Here are some photos I took at the festival in September:

And some photos taken by my friend John Ewing can be seen by clicking HERE.


John <>
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. <Groucho Marx>

G'day all,

This is just a "heads up" to let you know that my web site has been updated. I would like to welcome Simon Hull to the Backyard with his Sweet Pea project. The photos will be on their way back home soon Simon! :)

Cheers, Mark Paterson

Three "Sweet Pea" projects on one site:

JANESVILLE, Wis. - A carnivorous alien fish known for its voracious appetite and ability to wriggle short distances on land has been found in southern Wisconsin's Rock River.

A Snakehead fish caught in Maryland

The discovery of the 2-foot-long giant snakehead by the state Department of Natural Resources marks the first time the species, a native of Asia, has been found in Wisconsin waters, where officials said it may not survive the winter cold.

"This was a real wake-up call," said Mike Staggs, director of fisheries at the DNR.

The giant snakehead can grow to more than three feet in length, and fish managers say that with no natural predator, it could change the local fish population and introduce new diseases.

A year ago, wildlife officials in Maryland killed six adult and more than 1,000 juvenile northern snakehead, a close relative to the giant snakehead, found in a pond.

The DNR found the giant snakehead during a routine fish survey of the Rock River Sept. 4.

The DNR said an employee misidentified the fish as a native bowfin. It was photographed and released before the DNR later concluded it was a snakehead.

Two crews were sent back to the river last Thursday and three more crews went back Tuesday to look for evidence of snakeheads but found none, Staggs said.

Staggs said the results indicate the fish does not appear to be widespread in the river, and the individual snakehead likely was released by a hobbyist after outgrowing an aquarium.

Releasing aquarium fish into the wild in Wisconsin is illegal.

It's unlikely the giant snakehead could survive the cold water of a Wisconsin winter, Staggs said.

This might be of interest to a few of you. I had a vision of the trimaran in Waterworld when I read this article.


Drop-outs Patent Hydrogen Production Method
Take drano, add scrap aluminum cans and you
get novel way to make hydrogen gas.

Source: Nashua Telegraph
[Nov 29, 2003]

A 69-year-old, 10th-grade Canadian drop-out and his 58-year-old Norwegian cousin, who himself left school in the eighth grade, have just been granted two U.S. patents on a process that produces hydrogen by throwing discarded aluminum cans or foil into water laced with Drano.

Not only is their discovery likely to force scientists to rewrite basic chemistry texts but it also might open up an easy way of producing the nonpolluting gas – the so-called "energy of the future" – from trashed aluminum.

Ease of production is vital because while hydrogen is found widely in nature in water, freeing up the gas is generally expensive and difficult.

The new procedure is so easy that "you can do it in your sink if you just don’t let kids play with the sodium hydroxide (a basic component of Drano) when you are done," said George Jenkins, a University of New Brunswick forestry professor who has been working with the cousins to develop the technology.

The genesis for the discovery, said Jim Andersen, a mill owner from New Denmark, New Brunswick, was the two cousins’ long-term interest in inventing things – and a book.

After reading "The Coming Energy Revolution," which describes the role of hydrogen as a future energy source, "We decided to look at it ourselves," said Andersen, who has worked in the forest industry most of his life.

So Erling Reidar Andersen, his Norwegian cousin, started to fool with various mixtures based on what he knew about diving suits that produced hydrogen as a by-product of heat. He called excitedly one night to announce that he had come up with what he thought was a novel way of making hydrogen in pots on his kitchen counter.

Later, the two Andersens were at the University of New Brunswick talking to Jenkins about another of their projects and mentioned what they had found.

"My reaction to that was that everyone knows metal in water can produce hydrogen, but the reactions stop," Jenkins said. "And I showed them by putting a copper penny in a glass of water. They said, ‘But our reaction doesn’t stop.’ "

What the two school-drop-out inventors had discovered was that instead of sodium hydroxide breaking down and creating the aluminum equivalent of rust to snuff out the reaction – a process described in most basic chemistry books – the corrosive chemical was actually a catalyst. That is, it didn’t break down, and the reaction continued as long as more water and aluminum were added.

