Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A couple of months worth of bucket list. . . .

Starting next week I am going to be off my feet for a while with knee surgery.
I know there will be some pain involved, but I am looking forward to the two to three months being away from my job of 35 years. A break was needed. I would have preferred retirement, but that is not an option . . yet.

Along with the needed break I am looking forward to getting a few things done that require me to be in a seated position for a while.

My wife has for many years now been pressing me to get busy and start practicing on my chanter so I can advance to the real bagpipes. So I have my chanter out and ready.

(My wife hasn't actually been pushing me to practice. Matter of fact I keep finding my chanter in the trash.)

Next I want to do some more research into our family tree. . 

and dig even deeper into the trail of our 'ever elusive Leslie' . . .

along with military records for another uncle and my dad.

I also intend to scan and backup hundreds of photos.

And some where in here I also need to find time to do some more art work. . .

And keep up three blogs, catch up on movies and books, practice juggling and learn how to make good scones and mushy peas.

May have to get the other knee done also.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sepia Sat. #238 contribution. . . Road signs.

Sepia Saturday contribution.

Sign of the times.
I am old enough to remember Burma Shave signs. And you can still see 'Mail Pouch' tobacco. along with others, on ends, sides or roofs of barns. Put not as much as you use to.

As Wikipedia explains; "Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems on small sequential highway roadside signs."

And as travelers we all looked forward to the next set of signs as we traveled.
Traveling was much slower then, and the signs were posted at reasonable intervals to be read completely.
The roads were usually just two lanes, well before the interstate system.
A true bit of Americana.

You can still find many of the old sayings on line and they are fun to read.

Whether Burma Shave signs and barn signs are just part of the American landscape I can not truly say.
I would imagine it is the most common over here.

Barn signs have been going on as long as Americans have had a love affair with cars and road trips.

The most common advertisements on barns seemed to be tobacco, soda and tourist sights like Meramec Caverns and Rock City.

They are still very popular and in use. You will see signs for Meramec Caverns hundreds of miles from Missouri.
Several successful artist got an early start as barn sign painters.

Love his barns. . .

Tom Brown

I have always loved the idea of 'journaling' , especially with art work involved.

I have always loved the idea of 'Journaling'. Putting your adventures down on paper soon after they happen. Or in many cases as you are experiencing them. You know, with little sketches along the sides or incorporated into the pages.
It seemed to be more of a trend many years ago than it does now, but it has definitely not gone away completely. (Just look up journal sketching on google.)
Lots of famous explorers, soldiers and artists kept journals when they were young. Much of what they recorded would later be used to complete studio pieces or be included in books or biographies.

Hal Foster, cartoonist famous for Prince Valiant, would record many sketches about his early years in Canada and his love of the wilderness.
Much of these early works provided him with practice that he would later take advantage of in his great art work depicting Prince Valiant and Tarzan.

Lord Baden Powell, one of the founders of the Scouting movement, journal-ed and painted all his life, illustrating not only his adventures in Africa, but illustrating many of his own books.

 Here is just a pen and ink drawing.
Here a very fine ink and color drawing.

He completely illustrated the first Boy Scout handbook.

Walt Disney, before the mouse, spent time in WWI as an ambulance driver. And some sketches of his experiences still exist.

Here he is next to his ambulance, with art work on the side.
And on the right is one of his sketches he sent home.

Eric Sloane, one of my favorite artists ever, and someone who I have blogged about before, spent some of his early adult life traveling around as a sign painter and record many of his adventures along the way.

These are just a couple of his.
But when you look at his pen and ink drawings you can really tell that his time spent doing quick sketches on the road paid off in his later work.

An example of his later more detailed work.

Other than Disney's, however, none of these really get to what I mean.

I love the idea of filling in the margins of your musings with doodles and drawings.
Like this.
I just randomly picked this one off of google.

Or this one.

The artwork can either be great or just so-so. It doesn't matter, it's yours.
It can be funny or it can be serious.
Again, it doesn't matter, it's yours.

Missouri artist Cathy Johnson has several books out on nature journal-ing, and also offers courses.

Even her pages vary from small quick sketches to more complete ones that may find themselves used later to make a bigger painting in the studio.

What brought on this musing you ask? (Go ahead, someone ask it!)
Well, I'll tell you.
I have done a lot of journal writing over the years, but have only added art work on a couple of occasions.
I did several drawing with colored pencil while on my Grand Canyon trip ( I will post them soon) and I have artistically journaled on a couple other occasions.
I do lots of sketching and cartooning, but never seem to do enough artistic journaling. (spell check does not like that 'journaling'.).
Well, last night while sorting and packing in the basement for major remodeling I came across three letters from a then young scout that I had exchanged letters with when I worked as a guide for the BSA in Maine back in 1977. He had been in one of the crews I guided and we hit it off and kept in touch.

Here are the letters.
Most of our writings were along the lines of, "Hey, how is it going. Hope you are having a great summer.", "I'm back in school and hating every minute of it!" That sort of thing.
At one point he asked me to write a letter of reference for him for a job as a guide at one of the BSA's high-adventure bases.
We also would include a drawing of a knot we wanted the other to try and learn, along with other drawings. All having to do with something we wrote about in the letter.

As with all such things, after a few years one or the other of us stopped writing and we lost contact.

