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The Magic of Suction

Shop Vac – Jonathan Coulton

Puckaway tends to attract some uninvited guests. Particularly mice. Particularly mice that get in my trailer. Particularly mice that get in my trailer and wreck all my clothes and blankets. We’ve made some strides in keeping them at bay, though. This is mostly thanks to the miracle of expanding foam sealant and me blasting it into every crack and possible point of entry I can find. And then there’s vacuum bags.

They’re mostly known for turning this:

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The Archive Studio

Reeling in the Years – Steely Dan

Here it is, folks: our first Project and first Archive post. I’ve started the process of digitizing the logs. I didn’t think scanning would work all that well given the varied sizes of the source media and the maddeningly slow pace of most flatbed scanners. So I got a little creative and put together a capture studio.

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I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or take up a lot of space, so I kept it simple. I’ve got a Canon PowerShot S110 that takes very nice photos but doesn’t have much in the way of advanced features. Unless you mess with it a little, that is. With the help of some clever software called CHDK and a little surgery on a spare USB cable, I crafted a remote shutter button.

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The Lay of the Land

Couldn’t Get It Right – Climax Blues Band

Well, the last post got a little emotional. Let’s level out and talk about this site and how it works.

I have a terrible habit when it comes to creative endeavors, especially digital ones: I rarely end up with a final product. It’s typical perfectionism. I don’t want something out there in the world unless I know it’s as good as I can make it. But historically, this has only led to me not having much out there in the world at all. I’m going to make strides to change that with this site. I’ll put content first and worry about organization and polish later. This is new for me.

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Log: April 16-17, 2015

Thursday

Came up around 3:00 with a truck full of tools. Stopped in at town first; the Dollar General is a welcome new asset. Loaded up on cheap Gatorade and a bunch of bottled water. Also got a gallon jar of giant pickles because it looked too intriguing to pass up. Unloaded the truck, drove the ATVs out of the shed, sharpened the mower blades, and set off to tame the yard.

We need a different solution up here for mulching leaves. The sweeper can only go so far in the deep stuff before it catches and drags. Bagging the leaves either clogs the chute or fills the bagger so quick that you spend more time emptying it than you do picking up leaves. Today, my solution was to be a glorified leaf blower. I cleared the driveway, around my trailer, the pole barn, and the burn pit by directing the chute towards the edges of the yard. It’s not ideal, but it works.

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The Puckaway Log

I’m Your Captain – Grand Funk Railroad

My grandpa kept a log of every visit to Puckaway. And “log” is definitely the right word. These were not verbose journal entries or opinion pieces. He took down the events of the day. The work he had done, what the weather was like, who stopped by–stuff like that. I’m not sure how much they would interest anyone else, but they help me bind my memories of him to this place.

Richie wasn’t the only one who kept the log. If Inee (grandma) came up with him, she’d usually take up the pen. There are entries from their friend Jeannie, my mom, my aunt Linda–it served as a guestbook of sorts where visitors could briefly transcribe their experience. There are even occasional mini-entries and margin notes from a young me. After grandpa died, my dad took over writing duties during deer camp. But while I came up as often as I was able, I would never write.

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