The Listener on Flickr.
Portrait of my Dad.
Mom on Flickr.
Portrait of my Mom. I’m trying to work on my portrait photography and think this one turned out nicely.
What was I supposed to do tomorrow 11/6? If only the TV, internet, radio, mailbox, phone or front door handle would remind me. #ohio
Grave on Flickr.
Halloween themed photo.
Cathrine Seigneur 1808.
Goll Woods, Fall 2012.
Goll Woods is the least disturbed woodland known to remain in extreme northwestern Ohio. This preserve features some of the largest trees remaining in the state.
Many of these magnificent trees are 200-400 years old and measure 4 feet in diameter.
Transplanted the larger of my two scorpion plants (the one that is bearing fruit) from my garden to the kitchen this weekend, since we’re supposed to get a frost tonight. Curious to see if it will survive the winter, it is a perennial afterall.
Even if it doesn’t, at the very least, it will give me extra time to try to get hotter peppers. My technique for hotter peppers mainly consists of extreme doses of threatening yelling, taunts, lewd jestering and sarcasm directed at the plant while blasting Mastadon. This is, of course, is to make it meaner!
Some example affirmations include:
Made some chili powder this weekend. It’s been some years since I made any and it was time to start replenishing my stock.
* contains no meth
You will need the following to recreate this article:
Please keep in mind that chili peppers can be quite hot (particularly depending on the variety), so make sure to keep the peppers and powder away from sensitive bits such as your eyes and lungs.
You start with chilis, A LOT of chilis. In the following photo I’ve just harvested from my barrel garden and am planning to make chili powder from the jalapenos, thai peppers and serranos. For perspective, hat is an 8qt pot.
Next, you want to wash the peppers and prep them for dehydration. In case of the smaller peppers (thai peppers) remove the stems. For the meatier peppers (jalapenos and serranos), remove the stems and slice in half from stem to tip. I recommend wearing gloves for this step, and make sure not to touch your face, eyes or other sensitive areas.
Arrange the prepped peppers on the dehydrator, leaving some room for airflow. If you’re mixing peppers and want to keep them segregated, make sure you can identify them after they’ve dried. They’re harder to differentiate once they’ve been dehydrated.
Let the dehydrator dry the peppers. For my dehydrator, I set the temperature to 135 degrees and let it run overnight for about 17 - 20 hours. I perform this step in my garage otherwise the house will smell of dried chilis for days and your eyes may water. After drying they look like this:
After drying, temporarily store them in an airtight container. The following photo shows the result of two batches from the dehydrator (8 trays) as I’m prepping to make powder.
A cheap coffee grinder will perform the magic of producing powder.
CAUTION: This step can potentially be dangerous or can leave you gasping for air, hacking your lungs out or wishing you hadn’t touched your eyes. In addition to making delicious spices, you are also making concentrated chili powder; and depending on the type of peppers (I’ve done this with habaneros and bhut jolokias in the past), you are basically making weaponized chili powder or Metsubushi (ninja powder). The coffee grinder will render some of this powder airborne and you will start coughing if you are not properly prepared. I’ve had luck covering my face with a bandana or shirt, but respirators or other particulate filters may work better.
Load the grinder, run and out comes powder. The longer you run, obviously the finer the powder. For making flakes you can run in bursts, or perhaps use a food chopper.
Once you’re done you have delicious chili powder, that you can use as a seasoning or in chili! The eight trays of peppers I made produced the following amount of powder (please excuse the typo on serrano). I opted to make flakes out of the thai peppers and left about half of them whole.
I don’t drink coffee, but if someone ever uses my grinder to make coffee they may be in for a surprise! After I’m done I clean the grinder best I can, but I doubt I get all the powder.
Chili pepper harvest this afternoon. Time to make some chili powder!
For scale, that is an 8qt pot that is full of jalapenos.
Just a quick write-up on security enclosures / trunks for the Jeep Wrangler JK. Maybe I’ll post a more indepth review at a later date.
