Film Friday – Home Garage Car Lift Details

The short film below is part on my on-going series on YouTube discussing and showing my garage/shop build process. It details my experience of having a 2-post Rotary Revolution RTP10 vehicle lift, why I went with the type/brand/style that I did, thoughts after using it for 9 months, and what I might do differently if I could go back in time.

As Always, likes are really appreciated on my YouTube Channel!

Weekend in the shop

I got some serious crap done in the garage and at home this weekend:

Cleaned, swept, and put away tools for over an hour Saturday morning
Added wheels to my screw-clamp stand
Built a hammer stand – I have a lot of hammers
Organized 4 drawers on my tool cabinet
Organized a drawer for just camera mounts and cables
Hung 22 small blue U-line organization bins
Cleaned off table saw
Installed new table saw blade
Re-tensioned bandsaw
Cleaned off bench for 1st time in MONTHS!
Put all the miscellaneous screws, bolts, and hardware in the proper organization bin
Sanded the carcass for a bathroom cabinet installation
Moved some angle iron into the metal storage rack
Carried 2 of the 3 cabinet sections in the house
Cranked on the lathe to reduce the diameter of a dowel
Blew 30 amp breaker
Said the f-word at least 3 times
Took a look and original electrician did not fully terminate on of the “hot” wire legs, which led to the failure.
Said dirty words
Drove to Home Depot and back for breaker
Swapped out a blow breaker
Ran 75 linier feet of 12-2 Romex wiring
Installed 12 electrical boxes
Only dropped 1 on my head/face
Installed a couple of runs of CAT-6 ethernet cable for the PoE camera system
Jesus, CAT-6 is expensive!!
moved some firewood into the house
Built and installed butcher paper roll note-board on a cabinet front
Re-set wall clock
Worked on chipping hammer re-build
Shot a couple of videos
Sanded a couple spots on the jeep under windshield
Wished I had a bathroom in the garage at 3 different points during the weekend
Started on pizza peel build for Father-in-law

Fall Harvest and Market visits – long & picture heavy post

It has snowed over the last three days, so I guess that our fall harvest season is officially over.

Our Garden this year was planted a bit late – like a month and a half, due to me having hip surgery and the complete rework of the back yard. Consequently, our sweet corn never fully ripened, but the hot weather and sunshine this summer made for great tomatoes, peppers, and squash. To add to our bounty: our grass is Ireland-green and we are set up great for next year 🙂

The yard – old and new:





We got real figs for the first time ever from a small fig tree on our south fence line. It has been in the ground for 5 years and this was the first year that it really produced fruit, which we enjoyed with breakfast. Our two cherry trees were not as productive as last year, but some of that had to do with the weeks-long battle we had each evening with the snails and slugs climbing the trees and the ants that came later.





The apple trees produced fairly heavily as well, though no thanks to an “arborist” that screwed up the pruning and set our yard on fire with an errant cigarette butt – seriously.

The apple trees:





Squash and Veggies:












The Lapin and Stella Cherries:





Stamps-With-Foot really came into her own this year with the flowers she planted and cultivated! The houses next door and across the street were for sale at the same time and we had a couple of people comment on our “beautiful” yard and our “amazing flowers.” It made me proud of her, and of the front yard for the first time in years.

A few of the flowers:















Next year my bride has spectacular plans for more tulips, lots of lilies, dahlias everywhere, more lavender, and other bee-attracting flowers. We will also plant the garden earlier, with starts that have been hot-housed, have a 3’X4′ plot of garlic, lots of carrots, parsnips, and some more roma tomatoes. We are going to bag the apples to keep the apple-moth at bay and can/bake/press/ferment them next fall. A row of blueberries will go on the south-side fence where the firewood used to be. Raspberries will go in in a sunny spot and I am builting in 2 more garden boxes (pending Stamps-With-Foots approval) along the garage. Until then, we are blessed with a year-round farmer’s market in our neighborhood. It is full of local fruit, veggies, pasta, bread, honey, berries, cheese, fish, and meat. The offerings are seasonal and we have gotten to know some of the folks that grow our food, which is awesome.

Scenes from the West Seattle market:

Film Friday – Blacksmithing and Forging

I am a novice smith and that is being generous. I do like to forge though and it is awesome when I get a little time to make things for myself. This short film details a couple of the different type of hold fasts (metal work and word work) that I recently made at the Pratt Center for Fine Arts forge in Seattle. If you live in Seattle, have a single maker bone in your body, and haven’t checked them out – do so immediately and sign up for a class or two.

Amazon is my friend.

Amazon makes me happy. I need a tool or a book or a part and a few clicks and 24-48 hours later I have the stuff I need. In the last month I have purchased the following and help make Jeff Bazos officially the worlds richest man:

1-3/16-Inch Combination Wrench
1/2″ drive 6 PT STD Socket 1 3/16
Book: The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive Grease – 14.1oz
Conan The Barbarian Thulsa Doom Iron/Sew On Embroidered Patch
Winter is Coming / Stark Wolf / Game of Thrones 2×3 Patch
Dropping F Bomb WW 2 Style Tactical morale 3.5 X 1.25 Hook Patch
1 $25 gift Card
Book: The Weight of Ink
Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Shirt, Blue Chambray, Medium
Book: The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language
DCDEAL Large Size 24 Compartments Adjustable Plastic Electronics Parts Gadgets Tool Storage Box
Biotics Research – CoQ-Zyme 30mg 60 Tabs
Book: Spoonbenders: A novel
Book: South Pole Station: A Novel
Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse
Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Diapers Size 2, 204 Count
Baqua Spa Metal Control (1 pt)
Crosman Squirrel Reset Target, Metal
2 of Philips 416131 Clear Appliance 15-Watt T7 Intermediate Base Light Bulb
A Court of Thorns and Roses Coloring Book
Smittybilt 2733 Tire Plug and Seal Kit
all Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent with OXI Stain Removers and Whiteners, Free Clear, Pouch, 38 Count
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Black
Westmark Germany Vegetable and Salad Spinner with Pouring Spout (Red)

