A Weekend On and Around Puget Sound

I spent this past weekend ignoring my grass, projects in the house, and garage organization/completion and took to the road.

Saturday afternoon found me at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.  There were no puppies allowed at the show, so Stamps-With-Foot stayed at home for a grueling round of puppy sitting/reading in the sunshine duty.  Despite a serious and prolonged case of Wooden Boat Lust, I succeeded in not buying a wooden sailboat at the show.   It was the ONE thing that my wife made me promise before leaving the house, which means that since I was able to fight off the boat-buying minor demon on my shoulder, am staying married.

While packing/planning the night before going to the festival, I decided it was a fine venue to work on a short YouTube film ( which will be uploaded by Friday), so I took a couple of GoPros, camera mounts, my drone, four extra SD cards, and a bunch of batteries.  The weather kind of sucked, but between pockets of rain/mist I shot the whole festival and some of the boats out on the water from the sky as well as the dock-side happenings.

There were so many cool boats and interesting folks in for the weekend!  My favorite trailer-sailor, OPUS, was there and the museum boat PIRATE from the Seattle CWB made it.   I really enjoyed talking to Tim Lemon, the owner of a Devlin Sloop named MR. MALLARD. His sculling prowess on a sailboat is impressive.  Designer and builder Graham Byrnes, of the cat ketch CARLITA was probably my favorite builder that I talked to.  I would definitely buy a boat from him if not for the above mentioned promise to my wife…  Pygmy Boats has a stitch&glue wineglass wherry rowboat that I would love to spend part of the winter building and I MAY be putting some funds back to do just that.  Howard Rice and his Scamp SOUTHERN CROSS had a fantastic story story to tell about adventures in Terra del Fuego.  Really enjoyed the Festival and love Port Townsend!  Stamps-With-Foot is definitely coming next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side note:  If Lee Bjorklund & Larry Goerss ever decide to sell OPUS, my wife has given me permission to buy her.  She is the only wooden sailboat that I am “allowed” to purchase.  Just saying is case Lee and Larry and hankering to move on…

Sunday afternoon was spent on Vashion Island and both my bride and the furry monsters puppies came with.  We really like the island and the coffee produced by Vashion Island Roasters.  After a short ferry ride, we went over, drove a round a little, took in the sites, had lunch near the marina, and bought 10lbs of Guatemalan medium-roast coffee.  We sampled the goods while there, played a little chess, and split a cinnamon roll before heading back to the ferry and back home for dinner.

 

 

 

More G-Mail Woes.

A Little rant:  

My G-mail that is linked to my site stopped working due to some sort of host/server issue last week-ish.  I use a G-Mail proxy through my domain and I called and chatted and e-mailed for days before a resolution was found.  After the server issue was fixed, I then had a Tucows registration issue and I had to prove that I was me and that I owned my site.  I have had limited access for a few days and just now got full access back.  Very frustrating and time consuming.  Looks to be all fixed now, but I hope I didn’t piss off too many folks by not answering their mail.  I am wading through it all today and tonight.

Sometimes tech makes life harder and I long for a small A-frame cabin in the woods near water, a pantry full of good coffee, my wife reading with the puppies on the couch, a fully stocked shop, lots of firewood, a source of independent wealth, and no wireless connection.

Dreams..

Labor Day Weekend – 2017

I was at home for Labor Day weekend this year and spend the time working on the house and yard. I dug up a cubic yard+ of dirt where the garage walkway will be and then built concrete forms, added rebar, and welded wire for a 20′ X 4′ sidewalk pour next week.

 

 

 

 

I also took a couple of hours to rebuild a 10′ section of fence on our south side. A 40′ (12.2m) tree had grown through it from the neighbor’s yard. He let me cut it down a couple of weeks ago and rebuilding the fence was required.  Note: Stamps-With-Foot did not see me roped up, hanging in the harness, topping the tree, so I didn’t get in trouble for being a “stupid man” until later 🙂

Birthday #44… F*ck I am getting old!

