WARNING: The following presentation discusses a form of wood finishing which involves the use of an open flame, a torch to be more specific. Please be familiar with your particular device and read all cautions and warnings for said device. The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog nor myself will not be held responsible for any errors in your judgement. The information provided in this post is educational under the assumption that the person attempting this particular technique has a certain degree of common sense. Therefore, if YOU fuck it up YOU yourself is responsible for fucking it up, not me or this blog. One needs to be aware of the dangers involved when using an open flame. In the end, practice first, practice again, and be extremely fucking careful. Again, I will not be held responsible for YOUR errors or victories. The following information is based on my personal experience and knowledge. Got it?


When I lived in Japan I was very lucky to have stumbled upon an older gentleman who was willing to teach me a wood finishing technique called Yaki-Matsu (burnt pine). Since then I have practiced and somewhat perfected my own personal version of this wood finishing technique. I cannot stress enough, seriously, that this can turn into a disaster in a blink of an eye since wood burns, but with a little practice one can tame the flame to make a very unique look on anything made of wood. Also, let me just state that I have 30 plus years experience in woodworking and cabinetry. Therefore, I hate to call this a DIY style post. My intent is to share a technique of wood finishing that others can try on small to large projects. Before you try any of this at home be sure you are aware of what you are doing and be responsible enough to know your personal limits and skills.


In reality this post won’t be an all inclusive do it yourself post on how to burn the grain of the wood to get this special look. Basically, I’m just answering all the questions in advance since it might be hard to grasp the concept and design of my project personally. As one can see from the pictures, my project was to create an island space in a rustic nature to blend in with the cedar woodwork in my sister’s 100+ year old farm house. Also, before all of y’all self appointed experts try to get in my ass for not doing it your way just feel free to hold those opinions. Like any “tradition”, I have taken this technique and made it my own. Trust me, I’ve ruined more than one piece of wood over the years. As mentioned, my sister wanted something unique, not the typical look, not something out of the box, and something that had a ” wow factor”. Overall, it was a very tall order to fill, and not to mention that this has been a time consuming project to say the absolute very least. So let’s begin the highlight reel.


Where y’all see an island used to be a wall with a pass through hole in it. First step, demo the wall and support the second floor. Then to create bar height seating as well as an island that is kitchen counter height. The secondary purpose of the island was for storage. Once the construction portion was complete it was time to talk finishing it all off. I chose to “antique” and distress everything except for the two cedar posts and the actual counter and bar surfaces. Antiquing this much area, to include the ceiling features took a great deal of time. I remind everyone that everything you see was created, from the tongue and groove beaded boards to all the trim, the cabinet doors, and so forth. I left my treatment of the top a secret, a surprise that was either going to make or break this project. By now I can assume that many of y’all have Googled the term “Yaki-Matsu” so I can simply tell y’all it is a technique in which the grain of the wood is kissed with the open flame of a torch. I chose this instead of staining or leaving it natural because of its true uniqueness, as no two boards look the same. When the time came to mount the wood I used square headed barn nails that I liberated from a 147 year old barn we tore down last summer. Yes, I have hundreds and hundreds of feet of barn lumber and no it is not for sale. At the time of these pictures I had not applied the varathane yet. After burning the one all that needs to be done is rubbing the wood down with a dry, clean, soft cloth.


I will post more pictures when I’m 100% done. Hell, the purpose of this post was to let some concerned individuals know what I’ve been up to because they think I have quit blogging or that I’m dead. So far I have around 200 hours invested into it, I probably have at least 20 to go. Just know this, as a final warning, one will come across occasions when using the torch in the house becomes necessary to touch up edges and so forth, remember that most things in our houses don’t react well with open flames, I’m just saying. I guess as I look back over what has been written I can see this wasn’t much of a tutorial at all, which is fitting because I such giving instructions for the most part. If nothing else maybe y’all learned that there is yet another way to beautifully treat wood without stain or paint. I suppose, in the end, I’ll just share some pictures with y’all and call it good.

Just Slide It In Slowly

Wait, wait, wait motherfuckers, it’s not at all what your dirty damn minds are thinking. Or is it? Is it? It’s actually quite innocent, but, there’s more, it goes much deeper than that, because a conversation with a tech services department really left me questioning the number I dialed when seeking assistance. But now I have jumped to the middle of the story, so let me back track a bit and tell you a story, a true story, a story which happened to me this past weekend. In the end, no matter what, I’m very innocent, my entire conversation reminded me, quite a bit, about the commercial where the guy is talking to his insurance agent at three in the morning when his wife slips in, turning on the light wanting to know what in the fuck he is doing and who in the fuck he is talking to. The difference is I was not getting insurance information from Jake, I was getting information from, wait, nevermind, you have to wait til that part of the story. So, I sense your confusion, so perhaps I need to just start.

