Sunday, December 16, 2007

Camera Cases and Handcuff Holders

In 2001 during a vacation up to Canada, I got a small pouch for my camera. That pouch lived every day on my belt for the next six years. I put it through a lot of abuse. It served me well. Sadly, it died earlier this year. I spent a great deal of time looking for a replacement, and finally found the manufacturer of the old pouch; Calde Ridge. I couldn't find the same container on their website, and so contacted their costumer service department.

It turns out that they didn't make the pouch I had (which was designed as a handcuff holder ). But they made two custom pouches, and sent them to me for free! Across international borders no less.

I have never, ever, had a better interaction with a company. Ever. I will copy some of our exchange below. (With some small changes for readability and a little added emphasis.)

Me:[regarding my old holder]

The durability has been exceptional. The only real damage it's had was when I got to close to a forge I was doing some blacksmithing in, which meted part of it. And the band on top of the pocket came loose a while back, but a few mini safety pins took care of that. Up until the fabric started unraveling recently, that is.

Calde Ridge:

I'm making you a couple pouches right now as I type
this email..... one should be the same as you already
have so now you can call it a custom job...
The other is a product we make now and then but this
is the first one made with the 1000 deni foam
laminated backing in this size of pouch...
I hope you continue to use and abuse the gear we make
and it can stand up to your expectations.
There is no charge $$$ the items should arrive in a
week or so, shipping it by mail today.
Let me know when it arrives please .......

I highly recommend Calde Ridge and their products. They make long lasting, high quality gear. And their prices are good to boot. (even when you have to pay for their products.)

After I received these e-mails, the only way I could sign my reply thanking them was:
"--A *very* satisfied customer." If you are in the Abbotsford, BC (Canada) area, do yourself a favor and stop in at Calde Ridge. Tell them that C.W. sent you, and that I said, "Thanks again."

Now that I've had my new pouch for almost six months, I can say it's holding up just as well as the old one, and looks nearly as good as new. As I write this, the pouch rests on my belt, shiny and black, and it hasn't even been cleaned.

I'll add pictures to this post of old and new within the next few days.

Just in case someone thinks I got paid to say the above, they are wrong. (But I did get two free cases.) I have no connection with Calde Ridge except as a costumer, excluding the above, which was offered to me with no strings attached.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Flickr Test

This is an automated test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.
If you haven't seen my pictures over there check them out.

Monday, September 17, 2007


After returning from a two week vacation (see "San Fransisco") I have found few things that are equal in their relaxation value as a thousand acre fire threatening your home. Follow me as I guide you in a photo tour of my weekend. All these photos/videos were taken from my grandpa's porch. Only a hundred yards or so from my house.

Doing a little smoking.

Might as well enjoy the air show, right?

I love water, don't you?

A chopper on the way out.

Some folks missing a few marbles. (Click image for a more details.)

A wee bit close for comfort.

I'm not sure if this was comforting or terrifying. (Click to play.)

My brother took this one.

Yet another fly by. (Yippy!)

Later that night.

I took seval hundred more pictures, but these give you the idea.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

I have for many years, if fact, for most of my life, desired to taste rabbit stew. I can trace this fact directly back to Chapter Five of "The Two Towers" (By J.R.R. Tolkien) in which Samwise Gamgee cooks the brace of coney's that Smeagol (notice that I intentionally do not call him Gollum in this instance) catches for Frodo Baggins.

Every time I have heard this passage, my curiosity has been piqued. And each time I have wanted to try it. With every reading my craving for this dish has intensified.

At our house, on the occasion of a birthday, Papa will try to prepare the meal-of-choice of the raison d'être of the celebrations. Within reason of course.

Since at least as far back as 2001, and perhaps longer, my meal-of-choice has been rabbit stew. We don't exactly live in England (or the deep south) so rabbit is extraordinarily rare as a food source. (Although there are plenty on the wild and as pets.)

I have eaten squid, octopus, duck, pheasant, eel, lamb, et cetra, et cetra. But I have never had the opportunity to dine on rabbit. Until yesterday.

We have some friends who raise rabbits for food, but for one reason or another, we have been unable to acquire one for our consumption.

Yesterday, being my birthday, I had the great joy of going to work! Wait... hmm. There is something subtly wrong with that... But anyway, when I got back up, Lo! a rabbit in the (crock)pot!

This disposed me to be immensely gleeful. Within an hour or so, I was supping on the succulent delight of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit.

(And by the way, yes, the picture was edited slightly.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One Working Welder

  This past weekend I was able to get the correct plug on my new welder, and use it for the first time. After a half hour setting up, and fifteen more minutes of fiddling, I found the correct settings and fired up the new arc-welder.

I didn't have a lot of time, so I contented myself with fusing a pair of horse shoes together.

Whereupon I went to use my acetylene torch (also for the first time). When I swapped my brand new acetylene tank for a full tank, it had a plastic cap covering the output nozzle, which was great because I wasn't planning on assembling it for a while.

I remove the cap, ready to go cut some pipe for a quick project for Papa, and Lo! The inside of the nozzle was caked in crud. So, sadly, as I had little time remaining in the day, I was unable to use it at the time.
Oh well. One down, one to go.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

H.O.U.S. # 1 (Version 3.0)

H.O.U.S. (House Of Unusual Size) # 1 (Version 3.0)

Although this is not yet complete, it's good enough to post.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Holeman's Observations on Government (Part 1)

Here are a few things I've noticed. Hereafter know as Holeman's Observations on Government .

  • Any program once established, will be expanded. (Typically at the same rate as the universe. Thus it can be said that "It's the same size it was before, relatively speaking.")

  • No program once established, will ever be disestablished. (Except when being replaced by a larger program.)

  • Taxes are never reduced permanently.

  • Politicians think they know better than you do. (Yes, I know "Politicians think" is an oxymoron.)

I'll add more of these as the truths occur to me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do you have a file with the FBI?

Neither had I. Until yesterday that is. As all of you who know me could testify I take a lot of pictures. Too many pictures, some might argue.

One of you told me on Saturday, that "People will think you are some kind of wacko" for taking pictures on the freeway. It turns out that you were right!

While waiting on the freeway on ramp, I saw this call box. The lighting behind it was interesting (It didn't come out in the photo) so I took a picture. *Gasp!*

I wear gloves when I drive, I have a "full beard" -so says the FBI- and I was taking pictures of a Free Standing, Solar Powered Communications Device (FSSPCD) commonly known as a "Call Box."

Did you know that taking pictures of a call box can get you called by the FBI? "Suspicious activity" "in this post 9-11 world", don't-cha know?

I took the above photo on Monday. (July 9, 2007 @ 06.09:32 Hr.) and promptly forgot about it. Yesterday morning, my sister called me. She told me that an FBI agent had called her. She gave me his phone number and I called him back.

I called the number given (and listed for the San Diego FBI) 858-565-1255. I asked to be transferred to the person my sister spoke with, and it was done. I got a message machine. I left a message. Several minutes later, he called back.

He asked me if I was taking pictures at such-and-so a location at 7am. (While wearing gloves.) I told him I had. He wanted to know why.

I told him I "take a lot of pictures." I also mentioned that I had been at a wedding on Saturday night and took over three hundred pictures there. I referenced my website which he then wanted to know the URL of. I gave it to him.

But why had I taken a picture on Monday? he asked.

Because I liked the lighting. I replied.

He asked me several other questions. Would I like to meet him in person? That way he could show me his badge, etc. But he figured I'd "rather deal with this over the phone."

Later I learned that he had spoken with all three C.W.Holeman's before finally finding me.

He called me back this morning. He asked the same sort of questions, I gave the same answers. (got to keep my story straight :-) )He hadn't even looked at my website. I even posted "The Great and Mysterious Photograph" for him.

He offered to meet me in person again too. But this time he motioned a "partner" or an "associate." I forget which. Why is he so anxious to meet me in person? Does he need a picture for his dossier on me?

He said that he'd look at my site, and "Reach out to you" again if he needed anything else. He told me he would look at my site yesterday too. I wonder if he will this time?

If I were a terrorist, what would his calls have done? (Other than alert me to the fact that I had been noticed)

He might as well have said, "Attention Terrorist, This is the FBI. We have noticed your suspicious behaviour. Please flee or hide your activities better at once. Thank you."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Praise Symphony Orchestra

On Sunday evening, The Praise Symphony Orchestra came down from Orange County to do a performance at Hillside Community Church. Only about two-thirds of this chamber orchestra was able to come on this trip, which put their number at around thirty-five people.

Not only was I able to get a front row seat, I got the whole front pew all to myself. Which was exceedingly useful for taking pictures, videos, and a number of audio clips as well.

The orchestra happens to be celebrating their 30th anniversary this month. There are only two or three people left from the original group, but the ranks have clearly been swelled with replacements along the way. In fact, one of the cellists is only twelve years old!

