Sunday, January 28, 2024


 The T-15 Tippecanoe Racing Sloop



For over a year now, I have wanted to build a couple free sailing wooden pond yachts for the boys spending their winter months aboard SV AIRSPEED. I made a few videos for them last season; Warderick Wells Cay example.

Maybe a good home-school lesson or two assembling a couple free sailing pond yachts, testing them in the shallows along various beaches. 

This past week, I have been spending hours researching small pond yachts in hopes of learning a simple design I could build and send them.

I have ordered a book on the design and building of small self sailing pond yachts and, from all the time spent so far plus this book, I hope to design, build and test a small self sailing model during these winter months. There are plenty of local lakes and ponds to test-sail a couple of models.

The G-12 POND YACHT (example) is a beautiful design, but I have not heard back from an inquiry on purchasing one.


Another great example, and contacting the owner was as easy as a phone call. I ordered two of the T-15 beginner models to assemble and learn from. With over 85,000 models built and sold, this company has been progressing the hobby of sailing pond yachts for young and old. A proven track-record. Check out his website and all of the models he makes. I could spend a lifetime working and playing in his shop.

The conversation with the owner was wonderful. He took the time to visit with me. We talked of common interests in modeling, sailing and places visited in Washington State where I lived for 55 years. His business is located in Everson, Washington.

As with any new project planning, I have to start somewhere. Kits arrive soon and I will be covering the unboxing with a video and share experiences along the way here.

The kid in this old man is still alive. How much fun could you have sitting down with your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter and building boats together? You would also be keeping this hobby alive for future generations.



Photo on the strand of beach right before Key Biscayne.


and in the why not category..


Baked potato dinners come around here every other month. What for dinner? What do you want for dinner? I don't know, what do you want? It is too late to thaw something out. I am tired of salads and so forth. 

How about a baked potato? An hour later a spinoff taco, burrito, hamburger, kitchen sink potato meal. Filling, tasty, never disappointing. 

Potato boats started in the 1950's for me. My folks would eat a potato half with butter, salt, maybe sour cream and the leftover baked skin would be filled with meted butter, salt, pepper and eaten much like a hot dog. My mother called the name of treat "potato boat." The term and meal treat stuck like glue ever since then. Potato skins are healthy, to boot.

Like so many meals and simple classic dishes, baked potatoes can be anything you want them to be. No rules. Well, maybe one, they should be messy to eat.

Cut the ends off a russet potato of medium to large size. Rinse then coat the skin with salt. Set in the oven on about 375 for about 45 minutes. Test "doneness" with a paring knife. Adjust final cooking time as needed. Yes, there other ways to bake a potato. 




A relative shared a small bag of roasted pecans with us a few weeks ago and we were surprised at how much more the nut "popped" with flavor. Brought on the "cannot eat just one" snacking crave. The bride roasted these in the oven. Find an option of time and temperature that will work for you.

Health benefits of eating pecans? Yes, you bet! A great add-in to lunches or a nighttime snack. I throw a small handful into green salad mixes.



A week of "wow's" being muttered from my wife as she combs the mornings nets. 

Governor Abbot saying "NO" again and again to the Federal Government. Unfolding.

Truckers and bikers heading to the border. Unfolding. Twenty-six other states sending support to Texas to help with the border issues. 

Apparently, installing all of the rivets and bolts when building a jet airliner is still important.

Wars around the world also unfolding, but who knows the truths on any or all of them.

Of course, the elections this year are a crap shoot at best!

Lunch out with a good friend Friday.  We always sit at the bar. Coffee for me and friend gets his favorite beer on tap. BLT/fries for him, salad for me. Good food, good service always. But the days of a $10 lunch outing are over.

I cannot remember how the conversations were going for our bar tender to tell us that the kitchen was full of teenagers working. They were not doing food prep, but other jobs that keep a busy restaurant kitchen working. "You have no idea how hard it is to find and get good help these days," the bartender/waitress said in passing. 