My birthday is almost here. I will be taking the day off from work, the next day as well and enjoying doing stuff that makes me happy! A strait razor shave, brunch, an afternoon movie, steak dinner with my wife, cookies, etc… Below is a short birthday wish list in no specific order. Just putting it out there:

Peace on the Korean Peninsula
For the Adults in the room to take the reins of the American Political System
Heifer International: Bees (I really like to give the gift of bees) Goats, Chickens, Llama, or the whole Ark…
A little cash to Doctors Without Borders/MSF
Go give blood and send me a post card
Money for Diabetes Research
Some time in a Tattoo Artist’s chair
An Amazon Gift Card
Book: Campaign Furniture by Chris Schwartz
Book: Bees of the World by Mitchner
A gift card to Hardwick’s Hardware in Seattle
Genetic genealogy testing from 23&Me
Starbucks Gift Card
Coupon for The Art of Shaving
A card from each of my kids
Sign up for the 2-Day Rally School Course
An Ash Pack Basket (Sling-style harness)
Amber 2ga. Plugs (bonus points if they have insect inclusions)
A fine Anejo Tequila
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Porto (Cálem Vintage, Ramos Pinto, or a Taylor’s)

Film Friday – Lincoln Park in West Seattle, Washington

OK, so it is not Friday, but I started working on this video Friday night…  Does that count?

Lincoln Park in West Seattle is one of my favorite spaces in all of the Seattle metro area.  It is a phenomenal urban space:  Stamps-With-Foot and I go there all the time just to hang out, I used to run there along the beach and through the trees in the mornings, it was my first outing after hip surgery, our monsters puppies love it there, it is romantic, great for picnics, strolling hand and hand along the beach, a fine hour+ long hike after work, a protected kayak launching point, good fishing spot when the salmon are running (the pink run started earlier this week…), there is a public pool, bald eagles nest in the trees along the shore, and sometimes I go and watch the sunset from on e of the many benches when I have had a bad day.  I hope this little film captures part of the magic of the place.

Garage, lawn, and house work this weekend

Worked in the basement a bit to make Stamps-With-Foot’s sewing room/project space usable.
Made two trips to the dump.
Built screw clamp holder.
Did a little Amazon shopping for a gift and a part that I needed.
Went shooting at the range – shot like a blind squirrel.
Cleaned pistol, muttering disappointment in self whole time.
Hip super-hurt all weekend.
Went to see Atomic Blond for date night. Great movie.
Bought two bookshelf cabinets for garage at Second Use – got a super good deal (hard to do these days at Second Use)
Picked up 2 cases of oil at discount from NAPA
Put down a little 1/4 round trim in dining room.
Washed Stamps-With-Foot’s car.
Filled the washer fluid.
Worked on a couple of films.
Cleaned lighting contacts on the trailer light harness.
Took a load of recycling to the dump.
Organized shop a little and hung the two cabinets.
My shop now has all the storage I will ever need – until I fill it all up 🙂
Consumed some rosé while sitting in sunshine in back yard.
Snuggled wife and puppies.
Installed my welding cabinet and filled it with helms, jacket, gloves, sticks, and welding tools.
Made a happy face.
Did not mow lawn…
Ran two lighting circuits and one 220VAC circuit in garage.
Need to install the 4 florescent lights.
One 220VAC circuit to run and all shop wiring will be complete!
Flew drone a bit to work out new firmware update.
Took a few macro photos with camera
Spent too long on Instagram and Twitter.
Ignored the grass some more.
Changed oil in my father-in-law’s truck.
Picked-up/was given wrong oil filter!
Said dirty words…
Made it to parts store 3 minutes before they closed for new filter.
41 more oil changes and the lift pays for itself!

One year plan…

So, I have a One Year Plan to make my site and web content better and at the very least self-supporting.  I have had this site for 16 years and it is not free.  I would like for it to at least generate enough income to pay for the software updates, registration fees, equipment, and hosting costs.  A Great Leap Forward without the Maoist philosophy, mass-starvation, mass-migration, and such. It is multi-pronged and here it is:

Shop:

  • Stop eschewing progress for perfection.
  • Get it set and start working and building and doing!
  • Finish current Jeep projects

Website:

  • More regular updates
  • More video content:
  • Use as a funnel to increase my YouTube traffic

YouTube:

  • Monetize Account
  • Branding
    • Change the page name
  • Focus on specific content – craft and making stuff
  • Become a better filmmaker
  • Spend time in front of the camera
  • Use better tools
    • Lenses
    • Microphones
    • Drones/software
    • Camera Mounts
  • Make better videos
  • Make some of my own music for videos

To kick this off right and so to as not to make plans without follow through, I have now re-branded my YouTube Channel from “matt talley” to “Matt of Many Trades”  It is about accurate branding and I do/make/build/fix/break a bunch of random crap 🙂

