June 3, 2018: a new post – chess kid.

After so long, I’m happy to return.

Recently I volunteered with my son’s school chess club. Winning or losing, some kids can sure look cool.

Here’s one I recall. I’ve no idea how he did in the tournament. Being there, in the moment, is what really counts – and he was.

I’ve been experimenting with this site’s presentation lately – sorry if you’ve shown up between fixes. I do appreciate your visits, and hope to post again soon:)

Update May 2/2015: Y&R’s new Phyllis

I’m a fan of Y&R.  Lately the action has been hot – not least because of the new Phyllis, played by Gina Tognoni.

Phyllis is a polarizing figure on Y&R.  She’s hot-blooded and unpredictable, making her a favourite among fans who like a dynamic plot.

I missed Phyllis while she was in a coma (having fallen down a flight of stairs in a dubious situation).  She’s back now, played by Gina Tognoni.  (Michelle Stafford played her before.)

I knew that re-casting Phyllis would be a tall order.  Michelle Stafford, who had played her since I can remember, seemed irreplaceable.  For me, Michelle defined Phyllis as an impetuous, self-determined redhead.

My opinion is that Gina isn’t trying to replace Michelle; rather, she’s changing the role.  Her Phyllis seems grittier. She’s singleminded towards preserving her relationship with Jack.

I think the new Phyllis is the quintessential strong American woman.  She feels she has a right to the man she loves.  Her fight to keep him is very sexy.  In fact, she’s the sexiest female character I know on TV right now.

Here’s my drawing of Y&R’s Phyllis played by Gina Tognoni:)

Gina Tognoni as Phyllis Y&R

Source: globaltv.com

Thanks for coming; I hope to post again soon:)

Mr Kaplan from Blacklist

Mr Kaplan has been Red’s third hand.

When Reddington gets in trouble, he calls Mr Kaplan. She (yes, she) has care of Reddington’s assets and can help Reddington as he needs.

Regularly, Kaplan is Reddington’s cleaner. However, her reach can extend much further. Recently, she has deceived Red – all for the best, she claims. Red does not agree.

Here’s Mr Kaplan.

Aram Mojtabai fr. Blacklist

Aram is probably the most sensitive member of the FBI team on Blacklist.

Aram is a computer hacker who works with the FBI team on Blacklist. In the early episodes, a viewer might overlook him for all the action. Aram usually supports the team from the office, giving them critical minute-to-minute intel.

As the show continues, Aram takes on greater prominence. While being a techie, he is the most sensitive member of the team, so often the most troubled by the team’s situation or sacrifices that are made. Other members of the team keep him in the dark when they go “off-book”, but then ask him for help.

Here’s Aram.

Aram Mojtabai from Blacklist




Clyde Weston fr. Days of Our Lives

It’s my delight to bring you another post.

Well, my younger son starts grade six tomorrow. For him, it’s a new, much bigger school. He’s excited. So is my older son, but he’s not new to the school, so he doesn’t start until Wednesday.

I spent the day straightening the yard and washing some outside parts of the house. It was another cool, cloudy day – we’ll take it after the hot, dry weeks earlier this summer. I didn’t do everything I’d hoped, but the day was productive.

Clyde Weston showed up on Days sometime in 2014, I’d guess. He’s a Southern gangster, very dangerous, but charming in his way. He’s with Kate. The other characters, for the most part, don’t like him. However, he brings a gritty freshness to the show.

It’s great to be posting again. Hopefully you’ll hear from me soon.

Here’s Clyde.

Clyde Weston from Days of Our Lives

Source: daytimeconfidential.com

Sept 3: Gage from Flipping Out

I realize the duration since last post; this moment, I’m back.

Since May 2nd, we have some catching up to do.

July was hot and dry, along with the first couple weeks of August. The weather was a bit unnerving; this isn’t meant to be LA.

I’m currently about 187 lbs, possibly the biggest I’ve ever been. I need to lose ten pounds. Ironically, workout opportunities decrease for me over the summer, since the kids are always home. Having them around is great, but they’re not runners.

I began identifying trees and plants from field guides early in the summer. To find out details, you can visit my other blog. My botanical discoveries are ongoing.

Today’s drawing is Gage from Flipping Out, a show I watch with my wife. I believe that, lately, we’ve been watching episodes from 2015, which might be its best season yet.

Jeff’s current man is Gage, of course, who seems to lack Jeff’s charm but does care about him. Minute to minute, Gage is not always in the conversation, but he does change the environment. I hope he grows more content in coming episodes.

Here’s Gage. Thanks for visiting; I hope to post again soon.

Gage from Flipping Out

Update Apr 28, 2015 feat. Alvin Leung

After nine months, I return with a labour of love.

Hello!  To begin with, I’ll explain my long absence.  My wife was in full-time school last summer, so I became the kids’ driver.  She has been busy ever since; I continue to fill the gaps.  There have been adventures. Hopefully they’ll come up in time; I’ll start with how things are now.

My twelve-year-old (Paul) had a piano festival today. He played in two different sets. The adjudicator was fantastic; I might draw her from memory in a coming post. I was pleased with Paul’s performance.

Work has been busy. I’ve been doing programming and other research. You can check out some of my findings at my other blog.

As I’ve mentioned more than once, I follow several TV series. MasterChef Canada is one of my favourites. Luckily it’s on now. Alvin Leung is probably my favourite character. Whether it’s the blue hair, the flamboyance, or the absolute commitment to food and cooking, there’s never a dull moment with him. Here’s my drawing; it’s the first I’ve done since last July.

