Friday, September 6, 2019

Greens and Machines Soundtrack Volume 1

If you've been watching our YouTube videos, you have definitely heard the music in them. That music has been compiled by none other than Diecaster D. AKA DJ Petesake. Now on his Soundcloud is the first volume of instrumentals we've used in our videos. Have a look! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The First Sunflower Blooms | #sunflowerchallenge2019

The first of the 4 sunflowers I've got growing for #sunflowerchallenge2019 has bloomed! This is a variety called Mammoth Russian, but being confined to a container garden, they are not quite that size.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Gardener IRL reacts to Old School RuneScape Farming

If you haven't noticed from some of our blog posts and design inspirations, we played a lot of RuneScape in the past. Back in 2005 when we first played, Jagex revealed the farming skill. At first I was a bit put aback by it because who on earth would want to grow virtual vegetables when you can do it outside. Well, the skill was fairly popular, a little addicting, and a good moneymaker in RuneScape itself. And eventually after that, Farmville and Farming Simulator were created and released so that answers my question regarding the genre.

Here are the main points of the video:

Saturday, August 31, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from August 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of August! In total, a total of 6 vids were released. This month had some excellent cooking and gardening videos! More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

Best French Bread Dinner Rolls Recipe | Learn how to Bake
"I finally found a recipe for bread that I liked. A lot." -- Vinny

Friday, August 30, 2019

Rocket Arugula

Arugula (or Rocket) is a vegetable in the cabbage family known for its peppery tasting leaves. Great tasting in salads and on pizza. The plant bolts rapidly, so continuously sow it for a harvest all season. It is incredibly easy to save seeds from it too. (Article coming soon!)

Monday, August 19, 2019

How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies | Recipe

To break in the kitchen in my new place, I made some cookies. You can too if you follow this recipe and the directions outlined in the video above.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Bicycle Collision Repair

bicycle collision repair before and after
Oh no! My bike got smashed in a car crash.  I've never had this happen in 10 years of biking, and I didn't really know how to handle the whole situation.  What happened?  Well, check the poorly drawn diagram below. (not so poorly drawn, because one of those helped me win back $360 from the police in a court case once!)
bicycle basket and wheel after car crash
I was cruising down the street at night, and somebody stopped at a stop sign ahead of me "didn't see me" (a pretty reasonable claim considering the ENTIRE ROW OF STREET LIGHTS that stretch of street happened to be off, though I still had my Niterider light on, so not a good enough excuse) and started turning left as I was within feet of passing in front of him.  As a result, I smashed into his left mirror completely destroying it, and was sent spiraling leftward into the street and- fortunately there was no traffic behind me- landing on my side with minor injuries to my ribs and foot. 
How did it feel?  It felt like I just got off a really good roller coaster.  Literally.  I walked away laughing.  I know things could've been worse, had I not been wearing a helmet, or if I was hit directly by the front of the car, or if there were traffic behind me to run me over, but I am thankful it wasn't that serious.
I wasn't really in the mood to call the police, I was in a bit of a hurry to get home to eat some cashews and figs after partying at the 80's bar (no I wasn't drinking), and didn't want to make things complicated.  The guy gave me $100 of hush money to "buy a new bike" and gave me a ride home.  Fortunately, I only needed $4 of those dollars to buy a new wheel from The Bicycle Tree (the tire and tube were completely unharmed).  At first I was panicking about needing a new fork, but it turned out to be undamaged as well.  Thank goodness for the shock absorbing power of steel rims!
bike hitting car diagram

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Save $2000 a year by making your own Avocado Toast | The Millennial Path to Homeownership

Millennials, are you looking to buy a house in the neighborhood your parents grew up in? You've got to start saving some cash! Want to start saving an extra $7/day or $35 a week? Well keep reading because you'll learn how to cut out a huge daily expense hurting your wallet.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Best French Bread Rolls Recipe

Recently, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect bread recipe. My initial attempts were met with some success. I found a good recipe which ended up tasting like Hawaiian sweet rolls. I liked how they turned out... except for one time where the dough collapsed on itself. Whoops. I tried out a second recipe I found online. After tasting the finished product from this recipe, I think I have found the best way to make dinner rolls and loaves. Here's how you can make them:

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from July 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of July! In total, a total of 7 vids were released. This month had some excellent metalworking and gardening videos! More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

I Made Wine from Golden Beets. Here's how it Tastes
"Did I end up liking this wine after making it?" -- Vinny

Khachapuri | The Next Avocado Toast?

