Category: Stained Glass
Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 11:34

I'm getting to like doing 3D pieces. Here's my latest effort:

picture of stained glass crystal

Assembly was similar to the Octahedron I did before, but just a little bit more complicated. This time, there are six triangular pieces. Note that the triangles cannot be equilateral triangles. To tape the pieces together, I started with the short edges lined up in a straight line. I then folded the top and botton corners together. During the soldering step, I found it useful to support the piece with my roll of duct tape.

I've been putting off completion of a votive candle holder. I suppose it's time I got back to that project. But I rather enjoy doing these geometric shapes.


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GTA Train Shows - November 2007

Category: Trains
Sun, 25 Nov 2007, 12:04

Train show season is well under way in the Greater Toronto Area. Two shows I try not to miss are the Pine Ridge Railroaders show in Whitby and the Toronto Christmas Train Show. This year, the shows were just a week apart in November.

The first one up was the show in Whitby. I usually bring my daughter along to this one, but this year I also brought her step so she could have a better view of the trains. Some clubs, such as the Belleville club, provide steps for the young kids, but most don't. When we got there, we first circled the room visiting the vendors. I knew what my daughter's attention span was like, and so I had to pace our visit carefully. Even before we were done with the vendors, she started to pull me towards the layouts.

The Whitby show usually has layouts from the clubs east of Toronto, such as the Soper Valley Club and the Belleville club. H0, N, Lionel, and even Z were represented and filled the whole gymnasium of the Father Leo J. Austin School. Just before we checked out all the layouts, my daughter started to get antsy and insisted on heading home.

With the demise of the Toronto train show put on by the Canadian Railroad Historical Society, the Toronto Christmas Show has become the premiere annual train show for the city. This year, the show took place in a larger exhibition hall at the International Centre, which made the show seem less cramped than before. But then, I did arrive later in the day. Normally, most model rail fans seem to try to get to these shows early to snap up the bargains.

S-scale locomotive

There was no way my daughter could handle a big show like this, so she stayed home. I arrived about 2:45PM and made my first circle of the room checking out the vendors. I ended up back at the beginning after 45 minutes of shopping.

garden railroad locomotives

The club layouts for this show were almost all different than the Whitby show. The old "Ontario and Eastern" layout has new owners and is now called the "Ontario and Quebec". It's been reworked a bit, but it's still a treat for the eyes. The Ontario and Eastern club has a new layout, but this time the modules form a point-to-point layout, not an oval. It's an interesting concept for portable modular club layouts. But still, most people enjoy watching trains run. It's hard to get as much action on a point-to-point layout. Sure, most railroad operations are point-to-point, but most stations are through stations, and most trains run past without stopping.

narrow guage layout

Other clubs attending ran the gamut from N-scale all the way up the live steamers. Narrow gauge was represented by the "Narrow Madness Gang" and had a nice collection of small layouts. These layouts are fun to watch, but I don't think there's any risk of me catching the narrow-gauge bug.

narrow guage layout

Once I had seen everything, bought what I wanted, and took a few dozen photos, it was almost 5:00PM. I then had to get back to reality and face the hectic late Saturday afternoon traffic across the city.



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November Update

Category: Stained Glass
Tue, 20 Nov 2007, 14:55

Here's what my workbench looked like this morning. There are pieces for two different projects here. Foiling is rather boring, so it took me a while to finish that step. But that's done now, and it's now on to the soldering.

picture of my workbench

First, I'll finish a simple octahedron just to get something done. The octahedron project consists of four equilateral triangles which will be attached to each other at the corners. After foiling, the pieces are laid out as in the following photo, with three corners attached with duct tape:

assembling an octahedron

The pieces are then folded up, and the three upper corners are taped:

assembling an octahedron

Next, I carefully remove the tape for one corner and tack the two pieces together with my soldering iron. Then I repeat for the other five corners. This is what I had after this step:

assembling an octahedron

What follows next is standard beading along the edges and finishing as with any other stained glass project. Here's the final result:

final octahedron

Nice, eh? This is a simple project I took on mainly to give me some practice in three dimensions. Now, I'll have to get back to the bigger project that I started before the octahedron, a votive holder consisting of 21 pieces of glass. Perhaps that was a bit too ambitious for this beginner, but what the heck. You've got to learn by doing, right? In the future, I'd like to try more 3D pieces. For example, I'd like to do a more ambitious piece where each of 12 pieces forms one edge in an octahdron. But Christmas is approaching and I need to make Christmas presents. Oops! Now my peeps know what they're getting!


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Cell tower? Not in my backyard!

Sun, 18 Nov 2007, 23:17

Recently, a proposal became public to build a cell phone tower in the heart of Guildwood Village. Needless to say, some people are not happy about this and are circulating a petition against the facility. For more information check out Bell Proposal.

One of the PDF's at the Bell Proposal site includes a plan for the tower on the property of the GuildWood Community Presbyterian Church. Read the plan carefully. The proposed tower is situated in the middle of the church property, and will rise about 5m (~15 feet) above the tops of the surrounding ash trees which are about 30m tall. Could the neighbors be objecting to the appearance of the tower? Check out the plan: In the summer when the trees are full of leaves, the tower will be barely noticable.

Why does Bell Mobility want to build this tower? The company has customers in this area who suffer from service problems. If they want to fully take advantage of modern conveniences like cell phones and Blackberry's, they need to understand that infrastructure, like repeater towers, is needed. Where do these towers get built? If everyone says "Not in my backyard", then how do you access these modern devices?

Also, consider the church. Many churches these days are struggling to keep their own budgets properly funded. The rent money from Bell Mobility will help to keep the church open and provide services for the community. Services like the Monday morning drop-in play program for toddlers and their care-givers. Those who have young children know how important it is for kids and the parents to connect with others in the neighborhood.

So are the concerns of the church's neighbors justified? Or are they just suffering from NIMBYism? Read the material and decide for yourself.


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the city