A few weeks ago I ordered a set of replacement headlights for my daughter’s older Nissan Sentra because both of the headlights had a crack in them which in turn was letting in moisture which in turn was creating its own set of problems. I try not to plug companies for free here, but JC Whitney was a great help in finding the product I needed. In fact, when I was having problems on line I did call them to request help, the guy I spoke with at that time was Jack, he helped me place my order and I was on my merry little way while I waited patiently for my box to arrive. Within a few days the box did arrive that contained the headlight replacement kit. From the look of it I assumed it was all correct and as soon as I had a day without rain I was going to be all over it. I had a long wait, but this past Sunday was the magic day. I got out my trusty orange bucket to use as a chair, my toolbox, a frosty cold beverage, and the box of headlights. I was ready to go. Home alone, the breeze blowing nicely, and my music playing out of her car loudly. Is 7 in the morning too early to listen to Crazy Train? I didn’t think so either.

Removing the old ones was a bit of a challenge, the manual that was provided mentioned it was the “typical” way to disassemble the existing light housings. But, and this is a general complaint to translated 3 times over instructions, something that I need is always lost in translation, literally. After finding the remaining 2 screws, the housing popped right out into my lap. It was like magic, presto, its out. I felt as though I had beat the car which challenged me with the tiny hidden screws. I need more “victories” like this in my life, they are simple but they are still mine. After completely cleaning both sides out, spider webs and debris caked up over the years, I was ready to begin. Meanwhile my wife is calling me to check up on me, see if I’m bleeding or not, and to inform me that if I need an extra set of hands she will be home in ten minutes. Sure, why not, I can wait, help is help. After fifteen minutes and no wife I decided to brave it all alone and just finish. Within ten minutes the new light housings were installed. That was the easy part. Then I find myself getting just a wee bit pissed. The electrical connection from the car is rectangular in shape, the new lights come with a more square connection. Needless to say I would have been extremely mad, but I found a harness kit in the box, one for each side. I had two choices, use the adapter to crossover or cut the cars wires and install the female ends so it all works. I chose the adapters. Here’s the catch, they still don’t fit. Thinking I’m stupid some how, I redo the same steps multiple times.


Having no luck, I roll back on my bucket, light a cigarette, have a drink of Dew, and re-read the instructions thinking this shit shouldn’t be so hard. Unable to figure it out I call the 1-800 # for the manufacturer who claims to be open 24/7. I call regretting having to make the call, these things never end well, I’m not looking to speak to someone in a call center halfway around the world. After navigating the rather simple menu I’m on hold for less than 30 seconds and speaking to a woman who speaks fluent English, my guess is that it might even be her native tongue. She has a very pleasant voice, she guided me through finding all the product information she required to find the proper spec sheet and instructions. After reading though them she comments that the way they are written is pretty confusing, a statement which I agreed to quickly. So, now its time to begin, I put my phone on speaker, turn up the volume, and set the phone on the radiator housing. She commented that she liked Ozzy, old school Ozzy like she hears in the background, and she wishes she was alive back in his glory days because she would have been at all of his concerts rocking out. So, we go through the plugging and unplugging routine, still no go, still not working. Then, she asks me if I put on the protective gel on the connectors to inhibit corrosion. Nope. So, this is where it got fun, because my wife comes up behind me quietly and kisses me on the cheek. The operator tells me to hold the male section (I’m still on speaker) in one hand and squeeze generous amounts of lube on the protruding prongs, assuring to push into the crevices with my fingers. My wife is just looking at me with that look, y’all know the look, hands on the hips, ect. I’m asked to put the male part down and pick up the female plug, she tells me to just fill up the entire cavity with the gel because she wants me to see it oozing out when the connection is finally made. Now, I’m instructed to grab each plug, male and female and gently make the connection.

