If you're trying to decide on a cordless tool should your decision really come down to something as seemingly trivial as Team Red vs. Team Yellow (or teams green, orange, or blue)?

With all of the new and improved cordless tool options on the market these days, how are you expected to make a decision on which tools are the best to add to your arsenal? More importantly, can you and should you decide on a single brand and not deviate?

For the last year I've been looking to upgrade some of my more dated 14v and 18v tools to newer cordless versions, but all of the options felt overwhelming. The more I looked the more it felt like I had to choose a tool brand battery I liked best and stick with it for all of the tool purchases. How did this happen? How did the choice of a battery platform begin driving all of our decisions? It just seems foolish.

After much deliberation and tool nerd reflection, I've finally made a decision, and I'm surprising myself. In the end I'm going to go with multiple battery brands so I'm not locked into a single format! Hear me out before you say that it's ridiculous (and possibly too expensive).

Over the last several months I've been able to attend and cover several tool and utility brand events on behalf of Charles & Hudson and ToolCrave.com (check them out to see my Milwaukee recap and DeWALT recap post event summaries). This has allowed me to get a glimpse into some of the latest and greatest hardware offerings and future plans from brands like Milwaukee ("Team Red") and DeWALT ("Team Yellow"). It also allowed me to pick the brains of a bunch of tool pros, journalists, and tool brand staff that are also real tool junkies. The whole time I had thoughts regarding my own decision in the back of my mind, so I was also using these events as an opportunity to improve my education to make my own choice.

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Comments 7

Things have been pretty quiet here on the blog lately, but we've been hard at work on several projects.

Rather than keep waiting until everything is done, we wanted to share an update to start getting you caught up.

If you've been a reader here for a while you may remember the work we've done in the past to begin restoration of our five original 1880s windows.

Years ago we paint stripped, re-roped, and weather stripped three of these windows, but we never did anything with the sash.

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Comments 16

At the beginning of August Alex and I had the chance to visit Portland, Oregon. It was the first time in Portland for both of us, and our introduction to the area was by way of a record breaking heatwave in the Pacific Northwest and the knowledge that Portland is "weird" and the people who live there love it that way!

Our primary reason for going to Portland was to learn about KEEN Utility footwear. Alex was there on behalf of Charles & Hudson to cover the event, while I wanted to explore a new city as well as to learn about KEEN and how they might help Alex prevent another broken toe due to inappropriate footwear while working on projects. Trust me, it’s a real problem of his. He was actually nursing a broken pinky toe during our visit, how ironic given our reason for being there.

We kicked off our trip with some serious Portland exploration. We’d heard about all of the food, breweries, and beautiful homes in Portland, so we wanted to be able to experience all of it firsthand. We also heard about the 105 degree temps looming later in the week, so we had one evening and one full day to pack in as much as we could before the heat wave made it unbearable. We were staying centrally in the Sentinal Hotel in downtown Portland, which is an absolutely beautiful building that was once an old Elks Temple.

Just look at the amazing ceiling in the hotel lobby. It was beyond impressive.

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Comments 6

Have you ever gone on a vacation and found yourself checking a super cool but very odd purchase as luggage on your way home? 

We have an experience with this very scenario that we've been waiting to share with you for some time. 

Almost two years ago Wendy and I went on a trip that we'd been waiting to take for decades. We'd long dreamt of going to Ireland together, and we finally took a true trip of a lifetime back in October 2015. We loved just about every second of the trip. It was truly enjoyable from start to finish, and we even have a brief recap if you'd like to check it out.

But that recap of our trip left out a little detail that really made this trip one to remember. 

Nearing the end of our whirlwind tour of the southern half of the greenest country I've ever seen, we were driving from the picturesque historic port town of Kinsale toward Dublin for one final night. 

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Comments 7

On a warm summer evening, there are few things more enjoyable than a cold frozen treat to beat the heat. But with so many options for a scoop in Alexandria, where should you go? As a part of our neighborhood guide series, we'd like to help you find your way.

Alexandria, Virginia is known for many things, not the least of which is its vast array of delectable restaurants. Beyond traditional eateries, Old Town's concentration of ice cream shops is plentiful enough to please anyone's palate. Some might even argue that we actually have too many options, but those people obviously have something against ice cream and are simply crazy.

Within a short five minute walk from our home in the heart of Old Town we have no fewer than nine different ice cream establishments. Add in the nearby neighborhoods of Del Ray and Belle Haven (all within about 1.5 miles), and we take that number to an astounding 12 different places within walking distance where we can grab an ice cold sweet treat!

If you've ever talked to a local, everyone tends to have their favorite suggestion on where they like to go for a scoop or two. But the question of "which ice cream place is really the best?" is one that's not easily answered. Now that we’re in the midst of summer, we felt it was high time we fulfilled the very difficult task of reviewing each of these 12 stores to share our first hand experiences and opinion on which ice cream store reigns supreme.

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Comments 5
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