Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slabwood slab wood cabins

Here are a few pictures of different slabwood construction methods. I find the ingenuity of these builders to be very inspiring and wish I could build a small slabwood and log cabin of my own. We have a dead pine in the driveway that needs to be removed. Once I cut her down it will be essential to cut her to length and crib the logs so they can dry in the sun.   Once they are dry, I plan to use them as a framework for a timber framed cabin, and I will use birch and oak slab wood for the siding.  Should be a nice little deer hunting shack.  Here are a few slabwood cabins I like:
This is a photo of a six sided cabin built by a hippy on some land out in New York.

This looks like the ultimate cheapskate cabin and I really like the way it is pieced together. This is a person I could learn from as they used all the available resources and made a kickass cabin. This is a cool looking spot to chill out in the woods. It reminds me of some of the deer hunting shanties I see up in Northern Minnesota and this kind of cabin is next on my summer build list. It looks pretty damn cozy!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Poems by Jim Harrison

From his book, Songs of Unreason

American Sermon

I am uniquely privileged to be alive
or so they say. I have asked others
who are unsure, especially the man with three
kids who’s being foreclosed next month.
One daughter says she isn’t leaving the farm,
they can pry her out with tractor
and chain. Mother needs heart surgery
but there is no insurance. A lifetime of cooking
with pork fat. My friend Sam has made
five hundred bucks in 40 years
of writing poetry. He has applied for 120
grants but so have 50,000 others. Sam keeps
strict track. The fact is he’s not very good.
Back to the girl on the farm. She’s been
keeping records of all the wildflowers
on the never-tilled land down the road,
a 40-acre clearing where they’ve bloomed
since the glaciers. She picks wild strawberries
with a young female bear who eats them. She’s being
taken from the eastern Upper Peninsula down
to Lansing where Dad has a job in a
bottling plant. She won’t survive the move.

Dan’s Bugs

I felt a little bad about the nasty earwig
that drowned in my nighttime glass of water,
lying prone at the bottom like a shipwrecked mariner.
There was guilt about the moth who died
when she showered with me, possibly a female.
They communicate through wing vibrations.
I was careful when sticking a letter
in our rural mailbox, waiting for a fly to escape,
not wanting her to be trapped there in the darkness.
Out here in the country many insects invade our lives
and many die in my nightcap, floating and deranged.
On the way to town to buy wine and a chicken
I stopped from 70 mph to pick up
a wounded dragonfly fluttering on the yellow line.
I’ve read that some insects live only for minutes,
as we do in our implacable geologic time.


The man eating lamb’s tongue salad
rarely thinks of the lamb.
The oral surgeon jerking twenty teeth out
in a day still makes marinara sauce.
The German sorting baby shoes at Treblinka
writes his wife and children frequently.
The woman loves her husband, drops two kids
at day care, makes passionate love
to an old boyfriend at the Best Western.
We are parts. What part are you now?
The shit of the world has to be taken
care of every day. You have to choose
your part after you take care of the shit.
I’ve chosen birds and fish, the creatures
whose logic I wish to learn and live.


I’m trying to create an option for all
these doors in life. You’re inside
or out, outside or in. Of late, doors
have failed us more than the two-party system
or marriages comprising only one person.
We’ve been fooled into thousands of dualisms
which the Buddha says is a bad idea.
Nature has portals rather than doors.
There are two vast cottonwoods near a creek
and when I walk between them I shiver.
Winding through my field of seventy-seven
large white pine stumps from about 1903
I take various paths depending on spirit.
The sky is a door never closed to us.
The sun and moon aren’t doorknobs.
Dersu Uzala slept outside for forty-five years.
When he finally moved inside he died.

From Songs of Unreason

When young I read that during the Philippine War
we shot six hundred Indians in a wide pit. It didn’t seem fair.
During my entire life I’ve been helpless
in this matter. I even dream about it.


In summer I walk the dogs at dawn
before the rattlesnakes awake. In cold weather
I walk the dogs at dawn out of habit.
In the pastures we find many oval deer beds
of crushed grass. Their bodies are their homes.


