Film Friday – Attic Remodel: Week 4

Week 4 brings us views, natural light, and modern wiring! We had a 4’X4′ venting skylight installed that gives us sliver views of Puget Sound, The Seattle Skyline, The Olympic Mountains, and the Cascades. ALL the knob & tube wiring has been replaced, we added some lights and plugs on the main level, are ready for the windows to go in on Monday, and for the last part of the rough carpentry to happen next week as well.

Having two full-time jobs

Came home from regular work and started working in the attic and basement. Ran last bit of new wire, ran 5-65′ Cat5 cable runs for ethernet and our POE cameras. Cleaned up tools, hung electrical boxes in the basement, hauled trash bags down from attic, moved 15 boxes of subway tile, vacuumed basement, shot a little video, sent some email, ordered a new bathroom mirror, and plotted to take over the world with Pinky -like we do every night.

The Spring Flu SUCKS!!

I spent all weekend sipping on a bottle NyQuil – Strait from the bottle because that is how I roll when I have fever. I was at work Monday morning, but I am still not sure where the entire weekend went. It is lost in a dark blue haze with brief interludes of hacking and blowing my nose. It is now Wednesday and I am feeling quasi-normal again, but Stamps-With-Foot started coughing last night and called in sick this morning. I may have infected her.

Film Friday – 3D Printing a Sweet Settlers of Catan Robber

I have been 3D printing a lot lately. I found a SWEET robber piece for The Settlers of Catan on Thingiverse (link listed below) and decided to slice and print it out for our game. It worked really well and I have been printing 1 every few days to give to friends and folks that we play Settlers with. I recorded the whole print and what it looked like before any clean up.

The Thingy for the Settlers of Catan Twister Robber:…

I Might need a day off…

This weekend was super full:

  1. Got a haircut
  2. Published “Week 4” attic remodel vid on YouTube
  3. Cleaned out freezer that shut down and spoiled EVERYTHING in it.
  4. Took freezer and bio-waste contents to dump.
  5. Bagged and took 1200 pounds of construction waste to dump
  6. Got Jeep out of garage, charged battery, and fawned over it.
  7. Cleaned yard a little
  8. Wrote a couple of letters.
  9. Had 2017 taxes done.
  10. Getting a refund for first time in 9 years.
  11. Wife and I are going to splurge on hookers and blow – her idea.
  12. Tried to work on the Jeep, but too much shit in my way.
  13. Cleaned garage some.
  14. Organized and hauled out all of the recycling from house and garage – there was a LOT.
  15. Put together new planer stand and mounted wood planer in shop
  16. Drank wine.
  17. Made and finished a YouTube video of the planer assembly.
  18. Installed security camera in the house.
  19. Installed switch and plug boxes and rafter supports in attic.
  20. Input time sheets for my J-O-B.
  21. Played ZERO music.
  22. Worked on a 3D printing design
  23. Got stuff ready for next week
  24. Drank some more wine.
  25. Going to bed now.

Standing on My Soapbox Again – Ford Motor Company


Ascends Soapbox:

I am having a crisis on conscience about vehicles of late: I REALLY want a new Subaru WRX to replace my 2008 blue beauty and I have been salivating over the coming 2019 Jeep Scrambler with a diesel engine FOR YEARS. I have loved all my Scoobys, but there have been some issues with the unavailability of the 5 door WRX and with the CVT transmission & 2.5-liter engine oil consumption recall issues, I am super gun-shy about buying a new Subaru. As for Trucks, I have always been a Nissan/Toyota guy because of a long run of really great vehicles, but that feeling has changed after my experience with my last truck and the dealer I bought it from.

Dad was a Ford man his whole life and mom had a green 1998 4X2 ranger step-side for 14-ish years that was an amazing little truck. That means something to me. I want to buy American owned/made vehicles at this point in my life and I have been looking really hard at Ford. The re-issue of the 2019 Ranger compact/mid-sized truck with a 3.2L, 31+ MPG, diesel looks really good! That coupled with the politics of Ford not taking direct bailout funds (money under AIFP) and Ford (along with Honda), recently urgeing the EPA to maintain the current requirements for the 2025 fuel emission standards, really has my attention.

