wilson to “get his day in court”.
I have news for you. Officer Wilson has already had his day in court. They ruled his actions were justified. It’s over. Michael Brown was a criminal who died trying to assault and disarm a Police Officer during a felony arrest. Get over it.
Unlike the tradition, values, principles, and heritage that Black mothers taught their children when I was a kid, idiots like self-proclaimed “Reverend” Al Sharpton are leading Blacks forward using destruction and decimation of their own black communities, harm to their own families as they commit acts of civil disobedience and rioting/looting, promoting the death of innocent victims and the hope and opportunity to the neighborhoods they terrorize and then destroy.
Don’t think that issues of terrorism in America are simply defined as “Islamic Radical” issues. There’s another war being waged. One that pits brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, white person against black person.
Don’t think for a minute that the current administration doesn’t recognize what is happening in the streets of America.
It’s “divide and conquer”…
And the winners will be those who seek to tighten a leash around the necks of ALL of us… once the dust settles.
Think I’m kidding?
Go read the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) or “The Patriot Act” again…
Every now and then we see some gear/gadget/lil gems that we lust after.
Unfortunately, Santa didn’t get our last minute fax…
Around here we use a LOT of ‘Biners. What could be better than the mother of all ‘biners?
A titanium carabiner for paracord and multi-tool for everyday carry.
Grade 5 Titanium (6Al4V) constructed body. The para-biner’s shape is water-jetted using a high quality setting out of 5/16″ thick sheets of grade 5 titanium. Then it is CNC milled, chamfered and drilled. Once the machining process is finished, the para-biner is tumbled in a proprietary stonewash leaving a uniform matte grey finish.
PB-7 measures 1.625″ x 3.625″ (41mm x 92mm); Weight 53 grams.
1/4” Hex Bit Driver
Drive anything that can be driven with a hex bit with the the innovative Ti2 Para-Biner gate latch. It holds hex bits with the superior tension provided by its spring-loaded G5 titanium billet gate.
Use to drive flat head screws, pry a staple out, or sever the tape on your latest inbound shipment.
The use of pulleys integrated with Ti2 Para-Biners minimizes friction and maximizes mechanical advantage when used singularly or in combinations to set up paracord-based rigging / hauling systems. This can help you at home in your garage as well as in the great outdoors.
Haul weighted objects up or down or keep them suspended with one or more Ti2 Para-Biners in various configurations such as “Block and Tackle.”
Para-Pulley — A first in market integrated carabiner pulley system specifically designed to be used with paracord. Use the Para-Pulley singularly for directional change and greatly reduce friction. Or, use 2+ Ti2 Para-Biners and create a “block and tackle” scenario for a 2 to 1 mechanical advantage.
Temporarily tie off Ti2 Para-Biner paracord rigging setups that make use of Para-Pulleys, or use to quickly lash gear to fixed reference points.
More permanently tie off Ti2 Para-Biner paracord rigging setups and bolster gate closure by using a cleat that’s integral to the lower portion of the Ti2 Para-Biner billet gate.
Wrap paracord around the four corners of Ti2 Para-Biners to keep things neat and ready to deploy, especially for purpose-specific paracord setups that are pre-configured (already tied to Para-Biners) for rapid utilization.
What multi-tool would be complete without the ability to open a bottle of your favorite beverage!
—> $69.99 <—
We didn’t get one. Yes, we’re bummed. If you did, PLEASE contact us here at the bunker and let us know how you liked it.
A government that has discovered, devised and/or deployed devices that record and log every choice or preference you’ve ever made, fed them to spreadsheets to be crunched by algorithms until they look like dust, empowering them to “know you better than you could possibly know yourself”…
I’m not just talking about “traffic cams” or metro/campus surveillance equipment. I’m talking about “glorious little gadgets of geekdom” that they’ve convinced you to voluntarily carry into your most private places.
