Saturday 10 January 2015

Post 138

POST 138

It's been a while...
I guess the blog has been dormant, something like a jackpine cone waiting for a fire for it to open and enourage natural regeneration...
A long pause of calm in the forest, followed by flames and regrowth.

Looking back on the last year, sometimes it seemed at times like my life has been all about putting out fires, but here I am, like the humble jackpine cone arising from the ashes...


Everything has changed and everything is the same...
Work out in the bush progresses, mostly on trails but other projects are brewing...
The flashlight and Coleman Lantern collection has been growing selectively. Of note I  found a really rare Coleman which I will begin to restore soon. 
I have decided to teach myself how to use a metal lathe... maybe its not too late to teach this old dog a new trick? 

 I took my trapping money this year and bought this!

Yes its a GoPro video camera!

Do you think this old dog can jump through this hoop too?
Well I'm sure going to try and hope to share some of my videos with you soon.

Happy New Year to all


Tuesday 17 September 2013

The Zipper Goddess

Its getting cool in the evenings around here and fall is definitely on the way.
This morning the houses roof was covered in frost and the grass out front was covered in a crispy coating of frozen white too.
 Auspicious weather for the upcoming hunting season...

I have been racing to complete a number of pending tasks so that I can go moose hunting  with my bow. 
Some of these jobs are getting done while others are are not. 
My roof for example needs re-shingling and I have been trying to get it fixed for a couple of years now but it looks like it might have to wait again until the spring.
There is more wood to cut before the snow and repairs to the front steps but these things can wait until after the hunt.....

It seems lately its the small jobs that have been the ones getting accomplished....
Most recently my hunting duffle bag...

The zipper on this bag has been broken now since last season. I noticed during last years hunt as I pulled the slide on the zipper to close the bag the coils  would open behind the slider body as I zipped it closed. I made due for a while  but the zipper finally gave out and would no longer work to close the bag. Whats bothersome is the fact that the bag is still totally good other than it wouldn't close. 
I examined my options. I could buy a new bag, but I haven't been working for a while, and can really use to spend the money somewhere else first, and besides....why should I have to buy a new one....
Why not try to fix it?

Well why not? I know how to use a sewing machine and sew by hand and if I could locate another zipper you would think that I could swap the bad one for a good one....

Well after measuring the zipper I tried to locate one online but could not find one that matched the original. 
It is a big zipper measuring over 48 inches and is very heavy duty 
(or at least is supposed to be)
I thought about the problem a bit and decided to see if I could find some local help so I called the fabric store in a near town. 

It was my luck that the person on the other end of the phone when I called the store was totally familiar with malfunctioning zippers and had actually fixed a lot of them. 
I told her that I was going to rip the old zipper out and bring it in to buy a replacement but she said that maybe the zipper could be repaired instead of being replaced and that I should bring the whole bag in to the store.
I didn't think you could repair zippers. I thought if they broke you needed to replace them?
Apparently not!

Two days later at the fabric store I met the nice person I talked to on the phone. 

I will call her "The Zipper Goddess"!

After she examined the coil teeth on the zipper she told me that it was likely the zipper slider that was not working and suggested we take it off and try to pinch it back into shape. They sometimes become bent from use and can cause issues like the one I was having with my bag. 
We tried this and the zipper worked but not well,  but  after a couple of cycles opening and closing the bag it started to not work again. 
At this point she suggested

"you might find this a funny suggestion but I would try to find a similar zipper off a purse or snow suit at a thrift store to use for parts to fix your bag"

I wanted to hug her for this idea and went off thrifting to 3 of my local favourite thrift stores.  
It took me about 2 hours to find this old musty bag for $4 but the zippers coils and slider bodies were a match. 
I cut the sliders off with a box knife and then back at the sewing store we just zipped them on the old zipper being careful to align the teeth.

 Almost magically my bag was fixed!

 Later at home I put heavy duty auto staples on each end of the zipper so that when I worked it the slider would not slide off the ends of the coils.

Yes sometimes you can repair your zippers without replacing them and with used parts too! 

Thank you Zipper Goddess!


Friday 23 August 2013

Flashlight Friday

Where has the time gone?
Since my last post there have been hundreds of walks in the bush with the dogs...
I got hit by another tornado and have been back at clearing downed trees...
And yes along the way have collected a few more vintage flashlights too!

This morning I was sitting in "the office" (I call the front porch that looks out on the bush my office) and realized its Friday!
What a perfect time to share this summer yardsale find!

