Blog

Have a little Faith

Have a little Faith

In the US at the moment there is a flurry of people “decluttering” (it’s mostly because of this Netflix show) and Jackie has caught the bug 🙂

Yesterday she cleaned out our linen closet and found a whole bunch of towels we never use (that are the color of our bathroom before it was redone years ago) and so she went onto the decluttering Facebook group she’s joined to find out what to do with them, and the advice came back suggesting we donate them to our local animal shelter. So she told me she was heading to the New Rochelle Humane Society, and I decided to go along for the ride- you can see where this is heading can’t you?

They were very grateful for our donation, and asked if we wanted to look around while we were there- which we did. And in the last pen in the dog room we found a 2 year old Border Collie mix called Faith. Foolishly we took her out for a walk, and after chatting with them we agreed that we would come back tomorrow with Holly to see how they got along… So after church today Crisp, Holly and I went back for a meet’n’greet (Jackie stayed home and did an amazing job with more decluttering to make room for another dog crate in the corner).

While I would not say they are immediate bff’s, they tolerated each other and Faith deferred to Holly over tennis balls and toys in a very encouraging way, and long story short, we are fostering her for 2 weeks to make sure she can fit in with us and will make the adoption formal as long as all goes well- and she is currently happily gnawing on a rawhide on the dogbed next to my chair.

Holly is a little jealous (to be expected) but is actually handling it very well, and Sasha is not too pleased (but will soon put her in her place!)- it’s early days, but so far so good 🙂

The picture at the top is her “official” shelter picture, and here are a couple more from the shelter and in our kitchen…

A literary rabbit hole…

A literary rabbit hole…

I got a notification this afternoon that a young YouTuber in California had released a new video on the origins of the word “bamboozle”.

His name is Alex Nickel and he makes awesome videos about  “science, technology, history, and everything I find awesome about our world.” I found his channel a while back and I sponsor him with a few dollars a month on Patreon just because I think he’s very cool and I find his videos highly original, amusing, and I usually learn something from them, and I feel like his kind of enthusiasm should be supported 🙂

But I digress… in his latest video he introduced me to the Google ngram viewer, a very cool part of the Google Books project that lets you view how words and phrases have appeared over the years in a corpus of books. So of course I had to put in “Crispian” to see what results it came up with… and apart from all the obvious references in all the publications of Henry V and scholarly works about it I found an odd peak around from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s-

After a little cogitation I realized that this coincided with the publication of what (for obvious reasons) was a book I am very fond of from my childhood: “Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself” by Margaret Wise Brown (who also wrote “Goodnight Moon”), illustrated by Garth Williams (who also did the iconic Charlotte’s Web illustrations), which begins, “Once upon a time there was a funny dog named Crispin’s Crispian. He was named Crispin’s Crispian because he belonged to himself.”

From here I did a little more Googling and was then truly off down the rabbit hole- a few highlights of what I found…

Crispin’s Crispian was based on Brown’s own Kerry Blue Terrier that was given to her by her lover Michael Strange (Blanche Oelrichs), ex-wife of John Barrymore. Mister Dog’s house is based on a wooden farmhouse that Brown rented as a writing studio that was built in the early 1800s and ended up hemmed in on all sides by blocks of tenement buildings on E. 71st St. in NYC. She had to actually go through one of the buildings to get to the old farmhouse and the boy (called boy) who Mister Dog meets is based on a boy, Albert Clarke, who she would say hello to who lived in one of the tenements (and in fact she left all the royalties to her books to him- though it has not created an easy life for him).

The house, Cobble Court, has an amazing history itself- around 1965 the Archdiocese of New York (who had bought everything around it) tried to persuade the then owners to sell as they wanted to build a home for the aged. They refused to move unless they could take the house with them, so a deal was struck and on a rainy day in March 1967 the house was moved to Greenwich Village on a flatbed truck, where it is to this day at it’s new address of 121 Charles Street (though it has been threatened by developers).

