American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bumblebee Chicken and Tuna Salads

I had the Tuna Salad today and it was fantastic. I think these were less than $2 each at the grocery store.

You get crackers, a tin of premade salad, and a tiny spoon. The tin has a foil "lid" that just peels off.

I'm getting extras to toss in both cars and a few for the packs as well. Shelf life looks to be about a year (Best By 3/11) and I highly doubt they'll last that long.

That's 220 calories of tuna salad, 80 calories of crackers, or 140 calories of chicken and 80 calories of crackers.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fehrman Knives Forum

You've heard me talk about my many 3V knives from Fehrman Knives and now they've got their own forum.

Check it out here.

They literally went online the night before last so you can come on over, get in on the ground floor, and help build it up the way you want.

See you there,


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

REALLY American

Wow, Laura and I are working on a project for school where she's playing the part of an immigrant coming through Ellis Island.

My family has been especially into genealogy for years on both sides with my grandmother on one side and my uncle on the other holding "the books" of information that has been collected. I've contacted them both to see what kind of stories are in our past and have been shocked at what they told me.

My family has a direct tie to ancestors who left Ireland in 1705 at the ripe old age of 15 and started a grist mill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

That's right, we've been here for 305 years. We were here before there was a Declaration of Independence or a United States and way before there was an Ellis Island.

I guess it's no wonder I have no sense of nationality other than American. No hyphenated kind of American either. Just American through and through.

I'm glad Laura started on this project and really, really glad that there are people in the family who have connected the dots so far back.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Miss My Blog

I miss my blog and my blogger friends.

I haven't had to work this much since I last drew a paycheck.

I've taken on a task that may be bigger than me and I've had a few curveballs thrown my way already.

There have been plenty of late nights and all day stress but I'd be lying if I said it didn't have its moments...

I have gotten some more knives in but haven't even taken a picture of them yet. I'm sure there's some more stuff but it's all going to have to wait a bit longer.

Thanks for coming back to check on this little piece of the Internet every now and again. I promise I'll be back to daily (or semi-daily) posting soon.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, February 15, 2010

Posting from my phone

I'm writing this post from my phone.

Ain't technology grand?


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Early Hike

I was out to meet the morning this morning and was in the woods as the sun first came up over the horizon.

There is still plenty of snow on the trails from our 13" storm the other day but the folks at the village were kind enough to drive their trucks or 4-wheelers back there to compress two tracks the entire length of the path I took.

I wanted to get out there because this is the time of day when the animals are moving from one place to another. The nocturnal animals are heading to bed and the diurnal ones are just waking up.

It was chilly out there at 10° (F) but it was dry and the wind wasn't too bad so I stayed nice and warm.

Now I'm sitting here typing and having a cup of coffee knowing that it's still before 8:00 on a cold Sunday morning and I've already been out there in the woods soaking up all of that early morning magic.

It's going to be a good day...

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm a Spyder Man

That's right, I'm a Spyder Man.

I've been carrying a left-handed Spyderco Military since I got it in October from Knifeworks and have been using it quite a bit for the past four weeks. It's the S30V model with G10 handles and stainless liners.

Instead of the usual convex edge, I decided to maintain this knife on my Sharpmaker to get the full Spyderco experience.

In my job as a bartender, I've been opening and cutting down lots and lots of cardboard boxes. I like to cut the flaps off the cases as I move them from the storage closet into the refrigerator and then cut open cases of cans much like the 12-packs of soda where I can reach into the package and grab a can and go. This results in the occasional stabbed can.

I'm also slicing up lots of limes, lemons, and oranges.

I have made it a habit to take 5 strokes down each of the white stones once a week and the edge will still sail through the cardboard and it's toothy enough to make short work of the citrus peels.

Funny that a knife this big can be used so often around people and not draw a single comment but the Fallkniven F1 which is smaller would elicit plenty of comments about whether or not I was a serial killer or hunter or lumberjack...

I really do enjoy using a left-handed knife and the Military has really surprised me. I never thought I'd carry it because it's so big. I never thought I'd use it because I'd never carry it. Instead, I carry it and use it all the time and it has done a great job on everything I've needed so far.

Sure, I'm not taxing it much by opening boxes and slicing fruit but at least it's getting a regular workout and regular maintenance. That's really all I can ask for these days.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, February 11, 2010

MCSWood Khukuri

This is a big blade.

I found Michael's stuff on eBay a while back and then he started posting on Bladeforums as MCSWood and I continued to watch his posts to see what he would come up with next. Every blade has that retro-futuristic feel and look. They're all very "Road Warrior" in my opinion.

This one's no different.

I tried to win a few on eBay but never tasted success until he posted a knife just like this one on Bladeforums and I sent him a note with a few questions as I ran out the door for a meeting. By the time I got home it was gone. I think he felt sorry for me and agreed to make another. Score!

Anyway, here's what you've been asking for.

