Friday, September 14, 2018

A week away...

Coming back from a great week on the shore in Rhode Island. A week of relaxation, good food, great company, and the looming portent of a hurricane touching ground almost exactly where I was returning to, at the same time as I wold be arriving. So, I took American Air’s kind offer of flying back a day early. Regardless, there was plenty of turbulence on the approach to landing at Charlotte NC. One poor soul had to bolt to the bathroom at the last minute as the plane was being thrown around a lot. Regardless, it was a better landing than some I’ve experienced in much calmer conditions.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I had a strange dream last night...

...I skyped John and Kathy, I offered John a reduction in our Candy Bar Bet odds down to 8:1 if he settled at 10pm on a Trump win. Weirdly John actually doubled down and went out to 12:1. That just can't have happened. Then Trump kept increasing the likelihood that he'd win. By 1.35am in the dream I had to finally get some sleep, and I awoke at 7am with Trump the victor, Trump being magnanimous as if the reality TV show has now ended and the real Donald has suddenly appeared, me being 11 candy bars richer (minus 1 for that joker Bernie six months ago), and with the memory that Trump has decreed the Comb-over/Ducktail the Haircut of the Land for all males over 15 years old. I am off to find the first Barber that opens in NH...........oh, and to buy a wig first.
From Vanity Fair...

Trump at Trump Tower this past June, announcing his candidacy for president.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

LOC: Lunch of champions...

Toast, jelly, bacon, Heinz 57 sauce, fried tomatoes and eggs.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Starting a Support Group for Chronic Pain Sufferer's...

I googled merrily away, but all I could find was a Group down in Peterborough NH, and one had to pay per session, so I decided to start my own. It's free!!! Details below:
Chronic Pain Support Group.
Held the 2nd Wednesday of every month,
at a Concord Hospital Conference room.
Directions from a receptionist at any entrance.
Starting Wednesday November 9th.
Starting time 7pm, usually for 1 hour.
Need more info? Email me through this blog.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Breakfast of Champions....

Blasts that poxy little BLT out of the water, though a good BLT is delicious... Few words are necessary, just watch and enjoy. Just waiting for Silicon Valley to bring us a working "Smell-o-Rama". Orange marmalade is applied to the toast first, before the sauce. The mixture of Toast, Heinz57 sauce, fried Tomatoes and eggs with a little salt and pepper is just sublime.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Enjoying herself, Potts Point, near South Harpswell, Maine.

Bill Randolph.....

Bill, freshly caffeinated, full of the joys of a fresh BLT, and happy (or at least a facsimile thereof), showing how well he has cleaned his van Windows, despite having no water. That's Seth's fault of course.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Met Life is a disreputable insurance company...

So, we had three total claims in twelve years against our Home Owners Insurance. The first one was for $4000, a neighbors tree fell on our roof. We weren't even under Metlife at that point. The two claims that caused MetLife to summarily "nonrenew" were: 1.... $6800 for water damage due to two burst pipes.......the plumber's joints failed and it leaked into the ceiling below. 2.... $9000 Barbara had all her jewelry stolen while we were on holiday. The thief damaged the floor in our living room too. The house was fully double-locked during our vacation. We also have our Car Insurance through them: in the last 23 years we have had exactly one claim on that, for $1000. For these two, routine House claims, Metlife, the disreputable company, left us without insurance after paying the valid claims. Plus, it's difficult to get insurance from a new/different Company when you have a "nonrenew" notice. Heed this warning, and never, ever give them any business.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pocket Dump...

What's in my pockets today. On the keyring: Utilikey and an eGear Pico flashlight(protected with electrical shrink tubing). In the other pocket: Craftsman 45505 mini-pliers and tools(carbon copy of the Seber Tech Pliers), an Alox Victorinox Minichamp, and a shortened plastic toothpick that lives down inside the leather Minichamp sheath. All leather work made by myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Some simple two and three compartment elastic pocket sheaths....

