Episode #083 The Walk Out Beer Cooler.
Its "SNOWMAGEDON"! We’ve have had so much lake effect snow this year that the temporary garage Bruce puts up for his car has collapsed under the snow load. Everything else is buried under several feet of snow.
The first priority is digging out the Muskoka chairs, so we can get in some serious deck time. Leave it to Bruce to gamify clearing the deck. It did let us build an igloo though. I’m sure it won’t pass inspection, but it works. We also talked about other winter survival techniques including how to build a quinzhee and even surviving without a fire or shelter. I’m not waiting for the wolf pack.
We also mentioned survivor dude who was lost on the lake for fourteen years with nothing more than a beer fridge, a nine-volt battery and a piece of steel wool. Now that’s a call back if I ever heard one. Check the website.
Our “tool of the day” is the walk out cooler. Basically, it’s the snowdrift just outside the patio door. We stuffed it with cans and bottles.
Our beer of the day is Prison Break Break Out Pilsner from Double Trouble Brewing Co.
Episode #082 Splitting mauls, and ax handles, and Francie Dancer takes a dive.
Bruce picks up an eight-pound splitting maul but it didn’t come sharp from the store, so I had to grind an edge onto it before we could use it. This was to compliment the six-pound maul that has done years of service at the cottage. Bruce also picked up a new ax handle to replace a broken one and I’m glad he went with the hickory rather than the fiberglass.
Wally Canoe gives us a good tip about soaking the end of the ax handle in glycerine or linseed oil to prevent it from drying out and shrinking which causes the ax head to fly off. Who would have thunk it. He also sharpened all Bruce’s knives to a surgical edge and we are going to do a special video episode just on that.
Also Late last night, Francie Dancer went for a short walk off an even shorter dock. Luckily everything worked out ok, but it certainly could have been a disaster. Always let someone know when you leave the cottage even if its just a walk down to the dock. Especially late at night.
Our beer of the day is Ten Bitter Years Imperial IPA from Black Oak Brewing Co. Black Oak Brewing
Episode #081 Building a new wood shed.
Bruce and I were supposed to build a new woodshed this week but he got called back to the city. How convenient. That left me all alone to get the job done. I enlisted several cheap/free apprentices to help. This was definitely a 24 beer job.
Our beer of the day is Millenium Buzz Hemp Beer from Cool Beer Brewing Company in Toronto, Ontario. This is not what you would expect. Apparently hemp has a similar flavour profile to barley. And don't get all excited because there is no THC. Cool Beer Brewing
Episode #080 Biblical Rains and the Snapping Turtle.
Mother Nature gets “Turkey of the Day” for raining on our parade this weekend. The rains were biblical at times and confirmed our belief that a metal roof, although not as quiet as regular shingles, isn’t as noisy as some people will say. We did get a few small breaks in the rain, so we did squeeze in some dock time. We were even visited by a very small snapping turtle. These guys can live to be over 100 years old with a shell diameter of almost 24 inches, so he has lots of time to get really big and scary.
We did watch commander Hatfield’s video on YouTube. He did an amazing cover of David Bowe’s “a space odyssey” from the international al space station, as well as a few other YouTube videos. I’m not sure that searching for “Bambi vs Godzilla” is a safe for work search but give it a try.
We decided not to do the “toys go here” thong and boy shorts. Even though it seemed like a good idea at the time, it was deemed to be socially unacceptable the next morning.
Our beer of the day is #9 IPA from Duggan's Brewery in Toronto, Ontario. This is a head banger at 6.2% Alcohol by volume. It is very dark for an IPA, almost more like a British brown ale. Not a bad find in the beer fridge. Highlander Brewing
Episode #079 Bush Buggy Envy.
Hydro One has been in to brush the hydro right of way for over a week now. It's slow going because of the rough terrain but they sure came equipped. They have a big orange articulated boom truck that is well set up for the task. Complete with chainsaw holsters, a couple of Stihl ms260s, a hydraulic pole pruner and a cherry picker it's pretty unstoppable. It's like the ultimate ATV.
Bruce worked so hard hauling firewood that he had to do a few Kahlúa shooters to kill the pain. Really Bruce? Seriously? He even tried putting it in decafinated tea for a stronger hit. I don't think so.
We go back to the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie Ontario for our beer of the day. This time it's Smashbomb Atomic IPA. It's a pretty typical IPA which we are kind of getting tired of, but with that said, it is a nice one.
Episode #078 Hot swapping water pumps.
We started out with pump problems again so we made our usual trip into Parry Sound to the Home Depot for a new pump and other assorted parts. OF course we were all decked out in our finest kottage-tek T-shirts from our swag shop and we actually got some attention from a couple of hunnies. Wow! "We be stylin dude".