Kids from 15 to 18 filling for these jobs and not many kids at that. But starting to work these kinds of jobs has most always been by youngsters starting out in the the workforce. Lots to learn plus turning a dollar. Big deal? I get a gut-level feeling that the kids these days are not the kids of yesterday. Work ethic, dependability and attention to detail. The wanting to work. The things parents taught me as I entered the work force at 15 appear to be much different now.

This is a common story we have heard quite a few times. Some local restaurants have had to shut their doors because they cannot find anyone who wants to work.

And, some of the kids who have waited on us at other fast food restaurants have killed any desire my wife and I have to ever visit those particular establishments again.

January 2024 is in the books. Quick month. Officially winter now in Texas for the months of February, then we wake up to what needs to be planted.

Appreciate the visit this week. Stay warm and away from crowds and get out for a walk in the woods.







Sunday, January 14, 2024


 (TAD) Throw away dog. An abandoned dog. 

Dropped off by his/her owner well over a year ago and the short story is that TAD sits patiently, seven days a week, waiting for his owner to return.

To everyday commuters and locals moving about, TAD has become a fixture. A conversation. Impossible to pass the dog without comment and personally sharing in this dog's story.

Folks have tried to stop, befriend and take TAD home, but the dog will have none of that. "Do Gooders" have the dog's best interests in mind, ya know. 

The dog stays away from anyone and everyone who tries to get close. And as hard is it is to see TAD resting on the roadside, we have come to appreciate his devotion to that one person who dropped him off in our backyards so many months ago. It is his owner for whom he waits.

And as this story unfolds, in an out of the way back road, our TAD is a free dog in east Texas. Living his life on his terms from 115 degree days through the freezing days ahead of us. All of this may preferable to being caged or locked up for his "own good".

But know that he is not forgotten. Food is always set out. Fresh water is always set out and just this past week prior to single digit temperatures arriving, a small plywood lean-to has been placed along barbed wire fences for shelter. My bet is that there is straw and hay under those makeshift shelters. There are several folks who go to his corner of the road and set out necessities and check on him daily.

TAD may more folks who care for him now than ever before. 

Loyalty, love, trust and hope, apparently wasted on a heartless owner. Still, "TAD is a good boy."



Political Ad 1928

I heard this many times growing up. When grandma had a fresh chicken in the pot, when mom was making a batch of chicken soup and when I did same in past years. The saying was born in politics. But to folks who were cooking chickens in pots in those years, it meant a degree of prosperity, hope and affordable eats. To this day, there are still chickens in our pots. And for the same reasons, affordable, good eats, healthy eats and the smell of home cooking in the kitchen. 

Grandma would send me to grab a chicken from the hen house, bring it down the hill carrying it by its feet and then give it to her. A few moments later, a plucked/clean chicken found its way to the early morning stove for simmering till lunch time.  The whole chicken shown below was on sale for $3.00 last year and put in the freezer. This past week, the bird found it's way to the pot.

Rinsed in cold water, cavity salted, vegetables and spices added and covered in water. Simmered on low for just under 2 hours. 

If you are one of the thousands of folks coughing and under the weather this winter, this chicken soup is what has been part of the remedy for eons. A cup of warm chicken soup has no equal in my opinion. And, never drain off the fat when straining the broth. Never. 

Chicken soup is also a way to feed more folks. A CHICKEN STORY

Warm homemade bread along with a fresh bowl of soup. Another upside of this chicken pot is how easy it is to do. Hundreds of ideas on the net. 



 Game camera - deer feeding after snow fall in NH.

 Papa deer and family moving through our front yard in east Texas last week.

Turkeys feeding after snowfall in NH.


Good friends left behind in NH are arriving for a few days' visit. We are meal planning and prepping for their arrival. A shopping list of last minute items to pick up is finalized. 

Seventeen degrees this morning. Freezing rain and some snow predicted. Single digit chill factors. Water dripping, cathouses plugged in with heated water dish near by. Cats are fat and ready for winter. Seems like they have been eating constantly for the past months. 

Fireplace lit, some morning chores and then a good book and blanket to help waste a Sunday afternoon. Soup on the simmer.

No Jibber Jabber this week. I do not want to get close to those rabbits holes.  WTFs can wait for awhile.

Appreciate the visit. Stay warm, away from crowds and give a hug or two this week.


Sunday, January 7, 2024

WEEK ONE 24 - BUILT IN THE 40'S - GOOD STORIES - READING BOOKS (a bucket list item)

A stocking stuffer from the bride this season. I wear it daily and find that I wear it differently. Completely pulled down on my head and enjoying how the bill shades the sun and glare. Function/comfort over appearance.

My son reminded me that I have had an suspension upgrade; new ball joint! 



There is a brief moment in the first few minutes of the movie "Sicario" when the crews are departing Mexico and stuck in traffic at the border crossing. "If it is coming, it is coming now."

One of the better gunfights in an action movie. This  comment by one of the  crew is how I am looking at this coming year. 

Whatever is coming, is coming this year. I will not even attempt to be one of the bloggers advising what is coming, what to do and OMG OMG. There is plenty of all of this on most of the blogs and headlines I see.

Instead of re-posting the sum of what I see, let these suffice in the weeks ahead.


Browse at your interests and/or leisure.  I also visit DRUDGE and other similar sites to get a flavor of the "mainstream". Of course, there is YouTube for idle entertainment.

Fun video off of the DTW this morning. The music helps. Two fliers, two boats picking them up.  Watched several times. 

ITS DUMB.... from bustednuckles

I scored a 2.


I have said often here that I love a good story. The listening to someone's adventure(s). An event moment in their life. Truth be told though, not many folk can tell a good story. And often, the story cannot carry the telling. Yet I am always drawn in at the beginning, just because.

Grandfather could tell a story. Sitting on large cedar blocks cut from escaping logs along the banks of the Willapa River, my grandfather would take time out of his day to visit with me and teach me ways of an old man's day. I was always bigger in his shadow. To this day, I appreciate how I handle and care for a small pocketknife. All of this was born one day when an old man and young boy visited and whittled whistles from green cascara branches.

I cannot remember not being attentive when my dad talked of the old ships sailing to Alaska. How he stole a hot pie from the cooling racks near the cook's galley. Ate the whole pie himself. Said they would have killed him if they had caught him. His words! But the light in his eyes as he described the eating of that hot apple pie as he crouched in a dark out of the way place on that ship always had me sitting right beside him there, inside that story. Always being hungry was his motivator.

The lining up of all the men along the sailing ships railing just before departing the Bristol Bay fishing season for home. Women on the pier would point to a man along the railing and that man stayed behind to be responsible for the woman and the child to come. Old black and white photos of those moments carried much impact in the storytelling. I listened to my father and regret not spending more time talking with him in his elder years.

My brother-in-law, married to my wife's little sister, is a storyteller. He has a dark sense of humor, is well read, can gather vocabulary from places I do not know about. He is someone I always go out of my way to listen to. He has life stories I have never heard and life experiences that surprise me every time we visit. Most often, he has me laughing so hard that tears cannot be held back. I do not give my undivided attention to many things, but I do to good storytellers. 

But old men have stories to tell. Lived lives.

Again, the bride hit a home run on Christmas morning. I am a big fan of Jack Reacher and The Night Manager TV series. She, of course, is well read and tells me of the John le Carre' the author of The Night Manager and his other written stories. I am learning. 

Finished Night School in two days. Twenty seven other Jack Reacher books await. Starting the Night Manager and am finding a wonderful world of storytelling and exceptional writing. Time cuddled in the chair with a good light passes quickly with a hardback book in hand.

2024 will be the year I start reading more. A bucket list item checking off. “I love a good story.”


Starting the new year visiting here again? Thanks, appreciate and God Bless.