Da Grind 2017 Outrigger Canoe Race

Years ago, while living in Newport Beach, CA, I paddled some with the IMUA Outrigger Canoe Club. I LOVED it and learned so much about stroke technique, timing, Hawaiian paddling culture, and open ocean canoeing. SUPER respect for ancient Polynesian mariners! I made a crossing from Newport Beach Back Bay to Catalina Island (26 miles of open water) and it was crazy scary, really tough, beautiful, smelly, exhausting, and I will love the memory of that day for the rest of mine. I have wanted to join an OCC club in Seattle, but it is only just this year where my work schedule has allowed that and then hip surgery happened. So, this summer I am refinishing my 51″ wooden outrigger paddle (new varnish and adding a little Koa insert) and applying a “F-Bomb” logo to my carbon paddle in preparation for when I am back in fighting shape. I am also living vicariously through the local club and doing a little event filming and one of their big races this year, Da Grind 2017, happened in almost my back yard.

I drug my father-in-law over to Alki Beach early this past Saturday morning to watch the race with me and help out a little if I needed a hand with moving on the beach or hauling my pack – I am still not even 80% with the hip. I did fine though and he was into the race and event as he lived in Hawaiian for a number of years.

I got the drone in the air early and caught the start of the first leg and then the finish. The weather, wind, sky and sea was perfect for the race and for shooting video. I wish I would have brought another battery and that I would have had my big Cannon DSLR instead of my iPhone for still and zoom shots. Lesson learned.

Grilling Cedar Plank Salmon

The very first meal that my father-in-law ever made for me was a semi-traditional cedar plank salmon. It was delectable and I have asked him for the magic recipe a few times since, but it was only this weekend that he had the time & opportunity to go through it all from start to finish. I, of course, documented the whole thing with my iPhone (GoPro battery was dead). As a note, he is a professional chef and on this visit hooked us up with a version of his recipe/process made for and on our tiny 10-year-old, much loved and used Weber grill.  The meal was AMAZING! Here is the whole process:

Car Lift and Jeep CJ-7 Saga/Search/Information

Before putting 4000 pounds of 31 year old Toledo steel above my head for the first time I really needed the correct locations for a 2-post-lift pad placement points on a CJ-7.  I like who I am and I have some plans for the next 30 years or so and really didn’t not want to be that guy who squashed himself in his own garage.  It happens.

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I have seen two jeeps on their sides at dealerships after falling off lifts, countless other lift fails, and have seen CJs put up in the air at least four different ways.  I have had a couple of cars in the air since building the garage, referencing their owner manuals for lift placement, but not the Jeep yet. Again, I didn’t want to be the guy that drops his 4X4 pride off the lift in his own garage. I started doing a little research and asking questions.

After a fairly fruitless internet Search, I called the company that built my lift (it is a Rotary Revolution RPT10) and they referred me to The American Lift Institute (ALI) manual that came with the lift. The 2016 version of the manual only goes back to 1991 for most vehicles and when I called them, there was no answer that they could give me. They referred me to “a local Jeep dealer.”

I dropped in the one nearest the house and there was not an “old-guy consensus” on how to life a CJ: on the frame behind the shackle mounts, on the shackles, on the spring plates, on the axles, etc… My Chilton and Hayes manuals have nothing and I am still trying to source a good 1986 Service Manual (can’t find anything in the downloaded ’82) and would love an original Owners manual. I went by a 4X4 shop a bit ago and the tech there said “lift it on the shackles…” and posed it as sort of a question.  I walked away swiftly.

So, relying on Cunningham’s Law, I asked the internet via the JeepForum if anyone had some documentation on where to apply the lift arms/pads on a CJ-7 frame and where the balance point/center of gravity of the vehicle was to put in-line with the lift posts?  I got some helpful suggestions and a couple answers that were on the edge of trolling, but the general consensus from CJ owners and mechanics on the forum was to follow the guidelines for the 1991 Jeep Wrangler and their frames, suspension, and balance points are very similar: The lift pads are placed under the frame (centered on the pads), directly adjacent to spring hangers/shackles. Sounded reasonable and plausible, so I decided to go with that.  The balance point/CoG is between my dash and the bottom of the steering wheel and that point goes on center between the two posts of my symmetrical lift.

I went ahead a couple weekends ago and decided to put it up and do a little general maintenance.  After everything checked out – raising the Jeep 6″ off the ground and giving it a serious shake on all 4 corners, raising it up and down a few times, I spent 30 minute for full oil and filter change. I lubed all the zert points on the drive-line and chassis while I was there.  No squashing or falling Jeeps. 🙂
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Film Friday – Hatchet Handle Replacement

I seem to be keeping with a theme – another Handle replacement. I promises that this is the last one for a while 🙂 My next film will be from an adventure in China or a snowboarding mishap.