While we were there I also picked up some 2"quick disconnect couplings. These are intended for gas lines but I'm tired of having to use the big ass monkey wrench whenever we disconnect the pump. These worked like a charm and now we can hot swap a water pump in less than 20 minutes. Once we swapped out the old pump, we took it apart and discovered some pieces of plastic were clogging the jet. We cleared out the debris and we now have a spare pump ready to swap back into service should if and when it is needed.
Our beer of the day this time is Hops & Bolts India Pale Lager from Creemore Springs. Creemore is one of our favorite breweries located just south of Collingwood Ontario. This time they have come up with an interesting twist on the ever so popular IPA.
Episode #077 Swimming with Cinder blocks and The Wolverine is sick..
I can't believe Bruce even considered swimming a cinder block more than 50 feet out into the lake where it has to be about 15 feet deep. He first swam out with the foot valve and then came back to get the cinder block that weighs down the water line so wave action doesn't break it off the foot valve. Does the name Jimmy Hoffa mean anything? At least he plans on taking a life jacket along next time. I think I'll stick to using something with a bit more boyancey like a boat. Even the paddle boat is a smarter idea.
We also discovered that the pump is pooched again so we have to swap it out and repair it. I have some ideas for a quick connect system that we wll cover an a later episode.
Peter Couch also stopped by this time and definitely took some shots at our beer selection. Now our beer of the day is Muskoka Dark Ale from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario. It’s a gold medal winner so we valiantly stood our ground in spite of the wolverine’s health issues. This is from a guy who only serves Bud Lite Lime?
Episode #076 Cheese In Aerosol Cans.
We got a lot of small chores done today but the biggest was taking down the temporary garage. It's been up for two years so it's about time it came down. Now Bruce should know by now that you just can't stop the demolition man. Especially when he is fueled by beer. We did finally get it taken apart and packed up the way he wanted it, but it did cut into dock time a bit more than I would have liked.
The up side is that we had sustenance in the form of "Kraft Easy Cheese" also known as cheese in aerosol cans. This delectable gourmet delight was specially imported into Canada from North Carolina specifically for enjoyment at the cottage. It's kind of an American food concept that never seemed to catch on in Canada. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Canadian Health Act prohibiting the sale of Easy Cheese because it has ingredients that are deemed "unsafe"? I specifically chose the "sharp cheddar" flavour because it would go so well with our more flavourful beers without being over powered. The up side is that you don't even need a cracker. Just point the can into your mouth, press the nozzle, and presto! Instant cheesy snack. Tuck one into your back pocket and you are good to go for the whole day. They also fit quite nicely into a case of beer or a cup holder.
Our beer of the day is Scottish Ale from the Highlander Brew Company in South River, Ontario. Now I've done my due diligence on this and it turns out that South River is a village on Highway 124 near Algonquin Park in the Almaguin Highlands region of the Parry Sound District of Ontario. It is about halfway between North Bay and Huntsville. The Highlander Brew Company has been around since 2009 and Scottish Ale was their first recipe.
Episode #075 Yellowknife, and Beer makes us smarter!
This time Cliff talks about his travels to Yellowknife. It may not be "the cottage" but there's lot of roughing it and being outdoors that they both have in common. Everyone should try to spend at least a bit of time there. Everything from incredible fish that are pulled from Great Slave Lake, to driving on ice roads and Ragged Ass Road. The magic of the Aurora Borealis is a must see. Even on one of its dull nights it's spectacular. The trip made quite an impression on Cliff and we don't think he will ever forget it. Unfortunately that includes the hotel from hell which will haunt him for the rest of his natural life.
We also came up with the theory that consuming alcohol is a lot like Darwin's theory of evolution. AKA "survival of the fittest". Much like the way the wolves help keep the caribou herds up north strong by killing off the weakest of the group. Beer kills off the weakest brain cells and greatly improves our overall intellect. Yes us brains be getting strongly smartest by the bottle minute.
Our beer of the day is Bare Naked Ladies Imperial Chocolate Stout. It comes from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie Ontario. This was a collaboration between the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery and the band from Toronto called "The Bare Naked Ladies".
Episode #074 Recreating The Bleeding Edge.
Bruce had a good friend named Walter Martindale join us this time for a boys weekend. It turns out Walter is a master knife sharpener. We of course put him to work sharpening every knife in the place. He also brought along a few interesting ones to show us as well. One of them has quickly become my favorite for when I feel like sitting on the deck cutting the cheese. It's known as the "Original Woodman's Pal" from Lee Valley Tool Company.
This ushers in the first entry into our new Kottage Know-how category. We will do some how-to videos about common repairs, tips and processes at the cottage and post them up on the YouTube channel. We will do our best to keep these to short form and under 5 minutes but in true Kottage-tek fashion our first one blows that theory out of the water. It comes in a at whopping 30 minutes so make sure you crack a fresh cold one before pressing play.
Our beer of the day is. Rock Cut Baysville Lager from The Lake Of Bays Brewing Company