1/4" thick 1095
14" blade length
19.5" OAL
Integral D-guard
Welded bolsters
Hardwood scales
Weighs more than my cooking scale can handle (35+ oz.)
Comes with a heavy duty riveted and stitched leather sheath with leg strap

He's got a gallery of pictures online with some of his past work here:

Gallery of Knife Photos

It came wicked sharp. I'll try to get it out for a bit of work this weekend. It is heavy forward so it should chop like mad. The forward section should be useful for up close work too with the flatter section behind the tip.

I'll know more once I've had a chance to use it.

Look for more pics soon.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BIG Khukri

They say a picture paints 1000 words right?

I think this one sort of captures the sentiment.

What I'm looking at is a khukri by knifemaker Michael Stevenson who goes by MCSWood on Bladeforums.

I got this blade to open envelopes, trim my fingernails, and dig out splinters. You know, the usual EDC type jobs...

It's big. It'd lop the head of a zombie clean off with a single swipe. It's SHARP.

I'll get an in-depth review up in the next couple of days as my schedule allows.

The blade has a very retro-future feel to it.

Did you know that I had such a clown-streak in me? :)

Thanks for reading,


Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Scouts!

100 years ago today (2/8/1910) was the day the Boy Scouts of America was founded.

Today all of our boys went to school wearing uniforms to celebrate and talk to their friends about scouts and scouting.

This is a big year to be a Cub/Boy Scout with the Centennial and we're doing lots of fun activities to commemorate the 100 years of scouting.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Catastrophic Gear Failure

After posting yesterday, I went out for a hike.

I had a catastrophic failure occur and now I'm down one piece of gear. I have no doubt it'll be fixed under warranty but it's sure not working right now.

That piece of gear was my camera.

Funnily, the failure was relatively minor but in the setting and situation, it was catastrophic. The plastic housing that the tripod screws into came away from the body of the camera while I was trying to film myself "Survivorman" style.

Had that happened here in the house it would have been a minor inconvenience. Out in the woods, however, it meant the camera with the open viewer fell down, down, down into the snow and onto the frozen trail. CRASH! CRACK! POP!

I'm going to see if I can pull some video off of the memory card because I thought my dialogue was relatively entertaining and educational. Then you'll be able to judge for yourself. :)

The good news to come out of the hike is that I can start a fire with found materials, my firesteel, and my SwissTool without much effort. A small fire is all that was needed to consider the effort a success and I had that easily using dead twigs and some dry weed heads I found along the trail.

It's not really much of a challenge, the SwissTool actually has more and better tools than my Swiss Army Knife (SAK) and all the tools lock in place so there's no risk of closing a saw blade onto my fingers.

Still, empty pockets don't occur naturally in my's good to know that I can accomplish such a basic task with alternative tools and materials.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Why I Do It

You may wonder why I sharpen so many of my knives so soon after receiving them.

Some of you may also put your own edge on a knife as soon as you receive it.

I finally ran out to Home Depot this morning and picked up a few supplies to speed up and finish the sharpening job on my Edmondson chopper and I'm about to head out the door to go test this new edge.

I only took it to 320 grit and then polished on a loaded strop. If the geometry is good then I'll polish it up to 600, 1500, and 2000 grit to really make it sing.

Now, WHY do I sharpen a new knife?

Because my body mechanics and muscle memory are set. I know how I sharpen a knife both at home and in the field. I can make minute adjustments to thicken an edge if needed but for the most part all my knives are sharpened to the same edge. Thicker ones will inherently be thicker because of the blade stock and the inability to lay it down as far as I'd like and thinner knives are more acute because of the thin blade.

Once I have my edge on a knife then it's easy for me to maintain going forward without too much extra effort.

Are my edges better than those of the maker? Probably not. I don't buy my knives based on which makers can sharpen the best. I'm not going to send the knife back every time I need the edge touched up (except maybe the Fehrman 3V which has yet to need anything but a stropping) so I might as well set them up the way I'm going to be able to maintain them.

When I buy a knife I'm looking at materials, design, geometry, and heat treat. A maker who can make a good design with good heat treat and good geometry is going to make a knife that will perform at a higher level. The maker's ability to sharpen just isn't that important to me.

There might be a bit of OCD involved in my desire to sharpen a brand new knife too but I'm going to go with the biomechanical argument. :)

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slow and Steady

I've been working on thinning the edge on the Edmondson Chopper since Sunday night and it's going slow and steady.

My sharpening supplies have been moved and moved and moved again with the basement project so I'm left with a very small handful of equipment and nothing really suited to a blade as big as this chopper.

So, I go slow and steady trying to maintain my angles and checking and rechecking the edge. I've already raised the edge maybe half its thickness again. Murray Carter once said something to the effect of, "Thin the edge until it sustains damage during normal use and then thicken it slightly."

When I'm done, this knife should really sing. There's a clear compromise between the edge angle as received and a hair popping razor thin edge and I hope to find it.

Thanks for reading,