Jack’s Walk

False Solomon’s Seal, ©voyager, all rights reserved

The day started out rainy, but by noon the sun was shining in an azure blue sky and the day was warm and inviting. Jack and I took ourselves off to the woods and we had a lovely, slow stroll whilst chatting about this and that and listening to the birds sing. We marveled at how quickly things change at this time of year. The white trilliums are still blooming, but the red ones have vanished and so have the happy white flowers of bloodroot. Other things are growing madly. The mayapples have become umbrellas and they’re full of buds. The false Solomon’s Seal is in bud, too, and leaves of many kinds are sprouting up along the entire forest floor. Jack took extra care to sprinkle pee where it was needed the most and by the time we’d gone all the way around his tank was empty and he was doing the air-pee. All in all a brilliant day.

The Art of Book Design: Successful Advertising

Thomas Smith and J.H. Osborne. Successful Advertising: It’s Secrets Explained. London: Smith’s Printing, Publishing and Advertising Agency, 1897 — Source.

As far back as the late 1800’s, businesses were looking for creative ways to get people to part with their money. I wonder what Smith & Osborne would think about the pervasive nature of ads in our modern world?

 

via: The Public Domain Review

A Marcus Solution for Ronja and Other Hairy Beasts

 

The Marcus Tactical Dog Brush

A few weeks back, Jack and I received a very special gift from Marcus. It’s a dog brush, but not just any dog brush. This little gizmo is the most practical dog grooming tool that we’ve ever used and it has a few little secrets that I hope Marcus won’t mind my sharing. I suppose the best part is the actual grooming surface which is very simply a hacksaw blade. It’s amazing. It pulls out hairs that are still only thinking about coming out and it never clogs. The hair just flies out in a big cloud and I don’t have to stop and de-clog the thing which means that I can keep going as long as my arm holds out and Jack doesn’t have a chance to get restless and wander away. It works so well that it’s an outdoor tool only at our house. I used it inside the first time we tried it and it took days to vacuum up all the hair it set loose. The hacksaw blade also makes the tool useful for lots of other situations such as an unexpected need to escape or sever an artery (hopefully not your own) and I think it’s accurate to call it a “tactical dog brush.”

It’s also a damned good scratcher for an itchy dog. Jack has seasonal allergies and some days his tablets don’t control the itch as well as others. If I see Jack scratching a lot we grab the Marcus tool and out we go for a few passes that send Jack into fits of pleasure. He leans into it, dances from one back foot to the other and gets this sweet, goofy grin that makes me happy, too.

The other good bits of the tool might be harder to replicate. Marcus has taken a beautiful piece of maple shaped it and cut a slot with his bandsaw for the blade. Then he carved a perfect hand-hold groove on the backside. The wood was then smoothed to perfection by the artist and resin impregnated for durability. It’s a joy to hold and sometimes I find myself just stroking the thing because I’m tactile and I like the way it feels. It was then fitted with a perfect silver ‘J’ and sent to Jack.

I’m pretty sure there are easier ways to make a hacksaw into a dog grooming tool, but there are certainly no better ways to do it. Thanks again, Marcus.

Jack’s Walk

Part of the floodplain at our park. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Can anyone tell me what the man in these photos is doing? Jack and I encountered him at our local park yesterday. He was slowly walking from one side of the creek to the other along a measuring tape laid out between the banks. He would move a step or two and stop, then fiddle with his machine and look up to the sky for a while and then fiddle with his machine again until he was satisfied with something and then he’d take another step or two and repeat the process. At the rate he was moving it would take him an hour or more to cross our wee creek. I suspect it’s related to the flooding you can see in the first photo. Two years ago they removed the concrete barriers lining the creek and naturalized the banks. It was an all summer long project and it was quite picturesque when completed. Since then, though, the area around the creek floods easily and essentially makes large areas of the park unusable.

I would have stopped to ask him what he was doing, but the children in the photo were tossing stones into the creek that kept landing close to the poor man and the 2 adults in their group let several minutes pass before stopping the action. I thought the fellow

really didn’t need anyone else annoying him. Also, I didn’t want Jack to go into the creek because the last time he did he came out smelling like a sewer. We watched for a while and finally came home with my curiosity piqued, but not satisfied. If you have a clue or a notion about this endeavor I’d sure appreciate it if you’d share.

That’s curious.©voyager, all rights reserved

 

Very curious. ©voyager, all rights reserved

What’s he looking for up there? ©voyager, all rights reserved

Dog Days

We seem to have got our summer early, although next week is supposed to cool down significantly. I am using this time to try not to melt and to gather materials for a few posts – still have the Skopje Aqueduct to present, then some things from Madrid (basically a series on fancy chandeliers), and a couple other things.

For the moment, though, I’m trying to get back into something like a routine after being sick and after the frequent travel – the good news is I have one more trip to Skopje during the second half of June, and then I get to not go anywhere for a couple of months at least. Looking forward to that, because I can’t get anything done in the summer anyway. Which seems to have arrived with a blast of hot air (30 in May, I’m sorry, too much!).

The heat also discourages Ronja from her usual energetic antics, so I got some nice poses, for your enjoyment. She’s a beauty. And she still hasn’t shed all her winter coat, no matter how much we brush her.

© rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I have been avoiding the park for the past few days because the city was hosting a fair to celebrate the May 2-4 long weekend and Jack doesn’t like fairs. He’s too short to see much except a sea of legs and he doesn’t like the blaring noise of the carnival rides or the sudden screams they elicit. The worst part, though, is all the smells of food that no-one offers  him.

The carnival was still packing up when we were there this morning so we wandered through what remained of the midway and Jack had a good chance to safely explore the what of it all. After that we went to visit the tulips and strolled around the duck pond. The lingering smells of fried food made our route a bit circuitous because Jack had to visit every garbage can along the way, but the sun was warm and the birds were singing and I didn’t mind at all.

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Jack’s Walk

The Canopy Cometh ©voyager, all rights reserved

The canopy of the forest is filling in quickly and soon all the light that’s been fueling the growth of spring flowers will turn to shade or bits of dappled sunlight. The trilliums are still blooming madly, though, and we even found a few red trilliums still hanging on. The Jack-in-the-pulpits have sprouted up all over and I can’t recall a year that there have been so many of them. They’re everywhere and some of them are huge. It seemed to take forever for spring to arrive this year, but the woodland flowers are obviously very happy with the conditions.

Open for Business. ©voyager, all rights reserved

A red trillium is a rare sight once the white trilliums bloom. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack-in-the-pulpits ©voyager, all rights reserved