The only thing that topped the quality of the music was the price. The concert was totally Free. Plans are already under way for a return visit next year. All I can say is give me a date to reserve.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Love Free Food

I couldn't let both a free lunch, and a good photo go by without posting (and besides that, it's been over a month since I last did anything on this blog. And I find that not only annoying, but also dull, so I took just a few minutes to write-and-rotate [the picture that is] -and-post.)

Anyway, The "New Person" at work (one of two actually) has brought food in to share several times recently. And on Tuesday, she brought the sandwiches to the right.

Good stuff.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Chicken de Holeman

I was home alone tonight for dinner because half my family is at a Civil War Reenactment, and the other half is on their way north to see my uncle who has had a massive stroke, and is in the hospital.

We got 25 lb. of chicken at 77¢ a lb yesterday, so I made something up with chicken for dinner. Here is the recipe:

  • 2 cups chicken, sliced into strips.
  • ~1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon Oregano
  • 4 heaping tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/8 cup onion
  • 1/8 cup Chardonnay
  • 1/2 leaf basil

  • 2 corn tortillas

  1. Heat butter, onion, garlic and basil an a sauce pan on medium-low until the onion is nicely browned. (It took me two tries to do this part. The first attempt was more black than brown.)

  2. Add chicken, Chardonnay and spices.
  3. Cook until the chicken is well done all the way through.
  4. Place chicken/onion mixture in a bowl. (Do not remove liquids.) Cover with several place-mats/towels to keep warm.
  5. Fry the tortillas in the butter mixture in the bottom of the pan.
  6. Serve with orange juice.

Remember, I wrote this post after midnight-thirty, so prepare this sapid dish with caution (Also please excuse the brevity and sloppiness etc. of this post.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Duo of Dolts

After spending an hour and a quarter on the road, dealing with the usual dolts driving like bats out of Borrego, I got a special treat: double tailgaters!
That's right, because one person right on my tail wasn't dangerous enough. I let them all pass me, so I wouldn't have any problems with them.

Or so I thought.

Ten minutes later, just before my driveway I come upon this scene:

"Not good," think I. So what's my first reaction? Slow down? Honk horn? No, of course no. What then, you ask? Take a picture. (Duh) I did stop and honk at them, but only as secondary operations. My primary focus was on getting my camera powered up. Hey, evidence is handy stuff, right?

These two fellows were hollering and swearing and flinging profanity around like it was the end of the world. I have never in my life heard so much verbal abuse heaped on anybody. Not to mention that they were practically in his lap swinging fists around.

After I showed up and the neighbor you can see in the background came out, the two men backed off. The man in the car called 911 and asked me to stick around as a witness. I parked at home, grabbed a sweat shirt and ran back down there.

That's when it started snowing.

It turns out that this was my tailgating duo. Apparently, the man in the car had passed the other two and "ran us off the road" when a car came from the other direction. So they decided to give him a piece of there minds and followed him for fifteen minutes to do so, which is where I found them.

Within a few minutes, the snow slacked off and no less than two CHP cars, two sheriff cars, an ambulance and a fire truck had shown up. A CHP officer told me that I could go, so I did. I walked home and related these exciting events to my family, wolfed down some fresh home made pizza, and ran out the door to go to so-called-youth-group.

While I was away, a sheriff called and one of my parents gave him the story as I told them then, and as I have now told it to you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Contrast in Concerts

In the last 48 hours I've been to two concerts.

The first was a fund raiser sort of thing, an hour from where I live. There were three bands in attendance: Jason Harris, InAidance and Sam Heart. I got in for half price ($5) for bringing a friend.

I was glad I got the discount. It was just your typical music that can be found at any Sunday morning Church service. there was a little preaching, free cookies and popcorn and lots of volume. The instant InAdence got started, I was out the door.

That's not to say I left the concert. It just means that I could hear the music just fine outside by the ticket table, which is where I listened to them. For having the desire not to cause permanent damage to my ear drums, I was granted the title "Pansy Behind the Plexiglass" by the ticket taker. She seemed truly puzzled by my being outside.

The subsequent band was louder yet. Needless to say, I stayed outside. All in all, I wasn't terribly impressed.

On Sunday, the band Giveway came all the way from Scotland just to play for the Julian Library. Err, well, maybe they were on tour in the area.

Giveway is a Scottish band of four highly talented sisters. They started the performance with a bang and never looked back. It was foot stomping, hand clappingly good music. If there was a still foot in the building (There was seating for 200, and people standing around the edges) I couldn't see it.