I still am excited about the Toledo, Ohio-made Scrambler (since my ’86 CJ needs a playmate), but the Jeep brand is currently owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian/American-ish automobile company that is registered in the Netherlands with its headquarters in London, all for tax purposes. Chrysler also took a crap ton of bail out money, with $1.3 billion that was written off and will never be recovered. This is also a company that looked hard at selling the Jeep brand to a Chinese Automaker in 2017. Seriously, look it up…

With all that said and with months of discussion and deliberation, I am feeling pulled to both the Ford Ranger truck for our next vehicle purchase and the Fiesta ST (when it comes out in AWD) for my wife when her forester runs close to the end of its bumper to bumper warranty period.

…Dismounts Soapbox…


Film Friday – Week 2 of the Attic Rebuild

I know… I have been posting a bunch of videos lately and not a lot of travel, Jeep, Puppy, garden, music, building, or other normal posts.  That will change with the coming of Spring and the completion of our attic remodel/rebuild.  In that vain, below is the short video documenting week 2 of the process.  It looks like it will be a 5-part series.

Mid-week Update

So, this week has been crazy at work and at home. On the home-front, there were birthdays, shopping, it is Income Tax time, we have 3-4 guys showing up every morning at 7:00 with tools in hand to work in and on the attic.

My shop is full.  I can’t even get to my table saw and my bench is stacked 5′ high with insulation.   I need a little shop time to keep me sane or at least saner…  So, I took a little me time and signed up for some classes for spring and early summer where I will get use other folks shops and build/make stuff:

  1. Canoe Paddle Making
  2. Claw and Ball Foot Carving
  3. A 10-Week Letter Press Workshop
  4. Woodcarving Figures
  5. Spoon Carving
  6. Block Printing
  7. Industrial Sewing: canvas and leather

The Jeep Rebuild After Paint

As you know, I got the Jeep back from paint about a month ago and it has been sitting on the lift in the garage – letting the paint cure. I am not 100% happy with the paint… It took 4 tries for them to get the hood and fenders right and there are little spots and dings on the tailgate. There is also some mess just above the nerf bars and a run on the rear fender that makes me twitch, but they will be covered by some trim and the fender flairs, so… I included the Jeep’s homecoming in a video here, but skip to 5:09 as I spent way too much time blabbing about other non-Jeep related crap in the 1st part of the Video.

Anyway, I have been collecting small cardboard boxes full of goodies since last October for the after-paint re-fit. That installation process begins this coming weekend. I am giddy with anticipation.

The part additions and changes from Morris, Amazon, ARB, and Northridge4X4 include:

Duel Battery tray
Halogen headlight Lamp Conversion Kit (wanted LEDs, but don’t want to pay $600+ for headlight!!)
Black Rugged Ridge Fender Flare Kit
Stainless Fender Flair Hardware
Front Side Amber Marker Lights
New Wiper Blades
New thick rubber floor mats
BestTop Bikini Top (uses existing soft top channel) for the 2 months of sun in Seattle this summer
Rugged Ridge LED Tail Lights
Front Parking Lamp/Lens
Black Factor 55 FlatLink Winch Cable Shackle
Burnt Orange Jeep Fender Decals
New Frame to Cowl Weather Seal
Black Powder Coated Stainless Steel Side Mirrors
New Winch Cover
Warn Winch bumper with D-Rings
Black Vinyl Spare Tire Cover
New Aviation-Style Light Switches for front spots and reverse lights
Stainless Steel License Plate Holder (I had it powder coated black)
Second set of D-rings (Powder Coated Burnt Orange to match Jeep Logo)
Hi-Lift Jack Rebuild Kit (sandblasting and repainting origional)
Bronze Door Hinge Bushings (sourced at McMaster-Carr)
Warrior Pipe ½ doors (because I can)
ARB Recovery Tools Bag to organize my off-road gear
ARB Compact Onboard Air Compressor (Got a SMOKING Deal at the ARB booth at a recent Jeep Swap Meet!!)

