Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

My Coronavirus Staycation...

     Some of you may have heard that we're in the midst of a pandemic. I kid you not; a full blown, world wide (hence the name) pandemic. Precautions include stay at home orders for non essential workers. Hmmmm... OK. I can do that. In fact it's not much different from most days here. I'd like to share some photos from my shelter in place isolation.

     This is the year I wanted to get bees. I've been planning them for a couple of years, but last year was a bit hectic with some health issues. So this is the year. I want to use natural methods with local swarms so I started building a swarm trap. This is basically a box with a few frames in it for bees to set up a temporary home. These frames then get transferred to the permanent hive 2-3 weeks after a swarm moves in.

     I still need to build the lid, paint it, and finish the frames, but I got a lot done yesterday. While the trap is out I'll build the hive and another 20 frames. If you have any interest in natural beekeeping, check out Horizontal Hives. Dr. Leo Sharashkin is a good speaker and provides simple instruction and plans for natural beekeeping. You can also purchase most of the products from his site if you don't want to build it all yourself.

     Doc says I need to lose weight. Exercise is a must. The gym is closed so it's time to be splitting all of that wood I had seasoning. There is also another 1000sq ft of bamboo to clear, quail pens to build, and two gardens to prep for planting.

     Water purification has been on my mind a lot. If things get really weird out there, I want to be able to distill my own water and other products. You know I have to use that corn and rye I grew last year somehow. The simplest method is a pot still. I also tapped a few walnut trees. Making syrup requires removing the water. Next year I'll try distilling the sap. Water vapor should boil off, condense, and leave me with syrup in the pot and distilled water at the drip end. Two birds, one stone, and all that jazz.

     Right before the virus stuff, I started reading Steven Erikson's Malazan series. This has been fulfilling my relaxation reading time. It's about 18,000 pages of fiction by two authors in 22+ books. They're some of my favorite fantasy fiction novels of all time. It's not easy reading but toothsome and satisfying.

     I've also made some tome for painting and sculpting. I'm working on some Burrows and Badgers warbands and a British Penninsular army for Black Powder. There are also a couple of French commanders that were sitting on my shelf.

     Another fantasy series that I've always loved is Glen Cook's Black Company. I started sculpting some 15mm miniatures for that. The Taken are on the table now. Finishing these will probably coincide nicely with the when businesses are open again.

     Well... most of the other stuff going on is of the standard daily living variety. Routine chores are keeping me grounded. The occasional distant chat with a neighbor across the street and conversations via text, phone and email help keep me emotionally connected. All in all, things are well and Dude abides.

     Feel free to share your personal projects and thoughts about all of this in the comments. Take care, stay well, and be kind to each other.


daveb said...

Recommended not to distil syrup inside the house. I was interested in doing it one year and the 'big leaf sugaring" handook I got mentioned a story of someone's house getting yet enough the wall paper was falling off.

Very cool projects though! It was a tough winter for locally. I know a few keepers who were wiped out (including myself)

Rodrick Campbell said...

I usually do my evaporating outside on the fire. This year I only got 4 gallons of sap so I took care of it indoors. A farm manager friend of mine says I can put taps in in December and every day it's above 40 deg it will run. So next year I expect to have a lot more.