This hatchet was given to me by a neighbor a little while ago. It had a hard life: the handle was chipped and split and the heel had been used for driving God only knows what and had mushroomed out a bit. Twenty minutes of my time, $12.00 in total cost, and I have a repaired tool that will outlast me. It is destined for a kindling chopper and glamping chores when my wife and I venture into the wilds “roughing it” with a camper trailer.

Weekend Activities

Seattle is in early summer full bloom. The sun is out and the temperature is perfect!  These conditions led to a really good weekend:

Slept had friends stay with us Friday night and Saturday morning
Big yummy breakfast
Picked three big bowls of ripe Lapin cherries
Ate a lot of cherries
Went over to my mother’s house
Took care of house projects for her
Had a yummy dinner
Nice bottle of red wine was opened and mostly consumed
Read American Gods aloud with Stamps-With-Foot before bed

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Brunch with Friends
Went to the Sunday farmer’s market
Bought cheese and honey!
Went to the garden store
Bought a bunch of flowers for the yard
Walked the puppies
Planted flowers
Scattered weed&feed in the 1/3 of the back yard that is void of Ireland-green grass
scattered and raked grass seed.
Murdered dandelions
Picked up a mountain of puppy-made landmines 🙁
Mowed the yard
Installed new tire cover on Jeep spare
Put Jeep on the car lift – also now refereed to as “The Jeep Sex Swing”
Changed oil and filter
Only 42 more Oil Changes and the lift pays for itself!! 🙂
Lubed the chassis
Checked and topped off all the fluids
Made happy noises
Had a Coke and smile afterward while sitting in the shade
Printed out GAINT ’84-’86 Jeep Maintenance Manual
Let my internal OCD monster out to play
Custom labels and tabbed separators were made…
Added folders with Maintenance Manuals to shelf in the garage
Watered the garden, yard, and newly seeded dirt patch
More reading
Sleep

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Film Friday – Hammer fix

We are well on our way to becoming a doomed and disposable society. Example: After trying in vain to buy a handle replacement locally for my broken framing hammer, I had to buy one online and have it shipped to Seattle from the East Coast. I didn’t need the fancy matching OEM handle. Most any would have worked with a little shaping using a rasp and file. Neither Home Depot nor Lowes sells replacement handles for hammers or hatchets anymore – just handles for garden tools. I had four people try to sell me a new hammer while searching though. Apparently, just spending $80+ is easier than fixing a tool with a replaceable part designed into it. Lazy mother f….. Son of a …

The hammer holds no special value or spot in my heart or personal history. It wasn’t smuggled into the US 300 years ago by a ancestor who built and defended his home with it… Nope, just a framing hammer that someone gave me once. It had already been used and abused for years before it fell into my hands. The point was/is the thing is mine. A tool that I use to make stuff with. A tool that is MADE to have the handle replaced and somehow there are not enough people with the skill and drive to do such a simple task to keep them stocked on the shelves of multiple large national chain building supply stores. I stand by my statement that the movie Idiocracy is a documentary filmed by time travelers.

The whole replacement cost me $12 for the handle and shipping + 20 minutes of my time. A lot better deal than $80+ for a new hammer. As an added bonus, I get to rant a little and make a slide show 🙂

Long Holiday Weekend and the Official Start of Summer in Seattle

Our 4th of July weekend went really well this year. To kick things off right, I found out on Friday afternoon before the weekend that I could have Monday July 3rd off. A surprise and unplanned FOUR DAY WEEKEND!!

The 40th Annual Seattle Wooden Boat Festival was being put on and I took a Lyft down to south Lake Union and the Center for Wooden Boats on Saturday morning and hung out till about 12:00. I have mixed feelings about the show/fest this year and will expound on those in a follow up post, but while there got to see some boats and talk shop with a kayak builder and sail-maker. Before leaving the house, Stamp-With-Foot made me promise not to buy a boat. I succeeded in that, but I did look at a cute little 16’ sailing skiff that made me feel fuzzy and a 22’ day/weekend sailor…

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I also saw Opus again – my favorite weekend boat/trailer sailor in the PNW. She is a Wee Seal MKII, designed by the noted Australian/Scotsman Iain Oughtred. Her owners weren’t there, but I still enjoyed seeing at such a sweet little boat. If Opus were for sale, I don’t think that the promise to my wife would have been kept…

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We went to a colleague’s early 4th of July BBQ on Saturday afternoon/evening (the 1st of July). It was down in Enumclaw and had an AMAZING view of Mt. Rainier from the deck and rest of the property. There was beer, laughter, wine, 4-wheelers, BBQ, and fine people. The fireworks started at dark and no one lost any fingers and nothing burned down, so a successful party.