Excuse me ma’am, but how much force do I need to apply, the male section will not go in easy. She tells me to grip both ends firmly and just slide it in slowly with steady straight pressure. Bingo! the parts clicked together. She asked if I needed assistance with the other side. Out of the blue my wife says, “it’s safe to say that I can help him slip his male part into the proper female part now that he knows he was in the wrong position to make the connection”. She looked at me, hit end call, and told me I wasn’t holding my tongue right in the first place. She was a bit confused to whom I was talking to in the first place. So, after I explained to my wife who I called for help we just started laughing our asses off, because this shit was hilarious as hell. Indeed, the other side went in without a hitch. I watched my wife walk off, I hated to see her leave but I do enjoy the show. As I cleaned up, I started thinking that the operator (Amanda) reminded me of that insurance commercial as well as those new erection deficiency commercials that are on the television nowadays, the one with the porn star telling you that you should buy their shit if you are over forty. HA! I’m pushing fifty and still function like a teeanaged boy. It’s like a genie in a bottle, think about it, if you don’t get the relation then you got problems.

In the end, with the aid of some great technical support, I was able to tame the beast and finish the challenge of exchanging the light housings. I’m grateful for Amanda’s assistance and that she was able to have a little fun with me. Now, to explain it better to y’all, it was not my dirty mind who took that into the gutter, it was my wife’s, who needed to share  the story with her sister and her friend, and while I was listening to her version she made it sound I was on the phone with a 1-900 call girl or something. All I can say is I liked Amanda’s approach, more often than not we call the service centers and are left in utter disappointment. Amanda left me with the impression that she knew her fucking job and she was customer friendly. All call center employees need to take notes because it never hurts (to at least act) to like your job. It projects across to your customers fast. Anyway, I just thought you would have fun hearing this story.

This Is Exactly What Happens When


Someone sneaks up behind someone trying to be quiet so they don’t get startled while operating a table saw. This picture was taken roughly 4 hours ago after 30 minutes of a great bleed. So what happened? Well, I was trimming a piece of oak that is being used on a cabinet project, on my table saw. My family knows not to interrupt me when power tools are in operations. Just come in, sit down, and wait til I am done. However, this morning, my wife, who was on her way to work, chose to stand behind me and peek at what I was doing. Well, you know the creepy feeling you get when you sense a presence behind you? Mine kicked into hyperdrive to say the very least. When I jumped slightly, the tip of my thumb grazed the blade. Yes, I am lucky I didn’t lose a finger.

So, now I turn to my wife as I turn off the saw, unaware I cut my thumb yet, as my wife has a very horrified look in her face because its squirting blood all over the floor. She just pointed, she was in shock, all she could do is just point while she stood there with her mouth wide open. I grabbed a towel and wrapped my thumb in it, unaware of what was going on, just wanted to get pressure on it to stop the bleeding. At this point my wife, very apologetic like, tells me she is very sorry, and she just knew I was about to come completely unglued because she broke a very important shop safety rule. Did I? Nope. She said she was just looking at what I was doing and didn’t want any saw dust in her, so she stood behind me quietly. After a few minutes I took a peak, I already knew it wasn’t that bad, in fact it didn’t actually hurt, just had a weird tingling feeling. But, it was still dripping blood pretty heavy. I gave my wife a kiss and sent her to work. Once the bleeding stopped, as y’all can see, it just took a very small chunk out of the tip.

The only reason I can guess I bled so much is because my blood pressure medication has a blood thinner in it. Who knows. I do know that it is my texting/typing thumb and it has a numbish feeling I noticed as I am pecking away right now. My wife has called a dozen or so times today, checking in on me, apologing repeatedly, telling me she will never make the same mistake ever again. Just chock this one up in the shit happens category because that is just what it is. It could have been worse so I am just thankful it was just a graze. Anyway, just wanted to share my little funny ha ha y’all and let you see that all it takes is a slight distraction for all hell to break loose. Y’all are now free to carry on with your day.

The Man Behind Colorblind Eyes


This morning I was doing something I rarely like doing myself because there is always a risk of mistakes being made. Typically I try to never attempt to identify colors unless I have someone close to confirm or deny my observations. However, today I about screwed the pooch because I forget I am one impatient son of a bitch. I sit here now, outside my shop, smoking a few cigarettes, reflecting on my mistake. Mistake? What mistake? Well, let’s start from the beginning, that will probably be the easiest for y’all to follow. The other day I fried (cooked off) the circuit board which controlled the propane release actuators for my pit smoker. Meaning, it developed an electrical short which resulted in catching the electronic starter box to burst into flames. As a result, the controls were literally fried. Since I built it originally I decided to start over and make it again. I had a few ideas that would improve its functions by updating the style if relays and timers being used. I had all the parts, all recycled from other things which have been recently scrapped, such as an old deep fryer and thermostat. I had already removed the steel box from the smoker and gutted everything that was charred, which was absolutely everything.

