Saturday, September 29, 2012

It Strikes Me Funny: Problem. Idea. Prediction.

Problem. Though the uppers will look good for several more years, the soles now leak like a sieve.


I’ve fixed several other items with my trusty, roll of red duct tape. Why not tired soles?

Prediction. I’ll get another year of light use, e.g., on dry days. Some people will laugh at my idea.

Please weigh in. Let me know what you predict.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here to view Photo Poser 16

Discovering the World in One Pair of Pants

I recently returned from a very exciting bicycle and camping trip to Port Bruce, Ontario.

A brilliant video was produced of one short part of my ride home (2 min.). Please view the YouTube video here.

And please read the final chapter of the story about the trip here. Chapter 8 - Brief Debrief

Friday, September 28, 2012

'Lights out' in Port Bruce

Please join me here for the exciting conclusion of the story about my recent bicycle trip to Port Bruce.

Photo by G.Harrison

Photo Poser 16

How much must one pay, reportedly, for this boat in order to begin a life upon the Thames River?

Photo by G.Harrison


The answer to Photo Poser 15 is Otterville, Ontario.

Please click here to view Photo Poser 15

The Workshop: “Stack ‘em, pack ‘em birdhouse”

Gord is busy in the workshop, and in a sepia mood.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more from The Workshop

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Zoom w a View: My life upon the Thames River

I thought about becoming a sailor this morning after spotting a lovely boat during my walk home from a local coffee shop.

And what would a sailor get for his $150? An experienced plywood craft with only a few remnants of blue, red, black and white paint remaining.

A back seat for the sailor.

A front seat for the crew.

One spot in which to store a hearty lunch and another for a small jib sail.

Just think what your life as a sailor upon the Thames River would be like on a sunny day in early fall. 

I did. And I shall remain a pedestrian for now.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Would you sail upon the Thames?

Please click here for more Zoom w a View

London News: “Turn away from Joe?” Part 2

 [From Sept. 25 issue of London Free Press]

Roberta C. encourages us to turn away from Mayor Joe and the culture of BIG.

And what should we turn toward?

Roberta says:

All good thoughts. However, many can participate now in building a more sustainable community - without City Hall’s leadership - by gardening, cycling safely on sidewalks, reducing our spending, paying down debts, saving money for tough times ahead, and doing so in cooperation with others of like mind. 

Don't wait for new leadership. Create a city with characters now!

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here to read London News: “Turn away from Joe?” Part 1

Zoom w a View: Busy times in the workshop

I'm a happy camper when able to rescue lumber and turn scrap into something useful. 

[Photo by G.Harrison]


Do you use rescued materials? In what way?

Please click here for more Zoom w a View

The Workshop: “Christmas is coming”

For a couple of reasons the workshop has been quieter in 2012 than last year. Until last week.

 [“To warm up, I started with just a couple”]

Conditions have changed. I rescued scrap lumber from neighbours when offered. 

[“Once warmed up, I cut more scrap into birdhouses”]

Because Christmas is coming, a few requests were placed on my workshop bench. A warm, breezy day last week was perfect for me. I spent hours at the saw.

[“I eventually covered the saw with sanded pieces”]

Next. Assembly. Where’s my hammer?

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Do you have a hobby that is keeping you busy - in a good way - right now?

Please click here for more from The Workshop

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Discovering the World in One Pair of Pants

Imagine taking the turn at 40 mph in a tiny, tippy car. With an onion-laden cheeseburger seating uneasily in your gut.

[Photo by G.Harrison]


Oh yeah. I was there. Please read more

London News: “Turn away from Joe?” Part 1

In a recent Letter to the Editor (Sept. 25, London Free Press), Roberta C. says we will “have to replace the mayor and most of city council... a sustainable London depends on it.”

We should turn away from Joe? Maybe.

Roberta says, for sustainability’s sake as well, we need to “turn away from a car culture (etc.)... and...”

And, I might add, turn away from a big single family home culture, a fast- and fat-food culture, and an indebted culture (to big banks and corporations).

But what should we turn toward?

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more London news.

Welcome to Harperville: “It gets worse”

PM’s disapproval rating hits 50% (Dolighan cartoon, London Free Press, Sept. 25)

Just wait.

Wait ‘til more people realize that Harper has let the the big money in the private sector slip away while gutting the public sector.


Please click here for more Welcome to Harperville

Rare Family Photo: Grade 7 and 8, 1945

One rare photo, three relatives.

