Tag Archives: 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!

Image result for 4th of july fireworks clipart

Here’s wishing everyone a very safe and happy 4th of July Holiday!!

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but it looks like we’re in for a wet 4th of July holiday.  We’ve needed the rain and while it’s welcome, we’ve got plenty for the time being.  On the positive side, maybe it’s time to sit back for a day or two, read a good book and just enjoy life.

Yesterday I made a fireworks run to lay in a supply for our annual get together in August.  Its so much fun to watch the smaller kids come in with parents to help select their own private stock for the big event.

The store I shop in has multiple screens set up that allow you to enter the code of the specific shell your interested in and see a video of what it looks like when it goes off.  Two small boys were absolutely transfixed watching the different shells go off and advising their dad to help guide his purchases.  From their reactions, I don’t think dad could go wrong with any of his choices.  Every video seemed to be more impressive then the one they just watched.

The kid in me has always enjoyed fireworks and they bring back fond memories of days long gone.  That excitement that built days prior to the 4th.  My buddies and I always had the inside info on which firecrackers were the biggest and most powerful.   Stories and rumors ran wild about somebody who knew someone who’s Uncle’s cousin knew a guy whose brother in laws neighbor had blown his arm off with some sort of ‘super’ cracker.  We never really knew who this guy was…. but we knew it was a fact.  And we wanted a couple of those ‘super’ crackers bad.

An all out effort was made to try to find out which of the ‘older’ kids were going to be making that clandestine trip across the border into the Dakota’s or Missouri bringing back some fireworks.  Plans were laid as to how much loose change we could come up with in the hopes of being able to pick up some of the contraband for our own private enjoyment.   I never totally understood why it was so much more fun to light your own fireworks rather than watch someone else risk life and limb.  I still don’t, but I’ve given up trying!!

The family get togethers, the parades, picnics and excitement all rolled into one made it a special holiday.  There was always an uncle that showed up with a  couple of 6 paks of Grain Belt or Hamm’s beer that was kept cool in the livestock tank.

Image result for Hamm's beer

Image result for grain belt beer

Beer in the stock tank, illegal fireworks, it just all lent itself to celebrating the fact we are the products of a bold and independent spirit willing to take risks to enjoy our God Given Rights.  Ya gotta love it!!!

Happy 4th of July!

Weekly Update 6.30.17 Happy July 4th!!

I’m not sure how you can get so far behind just being gone a couple of days, but you can!!  In an attempt to get ahead, I’m going to use today’s weekly update to jump ahead and wish everyone and early happy July 4th!!  We have company coming in for the Fourth on Sunday and I have no plans of getting close to the computer unless I absolutely have to.

The S&M #3 EXP’s were listed this week and one of the nicest pieces in the whole lot (to me anyway) is the spiral cut Buffalo Horn.

Spiral Cut Buffalo Horn

What really struck me was how practical that deep spiral cut would be in a ‘working’ situation.  You could have cold slippery hands and be able to hang onto that rascal with NO problem.  So many times we see a handle that looks pretty but is impractical as hell.  This one looks good and is practical.

GEC is dribbling out the 66 Calf Ropers and today I receive the OD Green Canvas Micarta.  It seems like they’ve run more Linen Micarta then Canvas lately.  I hadn’t noticed how much ‘grippier’ (is that a word?) the canvas feels.  Again, it would definitely be a good handle for actual use.

I’m still basking in the glow of our shoot out west last week.  So much so that I ended up buying another rifle that is going to be exactly the tool to help eliminate more of those critters.  You know how you feel when you find that knife that you just can’t get enough of?  Well, I don’t collect knives, but I feel your pain!

On a final note, I want to wish all of you a fantastic 4th of July next week.  This is one of my favorite holidays and I always look forward to it. Our little town of 8k swells by 8-10k on the 4th with folks coming in to share over a mile of city beach to watch the display.  Years ago we found out it was way more fun to watch the fireworks in our backyard then to fight the traffic in town.  We load the pontoon with snacks and beverages, head out on the water around 7PM and float around watching fireworks till close to midnight.  It gets to be a competition between a half dozen of the more affluent neighbors on the lake to see who can put on the best display.   Kind of fun to have fireworks going off all around you.  Stay safe and have fun!!



Weekly Update 7.01.14 Happy July 4th!

Big day coming up on Monday, July 4th!


Between what the day represents, good food, fireworks, summer weather and getting together with friends, this is one of my favorite holidays.  Our plans are already in place.