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Monday and Tuesday were spent in our yard, my shop, and the house fixing, building, moving stuff around. I hired some labor on Monday the 3rd and spent 8 hours cleaning the yard, moving bricks, pulling weeds, re-finishing the patio table, cleaning the hot tub, moving boulders, and making 2 runs to the dump. I swear the people at the city dump know me so well by now that I will be getting Christmas cards from them.

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The yard came together about 9:00pm the night before our scheduled BBQ on the 4th. We had friends, family, co-workers, neighbors come over for charred meat, chips, dip, booze, desert, and laughter. The holiday was also my backyard’s coming out party. She was finally ready to join the world and everyone fawned over the green, luscious grass. It made me so proud! It was also the puppies first time being allowed in the backyard unsupervised. They rolled and sniffed and frolicked like I made the yard just for them. There were no fights (human or puppy), no one got sick, everyone left full, no grass was destroyed, no cuts or scrapes, no fires, nothing blown up, and we had some very tired happy puppies that night – so another successful party.

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Going Topless

I made a short film showing all the steps in removing the Hard Top from my 1986 CJ7 Jeep for the first time in 1.5 years. I couldn’t round up the help to pull it off, so I put on my thunking’ cap and used the lift. The garage is a MESS, but my excuse is that we are still remodeling the house and it has been a wet winter and spring so there are materials and projects in work everywhere.

Tuesday After Work 6-27-17

Came home after regular work day at my J-O-B. Was tired, a little frustrated, and grumpy. Put on my work boots and overalls before going out into the yard. Mowed, edged, trimmed with the weed-eater, applied infill grass seed in the yard and to a couple of patchy spots in the front parking strip. Finished off with weed&feed, then turned the sprinklers on to activate. Murdering Dandelions and making the grass grow green makes me happy.

Watered the garden – the corn, tomatoes, and peppers are doing very well so far! Stamps-with-Foot called me into the house to eat. She made breakfast for supper – my all time favorite!

I got caught wearing my work boots in the “fancy dining room” at home. Wife made angry wet cat sounds. I got in trouble.

Film Friday – Corner Cabinet Up-Cycle/Rebuild

Way back in November of 2015, just after our return from living abroad for two years, I bought a set of hard used, little loved corner cabinets from a local salvage place. I have spent an hour and there installing, building trim, sanding, de-gunking, stripping old paint, priming, painting, and more painting. It has only taken 18 months, but they are now installed and look like they have been in our living room since the very first day.

Here is a slideshow/video tale of the steps taken in the project: What it was to what it became.

My Week in Review

This past week has been a week of mish-mash happenings:

90-day Post-surgery hip appointment: Could have gone better.
Fruit tree pruning
I built a lid for the compost boxes
A rat didn’t like my lid and chewed through the side to get at the worms in the compost bin
I said dirty words
Mounted 7 up-cycled cabinets in the garage
Finished painting 80 liner feet of 1/4 round trim.
Sweep and cleaned GROP
Organized some stuff into new shelves and cabinets.
Finished painting the corner shelf doors – 5 total coats of fresh paint
Installed the hinges and hung the doors on wrong cabinets
Said dirty words
Re-hung doors on the correct cabinet.
Scratched paint
More dirty words
Touched up paint
Finished corner cabinet install
Did some Physical Therapy for my Old Man hip
Mowed and edged the yard
Read a book
Made a few Instagram and Twitter posts
Amazon sent me a new tool!
Flew drone one afternoon after J-O-B
Planted the boxwood shrubs
Bought garden starts at Nursery: tomatoes, corn, squash, zucchini, peppers,herbs, lettuce, etc…
50+ hours at my J-O-B, hustlin’ to keep us fed and the lights on
Watched about 2 hours of NetFlix
Gave away a bed in our home office
Had to delver it to new owner
Drank some French wine
Worked on cedar log garden table
Bought couch/guest bed for the office/TV room
Braved the gauntlet at IKEA – three hours to pick up a pre-ordered couch 🙁
IKEA gave me a $50 discount for the trouble
Had to source clear glass Victorian-style pull knobs for the corner cabinet doors
Spoke to both of my children for Father’s Day
Heart Happy
Planted summer garden
There was some coffee drinking and puppy snuggling
Took top off of Jeep for the first time in 1.5 years
Started Raining the second I took it out of the Garage
Made grumpy noises
Had coffee and listened to a bluegrass jam session at favorite coffee shop
Watched a movie
Was prolific on Twitter and Instagram
Murdered some dandelions
Rode around neighborhood on errands in topless Jeep when it stopped raining
Made happy noises
Sent some J-O-B e-mails from home
Started reading American Gods out loud with my awesome wife
Went to bed to start it all over again on Monday morning

