Wither the Weather?

A month ago it was snowing madly here. Today it hit 20C (70f) degrees. Perfect weather for sketching. I have found a new watercolour paintbox, and have been putting it to good use. For years these paintboxes were impossible to find here. I once had a similar one made by Winsor Newton, with 12 half pans, but it was lost long ago. The key advantage is the ability to assemble your own palette of paint blocks. My art shop now has these boxes for a reasonable cost, so I bought a 12 half pan box. It has a good range of colours, but I tossed out white and added Van Dyck brown. My collapsible brush fits nicely in the centre slot between the paint blocks. The colours are intense and you don’t need much to get lovely bright tones. Here is the box, made in Korea by Mungyo: click for full size pics.


A few sample sketches from my walks of yesterday and today:


Filed under Sketching

OBE Typewriter

You may have heard of the USB typewriter, but what about the OBE? The OBE is in this case an honour bestowed by Elizabeth Regina, aka HM the Queen. It wasn’t bestowed on a typewriter, but on its owner. I discovered this today, due to a label that was affixed to the typewriter in question. How it ended up in Victoria, I’ll never know, but there it was. It’s a 1965 Olivetti Lettera 32, made in Ivrea, Italy. It has an unusually tiny typeface, too, about 12.5 characters/inch, like the Hermes elite. In any case, the label and address gave me all the information I required for a search, and it turned up the address, and some interesting things about the owner. I won’t divulge the name, as I think this would be inappropriate, but I will reveal the view from his one time residence, and the extract from the Belfast Gazette where it was noted he received honours from the Queen. The typewriter has French characters, as well as the German double S, and a QWERTZ keyboard. It is in perfect condition, and came with a thick typing pad. All it needed was a good wipe, as the ribbon is still in fine shape.

The owner once looked out at this scene. Liverpool is over there somewhere…..


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Filed under History, Thrift shop finds

Recycled, Reused, Repurposed


What do these have in common?

space for guessing here before I give the answer.










grommets – 4 each, to be exact!




grommet from Nintendo cube CD player

This is where they go after you have removed them from the Nintendo Cube:

This fortuitous discovery came in handy  with one of my Italian made L22’s that had lost its grommets due to disintegration. I had these 4 nice soft rubber grommets left over from a project I was doing with my son – combining a Nintendo Cube with a modern Nintendo. I save things like this whenever I find them, because sooner or later they tend to come in handy. I thus saved these 4 dumbbell shaped hollow rubber grommets from the CD player suspension of the Nintendo. By squeezing, I was easily able to shove them into the 4 empty holes in the metal case of the L22, where they seated perfectly. They were made for the job, for all intents and purposes!


Filed under Repairs, Technology

If Machines Could Talk


Filed under Poetry, Typecasting, Typewriters


Seeing as how there were no takers for the previous puzzle, I present the solution to the anagrams.  This is not the first time nobody knows what I’m talking about…my apologies!

(I also make a typo, here corrected)

KIM JUNG UN: junk mi gun, i’m gnuk’n ju

DONALD TRUMP: damp old runt, mad plot nurd, dump rot land


Filed under Anagrams

Scrambled Heads

Solve the riddle, and bring world peace!

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Filed under Anagrams, Plays, Typecasting

Slip Stick Analog Converter

Discovered in a thrift shop last week. It’s not exactly a slide rule, although it resembles one. It’s a metric converter, and if the USA ever joins the metric world, these will be in high demand. Get one now while they’re cheap; only 8 Euros on Ebay! This handy tool does a great job and is accurate enough for most applications, unless you are in need of scientific accuracy. To underscore the historical significance of this gadget, the Smithsonian considers it worthy of a webpage. With one moving part, it should last several lifetimes. The sliding cursor is unnecessary, so I don’t count that.

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Filed under Technology, Thrift shop finds, Uncategorized