I was recently introduced to this dish after browsing an online image board. After seeing how it looked and what was in it, I had to bake it. Some research later and I had already gone off to buy the cheese.

If you can identify as one of the following, I recommend closing your browser now and looking at a different web page:
Gluten intolerant
Lactose intolerant

What you may see may offend you. I deeply apologize that you will not get to enjoy eating this wonderful creation. With that out of the way, let's talk about this dish. Or click here to skip ahead on how to make it.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Birdproofing my Grapes | July 2019 Vineyard Progress

How do I keep my vineyard safe from birds? By using an ancient technique learned last year. Paper bags. Watch the video to learn more.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Foundry - First Attempted Production Run with The Molding Press - Casting Soap Dishes with The Foundry (Video)

In this video, I fire up the foundry to attempt to cast a lot of aluminum soap dishes. I put the soap dish mold and molding press to the test to see how they stand up to a full production run. Leave a comment in the video if you are interested in buying an soap dish.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sunflower Challenge 2019 #sunflowerchallenge2019

For the past two years my brother has entered Emma's Spareroom Toolmaking Competition which he's built some amazing creations. This year I found out about the sunflower challenge hosted by Nick's Allotment Diary so I decided I too would participate in a YouTube creator challenge for my area of expertise. Nick's challenge runs until October of this year, so even though I've been way behind on my gardening, I still have plenty of time to catch up thanks to the climate of my area. Let's get my seeds started for #sunflowerchallenge2019.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Moving the Garden to the other side of the yard | Garden Update Week of July 1

Welcome to summer! Some interesting changes have happened to the garden since last month, namely it is now in a new location due to some landscaping by my landlord. Now it's getting a lot of afternoon sun instead of the usual morning sun. Will my plants get cooked???

Monday, July 1, 2019

Golden Beet Wine Taste Test

After spending two weeks sitting in my bathtub and with no more noticable airlock activity, it came time to process this golden beet wine forward. The beets have been suspended in solution of wine, so my first step is to get the liquid decanted from the "fruit".

Sunday, June 30, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from June 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of June! In total, a total of 7 vids were released. This month having some excellent machining videos! More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

Making Wine from Golden Beets
"I wanted to see how wine from beets would taste so I decided to make some." -- Vinny

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 2019 Vineyard Progress

See how far along the container vineyard has come from the previous month and sees how many grapevines are actually flowering.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Which Grape Varietals grow best in your Location | Learning the AVA system

If you are starting your own vineyard in your backyard or in containers, and you want to make wine using your homegrown grapes, the quick and dirty method to knowing what varietals will grow best in your area is to see if there are any vineyards in your area and to plant the same grapes they are growing.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Foundry - Building a Permanent Molding Press (Video)

The long awaited upgrade to the soap dish mold is complete!  When I last (and first) casted the soap dish, we had incredible difficulty getting the casting out of the mold.  I decided to build this molding press to make the process easier, and it worked!  This was also my entry to the 2019 toolmaking competition hosted by Emma's Spareroom on Youtube, which was a great incentive to get this project done at last.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Golden Beet Wine the Amish Way

Back when I hypothesized making mead and after making wine from grape juice concentrate, I wanted to try making wine from beets for some reason. Seemed like an obvious choice for how filled with sugar beets are. Some discussion with coworkers regarding beets made me remember this idea, so at the farmer's market last weekend, I bought some Golden Beets.