I was supposed to wait til tonite to have my 12 y/o son help me out because he wanted yo learn how to soder circuit boards and make permenant wire connections. But……………. I am an impatient man. I don’t like waiting. Plus, I needed to test out my new design to see if it will work and function. Then tonight I would let him make me a pretty box. So, that was the plan anyway. The layout took about ten minutes, the assembly took about ten minutes, and soldering took about ten minutes. This is a 12 volt system using a deep cycle marine battery. It also required heavier gauged wire to carry the load but also serves as better insulation against the high heat the assembly is exposed to. Time to test. Ready. Set. Go. Press the button. Nothing happened. Its dead to the world. Then I notice the assembly wasn’t grounded so I grab the wire and attached it to my metal table which is earth grounded outside. Take two. Now leaning on the table to view the operation I push the button once again. Then, instant pain. FUCK THAT HURTS! After I stopped jumping around in pure pain, after I could focus my vision again, after I wiped away my tears, I see I use a live wire to ground it all out resulting in an electrical charge being applied to the metal table which I was meaning on with bare skin. Did I mention how bad that fucking hurts?

After some minor wire changes it was retested and now works flawlessly. Later I will tweak the arrangement a little and let it sit until my son gets home from school. Because now I think I will just sit here. Its nice the tingling has stopped or I may have had problems writing all of this down. Its a nice day too, so maybe I will have a swim in the pond, or maybe just sit here in my old blue rocker where its safe.

Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

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Under normal circumstances I would not be writing about the Bible. However, due to a project given to my son by his Bible study instructor this past Sunday, I found myself helping my son with some research. So, because I found the information very questionable and interesting at the same time I decided to make a post so I might discuss why the all loving Christian God would make such an apocalyptic decision. Perhaps this will lead me to write another one on the Seven Seals as well before long.  As a refresher, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse describes the four horsemen who, according to the New Testament in the Christian Bible, represent Conquest, War, Famine and Death. They are summoned and empowered by God as part of the opening of the Seven Seals. There are four separate horsemen, each representing something different. Each rides a different color horse, wields a different weapon and has a different power.

THE WHITE HORSE: The white horse is the first of the four horsemen to arrive. He represents Conquest and his power is “to go forth in conquest; to kill with the beasts of the Earth.” He Yields a Crown and a Bow. From the Bible, Revelation 6:1-2: “I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”

THE RED HORSE:  The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War. His horse’s color is red, or, in some translations, specifically a “fiery” red. This color, as well as the rider’s possession of a large sword, suggests blood to be spilled on the battlefield. The second horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first horseman brings. From the Bible: Revelation 6:3-4: “When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a huge sword.”

THE BLACK HORSE: The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine. The black color of the horse could be a symbol of the dead. The horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine. Of the four horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal pronunciation. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying “and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This suggests that the black horse’s famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected. One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply; the statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples such as bread are scarce, though not totally depleted. Alternatively, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize the preservation of the Christian faithful, who used oil and wine in their sacraments. From the Bible: Revelation 6:5-6: “When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

THE PALE HORSE: The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself gives a name. Unlike the other three, he carries no weapon or other object (but some versions say that Death carries the scythe, symbolizing that he is the Grim Reaper); instead he is followed by Hades. The color of Death’s horse is written as khlômos (χλωμóς) in the original Koine Greek, which is often translated as “pale”, though “ashen”, “pale green”, and “yellowish-green” are other possible interpretations. The color suggests the sickly pallor of a corpse. The natural colors of horse coats that could be indicated include dun, Palomino, buckskin, or one of several color variants with dilution genes. The verse beginning “they were given power over the fourth of the earth” may refer solely to Death and Hades, or it may summarize the roles of all four horsemen; scholars disagree on this point. From the Bible, Revelation 6:7-8: “When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Since the prophecy of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse is written in the Bible and taught by Christians, how does this all apply to the rest of us? As a person who was raised as a Catholic and later found the strength to pull away from the collective sheeple thinking it is things like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse which make me wonder if we are ALL still waiting to die a fiery death. When I consider my remaining days on planet dirt (Earth) I look forward to each day I wake up taking my first breath. I don’t want to worry about when, if, or how, in the terms of Christian belief taught in the bible. I consider my son innocent, a sponge for knowledge, and I find he is conflicted in his beliefs in both God and science. He is very scientifically minded, meaning he does not ever accept that there isn’t a definitive answer. We have talked about both the Bible and science, he finds as he gets older, gets more experience in life, that he has began to question many of the lessons in the bible because they are open-ended questions that no attempt has been made to answer.