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A Year Later – The Garage is Finally Legal and Inspected

Holy crap… I got notice from our former garage contractor that the city permit for the build was about to expire. WhAt tHe FUCK!?!? Apparently, he had never called for the final inspection. It just never ends with this guy and the inattention to detail.

After a flurry of calls and e-mails, the city inspector came out yesterday and looked at the framing, roof, gutters, paint, electrical final. He signed off thew garage as legal and conforming but, said that we should have not moved in and started the insulation and drywall until the final was signed and in hand. He was the guy that did the initial inspection and remembered us and the build, so I didn’t have to tear anything out. While I appreciate the contractor letting me know about the expiration, I would have preferred that the inspections were done a year ago when the structure was done.

Update:

The day after the Final Inspection was signed off, I got a notice that a Waste Diversion Report (WDR) needs to be submitted to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for all demolition projects as well as any new construction and alteration permits where the project value is $30,000 or greater. Normally this falls to the party that pulled the building permit, but as I did the demo myself it got forwarded to me.  Links to the forms are below in case anyone in Seattle needs them.

SPU Waste Diversion Report Manual Form
Seattle WDR Letter 2016

Apparently, if you live in Seattle, our local utility company wants to make triple-extra sure you did not dump any building or demo waste inappropriately. I have the receipts from the equipment company and the hauling company, so there should be no issue.

Getting Stuff Done Over the Weekend

We had a really productive weekend around the house – so much so that I to take an old guy nap on Sunday. In no particular order:

Organized and cleaned up shop from Garage sale two weekends ago
Took 10 boxes of good stuff to Goodwill
Bought and brought home cabinets and wine racks from Habitat for Humanity in Tukwila
Sourced and purchased some additional boxwood shrubs and mulch for the yard
Mowed the new sod in the yard for the first time
Took the puppies for a walk
Date Night: Burgers and a late 3D showing of Wonder Woman.
Cleaned house
Spent 1.5 hours looking for either one of my orbital sanders
Said dirty words the whole time
Sanded Corner cabinet doors
Shocked the hot-tub with chemicals getting ready for water and filter change
ad a couple of nice glasses of French rosé in the sunshine.
Made lid from up-cycled ceder fence boards and used hardware for the compost bins
Hung two paintings
Organized dining room
mounted 6 stringed instruments in the hallway
Installed new toilet seat
Ran the chainsaw a bit
Made some woodchips and used as garden bed mulch
Picked up 4 huge rounds of cedar from a neighbor who has a tree cut down to split for kindling
Took out trash and recycling – there was a LOT of the latter
Met new neighbor
Another walk with the puppies
Made a trip to CostCo and dropped more $$ that we wanted to
Paid $12 for a used plywood miter saw station – SCORE!
Drank lots of coffee
Murdered some dandelions in the yard
Paid some bills
Wrote a couple “Thank You” notes
Read a little
Didn’t sleep enough

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Visit to a Kayak Museum in Portland

I read about a supposedly gem of a kayak museum in Portland maybe 18 months ago. Hmmm… Skin on frame kayaks… A museum… Huge collection… Quirky hours…  Hmmm….

After a little inter-web research, I found that the Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum is the work of one man, Harvey Golden, and the collection is made up mostly of boats that he has hand built after surveying traditional native boats all over the world. I was in!

Mr. Golden uses the museum as a repository for his boat collection and as the home of his publishing house, White House Grocery Press. The museum is open to the public here and there as he is in the office and has set hours from 5-7 on Wednesdays.  Knowing all that, I was almost vibrating to get a peek at his boats and paddles. I had stopped by the museum a couple of times when visiting Portland, but the timing was always off and I was never in town during the posted open time Wednesday afternoons. I was going going to be in The Rose City for a long holiday weekend and sent Mr. Golden an e-mail asking if he might, by chance, be around when I was in the city and to my great surprise, he got right back to me and agreed to let me stop by one Tuesday morning – I brought him a coffee when I showed up at the planned 10:00 on the dot.

