Thursday, November 29, 2012

Polishing boots

As durable as leather is conditioning is required.
the best boots are the leather uppers that fit PERFECTLY around the feet.
also seeing a well worn boot shine from a good polishing tells one of the individual.
show pride and take care of you possessions.
not to mention that this fits in the catagory of individuals whom maintain the everyday have an air of self reliance and dependability to them.

my general boot care starts with having two main sets of work boots. 
boots only get undesirable if one does not do the following:
1. wash their feet
2.  change out their boot liners
3.  change their socks
4.  rotate your footwear

it is more expensive in the short run, but keeping feet healthy is a major priority.
(keeps one more socially acceptable too).


to be efficient i polish both set of boots at the same time.
i keep it simple, which would probably give some dismay to a proper shoe man.
make sure boots are clean (fairly clean)
apply a higher quality cream or paste
let sit for a few minutes
buff with a boar's brush.
buff like you have never buffed before.
work boots sitting on my shoe shine box
 nice and shiny. 
looking sharp in my unrefined sort of way. 

my shoe shine box has all the parts i need to keep my footwear going.
according to the bottom written in pencil:
it was was originally mailed and delivered to the soldier relief commission in 1924, 
boone county nebraska.

it is made from an 1800's oak baseboard mitred and lidded.
i lined the inside with a copper floor basin so creams or protectants do not ruin the bottom paper board.
soldier relief commission, 1924

shoe polish is one of those great smells. ranks right up there with the smells of the barbershop.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clean thoughts coming

Usually i am putting the material/immaterial into the empty nail barrel,
but today i am needing to take something out.

needing to clear up some thoughts.
needing the thoughts to be clear.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stanley number 75

The time had come to present one of my favorite odd job planes.
 no one can deny the everyday importance of the block plane, but another go to plane that sees use is my stanley #75 bullnose rabbet plane. especially when a chisel is not preferred.

this little guy measures 4"x1 1/8". 
perfect for tight spots, cleaning up small areas, trimming up corners and clean up.
its non co-planar design mades these purposes easy.

these are priced to be in every tool box. very inexpensive.

one thing i don't use it for though is cleaning up any rabbets. the 90 series planes are best for that.

the #75 started in the 1879 and made up to the early 1980's.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas tree 2012

With thanksgiving over, our attention goes to putting up the Christmas tree.
frances's orchestrated this year's masterpiece.

2012 Christmas tree by Frances.
next will be to finish the other seasonal decorations.
feeling festive.

Friday, November 23, 2012


3 hatchets and 1 double bit soaking the eye wood in linseed oil for 24 hours.
focus far, focus close.
3h x 1a cluster (eye wood) soaking in linseed oil.
image focus far.

3h x 1a cluster (eye wood) soaking in linseed oil.
image focus close.

Smith's double bit and hatchet finished

Going to hand off the smith axe & hatchet to family that will in return get it to the smiths.

knowing that the exchange is coming up i put on the flash this week.

to put into some reference, here is the found buried the farm hatchet naked.

masked, primed, white enamels, orange enamels and spar urethane clear coated. 
the other two hatchets and axe will be ones i sell. 
according to my wife i have too many and need to get rid of some.
hope to get them on etsy by next week.

both the hatchet and double bit will preform well.
the fact that a person can find a tool that has been buried of just found in a seemingly ruined state then revived sort of invigorating. 

i have gone through many flash schemes, but for the time being i am very satisfied with this new variation. 

it is a simpler version of the gun sights and barrel theme. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey perfection

I used a variation of a proven perfect turkey recipe.
we originally read about this recipe in a "cook's illustrated" magazine.
the variation was that instead of salted pork we used 1/4" cut bacon.
we made this change to enhance our drippings stock.

with everyone bringing a dish, an uncle brought a proper giblet gravy that he made before hand. 
this meant that i would have more drippings for a soup stock that some of the left over turkey would go into.

