Caine’s Horses

In Memory of Caine (front of card),

Over the holidays I received a very special package from Giliell. It’s one of Caine’s painted horses, in miniature on a background of silver and set in clear resin. It came with a beautiful handmade card reading In Memory of CaineThe note inside was even more beautiful. Giliell has made many resin horses and, together with the card, has sent them out to as many members of our Affinity community as she could gather addresses for.

Giliell’s gift to the Affinity community

The resin pendant is beautiful and Giliell’s artistry is obvious.   The silver shimmers and catches the light and Caine’s horse is spirited and full of running energy The pendant is also meaningful and I cherish it already. I love the thought that these wee horses now reside in places all over the world and that my horse is one link in a chain that stretches far and wide. I love the reminder of Caine’s energy and talent. I love the way such a small work of art makes me feel connected and how it reminds me of my good fortune to be a part of this community.

Resin pendant with one of Caine’s horses, made by Giliell

In memory of Caine (back of card)

I don’t want to catch Giliell unawares, but if you are part of our family and are feeling left out please drop a note to our in-box at affinitysubmissions@gmail.com.

Giliell, I’m a bit verklempt and can’t quite find the right words, but thank you for such a thoughtful and meaningful gift. (I did get a few other goodies from Giliell which I’ll share in another post, but this gift needed a post of its own.)

YouTube Video: What Has The EU Ever Done For Us?

We did not have any posts about the Brexit debacle, did we? A lot of the points in this video could also be applied to CZ (and we have idiots here aplenty who advocate for “Czexit” which would be even more suicidal for us than Brexit is for UK)

 

I agree with the gist of the video, which can be summed up thus: All the good things the EU makes for us here in Europe go under the radar of the media, and as a consequence under the radar of most people. Failures and mistakes are highlighted, successes and benefits are taken for granted.

I like the most the point that we, in Europe, experience the longest peace in history. We do not know what war is, for almost three generations by now in some countries. If the EU had achieved nothing else, that one thing is huge.

TNET 28: I Hate Winter

Your mileage might vary. I hear there are people who like winter, for all the fun they cannot do at other time of the year – like skiing, skating etc. And the cold? Well you can just clothe appropriately, can’t you? No. When the temps fall bellow 10°C, my feelings can be summed up thus:

For me, the clothing is irrelevant to my experience even when putting aside the depression from lack of sunlight. When I clothe enough to not feel the cold, I feel very uncomfortable by how much the clothing restricts my movement and my field of vision. So I loathe having to dress in multiple layers of thick clothing to be able to go outside – only not to be able to do anything useful when I do so. Because even with thick gloves (which make any useful work impossible in themselves), when it is freezing my fingers go numb very quickly and upon return in warmth the Raynaud syndrome causes me intense pain.

Therefore I can forget skiing or any such shit, the hypothetical fun is not worth the torture I would have to endure each time I come back home, nevermind that sports are to me boring as shit in every conceivable form. The Raynaud syndrome can be triggered by temperatures below approx 10°C (I have not performed study to find the exact value) at any time of the year, it is not relative – I have got it when picking berries in the garden on a very cold summer day too. So about the only thing I could conceivably do in winter when going outside is a walk with my hands safely in my pockets and huddled up so I barely see anything. Not very entertaining, if you ask me, unless there is someone to talk to.

Am I grumpy enough yet?

Open thread, talk whatever you want, just do not be too sphincter about it.

– previous thread –

Update January 31/19: – new thread-

Walking in a Winter Wonderland, part 2

 

hoar frost

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A little star, caught on an invisible strand of spider silk.

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

These images show hair ice, a phenomenon that happens when very wet wood, usually colonised by fungi, freezes. I have never seen this before and man is it gorgeous. It can happen on wood lying on the ground, but also on dead twigs still attached to the tree.

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

hair ice

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Jack’s Walk

 

©voyager, all rights reserved

Our day started with sunshine peeking through the drapes, but by the time we were up and about the sky was thick with heavy and listless gray clouds. The whole world looks gray and listless in this light and it was tough to get ourselves out the door today. As motivation, we decided to make the short journey to our favourite wee forest hoping we might find a bit of an adventure. Alas, we did not, but we might have heard a few pixies giggling and I’m almost certain I saw a fairy dart into this hollow stump and just disappear. Poof, and he was gone. Not even a whiff of breath left behind. Jack tried to follow, but wisely decided he couldn’t fit and gave up the chase. We made our way around the rest of the trail slowly, and heard nothing more than the creak of the grandmother trees in the wind and the lonely caw of a single crow.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland, part 1

This is going to be picture heavy and more than one post, but they’re all so magical.

