Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Steady As She Goes 11

Oh, It's Cycling Time Again

I love comfort stations!

With a sore left foot, I know I have to scale back on my walking/shuffling/jogging routine, but I feel I should have no trouble adjusting to a bicycle. (Though my butt cheeks may say otherwise for the first several rides).

When I stopped serious long-distance running in early 2006, it wasn't long before I was cycling on a regular basis and playing hockey - albeit shoddily - once per week. So, my legs know how to go 'round and 'round, and with a new bike to sit upon, my attitude is pretty positive.

Several walkers, runners and cyclists visit the park regularly

First ride: 1HR 20MIN to the west end of Springbank Park, with an extra loop around the park thrown in for good measure.

Note to self - The 'shit bugs' ("Cough. Hack!") should be gone in a week.

Please link to Steady As She Goes 10

Photos GH

Upcoming Projects: 18 Cedar Birdhouses and More

Yesterday was a Breezy Day

 Six red cedar houses (as in background) are underway

I like a breezy day. I can set up the table and chop saws outside, cut scads of lumber and share dust with people for miles around. Yesterday was such a day.

And because my supply of small birdhouses had thinned out, I felt I'd better start a few batches. "How about three sets of six?" I said to myself. I nodded and grabbed my recipe book and a pencil.

 Six examples of a new model, chiefly using cedar slats

I can't seem to keep wee chickadee and wren (cedar) houses in stock.
Six more in a pile. I bet they'll just fly away!

Okay, this ought to keep me busy for awhile! (Plus, four chairs continue to move along well, and lumber for a squirrel house is getting closer to the start line).  Good thing I'm retired and it's summer time in the city.

Please link to Upcoming Projects: Barnboard Birdhouses and More

Photos GH

Monday, June 27, 2016

Billion Bug Season

AKA Shit Bug Season at Greenway Park

Please link to Steady As She Goes 9

Photo GH

Steady As She Goes 9

Steady Miles, More Shufflin'

Long legs help me cover plenty of miles each month

Another month is nearing its end, as is my set of 90 brisk walks that include shuffling off to Buffalo. I predict I will walk/shuffle about 120 miles in June, including more shuffling than in any other month. And since I can honestly say I am comfortably improving my shuffling or jogging speed over the course of a typical four-miler, a chief goal I set for myself ("Speed Up, Man") is being accomplished.

I past the 100-mile mark on June 25th, a four-miles-per-day average. AOK

8 miles yesterday during my 10th walk-a-jog of the month. Solid

I have one worry moving forward. My left foot is a bit sore and tender at times, hopefully just a minor set-back. I will cycle more as I determine what type of injury I am dealing with, as I move into my next set of brisk walks and further walk-a-jogging.

Am I paying the price for going too far too fast (high mileage months)? Do I need to reduce the frequency and speed of my shuffling/jogging? We shall see what we shall see.

Fortunately, I have the time to mount The GREAT Canadian Comeback, so I will take the time. I see no problem reducing my monthly mileage or shuffling along at a slower pace, because there are other components to walking/running I can be working on to improve, e.g., strength and flexibility.

More photos from along the way:

I try to keep my mouth shut during 'billion bugs' season

There are a lot of smooth runners in London, Ontario

Stay tuned.

Please link to Steady As She Goes 8

Port Bruce: My Kind of Hamlet

Please link to Port Bruce's Lucky Day

Photo GH

White Pine Birdhouses

Trim Trim Trim Trim

Fancy little windows and perches, I must say!

Five single-family pine homes are nearing completion but they need a bit of trim.

And they shall get it. I will apply second coats today to numerous bits and pieces and attach them tomorrow. So, stay tuned. Don't touch that dial.

Next project appears top left; six western cedar slat houses (slick)

Link to White Pine Birdhouses and More (3)

Photos GH

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rietveld Chairs, 1937 Design

Progress Made on Four Comfy Chairs

More assembly required. Stay tuned

As I attach arm rests to these Rietveld chairs, I wonder:

Are they wide enough to accommodate a mug of coffee? A sandwich? A cold beer? Tired elbows?