I love the way a simple start can begin such a tale as you clink on link after link and each fact you find prompts another search. I could go on and on but will stop here 😉

If you are interested here are a few more websites from the myriad of open tabs along the top of my browser that I have visited this evening…
DadReads: Stories for grown-ups about stories for children
The New York Wanderer
BLOG — A funny old dog
and finally, one I already linked to above, but it’s well worth reading all 3 parts: THE HATCHING CAT True and Unusual Animal Tales of Old New York: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Printed camera grip

Printed camera grip

As you probably know, I absolutely love my Sony A7iii mirrorless camera! The only problem I have with it is that it is so compact it’s actually too small for my hands- when I’m holding it my pinky hangs in the wind under the body of the camera. I have been using an L-Bracket to make the bottom of the camera bigger (you can see my post about modifying that to fit properly here), but since I recently got the Fotodiox Pro Pronto auto-focus adapter (more about that in a later post once I’ve had a proper chance to marshal my thoughts about it) the bracket won’t fit as it sticks out too far along the bottom front of the camera.

I looked around for another option, and Sony make a small grip extension that screws into the tripod slot and makes the grip area bigger, but it goes for $128.00- which is crazy!!! There is another, third-party one by Meike, but that’s $52, which is still too much.

You will not be surprised that it was my 3D printer that came to the rescue 😉 I did a quick search on Thingiverse (a wonderful site where people post items they’ve designed) turned up this, which someone has designed for the Sony A9, which happens to be exactly the same size as the A7iii 🙂

6 1/2 hours later (I printed it at a high resolution and with a strong infill) I had it in my hands- and it fits perfectly! it has the requisite slots and holes for the battery door so you can move it to the bottom of the grip, and you can change the battery without having to take it off. I ordered a $3 tripod bolt of exactly the right size and added some thin self-adhesive foam sheet around it (it has a recess built in for this) and I couldn’t be happier 🙂

So, about $2 worth of filament, a $3 bolt and $0.10 of foam and I’m good to go. Love it!

My creation :)

My creation :)

I’m rather proud of this! This is the first thing I have printed on my 3D printer that I have also designed.

It’s the logo that I designed (based on idea Kate, our rector, had) for our Saturday 5pm service, rendered in 3D as stand up sign.

It’s not perfect, and I still have a lot to learn- I actually cracked it getting the support pieces off as I need to think about the way the “grain” of the print runs when I slice it to print (but it glued back together very easily) and it was my longest print to date as well, 36 hours and 33 minutes. But overall I am very happy with it 🙂

It was printed leaning back so that the relief letters would be at a 45 degree angle and would print without needing their own supports, which worked very well but meant a lot of support material for the slab they are on. Here are a few more pictures during the print and after…

A little printing for work…

A little printing for work…


We needed crowns to give the people who get the prizes in the Three Kings cake at coffee hour tomorrow, so I printed some, (along with a couple of “gifts”) using some of the lovely silver filament Jackie gave me for Christmas 🙂

In the Woods again…

In the Woods again…

Took my camera with the tilt adapter and my 85mm Russian Jupiter 9 and 28mm Japanese Asahi Super-Takamur to the sunny, breezy woods today…

I love the character each of these old lenses has, and the tilt adapter (though I’m learning to use it sparingly so it’s not used in all of these shots) just accentuates it 🙂

I really do have the best of all worlds with this camera- I can put on the Tamron 28-75 with its amazing sharpness and super-fast native focus for shooting events etc. around the church, my old Canon glass for specific purposes (like when I need the reach of the 70-200mm), or go old school and play with this fantastic old vintage glass when I’m feeling creative- what fun!

Success!

Success!

Very happy this morning to find this on my printer 🙂

It’s not perfect, but it’s probably one of the best prints I’ve done yet- just got to clean it up a little and glue a couple of pieces together 🙂

And just like that it was gone…

And just like that it was gone…


I feel a bit like the Grinch, and I wish I could leave it all up until Twelfth Night on Saturday, but it’s already shaping up to be a busy week, so I had to take advantage of having the place to myself and take down the Christmas decorations in the Parish Hall 🙂

A warm start…

A warm start…


First dog walk of the new year and it’s 57F, Holly has even decided it’s warm enough for a dip! I think we’re being lulled into a false sense of security… 😜