Getting new bar covers made as well

Film Friday – Framing Double Feature

We are remodeling and rebuilding a 90+ year old attic into a master bedroom. This required completely rewiring to electrical in the attic, moving/fixing plumbing, building a complete floating floor, adding roof supports, etc… Below is thew documentation of the 1st week of the build.

Part I of a 2 part video on the replacement of a falling down 90+ year old shack of a carriage shed with a modern 24X24 garage. This was not a flat mono-slab, green field build. Lots of digging was required and a rebar-filled retaining wall and slab had to be poured in the middle of winter before the first wall could go up.

Spring Has Sprung – 2018

With the official start of Spring – as determined by the fact that my wife was reading a book, enjoying the sunshine, and drinking wine in the yard – we had a busy weekend at La Maison Du Talley:

Moved all the power tools in the shop against the wall for temp storage duty
Ordered material for attic finish
Set up new iPhone (old one a brick!)
Checkout at Pratt to be able to independently use their fabrication shop.
Moved everyone else’s crap out of my basement and temporarily into the garage
Said dirty words about all the other people’s crap being stored in our home
Cleaned the basement completely out
Pruned the apple trees in the backyard
Restacked the firewood wood pile
Cleaned and prepped attic for floor installation
Published two YouTube videos
Set up new condenser microphone in home office/studio
Breakfast with my mom and wife
Went to the Moonshiners 36th Annual Jeep Swap Meet
Did not buy a new-to-me 1946 CJ-2A project Jeep
Stayed Married
Did not buy a motorcycle or boat at the swap meet
Stayed married – there is a theme…
DID buy an ARB on-board air compressor and a duel battery mount – and got a sweet deal!
Signed up for three classes at Pratt for this spring: Block printing, wood carving, and letterpress
Padded and protected the wood floor and built-ins in prep for attic finish
Cleaned the hot tub
Edged and mowed the front and back yard
Spread Weed&Feed on the back yard and parking strip
Re-seeded the front yard

Film Friday – 3D Printing Projects

I have been doing some medium-serious designing, borrowing, appropriating, and just plain stealing some 3D designs and printing useful stuff this winter in between shop time, my J-O-B, building projects, and remodel projects. The video below details the printing and use of a couple of safety razor cases, SD card holders, and GoPro Session4 case.

President’s Day 2018

President’s Day is here and it is time to prune the fruit trees, roses, and lavender. Or at least that was my plan for yesterday. Instead, I spent WAY TOO MUCH time on Twitter – ranting about sensible gun laws and the current US administration. I also spent a couple of hours cleaning the house, washing dishes, working on 2 videos, walking the puppies, and working in the shop. So the entire day was not wasted on-line.

In the shop, I am building a Screen Printers Workbench for a local artist, Amy M. Douglas. She does some pretty amazing prints and oil/acrylic work. We are trading my time for art, so it is a win/win for both of us. Below are a couple of shots taken during the build and I will have a whole YouTube video about the build in a week or so.








I will spend an afternoon this coming weekend pruning, re-stacking firewood, and cleaning the yard – I see a dump run in my future.

3/4/2018 Update:

The bench is done and delivered.

Film Friday – An Update and a Little Ranting

A quick update about why I have not posted here on my blog or been on YouTube for a few weeks and how I have been spending my time: Roadtrippin’, some slight ranting, obscene gestures, naughty words, snowboarding, beer, some boats, a little 3D printing, and a sneak peak at the Jeep’s homecoming after 12 weeks in the body shop are all to follow.


