Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday an afternoon BBQ etc

Sunday, 7 am, its off to Corky’s (Capo Beach) for breakfast. A great local “greasy spoon” moved from Laguna Beach when the rents got too high.
Stop by; Dana Harbour, on the way home. A HOT slow morning.  Named after; Richard Henry Dana (Two Years Before the Mast)
DSC00330 Paddle boarders class at “Baby Beach” (NO waves safe for kids)
DSC00329 Couple of tall ships are berthed.
All this week we are in the trip digit heat … so up early get as much shade up in back yard as we can .. folks will come over after a day at the beach …
9:30am 85F .. time for Pu-Erh .. before we hit 100F
First infusion .. back over the pot 
DSC00335 Good to go …. this should last 1/2 hr.
Sean & Melissa practice snorkel technique … 
pooltime BBQ was great fun, a late afternoon breeze .. great company

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yangmingshan - Taiwan, 陽明山 - 台灣

(A belated posting .. lost in a laptop shuffle etc.)
Yang Ming Mountain, about a ½ hr. drive from the Taipei Grand Hyatt (next to 101) Sunday morning my friend “Sunny” picks me at the hotel… so far so good  DSC03422
The plan, drive up Yang Ming Mountain over to the coast road. This is a  popular place with many small motels / cabins,  hot springs, sightseeing and nature walks :.. DSC03426
Narrow twisty hairpin turns, weekend drivers, What is wrong with this picture ….you be the judge. This is how we started up the mountain ….
Don’t let this happen to you !!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A bit cheeky

A friend form Colorado (Dan, many thx) sends this:

Hey John,
More Scottish humor.
I'm hoping you can make it out this way for some tea out on the deck.

Scottish bar stool for kilt wearers:……kiltBStool  I KNOW YOU ARE LAUGHING.

There are a myriad of directions that this could go.  I only hope they discourage Chanter Fingering” (Scottish-euphemism) (Wiki – picture)180px-Chanter_05PNW_034

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Granny’s Teapot

Families have  there share of “unique” personalities, my maternal grandmother: Granny Jamison,  was (in a good way) in a class of her own.  Tea was omnipresent in her home, from pre-breakfast to a “Cup before bed.”
A few items have migrated from her to me, and now reside in So. Cal.  This is the only teapot  that passed from; Gran to my Mom then to me. 
Old is relative, but age and survival is to be appreciated. The pot is about 80 years old. This Stylized teapot is a memory conduit the equivalent of a: Wormhole .. a direct short cut through time. 
The Cottage pot,   I never saw it used, only a display item.  As a “wee boy” an object to viewed and never touched!  I know that it was a gift from my mother’s eldest sister (aunt Mary) to her mom (my Gran).  As I got older, but still visited for summer holidays, I got the sense my Granny didn't really like the teapot, not one for decorative items, “A guid practical pot is wit ye need, no too big mind ye. Too big and folks’ll sty too long”
As a teapot, my affection is limited to the family connection and am glad to have only one example .. I only wish Gran had been a collector of YiXing and Pu-erh.
Today it resides in our dinning room display cabinet. I can't help but think the colours might just be a legacy influence left by Clarice Cliff.  Much brighter than those (same subject) by James Sadler.
As we are on the south side of August and summer sunsets are at their most enjoyable ..
sun1 Time for some late afternoon Indian tea, milk to taste. (cream if you can get to the milk bottle first, gone are those days) And the tea no longer is kept in a locked caddie.
With old pottery, especially if seldom used, you need to be a tad careful and “ease” it into play …  So after nursing the old pot along I now feel we can brew some tea.  This is more a nostalgia trip than experiencing tea for tea’s sake.  Assam tea, home baked banana nut bread .. again life is good.
I found a matching Sugar Bowl (sold) on eBay
matching sugar jug
Markings and back stamp:
DSC00319e MADE IN ENGLAND, incised in the base. Shakespeare's England .. Ann Hathaway's Cottage .. Lingard Webster & Co Ltd.  stamp.
Teapot Manufacturer info: (web based)  Lingard Webster: 1900-1972  Previously: Colclough & Lingard (1887-1900)  Earthenware manufacturer at the Swan Pottery, Keile Street, Tunstall. 
They produced tea ware pottery and made their name with 'poor-mans-Crown Derby' being an Amari pattern pottery which was exported all over the world and were very successful until the beginning of the second world war (1939) after which it had to compete with many other companies and eventually went out of business when the pottery was pulled down to make way for a new roundabout road scheme in the centre of Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
Originally promoting themselves as "The Teapot Specialists of England Since 1867", they were noted for producing everyday
tea service products and associated teawares. The Company made many fine novelty teapots in the period 1935-1955.
After the 1950s the firm ceased production of its novelty teapot range and concentrated on teapot wares, making normal type teapots.
Clarice Cliff was born in 1899 to a working-class family in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, the heart of Britain’s pottery belt. Like many others of her station in life, she dropped out of school at age 13 to enter the workforce and help with the family finances. In 1912, she took an entry-level position at Lingard, Webster & Co. in Tunstall, earning one shilling per week. It was there, as an enameling apprentice, that Cliff learned how to draw freehand onto blank pottery, the first step toward becoming a designer

