Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bike trailer follow-up

Because there has been some interest in the particulars surrounding the axle and such, I made a quick video to give an overview of the finished product. I am also chronicling the build of the next trailer for which I received a used wheelchair last night (and subsequently hacked up). So soon will come a link to that and the associated instructable.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Potato silo update

The potatoes are starting to really go gang-busters in one of the towers. The other two are going, but without the same zeal as the one. We think this may be due to the amount of soil in them. We tried to make sure there was plenty of soil to hold the water, but we may have too much hay/mulch. Next time more care will be taken.

-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blue is the color of happiness

Blue bells and blueberries. In the middle is a poppy. Our appropriated island is flushing out too. Pictures and story tonight.

-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy earth day!!!!!!

I love trees. Today we planted 30 or so flowers in the back yard. The front is coming together nicely too. Pics tomorrow.

-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

Simple things

Sometimes there is nothing more pleasing than a bagel and a cup of coffee. 

-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The family stable

Here are pictures of most of the family stable of bikes. Admittedly at least three of these are mine. I spent part of the weekend cleaning out some unnecessary clutter from my garage and had to corral the steeds outside. I will be adding another trailer to the mix soon too.

Stay tuned (he says as though anyone is actually paying attention).

Updated bunny post

This is from Sunday night. We lost one bunny to the raccoons on Saturday. We woke up at about two in the morning to squealing in the back yard. Running outside in my underwear to chase of the raccoons, I found the pen opened and three bunnies missing. This is a bit of a feat considering we put latches on the doors (well sort of, we bent nails and turn them in front of the door to keep them closed). The raccoons were able to figure out how to open the lath and get to the babies. After the raccoons were at a distance I went searching for the bunnies I figured ran had run away. I found one against the fence under some brush and unused cages, but was unable to find the others. I knew they had gotten on, but was fairly certain not two. It wasn't until I was out in the morning to feed the chickens that the other came out from hiding, and surprising even to me, ran all the way across the yard to the four inch gap between my feet. It was the darnedest thing, very endearing. So we are down to five babies, and I have to find a way to get rid of the raccoons. I know we are in their world too, but they have killed at least four of my chickens and at least this one bunny, maybe more (we've had some disappear in the past).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A little late for easter, but still delicious I'm sure

I know some folks get squeamish at the thought of eating rabbits because they are cute, but I think cows and pigs are cute too. Cute and delicious. We have six baby rabbits here now. Our last litter still has two members in the freezer. We are trying to learn the art of tanning. If anyone has some experience with tanning hides, please pipe in and help. Once we get the tanning portion down, we will be using these little buggers to their fullest.

Between the chickens, rabbits and compost pile, we waste almost nothing. Anyone can do this.

-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

French bread. So simple, so delicious.....

1 1/4C very warm water
1 T sugar
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
3 1/2C bread flour
1 T yeast

I use the bread machine for the mixing and first rise (use the dough setting). Take it out of the machine and knead it back down, don't beat it up, just knock it down a little. I flatten it out and roll it up into a long roll. Put it on a cookie sheet or baking stone make the diagonal slices along the top and brush with additional olive oil. Set it on the stove while the oven preheats to 400°. When the oven is done preheating, or about 15min. (whichever is longer) put the loaf in the oven. After 10min reduce to 350° for 15-20min more. 

An additional step, if you choose, is to place a pan in the bottom of the oven while preheating and drop a cup of water on it when you first put the loaf in.

Happy baking!!
-- Sent from my palm pixi aboard my spaceship

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bike trailers ROCK!!!!

Well, I spent Easter Sunday building this trailer.

It started as two pieces of 1/2"emt (electrical conduit, $1.80ea @ Lowe's), an old wheelchair discovered in a pile of junk behind someone's house (I paid them $20, probably could have been free), a piece of uni-strut from a garbage can outside WSECU in downtown Olympia, an air-hose coupling from Harbor Freight (already had this but not more than $2 new) and the bin was ~$12 on sale @ one of the big Lowe's-Depot stores. There is a little bit of aluminum angle stock from my scrap bin and a bit of scrap hose for the flexible bit of the hitch.

Some creative bending-

a hacksaw and dremel-

Plus a little barely adequate welding (read: ugly) yields a surprisingly strong trailer. I weigh about 215lbs and it didn't even budge under my weight. I toted home my full weeks groceries in it without a problem. It tracks great, and with the large wheels has no problem going over curbs. I kept the C.O.B. low and it seems to be happy with that. It seems very light, I haven't weighed it yet, but I can lift it easily (my guess is about 30lbs). I found some plans online for another trailer using bike wheels. I will be making one of those soon. This is fun.

I am one step closer to bike commuting for everything. The kids make it hard with their band instruments, but other than that, I hope to be bike only by summer quarter.

Happy diy-ing!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not sure how to define my blog

I've been trying to figure out how to define this blog, and how to leave enough leeway for thy eclectic group of interests that define my own life. I realize the chances of anyone reading my blog are equivalent to the chances of winning the lottery, and that having a blog to share one's interests is tantamount to hubris. I don't want or need to win the lottery, but if I ever have an idea or experience that may interest another, well, let them enjoy.

With that aside, I am going to be changing the name of this thing. I'll be throwing darts until I hit the one I want.

This is a DIY, frugal-living, sustainable-living, bike-commuter and what-have-you blog now.

Please feel free to send me ideas, I will be posting my own experiences and those of others around the web that pertain to this wonderful simple life. Kill your TV!!!!!!!!