Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mystery tower

I was going to persevere with drawing, but having returned from the shops I found todays little effort more sculptural than I had thought, once it had been given a lick of paint, so here he is.
Not a scale model of the new oceanside whale emporium, or painful armor plating for the modern soldier's privates, but a useful addition to the whacking great chainsaw from a few months back.
My recent plank making efforts have reminded me that I was asked to tidy up the logs from the mulberry tree up the road. I would like to get some of them cut into planks and will need to use the long bar saw as they are too wide for the normal one. I aim to stick this little widget on the pointy end of the saw with a set of sturdy handles on to make the saw a two man device. With a bloke on either end as it were.
There was an aluminum insert in a slot like hole at the end of the bar, which I removed and that little lug front and center fits in there. A bolt passes neatly through the same hole and engages with the nut welded on the underside of the hole, also front and center. The little hyperbolic curved piece should act as a chip guard and prevent body bits from accidentally sliding near to the teeth. The handle I will add once the paint has dried is from one of the old weed whackers I was given to cannibalize, I don't know if you are familiar with these devices, but they mainly consist of a long shaft down a pipe that keeps the blade away from the person wielding the machine. The handle grips on to this pipe, so the cannibalized one I had set aside will clamp on to the whale watching tower at the back of the main hall here, that is if we resume the whale emporium hypothesis.
Oxycutting, grinding, bending and TIG welding were the main methodologies employed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bam and boo

Another whispy sketch of similar themology to yesterday. This is the bit where I employ the nifty impact driver to secure bam to boo. I never used to own an impact driver, but these days it never seems to be out of my grip for more than five minutes. Not that I use it to stir the tea or whatnot, but they really come in handy for all sorts of stuff.
There was one year when we kept at the stage craft from 9am till 9pm, the lighting people were really pissed off about it, as their work can only begin once we are done. We had no idea we were supposed to be done by around 5pm, so some of the sand in their comments stung not a little.
I suspect they were under the impression that we were being paid by the hour and stringing things out. Our response was to complain to mummy in the shape of the hall manager and the end result was that we never see the sandier lighting engineer anymore and the other staff now fully informed of our volunteerness are much more polite. Apparently the chap in question had been developing quite a reputation as a scarer of the stage struck youth and general black cloud, so he was no loss. If your neighborhood is being infested by a long haired chap with a slim build and a singular pot belly (only evident when viewed from the side) who shows a marked preference for snake skin flip flop sandals in which he scuffs about the place, you now know where he came from.
Anyway, I don't think I have the energy for that kind of carry on these days, the plan is to get done by 5. In recent years, depending on which paper you read, I either run out of steam or manage to bring things to their easthetic peak at almost exactly 4:45.
I think I must switch to some larger paper in order that I might explore aspects of this theme with a little more vim.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I have rather lost the thread of "What I did today" as a theme for the blog. It is easy to slip into thinking that what one does is of little interest, but I must persevere and try to remember that it may be of interest even to me once a little bit of time has elapsed.
This is the kind of approach we adopted at the recent stage decoration event. Two guys cut the bamboo the day before and some other helpers split it into rough quarters on the Saturday morning. I had some arch shaped offcuts of 1 inch plywood from that turntable project last year and some others from the arch in the shop, also a few last scraps of 2x4 from the bin at a local store. I made three sturdy little rostrums on the platform area and bent bamboo into them while Sammy was strung like a fish on the other end. Actually not applying stress, but keeping the thin end as high as possible to keep the stress to a minimum. A couple of coarse thread screws held the fat ends in place and the thin end was bound with twine and adjusted later to make a kind of uneven arrangement with the thin ends so that all the bits weren't bunched up together. We lost one piece that snapped during the night before the performance. That was just cut out while rehearsals were going on. I do worry that one of the suckers will snap during the solemn proceedings one day, but so far we have been lucky. Praise each and every one of the little Shinto deities.
Today I was again preparing timber, but finally beginning to get a feel of what I have on hand for one of the projects. It all takes time and particularly so in the sluggish heat we are enjoying at present.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Last year when the new headmaster came to the primary school he tidied out a big storage area and one of the more attractive items thrown out was a sheet of 3mm aluminum. I tried putting it out for the dog to lie on last summer, but he didn't like it at all. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, so it feels cool to the touch and I thought it would help dissipate the heat from the cooked canine very quickly. This year I got the sheet up from downstairs again, now slightly diminished in size and immediately I had put it out the mutt came over and flopped straight on it. I am not sure whether wisdom came across him all of a sudden, the weather just wasn't hot enough last year, or the passing of time has imbued the metal with a sense of place it lacked before. Whatever the reason it is good to see the animal able to lie still without panting his guts out to try and stay cool.
Aside from the general lack of newsworthy material the reason for including our Bob today is that I devoted a few minutes to clipping him down to a more sensibly level of hirsuteness this afternoon. He now looks like he has suffered a bout of alopecia as I concentrated my efforts on the underside of the vessel, which seems to be the area he uses most to regulate the internal temperature.
The cat has developed a pink area on his underside, which seems to serve the same function, but perhaps that is just because he has grown so much the hair coverage just can't keep up with the pace.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Singing and dancing

