Tuesday, March 29, 2011

View from the Dog Truck

Shot this pic through the front windshield the other day. This area isn't as remote as it looks. Its actually an unimproved road pretty much in the middle of town near a creek and wooded area.


I was surprised to see turkeys here, since there aren't many in our area to speak of. Lots of turkeys out west of Fort Worth or in East Texas... but here? Never seen them before and I've lived here virtually all my life.

I could have probably gotten a better picture, but right after I snapped this picture dispatch called me about three aggressive pitbulls roaming a neighborhood and I thought I probably ought to go handle up on that.

No rest for the weary.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Curbing Evil Impulses

I'll admit it....

taylor dryer

A little piece of me thought about closing the dryer door and turning it on to tumble for a minute, just to teach Taylor to stop jumping in there every time you turn your back and leave the door open.

But I didn't.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Arvin Space Heater Restoration

Last year, I picked up an old Arvin Space Heater at a flea market. I've always liked these old heaters. They remind me of a cross between a tombstone radio and a medieval jousting helmet. Very art deco design with the ridges and stepped sides.

arvin 1

This one was marked "Don't Work" on top and I got it for $5, I think.

arvin 2

When I got her home I plugged her in. Her problem wasn't that she didn't work. She worked too well, truth be told. When plugged in the heater and fan ran continuously. Only way to shut it off was to unplug it. I took the unit apart, cleaned out all the dust bunnies, replaced the crunchy/brittle cloth wiring and cord, and wired in a new switch.

arvin 3

Problem solved :)

Here she is after I cleaned her up and gave her a new coat of paint. I decided to go two-tone, because her design was crying out for that. I don't have much use for a heater, but a fan is always welcome here in Texas. I disconnected the heater array so that just the fan runs when turned on. If I ever decide to use it as a heater all I have to do is jump two wires inside to reconnect the heater coils.

Arvin heater after

Friday, March 25, 2011

Girl Friday - 3/25/2011 - Ryu Ji Hye 3

This is Ryu Ji Hye's third appearance here as Girl Friday - which makes her the most posted Girl Friday as of this writing.

She's earned it :)


Hit the jump for more reasons why...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Toil and Sweat

Lots of yard work planned for this weekend, including building another retaining wall/raised bed for the side of our deck. We have two others, and this is the last one. My back will be killing me at the end, but at least the scenery out back will be nice. Lots of stuff blooming now.

banksia bloomed out small 2

I have several plants that need to be started where the new raised bed will be, and I can't plant them until there's acutally a bed to plant them in. Damned logistics.

banksia close

My Dad is going to supply me with cucumbers for pickles and relish this summer, in return for some pickles and relish, so I don't have to wory about growing my own. I'm thinking about growing some gourds on a trellis this year and try my hand at gourd carving or pyrography maybe. The only edibles that I'll be growing will probably be my herbs. Everything thing else will be just "for pretty".

dahlia red

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Range report

Took Sunday off and spent the morning at the range with my Beloved. We haven't been shooting together in a good while. Had a great time even though it was crowded as all get out... every lane on pistol, rifle, and skeet were occupied most of the morning.

Put a hundred rounds through the Beretta at 45 feet and shot pretty well. Nothing photo worthy, but my group is tightening up somewhat. All but 2 rounds were eight ring or better on the silhouette target. 2 flyers into the 7 ring. New glasses seem to be helping, although I think its more of a psychological effect. I'll keep poking at it now that I'm back on a regular range visit schedule, and it will all come together.

Took the Thunder along too, just for grins after I worked on the Semi-Auto distance shooting. Damn, but I do love this gun.

thunder target 21ft

That's 50 rounds of 38 special at a distance of 21 feet. The sights are pretty sad from a tactical standpoint, being just a front blade and a tiny non-adjustable notch in back, but the gun aims so effortlessly in my hand and the single action trigger is so nice its almost like the gun shoots itself in spite of me. :)

If you purchase ammunition via the Internet, I highly recommend Ammunition to Go

Their prices are competitive with the other online sources that I've used, they stock a huge variety of ammo in every caliber you can imagine, and their website stock availability is kept accurately up to date.

Best of all, their order processing speed is truly awesome. Twice now, I've placed an order online on a Friday afternoon (after 3pm) and received that order at my home by Saturday afternoon. Granted, they are located in South Texas - but that's still pretty damned impressive!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Candy Machine Restoration

Sorry for the utter lack of posts last week  - the arrival of Spring combines with a busy week at work/on call to produce an environment very unfriendly to blog posting. Just not enough time.