I currently have the JK Security Deck Enclosure from Tuffy. https://www.tuffyproducts.com/p-255-tuffy-jk-security-deck-enclosure.aspx I like it a lot for when I have the doors off, or a bikini top with a tonneau cover. The top can be pulled out when the gate is open for when you need to haul something. Two-piece canvas doors can be stored inside of the enclosure (all four), but it’s very tight, particularly if you have a subwoofer. Even when the doors are on, the electronic door locks will not open the tailgate after the alarm has been engaged. Only the key or the remote lock will open the gate. This was easy to install, probably took a couple of hours. You can see photos above I took after installing with my scared, 50 pound dog Eastwood testing it out, and an old photo I found from Moab that shows the enclosure. The manufacturer claims this can support 110 or 150 pounds on top of the enclosure (when I asked them), I can’t recall exactly, but it’s quite sturdy.
Before I had the security deck enclosure, I had the JK security tailgate https://www.tuffyproducts.com/p-447-tuffy-2007-2010-jk-security-tailgate-enclosure.aspx but ended up giving it to my Dad for use in his 2 door Jeep after I installed the security deck. This ended up getting in the way of the cargo area on the 4 door model, but you could safely store small items link gym bags, gear bags or groceries, but it was tight. I’ve included an old photo (above), only shot I can find of it at the moment.
Mount Rushmore (B&W) on Flickr.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
That’s over 0.88 photos a mile, or over 1.13 miles a photo. This was the furthest west I have ever driven (Ashton, ID), though not by too far (prior furthest was Moab, UT).
Traveling 4432 miles and gone nearly 15 days (8/18/2012 - 9/1/2012), I journeyed to Yellowstone and stopped in the Big Horn National Forest for a Jeep Jamboree. Along the way I visited the Badlands the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Big Horn National Forest, Buffalo Bill State Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Targhee National Forest, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Devils Tower National Monument and probably some other national forests I wasn’t even aware I had passed through. I hiked, took pictures, drove my Jeep and met a lot of nice people; but mostly I just decompressed.
I’m also posting videos on my YouTube channel.
All of my 4th Big Horn Mountains Jeep Jamboree photos can be viewed on facebook.
I also visited several new states, including visits to South Dakota, Montana and Idaho. Additionally I checked a ton of wildlife off the bucket list that I had never seen before and put my new 400mm lens to work:
The wildlife highlight was definitely seeing a momma grizzly (#610) and her three cubs eating a moose in the Grand Tetons. Next to that, was probably walking out of my room in the Big Horn Mountains and seeing a bull moose only a few feet away or the bull moose walking through the stream between Yellowstone and Cody, WY. The thousands of buffalo roaming around were surreal, but seeing river otters was very cool as well.
The scenery on the trip was amazing; although, often the view was obscured by distant (and sometimes nearby) forest fires. Hiking to Bucking Mule Falls in the Big Horn National Forest was an amazing hike and resulted in a breathtaking view. Driving through Needles towards Mount Rushmore was stunning. But probably the most breathtaking sight I saw was either the Grand Prismatic Spring as viewed from the Fairy Falls Trail or the view of Yellowstone Lake over the still Duck Lake taken on the evening I arrived at Yellowstone.
What did I learn? It’s not a good idea to decide to go backpacking and camping, alone, in the dark, on a steep trail, in areas with mountain lions (read more). Correction, it’s not a good idea to do this more than once. Doing it once is exhilerating, doing it more than once is crazy. Not having data service (or any service) on my phone for days at a time and being cut off from news, current events and communication is liberating, but only after withdrawl symptoms have passed. Not until I was at a rest station on the Indiana Turnpike did I discover that I had missed a hurricane and Clint Eastwood addressing a chair, pretty sure that’s all I missed.
Read my daily blog posts during the trip for more photos and details:
Here’s the general route for the trip:Source: Flickr / codecarnage