Gift – Purchase of the Day / Week : TWO SUN TS102 Knife

I was raised to believe there are a few things every working man needs.

  • A good truck.
  • A good hat.
  • A good book.
  • A good shotgun
  • A good knife.
  • A good goal.
  • And a good sense of value to others, before value to just you.

The seven goods I like to call them.

I think they help…  not guarantee, but help… set up a young man… to aspire to be a good man, and a man of use, to those around him.

I believe in the seven goods.

Today’s purchase recommendation of the day, revolves around good #5.

 

I’ve carried a good pocket knife with me for decades. Briefly in the boy scouts, than occasionally in the military, and relatively constantly in civilian life. It’s a daily carry and essential to me in my work and personal life. And I lump multi-tools in with knives.

Anyhow I’ve had a Spyderco knife for years, followed by a Kershaw Clash knife for years. They are both splendid working man’s knives. For me (even though it is out of fashion these days) an old fashioned  tip-down, half drop point, half serrated, blacked out blade, remains the height of functionality and usefulness. Open mail, open boxes, strip wires, get out of a stuck seat-belt, removing tie-wraps, even as a prybar in a pinch.

Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1605CKTST) 3.1" Stainless Steel Blade with Black-Oxide Coating; Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with SpeedSafe Open, Locking Liner and Reversible Pocketclip; 4.3oz

KERSHAW CLASH Get yours here!

 

I’ll do a list later of my top 5 KERSHAW knives, but click here to browse them yourself.

 

 

There is a reason why the Kershaw Clash is one of the best selling pocket knives of all time. It’s not titanium, it’s not on ball bearings, it’s not the metallurgy composition of the moment,  it doesn’t have a rad pocket clip, but what it is… is easily one of  the best pocket knives ever made.

And no Kershaw is not paying me to say this (Hey Kershaw… Call Me! 🙂 )

In a day where pocket knives are undergoing something of a resurgence, and in large part because of social media, and streaming and youtube knife communities, knives today are being made as sought after collectibles arguably even more so than functional pieces. Knife prices are skyrocketing, as more and more companies, just like car companies, are gearing a segment of their market to those with more money than sense. So pockets knives these days can run hundreds to thousands of dollars.

I personally think once you go over the $150 mark, for a pocket knife, you are paying  for the wrapping paper, rather than the product. But each to their own.

As far as a pocket knife for hard use, after many years of hard use, I’ve found no pocket knife related job that a $30 Kershaw can’t do.

But a man does not live by utility alone.

Sometimes you get a thing, because it calls to you, and everything else being reasonable, the cost, the fit, the functionality… you answer the call.

There is no other knife I NEED besides the Kershaw

But I recently found a knife i wanted. Because it was a thing of beauty.

And it is not the HINDERER or THE CHAVEZ or the ABSTRUSE.

I’d no more pay hundreds for those knives, than I would pay hundreds of thousands for a car. Even should I have the disposable income to spend hundreds on knives or hundreds of thousands on a car, it always, being a working man, occurs to me, how you keep money, is by keeping value foremost in your mind regardless how much money you have.

According to articles, some of the people who aren’t just rich, but stay rich, are frugal purchasers. Every purchase has to sustain or keep its value. Very few of the people who maintain wealth through generations, buy without an eye to value.

So, when there is a Kershaw Clash in the universe, paying 10 times what the Kershaw Clash costs for a knife that is not ten times better, and may not functionally be better at all… does not compute.

That $150 limit, kicks in for me. And that limit amount is different for everyone. That price point where acceptable bumps up against a waste of money.

Chinese Knives, as China more and more embraces the benefits of capitalism in a socialist country, and as more and more of American production is off-shored , the quality and status of Chinese Knives has risen, to the point where they are making desirable quality knives at a great price point.

So it wasn’t the multi-hundred dollar Hinderer or Chavez or ZT knives that called to me with a combination of beauty and aesthetics that are beyond the Kershaw Clash, but also at an acceptable value point.

It was a company from China called Two Sun. And it was a specific knife.

The Knife below:

 

 

 

 

 

I think the pictures say it all.

And the price on that work of art? Not $700. You can get one today, delivered for around $70.

TWO SUN makes a lot of knives. In my opinion the TS 102 is the finest looking one they make, and the one that called to me.

Get yours HERE!

 

Please use the links, as purchases made thru them is the best way to keep the proverbial lights on for this blog. Also like this post if you found it useful and subscribe. The 2 seconds it takes you to do that, is really appreciated.

