Monday, September 1, 2014

It all takes practice

The past week has been all about practice.  The lesson plan has included smoking beef brisket, flying drones, processing the video from my flying devices, and fishing for, and hopefully catching, Chinook salmon just beginning to arrive in the Coquille River from the Pacific.

Juanita has also been learning new things and has put together a very nice quilt, made a needle purse and created a "bingo card" that represents multiple colors and types of fabric on one small square.

I have been doing a lot of quadcopter flying practice this week as wind conditions allow.  To keep from plowing my very expensive Phantom 2 into Oregon dirt, I have been flying the less sophisticated Hubsan X4, which requires constant application of controls to maintain flight.  If this little flying machine has done so many times...little damage occurs, if any, and the device costs less than $50 if completely destroyed.

I have also flown the larger and more complex Phantom nearly a dozen times to practice the various control procedures and have made a video clip of one of the more interesting flights.  I have a long way to go before reaching an acceptable level of competence both flying the quad and putting together videos.  Practice...practice...practice!!

A beautiful piece of Angus beef brisket
begins a long smoke on the Green Mountain Grill Davy Crocket.

Linda and Steven, recently retired friends who have begun their full time RV experience, will arrive in Port Orford on Sept 8.  Linda made a special request for BBQ brisket and, since I think she might be a closet judge from TV's Pit Masters show, I felt the need to practice smoking a Texas brisket that would meet her very high standards.

The first attempt turned out very well on the "money end" but somewhat less so on the flat.  I think the flavor was right on and the bark (smoke ring) excellent...the flat needs a bit more time at a lower temperature however.  Practice...practice...practice!!

Sunrise at the dock on the beautiful Coquille River.

My good friend Harry has his boat ready to go after big Chinook salmon.

And off we go!

Past these beautiful sights along the river.

The Chinook salmon fall run is slowly beginning on the nearby Coquille River.  Yesterday I joined my boat owner friend Harry for our first attempt to put some of these tasty fish into the smoker and onto cedar BBQ planks.  Well, fishing is not necessarily catching.  Harry managed to land one relatively small (12#) fish.  I did little except pilot the boat, net his fish and watch the beautiful scenery pass by.

More fish will enter the river during the next two months and I will get ample opportunity to practice catching instead of the less satisfying fishing.  Practice...practice...practice!!

Juanita made this neat little needle purse.  This is the front....

And this is the back.

The inside hold all the needles.  Duh!

Juanita has been working on some new projects that have required her learning new techniques and methods.  She continues to create beautiful new quilts in addition to interesting smaller projects such as the needle purse above.
One side of the aforementioned "bingo card" made from a defunct old Port Orford T-shirt.

And the side with various colors and fabric types.  Don't ask me what this is all about.  Only Juanita knows and she didn't contribute to this entry.

Her latest quilt, which Juanita describes as a half log cabin design was her second, and most enjoyable, attempt at machine quilting.  How can I tell you might ask...I just look at the big grin on her face as she quilts away on her machine.

The back of her latest creation was quite colorful!

Juanita knows full well that making quilts is an evolving process that requires practice...practice....practice!!!!!


  1. Jim knows all about that fishing practice, practice, practice. The brisket looked like a great piece of meat.

  2. haha, Gordon! My mouth is watering at the thought of smoked brisket! I can't wait, and I promise I won't act like Myron Mixon! Seriously, I appreciate your efforts and am looking forward to seeing you both soon.

    1. Myron Mixon or not...I don't want to botch the job. LOL! I just hope the wind dies down a bit. I haven't had a chance to take the flying fantastics out for practice flights for a while now. Weird weather this year!

  3. Great job Gordon, with the movie clips and also Juanita's projects. Love it.