DIY Box Kart for the Kids

I’ve got a brother, you know… His name’s Dan. Thirty-two years old, manly, university professor, and about as handy as dad.

I hate him.

Or, I would hate him if he weren’t so dern likable.

Well, Dan’s got four kids (three strapping boys and a girl). This year, Dad’s self-proclaimed mission is to make sure his kids overcome the incessant pull of materialism.

“Kids, five years old, are getting iPads and iPhones. Know what I got when I was five? I got a hand-carved horse your granddaddy carved for me. Best Christmas ever.”

So Dad, in vigilante fashion, mandated all his grandkids’ Christmas gifts be hand-crafted. Luckily, Dan was on board (since Dad became the de facto Santa Clause this year). Continue reading “DIY Box Kart for the Kids”

DIY firewood storage free bamboo pallets

Free wood storage

The following conversation was recorded on December 26th, 2016. Dad had finished his “morning workout” and was, quite nimbly, stacking lumber beneath the shed. 

So, how much this thing cost you?

DIY firewood storage free bamboo pallets

What do you think?


Nothing but muscle, cardiovascular exercise, and a bit of cursing, but don’t tell your mother. Continue reading “Free wood storage”

Transporting wood, the redneck way

A bit ago, I mentioned dad got a shed full of wood for $50.

He’s already made three trips.

Over the course of a month.

He’s got at least two more.

That’s a lot of lumber. Even dad says it’s, “more lumber than I have projects to do with it.”

Now that’s saying something!

“Don’t you ever get nervous about how low it’s hanging?” I asked him. Continue reading “Transporting wood, the redneck way”

cost effectiveness of diy grow lights

Cost-effectiveness of DIY lettuce with grow lights

I suggested to dad we compute the cost of our DIY grow lights (for growing lettuce) and see if it’s cheaper than buying at the store.

“Why in the [censored] should I care if it’s cheaper?” He said.

“Cuz then you might as well buy it in the store,” I said.

“You’re missing the point son. I ain’t growing my own lettuce to save money. I’m growing my own lettuce so when the [censored] hits the fan, I’m not eating spam and dog food, waiting my sorry [censored] in a government-sponsored shelter, hoping the Red Cross or FEMA or the Mormons come ‘n save me from going all Donner party on my neighbors. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll grow my own lettuce.” Continue reading “Cost-effectiveness of DIY lettuce with grow lights”

DIY grow lights for lettuce update

DIY grow lights, update

I’ve already talked about how the grow light stand was built, and how cost-effective it was. Now we’ve got a new problem. Luckily, I recorded a conversation between dad and mom on December 17th, 2016. We were all sitting around the television watching a rerun of Perry Mason.

Mom: The grow lights seem to be working.

Dad: *mumbled something inaudible that sounds like a cross between a dog growl and trapped curse word*

Mom: Something wrong with it?

Dad: The two planters. The seeds. They’re not the same height. Shoulda started both with new seeds. But I transplanted them scraggly suckers and now they’re taking off faster than the new plantings and [censored]-near touching the bulbs. Gotta find a way to have the two planters at different heights.  Continue reading “DIY grow lights, update”

DIY lumber rack for free

DIY lumber rack (for free!)

Dad’s got this terrible habit of not waiting for me when he starts (and completes) a project. For once, he let me pause him mid-project to snap a couple images. (All the while shouting, ‘You got your scrapbook pages yet?’). This conversation took place on December 15th while installing the shelves. 

Make yourself useful. Get me a hammer.

Right. So. Tell me about the shelf thingy.  Continue reading “DIY lumber rack (for free!)”

why i live in the country

Why I live in the country

Here’s another anecdote where I wish I had a tape recorder. Dad was standing on the back porch gazing at the sunset. With the onset of winter and the death of the underbrush, we could barely see through the oak trees to our neighbor’s property, which lie over a quarter mile away. He took a long sip of his beer, and smiled with a contended exhale.

“Wanna know why I live in the country, son?” he said.

I remained silent.

The old man stood from his lawn chair and unzipped his pants. “So I could piss off my own back porch.”

The sound of trickling water filled the silence.

“You pissed off the porch when we lived in the city,” I said.

“I know, son. I know.” He zipped his pants, grinned, patted my shoulder, and went inside.

DIY chopping block from raw materials

My voice recorder ran out of batteries, so I’m quoting this one from memory. Dad was again outside chopping wood. I decided to ask him about the chopping setup he has going. Here’s what he said. 

Where’d you get that idea from?

The television.

You mean YouTube?

The television.

Right. So what’s the point of the tire? 

Hold the wood.

Alright. Care to elaborate?

The tire [dad sarcastically made a big circle with his hands, like he was talking to a guy who didn’t speak english] holds the wood [I won’t tell you what symbol he made to indicate “wood”]. Man swings the axe. Man splits the log. The log don’t fly into the neighbor’s yard. Got it Hombre? Continue reading “DIY chopping block from raw materials”

How to get started mansteading

How to get started “mansteading”

The following conversation about mansteading was recorded on December 12, 2016. Dad is not one to sit and chat, so it seems I’m always talking to him while he’s doing something else. This time, he was out by the shed chopping wood. The air was a crisp 26° and dad have nothing but a camouflage microfiber hunting jacket, blue jeans, and some boots. 

And this conversation will be enhanced with sound effects. Epic sound effects. 

*Thud. Thud. Crack.*

So dad, how do you get started mansteading?

What the [expletive] is mansteading supposed to mean?

*Thud. Kerthwack.*

We talked about this dad. Remember? The blog?

The what?


Oh. You’re diary. Continue reading “How to get started “mansteading””

DIY indoor grow lights, the manly way


The following conversation was recorded on Friday, December 9, 2016 while sitting on the dining room table dad build when I was ten or so. Dad was wearing a plaid shirt he’s had since before I was born. It still has a crease over the breast pocket from when he used to smoke. Despite his later jesting, he’s actually made quite a few healthy lifestyle changes since he lost his brother in 2007. He’s been nicotine sober for 8 years now and a rehabilitated carnivore for the last three. (Though he still fancies a fatty steak now and again).  Continue reading “DIY indoor grow lights, the manly way”