All the bamboo is now tidied away, we sometimes get comments about the decoration. I suppose the nicest was someone worrying about spending so much on hiring us for the stage work for such an event. Being that we spend almost nothing and certainly don't get paid, it must have been nice for the person who fielded that comment to be able to enlighten the commenter, and it is a complement to us that our efforts pass for something professional. I don't really know about the performers, I have always assumed they are volunteers too. The top picture is from almost the very back of the hall at furthest left. The singer is kind of famous locally, and she incorporates Japanese sign language gestures into the songs she performs. The hall was actually quite well filled. There is a point in the ceremony where the audience place flowers on the little platform at the front. The flowers are taken out later and floated on the lake I think. The three candles represent the three nationalities of people who were killed during the dam construction. Chinese, Japanese and Korean in alphabetical order. The pink girl dancers were photographed from the furthest right seat nearest the stage. They are from a Chinese High School in Yokohama where there is a big Chinese community.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stage 30

The day's activities shrunk to a smaller scale. It looks a bit like a table decoration, but the floor area covered is 18 feet by 14 feet. Stage front is where the three candles are burning and here we are standing right at the wings of the stage, so some of the gubbins supporting the bamboo is visible. This will hopefully stay up till 3pm tomorrow and then we tear it down.
This is the 30th year that there has been some kind of remembrance ceremony for the builders of the local dam. Prisoners of war and whatnot working as slave labor, the usual intolerable inhumanity. It gets further in the past each year and it has been some years now since any immediate relatives of those who died attended the ceremony. I don't keep track of time too well so I am not sure how many years I have been involved or indeed why I still am involved with this particular volunteer task. Just because I was asked I suppose. My job each year seems to be to create some kind of bamboo structure that will fill up enough of the stage to make it obvious that there is something going on up there. So far, each year I have learnt a little more about bamboo and delegating tasks to others. I'll see if I can get a more explanatory picture of the thing tomorrow while the ceremony is in progress.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kitten dinners

I had fried rice and a dish with bean sprouts and tofu remnants. The proficient predator who shared my dining room had a spider and three or four moths. His conversation is limited, but some of the moth grabbing leaps were very entertaining. I am pleased to find he is one of those cats that eats the catch and doesn't just play with it. He's still tiny by normal cat standards, but now a very different mechanism from the kitten of a few weeks ago.
I have the annual stage decoration volunteer exercise tomorrow, so a little distracted. Hopefully all will go well and we will all profit from the event in other ways. It is an all day effort in an air conditioned auditorium run by the prefectural authorities, so a little bit jarring after the 364 days of freedom that make up the rest of my year. There are a lot of rules about what we are not allowed to do on or near the stage. The staff at the hall once tried to turn away someone who had come along to visit me there while I was working on the thing. Where they get off thinking they have the right to restrict my visitor privileges while I am on the premises I do not know. Years of institutional thinking I suppose.
As regards practical work I have been stepping backward into reality, sharpening tools like the plane blades and putting surfaces on to potential timber parts for up coming projects. Valuable, but rather mundane activities.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coffee House

