Coatsville Update


Found this hand-made wraught-iron at our local salvage yard (George’s); too small for the window, but too nice to pass up. After a bit of head scratching and measuring, and looking through my dwindling metal scrap, I came up with a solution.


During the summer I leave the window open and mount a fan in the ceiling access panel to draw cool air in and push the heat out. This takes the worry out of having the window open out there. 


Sturdy enough for pull-ups!



My metal cutting blades are all dull, so cutting the steel was loud and took some grinding. Predrilling holes for bolts, then welding it all together. Then a fresh coat of paint. Then mounting it. An afternoon of man-craft.


The full moon three weeks ago blew in with a hot dry wind, evaporating winter overnight. Nighttime lows have been average daytime highs, with daytime highs 20-30 over, setting many dire records: like 8 days in a row over 70 (prior record was 2 days).


Our ancient twisty tree flowers early.


Tulips and hyacinths are in full colors.




Rain finally in the forecast, so I worked Lucky’s patch with new soil and seed.


The rain gauge after 24 hours.


5.5 inches is 1/4 of our annual rainfall, in just 24 hours (two days later, 2 1/4 inches more). More heat in the atmosphere means more moisture in storms; this storm is slated to pummel the midwest with hail & tornadoes.

These Infinity RS 6000 towers have been with me for 30 years; probably THE most important tool in my internal art kit.

The foam seals on the large cone drivers gave out and turned to powder, and the sound turned to a buzzy mess. I ordered new foam seals and took it all apart and replaced the seals- if you have nice older speakers with this issue it is an easy & cheap diy fix. If only my Carver Amp had survived as long…

I started the project by hunting through youtube demos on speaker repair; simplyspeakers posted a standout demo by an experienced professional who earned trust through clearly explaining his expertise- I ordered their repair kit. The kit arrived quickly and all four woofers are now in perfect working order; a straight-forward and satisfying d.y.i. project. Only when I had installed the kit did I realize how long the sound quality had been in decline. Listening is a nuanced pleasure again.


Wichita angel now in Utah


Quadruplet Wichita angel now in Utah


8am Xmas morning, 10 inches of new snow outside.


Xander makes an Xmas morning toast from the head of the table.


Holiday winter setting.


These little ladies were just heads and wings with pipe cleaner arms, and then an Xmas miracle gave them bodies again and a sled!


Lucky isn’t feeling as lucky as usual.


Lucky begins to eat his way out of the drift.


The Walter Horn.


Shawn is going haut-couture this season.


The silvered weir-fairy called down the snow.


The welcoming committee on the front porch.


Santa brings smiles all ’round.


Wood-stained Xmas train.



Engine with old Santa bust. Topping the smokestack is a battery from the bike odometer.


Engine and electric coal-car.


Battery Car


Battery wiring.


Liquid Christmas Spirits


Candy Car: to be filled…


Passenger Car






Train dressed out for the holidays.


The Yule-Car filled with cheer.


The Frosty Freeze, with magic hat can make endless living snowmen.

This train set is a creation of John Belt, who runs a subsidiary Santa’s Workshop out of his pro-grade “hobbyist” wood shop in Wichita. St.Nick can always rely on John for wonderful wooden toys. I traded a bit of custom sculpture (molds for a Santa and Elf that ride in the cab of the Engine, not yet added here) with John for an unfinished train set. The set was so nicely made that I couldn’t bring myself to paint it. Instead I sanded it down to a 220 grit, mostly just cleaning the wood of invisibles like fingerprints, so the various wood stains would sink in evenly.  John tells me this is the first set to be stained rather than painted. Probably also the first conversion from coal to electric.


Lights up just in time for snow.


Lucky is feeling festive.


Yule get Lucky!

Got the lights up just in time for our first real snow of the season. Lucky is decked out with holiday cheer under the Yule-tree. The lights are all new and mostly LED. The big pine out front is a clean white, which the picture corrected to blue under the warm light-pollution-lit storm. (LED’s started as one new strand in-line with all the old lights, put on in reverse for the first time -aarg!- so they all came back off and back up so it could plug in and night fell and the new strand made all the old lights look yellow, so down it all came yesterday and all new LED’s went up, Third Time is a blahblahblah). Maybe next year, or maybe if the weather breaks; the big pine’s old lights could go on the house-hugging Juniper, bcs: more seasonal shwag to come…