Monday, March 28, 2005

Another from the WTF pile...

So there I was wading through the 9/11 nonsense which has invaded AFU and I come across a guy quoting from what claims to be Bill Clinton's Blog!! "In-depth analysis of current events, personal stories and humor".

I have no idea whether this is real or a hoax. It looks slick enough to be real - but why would Bill Clinton be advertising Amazon in his sidebars?

Anyway - go to the site and you decide!


Nesting instinct II

So the last two weeks have seen two three day weekends - we don't get easter here for a few weeks yet.

These have seen another orgy of buying - from IKEA again. ..

Here is Korinna with a bunch of wood, barely able to sit properly in the car.

So, it's been quite a few days of putting together and fixing to walls and hammering nails, but things are shaping up. We wanted to avoid DEXION shelving in the little whaddayacall store room thing, so we got a bunch of the GORM range of shelves from you-know-who (no, not voldemort...)

One part of the GORM sits in the little store-room

So now we have pine-fresh storage space. Just don't put anything on the shelves straight, though, put things in a box or something, 'cos there's a whole bunch of resin waiting to get stuck to you. I know this because I have done this.

Here is a LACK in our kitchen

And like the photo caption says, we put a Lack shelving whatsit in the kitchen. A bit costly at about €90, if you ask me, but they look nice and it fits in with the rest of the Lack stuff we got.

Nesting instincts.

I know this, because Tyler Durden knows this.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Woo!!! Earthquake!!!!!

At 1311 - just now - shakey skaey...

No idea how big.


Vampyroteuthis infernalis

Man, is this funky, or what? I often go down to Tolweb for a browse when I am bored and have exhausted other things to look at, and this week they gave us Vampyroteuthis infernalis: "It occupies meso- to bathypelagic depths throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the world's oceans."

This is one funky critter, although I am not sure why it is called sea-vampire.

Photo credit: © 1999 Brad Seibel

Image used without permission, if you don't like that, let me know.

Funky, huh?

Express service or how I stopped worrying about my FIAT and learned to love driving

Gotta say, I've really got my money's worth out of Express Service. They've picked me up, sometimes in the middle of nowhere, about six or seven times.

So what happened now? well, there I was, cruising down Kifissias when all of a sudden the gears disappear. The forks had done something inside the gearbox or something and I was left with third gear, permanently in gear and no way to change out of third or into neutral.

The fun I've had with this car...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Byz Mus

Well, it's so there, like in your face every time you go down to Syntagma or pass by Kolonaki, sitting there in all it's courtyarded synmmetry next to the uber-modern leggo-brick of the war museum. You cannot get away from it, and this time, seeing as I had about 30 minutes left to spare in between IKA and the Aiginitio, I decided to go for it.

Comments? well... wow bob wow!!

I had been back before the famous Sicilian expedition of 2001, back in the age of innocence, before the events of September, and the museum was in the old central building and not too exciting, a little cramped and badly lit.

Now, well, totally different. I was really quite overawed. The last real exhibition of Byz stuff I had seen, if we exclude the collections in St. Marky-Mark's in Venice, was in the Louvre, where I had been bowled over by the representations sorta in-situ of the Coptic stuff.

The exhibition is organised a little bit chronologically, a little bit thematically and a little bit geographically. The labelling is as good as any you'll find elsewhere and the stuff in there is good stuff - like, I had never seen anything like the marble icon of the BVM from C12th Salonika.

I am not much of an icon man, but this one stuck in my mind: (bring out the mobile cam...)

It's like "squirt, gush" John Boorman's Excalibur meets the crucifixion... woo!

So, time for more pics, then:

Here's a bit of lacy plant material, similar to what you'll find in Justinian's churches in Istanbul, if you go:

'cept it's really nice and clean here and you can get right up close to it and all. They have some nice floor plans of Basilicas and whatnot, some drawn on the ground, to give an idea of scale, but one thing that jerked me off a little was the way they have put up iconostasis members and bits of doors and stuff and then behind it, put in a picture of San Vitale from Classe (WTF??) or Hossios Loukas (better, but still jarring). Quite obviously the bits you are displaying never existed in San Vitale - it was always totally open, but no, you gotta claim that as Byz - fine. Moot point.

What I did not find was quite as much Gothic stuff as I had hoped. Korinna and I have this running Gothic Joke, probably because our first trip out of Athens took in a rather fine Gothic monastery out at Isova, but maybe not.

All I got (and please remember I was not in there for too long) was this:

Pretty Frankish, really... hmmm. Actually this bit belonged in the church at Andravida (about half way down the page) we visited with the Jockster.

This is meant to have considerable gothic influence in it too:

I'll let the reader decide.

Need to go back with my cameras. They have the lighting in there all at low incident angles to bring out the sexiest shadows possible from the bas-reliefs.

Well... must scoot - I am very happy that I chose to pop in there, though.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Posted to rcp...

Last weekend I acquired some 200 firebricks - the ones displayed here.

They were going to be used in a fire-place but never made it, so I asked the uncle who had them whether he would mind parting with them.

My original plan was to make a kiln along the lines of the one on this site and I have been in rcp before asking for help and have been helped considerably by those who have answered.

Now - the bricks I have got are not shaped like common house bricks... they are shaped like 22x11x4cm or 8.7x4.3x1.6 inches. If I build the Brisbane 250 with these, I'll get a fire chaber
and firebox of about 8 cm height or 3.2 inches high - not so good.

If I switch height and width, apart from stability problems (trying to balance 25 courses on 1.6 inches base...) I figure I'll have problems with how thin the walls of the kiln will be.

Whatever happens, I don't have enough bricks to do anything right at the moment.

One idea is to stand the bricks up on their thin side, and then have another layer of bricks outside them to insulate. If I cannot get other bricks, does anyone know a reason why I should
not use the stones which are sitting around in the garden? These are big limestone blocks, some of which are squared and have been used in the past as masonry. I don't think we'll be approaching lime-kiln hot (but I don't actually know how hot lime kilns get, although a first google search show 2,000F). Hmm answered my own question there probably.

OK - so buy more bricks is the way to go. If I run out of the fire bricks, does anyone have an idea where they should be put and where it is not 100% necessary - I realise the whole kiln can be made without firebricks, but since I have them, I would rather they be used where there is high temperature.

I have not tried anything like this ever, I have not got a very acute sense of planning in 3D (to the extent that following the detailed plan course by course on the above mentioned web site
would have been a challenge), and I am not even sure whether I can find suitable blocks with which to make a model and see what I can do to maximise the benefit of the fire-brick gift.

I am willing to learn.

Weekend brick fun

So, I have this little 899cc car I am very very fond of - and last weekend it braved the rain and wind and weather for me, laden with some 200 fire-bricks, the poor bastard.

The wheel ain't meant to sit that low down on the suspension, oh no... normally it sits like in the right hand side photo.

So 200 fire-bricks each weighing 2Kg, makes about 400Kg - or the equivalent of six people on the back seat. Ouch!

And here they are. And there they are after Kostas the friendly Albanian helped me move them into my mother's garden...

That's 200 bricks, with dimensions 22x11x4 cm.

The next step is to ask out on r.c.p what I can do with them, other than make a midget two foot kiln. I am looking for ideas on making them into a Brisbane kiln, but want to use these bricks only where absolutely necessary.

I'll cross post my questions to rcp to the blog, and probaby any answers too.