Thursday, November 29, 2007


Very clever ad placement. (click to enlarge)

Smart idea. Well done photoshopping.

Yup, I KNOW the feeling!
Paper airplanes? Really?
I think I know these guys!

airport design really IS all on paper!

Careful about that first step...its a lulu!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An old Roman Church

Santa Maria in Trastaveri. One of the very oldest churches in Rome, it was on the other side of the river (hence the word Trastaveri) and you had to get to it by going over a particular bridge. That bridge is in ruins now, and you can see the pilings and footings for it, but the church is still there. It was dedicated to St. Mary, whose face adorns the arch way over the sanctuary. Much of the decoration is new, that "Oh MY" ceiling you see in the below picture is quite modern, no more than a hundred years old. Before that you would have seen a timber ceiling that would have been pretty much blackened by centuries of candle soot. Fortunately, the frescoes have been restored to original, and the mosaics of course, are still as bright as day. Occasionally the light comes out, and all that gold leaf just pops! The church is "Romanesque", which is to say, there are two aisles formed by columns, a central clerestory, and a large apse, or half dome in back. Look closely at the pillars...they have been robbed from some antique roman temple, even the scrollwork at the top of the pillars are different from column to column. Its quite possible, even probable, that these columns are on their original bases, that the church was built around them. And there would also probably be plenty of pagan foundations, say, a mitraeum, or some such place of worship because the early church liked to build on the old places. A sacred site is a sacred site...and besides, it helps if the foundations are solid.

Above is the right hand ambulatory (aisle)...leading to the south chapel. The south chapel is usually the prettiest since the sun really perks it up. The north chapels in all these churches often hold the oldest artwork since there is no sun to fade it. They often stuck bell towers over the north chapels since they tended to be cold and uncomfortable anyways. This auld kirk is nae exception.

From the outside, you can clearly see the old architecture. Chances are most of what you are looking at has been fixed or replaced sometime in the last fifteen hundred years, but the lines are just as they were laid down when this church was 500 AD. Of real interest to me is the roof...doesn't it look like the roof of a greek temple? It should. It is.

And this is a closeup of the old east wall. The sun has faded the old paintings almost to invisibility, but hey, they are nearly a thousand years old, so they can be forgiven for being a little faded!

Winter has hit!

My friend's new dog. Her name is Tavi, you know, from the Rudyard Kipling story Rikki Tikki Tavi. Just five months, and she stayed still long enough for this picture! Wow!

Winter chores. Replacing oven elements. Tavi is learning how to do that. This was trickier than most stove elements because it had screws! Oh well, usually happens this time of year because everybody is cooking up harvest feasts, and the old elements are getting the first workouts since the weather turned warm back in the Spring.

Lest there be any doubt, winter has arrived. Not like last year when we didn't get snow until well into January! This has the depressing look of snow which is here to stay. Though that is unlikely....I often go motorcycling in December.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Web design

shamelessly lifted from Les Meise's blog site....
Since I am re-vamping my web pages myself, this came in really handy!
(I like Les....he has a skewed view on the world...)

Laws are always fun and I will add more as soon as I come up with them. I do, however, hope that you will help me come up with suitable laws so I wont have to do everything on my own. Any law you submit will off course be credited and published with a link to it’s source.
Anyway, here is the current list of web design related laws:

First Law On System Planning:
· Everything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time to change anything again
The Law of Detail by Carl Drott.
· Nothing is so simple that there is not a stupid way to do it
The Laws On Your Client’s Behavior
· Your client always thinks he knows more about web design than you do
· Your client never knows their or their site’s own good
· No matter how thorough you test your application, when you make your first live install at the customer’s site, it will break
· A site cannot be designed without a purpose and content and your client will give you neither
Hofstadter’s Law
· A task always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Murphy’s Law On Web Design
· Anytime things appear to be going well, you have overlooked something
· You always find any bug in the last place you look and when you’ve found them they’ll appear somewhere else
· You will not find the most annoying bug until you’re heading home from work
· 90 % of the time developing is taken by correcting bugs
· A website is always “under construction”
· The web site will always crash just before the backup is about to be done
· Don’t schedule a vacation to begin right after a release (by Lemming)
· Every project will take at least twice as much time as expected even if you expect it to take twice as much time from the beginning.
· That gorgeous shade of green on your home laptop will look AWFUL on your work PC (by Rachael)
· If everything looks fine in IE it’ll look horrible in FF and vice versa (by Rachael and Amelie)
· It’s impossible to do it right from the start (by Vera)

Wienberg’s Law (general law but applies to web design too)
Progress is made on alternate Fridays.

