Barrel Puzzle

June 29, 2011

There is a Japanese wood crafter that has created a wooden barrel of about a dozen pieces that when properly assembled forms a barrel.  Obviously his intent was mental torture.  In days past (many days past) there was a time that I could assemble it with relative ease.  However when about a month ago I wanted to show it to a guest it was in pieces.  I or someone else had disassembled it and could not get it back together.  Now for about a month I have been working on it at odd moments (sometimes hours) and only today after about two hours of work I did get it back together.  I must admire the craftsman who dreamed up the idea and the craftsman who actually built it.  The photo below is proof of my work.


Tulip Tree

June 12, 2011

On our walk this evening we passed by a large tree that we have passed many times and did not realize that at a certain time it produced a beautiful flower.  I clipped of a short twig with a flower and a few leaves.  We put it in a dish and set it up on our sink.

Pansies of 2011

March 15, 2011

After these several months of little or no growth since we planted them in October the pansies are now beginning to show some life. We did not put in quite as many as usual but they still are a thing of beauty in our back yard.

A new Slant

December 21, 2010

One of the ways I use the iPad is to have it on the breakfast bench while I am eating my Pre-Breakfast in the early hours before Aileen appears on the scene.  The problem occurs when I try to eat and hold the iPad at the same time.  Awhile back we saw a housing for the iPad that featured a neat way of setting it up at an angle where it could be operated without holding it.  The owner of this gadget said I could buy one at Best Buy and I did look at something but it was not the same and after some playing around I cobbled up a fixture from scrap pieces of wood in the garage and presto here is the cheap version which works just fine.

Birds of a Feather

December 8, 2010

An unusual day.  In addition to the usual Sparrows and Doves, today we saw a male and female Cardinal and a female Blue Jay and a Red Headed Woodpecker all at the same time.  I can’t remember a time in the past that we have had that variety of birds in view at the same time.

We do enjoy their visits and there seems to be two times a day that birds will collect.  At around 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon seem to be their schedule to visit our feeders. I put out a container of roughly a quart and a half every day.

Flowers Planted

November 30, 2010

Here is a couple of photos of my efforts in gardening for 2010.  We did not put in flowers in Bay City for the first time in quite a long while.  I just did not seem to have the energy to tackle that job.  Later on after I rejoined the YMCA  and started exercising I had a lot more energy but it was too late for planting.

Pill Dispenser

November 15, 2010

Most people have at one time or another purchased a prescription that comes in a hard cover with the pills as encased in a plastic  card that is very difficult to open.  I have devised a way to make it fairly simple.  It only requires you to pull the handle on a drill press and out pops the pill into the bowl below.


These are the things that occupy your time when you are on a permanent vacation.


I did plant about 30 pansy plants just before in rained so I did do something worthwhile today.

Now it is Over

November 7, 2010

Halloween is now behind us for this year and our candy supply was exhausted about the same time we were.  Somewhere around 130 kids and a few teenagers came to our door.  The Cave next door drew far more participants  and several times when I looked over there I observed lines of people waiting in line to experience the surprises to greet them in the Cave.  I suspect a good share of them came here before or after their scary time over there.  All told it was quite a night and the following day the Cave was disassembled and stored away for another time.

Oh to be young enough to go to all that trouble and expense for one night.  But then again I think one time around is enough.

I spent quite a bit of time and effort cutting away the growth of a very large bush that was encroaching on our house.  We stop the termites at ground level but I don’t want them coming in through the roof.  I still have to do more to insure that the summer growth does not invade us before we come back next fall.

More on Cave

October 30, 2010

There has been some progress on the Cave next door.  Some of the black sheets are now in place.  One good thing about this project is that while it is underway, a very noisy motor on his lawn sprinkler system has been turned off.  there is probably a bad bearing in the motor and he has said he was going to run it until it quit.  I suspect we will have it again when the holiday is over.

The Cave next door

October 30, 2010

Our neighbor, Tony, has been working for several weeks on a project  for Halloween.  At this point he has just the framework up and will later cover it with black cloth.  He already has a number of spooky items in place.  Hopefully I will insert a couple of photos.