This is part 1 of my project to build up Pocket axe strops from scratch as incentive/rewards for the Axe Cordwood Challenge. I may also sell some on the website depending on numerous factors. For those who don't know, a strop is a device for polishing or refining a sharpened edge. it is the last step in many sharpening sequences and can also be used to touch up edges, especially if polishing compound is used. It usually involves leather, which my design of course does, but the act of stropping can also be done on wood or even cloth. In this project, I'm building strops from the ground up, which involves, tanning, glue making and working up some wood from it's raw log-like state. There should be no materials used in these strops that were not processed by me here on the homestead, down to the lime and fat used in preparing the leather. The project will span an undetermined number of videos, as well as a short version of making an easy high quality hide glue from scraps that most hunters or butchers of animals typically throw away. Almost anyone who is not me should learn a lot from this series and I hope to learn some stuff too! ;) Feel free to vote on names for the pocket strop or think of new ones... Stropet, Pocket Strop-It, Pixie Paddle (the woods are a dangerous place full of mischievious pixies!).
I missed a Saturday video on youtube, but hopefully I'm back on track now. This Saturday's video is Installment 6 in the hide glue series that I started last year. I had to divide this one into two videos since it was getting really long and I'm still finishing up. It may not make sense to people to have two parts in one installment, but cooking, pouring, cutting and drying are really sort of all the same step to me since they have to happen in a short space of time. Part 2 should be out within a week. The glue is looking great if I do say. This batch will be for sale in the webstore starting tomorrow when it will be dry enough to package.
Thanks for tuning in this year! The Turkeysong blog had 24,000 views in 2013, many of them from people searching the web for relevant information of some kind, which I hope they found (although searches for "How to grow a big ass" and "leek in ass" continue to trickle in as well and I hope those people weren't too disappointed). Subscriptions continue to grow and I've got plenty more to say!
I'm hoping, if I can, to start an income stream from writing and blogging, so that I can keep doing this. That will mean more books published and probably affiliate links to amazon on the blogs (Don't worry, I'm not going to try to sell you anything you don't need. I'm all about people buying less physical stuff and doing things for themselves. That's practically a mission for me. Most of them will be to books I write and maybe other books or products that I review, like the gophinator trap.) I'll probably stay away from advertising altogether, because it's just so annoying, and again, I don't want to sell people anything they don't need, because that's half of the worlds problems in a nutshell. Or if so, they will be extremely select. I should be moving to a domain too so I can get rid of the ads that come up on these free wordpress domains.
I really like blogging. Exploring new and old ideas and techniques, and sharing relevant information, are at the core of my being and always have been. I'm at something of a cross roads with the blogs and plans for other projects. I have some other blog ideas, but don't want to get spread too far out, or over-complicate things. When I started this blog, I thought it would cover all of my interests and ideas, representing the diverse enigma that I am. Since I was so immersed in homestead stuff at the time, and realized that I had built a small audience around that interest, I decided to branch off and put primitive tech stuff on the Paleotechnics site. I feel a little disjointed though, because I'm all about the integration of ideas, old and new. Being intensely immersed in paleotechnology stuff for a long time in my 20's gave me a valuable insight into environments and of the potential for all kinds of materials to be turned to use. That has been invaluable in helping me see the land, and basically everything, as a resource-scape full of potential, as well as being a sort of organism that I play a part in. Part of my philosophy is that we should aim not to reject ideas and practices categorically, but rather that it behooves us to view things for what they are and what they do and don't have to offer in the view of a larger context, and integrate or reject them accordingly. Sounds reasonable I know, but we have a strong tendency to think in black and white categories and build identities around what we are and aren't, what we do and don't do and what is and isn't too new, too old, too whatever. I'm sorely tempted to throw all my ideas and projects, new and old, together in one place and let everyone sort it out. While I don't want to alienate a specific audience either, it occurs to me sometimes that I should just write for an audience of diverse interests. On the other hand, I respect that everyone doesn't want to hear what I think about The politics and social ills of the marijuana black market economy in Northern California, or Rife machines, or how to make a stone bowl using just rocks, or a pimped out chicken powered composting system.
I also can't always find my voice when writing for different audiences. In some ways, I can best reach my generation and younger people, because we've lived in the same times and speak, to some extent, the same language. My generation is coming into positions of power and greater influence now and could use a little shaking up. (If you were to ask me, which apparently you don't have to :D.
