And another place online

November 12, 2018

Please look me up at my new web site – Spinning Johnny’s Yarn Shop and More where you can see my fiber goings-on.



This is only a test

August 29, 2011

this is a test and this might be another test


But this is a test of email feeds…


Moving on up

January 10, 2008

Like the Jeffersons, I have moved on up – to my own web site, actually. My blog now lives at Imaginary Three Dimensional Blackboard, a concept that intrigues me. If you came here as a result of a stale link, please update your bookmarks.



(P.S. I find, though, that when I exported this blog to XML  to move it to the new blog, URLs pointing here didn’t morph to point there, so sometimes you get back here unexpectedly. And I’m too lazy to fix all of the links, so that’ll happen on occasion.)

Holy CRAP! The radio works!

January 8, 2008

Those of you who are truly fans (OK, all one of you) might remember that I asked for a radio kit (the Rock-Mite) for Christmas. Well, my brother-in-law Art drew my name in the Secret Santa list, and bought the thing for me.

I had some time off between Christmas and New Year’s, and I built it. It’s finally encased in an Altoids tin (the preferred radio enclosure for the QRP crowd), and it actually works! I haven’t made a contact on it yet, but it does put in a booming signal to my “big” radio, an Icom IC-756Pro.

Here’s a picture:


I even bought it a toy – That aluminum block to the right is a KK1 “straight key” from American Morse Equipment which also came as a kit. When I get a few bucks ahead in my “war chest” I’m planning to buy the KK2 paddle kit to go with it. This isn’t to say that I really know Morse Code all that well, but I’m practicing and getting better.

Josh Simpson, Glass Artist

November 29, 2007

(November 2007) The Springfield Massachusetts Museum of Fine Art is currently hosting an exhibition of Josh Simpson‘s glass work. Peg and I, along with our friend Tina Marie (no, not Teena Marie) went to see it on Sunday. Here is a sample image, though we didn’t see this particular item:

js_planets.jpg Photo (C) Josh Simpson Contemporary Glass (thanks 🙂 )

There is a DVD documentary playing on the second floor that shows the effort that went into the making of the first “megaplanet“. What you can’t possibly capture from a photograph of one of these masterpieces is the depth of the work. These megaplanets are over a foot in diameter, and start with a small, apple-sized ball of glass that is shaped with water-soaked wooden bowls and paddles. Colored bits of glass, including millefiori canes, as well as metal foils and other materials, are attached to this base piece, then the piece is dipped in the pool of molten glass again. This process is repeated six or seven times, each time building up another layer, adding depth that can only be seen in person to appreciate.

Now, Peg and I know something (well, a little bit) about glassblowing. Peg took a course in it, and one day I went along just to watch, and the instructor insisted that I make something just for fun. So I made a paperweight about the size of an egg. Inside the furnace was a crucible containing probably a couple hundred pounds of molten glass at approximately 2200F. Yup, it was close to red-hot, that nice orangey color when you know something is really hot. That day pretty much redefined hot for me. I had worked with plastics at 450F, nylon at 550F, and some other stuff, like metal work, that ran into the close-to-red-hot region, but this stuff was hot!

But my paperweight was about two or three ounces of glass, consisting of a starting glob about the size of a small walnut, with some yellow glass stuck in, and one more dip in the  molten glass (and a lot of nerve-and-heat-related sweating!). Josh’s Megaplanets are, oh, like 100 pounds of glass. While the artistry involved is unquestionably wonderful and beautiful, the engineering work and the sheer scale of the megaplanets are just mind-boggling to me.

Very very impressive stuff, and I heartily recommend seeing the exhibit, open November 20, 2007 through February 3, 2008. Admission is only $10, free to Springfield residents.

Monson High, Class of 1972

November 26, 2007

Saturday November 24 found Peg and me in Warren, Massachusetts for my 35th high school reunion. Here’s a picture of the fourteen of us (out of 89 – how sad – a mere 15.7%) that actually came out for the event. It was fun to see those who came, but I wish there had been a better turnout. There are a lot of other folks I wish I could have seen.


(back) Chip, Henry, Mark, Mike, John (me), and Eldon.
(front) Cecelia, Rebecca, Nancy, Donna, Sue, Debbie, Judy, and Jeanne.

(N.B. if you do a save-link-as instead of save-image, the full image will download – jg)

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

November 12, 2007

Well, not really. Bears, sure. But no lions or tigers. Just cows. A number of years ago Peg and I went to London (we were supposed to go on 9/12/2001. Guess how that went?) for a holiday. I think it was 2003, but, well, my memory… But when we got there CowParade London was going on. Fiberglas cows, well over 100 of them, were to be found all over the city, painted in frightfully imaginative color schemes. Sort of like the Berlin Bears (link above). But anyway, after the Antwerp trip, we headed back to Amsterdam and checked into the Hilton at Schiphol Airport, and two more cows were outside the Hilton.belgium2007-003.jpgbelgium2007-002.jpg And there were others inside the airport as well, next to a cheese shop. It makes perfect sense! The Netherlands is a well-known cheese-making country in its own right. Here’s a picture of a third cow, along with me: