Welcome to the Saruyama Blog, intermittent and generally off topic. Occasionally you might see some trees...and weird ones at that.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Tool Time 2 - Return of the Tool

Just got back from a two week trip to the US. Texas and the national convention in Rochester. It was a busy but very fun time. A full report later.

Watching the world cup in the US was a great experience, seeing the US sports channels doing a great job presenting it was an eye opener, no smarmy Lineker, cliched and critical Hansen and no coverage of the biggest tool of our time, John Terry. Never before has a footballer filled me with such despair for the human race. How has this man become a national icon? What kind of a society do we live in where a tool like Jay-T can command such press coverage and admiration from some quarters. Crying like a baby because his job is boring? Go and live in North Korea, I'm sure they are not worried about the boredom of their training camp, they have to go home having being beaten by Ronal-doh. Speaking of which I had a difficult time trying to explain to a bar full of Americans why I was supporting North Korea against Portugal and cursing everytime they scored. I am not part of the axis of evil, I just don't like cheating cry babies, even if they are good.

Anyway, the trip gave me and the Chief some time together and we had fun, as you can see here.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Tool time

Due to the unnaturally hot weather today, I decide to try and stay out of the sun, given the tendency of bald spots to burn and necks to turn red. I have spent the day pottering around the house doing odd jobs and checking on the home brew, replying to emails and doing a bit of preparation before going off to Texas next week.

I decided to do something which I should have done a while ago and I spent an hour cleaning my tools. This is something I have always been quite fastidious about but have let it slip recently. It is essential to maintain tools on a regular basis so that cutting edges stay sharp, joints do not rust and so that disease cannot spread. As I travel to many bonsai gardens across the world there is potential for spreading fungal diseases and I do not want to be responsible for the Bonsai version of Dutch Elm.

Sounds corny but clean tools mean a clean mind and a focus on the job ahead. Even the greatest artists in the world had to clean their own paintbrushes. I have been meaning to write a whole "How-to" thing about tool maintenance, I approached Bonsai Focus about it but they were not overly keen to get on with it. I need someone who can do some good photos and maybe some videos to help me out here...

One of the reasons my tools were so dirty were because I had been doing a few days work with Ian of British Bonsai. Here is the before and after of one little Juniper that we worked on. The aim is to get it in to BSA 2012. Without wanting to sound patronising, it is a pretty little tree and has enough character to hold its own amongst other container grown trees. I look forward to its development. It will never be a world beater but it is what it is. More details to follow.

Looking forward to next week’s trip to Texas and Rochester to see some of the best Bonsai in the States and catch up with some friends.