Its a retro three color 2 cell black and chrome flashlight.
Its made in "British Hong Kong" and has a flower with a "B" on its cap with ring hanger.
By sliding the green or red tabs you can adjust the lens to project red, green or white light.
Probably made circa 1970's it is the first multi color style light in my collection.


Sunday 30 June 2013

Wild Review

If I would have known that it was on Oprah's best selling book list I probably wouldn't have read it. Im suspect of books with "pre approved  good read stickers" on their covers preferring to judge what I am reading with few preconceptions...
I often enjoy books others found awful and sometimes find books that critics loved horrible...

The copy of 
"Wild...from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail"
by Cheryl Strayed
that I found on the shelf of one of my local thrift stores though didn't have any promotional stickers on it, or a dust jacket heralding  the book as a New York Times best seller...
Just a picture of an old worn hiking boot and mention of a hiking trail I was familiar with that runs the western flank of the U.S.A from Mexico to Canada.
The front cover seemed like it might interest me so I brought the book home and gave it a read.
Im happy I did!
Its not what I expected though...
The Pacific Crest Trail is a walking trail not for the uninitiated walker. It and the Appalachian trail on the other coast of the U.S. are considered the two most formidable long distance walking trails in America. Parts of this trail can involve climbing on ice and snow with crampons and ice axes, a lot of the trail is poorly signed and easy to get lost on and the sheer length of the trail makes "thru-hiking" the trail (attempting the entire trail or larger portions of it ) a complex logistical challenge.
Cheryl Strayed  began to walk the  the PCT tail in the summer of 1995.
Her life was a bit of a mess at the time, having experienced the unexpected loss of her mother to cancer and a fairly recent divorce and as well, she seemed to be dealing with some substance abuse problems back then too. Im not talking about alcohol here but Heroin!
Looking for some direction Cheryl decides on a whim to walk a bulk of the PCT on her own.
With very little preparation...hardly any money...poor fitting boots....and a pack that was so big she took to calling it "Monster" Cheryl begins an adventure that would last her months and cover over a thousand miles of walking.
 Both her descriptions of the route and her describing the challenges she personally met along the way made for an enjoyable read. I love to champion an underdog and was happy to see her conclude her journey. 
A finely crafted tale of personal of rediscovery
in my mind is worth the read!


Tuesday 25 June 2013

Return with the coming of Summer

It's been a while...
What's been going on?
Well for a while there was work...lots of work!  
"What kind of work" you might ask?...."Pay the bills sort of work" I might answer...
Then there has been a lot of unexpected"life events" ...
A turbulent vortex of "stuff" swirling around me causing vehicles , friends and family and one of my dogs all manner of grief...

For the moment things seem to have somewhat settled themselves and now with the coming of summer there is an odd calm to my world. 
"The calm after the storm"
Suddenly its summer!
Hot and Humid summer....
The garden has been in for a while and the beet greens, lettuce and tomatoes all seem to be doing well...
Now there are fish to catch, wood in the pile to chop, books on the floor to be read, yard sales to visit and hopefully new old flashlights to be found... 

Here is a picture of a deer that I took the other day as it walked slowly and quietly by the back of the house....

what summer calm!


Wednesday 9 January 2013

The Sounds of thinking

I haven't really talked about music before but it is an important part of who I am...

The type of music I listen to varies from Jazz to Bluegrass...

Here is one of my favourite Jazz albums...

 The best selling solo jazz album in history, it was recorded live,  lasts over an hour, and  is totally improvised.  The music is very ambient and is great music to listen to when you are just sitting back relaxing or working on a project that requires a lot of attention. 
The story behind the making of this album is as interesting as the music itself too.



Wednesday 2 January 2013

Bashing and Muddling!

The new year arrived around here on a cold quiet and snowy night...
A peaceful conclusion to the inevitable, inescapable chaos of the christmas season...
I am thankful for last years page on the calendar to finally turn!
Its time for some new beginnings...

...New adventures are in the making...
Projects in the planning...
And even some interesting changes coming soon to the blog!

The first order at hand though is 
crushing and grinding!

Here is a gift I received over the holidays.
Its a mortar and pestle that I will use for food preparation. 
Tactile, ancient and traditional, its used in the kitchen to pulverize and blend spices and pastes..
My mortar and pestle is made from Granite but others are made from materials like wood and brass or other types of stone...

Its time to bash and muddle into the new year!