For some time when I was much younger I was under the impression that I was attending a coffee school. I could see no other way of reading the letters "CofE School" my mother had written on my minimal work books. It was the first school I had ever attended and although I failed to see the relevance of the coffee inference, I took it in my inocent and short trousered stride as something that would no doubt become clear in time. My reading skills were also minimal, but later on I learnt the proper meaning of the "Church of England" reference. Much about my school routine was explained, not least the incessant dribbling speeches from a local vicar. The front rows at these assemblies where we smalls sat cross legged on the floor were singularly hazardous as they fell well within the splash zone. The said vicar did his Christian ;best to staunch the flow with a well placed handcerchief, but there were always moments where some point required a two handed gesture that would leave the gates unguarded. We were very attentive to the hand movements, as you can imagine, but perhaps the distraction meant that much of his meaning literally passed over our heads.

Moving on to the present day, yestereve we were watching an Episode of a TV show called "House", it ended with one of the crew of characters mentioning rather dramatically that he would be wanting 30 pieces of silver. I was pleased to find my son entirely ignorant of his meaning. I duly explained a little about the stories of betrayal, guilt and suffering that form an unhealthy crust on the seabed of Christianity for we who attended a smattering of Sunday school in our youth. I hope such "stories" will remain just that for my children, little more than a hint of froth at the tips of the waves at the surface of the sunny oceans of their life. There is much that is highly creditable in the big book of Jesus stories, but I don't regret leaving them off of the list of bedtime reading for my offspring.
So far they are both doing fine coming to their own conclusions as to the inherent guilt or innocence of humanity without these guidelines, but I am a biased observer.
I am of course not trying to diminish my already slim panel of viewers by so rudely stating my views, and intend no offense in so doing. I am sure the modern Vicar is entirely leak proofed and full of enlightenment.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Every year in early summer before I have my first go with the weed whacker I put markers in to stop me from slicing up these lilies when they are just poking their heads up. I have been trying to encourage them to come nearer to the house. This year my first jungle clearance was back on May 27 and unfortunately my efforts left the lilies standing out like sore thumbs, and a week or so later they all got dug up and pushed over by the wild boar. The roots were not to the taste of the cloven hoofed, in fact I am not sure what motive they had in delicately upending all the plants. Perhaps they took some strange pleasure in leaving them lying there gasping for water. With much righteous indignation I stood all the plants back up and tucked them in with some sturdier stakes to demonstrate to the native porcine crew that I would prefer them left vertical. My preferences were heeded and this is the first into full flower.
The leaves have suffered and to be honest the flowers aren't much to write about. I am rather partial to the sculptural qualities of the seed pods in autumn, but the scent is what I like them for most. As the cool air comes down the river bed in the evening, sometimes it swirls the scent up into the house.
Even a moment or two sitting on the veranda in the evening watching the fireflies loiter about among the cedar trees while this scent limbers up its muscles and explores ones interior can linger on in the mind for quite some time.
Exactly the kind of balm ones spirits need in these trying times, that and a tall chilled glass of something delectable..

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Cutting down trees is comparatively easy, but the root canal work required to get the stump out is a grinding chore. I made a little tripod with scaffolding and got the 1ton chain block hooked on to the offending stump, but even so it took most of the day to pull the tooth a bit at a time.
If you have ever done any stump removal, you will know it is not for the faint hearted and when the temps are up and the mosquitos biting it is savage entertainment indeed. After each bid to gain ground I was forced to sit and pant for a bit before having another go.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, I lost the battle with the heat this evening. I have been down in the shop digging out a load of bits of metal and old scrap stuff that has accumulated over the years here. I still can't force myself to throw away most of the old water pipes and fittings, but many an item has been bagged up for the recycling route and the area looks more serviceable. The evening cool saw me dusting off the chainsaw to cut down a barely living old plum tree in front of my shop. It has a wonderful crop of lichens and epiphytes, but as a tree it is almost a non starter. Certainly not producing fruit any more and barely managing to produce leaves. I will make it comfortable down in the corner of the field where the lichens may continue their life and the ants and other animals can continue to use it as a home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The jungle had taken over around the house again, so I got the weed whacker out when the heat of the day subsided and did the same areas as before, then just a bit more along the roadside as well. It was twilight when I was sweeping the road clear of debris.
Still soaked with sweat, because of the intense humidity.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