YouTube Partnership Program Rule Change Rant

So, I am going to rant for just a bit, bear with me…

-Mounts Soapbox –

“Ahem… I set a goal to be a better filmmaker, content provider, and maker five months ago.  Part of that goal was to reach the 10,000 view threshold to monetize my YouTube account.  I did not plan to quit my J-O-B, or be internet famous, I just wanted to use it as a milestone for progress toward the goal and I nailed it on January 4th!  10,000 views!!  I was so stoked that I woke my wife up way too late one night to tell her.  My account was under review for 2 weeks and I was finally officially monetized for two days – two WHOLE days – before BAM!!  I was demonetized with a huge group of small and smaller content providers.  Son of a…

While this was a while in coming, it looks like the process/decision was sped up when a guy with 15+ million subscribers named Logan Paul posted a video of a suicide victim. 1st, what a fucking privileged asshat.  WTF is wrong with people?!  He should be forever ashamed, and spend a great deal of his YouTube revenue on suicide prevention and advocacy.  What should’ve happened following the public and advertiser outrage was YouTube suspending or deleting his channel, but that dude generates SERIOUS ad revenue, so… What happened instead was that YouTube took him off the top-tier ad group and YouTube punished the SHIT out of the small folks by demonetizing channels with less than 4000 hours of watch-time AND less than1000 subscribers to ‘protect their core values’? Makes zero sense and this guy will continue to post and earn $$$ even at the lower tier.

OK, fine, fuck’em.  I was not doing this for some mythical pot of gold.  This setback is just going to make me dig deeper.  I am 10% to the new threshold and I will keep slogging on. Keep making and doing. Post better and better content.  This will make me leaner, stronger, bigger, better, more… A better speaker, better filmmaker, I will get lighting and sound for my videos dialed, have awesome content, and be a better person from it all. Success doesn’t teach half as much as adversity.

To all effected by the YouTube demonetization BS: Don’t quit! Keep slogging on. Keep making and doing. You too will be all the better for it. Send me your channel and I will follow you and help with the watch hour threshold. As I said, I had just hit the monetization before all of this and we will get there again.  It will take some hard work but, we can all help each other out.”

– Dismount Soapbox –


Film Friday – Double Feature

I had a found (fly-away issue) DJI Phantom 3Pro sent to me as a gift by an awesome buddy – a SERIOUSLY awesome friend! I took a look and decided to rebuild the thing and see if I could get it back in the air. Here is that process:

From my second You Tube Channel – the one I use to share vacation videos and miscellaneous stuff – I present for your viewing pleasure: Snowboarding at Loveland and Winterpark in Colorado with great friends on MLK weekend 2018

As always, PLEASE hit the subscribe button if you like my content on YouTube. Thank you!

2018 News Year’s Resolutions:

A year ago, to the day, I said that I would do a bunch of stuff in 2017.  I did OK, but not great. I could blame it on my old man hip, the surgery, or the recovery time, but mostly not getting stuff on the list done was all me. All my own laziness, stuborness, or my A+ skill level of procrastination. These are the promises I made to myself that I kept:

Take a pottery class
Take a Blacksmithing class at the Pratt
Read 1 book every 2 weeks – minimum
Play my uke, banjo, and guitar with others
Give lots of $$ to Heifer and MFS
Make movies and post: Adventure, craftsmanship, and family.
Make Stuff!!
Ride my skateboard because I am not too old or too fat
Road trip in WA more
Take my wife on vacation
Plant a spring garden
Fix up the front and back yards

The following is what I am committing myself to do in 2018:

