I have been fascinated with barrels for several years now and for a variety of reasons as well as a variety of barrels.
I'm not sure when it started. It could have been because the Texas/rodeo side of my family have several fairly accomplished barrel racers that I used to watch in awe when I'd visit in the summers. But I don't think that's it.
I think it's when I was looking into rain barrels which in LA is pretty funny because it so rarely rains there. But LA being LA, people wanted to be part of every trend, whether it made sense or not.
I was more interested in composting with barrels. I had been doing research and realized I could speed up the composting process with regular turning of the rotting materials as well as introducing black soldier flies.
I found a very cheap and viable resource for barrels with a local pickle company.
Now, honestly these were more drum than "barrel".
My first major adventure into wooden barrels was when I was set decorating the sequel of Zorro. We were shooting in San Louis Potosi, Mexico which is in the middle of the country on a high desert platue. But we were trying to recreate a hacienda and vineyards around Napa Valley and San Francisco in the central valley of California.
Recently, I've gotten back into barrels on a couple of levels; lifting them for physical fitness and filling smaller ones up with rum.
When I started doing jujitsu after a long break, the owner of the gym was impressed with my strength; he used to call it "old man strong". And in a way he was right. I've been doing some version of strength training ever since I was a kid. One of my first gym memberships was at the legendary Gold's Gym in Venice, CA. But I think most of my physical strength has come from working, whether it be landscaping or furniture moving. Handling and lifting odd objects works your core and grip strength like nothing else.
When I decided to start getting back in shape, I turned to a wonderful book that I've had for a while, Dinosaur Training by Brooks D. Kubik
Several times when I have made the journey to Burning Man, I've camped with the Funk Pirates, so it seemed appropriate to bring an ample supply of rum and what better way to store and serve it than from a traditional barrel. I started with a couple smaller ones and have upped my game this year to a nice 10 liter one with my Hunter S. Thompson tribute/ Gonzo symbol burned into the face of it.
I was aging the rum in it for a bit, but recently uncorked it, literally, to give it a taste.
And one thing led to another....
But I'll be refilling it later today and putting it to bed until I get to Burning Man later in August. That will give it a nice time age a bit and soak in the oak flavor.
Blue Burner Barrel
Fun with alliteration; The blue barrel has already been to burning man and will return with me again this year, the little friend to the left is not really a barrel, it's a bear resistant canister aka a bear vault to keep bears away from you food when camping. I've found that more importantly it keep mice out which we found out while hiking the Appalachian Trail were more invasive than bears especially in that neck of the woods. It might be a different story out West like up in Mammoth Lakes.
Jon Danniells is an adventurer and traveler, a teacher and student, a husband and a father, a cook and a farmer, a "week-end warrior" (very amateur athlete) and has not earned any money on these labors of love.When I googled myself what showed up first was my IMDB listing, which is basically a resume for my 20 and then some year career in film, for which I fortunately do get paid.