My new American car?


silver-civic

The son and heir has been kvetching constantly about his need for a car.  Up until this last weekend, we had two cars and he wanted mine, a 2000 Honda Accord.  So I have been thinking about a new car and last Sunday I pulled the trigger.  I am now the proud owner of a 2014 Honda Civic just like the one pictured above, built by members of our extended American family at the Honda plant in Greensburg, Indiana.  It is pretty slick and a huge step up from my Accord.  It gets 30 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.  It has a rearview back up camera and Bluetooth technology that lets me play the songs on my phone in the car.  65% of its parts are made on our shores, including the engine.  The transmission, however, is made in Japan.  So my question to you is, did I buy an American car?

Coincidentally, just yesterday I was reading an article on the “most American” cars, and my Civic was pretty far down on the list of American cars, but that is ok with me.  My attitude on buying American is don’t kill the good for the perfect.  My Civic was assembled by Americans in Indiana using mostly American made parts.  Good enough for me.  And if you casually suggested to our American brothers and sisters who made my car that it isn’t really an American car, I am not sure what shape you would be in by the time you left Indiana.

But I want to hear from you.  So vote on the poll below.

 

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Don’t worry, I’m an expert


chemex-8-cup-coffee-maker

 

I drink alot of coffee.  Probably too much really.  I used to go to Starbucks because they offered free refills, but that policy was ended.  So now I go to another smaller coffee shop near my office for one in the morning, then a refill before and after lunch.  But I am considering changing that and just making coffee myself.  But to do that I need a coffee maker and I just found the most elegant coffeemaker and happily its made by members of our extended American family in Pittsfield, MA.  The Chemex Classic coffeemaker.

The Chemex Classic coffeemaker was invented by Peter J. Schlumbohm in 1941.

chemex add

Mr. Schlumbohm was born in Germany, but moved to NYC in 1936. Trained as a Chemist, Mr. Schlumbohm was granted over 3,000 items patents for his inventions. The Chemex Classic coffeemaker is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

schlumbohm with chemex

The Chemex Classic is amazingly simple to use, and comes in three, six, eight and ten cup sizes.  If you want to complete your Chemex collection, consider buying the Chemex glass kettle to heat your water for your Chemex Classic coffeemaker.

chemex kettle

Buying a Chemex Classic coffeemaker will benefit you and also others.  You will get a great cup of coffee, the importance of which should never be estimated.  But just as importantly, your purchase will provide employment for members of our extended American family working at Chemex.  And what could be better than that?

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Oh, that’s how that works


american giant hoodie

It’s a pretty simple calculation.  Increased demand for American made consumer goods leads to more jobs for members of our extended American family.  To wit, the American Giant hoodie.  Since it was introduced in 2012, it has been flying off the shelves.  People had to wait months to get their paws on one.  So, not surprisingly, American Giant expanded its production by contacting with three factories to produce it.  And those factories probably had to run another shift or two to produce all those new hoodies.  And those factories probably had to hire some Americans to work those shifts.  You get the picture.  If you want to produce jobs for Americans, just buy the products they make.  Like American Giant hoodies.  Or Wigwam socks.  Or Smith sunglasses.  Or Jack Donnelly khakis.  Or White Dress Shirts.  Or Loggerhead polos.  Or about two billion other great products you can buy made by members of our extended American family. 

Now get shopping!

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Not that Fab Five!


 

FabFive1

March Madness is upon us, but I have been so busy I haven’t had time to fill out my bracket.  If only I had filled out a perfect bracket, my future financial needs would have been met.  However since the odds of me doing that were 9.2 quintillion to 1 or one in 128 billion depending on who you believe, I probably would have had to keep my day job even if I had done my bracket.

For all young people who don’t know any basketball history that doesn’t include Labron James, let me introduce you to the Fab Five.  The Fab Five is the nickname for the 1991 University of Michigan’s basketball team recruiting class.  The Fab Five included Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.  They played for the national championship as freshman in 1992 and as sophomores in 1993.  Chris Webber, not able to wait until he got into the NBA to get paid, took money from a fellow named Ed Martin and as a result all the Fab Five’s wins and Final Four appearances were vacated.  Weber’s other legendary bonehead move was calling a time out at the end of the 1993 National Championship game when unfortunately Michigan didn’t have any time outs left.  Down 73-71, Weber was whistled for a technical foul that effectively clinched the game for North Carolina.

weber time out

While I love March Madness, the Fab Five I want to talk about today aren’t basketball players.  They are American firms where members of our extended American family are definitely playing above the rim when it comes to making great products we can use each day.

