Sunday, 29 June 2008

And the kitchen sink

Take one somewhat mangled shopping cart
Sraighten using hydraulics
and some other more direct methods.

Add some other bits and pieces.

Do some welding and some painting...

And you have a bike trailer capable of carrying many things.
Including the kitchen sink.

Here's mud in your eye!

and grit in your hair.
On the ride home from work Friday after that heavy rain, I could fell 'stuff' thrown up by the back tire pattering against the back of my head and my neck.
I asked The Geek to make me a splatter guard, and she came through with this highly aerodynamic looking device, which shows up all the better against the green of the car.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Geek's single-radius pipe bender

Things rarely seen anymore

Today The Geek and I went to an estate sale at an old corner store on the corner of Parr and Manitoba. The store had been in the family for 80 years and the old fellow who lived there died in March.

The sale started Thursday so who knows what other treaures there were there at that time.

I haven't seen a wringer washer since Gram used one, and in the basement were the two concrete tubs that more than likely were used with the washer.

Not for the faint of heart

The Geek isn't sure how long this 'store' has been here. She found it about a month ago when she was looking for lumber.
You can probably find just about anything here-if you look long enough.

I would strongly recommend the use of safety glasses on any visit.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Raining cats 'n dogs

This is the view from my office window today. The rain was coming down in sheets and driving against the window with great gusto!
We also had, and are still under, a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warning.

I'm glad I don't have allergies!

This is our late-blooming lilac (lit by the flash since it is rather murky this morning) next to the grape arbour. It is too bad I cannot blog the fragrance, as it is absolutely lovely.The tree also has an exceptional amount of blossoms this year. Maybe it heard talk about its potential removal and wants to convince us of its worth.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

One more 're-use' project done

As mentioned earlier, Tina found these bench ends a few weeks ago on garbage eve.

She added some cedar boards and


Diff'rent strokes

The Geek prefers tiny flowers and quite dislikes the big ones.

I like them both.

The Geek's dislike has extended so far as to 'giving' this peony to Sema by digging up what she thought was the entire root ball. Three years later, it is bigger than ever. I think it has to do with giving the roots more room.

Some day I'll tell you about the rhubarb.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


I like it when you plant a seed, and you can watch while it grows. Here you can definitely tell, long before the identifying leaves appear, that this is a bean.And to segue nicely into other transformations to come...

the cart is certainly less bent than it was before (while still being far from its original condition).

And this one of two pieces of metal that The Geek found while gleaning one evening, is, as we speak, being restored to what it was before.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Back Yard Renos-one month later

A trifle greener than a few weeks ago.


Two empty plastic barrels; one used to contain soft drink syrup and the second obtained with a bunch of other stuff at an auction sale. Now rain barrels. The black one was without a top, so Tina put a lid on to keep the 'skeeters out. The mosquitoes are pretty big this year, hence the big rock holding everything down.And this mangled grocery cart followed us home. Stay tuned for its next incarnation.

Monday, 16 June 2008


Some delicate lady slippers... ........and a pile of granite rocks.
June 7, 2008

School's out for the summer

"School's out for the summer; School's out 'til September" is the tune that has been running through my head since the end of my LAST class this past Thursday. Such a feeling of freedom-almost like getting out at the end of June when I was a kid. I have the whole summer stretching ahead of me!
(They weren't such terrible classes this term-in theory, but I just couldn't get into them).

But they are DONE!!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

"our sky goes on forever"

The government of Manitoba paid a New York firm around $3 Million to re-brand us. The best they could come up with was 'Spirited Energy'. Exactly what is that supposed to mean? And what was wrong with 'Friendly' ?
The gov't should have talked to these kids before spending all that cash.
This article was in the Friday, June 13 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.

At last a brand we can believe
Grade 4 reinvents Manitoba's slogan
By: Bruce Owen
Updated: June 13 at 06:58 AM CDT
The kids in teacher Cora Campbell's Grade 4 class are proud of where they live and they want you to be, too.
They've spent almost every day of their school year at Riverbend Community School working on a project -- it's a big project -- to rebrand Manitoba to those who live here and outsiders far and wide.
"We've created a brand for Manitoba called Flatlanders," they say in their PowerPoint presentation. "Our brand message is about three things: Flatness, Friendliness and Forever.
"Yes, we are in Grade 4 and you may be wondering what we know about creating logos and slogans for our province. We are like many people in Manitoba that are proud of where we live."
The kids say Flatlanders is their response to Manitoba's Spirited Energy campaign, a $3-million promotion launched about three years ago to re-shape folks' attitudes about the province. For the most part, it fizzled. Spirited Energy has been dormant for about a year, although some say it may be revived in the weeks to come.
The kids say in no way does Flatlanders poke fun at Spirited Energy.
"We decided that instead of just listening to what people were talking about, we wanted to be part of promoting our fabulous province," student Jaymie says in the presentation.
What sets the zero-budget Flatlanders apart from other school projects is that some of the city's movers and shakers in the advertising, promotion and media business helped them do it. They are Pat Britton, Mariette Mulaire and Alissa Brandt of Premier Gary Doer's Economic Advisory Council, Peter George of advertising firm McKim Cringan George, Kert Gartner of Frantic Films, Jason Abbott of Cocoon Branding, Ace Burpee of HOT 103, Lori Walder of Destination Winnipeg, Barbara Biggar of Biggar Ideas and David Asper of Canwest Global.
They and others visited the class over the past year to give the kids advice on how to sell their product, from Burpee on radio spot-advertising, Asper on media penetration and one volunteer parent on trademark protection.
"They were really smart kids," George said. "It was kind of heart-warming to see this kind of education. I think when I was in Grade 4, all we had was a dentist who came to our school to show us how to brush our teeth."
"She should be minister of education," says Asper of teacher Campbell. "She gets those kids thinking. You leave there believing you can follow your dreams."
Campbell said each of the presenters treated the students with respect.
"This was, for us, about participation," Campbell says. "They didn't treat us like kids."
It was also hard work.
"We know what it is to make a logo," Harvir groans.
The other point to the project wasn't so much finishing it by the end of June, but doing the research to make it happen. That involved learning about the history of the province, spelling and speaking skills, artwork and design and how to market their ideas, from tote bags, water bottles, T-shirts to newspaper and TV ads.
"Everything we've done has been informed by our research," Campbell says.
The sad part now, one the class didn't anticipate, is that in a few days they'll move on to Grade 5. What will become of their Flatlanders project?
"That's what we're worried about," Alyssa says, speaking for the class.
"We don't know what's ahead," Campbell adds. "I'm so proud of all of them."
Whatever happens, the kids won't soon forget the project that brought them together as a team.
They also won't forget the lesson learned: In a province where the sky goes on forever, there's nothing to block your dreams.

"We liked the word Flatlander because it's honest, simple and unique. We are telling it the way it is. There is no hiding it. It's pretty obvious. People think of our province as mostly flat. Yes, we are bumpy in spots, but that's our little secret. We can call those people Uplanders if they don't live where it's flat.
"Our slogan: 'Our sky goes on forever' is important for lots of reasons. The idea of our sky or the horizon is something all of us experience every day in Manitoba. Our big, open skies give us the feeling that something goes on... it's endless... endless possibilities and endless opportunities. That's why we like our tag line."
-- Jaymie, on behalf of the class at Riverbend Community School

I like it! I wonder how I can get one of those t-shirts?