Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #30

Only one day late this week.

Fade Friday

I was asked what belt I am wearing with my Brave Star Slevage and, it is the 1.5″ belt from A Simple Leather Belt Co.

Durable Goods

Fade Friday #23

Fade Friday Day #23 in my Brave Star Selvage denims. The 21.5 ounce denim is really beginning to soften up. However, I put on a pair of my Levi 501s this week and it was a reality check to feel just how light the 501s feel compared to my Brave Stars!

Fade Friday

This week I took the very bold move of cutting my Brave Star’s to length. I took about 3″ off the legs and then hand-stitched the bottom of each leg (thanks Mom for the stitching lesson).

I still have a cuff at the bottom of each leg but instead of being 8″ of leg rolled up, it is now just 4″ of roll up.

Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #16

Better late than never … my Fade Friday of my Brave Star selvedge heavyweight dungarees.

Friday Fade

These jeans just keeping getting more awesome and comfortable.

Durable Goods

5 Dads Go Wild 2.0

Yesterday after work I loaded my camping gear (a tent, sleeping bag, and a camp stove) into the Ford Expedition we’ve been loaned and headed out through the Fraser Valley.

In the Expedition with me was my friend Michael from Beyond the Rhetoric. We were headed to the Bluemoose Cafe in Hope to meet up with Dale of Parenting 101 and James the Social Dad.

Wes loaded us up with coffee and told us to try and stay safe and warm on our camping trip.

As an experiment, we filled a Stanley thermos with hot coffee while we were at the Bluemoose and the next morning, the coffee was STILL HOT.

As always it was great to see Wes at the Bluemoose.

Did I mention that we were headed to Manning Park? And that when we arrived it was snowing – snowing heavily!

Big, wet flakes of snow.

We headed out past Lightning Lakes at Manning Park and arrived at our campsite – the Lone Duck campsite where we pitched our tents – in the snow.

It was chilly but not cold enough to keep Dale from going for a quick dip in the lake!

More later.

Disclosure: this camping trip has been made possible partly through the generosity of Ford Canada, Stanley Thermos, and our friends at the Bluemoose Coffee among other sponsors.

Life Musings

Climate Action Strike 2019

As you probably know, today young people all around the world are stepping away from their studies and other responsibilities to make their elders hear the message that climate change needs to be addressed NOW.

Young people often say things like “you’re robbing us of our future”.

While this is true, what the adults in society need to realize is that when the shit hits the fan and the world is full of chaos and people are fighting to survive, the most vulnerable people are – the elderly.

You can bet that the young people in society are probably not going to stop to help the elderly when climate change throws the world a curveball unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

What this means is that although our current lifestyle of never ending growth and disregard for our carbon emissions is robbing children of a future, the elderly are the ones who are also going to pay.

Just something to think about.

In the Kitchen

Homemade Sourdough Bread

Now that the weather has cooled off I am not so reluctant to turn on the oven and bake my own sourdough bread again. Love it!

Sourdough Bread

This weekend I tried making a loaf of the “bread in a bowl” bread. Well, actually I did not try, I just did it.

  • 4 cups of enriched white flour
  • 1 cup of my rye sourdough starter
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp of yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups of water.

All you do is roughly mix the ingredients until the wet and the dry know each other quite well. That’s it.

In the original recipe they suggest leaving the dough sit for an hour and then bake it right in the bowl you have mixed it in. Because I use my sourdough starter, I like to let the starter “work” and develop a “sour” taste.

So I leave the shaggy ball of dough in the bowl all day while I am out and about doing stuff. In the evening I transferred the dough into my pre-heated cast iron Dutch oven and baked the bread at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes at 450, I lowered the temperature to 350 degrees and continued baking for another 20 minutes.

And where is the picture of the inside of the bread? I forgot to take one!

Durable Goods

Brave Star Selvage Fade Friday Day #9

Nine days into wearing my Brave Star Selvage 21.5 ounce Cone Mills denim jeans and … these dungarees are AWESOME.

Brave Star Selvage

And, in case you are wondering, the belt I am using with these beastly jeans is my A Simple Leather Belt Co belt.

The Brave Stars are not nearly as stiff and unwieldy as I had feared they might be. For sure they are stiff but they are definitely not uncomfortable.

Until next Friday.

Durable Goods

Brave Star Selvage; Day One of Fade Friday

I bought a new pair of dungarees! I bought a pair of heavy weight selvage* denim jeans from Brave Star Selvage.

Brave Star

My new Brave Star Selvage jeans are made from a 21.5 ounce sanforized denim that is made on the classic Cone Denim looms located in White Oak North Carolina. Brave Star jeans are stitched together in downtown Los Angeles.

The 21.5 ounce weight of the denim used in these is extraordinary. Most good quality denim is about 13 ounces. “Inexpensive” denim is around 10 ounces. The Brave Star’s at 21.5 ounces…that’s HEAVY. My new jeans will almost stand up on their own!

My plan is to wear these new jeans EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.** For a year. Without washing them.

And my plan is to share a picture of them here, every Friday. I am calling it my “Fade Friday”.

“Fade” is the term used to describe the way the jeans are wearing and developing wrinkles and creases and faded lines into the denim.

Brave Star

So here is my first Fade Friday image – after one day of wear.

*Some people spell it “selvedge”. Others, like the folks at Brave Star spell it “selvage”. Either. Or either works.

**Although I say I am going to wear these jeans every single day, that does not actually mean I will wear them all day, every day. I will likely wear other clothes and make a point of wearing these heavy weights for at least a portion of the day.

Food and Drink

Reminiscing; Summer Road Trip Food

It used to be that when I was traveling the Fraser Canyon and I wanted some amazing food experience, I would stop in Hope at 293 Wallace Street or Fat Jack’s just north of Boston Bar. Alas, that is no longer the case because 293 Wallace is gone, and Fat Jack’s has new owners and, well, it is just not the same.