  1. Organize my chaos in the shop and basement.
  2. Sell, donate, recycle, or throw away shit that I do not use.
  3. Use my planner and notebooks as tools not as something that I “have” to use.
  4. Eat my veggies.  Seriously.  Salads in my future.
  5. Take my desk at home back and make it a conducive writing space.
  6. Cut WAY back on sugar and carb intake!
  7. Lose weight – back to 175! and put on 5-7lbs of muscle
  8. Go to the gym 3-4 time a week – minimum.
  9. Box more at the gym and at home
  10. Write more: Blog posts, REAL letters, Thank you notes, fiction, and non-fiction
  11. Take more great pictures
  12. Fly my drones more
  13. Take at least a 45 minute lunch at least 4 days a week at work
  14. Show up to yoga at least once a week
  15. Take another pottery class
  16. Finish my CJ-7 Jeep restoration
  17. Look into getting back into the judo dojo
  18. Sign up and compete in the Gambler 500 car race
  19. Sign up for a letterpress class at SVC Downtown
  20. Take another blacksmithing class at The Pratt
  21. Read 1 book every 2 weeks!
  22. Learn how to play the mandolin and banjo better!
  23. Play my uke, banjo, and guitar with others
  24. Build a skin-on-frame canoe for two
  25. Road and mountain bike
  26. Take the puppies to Lincoln Park for a walk at least once a week
  27. Ride the living shit out of my Single -Speed
  28. Bike to work at least 5 times this year (12 miles each way)
  29. Volunteer more at the Center for Wooden Boats
  30. Pay off all credit cards
  31. Go sailing in Puget Sound
  32. Turn some amazing and useful stuff on my lathe
  33. Give lots of $$ to Heifer and MFS
  34. Make at least 1 movie a week for YouTube and post: Adventure and craftsmanship
  35. Monetize my YouTube account and increase my presence and standing in that community
  36. Lessen my Twitter and social media activity…
  37. See my kids and grandchildren more
  38. Be involved in politics more: financally and with a time commitment
  39. Work on my Genealogy database and organize all my info.
  40. Finish the house remodel –  even if I have to pay a contractor to do it (…shudder…)
  41. Finish the garage/shop/GROP build
  42. Make.More.Stuff!!
  43. Ride my snowboard and skateboard because I am not too old or too fat
  44. Road trip in WA and on West Coast more
  45. Have two hives of healthy, happy bees
  46. Kayak lots!
  47. See my friends more
  48. Take my wife on vacation
  49. Plant a spring garden and have a really bountiful fall harvest
  50. Have an awesome Griswald-like Christmas light display!

I am printing this list out and pasting copies in my notebook, work planner, in the shop, at my desk at work, on the fridge, and in the basement above my warranty voiding workbench.

Film Friday – Oak and Maple Pizza Peel Build

My Father-in-Law, The Chatty Buddha,  wanted me to make him a pizza peel and while I have built cutting boards and boat paddles, I hadn’t yet made a peel. I agreed, sourced the lumber from a local salvege store. It used to be flooring, but after some magic with the table saw, jointer, some glue, and a hand plane or three – he has a pizza peel that I gave to him for Christmas.  I hope to be enjoying pizza from it for years to come.

Film Friday – Offering Candle Stand Build

As the weather has cooled down, there are some welding and fabrication projects that I need/want to take care of during the short, cold, dark days of winter. This short video details the fabrication of a steel votive candle or offering candle stand that I am built for my wife/our house. It is made to fit on top of the Prie-dieu that we brought back from France. The stand is made from 1/8″ steel channel and plate, though looking back at the video the plate might have been more like 5/16″ ish…

My Own Personal Take on Hand-planes: Buying Recommendations to Use

I use the bejesus out of my power tools.  I LOVE my SawStop, my Bosch compound miter-saw is scary accurate, and my band-saw is magic, but there is room in my life and in my shop for lots of hand-tools.  I am a child of both Norm Abram and Roy Underhill.  I watched them both on PBS every Saturday after cartoons as a small child in 1981 until I was 44 or so.  Their combined influence has made me value the old way of doing things without being a Luddite and I can appreciate modern cabinet shop/woodworking tools.  Case in point: I have a 3HP Powermatic 3520 lathe and would not even want to think about turning a bowl or platter on a pole lathe with a forged hook knife. On the other hand, while I have not given up a single one of by 5 routers, I found years ago that it is sometimes faster to grab an old wooden molding plane from a shelf and take care of an edge detail or piece of trim.  I can be done and dusted with the plane in the time it would take me to find the right bit an set up the router.

Because of my vocal love for hand planes, I get questions all the time from friends and acquaintances about what they should buy, where they should start, how to set something up, sharpening, truing a sole, etc…  I thought I would take a minute to go over those things, stand on my soapbox a little, and give the world my opinions concerning hand planes.

