News from the Pipemaking Workshop with the Funk.
Talbert Pipes Website - Kentucky Fried Popcorn - My Web Comic.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1840's Village

Yesterday we took our first day off in a very long time, and rode with my parents to see the 1840's Village in Hickory, NC.  It was a full-scale recreation of a settler town, complete with blacksmith, shoemaker, saddle-maker, woodwright, etc, with all crafts and tools on display and in use.  This hand-cranked drill press to the left is a great example of a classic tool still working nearly 170 years later - Say that about anything we use today!  I have posted a gallery of pics from this trip to both our Facebook and Flickr accounts, for those who might be interested in a look at the lifestyles of early Americans, as well as a glimpse of the NC highlands in autumn.  If there was anything we missed consistently and bitterly in Brittany, it was the NC autumn season - Brittany just does not look like this in fall!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drill Refurbishing

A note to those who may be interested - Pipe & Pint has purchased a couple of large estate collections of my pipes and other brands, including some very unique high grades that are unsmoked and essentially new pipes. Watch this space for the next week or so, because I will be photographing some standout examples of these pipes and posting them here for sale.

In other news, the workshop work continues!  Our drill is now alive.  ALIVE, I say!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Blog Redesign

Mark off another goal accomplished - While waiting for some custom pulleys to be made to get our lathes going, I'm spending the next several days working full-time on revamping our blog and website.  This blog is the first example.  It has been woefully amateurish looking for some time now, because I created the layout a couple of years ago on an old square-aspect monitor, which didn't show the background very much.  On modern widescreens, the repeating pipe motif was incredibly annoying, but for the past year I simply haven't had the time to do anything about it.  Now it is finally an all-new look!  Once again, I did all the coding and graphics myself, with lots of consultation and advice from Emily.

My main goal was to be simple, without fancy special effects or anything, but to convey a more polished and professional look.  I would like to have simple animated buttons up top, but I don't know how to do that sort of coding in javascript so that's out for the moment.

One new feature is the pipe sketch at the top of the sidebar, left.  That's an actual design sketch I did while tending our table at the Richmond pipe show, and it's going to become a pipe one of these days.  I set up that little drawing area to be easily modified, and periodically I intend to change the pipe sketches out, for a varying peek at some of the ideas I have.

The only current problem I know of with the new layout is that older versions of Internet Explorer (6 and earlier) do not properly display transparent graphics, so the sidebar top will look bizarre.  I've researched for a solution to this problem only to find that there isn't one, or at least not one that's within my technical capabilities with CSS code (The prime solution seems to be to write an exclusion designed to recognize one's browser and swap out a flat JPG for the transparent PNG, but this is more complex than I know how to do, alas...).  Thankfully, users of older IE versions are a pretty small slice of the net these days, so hopefully it won't be a major problem.  Please leave a comment if you have any other problems viewing the site, and be sure to include your browser version and OS, thanks!

Next up, the main website....
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Monday, October 05, 2009

CORPS 2009

Just got back from the 2009 CORPS pipe show in Richmond, Virginia. It is still as enjoyable as ever.