Made In The U.S.A.

Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Total success and utter failure all rolled into one.

In Adventures on April 30, 2009 at 12:42 am

Well hell.

I just called the only Home Depot in the area that sells FSC certified lumber, in order to speak with Bob at the Pro Desk who I was told could order my FSC lumber. 

And he can. Read the rest of this entry »

The other time when it’s good to buy imported goods.

In Adventures on April 29, 2009 at 12:47 am

Comparative Advantage.

My mom just told me about this. (If you’re a photography major, you can get through college without classes on useful things like economics and science.)

Comparative Advantage is the economics principle that says, at least as I understand it, trade can be beneficial to both countries involved. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fair Trade Exemption

In Adventures on April 28, 2009 at 12:34 am

My mom gave my little cousin a bracelet from Peru for her birthday. My mom must’ve picked it up on her last Latin American cruise.

As she placed it on Hanna’s wrist, she explained that the bracelet was Fair Trade–meaning that the person who made it got most of the money that it sold for.

That sounds pretty fair. Read the rest of this entry »

I just fixed my shoes.

In Adventures on April 27, 2009 at 12:12 am

I just fixed my shoes. And not with duct tape, either.

I took my favorite pair of loafers–which were suffering from a condition I like to call “unnecessary dual inverted sole ventilation”–to the cobbler not far from work. I expected him to laugh in my face. Instead he said something else: Read the rest of this entry »

Car Parts as a Buying Bellwether

In Adventures on April 26, 2009 at 12:35 am

The hatch on my hatchback has turned into more of a guillotine than a trunk lid. The hydraulic lifts that keep it raised have lost their gusto. It happened slowly at first, making the hatch feel lighter to lift but unable to hold it open unaided. Then one day, they didn’t even help to lighten the load. That was the day I discovered that a hatchback hatch weighs roughly 100 pounds. Seriously. The thing’s heavy. Read the rest of this entry »

What about bamboo?

In Adventures on April 25, 2009 at 12:54 am

It may not be American-grown, but it certainly is renewable–as anyone who’s ever made the mistake of planting bamboo in the back yard of a previous residence knows all too well. (Actually, it might be American-grown too. I just haven’t verified it yet.)

Bamboo is a super-plant. Because it’s so abundant, fast growing and durable, it’s a popular choice for “greener” flooring and other applications where Read the rest of this entry »

Got wood? No, actually. In fact I do not.

In Adventures on April 24, 2009 at 12:40 am

The worst thing about my recent realization that it’s impractical for a regular guy to buy wood that doesn’t represent the utter destruction of the planet, is that there’s no better building material for fences and decks and framing and all sorts of other practical uses than good, old fashioned, wood.

Sure, you can surface your deck with composite material that looks like plastic, or high-quality composite material that doesn’t look like plastic but costs Read the rest of this entry »

This fence thing is getting to be ridiculous.

In Adventures on April 23, 2009 at 12:14 am

This post was almost called “_uck Home Depot” after a particularly difficult experience getting FSC certified information from the only Home Depot in the area that (I’ve been told) sells FSC certified lumber. Here’s how it went.

I called the only Home Depot in the area rumored to sell FSC certified lumber. I pressed 3 when prompted to go to the lumber department. They answered immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

“With eBay, you always save something. Like the planet.”

In Adventures on April 22, 2009 at 12:52 am

Green is the new whatever.

I’m sorta sick of greenness, to be honest with you. It’s important and all, but with my recent hyperawareness of corporate marketing in relation to all things origin, I’m really kind of disgusted by the extent to which corporate America will go to trick us out of our dollars by artificially touting its eco-friendliness. Read the rest of this entry »

Leftovers and epiphanies.

In Adventures on April 21, 2009 at 12:34 am

I just ate a dinner of leftovers. Leftover fish. Fish that I caught, killed, cleaned, cooked and ate.

It occurred to me as I enjoyed a more profound bite than usual that catching a fish and eating it is applicable to this blog. I not only consumed a local product, I consumed a local product that I didn’t even have to buy. I averted the whole darn commoditized food chain thingy and had a great dinner in the process. Not too shabby. Read the rest of this entry »

Funny search term that someone used to find my site #2.

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 12:26 am

“Where can I buy American grown prosciutto?”

There’s a little bit wrong with that, but so much that’s very, very right.


A Portrait of the American Craftsman

In Adventures on April 19, 2009 at 12:41 am

The wonderful “A Photo Editor” web site recently directed me to an interesting portfolio of photography by Tadd Myers. It’s called “A Portrait of the American Craftsman” and it’s sort of exactly what you’d hope it might be–beautiful images of skilled craftspeople at work.

Myers deftly photographed people who do more than just make American goods–they elevate their crafts to art. From saddles to spurs, guitars to baseball Read the rest of this entry »

This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

In Adventures on April 18, 2009 at 12:33 am

So, embarking on a little more research into my banana-buying fiasco, I expected to find that there are some locally-grown American banana options, perhaps from Florida and Hawaii and California. And there are. But I can’t find any way to buy them, other than perhaps to be in Florida or Hawaii or California and happen upon a grove of banana bushes and pay someone a nickel to eat one. Read the rest of this entry »

Combos and Corn Nuts and Candy, Oh My.

In Adventures on April 17, 2009 at 12:12 am

Last weekend I went fishing. 

I stocked up at the gas station before I left town. Lots of bad munchies for the drive to Jacksonville. Combos and Corn Nuts and candy and a banana. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make an American Fence.