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recreational Reading

I managed to allocate time to read couple of novels.
Ian Rankin, never disappoints  DSC00321
His latest release (purchased in the UK, thx Robin)  Doors Open,DSC00322e
A slight  departure from his Rebus novels, an interesting set of characters (with shades of past novels glinting thu the curtains) An enjoyable read, with expectations of continuations .
 Stieg Larsson,The Girl Who Played With Fire:
This his second of three novels, a fantastic read. A well crafted continuation of his first novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this and am looking for the third …

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lance tweets: let’s hit the streets (with update)

Lance Armstrong brought traffic to a standstill in Paisley  (web link) today as more than 200 people joined an impromptu bike ride with the seven-times Tour de France winner.

Pictures and story thx to British press coverage.lance1_585x350_602641a _46225417_lancearmstrong466 Armstrong, 37, issued an open invitation to riders via a Twitter post yesterday, which read: "Hey Glasgow, Scotland! I'm coming your way tomorrow. Who wants to go for a bike ride?" The American is in Scotland to watch U2 play Hampden Park tonight but fancied a bike ride ahead of next week's Tour of Ireland, where he is due to compete.

In pouring rain, (Scottish summer!!) Armstrong was mobbed by fans and the media as he arrived at Ashtree House Hotel, Paisley, shortly before 1pm. Dressed in black Lycra, he expressed his surprise so many people had turned up to ride with him and revealed he had not been training much for the three-day Tour of Ireland. Graeme Obree, double world champion and former world record holder, joined Armstrong on his ride today.   The 43-year-old Scot, who won gold in the 4,000 metres individual pursuit in 1993 and 1995, revealed he had never raced Armstrong but was looking forward to meeting him.

"It was short notice but to get the chance to meet him - he's done so much for charity and everything else - it would be a privilege," said Obree, who broke the one-hour distance record in 1993 and 1994.

"It will be fantastic and all my friends would be jealous. He does have such a draw; it's just incredible."

Of the weather, Obree added: "It will be just as enjoyable as it always is on a wet day in Paisley but with Lance here, it'll be a real sunshine day."

This time in Dublin …..(Irish Times)2009_phoenix_park 1224253271811_1

CALL IT the power of Twitter or the power of Lance. Yesterday at 10am, seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong sent out a tweet to all his fans.

“Good morning Dublin. Who wants to ride this afternoon? I do. 5:30pm @ the roundabout of Fountain Rd and Chesterfield Ave. See you there”.15368563 The message was short, but the clarion call to every amateur cyclist was loud and clear. This was one for their grandchildren.

No other cyclist, probably in history, could have sent out such a message at short notice and attracted such a colossal crowd to the Phoenix Park.

Armstrong has had to deal with persistent, but never proven, allegations of performance-enhancing drug taking all his career, but his fans believe him and revere him as the greatest cyclist of all time.

