Sunday, June 28, 2009


Just a collection of pictures taken over the past few days...

Kent bought this model steam engine at an estate sale.

I'm supposed to find out the maker. I have searched to no avail.

Kent needed one of these rolls of plastic sheeting cut in two. Gregg tried a sawzall.

Jim tried his chainsaw but it wouldn't start.

Bill achieved tiring success with a bow saw.

I hit a yard sale on Saturday and bought all of these tools for $20.00.

A tap and die set.

Greenlee and other brands of chassis, conduit or knockout punches.

A Stanley dowel jig, a Vise Grip chain wrench, parallel jaw pliers and a corner chisel.

The dowel jig was missing the drill bushings, but I have or can make those.

Some of the sockets and the socket wrench. All were made in the U.S.A. and most are SK brand.

That afternoon I took the boys to Sunset Park to walk around the swamp. We passed some juvenile nutria.

Cute, but sort of a cross between a rat and a beaver.


I told Henry they wouldn't make good pets.

As we walked through the field of lupine the sound was as if we were in a gigantic bowl of Rice Crispies and milk, as the pods exploded in the sun and scattered the seeds.

You can see how the empty pods, relieved of stress, curl around each other.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Old Beer

Greg found this Tsingtao beer in Kent's fridge at the last Shop Night.

He enjoyed it. It's been in the fridge for at least two years and Kent bought it at an estate sale of all places so who knows how old it is.

Seems like an old style Tsingtao label. The cap had a cork seal, not the modern plastic.

Full of mischief?

Nope, just photographing jewelry. As part of Felice's trip to NY we bought a 2nd digital camera. I bought a Nikon Coolpix L20 purely on the basis of it being available at Staples and taking AA batteries. Why AA? Because then I only have to have one charger instead of dedicated charger proliferation. I like the camera but it has too many options as well as an annoying 3 minute power off when unused...I would love to disable that. Anyway, I can now take pictures of Felice taking pictures.

I decided to buy a Black & Decker cordless mower because the DR Mower is a pain to start up for just the front and back yards. It's been working well cutting our relatively high grass and I seem to get tired well before the battery runs out of power. We'll see how long it works before exploding. I don't have a lot of confidence in it but I'm willing to give it a chance.

I have a customer who wants me to make Pilcrow earrings. I'll be making the die this week, a nice complement for our Schwa earrings. I may also do Section Sign earrings...

Honestly I'd rather sleep for a week. Between two boys with a GI bug this week and Felice being off with Henry the whole week before while I tended to Max, I'm just worn out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Home Alone

Felice and Henry went out to Long Island this week while Max and I stayed home.

Crafty dad made an "Oobi" puppet for Max.

I installed a new cat flap for our back door as the old one had disintegrated. I bought a Staywell "Big Cat Small Dog" flap. The installation drove me crazy. Here are the directions:

The top panels? What the heck are they trying to convey? The bottom are slightly more helpful yet I ended up completely reverse engineering it and understanding each component before finally getting it installed. It requires 4 hands, two of which I made up for with some duct tape.
Of course I found instructions with words later on the internet...With words the whole thing makes a lot more sense even if it's equally difficult to install. The Amazon reviews are not good...I guess I should have done some research.

A friend recommended this video, by Punks Not Dad, read the lyrics unless you like geezer-punk. Myself, I keep humming it...

There are several collections of Pingu on Netflix Instant that have been keeping Max happy lately.

Here are a bunch of paper crafts from Canon.

My dad told me about this great article, "A Mathematician's Lament", which led me to the parent site that has two good blogs, "Number a Day" and "Minute Math".

EDIT: A little late I found out my 2nd cousin in law's graphic novel hypertext project of James Joyce's Ulysses made the New Yorker book blog. Go check it out.