Work Life

Thorogood boots

img_9521“There are two standing orders in this platoon, 1. Take care of your feet and 2. Try not to do anything stupid, like get yourself killed” Lieutenant Dan Taylor- Forrest Gump. I suppose that statement didn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense back in 1994 when I was 8 years old, but it damn sure does now. Working in any industry, and especially the power industry I’ve learned that paying the extra coin for a good quality pair of boots is well worth it. The fact that I’ve found a HIGH QUALITY and AMERICAN UNION MADE boot, well that’s just the icing on the cake. So light up some tobacco and grab your favorite beverage while I give you the rundown on Thorogood boots.

I’ll start out by saying this; I’ve had many pairs of boots in my day. Timberland pro, wolverine, Carolina, Georgia boot, hell I even had what I thought to be the holy grail of steel toes in the Redwing Irish setter (see previous article), they all pale in comparison to my Thorogood 10″ Wellington pull-ons
. Generally, I don’t purchase pull on boots because previous pairs have provided little to no ankle support and have always flopped off my foot when I walked making it miserable. The Thorogoods fit like I had them handmade just for me, just snug enough around the foot so that my foot doesn’t slide around and blister, while giving me support around the ankle to help with when I walk on the ever changing surfaces of a power plant i.e. gravel, grating, diamond plate, concrete, and grass. The inside of the boot, to me, is just the right amount of cushion and breathability, which definitely helps on those long 12 hour shifts when it seems like everything is going wrong and you barely get a chance to sit down.

Another great advantage to these boots is that they are pretty damn waterproof. When I first got them, I put mink oil on them to help the leather break in well and last a good while, and help with keeping my feet dry when it decides to downpour here in the sunshine state. Two nights ago, I put them to the test. It just so happened that a rainwater sump pump quit working and I was tasked with hooking up a portable submersible pump to evacuate the area of standing water ( lucky friggin me, right?! ). Oh did I mention the water was anywhere from 4-8 inches deep in some spots? My boots came through like a champ, my feet would have been completely dry if it weren’t for splashing water actually going down into my boot from the top.

Now for what you all really wanna know, PRICE! In general, Thorogood boots run anywhere from 155-225 dollars, depending on what style you’d like. Mine were 184.95 plus tax and shipping, which for the performance of the boot, is an excellent price to me. There is a large variety of boots to choose from so you can be stylish AND work your ass off. Oh and the cherry on top? They give a discount to members of other unions as well.


Rating: 5 pints

Pricing: Around $155.00 – $225.00


A Happy Healthier Beard

image3-3So we received a sample of Gentleman Jim’s Beard Oil at DR HQ and the duty to give this stuff a test run fell to me since I have the largest beard at DR HQ and I also didn’t currently use any beard oils, so it would be a true test.

I don’t know about everyone else, but my beard is exposed to some serious elements like heat, sweat, dust/dirt, grease, industrial and man-made gases (that was a fart joke) just to name a few. I have also even singed my beard hair with a cigar lighter or 2 when I’ve had a few too many. Honestly I used to only shampoo and condition my beard and that was it, but I have been looking to do some kind of beard oil treatment to take care of my beard more.

So I started a several week test of the beard oil, I applied after I washed and cleaned my beard. I applied about nickel sized puddle of oil in the palm of my hand, and rubbed it into my beard trying to coat my beard with an even film. The more and more I used the oil, the more I noticed my beard hair was softer, less curly, didn’t turn into a huge rats nest as much and was overall more manageable throughout the day. Like I said I had never used a beard oils or products before so this was a huge step forward for me, no more combs with broken teeth or tangles that almost made me cry, it was like a gift from above but it was just really a gift from Spring, Texas.

