News, etc.

Just a ton of stuff going on right now. Holidays will do that to you. Got a meetup with a local photographer who says she’s been wanting to meet me and compare notes. That’s happening Saturday at breakfast. I spent about three hours this morning cutting the parts for my shelf project. Marlene needs a shelf made, a bay window shelf. That an engineering challenge do to the fact that there’s no wall to fasten it to. I’m creating a 2″x4″ frame, vertical style, to hold up the oddly shaped shelf. I’m using 1/2″ baltic birch plywood edge banded with real 1/4″ thick red oak. That will be glues to the bare plywood edging and then trimmed flush on my router table. It’s going to look beautiful.

I donated my Zawadi close-up portrait, 12″x18″ on aluminum to the Senior Center. I received a call from one of the people buying a raffle ticket asking if she could buy a lion print from me as a Christmas present to a relative. I hinted that the donated print cost me $60 just to print. That ended that conversation as she had no intention in paying that much for a picture. Ok, if I sold it as a professional it would cost her $250. I’m retired no so I don’t sell prints anymore. Most folks have never seen a print on metal so they have no idea of the cost or beauty. It looks alive, three dimensional.

My semi-annual physical is December 4th, Monday. It’s purely routine as I had labs drawn and peed for them this past Monday. I also had my feet molded for orthotics this week. I’ve never had orthotics so I look forward to picking them up on Dec 11.

I think you’ve gotten the idea that I lead a very busy life. Never a dull moment around here. I finished all my Christmas shopping last week. Between internet Black Friday & Cyber Monday most of my needs were met. I did shop locally at my Dollar Tree store for little things to fill up Christmas tins I found there also. These will be tiny gifts for my next door neighbors. I did something similar last year. The 3-4 recipients were shocked. They’re not used to getting surprise gifts. I spent less than $4 a person but managed to put a lot of smiles on faces.

One last thing, Uxbridge First Night Celebration parade down Main Street this saturday afternoon. The whole town normally shows up to enjoy the festivities. I’m being picked up by our Senior Center’s shuttle bus. It beats driving and finding parking.

Have a good night and a better tomorrow. I love the holidays! 🙂


Fantasy Publishing

In retirement there are many subjects open to your imagination. I’ve never written or published writing or any kind. I really don’t feel the urge to do so. I am a creative mind though and love the process of graphic arts as they apply to projects such as a book cover. There have been followers of this blog that have asked for permission to use my images on their book publications so I have, technically, been published. Blow I share a fun experiment I complete on a book about my beloved Oregon Zoo. It’s just a fantasy cover shot created with Photoshop magic and one of my actual photos of one of the zoo’s tourist trains. I hope you enjoy it!

The Oregon Zoo Book

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

I lean heavily toward an art, craft & photography studio. Either one would only be a fantasy as I live in a subsidized government housing unit, one of four per building.

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

Sunny but seasonably cold.

If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

I don’t think I’d choose to go forward or back in time. I don’t want to know what lies ahead and I don’t want to change the past. Either situation would become stressful.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

The Thanksgiving holiday always impresses me with humanity’s spirit of giving. At least for one day a year we think of others as we reflect on how blessed we all really are.

Thanksgiving Transition To Christmas

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are already behind us as we enter the season of Christmas. The news media has reported a 17% increase in online shopping this year which tells me our economy is booming. Competition forces retailers to bring out their best deals to try and snatch your shopping dollars away from online giants like Amazon is fighting back with ridiculously low prices on their own products. I ordered a new Amazon Fire 8 tablet for $49.95, a $30 savings off their regular low price. Last year I bought myself an amazon echo dot personal assistant that I love on a doorbuster price of $49.95. Now they’re selling for $29.95. Unbelievable!

Remember the recession started during president Bush’s administration? Remember the scared economy we faced during the Obama administration? It seems odd that our present president’s popularity ratings are so low considering the booming stock market, low unemployment rate and exploding economy we’re experiencing since he took office almost a year ago. He’s a businessman who knows his business. If he were such a rotten president wouldn’t we be in decline as a nation instead of flourishing? Me thinks there’s something foul afoot! 🙂

My wish for this holiday season is that Americons finally come together as a nation, that we continue to clean out the swamp and that we suddenly realize how great our country has become once again. Sexual deviates and predators need not apply.


The Suspender Store

I was reminded this week where I bought two of my pairs of suspenders. Since I discovered I still have the wrong shape for belts my 3 pairs of suspenders support me just fine. 🙂 I bought two elastic versions years ago that contain no metal so that I don’t set off the security metal detectors at airports. Believe it or not I found them online at where else but The Suspender Store.

They are stylish, comfortable and reasonably priced. Although i love my all leather, handmade suspenders yet I must admit all the brass on them sets off those metal detectors at security checkpoints is dramatic fashion.

Small Turnout For Thanksgiving Dinner

There were almost more volunteers in the kitchen than visitors eating what they cooked. For a number of reasons the turnout was small for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner put on by our church. I would guess that there were about 8 people plus the staff at the dinner table. For one thing the retirement home in Whitinsville decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner for their residents this year. Many more people signed up for the annual affair than actually showed up. I enjoyed the company of those who were there as well as the delicious meal prepared for us by folks that gave up a portion of their holiday for those who would have been alone if not for their efforts. A big hearty thank you to all that participated.