[“Uncle Richard, top left; Aunt Betty, middle right;
Uncle Arthur, lower right”]

That’s why I call it rare.

Where are your rare family photos?

[Photo of old photo by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more Rare Family Photos

Fun and Fitness: Exercise by the numbers

No doubt about it. I’m a numbers guy and the number 656, among other things, motivates me to ride my three bicycles, play hockey, regularly walk to where I’m going and, as happened recently, purchase heavier weights to lift while pedalling the exercise bike.

656 is a new record established during a week in August. 656 is the number of extra miles I’ve collected over the last two years beyond my 100 mile per week goal. (I collect miles on my exercise bike, by walking, etc.)

Typically, there are a few weeks per year when I cash in a few miles and take a break from the exercise routine. For example, during the week of Sept. 17 - 23 I travelled to Espanola, visited my brother in Port Franks and travelled to Fenelon Falls to say ‘happy birthday’ to my three-year old twin grand-daughters. 

Sure, I played hockey (6 pts.), walked and took a nice ride on a bike (22 mi.), but overall used up 64 of my ‘extra’ or excess miles.

 This week will be different. After last night’s (Tues.) ride I sit at 61 miles. I play hockey this afternoon (6 pts.) so will only need to pedal 33 more miles before Sunday to reach my 100 mile goal. Since I’m not going away, like last week, I’ll likely throw 20 - 30 more miles into the bank.

Numbers motivate me. So does the fact that, because of regular exercise, I’ll likely be able to keep Big Gary off the score sheet this afternoon with good defensive hockey and still have enough steam leftover to make an opposing goalie sweat a wee bit.

[“Yeah, yeah, that’s me on the left!”]

Ride on.

[Top two photos by G.Harrison : ) ]


Please click here for more Fun and Fitness

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rare Family Photo: Betty (Bruce) Harrison, 1945 - 46

Recently, I shared two looks at a rare family photo, in which are found my youngest uncles, one from each side of my family (i.e., from the Harrisons and Cattons).

I supply another look at the photo because Richard Harrison (upper left) is found standing near his future wife, Betty Bruce (lower right). 

The photo is their Gr. 7/8 class photo (Norwich Public School, the same red brick building I attended for Gr. 1 - 8), they are 13 - 14 years old, so perhaps they know enough about each other to realize they would make very good mates.

Uncle Richard passed away a few years ago and Aunt Betty still lives in their house in the west end of town near Fidlin’s Hill, my old toboggan run.

[Photo by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more Rare Family Photos

Fun and Fitness: “Gord is lifting big weights now”

So, watch out!

I don’t know how Gord does it. He’s switching from 7 pound weights to tens. 

He’s a dynamo, for sure. And at his advanced age too! (Gord turned 63 last week but doesn’t look a day over 62.8).

You’re likely wondering. “How will I keep up to Gord on the ice now? He’s already a step ahead of me.”

Here’s my advice. Exercise four or five times per week, for an hour per session, at least. This is North America after all, home of the worst diet in the universe. 

And introduce 10-pound weights gradually, like Gord did. He’s been using those sevens for about a year now, while riding his exercise bike no less. And he hasn’t fallen off even once.

Of course, tenners are a new thing to him while pedalling, so I’ll keep my eye on him.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more about fun and fitness

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rare Family Photo: Uncle Richard Harrison, 1945 - 46

In 1945 - 46 my youngest uncle, on my father’s side of the family, stood in the back row of students for his Gr.7 and 8 class photo. He would have been about 13 years of age.

Unfortunately, his glasses produce a bit of glare, but that doesn’t hide his smile.

[Uncle Richard - top row, right. Russell Gee, on left]

Uncle Richard and I had the same teacher and principal in Grade 8, i.e., Mr. Bill Hogg, Elgin St. 

My favourite rocker, now sitting on my front porch, was built by Uncle Richard. 

[Photo of old photo by G.Harrison]


Please click here to view more Rare Family Photos

Photo Poser 15

In what small town in SW Ontario will one find this lovely shuttered banquet hall (near the village swimmin' hole) and royal insignia on an old cannon overlooking a nearby creek?

The answer will be posted in the near future.

FYI - The answer to Photo Poser 14 is Rocabore Inn.

