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

Monday, August 29, 2011

We're Back IN!

After months of pressure, Jake finally caved and he has agreed to rejoin the Cub Scouts this fall.

Woo-Hoo! Now I can be a Den Leader again.

Yeah, one more thing on my plate but this is a great stage to teach the boys more valuable skills for the outdoors and life in general.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


On the subject of Sharpening:

I've got a kitchen knife (an 8" slicer to be specific) that I have been trying to get sharp for 15 years. It's so problematic at least in part because of it's flexibility. It has been so tough to sharpen that I mostly left it alone in the block and my wife used it to open boxes.

Then, one day, with the help of my Radio Shack microscope, a strop, and some extra patience, I got that sucker screaming sharp. It would pop hairs with the lightest pass over my arm and went through food like a lightsaber. It kept that edge for a while until someone used it to cut on a plate, the granite countertop, or in a Pyrex dish. (It happens. After all, it was the box opener for the best part of 15 years.)

Now I can't get it sharp again.


I steeled it, stropped it, and even took it back to the stone but nothing seems to have done the trick. It's the same problem I had all those years too.

It's pretty sharp but there's a wire edge that won't come off. It's still sharper than most kitchen knives out there but it's not sharp (i.e. two bevels that meet at a point.)

I would think this all an exercise in futility if I hadn't managed to get it where it should have been once already.

Now I'm obsessed...unable to put the thing down...I keep working the edge over and over.

It still slices but it could slice better if I could just knock off this wire.

I'm thinking about cleaning my strop to "freshen" the compound so that it'll cut better and faster.



I think I'll go back and strop it some more now...

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Let's Get Dirty

I'm going to see if I can find enough time to get out and get dirty today.

Finding the time has been tough for quite a while but it's especially tough with a 2-week old and 3 other kids in the house. There's ALWAYS something going on and somebody needs to be somewhere or at least needs some attention. :)

It may be a backyard kind of activity but getting a little dirt under the fingernails and a ding or two on the hands is what it's all about sometimes...

I think doing a one-stick fire might be in the cards since I've got plenty of branches that blew down during our wave of big summer storms a few weeks ago and the firepit has been neglected for the best part of the summer because of the heat.

Today's cooler weather is more conducive to lighting one up.

Plus, we've got some Grandpa's Fire Forks that need to be broken in still and the kids are always in the mood for S'Mores! :)

So, come on along with me and let's build a one-stick fire!

Thanks for reading,


Friday, August 19, 2011

Spyderco Military

The last knife I wrote about on here was the new Paramilitary 2 from Spyderco so I thought it fitting to bring up one of my all-time favorite folding knives this morning--the Military (also from Spyderco.)

I held one at a store probably 10 years ago and thought it too big to be of any real value. The blade was etched with logos and writing and made it look a little silly too. So, I passed.

Fast forward many moons and Spyderco releases a Sprint Run (usually 600 pieces) with blaze orange G10 handles and I decided to order one.

As soon as I got it, I dropped it in my pocket and decided to see what all the fuss was about as it has gotten high praise online since its introduction.

It was easily pocketed and carried but it was MASSIVE when opened (bigger than my Fallkniven F1) and is illegal to carry everywhere here in Illinois. How could this be a good thing and how could people love it so much?

Well, then I started to use it.

The long blade is thick enough to be robust and thin enough to slice like a kitchen knife. The S30V blade takes a wicked edge on my DMT stones and keeps it for a long, long time with little more than a stropping every now and then. It deploys super fast should I ever need it in a hurry and the lockup is nice and strong.

The big problem for me with it? I'm left-handed and the orange Military is a liner lock set up for righties.

But then they released a left-handed version and I jumped on it. It's in my pocket as I type this. :)

Then there was the Titanium/G10 version that came out with the M4 steel blade. I had to get it.

And the all Titanium model with the S30V blade. Well, I couldn't let that one go.

And then the brown G10 Sprint Run with the CTS-XHP blade...

You can see where this is going right?

So, a knife I once thought too big and impractical after putting it in my hand has become one of my favorite folding knives of all time and you can often find one in my pocket (except in certain locales or situations) and I've begun to amass a collection of them...

I use my Military in the kitchen all the time and have been thinking about getting one of the fancy fluted-Titanium versions to take with me when I travel to use as a folding kitchen knife.

There's just something about having a knife this big that can fold up in your pocket and can take an edge that swipes the hairs off your arm with little more than a thought...

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Katherine Diane

Where has he gone? What is he up to?

Well, now you know and it's kept me so busy that it's been 13 days since she was born and I'm just getting around to announcing it here. :)

It's been quite a zoo getting everybody back into the swing of things plus now I've got to get the older kids ready to start school again next week.

And then...maybe a bit more time to update this blog on a regular basis.

I'm still working on my shooting, still working on my sharpening, doing a little carving as time allows, and I'm going to be working a little more closely with Abe Elias of Diving Sparrow Knife Works on a design or two as well as helping him jump into the online presence he needs to expose more people to his amazing work.

All in all, it's been hectic and sleep has been the biggest victim here but I'm really starting to thrive in this kind of pressure again and can't wait to start hitting the gym to burn of (if you can believe it) this excess energy--and excess waistline.

So, I'm off for a cup of coffee and I'll get breakfast for the three older kids ready. We're doing a lot with food around here lately and I think I'm going to be working a bit more on blogging that part of our day to day as I think it's important to eat naturally and avoid all the preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, and all that other crap that people have been putting in our food for the last few decades.

See you soon.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Work is Payin' Off!

I haven't been shooting that long with the bow but I have been working pretty consistently at being consistent and I'm trying my darnedest to avoid bad habits. Sure, the occasional string slap reminds me that I should get too cocky just yet. LOL!

So, I went to the range yesterday and spent an hour shooting at targets from 10 to 30 yards and managed to stick this deer decoy 3 times at 20 yards.

I laughed out loud when I saw where the arrows were and the range master came in to see what I was doing and he seemed genuinely impressed. He could tell I was a rookie by how I set my arrows on the floor RIGHT NEXT TO THE FLOOR STAND and how I put my bow back into the case when I went downrange even though there were hooks at eye level where I could hang the bow...

Still, I've gotta' crow a little about those shots.

I really was crushing pretty much everything at 10 and 20 yards and was hitting consistently at 30 yards but was missing the bullseye because I hadn't sighted in my bow for that distance yet. Then I realized that I hadn't brought any tools that would allow me to make adjustments while I was there...

Still the rookie but getting better...

Thanks for reading,


Monday, August 01, 2011

Gettin' Serious

I've always had a problem with judging distances and that's never been a bigger problem than right now while I'm trying to sight in my bow and adjust the pins on the front sight.

So, today I did something about it. I picked up the 10,000' Rolatape RT312.

Now we can measure distances up to 10,000' at 1" increments accurately and quickly and, combined with the marking paint I picked up, I can measure off the back yard like a football field with lines at 5 or 10 yard increments so I can quickly and accurately move my target to varying distances to practice my shooting.

Seeing the distances makes it easier to judge them going forward because you've got a frame of reference and, right now, I don't have one.

While Sarah is having her nap, the other kids and I are going to go out and start walking off the yard to see where we can set the target at 10-yards, 20-, and 30-yards.

Greater accuracy here we come! :)

Thanks for reading,