Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Village in Lights

Above...a sample of the village in lights. Below, an example of the product this working village creates. Yup, thats real knotted iron. droooolllll. And the gorgeous windsor chairs are made there as well. The carpet is, I believe, made to spec in Montreal.
The house, Crysler House, was moved to this site when they flooded the St. Lawrence River to create the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Last night, Alison and Ian drove us to Morrisburg to see the village of lights. Upper Canada Village (an 1867 re-enactment village) throws period re-enactment to the winds, and covers themselves with thousands of christmas lights. The re-enactors are not there of course, school is not "in", the sawmill is silent, but the church was rockin with carolers, and all the buildings were picked out in coloured lights. It was sort of magical.
That combined with a remarkably good meal in Morrisburg made for an excellent evening. The cook wants to do "fine dining", however I am not quite sure what that means. He is Indian, and makes a wonderful tandoori. Thats fine enough for me!
Happy New Year everybody..........

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saint Stephen's Day

By permission, from Gus the Wire Haired Terrier's blog

Good King Wally, he looked out,
On the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Tho' the frost was cruel,
When a poor dog came in sight,
Gath'ring winter fuel."Hither, Ethel, stand by me,
If thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder canine, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence,
And his name is Oscar;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes' fountain."
"Bring me flesh, and bring me bones,
Bring me pine logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither.
Walls and Ethel forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Thro' the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.
"Wally it is getting dark,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I fear to bark,I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, good my page;
Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In her master's steps she trod,
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, all ye dogs, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

And to all a good night.
These images will enlarge if you click on them. The snow covered bird house.
snow pushed up against the house to cut the draughts. In the distance you can see the bulldozed snow from the school parking lot.

The pretty church next door. This is the view from my living room window. Nice.

Home sweet home. I really MUST repaint that looks terribly unkempt.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Longest Day, the Shortest Day

Yesterday, Tanya gave her husband the ultimate fortieth birthday present...a string of interesting things that all became part of a quest. He is a Dungeon and Dragons gamer, and a great lover of fantasy swordsmanship and so forth. She had been planning these quests for quite a while now, and back in September, she asked me if I could give a little lecture on how to fight with swords. In two hours. As part of a quest.
I reminded her that my art is a real art. And that it will take more than two hours to actually learn how to do this for real. But after I thought about it for a bit, I decided that it "might" be possible to get a few things into their skulls, and provide a memorable day.

And I am sure it was. They showed up, tired, hung over, after spending an evening in the Ottawa jail, and a couple of hours at a local reptile zoo (learning charisma and snake handling), then they became mine for two hours. It was great. They will never become swordsmen after only two hours, or even after ten. But, they had an excellent time. They learned a couple of strikes, a couple of blocks and parries, how to salute, and they got to try on some chain maille, and a full size suit of plate armour. That alone would have been memorable, but I added in a half hour of accuracy training (cut the pumpkins with the sword. The seeds go flying. The crowd goes wild.

It finished up with me knighting them, giving them their "knightly buffet" (a more or less gentle slap in the face...mostly less), their commissions (actually clues to move onto the next part of their quest...a food quest I believe) and they wandered off, no doubt wondering about my sanity for doing this for a living.

Monday, December 15, 2008


My old blogging buddy Old Horsetail Snake told me about going for a beer. Or two.

Say you're going to have one beer. Then in turns into a couple of beers, then a six-pack and soon enough, a cascade of beer. You don't know what hit you, but the next day it turns into a
One-Star Hangover
No pain. No real feeling of illness. You're able to function relatively well. However, you are parched. You can drink 5 Cokes and still feel this way. For some reason, you are craving a steak and fries. Unless, of course, it's a
Two-Star Hangover
No pain, but something is definitely amiss. You may look okay, but you have the mental capacity of a staple gun. The coffee you are chugging is only enhancing the rumbling of your gut, which is still tossing around the fruity pancake from the 3 a.m. Waffle House excursion. There is some definite havoc being wreaked upon your bowels. You sure hope it isn't a

Three-Star Hangover
Slight headache. Stomach feels crappy. You definiely not productive. Anytime a girl walks by you gag because her perfume reminds you of the peppermint schnapps your alcoholic friends dared you to drink. You've had 4 cups of coffee, a gallon of water, 3 iced teas and a diet Coke -- yet you haven't peed once. It's looking more and more like a

