Monday, April 29, 2013

Au revoir lion

It takes a tough animal to get this job done (scrubbing my nethers)
that is why i had to give a moment of silence when it fell for the last time.

unraveled like a ball of string down the "delicatessen" stairs.

as with all of these creatures my wife picks out for me, 
eventually the poor creature has to be put down.
au revoir.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Door in another nightmare

Here it is!

And there it is!

there have been many doors in my nightmares lately 
why is that i have to open every single damn one of them.
all hell breaks loose!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

70 year old knife restore

One of the boys' grandfather had a knife from his father that desperately needed some work.

the knife predates the 1940's and was very misshapen from the years of sharpening and field work.
i had specific instructions to get the blade back up to snuff.

i re-profiled the blade, re-established the angle of the cutting edge, sharpened and gave it an almost near mirror polish.
family knife restore
i purposely did nothing, outside of cleaning and buffing, to the handle. 
if the knife is to show its history and the blade had to have such an overhaul i felt it absolutely necessary not to take the history of the handle away.

 at one time the blade had been attacked by an electric grinder of sorts and that did the most damage.
by the way it sharpened i am pretty confident that the temper was not lost and shall remain an excellent working knife for another 70 years.

my thumb is still sore from all of the hand sanding on this gem.

Time speed then Muscari

When work burdens, time at home speeds up.

how unfortunate it is when we bring the troubles of work into our homes. no one wants to do that, but damn if it doesn't creep in every now and then. time and energy wasted on thoughts that don't belong
in this space.

walking in this morning,  i "re-realized" that the muscari/grape hyacinths that line our front walkway were blooming (for a week now). i asked myself where in the hell had the time gone, from that first time i enjoyed the blooms and today when i saw them again. for what ever reason, that visually stimulated moment allowed me to evict those work concerns of the past few days and reclaim my home.

the grape hyacinths/muscari are another stage in the progression of spring.

green is becoming more dominant and even more time is spent outdoors.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where is the "don't go to work" tab

Found an old treasure from an 80's yellowstone trip.

very satisfying flipping this into the current date,
makes this addictive click when the metal date sits into position after the rotating the dial.


off to work. 
if this calendar had a date tab that said "don't go to work"

i would obey!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Croquet 2.20.13

We had a large fire burning and the ash falling was competing with dots of snow falling at times.

M vs N

only made one game and it was about 90 minutes long.

if we cant get away the we make local the court.

we keep the first from the post wickets taller and make it present with a flag.
increased visibility.

wicket 1 flying strong!

43 degrees, cigar and trews ready for action!
team noble inked a tough win.

Pedigree vs pedicure

Neglected hygiene,
i desperately need to shave the bottom of my feet!

hairy feet

Friday, April 19, 2013

Plan B

When plans go to crap,
we just need to switch directions.

a week of snow and rain hampered spring"izing" the camper (winter always raises hell on old stock)
(actual moments of blizzard yesterday, rain the days before)
then in a crunch for a weekend of birthday camping for wifey turned into:
two new last minute camper tires,
ALL new camper fuses,
propane line work,
winch not working then back to working,
still no lights.
frances was stressed.
(tomorrow i will dig into the power converter to make sure we are getting juice to illuminate good times.)

plan b
a husband-wife date with crazy food flowers and and amazing food and drink.

i do believe we laughed and talked ourselves into a damn good time!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our quilt is essential

The quilt as an essential.
the bed alone is probably one of the most important locations in our life.
anything that fosters both the family and the security of our most vulnerable times, sleeping, deserves to be respected.

what better way to dress it then to shroud with a quilt made by or passed on to family.

i was about to fall asleep and had a flash of how great this family made cover on our bed is.
been on our bed for over 13 years. this quilt is as important to the bed as the roof over the house.
something wasn't right.
focused a bit more and noticed how pristine the ribbing was.
and then it hit, the quilt was backwards.

and then i had the notion (probably just in my head) that the weight didn't feel completely right either.

everything was now jacked up, i have become so use to this cover being a certain way that once the conscious mind met up with the subconscious understanding that something was amiss then that was it.

the evidence of this quilt reasserts these feelings:

13 years of rubbing against my beard has worn away the edges on just my side of the bed.

also i just may roll around more so maybe the fabric is a bit thinner on my side and maybe that has lightened it up that one ounce or two to give me the weight difference.

i immediately turned the quilt around and all was proper once again.

thank you Vicki for making this quilt!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Length of shower - rampant

A one beer shower only because i had to restart the washing machine.

