Thursday, October 31, 2013


I threw dinner on the grill, and decided to split some firewood while waiting for it.

After the outside lights, which are on motion sensors, had all shutoff I realize here I am wearing an LED head lamp but otherwise in the pitch black of Halloween night swinging an ax. On the off chance anyone had actually ventured up the driveway, I'm sure they would be telling the tale of the crazy man who lives in the woods...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Highland Park Fire Videos

Nice video short about Highland Park by Verge:

And the YouTube helmet cam video that inspired the above:

Scientist or Pyschopath

Just watched this clip..."We've known all along you're a psychopath, but you're a happy psychopath who doesn't hurt anyone, just likes to play with people's minds..."

Which ties into the book I'm currently reading, Clarence Pfaffenberger's "The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior" which is a 1950-something classic which outlines the early days when genetics and behavioral science combined to create very strong SOPs and bloodlines that turned guide dog training around from reject 90% of pups born to a litter to graduating 95%. The book is written in an older style so it is a bit long in the tooth and repetitive at times, none the less it is considered one of the foundations of modern dog training.

Like most things, it ends up being a combination of nature and nurture. They developed tests to pick out the early behaviors common in dogs that would graduate their programs and bred bloodlines to emphasize them, but they also learned of very critical, but short, windows to take advantage of them -- a delay sometimes of a week or two in a three month old puppy's training could double the likelihood of flunking out of guide dog training. And this was sometimes very small -- a little as 15 minutes a day (and if I remember correctly, even just one 15 minute session once a week in some cases) could make the difference during the critical psychological development periods.

New London Industry in 1915...

A special edition of The Day from March 11, 1915 describing many of the city's businesses, from banks to utilities, including the Shoreline Electric Railway, T.A. Scott which specializes in marine construction (piers, underwater pipelines, etc.), and New London Ship & Engine Company that was an early name for Electric Boat:,1153617

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Continuing my fascination with the Aquitaine region...

View Larger Map
Stumbled on this while surfin' the net and watching TV. The non-satellite view shows the feature better -- the extensive modifications of the estuary of the Seudre for oyster farming, and going through Google images possibly some salt production evaporation ponds.

More on the estuary and oyster culture.

Top Round & Butternut

This came out good --

Butternut squash from my garden, cut up and grilled in foil. Olive oil, just a drizzle of honey, cinnamon, and paprika.

The steak is Top Round that I marinated in fresh squeezed lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil for about 9 hours before I grilled it -- 10 minutes then flipped for 8 minutes on medium. Wasn't bad at all for a cheap cut of beef.

I have the other half continuing to marinate, I'll grill that for lunch tomorrow to compare how much more tender it gets. It's a big enough cut I could easily freeze half and stretch it to be a total of four meals.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Food & Wood Pics...

Sunday lunch -- last of the garden tomatoes I had ripening on the counter. My own bread on the burger of course :)

This week's crock pot was chili -- extremely mild, clearly I didn't put enough seasoning in!!! But other then that it came out very good. (The white is just freezer frost on the peppers)

Saturday I went down to finish up the pile left over from last year:

The flowers keep mocking me after mowing down the rest of the garden!

One tank of fuel done.

I refueled the saw, finished the wood, then came in a refueled myself.

Hauled most of it up to the deck on Saturday, and two final loads on Sunday morning -- should split out to a bit more than 3/4 cord.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Photo Dump...

Taking advantage of a rainy day to dump some photos I haven't posted yet...

Noticed this tree just off the lawn the other day, after a bit of investigating found out it is a Butternut! Folks at Arboristsite told to me to watch for nuts this time of year, there are none on the tree which could mean its a bad year, or it is too isolated to have been pollinated. The trees have a wide range, but have become rare within that range.

Seeds to be stored for next year (some left overs, some bought on sale):

Herbs! I've been bringing some inside to dry, and covering them with cheesecloth to keep the dust off. I hope I can get this wall trimmed & painted, etc. this winter:

Also been experimenting with brewing some hard cider. Not terribly impressed with my results yet...but I suspect this is a major learning curve item. The first one I used my own yeast (from a proofing a bit from my sourdough mix), the other two I picked up some better yeast from Home Brew Emporium in West Boylston, MA:

I went googling for a crock pot recipe Saturday and found this Chicken Taco Soup recipe (which of course now I can't find the link for!), to which I also added some of my frozen garden peppers:

At Fryeburg Fair on Friday, I was talking to the owner of a greenhouse company (*sigh* I want one) and anyway she mentioned she had made some tomato sauce in the crockpot. I shared my trick of making the puree the day before and siphoning off the water. I took the frozen puree out of my freezer in the morning and I put this on about 8pm Saturday and it was on low most of that time, and done about noon Sunday when it had reduced in volume by 1/2. The herbs were ones hanging drying in my kitchen for a couple weeks. I hadn't added the onions & garlic yet which were sauteeing on the stove. I got nine half-pint jars.

Pretty much, yep.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And we have wood...

Plus what I have left over from last year, I should have a smidge over 2 years worth in the yard now...which means next year I should actually have seasoned wood to burn!:

October 2nd, it's 80º and...

...I'm still having garden tomatoes for lunch :D

Nice open face tuna melt.

Had an eye doctors appointment so my eyes are dialated, and the bright sun outside is annoying (already closed the blinds in my office to reduce it...and its still very bright inside!)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Missed it by that much...

Pot roast, garden tomato on October 1st :), and some spaghetti squash --

I didn't realize how small the squash was when I baked it ...I expected like 3-4 times more from the half I baked. I had already heated up to 200º a baking dish in the toaster oven, so I still through the squash in it and used the broiler to brown some cheese on top.