I left this mangy little
three-legged bear two big fish
on a stump. He ate them at night
and at dawn slept like a god
leaning against the stump
in a chorus of birds.


The fly on the window is not a distant crow
in the sky. We’re forced into these decisions.
People are forever marrying the wrong people
and the children of the world suffer.
Their dreams hang in the skies out of reach.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Peter Bradley Adams-The Longer I Run

Oscar Wilde and kitty wampus photo.

“All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralising. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment.”Oscar Wilde

Lake Superior Webcams

Here are some great webcams from around Lake Superior.
It appears as though Mother Superior is beginning to lose some of her ice. It is too cold for surfing and paddle boarding but that won't stop me from planning some trips for this upcoming summer.

The Grand Marais, MN Camera is showing some chilly ice waves today:

Duluth webcam is showing alot of ice still collecting in the bays:
Solglimt B&B, Duluth, Minnesota

Friday, March 20, 2015

Expedite Van Sleeper Pictures

I recently found some really interesting DIY sleeper builds for cargo vans.  In Arizona, I saw quite a few people living in their cargo vans. With easy access to BLM land, and many innovative off grid practices, the Southwest is the ultimate climate for living in a small RV or van during the winter.
The follow pictures of cargo van sleepers can be used for full or part time recreational vehicle enthusiasts, or for full or part time expediters.

Here are a few pictures to give you some ideas when constructing your own sleeping quarters:
I really like the way this builder constructed this sleeper in his E350 Unicell Ford. This vehicle design allows for more headroom and a much more spacious interior living and cargo space.
Photo via Rev's Ride
Ford E350 Unicell Sleeper DIY build via Rev's Ride at Expediters Online Forum

E350 Unicell Cargo area with E-track, flooring, and insulated partition
Bunk built up above with storage area underneath

Here is a view of a Sprinter Sleeper with no partition. 

 And another view of a Sprinter Sleeper

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pictures from Arizona: Desert Bar Solar Powered Oasis

The Desert Bar
Took a four wheeler trip from Parker out to the Desert Bar.  It is also known as the Nellie E Bar and is open on the weekends.

The name "Nellie E" originates from the old mining claim.
They used to mine copper and then take it to the smelter and get gold.

Dad and I with a picture of the trail we took out to Desert Bar in the background.

 We journeyed out there on a well traveled but challenging off road trail.  It was interesting to see all of the vehicles taking this route, as it was tough going due to all the large rocks and challenging ascents.  Here are some more pictures from the trip out to Desert Bar.

Colorado River viewed from off road trail to Desert Bar

The Desert Bar

This is a picture taken while standing on the third story of the bar.  It is only a little after noon and already very busy.

Cage over Mineshaft

The area is filled with old mines and even some that are still operating.
Here is a shot looking down into the mine:
"Don't drop the camera"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Under My Thumb/Rolling STones

Interesting Marimba in the Intro.  
I enjoy listening to this song:

"Under My Thumb"

Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around
It's down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Ain't it the truth babe?
Under my thumb
The squirmin' dog who's just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways
It's down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she's told
Down to me, the change has come
She's under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it's alright
Under my thumb
A siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She's the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world
It's down to me
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe
It's down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright
Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else
It's down to me, oh that's what I said
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Say, it's alright.
Say it's all...
Say it's all...
Take it easy babe
Take it easy babe
Feels alright
Take it, take it easy babe.

Rolling Stones/Beggar's Banquet/Prodigal Son


"Prodigal Son"
Well a poor boy took his father's bread and started down the road
Started down the road
Took all he had and started down the road
Going out in this world, where God only knows
And that'll be the way to get along
Well poor boy spent all he had, famine come in the land
Famine come in the land
Spent all he had and famine come in the land
Said, "I believe I'll go and hire me to some man"
And that'll be the way I'll get along
Well, man said, "I'll give you a job for to feed my swine
For to feed my swine
I'll give you a job for to feed my swine"
Boy stood there and hung his head and cried
Cause that is no way to get along
Said, "I believe I'll ride, believe I'll go back home
Believe I'll go back home
Believe I'll ride, believe I'll go back home
Or down the road as far as I can go"
And that'll be the way to get along
Well, father said, "See my son coming home to me
Coming home to me"
Father ran and fell down on his knees
Said, "Sing and praise, Lord have mercy on me"
Oh poor boy stood there, hung his head and cried
Hung his head and cried
Poor boy stood and hung his head and cried
Said, "Father will you look on me as a child?"
Well father said, "Eldest son, kill the fatted calf,
Call the family round
Kill that calf and call the family round
My son was lost but now he is found
Cause that's the way for us to get along"