Reynold's Hotel

However, I have discovered another unlikely location for good quality food in the Fraser Canyon – further up the Fraser River in the small town of Lillooet! A town with “Guaranteed Rugged” as their motto.

Abundance Artisan Bakery

Lillooet seems to have quite the homegrown foodie scene happening. It is the home of Abundance Artisan Bakery, bakers of bread and all sorts of baked goodies and makers of awesome sandwiches.

Abundance Artisan Bakery

The sandwiches and baked goods are so good that they sell out virtually every day. We stopped in for a visit one morning this summer and the case was full of sandwiches and baked goodies. We didn’t buy anything while there because we had other business to take care of.

When we returned a couple of hours later – they were sold out of almost everything! We will be returning to try more of the fare from Abundance.

Another place in Lillooet that I heard about through Instagram is the Reynolds Restaurant.

Reynold's Hotel

The food pics that people were posting on Instagram from the Reynolds Restaurant looked so amazing that I actually took a detour this summer and visited the Reynolds Restaurant (attached to the Reynold’s Hotel). We were not disappointed!

Reynold's Restaurant

We started with pork rinds – cooked fresh and delivered piping hot right to the table. As they were placed on the table we could hear them snapping and expanding.

Pork rinds cooked fresh are NOTHING like the pork rinds you get in a bag from a convenience store. They are exquisite. And a little tub of guacamole? Yes please. These are a full 10/10 for flavour and crunch.

Reynold's Restaurant

One of my kids loves ribs but is tired of the sticky, messy kind so when we saw dry ribs on the menu – she insisted on trying them. Another winner according to my daughter. She said they are a 10/10 but I didn’t get a chance to try them so I cannot confirm her rating.

Reynold's Restaurant

I decided to go with the daily burger special – a grilled portobello mushroom cap with grilled yellow pepper and a slab of cheddar cheese. Add on local field tomatoes, lettuce picked fresh, a pickle, and a healthy smear of chipotle mayo, and I was in burger heaven.

The sweet potato fries were a hit with my kids. I liked them as well but the kids ate up most of them. I say the burger was a full pull again. A 10/10.

Reynold's Restaurant

While one of my kids is willing to try almost any foodie item, my other daughter prefers to play it safe. If mac and cheese is on the menu, she’ll order that. If not, it will be a grilled cheese sandwich.

She added on a side of onion rings and was a happy kid. I was a bit disappointed that she chose plain white bread when she could have had multi-grain, rye, or sourdough, but that’s my kid.

Crazy world. Hope and Boston Bar were my unlikely foodie stops. Now it seems like with Abundance Artisan Bakery and Reynolds Restaurant doing the cool foodie stuff in Lillooet, I will be travelling further up the Fraser Canyon on my foodie tour route for the next little while.

Durable Goods

A New Dopp Kit from Koch Leather

This summer I was spent many days and nights on the road. Along with my kids, I was travelling enough to start to notice how some of the gear that I carry functions, or does not function.

One of the pieces of gear that I always carry is my Dopp Kit – a little leather or waxed canvas bag that holds my toiletry essentials like toothbrush, razor, pit stick, and more.

An interesting aside, did you know that the first Dopp Kit was made by Jerome Harris who worked in his uncle’s leather shop. Harris made the first kit and named it after his uncle, Charles Doppelt who was a leather craftsman, who moved to the U.S. from Germany in the 1900s.

Anyway, I noticed that the Dopp Kit I was carrying was pretty big – although an average size kit, but like carrying any bag, no matter the size of it, it gets filled with stuff. So the Dopp Kit I carried, while a great kit, was bigger than I needed and full of stuff I do not really need.

Koch Leather

I started looking at new Dopp Kits but then got side tracked by the small leather pouches on the Koch Leather website, especially the Leather Accessory Pouch (retail price of $50US).

So, rather than buying a Dopp Kit from Koch Leather, I settled on one of their Leather Accessory Pouches which is 10″ long, 5″ tall and 1 1/2″ across the bottom. Which, is just a little too small for a Dopp Kit.

Koch Leather Dopp Kit

I have purchased from Josh and Jen of Koch Leather before, and I know that they are willing to do simple modifications to their leather bags, so I asked them to make the bottom 2″ across. Just big enough to hold the essentials for going on the road.

Koch Leather Dopp Kit

And of course they said “no problem, give us a few days and we’ll get right on it.” And they did!

Koch Leather Dopp Kit

Anyway, I have put my new Leather Accessory Pouch – Dopp Kit into service and it works perfectly. As you can see in the photo above, it holds the essentials and more (you may notice that my toothbrush is not in the picture – rest assured, I DO carry, and use a toothbrush!).

The YKK zipper is VERY sturdy, quite stiff at first, but it is obvious it will last a lifetime, like the rest of the leather Dopp Kit.

While it is awesome to have and hold the leather work that Josh and Jen do at Koch Leather, perhaps the best part is receiving the parcel and smelling the leather when you cut the box open. The sweet aroma of quality leather absolutely fills the room. I love it!

Koch Leather

I figured that I was having a parcel shipped out from their workshop so it would be kind of a waste to send a box with just one leather bag, so I added two Writer’s Pouches ($25US each) to my order. So far I have been testing one out and carrying my iPhone charger, a couple of Apple dongles, and a pen and pencil. I will see what purpose I put the other one up to.

Overall, I am VERY pleased with my purchases from Josh and Jen of Koch Leather. Very good quality leather and zippers, impeccable (perfect?) stitching, and that willingness to make sure the customer is happy is why I do not hesitate to recommend Koch Leather to my friends.

I am a very happy customer!