News To Me

It turns out that my father is a pyromaniac.

safe burning

(A very safety-conscious pyromaniac, but still, the guy likes to burn.) I had no idea.

ladder burning

But the evidence is very clear.

burning wood

He spent most of a week in August burning tons of non-salvageable scrap wood, which we had been piling near the front door of the cabin and in various other piles around the cabin.

moving wood

And “tons” might not even be much of an exaggeration. One day he kept track of how many trips up and down the hill he made to move the wood from the original pile down to where he was burning it (at a safe distance from the cabin). He had to stop counting after 50 because he ran out of sticks to add to his counting pile.

buff pyromaniac

The original burn pile is now gone.

But more wood to be burned keeps popping up. Or rather, kept getting thrown out the front window of the cabin by Steve (more on that soon)…

new burn pile

And stacked up by Lars.

new burn pile

Dad, we need you to come back!


It’s Down!

Alternative title for this post:
Engineering Summer Camp Continues – Gravitational Potential Energy Reduced!

There is so much back story missing from this blog, especially about the demolition of the cabin. But I’m too excited to not just post this immediately. Since we bought the land, tearing down the cabin has been the first major step. And now it’s down!


Last week I posted a picture of this plant:

cheerleading plant

and asked if anyone knew what it was. My coworkers came through! Two emailed me to tell me that it is a jack-in-the-pulpit (or arisaema triphyllum) and that I shouldn’t eat it. Don’t worry! I won’t eat berries from the wild unless I’m 1000% sure I know what they are.

I did some reading on them because they are so cool looking. Wikipedia (link) has a decent article, and I also liked the info in the Plants for a Future (link) database. Both of those imply that the root is edible IF you neutralize the oxalic acid by drying it for several months before eating it. The Plants for a Future website also lists several ways the plant was used medicinally by Native Americans. (Note: I’m still not going to eat it!) I am looking forward to watching the plants flower next spring – the flowers are as weird looking (link) as the seed stalks.

Baby Watching and Nail Removing

A couple weeks ago, Lars and I headed over to the land to put a few hours of work in. Nya came along, of course. My plan was that she would nap on a blanket in the shade, or maybe in her car seat, and I would finally get to help with some of the physical labor over there. We decided a good task for me would be to remove nails from some of the salvageable boards Lars has pulled off of the cabin. I wouldn’t get too dirty, and I’d be able to keep an eye on her in case she woke up. Here’s my pile of nail-ful boards:

need nails removed

And here’s my pile of nail-less boards at the end of the day (along with my workbench):

finished pile

Turns out Nya wasn’t so keen on this plan of napping on a blanket. We’ll have to keep trying…

See-Through House

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived on an island in Puget Sound. They and many of their neighbors had gorgeous views of tall cedar trees and the water below. I remember one of their neighbor’s houses in particular, because we commented on it every time we drove by. The front door was mostly glass, and on the far wall of the house immediately opposite the door, was a large window. Even from the street, you could see straight through the house and almost see the view beyond. It made a big impression on me, and I remember thinking that if I ever had my own house, I would want it to be see-through, too. Now I have one!

see-through house