Who needs research, Secret Police, Home Owner’s association or the PTA? A government empowered by a handful of invisibly harnessed “tech products” could analyze you down to your hair follicles at whim, along with millions of your minion…
THAT government would always be three steps ahead of you and could play you like a Stradivarius.
These devices already exist. You think I’m kidding, don’t you?
Amazon sells a Bluetooth device names “Echo”. It does exactly what you imagine a little handful of tech named “echo” would do. It ‘s an internet connected device that sits on your shelf and it constantly listens to everything that is said in the room.
“After connecting it to Wi-Fi, it can answer simple questions like “How tall is Barack Obama?” and “Who are the members of Run the Jewels?” Additionally, Echo is a voice-controlled speaker for listening to tunes and talk from Amazon Prime, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. If you prefer to listen to Pandora, Spotify, or your personal music collection, you can beam it over Bluetooth.”
And since it’s connected to “the cloud”, it’s constantly listening, storing data and getting “smarter”. Based on what it’s “fed” – it determines and delivers content assisted by a remote control. Sounds innocent enough, right?
No thanks, Orwell. Skynet always becomes sentient… remember?
Be it determining the “relative dew point of your wallet” or used for something as sinister as “policy creation” (or just something as simple as determining market manipulation points or trends), using “innocent tech” like this “Big Bro” could beat your desires and determinations like a pinata at a school kid’s birthday party.
Oh, don’t worry. Manufacturer’s of these “Personal Assistants” products would never let that happen, right?
Amazon’s “Echo” has a “mute” button “to placate the sheep that get nervous”. I mean, it’s bad enough when your cat wants to perch on a chair and watch you doing the old lady like it was “Prom Night” all over again. Do you really want millions of nerds on the cloud listening in as you make her squeal like a school girl?
I didn’t think so… ;)
It doesn’t matter that there are those among us who could easily turn that button on or off remotely, at a whim, warrant or not.
I mean, seriously? How many of you guys and gals have thought long and hard about apps that want access to your computer/laptop/tablet cameras and microphones?
I put a little piece of 2-part velcro tape over mine. When I need to Skype, I pull the flap up. Let’s see them “remote operate” that! :)
We live in treacherous times. Our “social” lives are defines by our “likes” and replies into a cloud that connects us to a membrane manipulated by those who seek profit or control.
Those we seek out “in that vaporous cloud” are “young, fit, healthy and hungry for interaction”… or they’re “aging, fat, miscreants with bad hygiene”… or BOTH at the same time. I mean, how do you know? You’re never in the same room with them.
They’re “innocent thrill-seekers”, “lonely hearts” or “private investigators”… or any and all of those things depending on where the clock hands are pointing or how much they’ve had to drink/smoke/imbibe in beforehand…
We maintain electronic relationships at the cost of “real”, tangible ones. We seek comfort from others as we exile ourselves to that dimly lit corner of the room, hunkered down over a glowing box of resistors, capacitors and silicon while the cat wails about an empty food dish..
We grow pale and fat doing it, while our yards and garages go untended and our sofas grow lumpy and worn…
There’s no denying that the times are changing.
In answer to Obama’s demands to raise minimum wage compensation, McDonalds released news that it’s going to deploy robot ATM stations to serve patrons instead of people. McDonalds cashiers already use a keyboard plastered with photos of food to make it “brain-dead” simple. It was only a matter of time.
“Would you like fries with thahhhht?”
Nope. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to sit this out out in the mountains. In fact, I’m considering starting my own church/tribe/cult!
It should be noted that this post was inspired by an exchange I am watching between two really bright guys on-line. One of them (he’s no “cherry”… he’s a guy I have a LOT of respect for) should know better as he clutches vipers to his chest. He knows who he is… Tim. LOL! :)
And, Mark… “Elf on a Shelf” indeed. I couldn’t have said it better myself, my friend. You nailed it.
People, let’s be careful out there. The weather outside is frosty. IMHO – In times like these, your attitude should be… too.