Eric Budd: Video of his Art

This is a video of the amazing artwork of Eric Budd.  He was my 9th grade teacher and I learned alot from him. I am happy to see he is creating art, as I have lived by many of his words of wisdom. When I was in his class, I was a disrespectful student but he took my suggestion to bring in a mortician for career day, which was one of the highlights, as we were allowed to ask questions and the mortician gave us answers and didn't seem to be bullshitting.  I remember Mr. Budd getting after me for reading truck driving magazines in class, and I told him I didn't have to pay attention because I was going to be a trucker. He told me it would probably be too confining of a profession...and he was right.
Anyway, check out the video of his brilliant artistic creations.

Pictures from Arizona: Road Closures/Bill Williams River

This is a photo of the road being closed due to a piece of the rock cliff falling in the road.  It is too big to move, so they closed down this section of the road. Check out the article in the Parker Pioneer.

Here is a picture of the Bill William's River:

Here is another photo of this beautiful natural area:
Check out this link for more information on viewing the abundant wildlife in this area. I was surprised by the natural beauty of this area. I read that this area is home to over 355 species of birds, and I believe it after visiting the area. These areas are very important to the ecology of Arizona:

Essential Habitat

Along Arizona's rivers is where 80% of the state's plant and wildlife species can be found. These riparian corridors support an incredible diversity of species.

Dangers of Walking in Las Vegas: Undercover Leprechaun

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Undercover Leprechaun

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Las Vegas Strip Map

 Flew into Las Vegas but luckily left right after our flight arrived. Las Vegas is a fun place but the strip is overwhelming and the sidewalks need traffic control. I am surprised more people aren't hit by cars or buses on this busy stretch of street.  This article from the LA times talks about the dangers of walking in Sin City.  The Las Vegas Police Dept. used an undercover leprechaun to see if people would stop. And most of the drivers didn't stop.  But it is still a safer place to walk when compared to Detroit, according to the article.

Nitemare Hippy Girl-Beck lyrics

I have been a fan of this song for a long time.  The song is old and so am I.
A few of my favorite lines,
"She's cooking salad for breakfast/
She's got tofu the size of Texas"-Beck

Classic Song from Beck:

"She's a melted avocado on the shelf"

Here are the lyrics:

"Nitemare Hippy Girl"

She took me off my guard with disappointment
I got sucked inside of her apartment
She's got dried-up flowers, flaky skin
A beaded necklace and a bottle of gin

She's a nightmare Hippy girl
With her skinny fingers fondling' my world
She's a whimsical, tragically beauty
Self-conscious and a little bit moody

It's a new age letdown in my face
She's so spaced out and there ain't no space
She's got marijuana on the bathroom tile
I'm caught in a vortex
She's changing' my style

She's a nightmare Hippy girl
With her skinny fingers fondling' my world
She's a whimsical, tragically beauty
Uptight and a little bit snooty

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

She's a magical, sparkling' tease
She's a rainbow choking' the breeze
Yo, she's busting' out onto the scene
With nightmare bogus poetry
She's a melted avocado on the shelf
She's the science of herself
She's spazzing out on a cosmic level
And she's meditating with the devil
She's cooking salad for breakfast
She's got tofu the size of Texas
She's a witness to her own glory
She's a never-ending story
She's a frolicking depression
She's a self-inflicted obsession
She's got a thousand lonely husbands
She's playing' footsie in another dimension
She's a goddess milking her time
For all that it's worth

Ornithologist's Nightmare in Idaho/GIA song

I have been listening to the song "Idaho" by Gregory Alan Isakov. Great musician with a confusing and hard name to remember.  His lyrics are brilliant:

When I was typing in "Idaho" this article caught my ornithological eye...
The video is graphic if you are bothered by images of a bunch of dead birds.  Avian Cholera is suspected but all I can think of is the fact that this must have scared the people near the place where this tragedy happened.