We have a good friend coming in for the weekend.  Not sure how we’ll fit it all into a 3 day weekend but it starts with a little golf on Saturday.  Pontoon and boat ride are a part of each day.  Sunday includes a trip to a large local flea market, some time sitting on the deck re-hydrating, grilling some rib-eyes for supper and an evening cruise around the lake.

Monday’s the biggie.  Golf in the morning?  A ride around the big lake in town to check out all the festivities.  Lunch at one of the outside restaurants on the lake.  The boat parade on our lake in the afternoon and grilling  hot dogs and hamburgers for supper.  Around 9:00 PM we’ll launch the pontoon and settle into a strategic spot in the middle of the lake, drop anchor, lay out some snacks, crack open a bottle of wine……then…. settle back for the next 2+ hours and watch the fireworks displays going off all around us.  Life is good!

But back to reality for a moment.

Emails have been coming in almost hourly the last couple of days wondering when the GEC 14’s are going to start shipping.  Last word I got on Thursday was they’re being shipped to me yet this week.  By Tuesday or Wednesday I’d like to believe they’ll start shipping.

The Schatt & Morgan John Henry’s absolutely blew out of here.  It was really neat knife and word I got from Queen was that there would be more run at a later date but no firm commitment as to when.

I’ve been asked when more of the Trestle Pine Grand Portages will be coming in and I would say about 2 or 3 weeks.  I had enough comments that the original pine tree wasn’t stamped deep enough in the bolster that I opted to look at laser engraving it in.  Personally, I liked the original stamp but you spoke, I listened.   The new pine tree is a nice, crisp look that won’t have that ‘worn’ look.

Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Etch
Trestle Pine Grand Portage New Etch

The main reason for the delay is once I started considering laser engraving I found out there are very few engravers that can work with brass.  Brass has a different melting point then nickel silver or stainless steel so I had to find a company with a Fiber Laser.  THEN, I had to find a company willing to take on outside work.   On the upside, after much searching and many phone calls, I met an incredibly nice fellow at a Minnesota company who was willing to work with me and opened up all kinds of possibilities for future projects.

This entire Trestle Pine project has been one incredible learning experience.  I have a better understanding why so many individuals opt to simply work with a knife maker that will run an SFO spun off from a current factory run.  You can eliminate sooooo many   obstacles it isn’t even funny.

I highly encourage any one with a ‘good’ idea about a knife design to go ahead and put the project together.  I don’t mean having a handle color changed and a slightly different grind put on a blade.  Find someone willing to work outside the box on what many manufacturers consider a small project of a few hundred knives.  See how flexible they are using different blade materials, fitting unique blades in standard patterns.  Check the cost of tang stamps, sourcing your own handle material, find a reliable stabilizing company willing to work with/around your unique requests, design your own labels, etc, etc.  Bring enough patience to the project to be sure everyone will turn things around on a timely basis to make sure the material is where it needs to be for the next step in the process because you’re the general contractor making sure all the gears mesh.  And get out the checkbook.

As someone so aptly put it, it’s a bit like criticizing  your buddies bird dog when you don’t have one.  The day comes when you have your own dog and you develop a whole new understanding and appreciation for just how bright your buddies dog seems to be while you’re trying to train your own.   But when your dog is trained, it’s incredibly gratifying!  Just remember, someone else will criticize your dog just like you did your buddy’s and until they get their own dog, they won’t fully understand.

So why do I bring all this up?  It’s the 4th of July on Monday.  I’m convinced that had those events leading up to July 4, 1776 not occurred, I and most all of us probably would not have the opportunity to do things we’re doing today.  Sometimes I wonder if those citizen soldiers had any concept of the influence their actions would have for many, many, many generations to follow.  Often times, I think we forget just how lucky we are that we can make our own life choices and determine our destiny as a result.

Celebrate the 4th.  Enjoy the freedom we have.  Have a great weekend!!!


Great 4th of July Story

Really wanted to share this with everyone on this gorgeous 4th of July morning.  I had a phone call yesterday from an old customer that’s breaking up his collection.  He asked how he might go about selling one of his knives on a forum and contributing a portion of the Sale to the Wounded Warrior Project in the name of the buyer.

Well we had a nice conversation and less then an hour later I got another call from him that the knife had sold.  It seems once the buyer found out a portion of the proceeds was being donated to the Wounded Warriors, the buyer decided to make a matching donation.  How cool is that?

