July 18, 2010

H-O-T Weekend

It has been triple digit temperatures around here lately, so on Thursday night, Sherry and I escaped to Newport Beach for a walk on the pier in the cool evening.

On Saturday the family loaded up La Rana and headed up the mountain to Lake Gregory for a couple rides through the pines on the water slides. Andy's basketball buddy Frosty joined us for some lake bottom squished between our toes. We headed to Lake Arrowhead Village for dinner and then pulled into Dogwood Campground for the night.

Sherry likes loves to knit, and likes to read, but can't do both at the same time. That prompted me to read the first twelve chapters of The Art of Racing in the Rain aloud on Saturday night. It is easily one of the best books I've read in years, and we both couldn't wait for the next chapter. In the early morning, we sat in the first rays of the sun, sipping coffee, and I continued. I read a passage which described the fact that the Native Americans of the Northwest believed the Creator of man was the raven, while the native peoples of the Plains believe it is the coyote. Just seconds later, a coyote walked through the woods, not twenty yards from us!

Here is a video trailer for the book from the publisher.

July 8, 2010

Backyard Campfires

This isn't really about camping, but it is about campfires. With the sun going down so late, I've been able to do some puttering outside after work. We have at least a couple backyard campfires a month so I've wanted some benches out there. Last year I salvaged eight telephone pole segments from a drive-through getting a landscape remodel. The long boards were salvaged from some cement forms when I built the fence. That means I've only spent $19 on the bolts to assemble the frame. The bench top will be a little pricey, but I'm making it out of recycled decking. I'll get Andy to dig out the soil around the fire ring and backfill it with gravel. It should be a nice little social area when it gets done.

July 5, 2010

Tinkering Tripod

As much as we love our little video projector, it suffers from a lack of height adjustment. In past trips we've used everything from sticks to pine cones in order to get it pointing correctly at the screen. With about $5 in hardware and my pocket tripod, the problem is solved. I used a double-gang blank exterior outlet cover (the weather sealing makes a great anti-slip top!), a 1/4-20x5/16 T-nut with brad holes, and a couple of 1/4x3/4 rubber washers. Works like a charm.