Monday, December 29, 2014

Buck Knife from Canadian Tire

By Charles Moffat - December 2014.

I have been meaning for several months now to post a review about this small but very handy knife I purchased at Canadian Tire.

If I recall correctly it was $14.99 + HST, but I don't recall precisely.

What I do know however is that I haven't any problems with this knife's usability, sharpness or any problems with it breaking.

My previous knife, which I lost back in the summer, was a Gerber. The problems I encountered with the Gerber were two fold:

1. The Gerber blade dulled pretty easily. Although I admit I sometimes used it to draw lines in the dirt, which is a bad thing to do to a knife because it dulls the blade pretty quickly. Once dulled however I found it was difficult to sharpen and never held an edge that well. I also determined that the Gerber blade got scratched up pretty easily, which leads to my belief that the quality of the steel wasn't the greatest at holding its edge if it could get scratched so easily.

2. The Gerber had a belt clip on the side of it that got caught on a guard rail and got bent out to the side. When I tried to bend it back it would just spring back to its new position sticking out in annoying fashion. The bent clip meant it didn't hold into jeans pocket that well and would fall out easily - hence how it eventually got lost.

After the clip got bent I started looking for a replacement knife for the Gerber because I knew it was just a matter of time before I lost it.


When I purchased the Buck pocket knife I really just wanted a replacement for the Gerber that would work well for my purposes. I wasn't expecting it to last forever and I was secretly expecting it to dull quickly like the Gerber did.

But it hasn't. It holds the edge very well, I haven't had any sharpness problems with it. It is just a small and handy knife.

I also routinely carry a Swiss army knife, but I must say that I am now in the market for a new Swiss army knife so if there are manufacturers out there looking for a review of their product contact me (charlesmoffat at charlesmoffat dot com) and I shall review a sample of your product(s).

THE INTERVIEW - 5 STARS

Review by Charles Moffat - December 2014.

"The best comedy of the year."

Note - "The Interview" starring Seth Rogen and James Franco was Made in Canada - which means, arguably, that North Korea should be threatening Canada, not the USA for its production.

I have been wanting to see this film for months, ever since I heard about it. Partially because I used to live in South Korea, but also because I want to see an end to the war between the USA and North Korea - which has been in a state of cold war for 61 years now. The Korean War may have ended in 1953, but the war never officially ended because they never signed an armistice. This means that for 61 years North Korea has been in a state of war with the USA and South Korea, and there has been numerous skirmishes between north and south, but it hasn't been a case of active war.

In recent years North Korea has been ramping up its long range missile development and its focus on nuclear weapons. The country currently has the capability of launching ICBM nuclear missiles across the Pacific Ocean and striking targets in the western USA, Hawaii and Alaska.

And to make matters worse, the leadership of North Korea has been handing from father to son, so the current leader of North Korea is a 31 year old man. A man which has been tasked with defeating the USA, staying in power while his people starve, and smashing any hopes of rebellion against him.

Thus making a comedy about two American reporters sent to kill him is just hilarious with the premise alone, but I want to make clear here that having watched the film myself that this film is extremely well scripted, well written, and well acted. The best comedy of the year, in my opinion.

Thus I am giving it FIVE STARS out of five.

And I am not just saying this just because I have an interest in North Korea's eventual defeat and reunification with South Korea, I sincerely believe this film is the best comedy film I have seen this year.



When North Korea heard about the comedy they became worried about what it might contain that would embarrass their country and their "supreme leader", and you know what, the film does not disappoint. The film brilliantly shows off Kim Jong-un as a maniacal dictator who pretends to be a god.

Sony, which funded the film ended up pulling the movie out of movie theatres due to terrorist death threats made against audiences that watched it, but later released it on YouTube anyway (for a fee) and also released it to privately owned art theatres.

Thus the film won't make as much money as originally predicted, but it is my opinion that this film should be seen by millions of people anyway - simply because it is that good.

Case in point - My girlfriend doesn't like the actor Seth Rogen, but she ended up liking the film anyway. Kind of like how I like Romeo and Juliet, even though I cannot stand Leonardo DiCaprio.

*

*

*

SPOILER ALERT

There are many parts of the film I really enjoyed, but my favourite part is when Kim Jong-un cries so hard that he s**** himself.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Man's Guide to Last Minute Xmas Gift Ideas

Are you a man and you in a rush to get a xmas gift for someone special? Here are 5 last minute ideas for gifts.

#1. Puppy, Kitten or Fish

Depending on whether the person is a dog, cat or fish person - this could actually be a really good gift to give them. You should also get them pet food (the appropriate kind) with the pet, and in the case of fish you will also need to buy a fish tank and any accompanying gadgets for the fish.

Note - Not all people are into pets (eg. some people are allergic). I personally would LOVE a kitten for xmas. Preferably a Russian Blue (which is technically grey, but whatever). I think they're adorable.


