• Swiss-Miss – Sharing my 5 Personal Rules

    Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Ryan


    swiss-miss Sharing my 5 Personal Rules

    Motorola Moto X – Republic Wireless

    Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Ryan



    The Moto X is assembled in the USA. The factory, in Texas, employs around 2500 employees and pumps out around 100k phones per week. Adding around $60-Million to the US economy.

    While normally this wouldn’t meet my requirements for posting on the usamadeblog, I feel it’s better to promote a step in the right direction than not. Keep it up Google/Motorola!


    Moto X on Republic Wireless

    P.S. I haven’t personally used Republic Wireless, I have first hand reports that it works well and the folks that do use it were very happy with the service. And you can’t beat $25 unlimited.

    P.P.S. The Moto G is NOT Assembled in the USA.



    KNO Clothing – 100% USA made T-Shirts

    Posted on: March 11th, 2014 by Ryan


    Organic Cotton from Texas died and spun in North Carolina, Knitted in South Carolina, Back to North Carolina for Design, Cut and Sew. Up to Pennsylvania to ship to you.

    KNO Clothing


    Newcandescents – Rough Duty Incandescent light bulbs

    Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Ryan



    Thought they stopped making incandescent bulbs in the US?

    Not Newcandescent. They are able to get around the ban by manufacturing Rough Duty bulbs; right here in New Jersey.


    I’ve not tried their bulbs, but I do plan on ordering a pack. I much prefer them for my bathroom where quick and bright is important. And in work areas where I need a bright good quality light.

    Buy from Newcandescents


    But what about CFL’s?  

    Due to the mercury content in CFL bulbs, it’s illegal to manufacture them in the US. I don’t recommend buying them… They have mercury in them and that’s some bad stuff. 


    Filson Mackinaw Wool Vest

    Posted on: January 14th, 2014 by Ryan


    C.C. Filson Co. out of Seatle has been around for well over 100 years and they make some of the best clothes known to man.

    I recently had a chance to see some Filson clothes in person and they are incredibly well built.  This vest has been on my list for a while and I think it will be my next clothing purchase. Honestly, my purchase has been put off due to the cost of the vest. After seeing how they are built, that is no longer an obstacle.

    Any location where the vest might fail, pockets, buttons is reinforced with extra cloth or an extra stitch.

    I can’t wait!

    Here is a link to the Filson Made in the USA section.


    Tool Rolls – Made by Me.

    Posted on: January 14th, 2014 by Ryan


    Need a tool roll? I make them now.

    Great for screw drivers and pliers.

    If you have a specific need, contact me through the etsy shop and We’ll get a custom order going for you.

    Here’s the link to my etsy shop.

    Appalachian Hammocks

    Posted on: December 18th, 2013 by Ryan



    Appalachian hammocks are built in Pennsylvania.

    Weighing in at 13.4 ounces with everything you need to attach it to a couple trees; this is an incredibly inexpensive option(well under $100) for an ultra-lightweight sleeping option.

    Original Appalachian hammock

    Tech Specs

    The Bluelace Project

    Posted on: November 25th, 2013 by Ryan

    From the last american shoelace manufacturer, This allows you to make a statement about your beliefs by giving $5.  Hopefully we’ll have some color options after their success selling blue shoelaces. (Blue’s not my usual color choice.)

    By the way, have you looked at the cost of shoelaces produced outside the US recently? I checked a few months ago (just for fun… yeah, I know, weird.); They cost around $3-4 for a good pair of laces. I’m quite sure they wouldn’t pull a truck, though.

    Here’s the link:

    The Bluelace Project


    I love that they lay this out up front too:

     For this particular project though, per $5 contribution…

    • $1 goes to Processing fees (10% of all money received is paid directly to New York City-based Kickstarter and Amazon for processing the transaction)
    • $2 goes directly to our shoelace factory in Portsmouth Ohio for manufacturing the laces using American materials and shipping them to our warehouse.
    • $1 covers shipping, this includes the stamps purchased from USPS and the envelope bought in bulk from our Texas-based manufacturer.
    • $1 is paid to our Henderson, Nevada warehouse for packing each individual order (likely a set of BLUELACES plus whatever additional goodies we decide to throw in the pouch).

    Handmade Life: Workshop Chairs – Civil war style camp chairs

    Posted on: November 4th, 2013 by Ryan

    I had a chance to plant my butt in a number of these chairs at a recent workshop.  They can hold some serious weight and they are mighty comfortable to lean back in.   The seat slides out and nests within the back for compact storage.  Normally when I’ve ran across these they were called civil war camp chairs.

    There were a couple downsides, The back legs stuck out a bit far and people tended to kick them when in tight spaces. The angle of the chair, that made it so comfortable to lean back in, made it a bit difficult to get out of.

    Despite those things, I’d regularly seek one out when I needed a place to sit. Especially in the evenings when I would have some time to get in an hour or two of reading.

    They are well worth the $100($69+shipping) price tag; I’m considering getting a couple for use on my back patio.


    Handmade Life Workshop Chairs -  Hand made in Missoula Montana.

    My Boots

    Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by Ryan

    Not sure I’ve posted anything about my boots before.
    Well. This will be the post.

    Back in 2011, I purchased some Red Wings Heritage 8114 “Iron Ranger”  boots.  Never before have I spent so much on a pair of shoes. I was freaked out about laying that amount of cash out for some shoes; but I put the order in with my local Red Wings shoe store.

    Let me tell you,  these are not just some shoes. When I saw the boots for the first time, I could tell there was something special about them. The craftsmanship put into them. The leather was thick and rigid, the soles are stitched to the leather uppers and heels nailed right into the sole.

    I had considered putting some textured soles on them, my store said they could add them for about $75. But they recommended I try them as they come. Somehow the cork sole avoids being slippery in the winter or wet. They work just as well as most of my sneakers on the snow and wet. And they perform about like anything I’ve ever worn on Ice… except for ice-skates or golf cleats.  After wearing them through a few winters, I feel any traction modification is unnecessary.

    The leather uppers have broken in well. After about 2 weeks of wearing them the leather moves with my ankle perfectly and give some support when needed. I don’t recall getting any blisters, but they do have a break in period and it’s worth it once they do. My boots are the most comfortable shoe I own and they don’t have any fancy inserts (as my other shoes don). A leather insole is to thank for this. It conforms to your foot in a natural way.

    Laces are one thing I normally replace on all of my boots. A good 550 paracord is my usual choice.**  However, I’ve not had to replace these laces, Not sure what they are made from, but it’s holding up very well.
    These boots have been hiking with me around Missouri, on impromptu trip through the woods. Working in the mountains of Montana. Uncountable hours of standing and walking around all day for my work. I’d estimate (i.e. wild-ass guess) that these boots have way more mileage on them than my hiking boots that I’ve had for about 5 years.  One thing I look at when buying shoes is the number of times worn vs. dollars. At this point, these boots are well under the 50cent per wear mark.
    We’re at almost 2 years later. The boots are still with me and I’m looking forward to being buried in them; hopefully in no less than 4 or 5 decades, ha. I’m heading back to Montana in the next couple weeks and I plan to have them properly shined at an airport. I haven’t taken the time to do that lately. I’ll pop a new picture up once they are all tidy.


    **If you do use 550 paracord for your laces. You will need a special knot. I like to use the double slipknot. http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/secureknot.htm