Category: Fun Stuff

Nov 25 2018

Sweet Nutty Kale Salad

Personally, I never really liked any kale salad until tried this recipe at thanksgiving. I asked the cook for the basics of what was in it and came up with my own variation. It is simple and easy to make. A mix of kale, nuts and cheese with a sweet sugar free vinegar/oil dressing. Hope you like it.

Sweet Nutty Kale by Nick

This is truly a “put as much as you want” anything goes types of recipes. Add whatever in any amount. The exception is the oil/vinegar ratio in the dressing which is fixed in the chemistry of cooking. Its always a ration of 1:3. 1 part vinegar and 3 parts oil. Boom…

Kale Mix
1/2 Bag (16 oz) of chopped kale from the store Recommend chopping the kale up some as there may be some big pieces in it.
..starting amount.. 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
..starting amount.. 1/4 cup of pumpkin seed
..starting amount.. 1/8 cup of slivered almonds
..starting amount.. 1/3 cup Cranraisins (chopped)
..starting amount.. 1/4 cup Feta Cheese

Dressing… (basically just a balsamic type dressing)

In a mixing jar add the following….

– 3/4 Cup olive oil
– Dash of dijon mustard if you have any for a bit of tartness (it also helps bring the oil/vinegar together)
– 1/4 cup of vinegar. A mix of balsamic / apple cider / rice vinegar (my favorite) to taste.
***My mix is mostly balsamic and a little rice vinegar. Each one of these vinegars add a different character to the dressing.

Add to taste:
-Sugar free maple syrup.. whatever amount tickles your sweet tooth.
-Salt, pepper, garlic powder, or whatever spices you like

Shake the dressing jar vigorously and put as much as you want on the kale mix (start with 1/2 cup). Toss the salad and put in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the favors blend.

The leftover dressing does not need to be refrigerated and is perfect for your next salad.

Mar 21 2016

Building Tips: Epoxy Brushes

Here is a building tip for your epoxy brush.

I use a cheap Harbor Freight brush and just throw it away when done. Gone are the days of trying to clean a brush.

The problem is: A paint brush makes for a louse epoxy brush. Many times you are left to pick up the brush bristles which come off and it is not very good for stippling the fiberglass to wet it out. This is mainly due to the bristles be designed for painting not epoxy work.


The tip is to just cut off the tip for a square end!


The shorter the bristles are near the handle the stiffer the brush is for epoxy work. The added benefit is I rarely find orphan bristles on my work.

Feb 19 2015

Ice Art

We had a very cold night last night and apparently my neighbor had run his sprinkler in his garden for some perfectly logical but mystifying reason. It made for some interesting ice pictures.



I even had one hanging off my deck. So Cool!!


Sep 15 2013

Pictures of Charleston

Today I mostly spent time with my camera taking pictures of Charleston. I wanted to try out a few different camera lenses and playing.

This is an enormous Citadel class ring at the campus of the Citadel. It is the neighborhood of 5 feet tall.


They must have the boys out there every day shining this puppy.


Established in 1680, St. Philip’s Church, the mother church of Anglicanism in the Carolinas, is the oldest Anglican congregation south of Virginia


The market street area a great place for horse tours.


Circular Congregational Church of Charleston, SC was founded in 1681 and is one of the oldest continuously worshipping congregations in the South.


Washington Square, located at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, is one of the city’s premiere parks. This historic location is home to Charleston City Hall, renovated within the last few years.



Apr 19 2013

Test drive of a Tesla electric car

Today I had an opportunity to drive a Tesla electric car. It is incredibly beautiful, can go 250 miles on a charge. This car is changing the worlds attitude on the future of electric cars.


The interior and features are amazing. It has a 17” display in the center console to monitor all function of the car.


I really enjoyed the experience. I found the car to have terrific acceleration, really quiet but with just a slight whine. Overall, a nice experience.

I told the sales lady I wanted to buy one (the current price is about $110,000). She got really excited and asked me when I would like to pick it up. I said, “in about 10-15 years”. She wasn’t as excited then…

A new Tesla is unaffordable for me, and I can’t justify the price when my current car gets 41 mph on the highway. The payback period would be …well, I couldn’t live that long. I love my Benz, it is almost as quite, and has lots more features then the Tesla. I would still give the Benz up if it was a smart move, but alas it is not.

My plan is to wait 10-15 years and when the battery pack wears out on a nice car, buy it then. No one with the resources to buy a new Tesla would every replace the battery pack of a 10 year old car to get another 10 years of driving out of it. THey would just buy a new one and sell the car.

I’ll be able to buy a used one one very cheaply, replace the battery pack myself (about $10-14,000) and get the car of my dreams at a price I can live with.


I sure would look good in one, but now now!