Alvin Leung MasterChef Canada

Glad to be back; hopefully I’ll post again soon:)



July 23: update feat. old Lawn-Boy mower

My old Lawn-Boy has got its power back.  What a voyage of discovery it was, tracking down the problem and fixing it.

Hello!  I’m sorry I’ve not been more communicative in July; of course I have excuses.  Up until last week, I was working on my old Lawn-Boy mower, trying to get it running right.  I finally succeeded.  However, my wife’s also in courses, so there’s more to do around the house as well.  It’s all good; I just haven’t gotten time to post.

We had a few weeks of hot, dry weather, but that’s changed this week.  It’s raining right now.  The lawn needs it; I don’t water much in the summer.  The water restrictions were heightened a while back, but I think they’ve eased off since.

Of course, my first-born son, Paul, turned 12 on the 18th.  It’s a big birthday, turning twelve.  He’s wearing it well.  Today he and James are away at camp.

I raked our front cedar chip area last week, pulling out the weeds.  That’s a lot of work.  I’ve been doing a few extra housecleaning projects lately as well.  Such activities, combined with my workouts, are keeping me in shape.  My weight is unknown, however:  when I cleaned the bathroom scale, it went silent.  It’s electronic:|

Now, to the lawnmower.  First things first:  it’s been very hard to get exact information about it.  I’ve been through the LawnBoy service manuals and such, but this mower definitely seems an oddity.  What’s more, the closest model to it, according to my research, seems to be the 4531 from around 1980. (I first found connection with the help of mytractorforum.com.)  However, I remember when the lawn mower was bought: I’d say it was in ’79 or even ’78.  Its precise engine model – d415 – seems rare.  The fuel system is one kind on the outside, but its internals include parts from an earlier kind (I took the carburetor apart).

My father-in-law helped me identify and order the new crankcase seal, which came, ultimately, from Montreal.  It cost $7.  However, it didn’t turn out to be the only problem.  Next I cleaned the air filter, though it looked pretty good.  Not surprisingly, the motor still bogged down.  Finally I unhitched the carb, took it apart, and gave it a good cleaning.  When I reassembled the mower, it ran perfectly, starting on the third pull. I ran it through some thick clumps of grass, but it ate them up; it had regained its former vigour.

I read in Wikipedia that the d415 motor was made by the Johnson-Evinrude company.  Here are a few pictures of the mower, up on my improvised worktable.  If it is from 1979, this is its 35th year of service.

Thanks to all the good people whose web pages and videos I watched in order to troubleshoot and fix the problems with this mower – and to my father-in-law, as well. Thanks to my father, too: he gave me the old mower when I bought this house. It’s the only gas mower our family owned when I was a kid. Now it starts within three pulls most times, and, once again, powers through the thickest patches of the lawn:)

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post again soon. Cheers.

July10: Mycroft

Elementary is, so far as I know, in rerun season right now.  Mycroft became a favourite of mine during last season.

Hello!  It’s been almost two weeks, but I’m back.  I’ve got news, of course; I hope you’re all doing well.

The new seal came in for my old lawn mower.  Hopefully I’ll be installing it tomorrow or sometime over the weekend.  I’m optimistic the mower will run like new then; it does indeed show symptoms consistent with blow-by and intake dilution that a bad lower seal would cause to a two stroke engine.

I’ve taken up handstands; I practice them with my kids now.  So far, they’re better than I am, but I’m improving.  An injury to my shoulder yesterday has slowed me a bit, but I’ll be back to it soon:  my shoulder is already much better, thankfully.  My skipping continues, but I’ve climbed up to 181 lbs.  Who knows why, or where the weight’s going?  I don’t seem to be any bigger.

I cleaned out the rest of the gutters on Canada Day; it’s done now for another year.  My lawn has virtually stopped growing, now that we’re in the dry season.  I’ve done some weeding and yard tidying, but need to touch it up a bit soon.

My kids are navigating this summer pretty well.  Due to the strike, they’ve effectively been on vacation for weeks already.  They’ve been practicing their times tables, writing stories, colouring, and drawing, along with watching TV of course.  They’ve practiced dancing many hours each week in the living room.

I’ve been making bread again; in fact, I just loaded the bread machine.  The pace of life hasn’t really slowed, but the days are structured differently.

Here’s Mycroft, Sherlock’s brother.  Have a great night:)

Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's brother

Jun29: Hippy

James doesn’t draw the next protrait until the current one is published.  Here’s Hippy.

Hippy has been with us since Paul was born, but was rediscovered about three years ago.  He’s quite a celebrity among our stuffed animals.  The very notion of a furry hippo constitutes an advantage, I’m sure.

To yard work:  I’ve been cutting the lawn with the weed whipper lately.  My mower is awaiting a new bottom seal.  I managed to get the old one out, but the replacement’s in transit.  I have high hopes the mower will run very well once the new seal is in:)

Workouts:  I did manage three this past week, but my weight continues to climb.  I’m at 181lbs tonight.  My jeans still fit, though, so I’m not worried.  I confess I’ve been binging on cheese cake and potato chips lately.  Don’t worry:  I eat plenty of vegetables and fruits as well, not least the dandelion greens that continue to propagate in my yard.

Today I threw the football around the yard with my sons.  My younger one never liked doing it, but he’s grown all of a sudden and now he throws a perfect spiral.  Whether playing football or baseball, or practising handstands, I was out in the yard all afternoon.

For now, life is good.  Hopefully you are all finding the same.  Here’s Hippy.
stuffed hippo, Hippy

Please return soon. Cheers:)