The Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants

First off, let me assure you that the title of this blog has little to do with the actual blog, but is fiendishly designed to optimize search engines linking to our site. Now that we’ve got that underhanded part of the blog out of the way, let me tell you about my pants!

What could possibly be new in pants you ask? More importantly what could a misanthropic, anti-social, anti-corporate, anti-consumption environmentalist like myself be doing discussing something he bought? What the heck is he doing shopping anyway? His clothes should all be the spoils of dumpster diving, or coddled together from rogue pieces of fabric, abandoned car upholstery and feedbags scrounged at the Stone Mills Township Dump.

I agree. I’m a hypocrite but we’ve already established that. My new pants are indeed new, and I did purchase them at Giant Tiger, a discount department chain in Eastern Ontario where I live, started by the family of the man who currently represents me in the Canadian Parliament. But that’s irrelevant.

I saw these advertised in their flyer and I bought a pair. These work pants have foam pads sewn into the knees! They are absolutely brilliant! I always seem to end up on my knees when I’m working (or apologizing to my wife for brilliant ideas that go awry) and these are amazing. I have tried strap-on kneepads. I have several pairs with different systems to attach them but their performance always disappoints. Whenever I am helping my neighbor Ken to install hardwood floors I am always the one who ends up on the floor so having padded knees is really important to me.

The Velcro and tensioning strap kneepads constantly loosen and shift. They move around and won’t stay in place. They end up around my ankles just weighing me down and looking goofier than I usually look. My new pants have foam knee pads that are stitched right in. They can’t move! It’s like some team of Apollo 13 NASA scientists were turned loose on the problem of how to keep kneepads in place and this is what they came up with. But it wasn’t, it was some genius in a pant factory in China. They are kicking our ass in technology baby! It’s not enough that I can stand in a dollar store in absolute awe at how cheap they can make stuff, now I can stand in awe at their innovation! And yes, the true cost of cheap stuff is the topic of another blog. And these pants were $12. I’m embarrassed to have paid so little for them.

Gardening has been the greatest use of these great new pants. I try and stay standing as much as much as possible but inevitably I end up kneeling. Whenever I am planting or weeding or digging around looking for bugs (usually cutworms), I’m just happier when by face is closer to the soil, and so I end up on my knees. With my new pants it doesn’t matter how often I’m up or down, they are in just the right place every time I hit the soil. I just love them. You can buy all sorts of fancy foam pads to kneel on in the garden, some with great handles to help you get up and down, but you have to move them every time. Anyone who’s been reading my blogs knows what a disjointed stream of consciousness they can be, bouncing all over the place. That’s also the way I garden … I weed a row of garlic, plant the celeriac, and then notice that some cutworms have lopped off pea plants and so I end up down on my knees rooting around in the soil to find them and squish them. If I had to move a foam pad every time it would severely decrease my efficiency. My foam pads travel with me all over the garden. More like the Brotherhood of the Traveling Foam Pads.

So for now I’m sticking with my oh-so-cool pants with foam kneepads built in! The really good news is that the foam pads come out for washing! Hallelujah!  Some pant designer read my mind!

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About Cam
Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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