Peak Flashlights

If you are in the market for a very cool and durable American made flashlight using an LED bulb, Peak Flashlights are right up your alley.  Peak makes six models of flashlights; the El Capitan is my favorite.

elcapitan

Roundhouse Jeans

Roundhouse has been making jeans and overalls in Oklahoma for the past 111 years.  They also make overalls, chaps, shop aprons and caps.  I just ordered a pair of Roundhouse 5 pocket Everyday jeans and I can’t wait to try them on.

roundhouse jeans

Worksman Industrial Cycles

I’ve featured Worksman Cycles on the blog before, but after reading an article about them yesterday, I felt it was time to tell you about them again.  Worksman has been making their bikes and trikes and quads in Queens since 1898.  You can order a custom bike from Worksman to carry product around your factory or to go for a leisurely ride around the park this spring.  How about a Worksman Wounded Warrior DESTROYER Heavy Duty Cruiser-Desert Sand Khaki, a steal at $450 with 10% of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior group!

destroyerkhaki

Honda Civic

I was very pleased to learn that Honda recently produced it 10,000,000th car in America.  The son and heir has been engaging in increasingly strident grumbling about the fact that he doesn’t have a car to drive while he is away at college.  So my current plan, if the economic gods give their blessing, is to give him my 15 year old Honda Accord with 80,000 miles when he heads back to school after the summer, and purchase a new Honda Civic.  They are pretty slick.

2014-Honda-Civic

 

 

Bettinardi Putter

It is that time of the year where I start thinking that this is the year that I am going master the putting phase of my game.  Sadly, that probably won’t happen again this year.  But it might if I got my mitts on a Bettinardi Putter made by members of our extended American family.  These are very cool looking putters.

bettinardi putter

For non golfers, it may seem strange but a lot of golfers give their putters nicknames.  I don’t do that, but maybe I should.  I am willing to try anything to improve my putting.

 

 

 

 

 

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I feel so inadequate!


I feel so inadequate!.

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I feel so inadequate!


lucky-jeans1

One of my most popular posts I have written over the past two years featured American made jeans.  Most every day around ten people who want to buy jeans made by members of our extended American family read that post.  I was proud of that post.  American made jeans were kind of my thing.  So imagine my horror when Sarah Mazzone of Made in USA Challenge publishes a post on American made jeans, and features like three times as many American jeans as I did in my jeans post.  Sarah is stealing my jeans thunder!  Did she call and ask before she wrote her jeans post?  No, she just wrote it.  Da nerve!  I will just be over here in the corner crying if you need me.

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Oh they’re connectors alright!


MakersRow

As I have been documenting over the last two years, there is an American apparel manufacturing renaissance underway.  Firms like Jack Donnelly Khakis, White Dress Shirts, and Loggerhead Apparel, are producing amazing clothing we can all buy.  In speaking to the American entrepreneurs who founded these firms, they all described the difficulty they had in finding manufacturers who could help them bring their American dreams to fruition.  But if you have your heart set on making sure that the next great shirt, belt, suit or pair of pants is made by members of our extended American family, you are in luck.  A great group of Americans has made it their business to make sure people like you can find the folks who can make your product right here at home.  Hurrah for Makers Row!

Makers Row was started in 2012 and their website is simply amazing.  The founders of Makers Row wanted to connect Americans who wanted to hire members of our extended American family to make their products with the factories where those family members were already working!  And it worked.  On the Makers Row website you can read lots of stories about Americans who connected with American manufacturers with the help of Makers Row and are now churning out very cool American made goods.  You can search for American manufacturers who can help you or someone you know fulfill your dream of making your next great thing here on our shores.  Makers Row will even guide you through the manufacturing process, starting at product ideation (is that really a word?), through pattern making, sample production and finally mass production.  Wow, I’m starting to think I should ask Makers Row to help me make something.

So if you have a hankering to make goods to sell in America, and know in your heart of hearts that it’s not American unless it’s made here, give the folks at Makers Row a jingle or an email.  You and the members of our extended American family that are longing to make you product will be glad you did.

Now get ideating!

P.S.  Absolutely anything you want to know about American made apparel is available at the amazing blog, clothing made in the usa.  You won’t be disappointed.

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