Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dos cosas

We had our first dragon fruit. Unfortunately, we aren't growing these, we bought it, but it's awesome! but a bit pricey too. Very fresh tasting and about as colorful as it gets!

I think you can read that there - that's the thermometer down in the barrel compost reading 121.3 degrees F inside! pumped! it was exceptionally hot this weekend, so i hoped this would be the case in there. The supply of coffee grounds from the cafe around the corner is definitely helping!

Friday, August 26, 2011

New handboard

I've been slowly working on this guy lately - a new handboard. This is again out fo the surfboard i found i the alley dumpster. The resin i used on this though is not the polyester resin i'd used on the past handboard and surfboard. i used this stuff called super sap epoxy resin. first off, it's an epoxy, so no volatile organic compounds, and basically no need for a mask when working with it outside, which is great. On top of that though, its base is recycled pine oil, which is a waste-product of bio-fuel processing, which further reduces the impact of making this, and just uses somethign that was going to waste anyways. pretty pumped on it. it still acts like a polyester resin, but it's actually stronger when cured, and yea, i'm just pumped to be using it and getting more familiar with it.

Here's the top all glassed, no hot coat yet, gotta sand some first

view of bottom and a view of how i didnt' match the colors of the green up top very well. i should have mixed a large batch of the both colors, then split it in half, then saved one half to use for the next side when i glassed it. but i was lazy, and am still learnign how much is needed of this stuff, and figured i'd try my luck at matching colors when i glassed the other side... i'm not too good at that obviously... oh well, not selling this or anything.
now all sanded down. ready for hotcoat. you can see the "spine" which is the stringer in it. this is from the stringer in the surfboard. i realized that it's a pain in the butt to deal with it on something this small. on a surfboard, it's not so bad, but keeping this little guy in place while sanding the stringer and not too much of the foam is a pain. won't be using pieces with the stringer in it anymore.
same for bottom. i don't know if sanding it will have any good blending effect of the green colors, but i doubt it... we'll see. think i'm gonna put a fin on this handboard too. more to come

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camping at Glen Camp along the West Fork of the San Gabriel River

This past weekend we checked out a new campspot, as it was Mel's last summer weekend. We heard about this spot from a friend who fly fishes along river. It's called the West Fork San Gabriel River and it takes only 50 minutes to get there from Long Beach (pretty awesome). The river has an old paved road running alongside it from the parking lot, and about 6.5 miles back on this road is the campspot. The road is closed to the public and is only accessible to the handicapped, rangers and whoever has keys (looked like there's about 30 different locks on the gate). So we took our road bikes as our friend said they'd do fine, and our gear and biked in! It was pretty awesome, and actually pretty easy with the bikes. Within the first mile or so there's lots of people playing in the river and hanging out for the day, and then still some another mile or so back, but then there's basically no one after that. About 4 miles in there's a bait shop called the Pasadena Fishing Club, i think, with supplies for fishing and what not. They were closed when we stopped by, but it looks cool. We just hung out most of the day, biking back, stopping, eating, reading, and playing around. Our friends Neil (the flyfisherman) and Marylin came and met up later to hang out too. We fished some with him, and continued to hang out and eat more as the night fell. The campspot is pretty cool, maybe 8 sites total, among some trees and spaced out enough. There are fire rings and plenty of wood around, no running water, but a pit toilet available. However there were a few pretty big black widows hangin out with decent webs in the bathroom, so I didn't venture into it. The awesome part is, it's a free campspot, as long as you have the Adventure Pass, and on a Saturday in mid August, we were the only ones at the camp! Pretty awesome considering this is so close to LA, and so easily accessible with bikes. On top of that, the fishing was pretty fun, and the river was super nice.

riding to the campspot is a slow incline the whole way there, but so slow that you don't notice it too much. then on the way back, it's all downhill!

It was pretty hot on the way up, so we hung in the shade some, cooked and read about Chile!

Neil caught maybe 6 or 7 little rainbow trout, maybe 5-6 inches in length. i got a handful of bites but no catch

Marylin brought the hammock and got lost in it i think.

Here's the campspot!


We got up early, made a fire, ate, and headed on out.

Pretty awesome morning ride, chilly air, minimal pedaling, and no one around

Action shots!

self-inclusive action shots!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few projects

They're moving really slow, as studying takes up a lot of free time lately, but here's a couple things:

here's a new handplane i'm shaping. kinda displacement-hull-ish with a step deck. no belly though cuz it'd end up spraying up all in your face. It still might with the way i shaped it. we'll see. it looks cool though!
another angle. oh yea, i'm putting a small fin on this guy too! pumped to see how that feels.

I finished fitting these fins in last night. pretty pumped on how they came out, although the left one has a slight curve in the back tip, but i think it won't be noticeable when riding. got em right at a 2 degree tilt too and pumped it came out so good. I ended up glassing 6 or 7 layers on each side of the wood this time, as opposed to two layers on the last few sets which have failed. hope they don't break off cuz they're not as light and i think they'd sink. i also did the bases different than the last three sets which have failed. hopefully this way works. we'll see! oh yea, this wood was from someone's trash. a pretty nice piece and i'll maybe get another set out of it. i think poplar, but i'm not the best at identifying it. either way, it looks nice with that little bit of grayish tint i put on it.

closer view

This is called a "halo". you can see why. pumped on how it came out.

oh and i saw this the other day. looks pretty sweet.

Mel's Birthday

It was Mel's birthday last week (the big two-five!). We celebrated by riding bikes, hiking, and eating some awesome food as always. Here's a few pics along the way.

Maher, standing tall

Found this hole in the rock wall again. More writings in it.

Got some relaxing in under the trees. It was super hot in the sun this day.

Lounging around amidst her plants. She got some new crate planters there to go along with the flower boxes from last birthday. Heard she likes em.

After telling some friends of ours a few weeks ago that she'd never gotten a trophy in her life, they pulled through and got her one for her birthday! They're awesome, and she's pumped, if you can't tell.

Champion of Awesome

Friday, August 5, 2011


At the moment we have two compost, one is just a pile and the other a barrel. The purpose of the barrel is to speed up the process of composting but we haven't quite gotten it to work. Even though we didn't get the barrel to get hot, time and patience broke down the contents and we ended up with wonderful dark, rich soil! In order to improve the barrel Matt drill holes in the pipe that runs through the middle of the barrel, so that more air to get to the compost. The finished compost was distributed in the garden and we filled up the barrel with the contents of the pile compost. Hopefully this time we get the right combination of carbon, nitrogen, air, and water to get our hot compost going. Also we will be getting coffee grounds and food scraps from a local coffee shop in order to get more nitrogen in the mix.

This was once all food scraps and hay!