'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton
Showing posts with label boots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boots. Show all posts

11 January 2013

Some Long Term Updates

Time to report on some stuff I promised a long term update on. As always, I paid for all these items and am receiving no compensation or other consideration from any of these manufacturers.

A couple of years ago Michael made me a beautiful custom race rig consisting of belt, holster and magazine carrier. Because I've been so wrapped up in the house remodel my shooting has taken an unfortunate backseat so a holster report will have to wait but that actually gave me the chance to really put one of Michael's belts through it's paces.

Though I was initially hesitant to use this belt for everyday wear due to it's beauty and intended use I decided I really needed a new belt and hey, there's a pretty cool one right here and everything! I've been wearing it virtually every day now for about a year. During that time I did a lot of remodel and demolition/construction work. Everything from fencing, roofing, concrete and lots of landscaping. I remodeled a bathroom, added a covered porch, did entirely too much plumbing for the new laundry room plus a whole lot more. Through it all I wore this belt.

Here's a closer look. You can see the hole I use for the buckle tongue thingy (what is that called anyway?). It shows the wear from a year of everyday use but if you look closer you'll see essentially no deformation. No elongation or widening. The belt fits exactly the same today as it did after I got it broken in a year ago. That's impressive.

I put the magazine holder in that top picture so you could see pretty near negligible the difference in exterior wear between it and the belt. One worn seldom and the other constantly. It'd look even better if I cared for the leather the way I'm supposed to but like many (most?) guys I tend to ignore stuff like that. This belt will hold up to that kind of abuse. The belt doesn't exactly look brand new but it sure doesn't look like it's been daily wear for a guy who tends to be very hard on clothes and accoutrements. Like belts. I can go through a belt in no time. I hang stuff from it, rub against rough surfaces and generally put it through hellish torture. This belt looks more like it's been a casual wear item than something a laborer has beaten on for a year through numerous projects. I'd wear it to church today. It's been used as a rope anchor (don't ask) and abraded on everything from wood to granite to concrete blocks. The inside shows little appreciable wear though it has broken in nicely and is now softer and more pliant than when new. It does take a little to get the belt well broken in due to the thick and rugged construction but trust me on this, it's worth the minor effort. I love the thing. Eventually I'll retire every other belt I have and replace them with Michael's creations. I can't recommend them strongly enough. It's thick, strong, tough and beautiful. This has become my go to belt and now I hate to wear anything else.

It's been a couple of months now since I bought my Keen boots and so far they have worked out very well. They broke in nicely and surprisingly quickly and are comfortable as any ankle height boots I've ever worn. Wear is entirely acceptable. They're my work boots as well as my hiking/trail wear. Like most things clothing related I'm hard on my footwear, especially those I wear on a daily basis. The Keens are holding up nicely. One of the things I really like about them is the lacing system (for lack of a better phrase). The laces click into the eyelets at the top of the boot which allows me to set the lace tension at a comfortable level (remember I have a bad left foot) and still tie the laces tight enough not to unravel while walking. Genius and much appreciated. I like them so much I put them on my Christmas list and SantaLu was kind enough to bring me a second pair. Highly Recommended.

Remember the dishwasher addition? I talked about adding a granite top to the installation but I never posted a picture of the final product. Well, I finally got it all put in and done. This is the Before picture, just after the dishwasher installation.

And here's the After photo. Lu found a nice used black cooktop  stove for reasonable money so all her kitchen appliances are now ebony in hue.You can see how much shorter the rest of the counter is due to the non standard sized cabinets. They're on the list and such a long list it is. The granite I used over the dishwasher is probably an old vanity but it works perfectly for this application and it only cost me 50 bucks. Note please the blue light on the dishwasher, proof it's actually working and not just a cardboard cutout I stuck in there to try and fool Lu. I think it all turned out pretty nice if I do say so myself and really gives the kitchen an updated look and feel.

I'm certain there's some other stuff I swore I'd post long term updates on. I just can't remember what they are at the moment. I'm sure it'll come to me sooner or later. Probably.

Maybe. Man, it's tough getting old.


27 October 2012

New Boots And Bow Legs

Ever since I tore my Achilles tendon in 2006 I've had shoe issues. Ankle high boots rub the repair and cause a lot of pain and my heel is very sensitive, requiring me to keep my shoes laced loosely and remove the left one whenever I can. I mostly go shoeless around the house these days. But, and isn't there always a but?

I'm also fairly bow legged. How bad? This bad.

Note please that I'm standing with my ankles together. I can put my fist between my knees. What that means is that when I'm on my feet for extended periods or walking long distances my knees ache if my shoes are loose or too soft. I need shoes/boots that keep my legs straighter and my feet flat to the ground. Enter a certain black dog who requires regular and lengthy exercise and it became obvious that something needed to be done.

Hi. My name is Angus. The big guy is talking about me. Can we go for a walk now? Can we? Can we? Please? Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!?

I've always been lucky when it comes to shoes and boots. I could wear anything. Walk into the Big Five, grab whatever is on sale for $19.95 in the right size and we're done. I didn't even have to try them on. Not any more. Lu and the DO are particular about their footwear and need to buy quality to suit their feet. Lu finally got it through to me. I need to do the same. My tennis shoes just aren't going to cut the mustard any more. I'm actually going to have to spend some real money on my feet. Sigh. Ok.

I went to the local sporting shoe store and perused the hiking boot rack. The proprietor is a nice guy and very knowledgeable. He recommended a pair, I tried them on and, wonder of wonders, they fit and felt pretty good. I plunked down 130 bucks (Oh, my aching wallet!) and walked out to give them the acid test. What did I buy? These.

My first pair of Keens. I was totally unfamiliar with the brand. By the way, exactly what color is Burnt Henna anyway? They're gray. Why can't they just call them gray? They're light, comfortable and the back is cut lower to give my Achilles a little more room. Hey, these might just work.

Angus and I put them to the test on the Cinder Knoll Trail.

Why is it called Cinder Knoll. Probably because the trail runs by this hill that's composed entirely of...wait for it...red cinder.

Almost certainly laid down by this nearby volcano.

The boots performed well. We walked about 2 to 2.5 miles on a rutted trail with some cross country. I felt the pressure on the outside of my feet as we walked due to the boots trying to straighten my legs and my Achilles was sore afterward but all in all I was pleased. These boots aren't just for hiking with Angus. I'll also be wearing them while doing work on the house. I need to stop wearing soft, loose, crappy shoes. These boots are a first step. As it were. I'll post long term and let you know how they do after many miles and hours.

Next week I'll do a post about the hike. I took a bunch of Angus pictures to share. And I know all of you really come here just to see the boy and I aim to please. I'm also in the market for a new camera. My picture taking sucks and it's high time I did something about that. Luckily my daughter has an actual degree in photography and is an avid photographer so advice is only a phone call away.

Boots and bow legs. Now that's entertainment!