There is a little community center in our tiny village. The village is split into four groups and these groups take it in turns to clean up the building and surroundings. This month it was our turn. I am among the folk that usually stay outside sweeping up and picking out the weeds in the gravelly areas, along the roadside and car park. Sometimes I wipe the higher spots on the windows, too. Very hot again.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One hundred and one

It was the last day of the elementary school term today so I was asked to go along in my capacity as school councilor to give a little inspiring speech.
There are one hundred and one students at the school this year.
I saw Mr Gore on TV today talking about achieving energy sustainability in ten years, an entirely achievable goal. Then heard a senator state that they could build wind turbines coast to coast and it still wouldn't provide enough power. I am glad I am not a relative of that burk, I would be ashamed.
The small amount of reading I have done suggests that solar thermal power plants would do the trick, ie, heating some media in pipes with mirrors aimed at the sun. Lie on a tarred roof in the middle of the day and you immediately feel that something valuable is being wasted with all that heat.
The area of mirrors required to generate all America's power needs would be the size of that orange square I have drawn in the gulf of mexico. One hundred miles by one hundred miles. Well worth building in some of the sunnier states in my humble opinion. I would much rather see America devote itself to its own infrastructure than contributing to the collapse of infrastructure in other countries.
It is easy to find articles about this on the web, the link below is one small example.

Some further reading.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Double take

A case of good money after bad I am afraid. I had a quick go at scribbling yestereve, as above, but got distracted. I returned to the dusty mess today with little more success.
Never mind, the struggle was something of a distraction in itself today and therefore enjoyable. I also learned a bit more about what my chalks will not do.
I have now finished that sketch book as well as the shuttering for the next phase of concrete, so I must decide whether to order it in or wait for some leftovers. I must say those earthquakes have encouraged me in the direction of forking out the cash.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nokogiri Kuwagata

This is a free range version of the Kuwagata. Viewed up close it was satisfying to see how grubby he was, lots of mud clinging to the carapace. Perhaps that was from digging his way out from the underground grubdom that preceded his metamorphosis. Judging from the discount shop commercial this looks like a Nokogiri Kuwagata, but I wouldn't swear to it. The mosquito mesh he is standing on is a grid of squares of about 2mm, so not to hard to tell he would be an uncomfortable bedfellow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer sale

