The Aspiring Pioneer

Glenn Cook - DIYEG

First off, welcome to DIYEG. I don’t know how you may have found this remote outpost in a dusty corner of the Internet, but I’m grateful that you’re here to share my journey of new experiences. Hopefully we’ll learn something together along the way.

Glenn Cook - DIYEG
Your fearless writer, showing off the digit I am likely to lightly burn or whack with a hammer over the course of preparing an entry for this very blog.

Before we get too far, allow me to introduce myself: I’m Glenn. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am a magazine editor in Edmonton, Alberta, and I am a fan of many things: Arsenal Football Club, for one; the Calgary Flames; punctuation (including the sparing use of exclamation points); the City of Edmonton itself (which I realize is incongruous with the whole Flames thing); cute animal GIFs; and the Great British Bake Off (though I can’t bake worth a lick myself), along with the many other television shows that populate my DVR. I enjoy music, though I would say my tastes are mercurial and my favourite band changes on a week-to-week basis. I have, shall we say, an intermittent presence on various social media platforms, though I am hoping to start posting more frequently soon. It turns out that finding something that I think is worth saying can be a challenge at times.

But two other things I enjoy — and the two things that I anticipate this blog will mainly centre around — are cooking and working with my hands. Specifically, my wife and I have become fascinated of late with making things by hand that we normally would go to a store to purchase, or doing things ourselves that we would normally hire a professional to do.

This kind of started when we bought a cheese-making kit at a craft fair, which subsequently sat unused in our cupboard for a couple of years; a fair few gallons of milk spoiled in the fridge as we dragged our feet on actually turning it into mozzarella. But then, at the Taste of Edmonton festival in 2015, we enrolled in an afternoon cheese-making course, and we saw first-hand from the instructor how easy it could be — and how delicious the results were.

That gave us the confidence to buy another gallon of milk, break out the kit at home and try our hand at making mozzarella. There have been mixed results, but trial and error is all part of the process, right? If something goes wrong, I’m the sort of person who will retrace my steps and try to figure out exactly what it was, and make double-sure it doesn’t happen again. I may forget several steps leading up to the one that tripped me up last time, but that’s for the next debriefing.

Since then, I have started taking up other little projects around the house, trying to expand my handyman repertoire. I took up a bit of woodburning in the summer, and done a bit of picture framing as well. Pretty basic stuff, I grant you, but there is still an immense sense of satisfaction that comes with getting your hands dirty and finishing a job. Bonus points if, in real life, it actually looks like you envisioned in your head.

So, with generous tips of the cap to people like Nick Offerman and Gordon Ramsay, this blog will hopefully serve as both documentation of my own exploits in exploring new projects, with helpful hands-on tips along the way, and as inspiration for you, dear reader, to get your hands dirty as well. A little more self-sufficiency never hurt anyone; at the very least, we’ll be a little more prepared and a little valuable when the zombie apocalypse happens.

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