Monday, January 30, 2012

Start Your Engines...Pinewood Derby Style!

There is just something about building a Pinewood Derby car that I really enjoy.  It allows me to keep my over active mind on something while at the same time spending precious moments with my 8 year old son.  I enjoy talking with him about car designs, names, and paint schemes.  We cut out designs, sand them into shape and hopefully build a car that he is proud of when we are finished.  Reid is in his second year of Royal Ambassadors (RA's) and this will be our second race in which are competing.  We won two design trophies last year, with his Georgia Southern themed Eagle car, but were beaten handily on the tract by much faster cars.

This year we have decided to try and build for speed, without giving up the design phase that we also enjoy.  Being the kind of person that I am with a motor that never stops, I currently have three different cars for him to choose from that are completed and ready to go.  He has helped with each one and I kept his attention long enough during the sanding and painting stages that he didn't even ask to go play video games.  Why would I build three different cars at one time?  Why not???  I think it's a blast and after we race, Reid will have a stable full of cars to play with.

So how do you build a fast car that also looks good?  I'm still not real sure, and my confidence is running fairly low on the "speed" issue due to our last year's performance.  I mean I know all of the things that you are supposed to do in order to make your car fast, I'm just not sure if they are going to work for us.  I have seen a lot of winning cars go down the track in the past few years and some have been tweaked to perfection, while others have been bone stock with just a little graphite on the tires.  Some have been well designed with great paint jobs, while others are just short of ugly.  I just want to help Reid build a car that he can be proud of whether he decides he wants a speed demon or a trailer queen.  So he has some choices...

Built for speed with precise weighting and balance, or...
something a little more stylish!!!

So to get ready for the race that will take place in two weeks, I will be in the shop polishing axles, sanding wheels, moving weights into the correct position and answering the many questions that will come from my son.  I will be giving a full report on the race in the coming weeks and I will let you know which car Reid decided to take to the competition.  We really do have a great time with all of the boys at this race, and as one of the RA leaders I wish them all the best of luck, but deep down I'm the competitive sort and would love nothing more than for Reid to win the grand prize!  He deserves it because he has worked hard on his car and has spent time in the shop with me, which means I have already won my grand prize!  One I'll take every year!!

Let's get a sweep for the family!!  Race on son!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pie Safe Finished!

We have gone from this...... this!

Ms. Kay's pie safe really turned out to be a nice looking piece.  It has a great deal of character and those that have seen it up close keep telling me that it is really unique and very beautiful.  Of course since I have been very up close and personal with this safe over the past month, I tend to see every flaw that it has instead of enjoying what it brings to the table.  I'm sure there is a life lesson in there somewhere.  Surely each of us could do a better job of seeing a person's real beauty instead of focusing on flaws in each other.

This piece of furniture has many flaws.  The doors do not line up straight.  The handles are not evenly spaced.  It has scars of blue paint that will never be removed and holes that can not be repaired.  However, in a lot of ways this pie safe is perfect.  It sits very sturdy.  It's shelves on the inside are strong and straight.  It's doors do not squeak when they open and it wears the blue streaks of it's past with a sort of pride as if to say "this is where I have been, but I'm still here serving a meaningful purpose!"

Yep, I do believe this pie safe is indeed very beautiful.  Inside and out!

Isn't that what really matters?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yotes Beware!

The final day of deer season for the 2011-2012 year found us with a bit of desperation hanging over us.  My Dad and I have waited around and let many deer walk this season forgetting that we needed to put some meat in the freezer.  We figured we could just walk on out to the club and take the first doe that came along on just about any afternoon.  Well the deer were not cooperating with our plans.  It is legal to feed deer in Georgia and our deer have gotten into the habit of coming to the feeder soon after it goes off.  For the past two days no deer were coming to the feeder on our #1 doe stand.  Tonight we found out why.

Pictured above is a very large coyote that my Dad took with his Thompson Center .308, shortly after this predator cruised right under the feeder looking for an easy meal.  We have been hearing these coyotes all season and tonight one finally showed itself.  It was not exactly what my Dad was after on his final deer hunt, but it did make for a pretty picture.

Reid and I were on the other side of the club taking care of a little business of our own while Dad was managing our predator population.  We were lucky enough to take about a 140 pound doe with only 30 minutes of shooting light left in our season.  The freezer will once again be full.

I am going on record as of right now that all coyotes have been forewarned.  The game call is charging and my varmint rifle is sighted in and ready.  I have been educating myself on the practice of calling in predators and I have nothing but time on my hands until turkey season.  Its time to take down some of these deer and turkey killers and I plan on doing just that.

I look forward to blogging about some yote hunting success!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm just a small time celebrity!