Now, don’t even get me started with evolution, a subject that is forbidden to be spoke out loud in our house. The rule was established many years ago, before my son was even born, that evolution is a theory produced by “people” who do not have God in their lives. I learned this the hard way many moons ago. But, since it is never spoke about in my house, my son has never had the opportunity to have the discussion with my wife. I won’t say she scolded my son for asking questions, but she re-directed him to the teachings in the Bible to point him to the answers he is seeking. Hating to see him struggle, hating to see his young mind shut down to other possibilities, I ended that conversation with a big fat “anything is possible if we believe in it being possible”. I got a dirty look from my wife which translated into me not supporting her, which is bullshit in itself.

It is opportunities like these that I hate being the one who disagrees with Christianity and the Bible because I must hold in my own opinions to appease others so my opinion does not influence choices my children may later make. I agree, every person needs to find their own path in life, no matter what it may be, no matter what the beliefs are, as long as they follow this path because that is what they want to do on their own. Eventhough I think the followers of Christianity are being misled and have been misled throughout history, I find myself intrigued by some of the stories written in the bible, like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, because it seems to always be some form of wrath if Christians get off the path or get out of line. I wonder, occasionally, what the end of times will look like through my eyes because I don’t have a giant fear of fire and brimstone as my end.

Y’all are probably looking for some credits here, the artwork was found doing a Google image search using the term “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse”, and the text was taken from what my son had printed, written, and from his notes, the origins are unknown to me. Anyway, in the end, this entire post was written as food for thought in a world where individual thought is often frowned upon, so I had to write it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


Bargain Hunting Can Hurt The Wallet

Have you ever been looking on Craigslist for something, find it, and when you get there to pick it up you find something else you hope is for sale? I have run across this situation on more than one occasion in the past. When that happens it usually hurts my wallet because I wasn’t prepared to spend anything extra. Anyway, I had been in contact with an older gentleman here in Houston in regards to some antique Singer sewing machines he had up for sale. He agreed to let me come have a look and see if I was still interested. I felt the price was a bit high because they were in exceptional bad shape and I didn’t even know if I would be able to save and restore them. But, it was worth the trip to go and check out. On the way I went to the bank to get the $200.00 I would need if I bought the sewing machines. When I arrived to this older house in an older part of Houston I went up to the door and rang the bell. A man in his 80’s came to the door and we introduced ourselves to one another. He gave me some history on the sewing machines and why he wanted to sell them. He says they are just taking up space in his garage which his grandchildren want him to get cleaned out before he dies. He said, with a chuckle, that he has been working on it for around 15 years now. After a thorough look at both sewing machines I decided I was not interested because of the amount of money I would spend to restore them because they were basically a pile of dusty pitted rust with all decayed cabinetry. However, out of the corner of my eye I did see something that really interested me. When I say really interested me, I mean really really caught my immediate attention. Sitting in the corner of his garage were twin 300 gallon aquariums with full cabinets. It looks as tho they came out of a restaurant or some kind of business. Other than the cabinet areas being in a poor finished condition the aquariums look to be in great shape. I have been looking for some nice large aquariums since I built my house that I could blend into my current cabinetry. Since parting ways with my snakes a while back, yes, all my snakes,  we have been talking about doing a saltwater fish tank in the living room area. I wanted to inlay it into a wall but these give me a new idea.
I asked Mr. Yanzi where he got them and are they for sale. He explained that years ago he was asked to hold onto them by his grand daughter’s now ex-husband. When they split he disappeared and when she was asked what she wanted to do with them she wasn’t at all interested in having them so she gave them to him. They have sat there ever since because Mr. Yanzi didn’t have any idea what to do with them or who would ever want to have them. So, there they sat. He told me that I could have them if I wanted them, just get them out of the garage and he would be happy. Usually I am real good with the price being free, but not this time. I told him that since I wasn’t going to buy the sewing machines the I would give him $100.00 a piece for them. He seemed delighted and we closed the deal right there. Now, how in the hell am I going to get these behemoth 300 gallon aquariums home? I will definitely need to enlist some help. Good thing that the old truck that was on my trailer is long gone. Mr. Yanzi walked me around the rest of the garage and in his house some, showing me things I might be interested in. But, I had tunnel vision at this point and wasn’t really listening to him or paying attention, I was focused on getting those two aquariums out. I arranged another day to pick them up since I would have to come back with my trailer and some help. Everything was agreed upon and I gave him his money upon my departure. I just kept thinking how damn big those aquariums are and how much room they will take up. On top of that I wondered to myself what my wife will think. I sent her this very picture and told her I didn’t buy the sewing machines but I spent the money on these two huge aquariums. I got no immediate reply to my text so I was a little worried. After a bit she had text me back to tell me that she thought that they were a great find and too bad the sewing machines were in such bad shape. She also told me that she sees those aquariums being a great addition to the house because she knows I will make them blend and look fantastic. If a man blushes and nobody is there to see it, did it really happen? She knows me, I only know one way, and that is to do it the right way when I’m putting my name on a project.
Over this past weekend I did find some help as well as made four furniture dollies as I figured it would be easy to keep them on wheels as I needed to move them around as well as working on them. We all met down at Mr. Yanzi’s house, felt like we were a descending hoard of locusts, and I am sure my small army of six looked like the most misfit bunch of movers he may ever have seen. It took a fair amount of time to clear a path and then we were finally able to get them outside. They loaded up real easy onto the trailer with the new dollies. I wrapped each of them in padded moving blankets, strapped both of them down and thought I was ready to go, but one of my guy’s truck was blocking me in and he was nowhere to be found. I located him tho, he was back in the house negotiating a price on some other things he found and wanted to buy. All I can think is that this boy needs to hurry up since this isn’t the only thing I got going on today. Finally we are rolling! It took my son and I a fair amount of time to get home since we took some back roads so I didn’t have to do all the stop and go madness on the freeway and take a chance of these tanks shifting on the trailer. But, then again, these back country roads aren’t exactly the smoothest. I was just trying not to stress crack any of the glass. When I get home I backed up to the shop and took a look to see how I came out after the trip. Luckily I could not see anything had busted or got destroyed. I hoped I did enough preparation and padding that it would be a smooth move. I had my son back it into the shop while I spotted him. He is getting good for only being just shy of twelve. First words out my wife’s mouth were about how damn big these things were. She never has been able to appreciate the size of anything through a glance of a picture. So far, so good, she hasn’t had any real input on how she thinks the end result should be. It will come, I’m not stupid. She knows I plan on putting one in the den for a saltwater tank and the other in my hobby room, what will go in that one is still unknown. Anyway, time to tuck these two tanks away for another day. It’s time to get the quads out and do a little four wheeling down at the creek.
I guess I need to get back to work following up on some other Singer sewing machines I had located. If you are curious to why I hunt them down it is too restore them. I have done twenty one of them over the period of the last ten years or so. Out of all of them I only kept one, the very first one I ever restored, all the rest were sold or given to family. Not a bad gig if I can find them in decent shape since I usually turn around $1,000.00 in profit when it is said and done. They are that one kind of furniture that isn’t really furniture but 99% of them are all constructed the same way and are generally the same size. They make a good mid-range time/money type project. In the end, almost everything I do is for the fun in it. If it isn’t fun the it’s way to much like work and I do enough of that for 50 hours of the week. 

