Thursday, August 30, 2007

One of the 365 churches in Rome

This was a church which was placed (more or less) on the site of the Emperor Nero's grave. Apparently it was haunted, so they figured a church would fix the problem. The above sculpture by Bernini has a bas relief of Nero's tomb in behind it.
The odor of sanctity. Pretty small church all in all. Though it is open all the time, and there are always people praying in the little chapels along the sides.

It doesn't look all that impressive from the outside. But then, that's the Roman way to do things...either its a honkin great monument, or they keep it all inside. You can tall the tourists, women with bare arms, men with puzzled looks and maps.

What can I say? Sculpture and architecture by Bernini, art work by Carvaggio. My goodness! Names which rank up there with the best! The list of men involved in the building of this church read like a who's who of the Renaissance!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kuntry Kabbie Chats!

I always considered cab drivers to be the salt of the earth. I mean, they get you home, they put up with you when you are drunk, unlike yo momma, they's always there! I have several favorite taxi cab blogs....this is one of the best. He is the owner of a small "country" cab company, and his stories tend to be irreverent, off the wall, and VERY earthy. This is a sample of one of his posts.

Australians have always been good at giving people nicknames. Anyone with red hair is called bluey, we halve the surname and add an "o" onto their surnames, Simmo, Wilko etc.But the best ones are usually work related.
Opium.........A slow working dope
Truck inspectors with portable weighing machines are called mermaids..... cunts with scales.
SHOWBAGS: only worth two bob, full of rubbish and you have to carry him everywhere.
THE SHAH: been everywhere but nobody wants him.
MILKBOTTLES: you always find him full on the front doorstep in the morning.
HARPIC: clean round the bend.
BLISTERS: shows up after the work is done.
THE JUDGE: always sitting on a case.
CYCLONE: a slow moving depression.
LONDON FOG: never lifts.
MIRROR: always saying "I'll look into it".
JUNGLE: thick, green and dense.
THROMBOSIS: a bloody clot who interferes with the functioning of the system
ASIO:Everything is prefaced with "Don't tell anybody, but... "
All Bran:At meetings always trying to pass a motion
Appendix: Expensive to take out
Bondi: Because he's far from ManlyBootlace: Always tied up
Brown Sugar: Coarse and unrefined
Budget: Constantly wants to borrow your car
Carpet: At her best when laid
Castrol: Always ready to pass on the good oil
Cattle Truck: Full of bullshit
Chicken Lips: Has a "fowl" mouth
Cider: His favourite expression is "She's apples"
Beer Bottle: Empty from the neck up
The one that I like the best is the footballer who they called The Pope....he wouldn't pass the pill.

What's your favourite????

More Tees.

I am sure Myrna knows somebody who would like this shirt!

Good advice!

Its not working.

Its not working.

Its not working.

Its not working.

These have potential! You have to click on the picture to see how clever these designs are!

(insert Bill smiling here.....)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tees!... more and more tees!

Darned if I can remember what site these were on, but I just love them! But then, I have always felt that tee shirts are a unique North American form of artwork, akin to grafitti but without the gang tags.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dave's Armour

Mr Big and Tall armour makers at your service!

Dave is six foot ten, and wants to be married in a suit of armour. This is what I made for him. Here I am, adjusting his front strap.
The faulds have been trimmed away since this picture was taken, and the tassets seem to look a little less like an afterthought. Thats his princess in the picture above!
I think it is too high up under his arms, but the trooper that he is, he figures it is just fine. Good thing too since it is NOT an easy fix! It does fit a bit better when the straps are all tightened in back...which they are not in this pic. Failure to tighten up the straps results in gaps in front. You can see his red shirt in those gaps. They closed up just fine after I pulled it in a notch or two in back.

The rest of this post has been moved to

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Egyptian Funerary Art
I think this guy changed my spark plugs last week!

click on these images to enlarge. I like the fellow above the best...I almost feel that I know him!

A Roman Babe...dead these many years, alas!

And her mother!

Its hard to believe that these realistic portraits actually decorated the coffins of the people in the portraits. The realism is more than stunning!

Clearly I need to visit Egypt now!

Until then, please visit it vicariously with me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pipe Specifications.

Back when I used to work on the aircrafts, we would have to deal with "engineers". A strange breed, who would often have no idea how to work on an airplane. But they can build them! And they are famous for putting connections of all kinds in places where you cannot swing a wrench, let alone a cat! Pesky folk, they tended to send their cubs out to "see what the technicians are doing", and after the usual pranks like being sent to fetch left handed screwdrivers and skyhooks, they tended to leave us alone. They were handy in case we needed to order stuff though.

Engineers are useful because they could come up with definitions. And definitions are useful if you are going to order "stuff". And because the guy doing the procurement has absolutely NO IDEA what we were up to (I mean how could he, we barely knew ourselves!) a proper engineering definition was essential. Failure to supply the proper material might result in cracks in the airplane...the above picture clearly shows serious cracks in the airplane. Some of them, you can see from across the hangar! So you can see how important it is to get the right product!

