Friday, September 30, 2011

Neighborhood Bottle Tree

Found this "bottle tree" two blocks from my house yesterday. The wine bottles form the wall of a raised bed of soil around a tree with flowers planted in it..... a very nice variation.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First visit to the studio!

Grandpa Don took Maya to the studio for the first time today! I promised last week that we would do this today, and while I forgot, Maya did not! Before leaving for preschool, Maya asked me what the laser looked like, and proceeded to draw a picture.... I said there was a computer next to it that helped run it, and she added that. The final touch was adding the electrical cords running to an outlet on the wall! When we got to the shop after I picked her up at school, she immediately walked over to the laser and wanted to see it run. She asked for one of our figures so she could draw a face on it! (She has often commented that our figures needed faces!) Grandpa pulled up the file and very soon she was watching the laser cut out her figure.... she actually laughed out loud!

Within a few moments after I handed her the figure, she asked for my pen, and added a face! We added a dad to her collection, and again she added a face immediately. I had no idea how concerned she was about the fact that most of our figures don't have faces.
My favorite moment of the day was when she asked me how the computer was connected to the laser ------ that is one sharp 4 year old!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Top in my collection!

Lots of stories for this top! A gift from my friends Salena and Eddie -- direct from Italy! But like all things - Made In China. But as my friend Salena said in her letter... it is from Italy, and it is a Pinocchio top and Pinocchio was carved by Gepetto, an Italian woodworker in a small Italian village. And it may hold the record for distance traveled in my collection - Made in China, shipped to Italy, flown to the USA, and then (and here is the exciting part) it has ridden around in Salena and Eddie's truck for most of a year as they travel all over the US, delivering and picking up all manner of things .... and always with this little top tucked away in a corner of the "sleeper" (actually a small apartment). Check out The Daily Rant for lots of stories and pictures of where my little Italian / Chinese top has been! This one is going in the top cart to have this story told as part of my Spinning Top Show. The next show will be October 6th for my granddaughter's preschool class! I'll try to get a picture for you Salena! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Soccer days!

We went to watch Maya play soccer on Saturday morning!

Great fun, but Maya seemed easily distracted

The picture below was my favorite shot of the day - not Maya, but her name is Maeve!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bottle Bush

I've long been fascinated with bottle trees. Click on the links below to see a couple of web articles about bottle trees. You can buy them all pre-made from steel rods, but that somehow doesn't make sense. I've stuck some bottles on dead branches in the lilac bushes in our yard, but somehow they're also just not right. Today, while on a Sunday ride to Letchworth State Park, we drove by what may be the perfect bottle tree. More like a bottle bush actually, but a lot of bottles on the dead remains of a real bush! I love the variety of colors and the variety of bottles! I love the bottles on the ground mingled with the broken glass of bottles that didn't survive the fall? Or maybe the broken glass is from the captured evil spirits struggling to escape? I also love the lone broken bottle still hanging from the bush, but it's spirit was clearly able to escape. I think the good spirits managed to escape, but the evil ones are right there in the bottles! And there must be a very special spirit in that bright yellow bottle that seems to disappear when you move off to the side!
This bottle bush is located on Route 19A, Portageville, NY --- just outside the southern end of Letchworth State Park.

history of the bottle tree.

Another article about bottle trees.

Both pictures deserve to be clicked!

And in one of life's serendipty moments, this morning I discovered this about some recycled plastic bottle trees!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mosaic at the Post Office

