Raspberryfisher's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Life in the back’ Category

Home Hardware ~ shrinkflation

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In the 80s, when Judy and I lived in the Annex (Toronto), we used the Home Hardware store on Bloor. It was small and amazing what they had in there. The tools we bought then are still in use today, as quality tools.

But with time, as Home Hardware chased the Walmart model of “rollback the price”, we have seen and experience rollback the quality. Though this is a trend that we all have seen appliances, et cetera, it is a trend I try not to get sucked into.  So, we learnt to not buy tape, hand-tools and now screws at Home Hardware, and hence, we infrequently go there.

I keep a stock of Robertson #8 and #10 Wood Screws at hand in bins (from 3/4″ to 3″), and buy in bulk (100+). Here are two screws bought at Home Hardware recently (on the left) and a decade ago (on the right).

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The two threads on the recent screws – what is important to hold your work together – are poorly formed, misshapen and the second thread is nearly non-existent. Seriously, is this any better than a spiral nail?

Oh yes, it is smaller and with less metal. If you put it on a fine scale, you will find the new “wood” screw is 12% lighter (less – shrinkflation)!

So, a cautionary tale – beware of companies passing on poor materials, as they chase Walmart – versus differentiating themselves as a supplier of good materials.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/06/02 at 21:11

Posted in Life in the back

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Albums please

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Okay, I earlier announced my migration from iTunes to albums given the complexity-inconsistency of the application of digital-rights as time moves on. In the past week, I have found another reason – I like listening to albums, as I walk-run.

So I finally getting back to a balance life and getting to spend time doing some long-distance walk with limited running.  My cardio is hanging in, but my leg muscles need some work. So after my 7th consecutive day, I am finding I prefer to take my 60+ minutes pushing my body listening to an album that is well-strung together, such as

  • Chris de Burgh – Spanish Train or Crusader
  • Alan Parson Project – Eve, I Robot

I still think (suspect) great albums are being made, but as the focus has shifted to tunes, I am not sure the same focus is on a theme for many album, but a collection of pop songs.

So I need to rethink-return to Album listening and build a new library, that appreciates well crafted albums.

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Todays’ work-out in Johannesburg.

Oh yes, I really enjoy listening to many classical pieces, especially some of the more modern interpretative work – think Quiet City by Aaron Copland – but it is not music for me to walk-run hard to.

Same for Oscar Peterson, enjoying listening to it, but not when pushing myself.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/24 at 23:15

Buy CDs > my disenchanted with music downloads

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 After several years, actually more than a decade, of using iTunes, I have returned to return to buying CDs, and ignore the iTunes store as if it does not exist. Fortunately for classical music, Arkiv Music remains.

For popular music, I will rely upon second-hand stores or buy direct from the artist.

Hint, I recommend Danny Michel’s Khlebnikov.

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With 400+ CDs, and playlists that span hours, I am not looking to buy *much* more music, as such I am far from making a dent in lost revenue.

So what are my experiences that has me walked away? The changing digital rights and application policies, were any playlist or music that I select may or may not be available, when I am in a plane or out in the plains of Africa. The model is US centric, assumes we all have access to high speed internet and will use the same device for 5 decades.  Heck – I am near a major high-tech center and I am thank you when the medium speed internet is up and Apple only supports their devices for 3-4 years.

It can be what I downloaded ten years ago is no longer transferrable, as I exceed the limited number of transfer rights, after replacing yet another cell-phone.  So yes, I have now had to buy the song twice. This was compounded by the having change my email address, as my mail server from ten years is no longer online.  So yes, I have had to buy songs twice.

Or sometimes it just does not play, and then for some unknown reason later it will! (I have s3 Erik Satie piano pieces that are available less than 1/2 time I want to hear them, so there is a useless 3$ investment).  So why is it available less than 1/2 time I am want to hear it?  Does it re-authenticate my rights? Is it dependent on my last check is within a time period, or I must have an active connection and be logged into Apple. I do not know and I do not want to spend my time trying to debug the limits being imposed.

In short, I will buy the music – on media, so I can listen to it, without the hassle imposed by any company. I am not wanting to sell it, or give it away, I just want to be able to listen to it, for my interest, when I want to.

Goodbye iTunes and goodbye digital new right policies, as this experiment is dead.

Hallelujah!

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I will continue with PodCasts, which have not impose the restrictions.

I will continue using my small iPod, so I can listen to the radio, podcasts or music when I fishing, in a plane or relaxing after a journey.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/04 at 23:38

Judy’s Lutra Laker

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First, this is not an easy boat to build from plans, if you never built a boat. You have to learn how to interpret plans into a 3D shape, build forms, et cetera.  Yes, there are instructions and a video, but some experience is strongly recommended.

Now, this is not my boat, but my wife’s – Judy. She built it and I supported her, but I am the “blogger in the family”, but she is the Captain!

As you can see in the video, it is on the water, after several months (built across 2 summers) it is running. There are finishing touches to be made, but it sea-worthy.

My summary is it an excellent boat for inland waters, and better than any production boat in its class.  So the points:

  • Wood, it rides well and carves through the water (fun).
  • It is stable, I am very comfortable and standing on the front desk and casting.
  • Lots of space for the day.
  • It runs 20 knots + on 10hp, so it does not eat fuel.

So we been taking it out on local water, before I begin my fall travel period (I leave Saturday).

Changes and suggestions:

  • Judy’s change to a low profile hatch was perfect.
  • Gas tank will be staying to the back, as Judy (the Captain) likes when I sit low on the floor and place my legs under the front deck. For me, it feels sporty, and she gets a clear view and the ride is smoother for those long runs.  Now we need to create a little seat.
  • Looking to add a trolling motor, and the transom could have been wider OR the top of the side wells flat to hold the motor.
  • Transom could be 5cm taller for better propeller placement.

Maybe before the season is over, I will get some detail images up.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/09/20 at 06:08

Spring snow

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It may be spring, but we are still seeing snow.  From last night, the snow on the trees before sunrise, with the glow of dawn through the dark forest.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/03/25 at 16:13

Posted in Life in the back

Barred Owl – Spring Snowfall

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Sitting around the bird feeder.

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patiently watching the squirrels feeding below

 

 

 

Written by raspberryfisher

2017/03/24 at 22:59

Posted in Life in the back

Ruffed Grouse – Close-Up

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Yesterday, a Ruffed Grouse flew hard into the window yesterday, and though sad, the death was quick, and we harvest the breast (nice off the barbeque) and features for future fishing flies. It was a beautiful bird and here are some close ups of the feathers.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/10/01 at 20:25