#2. Tools and Power Tools

If the person in question is a manly man (or a handy woman) then you can never go wrong with tools. But you can buy the wrong type of tools. Way too many people buy hammers, screwdrivers, ratchet sets, drills and drill bits - but for the really tough jobs men need a greater variety of tools like:

Mallet + Chisels (these go together)
Rip Saws
Hack Saws
Coping Saws
Measuring tools
Squares
Levels
Work Benches
Vice
Vice grips
Etc

But then there is also the power tools. Nail gun, band saw, jig saw, rotary saw, chain saw, oxy-acetylene cutting torch, drill press, etc. eg. I saw a wood lathe awhile back I saw in Canadian Tire and I decided to take a photo and put it on my "TO BUY LIST", which is a list of things I personally want to buy sometime.


#3. Ties, Belts, Suspenders

For the non-manly men you probably don't know their shoe size, precise pants size (length and waist), shirt size, etc. So what can you get them? Well you're in luck. You can probably guess their waist size and be able to pick out a belt that is in their size - or if not are sure, you can more easily get them a tie or suspenders (all men look awesomely retro in suspenders).


 #4. La Senza Gift Card or Shoes Gift Card

Honestly, men are clueless when it comes to buying lingerie, bras and panties. So if you are sincerely wanting to buy something "sexy" for your significant other this xmas, maybe you should not buy it yourself but instead get a gift card - so that they can approve of the purchase before you buy something they will never wear.

Now you might think "Why La Senza?" Well it is like this. Not all women like Victoria Secret or La Vie En Rose. But they do all like La Senza. I don't why this is, it just is. La Senza is like the "happy middle ground" apparently that all women can apparently go to when shopping for such things. I don't claim to know why, I am just reporting the way it is. Maybe a woman would be able to best explain why ALL women apparently like this store, but dislike certain other stores. (I have a hunch it has something to do with sizes, marketing styles, etc.)

Failing this your next best option is SHOES. So find a shoe store you think they would like and get a gift card from that store. Shoes are an universal commodity according to many women.

#5. Hobby Related Books or Magazine Subscription

Let us pretend for a moment you are buying a gift for your mother, step-mother, mother-in-law, sister or grandmother however - and thus lingerie is probably a bad idea, and even shoes might be a bad idea if they only use orthopedic shoes. Here is what you do - go on Facebook, sneak around and research their hobbies - or judge based upon your past knowledge of the person what their hobbies are.

For example lets say your mother-in-law's hobbies are cooking, sewing/knitting and going to the ballet. Thus you have a long list of recipe books, sewing/knitting books, and even books about ballet to choose from.

To say nothing of subscriptions to "Canadian Living" (a recipe / crafts magazine based in Canada), "Chatelaine Magazine" (also based in Canada) and "The Dance Current" (a Canadian based magazine about ballet and modern dance). Or if she likes to travel, then you can guess she would probably like "National Geographic".


Speaking for myself I would love to have magazine subscriptions to "Traditional Bowhunter Magazine", "Popular Woodworking", "Canadian Woodworking", and "National Geographic".



Band Saws and Band Saw Blades

Back in the Winter of 2013/14 the band saw blade on the band saw I have been using for years finally broke, so I decided to try and find a replacement blade for it.

After all band saws are extremely useful for cutting any kind of wood for DIY projects (using a thin blade band saws can even be used like a jig saw, making intricate curving cuts in the wood).

But when it came to finding a replacement blade I discovered that my lowly "hobby band saw" was so small that many stores did not sell band saw replacement blades in that size.

So instead I ended up buying a brand new band saw, and purchased one that had a more standard size blade (62 inches), which meant that if the new one ever breaks I just have to go buy new replacement blades and never have to worry about whether they have them in the correct size, because they are a standard size that are really popular.

The brand I purchased last winter was Ryobi (specifically a Ryobi 9" Band Saw - the 9 inches measures something else on the band saw, not the blade itself). Here is a photo of what it looks like on the right.

Asides from the noise (it is fine cutting through softwood but it screams like a dying cat when you cut hardwood) I am quite happy with this band saw.

As a tool, it does everything I expect it to do for my needs. Easy to use, operate, clean, etc. It is even easy to replace the blades.

Today, the band saw blade that came with it finally broke. I should note in broke because I was rushing through the cut too fast, possibly combined with normal wear and tear. So I need to go purchase replacement blades.

So I check Home Depot (where I purchase the Ryobi last winter) for the prices of band saw blades. I see a variety of blades, different sizes and widths. I double check the length of the blade I need: 62 inches, and I see right at the top two blades that suit my needs by a company called AvantiPro, available in 62 x 3/16ths and 62 x 1/4.

So I think I will buy 1 of each. That way the next time a band saw blade breaks I will be able to just open the packaging for the other one - or I can swap for the thinner blade when doing detailed cuts, or use the thicker blade when cutting through harder/thicker wood.

