Friday, May 14, 2010

Combination Solar/Aeolian Dryer

Even when what's old is new I'm still behind the times. I watched a news piece on CBC a couple of years ago which talked about how clothes lines (and the installation there of) were booming. When we moved into our current house--8 years ago, for those counting--there was some existing infrastructure for having a clothes line, but it was incomplete and with me running the dayhome at the time it didn't seem like the most attractive idea on the planet. I took the pulleys and used them on the play structure so the kids could haul water, bricks and their lunches up to the top of the fort.

only the finest materials
Yesterday, with some deck screws, concrete, an auger, a little new lumber and the existing pulleys--stolen back from the fort--I built the family a state of the art clothes dryer. I just need to paint some fancy alpha-numeric. I'm thinking of "Z-3000" or something to jazz it up.

Location, location...
It's highly customized, as you can see. This model coms standard with an "on at dawn, off at dusk" lighting system. Unlike the standard deck-side-loading model, this one uses a high-altitude, rear-gate location with loading dock built using ultramodern pressure treated lumber and the finest matching deck screws. We also went for the optional molded plastic, velcro mounted, CPH (clothes pin holder). I didn't go for the extended warranty because I think the fine materials and high quality of the installation would make it a poor investment. It's a gamble, but I've always been a risk-taker.
Sunny Day Solar 'Decal' was thrown in for Freeee.
If you are interested in the consistency of the concrete I mixed, or a picture of my drill, go here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chasing the Sun

Feeling beaten by my experience with Anwyn the other day, I seared the time of the sunset on the insides of my eyelids and made it out for a few shots last night. I started at the University bridge and then decided I should run the 1km to the Broadway bridge instead (carrying my camera and lenses). The evening joggers thought I was pretty funny and a couple of young women cheered me on and tried to make conversation as they overtook me during one of my frenzied clicking sessions. I ended up climbing up the pioneer memorial at the corner of the bridge to take most of my shots. I won't bore you with all my pictures again (though the link is here), but I did get a couple that I was very happy with.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mood Chasing

I can't say much for the weather lately. Or, maybe I will. At least it stopped raining long enough on Saturday for us to get a chance to burn our Christmas tree.

While the endless cloud cover may make Vin happy as a... er... sun-hating clam, it doesn't do much to improve my mood. Oh, I get out in the weather and enjoy myself. Just last night I went for a 10km in my 5-fingers out in the pouring rain. Even there I was thwarted (by asbestos, no less). But, the twinkle in my eye lasts exactly as long as the physical activity. One thing I can say is that with just a few breaks in the endless grey, I can get to see a lot of my favorite colour -- at the right time of day.

Leora was away at a friend's birthday/sleepover (the second in two weeks) so Wen and I decided to go to a movie with Anwyn to help alleviate the sting of boredom. The clouds had been flirting back-and-forth with blue sky all day and I knew there was going to be a great sunset. We saw How to Train Your Dragon(rottentomatoes). The user and RT ratings were ridiculously high, but it was O.K. anyway. Predictable, but fun. Mind, I didn't get to see it in 3-D. As luck (and the earth's rotation) would have it, the sun was sitting right on top of the horizon just as we were leaving the theatre at the Centre mall. It was that perfect orange ball that I crave.

We raced home with all speed. Wendy nearly flung our cameras out the door, so great was our haste. Anwyn and I flew up to the top of Diefenbaker hill to try and catch the last few rays as the sun set...

We will have to plan a bit more in advance next time. No sun, but at least we got some spectacular colour out of the clouds.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Winter's Icy Grip

Winter's Icy Grip Crushes Goose Vanguard
I've been struggling a bit with this weather. It's a bit of an understatement (we may talk of that another time). Cold and lack of sunlight have me a bit down. I've been grouching at the girls, sighing a lot, and projecting gloom around the house in the evenings. Wendy gave me a kick in the pants last night and told me to take today off. I didn't have any work with the library scheduled, but I would have spent the morning making and canning chutney out of the beautifully ripe mangoes that I got on monday.

Instead I went to Don's Photo and found an awesome deal. A used Sigma 70-210mm f/4-5.6 auto-focus lense for $40! It's twin was sitting next to it for $100 (they were both on consignment and the price on one had just been dropped). OK, so Sigma is a bargain brand, but it's my first telephoto--I'm excited. Naturally, I had to go take some pictures.

1st set, 0-0
I went to campus and fooled around a bit and then met James for a great abbreviated match of snow tennis. It eventually had to be called on account of extreme gusting winds :) We wound up having a congenial coffee and muffin together.  This was my favourite shot of the day.

Man publicly flaunts his sense of glee -- authorities "nervous"

It's been a while, but yes, I think we both felt that good.