Back From Maine

We just got back from another vacation in Maine. It was a good trip, with the usual strange glitches…. for example the surprise side trip to Rio.

Here is the story behind the Rio trip.

One night, I woke up in the dark and wondered what time it was. So I picked up my watch and tried to turn on the back light to see the time. I pushed every button I could think of to turn on that light. No matter what I did, I could not get the light to come on, so I put it back on the night stand and went back to sleep.

When I woke up early the next morning, the watch thought we were in Rio.

Rio?

The time was wrong too.

I had to use my new Smart Phone to download the instructions for the watch in order to put us back in Maine.

And then, there was the mouse in the car. Who ever gets a mouse in their car?

On Saturday morning we noticed on the way out to walk the breakwater that “somebody” had shredded the tissues we left in the car and made a nest out of them. We assumed that it was a mouse. The innkeepers loaned us their shop vac to clean up the mess, and we scoured the inside of the car for an hour looking for that mouse. We did not find it. We had the cleanest car in 7 states, and no signs of a mouse. So we figured that it had run away.

Just to be safe, the innkeepers loaned us a mouse trap to put in the car. Take a gander at this thing.

It has teeth.

Yikes! That has teeth! Is it just me, or does that trap bear a spooky resemblance to the cartoon trap I drew in my previous post?

Anyway, that trap means business. And, in fact, the next morning we found the miscreant mouse expired in the jaws of the trap. I will spare you the trauma of seeing the photo of the hapless creature with its paws in the air, but the trap solved the mouse problem.

As I said, other than some strange side trips, the Maine trip was good. Here’s a photo of the view from the Inn.

The View

Not bad.

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Trap!

Remember the cute little bunny in my previous post? You know, the one who was rumored to have been eating the flowers?

This guy.

Bugs

Well, somebody said the word “Trap“, and this image immediately popped into my head.

Havadeath

But then, in the end, this is what showed up.

Havahart

That is a Havahart® trap. All this trap does is close the door on the critter. It doesn’t eat him.

After a few days of the tricky bunny making off with the goodies and leaving the trap open, we finally snagged him.

Gotcha!

So, off we went… up the road ,around the corner, across Main Street, half way to New Hampshire (well OK halfway to the next town)….. to the conservation area.

Takin' a walk

And we let the little guy go. He took off like a bunny.

Run, Rabbit

See him?

Gone

Looks like there is a lot of grass to eat out there.

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More Bread

I made another loaf of bread. This is a recipe that makes an open crumb artisan bread. Check this out.

The Loaf

I made that! Here is what it looks like on the inside.

Holes

Here’s a closeup so you can see the awesome holes.

Holes Again

It was yummy too.

OK.  OK. Yawn! I’m posting pictures of my dinner online. Boring.

So how about a cute bunny?

Bugs

That guy is living in our back yard and eating our exotic flowers. Not our favorite bunny. Wascally Wabbit!

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Really Old Car

I went out to the garage to put the new charger for the new phones in the car. I decided to try the charger in the accessory port to see if it would work.

Oops

Hunh? Wazzat?

Wazzat?

Yikes.

It’s like new too. Never used.

I guess I’ll leave it in there since there isn’t any other cover on the port.

Now, that’s an old car.

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Bread

Today, I made a loaf of bread.

The Bread

I have been studying better techniques for making artisan bread at home. I am all into autolyse and gluten and oven spring…..

Of course, I picked the very best day of the year to turn on the oven and bake something for a couple of hours, as our thermometers confirm.

Tempa

Somebody stop me.

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Smalt

“Smalt”. That is a really cool word. It is the name of a paint color that I just found.

Smalt

The original Smalt is made from ground up Cobalt Glass. This paint is called “Smalt Hue”, which means that it is the same color as Smalt, but the actual pigment is not really Cobalt Glass.

Smalt is the color that I was looking for to use in my new painting palette. I have been devising a new palette using muted colors, and I was having trouble finding a blue that would fit. Red was easy, moving from Cadmium Red to Burnt Sienna. Yellow was easy too, going from Lemon Yellow to Yellow Ochre. But blue is blue is blue. Blue is in-your-face.

Then I was out at the Golden Paint* web site, and I found Smalt. It seems to be close to what I was looking for, and is slightly less in-your-face blue than Ultramarine, Prussian, or even regular Cobalt Blue. We shall see how it behaves on the canvas.

*I use Golden paints, but I am not selling them. I paid full retail $$$ for that tube of paint. But they do have a very interesting web site where you can interactively mix their paints and see what they look like.

http://www.goldenpaints.com/mixer

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Another Seuss Plant

We have another Dr. Seuss® plant blooming.

The Plant

At least this one doesn’t smell like rotting flesh.

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Quiet

This blog has been quiet lately, and that is because I have gone off on another project to build an instrument. I am building a dulcimer this time. Here is what it will look like.

The Plan

I am documenting every (mis)step in the process. You can check it out on my web page at http://www.thekimerers.net/brian/dulcimer/index.php

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22 Years

Wow! 22 years! That went by fast. That’s how long those LED light bulbs are supposed to last.

However… today we had one literally fall apart while we were using it. The bulb was in this desk lamp.

Lamp

I turned the lamp on, and the glass globe that covers the LED’s fell off…. onto the floor… and shattered. Look at this.

Broke

It appears that the glass was glued in place, and the glue let go. The light was still on after the globe fell off. So I turned it off an took out the remaining bits.

As you can see in the photo, I have this funny habit of writing the dates on things like batteries and light bulbs when I install them (ya… go ahead…. call me crazy). So when I took out the remaining part of the bulb, there was the installation date.

In case you can’t see it in the photo above, here is a closeup.

Closeup

By my reckoning, the life of this bulb was about 3 1/2 years, which is approximately 15.9090909091% of its estimated life span. That doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me. And to top it off, another bulb of this same brand failed last week. It was installed on 2015/01/04 in an open ceiling fixture. That was just over 2 years ago. These are store brand bulbs from a major HarDware store,  which shall remain unnamed to keep me out of trouble with the lawyers.

In case you were wondering what is inside those new-fangled LED light bulbs, I took advantage of the busted bulb to snap some photos of the guts.

Star Wars

Now, that’s a Star Wars® looking device. Here’s a closeup of the business end of the bulb.

LED's

Those are the actual LED’s, hooked onto their heat sink. There are 20 of ’em. They are even numbered….. or maybe that is Alien Speak for “Take Me To Your LEDer”

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Fox in the Henhouse

We don’t have a henhouse, but apparently we do have the fox.

Fox

This guy showed up early in the morning and was poking around the house, probably looking for breakfast.

The crappy, double-exposed photo is because I took it through the double pane glass door on the slider, early in the morning and with no flash. The crappy, depressing blue-gray color scheme is because it is still Winter here, even though it is April. C’mon, already. Where’s Spring?

Similar to the hawk in my previous post, once the critter caught sight of me snapping its photo, it took off in a blur.

Fast

This time, I caught it in the act of leaving…. well sort of.

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