Manitou Cliff Dwelling Pictures: Colorado Springs, Colorado: Tiny Cliff Houses

Here is a picture I took of the porch.  I was impressed with this place, but found out later that it was moved here from its original location.

One of the highlights of the tourist traps in Colorado Springs would have to be the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These ancient dwellings are over 700 years old and were moved to this place in 1907. The dwellings are authentic and were moved to this place from SW Colorado so they could be preserved.
 It is a small place with even smaller doors. I commented that the Anasazi must have been a tiny based upon their door openings.  The cool thing about visiting this place right after a large snow storm is being able to escape the crowds.  We were the only people visiting the place and got a chance to explore the dwellings without having to deal with any other people. The workers at the park were busy clearing the ice from the sidewalks, but the sun was doing a good job on its own.  The workers kept warning us to be careful on the ice, but little did they know we are from Minnesota, and dealing with ice is a reality at least six months out of the year. It was easy to see that the cold and snow are pretty rare in this part of Colorado.  Here is a picture of some of the details I found interesting while visiting the cliff houses.

Check out the homemade window bars made from tree branches
Here is a picture of the kiva

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorado pictures

I visited Colorado a few weeks ago and wanted to add some more pictures from the trip. The drive up to Pike's Peak was fun and a little bit nerve racking. As a lowlander from Brainerd, Minnesota, I still get sweaty palms when dealing with heights.  But I will admit that I am much more comfortable dealing with heights associated with natural structures when compared to dealing with tall buildings or other human made structures.

Here is a picture of me standing by the Sasquatch crossing sign on the road up Pike's Peak:

I guess this is the most snow this area of Colorado has seen for quite a while.  It was the fourth snowiest season on record for this part of the state.  I noticed that the temperatures were quite mild when compared to the below zero bitter cold we experience in Minnesota. I could get used to living in a milder climate as the snow wasn't such a big deal when the temperatures were so mild.

I was hoping to do some hiking during the drive up to Pike's Peak, but with the recent snowfall most of the trails were closed.  The coupons on the site worked and helped with the cost, which was eight dollars per adult.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Link to Interview with Author Daniel Woodrell


Check out this great interview with Missouri author Daniel Woodrell.  He is the author of many novels and short stories.  His books deal with life in Southern Missouri and many readers place them in the crime and thriller genre.  I learned about his writing from an episode of "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain. I have been a fan of Bourdain's shows and writing for quite some time, and I enjoy getting a chance to check out the authors he recommends. I wasn't disappointed by the work of Woodrell and would love to read more of his writing.  Check out the link above for a great a interview by lit reactor with the novelist.

Here is another link to information on author Daniel Woodrell via Narrative Magazine.  They also have a couple of his short stories that you can read for free online.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Las Vegas: this morning

6 am on the strip and I am walking to Walgreens to get one last pack of cheap smokes before going to the airport. There was a bunch of drunk dudes in front of me. They walked up to a tourist guy from Ohio (guessing), who was stopped and taking a picture of the Linq's Ferris Wheel with his ipad. Drunk dude says to tourist guy that was taking the pictures and says:
"Man, that the biggest phone I ever seen...where you get a phone that big?"

Sober tourist with black socks and sandals replies:
"Ummm.....It's an ipad."

Drunk dude bursts out laughing and is like...
"I was wondering where the H%&@ you got a phone that big... How you going to keep that thing in your pocket?"(laughing hysterically)

It was a fun morning walk to get some smokes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jim Harrison, Men's Journal - Season of the Wolf: 1994

Great article on Jim Harrison from back in the year of my high school graduation, 1994:  
Here is the link and some pictures from the original article below:

From the article, " As we descend on the other side of the Patagonias, the air is cool and the landscape is lovely, green in the pine trees but otherwise sheathed in shades of black and brown. Harrison stops here and there to point out sites that figure in "The Beige Dolorosa," one of the novellas in his new book. Psychological healing is often a theme in his work now. The lead character in that story is a college professor whose life falls apart and who winds up on a ranch near Patagonia, learning to ride and do physical work and take walks in the mountains and change his life."

