Take the Load Off

Love this.


Wilco, Nick Lowe & Mavis Staples rehearse “The Weight” backstage at the Civic Opera House in Chicago in December 2011. Filmed by Zoran Orlic.




Hiking in the New Year


Some time ago, we fell into a tradition of taking a hike on New Years Day, if the weather is good. We skip the whole drunken party deal, opting for sore muscles instead of a sore head. Seems to work out better.

This year Apple Orchard Mountain got the nod, and by noon we were hiking down from the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Apple Orchard falls, one of the nicest in Virginia. You hike downhill along the stream, following cascades all the way, and about 1000 feet below you get to the main falls. It’s hard to capture scale in photos, but the main section drops over 200 feet.

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The Boat Hoist

Hibernating for the Winter 


The hoist took quite a bit of pondering. It needs to be easy to use, but strong enough to hang a boat for months at a time. Old problems tend to have many solutions, and lifting heavy objects is about as old as problems get. Often each method will create a new problem for every one it solves, so settling on the right combination required some thought. It can get complicated. Like friend Steve Early, I confess to a preference for simple tools. Well, in my case, it’s an actual need, a handicap, and I believe I go a bit further than even he does.

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The Boat Shed

New Old Shed 


The old shed is still old, but now it’s an old boat shed. A remarkable improvement.

The door opening needed to be about two feet wider to allow clearance for the trailer. Which, of course, meant the old doors would no longer fit. They were getting pretty ratty anyway. Spent two days making new ones. I’ll get a bit of paint on them if the warm weather lasts, but they’re already nicer than the old ones.

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