Metadoktor’s Law of Spelling
· If it can be misspelled, then it will be misspelled

Emil’s Principles
· The most loved design are the ones that don’t exist
· Making a perfect website is not possible as long as its’ intention is to be used
· A design only feel new the first time you look at it
· Unlike how things work in programming every problem is a bug not a feature
· You’re never paid enough money for listening to your client

Emsz‘ Law on Self Criticism
· No matter what your visitors say about your layout, you’ll still find it hideous

Golub’s Laws of Computerdom
· Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs
· A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long
· The effort requires to correct course increases geometrically with time
· Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress

Glaser’s Law
The cost of a complex system is very, very real

Mitch’s observation
95 percent of the functionality will take 5% of the time to program, and the other 5 % - that which we call “the exceptions” - takes 95%.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Iron Groomsman

click on these images to enlarge.

This is Lorne...a groomsman at a fine wedding. Itchy, uncomfortable chain mail, but he made the bracers himself, and he shafted that nice Hanwei spear point. I wish I had seen the wedding, apparently there was an arch of swords that the happy couple progressed through.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

October Cool things

October class graduated at the Plant Rec Centre.
I helped to open a Chinese Martial Arts training centre in the west end. The fine gentleman guiding my hand is Trench Tai, and in back are the VIPs.

a fine fence. more work than it looks!

started a deck.

beautiful doors, made a great gate!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Malta pics

click on the images to enlarge...

Cospicua. One of the "three cities". They have grown together, as you can see in the below picture. The above pic is taken from just inside the old east wall, the building probably was owned by a wealthy noble way back in the day. The big double doors would open into a little courtyard way in back. The roofs are typical flat maltese roofs, with railings around them. I presume they would provide patios up there, and like many places in the Med, a place to sleep which would be comfortable and cool. The imagination follows the long dead noblemen (few of whom were actually born here!) who would come back from raucous meetings in Valetta and Fort St. Angelo as they tried to deal with Ottoman incursions, smuggling, piracy, and heresy.

Above, on an old gun emplacement in the walls of Valetta, is a poignant statue to the fallen war dead.
With the going down of the sun, we will remember them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rough Week!

click on images to enlarge.
The evil pumpkin hoards have no chance!
Allow me to turn my back to the camera...

Perfect form!

Left handed way.

Nice armour dude!
Those pumpkins never had a chance.

Big claymore, big punkins...

Brenda went to the ceremonies downtown.

And in a tradition which seemed to be becoming more and more common people came up to the monument to the unknown soldier, and drop off their poppies.

on Friday, I had to deal with a poor old dawg...poor guy. Couple of weeks ago, he broke his foot...clearly his bones were getting brittle.

What a miserable week. Allergy shots, border delays, dealing with a friend's dog which eventually had to be put down, burying said dog...those were the down sides. The up sides were an excellent pumkin cutting demonstration which turned into a rather frigid tailgate party, an excellent class on Sunday with a reading of "High Flight" and "In Flanders Fields". Making armour? You gotta be kidding!
Well, time to get to work. Tonight is sparring night....should be interesting.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

(Murray Whetung will lay the wreath at the Curve Lake cenotaph on Sunday.
(Mike Strobel, Sun Media)

Yet, before the night has come, have I lived to see the last warrior of the wise race of the Mohicans
-- James Fenimore Cooper

CURVE LAKE -- Every man of fighting age in this Ojibwa reserve volunteered for World War II.
Every single one. Fifty men.

Actually, 51. But Cliff Whetung was allergic to the dyed wool of army uniforms. Swelled up like a balloon. So his war ended after a week, in a Peterborough hospital.

The last of the 50 is Cliff's kid brother Murray, 85 and sharp as a hunting knife.

Sunday at the cenotaph, the Maple Leaf will fly with the Union Jack and Curve Lake's banner, an eagle bearing a peace pipe.

The Wshkiigomaang Women Hand Drum Singers will play as Murray Whetung, last of 50 brave men, lays a wreath.
The sun, if it is out, will gleam off the buckskin suit he and Elva stitched 40 years ago. For years, native garb was barred at any Remembrance Day ceremony. That was a shame.
Those medals sure look good on buckskin.

You can get the rest of Mike Strobel's story at this link....its worth the trip and its quite the story!

With the going down of the sun

We will remember them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Belgian War Museum

To the right is the Belgian War Museum. To the left is the Automobile Museum. Through the arches under this big gate is the European Union Parliament.

I have put up lots more pictures on my armouring blog.

Let me know if that link doesn't work...grin!