 

Now the fit and finish on the knife are stellar. Beautiful in person. However it is not without minor issues out the box. It comes over oiled, which will need to be addressed. Also there was a minor speck, scratch on the blade. The one I received had a weak action/deployment, you have to give it a bit of wrist to fully deploy.Because of the extra oomph you have to give it the flipper tab can become rough on your index finger. The pocket clip, while stunning to look at, is so tight that out the box, getting it in to your pocket one handed, not so much, You’ll probably have to work in the pocket clip so it is a smooyh one hand seat and unseat into your back pocket.

The pluses do outweigh the speed bumps, visually it is a showstopper. the feel is solid metal, no plastic here, with a little muscle memory you can get the deployment to work consistently for you. I love the perfect centering and that the blade will smoothly drop shut. And lastly, out the box it is SCARY sharp. It is “you need to respect this knife at all times” sharp. My Kershaw which, functionally, as a pure work knife, EQUALS OR beats this knife in every area, can not hold a candle to the TS102s sharpness.

So report card: In terms of Quality Control, the TWO SUN could use a little work, making sure the blade arrives without any sign of wear, not over oiling it, making sure the action is set properly for reliable full deployment. Those issues taken into account at the $70 price point the knife is a no-brainer of a purchase.

It is today’S and this week’s recommended knife purchase!

Tell em HT sent ya!!!

Today’s 12 MUST OWN DvDs and BluRays in the Age of DIGITAL!!!!

Go back ten years in this blog and you will see I was singing the praises of Walter Hill’s EXTREME PREJUDICE as not just one of Walter Hill’s best films, but one of the best action films ever made.

Here is where all of Walter Hill’s loves and inspirations (from John Ford to Sam Pekinpah) took him furthest and took all involved furthest. Much like Anthony Harvey’s seminal THE LION IN WINTER it was the best film of everyone involved.

So EXTREME PREJUDICE‘s lack of availability in a great Bluray, and better yet Steelbook format, has always struck me as a missed opportunity.

While the US has yet to correct that wrong, Germany and Japan (and the UK had an out of print version as well) evidently know a brilliant movie when they see one, as you can get Walter Hill’s best film on BluRay thru those countries.

Shame on you US!

In my best PLANET OF THE APES growl… “BOW YOUR HEAD!!!” 🙂

But yeah, came across the below BluRay version from Germany…

I have recently gone on a steelbook kick thanks to recent absolutely jaw droppingly beautiful steelbook releases by Shout Factory. I’ve kinda grown to despise the titular blue bar on the top of traditional BluRay packaging. I was never a fan of that branding, but accepted it because, that was all there was.

Well today we have great companies releasing wonderful Blurays done with an eye to aesthetics, that makes not just the film a work of art, but the whole gestalt, the whole process, a work of art. Which is what hopefully anything that takes up space, precious space, in our homes and our lives should be… a thing of beauty.

A thing that makes us smile, to look upon it.

The twelve movies below, including the aforementioned EXTREME PREJUDICE release… make me smile.

Reach out to me, if you need assistance in acquiring any of these.

Without further ado… 

Today’s 12 MUST OWN DvDs and BluRays in the Age of DIGITAL!!!!

The Japan and Uk version use similar art for the BluRay, but both are out of print. But they have that blue branding at the top that I can deal with, but does not inspire me to rush out and get a copy. These days I drag my feet before buying anything that doesn’t completely thrill me. Streaming has spoiled us, even us DVD and Bluray fans: today even for an increasing # of us, owning physical media is a luxury that has to justify itself, in an age of Digital.

Digital… meet justification. The German mediabook of EXTREME PREJUDICE…

 

HOLY … BLOODY… HECK!!! 

That is a magnificent cover! And I even forgive it the Blue branding at the top.

Man… when I saw this, even though the book portion is in German (And the title is AUSGELOSCHT which translates loosely to Elimination or Annihilation), I had to have it. Especially when I saw that it was sold out nearly everywhere. 

Okay that was one Bluray down, here are today’s other 11 must own BluRays.

 

 

https://amzn.to/2LeMZ4s

Yes, I listed THE THING Steelbook last time, and yes it still takes my breath away. SHOUT FACTORY has just knocked it out of the park with this and their other recent Steelbook releases. I own it now and still am impressed with it every time I see it on my shelf.  And people, this is nearly out of print everywhere. Pick it up while you can.

 

And moving on, here are the remaining must own Blurays of today!