1- pierce the skin with fork
2- insert herbed butter under the skin
3- wrap the bird with 1/4' cut bacon
4- broth, neck and seasonings went into the pan
5- add stuffing, but not too packed
6- cover in cheese cloth, then in foil
7- 350 degrees until the thickest part of the breast was 140 degrees

8- after about 3 hours i removed the foil and bacon and turned the oven up to 425 degrees
9- quickly cut up the bacon into small pieces and added into the pan juice
10- cooked until the thickest part of the leg was 165 degrees. 

i did make one mistake with this bird in that i left the legs tied.
shouldn't of done this. the bird was a bit pinker in the joint than i wanted.
i am not afraid of the modern world so i did a quick microwave fix to just the legs.
the microwave didn't affect the juiciness.  

what is a large meal with out at least one issue.
perfect turkey cooking is always a work in process. a large bird with two distinct meats.

the breasts melted in the mouth and i am already for some turkey stew and soup!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Horseshoe transition

Re-leathered and wired, the horseshoe has been attached to it's new post on the dodge.

as superstitious as it is, it sat avant on the red truck for over a decade.
feel better with it there.

the only thing left after the grill evaporated.
horseshoe after deer attack
the leather was so brittle that it crunched as i cut it.
horseshoe with 13 years of wear
thought i'd decorate the shoe for its service. 
horseshoe lightly cleaned, oiled, re-leathered & re-wired

 looking smart. 
(in my mind anyway)

horseshoe back on post

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Toolbox from remnants

An accumulation of smaller wood pieces from past projects motivated me to try some new wood toolboxes.

i have a number of toolboxes that were from the grandparents made from scraps. often with multiple compartments to put odd hardware in.

thought that i would keep that odds and ends theme.
although i see it as best for different project tools or utencils.

23"l x8"w x 5" h (wall height) & 10"h (base to the handle)

i have four compartments with one of them being covered by another container.
the base and the two end walls are solid scraps for strength.
the sides are thin slats that i glued into a single unit.
this is made of cedar, pine & an oak dowel (not scrap). 
very light.
toolbox from wood remnants.
the handle can be pivoted to get out of the way if want easier access to the contents.
the round container is a cheese box (from the grocery store) that of course i had to draw on. 
toolbox from wood remnants.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Deer for dogs

What is not for us will be for the dogs.

prepared deer for the dogs.
let them cook a little longer as it is easier to make a week's worth of treats than by the day.

they freak over this treat.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

European mount

The 2012 mule deer head had still been hanging in the back yard for 5 days before i had a chance to bury it. 
this may sound nasty but, kept in the shade, it has been freezing at night despite the warmer days. 
it looked much the same as it did a week ago
i have always been partial to european mounts. especially since most of what i harvest are not monsters. time restraints due to work ensures that if i do see a cabela's wall hanger i wont have the time to properly pursue it. the european mount doesn't take up as much space and can be displayed outdoors.

the procedure for prepping the deer for cleaning the head is just removing the ears, then burying the head up the base of the antlers and covering it with a large box. 
it will sit in the ground until late spring or early summer.
the bugs will completely clean the skull down to the delicate nasal membranes.

this deer was to take the place of a little 2x3 mule buck i harvested two years ago.
a bee hive settled into the box and i for the first time kept putting off the daunting task of de-hiving. and so it sat.

here is the head under the tote. not sure what to expect bee wise.

after removing the tote i know that all of the bees will be under the ground. 

the skull was picturesque. riddled with used honeycomb.
i was able to control most of the bees. 

the skull was completely bare minus some skin between the antlers. a knife and a pair of pliars made short work of that.
2 years is way too long for best results.

replaced with the 2012 head 

place logs around it so the dogs or animals wont disturb it until early summer. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Length of shower

Feed a cold.
between work, the children getting sick and the excitement of last week a cold is starting to set in.

my appetite is increases (as it does when i have a cold) and the aches are setting in.
we eat well here, but i do increase antioxidants, e, c, bio-flavinoids.

but about the emergen c (effervescent vitamin/electrolyte drink) and other tricks another day.
this is about oatmeal stout.

as important as any other medicine.

this is a great lower alcohol nutrition drink that i medicinally enjoy in the shower as the steam opens up the sinuses.

pours and tastes as a good oatmeal stout.
not too sweet, creamy low carbonation flavor.
when sick or getting the bigger flavor can help make up for the lack of taste buds.

according to brekenridge:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Triumph ant

A serious set of darts avec lewis.

