Monday, November 30, 2009

Recent Conversation

While watching a movie with several very attractive actors and actresses.

Amy: You know, it must actually be really hard to go through life being extremely beautiful or good looking.
Steve: It's not.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fullcurl of Life. Yes folks, that is four pies for four adults, blueberry, maple, pecan and pumpkin. That's four things to be thankful for right there. But there's a lot more I'm thankful for. Here's 100 of them:

1. Looking forward to going to work most mornings
2. Three pointers at the buzzer
3. 14+ years of commitment and counting
4. My Salvation
5. Friends that come to visit from far away
6. Autumn’s smile when I come home in the evening
7. Bands of rams on opening day
8. That magical first hour of daylight
9. The thump of a salmon hitting my dipnet
10. A good tent during a mountain storm
11. A rainbow trout striking a dry fly
12. Sharp chainsaw blades
13. New contact lens day
14. A four wheel drive pick-up when the snow is deep
15. The two minute drill
16. 6-4-3 double plays
17. Walk-off home runs
18. A roaring woodstove on a stormy night
19. Charcoal. T-Bone steak. Alaskan Amber.
20. The sound of trucks on the haul road after a 40 mile hike
21. The way a ram crumples when I pull the trigger
22. Waking up in the night and realizing you still have several hours to sleep
23. Strawberries in season
24. Sheep fat sizzling over a campfire
25. Dishwashers
26. Fall colors
27. Finding a mistake in the checkbook in my favor
28. Parents that are still together
29. Any time the Blazers beat the Lakers
30. Knowing your neighbors
31. A caribou trail through the tussocks
32. Sore muscles after chopping wood
33. The robins song
34. A hunting partner you can trust
35. A baby crawling to me
36. When a verse you’ve read 100 times says something new
37. The smell of fancy coffee, the taste not so much
38. The apples you buy are crispy
39. Having the spare part you need in the junk drawer
40. Wife. Couch. Hot Chocolate. Netflix.
41. That cool, tingly feeling in your legs after a good workout
42. One-handed alley-oop dunks
43. Finding a $20 in the ashtray I didn’t remember was there
44. Nacho Cheese flavored sunflower seeds
45. Unexpected care packages in the mail
46. The music of George Strait
47. Burgers at the Eureka Roadhouse
48. Red sunsets
49. Warm sun. Comfortable tree. Nap
50. Small town parades
51. Fireworks shows
52. Weddings that don’t have dancing
53. Sleeping bag. Dry clothes. Louis L’amour
54. New sock day
55. New razor day
56. The Star Wars Trilogy
57. Friends that understand my obscure movie quotes
58. That we don’t own a dog
59. Sharing the island with the Mad Fishicist and family
60. The Craig Aquatic Center
61. Bacon
62. Old Growth Forests
63. Ice Cream. Blueberry Pie
64. My Remington 700 30.06 Rifle
65. Freedom to worship as I choose
66. Heavy packs at the end of a hunt
67. Eggnog in season
68. Autumn’s giggles
69. Bub and Bonny
70. Becoming better friends with my brother and sister the older we get
71. When I can make Amy laugh
72. electricity
73. The invention of optometry
74. Mountains
75. Hearing the voice of God in the wilderness
76. The Outdoor Channel
77. Owning a garage
78. That I live in Alaska
79. Turkey Wings on Thanksgiving Day
80. My four minute walk/commute
81. When the clouds part and sunbeams stream through
82. All day hunting email fests with Scott
83. Digital photography
84. The NFL playoffs
85. living somewhere you don’t have to lock your doors
86. Sunny days
87. The infinite variety of wildflowers
88. Walks on cemetery island
89. Internet hunting forums
90. Clumping cat litter
91. ESPN
92. The bugle of bull elk
93. Watching the northern lights on a starry night
94. The 2nd Amendment
95. Decent health insurance
96. Good health for me, Amy & Autumn
97. Rainbows
98. A pretty wife
99. A winter’s supply of yellow cedar
100. Flocks of geese flying in a V

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Nothing salves the sting of a big buck that got away like a big buck that didn't. I called this deer in yesterday morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deer Season Update

Bucks deemed too small to kill: 4
Big bucks that have gotten away: 3
Bucks that sniffed the hood of the truck before it was light enough to shoot: 1