Further experiments found that in the right mixture, aluminum cans are completely dissolved in as little as five minutes.

Everyone involved takes great pains to point out that this energy-generating reaction is in no way akin to a famous bogus table-top energy source – cold fusion.

"What you are essentially doing is liberating energy which was put into the aluminum when it was made," Jenkins said. "It’s not the same as getting something for nothing from cold fusion."

Outsiders who have looked at the patent agree and say what the amateur inventors found has real promise.

"It is perfectly reasonable and doesn’t violate any fundamental laws of chemical reactions. That is to say, it is not, say, a priori bogus, but (the) future will say how well it works," University of Toronto chemistry professor Ulrich Fekl said.

Delta 6-Pack Establishes New Standard in Cordless Kits

JACKSON, Tenn. (Nov. 4, 2003) – The new Delta Machinery Woodworker’s 6-Pack is the ultimate tool kit for tackling woodworking and home improvement projects. The industry’s only cordless woodworker’s kit with six tools, the Delta ShopMaster™ CL180WWK empowers users with maximum power, precision and durability to successfully meet a variety of woodworking and home improvement demands. Powered by 18.0 volt diagnostic batteries, the CL180WWK includes a cordless drill/driver, circular saw, orbital palm sander, jig saw, brad nailer and flashlight.

“Delta has long been recognized as the leading manufacturer of premium woodworking tools and we recently extended that expertise into the cordless category with our line of Delta ShopMaster™ cordless drills/drivers,” said Chuck Hardin, Delta director of marketing. “We’ve incorporated our cordless capabilities into established Delta’s product lines to create the industry’s most complete woodworking package. The Delta 6-Pack has created a new standard in cordless kits.”

The 18 volt drill/driver features a ½” keyless chuck, two speed ranges, 24 position clutch, bubble-level and dual-bit storage. The circular saw utilizes a 4,500 rpm motor and 5 ½”, 18T carbide blade for sawing capacities of 1 9/16” and 1 1/8” at 90º and 45º respectively. The palm sander uses standard 1/3” sheet paper, orbital sanding action and ergonomic soft palm grip. The jig saw has a 5/8” stroke and 0º to 45º left and right tilting base with edge guide for diverse sawing needs. The brad nailer uses adjustable driving force to drive 18 gauge 5/8” to 1 ¼” nails at two nails per second. The Delta 6-Pack is complete with a large, 3” reflector flashlight which has a rotating, 0º to 90º spotlight.

The Delta ShopMaster™ CL180WWK comes with a one-hour fast charger and is currently available for approximately $269.


Headquartered in Jackson, Tenn., Delta Machinery, a subsidiary of Pentair Inc. (NYSE: PNR), is the leading manufacturer of the world’s most complete line of woodworking machinery, stationary equipment, and related accessories for use in home workshops, building and construction trades, industry and schools. With its manufacturing operation centralized in Tupelo, Miss., Delta Machinery owns and operates a subsidiary, Biesemeyer, located in Mesa, Ariz.

News From Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.

We are pleased to report that several of our products were mentioned/reviewed in the Dec/Jan issue of BoatBuilder magazine by editor Dan Spurr in this "Rovings" column.

You can read his comments at:

Products reviewed:

  • Fire Dur - our fire and smoke resistant epoxy Quote: "Yup, it works."
  • LTC 38 - low temp cure marine epoxy
  • Basic No Blush - our general purpose marine epoxy $61 for 1.5 gallon kit
  • TA 561 solvent free epoxy tool cleaner

It's nice to be recognized as a 'real player' in the 'professional' side of the industry! It has taken us many years of reputation building to get here!

Thanks everyone - paul oman
PAUL OMAN ----- Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.
Frog Pond Hollow - 48 Wildwood Dr - Pittsfield NH 03263
10-4 Monday-Thur EST 603-435-7199 VISA/MC/Discover
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