My wife and I are off to Wyoming for a few days to say hello to my lovely mother, see relatives and good friends.  We are planning on cooking some wonderful food, drink some good wine, see spectacular scenery and stay warm.  It takes two hours to fly from San Antonio, Texas to Denver, Colorado, but around 5 hours to drive from Denver to Newcastle, Wyoming.

We will be stopping in Ft. Collins, Colorado to shop the Whole Foods store for groceries as Newcastle is a little limited in selections that my lovely wife deems necessary for ingredients.  She is a wonderful cook and demands that everything be as fresh as possible.  I know that Newcastle Pot Roast  and salmon are on the menu.  I see that she has printed out a recipe for baked oatmeal as well.

My challenge is to get everything that I want to take for the trip into one small duffel and one back pack.  I believe that I am up to the challenge however.  I secretly tested my concept while she is out.  We normally need to take a station wagon to carry all the stuff that we drag along.  This time we decided to pack like nomads.  Time will tell if it worked.

The toughest part is selecting clothes for a totally different ecosystem.  Tomorrow San Antonio will have a high of 81 degrees, Newcastle, Wyoming will have a high of maybe 38?  I don’t know if I own enough clothes to keep warm when it is 6 degrees.

I expect that the next posting will have  pictures.  Although I can tell you that we will be seeing Devils Tower, the Black Hills, Deadwood and Custer State Park with all of its’ buffalo and assorted critters.

Devils Tower


Stickley/Morris recliner

I am a trained Interior Designer, but have never practiced the craft.  I am drawn to interior architecture by the interplay of color, texture, furniture and stage setting.  I am most fascinated by furniture closely followed by fabric.  I am  at work in the manshed/Sprite site/carriage house plying my skills.  Things are moving along, and as in all labors of love, at a leisurely pace.  I am restoring an old rocking chair of unknown origin or history that has sat in plain sight and out of mind for over 10 years.  Last month I “discovered” it, sitting in the wreckage of the greenhouse (more on that later).  “Hummm”, I thought, “That would look pretty good here in the manshed.  Replace the very dated fabric upholstery, clean off the finish since it is starting to disintegrate anyway and see what we have!”  It is maple which means that it does not take kindly to staining, but stained it shall become.  The seating will be replaced with shearling.  Remember, this is going into a MANshed.  It will be stained with Minwax Jacobean, meaning it will be dark.  I had considered a black lacquer, but decided on the stain even though I know it will come out splotchy.

But what I really want is a chair for my indoor study.  Specifically I want a Stickley/Morris/Mission style recliner.  Not a new one.  Oh no, but one with some miles on it.The originals were made with white oak and had leather-covered cushions.  That is what I am looking for.  The color of the leather is of little consequence.  The originals were made in the mid 1860’s by William Morris from a prototype owned by Ephraim Colman in England.  However, Gustav Stickley began making the chair using the Morris design in the early 1900’s.

Gustav Stickley

I have been looking for a chair for a several years.  I found one a few years ago, but the price buckled my knees.  I belive that I may have to build my own.  The design is not challenging, I believe my skills are up to it, but I know it will be frustrating.  I would a lot rather be sitting in one in my study, reading and sipping an adult beverage than in the manshed breathing sawdust, and throwing a ball for MacGuffin.

So folks, if you happen to have one in your attic that is looking for a home, please keep me in mind.


New from the Man Shed—“…Dragon Tattoo” bike

Honda CL350 built by Glory Motor Works via the blog THE SALVAGE YARD

This bike, a Honda CL 350 scrambler got me interested in the movie, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I like the design of the bike.  I was not aware that Honda made this particular model, having spent most of my time focused on English bikes.  THE SELVAGE YARD blog describes the rational in choosing this particular model that Glory Motor Works built.  Glory said that they would envision Lisbeth Salander, the hacker, as not having a lot of money to invest in a bike, and that this type of bike would address her transportation needs.

To my way of thinking they did an outstanding job.  I see this bike as a mirror of the spirit of Ms. Salander.  Minimalist, dark, dangerous, intelligent, foreboding, efficient.  My attention is caught by the handlebar shape, low, not ostentatious and purposeful.  The sweep of the handlebar draws my eyes to the lines defined by the duel exhaust with minimal dampening and wrapped with a heat absorbing material replacing visually disrupting metal heat shields that would normally be found.  Between the handlebar and the exhaust my eyes settle on the modified grand prix seat set behind the minimalist fuel tank.  The up kick at the rear of the seat reflects a connection to the stock saddles of the American West while retaining it’s European racing heritage.  This creates a nice juxtaposition of several cultures:  western American cowboy, rough off road racer, classic European road racer on a Japanese made motorcycle.
Other interesting items that I saw was that the front tire is a traditional knobby scrambler style while the rear tire has a smoother pavement gripping tread.  I don’t know why it is set up that way, but it would seem to me that the bike’s handling may be affected.
All in all I find it a fascinating bike and one that I would like to have share space in my little shed.

News from the Man Shed

Triumph scrambler

I have worked on three things the last few weeks.  The first is to get over being sick so that I can breathe again without coughing.  The second is to finish work on levelling and stabilizing the back porch.  The third and most tiring is to understand the mechanics of this blog.  It has become so frustrating that I have resisted the wish to post pictures and communicate.  I seem able to do one or the other, but not both.  At least not well.  I’m a visual oriented person so I try to add color to a black and white world.  I like to add exciting, colorful pictures that add to the narrative.  This format is discouraging me in doing so.  This is the third attempt at adding graphics to my post.  I shall try again.  1930 Blower Bentley…NOT WORKING