It’s wonderful to see what can happen when we extend a helping hand and the effect that can have on others.  We both agreed that the gratification we get from helping others far exceeds any financial benefit we might realize.  That my friends is what it’s all about.

Hope you’re all having a safe and happy 4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!!

home celebrations independence day july 4th

We have company coming in for the 4th so I wanted to get a Happy 4th wish up before I ran out of time!  If you’ve read my blog from previous years, you know this is a big holiday for me.  Tons of great memories and good times from 4th of July’s past.

We’ve been friends with the couple coming up to celebrate the 4th with us for over 30 years.  Even though we’re almost 20 years older then they are, we formed a close friendship way back when that’s just gotten closer over the years.  When their kids were little they always came along but now all three of them are grown with families of their own.   I just hate to see kids grow up!!!

It’s the first 4th they’ve spent with us in many years, so we’re really looking forward to having them.  The night of the 4th is a big deal living on a lake.  For a number of years, we’ve forgone the fireworks on the beach in town and take our pontoon out on our own lake around 9:30 in the evening and stay out until close to midnite.  Over the years around 5 or 6 residents have taken it upon themselves to have an informal, undeclared competition to see which one can put up the best fireworks display.  So by 10-10:30 there are 20-30 boats and pontoons anchored in the middle of the lake with everyone kicking back and enjoying a panoramic fireworks display.   There are always a  good hour to and hour and a half of fireworks to watch.

What’s really hilarious is that in Minnesota any sort of fireworks that ‘leave the ground‘ are illegal.  So all you can buy here are fountains, sparklers, firecrackers, etc.  BUT, just 45 miles away you cross the North Dakota border and enter a wonderland of stores offering all sorts of rockets, missiles and gorgeous exploding overhead shells.  Now, I can’t confirm it, but based on the number of Minnesota license plates in the parking lot of one of the stands ….. (I drove by this week) ….I’d be willing to bet nearly 1/2 of those fireworks sold make their way out of North Dakota into Minnesota.

This year promises to be a dandy 4th of July as they’re predicting day time temps in the mid 80’s cooling off to the upper 60’s overnite.  So we’ll fill up on hot dogs, burgers, chips and potato salad for supper, relax for a couple hours, fill the coolers with our favorite beverages, grab a few cigars, some ‘snacks’ and head out.  Understand, we only travel about a 1/4 mile from our dock and could actually partake of most of the fireworks from our backyard, but it just wouldn’t be the same.  There’s just something special about sitting in the middle of the lake after dark with the water gently rocking your troubles away.

So here’s hoping all of you have a fun filled weekend whether you spend it with friends, family or neighbors.  Take some time to remember what the day represents and maybe discuss it with your kids or the other adults.  More than anything, just remember how lucky we all are to live where we do.  Happy July 4th everyone!!!

I saw a 10 Foot Tall Chicken. How was your Fourth?

So maybe the 10 foot tall chicken does deserve a little explaining.

A close friend spent the 4th of July weekend with us and we had just a fantastic time.  Lots of catching up, great eats and over an hour of fireworks on the lake Friday nite.  The weather turned out absolutely perfect.  Not too hot, not too cool.

Saturday, my wife took our friend to a large local Flea Market that’s open on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.   It draws vendors and visitors from the surrounding area and is always well attended.  My wife spotted this 10 foot tall chicken, took a picture of it and sent it to a couple that are really good friends and told them she found just what they needed for their front yard.  We immediately got a response….’how much is it’.  When my wife told her, they said they’d be up (they live about 100 miles south of us) first thing Sunday morning to buy it.

Well, I hadn’t seen the chicken till we all drove down together to pick it up.  I’ve gotta admit, after I saw it I had to agree it was pretty cool and would have looked good by our garden.


Then the suggestion was made it might look even better by the front door.

IMG_0200Well, sadly enough, my wife didn’t agree and we had to let the chicken go home with our friends.  The couple that took him home have a great country home with a long winding wooded drive coming up to the home.  This big fella will be lurking in the woods to greet the company.

All in all, we had a super weekend and got to have a little more company then we expected which was great.  It was just a laid back, take it easy time.  Hope all of yours went as good, with or without a chicken!!


4th of July …LOVE IT!!!

We’re coming up on, I think probably everyone’s favorite Holidays (in the States), the 4th of July.  In most places around the country the weather’s (hopefully) at it’s best.  There’s lots of food, parades, games, swimming, no school, fireworks, in other words just about everything you could ask for without presents.