More about the illusive rocabore at this link, halfway down page.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here to view Photo Poser 14

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rare Family Photo: Uncle Arthur Catton, 1945 - 46

In 1945 - 46 my youngest uncle (on my mother’s side of the family) sat in the front row of students for his Gr.7 and 8 class photo, Norwich Public School. He would have been about 13 years of age.

William Hogg was his teacher and principal at the time. Mr. Hogg was mine as well when I reached grade eight 17 years later. 


Please click here to view more Rare Family Photos

Photo Poser 14

The inn below was built 158 years ago in Port Bruce, Ontario. What was the inn’s name?

FYI The inn has been turned into four apartments and is now for sale.

FYI I believe the answer to Photo Poser 13 is ‘Open Face Sandwiches’ (because of sand in the air, or the bad smell from week-old bologna sandwiches). If you know different let me know.

[Photo by G.Harrison]


Please click here to view Photo Poser 13

News Clips: Fred asks more than one fine question

Londoner Fred Huska begins a recent letter to the editor by stating he has ‘a question’. Turns out he has two, maybe three.

There is certainly a question there about whether stripping the public sector of bargaining rights is as far as the government alliance will go. After all, the current deficit is huge.

Plus, there may be a question there about what type of ‘fantasy mindset’ some people have. E.g., is it Type A (the private sector is untouchable) or Type B (everyone, including corporations, should sacrifice some freedoms). 

Then, there is another obvious question - his own - that Fred doesn’t count for some reason. And he should because it's a good one.

Are tax cuts working out well?

More questions, from GH:

How so?

Should we raise taxes in a fair manner so that all citizens sacrifice more $$ and freedoms according to their means?

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more from This Old Economist

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Photo Poser 13

The answer to Photo Poser 12 is ‘Toronto, Ontario.’

Photo 13

What is prohibited on the beach in Port Bruce? Bonfires? Alcohol? Boisterous children? Nudity? Baseball?

[Photo by G.Harrison]


Please click here to view Photo Poser 12

This Old Economist: “What’s a fair wage, a fair tax?”

We should talk about what is a fair wage in the public and private sector. 

We should discuss what is a fair expense, a fair tax. But should the discussion exclude the workers in the public and private sectors?

Q: Should only government and corporate leaders decide?

A: Read my mind...

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more This Old Economist

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This Old Economist: “Adjust the Dream Dial”

There has been a change in our economic vocabulary.

From ‘driving, relentless, unlimited, easy’ to ‘dampening, weakening, shrinking, contracting.’

Someday a government, business or economic leader will tell families they must “adjust the dial downward on the Canadian, American or European Dream” and families will get it. They’ll realize the economy and environment have been pushed past sustainable limits for many years.

Start saving change and fivers for tough times.

‘Be Prepared’ like good little Cub Scouts.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more This Old Economist

Bicycle London: “Cyclists, use designated sidewalks”

The London Free Press got it wrong. Jeff’s letter wasn’t about “get off the sidewalk.” It was about “use it responsibly when you must.”

 [I say, “Times may be a-changin”]

Three “rights” make two “suggestions”

[“Roads are dangerous. Right!”]

Right. Roads can be dangerous for cyclists.

Right. Cyclists shouldn’t make sidewalks dangerous for pedestrians.

Right. Not all cyclists ride dangerously on sidewalks.

[“Here’s one suggestion, then another”]

One. Cyclists should use some sidewalks responsibly.

Two. Cyclists should use designated sidewalks.

There are, without question, many sidewalks in London that are rarely used by pedestrians. E.g., the Gainsborough Rd. sidewalks, on both sides of the road, from Wonderland Rd. to Hyde Park. Miles of concrete sit unused most of the day. Designate the north sidewalk as a cycling route. Direct the few pedestrians to the south sidewalk.

Study London sidewalks in areas where they appear on both sides of a street. Where pedestrian use is low (likely in all corners of the city because most people are travelling by car, van, bus, etc.), could we not designate one of the sidewalks for cycling?

["White Oaks Rd. South; nice bike lane; however,
more are needed in high traffic areas"]

Without question, more safe and wide cycling lanes would be welcomed by cyclists and harried pedestrians alike.

London has accommodated cars, vans, buses, etc. for decades by building mile upon mile of tarmac roads, and while doing so, rarely thought of the needs of cyclists (or pedestrians in many cases). Several safe sidewalks designated for cyclists would be a small, cost-effective gesture.

[Photos by G.Harrison]


Please click here for more Bicycle London