Saturday, January 31, 2015

Scotland 2014 Photos: Morning Walk in Glasgow

Beside the Kelvin River

My host asked me what I would like to do on my one full day in Glasgow. I said, "Visit a couple of bookstores, listen to some music, relax at a fine pub." Within two minutes he'd sketched a map for me. Bang on!

[re the walk: "It was a tough job but somebody had to do it"]

During my morning walk alongside the Kelvin R., I snapped many a photo, one of a pub that I put on my afternoon route. First I aimed my nose toward two bookshops.

Link to more Scotland 2014 Photos

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles - Once per Year

Insurance Comes Due

Every year, when the motorcycle insurance bill arrives in the mail, I consider my related options. Do I sell the bike to save on insurance or pay up and enjoy some rides to Port Bruce, Long Point, Norwich, or points further east, e.g., Halifax?

Tough call each year. That being said, my mind is already made up. This year I will pay up and point my nose toward Port Bruce during the first warm days of spring.

Link to Motorcycle Miles

Photo GH

The Workshop - Mystery Projects 3

Taller Task Today

I built a jig yesterday to hold tap handles firmly in place while I drill a hole into the handle's base at a three degree angle. Easy enough I guess, but later I found that the jig, w tap handle in place, will not fit under my small, shop-sized drill press.

So, today I build a taller base for the drill press - a one-off - so I can finish this project by supper time.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

The Workshop - New Batch 5

The Idea of Trim

Once I start adding trim to a birdhouse I sometimes don't know when to stop. Pots, wee birdhouses, cats, telephone poles, etc., take time but add a bit of fun to time in the workshop.

And I still ain't done! Perches are needed too.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Halifax Trip 11 - Some Fav Photos

Photos From Along the Way

["Women's hockey team - photo in Riviere du Loup hostel"]

My first trip to Halifax via motorcycle took place in June, 2010 and the second four years later. While I'm waiting for the first copy of Halifax and Another Hard Promise to arrive by mail I will look back to some favourite photos taken on those trips.

["Diner found near Perth-Andover, off Trans-Canada Highway"]

["I say, best cheeseburgers in The Maritimes"]

["First photo taken during first walk-about in Halifax, 2010"]

Yeah, I could live there.

Link to Halifax Trip 10

Photos GH

My Morning Smile - The Sentinel

Atop the Bird Feeder

The metal rooster has been scaring squirrels off the feeder for several months now. As a reward I will add a few more nuts and bolts to his morning hash.

Link - My Morning Smile

Photo GH

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Workshop - New Batch 4

Paint and Trim

Seven of the Harrison Specials are moving on down the assembly line. Red paint and lotsa trim are starting to make them look pretty... substantial. 'Brilliant' may be the word I'm looking for here. More to follow.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Bird Watching - Voles?

Hardy Critters

Not much bird seed goes to waste because what the sparrows kick out of the feeder - under the watchful eye of my metal rooster - lands on the snow below, and squirrels and other critters can make an honest living out of such 'leftovers'.

Last year I uncovered numerous tunnels through ice and snow near the feeder. I suspect the sparrows are feeding mice, moles or voles with their castoffs!

 Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

My Afternoon Walk - Near the Thames

Follow Me to The Forks

Don and I can walk to The Forks in 15 minutes from my front door and from there we go left or right, up or down numerous side streets or public paths before turning around to find a suitable route home. Our trek is usually just 60 - 90 minutes of good walking and conversation.

Good boots, good warm coats, good toques and gloves - the Canadian way to go during winter.

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photos GH

Halifax Trip 10 - Proof!

Almost Ready

["Thumbs up," I say]

There are many steps one must take to get a brilliant book self-published. One must write and write (brilliantly), then create a wee book, save a file, mail it to a publisher and order a proof.

So, I have ordered a proof and if it passes inspection I will order a million copies because, odds are, that's how many I'll need to sell to become a millionaire. I'd better start savin' up for a book order.

: )

Link to Halifax Trip

Photo from

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Artsy Fartsy 16

New Barnboard

Whenever I purchase a new pile of gray barnboard my mind gets to wondering what I should do with it.

How about a few triplexes and quads? I'm ready to work.

Link to Artsy Fartsy 15

Photos GH

My Morning Smile - Newest Member of Combined Operations

Number 151, That's Me

This membership card arrived by post today. The card verifies I am the newest member of the Combined Ops Association based in Furnace by Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland.

The photo below is of troops practicing their ABCs related to LCAs (assault landing craft) on Loch Fyne near Inveraray in the early 1940s.

