Review

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Because You Have to Chop Wood

I recall watching Frontier House on PBS a year or two ago. I was particularly struck by one snippet of info: the experts who rated how well each family had prepared for the winter unanimously and uniformly felt that none of the families had stored up enough wood. They even warned all of them at the start with a line like "If you don't have some other chore to do, you should be chopping wood."
It takes a lot of wood to get through a winter without heat, especially if you're in the midwest or north. This is a good axe with a strong handle, though the replacement guarantee might not do you any good if the local Home Depot has been looted.
Fiskars Pro Chopping Axe, available from Amazon.

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Tom Engelhart's "Commencement Address"

This really resonated with me:

...take a good look at our world, the one you already know is there, but don't think too much. It's time to pass through the portals of this school that has held you these last four years, out the gate, into the streets beyond, into the world beyond, and get yourself an education. It's time to look up and read the inscription -- by now, you can surely do so with your eyes closed -- and then reformulate it.

The whole thing is here at tomdispatch.com.

I love my Swiss Army CyberTool!

I've been carrying the Swiss Army CyberTool 34 around since Christmas of 2000 or so, when my wife gave me one. Aside from a season where temporarily lost it, it has been with me almost constantly.

It's great. The translucent plastic, once so mod as a sly reference to the original and second generation multicolor translucent iMacs, now seems quaintly retro. The plastic is the only part of this knife that shows any real wear.

If you're a computer person, you'll soon discover how handy it is to have a set of torx drivers always at hand.

I've also used it for all sorts of handiwork that convince me it would be useful in a survival situation. The pliers aren't as beefy as you would find on a Leatherman or similar tool, but it's smaller than that and I'm more likely to have it with me because of that.

I do find myself puzzled by one thing on this knife, however. What is that hook for? The only tool it resembles is a farrier's hook, and a tool for cleaning horse shoes seems an unlikely candidate for inclusion on a knife aimed at computer techs.

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