Friday, June 17, 2011

A note from Pete (hint: it's a goodbye)

Tehachapi Pete and a lady friend about 30 years ago in formal dress
Old Tehachapi is old and tired,
so like the old handyman, he went and retired;
but before he goes, he'll take time to say,
thanks for stoppin' by, have a nice day.

It's been a long hard road,
and he's under the strain of the too heavy load,
he's just got so old, he can't do it no more,
so, please show old Tehachapi to your door.

Say goodbye, you can drop him a line,
right in that comment box, you don't need to sign,
he'll enjoy the read, he's fond of you all,
and, well, he ain't got no number that you can call.

He'll put away the old '48 Ford,
find a good chair, and try not to get bored,
he'll remember you often, up there in his mind,
thanks to you all. You've been mighty kind!

This is post number 682, you can still keep in touch by going to but I'm guess you already know that.  Tehachapi has been around since 1982 (not online), he's had a great run.  I "invented" Pete for my daughter back then, she wanted some letters.  Now, she's going to be a "Grandma" herself.  I've enjoyed my being a "cyber hobo" and the "trips" helped satisfy my wanderlust.
Thanks for stopping by day by day.  Larry

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Organized scratches on paper

Who's that peeking at us.
  Organized scratching with a pencil yields some amazing results.  The photo above really looks like some peeking through a piece of paper.  A good artist can draw a very realistic pictures, they look like photographs.  I am not one of them, my drawing skills are lacking.
  We know a man that used to live near us in Medford who could draw like this, he used the cheapest ballpoint pen he could find, his drawing of people and places were very, very good.
  I thought I'd just point out some of the fine work a pencil in the right hand can do.  Enjoy.
Photo, or not?  It's not!

An eagle takes a look at you.

No mistakes here either.
NOTICE: Tune in tomorrow for an important announcement.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The scratch of graphite on paper

Colored pencils
  When I was a little boy my mother would give me a pencil and some paper to keep my busy (or busier than I already was), crayons were in short supply during WWII.  Pencils, or crayons if you're French) have been around for centuries.  Remember the storekeeper in a western movie, touch the pencil to the tongue than write on the bill?  When you started school and were learning to write, you used a pencil.  Pencils come in handy, for example it you're trying to stop a table from the wobbles you could put a part of a pencil under one leg.  Or you could draw, or doodle, with a pencil for fun.  Next time you're in the area of an office supply store, like Staples or Office Depot, look in the pencil section for just a part of what they offer, then check the drawing/drafting/art aisle and see even more.
  I use colored pencils that are for watercolors, it works just like one of those coloring books children have that they can brush water on to color a page.  They are very handy for adding lines, or I'll show you a complete piece done with pencils.
  Buy some different kinds and try them out!
A set of pencils for art work, these are for drawing, not water.
This "painting" was done in pencils for watercolor, by me last year.
A 1929 Ford Tudor
Click to enlarge.  More pencil art, letters of the alphabet a carved in the tips
of the lead in each pencil.  Don't say "darn, my pencil broke" with these.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A "short" ride

Two Smart cars
  Gas prices going up makes some people think of ways to save fuel, don't drive as much, things like that.  Some people buy smaller cars and some people buy even smaller cars- minis.
  Most of the minis are for two people, some only for one, and safety may be an issue, I wouldn't want to be in an accident with one of these.  For driving around town, if you live in town, maybe these aren't so bad.
A "fold up" driver, in the Netherlands.
A 1954 Mivalino, built from a motor scooter in Italy.
These are "fold up people" for sure, even in the camper.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It still is (eating is for the birds)

Nuts! This is for squirrels
  Feeders in the backyard, feeders on the porch!
everyday we carry, feeders like a torch,
from small to large, no shape is too extreme;
all of those feeders aren't always what they seem.

windows stickers, groups on poles,
feeding birds soothes our souls.
some feed squirrels, most for the bird,
and joyful "thank yous" can be heard.
you can make one from a jar...
..and a bottle goes quite far.
or, you can feed a lot

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eating is for the birds...

Birds in the hand, the feeder is hidden (it's red). least that's what I say,
feeding birds is fun, every single day,
why not give it a try, there's not to much to lose;
maybe just a dish, and half a dozen screws.