a lighter bodied 8.5% beer that tastes good.
if there are any comments about the flavor profile is the unfamiliarity i have with two of the hops.
this has created a uniqueness that i hard to describe.

 i don't believe i have ever experienced mosaic hops, and i have a limited knowledge of the calypso,  combined together and i get a slightly different double ipa experience.
the malts bring me back to a familiarity to the style.

the beer is dry hopped with:
mosaic = 13%  a very new variety hops that is just becoming available to the home brewer
(but not widespreadly available).
calypso = 10-12% fruity (apple and pear)
centennial = 9-11%

all big big AA% hops with unique profiles, an entertaining beer.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kepler 37-b as a glass of milk

The similarities of a glass of homogenized milk sitting on a black marble table
kepler 37-b against the backdrop of deep space.

a glass of cold milk sitting on a quartz flecked black marble table top

kepler 37-b via an artist rendition and a photo app filter

at some time past, not yesterday,

Kepler 37-b was served up as a refreshingly cool -250 degrees fahrenheit glass of moon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dreaded silver maple

Before the leaves bud needed to do some massive trimming on my least favorite city trees,
the silver maple.

the limb moving horizontal about 25 from the main riser was today's troubled one.
we removed about 800 pounds of new growth from the very end of it and shortened it up about 5 foot.
more will be remove later. constant worry of a strong wind cracking this stick.

the main problem was that this piece of xx was about 25 foot in the air and leaning over into the neighbors yard. another 8 foot still looms over their yard.

a bit closer and one can see how the silver maple's reputation as a crap tree lives.
the limbs hollow out, the trunks hollow out.

because of the height we used the "rope chainsaw".
there is a learning curve on these (only because of the binding that can happen), but does allow one to safely tackle these high jobs.

a drink is needed to help the kink in the neck from constantly looking up.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Plains hardy hops

The hardiness of the cascade hops is really suited for the plains.
last nights snow didn't really stick from the warmth of the ground but that plus tonight's cold will challenge these newly emerged green glories.
(we will cover for the night, then a warming trend)

especially once established the hops will have to be managed pretty aggressively.
each spring i always offer up rhizomes to friends and friends friends.

alpha acid % = 4-7 
when growing your own hops the greatest challenge is knowing exactly what the AA% is.
in general my first picking of the hops or slightly early picking of hops will yield a lower percent.
outside of this we allow a little variance in the final product to keep the recipe interesting.
if truly concerned, say if i am making a batch for a special occasion i will buy some commercial whole hops make a tea and compare it to a homegrown hops tea. the taste comparison will let me know if i am  on the high or low end of the percent scale.
this knowledge will only let me fuss over the minor and maybe tweak a few minutes in the kettle here and there.

"citrus and floral" are its traits and it is true. 
we accept this as our house hops. 
first and foremost we like the profile, and second a brewer needs to have a "as geographically associated as possible" beer.
there are often complaints for how homebrewers get tired of the cascade profile from over use and that can happen. we have always been proactive in that we vary our styles quite a bit.
cascade is predominant in our pales and house ipas,  then we branch out for british pales. on top of that we throw in just about every other style of beer too to keep our palate diversified.

a final note:
the cascade is great because it works fine as a bittering, flavor and aroma hops although in this house we use more ounces in the last 5-15 minutes (aroma & flavor).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Determined dogs

Eye, see bacon!

determination is in the I (want)!

Spring weather motivates

An exciting yesterday, today and tomorrow.
(weatherwise that is)

There will be no crying about the diversity of spring weather from me.
in fact, if anything i find the extremes to be a part of life that is thrilling and at times challenge worth tackling.
my body feels more rejuvenated from a little atmospheric inconsistency:

yesterday = 71degrees and i was outside all day and sweating. 
today = 41 degrees driving rain then hail. left work late and was soaked to the bone.
tomorrow = upper 30's and snow.

knuckles up and here we go! 
i say that knowing damn well that the snow will melt immediately and a warming trend will start the next day. 
beyond "me", the new plants will be just fine. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daffodils telling me i am late

The telling of how the spring season is progressing (beyond the calendar),
we merely need to look in the front or back yard as to what bulbs are blooming, which perennials are popping up, how long the hops are and if the trees are blooming.

this time of the year is all about the gardens and the beginning of the growing season as a whole. questions are raised: how big will the harvest be, how well will i prove my growing ability, and how well will i maintain my growing spaces throughout the year.