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado Trip

Here is the drive up to Garden of the Gods.  It wasn't very busy due to all the snow they had received, so we got a chance to hike the trails without having to deal with a bunch of people. One lady stopped me to take a picture and commented on my In-N-Out Burger stocking hat.  I had the same thing happen to me last year in Florida.  It seems like the chain generates some serious fans all around the U.S. but it only has locations out West.  I get mine animal style.
I think this was supposed to be an image of two camels kissing or something, but I was just surprised by all the birds that make their home in the sandstone rocks.

The city keeps the trails and property at Garden of the Gods maintained. I read a plaque stating that the reason it is free and open to the public is based upon the wishes of Charles Elliot Perkins. Here is a link to more information on Perkins and the history of this amazing place.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pueblo, Colorado

Drove up to Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods yesterday.  Also made it partly up Pike's Peak but due to recent snowfall it was closed towards to the top of the mountain. This area of Colorado is high desert.   Not many trees... and mass amounts of suburban sprawl. It is amazing how many track houses they can fit on these once beautiful open plains. If you are passing through this area I would recommend checking out Colorado Springs, but don't bother leaving the interstate when driving through Pueblo.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Netflix March 2015 New Releases

 Winter is almost over, but I still find we are watching quite a few new shows at night.
Here's the full list of March releases:

Available 3/1

"Patch Adams" (1998)
"Finding Neverland" (2004)
"The Brothers Grimm" (2005)
"Teen Witch" (1989)
"30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men"
"Evelyn" (2002)
"Mercy Rule" (2014)
"Monster High 13 Wishes" (2013)
"Monster High: Ghouls Rule" (2012)
"Rules of Engagement" (2000)

Available 3/5

"Food Chains" (2014)
"The ABCs of Death 2" (2014)

Available 3/6

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix Original)
"My Own Man" (Netflix Original)
"Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden" (Netflix Original)

Available 3/7

"Archer" season five
"Glee" season five
"Mr. Pip" (2012)

Available 3/9

"The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" (2014)
"Tyler Perry's the Single Mom's Club" (2014)
"After the Fall" (2014)
"Cesar Chavez" (2014)

Available 3/10

"Monster High: Haunted" (2015)

Available 3/11

"How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)

Available 3/15

"3rd Rock from the Sun" (the complete series)
"A Different World" (the complete series)
"Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis" (2014)

Available 3/17

"You're Not You" (2014)
"Dummy" (2002)

Available 3/19

"Life Itself" (2014)

Available 3/20

"Bloodline" (Netflix Original)
"God's Not Dead" (2014)

Available 3/22

"Mad Men" season seven, part one

Available 3/23

"November Man" (2014)

Available 3/25

"Turn" season 1
"Garfunkel and Oats" season one

Available 3/27

"Trailer Park Boys" season nine (Netflix Original)
"Frankie & Alice" (2010)

Available 3/31

"Ask Me Anything" (2014)
"The Man with the Iron Fists" (2012)

Iceland Surfing: Strange Rumblings: Globe

Check out this video clip of surfing in Iceland. It looks like Superior in terms of dodging ice bergs and wearing 8 mm suits with boots, hoods, and just trying to keep ice from forming on your face. The cold water surf movement is super cool, but I find that it may be better for the younger generation.  Going into cold water is one way to test the old ticker, and it may not be wise to do after a certain age. Globe did a great job on this film but it does look like they used the same introduction screen as Wes Anderson's
"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" starring Bill Murray. Still a great clip, and if you haven't see the Wes Anderson film you don't know what you are missing. Bill Murray is brilliant as a parody of the late great Jacques Cousteau.

Here is the video of the Globe crew surfing in Iceland: