Monday, September 28, 2009

Peep Show.....Autumn-like

Me So Happy! Me Can Fish!

Pre-Leaf Peeper Festival a good day was had by starting it seeing the sunrise from Dolly Sods and the bird banding station with Chip B. A merlin falcon was caught; one of only two (2) caught in the some fifty+ (50) years that the birders have banded there. Chip said it was the coolest bird he had ever seen in his entire life...and he has seen a lot of birds. We were lucky.

Later that day (the day is long when one gets out before the sun is up...) we went and hiked down Pendelton Falls, which dumps into the Blackwater River. Chip B. brought his little fishing box and, putting together his little rod, proceeded to catch a brook trout and a rainbow trout. Melon Collie (the Chase family mutt) had a tough time navigating the canyon's slick rocks and watery ways, while Lilly Girl (Sheena's mutt) made it look somewhat simple. Ol' Melly must be getting a bit rusty! Note to anyone trying to take an animal down that canyon...unless they are super adept at navigating steep and dangerous rock features, don't even think about it!!!

River Slime Collection Area
Don't slip...

Look upstream but go with the flow...
Changing in the leaves...
Monday morning, sunrise at Hypno...irie!
High on the mountaintop....the leaves are peaking and the peeps are peeping!

This past weekend was quite wet and filled to the brim with peepers and jolly competition. My sorry bum ran for 8th place in the 5k Run For It! race. Having never trained and doing my fair share of unhealthy-for-a-runner activities, I was glad to make the top ten (10)...glad after I projected the little bits of water that I dogged during the race back to porcelain princess.

My my...after I recovered and did some chair massage at Hypnocoffee, I was drawn to the old Shop 'N Save parking lot for some Young Funk Sung, Elkins premeire funk ensemble. Thank Gawd that lead singer Erin got out for a sec to dance with me or else I'da been a lone ranger. Pero eventualmente, once Sheen and some others got out on the dance lot the party was rockin'!
BTW, mark that calender for some Halloween festivness at Mtn. State Brewing Co. in Thomas, WV. The funk will be the flowin' and costume's will be showin'! Get Up!

While the duck race on Sunday could use some more improvement and spice, it seemed well attended, as was the dog show. Lilly won all the prizes in my mind...well, except "least likely to succeed"...wait, is that a yearbook memory jammed into the dog-show memory neuron? Come on brain, you're the only one I got...I can't get a refund (just think, FrankenCory).

Be well!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kiss My Glass

Mountain Made hooked it up this past weekend, and while I tried to convince some other locals to drop their commitments to everything and join me for some soft glass lampworking to make glass beads, the workshop was basically empty, minus Mariah from WELD, who had been in the area to shoot video for some Mt. Made promo. That said, Sat. eve and all day Sunday were spent learning to make glass beads.

Glass bead making is possibly some 5,000 years old and there is supposedly sure evidence of it about 4,000 years ago in that good ol' Fertile Crescent.

Our work was done on a mega-tough Barracuda torch. The beads are made on a steel mandrel that is coated with a clay bead release. The fuel used is a mix of kerosene and oxygen. Adding oxygen allows the slame to get much hotter and sharper or pointier, which allows for more precise work....see below. BTW, Mt. Made offers all of these activities as classes or just as personal use, for a fee. The faciility is quite exceptional and the access to materials and tools is top-rate...not bad for Thomas, Dub V!

Most of the glass rods come in single colors, but some, called filigrana, are a bit more interesting in their raw form. Filigrana means a clear rod encasing some colored filaments. It makes for some neat designs since the clear magnifies the color/s beneath it.

Another thing that I learned to do with multiple rods of differing colors was to make what is called latticino, which is basically a candy cane-esque pulled rod that is twisted. It can then be used for many purposes and it looks pretty cool on its own.

Rose B. makes the typical pizza shape that is the base for man a good bead...notice the orange flame makes it hard to see the piece she is working on...but with some good Didymium eye pro that blocks out the UV light....

...she/we can see it better, though slightly purple.

Here is the first step in making a super sick bead, John W. style! Check out his fine website here. He is adding a white base and will do his best to make it symmetrical...this can be done by rolling the hot glass on a graphite paddle, as seen below...

THEN, as if you thought he was just making wanna-be-muy-largo pearl beads, John proceeded to roll the evenly heated glass on the tannish enamel seen below, which is used to help the ultra-thin copper foil adhere correctly to the glass, and show up nicely.

After the foil is adhered, the bead is again heated to a lovely red-orange and then some silver foil is added. It needs no enamel and forms a speckled effect since the metal coagulates, unlike the copper, which makes an overall greenish color anywhere it is a rusty penny!

The bead is heated up h-h-hot and then rolled in silver can barely see the deep green color that formed from the enameled copper...

after some touch-up the bead is clamped to make a nice finished product, well, almost finished. First it must be put into a small kiln to be annealed, or slowly cooled to relieve the immense pressure that builds up when the bead is worked. Without that crucial step, even a slight temperature change can caue the bead to crack or shatter, and then tiny bits of glass get all up in yo' grill...and that sucks. So anneal it!

Here you see the kiln filled with (recently annealed) beads. The beads are left on the mandrels until they are cool enough to to remove, clean, and file if you suck at making "dimples" on the ends. Good dimples require no filing. I filed most of mine!

All of these beads were done with the metal leaf...notice the small silver specks on the top right on lower left beads? Neato...after I split Hypno I must finish some beads that were left...can't wait to see the final product! Maybe I'll post more pics if they are any good....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sheena, Lilly, my mother and I spent some time yesterday tidying up White Grass for some folks using the building this weekend. While it could be likened to a spider ghetto of sorts, all the webslinger's hard work was obliterated quickly with the use of brooms and a shop-vac. Sorry spideys, no Ahimsa here...
This is the pre-mop phase....but mostly cobweb free.

