The Epic of the Ditchboat Continues

Matt got new tires on the trailer yesterday, and last night we put the rest of the lower unit on. Today was the day. Continue reading

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Checking In.

So, things have gotten a bit haywire around these parts. Work’s been really super busy for Matt, plus work got busy for me AND my summer intensive started on Tuesday. Each class session is about a week’s worth of material, meaning I have a week’s worth of homework/reading every night, 4 days per week for the next two weeks. Plus keeping the house livable, plus my job, plus attempting to remain fairly healthy. Obviously, my time is a bit crunched. But Political Thought in Gilded Age America is pretty damn fascinating.

However, there are some movings and shakings here, too. Monday was my birthday. To mark my inevitable march towards old age, Matt got me a sweet birthday present, which I have yet to use. Hopefully this weekend:

SAMSUNG

It took me a good three days to find a reasonably priced car carrier anywhere nearby, so I wasn’t able to take it out last weekend. Plus a few days of severe thunderstorms really put a damper on my desire to be in the middle of a large body of water.

Also, Matt got all the fiberglass patching done on the outside of the hull. It’s enough of a pain to ‘glass upside down with sticky, runny resin that all fiberglassing moving forward will be done on the interior. Then we’ll lay the floor supports and go from there. I plan to make a video compilation eventually of all the steps this Spring.

Sweeping

Sweeping

GE

Mixing resin and hardener

Using acetone to strip oil and dirt from around the holes

Patching the one big crack that probably originally did this boat in.

Patching the one big crack that probably originally did this boat in.

Gross.

Gross.

In spite of being busy, I do still have my weekends, but since I’ll be writing several papers already, expect any posts to be pretty curt.

Slowly Inching Forward

Two things for this post today. First: we finally have a dedicated smoker.

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Gotten at Sears on a really good sale. Smokers of this size at just about every store, whether electric, propane, or wood-fired run about $115-$150. I got this one for $80. This one is propane, and hopefully we’ll be able to make a couple venison sausages soon, and smoked trout if we can catch a couple more. No more attempting to smoke things in the grill with the smoker attachment. It never, ever came out right for me, even when watched like a hawk.

Thing two: Matt’s got the beams for the engine cavity of the boat cut out and resined.

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If the weather dries out this weekend, he hopes to be laying a few pieces of fiberglass mat on the interior of the hull, and double checking each of the patches before we begin to lay down the floor supports.

I suppose a third thing could be that the exterior of the gas tank is done. Now we just need to treat and seal the interior of it.

GE

Matt ground off all the rust, and then painted it with the Rustoleum made for grills and other high-heat, high-durability applications. Not that we think the gas tank will need to withstand fire (we hope). We used this on our actual grill, and it’s kept that from rusting, in spite of sitting out in all 4 seasons.

Wild Food: Butterflied, Pan-fried Rainbow Trout

Saturday afternoon, we got in the truck to head west of town to pick up some of our trail cameras, and then hit Black earth Creek for a little fishing. There are some camera images to put up later, which is encouraging.

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One trout on the day. I saw some swells, but otherwise had nothing to show for crawling through hackthorns, mud, and scrubby black willows. Matt’s little trout was 10.5″, an inch and a half over the limit. He came home with us.

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I didn’t want to fillet the fish and waste all that meat, since it was feeding the both of us. So I consulted Mr Hank Shaw’s blog, and lo. There was a tutorial on deboning a fish.

Only slightly messier than neccessary.

Only slightly messier than neccessary.

GE

So, with the fish mostly bone-free, I started in on dinner. It was a simple one- I made Mexican-style rice, sauteed some snow peas, and sliced up half an avocado. I seasoned the fish lightly with coriander, salt, and a touch of cumin, then pan-fried it, skin side down.

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I kept the heat at medium-med-low, and about halfway through I covered the cast iron pan to finish cooking the top of the fish, since I wasn’t going to flip it. It came out moist and flaky. After getting the fish de-boned, the cooking process for it and the rest of the meal clocked in under 30 minutes. I split the fish lengthwise, and we each got half, along with a hearty helping of rice. We’re hoping to get out for trout a bit more often.