Took some two inch wide black elastic and made a couple of simple pocket sheaths for my most often carried knife/tool/flashlight combinations. They keep the tools separated, compact, and relatively pocket-lint-free.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Metal Brain...

I went to Michaels Craft Store and bought a cool little tin a while ago. Had no immediate use for it so it sat for a while till I found it was pretty much the perfect size for an improved Hipster PDA.
The tin is 81mm wide, 127mm high, and 18mm deep. I guess that makes it technically something like a 3" x 5" tin (see where I am going here?)

So, after a little visualisation of what I wanted to use it for, and what tools I might need, here's what I did.
1...Cut a slot for the mini-binder-clip to pass through (Dremel and parting disk, Round file, a burnishing mop in the Dremel to smooth the edges. Since I removed a little of the plating and paint, I then painted the machined edges with clear Nail Polish to prevent corrosion.

2...Made a mini-bungy to hold the bottom of the 3x5 card down using white 1/8" elastic and a short length of 5/32" inside diameter Aluminum tubing. Crimps using an electrictal crimper-stripper hold the ends rock solid.

3...Cut some index divider cards out of 3x5 card. I reinforced the tabs with scotch tape. Corners are all rounded using an excellent paper/card "Corner-Rounder"....about $2.50, shipped from China. The same Corner-Rounder rounds all the corners on the 3x5 cards too (not strictly necessary, but aesthetically pleasing).

4...Assemble everything. The rounded corners look especially sharp as the radius matches closely the tin corner radius closely. Even the Binder Clip matches the purple stripe on the tin face!

5...Lastly, the real kicker...the 3x5 cards fit perfectly into the recess of the rolled-bottom of the tin when a small amount (18mm) is trimmed off of one long end to fit perfectly. I use the 3x5 cards that Staples sells: they are "Portrait-Ruled" on one side, blank on the other. That way I have not one, but two perfectly flat and accessible surfaces to write on at the same for "Calendar", the other "Notes", or one for "To-Do" and the other for "Information"...the possibilities are endless.
Other good things with this's extremely pocket-able, just a couple of millimeters larger than a 3x5 a right-hander, my righthand protects the binder clip extension from any snagging on a pocket when I insert it, or, more importantly pull it out...there's ample space inside the tin for a small pen, and a Tyvek Wallet holding a few Credit Cards and some cash...or a ThumbDrive...endless choice in what's a combination of a HipsterPDA, a small wallet, a repository for small bits and pieces that you don't want to have getting crumpled in the bottom of your pocket, and a great protector of notes and sketches.
Lastly, the final pic shows how easy it is to "extract" a card from the bottom of the tin. Getting it in to the slot is very easy too...just put a slight flex in it and release.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

Home Owner's Insurance problem...

We had to put in 2 claims in the last 18 months on our homeowners insurance. First was a burst pipe the flow from which brought down the ceiling in the basement-----$5500 or so. Second was someone breaking in, stealing Barbara's Jewelry and doing damage to the floor----$9500 or so. Met Life paid both claims, but have now cancelled our policy. We can't find any other company that'll take us--clients that have been terminated by Met Life. Further NH doesn't have a State run "FairPlan" for people such as ourselves. We had both car and Home Owners Insurance through them. Only the Home Owners got cancelled. Our total record over the last 20 years is: 1 claim for $1200 on the car, 18 years ago, the above mentioned 2 claims on the house (plus a neighbor's tree fell on our house before we had Met Life---$4400 or so). Any ideas what we can do?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Writers and Note-Takers Wallets size comparison....

Here's a couple of pics of the Large and Small Wallets alongside each other. Both are very pocket-able items, but note how the small one, even with the pen attached, is still smaller than the Large Wallet in all three dimensions.

Small Note-Takers Wallet....

Just finished this, again it's very much a learning experience. This time I wanted to make a smaller wallet that contains a Moleskine extra-small Volant, a Fisher SpacePen, and about 4 Credit Cards or similar sized items. Just two separate compartments in this, compared with three in the larger wallet. The SpacePen is held via friction in its dedicated leather pen loop. I am still undecided whether to cut circular access reliefs in the external leather to ease access to the Notebook and Cards.

