Made In The U.S.A.

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

China: Still Developing

In Adventures on November 29, 2009 at 12:44 am

Today on NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross spoke to Orville Schell, an expert on China. They discussed many issues–climate change, clean energy, US/China relations, trade, human rights and more–because they’re all related. And they all affect us over here in North America. The thing that really struck me was this: China is still a developing country. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheater, cheater, punkin eater.

In Adventures on November 27, 2009 at 12:01 am

In the immortal words of Jerry Falwell, I have sinned against you. Unlike Mr. Falwell, though, I’m really sorry.

Allow me to apologize for explicitly and deliberately purchasing paper from Japan. I am sorry. Really.

BUT… allow me please to also offer a bit of explanation that I hope you will find eases your pain and my disgrace. Read the rest of this entry »

The things that matter most might not really be things.

In Adventures on November 25, 2009 at 12:53 am

Shelley always says that. On Facebook she does, anyway. It’s usually in conjunction with cute pictures of nephews and stuff. It’s a nice sentiment for a lot of reasons.

And now, perhaps for the first time in my life, stuff is really and truly way down on the list of things I’m thankful for. I don’t mean to sound like my priorities were completely out of whack before this year, or that I’m living like a monk or something. But really, I’m not thankful for a video game or a car or a new jacket or any of the other things it’s so easy to buy just because it feels so good. I’m finally thankful for important stuff rather than consumable stuff. And I’m thankful for that too.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Building with whole trees.

In Adventures on November 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

I had a hard time finding lumber for my fencing and decking projects. To the point that I developed analysis paralysis, and now I’m waiting until next year. But it never occurred to me that I could go around the whole processed lumber thing. Not by buying locally milled lumber, but by building with whole unprocessed pre-lumber-ified trees. That’s my kind of “tree house.” Get it?

### Read the rest of this entry »

High-Tech Digital Camera Equipment Made In The USA

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

Some of you may know that I moonlight as a camera “expert.” In researching a recent story about digital camera media cards (those little wafers of digital “film” that you put in your cameras these days) I learned that one of them, a brand with a fairly strong reputation, is actually proudly Made In The USA.

Hoodman, a company of digital camera gadgets and accessories, is based in Torrance, California. Read the rest of this entry »

Last call…

In Adventures on November 19, 2009 at 12:46 am

Alright campers, this is your last chance to tell me where to go and what to do. Suggest a GREAT gift idea, something that qualifies as MITUSA, and you could win. Read the rules and reasons here, and then send in your best ideas. Or even any ideas at all! It’s getting close to go time!


Eating Animals

In Adventures on November 17, 2009 at 12:26 am

1. I am a meatitarian. I eat a lot of meat. Red, white, the other white. Even fish. I like meat.

2. I am probably the type of person Jonathan Safran Foer is talking about when he refers to the fact that so many Americans don’t ever stop to consider where the meat they eat comes from.

Foer says his problem with meat isn’t that some people make the decision to eat it; instead, it’s that people don’t think about the decision. Read the rest of this entry »

The more things change…

In Adventures on November 15, 2009 at 12:02 am

…the more they stay the same.

From the London School of Economics and Political Science Archives, I present this 104-year-old editorial cartoon: Read the rest of this entry »

By way of some sort of explanation, I present this email exchange.

In Adventures on November 13, 2009 at 12:06 am

Subject: Your blog
From: Chris
Seriously you’re only buying American this year? Why?

Subject: Re: Your blog
From: Me
It’s been an adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

The world’s largest MITUSA treehouse.

In Adventures on November 11, 2009 at 12:11 am

Below you will find information, a photograph and links to several more photographs of the world’s largest MITUSA-certified treehouse. What makes a MITUSA-certified treehouse, you might ask? All of the lumber–all of it–in the 100-foot-tall treehouse is reclaimed.

“When God told Horace Burgess to build a treehouse, he promised that Burgess would never run out of materials. So far he hasn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

American Brands, Foreign Owned

In Adventures on November 9, 2009 at 12:54 am

Shelley’s aunt, my soon-t0-be aunt, Jane K., forwarded a link to a story 0stensibly about brands who no longer make their products in the USA. It was an inappropriate title (thanks, MSN Money) but interesting nonetheless. I haven’t worried too much about who owns the companies that make the MITUSA stuff I buy. I’m focused on country of origin: where was this item made. Not who owns it, Read the rest of this entry »

Checking Country of Origin for Amusement

In Adventures on November 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

Next time you’re in Target, or Wal Mart, or any discount store for that matter, pay attention to the country of origin of everything you want to buy. Seriously. Just try it. Report back if you want. But just try it.

I just did it, obviously because I do it every time I’m in a store. But this time was different. Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Painter’s Tape

In Adventures on November 5, 2009 at 12:54 am

You know that blue painter’s tape that you probably have in a drawer somewhere? It’s Scotch brand blue painter’s tape, and it’s special because it’s easily removable from just about any surface. As long as you don’t leave it on forever.

I needed a new roll of blue painter’s tape, and so today I picked one up today at Target. It was seven bucks, because I got the wide stuff. It is made in the U.S. of imported and domestic materials. Read the rest of this entry »

The first-ever MITUSA contest. Enter to win fabulous prizes. Really.

In Adventures on November 3, 2009 at 12:48 am

The birthday of my beloved betrothed is but six short weeks away. I have made it 10 months without the real sustained MITUSA gift-buying test I will face in December. I need your help.

I need to find a great gift. Something Made In The USA. Something amazing. Or at least Made In The USA. Read the rest of this entry »

Dave Sinclair Died

In Adventures on November 1, 2009 at 12:40 am

Dave Sinclair, the south county Ford dealer, St. Louis icon and “buy American” advocate about whom I’ve written in the past, twice actually, passed away in September. I learned about it belatedly, when I heard a commercial on the radio by one of Mr. Sinclair’s dealer sons. He was thanking the community for its support, not only at this difficult time for their family but for almost 50 years of car-buying history. It was one of those moments when you’re sad to learn of the death of someone you never met. Read the rest of this entry »