What’s Up Bob?

Funny you should ask that question! I spent most of Friday beginning a woodworking project I’ve wanted completed long ago, a Japanese toolbox. You see Japanese traditional woodworkers are into form, proportion and design.  They tend to keep things simple, thus, K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Stupid! They seldom use metal fasteners such as nails or screws, preferring to use ingenious joinery and pegs to hold things together. That’s what lured me to building the classic Japanese toolbox. The design is stupidly simple yet strong, functional and elegant in appearance. This single box holds a ton of stuff.

There are YouTube videos all over the internet that show you the exact build of one of these useful tools. As is my practice I watched every video I could find before deciding to design my own version that incorporates the best of each. I chose two contrasting woods, Baltic Birch & Red Oak. Once stained and sealed they will complement each other while retaining the simple design of the Japanese techniques.

I’m joining the major parts of the box with 1/4″ birch dowel pegs, glued into pre-drilled holes. Birch is very strong and when hammered into place with a dab of glue included they function quite well thank you! When finished this toolbox would allow me to sit on it or stand on it without a wiggle. As you can probably imagine the box is heavy but held down in its overall weight by using 1/2″ Baltic Birch(Russian) plywood that is built with eight layers of alternating grain wood. There are no gaps or voids and the panels are extremely flat and strong! I will post pictures of this project once completed. I’m using a combination of hand and power tools to build it.

The photo below is a modified example of the design for the box. I did not take the photo but downloaded it from Google images.

Japanese Toolbox 01

Al’s Daylilies 2017

My nextdoor neighbor, Al, has this tiny flower garden that’s very productive. He grows a variety of flowers that include daylilies and gladiolus. This year’s daylilies are particularly gorgeous because of the perfect combination of rain and sunshine. The orange daylilies in particular are about 4 feet high.

Daylilies 2017

Nora Has A Ball

The Oregon Zoo’s new polar bear, Nora, sure knows how to have a good time! She has so much energy in her youth that she’s nonstop motion!

Quality Control

The window washers at the Oregon Zoo are always grateful for the animals that help them do a great job. Here you can see the sea lion watching every stroke of the squeegee to make sure the worker doesn’t miss a spot. What fun!

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

That’s easy, their cellphones!  Why do we need to be constantly connected to the world? Look back just twenty-five years ago. There were no portable phones or social networks. Now most are addicted to their use, walking down the sidewalk, on mass transportation or even illegally using their phones as they drive. I wish someone would drop a bomb emitting a huge EMP that would wipe out all communication devices. We might be forced to look at each other and develop personal communication skills again. Did you hear that Mr. President?

What quirky things do people do where you are from?

I’ve now lived in the Boston area for some 20 months and the obvious answer for me is that people here have forgotten how to pronounce the letter “R”. It’s cah, not car, pok not park. It’s a stupid accent in my opinion and it extends from the governor to the chief of police. Not to be outdone with the folks of New Joysy, ie. Jersey. Or New Hampshire. Sad!

What are some things you wish you could unlearn?

I don’t want to be “politically correct”! I want to put common sense and the ten commandments back into our moral society instead. When you take God out of our society you become politically correct. 😦 On that same note I’d love to forget every acronym out there. No more “text speak” either. Let’s go back to the proper use of the English language.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life?

That’s an easy question for me to answer, my best friend, Warren. I moved to New England so I could survive in retirement. I was forced to relocate because the housing market in Oregon got out of control, far outstripping my meager fixed income. We have only greed to thank for that. The great recession tore people’s lives apart, ended careers and tore apart families and friends. I miss Warren!

Warren 1_Leica

Not to be forgotten are a few more of my friends –

Friends 2


Flower of the Day – June 16, 2017 – Bearded Iris

Flower of the Day – June 16, 2017 – Bearded Iris

One of the most intricate and beautiful flowers of Spring is the Bearded Iris. In the Pacific Northwest this species follows the Crocus and Daffodil in the order of Spring’s blooming flower species. They were prolific growers in Portland, OR during my 10 year stay there. I used to have them in my final home all over my backyard and surrounding neighborhood. I loved to photograph the myriad of colors and sizes represented in that climate. They could be found all over the walking paths of the Oregon Zoo.

Now that I live in the New England area one of the first flowers species to catch my attention were Bearded Iris. They grow in my next door neighbor’s tiny flower garden right outside my from door. Al’s garden is a refreshing reminder that you don’t need a lot of land or do a lot of work to grow flowers.

Bearded Iris

My Summer Haircut

Keep small children from seeing this and they might now go blind! LOL I just got my first Burr Cut at the barber shop yesterday. I had to describe the cut I wanted as the young barber wasn’t familiar with the term. He did a good job as far as I can tell. I did Photoshop the photo a bit to protect the innocent! LOL

Bob's New Haircut

Hello – 1st Tomato Blossom

Finally I’ve got tomato blossoms in my tiny garden. I’ve been nurturing every plant, every leaf for weeks. We’re in for some rain the next few days but I wasn’t going to risk the garden drying out so I added two gallons of water to my containers just this morning. I also staked one of my 5 tomato plants that was trying to fall over to the ground. I carefully twisted the plant around the stake upward until I could loosely tie it up a foot above the ground.

So here’s a closeup of that first blossom. It’s beautiful! 🙂

First Tomato Blossom