The workshop did produce a finished product:

candy machine 1

That's a (reproduction) antique style candy machine that we picked up at a flea market a couple of years ago. No before picture. I thought for sure that I took one when we bought it but couldn't find it anywhere. It had been painted several times in its life before we found it. The last paint job was especially hideous. It was entirely painted in a pink color that someone applied very heavily with a paintbrush.


She looks much better now, and I rigged the mechanism to operate without the use of coins. My Wife has been tinkering around with glass etching and plans to etch the globe with some sort of old timey looking lettering and design, which should look pretty cool when done.

candy machine 2

Also started work on restoring an old Arvin space heater that I picked up last year. Nice to be out in the workshop again...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

- Mark Twain

Friday, March 18, 2011

Girl Friday - 3/18/2011 - Amy Adams

I've seen several movies featuring this week's Girl Friday, and I seem to like each one even more the the one before. Plus.... she's a redhead.

'nuff said.

Amy Adams

Amy Adams 4

Hit the jump for more Ginger...

Sunday, March 13, 2011


All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.

- Benjamin Franklin

Friday, March 11, 2011

Girl Friday - 3/11/2011 - Alina Kabaeva

This week's Girl Friday is a Russian Gymnast that has won world titles, and Olympic medals.

Alina Kabaeva


Hit the jump for more...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What did you do at work this week?

Here's a little glimpse into the highlights of my week:

python resized

That's an 8 foot Burmese Python that was making its way through some brushy areas in a vacant lot in the middle of town. I would have run the hat cam on this call, but right after I took this picture it headed for some briar infested undergrowth and I didn't want to have to dig it out of there. I was able to get it by the tail to stop it's retreat, and then place it in the Animal Control Giant Snake Containment Apparatus.... or what you laymen might term a 5 gallon bucket.

python resized 2

Don't know what it was doing out there. There are two options: Either it got away from someone (although no one thus far has surfaced looking for it), or someone just dumped it. That happens some times. When constrictors are small, you start out feeding them "pinkies" - which are baby mice that are usually already dead. As they get bigger, you step up the menu to full grown mice, then rats, and then rabbits.

When you reach the bunny stage - often fed live - some folks decide that having a big giant snake isn't as cool as they thought it would be.

Next is a short video of me running down an injured Vulture that had a broken wing. You can't see the headstones, cuz they are behind me, but this actually occurred at a little hilltop cemetery on the outskirts of town. You'll notice several "bleeps" during the video. I've mentioned before that I have a bad knee due to shoeing horses for a living for too long, and its been bothering me alot this week. I bleeped out the expletives.

It would be easier to catch stuff like this with a net, but I try to avoid that with birds whenever possible. Raptors and Vultures in particular can be a bitch to get out of a net because they grasp onto the netting and don't want to let go. Also, using a sheet or blanket lessens the likelihood of doing more damage to them during capture.

Last, but not least, is this little guy:

puppy 1 resized

About a 4 month old puppy that was found by some people. Sweetest little dog. The lady that turned it over to me told me they were going to keep it, but her husband was afraid of it.

puppy 2 resized

I came really close to telling her that I would be back later to confiscate his Man Card.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The eyewear saga continues.... I picked up my new glasses from the Eye Doc last week and absolutely hated them. I went with Progressive Lenses. I should know better than to trust anything labeled as "Progressive".

Big on wonderful promises, very expensive, and ultimately disappointing in actual practical application.

Near vision was good, for small print up close, which was nice. However, my distance vision sucked even worse than it did before. I could see better with my non-dominant left eye but my right eye was worse with the glasses than without. When you add in the blurriness of everything not directly in line with your nose and it was double suck.

I went back to the Doc and it seems that I have natural monovision, meaning that one of my eyes wants to focus on stuff at distance and the other only wants to focus on nearby stuff. They have a surgery that they do to bring this about intentionally, but my eyes do it all on their own. The solution to my vision woes is a new set of glasses, prescription altered for the right eye, and sans Progressive lenses. I'm going with regular old bifocals this time for (hopefully) a wider clear field of vision.

I don't care a flip about the bifocal line.... I have sufficient grey hair that vanity over a line on my glasses isn't really a factor :).

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The racist is annoyed because he secretly suspects that the races are equal. The anti-racist is annoyed because he secretly suspects that they are not.

- Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Friday, March 4, 2011

Girl Friday - 3/04/2011 - Candice Swanepoel

This week's Girl Friday is, among other things, a Victoria Secret Model.

Candice Swanepoel


Hit the jump for more...