.. Ascending my soapbox…  Ahem…

  1. Buy a quality block and #4 smoothing plane – Lie-Nelson, Wood River,  or Veritas are great options.  Stay away from used hand planes or classics until you get used to how a hand plane SHOULD work.  Setting up an older Stanley or Bailey plane, sharpening, replacing parts and flattening the sole will drive you insane if you don’t know exactly what you are doing and will make you want to throw the thing and swear off hand planes forever.  Start with the known good and once you know how it should function, then you can pick up a  used #2 bench rabbit or a #8 corrugated bottom jointer and tune them sweetly – maybe.  I would go over any prospective purchase with a scornful eye and replacement the blade and/or chip breaker on an old plane is required about 50% of the time, in my experience anyway.  

Here is my list of the initial planes and accessories you will want/need ( I like the low angle but to each his own):

  1. Stanley Low-Angle Block Plane
  2. Shoulder plane
  3. Smoother plane 
  4. Plane chip-breaker Screwdriver  I swear to God you need this, really!  When you mare the screw an a $200 plane because you didn’t listen, it is your own fault for not listening.
  5. Sharpener: get two…
  6. Buy a nice set of Japanese water stones 1000 to 8000 grit.  Watch the videos and keep your blades sharp.
  7. Also, Japanese planes, like Japanese pull saws and water stones, are FANTASTIC.  They deserve their own diatribe, but for the purpose of this post I will stick to western planes with the exception of an edge-rounding plane.  I use mine constantly.

Nice to have once you get serious about using hand planes:

  1. Jack Plane
  2. Jointer planeSpoke shave  Get the flat first then the curved.  You probably wont ever need the concave one.
  3. This Router plane  but, if I were in the market for a new one, this Walke Moore version is the nicest I have ever seen!
  4. Scraper plane –  get the toothed blade
  5. A combination plane, but be wary of used Stanley Record #45/#46s.  They can be a beast to swap around and if they come with all the original parts they are spendy!
  6. if you are going to be doing a lot of drawers or insets, then both a Left and Right Plow Plane are really nice to have
  7. Wooden molding planes : See below…

Once you have been bitten by the molding plane bug, you will want to run right out and buy a 1/2 or full set.  Good luck.  There are not a lot of makers out there and the ones that are doing it have a long wait list and are not cheap.  Some people, like myself, invest is an older set.  My molding planes include a 3/4 harlequin cove and round set (mixed from various makers and time periods) that I have carefully built over the last 9-10 years.  The dates for my planes run from 1956 to 1930s to 1850s/70s and I have one from the 1790s that has an uncommon roman ogee shape that I use on boxes and 6-board chest lids. This collecting takes time as there has never been a set standard for what a #8 is, for instance, so there is a lot of variance in sizes between makers.  I have replaced a few irons as well.








I often defer to people that are smarter than me and Matthew Bickford and Chris Schwartz recommend a set of #4 and #8 and a set of #6 and #10 hollows and rounds as an initial starter set.  I would add that a 3/16 beading plane is a wonder to have as well if and when you start down this road.

To my own set, I have added some additional beading planes – up to 1/2″, tongue & groove planes for 1/4″ – 1″ stock, specialized profile molders, 1/4 rounds, scrapers, etc., but those is my own personal obsessive tendencies.

I failed miserably at finding a classic matched set of snipe-bills and half rounds (NEEDED for linen-fold panels).  I have resigned myself to buy new ones from Old Street Tools, but I have to warm my wife to the idea of me spending serious cash on blocks of wood and iron that I will use 5-6 times a year.  I have been working on her for 3 years and they are on my Christmas and birthday list every year.  No luck yet.

Read Bickford’s Moldings in Practice (if you have bled with me or we have swapped spit, you can borrow my copy) and take a look at the video of the same name before jumping in.  Molding planes can be sourced from the following, in no special order:

New  planes:


…and now I will dismount my soapbox…



Film Friday – Another Hammer Re-Work/Repair

I had a tired, old, home-made, second-hand chipping hammer that was broken and had been so for years.  So, I MIG-welded the busted joint, ground the transition, and added a reclaimed hickory handle, which came from a hatchet rebuild shown in a previous video that I posted on YouTube. With the re-weld and addition of copper handle rivets, it should last a few decades now.

