Monday, June 28, 2010

California Brown Rice Cooking Instructions

Okay, so you would think that when you type in "cooking directions for California Brown Rice", or "How to Cook California Brown Rice" to google, you would get a straight forward answer...but no.  So, here ya go.

Combine 1.5 cups of water with 1 cup brown rice. 
Let it come to a boil.  
Cover the pot and turn the temperature to the lowest setting.  
Let sit covered for 30-45 minutes.  
Turn off heat.  
Let sit uncovered for 10 minutes.

And in case you're wondering, I bought the rice, threw out the bag (with the instructions) and put it in this pretty glass container on my counter.  Didn't even think about the directions being on the bag.  So, I took a picture of the instructions on the bag the next time I went grocery shopping.  Gotta love cell phones with cameras!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Crestwood Lodge

After months of preparation and days of building, it's finally done!  The Crestwood Lodge (aka:  The Frantz Castle) was completed as of a few hours ago, June 7th, 2010.  Here are some pictures to enlighten you of the transformation.

There used to be a tree in the yard that died, and consequently cost us $300 to remove.

Then, eventually, I planted a meek, yet entertaining none the less, garden.

Finally, we removed the garden and sectioned off an area which we filled with Fiberex from Rexius.

Lots and lots of a million wheel barrels full.

And here it is partway done.  (I love this, because it looks like my dad isn't doing anything...totally not true...just funny.)

And vwalah!  A finished swing set.  Complete with climbing wall, slide, ladder, fort, counter and stools, swings, and glider.

Now all we have to do is truck in the sand for the sandbox!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guitar Tuning Nightmares Explained

So I bought a new guitar, and Scott and I spent an hour last night trying to figure out why when he tuned it, it sounded one way, and when I did it, it was different.  Also, when he played it, it sounded in tune, and when I did, it didn't.  We discovered some really interesting things, and then I found this awesome article.  It's a must read for any guitar player who wants to be in tune.  SO COOL.

Here's the article

Here is a short overview (my summary):
  •  Best Tuner is one with an LED light
  • 1) switch your guitar to its rhythm (neck) pickup, if it has one;
  • 2) roll your guitar's tone knobs all the way off, to remove all the highs; and then
  • 3) pluck the open string right over the twelfth fret, not over the pickup. Try it; you'll be amazed.
  • Tune standing up if you will be standing (yes this makes a difference)
  • Everyone use the same tuner...they can have subtle differences
  • Use heavy strings (they stay in tune longer)
So, all that REALLY helps.  And on top of that, you have to learn how to use the intonation adjusters at the bridge.  This is a whole other story, because you use a screw driver to accurately tune the notes on the 12th fret along with the open can actually make a HUGE difference when you go up the neck, whether it stays in tune or not. Read the section titled "intonation hell" for more.  He also talks about the effect of the truss rod.  Apparently, my new guitar falls into the category he talks about of guitars that have a sharp first fret.  There may be no way to correct this as of yet....I'm still looking into it.

Also, for the crappy news for me, apparently smaller fingers are much more likely to be able to push strings out of tune on an electric guitar.  I'm going to try heavier strings, but the deal is, a smaller finger can create a more V shaped arc between frets than a rounder, larger finger, which creates a more of an undefined U shape.  Believe it or not, this V shape creates out of tune notes if you push too hard.  Oh well, I just need to find some finger fatteners.  HAHA.  Happy tuning!