Gentleman Jim’s Beard Oil is made in the USA and made of all natural oils, the style I had was Texasimage2-2 Tea, and the smell is strong but has great earthy smell that I liked. He also makes an unscented if you don’t want any smell or your significant others nose isn’t into strong manly smells. Bottles are available in 1oz. and 2oz sizes and can be purchased from there store front and they are willing to ship worldwide so even our International Ruffians can get in on this wonderful stuff. I honestly couldn’t be happier with my end result; I even ordered a 2oz bottle personally so I could continue keeping my beard happy and healthy. Like I always say if you can buy from a small business please do so, it helps out everyday people not just a stock price. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to test out this product guys!


Prices: 1oz bottle is $15 and the 2oz bottle is $25

Rating: 4 out of 5 pints.


Drew’s Custom Leather Heritage Notebook Cover/Wallet

image2So back in October 2014, I changed Jobs within the company I work for, for information sake I work in the Power Generation field (AKA Making Power). Well I went from a maintenance job (AKA Fixing Stuff) to an Operations/Production job (AKA making sure stuff is running). That’s enough about me but the reason why I brought this up is to help explain why I started to look for a quality note book because, I found myself in my new job writing on myself with a sharpie I always carried and pretty much felt like I was back in high school. Let’s be honest in my field of work you have to have some professionalism about yourself, or everyone will take you as a joke and more or less your word and input goes straight to the poop chute, In My Opinion of course.

So I had been following various makers of all kinds of goods and people from all different walks of life. I saw some people posting pictures of these small books called Field Notes which are 3.5 X 5.5 pocket-sized note books for carrying around so you can write notes or do small sketches in that you would possibly need to remember. I started to research them and was almost ready to pull the trigger and buy a 3 pack of them ($9.95), but for some reason I kept forgetting to order them. Then one day checking Instagram, one of the people I follow @drewscustomleather, had a picture posted of a nice handmade leather covers for Field Note sized books, the one that really caught my eye was the “Heritage” style cover, he makes another one that’s called “The Drifter” which has a strap with button snap closure, and a d-ring to clip to but I liked the stripped down esthetics of the heritage and order one.

When I received my Heritage in the mail, the cover came with one Orange covered Field Notes book image3-2which I will explain what that means later but, I brought it with me the next day to work. Now initially it needed a break in period because it wouldn’t stay closed but don’t worry me consistently keeping it in my back pocket and sitting on it made short work of that problem, next was the pen pocket sewn into the front needed to stretch and break in a little but Drew does warn you of that fact. Now another issue which is not Drew’s fault at all, it actually deals with the Field Notes book, remember earlier I said something different about the book being orange, well the orange stands for Expedition Edition. The Expedition edition means it not actually made of real paper, what looks to be paper is actually Yupo Synthetic paper, which is made from extruded polypropylene pellets, is water proof, tear resistant, chemical resistant, has been tested 12 different ways by Field Notes, and is made right here in the good old USA. Now I told you all of this because since it’s not real paper, some pens don’t work on it especially Gel pens which are what I usually write with. So after doing some testing I found a cheap pen one of our material suppliers cheap give away pens work great, so stick with cheap ball point pens and you’ll be fine.

I have carried this wallet with me at work every day and I couldn’t be happier with it! Sincerely the outer buffalo leather that the cover is made from has held up very well and darkens beautifully with age and wear, I have scratched the surface by accident on corners of sharp metal and with a finger nail or 2 and it will fade away in the leather like it ever even happened. The inside of the cover has 4 slits cut into the flaps to old business cards or even credit card sized cards, I keep my Mobile Crane and Forklift certifications in those slits. Not one thread of stitching has come out and it’s had some rough handling including falling out of an off road vehicle a few times. I have even had coworkers question on what it was and when I showed them, they were actually impressed…see what I mean about professionalism. I use this every day at work writing down tank levels, oil temperature, and valve numbers just to name a few. If you need to remember things thru the day or just need a book to write some things down in, I highly recommend this product, because I honestly don’t think the Field Notes book would have survived this long without the Heritage Cover from Drew’s Custom Leather. As always if you can buy from small businesses, I think you notice the difference in quality, and you are helping a person not a stock price.


Price $109 includes Field Notes Book

Website for refill note pads: 

Rating 4.7 out of 5 pints