Chopping Firewood Warms You Twice

I have some on the most awesome neighbors ever. I know a lot of people say that, but I firmly believe in mine.  One of my neighbors across the street took down a maple and a cedar and offered both up as fire wood for me to just HAVE!  Now, two trees is a lot of wood to and split and the cedar looked nasty with lots of knots and limbs.  I decided to rent a $70 hydraulic log splitter for the day and just get it done.

I showed up with a chainsaw, bar-oil, and the splitter and he had it all laid out and ready to go.  He gave me pre-mixed gas for the saw and spent 9 hours helping me bust it all up – just because!!  Even though we used the splitter, it was still HARD work and we lifted/rolled/moved/cut/shoved 2+cords of wet heavy wood around.  It was work!  I bought him lunch and a bottle of Bushmills 10yo Whiskey, but that is nowhere near enough payment for all he did!

The maple is enough to supply around a third of our wood for next winter (takes a while to season) and the cedar will make for awesome fire pit wood in the back yard and at the beach!  I am on the lookout for some oak to lay up this winter and I would commit heinous acts for a load of madrona…

Christmas List 2017

I would really like for the fat elf in the red suit to grant me one little wish: For the adults in the room to take the reins of the American Political System. I would be good from there if that were my only gift for the rest of my Christmases. I already have a bunch of crap, so if you want to grab something, please first give to a worthy cause and send me a note about it:.

A donation to Heifer International: Bees (I really like to give the gift of bees) Goats, Chickens, Llama, or the whole Ark… – My mom gave me some cash for the bees 🙂
A little cash to Doctors Without Borders/MSF
Go give blood and eat some free cookies
Money sent in for Diabetes Research

These are also fine ideas:

Some time in a Tattoo Artist’s chair
Metal Collar Stays –  Santa dropped these in my stalking
An Amazon Gift Card
A sweet pair of these work shoes (UK Men’s size 8 or 42 in Euro Size)
Book: Campaign Furniture by Chris Schwartz
Book: Bees of the World by Mitchner –  My wife is AWESOME!!
New razor blades
A gift card to Hardwick’s Hardware in Seattle
Two or three sets of Shoe Trees
Genetic genealogy testing from 23&Me
Starbucks Gift Card
Sweet new socks. – My wife Came through!
Coupon for The Art of Shaving
A card from each of my kids
Sign up for the 1 or 2-Day Rally School Course at DirtFish
Amber 2ga. Plugs (bonus points if they have insect inclusions)
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.  – My guys at work are awesome and got me a sampler pack
Porto (Cálem Vintage, Ramos Pinto, or a Taylor’s). Again, my guys at work went all in and picked up a 10 year old Taylor’s that made me giddy with happiness.

Thanksgiving 2017 and the judicious exercising of my liver.

We drove 6+ hours each way for Thanksgiving this year and it was all that an annual family Thanksgiving Hell weekend should be: A late start, Farting dogs, forgotten items, foul weather, snarled traffic, booze, weird family drama, unhappy wife, alcohol, some yelling, miscommunicated plans, mountains of guilt, one dog escape, unmedicated crazy, some tears, no turkey, more alcohol, slamming doors, heartburn, someone that showed up super-high, fits thrown, 1 minor meltdown, fitful dreams… You know, the usual stuff.  It is going to take a week and a cleanse to get my liver and mood back to a moderately-normal functionality.

After we got home LATE Sunday night, I started a fire in the living room stove insert, fed the puppies, we ate a little something, unpacked, and said a little prayer of thanks that no one went full-postal.

“Next Year” we are doing something different. Seriously. Like a cruise or our own private affair with a fried turkey, soft white rolls, butter, cranberry & pine nut stuffing, corn on the cob, more butter, apple pie, peach cobbler, expensive/tasty booze and ZERO drama.

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 one of the “hot” wire legs, which led to the failure.
Said dirty words
Drove to Home Depot and back for breaker
Swapped out a blown 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 noteboard 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.