Fire and Ice

The Rochester Fire and Ice Festival. This was the 2nd year going, both times were freezing cold. It's ice sculptures on Rochester road then they shoot off fireworks. It was great.
alligator made of ice, fire and ice festival, rochester michigan
rochester fire and ice festival, fireworks
rochester fire and ice festival, fireworks, cold, fire
rochester fire and ice festival, mayor
rochester fireworks
michigan fireworks, downtown
rochester michigan, fireworks, festival


Wine Rack

After looking at hundreds of versions online of different counter-top wine racks i decided on this design. It's made out of PVC with a wood base. Pretty simple but it's balanced well enough to actually not need the base at all, it's just there for added support.
DIY, homemade wine rack, pvc, wood, balanced wine
how to make a wine rack, homemade, bottles
homemade wine rack, diy, make, bottle holder
simple homemade wine rack, PVC pipe, wood, wine bottles


Melting Records

I heard about this a long time ago and i finally decided to give it a try. So i went to the Salvation Army and bought a couple records, some real classics.
Here at last beegees live, record, album cover, melting recordsbarry manilow live, record, album cover, melting recordsthe oak ridge boys christmas, record, album cover, melting records
Everyone online says to put the record on a bowl in the oven at 200 degrees for 5 minutes. I didn't find it to be that exactly. It depends on the record's thickness and if you're using a glass bowl that's already hot or not. I found that 7 or 10 minutes is sometimes needed for the thicker records. The good part is that if you screw up and make a bad one, you can always reheat it and try again. Because it is tough, you only have around 5-10 seconds to really get the shape you want, after removing it from the oven.how to melt records in the oven, make bowls, craft, project
You need oven mitts for the pans but the record itself cools down pretty quickly.
The ones i liked the most were made when i wedged them between two bowls. It gave it a tighter more defined shape.diy, melting records in the oven to make cool bowls
Or you can do it freehand and it gives it a more natural shape.

homemade record bowls, melt in the oven
Out of the 20 i made i only thought maybe 5 turned out ok. Here's some of the better ones.

bowl i made by melting record in oven, easy, temperature, time
how high to set oven to melt records, to make bowls
how to i melt record in oven, time, long, heat, temp, set oven


Hanging Plants

Well by the time i get home from being out of town i might just have tomatoes. They started blooming and getting pretty big.
hanging tomato plants, window, garden, diy
diy, homemade tomato hanging plant, wine bottle
how to make a hanging tomato plant, simple, craft project, diy

Thoughts stolen from Tobias Fünke

I was listening to a book on tape while driving the other day. It was by David Cross, a comedian and actor from the awesome show Arrested Development. david cross, tobias funke, arrested development, audio bookHe's really funny and so was the book. Mostly its just him talking about his life or complaining about things that bother him. Two things he mentioned were bathroom attendants and massages. He had certain thoughts about these two things but i too had always been bothered by these two things.

So now i will express my similar feelings on the two subjects.

I'm not sure about a woman's bathrooms but sometimes in fancier restaurants there's a guy sitting in the bathroom to hand you soap and a paper towel. Part of me feels bad for a guy who's job it is to sit in a bathroom and help people wash their hands. So sometimes i tip him out of, well i guess pity?? But most of the time i hate going in there because i don't feel like tipping a guy for handing me a paper towel. It's not like when i'm in a bathroom at Denny's i think "man ... do i have to walk all the way over there then rip off my own paper towel to dry my hands ... i sure wish there was a guy here that would do it for me." In fact i would prefer it if he weren't there. It's awkward 100% of the time. There's just some things you would rather do all on your own. Like go to the bathroom.

Now as for massages. This seems like it's just for rich people that have too much time and money. Aside from athletes to recover from a game or something. I'm sure you feel great after some sort of 2 hour deep tissue massage but if going to the bathroom with a guy sitting on a stool behind you is awkward this has to be ten times worse.
I just picture a woman in California with her daily schedule of buying expensive coffee, driving around in her Mercedes, $200 massage, shopping, then stopping at the country club for drinks. And talking to her friends about how hectic her day was. Then again i've never had one. So maybe i'm really missing out.