The definition of a length of pipe.

System Pipe Specifications With reference to B31.3,

new specifications for system pipe have been adopted by the Warranty Department on 1 Apr 04.

If the customer's pipe does not meet the following specifications, it may interfere with system operation or move the operating conditions away from those specified on the initial bid. In this case, the Warranty may be considered void and any failure will be the responsibility of the Customer.

1. All pipe shall be made of a long hole, encased by metal or plastic material concentric with the hole.

2. All pipe shall be hollow throughout the entire length.

3. Do not use holes of different length than the pipe.

4. All pipe is to be of the very best quality, perfectly tubular or pipular.

5. All acid proof pipe is to be made of acid proof metal.

6. The I.D. (inside diameter) of all pipe must not exceed the O.D. (outside diameter) or the hole may be on the outside of the pipe.

7. All pipe is to be supplied with nothing in the hole so that water, slurry or other process material can be put inside at a later date.

8. All pipe should be supplied without rust. This shall be applied at the job site by the Contractor, Fitter or Customer. Note: Some Vendors are now able to supply pre-rusted pipe. If available, this product will save a lot of time on the job site.

9. All pipe is to be cleaned free of any covering such as mud, tar, barnacles, or any form of manure before putting up, otherwise it will make lumps under the paint.

10. All pipe over 500ft (153m) in length should have the words "long pipe" clearly painted on each end, so the Contractor will know it is a long pipe.

11. Pipe over 2 miles (3.2km) in length must have the words "long pipe" painted in the middle, so the Contractor will not have to walk the entire length of the pipe to determine if it is a long pipe.

12. All pipe over 6" (152mm) in diameter shall have the words "large pipe" painted on it, so the Fitter will not mistake it for small pipe.

13. All pipe closers are to be open on one end.

14. All pipe fittings shall be made of the same stuff as the pipe.

15. No fittings are to be put on the pipe unless specified. Otherwise straight pipe will be crooked pipe.

16. When ordering 90 degree, 45 degree or other elbows, be sure to specify right hand or left hand or the pipe will end up going the wrong way.

17. Be sure to specify horizontal, vertical, uphill or downhill sloping pipe. If downhill pipe is used for going uphill, the water will flow in the wrong direction.

18. Fittings come bolted, welded, or screwed. Always use screwed. They are the best.

19. All threaded pipe couplings should have either right hand or left hand thread. Do not mix the threads or as the coupling is being screwed on one pipe, it is unscrewed from the other.

20. Flanges must be used on all non-threaded pipe connections.

21. Flanges must have bolt holes external to and separate from the big hole in the middle. 22. Fasteners are required to hold flanges together.

23. If flanges are to be blank or blind, the big hole in the middle must be filled with metal.

24. All metal flanges must be cast or forged of the very best quality iron metal, close grained, free from blow holes, lumps, cavities, pock marks, pin pricks, and warts, otherwise we can't use them.

25. Gaskets shall be used to fill in the space between flanges

26. Gaskets are to be made of metal, rubber, plastic, paper, or some kind of goop. Do not use cow or sheep manure, it cracks when it gets dry.

27. All bolts are to be screwed.

28. All bolts must have a head on one end and a nut on the other.

Now that we have THAT week we will discuss "laying pipe".

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tuesday Morning Chuckles...Women

Click on these images to enlarge. Hmmmm, somebody already has... No comment. I can't think what to say! I just don't believe those helmets are real!

The seventh annual running of the brides...

I am sure Brenda has considered it.

I didn't know you could do that! But if it fits...great!

Yes officer, this is my wife's car. Take a look at the speedometer!

Monday Morning chuckles! Men!

Men are so predictable.
men are so predictable
okay, not totally predictable.
Uh, sure they are!
And would you have 'em any other way?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ypres Now.

The arch way...almost the only part of the cloth hall which sort of survived.

Contrast this with the pictures below!

The re-building effort was paid for by the British Government. Needless to say, there was quite a kerfuffle in the "house" as some MPs (Members of Parliament) wanted to keep "Wipers" as it was a sort of memorial to the war. People who called it home had other ideas, and they came back in drips and drabs to their old homes, digging them out and trying to recover their lost lives. The various governments suddenly got the idea that they could completely rebuild the town the way it they did. They DID bring in flush toilets and fresh water of course! They felt a completely re-built town was a better monument to human courage than a ghost town.
I just thought I would share this story with my touched me deeply at the time, and still, months later, I shake my head at the sheer stubborn-ness of people who are determined to put the madness behind them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ypres Then

This is the cloth hall and the main plaza. They have cleared the the distance just at the right of the picture you can see the Menin Gate. And therefore, this road is the Menin Road.
Here you can see the cloth hall and the Church of St. Martin just in back of it.
And thats what it looked like in 1914.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Church of St. Martin's at Ypres

Totally flattened in the first world war, totally rebuilt since. Pretty nice huh?

Gettin' On...

Bill having a few chicks over for lunch
With age comes wisdom!

(oh, and MY pic was photoshopped to make me look old too! Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it!)