Yes, times four.

Please link to Rietveld Crate Chairs: 1937 Design (6)

Photos GH

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Morning Smile 5

The Hops are Taking Over!!

It's a hoppin' jungle out there!

For the third year in a row, hop vines are growing vigorously - up, over and in between the slats of a shared fence. This year the vines are exploring new turf, i.e., farther west on the fence, farther north into my lawn, and farther east to my back deck railings.

I don't know what kind of hops I am growing - I know they are bitter, very aromatic and tasty - but I think that in 3 - 4 more years they will envelop a good chunk of my yard.

Growin', growin', growin'

And I can live with that!

Please link to My Morning Smile 4

Photos GH

Rietveld Crate Chairs: 1937 Design (6)

Sides and Arm Rests

Sides are constructed from red cedar; arm rests are white pine

The four sets of sides, made from 1-inch thick western red cedar, have been sanded and assembled, and are now ready for the arm rests. Wait. I lied.

On the right track so far

Yesterday, the last thing I did in the shop was mix up a batch of tan-coloured hole filler to cover the heads of the many wood screws. So, a wee bit more sanding is required this PM before I attach arm rests. And, once the rests are in place I can assemble the four chairs.

'Speed' is not my middle name, but I do keep plugging along in a somewhat steady fashion.

More to follow.

Please link to Rietveld Crate Chairs: 1937 Design (5)

Photos GH

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Steady As She Goes 8

The Transition Zone

All is AOK at Greenway

I see many other walkers, joggers, cyclists and so on, as I walk and shuffle and walk and jog along the Terry Fox Pathway in Greenway Park. I don't pass anybody at the speed I travel, but (!), that time isn't far away in dog years.

While I was jogging this morning I passed one quarter-mile marker, then another, before resuming my walk.

"That felt pretty easy," I said. "I must be making grand progress."

My regular shuffling is taking me farther and faster

And I am. The GREAT Canadian Comeback is on the right track. I am jogging more and walking less. I am shaving a few more minutes off my travelling time with each passing week, and - mark my words - within a week or two I will pass somebody who, like me, is slowly but surely making an effort to get or stay fit by walking, shuffling, walking, jogging, etc.

Oh yeah, I'll just fly by.

I guess I'd better make up some kind of quick greeting for when that happens:

- Hi, how are you? I'd say more but I'm actually passing you by. Bye!

- Good work. You're looking good. See ya later.

I'm sure I'll be in a transition zone (from walker to runner) for quite some time, but seeing a bit of progress now and again gives one a lift.

Photos from along the way -

Please link to Steady As She Goes 7

Photos by GH

Rietveld Chairs - 1937 Design

Work in Progress

I's the B'y That Builds De Boat....

....And de back and bum supports, and sturdy sides

Still, I've got a ways to go, but the assembly of four Rietveld chairs is progressing without a hitch.

1. Back and bum supports, all done, tried and true:

2. Sides are lined up and ready for the arm rest:

Final assembly is tricky, and hidden supports need to be attached, but at this point all is swell.

Please link to Rietveld Crate Chairs: 1937 Design (4)

Photos GH

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Morning Smile 4

My Little Wren (?)

Parts of a former chickadee nest litter the perch and porch

I noticed a wee wren (a brown wren, perhaps) in the process of cleaning out a birdhouse on my front porch yesterday morning (above). In the afternoon I heard it singing merrily in a backyard blue spruce and also saw it checking out two or three birdhouses on a rear wall of my house.

Oh, I hope she sets up shop. Wrens are great little singers and nest builders.

I think the middle house is roomier than the top units

She tries to shove a long twig into a small house

Please, please stay and make yourself at home, Dear Jennie.

(I heard her in the backyard when I left for my walk this morning. I have my fingers crossed).