We didn’t get snow, but some serious hoarfrost which created the most wonderful things.

bird

©Giliell, all rights reserved

First shot is what happens when you forget to switch your camera from “artificial indoor light” to “natural light”, though I do like the blue tint it produced.

erica flowers

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Erica blooming in pink and white

hoarfrost

©Giliell, all rights reserved

hoarfrost

©Giliell, all rights reserved

frozen spiderweb

©Giliell, all rights reserved

frozen stalks

©Giliell, all rights reserved

pond

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

I occasionally put a triangle scarf on Jack to accentuate his rugged good looks. Sometimes I even put him in a coat if the weather is seriously cold or heavily raining. What I don’t do, however, is dress him up in outfits or costumes. Jack thinks such things are unnecessary and undignified. His sister, Lucy, used to love being dressed up. She’d pout when it was time to take off her coat or her scarf after an outing and on Hallowe’en she’d prance around in her costume and pose for pictures. Lucy was a comedian and she loved anything that made people oooh, aaah or laugh. Not my Jack, though. Jack is a straight man and he does not like to look silly so when I recently attempted to take a few photos of him in a Santa hat he made his displeasure known. I gave it my best try, but Jack was having none of it. Click-through if you’d like to see a few shots of Jack’s increasing frustration. (Sorry, Bubba. I won’t do it again.)

I am not a HappyJack, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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Lets Get Ready to Tumbleee!

I hope this will work. If not, I am determined to fiddle with it until it works.

I found an old asynchronous motor in our cellar. It is a small thing, mere 140 W, and it lacked wiring, any elements to fix it to something and cam wheel completely with wedge. But I have managed to convince my father to connect a cable and a switch to it, and it was working. So last few weeks, whenever I have got an hour or two, I was building a tumbler. I did not document the building process, because there is not much to it, really.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Just like with my belt grinder, I started with a particle board leftover from kitchen renovations, which was the base for my old drill press. It is a nice >2 cm thick board, covered with waterproof plastic on the upper side. Stable, strong, simply ideal as a base for a machine. Because the motor lacked any flanges or wings or whatevers to fix it and only had 4 M5 threaded holes, I took two pieces of steel that had 90° angle, straightened them to about 120°C angle and screwed them onto the motor. This provided me with two ears, that could be screwed on wooden blocks connected to the base plate. The switch was attached to the plate by its standard holes, plus two wooden pieces to better secure the cable.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

As I mentioned, the motor lacked cam wheel. So I stood in front of a choice – to buy V-belt cam wheels and V-belts, or try something else. I tried something else, because I deemed it easier and cheaper. I bought two PP furniture wheels of different sizes. One got attached onto the motor in the standard way – with a steel wedge ground from a piece of spring steel and a lot of cursing. The diameter of the axis was slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the wheel, but I was able to fill the space with a piece of steel pipe. For the bigger wheel I had more luck – it had inner diameter 15 mm. So I could just buy a 15 mm steel pipe and further I could put to use two old ball bearings that also had 15 mm inner diameter. With a bit of banging and a lot more cursing I was able to fix the two ball bearings and the big PP wheel onto the pipe (the PP wheel is further fixed with a nail, so it dos not hold on only by friction). Next step was to fix the ball bearings on two wooden blocks onto a separate particle board plate.

At this stage I also took a strip of leftover flooring PVC and glued it onto the PP wheels for better traction. It is actually nearly impossible to glue anything on PP with reasonable strength, but there are adhesives on the market that manage this task strong enough for this kind of application (I think). If it goes pear-shaped, I can always screw it on later.

For the tumbling drum I took a 100 mm diameter PP pipe and again I glued on it a few layers of PVC for better traction. The PVC lays directly on the steel pipe in order to reduce the fast rotations of the motor as much as I can.

Two small furniture wheels aid in keeping the tumbling drum in place whilst allowing it to freely spin. The tumbler thus lies between the axis and the two wheels and holds in place purely by its own weight.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Last week I cut a piece of thick leather 1 m long, 3 cm wide, and I cut the ends at an angle so they overlap whilst the overall thickness remains the same, and I glued it together with epoxy. Hide glue would probably be better, but the weather was way too cold for messing about with hide glue. Today I took last few hours in adjusting the positions of the two wooden plates against each other to have adequate tension on the belt without it wandering in one direction or the other. As of now, it has been running for an hour without problems.

It has about 120 rotations  per minute, which might be a bit too fast. I put in shredded walnut shells, a soft coarse polishing compound and a broken blade from my failed machete build.

We will see what comes of it.