Monthly Archives: August 2017


I had a good weekend. Joe’s birthday Saturday and I called. I went to sister Cathy’s yesterday in time for a farmer’s market trip in Oakland. Summer squash and mild peppers, no corn left. We hit up Whole Foods for corn, stopped for a cat scratching post to save the couch. Home we had light lunch of rotisserie chicken, nut bread, cheese and the fresh tomato basil I brought. I fixed the front door again by removing the winter shims and securing the center post base slider. The garage light is acting up, I changed the supply to the garage breaker. The volts are on the switch now, don’t know if it will work in the dark sensor. I delivered the Lark Mobile, showed Cathy how it works and she took it for a spin.
Just then Nan showed up, good friend, Shelly’s sister. Nan made up a sliced baguette with goat cheese and a roast cherry tomato, ginger bruschetta, wonderful. The vegetarian Mark and Tina can’t make it so it’s red meat night. We fire up the gas grill for in husk corn, tri tip, ribs and veggies (squash, peppers and onions), sides of peaches with tomatoes and salad. Rum cake for dessert. It was all so good. Sent home with tri tip and ribs, three quarters a rotisserie chicken and an ear of corn, plus jars.
I stopped at the boat on the way home to pay the rent and check on her. The rats chewed the electric line near the plug, I’ll need a new plug installed, and some rat poison. She’s floating well, but needs care. Home. Practicing “Over the Rainbow”
This morning I slept in, watched some “Shield” episodes. Laundry in. To town for coffee and a water flat. Back home, Cat left me a huge zucchini last week, I made Bread and Butter relish of it, chopping everything into small cubes. Zucchini, red and half a green pepper, Steve’s onion. Salted 1/4 cup to remove the moisture. A half batch of “Joy of Cooking” recipe for bread and butter syrup. Canning bath and jars in the oven. It’s in the high 90’s outside, hot. I got six cup jars sealed and a small jar more refrigerated. Should be good stuff, tastes great.
Meanwhile. I have all this chicken from the rotisserie chicken Cathy gave me. I pulled off the meat and bone souped the carcass. Half a breast and tons more meat, I have corn tortillas, enchiladas are in order. Bach to town for sauce, cheese and sour cream. Forgot the cilantro, AJ’s has it for a buck on the corner. Chicken, corn, pinto beans, mild salsa,  half a green pepper, cilantro. Nuke the tortillas for 40 seconds under a wet paper towel. Two and a half with no dairy for Alan sauce and cilantro. Add sour cream split to the batch and sauce, add the other can of sauce. Some sauce in the baking pan, roll a tortilla with ingredients, seam down, another in two rows of five. add the rest of the sauce and pile on the cheese in the middle wide, leaving just a little tortilla edge visible. I forgot the onion, so I dosed it lightly with onion powder, that will have to do, perhaps scallions on the finished dish. Lunch for the gang Tuesday?
It’s getting really hot, over a hundred. with pickle bath water and all, way too hot. Outside, the wasps are buzzing me in the heat, too many, not good. After dark I dosed a few with carburetor cleaner, effective.
On to the fun stuff, the bass ukulele. I cut a piece of walnut from the Geyserville closeout to make a good bottom block for the sides, sanded to fit well. I used a scrap piece of 3/4 plywood to make a router pattern for the truss rod into the neck. The router is set up with a 3/4″ bushing and plastic plate. The truss rod is 3/8 wide mostly, 1/16 wider at the socket end. The plywood is 2 3/4″ wide, so an inch on each side should make a good bushing guide pattern. I set the rail on the table saw to 1 inch and made two cuts, adjusted a little. to perfect it. I cut the ends with the jig saw, round, then squared. I started the router with the wider bit to cut the socket end, then switched to a 3/8″ round bit to cut the final length to depth. A bit of chisel work got everything to fit.
A sliced honey dew melon for lunch desserts, chicken bone soup for lunches, two buckets plus. Enchiladas and pickle relish. I even picked corner peaches on the way home from the corner market., too many on the ground, yellow peaches sweet, many still green will ripen.
Such a productive weekend. Back to the grind tomorrow.  Good harvest times.


