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 The Pratt
  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.

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 🙂