 

 

https://amzn.to/2Lgq2Oj

https://amzn.to/2NKS3iF

 

https://amzn.to/2zMhgkM

The Blue Branding is just a removable cardboard piece, thankfully, and at the price this classic is a must own.

https://amzn.to/2NLjN6X

https://amzn.to/2MS9CxN

https://amzn.to/2NLzsmF

 

https://amzn.to/2MR0HMT

https://amzn.to/2HCv1qf

I do not love THE HOWLING steelbook, but it is growing on me. I kinda like it. And it is currently affordable.

https://amzn.to/2MSacvt

While everyone is proclaiming the death of physical media, I have to tell you, there are people like me, who will always support beautiful things. And while it is great to stream movies, and stream comics, and stream books, and stream magazines, there is no substitution for being able to hold and peruse and showcase a well designed work of art.

So if companies up their game like SHOUT FACTORY is doing, don’t just slap a photo on the cover, but put some bloody creativity into the packaging. Custom artwork, great design, and they will sellout their SteelBook Blurays… just like SHOUT FACTORY is doing. People will support… quality.

Choir… preach. 🙂

Guys if you like this post. go ahead and support this blog by using the links provided. Purchases thru the included links earn this blog a few much appreciated pennies to keep the virtual lights on. 🙂

Thanks for viewing, leave a comment, like or email or subscribe. It is all appreciated. Till next time… be well!!

 

Black Friday Shopping Dos and Donts!!!

Black Friday ‘Do’s’ and ‘Do nots’ basically boils down to the following sentence.

If you owe money on your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card, or other loan or bill, Black Friday rather than an excuse to buy cool stuff, should be a day to pay down more on your debt.

Now If you have money left over from your PAYCHECK, after paying down on your debt, and want to treat yourself to a great deal. please do.

But not if it adds to your cc debt. Only if you can pay it out of this week’s paycheck.

And that tip should be for any holiday or birthday. If you can’t afford to buy it outright, without adding to your debt, or pay it off in a month, don’t buy it.

 

 

The Best & Worst Gifts this Holiday Season!!

Okay first lets start off with what not to get people this holiday season… smart devices!

With the rash of recent lawsuits regarding Smart TVs actually spying on people, you would have thought the public would have gotten the message.

What’s the message?

 

If it is not family or not paying rent, don’t let anything in your house that is smarter than you.:) That means saying ‘no thank’ you or ‘good buy’ to all these spying devices marketed as amiable servants or harmless entertainment.

That means no ECHO, no ALEXA, no XBOX, no Smart TVs. It means trading in your Roku or Amazon Fire microphone remote for a regular non-microphone remote.

 

Here is the thing… you want to know what the weather is… do the search yourself!

Same with the news, or the traffic. Do it your effing self. There is a point where convenience becomes a cage, and ease of access a trap.

Every camera in your house (laptops, phones, TVs, smart refrigerators, etc), should have a lens cap. And every microphone in your house (xbox, phones, laptops, alarm systems, smart thermostats, etc) should be able to be physically disabled/disconnected. Being able to determine yes I want this camera off, and yes I want this microphone off, and being certain that they have turned off, that is owning things. Having to trust in the hardware or the software that it is not recording you, and delivering that info to marketeers… that is being owned.

And increasingly in ‘Smart’ homes, the homeowner finds themselves in the latter category.

So yes those are the things not to buy this or any holiday season.

So what are some things worth buying? Well this installment let us discuss…

Portable DVD/CD players

The music industry is happy to get high quality physical music out of the hands of consumers, and especially the ability for them to burn their own discs; and to take us back to the 1950s in returning us to the inherently inferior medium of vinyl. And if you don’t know vinyl is inherently inferior, than you missed the previous paragraph about being smarter than the technology. 🙂

And sure we have streaming. But streaming is largely a gatekeeper format. We empower gatekeepers to store the media we pay for. That media can then be changed or deleted as commerce demands. Even deleted not just from the cloud, but from your media player.

Music thus becomes reduced to something, that though you pay for it, you do not in any substantial way control the thing you paid for. A CD (full WAV, not that MP3 nonsense)and a portable CD player, and a good pair of headphones… returns that control to you. That is what I call a priceless gift.

Here then are my recommendations for portable CD players, headphones, and great quality CDs to test out those headphones.

WONNIE 7.5 Inch Portable DVD Player with Swivel Screen, USB / SD Slot and 4 Hours Rechargeable Battery, Perfect Gift for Kids ( Black ) – While marketed as a gift for kids and the aged, this is actually a great compact portable DVD/CD player that plays a variety of formats at a ridiculously low price. And comes with great extras including a carrying case.