Four-Star Hangover
Life sucks. Your head is throbbing. You can't speak too quickly or else you might puke. Your boss has already lambasted you for being late and has given you a lecture for reeking of booze. You wore nice clothes, but that can't hide the fact that you shaved only one side of your face. Your eyes look like one big red vein, and even your hair hurts. Your butt is in perpetual spasm, and the first of about five dumps you take during the day brings water to the eyes of everyone who enters the bathroom. No, it isn't a four-star job; it is easily becoming a

Five-Star Hangover
You have a second heartbeat in your head, which is actually annoying the employee who sits in the next cube. Vodka vapor is seeping out of every pore and making you dizzy. Your body has lost the ability to generate spit so your tongue is suffocating you. You don't have the foggiest idea who the hell the stranger was who had passed out in your bed this morning. Any attempt to take another dump results in a fire-hose-like discharge of alcohol-scented fluid with a rare floater thrown in. The sole purpose of this floater seems to be to splash the toilet water all over your buns. But all this helps you add to your list of

Things Impossible to Say When You're Drunk
1. Thanks, but I don't want to have sex.
2. Nope, no more booze for me.
3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
4. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?
5. Oh, I just couldn't. No one wants to hear me sing.
6. Sorry I'm being such a jackass

Monday morning blues

Just got back from Toronto...10 hours driving to deliver some swords to a production company. Not making much money on this project, but it is kind of nice to see the people who are receiving the stuff. It should be interesting to see the eventual result. Nice way to spend a Sunday. There seem to be a lot of rest stops which are closed and undergoing renovation.

It has, for some reason, gone way above freezing around here. The foot or so of snow we had is melting like crazy. Water everywhere. Its kind of cute watching the high school kids soaking their feet in the puddles. Only the guys though....the girls are all wearing boots, and don't have the problem the "cool" guys have. High school boys....proof of serial evolution.

This "warm weather" will only be for one day...I understand that Ottawa is going to become a skating rink tonight. The sump pump is cycling on and off pretty regularly. Thats a good sign.

And Brenda is trying to figure out how to create PDF files. Hmmm. Brenda on computer. I think I'll just step away from the work station and go into the shop before the fireworks start.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kuul inventions

I have been busy making can see a representative selection of it on my other blog... And that pretty much describes what I have been doing for 12 hours a day this week! Hope I can get it all done before Christmas. Well, that and surfing the web looking for new and interesting Christmas Gift Ideas! I have put up a sampling here...maybe some more tomorrow.

It should be interesting this week...there is a transit strike, and more than one of my wonderful friends is stuck for a way to get to and from work. Oh maan....that is only one drawback to the use of public transit! It means that there has to be some inventive ways to get around.
Of course, when not traveling, a cup of tea might be in order. Above is a toaster which also brews up a nice cup of tea.

And who can not relate to singing in the shower!

I am sure I have seen these for sale at my local dollar store!

Above is a double pourer. I am not quite sure why this is so cool. But it IS!

This just misses the boat. Mind you, I know lots of people that like a nice firm mattress. I don't think four corner posts replaces a box spring. Of course, it would be a lot lighter and easier to move.
Well, time to get back into my shop. Try to get some nice pics of all the armour which has been flowing out from under my hammer this week.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


The fall is when it is busiest around the Armoury....there is the harvest to bring in, windows to seal up. Screen doors to dismount and put away. This fall has been crazier than usual...there was no harvest since the feral rabbits around here cleared my garden. But the usual fall pumping of the septic tank uncovered a problem. A week of digging found the flattened pipe, and another week of digging uncovered several plugged runs. It wouldn't have been so bad but the cold was coming in fast. It was a case of being able to spade through the grass in the morning, and needing a pick by evening. I really wore myself out....and picked up the flue as a result. Well, no need for flue shots for me! Now, three weeks later, the larangytis is still keeping me whispering. And coughing.

I did get to the ballet last Thursday....and I found a place where I could cough without disturbing anybody. I have always wanted to see The Nutcracker", and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet did a fine job. This was classical ballet....not really my thing, but dammit, I never got to see it when I was a kid, and now was my chance. I'm glad I did. Now I can strike that one off my list! The music was good, and the girls were pretty. Brenda liked the men in tights, which makes her happy (and by extension, me happy).

