Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's Growing on Me

I entered a "bearded dad" contest at my daughter's school a month ago. Funny what a month can do to a man.

Pics 1&2 for a bearded dad contest at my daughter's school.

Pics 1&2 for a bearded dad contest at my daughter's school.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club - Nov. 24, 2014

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Hebrews Coffee. Temps in the 30s with a little snow on the return trip. We've brought the destination indoors for the winter. It's also easier to make the meeting times before work, as they are well before sunrise.

A little more adventure this morning than usual when we tried to find a way across Galloway Creek to the Greenway on the return trip. It may or may not have involved train tracks and skirting some land above the Nature Center. No dead hobos to report along that stretch.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Hebrews Coffee. Temps in the 30s with a little snow on the return trip.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Hebrews Coffee. Temps in the 30s with a little snow on the return trip.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Hebrews Coffee. Temps in the 30s with a little snow on the return trip.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cutting Firewood & Cabin Camping

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Friday, after work, my friend Brian D. and I loaded up his truck with camping and firewood cutting gear and drove down to a cabin in Cape Fair, Missouri. About every six months or so, we head down there to check on the place, camp for an evening and cut firewood or put the kayaks on the lake below the place. The cabin is extremely well build with no drafts and very little sound passing through its walls, even with its close proximity to the road. The owners, a couple Brian knows through church, have been extremely gracious to allow us access so regularly. So, we always try and leave it better than we found it.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Friday night, we got down there, unlocked the gate, pulled in the truck and trailer and hooked up the electricity from the post out front with a long extension cord. Then got to cooking dinner out on the porch. Brian made steaks with potatoes, bell peppers and onions. A feast for kings. While we were out on the porch we heard something rustling in the leaves on the hill above. I broke out my spotlight and shined it up in the woods. A large gray fox was slowly making its way along the hill above us. It was really pretty and easily the biggest fox I've ever seen. The red ones we have in our neighborhood are always about a third smaller. If it wasn't the color and shape it was, I might have mistaken it for a small coyote.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

After that, we played some checkers on my DIY camp checker board made from garage scraps and we hung out on the porch for a bit before calling it. Brian got the loft, I crashed on the futon downstairs, reading for a little while before turning the light out.

Up Saturday morning at dawn. Coffee and breakfast on the porch. Brian saw a handful of deer moving through the property before I got out of my sleeping bag. Two of which were good-size bucks. Breakfast was bacon, eggs and biscuits that I made scratch on Thursday night for the trip. Can't beat bacon from Horrmann Meat Co. in Springfield. Easily my favorite butcher shop in town.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

After breakfast, with rain looming on the horizon, we got to work on the white oak tree that had been felled behind the cabin.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

It didn't take us long to fill up the trailer. Luckily for us, the white oak was much less difficult to cut and split than last year's red oak. We had a couple of fun points dropping the larger limbs to the ground. At one point, Brian cut through one with the chainsaw, only to have it fall to the limb below it and pivot horizontally across it perfectly balanced. The way it was bent, it took a little thought to bring it to the ground and cut it some more.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Around noon, as we were throwing the last pieces on the trailer and lashing them down for the return trip, the rain really kicked in. We moved back under the porch for a lunch of chili dogs and watched it come down for a while before loading the gear into the truck and cleaning up and locking the place behind us.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

It's odd how a thing like cutting firewood can be so much fun. Here it is Monday morning and I'm still feeling the effects of it in my back and shoulders, but in retrospect, the work seems way more rewarding than a pain.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Cutting firewood and cabin camping.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kidyak Kayak Update: 11-12-2014

She's all decked out. Now for a good ironing and some paint.

kidyak kayak progress

kidyak kayak progress

kidyak kayak progress

kidyak kayak progress kidyak kayak progress kidyak kayak progress

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kidyak Kayak Update: 11-11-2014

I managed to wrestle the skin onto the bottom last night. Planning to pick up some line for the handles and maybe head home to drill the holes for them at lunch today. If not then, possibly this evening. Then it will be on to the deck canvas.

The bottom canvas is stapled  on.

Untitled

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Carl Schlieper German Eye 3-blade pocket knife

Made in Solingen, Germany, likely in the 1970s, this little gem of a knife was given to me by my friend Ryan B. yesterday while we visited he and his great little family in St. Louis. It needs cleaning and shows some mild wear, but otherwise, it's a cool little 3-1/4 inch pocket knife. The perfect size for a daily-carry blade set. I'll have it buffed up and sharpened in a day or two.

Carl Schlieper German Eye 3-blade pocket knife.

Any man worth his salt should carry a pocket knife.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Whispy Hillbilly Nostalgia

When I moved to the SW Missouri Ozarks 20 years ago, I wondered what the crap I'd gotten myself into in returning to the state of my birth from SW Florida. But, over time, I developed a taste for some of the more stereotypical aspects of Ozarks culture and practice and I couldn't be more at home. Things that have nearly been forgotten due to TV and the Internet, but the rest of the country still thinks are frequently afoot in daily life. For instance, I love Bluegrass music and Classic Country (pre-1970s, mostly). I love Ozarks folk art, crafts and history. I love funny small town and hill folk accents. I love floating rivers, fishing, hiking and just about anything else outdoors. I also like smoking tobacco on occasion from a corncob pipe. Especially when camping or hiking. There's nothing more relaxing than a campfire's glow and a pipe on a cool fall or winter evening.

Which brings me to this little bit of corny hillbilly awesomeness, my new Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman Strait with "Rusticob" treatment. It's basically the same pipe that Aristocob has been selling for a while, only rusticated by adding some stain or paint to it. It's REALLY pretty, in my opinion. I normally smoke the same pipe in a bent standard form. This new one will easily fit itself into the rotation.

My new Rusticob Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman strait corncob pipe.