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RIP Uncle Les -- a Real Ripsnorter
October 21, 2013 - I grew up around wild uncles on both my mom's and my dad's sides. My mom's side was wild in a westcoast jazz Citroen kinda way. My dad had 6 brothers and a sister. They were, and still are, a high-energy country kind of wild. Untame-able. I grew up around hunting and fishing and wild-rumpus stories from them. And they grew up in ...  > Read Article

Cheap backyard pools are GREAT
June 22, 2013 - [Update from 6/13/2008!] Run don't walk...and get yerself a 15-foot kiddy swimming pool for your yard. If you don't have one and it's hot where you live and you can possibly wedge one in. Man, they're great! In the spring they're about $300 for a 15-footer, but in late summer they're $75. They come complete with pump-filter. Mich...  > Read Article

Quietwater Symposium: Video of 2013
April 10, 2013 - Drew Mason created this nice video showing the diverse flavors of Michigan's only motorless outdoor trade show. (OYB cameo early on! :) )  > Read Article | Go to Website

"Get a Season"
January 17, 2013 - My pal Dave mentioned this the other day. People need to "get a season." It's kinda like "get a life." People shouldn't just be bikers or skiers or paddlers or fishermen or hunters or runners. We're people first. Then comes life. And in Michigan life has 4 seasons. Activities, and those who sell them, try to make them life-...  > Read Article

Boatbuilding Apprenticeshop: Education and *EDUCATION*
January 11, 2013 - In the new issue of "Messing About in Boats," there's an overview of the Maine Maritime Museum's Apprenticeshop boat-building program, with some blurbs from folks who'd attended. (MAIB is the world's best boat magazine,, black'n'white, edited by ...  > Read Article

Martha Launches "LazyGal" Etsy Shop!
September 21, 2012 - Martha has gone global. Her art used to be only available at a dozen seasonal fairs, at a few shops and by custom request at her website. Now she's launched and loaded at her new "LazyGal" Etsy Shop. Anyone anywhere can order dozens of specific items pictured there. Check it out! Read Article

FYI: Michigan doesn't have a hope until Health breaks thru
July 19, 2012 - I suppose it's obvious but there's not going to be a recovery for Michigan until we get enough common sense to realize that we as the people of the state must recover our own health all by ourselves. No amount of money can fix a buncha fat slobs. It's a broke thing. A no hoper. No way that it works. For anyone. Thankfully with ju...  > Read Article

Hillbilly Heaven: a Backyard "Cement Pond"
July 14, 2012 - Last week had a record-breaking 103F day. Our 15 x 36 backyard pool saved our butts. It stayed cool in the shade during the whole heat wave. Now, our yard gets a bit out of hand, what with wood piles getting depleted over the winter and left to ruin in the summer. And the pool itself collapsed over winter. Nobody believed I'd ge...  > Read Article

Team OYB visits World Steam Expo 2012
May 26, 2012 - I woke up this morning after a voyage to another planet and another time. I attended my first Steampunk Con yesterday -- World Steam Expo 2012 in Dearborn, MI. It's at the spiffy, modern Hyatt near Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. I arrived and walked into a scene to boggle the imagination. I suppose it was som...  > Read Article

Summer is Here! --A Couple Tips to Make it Great!
May 20, 2012 - It was HOT today -- 93F. And we decided to prep our front yard to be a garden. Ha! But it was nice that all four of us were out there working for awhile. I didn't realize it was so hot. OK, here's my annual reminder about great ideas for turning humid weather into great fun: *If you have a yard and don't have a pool yet, just g...  > Read Article

Dave Kober: Michigan's Master Carver
May 20, 2012 - I finally was able to stop by Dave Kober's shop last summer with the whole family. Only Lucy and I had seen it before. So I took some more pics. Martha was impressed. He's located a few miles south of Cadillac on the south side of M-115. Worth a visit! Very friendly. We've bought some small things. I think he's the only Master...  > Read Article

Pondering Steampunk... (The Expo is coming!)
May 08, 2012 - I've been pondering Steampunk of late. I checked out the book "Steampunk Bible." It's really good. It's helping clarify my hunches, but, wonderfully, I'm still way back in the jungle. It's good to add yet another long exploration into the mix. OK, I can see it's re-enacting for DIYers. It's role-playing that can be used toward unders...  > Read Article

Why Things Stay Bad in the Hinterlands
May 05, 2012 - Here's a thought: Culture in the hinterlands stays bad because people of means isolate themselves. My hunch is that many of the well-to-do around here enjoy the quiet small town settings and a fairly open-ended, highly-compensated worklife connected to the local university and capitol (where they can teach and run research facili...  > Read Article

World Steam Expo: Detroit, Memorial Weekend
March 28, 2012 - It'll be hugest. The biggest thing the world has never seen. Of a past future that never was. It's a blending of all sorts of things that I think are pretty neat. Tweed, pirates, brass. So there will be thousands of dress-up folks along these lines down in Detroit come Memorial Day. What's also supercool is that they'll be i...  > Read Article | Go to Website

Visit to Another World: Balcony Row Antiques (Holly, MI)
March 19, 2012 - Let's start with the town itself. Holly, Michigan, has several distinct features, some of which mesh together nicely, others take more of a leap. Let's restart by casting the widest net: Holly is home to a huge month-long Renaissance Festival held nearby close to the State Park. This is a high-level production with daily true-to...  > Read Article

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