In the shop - pictures of pens

6 new pens over the past couple of days......


Lunching out: Miller's Cafe

Another small, local chain location near the office.

Purchased: Burger with grilled onions, onion rings, and tea.

The burger was okay, the bun arrived flattened and the onion rings were worthless. Comparing it to Burger Tex, another recent lunch spot.......

Patties : about even, slight advantage to Miller's
Bun: advantage Burger Tex
Accessories: advantage BT (dress your own burger has an advantage)
Side: tough to compare, since I didn't buy the same thing, but the fries at BT were better fries than the onion rings at MC were onion rings.
Drink: I didn't really attempt to think about the tea

Summary: The local burger spots in order of preference: Fudd's, BT, MC

Missing pets

When I left the house this morning, Vlad had not returned from his Sunday afternoon saunter. I think the last time I saw him was when I went out to get the paper Sunday morning. I was not home most of the day, so he might have been around at other times.

He normally returns home around 10 p.m., although he's been returning more promptly since Mercuri went missing.

Saturday morning I went out to look at the local pet adoption agencies for someone to fill the hole that Mercuri left. I'm now concerned that I might have to fill two spots.

I found a couple of contenders: "Charcoal Charlie" at Bay Area SPCA and "Clancy" at Second Chance Pets. I think "Charcoal Charlie" is the name, but I'm not certain. There were 3 cats in the cage I checked out and all three were male. The label on the cage said 2 were female and 1 was male, so who knows who I held in my arms?

CC was a brave little kitten. He was quite comfortable riding around on my shoulders while I was at full height. He was also a terror running around the area.

I also held "Blue Grass" a Japanese Bobtail mix. He was happy to just lay in my lap and be scratched.

I was hoping to be able to get to know "Bill", "Notch", and "Whimpy", but I think they were off at a local Petsmart being shown.

At Second Chance Pets, "Clancy" was happy to be held in my arms and had a charming meow. He sounded a bit like he'd been smoking cigarettes, a nice gravelly sound. I was hoping to meet "Friskies", but they'd not brought him with them.

Here's hoping we only have one spot to fill.

In the shop - at a class

I spent most of Sunday in an "Introduction to Bowl Turning" class hosted by a local woodworking store and taught by Paul Kendall. Six hours of instruction, minus time for a few breaks, got us from green bowl blank to a semi-finished bowl. The bowl now needs time for drying and then final sanding and finishing. Apparently, our bowls will take between 6 and 12 weeks to dry to a state that's dry enough to work on.

I received some individual attention to improve the control of the tools while working. I hope I manage to remember it. I probably won't be turning any bowls for a while, but the instruction should prove useful in all my turning.

Weekend update




Helped my mom with some tax issues
Out to run some errands and visit some pet adoption places to fill the hole Mercuri left behind.
Dinner with K. and K.
Shopping with K. and K.


Bowl turning class on the other side of town

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/17/09

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Tom, and Sal..

Ukemi: I did a full warm-up, minus the big falls.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: None.


We spent a lot of time playing with initial off-balances for Shomen-ate. If tori continues to rotate his center while he's still attached to uke's lead hand, he can continue to keep uke off-balance. Eventually, this will cause a fall without any other interaction from tori.

Trey, at the end, wanted me to do some work on Aigamae-ate. My first attempt was a non-starter. On my second, I was late, so I turned it into Gyakugamae-ate. On the third, I managed an Agamae-ate although it was not pretty.

Tim then called for me to get gedan-ate. My mind became very unaikido-like in demeanor: I was determined I was going to get the technique. I think I had the off-balances nicely, but kake was rude. I had extended my leading leg further behind Trey than I normally do, so when our centers met, he had my nice tall knee that he had to fall over. He ended up in the right spot, but rotated about 90 degrees from his normal position. We were working on an extra layer of mats, so the fall wasn't too bad.

Aftermath: None of note. I think I may need to add big falls back to my warm-up routine soon.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/16/09

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Kim, and Tom.

Ukemi: I did a full warm-up, minus the big falls.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: With Tom.


Trey and I spent a lot of time on Kube Garuma, in both roles. The key to this, on this night, was the positioning of the lead hand. It has to make it to your hip in a smooth motion. If it's not smooth, or it's not to the hip, uke has no compunction to take the fall.

I also did some work, with Kim as uke, on 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the kneeling portion Koryu Dai San. We came home and discussed the attack that uke makes for Ryote Mochi Sukui Nage and I'm at a loss, at the moment, to find a fault with her thought that uke is trying to pull tori flat on his face. I think that the traditional situation would have a table involved, so that pulling tori onto his face would not be possible, but I'm not certain.

I also worked with Trey on that same technique, with a slight variation. Instead of inciting uke to take a roll-out, if you hold onto their lead hand you can generate a sumi-otoshi fall out of the technique. It really startled Trey on the first attempt. If I'd gotten it right, it really would have messed with his mind.

Aftermath: None of note, the suwari waza went ok.


In the shop - pictures

Folks have asked for pictures, so I'll post some.  Some of the items are listed at ArtFire, but they're all for sale.

Actually, I'll post them on my flickr account as it's unwieldy to post them all here.  The one posted is made out of Canarywood.