Friday, May 31, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from May 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of May! In total, a total of 8 vids were released. This month having a lot more than typical as the garden is being restored! More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

DIY PVC Seed Starting Rack Speedbuild

"Time to get my garden restarted at my new residence. This was the best thing to bring back to help with organization." -- Vinny

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

My Seedlings Nearly Died to Hail | Garden Update Week of 5/26/2019

What a crazy week of weather! For June just around the corner, we've been having cool weather and lots of rain and even hail! I had to dash outside to grab my seedlings so they didn't get destroyed! Crazy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Portable Hydroponic Market Gardening? | 72 Plant NFT Vertical Hydroponic Build DIY

Can this hydroponic garden build be used as a portable market garden?
Although I've moved and haven't reestablished my hydroponic garden yet, I still have some practical ideas of how to use this design commercially. I've even tried selling the whole garden too, but after thinking up what I'm about to share in this blog post, I will keep it unless I'm convinced otherwise. I've had several ideas about how using the NFT I built last year could be used for market gardening. This all stems from a business model Curtis Stone of Green City Acres has proven and from a concept seen in this YouTube video.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Best and Worst Vegetables and Herbs to Buy from a Nursery

My gardening philosophy is to start all my plants from seeds. But there have been times when I'm far behind on the season and I need a plant to help get my garden established, or the plant I want to grow is a pain to start from seed. In this article, you will learn which vegetable starts are worth buying from a nursery, and which ones you are better off starting from seed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Progress is being made | Container Garden Update Week Ending May 11

After the first week of planting, let's see the progress in the garden. There was not too much going on, so there won't be a garden update video this week. Please let me know if you like seeing my garden updates in video format. You can watch last week's video by clicking this link.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Best Vegetables to grow in 2 gallon container gardens

As mentioned in my other article, 7 Vegetables that can grow well in 1 gallon containers, it is best to use the biggest sized container to grow your plants. One of the standard sized containers at my local nursery supply store is a 2 gallon container. There are other sources of these sized containers, such as pastry filling buckets if you plan to recycle. A few advantages of these containers is that they do not take up much more space than the 1 gallon containers and having twice the soil capacity also increases the options of vegetables you are able to successfully grow in your container garden. Here is a list of my 7 favorite vegetables that grow well in two gallon containers.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Back to my Roots | Starting a New Container Garden

Although I'm off to a late start, it's time to put my new garden space to work. This season, I'm able to plant a few containers with some plants. What are the best plants and methods to take advantage of this limited space though? I know all the answers to this question as I'm no stranger to this style of gardening.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Anaheim Pepper

Anaheim Peppers are my favorite non-spicy pepper. These peppers grow somewhat long and are easy to harvest and spot because of that. Very easy to grow these and you can probably fit them easily in small container gardens.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Reassembling the Seed Starting Shelf | Speed Build | Video

Around this time two years ago, I built an indoor shelf out of PVC to help get my seeds started. I had it disassembled in the individual PVC pieces as it stored nicely when I was not using it. After having it in pieces for several months and several moves, I decided it would actually help with the organization with my new container garden setup as things had started to get a little messy.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Checking in on my New Years' Resolutions and Store Announcement | Vinny

2019 is flying by pretty fast, wouldn't you say? 1/3rd of the way down and 8 months left to go. Let's see how I'm holding up against the resolutions I made back in January, what to expect coming in the summer months, and an important announcement at the end of this post.

Resolution #1: Weekly blog posts
I had promised at least 1 post per week in my resolution, as I count now, excluding the video recap posts and individual posts for the Trader Joe's Beers, I'm up to 15 posts, which you can count to check my math by clicking here. Considering that 18 weeks have already passed, I'm a little behind schedule. Oops. The good news is that I have a lot of new ideas for blog posts and videos coming up. With summer approaching and my living circumstances now different, you can look ahead to a fresh new garden. I'm really excited about being able to grow again.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from April 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of April. In total, a total of 6 vids were released. More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

I Tasted these Honey Bunches of Oats Flavors so you don't have to

"I was baited by an instagram ad so I had to try these cereals for the novelty. They tasted exactly how I thought they would." -- Vinny

How many grapevines do you need to grow to make a bottle of wine?