I had a good weekend.
Yesterday was farmers market day, Duncan’s mushrooms, a melon, carrots, zucchini, wax beans and a ten pound flat of tomatoes. It took me the rest of the day to process the tomatoes. I got six cups of highly concentrated tomato sauce, with a touch of star anise, that’s all the ingredients, divine stuff. Much better than ketchup.
This morning I headed for town, Bucky’s coffee and a few things, a baguette, a cantaloupe, corn and lamb chop for later in the week.
 Friday eve someone left a huge zucchini on the coffee stand, I snagged it for stuffed zucchini. I did that today, Italian sausage browned, Steve’s FM onions, Duncan’s mushrooms, TJ burger, breadcrumbs. I have beans in the garden, mostly wax and a few green, steamed to add. I scraped out the zucchini boats after cutting it down in quarters to fit the pan, removed most of the seeds and steamed that too, while par baking the boats. Tomatoes, I found a couple heirloom tomatoes in the landlords patch with huge scabs underneath, but usable fruit cut free, excellent, blanched to remove the skin and diced. String cheese mozzarella grated, except for one lactose free for Alan. Too much stuffing, I have a mild red pepper, stuff that too. Baked 375 F 45 minutes, add the cheese to most, another ten minutes, we’re done. Tuesday lunch gang, we eat well.
I made a batch of chicken bone soup using leg meat yesterday, finished processing it with zucchini, celery, carrot, Steve’s onion, Lou’s wax beans, mac noodles, good stuff three buckets. A mac and cheese scratch for lunch. Later I made a batch of crostinis with the baguette. olive oil, salt, garlic powder and dried basil.
On to the builds. I loosened the strings from the tenor 2 ukulele, removed the first two frets and sanded the second fret wood down with sand paper. I replaced the first fret with a fat fret Wayne gave me to raise the warp, then replaced the second fret with a new one. I sanded the ends before I installed them, a good fit with plastic mallet to install. Restrung, the low G string is buzzing on the third fret, too much sanded. I pry up the fret a little bit with the nipper, file the third fret a little, better. The A string is also buzzing, I file the frets to fix it. Wayne’s fat first fret has solved the warp neck issue. It will take some time to get the strings stretched in to tune, but it plays well now.
Truss rods, I cut another piece of round stock yesterday as the first one left thread isn’t straight, wobbles. I bought left hand tap and die from McMaster’s last week to make these things to the size I want, to prevent warped necks. I’m still working out the process, but will use the work lathe to get the dies to thread straight. I’ll need to hard solder a flat piece and added hex nut to complete the part. I think there is a way to build this two way truss rod with a single right thread. I need to work it out.
The bass uke. I cut the sides to length today, using a clamped square and the razor backed saw to cut the ends clean. I subtracted half the Spanish heel width and cut each neck piece square. The kerf on one side is a little narrow, so I sanded the side down a little at a time, fitting it and moving it to make a shiny spot, then sand that out. In time it fits perfect.
The tail stock joint fits well with a temporary flat. I’ll need to make a thicker version, perhaps from the piece I got from the close out sale, or laminate the leftover pieces of the sides. Then the linings will be installed. I need to pay special attention to the flatness of the instrument, so important. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So I got a lot done, with another bag of pears picked, mostly green to ripen, much as I could carry. The ripe ones are wormy but tasty if you’re careful. The rest will ripen in time.


I had a productive weekend. It’s not as hot as it has been. Yesterday I made chicken soup and beef stew for lunches, a couple buckets each. I also made a batch of bread and butter pickles with Farmers Market Steve’s cucumbers and onions. I got six pint jars and a four ounce, plus enough for a couple sandwiches.
I soldered up a wire harness for the electric Lark wheel chair cart at work using the Anderson connectors I ordered. Today I soldered in the charger and taped it secure. It works, ready to go with a new charge system for whoever needs it.
This morning I finished processing the pickles, a fine batch. I also made a loaf of banana banana bread (Allrecipes) with five bananas and some toasted pecans should be good for tomorrow morning. Somehow having something to offer makes Mondays easier to face.
Wayne has some thicker fret wires to try to get the 2 tenor ukulele to function better on the first nut fret. I’m bringing it in for measurements. It’s warped and buzzing out.
I got a lot done on the bass uke sides, yesterday I bent the first side. It wouldn’t fit the molds together, too thick, so I clamped it with everything I had. It dried alright, though it got stained on the waist with burnt. I was able to sand it all off this morning.
Today I bent the other side, cleaning the hot lamp tube helped keep it from discoloring as much. I cut down the inside mold before I started, using the band saw and sanding on the lapidary. The new piece fits. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After that I bent the linings, with some difficulty as they break easily. I got four bent to fit but will need to glue the breaks together. The hot tube lamp is a wonderful tool. You lay the wood on and wait, then it bends when it gets hot. Fascinating.
Another fine weekend.