I return to Loch Fyne in September and hopefully will find more news articles and photos re Comb. Ops.

Link to My Morning Smile

Photos GH

Little Free Library - New Season

Two Shapes and Sizes

I've made up my mind to make one of each shape for Gathering on the Green in June. Though one is taller the other is wider, so they both have about the same volume... and appetite for good used books to trade.

Link to Little Free Libraries

Photos GH

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Workshop - New Batch 3

Assembly Line

 ["All lined up like ducks in a row"]

Once I got started I couldn't stop. I enjoy the assembly process and everything I need is within arms' reach. Brad nailer, air compressor, various-sized nails, sanding block, drill press for holes, and what-have-you.

["This rustic one is my favourite. No paint required"]

Four will be brought indoors so I can paint the roofs. While the paint dries I will start assembling this and that for trim, e.g., front bench, wee (free) birdhouses, telephone poles, perches, chimneys, etc. Full-on trim day - maybe by Friday. Then - Voila!

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

My Afternoon Walk - Half a Tree

Half Gone

["Looking north on Cathcart between Duchess and Tecumseh"]

I took this photo one half-block from home. I missed a snazzy photo of a pint-sized Hairy Woodpecker (I was slow on the draw), then noticed many trees on Cathcart are half gone, likely due to our hydro company.

Above ground wires = cheaper, but not for the trees.

Are Canadians 'cheaping-out' in other ways too?

Link to My Afternoon Walk

Photo GH

The Workshop - New Batch 2

Harrison Special

["Face plus side apt. = 30% roomier interior. Clever lad"]

The Harrison Special is more spacious than previous models of the same height. But do I take 30% longer to build the 'Special'? I'm not sure.

I must cut and sand more roof slats, attach large faces to side bits, and deal with a 22.5 degree angle on side apt. roof. So..... I'll say it takes 22.5% longer to build but the time spent pays off for me feathered friends, eh!

('New and rescued lumber' is used. Grey barnboard is new. Bases and some roofs are made from leftover bits from other projects).

Link to The Workshop - New Batch 1

Photos GH

The Big Tidy

Better Late Than Never

["Three boxes, three hockey sticks, yadda yadda"]

I feel that some of my old, 99%-forgotten-stuff has just gotta go, not to make room for new stuff but so I can reach other stuff. George Carlin knows what I'm talkin' about.

So, I embark on a new adventure this week. I call it The Big Tidy and I hope to be done by the time I reach 85 years-of-age. Then I'll take the next two years off and relax. Catch my breath.

Link to My Morning Smile

Photo GH

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Morning Smile - About PEI Snowstorms

Proper Use of an Anchor

If you live in PEI, like my sister, here's an old Navy trick for you to use during the current storm - tie the chain attached to a sturdy anchor around one leg.

Here are photos of an anchor or two that ought to do the job, from Irvine, Scotland.

And if that don't work I say, "Grow yer finger nails really long, in case you need to dig into the ice as the wind blows you out to the mailbox."

: )

Photos GH

Monday, January 26, 2015

Artsy Fartsy 15

Coming Up in June

In June I join a number of crafters and entertainers in Old South for the annual Gathering on the Green. I will set up a gazebo (in case it rains) on a small patch of the Green and attempt to sell a few birdhouses while enjoying good music - put on by local yutes - and $1 hot dogs.

This year I will build a few colourful adobe-style birdhouses on stands in order to 'catch the eye'.

["Last year I hauled this to the Green. SOLD!"]

Link to Artsy Fartsy 14

Photos GH

Birdhouse London

All Finished

I'm getting ready for Spring by building a few red cedar birdhouses.

Seems I use a lot of red paint. Correct.

Link to more finished models at Birdhouse London

Photos GH

The Workshop - New Batch 1

Gray Barnboard

 ["It will look bigger in real life"]

Weekend before last I purchased a small load of gray 'on both sides' barnboard in Fenelon Falls. Now that I've finished eight BHs made from red cedar - all stored on a cozy shelf - I can concentrate on a new batch of seven.

["Next, I will set up the sander; and drill press (for bung holes)"]

Not much to show. The line up doesn't look like much yet and all that was leftover from 3 slats of lumber was a tiny pile of sawdust.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Halifax Trip 9 - Book Cover


Black and White version of Halifax and Another Hard Promise almost finished. Just gotta pick a lovely cover photo. Down to three choices. Rocks. Me on the Rocks. Sackville St. Sailor.


Link to Halifax Trip 8

Photos GH