A lot of people have been asking me how much wine I've been able to make from my container vineyard. The harsh truth is... not that much.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

D.I.Y. Toilet Paper

Okay, I was hoping it wouldn't have to come down to this, but I ran out of toilet paper, and the nearest store only had paper towels.  They just so happened to be these environmentally friendly recycled ones from Seventh Generation, but nonetheless, they'll do the job.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Grapevine Acquisitions and Vineyard Update April 2019

Now that all the grapevines are out of dormancy, it's time to take a look at them and predict how the season will go.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

We Brewed in a Hailstorm -- Hail Storm Surprise Altbier Brew Day

The last brew day at my little condo was quite extreme. It also happened to be the latest in the day I've started brewing.
This brew my buddy from the Dunkelweissen brew day came to join me going half-in on this batch. We initially discussed making some kind of amber ale, but those plans got slightly.... altered. From my Trader Joe's Beer Reviews, I really liked the flavor of the Alternate Dimension Altbier enough to try a brew of that style. Here is the recipe we came across for that style:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Top 6 $1 beers from Trader Joe's

If you are a frequent shopper at Trader Joe's and visit the alcohol for some fine $3 wine or other beverages, you may have seen their house brand beers. Believe it or not, even though they cost $1 each before any taxes or CRVs, these are an incredible value. Let's review my 6 favorite $1 beers they have for sale.

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Alternate Dimension Altbier Ale

Tasting notes:

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Josephsbrau Hefeweissen

Tasting notes:

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Josephsbrau Spring Prost Maibock

Tasting notes:

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Josephsbrau PLNZR

Tasting notes:

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale

Tasting notes:

Trader Joe's Beer Review: Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

Tasting notes:
Very dark, good roasted character and good mouthfeel from the roasted oats.
Probably my favorite of the $1 Trader Joe's beers is Stockyard Oatmeal Stout.

Stockyard Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 5.2%
Flavor Profile: Roasted; caramel, malty
My rating: 8.5/10

Timestamped video review and tasting:

Sunday, March 31, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from March 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of March. In total, a total of 5 vids were released. More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

Gemüseeintopf 2 | How to make Vegetable Stew: Beach BBQ Style

@diecaster_d makes the dish which a classic German rap video is based off of... at the beach!

Completing The Computer Lab - Curtain Rod

The final structural addition to the loft bed computer lab was to add the curtains.  I had some curtains left over from my old apartment which my mom made for me, but unfortunately, we accidentally donated the curtain rods.  Thankfully, the Law of Scrap Alchemy saved the day when I found this extended mop/squeegee handle in the trash that happened to be the perfect length to span the entrance to the computer lab!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Let There Be Light! - Computer Lab Lighting

I initially bought these LED light bulbs to replace the ones in the chandelier at my house.  The only problem was, the threaded parts weren't long enough to screw all the way down into the light socket and complete the circuit (perhaps this is why they were on clearance at the grocery store). What's even more embarrassing was while trying to switch out the light bulbs, I broke one of the glass panels in the chandelier!
Having had to admit defeat, I had these light bulbs still, and needing some lighting for the computer lab under my loft bed, I bought a couple light fixtures to use them.  Not surprisingly, I had the same problem of the light bulbs bottoming out before reaching the bottom contacts.  This time, however, I was able to take matters into my own hands and put the sockets into the lathe and turn down some of the plastic.  Bingo! They worked!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Repairing The Tray

One of my favorite early projects on this website was the tray.  Though simple, it has proved to be very useful.
Check out the original tray post here
However, after 6 years of long and hard use as a dish rack, the wood panel started getting moldy.  Nasty!  Time to upgrade to metal!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Beer Battered Everything! Best Beer Batter for Frying Fish, Scallops, and Calamari -- Lent Special

