“Directions are Wrong” & “Square Hole” Ray

Yessir: ShopTalk Sunday.  As we await the opening of the “crooked casino”  now part-owned by the Federal Reserve (as presumably you as a taxbleeder), we go to our Person Caves to Create. “Directions Are Wrong” Added a few more items to the stores this week. Which meant assembling another 48 X 14 x 80 inch wire rack unit. I’ve done these before – and always meant to write an article about how to cut your …

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ShopTalk Sunday: DIY Pest Control Saves $$$

We used to spend $600+ per year on pest control.  Now?  Less than $150 and a little bit of time. Pest Control and Time This is a dandy example of the UrbanSurvival philosophy in action:  Select the lowest cost Vendor.  And remember, you can be the Vendor! Begin by remembering that your time is worth something. You have two things you can do with “personal time.”  You can turn it into savings or you can turn it …

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SatGourmet: Peanut butter Cookies from Cake?

Couldn’t resist:  From LOOB: I Got a request for peanut butter cookies from a cake mix from an old friend that asked me to share it. so here it is.. thank god for my daughter who first turned me on to making cookies with cake mixes.. they are the best.. although when shopping for cake mixes make sure you taste test the dough since there are a couple of cake mixes out there that skimp …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Day of Invention

A garden note to begin with. I have been happy with those “poo pots” for starting plants in.  However, one oddity this week.  Went up to the garden to water only to discover that an animal had dug out a couple of them and had taken a bite out of the container. I suspect a rodent family member (squirrel?) as the smell of compressed cow poo might appeal to them.  Could have been a skunk, …

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SatGourmet: Potato Salad Seminar

  From Mr. X – a totally worthy and delicious start to our seminar. Mom’s Recipe Hall of Fame v.5: Top Secret Potato Salad This is mom’s closely-guarded personal recipe, disclosing it here is a major security breach! 1 medium red onion finely chopped Enough apple cider vinegar to cover onions 4 hard boiled eggs chopped 2 large russet potatoes diced and boiled until tender 1/4 cup butter melted 1 tsp pink salt 1 tsp …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Time Logs – Order of Battle

Project pictures toward the end.  Let’s talk theory first. Being a management sciences-trained geek-at-heart, I thought it would be useful to do a “ride-along” on a typical Sunday in the shop (and ranch) project.  Give you the feel for the “Maker Mindset.”  This is the “as it happened” time log. 07:00: Days Start with Planning There are always competing priorities.  So each day starts with “picking off a few” and resolving to make them happen.  While …

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SatGourmet: Cornflakes and Tender Chicken

We have been blessed with many outstanding contributions around here from several readers.  Especially “Looking Outside of the Box” (LOOB),  He’s not only demonstrated cooking sharpness, but in past shop episodes, has generated some first-class cardboard furniture including a college frat-house bound bar set up. It would be a hard choice to narrow down to one reader to do a cooking show on TV with (having no studio-kitchen or television gear to speak of) but one …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Toolbox Shoot-Out, ShopSmith?

If a discussion about toolboxes and whether a ShopSmith (serious multi-tool) seem like an odd pairing, relax.  It’s not.  Both have everything to do with how you get “the job” done. Let’s Do Toolboxes First It always struck me as odd:  That Pappy Ure’s shop was constantly piled with tools and projects.  Yet, when we were out salmon fishing, he un-erringly would say “Hand me a swivel from the tool box, second bin from right.”  …

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SatGourmet: Yum-Yum Weekend

Elaine and I had a marvelous conversation Friday about what we remembered from our youth.  (Which for both is a decade over a half-century ago!). Green Jell-O at church gatherings came up. Her preference was for the Jell-O with cottage cheese.  Mine?  Green Jell-O with a (drained) can of mixed fruit cocktail in it.  Topped with a thick layer of marshmallow-cream cheese topping. Odd – tastes, memories, and gatherings.  Brings us back to grounding. I sometimes wonder what …

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ShopTalk Sunday: New Life for Used Power Tools

Does Ure want a new top-of-the-line PowerMatic or Laguna, or StopSaw to whip out cabinets and have on hand when G2 gets here (eventually) and puts on his “house-building on the off-shift” pants? But, to tell you the truth, at age 72 even a “convicted tool-slut” (in the Court of Wifely Opinions, no less!), it’s hard for me to get behind buying $2,000 and up cabinet saws. The next best thing?  Buying used power tools on CraigsList and …

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SatGourmet: Speed-Eating and Chili Bowls

Our (markets are closed, can’t focus on money all the time) pastimes come into play from market close Friday  until  the “Return to Greed Mountain” Monday. And, since Spring sprung this past week, our gustatory inquisition this weekend involves Heat and how it relates to Spice. Heat & Spice:  Observations Personal Data:  Seattle, where Ure (and his buddy the Major) grew up 68-years ago, was not an especially warm place.  Seemed like most of the year, except …

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