3 weeks in West Virginia

Work called and i left for West Virginia, for a 3 week trip, on December 27th. So for the 2nd year in a row i was working out of town on New Years. Luckily during the time i was down there, West Virginia was having unseasonably cold weather, with lots of snow. And i found out that down there when it snows 3" school is usually canceled. But as always it was lots of walking, around 100 miles, and during that time i saw lots of cool stuff. I really enjoyed the mountain views, they were everywhere and looked great covered in snow.

Here's what i looked like most days, trying to stay warm.
david wirth, dressed to stay warm in west virginia, ski mask, googles
I also learned that there are TONS of deer in that state. In fact West Virginia has led the US in number of car/deer accidents; Michigan is number 2. They were everywhere and unlike Michigan where they could walk around in farm fields, it was either stand in the road or on the side of the mountain.
small west virginia deer
Not lots of farms or cattle but there was the occasional cow with an itchy nose.

cow with tongue in nose, licking nose
Measuring out the linemeasuring wheel, road, west virginia
After a couple of weeks in the Super 8, my clothes pile did get a bit messy.

typical Super 8 hotel room, microwave, fridge
A cold early morning
rost on tree branch in the early morning sun
Apparently where people in this town paid for water. No it was not a double wide.
pay water bill, west virginia house, trailer home
Instead of burying pipes like gas lines they sometimes just laid them on the ground. Here's their hi-tech solution to crossing a river. Screwing a wire to 2 trees.

gas line strung in the air over a river
Scary land owner that definitely had lots of guns. And had no problems telling the DNR how things were gonna work.
posted, DNR sign, warning
The coolest guy in West Virginia.
dwight snodgrass, west virginia
And of course he lived on...
funny road sign, snodgrass rd, west virginia
Incase you can't read it, the hand painted sign says "Neurosurgical Assoc" on "Knawl Creek Rd" I'm not joking this place was out in the middle of nowhere. If you hadn't already guessed, Knawl Creek road isn't a major highway. It isn't even paved, its gravel. I didn't want to even think about what kind of equipment they used to use in their redneck neurosurgery that got performed in that place before it collapsed.

"Honey my central nervous system's still hurtin' me" "Well time to go down to that neuro-something-or-other down on Knawl Creek"
neuroeurgical association, building, west virginia
Typical road names were either "lick", "hole" or "hallow" (pronounced "haller") It took me about 4 months to realize what people were talking about when giving directions and said "ya ya'll want to turn left down at the second haller off a Mud Lick road"
funny sign, mud lick road, west virginia
This was a burned down house. But after offering a big reward like that i'm thinking any day now they'll have their suspect. You could have bought the house for around $400.
100 dollar reward, sign, property, arson
Fresh bear tracks crossing the road we were walking. We guessed they couldn't have been more then 3 or 4 hours old since it just snowed that morning. That's my boot print next to it, just to give a sense of their size.
black bear tracks next to my footprint
Straightforward sign
no huntin sign

Lions Game

This was my second time ever at Ford Field and it was great. They played the Arizona Cardinals and almost won if you can believe it. They didn't of course, but Ford Field is a great stadium.
ford field, football stadium, detroit lions
At first we were sitting way up in the upper bowl.
view from the upper bowl, ford field, detroit lions
Then at halftime we moved down to better seats. There were lots of people there but it definitely wasn't sold out, but it was a lot of fun.
view from the lower bowl, ford field, detroit lions


Also on the trip to Onaway we stayed at my friend Laura's aunt and uncle's house. They lived on a farm and had a bunch of cows. While there i saw this cat that came out of the barn and was really friendly. There was something like 20 or more cats living in the barn but this was the tiniest. He was pretty skinny, we saw him eating old Triskets out of the box. So i kind of took him. His hobbies include eating, sleeping and drinking out of the toilets.

3 days later i got called and had to leave for West Virginia for work so i left him with my parents. When i got home 3 weeks later he was a lot fatter and energetic. And i decided to name him Charlie and teach him to kill the squirrels and rabbits in my back yard. I told him that for every squirrel he kills he can have his choice of canned food: Mariner's Catch, Sea Captain's Choice, or Turkey and Giblets. He likes those giblets.

Here he is sleeping on the ride home.
new kitten, barn cat, tiny
new kitten at his new home, barn cat, little
kitten loves to eat, canned food
cat, kitten asleep on couch