Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gordie Boy: 'Be Prepared' and straighten up


In June, 1959 I was nine going on ten and able to stand still long enough to have my picture taken at a Cub Scout event at the Norwich ball park. I look at the photo now, see my poor posture and hear the words my mother said to me time and time again - "Stand up straight, Gordon. Push your shoulders back."

(I am still a bit of a sloucher but a week doesn't go by without me reminding myself to stand a little taller and push my shoulders back while, for example, walking to a local coffee shop or grocery store.)

I enjoyed being a Cub Scout and can recall some of the weekly meetings, routines and activities. Members sat in a large circle during a typical meeting, for roll call and the collection of dues. Dues (pennies, nickels, dimes) were dropped into a hat in the centre of the circle and boys would indicate the amount by saying, "five bones" or "ten bones".

I also recall when one of my parents put a Cub Scout decal on our front door window. It said 'Be Prepared' and I asked for an explanation of some kind because I was worried about what expectations would be placed upon me. Though the answer is lost in the fog of my well-spent youth I must say some of the words stuck and on more than one occasion over the years I have been described as 'a bit of a Boy Scout.'

I now take it as a compliment even if I'm not sure what the person means!

Photo by GH

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Were you a Cub or Scout?

Please click here for more Gordie Boy

Fun and Fitness: Off to a fairly good start

The week is young, I still have a fridge full of leftovers, and I have a full schedule for the week (I thought retirement was supposed to be easy kap-easy, filled w relaxing!), but at least I got my exercise routine off to a good start Monday evening. I pedalled for two hours and read a healthy number of pages of my latest bargain book, K2.


With the addition of a 30-minute walk on Tuesday and yesterday's hockey game I boosted my point total to 42, so I'm almost halfway to my week's goal of 100 points or miles.

Though the next three nights are booked, two more long rides and a healthy walk - squeezed in somewhere this week - should put me over the top.

Photo by GH

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Please click here for more Fun and Fitness 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Workshop: "The man is obsessed!" (2)

My wife knows the way to a man's heart is through his workshop, and on Christmas Day she presented me with a $50 Home Depot gift card. My first two thoughts: Give that girl a big warm hug. ASAP buy five pieces of barn board, 8-foot length, for more log cabin birdhouses.

["I bought five boards and two were cedar"]

I was on a roll (still am) in the workshop and the barn board would get used up quickly because I already had a log cabin recipe that was easy to follow. But before buying any lumber I attended a London Knights hockey game, and my seat-mate, a friend who was happily following the same recipe, suggested he was going to buy cedar deck boards for his next birdhouse or two. Oh, I liked that idea and I beetled it out to Home Depot the next day with the intention of looking at cedar as well as barn board.


I came home with some of each and immediately went to work. I laid a cedar plank upon my bench, measured it this way and that, and began to draw a plan for its most economic use.

Eventually I discovered that I could get two birdhouses from each plank as long as I used other cedar I had on hand for the roof slats.


["I knew I had cedar scrap for slats hanging about"]

And because I had a finished cabin in the shop, made from old white pine siding I'd taken off the house five years ago, I was immediately interested in seeing how the cedar would compare in appearance.

["The old pine is a pleasure to use. And the cedar?"]

So, I grabbed a shovel.

Photos by GH

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Please click here to read The man is obsessed (1)

Photo Poser 20: "What is it?"

As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. And for ten dollars the man in the antique store in Belgrave (NW of London) parted company with it.


Can you tell what it is?

Photo by GH

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Please click here for Photo Poser 19

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It Strikes Me Funny: Happy Hour

Once or twice per week, at 5 p.m., I put down the hammer or stop what I'm doing in the workshop and celebrate 'happy hour.' I do this by selecting and drinking an interesting beer before supper. Yesterday's choice seemed particularly fitting.



The aroma of the heather ale fit perfectly with the aroma of the cedar I was trimming. And the name of the brewery was a match for what I yell out whenever I catch a sliver or hit my thumb with a hammer.

Photos by GH

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Please click here for more lame humour

One mystery solved

Though this photo will appear again soon (with a brilliant post about some of the 'goings on' in my workshop), I show it now in order to say something equally exciting and important...


After a month of looking (almost) everywhere in my shop, I finally spotted my gloves!!

Photo by GH

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There they are between the green box and piece of fence post.

Please click here for a brilliant piece of prose

Zoom w a View: "It's a sign"

I don't want to give too much away, but this pile of lumber is very special, at least to me.


It's definitely a sign of things to come.

What things? Stay tuned.

Photo by GH

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Any guesses?

Please click here for a 'Favourite Photo'

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