Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why I Have The Best Dad In The World! Reason # 23 944 813

So maybe I am exaggerating a bit on the number of reasons why I think my dad happens to be the absolute best. In reality, I (and my sisters) am very fortunate to have two very wonderful parents - the worlds best, in my opinion - and there are countless reasons for this. What follows is just one of many.

In the construction of the treehouse, I needed a way to keep the four floor beams lined up at 90 degrees to the main beams that support them. I decided that in the back a metal framing bracket would do, and although the appearance was ugly, it would be hidden from view. On the front however, I opted for wood blocks, as they would provide excellent strength, perfect alignmnent, and nice aesthetic appeal. I decided that the 'post blocks' (short lengths of 4x4 post) would look nice if they were designed to resemble an ornamental 'hanging' finial, like you would find on a staircase or the like. Who better than to contract this job to than my father, master of all things creative, and an experienced home woodworker. Giving him nothing more than the specific dimensions of the total length of post block, length of finial carving, and a general idea of what I wanted, I let him get to work.

As usual, his work far exceeded my expectaions! Not only did he source a length of cedar post at no charge from his neighbor (who was removing a deck and giving away the scrap), he produced four absolutely beautiful turned finials, each with distinctly different designs. And not only were the designs different, they were all extremely detailed, and very creative in their appearance. To top it all off, the dimensions and fit were also absolutely perfect. as evidenced by the photographs of one of the four in place.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eh tutch of Neh Moan Ya

My apologies for the late posts, lack of pictures, links, and the like, but I finally went to my doctor a week ago, who diagnosed me with pneumonia. I really wasn't that surprised, but what got me was the realization that I probably picked it up when I first got sick in late november, as a virus I imagine, then either got rid of it or dealt with it, but finally around New Years a secondary bacterial infection joined the virus, and had me coughing up gobs of green crap for a week. I have really had no energy for the last two months, and unfortrunately, though the antibiotic prescribed has done a wonderful job of killing off the bacteria, I still seem to have the pneumonia!

Katherine left me without a baby seat to take Alexander to the sitter this morning (January 19) so I decided to bundle both him and me up, and jog him over in the running stroller. That way, as I work my butt off running, breathe in the cold air, and push myself to the verge of death, I might persuade the virus that my lungs are not a pleasant place to live at all, so they may pull up stakes and leave. At least that's the plan.......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tool of the Month - December

Unfortonately with me being so ill, and all of my tools either snuggled up tight for the winter, or busy at work in the attic or basement, the Tool of the Month contest has been cancelled for December. On a happier note, the weather seems to be getting mild for the next week, and Dan has two of his shipping crates that need breaking down and cutting up next door, so maybe i will get over there with my chainsaw and a hammer on the weekend....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Treehouse Construction "Beer of the Season" For Winter

Well, after much thought, but a decidedly insufficient amount of sampling, I have to declare a tie for the Treehouse Construction "Beer of the Season" for Winter! The winners are Mill Street Brewery's Coffee Porter from Toronto, and Maudite, by Unibrou Chambly of Quebec. Click on the pictures to link to their respective websites, links will open in a new window.

The Coffee Porter is a delcious american porter brewed by Mill Street in the Brewery district near downtown Toronto, with coffee from Balzac, a local importer. It is very dark brown, with a nice coffee smell, and a more subtle flavour of well roasted coffee and dark chocolate. There is also a hint of rich dark fruit, like plum and dark ripe cherries, with a clean, slightly bitter finish. I can't stop thinking now of an espresso with some of Mom's homemade chocolate cheesecake, the recipe from Mrs. Tucciarone of course! The bottles Mill Street uses are absolutely beautiful also, with heavy embossed lettering and painted labels, rather than the typical paper labels of most other brewers. 5.5% alcohol, easy to drink and enjoy! Mill Steet has a brewpub in its Toronto location, and has a generally vast selection of Beers, many of which are only available there. Check the site, and if you find yourself in Toronto, check them out!

Maudite is a Belgian strong dark ale, 8% alcohol a dark amber or ruby-orange colour, quite cloudy as it is refermented on lees (yeast base in the bottle), with a nice light cream coloured head. It is rich yet very smooth, rather spicy, with a nice hint of yeast and citrus. Kind of like a breakfast of red grapefruit followed by nutmeg and cinnamon on homemade buttered toast. Unibroue's beers are generally inspired by Quebecois folk tales, and Maudite (the Devil) is no exception. In this case it tells the legend of "Chasse-Galerie", a tale of eight woodsmen who conjured up the devil to return them home to their village for the holidays. In return for their souls, the devil agreed to fly them home in their canoe. Alas, one of the eight invoked the name of god to break their pledge, the canoe fell from the sky, and they were never seen again! An absolutely delicious beer, so if you can get your hands on some, do it! Just make no pledges with the devil....