Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop the Randomness!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012  at 2:12 PM
As you can tell, I haven't been blogging too much recently due to not a lot of things to say!  Everything is going well, but I just don't have too much to report to everyone.  As I've been reading other infrequent blogs and noticing a trend, it seems that I'm not the only one that is crawling through the winter boredom with just trainer rides and morning struggles to keep the scale from breaking under the weight of "the off season."  So, instead of a mind-blowing report about incredible physical feats of extreme fitness and hardcore workouts, I'll give you my favorite kind of blog...PURE RANDOMNESS!

My good buddy, Donnie Keele, the guy that made that rockin' ringtone for me, and I have been busy.  For awhile now, I've been wanting to build a Cajon.  If you don't know what it is, I'll tell you.  Basically, it is a wooden box drum that has a hole in the back, a snare on the inside, and a thin wooden front that you "slap" with your hands like a drum.  Here is a picture of a quality Cajon for your viewing pleasure:

And, if you're wondering what this wooden box sounds like, here is a little clip of someone playing a cajon:
So after watching some rough youtube videos and reading some simple instructions, Donnie and I got to work.  We actually spent the first couple hours in Lowes and Home Depot trying to get the correct wood.  The front, "Tapa," is supposed to be super thin, like 3mm thick, and that is a challenge to find wood like that.  We measured and cut all the pieces at my boss's house since he has a sweet table saw.  Then, we put them together in my garage.  Here is what they looked like after the first day...
Donnie's is on the left, and mine is on the right
We bought some snares and screwed them onto a dowel rod that runs side-to-side.  Here is a picture of the snare.  We cut them in half so that the cut ends are pressed up against the Tapa under tension.

After a whole lot of sanding, I stained the sides, top and bottom, and back with Ebony stain/polyurethane.  It only took about two coats in order to get it nice and dark.

Finally, I reattached the Tapa to the front and started playing.  It's so easy to play since it has about three different sounds.  There is a deep base sound when it is struck right in the middle.  Then, there is an accent sound near the top that has lots of snare.  Finally, there is a third sound where the wood slaps at the top corners.  It's pretty cool!  Here's the final product:

It is finally starting to feel like winter around here in Michigan.  Last Friday, we got our first big snow.  Berrien Springs got about a foot.  I actually really like snow...for the first day or so.  Then, after it gets all nasty and brown from the plows and cars, and it gets tracked inside, I get tired of it.  But, for a Saturday afternoon activity, Jenn, me, Donnie, Rachel (his wife), and Jonathan (a Seminary friend) decided to get some sledding action in.  We found a decent hill and got going.  My sister, Mindy, had given Jenn and me a sled, so we had to break it in, so here's a picture and video of how it all went down!

The last post had a picture of my beard, and I wasn't going to talk about it, but after reading Matty O's post with a bunch of shots of his sweet beard, I had to throw one more out there.  Matt and I both agree that with a beard comes a responsibility to be business all the time.  Smiles and beards don't really go together...(ignore the above picture with the sled).  Here's the latest growth:

That's all the randomness I've got for now.  I hope your new year is already going smoothly with dreams and goals beginning to be achieved.  Blessings on your week!


Matty O

HAHA! Loved this!

Have not gone sledding in two years, last time I went I bit through a chunk of my tongue... apparently when you are bigger and heavier than when you were a kid, you cannot go off jumps anymore... ugh.

That drum is SWEET! I have honestly never heard of one before... growing up in band and jazz band I thought I would have heard of it haha. Great job too, looks pretty clean and professional!

I hope people understand all of the responsibility involved w/ a beard!

Jeff Irvin

Dude - What is up with the beards? Do I need to grow one? It is because it is hockey season? LOL


I love that you have many leather bound books....bonus points if you know what movie that is from!

And I think you need to wear plaid and only plaid with that beard! Nice work growing that bad boy :)

Wish I had snow here like you guys got - it is so ugly here!


Next time you need to post more of a mugshot type photo. SO I CAN TURN YOU INTO A ZOMBIE!!!


Winter must be beard growing season or something, seeing lots around lately! Yours is looking good and healthy :).

Last time I went sledding (maybe 6 years ago?) I went over a bump and bruised my tailbone and couldn't run for about 3 weeks. Never sledding again - ha. But I agree with you, I like snow for about a day. I like being cold even less than that, so really, winter and I are not best of friends, but no way around it I guess... unless I won a ton of money and could move to Bora Bora!

Very cool boxes, I had no idea you "play" those things!

Ironman By Thirty

I think you too need a bigger sled! haha

I haven't been sledding in forever. Maybe this winter sometime. We like to take the ice skates out once the parks open their rinks.

Nice work on the drum. Looks like some solid craftsmanship right there.

How long did it take for you to post a picture of you NOT smiling? I don't think I have seen you without a smile on your face.


Love the beard!!!

Sledding is so much fun. However last year when Chattanooga got a pretty good snowfall I ended up cracking my tailbone when I it a rock going way too fast down a hill :(

Have a great week


I love random posts... the best way to catch up!

That beard is too much - between you and Matty-O. You look like pure lumberjacks! :)

I love that you build a cajon. Never heard of one (or heard one for that matter). Super cool!

And yay for sledding. Only three more months for you to get that in!!! :) (BTW, a post on our update is coming soon.)

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey)

Quilts, cajons, clothing for dogs? What don't you make? I'm so impressed. The cajon sounds awesome. If I were to just hear it and not know what instrument was bing used, I would have thought it was some sort of fancy, schmancy drum but not a box. Cajon is the Spanish word for box. But you already probably knew that.
I can't believe you haven't made a sled yet. That actually does look like a lot of fun. That may be the only activity I would do in weather like that, besides maybe skiing.
Do you get chobani in your beard like Matty O? I think he just refuses to use a spoon.
You are right about all business w/the bearded look. I used to train a guy way back in the day who had a beard and I hated it b/c I couldn't read him. I could usually get a feel by looking at someone if they were struggling with whatever exercise I had them doing. I told him that I didn't like his beard and he did end up cutting it down some and that helped.
Special request ...can we get a video of you playing the cajon?? Would love to see and hear it. Thanks!


Ok, I haven't been sledding in years... but now I want to go!! :) Looks like sledding was a lot of fun! I love that you guys shared a sled! :)

Caratunk Girl

HEY!! You look very tough with the serious look and the beard. Love it.

Sledding rocks!!!

Yeah I have been not blogging much either. I am just getting so I can read them again.

Jason, Mindy, and Brynlie

Dear "Uncle Doug" :) I think that is such a cute picture of you and Jen-Jen! Love it and miss you guys! Wish I could shoot down the sledding hill with you two! I bet Farley (who gained 17 pounds due to some special medication he was taking) wouldn't be able to keep up with you!

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