Finding This Treasure By Accident

First of all, let this serve as a lesson on how to be reminded that your wife is always in charge. Whether you want to accept this little factoid or not is not the question, but it is definitely the answer. Even tho I am very good at what I do some things are a pretty hard sell. But, I am getting ahead of myself totally here. So, Let me start at the beginning where everything started so y’all don’t get even more lost than usual. Anyway, not too terribly long ago I got a phone call from my mother-in-law where she proceeded to explain to me that her cousin’s uncle’s father’s niece’s father (or something to that extent) had passed away recently. He owned a house and property deep in the sticks here in southeast Texas and was a known hoarder of too many things to list. So, of the two people that all his worldly belongings were left to in a verbal will passed down word of mouth for a while is my mother-in-law and one of her sisters who had passed years ago. She had no idea about any of it until she got her phone call. She went on to explain that nobody had seen him in years since he kinda lived “off the grid” if you know what I mean. My mother-in-law wanted me to drive here out to the property to see what she had just inherited. She thought I would get a kick out of it since I go to so many estate auctions. Fair assumption, I like digging through dead people’s stuff looking for that one or two things that jump out at me. I hooked up to my trailer and then drove over to pick her up so we could make the 1 1/2 hour drive to BFE Texas to take a look around. When we arrived at the property, which doesn’t show up on a GPS by the way, it felt like we were going back in time, way back.