So now I am patting myself on the back for my wise purchase last winter, wondering why I didn't buy replacement blades at the time, and also fuming at myself for rushing through the cut that broke it in the first place. So reasons to be both happy for the product I purchased, but unhappy about my lack of foresight. That is my fault however, not the band saw's fault.

If you are looking to get someone a gift this xmas, consider getting them a band saw if they don't have one already. Also buy replacement blades while you are at it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Moustache Wax - Two Reviews

Review by Charles Moffat - December 2014.

On the left is Firehouse Moustache Wax (dark), which you can find online at firehousemoustachewax.com.

On the right is Urban Beard Moustache Wax (blonde), which you can find at urbanbeard.ca.

I enjoyed reviewing both of these products, but ultimately ended up preferring the Urban Beard Moustache Wax because it was available in blonde. The dark Firehouse wax was equally good in my opinion, but the colour was slightly off for my dark blonde beard. It was fairly close.

The Urban Beard Moustache Wax is made using organic oils, and while the Firehouse moustache wax doesn't say anything about whether it is organic, I think it probably is organic judging by the similar smell. Both of these waxes smelled nearly identical so I have a sneaky suspicion that due to their very similar performances on my moustache that their recipes are practically identical. They are basically the same product, but different colours and different brand names.


Since these two products ended up being so good at their job and nearly identical except for their colours I ended up making homemade moustache wax using bees wax and coconut oil - and determined that I am not very good at making homemade moustache wax, so maybe I should stick to the store bought stuff. I made the homemade wax in an effort to find a 3rd comparison, but also to see just how easy it is to do. The instructions (below) seemed easy enough, but having instructions and following them are two different things.

Homemade moustache wax still works, but the process of making it made me realize I would rather just buy stuff that someone else made so I don't have to do the work myself.

There are many other companies out there who make moustache wax, these are just the two companies I have reviewed so far. If additional companies want to be reviewed they can contact me via email: charlesmoffat at charlesmoffat dot com.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE MOUSTACHE WAX

Get 1 ounce of bees wax and 1 ounce of coconut oil.

Step 1. Melt the bees wax in a container inside boiling water. Go easy on the heat, wax can explode under heat and pressure.

Step 2. Remove the container from the boiling water and add the coconut oil. Stir until everything is melted and completely mixed.

Step 3. Pour the mixture into a glass heat-resistant container or into leftover moustache wax tins.

Step 4. Let cool for 45 minutes or more.

HOW TO APPLY MOUSTACHE WAX

To apply wax keep the wax warm (room temperature or slightly better). Use small portions at a time by scraping it with your thumbnail like a bulldozer, roll the scraping into a ball, and then work it into the moustache.  Comb your moustache to style it.

The Senator Restaurant in Toronto

Note - Get a reservation. This place is busy and you basically need a reservation just to get in. We lucked out and managed to get seats anyway without a reservation, but don't expect that to be the norm.

Omidragon the 6 ounce burgers are good. Good fries too. Price of burger platter was $16.

I also recommend the buttermilk fried chicken, served with buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. Something about buttermilk makes fried chicken taste waaaaaay better. Price of buttermilk fried chicken platter was $20.

Served with London Heineken (tastes better than regular Heineken) our meals were amazing.

The bill was pricier than most pub fares, but the service was excellent, the location conveniently close to the Eatons Centre, and the food was freaking amazing.

Definitely a place worth coming back to. Five Stars.

The owners of The Senator should renovate and add a 2nd story, just so they can bring in more customers. This restaurant is a hidden gem of deliciousness.

Dukes of Hazard AutoTrader

I love a great car commercial - especially anything with the Dukes of Hazard. :)

Note - I have never used AutoTrader, I just really like this commercial. They should make a Dukes of Hazard movie (with the original actors starring, not that horrible film with the younger actors).



I was going to post a 2nd video on here, a documentary about the making of Dukes of Hazard (the show, not the ad above), but the video was disabled for embedding. Boooooo!

So instead here is a videos about many of the jumps made during Dukes of Hazard.




In case you are wondering the car is the 1969 Dodge Charger.


Grilling Bacon

I saw this in a store and snapped a photo. $9.99 at Canadian Tire.

Mmm... microwaved bacon.

If you have this item at home and it works well/poorly, please post your review in the comments. I am curious to know whether it works well or whether it is a piece of junk. (But not curious enough to spend $$ on it when I can just make the bacon on the stove instead.)

Free Handbag Offer

Who doesn't want free things. Companies should give away free samples of their products more often. ;)

Click the following link to visit Stearns & Foster to enter your name in the draw to win a free leather handbag.

FREE HANDBAG GIVEAWAY

The handbag is a limited edition Hammitt handbag created for Stearns & Foster. Just visit the Stearns & Foster facebook page and Like it to enter for the chance to win a limited edition handbag by Hammitt. That is all you have to do to enter.

  • American Made Luxury. Superior Craftsmanship. Timeless Design.
  • Handmade with the finest materials by master craftsman.

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