Now while it comes with basic headphones I would recommend the following headphones and amp combo when ready to take the sound from this portable to a better level.

HIFIMAN HE-400I Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones– Not cheap at around $200 but it is actually nearly 60% off of its retail price.

A slightly lower cost, but still well reviewed and lauded headphone option would be:

Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional Studio Headphones, Semi-Open

And while not necessary, an amp will help deliver quality sound to your headphones. Get yours at the link below:

FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black)

Finally here are some must own CDs for testing out your headphones and just hearing great music:

Human

Up Close

Get Up With It

Midnight Matinee (XRCD24 Master)

That’s it for this installment. Follow our suggestions and you’ll have a portable system that will offer superior sound for a fraction of the cost of other options. And if you liked this post drop me an email, subscribe, use the above links or leave me a comment. or do all of the above! 🙂

Gift Idea/Product of the Day! LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

I just watched an excellent Michael Pritchard TED Talk on making filthy water drinkable. At only ten minutes you can view it here:

As someone who has always been concerned with the quality of drinking water, and has over several years tried various remedies to ensure clean water, the talk was of definite interest to me.

Especially as I see more and more companies pressure nations and communities to privatize their water infrastructure; I think water, clean drinkable non-contaminated or tinkered with for taste water (Dasani I’m looking at you)… is going to increasingly not be guaranteed. Water, in this ‘tail wags Dog’ America and World, Is going to start being a luxury item you have to pay for, rather than a basic necessity that should be freely available and provided.  And those who can’t pay for clean, non contaminated water, will not get clean contaminated water.

A Trumpian Dystopian Orwellian future, made ever less far-fetched as the more passionate among us do nothing, while the venal and greedy and ignorant among us, shout loudly.

Michael Pritchard is one who did not stay quietly on the sidelines, turning his outrage on tragedies of nature, and failures of governments and men, such as Katrina… into action.

In this case a portable water filtration system called LIFESAVER that checks a lot of the boxes, that others miss.

  • One it requires no external power source.
  • Two it is designed to catch just about everything, rather than just a few, and
  • Third and most importantly, and the one that most water filters fail on… it shuts the water filter off when it has reached the point of failure.

A water filter is only as good as that point of failure, and a system that lets you know when you have reached that point of replacement is indispensable.

In my house I use the zero pitcher, for this very reason. It’s a quick and easy test you can run on every glass of water, and when the meter hits that number of 006 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) you know it is time to replace that filter.

LIFESAVER offers a similar level of confidence, where it matters even more… when you are on the go; away from your house. And I don’t just mean camping, I mean anyplace outside your home where you need to get a drink of water, whether that be the water cooler at your job, a public fountain, or a friends house.

I work for a billion dollar company, in a fantastic high rise in the middle of a major city, and way too often the water out of the tap, for the whole building… comes out brown. That is just not acceptable. And yes the company has mounted water filters, but are the filters getting changed as they should be? When the municipality of a so-called 1st World Nation can’t provide its citizens clean drinking water from the tap (or don’t prioritize such water), you begin to question the capability of every part of that chain.

We have this delusion in America, like so many delusions that allowed otherwise sane people to actually cast a ballot for Trump, we have a delusion that water quality is a third world problem. When the truth is, through the greed of billionaires, America is quickly becoming a third world nation. The problems of Mexico, and Sudan, and Kosovo, and Nigeria and India… these are quickly going to become American problems. Because we are allowing slavers and Robber Barons to make policy, that inevitably is designed to make the few masters and the many slaves.

Some of that you can combat through legislation, though voting, through boycotting, and some of it you combat by taking an active role, in making sure the basic necessities of life… clean water… in a pinch you can provide for yourself.

That is where the LIFESAVER System comes in. Its company grade is an A, and its Amazon Reviews have been vetted and are accurate (A lot of times they are not, don’t just assume a company with 4 or 5 stars on Amazon is a slam dunk of a product. Unfortunately unscrupulous companies use robots to pad their page with tons of fake 5 star reviews.)

You want to vet the company and vet the reviews, to see if the company is legit and the reviews are legit. There are various sites that will do this for you. I’ve checked the most reputable ones, and LIFESAVER as a company is an A, and its Amazon reviews get an A for being accurate, and non robot generated.