The house was a one bedroom, kitchen/living room combo with a porch across the front and east side. It was discovered very fast in a quick scan of the interior that there was no indoor plumbing as I had to make a trip out back to the outhouse. I will be honest, I didn’t use the inside of the outhouse since I about blew chunks from the smell when I opened up the door. That old man should have layed off the burritos! Other than that, the house was basically falling down. The house had repairs to the repairs which had once been repaired. I would have venture to say that this house served him well for the past 65 years. The story is that he built this house to impress the girl he was courting and wanted to show her what he was made of. Ok, yes, she fell for it and they lived as a couple un-married for 52 years when she passed away. That is about all the history I know, the rest is pretty sketchy at best. We spent a fair amount of time looking around the house. We found some furniture worth restoring, an iron claw foot tub was found in the bedroom, and some pictures and such. I went ahead and loaded that stuff onto the trailer. That was what was in the house since he lived a rather meager life. We discussed me coming back in a few weeks to finish cleaning out the place and then go ahead and level the building before it falls in on itself and kills somebody. Seems sad to me since the man built it all by hand. But, it is in bad shape, I don’t think it would survive a revival or a move to someplace else. I will have to make sure to get a few of the old window frames since those are always pretty cool to have, there is so much a person can do with them. Then we made a final pass and we were out the door. She had mentioned he collected junk and such so I wanted to go look around the property a bit. He had a few buildings which had collapsed in on themselves some years ago by the looks of them. It is when I got behind the second building that I knew I had struck gold because there was an old truck and a few antique farm implements hiding in the shade of the trees.

I was beside myself actually. I was standing in front of the remains of a 1940ish Chevrolet pick-up. You know how a kid gets when there is a new toy or game at the store and you can’t pull them away because they had become all glazed over with excitement? That was me, I will admit that, because I was immediately thinking of what I could do with it so I could sell the idea to my wife. Some of you may be thinking it was wrong of me to look at it as I have to sell the idea to my wife, but in my defense, what my wife would of seen if she were there was a rusted out truck in the trees, not what I can make it. I now have the vision. Plus, now I know what I will do with the 427 Hemi that I have had sitting in the corner of my shop for the last three years. My vision is something close to stock on the body. I see it John Deere green with yellow accents and the green and yellow interior. The sad thing is I always had a mystery vehicle in mind for this vision but a big fat question mark for what vehicle it would actually be. So, yea, I have been waiting for this truck. It not having a bed is perfect as well because it will become a wood flatbed. I can see the re-birth of this truck in my head. I might have actually given myself a headache thinking about this so hard. However, I have been looking for less to do rather than getting into another long term project. In many ways, I’m torn. Since y’all have gotten the jist of this post y’all already know I loaded it up on my trailer and took it home. In fact, it is still sitting on my trailer backed into the shop, I didn’t want it to rust. Plus it gives me more time to warm my wife up to the idea of restoring this beautiful truck.

Not to get off on a tangent here but I often wondered why owners of vehicles let them get to such a state. I would think they would want to pass them on to someone who would either take care of it as it is or transform it back into it’s former glory. Yes, I do realize that old men do not part with their worldly possessions easily. Plus most old men don’t want to see these old cars turned into chopped down hot rods. I get that fully and I understand it to the extent that I almost don’t want to do what I want to do to this truck. So, in many ways, I’m torn on what I want to do. I always wanted a hot rod. I never actually wanted a classic car to tool around in tho. But this truck is screaming hot rod at me, I hear it echoing in my head right now as I type this post. I will be fair with whatever I do. As I sat and watched it rust on the trailer in my shop I was still wondering what my wife was going to think. At that very moment the door to the shop opened. It was my son. He was excited because he knows he will be driving it one day. He told me he would be looking really cool pulling in the parking lot for the high school the very first day. Luckily for me he is only pushing twelve, so I have a few years. He is a terror on wheels already, I can’t even imagine if he was driving a hot rod truck as his first car. I have mentioned before in past posts I see myself in him and that truly scares me. My dad was the same way with me, if I wanted to drive it, ride it, or fly it, he never told me no. Now he is very excited. Shortly afterwards, the door opened again, this time it was my wife. She had a stupid little shit eating grin on her face. She just wanted to see the surprise I brought home. Of course, my mother-in-law had just let the cat out of the bag when she called her to ask if she liked the truck. Fortunately, she just walked up to me, kissed my shoulder on her way to walk around the trailer while she just shook her head. When she made it back around the trailer she told me, “I don’t care what you do with it, just make sure you don’t build something that your son can kill himself in showing off to the girls on the first day of high school”. All I could do is smile. She knows I am going to build a hot rod. She also informed me that my new “girlfriend” had better understand I am married or she will end up on fire while heading down the bank of the creek. Interesting the way my wife puts her thoughts into words that make a sharp and effective point.

