Thursday, 20 October 2016

Johnny Ramone guitar build part 1

I'm still busy doing work in the garden etc but I took some time today to set out guitar parts for my Johnny Ramone Mosrite build. It all seems pretty simple but the work required in getting the body ready for the painting process will take some time and lots of sanding plus my wiring and soldering skills are at present nonexistent. I'm happy with the quality of the fittings but if all goes well I may consider uprating the bridge and tuners at a later date....if I get it to work that is!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Dads apple pie.

We have quite a few fruit trees here of all types but mostly apple.Some of them are heritage trees I've planted and some trees of an unknown age.The tree shown is I think one present on OS maps from over a hundred years ago but it seems to still be thriving.The apples it produces in rather large amounts are cookers so at present it is apple pie, cake and other apple based goodies every day but we all like apples so no problem there. We usually make quite a bit of cider from other trees including the dedicated cider apple trees I planted a few years ago but this year it looks like we are pressed for time...pressed..geddit? yes sad I know.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Its that time again

Winter is on its way with the first real frost here today. I get through several tons of wood keeping us warm(ish) here each winter and so the kids and I spend a little time each day getting the wood that has been drying under tarps the last 6 months or so into our wood store.I like the little uns to know how things work and they do seem to appreciate that some effort is required for comfort and so the work is rather rewarding for us all...happy days!

Friday, 7 October 2016


I read copious amounts of sci fi when a kid and so ever time a new device turns up now I enjoy comparing it to the future dreams of long ago. Anything that makes my life easier is fine by me and so the internet etc has been a welcome addition to the tools I use to get from a to b in business or in everyday life.The Amazon echo has been the latest acquisition by the family OTW and its been a surprisingly useful addition.A so called smart assistant it has already saved time in lots of little ways and keeps the kids amused and as a by product is helping them learn even if only corny jokes....early days I know but all in all a great (cheapish) buy.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Go Johnny go.

As I have posted before I have always been a great fan of the Ramones having seen them numerous times from their first British tour onwards. When I was a musician I played in my own way and never paid much attention to the way in which the Ramones as musicians performed. I'm much older now and as is the way with age I have been paying more attention to events in my past and thus playing the Ramones has become a daily occurrence for me. The availability of clips on you tube has made me appreciate more than ever the bands performances, Johnny Ramone in particular. Most fans know Johnny played a pretty crappy guitar (mosrite ventures) bought for 60 dollars or so and stuck with it through his entire career. As a project this winter (less work outside...yippee!)  I have bought a kit that will enable me to construct a copy of said be prepared for some pretty dull posts, if you don't like The Ramones that is!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Long ago.

I spent most of today working outside taking advantage of the weather and enjoying the blue skies. I did take time though to think of those who 76 years ago looked up at those same skies and wondered if that day would be their last and then buckled up and did their family and I would dearly like to thank them all.

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Well that's America 2016 done...its back to Blighty for family OTW!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Looking down on part of the Napa valley from where I am staying one can only admire just how much has been done with such a small area.I'm not sure of the total value of the wine industry here but I know its in the multi billions and the whole valley is truly beautiful.In the pic my kid sister vinogirl is working away in one of the wineries making her contribution to the industry while waiting to decide when to harvest her own crop, a wait you can feel along the entire valley......and to think her brother still prefers a bottle of lager, Oh the shame!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Where's the meat?

This house is being built on a plot around the corner from my sisters in Napa and it is a plot I looked at for myself a while back.Its not a large plot and faces onto a road so I decided against it. The buyer/builder here doesn't seem to mind any of this as they are building close to the road and as big as possible (too big for lot?). After all my years visiting and living out here I cannot get used to the building with sticks and flimsy board....I need solidity for my money! I know why they do and I understand the differences between here and home but......I need solidity for my money! it seems you can't teach an old dog new tricks in my case.

Friday, 26 August 2016


A visit to the Jelly belly factory yesterday made my kids very happy which as any parent knows means a happy parent so good result all round.While the kids ooohed and ahhhed at the bean making process and then stuffed their faces I took the time to check out the President Reagan memorabilia which given his long relationship with the company was quite comprehensive. As a political child of the eighties I was expected to hate Reagan along with Mrs Thatcher but I didn't.There was always something about him I admired and his love of Jelly beans is now added to my list.....God bless Ronnie.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

more muscle

The boy gives his take on muscle cars.

Monday, 22 August 2016

American bling

America has always had much more of a car culture than Britain and it is something I enjoy both when driving and when attending shows like the Napa classic car show yesterday.Among the muscle monsters,custom cars and oldies I did find a car wearing these rims...there is always one isn't there?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Hows that 1776 working out for you?

Sitting around the pool doing bugger all today I spent some time musing on all that I have seen and heard here on my American travels in the last few weeks.It has been 2 years since my last visit, a period of time longer than any in decades...but what a 2 years.Listening to people and watching the news I'm quite shocked and saddened at the way in which the country I have loved second to my own has seemingly come apart at the seams.The amount of hatred here between the left and right,black and white,gay and straight is shocking and unfixable. This hatred coupled with a Govt and president that now with its politicised judicial system operates at a third world level has left the country a shadow of its former self.....and that's before the Trump and Hillary show! On a magnanimous lighter note I'd like on behalf of her Majesty the Queen (I'll tell her later) to offer America the chance to rejoin the fold......welcome to the Anglosphere guys.Now Britain has regained its borders,reduced our native socialists to a rabble rump and elected a solid decent female P.M. (take that Hillary) don't you think its time to come home? 1776 isn't that long ago in the scheme of things and if you just hand over Hawaii for its beaches and maybe Maine for snow(we'll take you too Sipp) you are as you (ex) colonials say...good to go! just think, no more Emperor Obama,...just that nice old lady Queen Liz and her ever entertaining spouse Phil the Greek......oh and Scotland gets Trump! cup of tea and a crumpet anyone?

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Vino slaves

My kids put in a shift as vino slaves at aunt Vinogirls today, netting the vines to keep off pesky birds.The little uns did a  full morning shift and as a reward they then went for in and out burgers....its good to be a kid!