Friday, October 18, 2019


I found a few videos on "smash burgers" recently and thought I would give it a try. Not much of a stretch from just frying a hamburger patty.

The process seems be the same from the several different videos I watched.

Smash the patty on a grill or, in my case, the cast iron skillet. Most suggest a patty smashed fairly thin which I tried the first time. 

The juices do indeed stay inside the burger and both surfaces are sufficiently crusted. Salt and pepper only suggested in the videos and just fine. We always use 85% ground chuck from Sam's. Also smashed on to a puddle of melted butter as suggested. 

Second attempt for breakfast this past week was much more favorable leaving the patties a little thicker.  Six to seven minutes for medium. First side three minutes before turning. Start at medium heat and work from there.

Cheese melts perfectly after the first flip. And don't monkey with the burger. Smash it, time it, flip it, cheese it and plate it.

Using a piece of parchment paper between your press and the burger works too.

I will probably stay with this process for ease and flavor. From a quick hamburger steak to a full-blown burger, the process works fine. 

Do not do this in your kitchen. Splatter is noticeable. Outside cooking station works fine and clean-up easy. 



ripped from the headlines

"California Officials declare Ham Radio no longer a benefit; Demands Ham radio repeater infrastructure to be Removed"

Just another story stuck in the muck and mud of media this week. The headline screams --- officials demands.  One more freedom on the chopping block. This one is another good example that "they" are coming for all of us in every nook and cranny of our lives. 

The article is short and to the point. 

HAM operators can talk all over the world. In my last post, I shared a brief story of attending a hillside ham shack set up with several HAM operators trying to make contacts across the pond. And we did. 

It was as easy as setting up an antenna, hooking up a high frequency ham radio to a portable battery power supply. With a proper ham license, operators search frequencies for others talking and make contact bouncing radio waves off the atmosphere. It is as easy and as complicated as that. 

What all of this means is that ham operators can talk to other ham operators anywhere around the world and get exact, up-to-date information sharing. No middle man/woman official editing information. Freedom of speech seems to be a major problem and many think it should be eliminated. 

Good quick video 1

Good quick video 2


Eight hours of steady rain followed by light rain showers and wind gusts. A couple inches for most of the state.

Fall's leaves covering most of the yard and driveway this morning. Color, although at the end of peak, still holding on. Can see further into and through the woods now and some of this beauty now needs to be mulched with the mower or raked and tossed. 

Regardless, this has been a wonderful season of color that has been appreciated.  


Eleven years ago, my wife and I were using a small, power-driven snow blower to clear our 900' driveway from the house down to the main road. My wife is making the first pass down the hill and the driveway is defined by the high snow banks on either side. We did not plow at this point that winter because there was no more room for pushing snow.

We were younger then. 

Second pass back up the hill. 

We would take turns and the dog went with us on every pass. Yea, we were younger then!!


Confined area landing near Eagle Alaska 1986, Temsco Helicopters.

Watch "Light Line - Jean-Baptiste Chandelier"

 Another good video from Jean-Baptiste Chandelier


 Thanks again for the visit this week.



Sunday, October 13, 2019


That time of the year again when we find a good cut of rib eye roast and cut our own steaks. 

We have been doing this for the past few years and have shared this before with pics. What has changed?

The price. And it appears these treats will keep trending higher. 

These steaks priced out at $9.78 each and, in my book, that is expensive. Seems not too long ago this price was in the seven dollar each range. But always always much less cost than buying a steak or two cut and packaged by the butcher. The quality of meat and size of each steak is also much better. 

I priced two similar steaks packaged at the same large chain store earlier this past week and two rib eye steaks like these were selling for $40. 



Most all of the dancing I see these days in the selling for products or an attempt to share, falls way short of intent. But these youngsters shuffle dancing.....well sound up and full screen. Enjoy. 

 Elvis and Ann Margaret remix to shuffle dancing. (stay with the video)

Watching Ann Margaret dance to the same song. My Goodness!! 


A make-shift yard debris compost site out back that is worthy of photographing in black and white. This would look like a junk pile in color.








 Friends, tents, HF radios, portable HF antennas, coffee, doughnuts and talking with folks half a world away.

Spent yesterday morning in a small HAM amateur radio shack in eastern New Hampshire during a contesting field exercise.
A very poor black and white of one of the folks I was watching and working radios with, tuning the 20 meter high frequency band for contacts in Scandinavia during their contact contest this weekend. 

This was my first opportunity to work my recent ham license upgrade on the high frequency bands. My first contacts were in Denmark and Finland. 

So what? Well, it was a first. I was learning more using amateur radios and how challenging this can be to a new comer. AND it was fun and I want more experience.

This winter is going to be spent learning before buying equipment and building antennas. 


Appreciate the visit again this week.  

Sunday, October 6, 2019


A good video of a fellow building his own home for his family. Doing all the work himself. A 3 year time lapse video I found on 90 Miles from Tyranny.

Enjoy this fellow talking his way through the first three years of the home he designed and built. 

The photo above was taken 16 years ago during our new home construction. For builders, these kinds of photos are an art form of a moment in the process. 


I am still impressed with Samsung S7 photo quality at a moment's notice. 