Since I've already admitted that Giveway was on tour, I might as well tell you a funny thing that happened. So Giveway is on tour all the way from Scotland, here they are at their final gig, and they have one CD left. That's right, a crowd of over two hundred people, and they only have one disk.

At the intermission, there was maybe a half second before that lone album had vanished like smoke. There were a number of people upset that the library that was hosting the event didn't buy it before someone else got to it. Most were mollified by the fact that she (claimed) that she bought it for her branch of the library.

You can listen to some sound samples from their two CDs here and here. Their website is

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"37 Seconds of Pain" Or, "Oh Great, Something Else to Spend Time On!"

Having recently signed up for Google Checkout, I got a $10 credit. I ended up buying a penny whistle (or a tin whistle, Irish whistle, or a feadóg stáin, depending on who you talk to)

A penny whistle

My penny whistle arrived on Saturday. Having about zero musical experience, the sounds that issue forth when I huff and puff on it aren't exactly Carnegie Hall quality. If you don't believe me, just ask my Grandma's cats (which fled upon hearing me practice last night) or click here to listen to a short burst of pure novice. (Listen at your own risk!) [397 KB .wav file]

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Memoirs of a Miserable Maggot

"A worm such as I, cannot fly, save in the belly of an Eagle."
--Memoirs of a Miserable Maggot

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Red Eye Freeze

I spent the night at my Grandma's house last night. I stayed up too late, again. TVs really are insidious devices. This time it was the fault of "Star Trek Enterprise" and JustOneMore-itus.

So there I was this morning, dragging myself out of bed at 06.00 hours {6am} red eyed and yawning my head off. I don't normally have trouble getting up in the morning, but when you add a late night on top of a two strikes weekend, it adds up.

On the few occasions that I've tried coffee I have been highly disappointed. The stuff smells great, but it's just so bitter. I decided that if I was going to be operating a motor vehicle it would be best to do it while awake. (I know I've read somewhere that those who sleep while driving have a higher death rate than those who drive while awake.)

My grandma has instant coffee at her house, but it's been just as bad as the regular beverage. I decided to try an experiment. I mixed ice cream, banana a few shots of cream (which my Grandma got from "Jack-In-The-Box" last time she was there, for my breakfast. She only drinks non-fat milk. Ugg.) and a super strong shot of coffee.

I could barely taste the coffee. Perfect! It made a good breakfast all by it's self too. I'm happy to be able to inform you that I made it to work in one piece this morning. Thank the LORD for caffeine.

Here's what I did, in detail.

  • Ingredients

  • 1 cup ice cream (I used spumoni, but pure chocolate would have been better)

  • 3 creams from J.I.T.B.

  • 3 Tbl. milk (I used non-fat but would prefer whole.)

  • 1 Tbl. instant coffee

  • 1 ripe banana

  • Directions

  • Nuke (er, heat) milk in microwave for 20 seconds. Add instant coffee and mix well. Place in freezer.

  • Smash banana to a chunky pulp.

  • Place ice cream and banana in cup. Mix well. Use creams to aid the mixing process.

  • Add the coffee. Mix more.

  • I didn't have time, but if you put it in the freezer for a few minutes (maybe 1-3), I think it would enhance it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Just a Few Links.

I have discovered two interesting websites since my last post.

The first was Which describes it's self thusly: " is the blog and internet home of Erin Julian, a freshman in college who enjoys photography and writing."

But that doesn't really convey why I've spent such large quantities of time there. Basically Erin and I share a lot of interests, and she writes about them in a humorous and literate manner. is a website dedicated to helping young people to rebel against the low standers in todays culture, and to draw nearer to God in every aspect of their lives. It's got a blog, forums, and other resources. Jump on over and check it out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What a Way to Start the New Year

Being sick is a real drag. Having spent the past week in this condition, I've spent some time contemplating this fact. Now, I'm not going to lie to you and say that I missed getting up at 05.00 hr. or being at work for over a third of each day. But even if I don't enjoy being up before the dawn, I do have this odd desire to be out of bed at some point when the sun is visible during each circuit the Earth makes around it.

After the first day I couldn't stand it. I had to be up. So I made my way courageously to the couch, from which I continued to lay about doing nothing. At some point I got tired of this too, so I took up the first "Harry Potter" book. Once before I'd started to read these, but didn't get far. I recently ordered "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" from the library, and now having it in my possession and plenty of excess time, I began.

That was last Wednesday. I completed books one, two and three in short order. My progress on book four ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") has been much slower than on the others, now that I'm up and about, and able once again to work.

Happy New Year to y'all!