First big woodworking project. Tell me what you think.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

I have to tell you first that I am a campy comic and action movie fan, but my opinion of the marvel and avenger franchise in particular has gone down quite a bit these last couple movies. They seem to have found a particularly profitable formula and now they are pumping on it till the well is dry. Good for them I say, but it doesn’t make for long lasting quality movies – The kind you show your grandchildren.

I should say that Its not quite Kubrick material. I mean it is an action movie after all. We aren’t expecting monumental plot twists and tear worthy dialogue, but in this movie it actually came close. I don’t know whether it was the large screen and the fact that I haven’t been to the theater in a really long time, or it really was the well thought out character development in this movie, but I felt really connected to the protagonists struggle.

Characters / Character development 4/5 stars

In this installment of the Guardians franchise, we saw a couple new sides to some of the old characters. Groot was back and cuter than ever. Nebula and Yondu had a lot more screen time in this movie and I am not sad about it. During some of Nebula’s parts, there were actually times that I heard audible gasps and sighs from the audience. It was moving and well thought out. Mostly Nebula is known for giving a fierce look on camera, and then storming away, but here she had a little more body language to display and a lot more lines. She delivered well.

Yondu was a great addition to the cast. In the first movie he was a secondary antagonist, but here he took on a much more meaningful role. It was a great wrap up to the question of ‘Why did Yondu never deliver Peter Quill to his father?’. Made for some pretty great sequences.

Eego / Kurt Russel. Who knew? This guy is known for cheap rubber stamp pulp action movies, and that’s not a bad thing, its just the truth. Here, he really sold his character. Kurt did tremendously. It was probably some of his greatest acting.

Plot / Story 3/5 stars

The theme in this movie was family and what it means to be a part of something greater than yourself. It had undertones of ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ type of vibe to it. The writing of the the plot was well thought out and it delivered a strong and poignant message. Which is something for a marvel movie. The first couple were great, but honestly they’ve become an excuse for running action sequences.

I thought it was obligatory that the movie had a plot twist, because it seemed everything was going a little too well there for a little bit. I have to say that I saw the twist coming, but I couldn’t have guessed the depth of the twist or how it would affect the gang. It was troubling for a character. Pleasantly surprised.

Visuals / Graphics / Storyboard / Screenplay 4/5 stars

Obviously fantastic. Well thought out. Not really much to say here, because its a marvel movie and they do their homework. Fantastic, as were the rest of them.

Overall 4/5 stars

Well worth the money to go see it in the movies. Thanks for reading.

 

Starting Raised Beds

This post isn’t going to be very long. Just wanted to give some of you guys an update on the Garden I’m making. I stated out above with exactly 7 2x12x12s  It was exactly enough for me to make a raised bed that was in the shape of a ‘U’ that was 3′ wide and 12′ all around, and also make another 3’x6′ raised garden bed that I could use somewhere else.

The site is on a slight decline next to my driveway. It gets a lot of sun there most of the day. The rest of my property is pretty shaded. I didn’t really have a lot of choice in the matter. It was either here or the legit front yard – which is where I’m standing when I’m taking the above photos.

So here I’m just getting the general layout of the pieces and seeing where it would best fit. I plan on buying some more wood and building another set of boxes further down the drive. For right now this was all I had.

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And here it is all put together. I’m going to get some dirt when I get the other load of wood. I’ll buy the plants too. Next year I should be able to go off the seed I’ll make this year. And I don’t have all my indoor starter stuff right now, so I couldn’t really take the time to start indoors. This will be my first year homesteading on this property so I’m just going to make the beds and plop some plants in.

When I put these together I had to make sure all the corners were joined properly. If they weren’t, The dimensions wouldn’t be right since I rounded everything off to the nearest foot, making it easier to cot pieces and not get distracted by assembly of pieces. Worked out pretty well.

I put together my hop bed, but that is coming in next with the other load of wood.

Thanks for checking it out. More adventures to follow.

5 gardening tips that I wish someone would have told me about.

WP_20160817_09_08_03_ProSo you want to be a gardener? Awesome! Growing your own fresh vegetables in your backyard can be very rewarding. There is nothing like walking through your garden and viewing how things have changed, and feeling the anticipation of how a certain food might turn out. There is also something so satisfying about the way a food tastes when you know it comes from your land made by your hands. There is a huge difference between ‘fresh’ at the store, and fresh from your backyard.
I have been around the growing of vegetables and other foods since I was 3 years old. It is one of my many passions and I consider myself to be quite good at it, now. Even with my parents and my neighbors gardens to get a good knowledge base of what I was doing, my first couple of attempts of gardening were marginal at best. I was growing things sure, but I was wasteful, impatient and clumsy. These tips are for the very greenest newbs to gardening. They were somehow left out of the internet when I started. Good luck.

⦁ Grow what you like

This is numero uno for all people that ask me for advice when they first start a garden. I started my garden growing zucchini and pumpkins because my mother had always grown them and I loved how they looked as they sprawled across the garden. It wasn’t until I harvested them and they sat in my fridge and rotted that I realized, “I hate zucchini!” I’ve always hated zucchini, but I grew it because I liked the idea of growing it. I wasted so much space and time and sweat and effort growing the dang things and they went in the trash. Avoid this by making a list of vegetables that you LOVE to eat and start there. Whether it be brussel sprouts or table grapes or sweet corn. Plan to grow what you love to eat, what you know you will eat. This avoids waste. It sounds like a simple no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people grow stuff that’s destined for the dumpster.WP_20160824_11_08_03_Pro

⦁ Grow what you know / Know what you grow

Starting a garden with no help but the internet and the advice of the teenager that works in the garden center at Home Depot can be daunting to say the least. Getting your feet muddy and completely changing how your yard looks can be even more daunting. Starting a plant indoors in a pot gets you acquainted with the plant itself. You can grow almost anything in a pot inside. Or outside for that matter. I know a guy who lives in an apartment building on the tenth floor that grows tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets. You can do beets to onions to pickling cucumbers. Even potatoes in larger pots. Getting something started on a small scale will get you acquainted with the amount of work it will be if or when you scale it up, and you don’t have to rent or buy a rototiller. I actually still follow this tip myself if I’m doing something like starting a new vegetable or I just want to grow something I can walk by and snag and munch on. I do this with garden green beans. So delicious.
There are mountains of books and information on the internet nowadays that will explain the different growing techniques and strategies for growing certain vegetables. If you want to grow tomatoes don’t grow them in sand. If you want to grow potatoes do use sand! Every different type of vegetable has its own style and way it will grow the best. Like, when I first started I put my tomato plants 6 inches from each other because that looked completely OK when they were just sproutlings. When they took off it was a nightmare to manage. Your veggies might need stakes, trellis, pits, mounds, rows, sand, certain fertilizers, shade, constant sun, soil high in phosphorous, well drained soil, rocky soil There are a lot of different strategies to grow any veggie. These aren’t ironclad rules, but they really help. Take the time to learn your plant and form a plan. It makes everything else so much easier.

⦁ Love your plants

I’m not a very mushy person and I don’t mean sleep by your plants and tell them your secrets. I just mean go the extra mile and commit to your investment. Vegetables that we eat today have been cultivated from other different plants and bred and bred and bred. So, like a pug that cant breathe, your vegetables are prone to fungus and insect predators, but luckily it only takes a little attention to ‘nip things in the bud’ before things get out of hand. I think you’ll also find that taking a look at your plants every other day is therapeutic and fun to do.019 (2)

⦁ Organic / Heirloom / non GMO

Hang on folks I’m going to get a little snarky. In every gardening circle there’s that guy. You know the one. The guy who cant shut up about what heirloom seeds he uses. Or the lady that swears by her imported Ethiopian all organic bat dropping fertilizer. If you want to be one of these people by all means, knock yourself out. And I really mean the best to you, but if you’re a newb and you’re starting a garden just to have a little fun with the interest of eating healthy as a benefit, save yourself the migraine and don’t listen to these people. Does heirloom okra taste better than regular giant eagle okra? I don’t know, but I’ve got a better question for you: Who cares? If its grown by your hands its almost guaranteed to taste better than store bought. And you’re doing this for fun and the reward of having fresh veggies at your fingertips. Don’t add confusing topics to something that is really not very confusing at all. Seed goes in dirt, add water and sunlight, patience, eat.

⦁ Patience

Last, but certainly not least is patience. I can not tell you how many plants I have ruined by over-pruning or over aerating the ground or over-watering, harvesting too early. All mistakes that are brought on by my tremendous lack of patience. Now you might not be that person. You might be saying “Daryl, I get the cheapest most slowest delivery option on all my internet shopping. I don’t ever pass anyone on the highway. When watching youtube I never ever skip an ad!” Well, good for you. You don’t need this tip then. Most of the time plants do just fine all by themselves. Save for the occasional pruning in some cases, they really don’t need you to be out there with a stopwatch and clipboard making sure that they pass milestones. Your first couple attempts might be rocky. Don’t try to grow the worlds largest pumpkin right out of the gate. Just take it easy. Let nature take its course. In time you’ll learn when they need you and when they don’t.
Above all else have fun. And good luck!FB_20150909_03_32_01_Saved_Picture