Thursday, August 30, 2012

Should this be a National Holiday?

Happy National Toasted Marshmallow Day!  Yummmmm!

I seems somehow that it should qualify as a true National Holiday.  
 I have a feeling that most Brownies and Cub Scout would sign the petition!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hello, England and Beer Tap Handles!

Someone from Stoke-on-Trent (they have such cool names for cities in England) spent 73 minutes on the blog yesterday.  That's not the record but it is crowding it pretty well!

Thanks for all of the attention.  It is gratifying to know that people actually do read what you write.

In other "news", I am currently working on a commissioned piece -- a handle for a beer tap!  That is a first for me, I have to say.  I'm about 1/2 done and will have some pictures to show very soon, so stay tuned!

'Til Next time...Keep Makin' Chips!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I guess I'm just getting Old and Cranky.

There have recently been a couple more examples of people on TV not saying what they think they are saying.   

I know that I shouldn’t let things like this bother me, but any time that I misspeak, fail to update a document correctly or make an error, people are very quick to tell me about it.  So, I guess that means it is OK for me to comment on their blunders here.  

The other day there was traffic accident involving an 18-wheeler as it exited the Pennsylvania turnpike east of Pittsburgh.  It ran off the road injuring the driver but fortunately it came to a stop before plowing into a crowded fast food restaurant located near the bottom of the ramp.  In his/her exuberance, the on-the-scene field reporter remarked that, "The truck nearly missed the restaurant." 

Now I will admit that this is a situation that, had I been asked, I would probably have called this a “near miss”.  But I think that if you nearly miss something you actually hit that something, don't you?   

So, in this case, I'm guessing that the truck didn't "nearly miss" the restaurant but rather it "missed " or "nearly hit" the restaurant?   

I think I can say, without worry of correction, that the reporter "nearly missed" getting this one right:-)

And, since I am blathering on about such things, I keep seeing the contact lens ad that contains one really annoying comment and they don't have the excuse that they were hurrying to get it on the air.  

In the ad I am referring to,  the announcer repeatedly assures the listeners that it is OK to  "Sleep in your contacts".  Even the on-screen "Doctor" uses the expression.

But is that even possible?  Can you actually "sleep in your contacts?"  I think that you would either have to be pretty small in stature or have some pretty big contact lenses to pull off that stunt.

Don't they really mean that it is OK if you "sleep with your contacts in" or “forget to take your contacts out before going to sleep”?  

Come on, Guys!  You're being paid to get this right!

People using my Patterns

In checking my blog counter info I see that a lot of folks are printing out pictures and patterns of my love spoons.  Please, do!  That is why I posted them.  To see such interest is very gratifying. 

But I do have one request.  If you do a carving based on one of my designs or postings, please send me a picture, I'd love to see your work.  And, if you want, I'll post it for others to see, with or without your name, as you see fit.

'Til next time...Keep makin' chips!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Are We Losing an Important Technology?

One thing that I was particularly aware of growing up in the 60s was Bumper Stickers.  They were ubiquitous but I do have to admit that they were rather unsightly and all too many were of questionable social propriety. 

I really don’t miss their slipping off into obscurity.  You still see some Bumper Stickers, but in these days of expensive, albeit invisible, rear bumpers, most Bumper Stickers have migrated upward where they now decorate the incredibly large rear windows on today’s SUVs. Nevertheless, I still find them interesting from a historical and perhaps mildly “perverted” perspective and I still read all that I encounter.

I guess, in respect for the potential safety issues associated with their new position on the vehicle, they have become smaller.  Their smaller size means that fonts must also be smaller. Curiously, I have found that some of the fonts are often very odd.  These factors, combined with poor contrast between letters and background, often makes stickers virtually impossible to read.  I my opinion, this pretty much defeats their purpose.   

So, of late I have been pondering – while carving, naturally, because that is when I do my best pondering -- the notion: “Despite our embracing an ever accelerating rate of growth in technology, have we allowed our vital “Bumper Sticker technology” to go fallow?” 

A case in point:

I was on my to work the other day when an SUV merged in front of me.  The car had a sticker  on its rear window!  As we drove on the sticker’s “siren song” kept calling out: “Read Me!  Read Me!”  Alas, the font was too small and the contrast too poor for me to read it.  But, regardless, it kept calling to me.

Since I go nearly apoplectic when someone tailgates me, I always try to maintain a good separation between vehicles.  And, normally, I would have been upset by anything that would impede my progress but that day I was delighted to encounter a traffic slowdown. Now, finally,  I could get close enough to read it!

When things finally came to a halt, I slowly moved a tiger closing in on its elusive prey...I crept closer and closer until finally my bumper was nearly touching his…I stopped…I leaned forward in my seat…I squinted, ready to absorb the full impact of the vital information that the sticker wanted to share with me so desperately…It said, and I quote, “BACK OFF!”


Now, don’t you think that if the owner of that car was really interesting in ensuring that no one encroached too closely to his vehicle he/she would have chosen a sticker big enough to read while you were actually at the desired distance from the rear of his vehicle?

One for the Bench

Or maybe...just maybe...has this once vibrant form of communications technology just been lost to the ages? :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

6000 Hits and a Castle to Boot!

Well, we've passed the 6000 mark!  That many hits and counting...well...Hopefully:-) 

I've mentioned now a number of times that my son was getting married.  Well, the weddings have come and gone and G and C are now married and in their new home here in Pittsburgh.

My wife, a few other family members and I went to the wedding in Germany and got a 10 day tour of southern Germany with our own private, native-speaking tour guide!  As time permits, I'll pull out a couple of interesting shots -- out of the 800 (!) or so we took -- and post them. 

That's G and C under the blue umbrella.
We toured a number of castles while we were there.  This is a picture of first one, "Burg Eltz".  That means: "Eltz Castle" but "Eltz Fortress" is actually a better translation.   It goes back about 1000 years and basically stayed in the Eltz family the whole time.

To me, this place will always be the one that reminded me most of  something our of the movie "The Lord of the Rings".  It is perched -- and I do mean "perched" -- on the tippy-top of a little rocky mound at the bottom of a deep valley  The Valley is so deep, and the road down to the castle is so slippery in the rain, that one of our party -- and I shan't say who -- took a spill even before we got to the castle.

This was probably a very good defensive spot when your enemy used spears and arrows, but since the days of guns and cannons...well...uh...probably not so much.  When that day finally came, however, the ever-resourceful Eltz family just switched to "Schmoozing" whoever was in power to hang on to what they had.  Apparently, that works pretty well, too!

Germany is a great vacation destination!   Admittedly, it is a looooong plane ride, but it is worth the trip.  Trust me!