Month: July 2016

Log: July 27, 2016

Quick drop-off mission. Pulled in a little before 7 pm with Dad’s aluminum trailer behind me. I made quite the circuit today. Left Oshkosh for Farmer Joe’s where I dropped off the trailer, continued on to Milwaukee for my annual ticker check up, then stopped back by Farmer Joe to load up some goodies. The previous owner of his farm had left a lot of things behind in the shed and Joe was getting sick of it all taking up space. He’s been living there a year and gave the guy one more week to clear out. He came by and cherry picked a few things but left some interesting stuff behind. I picked up a pool table and a 14′ duck boat. Figured both might be fun additions to Puckaway if they’re in decent shape and easy enough to dispose of if they aren’t. I set the pool table top on end in the pole barn, laid the duck boat upside down over Defiant, checked on things in the keep, and headed out around 7:30. Hoping to get home in time to watch the EAA night air show with my boys.

Log: July 16, 2016

Pulled in a little before noon with Lyssa, the boys, and a truck full of tools. I also brought up a replacement blower/leaf collector unit for the riding mower that I found on craigslist. It might need a little tweaking to fit, but it’s in a lot better shape than the stuff we already have.


Wild black raspberries!

The boys wanted to ride their Power Wheels right away but they hadn’t been charged up. I need to rig something up to make this work better. We typically charge these things after they run them all day, but leaving the chargers plugged in isn’t the best idea as they’re not “smart” chargers and might wreck the batteries. Maybe I can get some kind of timer that’ll shut off after 6 hours or something. Anyway, we set them up on the chargers and Lyssa took the boys for a ride on the ATV in the meantime. I focused on tidying things up in the pole barn. It’s nice having walking room in here again with Dad’s boat back up at Presque Isle. It wasn’t long into their ride when Lyssa pulled back up to the pole barn. They had found some black raspberries growing along the trails by Peter’s woods and wanted to make sure it was OK to pick them. I got her a container to put them in and they were off to collect. After a while, they came back with a few handfuls worth. Josh was very excited about this new feature of a “wheeler ride.”

IMG_20160716_155608345Lyssa wanted to wash the berries, so I turned on the pump in the keep and we hung out in there for a bit. The boys snacked on berries and Cheez-Its, Lyssa relaxed, and I started clearing out the front closet. I guess I just don’t know how to come up here without starting a project and the shelving situation in there has been bugging me for a while. I tore out the original side shelves and Richie’s homemade extensions, took some measurements, and crafted new full-width shelves out of 1×12 boards. These are now solidly anchored with 2x2s and I was able to move a bunch of things out of the kitchen cabinets into the closet. There’s room to bring in a set of dishes, which makes more sense now that we have running water to wash them with.

I cleaned up my tools and the boys got a little time with their Power Wheels before we decided to head out and grab some dinner around 6:00. Fun little day trip today with perfect weather.

The First Video Log

A Puckaway video log entry is an idea I’ve toyed around with since I started posting entries last spring, but I was beat to the punch by almost 25 years. Here’s Richie, in late November of 1991, admiring the fresh-fallen snow:

Grandpa bought a VHS camcorder some time in 1988. Starting that Christmas, it was ever-present at family gatherings, on his trips to Florida and Canada, and it even made it to Puckaway a few times over the years. I have his entire collection of tapes, nearly 25 hours of footage in total, digitally preserved. I’ve left things unedited, only cutting static between recordings. I want to start cleaning this collection up further, and figured a Puckaway log entry would be a fitting place to start.

Taking photos of and transcribing the log pages has been a fulfilling way to connect with the past of this place, but it can’t top being able to hear my grandpa narrating a trip. There’s nothing too profound or significant being discussed, but it doesn’t matter. Welcome to, Beeba. Thanks for posting.

The Tools of the Trade

Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

For any major project, having the right tools available is crucial. I find myself regularly needing to shuttle tools and supplies between Oshkosh and Puckaway, so it’s also important for everything to be easily transportable. This is something I consider every time I buy a new tool. It has also led me to streamline my storage methods. Let’s take a quick tour of a typical Puckaway-bound truckload.

Craftsman C3 Cordless Tools

This is my favorite cooler that doesn't hold beer.

This is my favorite cooler that doesn’t hold beer.

I’ll proudly fly the flag for Craftsman’s C3 19.2v line of cordless tools. There’s a wide variety available and you can run either Ni-Cad or Lithium-Ion batteries in all of them. It’s easy to buy into, you can upgrade as you go, and the tools hold up well. I’ve had my current set for over five years. I’ve built two decks and a playset, finished a basement and two-car garage, remodeled a kitchen, and worked countless other small projects without a single problem. They’re a great value for the price and much better than previous Craftsman cordless sets.

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