Swiss army knives and Ka-bar, still a manly tradition

Even though it is not common to see men walk around with hunting knives strapped to their hips I am still a firm believer that a knife is one of those tools that is a part of being a man (or really tough woman).

My dad gave me my first swiss army knife when I was 12. It was a knock off but I still treasured it. It was walking tool kit in my pocket. A symbol that I was responsible enough to carry it and not hurt myself. I gave that same knife to my son on our second camping trip together. He was a little young and he still didn’t use it with out my supervision, but it still meant the world to him that I gave him my very first pocket knife.

Nowadays I carry something less ornate that also complies with our local laws (no knives with blades over 3″ in length). Most of the time it is put to use cutting open boxes that I receive from Amazon, but it does make me feel like that same kid with the tool box in my pocket. It has served me well in emergencies as well as around the campfire. My everyday carry knife is the Tool Logic SLPB2 Tactical Folding 1/2 Serrated Knife Check it out here :

There are those times when you are out in the wild and you need something that is a little more capable. That is when I call upon my Ka-bar Becker BK7

It is a direct decendant of the Marine corps Ka-bar knife my grandfather carried in WWII. This knife can skin a deer as well as chop down a tree and is enough knife to make crocodile Dundee jealous.

picture courtesy of blade forums

picture courtesy of blade forums

Here is Ka-Bar’s latest testimonial about their knives. Kinda makes you wanna grow a beard and then shave it with a freshly sharpened Ka-Bar. Hoo-rah!!!

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Cut your hair you dirty hippy…8 year old

Learning to cut your kid’s hair can save you a lot of money. It also requires a saintly amount of patience.

I decided to try cutting my 8-year-old’s hair and save the 17 bucks that the local Supercuts wanted for a haircut. 17 dollars!!! Whatever happened to “Shave and a haircut, two bits”? Anyways, after trying with my Norelco beard trimmer and giving him a bald spot, I decided I needed better tools.

I treated this like a weekend home improvement project and ran out to pick up a set of clippers, some scissors and a barber pole. We restarted the salon session after a visit to the local drug store where I found a complete haircut kit for $15. What a deal… clippers, a comb, scissors and smock. Thank you cheaply made Chinese goods.

After the 30th time of saying “stop moving around or I might cut it crooked” and “stop scratching I know it’s itchy”, we were almost to the promised land. I just had to try and get the side burns right. “A little off the left…wait… too much. A bit off the right. Dammit! It’s crooked”

We finally got it right and were even able to hide the bald spot.


There is no real moral or lesson to this story other than in my old age I’m getting too cheap to pay $17 for a stinkin’ haircut.

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Teaching kids to garden


I started gardening when my son was 2. He would spend time with me and get to pick the tomatoes that he saw we planted 3 months earlier. Now at 8 he jumps at the chance to go hang out with dad and look at all the food that we grow.

Here is what I have learned about teaching my son about gardening:

1. Focus on why you are growing your garden. Food? Scenery?
2. Ownership – give them a piece of the garden they are responsible for.
3. Reward – when it comes time to pick your fruits and vegetables prepare them in the tastiest way possible.
4. Fun – don’t give your child the jobs you don’t want to do. Weeding sucks. Good leaders never ask someone to do something they are not willing to do. If your child sees you pulling weeds, they will emulate what you do and know that it’s just a part of gardening that has to be done.
5. Love – I know this lesson sounds sappy but I grow my garden to make sure I feed my family the best food possible. My son instinctively knows that the food we grow tastes better than the store bought veggies. He understands that they are healthier and safer because we know what is used to grow our vegetables. He also knows that it is time we spend together that we both enjoy.

Start small with some easy to grow vegetables like radishes, beans or carrots.

Build the habit of doing a daily ritual of watering and pointing out any new growth.

Most of all share the time together and discover the satisfaction of growing your own food.

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New York Times Tips on Making a Pillow Fort

Here is an article that I came across in the NY Times on Pillow Forts. May the forts be with you. (Yes that was awful, get used to it).


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Book review: The 4 hour Work Week

At first I was skeptical about any book called the 4 Hour Work Week.  It evoked the same feeling that I got when someone from Amway asked me to come to a “meeting” or was invited to invest in some Florida swamp land.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

Let me start by saying what this book is not.  It is not about getting rich quick or a vague rah rah cheerleading session of principles that can’t be put into practice.
The author has actually put this method in to practice.  His methods are less business school knowledge and more of a hackers guide to building a beautiful life.
This book is really about living the life that you want to live and creating a system that can support that lifestyle.  It is not for the faint of heart.  The book challenges our traditional values of trading hours for dollars.
This book eschews the current paradigm of working for 30 or 40 years and then at the end of your life finally getting a chance to do the things that you want to do whether it’s travel, spend time with your children or write the Great American novel.
The author, Tim Ferriss gives examples of how to create a business and how to remove your involvement in that business so that it provides you with an income that can support a person even without them being involved with business on a day-to-day basis.
He gives an idea of how to remove some of the minutia in life and focus on what is important to us NOW.
NOW is the the operative word for the entire book.  Why put off the life that you want until you are too old to appreciate it.
Tim Ferriss gives the reader some great strategies on how to build a business that can work for you while you live the life the you want.
If you have ever wanted to explore the idea of owning your own time, being around for you children or traveling the world, this is a good read.
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Champion of Manliness: Clint Eastwood

Most people born after 1999 may not remember Clint Eastwood before The Bridges of Madison county.

For those of you that do remember Dirty Harry or his many westerns, feel free to watch one of his earlier movies to get an extra shot of manliness.

Here’s to this weeks champion of manliness…Clint friggin


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Tactical diaper bag

So…we are expecting another baby later this year. In preparation for this joyous event, I am doing what every self respecting man does…shop for gear.

Here is my first item I am registering for:

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Best version of the Harlem Shake

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Inspiration For Manliness

Originally from G4TV.  I aspire to do this someday.Inspiration For Manliness

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Champion of Manliness: Ron Swanson

Enough said.

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