Please link to My Morning Smile 3 

Photos GH

Rietveld Crate Chairs

Let's Do The Math (Just for Fun)

Lots of surfaces require attention

Concerning today's workshop schedule:

88 pieces of lumber x 6 - 8 surfaces each = 528 - 704 surfaces to sand

Outdoor temperature feels like 39 degrees

Breeze rated at 0.0

Therefore, Gord will lose 12 pounds (which is probably not a bad thing!)

Please link to Rietveld Crate Chairs: 1937 Design (2)

Photos GH

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Steady As She Goes 6

Talking to Myself: It's OK

I flew past "The Spit" (WW2 navy base) and walked around it

Hey, Gord. It's OK to skip a Sunday long walk and go for a motorcycle ride. It's summertime and you paid a hefty price for that insurance policy. Go use it.

Hey, Gord. it's OK to focus for 4 - 5 days on other important things you have on your plate right now.

Gord, I bet you've done more walking and shuffling in the last 8 months than in the year before. Remember that when 'the short term' gets busy.

And you're shuffling is almost akin to jogging now. You're going farther than you were last month - at a steady JOGN pace - between walking breaks, you're not complaining of injuries, and you'll soon be back to a less hectic routine.

Smile. It's OK.

* * * * *

I had a rewarding trip to Vancouver Island (related to WW2 research re my 'Dad's Navy Days') in May and came back home to a busy workshop, the lure of the motorcycle and a few other projects that interest me. Soon my schedule will be a little less cramped, and conflicted feelings won't interrupt my day as often.

Meanwhile, I'll walk and shuffle and jog as time allows and enjoy the process of working my way toward a healthy fun and fitness routine - slowly but surely.

Hey, it's noon. Time for a salad and an easy four-miler.

I walked east, over a bridge in Courtenay, to look west

Please link to Steady As She Goes 5

Photos GH

Funky Specialty Project: Wee Birdhouse + Rare Birdcage Stand

Fly Me to The Moon

This birdhouse ensemble is on the move!

Attention yard sale shoppers!

Let's do some math:

Birdcage stand + wren house + Tonka airplane = a unique project

I think I will include this with yard sale items on Saturday morning (8 AM - Noon) at Cathcart Street's Biggest Sale in Old South History (between Elmwood Ave. and Duchess St.).

Come one, come all.

The Tonka airplane needs a pilot. You maybe?

Please link to Upcoming Projects: Barnboard Birdhouses and More

Photos GH

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Log Cabins and More

Log Cabins with Lovely Cedar Roofs

Birdhouses and trim will soon be cleared away

I enjoy busy times in the workshop. Various birdhouses are getting set to go out the front door and another big project is ready to come in the back. By 'various', I mean two log cabins with distinctive western cedar roofs, three wren/chickadee houses and one Hobbit house.

Four white pine houses are ready for paint and assembly but they may just have to wait a couple of weeks because a big project - four Rietveld chairs and matching table - has crossed the starting line.

The Rietveld 'crate chair' design goes back to 1937
Photo Credit - Rietveld chair images

re Rietveld chair: Lots of straight lines, right angles, cutting, sanding, hidden screws and supports are required; the seat and back rest must also be attached at the perfect angle. Seven degrees.

Or is it eight? : )

More to follow.

Please link to Log Cabins from Board and Batten (2)

Photos by GH

Monday, June 13, 2016

Motorcycle Miles: Port Bruce's Lucky Day

Port Stanley Ships Their Sand East

"I know the lake's around here somewhere"

I motorcycled south to Port Stanley yesterday - fighting a side wind - and confess, I enjoyed the French fries and coffee inside Mackies more than the blowing sand in my face.

I parked out of the wind, behind Mackies

That being said, Port Bruce, my usual haunt, will surely welcome the lovely white sand with open arms.

What goes around comes around.

Link to Port Bruce: Birds, Boats, Beaches and Bacon

Photos GH