His collection of boats, paddles, gear, accessories, and models is amazing – as are his books on the subject of kayaks. Here is the kicker though and why I am spending some time discussing a specific museum visit: he was amazingly generous with his time and spent over an hour and a half with me to explain the collection, bits & bobs, details, accessories, etc… I really, really appreciated it. His generosity of time is not something I see a lot of these days.

If you are into kayaks or boats in general, stop by the free museum and take a look at his books as well. I am about 70 pages into the super-detailed and annotated Kayaks of Alaska and want to build them ALL…

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Film Friday – Recycling Sawdust and Wood Chips

I spent last weekend in Portland, Oregon and happened by a custom furniture shop downtown called The Joinery.  The workmanship of their wares was terrific and the sales staff was really accommodating.  They knew I wasn’t going to buy any of their very nice pieces and yet still explained their ethos and process, details of the builds, and even let me wonder around taking a couple of pictures.  If Mid-Century to Japanese Fusion to 21st Century Modern is your thing and you are as allergic to IKEA pressed wood crap furniture as I am, them look them up and see if they have a piece of furniture that you have to have to fill that void in your living-room/soul.

Aside from their furniture, they had a display of pressed hardwood sawdust pucks – making furniture produces some waste and normally this sawdust goes to landfills or in my case, used for mulch and compost roughage.  Their display piqued my interest and I started asking questions. The Joinery and like establishments produce exponentially more sawdust than my little shop does, so their way of dealing with it is that they have invested in a sawdust briquette press that makes these hardwood hockey-puck-ish sized briquettes that are burned in pellet stoves, regular wood stoves, or fireplace inserts to provide heat.  There is no glue or bonding agent used, just pressure from a hydraulic ram-press keeps the pucks together. The shop goes a little beyond expectation though and GIVES THEM AWAY FOR FREE to the public at their other sales location and workshop (48th and Woodstock in Portland).  I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to see a company do this.  The shear fact that this is part of their business model makes me want to buy a small occasional table or some such item just to support what they are doing.

I am so turned on by this that I am looking into a small briquette press for my shop.  The ROI time for the model that meets the size/cost requiremnet for me (a UK made press, a couple of Chinese machines, and one Canadian model) would be like 2 years for my limited use, but it would be worth it to me as there is only so much mulch that I and my neighbors can use.  I would like to use the briquettes for some house heat and to heat the shop and green house in the winter, giving away what I didn’t use.  Stay tuned for updates in my hunt and go by The Joinery’s website of shop and support them if you can.

Making the yard pretty for 2017

Our back yard has been a mess for over a year: Stacked with left over construction debris, seriously over-grown raised garden beds, unturned compost bins, blackberries along both fences, piles of landscaping stones, weeds, etc.… The front yard was presentable, but only just barely. 2016 was the year of house and garage construction and 2017 was meant to be the year that we focused on the yard. Surgery delayed that a bit and the state of the grounds at La Maison du Talley was getting embarrassing.

I had a couple of guys come out and take a look at our mess to see what it would cost to get it back in home-show worthy shape. I didn’t like either answer.  Without going into too much detail about the different bids, the low one was $3500 and the high was almost $5000. There was no way in Hell that the frugal DNA coursing through my veins, passed down from both the Talley and Webster lines, would biologically allow me to spend that kind of money on grass, mulch, and a few flowers.

After I was well on the mend and cleared by my physical therapist, I did some planning, logistic estimation, material cost math, and decided to do it myself with a bit of casual day labor.  I also decided that the mature ornamental cherry trees I wanted for the parking strip would have to wait, that I didn’t need to bring in topsoil and plant grass seed. I scaled back the dream a little bit, bought 86 rolls of sod, 19 bags of mulch, 8 bags of garden soil, some boxwood shrubs, 15 Spanish lavender plants, and let my sweet wife buy all the pretty flowers that her heart desired.

In two days, the front and back yards were transformed!  I hauled away 1600 pounds of yard waste, made one dump run for trash, one run full of recyclables, and we spent less than $1000.  We will spend the next few weeks watering and fussing over little details, but by July 4th, we should have Ireland-green grass, pretty flowers, healthy fruit trees and the BBQ grill roaring. Money and time well spent.