Here's my flickrstream


Weekend update


Filmed a Judo seminar


More Judo Seminar filming
Dungeons & Dragons


Delivered a trundle bed we sold via craigslist to the purchaser
Wandered around the Bayou City Art Festival (nee Westheimer Colony Arts festival). We only visited one of the two locations, but it took use several hours to wander around. We picked up some Xmas gifts for nieces and the business card for an artist I want to invite to Armadillocon.


In the shop

A bit of a summary from the past two days:

Monday: 5 bottle stoppers. 3 Tulipwood, one Canarywood and 1 Madrone Burl. I had to throw away a Sycamore as it did not get properly placed on the lathe.

Tuesday: 5 b/s. 3 Tulipwood, 2 Canarywood.

I've only got hardware for 3 more bottle stoppers, but I think I'll turn 5 more tonight. I've got enough Bubinga for 2 and one acrylic blank. I'd also like to try turning some Mesquite.

Then it's on to pens, ornaments and keyrings for a bit.


In the shop

Trying to turn some more bottle stoppers and use up all of the hardware I have for them.

So, I attempted two more English Walnut and one Sycamore. The Sycamore is the only one that made it off the lathe and onto the hardware.

The first EW I completed, polished and was ready to put on the hardware when I spotted something I didn't like. Back on to the lathe it went. Big mistake. What was a simple change expanded due to carelessness and a nice stopper got destroyed.

The second EW was 80% turned, but I thinned it down before completing the stressful turning. When I started the stressful turning, the thinned down section gave way and it blew out.

The Sycamore turned fairly well.

I also used a jig I purchased on Saturday to get a nice edge on my turning tools, I think it helped.

At the movies: Zombieland

Zombieland: 3

Another zombie movie, this one starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin with a cameo from Bill Murray.

I normally don't like horror movies, but the trailers for this one played up the comedic bit enough that I was interested. I was not disappointed. There were some good, funny bits. The scene with Bill Murray is something you can predict, up to a point.

They don't do a great job of dealing with the fact that 99.9% of the population is dead or zombied, but I'll let it slide.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/03/09

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, and Tom.

Ukemi: I did a full warm-up, minus the big falls.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: Trey served as uke for Tom's right-sided releases, I served as uke for the left-sided ones.


I got to work on Shihonage and, I think, Shizumi-otoshi from Owza Ju Pon.

We also worked on Gedan-ate with Tom, using a circular entry to make it a little more flowing than our normal approach.

Aftermath: Sore rib, still. More pain-killers.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/02/09

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Kim, and Tom.

Ukemi: I did a full warm-up, minus the big falls.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: None.


Trey and I spent a lot of time on his Owaza Ju Pon, with him giving me roll-outs since the garuma falls are not a lot of fun. And, on the first one that Trey "got", he did not let me roll-out. And I was not prepared to not roll out and I landed hard. I think it's the 7th or 8th rib on the right side on the back that's not feeling perfect. I had to sit there for a second and regroup. Almost had the wind knocked out of me.

After that, there were no issues. He was, as everyone does, having troubles with Kata Otoshi. By the time we got to Aiki-nage, he was a bit worn out.

Aftermath: Sore rib. Definitely an Aleve night.

Lunching out: Burger Tex

A small, local chain of hamburger joints. The nearest one is occupying an old Pizza Hut, which has also been an "El Lago Burrito Company" in addition to its current incarnation.

They offer burgers, fried shrimp and other item. I didn't really check out the menu much. I ordered a 6 oz w/o cheese. They didn't ask how I wanted my burger cooked.

They serve it up plain and you doctor it up yourself at the vegetable bar. Tomatoes were not outstanding, but it was decent otherwise. They did have jalapenos, so that's a plus.

The bun was nice, they do grill them up before putting your patty on them. The fries are nothing to write home about, but overall it's a decent deal.

They will be considered when I'm thinking about a burger. The only current competition is Fuddrucker's. I need to try some more options.

Weekend update




Across town to a jewelry supply store to look at some pliers and to Woodcraft to take advantage of a sale.
A lady was supposed to come out to look at the trundle bed we're selling for a friend, but she was a no-show.
Dinner and a movie with K. and K. (Zombieland)


Someone finally showed up to look at the trundle bed, but they had misgivings, so they didn't take it.
Had another inquiry on the trundle (this make about 8, I think), this one from Navasota. No way they'll be interested in it.
Aquarium cleanup
Our satellite DVR/receiver went out, so any TV we watch is over at the in-laws for the next week. We can't take the dogs in with us, so we won't be watching too much.
In the shop for a little work. Very frustrating.


In the shop

In the shop on Wednesday for more turning.

I rescued an English Wlanut stopper and turned two Box Elder Burl and one Spalted Maple. I tried to turn a second Spalted Maple, but apparently the pilot hole I drill was wonky and it would not stay on the lathe. It's possible, I suppose, that the blank had a fault in the middle somewhere.

So, 4 more stoppers. I need to spruce up the EW one, as the efforts I expended to get it off the chuck dulled the finish.

I had some energy at the end and managed to put up 4 more clamp holders on one wall of the shop. With the light table gone, there's more room and some accessible wall space.

Volleyball, 0-3

The final match of the season, and probably the year. 0-3. We had a good time and played decently, but got skunked.

Oh, well, there's always next time.