Deer season part 2 has been the best of times and the worst of times. The hunting has progressively gotten better since the end of October and we seem to be at the peak of the rut right now. I've passed on numerous opportunities to take small bucks or does. I had the weird experience of driving down a logging road in the dark, seeing a buck in the headlights and watching it walk up to the truck, take a sniff and walk away. Of course I love being in the woods, observing the deer and learning so much about them. That part has all been good. But it's also been extremely disappointing. I've been trying to get a nice buck with my archery gear and screwed up two opportunities at good bucks. Then yesterday morning I called an absolute brute to within 5 feet and couldn't get a shot. I could barely sleep last night playing the woulda-coulda-shoulda game. An awesome experience, but discouraging and depressing. To be continued...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recent Conversation

Amy: Hey, do you remember the name of that actor, he was in...
Steve: Liam Neeson
Amy: Yes! How do you do that!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where's the Kitty?

Amelia has become more and more tolerant (resigned?) of Autumn. Now that Autumn is mobile she endlessly chases the cat, never giving up hope. While Amelia remains confident she can out maneuver and outpace. I recently caught this bit of "cat and mouse."

Where is that kitty?

I can't find her anywhere.

There she is!

There's a few more pictures for the grandparents here at flickr.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Follow-Up To Behold!

At the request of our representative from the Imperial Senate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


"Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long..." -Daniel 8:3

I just wrapped up the taxidermy work on my 2009 ram. This style is called a European mount. I've done Euro mounts myself of several rams. It's cheap and looks classy IMO. In case you happen to find yourself in possession of a skull and would like to try your hand at taxidermy here's my recipe for success:

1. Trim off as much meat and tissue as you can
2. Place skull in a plastic garbage bag and seal off for one-two weeks. This begins the bacterial breakdown of the tissues, but keeps flies out. After this period, remove skull and hit the base of the horns with a mallet. After this time in the garbage bag the horns should just pop right off.
3. With a stiff wire (coat hangers work well) stir up and remove as much brain matter from the skull cavity as possible. Also cut off approximately 2-3 inches of the horn cores off. This allows the horns to go back on correctly and helps get at the tissues inside the horn cores.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a couple good handfuls of baking soda. After a couple minutes to let the soda dissolve into the water, place the skull and boil for approx 45 minutes.
5. Remove skull from boiling water. A lot of flesh should come off very easily. Clean off as much as you can, empty your pot and re-do step 4, boiling for about 20 minutes. The baking soda does a wonderful job of breaking down the tissues.
6. Here's where your patience comes in. With a knife, tweezers and pick you've got to get as much remaining tissue as you can in all those tough to get to spots.
7. Soak skull in white gas. A sheep or deer needs about two weeks, greasy skulls like a bear need to stay in a month or more. The gas acts as a degreaser. Skip this step and your skull will probably yellow over time.
8. Soak skull approx. 24 hours in 40% peroxide solution. This stuff can be obtained at beauty supply stores and is sometimes called Clairoxide 40. Make sure you wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection. This stuff is like acid. This soaking will dissolve all the remaining bits of flesh and bleach the skull to a nice white color.
9. After drying treat the skull to 2-3 coats of clear gloss spray enamel. This protects the skull and gives it a nice finished look.
Now for the horns:
1. After you popped them off the skull there will be tissue inside them. Use a fillet knife and wire brush to remove as much of this tissue as possible.
2. Soak the horns in water with dawn detergent for a couple days. This also acts as a degreaser.
3. Fill horns with borax and let set for a week or so. This helps break down and dry out any remaining tissue and eliminated any stinky-ness.
Now you are ready to put the horns back on:
The last step is reattaching the horns to the skull. This is done with bondo. It doesn't take much, just a couple globs on the end of the horn core. Too much and the bondo will ooze out the bottom of the horn and discolor your skull. Do one horn at a time, allowing the bondo to firm up. Once the horns are re-attached allow approx. 24 hours for the bondo to cure.

And now you are ready to proudly display your trophy.

Carrying Strap Included

Overalls are a great clothing item for babies. They have such convenient built-in handles. As you can see from her smile, Autumn thinks this is a pretty fun method of conveyance as well.