Apr 07 2013

Family Circle Cup

A friend of mine invited me to take photographs of the Family Circle cup Tennis Tournament. Although I am not really into tennis I thought it would be fun to take pictures with an expert and learn the best way to photograph a tennis event. This was the last day of the tournament and finals for doubles and singles.


The woman’s finals came down to

Jelena Jankovic


My favorite action shot of her…


and Serena Williams. Serena had beaten her sister Venus the day yesterday.


This is my favorite picture of Serena


Her award cup.



The mayor of Charleston, Joseph Riley.


What a great time taking pictures today. I really enjoyed the experience.

Apr 06 2013

Bored in Charleston

If you are ever board in Charleston, it is because you want to be. Take for example this weekend. There is a choice of:

The Cooper River Bridge Run …estimated 39,000 people running/walking

The Lowcountry Cajun Festival …. Zydeco music and Cajun/Creole Foods


The Flowertown Festival in Summerville …arts and crafts
The Family Circle Cup …Women’s Tennis Association Tournament
Wings and Wheels … A car show/air show in Walterboro

Hum, what to do. I wish I could do everything, but will go with the air show, Flowertown and tennis.

Today started with a 8 min flight to Walterboro with Frank a C-17 pilot and a good friend to check out Wings and Wheels.


This is a most unusual color for a Velocity XL. The owner had flown from Jacksonville FL to attend the show.


I would guess maybe 50 planes showed up. Frank and I stayed for about 2 hours and we left just before the airshow started as they close the field and I didn’t want to get stuck there for a few hours.


After flying around Charleston for about 1.5 hrs working on my IFR recertification, we had lunch and headed up to the Flowertown Festival.

What a crowd! I heard 200,000 people attend the festival over it’s 3 day run.


We spent a few hours there checking out the music and stuff the artisans were selling and headed home.

Mar 16 2013

Bridge Photos

Today I went bike riding across the Ravenel bridge again.

It is quite a lovely structure.




What is cool about this fishing pier is that is built on the foundation supports of the old bridge. They just cut them off and reused them. What a great way to create a new park and save money on removal of the old structure.


Mar 10 2013

Plane Photo Shoot

Today, Scott and I flew some formation flying for the first time. A friend of of mine (Frank) graciously offered to do some aerial photography of our planes and gave me over 300 pictures when we were done. I assembled the best 40 or so plane pictures and made a short YouTube video. BTW, there is a geography teaser at the beginning of the presentation.

Frank, Jenny and Scott outside the Aero Club hangar where we keep our planes.


We had a great time flying and racked off 1.6 hrs around the bridges and beach areas of Charleston.


Although it looks like I am flying close to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridges, I am quite a distance away and it an optical illusion.



The Morris Island lighthouse was originally built in 1767, distorted and rebuilt in March 1873 and was in service until 1962.


Beach erosion has now moved the shore line1600 ft away from the lighthouse. The foundation was stabilized in 2009 to ensure it will be around for future generations.

A nice shot of Scott, the bridge and North Charleston where the new container ship terminal will be built.

A great flight back to base….


Jan 26 2013

Rusty Birthday Present

Last night I stopped by to see Rusty who lives 3 house down from me for his surprise birthday party. Just a bunch of locals all drinking beer having fun with a few of the band members in attendance.


Much to my surprise, my mole gag gift to Rust was hilarious. At first no one could figure out exactly what it was. Is it real? A toy? Stuffed? Battery operated? It came nicely wrapped in an sealed Amazon box complete with bubble wrap to protect the goods.

Rusty figured it out really quickly (I think he was still mostly sober at the time) and handed the bag to Bubba who wanted to check the little guy and get a closer look at the prize. By then everyone at the party was watching and laughing.


At first Bubba couldn’t quite figure out what he was handed (I think he was less sober than the rest). Out it came from the bag for a closer examination and then he put it in his hand and started stroking it… “Pet your mole” everyone started yelling. He responded “I want to see if would start moving (batteries operated)”.


Finally after a few minutes of poking and prodding, he sniffed the mole to see if it was real. I thought I was going to die laughing. Everyone was cracking up. You could just see singular moment the light of awareness came to him and off he ran to the bathroom to wash his hands after which the mole was re-bagged and was passed around for all to enjoy.

Guitar and dobro music…


Bubba was a great sport and we all laugh and talked about it for the rest of the evening. Rusty loved it. I was pleased.

Who would have thought a dead mole gift for Rusty’s 47th birthday would be the hit of the party. This surprise birthday party had a special surprise that he will certainly remember and laugh about for years.


You never know what will bring humor to people. Go figure….


As I was leaving I asked Bubba’s daughter (Bubbet I think), what happened to the mole. She told me here and her dad (Bubba) were going to “take it home to feed it to their snake”.

Recycling with a purpose… I like that!

Later I was told the snake turned up is nose (snout maybe) at the offering. Let the bio-degradation begin.