Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY Coffee Table

Using three 8-foot 1x12s, four 3" industrial locking casters and some stain, I designed and built a simple coffee table for the Mrs. for Christmas. She's been asking me for some time, I finally got it out of the way.

Not quite a boat project, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

In the process of building a new coffee table.

The coffee table is stained and almost ready for the casters.

coffee table is done

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kayak Garage Ceiling Lift

This evening's project, putting sawdust in my eyes via kayak lift installation.

Installed a kayak lift in the garage last night. Brian, my friend that built a kayak with me last winter, found inexpensive bike lifts at Harbor Freight and installed one in his garage some time ago. Seeing how great an idea that was, I decided to copy him. I need to replace the rope straps around the hull with one inch webbing and I'll be happy with it. And once the sawdust and drywall grit wear from my eyes...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lake Springfield Park

Given a couple of hours to myself about a week ago, I took the dog for a short walk in the woods just south of town.

Me and Maggs, getn breakfast on the way to a short walk in the woods this morning.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wa'apa Sailing Vids

A couple of low quality videos I took while sailing my Wa'apa outrigger canoe this past summer. Before I really got the hang of the boat and became comfortable sailing it in rougher weather. I was very happy with how much better it performed than my old sailing dinghy. Sorry about the weird black halo in the frame, the lens shroud on the waterproof case kept shifting on me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Saturday morning, I got up before sunrise and drove to Stockton Lake for some kayaking. Originally, I was going to camp out the night before, by myself, but I was pretty tired after finishing my first week at my new job.

An old country church in the middle of nowhere

Wayward calf

I got up to Stockton and the side of the lake I picked to put in at had white caps and a roaring onshore wind. Not willing to put myself under that much danger and exertion, I opted to drive another 15 minutes to a more sheltered area.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

I put in at the Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge. The lake, being very low, was little more than a tree stump choked river channel on this arm. I paddled about three and a half miles, out and back, until I gave up struggling to keep myself from holing the boat. I had several "Oh, s--t!" moments of high centering on a log or stump. The water was just too cold to risk going into and I called it early.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

I did see the remnants of an old bridge and a lot of birds, herons, great egrets, Canada geese, coots, a few hawks, gulls and a bunch of other waterfowl I couldn't identify. Also saw some raccoon prints in the mud.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Raccoon tracks - Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

It's a neat area, I look forward to checking it out again when the water is higher or the breeze is low enough to easily dodge dead trees in the water.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Name is Trevor and I Cook Brownish Things

I haven't had much outdoor activity in the past couple of weeks. Not much to post there. But, since the cooler weather has rolled in, I have been doing a lot of cooking and eating. Putting on the "winter coat", maybe? I don't know. Anyway, I just figured I'd post a few things I've made over the years and documented.

Right after my last grandparent passed, I really got into genealogy and started to research my family's origins. The family I grew up around and identified with most, my mother's side (surnamed Thomas), which came from the British Isles. Specifically Redruth, Cornwall and Cardiff, Wales. Being something of an Anglophile, already, this just seemed a natural extension of my interests. In this, I became interested in aspects of family tradition that were likely lost as my family became more Americanized. Food seemed like an obvious cultural loss. So I started attempting to make some traditional British foods for the fun of it. I usually put my own spin on the recipe, though. Substituting things like carrots for swede (rutabaga), etc.

Anyway, here are a few of the things I've made and eaten. The Brits like them some heavy and hardy foods.

Cornish Pasty. Pronounced "pass-tee" and yes, there's a stripper or burlesque joke in here somewhere, but that's as far as I'm going with it. It's a family(ish) blog. Pasties are meat, potatoes, onions and carrots baked in a short crust. Kind of a homemade potpie flavored Hot Pocket with a history dating back to the Cornish tin mining industry. I've made them several times. They're quite filling. I've eaten three since Sunday, when I made about a dozen.

Cornish Pasties

Helping dad cook Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasty Before the Oven

Perhaps a close cousin to the pasty is the Irish Dingle Pie. Basically the same thing, only in a circular pie shape instead of a half moon. Honestly, the pasty is easier to make. The Dingle Pies require some forethought in rolling out two sets of slightly different sized circles. One set for the bases and one for the caps.

Irish Dingle Pies

My variation on Yorkshire Rarebit. Similar to Welsh Rarebit, only you add egg and bacon. The cheese sauce you put on your toast has beer and mustard in it. Can't remember the actual recipe at the moment, but it's much better than the simple cheese on toast thing sounds.

Yorkshire Rarebit (sort of...)

Cottage pie, only distinguishable from Shepherds Pie by the filling of ground beef rather than lamb, is a favorite in our house. It's easy to make and you can even use leftover ingredients from your Cornish Pasty endeavors to make it, like I did this past weekend.

Shepherds Pie (Cottage Pie) 1

Shepherds Pie (Cottage Pie) 2

Shepherds Pie (Cottage Pie) 4

Shepherd's Pie

Beer Bread. Beer and bread in one awesome package. Need I say more?

Happiness... is home baked beer bread and butter. :)

Beef and Ale or Stout Stew with Irish Brown Soda Scones or Bread. Probably my favorite to make. It takes about three hours and is best done on a cold and lazy weekend where you don't plan to do much other than hang out around the house.

Get'n stew-pid. Cooking a beef and ale stew.

Guinness Stew Prep

Guinness Stew Prep

Guinness Stew and Brown Soda Scones

Guinness Stew and Brown Soda Bread

Iron Chef Wannabe...

Brown Soda Bread

Brown Soda Scones

Homemade brown soda scones.

And on to dessert!

Scottish Shortbread. It can be made in large rounds or cut up into fun shapes using cookie cutters, depending on the occasion.

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread Santa

Shortbread Cookies

Finishing where we started, the dessert pasty. These were made with blueberries, mulberries off the tree behind the house, a little sugar and a dab of butter. Simple and they came out great! I've also made them with honey and cinnamon sugar

mulberry, blueberry and honey/cinnamon pasties

Food is an great way to feel a cultural connection to a place, even if you've never been there. I'm a VERY picky eater and it's taken some retraining myself to get my head around a few foods. Like when I make Indian curries, Chinese stir-fry, Mexican and SW style foods, etc. I sometimes have to make myself step outside my comfort zone and am, more often than not, pleasantly surprised. But I do need to work on getting more veggies into my meals, I'll admit.