Dates like Memorial Day and Veterans Day are reserved to specifically honor those wounded or killed.  The 4th of July is a ‘less solemn’ holiday with a special emphasis on truly celebrating how we got to be the nation we are.  It should be a day filled with pride, honor and a feeling your damned happy and proud to be who you are, where you are.

Most of us have favorite memories of 4th’s that were more special than others.  Those unrepeatable moments that are etched in our memories forever.  In years past I’ve related some of mine and have had the fun of hearing a few of yours as well.

That memory of living on a small Midwest farm back in the 50’s and having dad drag out a cardboard box full of sparklers firecrackers and bottle rockets was almost magical.  Where the box came from or where it had been hidden was a mystery.  Usually, we blew the contents of that box  of magic up during the day on the 4th because in the late afternoon we made the short trip to Clear Lake, Iowa to enjoy a picnic and carnival at the Lake.   Eating cotton candy and riding theTilt-a-Whirl ( a Minnesota contribution to the world) until you were ready to hurl.  Not sure how that’s a fun memory but it is!  This took place in the park near the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly performed for the last time in the late 50’s.  (interestingly, Holly was on his way to perform in Fargo, ND, just a short distance from where we currently live).

I’d love to see some video of those fireworks from my youth because I have a feeling they probably weren’t as spectacular as I remember them.  But at the time, they were incredible.  My favorite then and now were the aerial bombs that gave a bright flash of light and then a boom that literally shook the air around you.   And the smell of burnt black powder and paper….. once experienced, rarely forgotten.

I can honestly say I can’t remember a single ride home.  Even with a best friend riding along, by the time we finished that last ice cream cone on the way out of town, the car was getting quiet.  Ten miles down the road we had surrendered to pure exhaustion and fallen asleep.  What a great time.

So how do you top that?  We’re gonna have a rather subdued 4th.  A close friend is coming to spend the weekend with us and enjoy the traditional picnic food, parade, etc.  With any luck our weather will be nice enough to allow a pontoon ride around 10 PM like last year.  We don’t get to see each other more than maybe every couple of  year so it’s always fun to get together and reminisce.

We joined around 20 other pontoons on our lake last year and were treated to multiple illegal fireworks displays around our lake.  We have 3 or 4 lake residents that spend a considerable amount of money on bootleg fireworks and if they ever got busted, I’d gladly kick in the cash to help pay their fine.  Honestly, it’s way more fun than the ‘official’ display in town as we have fireworks going off all around us as we sit on the lake.  Fabulous!!!

I hope all of you have similar fun plans on the calendar.  If not, it’s never too late!  Relax, enjoy, stay safe and be proud!!!

Another week behind us at TSA Knives..

It’s been an up and down week for knife sales.  The week started off strong with the arrival of the balance of the Dixie Stockman and then quieted down.   A number of Queens went to new homes and a few more golden oldie GEC’s as well.  It’s always interesting how the release of a new knife will actually spur sales of older knives.  Never figured that one out.

Update on the flooring project.  The slow down in knife sales this week was a great incentive to pound nails.



That’s three bedrooms down, the master, hallway and stairs left to go.


With any luck at all I should have the hallway finished up the first of the week and maybe get the steps done next week.  Then the new doors and bifold doors go up the week after the 4th.   I’m holding off on the master bedroom till Fall as we haven’t decided (we…huh!) if “we’re” going to tear apart the master bath and redo it while “we’re” at it.

I’m really happy with the performance of my Gunstock.


In the last three weeks I’ve cut up jute backed carpeting in the three rooms, trimmed dry wall to fit my flooring, trimmed flooring to fit my drywall, used it as a screwdriver on a couple of occasions and finally broke down and put it on the EdgePro on Tuesday.  Actually, the main reason I had to use the EdgePro was I used the knife to open up four sand bags that were in the back of my truck all winter for weight.  Bagged sand is NOT blade friendly.  The only other touch-up I’ve done on the blade is stropping it every few days.   The wonderful thing was it took all of 5 minutes to put everything right again.  (did I mention I really like that knife??)

I just marvel at the people that don’t carry a pocket knife and wonder how on god’s green earth they make it through the day!

Anyway…. starting to put together my shopping list for the 4th of July.  Fireworks, lemons, ribeyes, cigars……  catch ya later!!!!