This is a corner of one of the commercial papers we get inserted in our newspaper. In summer many boys still yearn to possess bugs of various kinds. The vast majority purchase their dream creature, but a few still go out and collect them. One common technique is to kick the trees in the forest and look out for falling bugs. I think the little tremor produces some kind of flight response and the bugs lossen their grip on the bark.
We had a couple of tremors this evening, the first was tiny, then a bigger one that had Sammy and I on our feet ensuring our flight route. One does not dash outside, but doors should be opened to allow egress should the situation worsen. This is one of the reasons for my slight distraction these days, I am keen to get my floating foundation grounded in concrete. We suffered no damage, but one of my larger electric hand tools was knocked off its shelf.
In our area we occasionally see the adult insects about their business, but with these larger ones it is more common for us to see their heads lying about as the ants carry off the rest once the creatures expire, or before I suppose, nature is often a little cruel.
This is the first year I have seen fireflies on sale in the same section, I hope to goodness these are all hand reared creatures, one does not like to think of the woods being plundered.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I am sometimes amazed by the life force of certain species of tree. This is a branch I tossed on to the pile of firewood at the end of the winter. It must have fallen off and since then it has lain on the concrete floor for a couple of months. Unconvinced of its suitability for placement in the category of "firewood" it has busied itself sprouting roots and the collection of leaves you see here.
Misconceptions abound in this world do they not, and I am no less guilty than any other of my species.
I was again distracted from posting today as I went for a drink with a friend in the metropolis. At one point we discussed my bloggery. We reached the conclusion that for the most part I fail to meet the level of parable and instead only manage to speak in "parababbles". It seems that many of my messages are trimming the coiffure of the reader as they fly above the head, or more tragically falling short of the mark and squelching into the turff. Hey ho.
There was one tiny point where I seemed to connect in the conversation. It was a very smoky room and the discussion had turned to our mutual dislike of current trends in propaganda, which caused me to draw a parallel between that form of misinformation and the gas called carbon monoxide.
It seems that a lot of what I consider to be "general" knowledge is not quite at that rank, more "private third class" knowledge. So I was forced to elucidate and correct the trajectory of this spear of parababble while it was still in flight.
Perhaps you are familiar with the fact that the substance hemoglobin carries the oxygen in our blood, if not I might politely suggest that you get out too much and need to stay home and read a bit more.
The H molecule is 200 times more attracted to carbon monoxide than oxygen. This affinity is what makes that gas in exhaust fumes etc, so toxic to us. Our bodies soak it up like sponges and ignore the vital oxygen right next to it, eventually the sponge is full and saturated with the muck we breathe no more.
How does that relate to propaganda you ask. Well, as I see it, public relations, commercials, the oratory of our "wonderful" leaders, even some instances of pop music, whatever your prefered tipple as propaganda is a close cousin to this sinister gas. It exploits our many psychological weaknesses and we soak it up like sponges while ignoring the essential stuff that lies right alongside it. I cannot claim that propaganda is poisonous, but I definitely get a sense of being saturated with muck sometimes.
If you have decided to stay in and hit the books, further reading might include that chap Bernays who turned his career as a propagandist in the first world war into a career as the very first PR agent shortly after. In a very long and productive life he managed to sell cigarettes to women as something that would be good for them, among many other negamiracles. He was definitely not a saint, 'amoral' is perhaps the best that can be said of him. As Sigmund Freud's nephew he definitely knew which buttons to push and should have known better than to do it for money. Actually he was also S.Freud's publicist in the United States, so that is why we all know who he is.
We can but try to retain our intrinsic state of mystified curiosity as we get older, and marvel at the things they don't teach us in school.

PS one more point about the picture, I particularly like the way the moss has colonised the cement between the tiles I stuck in the concrete here, I must remember to encourage it with a kind word or two.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Just a quickie to catch up. I have several projects that I need to get started on, this is just a little sketch of a simple bookshelf to confirm measurements. Our fax machine is singularly disappointing these days, so this rather public way of communicating is a convenient alternative.
Most measurements are conveyed in millimeters or the traditional Japanese system here. In this instance, millimeters, and not to scale.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jim fixed

I forgot all about skype Saturday interfering with my mental regimen. So just a squify sketch. When I thought about putting the pole up, something about the structure and the action of inserting bolts made me think of it from a particular angle. That is to say, pushing the pole against the pillar. While I was sitting on the neighboring shingle roof soaking up the sun in a break from drilling holes, I realized that the roof was the perfect platform to work from. We just had to put one bolt through on the bottom plate, then we could use that as a hinge so that both of us could push the pole up from the side into a vertical position and slip in one more bolt through the top plate to stabilize the thing.
It worked perfectly, the only danger I could forsee was pushing the thing over too far and losing our grip at the last minute, so I pushed one twelve foot long 2x4 in at the top just under the blue metal roof and clamped it on to the pillar to act as a stop, just in case.
Nothing very dramatic in the concept, but I was impressed by how simple the problem became when my brain changed the angle of approach. From the front to the side, and then visualized the hinging potential of the bolt put in while all the weight of the pole was supported by us standing safely on the neighboring roof. The old Sub C at work as usual I suppose.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Job done