For some reason, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for information about BOBs (Bug Out Bags), affordable knives and “field hatchets or Tomahawks” for camping and “other strenuous activities” lately. We suspect that it’s in part due to the looming holidays and readers looking for gift ideas!
Most of us keep a BOB (bug out bag) for emergencies. Having spent a lot of time in areas where there are earthquakes, hurricanes or fires, it’s a good idea to have a safety net in place in case you need to leave quickly to find safety. The idea is to have everything you need to get from point A to point B ready in case of emergencies. I actually keep one in every vehicle in my yard.
All of these BOBs include a knife and/or a hatchet or Tomahawk as part of the gear list.
Where hatchets and ‘Hawks are concerned, there are a lot of options out there. The axes and ‘hawks range from field grade and utility to “Zombie Apocalypse”.
Most of us aren’t blessed with pockets deep enough to allow us to carry some of the really nice custom Tomahawks that are out there in the marketplace. These fine hatchets and Tomahawks can run into the thousands of dollars.
Many outdoorsmen and homesteaders use Fiskars splitting axes, axes and hatchets. I’ve found that the workmanship and materials are superior to most of the “affordable” gear out there.
While keeping an axe in your truck is a no-brainer, carrying a 23+” axe on your person isn’t generally an option when you’re on the move. Sure, you can lash it to your pack or integrate it onto your pack frame, but it’s an obstacle that most don’t choose to deal with unless absolutely necessary.
However, a sharp hatchet or ‘Hawk coupled with a hand saw will resolve many of the challenges we face in the field. The Fiskars X7 hatchet fills the bill quite nicely for a ridiculously low price.
In most of America, quality composite handles work quite well. The only time this is a deficit is when you encounter Arctic conditions that make the handle material brittle.So, I’ve wrapped my handle with paracord. I did it because THIS guy shamed me into it.
(I’m showing you HIS version because mine pales in comparison!) :)
But wait, there’s more!
I’ve made another simple modification to my Fiskars X7 Hatchet handle itself.
The interior of the hollow composite handle is a perfect place to tuck a magnet that’s been epoxied in place.
The magnet secures a trio of coarse Sawzall blades (taped together) used for limb removal, etc… A pin placed into the butt of the hatchet handle secures the blades in place.
Use “demolition grade” blades. If you buy them by the dozen, they’ll cost you about a buck each. These blades will handle wood, wire, metal, sheetrock, and pretty much anything else that you’ll encounter when you’re on the move. They’re made from decent carbon steel that will take and hold an edge rather well. Couple that with the fact that they are cheap and easy to carry and you have a winner.
I simply use a manufactured handle that the blades snap into and the handle is housed in a pocket in my pack. There are a ton of these sawzall blade handles readily available and they run from “mild to wild”.
The 10+” cavity in the Fiskar X7 hatchet handle is really convenient here, as a long sawzall blade works much better because it won’t bend and bind up in your cut.
Milwaukee makes a sawzall blade holder that is very nice and it has a threaded back so you can use it with a broom handle extension. This makes it usable as a limb saw as well. The handle uses the same quick release collar that their production sawzalls have so the handle attachment is quick, reliable and convenient. You can also purchase speciality blades for use with the handle.
Over the last few decades I’ve used several of the competitors blade holders and after finding the Milwaukee handle, I tossed the rest of them into a drawer. Most of these handles work well on the pull stroke, but are difficult to use on the push stroke. The Milwaukee handle deosn’t seem to care which way the blade is moving once you establish a rhythm. For that reason alone, I prefer the Milwaukee.
I’ll warn you that it’s expensive, but this is one of those instances where the price is equal to the quality of the tool. In fact, in my view, it’s a bargain.
If the sticker shock of the Milwaukee handle causes you to break out in a cold sweat, Stanley makes a handle that runs about $9.00. It’s called the “FATMAX® Multi Saw with Reciprocal and Hack Blades”.
The resulting set-up is similar to the Gerber Combo Axe II kit, but uses higher quality equipment and gains you a screwdriver and several bits.