I always loved Kens funny cartoons that he did in the letters. He had a very loss, free style that is very important for quick sketching.
I would return a letter to him with drawings I did. But mine were much more planned out and no where near as loss.
Well, this lead me to wondering what ever happened to Kenneth.
I don't know, yet.
I am going to start looking on the web and see where it leads. And see if he still sketches.
And I am going to try to do more sketching.

I will let you know where it leads.

Please check out all the artists I mentioned, and look at some of their early work.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Movie Star! - Movie day at VS - Going for the sophisticated look this morning . . . .

She almost looks college bound here in this picture from this morning.

Always enough food. . .

My brother is never one to cook a little when a lot will do just as well.
This past weekend was no exception.
His oldest boy was turning 40.
Well, at least I think that was the reason. See, I broke my foot on the same day 40 years ago, so we my have been celebrating that.
But, anyway.

This year he planned a crawdad and shrimp feast for the occasion. The TV chef Emeril is one of his culinary role models, so there is always a little (or in some cases a lot) of Cajun influence.
And you can't get much more colorful than a craw-dad boil. Added were corn, shrimp, sausage and potatoes.
Cook it up, put it on a table and watch out!
No need for plates or silverware. Just beer and napkins.
I even tried some crawdads. And the sausage and shrimp were excellent.
Here is Grandma helping to diminish the shrimp population. We stopped counting her intake at about 30.

I took three crawdads home for daughter, who was away at camp, so she could try them.
I was correct in thinking that she would not want to peel them on her own, but she was willing to try them. After all, after peeled, they do look like small shrimp.

After she tried them she said; "Why did you only bring home three?"

"Well," I said, "I didn't know if you would try them or not."

"Well," she said, "Next time bring home five."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Coleman Envy

Last evening I spent part of my time getting our Coleman  2-burner Stove ready for wife and daughters first over-nighter Brownie camp-out with her troop, of which wife is the leader.

The stove looks much like this one, but perhaps just a little more used.

Well, it works fine. As one collector said, "It's hard to kill a Coleman."

But every time we light up the stove my wife always wonders why we need five other stoves, all much alike.
Or for that matter five Coleman Lanterns.

Well, the short answer (which serves no one well) is that we don't.

The longer answer is that I love them, and the era they represent and you never know when the whole neighborhood could lose power for months and we may be the only people with enough lights and stoves for everyone.

Sure Coleman still makes stoves, and lanterns, but there is something about these older models that I really love.
Most of them were built before non-stick surfaces were applied to our cooking gear. When we still used cast-iron fry pans and steel pots and pans. Our tents were made of canvas, and heavy as hell, so that when they got wet you needed the whole scout patrol to carry it to the car.

Well, before I wax any more nostalgic I want to share a photo about a very enviable collection I found on-line while searching for parts.

His wife doesn't call it a hobby either.

Made me weep.

And look, my kind even have gatherings!

And there's even a forum!

New post on the Log Blog page - Ft. Zumwalt update.

Fruits of our labor. . .

I did not expect much this year from the garden, especially this early.
We had a late start because of rain and cool weather. But things are looking up. . . .

 Watermelons seem to come up almost over night.
 I let her cut the first one.
And we gave it to her cousins.
 "Dad, get the wheelbarrow! It's heavy!"
 We actually had two tomatoes about a week ago. A little less than 10 days after July 4th (which is our goal, July 4th).

But had six today, and more real close.
I didn't expect the cucumber either.
But it was a big one.

Eggplant, peppers, cantaloupe next!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This sounds like fun, right?

Wife-carrying contests:  Never heard of wife-carrying contests? Finland has been holding them annually since 1992, specifically theEukonkanto konttuuri, which translates to “old hag-carrying race.” Now popular in Wisconsin and Shenyang, China, the sport requires a woman to hang upside down and wrap her legs around her husband’s neck. And less you think the wife is deadweight, a study published inThe Medical Journal of Australia found that carrying a strong woman is associated with better race times. “This may be because a stronger woman can cling more tightly to the man,” the study suggests, “providing a more streamlined form while racing.”

Jobs that seem to be disappearing. . . Yea! mine made the list. As did my wife's family.

1. MAIL CARRIERMedian Salary: $53,100
Hiring Outlook: -28%
2. FARMERMedian Salary: $69,300
Hiring Outlook: -19%
3. METER READERMedian Salary: $36,410
Hiring Outlook: -19%
4. NEWSPAPER REPORTERMedian Salary: $37,090
Hiring Outlook: -13%
5. TRAVEL AGENTMedian Salary: $34,600
Hiring Outlook: -12%
6. LUMBERJACKMedian Salary: $24,340
Hiring Outlook: -9%
Median Salary: $37,240
Hiring Outlook: -7%
8. DRILL-PRESS OPERATORMedian Salary: $32,950
Hiring Outlook: -6%
9. PRINTING WORKERMedian Salary: $34,100
Hiring Outlook: -5%
10. TAX EXAMINER AND COLLECTORMedian Salary: $50,440
Hiring Outlook: -4%

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Fun!

 Best friends.

 Here I go!
 And here I am.
 Making your own snow cones!
 That's a lot of ice.
 Crafts with friends.
 Summer would not be summer without the ice cream truck.
 And pretty new dresses.
Ah, summer.