Sammy had a bit of extra time before he had to catch the train into Tokyo today, so we did our manhandling and got the pole up before he set off. My brother was kind enough to point out that there wasn't really sufficient information to seriously consider a solution to the problem of how to get to this point without injury or property damage. I will put a little drawing of Sammy and I at work tomorrow even if some more exciting theme comes along. All I can say is that the pole is too heavy to be holding in any uncomfortable position long enough to allow the insertion of bolts and whatnot. I think it would have been just about dooable to have one person on the blue roof holding the pole while the other struggled on the ladder below, but it wouldn't be an attractive prospect even if the pole was tied off in some way to prevent any slippery fingers doing damage to the population figures.
I think the pole must be 3.5m long, I do know it is 9cm in diameter. Fortunately the electric pole we are connecting to is not that one in the distance, but one much nearer. It does seem a bit of a waste not to stick a windmill or something on top.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jim's mission

Your mission Jim...
I have my pole painted and ready. Here it is, laid out. The two horns at the bottom each have rectangular plates with holes at each of the four corners. There are eight holes drilled at the appropriate points in the blue pillar against which the ladder is leaning. I am sure there would be a problem hoiking that pole straight up the ladder and trying to hold it in place, it is just too heavy. Even with someone standing on the roof holding it steady it would be far too dangerous. I think it probably weighs more than 50kg and it is 3 or 4 meters long, so cumbersome to say the least.
These photos are terrible, but if you were the one faced with the problem how you would tackle it?
I think I will need one additional 2x4 and my trusty assistant to either put the bolts in or take the strain for a minute or two as well as help lifting the thing up onto the roof. No other aids.

The lower photo shows another view and you can also vaguely see the blue cable that comes too near to the blue roof, that will be replaced and raised by the pole. Anyway, just another little distraction to contemplate.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rod feeder 2

Cutting welding and drilling metal filled most of my day. A lot of the drilling was unfortunately done up a ladder, but all went well. I finished up the day with painting the parts I had made so that they will be dry and ready for fitting as soon as maybe. Painting also sprinkled through the day as little bits got made and had to be put up ready. Little metal reinforcing patches or brackets and such like. Nothing artistic I am afraid, a long pole to run electric wires over. I had thought I would need to do some scaffolding to get the monkey up, but my brain has now had time to figure things out and kindly gave me a hint as to how I might proceed without the need for any Egyptian earth ramps and such like, provided I ask Sammy to give me a hand.
Sorry for the repetitious themes, but I am keen to see if I can push this a little further. I don't seem to have a lot of patience or stamina with drawing at the moment, but having the days accrue in photo form seems like it might make some kind of change possible. Self indulgence no doubt, but I suppose one cannot be expected to be aware of ones envelope until one hits it. My theory is that when the activity concerned is at its most trying, the envelope walls are so much nearer to hand and ready to be punched.
What good punching does I will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rod feeder

I realized that I wasn't quite sure what my left hand was up to in the drawing yesterday, so I examined it a little today. Something similar to holding chopsticks, but the thumb and forefinger can tweak back and forth to keep feed of rod for welding. Similar activity today, but more TIG welding than gas. The argon gas used in that has some kind of sweet scent added to it I think.

I wonder if those folk in Hokkaido are pulling my leg. One would have thought that the way oil is running low the greenhouse gas emissions would be down to about half anyway by 2050.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Green gas