This entry is specifically for Anne - my sister-in-law - who is very interested in mosaics! This one used to be outside TT Bearing, 454 E Broad St, Rochester, NY. Back in the days of The Toycrafter, we used to go here to get various bearings and other mechanical parts for repairing machines, or for building some custom piece of stuff to do something odd not covered by the usual drill presses, saws, etc. available on the market. TT Bearing still exists, but has moved out of the center of Rochester to Lexington Ave. Pretty much all our old suppliers from Grainger to TT Bearing have moved out of the city. Some are long gone as manufacturing businesses like The Toycrafter have disappeared. Some have just fled to the suburbs. Some, like Jackson Saw and CISCO, are still in the city, and still in business! CISCO, variously known as CISCO, Cook Iron Store, Co, or Contractor's Industrial Supply Company, sold a huge variety of hardware type stuff that we needed regularly, and Jackson Saw provided drill presses, table saws, and saw sharpening services when we could not find what we needed at one of the many - now defunct - junk/used stuff places in town! (I'll have to write up something about our old suppliers one of these days)The old TT Bearing building is now home to a "temporary" post office that moved there - very close to center city - when Midtown Plaza was torn down.

Before you think Rochester is going down hill fast from the comments above, we have a lot of good stuff going on in our city, and I'm very glad to be living here. It is changing, but that is the nature of our current world...... Rochester is very much moving in a good direction!

I'd love to know why TT Bearing put this great mosaic on their building! If you know anything about the history of this mosaic, or the artist (SKF) I'd enjoy hearing from you!
These are good pics to "Click to Embiggen"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This one is for my son and his wife.

Apologies to Gahan Wilson for borrowing his artwork!
Hopefully the plug for his work will suffice for a thank you for all the years of funny!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Accumulated Nature In The Backyard

A few pictures of neighborhood wildlife captured in the past few days that didn't fit in elsewhere!
These are all good ones to click on to embiggen - I just tested, and it looks like the old click to embiggen system is back, without the ugly translucent grey background with limited embiggening!
Snail on leaf of my Canna Lilly - at least 5 feet off the ground, proving once again how much snails like to climb. Or at least showing that snails climb - no idea if they enjoy it!
Small - 3/8th inch long - bee on the table near my meal at the Taste of the Wedge last Sunday.
A tiny - 1/4 inch - fly that seemed to like hanging out on the slide in Maya and CJ's back yard on Wednesday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another day with Maya and CJ

Above ---- CJ and Grandpa sitting on a front step down the street.

Below ---- CJ and Grandma sitting on the front wall.
Below - Maya -- self portrait in spilled sand.

Thanks for a great day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fire and Water

I'm a big fan of shadows, reflections, light patterns, etc. This one is from a visit to Ellison Park, Rochester, NY on one of the Saturday drives Mom and I take while Dad goes grocery shopping. It only lasted a few minutes as the sun moved across the morning sky!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Taste of the Wedge - 2011

Our annual end of summer "dish to pass" picnic.
What a great neighborhood we live it!
Above and below - grandson CJ enjoys the music and the playground!
Click the video below to see him dancing to the Blues!

Above and below a couple of panoramic views of the event!
Click to embiggen!
Note after posting -
No idea what this new thing is that happens when you click a picture now! Checking on the forum indicates that this is a new "feature" that a lot of folks including me don't like - hopefully the complaints will at least yield a way to disable it!

Below - my friend Jeff Peden - juggler and entertainer extraordinaire - and a friend entertain the kids and adults with a variety of antics including lots of audience participation!
Click on the video below to hear The Highlanders, and see CJ moving to the beat!
Check your volume.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

When the Nazi analogy comes up, the argument is over!

I guess this is a good example of Godwin's Law . According to this law, this conversation is over, and no comments need be posted. I like this because I pretty much get no comments anyway, so this constitutes the perfect post! I've made my point, and there is no need to refute me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Car

Above and below - the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, and the front of our old Dodge conversion van . Our first new vehicle in 10 years! Goodbye to 5 car payment free years!
Below - Cheryl puts the first of our stuff into the new Caravan.Then Jim Bentley showed Cheryl some of the features on her next dream car, a sporty little Fiat convertible! (I think she is looking forward to the post craft show years?) Many thanks to Jim and Doan Dodge for our third smooth and comfortable car buying experience. Sorry we don't buy cars more often Jim! If you need a new Dodge or Fiat, call Doan, and ask for Jim Bentley!

