Porcupine roaches are hard to make. Sounds like the maker sources the porcupine hides and gathers the porcupine guard hair and quills himself. The hardest part of roach making is sorting the hair into the different lengths. Another hard part is the base. If it's a premade cotton base, obviously it's not hard. A traditional base though is made out of deer tail hair that's been tied to a cord and then trimmed short and then sewed to make the base.
The rest of the time consuming build is tying and then sewing. It's the shape — where it spreads and how it tapers — is what really makes a well made porcupine roach stand out (although flat or upright is a style choice with flatter/spread roaches for grass and traditional dancers while straight and fancy dancers may prefer more upright roaches).
I would guess these porcupine roaches would run into the $500-$1000 range depending on length but probably best to ask the maker. Usual lengths are 15" – 24" depending on a dancer's style (e.g. Fancy vs Grass dance). Really beautiful work on these porcupine roaches.
We're liking this HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw printer. We're coming from a Canon Pixma MP530 that we've had since December of 2006. The Canon stopped printing well and we haven't been able to scan documents for a good 4 years or so. Anyway, it was time.
This new HP printer is nice at only $350 especially for a color laser printer which would've been $2000 in 1998. The build quality looks good, print quality is sharp and bright and not "inky" (feels baked). It takes a minute or two to start up but the printing is fast. Haven't played around with the rest of the features like fax or scan. The wireless printing was easy to set up and works with MacOS (High Sierra/Mojave) seamlessly.
The printer is actually a good size, it's a little tall but not too wide and good depth to fit on our credenza. Would totally recommend this printer. Wirecutter has some good printer reviews if you're looking for some more options.
Morcom Rose Garden is blooming! What a nice place and we probably should go more often.
Good time to go is now and I guess the next couple of months (probably was nice 2-3 weeks ago too). Full on bury your nose in these soft petals is kinda nice — some are faint smelling and others are pretty fragrant.
The electric car charging station at Kirkwood Mountain resort has six Tesla chargers and two by Clipper Creek. This was put in two years ago, and during ski season it's pretty busy.
What's notable is that there isn't a gas station at Kirkwood. There's like a gas pump with one type of gas (which is usually out of order) a 1/2 -mile before you enter the resort and that's it. The next gas station is a good 13 miles away.
Feels like these electric charging stations are the future. Why go to a gas station when you can charge your car at home, at work, or at your destination (like at Target via Volvo). Do have to love the direction where all this is going -> no more gas, no more gas station visits, and hopefully renewable energy to power your car. Bright future for sure.
Here's the BMW iX3 concept version released today. I'm hoping the designers move towards a sportier/outdoorsy take rather than a people/kid mover. We take our X3 out in the snow, to triathlons, to other races, and we're putting road bikes and other gear in or on top of it.
I read the range will be 250 miles to start but 300-400 mile range would be nice. Who knows what the final specs will really be until it actually starts shipping. Apparently, iX3 will be made from China which makes sense from a demand/volume/production standpoint and China's strategic investments in lithium.
2025 is when we'll do a realistic evaluation to see if the BMW iX3 works for us, that or the Tesla Y. By then, range and features should be really good and hopefully costs will be reasonable/par with current car prices.
The last time I wrote about tankless water heaters was in 2006 and our current water heater is still going strong.
You could say I'm jinxing it but we have a 9 year tank that's 16 years old. We might be able to get another 4 years out of it or it might go within the next year. Probably best to be prepared and still best to wait it out.
The tankless water heater I'm looking at now is the Takagi T-H3M-DV-N. It's a condensing natural gas version with a 0.93 energy factor, 1/2" gas line, 6.6 gallons per minute flow, and a 15 year lifespan/warranty. It's for indoor use and vents via pvc.
What's new(er) in tankless water heater technology is the fact that they're able to use a 1/2" gas line whereas before you might have needed to upgrade to a 3/4" gas line which would've been an expensive retrofit. The condensing feature is new which drives the efficiency to the higher 0.93 energy factor. Also, the use of pvc for venting and then the whole connecting to a network and managing stuff via smartphone (overkill) are also new.
These newer tankless water heater units are now cheaper and also cheaper to install because of what I've mentioned already with no gas line retrofit and pvc venting. Before, cost to install would be $3,000 – $4,000 and now we're looking at under $1,500.
Takagai, Noritz, and Rinnai are brands that folks seem to like.
I think our house is the right color blue (Kelly-Moore: Postcard Perfect KM3118-2/#7d9dbc for color but Benjamin Moore paint done via Cydney Ortzow Painting).
We asked if our house was too blue 13 years ago and it might have been without the landscaping and plants. As an aside, I need to put up the American flag again and if we switch out from DirecTV to DirecTV Now, we can take down the satellite dish.
This is that no knead bread recipe from the New York Times from Jim Lahey/Mark Bittman. It's stupidly easy to make and if you have some of my bread, you're not allowed to put guacamole on it. F'ing avocado toast, gtfoh.
My only variation is 2 cups of all purpose flour with 1 cup of Sonora wheat flour – get from Eatwell Farm if they have it, otherwise Capay Mills or wherever you can find it online. The Sonora wheat makes it a little more interesting and gives it some flavor.
Acme levain bread is like $5. Pizzaiolo's country loaf – which is very good with an almost burnt crust and not quite sourdough flavor – is like $10 and some usual wait time in line. The no knead bread is maybe like $1 worth of flour: it's just flour, salt, instant active yeast, and water (and an oven that can go 500 degrees and a cast iron dutch oven).
Surprisingly easy to make bread and just as good if not better. Now part of my TFL biscuits and skillet corn bread rotation. Next up is dinner rolls and I need to figure those out.
Even if you didn't know these were the Obamas, by looking at the portraits you could tell these two were important — and both are giving off a look of needing you to do something (my interpretation anyway). Glossy vs matte is always a fun argument, both of these are really cool. About as good as it gets.