first game: goes to the visitor lewis.
thinking his shirt says it all.

second game: goes to the home

he is starting to sweat. 

third game: goes to me.

sorry my man, lochlann and frances saw it all.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deer stew

Last season was tough. during any of the deer seasons these days i only get one weekend of one 2 week rifle season to harvest meat. last year was nil. and it showed in the freezer. 

with this year we had deer back on the menu.
and the first menu of the harvest was stew.

the scrap turned to stew meat.

when small cubed i roll in a cornstarch/flour mix. not only will this develop the sear but will thicken the stock during cook. 

just don't let the meat gingerly roll around in the hay, 
get in there. push the powder into the moist fibrous meat.
your results will be tastier. 

the blinding halo is a half round aluminum foil wrap dome that keeps the spatter down.
just before kneading the powder into the meat i added oil to the dutch oven and started the heat.
we will want to seal the meat in a contributing skin that will create AWESOME results.
for all of those pioneers that grew up with deer, this will be a new experience.
my dad will agree with this.
soft tender lean meat that melts in the mouth. 

this is the first batch in a long while so the vegetables will be kept "poor and proper".
if a garden fails, the only veg likely to be sustaining is the potatoes and onions.
maybe "reliable" is a better word than "poor and proper".

the stew ready to go. 
this is great as it is, but i will add a bit more starch to thicken up the experience.
the deer is actually so tender that i want the medium to be thicker. 

served up ready for consumption. this deer stew is all about the deer and deer infused stock.
so damn good that the atheist just may find religion. 

and the results are as i wrote above.
a culinary heaven that fits in our infinite plains-style horizon. 

the bowl is actually a cobalt blue vessel that failed when i made in japan.
 i made it not according to instruction, although i did try.
i was embarrassed at the time but really grown to like over the years.
sort of like the growth and decay line of the WWI trench artists.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dog vs vacuum

Typical vacuum experience.
so frequent that we have to keep a herd of vacuums in the back
we just don't vacuum.

foster sighting the weak vacuum.
dog vs vacuum 1
going in for the kill.
dog vs vacuum 2
by the throat... the vacuum wont have a chance.
dog vs vacuum 3
transcribed by mac (#1)


One of the more unusual marks on this year's harvest was doc's white tail buck.

still had the remnants of velvet on it.
but look at the polishing developing by the brow.

odd to see so late in the year.

2011 hand turkey

Everyone has a sentimental bone.
not something one goes around sharing with others, not at least if you want to keep you lunch money.

i happen to be getting pretty damn excited for this year's 2012 thanksgiving hand turkey.

last years (2011) hand turkey
this work of art depicting "noble" wildlife was last years masterpiece.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

North platte carrom

There is a morning hunt and then food and horseshoes.

next, there is an afternoon/evening hunt and then there is food, drink & carrom.

Lee's board from this weekend.
we are pretty evenly matched.
(or so he thinks!)

Deer meat prep for freezing

This year the deer produced:
8 large roasts
84 steaks
20 pounds of scraps (18# for stew & 2# for the dogs).

mike actually cut my deer up for me. the man has great knife skills and produces great cuts. 
he actually had the deer very well washed. i just looked for some random hairs and picked them out. 

for 2/3s of the roasts and steaks i used a vacuum sealer. these do a great job on keeping the meat fresher over longer periods of time. i use this for meat stored over 4 months. 

the other third and all of the stew meat i wrapped in cling wrap (saran wraps big brother, uber-cling). 
i get it pretty snug this way reducing the gaps and then wrap with butcher paper.

deer will be on the menu again:  stews, chillis, indian, roasts, quiches, breakfast steaks!

Monday, November 12, 2012

4x4 mule deer

2012 rifle harvest was a 4x4 mule buck on the first day.

in a couple of years this would of been a very fine deer.
rack's brow tines were coming in nicely.

this deer produced a lot of meat for the family. 
looking forward to some great meals.

last step will be to bury the head up to the antlers and then cover the antlers with a tote or box. 
i will keep it this way until next year early summer. the insects will clean everything very well and will only involve a quick spray after being dug out. no trimming, no boiling.
i will post this another time 
(probably sooner then later since the head is just hanging in the back yard and the temperature is on the up).