Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Busy, busy

I suddenly realized I hadn't posted in almost a month. Wow.

April has been busy, but not perhaps so productive. We'll see.

The kids and I have been carving out a canoe paddle for the eldest. Once we get a chance to try it out and test it, we can make paddles for the others based on how well this one works. We made it by laminating strips of cedar, poplar, and hemlock. This paddle's been made entirely by hand: we glued it with clamps; shaped it with a coping saw, chisels, a block plane, and a spokeshave; and are smoothing it with sandpaper and sanding blocks. No power tools at all. We'll see how it turns out: there have already been three mistakes, the worst of which is a split in the blade. It's a very thin split, but it's there. I think some epoxy will fix it, but we need to proceed with caution.

From April 2009

From April 2009

I turned 37 this month. Ames baked me a 12-layer chocolate cake. This is a traditional dessert in eastern North Carolina: it's made of very thin layers of a white cake (I like pound cake best), stacked with layers of chocolate icing. The result is a brutally sweet cake that's incredibly rich. These cakes are a lot of work, and it's traditional to count the layers before eating. The most I've ever had is 23, I think 12 or 15 is about right. There are very few things I prefer to one of these cakes.

From April 2009

From April 2009

I rode my bike to work 10 times in April: it was in the shop a couple days, and I had some business I had to take care of, so I drove to work more than I wanted to this month. On the other hand, Ames got me a bike computer for my birthday, so I was able to get a more-or-less accurate trip distance. So here it is: Google Maps says my trip is 11.5 miles; Map My Ride says 11.6 miles; my car's odometer figures it at 12 miles; and my bike computer says it's 12.07 miles. But my trip home is about 11.5 miles: it's easier to take a more direct route home, when it takes right turns instead of lefts across several lanes of traffic. So I'm going to figure my rides as 12 miles one-way, or 24 miles per day; on the theory that the actual clocked mileage in my car and bike is more accurate than online mapping software.

I've not been reading much recently, except my Bible.

So that's my month in review.


Shan said...

Happy Birthday to you!

The cake - droolworthy.

The paddle - veeeery interesting.

Gwen said...

I thought you were joking in your email about a 12-layer cake. I'm impressed. Let's make one at Christmas!

Ames said...

Gwen, that sounds like fun. It is a lot of work, but we ought to be able to whip it out in no time with two of us working.

They are yummy.