Or, you could but a new one, fill and hand it up,
remember - it should be big enough to hold a half a cup;
then sit back and watch the birds that come and go;
because when you're feeding birds, you're getting quite a show!
Be an angel feed the birds
An "apple" a day!
Here's a beak that holds more than a belly can.
Old Navy poster in the mess hall:
Eat all you take
don't be a Pelican
it's beak can hold more,
that it's belly can

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Home is for the birds

Simple but nice
  Birds don't really need a "home" but they do like a place to nest.  Sure, most bird nest in trees, some on the ground, and a few on "floating islands".  But, some birds like to build their nest in houses (just for them) group homes (purple martins) in barns (swallows) or in little bird houses furnished by humans.  We still have a couple of bird houses that I've painted, but, those aren't meant to be outdoors their just decorative.
  Houses of birds for bird actual use are usually wooden, other stuff works too, the holes have a diameter that will be specific for a species (maybe more than one).  A house for a bluebird is about two inches, but other birds like small holes - you just have to look it up, or already know.  Houses for purple martins are built in groups (kind of condos) because they're very social, some are very large.

Some may like a rustic home

A single home (holes too big)
Purple Martins might like a "Victorian" home.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lance Armstrong never saw these...

A wooden bicycle built for two.
  I wouldn't be to certain that two of these were never ridden, by anyone, but maybe.  Browsing through all of the bicycles was a bit time consuming, but what the heck, I've got plenty of that (most days).
  I had a bike for my tenth birthday, a 24 inch red one, I put a lot of miles on it, and it's replacement a used 16 inch bike.
  Every once in a while I'll get the urge to buy a new one, but where would I ride it?  We live in a quiet little place, but the road to get here is busy, busy and the hills! The hills!  No way would I really get any use out of a bike.
  So just take a look at what I found, maybe you'd like to try one of these.
A solar powered recumbent bike, sit where the orange tarp is, almost lying down.
A Madsen utility bike, your own human powered pickup truck.
Take a walk on a bike, yes, this one has been ridden

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The checks in the mail...

Whatever it takes to receive the "check" all you need is a mailbox.  We don't have a mailbox, there are none here in the little set of buildings we live in, but the post office is just across the road, so we have a P O Box.
  Some people just put up plain old black or silver mailboxes on a wooden post.  That isn't pleasing to some more inventive people, with some art skills too I guess.  So what I have here is a mere sample of the photos on Google Image, but they're different enough to sort of stand out.  The mannequin, headless, is all one person needed for a start.  We also have a boathouse, a bicycle rider and a little grass shack.
If you receive your mail by boat.
"A little grass shack in Hawaii" , that's not in Hawaii (just the song)

Just put it where the sun don't shine

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You can get there from here.....

On the way in
...but it will take a little longer.  Recently the blimp Hanger 1 Vodka while flying from Canada, where it was made, to Orlando Florida took a small break.  One of the trucks traveling with the blimp needed repairs.  As a result the blimp landed at the small airstrip in Lincoln Maine.  The weather at the time was kind of miserable; wet and cool.
  After two days the truck was fixed, and the weather turned sunny and warmer (one day only) so the crew took advantage and lifted off.  Shortly after departure from Lincoln the weather rapidly deteriorated becoming foggy and wet and cold; the blimp had to land, this time at a small strip in Pittsfield Maine; they had traveled about sixty miles, or less.
  Four days later the weather turned better for a couple of days and the blimp left Pittsfield and headed south.
  We haven't heard from it since, but I think they made it to their destination.
leaving, the blimp is 150 feet long and 60 feet high.