In Adventures on April 16, 2009 at 12:52 am

If you write a blog about trying to buy American-made stuff, you’re bound to write about specific corporate entities. For good or bad. The interesting thing I’ve found is that these corporate entities are aware of it. Even at a small scale. They have people. Most of the posts I’ve written about any named retail entity have resulted in comment from said entity. Or at least a visit and a “hi, howyadoin” Read the rest of this entry »

Issue No. 1545

In Adventures on April 15, 2009 at 12:15 am

Re. the post “If you buy CFL light bulbs you might be a bad person” and reader Ryan’s thoughtful comment pointing me to the “Lights of America” web site:

Uh oh. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Jackson is selling his stuff.

In Adventures on April 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

Michael Jackson is selling his stuff. And if you think I’m not buying some of it, you’re crazy.

I could get a Lladro figurine. Of children. From Michael Jackson.

Or a life-size chef figure. Read the rest of this entry »

Nope. Lowe’s doesn’t _uck. Not totally, anyway.

In Adventures on April 13, 2009 at 12:01 am

I got my answer regarding FSC certification and lumber origins today from the Lowe’s “specialist” in my local store. While it wasn’t what I was hoping for, I have to say that not only did the process of getting feedback via the Lowe’s web site work, I’d say that this chap went above and beyond in providing me useful information. Here’s what he said: Read the rest of this entry »

Lens Cappery

In Adventures on April 12, 2009 at 12:46 am

I need a body cap for my Canon camera. A body cap, for those who don’t know, is like a lens cap for the camera body when the lens isn’t on it.

Normally a person in need of a body cap would go to a camera store and say “I need a body cap for my camera.” They would then be handed a body cap in exchange for $10 or so (which is an outrage for a little blob of plastic) and everybody would go about their merry way. Read the rest of this entry »

If you buy CFL light bulbs you might be a bad person.

In Adventures on April 11, 2009 at 12:54 am

So CFL on this blog does not involve Canadian Football. It means Compact Fluorescent, as in the light bulb variety.

I’ve mentioned before that, to the best of my understanding, no CFL light bulbs are manufactured in the U.S. Based on further recent personal investigation, it is my belief that none are manufactured anywhere outside of China. Read the rest of this entry »

Lowe’s might _uck too.

In Adventures on April 10, 2009 at 12:18 am

Lowe’s responded today to my query with essentially the same message as Home Depot, with two major differences:

1. Lowe’s didn’t tell me where the nearest store was. They pointed me to a service on their web site that would accomplish the same thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Depot _ucks.

In Adventures on April 9, 2009 at 12:46 am

While I’m generally hesitant to get my facts from any web site with the word “sucks” in the URL, this web site has some interesting “information” about Home Depot and wood. More than anything, it seems to have some interesting info about lumber and logging as a whole. Things like: Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainable Furnishings Council

In Resources on April 8, 2009 at 12:56 am

There’s a resource online for people who want to decorate their houses but don’t want to feel like a-holes for doing it. The Sustainable Furnishings Council web site provides information on all sorts of sustainable producing practices–from tree farming to air quality certification of adhesive products. Read the rest of this entry »

Oakleys are MITUSA (mostly)

In Resources on April 7, 2009 at 12:49 am

Did you know that Oakley sunglasses are Made In The USA? Apparently not all of them are made in the company’s SoCal headquarters, but most of them are.

Everything we design, we design here. And most innovations we produce are produced here.


But check the labels just to be sure.


I got yer Poof balls right here.

In Resources on April 6, 2009 at 12:39 am

Lest you think Zebulon is a fictional superhero-generating planet or a pop song from a German industrial band, allow me to introduce you to the real Zebulon. It is Zebulon USA, the place where you can buy only stuff that is Made In America. Like Poof balls (like Nerf, only Poof, and MITUSA) and underpants. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Depot Responds

In Adventures on April 5, 2009 at 12:03 am

Less than 12 hours after I sent my customer service inquiry re: lumber sourcing and FSC certification via the Home Depot and Lowe’s web sites, I have received a response. It is from Home Depot.

The note is a simple one: Read the rest of this entry »

Lelia, you’ve got me on my knees. Lelia, I’m beggin darlin please.

In Adventures on April 4, 2009 at 12:38 am

Lelia’s comment is really lingering in my peanut-sized brain.

For those of you who don’t read every word of this blog, here’s a recap:

I wrote a post about what Buying American means to me. The impact it has, at least in theory, was what I was pondering when I wrote about why Read the rest of this entry »

Lowe’s is to Home Depot what Target is to Wal Mart.

In Adventures on April 3, 2009 at 12:52 am

I tore out the chain link fence that’s on the other side of the crappy wooden fence that separates my yard from the yard of the empty house immediately to the east of me. It was actually quite enjoyable. And it means that I’m officially underway with the fence replacement project. I still have to tear out the wooden fence before it can be replaced, and I need to figure out what materials to use when I do that. But I started, so that’s good. Read the rest of this entry »


In Adventures on April 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

One of the things that happens when you don’t buy American is that the American maker of whatever it is you’re not buying gets into financial trouble. That’s not to say it’s your fault. Look at the auto industry; American automobiles, though lately much improved (or so they say) for years were gas-guzzling, underperforming, poorly styled imitations of their foreign competition. No wonder we weren’t buying what America was selling. Read the rest of this entry »

Requisite April Fools Day Blog Post.

In Adventures on April 1, 2009 at 12:43 am

J. Crew and Gap just announced a partnership to start manufacturing and selling a line of Made In The USA clothing.

It’s called “No Sweat” and it features bedazzled tank tops and puffy paint sweatshirts. They’re hoping to reintroduce a line of Hypercolor temperature-sensitive materials for the fall. Read the rest of this entry »