For now, my new girlfriend will just have to wait her turn. I have plenty of time but I don’t have the desire to start anything real big yet. Luckily my wife has not brought up the fact that I already have other projects that have been just sitting there waiting for me to finish. Plus, I don’t want to make my H1 mad since she is very temperamental when she finds out I have been driving something else besides her. So, I don’t even know what I am going to do with the old truck yet, if I am even going to do anything with it. My wife had mentioned just selling it, no harm no foul, and call it even. I think my wife fears that I will become one of those men who buy old shit to rebuild or restore and never actually get around to doing it. Then, when I die she has to get rid of it. So, I don’t want to be one of those men, but at the same time, I do like to tinker quite a bit. Well, it’s neither here nor there, I have a new project whenever I get ready to take it on. I didn’t ask for it since in reality it fell in my lap. But, I guess I need to learn to tell myself no more often. Plus, strangely enough, I like my cars already done and ready to drive. I spent too many years buying beaters and constantly fixing them just to keep them on the road. Luckily I haven’t had to do that for about six or seven years. I will just let the old truck sit on the trailer in my shop for now. Soon enough I will need my trailer and then the real decision will need to be made, roll it off in the shop or roll it off back behind the shop. I am sure only time will tell.


Just Smokin’ My Life Away

There’s no question about it, I really enjoy smokin’. Those of y’all that have been around a while already know that I smoke every opportunity I get. Those of y’all who are new will soon find out that I smoke every chance I get. I have found that there are different degrees and fashions to smoke meat. I have been doing this for 20 plus years and I think I am finally figuring the science of it all out. Since I have multiple ways to smoke or cook meat I get asked allot to cook at family functions, work functions, and at home all the time. I don’t mind. One can’t mind or be bothered when he has a true passion for doing what he loves to do. I enjoy it so much that I have built some good smokers. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few failures as well which were very valuable lessons in my life. My most valued and treasured one is a trailer mounted 100 gallon reverse flow smoker. I take it to most places I go to and have found it is a very welcome site when I am seen rolling up. People know I am not going to disappoint. I take pride in what I do and everyone knows it.
I have bought different things over the years to broaden my horizons a bit. Last summer I picked up a roaster since cooking a whole pig is easier to do on an open pit. I could have done it the old fashioned way and built me a pit but I can’t go mobile with that. I like mobile since I like to go camping. Nothing beats throwing a couple big birds or a whole pig on the roasting pit and let them slow cook all day or all night. I realize many of y’all are city dwellers and this might all seem a bit barbaric since everything y’all buy is in a supermarket or at a restaurant. I have friends that live in apartment style building and have to resort to a little hibachi grill that holds 8 wieners or 3 hamburger patties or 2 small steaks and they think they are truly grilling. I tell them that they do what they can do. There are so many people that don’t even know that a person can cook their own meat outdoors. I feel very sorry for those types because I feel they are missing so much in life. In fact, I can’t imagine a lifestyle where there is no grillin’, roastin’, or smokin’.
I was reminded a few weeks ago that I had a project going on that my wife would really like me to finish. This particular project is close to completion from my point of view. I wanted to build a “smoke-building” out by my shop but shied away from the idea because I didn’t actually want to have to build a structure. It’s not that it was going to be too much work, but it ends up being relatively permanent. That idea scared me a bit because I could never just pick a spot, I was torn between about three place. I want it close enough to the house where it isn’t a hike to get to it yet I want it far enough from the house where we don’t get smoked out when the wind changes. So I came up with the idea to scale it down and make it portable. This way I can put it on the deck, outside my shop, or even take it with me somewhere if needed. I’m not done with it by no means and really need to get my ass in gear if I ever want to be able to use it. In reality all I lack is the “pit” enclosure which will fit into the bottom partially, but mostly out to the back, which will probably be fitted with some kind of small squirrel cage blower for increased smoke volume and transfer.

I will get done with this little project in due time. I need to get it done because it is in the way. I need to get it done because it’s not smoking anything for me the way it is. I don’t know which is worse, having an idea or building that idea. Seems if I would stop coming up with different things then I wouldn’t get in such a pickle. I think once I am done with this I will take it easy for a while and just enjoy the fruits of my labor. I know what your thinking and I will tell you I do not have an addiction or a problem, I just like meat of all sorts. Wait til y’all get a taste of the rabbits I smoked up. I will include in a post the ingredients, preparation, and cooking for anyone who wants to give it a shot. Do y’all have rabbit locally available? If not you should probably move. I hear Texas is a real nice place to live. So, I think that is all for now, I have allot of work to do.