Friday, September 29, 2006


Advertisements are facets of character. These ones gleam a little more brightly than usual. Click on the images to enlarge.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Michael McNevin

Just when you think there are no more artists out there! click on this image to see it full size. I am 99.44% certain this has not been photoshopped.

Click on this link and explore

I also heartily recomend his "road" stories!

(thanks for the tip Brian!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Arrrr. here be pirates...

A few weeks ago, the Pirate Festival at Fort York. I'm the one in the blue shirt with my back to the camera....

Shows the product line nicely though.

clock on images to Inlargo....

(just checking to see if you were still reading...grin!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tiddlin' Down

IN honour of the weather.....rain for the 9th consecutive weekend! A slight inconvenience to some....but devestating to us people who depend on weekend fairs for our living! Grrrrr!

Okay, so the second from the top one is NOT a pissoir. I just included that one for the ladies. And the bottom one for those who hate brass...

Click on the images to see them full size.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

September Duc Du Barie

(Someday I will visit all the castles in the folio of the Duc Du Berry. Until then, I must visit them vicariously. Grin!)

This representation of the grape harvest at the foot of the Château de Saumur is distinctive because it was begun by Paul de Limbourg and his brothers, and completed seventy years later by Jean Colombe.The different styles are evident in the tonalities of color, delicacy of techniques, and nature of the figures. The Limbourgs executed the upper two-thirds.

Traditionally, the background was, in fact, the first part of a miniature to be executed; sky, landscape and architectural decor were then followed by the foreground, figures, and last of all the faces. The Château de Saumur, near Angers, belonged to a nephew of the Duc de Berry, Duc Louis II d'Anjou, who had completed its construction at the end of the fourteenth century. It appears here in all its fresh newness: chimneys, pinnacles and weathervanes crowned with golden fleurs-de-lys thrust skyward.It is drawn in a firm bold line that includes every detail and reveals the sure hand of that one of the three brothers attracted to architectural representations and responsible also for the Palais de la Citè in June and the Louvre in October.

The château stands to this day, although the crowning crenellations have disappeared, and is easily recognizable in this miniature by the buttressed towers, battlements, glacis, and general arrangement of the buildings.On the left we glimpse a belfry that might belong to the church of Saint-Pierre; next is a monumental chimney with secondary stacks undoubtedly belonging to the kitchen and comparable to those at the nearby abbey of Fontevrault; and last, a drawbridge entrance from which a horse walks while a woman with a basket on her head approaches.The harvest scene itself was executed by Jean Colombe. He probably worked over a sketch by the Limbourgs since miniatures were completely and lightly drawn before being painted.

We can see the gathering of the grapes in the famous Angevin vineyard. Aproned women and young men pick the purple-colored clusters of grapes and fill baskets to be loaded into hampers hanging from the mules or into vats on the wagons. One of the mules burdened with baskets is in the section painted by the Limbourgs and was probably executed by them.

(from the Wikipedia) The Château de Saumur sits high on a spur of the tall cliff looking down on the Loire River at the mouth of the Thouet River. Constructed as a fortified stronghold, after its destruction in 1067 the chateau was rebuilt by a member of the powerful Plantagenet family. In the first part of the 20th century, the city of Saumur acquired the chateau and began a restoration program to house the museum of the decorative arts. In line with the Saumur area's equestrian tradition and its famous Cadre Noir, the chateau also serves as a Museum of the Horse.
Saumur has ancient ties to the military, going back to the 18th century when the cavalry school was founded here; this school is now the school of armored cavalry. The Musée des Blindés is dedicated to the history of tank warfare and the Musée de la Cavalerie has cavalry history and depictions of battle scenes and old uniforms.

Please click on the images to see them in all their glory.

Monday, September 18, 2006

St. Marie Among the Hurons

The grave is that of Father BreBeuf, who was tortured and killed a couple of miles from here in 1649. He wrote the Huron Indian Carol....

and a better link....

The top picture is a fenced off foundation of the original stable. Not much left after...what...nearly 350 years! (click on image to enlarge)

second pic is the obligatory placque which tells you everything you want to on image to enlarge.

Third pic down is the grave. He was moved to that site after the church was built. Well, most of him...the stains in the soil were moved. (eeeuuuwwwh).. as well as the earthly remains of his friend. His bones ended up in Rome, and his skull is down the road in a church which bears his name. The church was built to be vaguely resemble a "longhouse". The similarities are striking!

His whole story is here. Not for the faint of heart...

The botom pic is another random pic of the remains of the fort, with the redactment in the background.

as usual, click on the images to enlarge!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brenda's B-Day

We drove from Collingwood to Ottawa, taking a different route than usual. Funny, they all look the same though! All trees, rocks, and winding roads! The leaves are starting to change, they will look amazing in a couple of weeks but there were plenty of bright red maples and golden yellow poplar in amongst the hunter green of the pine trees. For her birthday lunch, we stopped at the Ossawippi train restaurant. It was featured on the popular show Restaurant Makeover.


The show has made this restaurant into a viable concern, if only because people want to go there to see how a world class designer (Robin De Groote) can blow 40 thousand dollars on paint and fake wood flooring. Personally, I am not happy with somebody bringing their own "vision" to a genuine antique, but at least it works AS a dining car, and his choice of light fixtures was excellent. The second pic down and the bottom one are Robin's work. It showed all the signs of being rushed, but generally speaking, a nice little bistro. I wonder if it will look as good after 50 years as the other cars, like in the 4th pic down!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Trip Pics

Inukshuks, moose and airplanes. The moose died of natural causes....the inukshuks seem to be breeding! The top pic is me taking a breather at the base of the suspension bridge. Like I say..."scenic caves"! The cables look like some sort of cannon...but they are actually big nuts and bolts!

The bottom pic is the statue of Janusz and a model of the Avro Arrow.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Vacation in Canada

Well, I left the guys at the Russel Fair to do the demo. I hope it turned out okay. Lots of cool stuff at that fair...blacksmiths, well drillers, cannon makers, all in what Brenda calls "testosterone alley". I was a little more taken with the antique cars. Hard to imagine a '79 Camaro as being an antique!

The ride west took me through the town of Wilno. Famous as being the first settlement in Canada of immigrants from Poland, and for the best polish sausage in the Ottawa Valley. Next week, I'll download a pic of a statue of its most famous resident...a fellow who had test flown the Avro Arrow. Janusz Zurakowksi is the fellow's name, and he has a Wikipedia entry that I cannot access on this public access computer, but his story is a stunning one!

Brenda did not see any moose on her ride through the Algonquin Park. Well, she did find one..a little the worse for wear however, and again, next week, I shall post some pictures!

Today, We went to see if Mr. Hoffmann was still turning pigs into sausages in the little town of Staynor. Apparently he is....but only on Tuesdays to Saturdays. Then lunch of wonderful Carribian Cooking at Angela's. I had the curried goat. It was better than it sounds. Brenda had a jerked chicken sandwich, all washed down with ginger beer. We drove around trying to find a dive shop, and discovered that even though we are on the worlds longest freshwater beach, nobody scuba dives around here. Well, tomorrow, I'll drop up to Tobermory (2 hour drive) and see what they have there. I hear the diving in Tobermory is the best in the world. We'll see.

So after tooling around all day looking at stuff, I figured, why not check out the famous "scenic caves". They really are scenic! They have great views of Georgian Bay! I don't think Jennifer considers a cave without a ceiling as a cave at all, and in fact, they are simply crevasses in the limestone created by huge blocks of limestome which are slowly falling off the Niagara Escarpment. Well, they closed early, so we walked over to the gondolas which were doing gangbuster work ferrying BMX mountain bikers up to the top of the hill! 35 bucks gives you all day up and down the slopes! This is something they have only been doing for a couple of years now, and it allows this facililty to be used even in the summertime. It is especially cool since all the downhill bike trails are through the woods, thereby not damaging the actual ski hills at all!

Right now, Brenda is up in the hotel room, frying up some pork chops. I wish I knew what it was about RCI Resorts....they sure don't like to give you a room with a view! In fact, I always get a room with a view of the construction!

Sorry, no pictures. Next week!

I just realized how many places could be googled from this report! Tobermory, Niagara Escarpment, Moose, and Scenic Caves of Collingwood! Have fun!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Marmora Fair 2006

On Labour Day weekend, I demonstrated armour making and sword fighting at the Marmora Fair, in Ontario. These pictures are random shots taken during that fair. Click on the images to see them in their full sized glory!

From the top down

Me demonstrating some of the coarser points of sword handling. In between the rain drops.

The little cow barn where I set up my stuff. was dry! Not much else was!

The BIGGEST horse I have ever seen! I am standing right in front of that matched team! So gentle! Glad they didn't think my fingers were carrots! The owner won an award for the pretty tack...even though in my opinion, it was too small for the horses! (They won the heavy horse pull to no one's surprise)

My neighbours...

The biggest inukshuk I have ever seen! This one is at the entrance to the old Marmoraton Iron Open Pit mine. Inukshuks are more and more common around Canadian highways.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A couple more fight pictures

Top...Traci and Shayne looking on.
2nd. Traci and Shayne looking bored...waiting for it to be over.
3rd. Me about to eat a piece of Andrew's sword. (I think I caught it on my shield though)
4th. Andrew closed my visor, and is now proceeding to nail me into the floor. Nice movement shot.
as always, click on the images to seem them full size.

How I celebrate 50 years

These are some pics from my fight class on the 28th (two days ago) I was thinking of fighting 50 fights, but naaah....I got in five good ones. I might have gone 50 rounds but all those guys would not have been able to keep up with me. Thats my story and I am sticking with it. Didn't do too badly...I still have lots of tricks up my sleeve. Not bad for an old phart of fifty years!
Top and my spiffy mirror eye protection. I didn't KNOW they were mirrored when I get em!
Top right...Andrew and me mixing it up.
Bottom....I fight Shayne in a by. Look at that stalk! I am doing my "terminator" impression. I don't know if it scares Shayne but it certainly scares ME!