crocus are the first to spring as the daffodils are second
first day with the cold (sickness cold) completely gone and i didn't have to work. 
i knew there was plenty of activity going on in the yards, but i didn't realize just how fast spring had already established itself.
foolish of me for looking at the wall calendar.

today, the main objective was to start the clean up in the back gardening beds. i diverged a bit for a few ignore-no-mores:  i immediately had to trim up a mulberry (a weed tree, but we keep it far from the house and well trimmed. personally enjoy the fruit and makes an incredible mulberry hard cider), had to plant something so put in a bed of sunflowers, and started a grill clean.

while tending the beds i really noticed how some of the tulips where, over a foot high and buds forming, the irises were 6 inches to a foot, lillies 8 inches and higher, columbine 1-4 inches and even the cascade hops where sprouting up.

these observations told that i should of planted the cold hardy vegetable greens two weeks ago.
it is as if i must immediately jump into vegetable gardening before any other greenery work.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Display your tools

As i have preached before, tools have the potential to be a real extension of ourselves: both physically and past the physical. through the tool we command the difficult and fulfill our potential.

there are two types of tools in my small mind, both are worthy of displaying:
1 = those tools of historical/personal significance, but are too dangerous to use so must be retired. for example grandfathers axe that has a crack through the eye.
these tools when displayed act as a portrait of an admired life or trait.
2 = the tools are those that have significance because the represent a personal feat or represent the potential we have when we set our mind and hands to it.

a hammer and a hatchet shipping crate in hanging mode
above i have two milestones in crates. the hammer though is one i have been using and is an experiment that keeps on running. that particular hammer is a turn of the century hammer that had a pretty bad chip in it. these are the types of hammers with a hard steel skin over a softer core. the chip told me that the outer skin was a good steel (it chipped rather than mushroomed). i decided to see what would happen if i were to re-mill the striking face until the chip was entirely gone. this would mean thinning up the outer skin. the only criteria i would put to this experiment is that i would use it for fine woodworking and light general house work. it is going on some time now and i have had ZERO indications of failure. 
i keep this hammer hanging to remind me to challenge knowledge and to keep this tool visible so i don't forget to keep the challenge going.

to my wife's dismay, there are many of such displays in our small home.
i do believe guests find it entertaining and i am sure when the boys have friends over it is something to behold.

placement wise this is what one would see while on their way to the bathroom.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Restored plumb hammers and more on etsy

In a mad dash to post 5 more restored vintage hammers on the etsy shop before i go to work.

always feel some accomplishment when i hit the "publish" button.

restored no nome hammer

restored arrow hammer

restored plumb hammer

restored "drop forge" hammer

restored plumb rip hammer

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Restored vintage true temper carpenter's hatchet

Just sent a restored vintage true temper carpenter's hatchet to chicago.

this hatchet has a much slimmer width, yet maintains enough weight from the solid eye and tall blade height.
in the right hands will very efficiently slice through the kindling.

these older styles are very streamline from their transition from the cheeks to the eye and then off to the hammer poll.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cat with evil ruby red eyes

Evil cat staring at different depths
none the less, right through me.

Not sure what to say about this, 
i was in a store and saw this behind their customer service desk.
i took the photo and ran before the cat could catch me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

restored 16 ounce vintage plumb claw hammer

Today i was only able to post on etsy one restored hammer.

the writing and photos took longer then i had expected, much longer.

i wanted to take photos of it on the bench where it was restored on.
also wanted to have it in relationship to where it would be worked on.

these vintage hammers are excellent tools. they have a tangible and intangible presence of performance.
as of now i am mostly keeping to the bench workhorse of the 16 ounce claw. 
these tools are designed for fine woodworking, but can confidently be used for any general house task
designed for 16 ounce hammers.
restored 16 ounce plumb hammer  in shipping crate
 the cheeks of the hammer show us its history.
i would never want to deny the tools past by trying to make it new again.
i want it to be a new "vintage" tool.

i have two motivations for promoting restored vintage hammers. 
1. the quality and performance of vintage steel heads
2. how perfect octagonal hickory handles are. 
someday i will go into long rants on the value of these handles.

contrasting the cheeks are the re-milled head.
re-milled to give it a slight belly and to show the quality of the steel.
i have kept the steel removal to a minimum. i want to keep that hard steel skin as thick as possible.

the claw poll to the eye is also milled smooth.
it adds symmetry to the aesthetics and really shows off the steel.

below i felt confident with the gun sight paint scheme and how it lines up with the claw. 
the little bit of flash will also keep the tool a bit more visible on that crowded woodworking bench.