- Donning the lid to keep off snow, now that winter is here
- Check out these safe, quality, wood toys that will last from generation-to-generation!
- ‘After The Cancer, What Now? ? ?’ by Darrell L. Smith Sr.
- More To Be Done, But Studio Is Up & Running for The Most Part
- Flood Recovery / Renovation of Studio
Check out these safe, quality-made (of Canadian wood) toys that will last for generations – like those of a bygone era, made by a Dharma Brother of mine:
Thorpe Toys is a family-run Canadian business that has been making high-quality wooden toys for over 30 years.
Founded by Jerry and Rosemary Thorpe in 1975, our toys have always been hand-crafted in Waterloo, Ontario from our own, original designs. Many of our designs are based on traditional wooden toys played with and loved by our parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
We make a wide variety of wooden toys for all ages ranging including boats, planes, swings and trains. We also have traditional learning toys such as our Mouse & Cheese which teaches hand-eye coordination. Toys like our balloon-powered boat teaches basic scientific principles. And learning about the environment and ecosystem is easier with Thorpe Toys flower presses and bug boxes. Of course we also have traditional and retro games of skill.
Thorpe Toys are made from Canadian woods and are left unpainted and unfinished. Leaving our toys free from paint, stain, varnish and oils, allows us to provide your children with safe, non-toxic, BPA-free and eco-friendly toys. It also means you and your child can bring your own personality and imagination to customizing the toys anyway you want.
Of course, you can always leave Thorpe Toys unfinished, they just get better with play!
Thorpe Toys uses high-quality new wood in all our toys. Since the environment and our eco-footprint has always been very important to us, we rescue much of our wood from high-quality new-wood off-cuts that would otherwise have been lost to the waste stream. We also donate our own off-cuts and sawdust to local schools and farms to reduce our own waste.
Thorpe Toys are fun, durable, and well-loved. Our toys get passed from child to child, generation to generation. One of the best compliments we get is to hear that another generation is loving Thorpe Toys.
I recently made the acquaintance of a very nice guy, Darrell L. Smith Sr. from whom I bought a Telecaster® body. This is something I was looking for to use in building a baritone tele. The Tele body I got from Darrell had been badly abused and he picked it up, and then he and some helpers proceeded to spend over a month meticulously stripping off the old finish, putting on a nice warm vintage amber nitrocellulose tint, putting on binding, refinishing it very nicely with nitrocellulose lacquer, putting in upgraded hardware where that made sense, and leaving the oem hardware where that made sense. Just a splendid job all the way around. And I got this from him for a VERY fair price. Here are a couple pics:
This is what Darrell Smith Sr. does, and he does it WELL. Installing binding, refinishing & refurbishing guitars, etc..But Darrell L. Smith Sr. also has an amazing story to tell. 15 years ago, he had colon cancer and the doctors told him there was nothing left to do and that he only had 4 HOURS to live! And by the power of prayer, and the strength of his faith, here he is, still alive and kicking going on 2 decades later! Running a store, refinishing guitars, writing, and justifiably – telling everyone he meets about the real-life miracles he has experienced first hand!
He wrote a book entitled ‘After The Cancer, What Now? ? ?’ about this:
I still have lots of stuff to do to get my studio ‘done’. But the highest priority items were done first, so it’s quite usable. Physically, there are still things that haven’t even been moved back into the studio since the flood, I still need to finish wiring up my patchbay (what I’ve been doing is: as I need one of the DSP units in my rack, if that particular unit hasn’t yet been wired in to the patch bay, I do it then. Software-wise, learning-curve wise, in my new environment, the different applications I’m running make learning this new software a bit of a challenge. If I had just added one application, then waited 6 months before adding the next, that would have made learning things easier. So I am a bit lost on much of it, temporarily. It’ll just take a little time spent working with it. -PK
Here’s me sitting at the console:
I was already in the process of rearranging things in my studio when the flood so rudely interrupted that process. But the sewer backup due to the heavy downpour allowed (required actually!) me to get nice new carpet. So we painted the walls to compliment the new carpet color and replaced the old mouldings (baseboards) with new styrene ones. The below pic was after the walls had been painted to some degree of completion, but before the moulding strips had been put in: that’s the new mouldings laying on the tables right there. -PK
On July 21, torrential rains caused the basements in thousands of homes in my area to flood. And our basement, where my studio is located, was one of them. Luckily none of my gear was damaged. Just the carpet and an immense amount of stuff needed to be taken out before the floor could be thoroughly cleaned, base of the walls sprayed with mold mitigation stuff, etc. – Pat
I’ve been v e r y slowly working on the design of, and slowly gathering the parts to make, my own Waterphone-like instrument. This is made all the slower due to my back problems and not getting around so well. So I do a lot of planning and designing, but not so much actual getting out and getting the parts I need. If you don’t know what a Waterphone is, you HAVE heard them before, at the very least, used in scary movie sound effects. A number of sounds can be made with them: the rods can be bowed, struck with a rubber mallet, the ball end of a superball mallet can be pushed against the bottom diaphragm (kind of like pushing your finger along the outside of a balloon, giving a sound similar to the farty sort of outcry the balloon makes (but much more musical); on a Waterphone, due to the moving water in the base, it gives a modulating sound, it can make sounds pretty similar to whales calls, etc.) . Here is a link that shows the most typical sounds Waterphones are are used for: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppzNFJYSaO0 . An actual Waterphone (patent#3896696
I’m adding a new drum to my arsenal. am anxiously awaiting arrival of my new hand-made ceramic doumbek lovingly made by the good folks at Full Circle Drums . Mine is a gorgeous large ceramic doumbek, freshly made, glazed, the clay carved, high fired, then skinned with thin goatskin from Pakistan. I had heard that they do a really nice job, and are a great value for what you pay. And now I can confirm that! Look at that carving!
I also have a Remo SkynDeep ‘fishskin’ pattern head on the way for it. It was always my intention to mount a Skyndeep on it rather than a natural goatskin, due to the drum’s home being my studio in a basement in Wickliffe, Ohio with central A/C (where the humidity ranges from 50-65% over the year. The goatskin may be fine, b u t since you need a doumbek head quite tight to get crisp Teks and Kas I expect I will eventually need to swap out the goatskin for the Remo.
Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and other digital pioneers sour on ‘pay what you want’ music Audiences have come to expect free tracks, but they’re not paying the bills
I’ve just uploaded my latest completed video – for the tune ‘There Are Cigarette Ashes in My Coffee And I Don’t Give A Fuck‘
Check It Out! It’s a Good One! And please comment on it on youtube if you’d care to. And it you haven’t already, Subscribe to my youtube channel !
New Video Uploaded (for ‘There Are Cigarette Ashes in My Coffee And I Don’t Give A Fuck‘) to Youtube