There are guys who will go to the effort of stripping the blades (they’re painted) using a wire wheel and then grinding the butt ends into tangs that will accept a handle or paracord. They even shape the back edge into a cutting edge so that you end up with what basically becomes a long sawback knife. A trip to a forge (keep the blade in there until you get a nice orange glow (about 2000 degrees) and then water quench. This turns this cheap construction blade into a field knife.
You can use several different coatings to protect the blades if desires. Gun-Coat, bluing, you name it.
While this does make for an inexpensive field knife, it seems like a lot of work and expense considering that any outdoorsman or prepper would be carrying a decent utility/field knife on his/her hip or pack, anyway.
We just read that Paul Krugman (a self-proclaimed Nobel Laureate economist) claims that economic growth and job creation have actually increased during the Obama administration.
First, Paul Krugman never won a Nobel Prize for ANYTHING.
There are only five Nobel Prizes;
There’s no such thing as a Nobel Prize for “Economics”.
The prize that is so often falsely referred to as a Nobel Prize is actually the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”. It’s also referred to as the “Bank of Sweden Prize” for short.
So what? Who cares?
Peter Nobel, said; “The Economics Prize has nestled itself in and is awarded as if it were a Nobel Prize. But it’s simply a PR coup by economists to improve their reputation.”
But who is Peter Nobel?
According to Wikipedia;
Peter Nobel (born 1931) is a Swedish human rights lawyer and a member of the Nobel family, who served as Sweden’s first Ombudsman for discrimination (1986–1991), Secretary General of the Swedish Red Cross (1991–94), and an expert for the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1998–2001). He is a co-founder of the Nobel Charitable Trust.
Peter Nobel is a descendant of the industrialist and humanitarian Ludvig Nobel, the founder of Branobel.
Like several other members of his family, among them Marta Helena Nobel-Oleinikoff, he is a fierce critic of the Bank of Sweden’s prize in Economics, and what he and his family sees as misuse of their family name by the awarding institution. He argues that no member of the Nobel family has ever had the intention of creating a prize in economics.
In other words, Krugman’s claim as a Nobel Prize Winner are just poppycock.
(I’d use another word to describe Krugman’s claims, but this is, after all, a family show.)
It’s important to know who we’re dealing with, when such lofty claims are made.
Thus revealed, one must wonder just what Krugman has been smoking. Maybe it’s the “special brownies” he ate during all those Christmas parties he attended.
Krugman is nothing more than a partisan politician masquerading as an economist.
The true economic facts plaguing the United States are easy to see;
We’re more than 18 Trillion dollars in debt in the midst of an administration that has “spent, spent, spent” faster than any administration in the history of the United States. To say the the deficit has grown is like saying “the Titanic sprang a slight leak”.
And, to increase the fiscal carnage, Obama added yet another unfunded entitlement, (call it what you want) ACA (or as we all know it) “Obamacare”.
Krugman goes on to brag about job creation, while he uses slight of hand to drop 8 to 10 million workers from the employment rolls in order to make the numbers look palatable.
Krugman is an empty-headed non-economist who has his nose firmly planted in the posterior of his leash-holder.
Obama has had very little to nothing to do with promoting economic increases except in the areas of “stimulation”. If the Fed had not pumped “free” money into the market the whole thing would have gone up in flames.
What we’re actually seeing is “creative accounting” and “smoke and mirrors”. If a business had operated like this, the stockholders would have thrown the bums out and started with a new boardroom.
What we’re really looking at is a carefully masked Titanic, one where another depression should/could be the natural result of the radical socialism that defines this administration. The only thing slowing the trainwreck down is the crippled and enemic self-sustaining nature of our capitalistic system.
The National Debt has exceeded 18 trillion now. Many people ARE back at work. However, in the majority they are making 50% or less than they use to make. You have to ask yourself WHY this is. The answer is that the administration has made it clear that it is declaring war on “big business”. Thus, no high paying jobs are being created.
