Monday, January 15, 2018

A Little Snow on the Ground

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

With Climate Change, we don't get the snow we used to. So, if and when we do, I tend to want to be out in it. Yesterday, I made a point to find someplace pretty and just walk around for a while. Here's what Nathanael Greene Park in Springfield, Missouri looks like with a dusting of snow.

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

Nathanael Greene Park in the snow

And just for good measure, the kiddo and I went sledding.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Clawhammer Ukulele

Clawhammer Ukulele book in the mail, today!

I received Aaron Keim's "Clawhammer Ukulele" book in the mail, today. Ordered from Elderly Instruments, online. So, in theory, I can now expand my playing past roughly plinking out "Cluck Ol' Hen".

Monday, January 8, 2018

Firewood and Hillbillies

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Saturday, braving the 33-35 degree high temps, my buddy Brian and I did a little firewood cutting and splitting. This'll be heavy on pics and short on story, since we just went down and cut wood, made lunch over a fire and I annoyed Brian with my banjolele a bunch. I'll add one thing more, you know you're working hard when you are down to a jeans and a tee shirt and still sweating, with temps hovering just above freezing. Splitting red oak isn't easy.

We saw a pileated woodpecker and dozens of bluebirds.

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Cutting Firewood in Cape Fair, Missouri

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Banjo Ukulele (Banjolele)

The vintage tambourine banjolele build is done!

I have been slowly putting this together for the last month. I found the vintage calf skin tambourine in a flea market, as well as the spoon that I hammered flat for the tailpiece. The nut and bridge are some kind of hardwood (maybe red oak) that came as an insert in the first cigar box guitar that I built. I've used that chunk of wood for all three instrument bridges, slicing it up on my table saw.

The vintage tambourine banjolele build is done!

The neck and dowel are just big box store poplar 1x2s, laminated. The friction tuners are from cbgitty.com and the Aquila nylgut strings are an Amazon purchase, grocery store generic sanded toothpicks for the frets. The whole thing had a coat of Danish oil upon assembly.

A little further along on the tenor banjolele build.

Banjolele in the making. The neck blank is glued, but not shaped.

New, decent production banjoleles go for $200 and up. I built this one for about $25-30.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cigar Box Guitar 002

Cigar Box Guitar 002

I accidentally made another cigar box guitar. I don't know how it happened, I just sort of obsessed for a few days and boom! Guitar! (jk)

Cigar box guitar number two is coming along decently.

This one was made for my wife's uncle, whom we'll be doing lunch with tomorrow so I feel safe posting this. I don't think he internets much. He does, however, have a strong interest in Delta Blues and guitars. I figure if he doesn't play the one I made, it'll at least look pretty kick-ass on the wall of his basement music studio/man cave.

Cigar Box Guitars 001 and 002

DIY stubby bottleneck slide from a wine bottle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Prairie and Big Sugar Creek State Parks

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

My friend Brian and I did some cool and dreary weather hiking on Sunday. Trying to find a safe haven away from the lead hail of Deer Season and someplace nearby that neither of us had tread before, we opted for Prairie State Park and Big Sugar Creek State Park. On the way out west to the hiking areas, we saw plenty of deer, wild turkey and two coyotes crossing the road in front of us and out into some adjacent farmland. I know they're a nuisance, but they sure are pretty animals.

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

We opted for the Sandstone Trail at PSP, a little over four miles of walking in an enclosure with free roaming elk and bison. We tried to find them, but saw little more than hoof prints, excrement, places where they bedded down for a night and the bleached bones of their dead. We did see a good size cat print in the mud with the hooves. It was as big as my hand when cupped, so guessing mountain lion over bobcat. The second mountain lion print I've seen in the past year or two. The other was along the Buffalo River in Arkansas.

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

One neat find was a set of disused train tracks running through the park. They were pretty photogenic with the tall dried prairie grasses poking through the aging timbers and rusty iron.

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Prairie State Park

Having struck out looking for megafauna, we called it and headed further south to Big Sugar Creek State Park. Not much to this one, just a few miles walking in a circle through the woods.

Big Sugar Creek State Park

Big Sugar Creek State Park

Big Sugar Creek State Park

Armadillo, Big Sugar Creek State Park

Great way to spend a day. We usually write off these shorter trails, but when you hit up multiple systems in a single day, they can be quite nice. Also, if anyone finds a 600lb black bull calf, this guy is looking for one.

Big Sugar Creek State Park