Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The new issue of The Backwoodsman magazine is here!! I have been a subscriber for I don't know how many years now and is my standing birthday gift every year from my wife. It is a wonderful magazine. The July/August issue highlights are: A method for small scale charcoal production, Coal to flame.....the lost firemaking skill, Your backpack is a survival kit, Making animal claw pendants, Wool for the backwoodsman, and A true woodsman's knife from Lucas Forge. If you have never seen The Backwoodsman magazine, try to find a copy as soon as you can. Each issue has do-it yourself projects, woodslore, homesteading, and many other interesting things. All of the articles in the magazine are submitted by readers. It gives the feeling of a blog itself. I have never found a magazine where the letters from readers are almost as interesting as the articles themselves. The editor and creator, Charlie Richie, has created quite a magazine. They are now in their 33rd year of publication. Charlie seems to be a real down to earth guy and I enjoy reading his editorials and views/opinions. Again, if you have never seen The Backwoodsman magazine, treat yourself to one of the best magazines in the world. I have found them at Walmart, Books-a-million, Barnes & Noble, and Bass Pro Shop. The website is www.backwoodsmanmag.com. Maybe it can be your new standing birthday gift!
Friday, June 29, 2012
I carry around a variety of tools with me all the time. They include: a pocket knife, 6"adjustable wrench, Gerber pocket tool, and fingernail clippers on my keychain. I have the wrench with me mostly due to my job as a theatrical lighting designer. The wrench is very handy though as it doesn't take up much room in my back pocket and it has helped fix a car or two. The pocket tool is a smaller Gerber model that has scissors and the usual pocket tool accessories. Again, I carry this in my back pocket. I don't care for the belt carrier and it is more accessible from my pocket in a pinch. The pocket knife, well, the guy who gave me this one in particular said I should be wearing a dress if I didn't have one on me (no offense ladies!) and who doesn't need a pocket knife! I've just about worn this one out. It's a Camillus electricians knife that I turned the flat screwdriver part into an actual blade. It had a liner lock and I liked the thinness of the screwdriver blade compared to most of the other liner lock blades I've seen. The electricians knife also has a lanyard bail on it which comes in handy. If you don't have a pair of fingernail clippers with you, get some. They have helped me out many times clipping my fingernails after they got chipped/cracked/torn while working on my many projects. Nothing is more annoying than having the pain of a fingernail that has torn to the cuticle when you're trying to do something. Then there is fishing line to be cut and splinters and other people with fingernail issues who didn't have the foresight to bring their own! Very good to have a pair with you. My latest acquisition is a Stanley folding utility knife that was a gift from a friend. I had resisted getting one for the longest time because I felt I didn't really need one. Afterall, I have two knives on me already. Since this was a gift, I might as well give it a try. The knife has a pocket clip which is great since I keep everything in my pockets anyway. Changing blades is super easy and they are sharp. Confession: I'm not the best at sharpenning knives, but I'm getting better. Having a good, sharp tool that I can change the blade easily and cheaply is a big plus. As soon as I started carrying it, I found that I was using it more often than not. Still haven't got into a good routine of carrying it daily (my pockets are getting full!), but it is a good thing to have. I would recommend it to a person who isn't the best knife sharpener and needs a good cutting implement that fits into the pocket easily. I like carrying all these things with me at all times because, like a good boyscout, I like to be prepared. One of my favorite stories is when I fixed a ladys car using my wrench, pocket tool and a penny. The battery terminal clamp was loose and wouldn't tighten down anymore, so I bent the penny and put it next to the terminal to fill the space and tightened it back down tight. Worked like a charm and it got the nice lady and her friend to the repair shop with no further trouble. I allowed myself a pinch of self-satisfaction on that one, but not too much. So, all that being said, whats in your pockets?