I scored a nice supply the swords for the "Rob Roy" Musical which is starting up in Toronto. All good looking, battle ready swords, not making much on the job, but very prestigious. I'll serialize them, and maybe polish up a couple of hilts to see how they look. And the local highland regiment dropped in (well, not the WHOLE regiment) to see how a nickel plating of their cap badges would look. They liked my sample, and so they are going to bring a hundred in. Looking forward to that job...not! Lots of buffing with masks and goggles. At least the electro plating is safe and quick. I'll try to show off some of that job on my "South Tower" blog.

Since I have been sick, I am not attending any of the parties and fetes which abound at this time of year. Not fair to expose people to my flue! So I have been spending most of my time in the shop, building armour. Lots to do....lots of orders. Got to love it!
We have decided to not have a wild and crazy party this new years eve. Oh well...perhaps one of my friends who reads this blog can suggest an alternate venue.
Oh, and the picture at the top...well, that was a little photoshop that Brenda's brother did a couple of years ago. I don't think I look too bad in horns....grin!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Samurai Dogs

The well turned out Samurai Dog is a master of Bushido. (photo courtesy of

First of all, you have to just piss on all the distractions of modern life.

Be prepared to boldly go where nobody else dares.

Stay hydrated

And have a helluva attitude.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pauldrons done.

There I am, looking as mean as I can. Took quite a while to make those pauldrons, the whole story takes up 7 posts and a couple of weeks on my "armouring blog"
They didn't turn out too badly...clearly I need to tinker with the templates a bit more...maybe make the back part a bit bigger...little details like that. You can see a nice fan in I swing my hand forward, it folds up like a fan, keeping me from getting stuck in the throat. The one on my left shoulder is shifted up where it is supposed to be...the one on my right shoulder is dragging down a bit. Oh well, normally they would be attached to a gorget or perhaps an arming coat.
That and overcoming the mutha of all colds is what I have been doing for the last week.
kaff kaff. kaff kaff... kaff kaff.........

Friday, November 28, 2008

Driving While Drunk

Drunk Driving. A tale of how foolish you get when you get schnockered.

Oh yeah. Not guilty your worship, you see this is how it happened. (actually it never made it to court...that was just for dramatic emphasis!) There we were, in downtown Ottawa at Diamond Lil's Saloon. Me, Roger, and a young lady I'll call Jill. Skutch and Jim were with us, and the party went on until the wee hours. If you can call Ottawa's 1AM closing times "the wee hours".

Jill was our designated driver, so we just let the good times roll. We got well and truly pissed. They played all the old favorites...folksy stuff mostly, and when it came time to hit the road we ran into a slight problem. Seems that our designated driver could not drive a standard. Somehow we had overlooked this little problem in our original search for potable entertainment. Good old Roger though. He had an idea. I was smallest, and would sit behind the wheel, foot to clutch and hand to shift lever. Jill would sit on my lap, and would be responsible for gas, brakes, and steering. Skutch and Jim stayed in back and promptly passed out. Roger sat in the passenger seat and for some reason, worked the CB radio, as if it would make any difference.

Have you ever tried to work a clutch with somebody else working the gas pedal? Oh lordy, it was a disaster in the making. We must have stalled out a dozen times before we got started, and at least once every time we came to a stop at a red light. Jill would call out "first gear". I would say "rev the engine a bit Jill", and would get rolling. Then Jill would call out "second gear", I would shove in the clutch and pop it into second. And so on. And so forth. The Austin Marina had five forward gears, so I was kept pretty busy...couldn't even cop a feel off of Jill I was so busy! Didn't stop her from dipping her hand down from time to time to wake me up! Hmmph. The memories of a temptation resisted are always bitter.

Well, we rolled into the barracks just fine, and parked at the mess. No damage done. Roger signed off, thanking a fella he was chatting with who was ready to dispatch an ambulance at any moment, I tried to stand up and couldn't because there was no feeling left in my legs. Roger crashed in my absent roomies' bed, and Jill wandered off to the female barrack block. The next morning, over dry toast, coffee and aspirin, we got together and wondered once again how far adrift from common sense a bottle of alcohol can lead you.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


All I see is a group of dolphins. Apparently this is a risque picture. Anybody?

Got to love Julian Beever.

I always suspected.

Why did I ever think of this?

Imagine drinking at this guy's place and needing to go to the bathroom, and you snap on the light to see this! Oh My!

Lizard Love

So why dont' we get together for coffee?

Very interesting Miss Kitty.