Foreign workers, legal or illegal are abundant to work at cheaper wages. Obama’s legacy will be that he not only eliminated high paying jobs, he flooded the marketplace with immigrants to fight for the low-paying jobs that remained.
Here at the bunker we use knives more than pens or pencils.
Living in Montana has taught me many things. We don’t linger on the couch. We live outdoors. Our trucks and horses are our transportation to the places where we hunt, we fish and we work in one of the most beautiful and challenging environments in the United States. We’re tool users. And one of the most essential tools in Montana is a good knife. To live here (or in any other challenging environment) you need a high-quality, do-everything-you-throw-at-it hunting knife. We don’t have to wander far from our porches to see Deer, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Antelope and even Bears. The broad variety of all that game requires that we carry a knife with several key abilities.
Add the rigors of Bushcraft to that and you’re looking for a very special knife indeed.
As a result, we’re always on the hunt for a really nice Hand Crafted AMERICAN MADE blade at a really good price that is purpose driven and ready for bird or beast. In our opinion, the right hunting knife is designed to tackle many tasks; Hunting, surviving in the bush and even tactical duties right down to it’s handle.
First, a great hunting knife must be sharp and it must be easily resharpened when you get back to camp.
Second, it better be “Tonka Tough”. A great hunting knife has to be tough enough to handle use and abuse. If “Sharp” is it’s first name, “Strength” has to be it’s middle name. A great hunting knife must be strong enough to power through elk sockets and agile enough to skin a deer without making it look like you killed it by tearing it apart with a sawed off shotgun.
It’s ergonomic handle must allow multiple grip options to accommodate any task at hand. A great hunting knife has to be easy to handle in the gloom and doom of dusk and dark, as well as in the snow or cold pouring rain. A great hunting knife will be nimble and quick when it’s covered in elk blood when you’re elbow deep, trying to get the carcass processed before the bears show up to eat somebody…
Well, after a lot of searching (and a lot of knife education) we found a blade that we really like and we’ve been putting it to the test on beast and bird, elk and turkeys with great success.
Long-time readers know that we’ve had some bumps along this road. It forced us to learn a LOT about blades AND their makers. But it doesn’t mean we quit.
We kept looking and then the clouds parted. Okay, actually, we found this guy on the Internet. When we discovered him, it was lust at first sight. This guy crafts blades that make you proud even before you strap them on.
It’s CHOPPER time!
When we spoke to him (at length) and gave him our wish list, the discussions started in earnest. We traded literally a thousand emails and PMs back and forth over weeks. We told him what we wanted, he told us what we DIDN’T want… and then he started working to produce a blade that he even named in our honor;
He calls it; “The Bitterroot”
We call it; “The ‘Root”.
Frankly we nicknamed it so that we don’t spill beer out of our mouths trying to use 4 syllable words when we try to talk about it during supper… :)
The knifemaker’s name is Kieran Klein (no relation). He runs a Custom Knife Shop called the “Hammer Down Forge”. His claim to fame is that he builds “high quality, affordable, purpose driven blades for the common man”. And he doesn’t just “talk about it”. He actually DOES it. Man, does he do it…
Take a look;
He builds stuff like this…
He became our blade building hero seemingly overnight because… not all of us can afford $1,000 Collector EDCs that never see the light of dawn in the field. Kieran told us that from day one, his goal was to build affordable, high quality EDCs, Skinners, Hunters and Camp blades for “us little guys”.
And stuff like THIS…
Kieran really builds for “us”. You know, the kind of guys who use their lunch money and what’s left of their paychecks to buy great gear, one piece at a time after weeks of saving up…
He’s dedicated his trade to that. I hear that he even has a ‘Hawk in the works.
And this… the reigning King of Camp Knives!