1st Shavings – Rabbeting Block Plane

My new Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Rabbeting Block Plane just arrived late yesterday afternoon. It was actually right on time because these are not mass produced heirloom tools. I had to wait just about 10 days for a production run produced this one for me.

LN Low Angle Rabbeting Block Plane

The difference between my older standard low angle block plane and this rabbeting version is that the plane’s iron (blade) protrudes completely out the sides of the plane body. This allows the woodworker to plane right up to the wall of a rabbet joint.

Rabbet Joint

Rabbet Joint

There many ways to make a rabbet joint that includes a table saw, router table with rabbeting bit, rabbeting plane with edge guide, shoulder planes, rabbeting block planes or a hammer & chisel. The rabbet joint is one of the most basic yet often used joints in woodworking. How you make it is totally up to the craftsman.

I setup my vise clamping station to see what my new plane could do. I adjusted the blade for a fairly thick shaving and clamped a block of poplar into my vise on edge. The resulting 3/4″ shaving curled out of the plane effortlessly. I’ve learned a lot in the past 6 months on how to setup a plane to produce uniform shavings the length of the piece of wood. It’s a beautiful thing that becomes hypnotizing very quickly. Sure I could have used power tools to accomplish the same task but judgement on which tool produces the finest finished edge the quickest is still out there. I love the sound and feel of hand tool woodworking as there is no sawdust and no loud power tool noise. 🙂

A Busy Down Day

What I mean by a down day is one where I have no outside plans, appointments or chores. It doesn’t mean I’m lounging around in my underwear snoozing or eating myself to death either. I kept quite busy actually, cleaning my kitchen, cleaning my indoor work area and taking care of some online shopping chores. I had three packages arrive today that included another new clothing outfit. I also received two new tools that I had ordered a few weeks ago. Ome was a replacement low angle block plane known as a rabbeting plane. The difference between a block plane and a rabbeting plane is that on a rabbeting plane the iron goes all the way to the outside edges of the plane. On a block plane it doesn’t. The rabbeting plane is more versatile in that it allows you to cut rabbet joints. The block plane is still useful but it’s intended for finishing tenon joints and softening the edges of boards.

I also ordered a hotdog attachment for my big No. 62 low angle jack plane. One of the uses for a big jack plane is on its side on a shooting board, a device used to square up end grain and shave straight grain to a marking line. The hotdog attachment fits on the side of my jack plane, acting as a comfortable handle while pushing it through a cut on its side.

That about wraps up all my Christmas shopping for 2017. I have some wrapping to still do and fill candy & cookie containers as stocking stuffers. My new natural wreath look great hanging from my front door.

Tomorrow it’s off to church with my large container of cranberry sauce to add to the huge meal planned for all the single folk who have no other place to celebrate the holiday. I’m so happy this is being done each year. I’ve spent my share of Thanksgiving all alone because of circumstances beyond my control. That includes walking a flightline in a foreign country while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Happy Thanksgiving to all who read these posts. God Bless you all!

New Clothes For Bob

It’s been at least 5 years since I last bought new clothes. I’m not referring to my Winter jackets and hoodies when I moved to New England but the casual wear that fills my closet. I’ve been a blue jeans and T-shirt kind of guy since I rode motorcycles and used to work in manufacturing. Only when I worked in an office environment back in the late 80s have I owned nice dress slacks and good quality shirts.

In the case of nicer clothes I used to always buy Haggar Action slacks because the material they use is so very comfortable. Add to that the fact that Haggar slacks have an elastic waistband that doesn’t actually require a belt. They just fit beautifully.

For shirts I prefer Van Heusen or Arrow shirts. Again, comfort is king. I love the fit and sharp looks of a Van Heusen dress shirt.

None of these clothes are what I refer to as cheap. A pair of slacks and one dress shirt can easily set you back $80. That makes it important to select color and styles that can be mixed and matched. I’ve done that with the first 4 articles in my new wardrobe. That potentially gives me 4 new outfits.

I bought the first set to try out the sizes and fit. Once satisfied the brands satisfied my requirements I then ordered my second set. You can see the possibilities below. I couldn’t believe the compliments I received while modeling that first outfit. They are flattering to my my bowling pin body shape. Camouflage and concealment was my wife’s motto and I still employ that strategy. 🙂 Total cost was $103.

New Clothes 01

Who’s Next, Santa Claus?

I was shocked last night after watching my favorite channel, CBS. Charlie Rose was missing from the CBS Evening News team. Suddenly his story was front page news. 8 women had accused Mr. Rose of sexual harassment, walking in front of them nude as if to test the waters. He didn’t deny the accusations but instead chose to apologize for his behavior, stating he was embarrassed by the release of these claims. Charlie is in his mid 70s. Regardless of his age CBS suspended him and removed all the programming associated with his name.

Who will fall next, Santa Claus? There seems to be an epidemic going on in the United States, grown men in positions of power and fame being forced to resign. Some immediately choose to disappear and reports of their checking into clinics for the sexual addiction they claim to have. Doctors claim there is no such thing at sexual addiction and state treatment for it is bogus and expensive. The rich and famous got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and are quick to claim. “I’m sick”.

The days of throwing your arms up screaming “Boys will be boys” are over. I want to see them in jail doing hard time with “Bubba”. Please throw the idiots in jail for killing freshmen pledges while claiming it’s all in the name of good clean fun! If I assaulted the dean’s wife I’d never see the light of day again. Stop covering the crimes being committed here. “Lock them up”!