Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yard Work

This patch of the northern Canadian wilderness is actually my back yard. I know, hard to believe! The big trees had killed most of my cedar hedge, and so I made the decision that since they couldn't play together nicely, they both had to go!
This only took a day for Bill (with the chainsaw) and me. It took another 4 days to drag all the branches off to a burn pit! I plan to burn them down into charcoal. I still have the trunks of these trees if anybody wants to saw them down into lumber!
The end result is the sudden creation of about 400 square yards of back yard where there was nothing but vegetation before! Tomorrow, I'll show how much yard I ended up with!

Monday, July 30, 2007


I sent a pile of books to a fellow (Jim Rosenau) who makes these shelves. Here is his web page. I am in awe of such an artist!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Creative Parking

Too lazy to do a posting...so enjoy the pics! Click on them to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Hall Costumes

The three hundred and one...well, a Klingon WOULD fit right in would he not?
Unhhhh Unhhhh Unhhhhh

Again, not sure this IS a costume. I think that is his uniform. He was there to clean out the pipes I think.

Hair dye is your friend. As are spray on abs...

I think Brenda is hanging out with some odd company. I mean, besides me that is...
Kay-Liss. Kay-Liss. Kay-Liss!

A predator on the prowl. Some of his armour slipped, and you can clearly see his genitalia...looks remarkably like a foot!

On old friend.
And a new friend.
This is Bill, getting a most unfortunate view of the RoboCop.

So a Klingon is drilling a hole in the ice seeking fish when a voice comes from above saying in deep ringing voice "There's No Fish There". The Klingon looks around, sees nobody, and moves along a few meters and starts drilling again. And again, a deep booming voice echoes over his head "There's No Fish There!". So the Klingon moves a few yards away from the second hole and starts to drill, and again, the deep voice sounds from above, "THERE'S NO FISH THERE!!!". The Klingon throws down his ice auger and yells upwards, "Who Is This? Kayliss, the Klingon God?"

"NO" comes the booming voice again, "THIS IS THE RINK MANAGER. THERE'S NO FISH THERE".

Monday, July 23, 2007

Polaris "Star Trek" Convention

The Polaris Convention is a re-named, re-invented version of "Toronto Trek" After what, 20 years, they decided that Star Trek was simply not the be all and end all it was when Bill Shatner had hair. And when Nicelle Nichols was cute. The fans are still here however, many of them 20 years older, and 20 kilograms heavier. Hall costumes are pretty cool at the convention. When all else fails a visit to the local Army Surplus Store and you can maybe find something that looks sort of "Star Gate Like".
Or you can meet Klingons.
Actually I think he looks pretty good.
Adam was there with his latest tour de force...the jacket and gloves from the up coming movie "skin walker". He is STILL the best leather worker I know.
Trouble is, I don't thing these folks are in costume. I think they just sort of arrived here by boat.
With luck those are costumes. With MY luck, they are not.
Ahhh shucks, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it at home, in a jar, on his dresser....
Predators are pretty cool.
You been told dude!
And Zlanth, she is thinking of YOU!
Thats my table, and a rare picture of Brenda. The nice armour I made (behind the babe, on the left....) sold almost right away! I never sell more than one armour at an event, and always within the first hour of setting up!
Didn't do too badly at this show, got to meet a lot of old friends and aquaintances. We thought long and hard about doing it again, but there are bigger shows which might make us more money, make it more worth while to blow a weekend in the summer. But I like this one....it is pleasant, comfortable, established, and unfortunately, dying on the vine. But who knows, it might turn around yet! It is still ten times the size of any other Science Fiction Convention in Ontario!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Malta Palace Museum "Cannons"

Click on these pictures to see these gorgeous cannons in their true glory!
The bronze cannons had been found all over the Republic of Malta, I remember a couple of them in the Silent City in front of the Cathedral, and the same in Victoria over in Gozo. And right here in Valetta as well. Finally, after seeing yet one more tourist using the cannons as a bench, Mr. S. persuaded the government to bring all these cannons into the Palace Museum where they belong.
A close up of the dolphin, a standard symbol of naval cannons. This one forms part of the slinging rings on top of the cannon. It is about fist sized.

This is the trunnion of a cannon which was pulled out of the big harbour on Malta's south shore when they were doing some dredging. Its part of a pair that for awhile were guarding St. John's Co-cathedral in M'Dina. I love the six sided "Tudor" rose. I don't think it is either English, or Tudor, but hey, I love the way they decorate even the most mundane part of the cannon. The trunnion is placed at the balance point of the cannon, and is the pivot upon which the muzzle is either elevated or depressed. It is also strong enough to soak up the recoil from the shot, so they tend to be the size of a man's forearm. When you want to disable a cannon forever, you knock off its trunnions.

Sling rings moulded to the shape of lions. You would use these sling rings to pull the cannon out of a ship, or generally move it about. The "great crane" in dockyard creek would be utilized to pull even big heavy cannons out of the damaged gun deck of a galley.

Same pic as above, but showing the whole sling ring.

Another pair of lions. The green is copper oxide, and this verdigris is very pretty, and shows the age of the artifact.

Pull back to see the rings on the cannon. Note the lovely embossed coat of arms back of the lions.
I just like this picture because of all the weapons on the wall. This makes a great wallpaper. In the very bottom of this pic, you can see the lion cannon again.

This is the same pic but lightened up. Sometimes lightening makes it better, sometimes not. What do you think?

Those polearms on the walls are quite real by the way. As are the armours high up on the wall. These were the armours I tried to memorize to be able to duplicate them. Very decorative, but not especially good for keeping the salt dust off the armour, they are too high to dust properly. Consequently there is some deterioration. Not much, and nothing needs to be done THIS year about it, but sooner or later, all these weapons and armours will have to go behind glass.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bill in Malta

This is my buddy Bill A. from Woodstock Ontario. His wife Sheila is in the background....the one with the hat. Here he is, looking out over the grand harbour.
The noon gun is a remarkable achievment of the Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna. (The Malta Heritage Trust) The re-establishment of the noon day gun is just one of the dozen or so projects which the FWA is doing to glorify Malta's wonderful past. This gun platform was purpose built some 300 years ago, and juts out over the Grand Harbour just under the Baraka Gardens. They now have 7 guns (of which only one is actually used), and eventually the saluting battery will contain its original compliment of 11 guns! I can hardly wait to see them all in use to salute some Monarch or another.

Here we are in front of the magnificent carved doors of the Palace. The Palace is of course, no longer used for the Grand Master of the Order of St. John (he is in Rome ever since Napolion booted him out of Malta) nor is it the residence of the Governor General of Britain since the Maltese booted HIM out in the '60s. Now of course, the palace makes up the legislative chambers of the Republic. A fine, fine turn of events!

The FWA raises money by allowing members of the public to participate in the drill and firing of the howitzer. This is the only example of this particular model howitzer left in the world, and the FWA did a remarkable job in recovering and restoring it. No, it doesn't hurt it to fire these small charges, but they look fantastic. Bill wasn't quite sure what to do when I bought him a spot on the line. The "soldiers" are all FWA personnel, amazing gentlemen who sweat in the sun in authentic uniforms. I am, as usual, amazed at their dedication.

When you go through the fancy carved door depicted above, you come into a courtyard with a stunning clock tower on its east wall. If it wasn't for the construction on the other side of the palace requiring visitors to cut through the courtyard to get to the Palace Armoury, we probably would never get to see this pretty little courtyard. By now, of course, the road work is probably all done, and the little area with its lush vegetation and magnificent architecture will be closed off to the public, and go back to being the private place for the lawmakers, movers and shakers of Malta.