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My Forever Annual Song of Winter
December 15, 2016 - Every year it seems like I am compelled to write something about how great winter is and how lame are people who whine about it. It's an evergreen. Because each year I get stunned yet again by people who it really seems would know better. It happened again already this season. We live in downstate Michigan. There are thou...  > Read Article

The Normalizing of Reality (Seasons R Us)
October 04, 2015 - Sometimes my OYB quest makes me laugh. I enjoy trying to encourage folks to just get out there and have some fun. Every day. In the fresh air. Year 'round. But why is this weird? Why do I even have to try to do it? How could it be otherwise? Doesn't everybody need fresh air activity every day year 'round? I mean, it MUST...  > Read Article

A Mission for OYB? Teaching Bikes, Boats, Skis
September 23, 2015 - I need to find a place where I can teach people about bikes, boats, skis, outdoor skills. ...Where people are willing to pay to learn these things. Wouldn't it be neat if one of the several OC's that used to exist in Michigan could be re-opened? One is still functioning: MUCC's Cedar Lake Outdoor Center. I should look i...  > Read Article

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

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