One thought is to have a central blog that covers everything I do and will serve as a sort of news feed. That site could have just links to my other blogs and projects, or entire posts replicated. Also, anything that didn't really fit in on a another blog would go there. That is appealing in some ways, and may be the best solution, but also sounds complicated and will increase computing time and thereby decrease working time.
I'd appreciate anyone's input on these ideas and thoughts and perspectives on this blog and/or the paleotechnics blog. What you do and don't want to hear about, what you appreciate or could do without and ideas about structuring content in one place or across multiple sites, or just whatever.
Oh yeah, and once I scrounge up enough money to get a decent video camera, I'm hoping to start a TOTALLY BAD ASS YOU TUBE CHANNEL. Or is it two channels? or three? See, more spreading out :/
It's been a challenging year. My love and best friend moved away in the spring, leaving a hole in my life that still feels like it will never close all the way. In classic bad timing, I was also embarking on diet and lifestyle changes in yet another attempt to improve my crappy health which I had made worse the previous season by going on a very restricted low carbohydrate diet called GAPS (shudder). My new approach included, as importantly as anything, stress reduction, but with a broken heart, very little money, no energy and pretty much on my own for the first time in forever without anything resembling a reliable income, that didn't happen so much. I got pretty low functioning for a while but managed to squeak through the worst of it.
I was only able to make the farmer's market, my main source of income, about once a month where I average less than 100.00. I was as chubby as I've ever been in my life and pretty damn weak. I remember killing a chicken to eat and having to rest 3 times in order to finish processing it. I started plucking it, but it was too much work so I just tore the skin off. Another time I prepped for the market the night before, and finished washing carrots in the morning. By the time I was ready, I was too exhausted to make the trip, so I had to blow it off. A bunch of produce, including a cooler full of amazing carrots, the best crop of the year, went to the chickens. That sort of thing was not unusual for me unfortunately, but doing it alone was. I almost never slept more than 5 hours consecutively,usually less, and often only managed to get 4 or 6 hours of sleep total over 24 hours.
Fortunately this nutcase/genius,
Matt Stone's advice on improving my metabolic rate has paid off in the long run, in spite of some circumstantial bumps in the road. Regardless of all of the difficulties, my mood was greatly moderated throughout by listening to my body and eating whatever I felt like, whenever I wanted, and then some. I also stopped working unless I felt really up to it and drastically cut my consumption of liquids, especially the holy elixir of eternal youth, plain water. Over the last couple months I've lost fat and gained muscle while continuing to follow that basic approach and adding a very small amount of body weight exercise.. I still have some way to go to be really high functioning, but I have a pretty normal body temperature for the first time in ages, and I feel good with increasing frequency, not just not bad, but actually good, always a great rarity for me and valuable beyond words. On new years eve I wore a t-shirt outside until about 11:00 pm because my metabolism was so jacked up that it felt like I was pushing the cold air away by radiating heat. My personality has definitely changed for the better, and I'm more convinced than ever that the severity of peoples emotional and phychological issues is often, if not usually, rooted in physiological dysfunction. A resilient physiology makes for a resilient person.
Other things have helped me along the way, but this is the ONLY approach that has ever felt like it's given me a real foundation on which to potentially build back true health after 15 years of lyme related issues, as well as being kind of messed up for most of the rest of my adult life. Throwing supplements, exercises, superfoods or whatever at health problems is largely a waste of time if the baseline of the organism, the production of cellular energy, is compromised and replaced (as it always is when compromised) by a stress response chemistry. Metabolism is where it's at folks. Low body temperature = an unhappy body.
At this point, I'm pretty much letting my body do the driving, doing my best to make it feel safe, well nourished and well rested, and trusting it to sort out what to do with the resources I give it. I'm pretty sure now that it's smarter than me. I'm hoping that I will continue to improve so I can more fully realize my potential to kick some serious experimental/educational butt in 2014, but everything will take a back seat to gaining and retaining a healthy state, whether I get there or not.
Even with all the challenges and a major lag during the summer, I still managed to do some cool stuff and take a bunch of pictures. I've broken the year in pictures up into two parts of which this is number one. Hopefully next year it will be in 4 parts!