Saturday, June 30, 2012


Prep work is everything.

this is from the last 1/4 beef we got. coming to the end of it and it is, as all year is, high grilling season.

i pulled this strap from the freezer 5 days ago and let it age (brown up and start to break down).  then 24+ hours ago set it in cling wrap with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, borsari seasoning salt and parley.

to conserve seasonings and maximize contact cling wrap (similiar to saran wrap but better "cling") is best. in fact, that is the key, keeping all of that glory nice and tight to the meat.

opened up the wrap. smelled good enough to eat then. by the way, the bright red is the chili sauce. most of the meat had a brown-grey tint.

on the grill and oh crap, i forgot to wire brush the grill before i threw on the beef. 
"flavor crystals"

the grill was at a slightly lower temp so no char marks. not necessary with this cut. 

Final test: soaking the eye

Final test for any defects in the hanging. 

after hanging any hatchet or axe head i let the wood glue used on the wedge set. 
then i soak the head in linseed oil for 24 hours. 

this will give some good conditioning to the part of the tool that is impossible to reach (compared to a rag and oil rub on the handle). the end grain will soak up that oil for some distance.

in this case with the Findley's hackett it shows a hairline crack running down the handle. this was completely invisible without the oil.

visible as a dark straight line coming south from the cheek.

the handle took some time to sculpt because of the small eye. 
then when i added the wedge i was just too much.  there are times when we all need to own up to i knew better but still made the mistake and that was the case here.

there are some that do not use wedges and i have had great success without any. however, there is also much merit to wedges, especially when the eye has been conditioned with a good linseed oil bath. 

i have of course re-hung the head and decreased the size of the wedge (images will be on another post) and all is solid now. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Length of shower

Tonight was a one cider shower.

great american farmhouse cider from an orchard in michigan.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The excuse my son did not use

As our aussie is my witness, was over 20 minutes ago that i asked my three sons to line up their sandals so they could dry.

but the youngest's is missing (as is he for that matter) and the older boys' shoes seem to have been re-watered.

as our golden retriever is his witness, the sandals were obviously constricted, consumed then excreted as water by the snake posing as a garden hose.

damn snake!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Deer & sausages

Tonight's grill was deer butterfly steaks and sausages.

12 hours in sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, malt vinegar and seasonings.

onto the grill

first flip then add more of the soaking juice.

last flip then more of the soaking juice.


Still from a nightmare

Still from the nightmare: "best shopping in town"

what will one do for shopping?  for the price of admission, the shoppers are asked to tear out one plastic doll from their left nictitating membrane. from what i hear they are allowed to pick up on their effigy on way out. hope they can find the right one.

note: found this odd basket of dolls next to the front door of an antique store. an excellent source of finding something absurd.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Victor and the gun

Victor right before WWII

he had been living and working in wyoming for the few years leading up to the war.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New belgium barrel

One last image from the new belgium brewery tour.

they are in a place with demand to increase their barrel conditioned beers. in fact, they were adding on to the room for barreling. not only did this room have about a dozen (i should of took a count) but i believe he said that they will be receiving another 30 (i will find out about that number). 

there were a number of obviously different barrel styles and this was the oldest of the barrel styles. purchased from the wine industry, at one time it had to be dismantled, seamed with beeswax then re-assembled. there were other styles of barrels but the others were newer and didn't have the uniqueness of age as this one did. all come used from the wine industry. used because the vessel allows a bit of respiration yet does not yield any wood flavors.

i may have kissed the barrel when no one was looking.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


The one thing about taking some days for traveling is that i do not get shop time. when coming back there is a strong need to start/work on or end projects.

a few weeks ago dad gave me a hacksaw that belonged to his father. 

cleaned it up (degreased, polished with dremel brush and 400 grit paper and put a little flash to help separate it from the other materials i usually have strung out on the work benches). 

thin profile but is very rigid, especially suited for smaller diameter and detailed cuts.


The other colorado tour was of allegro coffee company. 

beer and coffee are our families two essentials.

there were many aisles of these beans ready for roasting. 

 temperature and humidity control keep this warehouse fairly warm and uncomfortable. surrounded by all this coffee and we all felt mentally mellow and and physically unstimulated. 

unlike the new belgium brewing room where there was the aroma of wet barley and hops to counter the uncomfortable warmth, here the beans were green so no olfactory stimulation to keep one as motivated.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New belgium brewing

While in colorado was able to take a tour of the new belgium brewing company. it was the best brewing tour i had ever been on. brian conducted the tour, he was passionate, sincere and he answered all my questions.

the house of fun mirror in the brewing room

ceiling art in the brewing room

brewing room making wort

brewing room separating the grain from the wort

brewing room wort

Monday, June 11, 2012

bowling fodder

Took the boys, wifey and benjamin to 2 pm open bowling. 

the fries were "delicious" and the table was pinning AWESOME!

the 90 shilling definitely helped my score.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Length of shower

I employ many different types of timepieces. 

in the shower i use beer. 

tonight was a one beer shower.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The goldenrod is coming to season.

state flower and very aggressive. have to keep it under control.

drought hardy and tough.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Picking raspberries from the back garden, everyday. 

when ripe the boys descend. lucky to get even one.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Buried axe

Dad lives in his childhood home built by Alton, his father. he was digging along the foundation and found this axe head buried about 12 inches. 
it had been there for decades. 

there was no bare metal visible when he brought this to me, just thick, flaking rust. 
after a vinegar bath the temper was good and the number 7 was visible.

after removing about 1/16 inch of metal from each side the poxing was still very pronounced. 
with this one i decided to not remove any more metal and work with the history. 
i added enamel to the pox to accentuate it.

hung the head and added a bit of flash.

added pigmented stain to improve visibility.

a bit of color to the eye's wood.

last bit of color to bring the darkest pox marks to the other end of the axe. 

ready to be used again. 
he was very pleased.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Reflector eyes on the back of two old motorcycle helmets greet people pulling into my father's upper driveway. 

i was amused.


Lochlann solo up the hill.
cloudy skies kept the climb cool.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Standing in the corn

As of this weekend the corn is this high:

20 feet from where we were standing this fawn was lying low, trying not to be noticed.