I had someone tell me that they had seen my picture in a magazine recently.  He was a customer of mine who has a place on the coast in North Florida.  He picked up a copy of Rifle and Rod magazine while traveling through Bainbridge, GA.  Rifle and Rod is a Southern Georgia/Northern Florida publication that covers anything from fishing on the coast to hunting in a pine thicket.  We do not ever see this magazine here in Fitzgerald, so I didn't even know it existed.

I asked my customer if he was sure it was me because I could not figure out for the life of me why I would be in a magazine.  He said it listed my name under a picture along with my three cousins.  The story was about a goose hunt.  I knew right then who to call.

My cousin Beau is a water fowling nut!  If the story was about goose hunting then I knew he had been up to something.  I called him to ask about the magazine and the picture.  Turns out the author of the article was a friend of his and asked Beau if he would contribute some quotes about goose hunting in South Georgia and a couple of pictures.  He was happy to do so and submitted a picture that he stole from my blog.  The rest is history.

The Luckie boys!  Leigh, Zach, Trey and Beau

You can actually check out the magazine by following this link.  Click on the Winter edition on the bottom right of the page.  You can then turn to page 10 to see the article.  If you would like an autograph I will be glad to send you one free of charge.

Duckman, being a's how I roll.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pie Safe part 3

Ms. Kay's pie safe is starting to shape up.  I have now finished sanding all of the cabinet and applied stain.  It is waiting on a coat of finish to give it some protection and give it a little shine.  This safe has not been very kind to me.  You can see in some of the pictures that the blue paint decided it just wasn't going to let go of this wood.  It didn't matter how much I sanded or pleaded with it.  For that reason, I went with a darker shade of stain than I usually would.  It did a pretty good job of masking some of the imperfections, but not all of them.

There is good news however.  This piece will have its back to a wall, therefore covering up most of the blue paint that soaked in, and it will not be under a spotlight like it is with the flash from my camera.  I am also one of those people that probably look at a piece of furniture too closely.  The average person will see this piece and not see the flaws that I do.  The other good news is that Ms. Kay said that she doesn't need it to look brand new.  She likes a bit of a distressed look.  She should be pleased.  Enjoy the pictures.

You can see some of the blue paint in the grain of the wood on this side.  It's really not that bad in regular light.

This side was cleaner
Lot of blue paint, but will be against the wall
I presently have the doors taken off of the cabinet and have already stripped one of them.  The good news is that all of the paint came off and I shouldn't have any "blue" problems.  I am looking for new hinges and knobs to complete the look that the customer wants.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I can see the finish line ahead.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Last Day Dove Hunt!

Farm owner Kenny B. starts preparing the last day feast
The last day of dove season here in South Georgia came today, and with it came the feeling of sadness that I always feel when the season is over.  I decided to take a little different approach with this blog post and not only show you the hunting from the last day, but also show you exactly how us good old folks here in South Georgia enjoy the gathering of good friends as we take advantage of the hunting privileges that we freely enjoy.

The grill was fired up at about 10:30 this morning and the meat was prepared for cooking.  The menu included Boston butts, sausage, deer back strap, chicken, smoked ham and dove poppers.

Dove poppers are a local favorite.  Dove breast, peppers and cream cheese wrapped in bacon.

The finished product after about 20 minutes on the grill.  These babies didn't last long with this crowd.

Everyone gathered up at the barn around lunch time and told lies while they ate more than they should.  In this crowd you can find farmers, bankers, salesmen, teachers, business owners and just about anything in between.  Even the kids are invited.  They keep themselves entertained before the hunt by playing video games, climbing on farm equipment or shooting their BB guns at tin cans.

The time finally comes for everyone to make their way to their way to the field.  Dogs are loaded into pick ups, ATVs and golf carts.  Stands are placed on peanut hay bails and everyone waits on our little grey winged guest to show.  The fun begins with the first shot of the afternoon.

I put Reid on the camera in hopes of getting video of Josey on a retrieve.  Here is our best effort.

After the hunt, we gathered back up at the barn and surveyed the day's damage.  And yes, we did eat again! :)  It was not the best shoot that I have been on, but we had a great time and killed enough to make a mess to eat.  Included in our bounty was two Ring Necked Doves or Collared Doves.  These are light grey doves that are larger than our traditional Morning Doves that we usually shoot.  They are very pretty and have a black collar around their necks.  They usually hang out around barns or in town.  They are legal to shoot and do not even count toward your limit numbers.

The final picture of the season is a special one.  I'm so glad that my son enjoys going to the field with me and I hope that he always will!

That's how we roll here in South Georgia!  I'm ready for next year!!