On the ground with it's mast, or tether, the mast travels on one of the trucks.
Here's a note on yesterday's entry:  The Nash Island sheep's wool is highly prized because it is constantly "washed" by the fog, therefore it's impecably clean.  Isn't that nice to know?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nash Island Sheep

Sheep with a view
The following is from the Bangor Daily News of 6/6/11:
The hundreds of islands dotting Maine's coast have been home to sheep for centuries, causing the name Ram Island to be used more than once.
  During the first week in June for more than 100 years, Addison community members gather to shear the sheep.
  Early Saturday morning, a flotilla of boats left the Addison dock for the short trip to Big Nash Island.
Among the three dozen passengers on board were a lawyer, a financial officer, a midwife, a blueberry farmer, a physicians' assistant, a gaggle of enthusiastic teenagers and an opera singer from Boston.  "This is magical, just magical", Seth Joy of Swan's Island said of the day of shearing.  It was Joy's third year participating in the annual event. "It's like stepping into the past.  This is the way it has always been - community, work, food, and, of course, laughter."
  Eleni and Alfie Wakeman of Addison own the 75 acre island and a diverse farm in Addison.  "Every year I am terrified that no one will show up," Eleni admitted. "But they do.  It's that magic again."
  The worker - all volunteers - had packed a small generator to power the electric shears, burlap bags to hold the precious fleece, and food enough for a small army.  Big Nash is a barren island - dotted by rocks, carpeted in thick grass and wild iris, with not a single tree in sight.  Just off the landing beach of stone is a three room cabin and along one shore a series of pens....

In my words now:
  The opera singer from Boston is stationed at one end of the island.  When she sings a very high pitched verse from one of the operas, the hope is all of the sheep will rush to the other end of the island, where they can be caught.  It worked like a charm, except the one partially deaf sheep, let's call him Larry, who runs up to the singer.  He was confused by the noise and thought it was his mother bleating for him.  And then one of the volunteers, a volunteer fireman, ran to the scene thinking he could see "the siren of the sea".

catching up and holding

All together now...

But, I don't need a haircut...

the final act, shearing

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tehachapi Pete needs help!

  Ol' Tehachapi needs your help, after two years the old guy has run out of things to talk about.  He really isn't eager to travel for awhile.  You can email him, just go to the bottom of this entry and click on the envelope with an arrow in it, it's right after the word "comments".  Give him a hand, there's not a lot going in on in Medford, which the new census reveals now has 283 people, it's really grown!
  Give him some ideas and he will spring into action like a flea finding a new dog.

Thanks for you help.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Icelandic Sheep

The morning meeting - click
  There are several farms in Maine that specialize in the fiber from Icelandic Sheep, the product (and the animals) are worth a good look.  The fiber, and resulting yarn, is in three natural colors.  The colors are the same colors as the sheep in a given flock, no dyes are used.  I think those sheep really like it in Maine too.  After two deployments to Iceland while in the Navy, I got a good look at some of the hostile to animals rocky land, other places in Iceland have lush grassy areas, and happier sheep!
In their environment, it's a good day
One of the daddies - click

Yarn from the flock, who had haircuts

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Selling the products, the local way

Part of the Farmers Market in Portlands' Deering Oaks Park
  In a lot of Maine towns and cities the Farmers Market is a weekly event, maybe one day a week, often three or four days a week.  The markets, open to Maine grown or raised products, are a great source of food for a lot of us.  We go to the markets or farm stands often, during the warmer months when fresh veggies are available.  The farmers sell, veggies, meat, cheese, fruit, flowers and items that have been preserved like jams and jellies.  Often someone is there to sell fresh baked goods too.  Many farmers take food stamps too.
  Another way farmers sell locally is "Community Supported Gardens"; a person can pay in the spring for goods to be grown during the season.  If a full share is $200, you may be able to buy a half share.  When the crops are harvested you go and pick up your share of each of them.  It helps the farmer to buy supplies, and it "pays" the share holder with good, fresh food. 
  Many of the farms are organic but there are 'regular' farmers too (who use chemical fertilizers and insecticides) it's your choice.
Fresh veggies. Don't they look good?
Flowers are popular items.  This is a farm stand
Celebration at the Bath Farmers Market

Friday, June 3, 2011

Horses and Cashmere

Norwegian Fjord horses at play
    Mandala Farm in coastal Maine specializes in Fjord horses and Cashmere goats, all beautiful animals, they also grow some veggies, and hay for the animals.
   Those horses are either ridden or used for working, very versatile critters, Cashmere goats are raised for their hair, or wool, and are shorn every year.  All in all it's a busy farm, with special attention given to the animals who earn their keep.
A Cashmere goat, he's been rolling around.
A Fjord at work, things are done the old way.
On the way to work in good company. - click to enlarge