Below - the one thing I couldn't save from the old van. The 2004 camping pass for the last time my brother Dave and I camped out at Merlefest. We had the coolest campsite there because we use both of our 10x10 craft fair tents! We slept in one - right behind the van, and behind that - next to the river, we used the second tent for cooking, sitting, story telling, etc. The next year I reserved a hotel room for us, because it was just getting too hard for Dave to manage the cold nights. I found the nights pretty %$#& cold too. Dave would never have done the hotel thing on his own, but he did thank me for doing it! The following year, Dave had died from his cancer, and my friend Bert and I went, and I put some of Dave's ashes under his old seat - Row 10, seat 39. Since then, I've sold the tickets to some friends of Dave's and mine, but sometime I'll go back.

Thanks old van for lots of good memories!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday with Maya and CJ

Above - Maya was fascinated by the crew putting in a driveway across the street.

Below - CJ took this picture of Grandma!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday with Mom

Since we had the Clothesline show this weekend, Mom and Dad and I did the Saturday shopping thing on Tuesday. As usual, Dad did his grocery shopping, and Mom and I drove around. I decided to head for Fairport - our family home during most of my childhood. Dad told a story this weekend about a temporary holiday job he had for a few weeks back in the late 50's, early 60's. There was a greeting card company in Fairport that shipped so many cards to stores around the country, that the local post office actually set up a branch in their building to sort the packages being shipped. I thought I'd go and see if I could find the old greeting card place? Failed at that, but Mom and I went "parking" along the canal. Thus the pictures above and below.

Thanks again Mom! I love our rides and all the out of the way places we manage to find and enjoy. It is really quite amazing the places we find within one half hour's drive from Wegmans!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We went to Maya's preschool for an open house on Friday. Her room actually has a real merry-go-round horse in the corner! (above) Maya was very impressed. CJ liked it too, but was most drawn to the art table with an ample supply of paper, markers, crayons, etc! He sat right down and went to work the minute he saw it! (below)
After some discussion with the two teachers, it looks like grandpa will be doing his top show, plus some other stuff for the class this year! This is going to be fun!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another great day at Clothesline

The new QR Code thingy - the black and white thing in the red frame above, actually worked on multiple levels. Some people recognized what it was, and used it to find our web site. More asked what it was, with interesting conversations following with lots of pros and cons about technology, etc. Now I'm wondering two things - Can it be printed in other colors and still work? Can I manage to make a wooden cut out version that would still work?
Another technology story. Around 2:30 PM, someone went around handing out a flyer with a print out of a weather channel computer screen with dire weather warnings. "Possible high winds with hail". etc. Sort of put a damper on things, and when it began to sprinkle, customers headed for their cars, vendors battened down the hatches, etc. Sprinkles was all we ever got - maybe a few moments of heavy mist? Nice for us, but it put a hole in the days sales I'm sure. In the old days we would have never known that the possibility existed for the whole festival to blow into the next county!??? Even with the sprinkles, we had a good sales day, and probably our best Clothesline show money wise in the past 5 years at least! Thus the smiles below!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Great day at Clothesline!

Well, we managed to fill the empty booth with lots of great stuff, and lots of great customers helped us thin out the supply! We still have some great things left though, plus some things in the van to fill up the blank spots.The other great thing about this show is that it usually seems like pretty much everyone we know in town stops by during the two days. Below, left to right --- myself, Cheryl, Kristel, Toni, and Shalom! Kristel and Toni are old friends, and Shalom is the trainer at the gym Cheryl has been going to with great regularity, and with very pleasing results!
And while zipping up the tent for the night, I found this dragonfly! Large, and a beautiful green and black color, it was the perfect ending to a great day...... well the actual ending was a nice plate of sesame tofu, with rice and broccoli at our favorite diner!
As always, click on the pictures of the dragonfly to embiggen!

One more day to stop by booth 447 at The Clothesline Show