Now as disclosure, I have to reveal that I personally own one of Hammer Down Forge’s blades now. It’s handled every test I’ve thrown at it. It’s powered through game (large or small) with ease. It’s strong, light and fast. It’s wicked sharp. I really couldn’t be happier with it. Several of us have fielded this blade to test it’s steel. All of us are smiling. Well, most of us are smiling. Some guys scowl when they have to give it back. Me? I’m grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
In fact, I have Kieran making me another one for delivery early next year.
(The reason should be obvious. It’s because this blade will probably disappear before then… my co-workers are thieving, coveting miscreants and they’ve all flat told me not to leave it laying around where it might grow legs and walk off.) :)
In fact, THIS is my blade. And, I couldn’t be happier with it. I wear it daily. I have to. People keep picking it up and carrying it off! LOL!
I’m not kidding. When the box arrived from Virginia, I had to go track it down. The knife had already made the rounds of the shop and people were trying to hide it. Apparently, I work with a group of no-good, disloyal, kleptomaniacs… LOL! :)
Beyond being a high quality blade that will make you smile from ear to ear right out of the box, your ‘Root will look almost the same as mine. There are a few little differences. The finish on your blade will be “antiqued” and not “satin”. That means that it’ll be slightly darker and much more durable than the finish on my blade. It’ll make that Central American Cocobolo handle really pop! In fact, when I saw his “new” finish, I was disappointed that it wasn’t on MY blade! LOL! Guess what finish is going on the new blade he’s building me?
Say it with me; “ANTIQUED”. LOL!
The Central American Cocobolo handle will be slightly different because after all, Cocobolo comes from a tree and not a printing press! The pattern will be very similar. It’ll be rich and lustrous and sexy. And, it’ll be as smooth as a baby’s butt. :)
The leather on your sheath will be scribed with a cool border pattern that outlines it and highlights the kydex sheath. I asked for “Something sporty” so he scribed mine with a racing stripe. He did it because “I’m Special”…
Oh stop it! I know it’s true. My mom used to tell me that every day before she crowbarred me into that “little white bus” and then fastened my football helmet on my pointy little head before I departed for that gulag they called a school. In fact, if my mother was still alive, she’d probably forbid me from playing with a knife this sharp. :)
FYI: I’ll warn you up front that I’m not kidding. This knife came to us out of the box wicked sharp.
Kieran just told us that he has just (1) ‘Root left available for Christmas and he wanted to save it for one of our lucky readers. He’s building it right now, just for us.
“The Bitterroot” Blade
Shallow Drop Point Hunter
Full Tang Knife
15n20 Steel – Antique finish
1/8th” thick blade with Jimped Spine
Full Flat Grind with .012 behind the edge
4″ blade – razor sharp
8.5″ overall length
Palm Swell Contoured handle
Central American Cocobolo with G10 Liners
Carbon Fiber pins and lanyard tube
Kydex/8-9oz Shoulder leather sheath (with border scribing) and Chicago Screws
It skins like there’s no tomorrow and it slices like a pro. In fact, around here, it’s an EDC of dreams… :)
This is a $400.00 knife, all day. Knives of similar quality by other knifemakers will cost you upwards of $600.00.
The first $300.00 will put it under your tree for Christmas.
He’s included Priority Shipping and insurance via USPS in the price. Buy it before Monday the 22nd and it’ll arrive Priority Mail in time to find it’s way into your present pile!
You can contact Kieran at Hammer Down Forge by sending email to:
Or call him direct at:
HE lives in some strange country called “Virginia”… He speakee good Engrish, so it’s probably not even a toll call… :)
Tell him Bubba sent you.
What? You thought Santa was going to do everything? :)
It’s a difficult time in America. There’s so much anger, so much hate, so much division…
As many of us watch the gyrations with eyes affixed on what can only be termed a “trainwreck” some of us find our views and opinions being suppressed because we’re “Racists”. You see, in order to have a valid opinion about the direction of the United States of America, it appears you must be any color but White. If you’re White, the media and the current administration simply neutralize your opinion by playing the race card.
It matters not that there isn’t anything racist about your concerns. It’s just easier to paint you as a demon than to deal with the problems this nation faces.
