Meadows Celtic Festival and Highland Games – Richmond, VA

Had a great time over the weekend at our 3rd trip to the Meadows Festival and Highland Games. Last 2 times it was at the grounds of the Richmond racetrack, but this year it was at the Meadows site near Kings Dominion. Very cool time, even if it did rain most of the day Saturday! We got to see BarleyJuice and Rathkeltair, 2 really excellent groups with pipers, drank some beer, ate some great foot (Meat pies with HP sauce!!) and generally had a fun time with Emma’s sister Dawn!
Rathkeltair below, with Neil Anderson

Solar Decathalon is coming!

For three weeks in October 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy will host the Solar Decathlon—a competition in which 20 teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The Solar Decathlon is also an event to which the public is invited to observe the powerful combination of solar energy, energy efficiency, and the best in home design.

Exact dates of the 2009 event are:

  • Oct. 08-16 — Teams compete in 10 contests
  • Oct. 09-13 — Houses are open to the public
  • Oct. 15-18 — Houses are open to the public
  • Oct. 19-21 — Teams disassemble their houses.

Office nearly done!

Got the wall painted, emptied the old shelves, put the new system in place, and put everything back on the shelves. I still have a lot of stuff at my end (by the window) to sort through and thin out, but Emma has just done wonders sorting out here stuff!
I even bought some 12inch oak board for additional shelves at my end! I did a quick Walnut stain and its darker that I wanted, but it’ll do (once they fully dry). Wow – busy week and weekend!


‘nother darned Modern wall system

Just got home after buying Greg’s wall system – thank goodness again for the CRV – got everything loaded in! Its a tight fit, but after a slow drive around the beltway in rush hour, its here. With much help from Emma, its all unpacked and in the basement!
Now all I have to do is empty our office, sand and paint the wall, reassemble the wall unit, and load all our books and software onto it. But, this is a good start!

HG Furniture Wall System from SCAN

Earlier this year I got an older Danish Modern Wall System. Its a very neat series of cabinets, desk and shelves, with aluminum tracks meant to be bolted to the wall and brackets to you can hang everything with. The seller said she got it at SCAN years ago, had moved around with it for ages, and wanted something new. On the back of the cabinets it’s stamped HG – Furniture, Made in Denmark.
I brought it home, wiped it all down with orange oil, and stacked the 3 dressers in my bedroom for all my things. I put the glass-front display cabinets and extra pieces in the basement until summer was over. Now its time to have a deeper look at it.


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Shopping for shelves for our office wall

Emma wants to redo our home office shelves, on the wall behind us when we are at our desks. Currently its a collection of folding shelf units and such we accumulated over the years, generally nice wood, but mismatched. We had gone to IKEA but it looked like we would spend $950-1200 for a system the way we wanted it. And flat pack furniture from around the world isn’t very green.
But then I saw this Modern wall system on Craigslist … Its a little rough and the seller wants way too much money, but its flexible and doesn’t rely on proprietary hardware like that old SCAN system I got in FEB …

Pond changes for Summer 09

A friend gave us a small plastic pond, and this year I dug a hole for it, wrapped it with a rubber pond liner and formed an overflow into the creekbed, then stacked around it with rocks I found in our yard … I put a few plants around it and laid some square slate pieces around it for a surround. Don’t like the look of the slate, but it will do for now.

break the silence

yep – its been a long time since I last wrote.
I’m not one of the webkids that blogs as a daily diary thing —
This isn’t an automatic writing exercise for me, nor is it particularly cathartic.
But, as the Moodies once sang, “another years useless energy spent” …
So, New Year’s come and gone, Dad’s birthday has come and gone (he’s 87, thank you very much!), my Birthday has come and gone, and my back is out again … Still … I rise.

Paul Newman has died

Paul Newman in his Datsun race car
Just click the image to see a larger size version.

I was reading The Washington Post this morning when I read the headline:
Academy-Award Winning Actor Paul Newman Dies at 83

Paul Newman, 83, the actor and sex symbol who surged to stardom by playing loners as well as criminal and moral outlaws — anything to downplay his astonishing looks — died of cancer Friday at his farmhouse near Westport, Conn.

of course, I’ll always remember him, cool and relaxed, waiting on the start line at Summit Point, from this photo I took many years ago …