Monthly Archives: May 2011

Emu Feeding and Neighborhood News

I heard on the news today that school kids in Toronto are not getting enough exercise — “enough” being defined as an hour of physical activity per day. Apparently only 3% (yes, THREE percent) of girls are achieving that. Wow. No wonder there’s an obesity epidemic. With that in mind, Nefarious and I went to the park to play after school (as I’m proud to say we almost always do) and after finishing up we took a walk through the mini zoo of High Park. Last time she was there with Caitlin they fed the emu grass and flowers, and on seeing Nefarious the emu started growling/groaning/purring and excitedly came over to see her. He seemed extremely pleased to be fed dandelions, which he greedily wolfed down with obvious delight. This phonecam video is only the last ten percent of his treat.

I’ve sort of begun at the end, but the day started with some action as well. Driving Nefarious to school we noticed that up ahead of us — right next door to where we used to live — were a few ambulances and fire engines and that the police had closed some streets. We got as close as we could, parked, and then walked up to the emergency tape and saw that one of the old boarded up homes that have been slowly getting bought up as the owners die (eventually when the developer owns the whole block, condos will go up) was in flames. Since they’ve been abandoned for about a decade (as long as I can remember), I’m guessing that whoever was crashing in it last night got cold and made a mistake with the fire they started.

Other than that, there are a few trucks like mine — big lifted Jeep Cherokees — in this neighborhood and I snapped this pictures of one of the more interesting ones this morning as I was waiting for the pharmacy to open. Click to zoom in if you’d like a closer look.

Another Zombie Disposal truck perhaps? Sure looks the part.

It’s been around for a while, transforming over the last few years. Every time a panel rusts out, the owner seems to replace it with a fiberglass panel of his own creation. Originally it was rough and amateurish, almost as if made of cardboard boxes that had been roughly glassed, but it looks like the owner is getting a bit more experience under his belt. It kind of looks like a bizarre miniature Hummer… Like if you once saw a military first-gen Hummer in a movie a decade ago, and then tried to recreate it from memory.

Found Glass-Shard Necklace

A while ago Nefarious found a crystal shard-like piece of glass somewhere, looking like it might be from a shattered windshield or even the base of a heavy glass mug or something. I offered to turn it into jewelry for her since she’s often making herself necklaces with toys and whatever strikes her fancy. I formed a holder for the shard out of some Apoxie clay painted silver (next time I’ll cast it in pewter, now that I know she likes it), and then also set five light blue crystals around it, and hung it from a chain with a clasp (using some rings cut from a tiny spring!). I was very happy to see it appreciated.

That was strange… and worrying…

…for some strange and inexplicable reason, this post, which was intended to be the first of the day (and should be read as such), somehow completely disappeared from my WordPress database. I could have sworn I created, edited, and posted it. But somehow it was gone, although the pictures I uploaded were fine. No idea what happened, but to my great relief, I found it in my Firefox browser/form cache and miraculously restored it. I do not like losing confidence in my trusted technology. Fingers crossed this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Seriously, even though my frequency of posting is inscreasingly sporadic and desolate, I am still alive (or at least still intertially moving) for now. It’s just that with my potential work-day length being halved (or worse… and growing worse) doing the life tasks that I am responsible for, and the ones that have non-virtual productivity, seem to leave me with very little time for blogging, which these days is at the bottom of my list. It almost seems a lifetime ago when it was the opposite, my voluminous “professional” blogging taking priority over and leaving my paralyzed so-called real life collecting dusk.

So tonight, after a ton of fun letting off Victoria Day fireworks for our (and many of our neighbors’) enjoyment, as well as an hour long hike through High Park’s unexplored (at least my us) sculpture garden and surrounding forest paths, I’m going to try a bit of a blitzblogging and push my little sprite of live into the omnimemorial cloud. I’ll start with High Park and then get on with projects.

You may have heard the news but a local native group took over the BMX track at the bottom of the park, and have been destroying it, leveling all the ramps. Their reason for this 135 years after the land became a park (and a sheep farm for forty before that) is that one of their tribal elders has decided that 3,000 years ago it was used as a sacred burial ground. To the best of my knowledge this is in the absence of any hard evidence, let alone a tradition or unbroken oral history. It seems to me that making this claim is about as reasonable as claiming the rapture was scheduled for two days ago. Nefarious and I walked down to see it, and I’m dismayed that the racist authority tolerated it — I say racist because if I made some dubious and unverifiable claim to religious ownership of wherever, I’d be tossed in jail if I camped out in a tent with my buddies and started destroying it.

It’s just a jerky thing to do. Gotta wonder what the slippery slope might be.

I don’t BMX personally (or ride any bike), but I do think the park is an incredible resource and I think even if this was a graveyard three millenia ago, there have to be better ways to make a PC show of respect and mutual understanding. Personally I most enjoy walking the trails that cut a maze through hundreds of acres of forest.

It’s not all wildlife walks. We’ve been exploring some new areas lately and stumbled upon new statues — somehow not noticed until now. They do look a bit “dated”, the art being somewhat of an era-linked cliche, but at least some are fun to climb!

Shame about the obnoxious tagging (and easily amused naughty scribbled cocks).

Stay tuned, I’m not irresistibly tired yet. Although tired enough to skip spellcheck and grammarcheck. I know I always say that. Perhaps you think it’s a clever bluff, just a cover for the fact that I am only barely literate and am just doing my best.

Skull Case-Mod Project, Update 2

I’ve been improving my skull casing on the watch, building the mechanics for the scroll wheel, the linked centre button, and a bottom skid-plate. The fit of everything is good, but I’m almost obsessive-compulsively working on it to perfection. There is more left to do than seems obvious, but here is where I’m at, holding the pieces together essentially as they should be.

And here are some pictures of the component parts, not including the parts inherited from the wireless mouse. These are the main circuit board, the scroll wheel, and the battery cable (just the cable since I’ve fabricated a better and easier-to-hide battery holder for the single AA cell).

And that must be it for today even though I have much on my mind to write about. However, I’m not doing myself any favors staying up so late, so after a tiny bit of whittling and a little sheep-counting browsing to induce slumber, slumbering I shall become… But yeah, until you hear otherwise, I’ve experiments to run, there’s research to be done, and believe me I’m still alive. I’m doing Science and I’m still alive.

It’s made of tubes!

These I can take some credit for. Obviously, they’re more of my silly little “leftover” guys, but for these I also made small tubes (one metal, one brick, and one wicker) for them to sit in. As an appropriate bonus, the one that’s swimming in radio-active sludge glows in the dark.

PS. I might have mentioned that I made a little wall-mounted “bookshelf” display case for this growing collection. Naturally, these three were mounted on the sides. I also made a collection of miniature framed round mirrors to make the backs of the figures more visible.

And… oops! Taking a look at that picture, I just realized that there are three fellows that I nearly forgot. First is this fiddly little miniature. Sometimes you don’t have that many leftovers I suppose.

I also made a hand holding some eyeballs. My hand obviously.

And finally a blue warrior.