Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Superior Hiking Trail

It's almost hiking season and I can't wait to hit the trail. That being said there is still 2 feet of snow on the ground along parts of the north shore of Lake Superior. I've compiled a load of my pictures from the trail into a video slide show with some great music. Take 15 minutes, relax and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

German Potato Salad

I was just asked for Jean's German Potato Salad recipe. Since I just spent the time to type it up I thought I'd share it here. One word on sugar. In all savory recipes I feel the amount sugar can be cut in half with results more to my liking. But that's me. I'm passing this recipe along as it is written.

German Potato Salad

1 lb bacon
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
3 teaspoons salt (can use less)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup sugar (can use less)
2/3 cup vinegar
1-1/3 cups water
8 cups cooked cubed potatoes

Cube bacon and fry. Return 4 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet and add celery, vinegar, pepper & water and flour. Bring to a boil. Pour over potatoes & bacon in a 3 quart dish. Cover and bake 30 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Amazing Views of a Nesting Great Horned Owl Family

We spent Easter Sunday watching an amazing display put on by a Great Horned Owl family in their nest. Sorry, I know my headline is a little misleading. I don't actually have any pictures of the birds. The only telephoto lens I have is on my old film camera and as good as they are, smart phone cameras just don't work out in situations like this. So if you've got some big glass I can lead you to the nest. The nice thing about this birding adventure is that you can leave your safari gear at home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Treasure Found...Bailey No. 7 Jointer Plane

A young couple recently started a business in beautiful downtown Remer called the Rusty Bucket. I guess it's kind of an antique shop, art gallery and curio shop. My friend Mike welded together a 15 foot long fish sculpture out of old bicycle parts that he sold there for a respectable piece of change. I'd been meaning to stop by and check the place out. Hearing their ad on KAXE reminded me to do just that next time I was in town.

I introduced myself to the proprietors and strolled around looking things over when I spied a couple of old woodworking planes. They fell out of favor when power tools showed up but everything old becomes new again and now many woodworkers seek them out to use or just collect. As I reached through the clutter to grab one of the planes I sent the contents of a nearby shelf crashing to the floor. I picked everything back up and tried to put it all back where it was and then I sent another load to the floor. I was seriously embarrassed but the owner Scott kindly laughed it off. Fortunately nothing was broken.

Well I didn't really want to buy an old plane that needs some TLC but after my thrash-about I decided it was the least I could do. So I looked the planes over and chose the Bailey No. 7 jointer plane. Jointer planes are big long affairs used for straightening the edges of boards, a process known as jointing. There is a schematic out there to determining the age and quality of old Stanley Bailey planes based on the location of patent dates and other tell-tale signs but I did not have that information with me. This plane was a little rusty and obviously heavily used but the blade was sharp and the blade depth adjustment nut worked smoothly. The rosewood tote, while slightly chipped was still in tact and the knob looked to be in good shape too. So I grabbed it and carefully walked to the register and paid for it without further incident.

I got back to the ranch and looked up the Stanley Plane Dating Flowchart. As I worked my way through the flowchart I learned that my plane was a Type 12, which means it was made between 1919 and 1924 and was the first of the Stanley "Sweetheart" planes that are known for high quality materials and workmanship. Stanley has reintroduced the Sweetheart brand for planes it makes and sells today but collectors feel they are not the same at all. I'm very happy to have this plane. I paid a fair price, I did not walk away with the bargain of the century but I did get a great old plane that I can't wait to clean up and put back to work. I just hope Scott and Kara will allow me back into the shop.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Wondrous Love Is This

What Wondrous Love Is This...I heard this hymn in church on Palm Sunday and it struck me with it's simple beauty. It's described as a Christian folk hymn from 1811. I looked all over youtube to find a version that was similar to the tender way Andrea played it at St Joe's and could not find one, but this one is very nice too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Einstein the Musician

Albert Einstein, celebrated German physicist and the man who brought us E=mc2, the worlds most famous equation, once said that had he not become a scientist, he would have been a musician. "Life without playing music is inconceivable for me. I love my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get most joy in life out of music." Einstein said.

Historically, art and music have long influenced scientific minds, allowing them to develop ways of thinking beyond observing empirical data. Einstein preferred listening to and playing Bach and Mozart pieces to help his creative imagination. Einstein's son  explained that his father's fascination with playing music was just an extension of his thinking process, allowing music to overcome mental roadblocks. Some of his greatest insights came during periods of improvisation.