I love fried fish, and I had been struggling to find a decent fry batter recipe for making it. I eventually found this incredibly simple recipe posted up on Paste Magazine, and after trying it out the first time with scallops, I fell in love. So now that it's Lent again, it's time to break out the fish!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hitting level 85 Smithing IRL | Painting the Ingots

Back when I was visiting home for winter, I managed to snag the aluminum ingots that Diecaster_D cast in his foundry. Despite being great paper weights, I thought they could use a good paint job to actually look like something out of Runescape.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Brake Job from Hell featuring @vinnysvic

Today we are going to feature something a bit different.
My car, a 2005 Crown Victoria was due for a brake job. When braking, I would experience some vibration coming through the brake pedal upon being compressed. It wasn't a serious issue, but it had to be fixed eventually. In the past, I had done a brake job on my other car so this was not going to be my first rodeo. I had been procrastinating on doing this task for a while, but after helping out a friend with his car earlier in the same day, I decided to stop by AutoZone to rent a torque wrench to get the job done. I figure it was a good day to do the front pads and rotors and thought it shouldn't take too long, right?

Monday, March 4, 2019

How to Make Soft Pretzels | Perfect snack to enjoy with Homebrew

^Check out the video recipe guide!

I was inspired to make these soft pretzels after reading the experience another homebrewer had making them to enjoy with his beer. So I decided to try out the recipe for myself. (thanks to /u/kyrgyznomad and his reddit post for the inspiration)
The recipe linked in his post is adapted from the website Sally's Baking Addiction. You can visit her site by clicking the link there, but I've also posted the ingredients needed at the bottom of this post. These pretzels looked simple enough to make so I went for it. Let's get baking!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

YouTube Recap | Videos from February 2019

In case you are not subscribed to our YouTube Channel or you missed one, here are the videos we released in the month of February. In total, a total of 6 vids were released. More videos are coming, so don't forget to subscribe!

Hydroponic Gardening | The Truth behind hydroponic nutrient blends

"To help readers of all the hydroponics DIY guides get a good start on their systems, I break down what kind of nutrient blend is perfect for starting out growing." -- Vinny

Monday, February 25, 2019

Building The Desk For The Computer Lab

To make the desk going underneath the loft bed, I began with some scrap wood.
First drilling some holes to clear the screws.  I gave the old hand drill a chance to avoid bothering my roommates with noise.  This worked fine until I had to drill the screw pilot holes with the very small drill where I ended up breaking the bit since I couldn't spin it fast enough and hold it straight.  I guess that's what I get for "trying to help".  The center drill in the plastic collet was used for countersinking the holes.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019

Pizza Time! | How to make Homemade Pizza Dough and White Alfredo Sauce

Lately I have been making pizza with an amazing dough recipe and awesome sauce recipe, and I would like to share both. Skip ahead to the recipes: DOUGH SAUCE
First let's look at some awesome pizzas I've made with this dough.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Diecaster D.'s New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year everybody!
Yeah I guess waiting until Lunar New Year gave me an extra month to reconsider my goals for the year, but better late than never eh?

Monday, February 4, 2019

I Was Interviewed On "Barefoot & Bearded" Podcast

Joel Robinson, founder of the local nonprofit Naturalist For You, had me over for an interview.  We discussed various topics including how I got into bicycling, building stuff, and making music, as well as my fabled castor bean poisoning story.  We also dispelled the urban myth that childbirth is supposed to be painful, and of course, explored areas of southern California's natural history.
Tune in for an exclusive glimpse into the mind of your favorite (or second favorite) Greens and Machines writer!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

19" Equipment Rack

Welcome back to Wooden February!!!!
*Wooden February is a trademark of MJTV
After a manic shopping spree, I finally had enough studio equipment to need another 19" rack.  I decided to build one from scratch using some reclaimed pine wood.
E-Mu morpheus and mo'phatt
Starting by cutting the wood pieces on the table saw.