This is less of a rant and more of a public service announcement. Just a friendly reminder that as the holidays approach, and everyone goes bat-shit crazy looking for gifts, remember that this country is full of independent craftsmen. Obviously I'm one of them, but I also know dozens of people who go to work every day trying to succeed at similar ventures. These people do not get health insurance, coworkers to bullshit with, retirement packages, or bonuses. Instead they only get the satisfaction of knowing they are following their own path, and making things with integrity. Custom leather, clothing, bikes, cars, paint, knives, and jewelry all come to mind. Instead of going to wall-mart and target, fighting huge lines of morons in a capitalistic feeding frenzy, just do a little online search and see who else you can support. Once you find a good one, they tend to be friends with others. If you arnt sure what to commission- just ask them for their recommendations! Remember, a chinese TV, taiwan stereo, or korean clothing from an outlet store isn't helping to get america back on its feet either. Sure its supporting big business, but it is the grassroots companies who will define us in the long run. When you pay for something, ANYTHING, you are casting your vote. Think about what you are voting for.