Thieving Bastards…

My neighbor, who is remodeling his just purchased home had his garage and house broken into and a bunch of tools and supplies were taken – mostly hand tools. He and his family thankfully live elsewhere right now, until construction is complete. The thieving bastards were on foot and left the larger tools and job box. There was lots of damage to the newly installed wooden doors that required hours of labor for patches and repair. It was all a huge pain in the ass for him and to add insult they came back a week later in the middle of the night with a u-haul truck to get the bigger stuff. This time they cut through the newly installed deadbolt on the garage with a sawzall, but my neighbor had already moved his tools out, so they left empty-handed.

The thieves were caught on camera both times, but who knows if the police are looking really hard at this. This super sucks for my neighbor and the neighborhood. For me, it heightened my level of worry. I already have an alarm on our house and garage, but haven’t installed the POE cameras yet. They will be going on this weekend and I am also installing an external siren capable of damaging someone the next state’s hearing. I hate that it has come to this and that we all have to be so paranoid, but I have already lost tools to a thief once and I REALLY don’t want it happening again.

Garage sidewalk now poured with a side of cat-related drama

The sidewalk to the garage is finally poured – 8 weeks after I put the forms in…   To recap, it is 20’X4′ and 4″ deep.  I used 3500PSI with fiber added and lots of steel, because I hate cracking sidewalks. I paid a guy working on the house next door give me a hand with the wheel barrow concrete moving and to move-hold the other side of the scree board.  It took two hours from the minute the truck rolled up until I was cleaning up my tools and I saved >$1500 doing it myself, even with the cost of material, delivery and a couple of new tools.

I was super happy with the results when I went inside at 5:30. When I went back out to check on it at 9:30, the cat had walked up one side all the way to the garage, walked across, and back down the other side. I now have cat prints in my “perfect” sidewalk until the end of days…

I am not anthropomorphizing, she did it as a “Fuck You bald monkey!” because I would not let her in the house. It was too dry to re-float. This morning, to add insult, the hate-cat dropped a giant turd in the middle of the thing up by the garage door.  I said such dirty words!  This is the last straw!

Who would like an overweight white fluffy cat that is passive aggressive and shits on the things I love? I will throw in 2 bags of food, a carrier, shot records, box of band-aids, half eaten mouse, and 3 cat-nip impregnated toys. It is an awesome deal! Won’t last! Act now before someone else snatches her up!

Film Friday – Jeep Paint Prep

…And so begins my plan for interweb domination… This is the 1st in a series of videos detailing my Jeep re-painting project. I am doing the prep work and getting ready for my 1986 CJ-7 to go into the shop for a little cosmetic make-over. It was painted black at the factory in Toledo, has been black ever since, and will stay black until they make something darker. I also give a little bit of an update to what I have been up to of late, some projects that are in the works, and a quick pan view of part of a dirty, disorganized, and cluttered shop.

Forging and Fabricating

I can do and make bunches of stuff: Everything from joinery to electronics, from wood turning to machining, from bookbinding to electrical, from carving to heavy machine operation, but there are certain things that I have never really been able to do in the world of hand-craft, mostly due to lack of exposure or instruction. Chiefly among these things are/were forging/blacksmithing and metal shaping. The latter composed of shaping and bending sheet metal into forms and objects.

I decided this year to work on those deficits and have been taking some forging and fabrication classes at The Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. A couple nights a week, I leave work and hammer, shape, weld, grind, and make stuff out of steel. I have been at it for 5 weeks and am really please with both The Pratt and all that I am learning. I have also learned that while I have dipped my toe in these waters, that there is a ocean of knowledge out there. I do not have any want to be a full-time blacksmith or fabricator, but I want to keep learning, so I can add some of the techniques and pieces to stuff that I already build and add to my repertoire of ability and understanding. Below are some of the pieces that I have made, tools I am using, and some stuff that I am working on. I am putting together a little video as well.

People Suck

I went out to the car this morning to head into work and something was off: glove box open, center console open… fuck… our car was prowled. The only thing missing were my 14 year old Oakley prescription sunglasses. Seriously!? They are useless to anyone without nearsightedness, a stronger prescription in the left eye, and a double astigmatism. Some asshat woke up today at noon after a hard night of car prowls and probable raccoon-raping, put my sunglasses on, and I am sure promptly threw them away.

Since I have nothing better to do with my hard-earned pay, I will have to get a new set this week and take them to the optometrist for a prescription. It should be super-cheap

I hate thieving little bastards.

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.


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:


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


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


  • 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.

lift fail 1Lift fail 2lift fail 3





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. 🙂
Matt Talley_Lift location_CJ7_Jeep_2017

Matt Talley CJ Lift points (1)

Matt Talley CJ Lift points (2)

Matt Talley CJ Lift points (3)


Matt Talley Changing oil_07-2017 Jeep (2)

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

Matt Talley Farmer's Market 07-2017 (2)

Matt Talley Farmer's Market 07-2017 (1)

Matt Talley_Cherry Crop_2017





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

Matt Talley Changing oil_07-2017 Jeep (2)


Matt Talley Changing oil_07-2017 Jeep (1)

Matt Talley Jeep_07-2017 (1)

Matt Talley Garden 2017

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.