Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tromp L'oeli

A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of "fool the eye" pictures. Here is one used by permission (from on a house in Quebec City.

click on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Idiot of the week....Sylvester

Meet Sylvester. Nice enough fellow, perhaps a little suggestible. "Hey Si, can you hold this Roman CAndle for a minute for me?"

Here, let me give you a light.

Clench them butt cheeks ! Talk about "pucker power"!

And Yes, Officer, alcohol WAS involved....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For camera lovers …
an interesting wartime history of LEICA Subject: The incredible story of the "LEICA FREEDOM TRAIN"
Please take a few moments to read the following. I hope you'll find it interesting and meaningful. The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product -precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty.
E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany's most famous photographic product, saved its Jews. And Ernst Leitz II, the steely eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, "the photography industry's Schindler." As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country.
As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany's Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities. To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as "the Leica Freedom Train," a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas. Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were "assigned" to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States. Leitz's activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany. Before long, German "employees" were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry. Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom - a new Leica.
The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers and writers for the photographic press. Keeping the story quiet The "Leica Freedom Train" was at its height in 1938 and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders. By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes' efforts.
How did Ernst Leit z II and his staff get away with it? Leitz Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz's single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.

Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and freed only after the payment of a large bribe. Leitz's daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s. (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officier d'honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)
Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the "Leica Freedom Train" finally come to light. It is now the subject of a book, "The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train," by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born rabbi currently living in England.

The book ($5 plus postage) is available from the American Photographic Historical Society, 1150 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Morning Grins...

Some days you feel like the cowboy and some days you feel like the bull.
Hope this gets you off to a flying start to your day!

Sunday, September 23, 2007



The Jewish man said, "Last week, my wife and I had great sex. I rubbed her body all over with schmaltz (chicken fat), we made passionate love,and she screamed for five full minutes at the end !"

The Frenchman boasted, "Last week when my wife and I had sex, I rubbed her body allover with butter. We then made passionate love and she screamed for fifteen minutes !"

The Italian man said,
"Well, last week my wife and I also had sex. I rubbed her body all over with olive oil. We made love, and she screamed for over six hours !"
The other two were stunned. The amazed Frenchman asked, "What could youhave possibly done to make your wife scream for six hours ?" The Italianman said, " I wiped my hands on the bedspread."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Brenda's Birthday Tournament

The balloons are in honour of Brenda's birthday. This tournament is one of two we hold every summer, one for MY birthday in August, and another for Brenda's B'Day in September. Dan for some reason doesn't like helmets. He likes that nice fencing mask. Lots of visibility, lots of breathability, and zero protection for the side, back and top. When he got a cut on the top of his head later on, I think he started to re-think this "low armour" thing.

Katherine has not had a chance to build a helm either, so she sticks to a hockey helmet. Which will do for awhile anyway.
Lorne loves this whole idea of armoured fighting. He build himself a chain maille shirt, and a rather interesting hood which fits over the eye protection. Looks a little odd, but least nobody is going to lose an eye.
And there is the birthday girl watching they guys fight. I am trying to keep order with a little white stick. I understand a white cane is the universal symbol of being blind, and since I am the referee, a white stick might well be appropriate as well.

The balloons make a nice touch!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Its Alive!

click on the images to enlarge. I think the resemblance is striking! I love the moustache!

These guys are what you call "Hermes". I really don't know why. But they are real good lookin fellas, doncha think?

Of course I found my niche.

Six pack rock. Like rock I tall ya!

The fella on my left, he probably cut himself shaving. Skinny bloke...

And I am sure I posed for this picture only a couple of years ago!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Prank Phone Calls

The youtube link is an audio file of a fella who likes to have fun with telemarketers.


This is the great statue to Wolfe that is at Greenwich Observatory. It overlooks the town, and the river. Very pretty spot.

This was the Prime Meridian. Just HAD to get a picture of us here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bugs (photoshop...)

I love these photoshopped bugs! For one thing, they are quick and easy. I spent my blogging time today on my armour blog....

click on these pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bathroom Humour

From the inside, the mirrors turn into windows. This is exciting!

From the outside, the windows are mirrors. I still think she is one brave lassie!

Sit down, take a load off. Bet this toilet is in a house with an owner who has no dangly bits.

Moo. Moo. Moo I say! (No, I don't know why...)

Makes ya think.

And just for fun, here is a link to REAL bathroom humour! Let me know if it works! This is the first time I ever did a link like this.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tromp L'oeil

click on the image to enlarge.

I have always liked Tromp L'oeil. It serves to change a space which usually needs changing without actually changing there are extra windows on Hampton Court to balance the rooms when in fact, no such window exists. The ancient Romans liked to decorate their rooms with "Tromp L'oeil" because they were often windowless, with only a little light coming in by skylight or oil lamp, but the rooms feel open and spacious with gardens and architectural details that never existed in real life.
Because it was a make belief world, they would have masks, fauns, gods, and all manner of beasts painted on the grotto like walls, giving the name "grotesque" to this art form.

I'll see if I can find some more examples.
Have a good week, and I hope I have made you smile this morning!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Insane Photographer

Click on this image to enlarge the sequence of the insane photographer who got the picture of a lifetime and lived to get it back home.
I'm not sure I am aghast or jealous!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rob's armour.

click to enlarge. Spent the week making this armour. More pictures on my armour blog....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Festival Life, 2004

Tattoos. The "carpet" tattoos were just becoming popular.

Some of them are pretty elaborate. This is when Kat Van D. was in juniour school! And Rob looks his usual photogenic self here.

Really cool coif, a copper stripe circling it. In the background is my little hobbit door, a remnant of my first booth way back in the Orangeville days, what, 13 years ago!

This is Ashley and her new toy. I was so torn about hiring her because she was so NOT comptetent, but at the same time, was so attractive. And when she bought that leather bustier, I had NO difficulty attracting men onto my deck. I eventually decided that the swords and knives attracted the men just fine, thank you.
But her picture is still pretty clickable!

And the drummers. They were really neat, but they did not put on the same kind of show as the great Kodo drummers of Japan! These guys had to do it all with talent instead of good looks.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

THREE years ago today

This was the last year of the festival. We had just closed up, and were celebrating some quiet moments.

I think the upper story looks pretty darned good!

From up on the deck, looking into the festival. Thats Donovan's maze in the distance, and the beautifully painted House of Musical Traditions beside us. The mirror is hanging on that beautiful old oak tree. This time of year was a little scary because the acorns would be falling like hail from time to time. That nice space beside the ramp for the deck was good for Dudley, he could sit in the sun or in the shade, whichever suited him.

This is the "fair" side of Stag House. Most such buildings are kind of weird since they look medieval from the fair side, but fairly normal from the backstage side.

I meant for this pic to go in tomorrow's post, but this is the last show I caught at the festival...Toronto's Kodo Drummers put on a really good show.

From the pub, the little house really towers over the festival.

The little gargoyle which decorated the back beam. You can see how I nailed steel to protect the wood. It didn't work....that beam is FULL of ants.

My big old rams heads, and the eye of Osiris I brought back from Malta. This is from the pub deck, looking into the "pit". The pit was there to provide a safe place for customers to swing a sword around. It must have worked, we had zero incidents in the nine years we were open. (Okay, there was "one", but that's a long story.)

From the pub deck, looking under my balcony and across the front of the HMT booth to the concession stands in the distance. I had just put in the decorative wheel brackets, and was "quite" taken with them.
One of the beam ends in front....these guys are just too cute for words. I still have one of them!