Archive for December, 2014


With Pat away I decided to bring up the tubs with our old VHS player and the many tapes we had.  I hooked the VHS player up to the TV and decided to watch some of the old movies that we had in the collection.  I had stored all of these away years ago in Oakville when we got our first DVD player and have not opened the tubs since.  I am surprised that we brought them here when we moved.

Last night I watched Panic in Year Zero, a 1962 black and white movie with Ray Milland  and Steven Spielberg’s first movie Duel with Dennis Weaver.

Quality of the picture is not what we are used to these days but still I enjoyed them.  I shall go through the rest this week.

There is a dozen of the Walt Disney movies cherished by Janine and Meagan (Aladdin and Swiss Family Robinson etc)  Not sure what I am going to do with them.  I cannot imagine Ariana or Bronte watching them let alone Janine and Meagan and who aside from me would go to the effort to watch VHS anyway.  Reluctant to throw them out but will have to eventually.  Cannot even give them away in a yard sale.

Friday Night Dinner

Pat is away and I am home alone on Friday night.

Apparently my children are concerned, when I am home alone, that I am dining well.  They actually send emails to each other expressing hope that I issue a blog to prove that I am not just consuming cat food and potato chips. So this is the blog.

Blaine has spent the week with me.  With the torrential rain we did not get out golfing or hiking every day as planned.  We did get in an 8 km hike yesterday when there was a break, but just made it back to car before the downpour returned.  He left this morning and sure enough the sun came out and we are in for a gorgeous sunny weekend.

My brother is actually a bad influence.

Everyone knows he has a bit of a fetish about washing dishes.  The first night he castigated me on having a dishwasher half full.  According to him anyone living alone should hand wash all the dishes.  This, to me, is sacrilege.  Thomas Edison invented the dishwasher to free mankind from the drudgery of hand washing dishes.  So this week, throughout the meal preparations, he kept washing the pots and pans as we went along and at the end of each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) he washed the dishes.

As I said he is a bad influence.  Today after he left, I hand washed my lunch dishes and tonight washed my dinner things.  We will see how long that lasts…….

Anyway back to my dinner tonight.  I was planning to make Pizza last night (this was a week of meals for guys) but at the last minute we had a change of plans and made chicken wings, a dish he cannot get at home.  So tonight I made the Pizza.  Pepperoni, bacon, fresh tomatoes, olives, grilled peppers with dabs of Pesto and fragments of Goat cheese.  As you can see from the picture, a gorgeous pizza but I seem to be incapable of making anything smaller than a 15 ” extra large.  I will be eating the leftovers for lunch for the next 3 days.


Victory Barge

Well I have finished the barge.  This would have been the largest boat carried on the Victory.  I miscalled it in an earlier blog by referring it as the Captain’s barge.  In fact it is way to big for that.  This would have been the biggest boat aboard for carrying 50 men ashore or for carrying supplies.  Still despite its huge size it is authentic to the Ship’s barge and with all the frames and pinned planking not bad if I say so myself.  If you look at the side I did use wooden treenails to fasten the planks to the frames.

Fortunately the lines I ordered weeks ago finally showed up in the mail so I can get back to rigging.


8 top inventions for Winter Driving

There was an article on the internet about the top 8 inventions that made winter driving bearable over time.  They were (in order)

– Tire Chains

– Snow Tires

– Winter Gas (basically with additives to keep the minuscule amount of water from freezing and blocking lines)

Then the list went weird

– Cell phones so you could call in an emergency

– ABS brakes that kept you from swerving

– Electronic Stability Control that kept you driving straight on icy roads

– Heated seats

– Halogen Head lights that blasted through blizzard snow

Obviously this list was produced by a youth.

A few years ago when I was sitting talking to my mother I actually asked her what developments in car design helped in winter driving. (true story)  She thought for a minute and came up with a list that I think is great.

– Signal lights.  Apparently driving a pickup truck in Regina in mid winter could be horrible when you had to roll down the window to signal with your arm to turn.

– Interior heating – some guy thought to redirect hot water from the engine cooling to a radiator in the cabin

– Anti freeze – you could not even think of starting a car without putting a fire under  the engine in the old days


I can add the following that are way more important than Cell phones

– Ice scrapers to clean your windshield

– Winter windshield washer fluid


And finally….. moving to Paradise where we do not need any of these things in winter except for an Umbrella.

Victory Captain’s Barge

As you know I am working on a model of the HMS Victory for Andra and Sean.  I was not originally planning to add any of the ship boats for this model.  They are extraneous to the ship itself and at the 1/96 scale extremely difficult.  But I am at a pause in the construction as I await linen lines of the proper scale that I ordered over a month ago from a US site.  You can use normal threads of cotton and polyester but they stretch and do not look right.  When I started the rigging I thought I had enough but the Victory is a hog for lines and I ran out.

So as I await I have finished off the spars and some other details.  Then decided I would make one ships boat, the Captain’s barge (if you are not familiar think of a long rowboat with a dozen rowers) .  Now if you buy a Victory model made in Asia they may have ship boats but they are quickly carved from a single piece of wood.  I decided to make one proper with frames and planks and even little tiny treenails to hold the planks on.  The frames are small and tend to break when you make them.  The pictures show a couple of the frames compared to a frame from the model itself.

I had made a few of these before at this size but used a technique where the planks are formed on a mold and then the frames added as little scraps after.

Actually enjoying the challenge although there are more “damn” statements when a piece breaks and my fat fingers get in the way.  A long way to go but I hope it will be worth it.

Barge Frames 1 Barge Frames 2