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Stuff that my wife has said that leaves me speechless

Continuing in the theme of previous posts about the shocking and funny things that occasionally spew forth from my wife:

  • Laurel has started calling the Amazon Cart the “Gift Basket” then mumbling curse words under her breath, after accidentally buying everything that was in the “Cart.” Our Amazon grocery and regular Amazon stuff accounts got linked and she bought a ton of stuff, including a CB for my Jeep, a 20 gallon waste oil container for my shop, and a Ninja Blender.  We had no idea until stuff just started showing up at the house.  It was like Christmas in May!

 

  • We were waiting in line one night outside The Showbox in downtown Seattle, an iconic music venue right by Pike Place Market, and a guy walked by with a big strait ginger beard that would have made any self-respecting viking proud.  My wife and I have a deal:   She keeps her hair long and I don’t grow a beard.  I looked over at her as he walked past and said with a raised eyebrow, “That could be me.”  Without a seconds thought she replied, “It sure could.  You will notice he is walking alone…”  Point, set, and match.

 

  • I was standing in the kitchen doorway, unnoticed by my vegetarian-hippie-raised wife as she was delicately eating a strip of bacon and heard her say: “I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

 

  •  While out to eat one Saturday night my sweet bride made a flippant comment about it “…being OK to miss the previews…” for the movie we were running a little late to because dinner was taking a while. I gave her the stink eye as I LOVE the previews and she said:  “Thou shalt not glare on date night if you want to sleep with a real girl tonight…” 

 

  • After I made a joke at her expense on the way home from the same movie, she snapped back, “It is mother-fucking date night. You have to be nicer to me.”

 

  • One evening after two too many glasses of wine, Stamps-With-Foot got a little sick.  It is the first time in like 10 years that this has happened.  She felt BAD and demanded I call the ambulance.  I said no, while holding her beautiful long hair up and out of the way.  She said: “I am dying.  Why won’t you listen to me?!”  I said: “I am sober and you are not.  You are not dying, but you will feel really crappy tomorrow”  Her reply was: “That seems plausible,”  which she said in a perfectly sober and lucid voice before returning to the continued hugging of the porcelain with nary another word about requiring emergency medical assistance.

 

  • She is hooked on The Get Down, a Netflix TV show.  She came sliding into the living room one Saturday morning as I was drinking coffee and snuggling puppies on the couch.  She dropped into a low martial arts-ish stance and started singing Kung Fu Fighting, made some chops and kicks in the air, executed a jump turn, and then vanished to continue her TV binge watching.  About an hour later she emerged and said as she walked to the kitchen, “I was born in the wrong decade.  I would have been a disco queen in the ’70s.”  No preamble, no justification, no reasoning, just a statement of fact.

New Summer Vacation Plans

My summer plans have been changed for me.  I had planned out another summer vacation spent with The Ruminator, but he is 16 now and has decided that he wants to stay home in Arkansas and be a lifeguard for the summer.  I get it, I am his boring dad and it is hard for me to compete with ladies in swimsuits for the summer.  I had pigeon-holed some time off and funds for sailing lessons/trip, diver certification for him, some diving, and ending the summer with a rock climbing road trip all the way down the west coast.  While all that sounds cool to me, I am not a handsome young man facing all the unsaid possibilities of tanned ladies in my close proximity, hanging on my every word for 2.5 months.

I now I find myself, for the first time in 14+ years, in a place where my yearly vacation time is my own and I can spend some time/money taking my wife and myself someplace where it will be just be just the two of us – cue the romantic accommodations, bubbling hot tub, chilled champagne, soft candle light, and put Barry White on the turntable.  As an aside, my wife felt super sorry for me over the canceled summer plans and after a glass of wine, she has agreed that I can buy a sailboat to soothe my wounded heart.  I almost fell over stone cold dead from the shock of her statement and recorded her saying it a second time for legal reasons 🙂

I flew down to San Diego last week and took a look at a 33’ sloop-rigged blue water boat for sale in the marina.  It has way too many issue that need to be addressed to make any serious passages and I am not willing to spend the time covered in fiberglass bits, retrofitting a 15 year old toilet, huffing hull paint, and wading in stagnate bilge water.  While a steal of a deal for what the boat is/could be, I will keep looking.

Right now though, I am thinking of starting the summer with a little road trip to see her family in Oregon, wine tasting in the Willamette Valley, and a couple of days taking advantage of my friend Dr. G’s house and hospitality in Northern California.  There will be a long weekend in the Bay Area and Napa with friends and family.  We are also going to make a good part of the local Washington/Oregon festival circuit this summer.