I had been carrying my phone outside this past week while working around the year. Wandering our back trail over several weeks of fall foliage and depending on the light, offers some remarkable views. What struck me most was how well the cell phone picked up the sky over the colors. I never see this in my Canon camera until playing with it in post production. But the cell phone camera did pick it up and gave a very indication of a final photo. Although the colors are not popping, the sky and view down the path was worthy of saving.


It will not be long now before local home photos again show the onset of winter.

I realize much repeats here, but it is times of our lives. Fall leaves will lose their colors and quickly fall to the ground. The forest will be lost to the trees and readers may again have to endure more musings of cold, first frost and first official snow fall. Once that begins, past seasons will again be but a memory. 

Over the course of the past year, we are spending more time outside for a little hard work sprucing the up the old homestead.  A hot cup of tea, visiting of life ahead and seeing the fruits of our labor; quite an excellent way to reacquaint ourselves with days when we were younger and media was a no-never-mind! 


We spent part of 2006 and 2007 living in South Africa. We were going to be there long enough to warrant the purchase of a used car and we chose  an older Land Rover Defender. 

Why not add some more fun to this adventure and this vehicle forever set us in a love affair with this vehicle. We so wanted to bring "Ginger" home, but because of her restively young age, she was not importable to the states. We tried, asked a lot of questions, but in the end we had to leave her behind.

She had a gas v-8 engine with 4 (more with the lower gears) on the floor. 

We did learn that owning a Land Rover means having our own trusted mechanic too. That holds true today here in the states. 

Our advice is to never buy any Land Rover without first finding a mechanic and not a dealership mechanic, but a real mechanic that makes his/her living working on and repairing these vehicles. Once you have secured your own trusted mechanic, go for it. Also make sure you can keep her garaged and out of the weather when she is not being driven. Stay on top of the little things, learn basic maintenance and drive it often.

Another reason to purchase this vehicle was South Africa-specific. Land Rovers were not sought after by hijackers.

THE NEW 2020 LAND ROVER is not your fathers/grandfathers Land Rover. My opinion.

If one plans to drop $50K and more, might I suggest finding a real Defender  that will never ever loose its value. It will also be an investment and offer the real driving experience. Used Land Rover Example. There are still many for sale and in excellent condition. These older Defenders will always turn heads and bring "ohhhhs" and "ahhhhhs" from any car lover.

Pull an older Defender up next to a new one and folks will still gather around the older Defender every time. The older Defender will have a name and is a recognized member of the family.



Homemade beef stew has been on my mind for over a month. A rainy Wednesday morning gave me a good excuse to make beef stew this past week.

Any good meal preparation should be proceeded with quality ingredients. Grandmother had everything fresh from the farm from which to feed her family. I think her and my parents' cooking set deep flavors in me as I was growing up.

I have learned to cook from good ingredients first before the process. 

The meat shown here was the best boneless chuck roast I could find at the market.

The smaller of our two dutch ovens was used. I am trying to cook just for two and have yet to achieve that plan.
The meat was trimmed, cubed and floured in a plastic bag of flour, salt, pepper and a little garlic salt. 

Then browned in the DO in olive oil and some butter; on low. This is a little time consuming, but taking the time to brown the meat pays off in flavor. I was satisfied having at least 3 sides well browned.

After the last small batch of cubed roast, I added a third of a can of beef broth and a sprinkle of flour left on the plate. Still on low heat, the bottom dregs of the DO were stirred into a rouix and thinned a little more as needed. A full squirt of tomato paste was added and rouix was cooked for a few minutes for thickness and making sure the bottom of the DO was scraped clean of "debris." (My better half says that debris is a Louisiana term).

Larger cuts of 2 onions, a few washed carrots and celery were layered in the rouix to fill the pot. Some thyme and basil added for flavor. Oven set at 290 and cooking for 6 hours, then 250 for the final two hours. 

Check the stew during the last few hours as it may be done ahead of time. If so, turn off the oven and let it rest in the oven till dinner time. 

Red wine can be added to this along with other veggies as per individual tastes..

My wife always adds a third of a head of chopped cabbage and a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce. No tomato paste or tomatoes. Her (actually, her mother's) recipe is thicker when it is done. Mine always has some noticeable broth. Both excellent.

The full dutch oven pictured above cooked down by a third and small baby red potatoes were added the last 2 hours of cooking.

In a perfect world of no dieting, I would serve this stew over a bed of rice, pasta and/or make sure that there were hot home made rolls on he side. 


I found this video by accident. If you have not seen this before or know of the Ibex, you will be amazed and appreciative of this animal by the end of the video. Walking on the edge of the edge w/o issue. Enjoy.


An incredible must watch movie. Released in June of this year. 

If  you love movies about folks who do not stop or quit when many other people tell them they cannot do something, you will embrace this story. If you love boats, you will love this story. The last 10 minutes of this movie is one of the best ever.

My wife says this is a feminst movie. I disagree. This is a human story for every corner of the world.

I promise you this story will stick with you for a long time. 


Peak foliage passing this weekend. Temperatures noticeably colder. Mother Nature starting to deal from the up coming winter deck.

Thanks for the visit this week.