By 5.30pm, gardaí estimated that 1,200 cyclists had gathered at the appointed place.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Only in Thailand

My friend, Rick living in Thailand sends this:

“Some of you may have seen this before but I thought I would send it anyway for those that have not.... On the pg there is a YouTube video to check it out more if you like.....”

Article Link:

The Railway Track Market of Samut Songkharm2614657030105101600S600x600Q85Every day in the Thai province of Samut Songkhram, about 70 km southwest of Bangkok, a unique market is held whose vendors need feet as quick as their minds. Why? Because much of the market is located directly on a set of operational railway tracks. Eight times daily, a train runs through without care for stopping, sending vendors and visitors to action stations before business as usual resumes.

Family Memories (with update)

Here it sits, our antique restoration project.
DSC00295 Robbie grew up with this bookcase, housing her doll collection, in the Glendale family home.  Age and a few moves have taken their toll (not only on the bookcase!)
DSC00297 Circa 1900-1910, Globe Wernicke, stackable Barristers Bookcase, solid oak, three high stack, Top and Base sections have a gentle curve design.  All  original hardware and construction
The Base joinery and “glue blocks” have suffered most. Modern wood adhesives and “Re-Engineered glue blocks” should add another 100 years of life.
DSC00295 Top section, no joinery repairs required, cleaning and finish restoration.
DSC00299 Each of the three Book Sections require minor repairs. Mostly cleaning and finish restoration.
DSC00298 Fast Forward a few days ….. the finished bookcase is ready to move into the house.
Nice scale: 49” tall, 34” wide & 12” deep,  just right to display Robbie’s shell collection
A good start but a work in processDSC00406 
Globe-Wernicke (ca. 1900) 
Main plant was at their West Eight Street Works.Globe-Wernicke
Generally, when spoken about as Globe Wernicke, what is/are being referred to are bookcases made for use in offices furniture, though other pieces of furniture were made under this name. 'Globe' was a manufacturer of office furniture which established factories in Britain, France and Germany and in the United States first in Minneapolis which acquired the Wernicke Company in 1899 and changed the name of the company to Globe Wernicke.
It patented what it called the 'elastic bookcases', high quality stacking book shelves, with a standard width of 34 inches, in Oak, Walnut and Mahogany, ( nowadays they would be known as modular bookcases) capable of being adapted to fit together to form a bookcase, which could either be all of the same measurements or which could be re-arranged by the insertion of units of different depths and heights. These glass fronted shelves now are proving to be collectable, desirable and usable antiques - with regularity these bookcases appear in auctions and internet sites and, what originally cost $75 or so will now be sold for $750 or more.bookcase 5up  During World War II the company's business in the US was converted to produce military equipment, as was probably the case in Britain. The company ceased to exist in the 60's in the United Kingdom and on the European continent and, in the US the business contracted and eventually was absorbed into a larger company, Cardinal Brands Inc. Lawrence, Kansas

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tea on a Coffee-Table …

A little hot here in So. Cal of late.  Although Monday morning (Aug 3rd.) saw heavy fog at SFO San Francisco’s international airport) this delayed my flight by over 6 hrs. On that news, I  bailed out of my trip and we set up a WEB meeting  (thx to:
That said, I now have a few “extra” days at home,  so, time to “finish” table #4.
Bottom line: ..   This just does not work for me.  I finished it while fighting the flu bug, NOT a good idea.  Meantime it fills a void until time allows a re-build.
Time for a little High Tea; English crockery, home baked savories, and China teas. .. life is good.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Quick family update

Heather, is back in Kauai. (side note: suffering jet-lag she managed to wash her cell phone .. not good.)

Robbie, is working her way through a summer flu bug.  As a result she is also suffering:  Diving Withdrawal.

Sean’s girlfriend is home from her trip to Italy, so he's a bit happier.  Having only cast a single shadow for 3 days

Andrew, is moving into a new place, came by to pick up a few odds & ends. 

Cameron and Trevor :– status quo. 

Vernon and Michelle: have moved into their new home, we’ll head up for a visit next Sunday.

Me, it had to happen .. I’m down with the flu bug .. BUGGER.