Acetylene is the most unstable item in my workshop. When I bought my first cylinder of it 900 or so days ago I didn't think I would ever need another one, because I use it so little. Now my pressure gages tell me I am going to have to revise that and get some more in. Something about the smell of the gas makes it seem as though it should be green, not in the environmental sense, but in the sickly poisonous sense. Strange that the same color can have such different connotations. Just me perhaps.
During one of my recent paddles in the shallow end of the Internet media pool I saw a video of Mr Bush being heckled at a 4th of July event. Several people had taken the trouble to pass the screening for the event so that they could have the pleasure of standing up and making derogatory statements directed at the actions of the presidential person. Mr Bush gave his little smile and commented, "We have free speech in this country". This struck me as more deeply ironic than he had intended as the scenes of each person being dragged away by the police played out. The dark interior of the gentleman that one glimpses through that little presidential smile seems in no way out of place in this post about volatile poisonous green gas.
I am afraid my views on politics are not at all realistic, I still think the best running mate for Mr. Obama would be Mr. McCain. That would be a real change, quantum non partisan politics.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Table worship

Here are the chairs communing with the table mother ship that they appear to hold in high regard. They seem to go well together.
I try to get the legs level at home, but there is no absolutely flat floor here, so I always expect to have to do some cutting at the final destination. In this case all were fine except for a tiny adjustment on the smallest chair. The final step is to stick some self adhesive felt to the bottoms of the legs so that the chairs can just be dragged about without hurting the floor.
All is well that ends well and the clients seemed very pleased.
Let us hope they live long and prosper.
Size wise, the table top is 73cm from the floor and about 83cm at its widest, I forget the length.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yellow back

I am trying to keep up the routine of posting each evening, but for today no drawing is forthcoming. I remembered I had a length of material that would give a cleaner backdrop for photos. Not ideal coloration, but nevertheless I forced myself to spend an hour snapping the chairs again. They are off to their new home tomorrow, so it seemed to be a good way to mark their last day here.
I must see about putting some of the recent work up on the homepage, too.

Friday, July 04, 2008


My major effort of the day was shoveling a cubic meter of concrete into place down in the new workshop territory. Good to see the floor in, but it was a very hot day and quite an effort even with a bit of help from the friendly truck driver. The chute worked fine, and that had been my biggest worry for the event. The other worry was the actual amount, I did a rough estimate of volume, which came out a bit more than a cubic meter. In the end I had to add one and a half bags of ready mix mortar and also mixed in a big bag of left over bits of stained glass as aggregate. That brought the level up perfect. I had already chucked in a bag of bits as hard core and an old smashed up toilet cistern. I have forgotten the measurements of the room and never got round to measuring the length of the chute. Tempting to stick loads of stuff in there to clear the shop, but I will endeavor to resist the temptation and plan out the next phase.
This is the last delicate phase jiggling a length of wood across to level things out. I couldn't quite figure out how my shorts got so much concrete on the bum, but now I see why.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Not waving

Today there was no meeting to end the day, but we did go on a major shopping expedition leaving the cat and dog on their own for the first time. Probably illegal in the UK like much else. We found the cat in a drawer, but I think that was just his preference. All well aside from that when we returned.
Given a specialist knowledge of certain areas of science one might conclude from this picture that kittens breathe through their feet. The unconscious one obviously felt some need to keep part of the anatomy above the waves while crash testing my daughters bed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The kitten is stretching out and becoming more leggy by the day. To compensate, while asleep he squeezes into tiny spaces. Here between my not-so-tremendous bulk and the back of the sofa. Just able to draw in the little sketchbook without inflicting injuries or cramp on either of us. He also sits on my shoulder a lot, which was a trait I used to like in the last cat we tempted into the home. She was black all over, but no doubt a distant relative of this chap, as are we all.
One of those unusual days in my schedule with a meeting at the end.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


It wasn't even that sunny on the puppy walk this morning, but just the fact that it wasn't tipping down with rain was sufficient to bring out oodles of little blue violet butterflies. Determined to dispel their airy fairy image of flitting from flower to flower they lavished their attentions on streaks of mineral deposits from cement work and patches of bird pooh on the road, bless them. They were only disturbed for a moment as we walked past, but I took the liberty of deciding on them in that moment as my theme for this day.
One virtue of all the rain is the general mossyness prevalent at this season. Almost all the block and concrete abutments that line the mountain roads are now incomparably fine contoured carpets of green.