So, I ask you;
Are you tired of having your opinions and concerned negated because of the color of your skin?
Are you sick and tired to being called a “Racist” simply because you’re White and you don’t agree with the current administration’s political gyrations?
Are you tired of having to make excuses for being “the wrong color?”
Are you a “Fed Up White Person”?
Well, if you can answer YES to any of these questions, my pal Tim has the apparel for you!
Talk about perfect stocking stuffers!
I have one of these T-Shirts. I wear it with pride. In fact, I wore it this last weekend. I had guys literally trying to throw $20 bills at me to get one of their own! It’s a great quality 100% cotton shirt made by American Apparel that boldly displays my feelings about being discriminated against because I’m (gasp!) a Caucasian.
You can get T-Shirts, Long sleeved T-Shirts, Ladies Shirts, Sweatshirts… even COFFEE Cups!
If you feel like I do, you need to start clicking and commence the ordering!
In difficult times, sometimes a motorcycle really IS the best solution.
There’s a reason that motorcycles and skooters are so prevalent in third world countries.
They’re cheaper to buy than cars.
They’re cheaper to operate than cars.
They’re easier to work on than cars.
Many of us have gotten our boots muddy and sandy flapping from the handlebars, journeying around the rock “for fun and adventure”. The places we’ve been reinforce how valuable a motorcycle can be when things get stupid.
Motorcycles excel on unmaintained roads and it’s much easier to avoid potholes and obstructions on two wheels, instead of four.
And the ability to take that bike onto footpaths and sidewalks just increases it’s value when things are flying through the air.
Finally, in difficult times, everything including fuel is going to be difficult to find. The motorcycle that gets 50+mpg, even with loaded saddlebags is going to be a huge boon.
Plus, what else can you drive that makes it possible to ride it right through your front door into the living room to secure it at night?
Many of us have a motorcycle in our garage. It’s a cost effective, extremely mobile way to navigate traffic and peril. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to ride.
Some of us are lucky enough to ride Harleys. There’s something about riding a Harley that just puts your head in the right place when you’re thinking about combating evil and slaying Zombies and looking for damsels to distress. LOL!
It’s the “legend and folklore” of Harleys that sets many of us apart from the rest….
You know what “rest” I’m talking about… you know… those Gold Wing guys… LOL!
But, Harley has decided that it’s time to get “politically correct”, I suppose. No more “Don’t mess with him, he rides a Harley…” whispers. Nuh-uh… Harley has done us in.
As the economy dips and slides like a theme park roller-coaster, Harley-Davidson is making moves to attract younger riders and push forward into what they believe is the next generation of motorcycling.
At least, that’s the nonsense that they’re trying to sell.
HD’s latest bike is the Street 500. It’s the much-whispered about Harley “beginner bike.”
That’s right. Harley is building a 500 now. Okay, it’s actually 492cc and it’s not really designed for the US, no matter how they paint it. Some who think of Harley as a religion would say that this new motorcycle has so many “Spiritual” compromises that it’s no longer a Harley. They think that the Harley boys are probably rolling over in their graves.
This newest entry out of Harley isn’t destined to be “America’s new sweetheart”. It’s actually a Trojan horse.
Harley has an ulterior motive. The Street 500 is the first hog that fits into the restricted license categories in many markets overseas, and it’s a cheap to produce bike. That means that it could help cut H-D a slice of the massive and growing motorcycle segment in —> India. Harley Davidson wants to own Mumbai.
You know, there’s something about the idea that there is actually a production Harley out there that gets 64mpg that makes me sick to my stomach… ;)
I’m not the only one, either. There are guys out there that are already trying to turn this pig into a princess…
Because otherwise, they’ll have to move out of their neighborhoods if they want to ride it. LOL!
I feel like I just broke up with a girlfriend. It’s a dark day for Harley riders…
Soon… everyone will be riding one.
What’s next? Electric Choppers? Say it ain’t so! :)