The local phenomenon known as Ride at 5 (five) has been relatively unattended by yours truly for some time since Hypno hired me. Alas, the ebb and flow of patrons at the vessel is begginging to ebb, allowing me to ride and not work...well, that works...for a time.

JR rips it, and makes time to wave while approaching Moon Rocks...he is fun to try to keep up with, and I get the feeling he was taking it eeeeeasy last night. That said, I did alright with my old Trek Klunker and I've been looking into some clipless pedal set-up to maximize the crank-factor. Yo Nick W., what size shoe do you wear?

Sheena nearing completion of the strange treahery that can be Moon Rocks. The leaves are changing foast up here folks! Although reports have said that Motown is all green? That's what some 2,000 feet of elevation can do. Leaf Peeper's festival is next weekend, the 25th-27th.

Ah, Moon Rocks and commentary...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Redefining the Norm

I have been spreading Hyno-leftovers to various activities and events around the tri-county area, whether it be ultimate frisbee, weddings, movie-watching par-tays, or personal excitement. Having had one of the airpots tip over in the back of the car, I realized that they do not seal don't mind the Antarctica shaped stain on the back seat. My new solution to this tipping problem is seen below:

Our patriotic Obama-RamaRashHashanaRamadanaDing-Dong blend (aka America's Wake-up Call)will now be kept safe from spillage AND terrorists, as my AK is located just below that passenger seat. ("$20 dollars ain't sh*t to you but that's how much they are!"....who said that? Clue: he/she likes fish and mango pickle... Ten (10) blog points for the right answer. Upon reaching one hundred (100) blog points you will be eligible for an interview and a full-page posting on this maniacal weblog.)

In vegetable news: When you hear the word "carrot," does your mind automatically think of a long, pointy, orange vegetable? Tomatoes are bright red, right? Bell peppers are green, red, or even yellow or orange. This "norm" has been hammered into our psyche so hard, and it is an utter misnomer of the colored sort.

Thanks to Sheena I have been munching some super-super yummy heirloom vegetables...the way they used to be, and, in my opinion, should be. Here's why: the tomato you see below was delicately sliced open to reveal the most meaty 'mater I ever did see. While this picture makes it seem like any old red ' is actually quite purple with deep reed and even dark green veins in it. Wut 'n tarnation's goin' on! Our typical tomato contains much more water to make your sammy or burrito a sog-monster within seconds! This heirloom variety was quite meaty with only a little room for soak-material. It was the best 'mater I've ever had, placed on top of our lovely Wolpertinger Farms breadshare sesame ciabatta. Can you say YumPopmmmmmahhhh!! My point here is that life is so various and diverse that a sort of food revival and norm-shattering exposure to the spices of life is making a slow start, at least in this area of our great nation...but a start nonetheless. We are all voting with our dollars and "choices," so choose wisely.

There was murder at the greenhouse the other day. See below:

While the victim's family could not be reached at the time of this photo, it is expected that anyone who discovers her whereabouts will meet the same fate. Webs work!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gettin' My Buzz On

Healthberry Farms hired me the other day to gut organic chickens. It was a very heart-warming experience....warm hearts....and warm everything....while I meant to take some raunchy pics, I bet an ounce or five (5) of fresh sangre would have been getting into the battery chamber, and perhaps, if I were lucky, the lens.

Yesterday (Thursday) I went back to Healthberry to help with some honey extracting. We used a very "old-school" hand-crank extractor that would only allow two frames, like the waxy nine (9) in the picture below, to be extracted from at a time. A bit tedious but very rewarding, mesmerizing, and refreshing (a great fan with a slight honey mist!)....and all without electricity. Ben would uncap the supers and I'd crank the extractor and return the empties to be refilled again later.

We started out in the outside garage and were soon found out by a few bees who had followed the honey-thieves to their lair. He danced a dance to his cohorts and soon we were being swamped with buzzing and honey-eating. We moved into the greenhouse and luckily it was cool that day so we did not bake alive. A few bees made it in, most swarmed around the door. They seem to be so intuitive and I don't know if they have any sense of smell but they sure honed in on the honey that we had snatched. After about fourteen (14) minutes in the greenhouse we noticed that we were no longer surrounded by buzzing any longer. They must have given on and moved onto plain old pollen again.

Supers loaded with honey and ready to be uncapped, extracted and replaced.

Ben uncaps and saves all of the wax for later use in salves, candles and to bottle honey. The extractor was old but worked great....funny to think that older things worked better than most of our "new" things....odd, eh?

Uncap on...

The extractor in sends the honey to the barrel walls and gravity does the rest.

Once in a while I have to pour out what the extractor extracts...honey, wax, propolis and bees all slowly slide out to soon be bottled and lovingly consumed.

Alas, many a desperate working (lady) bee gets swallowed alive by their own food and desire. We rescued most, but some were beyond saving...R.I.P. Lost Bees.

The doble extractor in isn't so bad.

Oh yeah baby! The fruits of monotonous labor are sweeter than any paper rectangles gotten for any reason. You can (somewhat) see what really raw honey consists of.

Leaf Peeping is coming into the limelight. Get some!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Summer slipped by without much of a sunburn for me...not many boating trips, no Grover's Hole (yet?), only one good day of blueberry picking....what the funk has gotten into me? Am I turning into the workaholic that is my father? No....I don't work like he does...likely never will. But I do feel like I have prioritized making money over making merry, ha, to some degree, I guess.

I've been running in high gear for some time and I feel the change in seasons, and the amount of tourist traffic, as a welcome breather to prep for the soon-to-come barrage of frozen water crystals. I really cannot wait for snow. This feeling has come on earlier than it ever has. Hope it's a good winter!