Large Writers/Note-Takers Wallet...

I finished making this last week. Keep in mind that I am a novice Leather-Worker, so there are several areas that could be improved, but I am happy with the end results. I wanted a way to carry a small notebook with me, and a few Credit Cards/Drivers License/small note-cards, that sort of thing. There's also just room for the odd receipt or paper slip. It has a total of three separate compartments, and the notebook is a Tops Composition: 4.5" by 3.25", 80 ruled pages. I ran tape around the edges as reinforcement. For a Pen, I can toss a Fisher Space-pen in a pocket, or attach a needlepoint Sharpie via a large Binder Clip. Note how a Binder Clip attaches and secures all the contents against loss.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Telephone # from nowhere....Bridge-related....

So, before today's session I am regaling Dan with stories about Jack Chao, specifically his penchant for always doubling after it has gone 1NT--Pass--Pass. First hand, Dan picks up something like, with them Vul: xx Kxx J7xx KQxx And of course it goes 1NT (15-17)--Pass--Pass to him. Double, says Dan, and it goes all Pass. I lead a Club, from xx (If I can find a Heart lead we even set it one more trick!!), Dummy tracks with a square-ish almost yarborough (it had the Ten-X of diamonds in it), and Declarer plays it OK for a whopping -1100. Good job I had digested Bird's book on Leads against NT, otherwise it might have been a "mere" -800 on a pedestrian diamond lead from my AQ9xx Declarer held a decent 16 count. I had a junky 14. I may have converted Dan.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Filofax Pocket Cuban leather Credit Card Slip...

Got a new Pocket Cuban in the mail yesterday courtesy of a deal with Mark. Thanks Mark! I couldn't see myself paying $10+ for a plastic CC slip for it, so I decided to make my own from a leather scrap. I used double-sided Carpet Tape for the construction. It turned out OK. See pics below. Holds 2 CC's easily per slot, 3 if necessary. The side view of the slip installed in the Cuban shows that the slip just clears the inside of the pen holder. Since I seldom carry a pen there, that was deliberate on my part as the clasp prevents any possibility of a CC slipping out. The cards have plenty of resistance when inserting or removing them anyway, so that won't be an issue. Time will tell how well the pocket will hold up, but that Carpet Tape is pretty tenacious!! Next up, making a (mythical) Leather change/note wallet ;-)

Friday, January 22, 2016


Sometimes, one is just never sure whether another person is serious or not. A nerdly fellow, Merlin Mann, introduced the World to his latest invention a while ago, the HipsterPDA, and the idea took wing. I decided to make one. Here's my small attempt at "refinement". The tweaked and leather-covered binder clip is the secret sauce that increases productivity. I sized my leather wrap to snugly grip the barrel of my Fisher Space pen. The backing of the PDA was cut from a Teabag carton, then laminated both sides for stiffness and durabilty. The lower band, that keeps the Index Cards neatly in order is from a Broccoli purchase. They seemingly always use a perfectly-sized elastic band around here, it's exactly 1/4' wide. Notice how it fits into appropriately sized cutouts in the PDA Backing sheet. The bands are even just the Goldilocks length: tension, but not too much so the PDA curls, not too little so the 3x5's flutter. Of course, I have a few "stolen" tweaks included too: pockets made from two 3x5 cards (I use very narrow double-sided tape, a good craft store has it) for receipts, tickets etc. A variety of different colored 3x5 cards that I scrounged from various drawers in the desk. I am told those might aid something or other. Finally, I trimmed the corners of the Baseplate a la BattleStar Gallactica as I foresee nasty curled corners should I ever attempt to actually pocket my PDA. Then, before the tedium of trimming all the 3x5 cards to match perfectly, I saw on Ebay that a couple of bucks gets you a corner trimmer that generates a perfectly trimmed card. A couple are winging their way towards me across the Pacific as I type. Don't worry, they're less than half that price on Ebay. When those get here I'll just have to remake the whole thing. Don't want mismatching corners, do we?