Dave Barnhart

No, not those Dave Barnharts. I’m this Dave Barnhart. I live in Phoenix, AZ and have since 1966.


If you knew me in my 20’s you may have known me as Barney Barnhart instead of Dave Barnhart.

Some of Dave Barnhart’s popular websites and blogs:

Fumbling Foodie

The airplane I built

A website about shooting sports, ammunition reloading, and bullet casting

A Mercedes-Benz 300E I used to own

My current Mercedes-Benz

A blog I’ll finish someday about French Pastry

A blog I started about breadmaking

My ham radio blog

A bit of silliness

I also build websites. Here are two of them:

Buyer Persona Institute


Finding The Pony

There are many variations to the story about the exuberantly optimistic boy who, when presented with a huge pile of horse manure, began jumping excitedly. He dove into the pile and began digging around. When asked why, he replied that with this much manure there was bound to be a pony in there somewhere.

I once told a friend that one of the things I admired about her was that whenever faced with adversity she always began searching for the pony (and usually found it).

Earlier this year I was faced with just such a pile of manure. My biggest client was undergoing some changes and the probability was high that I would see a significant drop in income.  Momentary images of home foreclosure and car repossession flashed through my head.

My second reaction was to begin  a search for new sources of replacement revenue, but my first few attempts were not fruitful. It looked like a tough stressful slog.

Then a little voice said, “Hey, you know that plan you’ve had in the back of your head?  That may be the answer to your problems.”  I had long ago said that when the value of my home got high enough I would sell and buy something – probably smaller – that I could pay cash for. My wife’s input was that if we did so she wanted to move out of the big city and into some place more rural.

The value of my home had risen dramatically in the past year.  A quick check of rural home prices revealed that it might just be possible.  My wife and I took a hard look at the budget and it was apparent that by losing the mortgage and some other expenses, we could live quite well without my biggest client’s revenue.

Three-and-a-half months later, we sit in a jewell of a home about 50 miles from the big city – a home that we own free and clear.  Not only that, we’ve cut our expenses in half. (Our car insurance went down by $950/yr for example.)

And as a result, We’re living a much more stress-free relaxing life.  No big city crowds. No big city traffic.  No big city smog. No big city noise. With a much smaller ‘nut’ to crack every month, I can be much more picky about the clients and projects I take on.  I have much more free time – time for my old hobbies.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say, “Oh I wish I could move into the country to a place all mine.”  I’ve realized that I’m living a dream held by many.

For me, I think of it as finding the pony.

Dave Barnhart Has a Little Fun

“Hello I’m from Microsoft and your computer is sending us messages that it is full of viruses”

Have you received one of those calls?  I get them all the time. I have fun with them, particularly since I’m on a Mac.

Today I managed to keep the guy on the phone for 25 minutes before he gave up in despair.  I play really dumb, as in:

Him: “Click on the Start button”
Me: “The What?”
Him: “The “Windows Start button”
Me: “I don’t see a button named Start”
Him: It’s that button in the taskbar with four little flags.
Me: What’s a Taskbar?”

Then about every 5 minutes I say “Hold on a minute I have to let the cat out.” then I wait 2-3 minutes before getting back on the phone.  About 2 minutes later I say “Hang on I have to let the cat back in.”  The guy today got a little impatient with these constant interruptions so I launched into a story about how I rescued my cat from the Humane Society and he was there in that cold little cage and he was scared and confused, etc etc.)

I figure if I can drive enough of them to suicide it will be worth the time spent.

Dave Barnhart’s Food Blog

I am a gourmet chef and fame a food blog called The Fumbling Foodie.


My passion is taking people who say “I can’t cook” or “I wish I could cook like that” and show then that they CAN cook like that.

I inspire them to cook.

I give then the confidence that they can cook like that.

Fumbling Foodie is fiul of recipes that are simple and easy to prepare and make dinner guests go ‘wow!’

Dave Barnhart’s Thoughts of The New Bond Film, Spectre

A little disappointing.

I remember my first Bond film: 1965.  Thunderball. Totally Completely Awesome.  For me Sean Connery IS James Bond.  No one has ever played Bond as well as Connery.

When Daniel Craig appeared on the screen as the new James Bond, I was pleased.  None of the interloper Bonds were able to pull off the occasional need to be a mean cold-hearted assassin like Connery could.

At the conclusion of Skyfall I really had high hopes.  The Secret Service was returning to the old wood-panelled offices.  The Aston Martin DB5 was back. I thought we were being set up for the return of Classic Bond. Alas no.

There were lots of references to Classic Bond, for sure, the main villain being named Ernst Stravo Bloefeld (complete with cat) being the most prominent. But it’s as if the producers simply threw those references in. Imagine GM building a care with the right front fender reminiscent of a 63 corvette, the left rear fender resembling that of a 57 Chevy,  the left front fender of a 68 Camaro, etc. It wouldn’t look right.  That’s what Spectre felt like: gratuitous use of old iconic images.

I read that the legal rights to the name ‘Spectre’ and ‘Erst Stravo Bloefeld’ had been tied up in legal wrangling for 25 years, and that those terms could now finally be used in a Bond film again.  If that’s true then the producers had the opportunity to create a masterpiece but chose not to.

And I have to admit I miss the double entendres. (“Just a slight stiffness coming on.” – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; “Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She’s just dead” – Thunderball). The producers have taken the serious grittiness too far.

Conclusion: Spectre is an opportunity not lost, but wasted.



Dave Barnhart’s Very Special Banjo


This is a very special banjo.  Three things make it special:

First it is an SS Stewart Special Thoroughbred made in the 1896-1898 time frame.  I’ve always wanted one of these

Second this banjo belonged to my former banjo teacher and mentor, Joe Bethancourt. Joe passed away a little over a year ago, and his wife has begun selling a few of his instruments.  I’ve actually played this very banjo.  Joe brought it to one of our lessons and let me play it as much as I wanted.  Whenever Joe gave a performance this SS Stewart was one of the banjos he played.

Third, when I told my sweet lady wife that I must have this banjo she thought for a minute and then offered to buy it for me as an early 40th wedding anniversary present.

Dave Barnhart Loves Merry Ann


Sometimes I miss a week, but I’m trying to present my Sweet Lady Wife with a fresh red rose and accompanying love note every week.


I was reminiscing about the years between graduating from high school and when I got married (and had to settle down and become a responsible adult). I suddenly realized that some of the people I was close to are no longer alive.

I decided to try to track down as many of my closest friends (male and female) as I could, and reach out to them. It’s been fun reconnected with those who’ve responded.

It was surprising though that two of the people I was closest to gave me the cold shoulder.  It’s been 40 years and people change, I guess.