All this to say, this is the gift giving season, Dickens’ sweet story of a carol at Christmas, has been turned by savvy businessmen into a retailers dream, the need to purchase and buy, affecting all during this time of year, more like a fever, than anything to do with faith.

A compulsion.

Whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Vodun or Festivus you celebrate; we are all swept up in the compulsion to spend. All to some point swayed by the marketing push and Black Friday sales, or Amazon Monday sales.

But perhaps we can do better than the usual suspects of gifts. While the kids want (and deserve) their toys, for the adults give them the LIFESAVER. It lives up to its name. It is something that should be in each car you own, for emergencies, and one in the house as a backup filtration system. Essential for any bug-out bag.

And the lifesaver while impressive, no product should be considered an end all and be all. I would recommend having a UV pen water sterilizer as well. It is just a good one-two punch to get in the habit of doing. Especially as your filter gets close to its end of life.

Is it overkill? Probably. But considering it only takes seconds more to UV your drink after filtering, it is probably just a good routine to get into. But even without the UV step, I consider the LIFESAVER absolutely an indispensable purchase in 2017 and beyond, and a fantastic gift.

Get yours here:

LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

You are going to also need to have replacement filters on hand (In the words of Nick Nolte, from EXTREME PREJUDICE [one of my favorite movies, and easily his most iconic role] ‘One without the other, ain’t no damn good.’)

Lifesaver Bottle Ultra Filtration Water Bottle Replacement Carbon Inserts (4-pk)
And here’s the recommended UV pen:

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier

And here’s the pitcher for your kitchen (and you could also use an additional one for your bathroom or just go with an on tap unit for your bathroom faucet):

ZeroWater 23 Cup Dispenser with Free TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids) – ZD-018

Or more convenient for your bathroom would be a on-faucet filter, that also offers a end of life replacement light, which would be the below:

PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Water Filtration Faucet Mount Chrome FM-9400B

So that’s it guys. When I started this blog, far more than a decade ago, one of my early concerns was water quality. I had tried distillers, table top water filters, and tons of options in between.

And all of that research has brought me to the recommendations above. You want to give a gift this holiday season, give the gift of clean water.

It is… a start.

Use the links above and help this blog earn a few pennies with your purchases.

Enjoy!

 

GREAT Last minute / END OF YEAR GIFT IDEAS! Day 2 of 15! CANDLES!

GREAT GIFT IDEAS for the Homemaker or Survivalist Among you!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31LwP3ZJyxL.jpg

 

7-Day Beeswax Candle

 

7-Day Beeswax Candle

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71oMAQS6nGL._SX522_.jpg

Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap, Sulfate Free Dishwashing Detergent, Green Tea and Lime, 16 Ounce Bottle, (Pack of 3)
Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap, Sulfate Free Dishwashing Detergent, Green Tea and Lime, 16 Ounce Bottle, (Pack of 3)

 

TriWick 120 Hour Candle & Camping Stove – Survival & Emergency Light Source

TriWick 120 Hour Candle & Camping Stove – Survival & Emergency Light Source

 

Volcanica Candles Dendritic Pillar Candle, Medium, Maroon/Gold

 

Volcanica Candles Flora Vase Candle, Creme

 

Candle by the Hour 120-Hour Beehive Candle, Eco-friendly Natural Beeswax with Cotton Wick

GREAT Last minute / END OF YEAR GIFT IDEAS! Day 1 of 15!

Whatever Holiday you or yours are gearing up to celebrate, be it Ramadan, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Vodun or the Mass of Christ, chances are you are swept up in the very American magnate propagated desire to buy things, and an older, more selfless desire to give stuff.

Here without further ado are some GREAT last minute gift ideas!

 

KIDS UNDER 15 (And fun for their parents too)

Carrera GO!!! – GT Contest Track Set

 

GIFTS FOR THE HOROLOGIST (CLOCK LOVER) OR TO IMPRESS A BOSS OR FAMILY FRIEND

Vivid Large Deer Handcrafted Wood Cuckoo Clock CC105

 

 

GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR YOUR COWORKERS or CRYSTAL LOVERS!

 

Amlong Crystal Globe on Crystal Stand with Gift Box – 4.75 Inch

 

GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR THE GRAPHIC NOVEL/COMIC BOOK FAN or WEREWOLF FAN!

 

Werewolf by Night Omnibus

FOR THE ART BOOK LOVER /COFFEE TABLE FAN!

 

The Art of Jock

 

Cover Image

The Signature Art Of Brian Stelfreeze

 

Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years

 

 
Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour