Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's Happening This Weekend

It was a quiet week in Lake Shedbegone.  Oh, wait.  That's someone else's schtick. I'll try to be more original.

Stopping at a grocery store on the way out of town, I found some veal that was on sale and thought I'd give it a go along with a baked potato with sour cream and some onions caramelized in my cast-iron skillet.  It was "ok," but for my money I'd rather have a nice thick melt-in-your-mouth porterhouse or t-bone.  No sauce or seasoning required other than a few shakes of pepper.  Sear on both sides, cook a few minutes on one side, then turn and wait until it bleeds on top.  Perfect medium-rare every time.  Mmmm.  As my great-grandpa might have said if he had thought of it, "If people aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?"

Bricks are perfect for keeping
things off the ground.
Other than some amazingly good hammock time, Saturday was spent re-stacking firewood.  Eucalyptus trees come in dozens of species, and each one is a little different.  Generally speaking though, seasoned wood cannot be cut because it's too hard, and green wood cannot be split because it's too resinous. Providing firewood is therefore an unforgiving art requiring attention to detail:

  1. Fell the tree and immediately cut into stove lengths while the wood is still green and fresh.
  2. Allow to dry for a couple of years.
  3. Split larger diameters with a splitting maul when it is dry.
  4. At no time allow the wood to rest on the ground, where it will be devoured by termites in a matter of months. 

Saturday was also a chance to finally install a small fluoro light I got for free from a salvage yard.  Figuring out how much to charge and collecting the money was way more work than the bloke there was prepared to do, so he just said, "yours, mate."  It didn't have a power cord and it was covered in filth, dirt and muck, looked absolutely worthless.  But when I was finished with it, it looked and worked like new.  I found a suitable cord in one of the many boxes of random junk that the Shed contains, and fitted it in a jiff.  I am thoroughly de"light"ed by this find.  Absolutely the perfect thing for the food-prep work bench I had built using 100% found scrap timber.

Except for the fridge, everything seen here was found or gifted for free - electric kettle, toaster, and toaster oven.  Actually, the microwave was my wife's old one because the one I found during Bring Out Your Dead a few years back was way better than this.  We use the "recycled" one at the house and her old one now lives at the Shed.

This weekend also saw progress on a secret new woodworking project.  Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be secret then, would it?  Patience.

This rotted, weathered old piece of Jarrah (a native Eucalypt hardwood) was a diamond in the rough.  A bit of sanding revealed some gorgeous grains and the beautiful rich red that is the hallmark of Jarrah.

But the big event this weekend was this stowaway I picked up on the inside of my upper arm, probably while stacking firewood.  I have tried all the recommended ways of removing ticks, and none of them work for me except grabbing them and pulling them straight out.  I tried the vaseline thing to encourage it to withdraw its mouth parts from my flesh, but the tick did nothing.   Never made a move.  It appeared actually to be dead.  The same thing happened last time.  It was much larger.  And in my navel.  Why do ticks always seem to die when they take a hearty swig of Johannesbräu? Perhaps kangaroo ticks have not evolved to feed from a host that subsists largely on a diet of Mexican food.

Which I don't mind telling you, is bloody hard to find around here, mate.  Sure, there are food-like substances claiming to be Mexican, but so far as I can determine, these mystery meals are little more than Disappointment itself.  I have to either make my own Mexican food or suffer the 36 hour ordeal that is a trip home to Phoenix, Arizona.

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