Toronto indie and WWF photos from late 80s, 1990s

I've been on a photo scanning and retouching binge lately, and it began with the scanning and re-scanning of hundreds of pro wrestling pics from my collection. My dad snapped a lot of them at WWF events at Maple Leaf Gardens in the mid-to-late 1980s. I took a lot at indie shows in the late 1990s.

1993-03-06 Ring N Ears 3 - The Opera House - Toronto ON

I've been posting them under Scott Simpson Google+ photo ablums and in a 1980s/1990s Wrestling Flickr collection.

I'm going in for double hernia surgery in a couple of weeks, and expect to be laid up off work for about a month afterward. In that time, I'm hoping to begin work on a large blog chronicling my wrestling fandom through this photo collection.

Calling an end to the endless deck refinishing

There's still more to do, but with the weather having turned cold and wet and windy, I'm calling the seemingly never-ending deck refinishing project "done" for now.

We started in July 2011 -- last year -- thinking it would only take a couple of weeks to take the old solid deck stain off, clean, and put a new coat on. Here's what we were facing.


Some areas were flaking badly. Others had a green film.

We bought jugs of high-powered and expensive Behr deck stripper. It's caustic stuff and we have the scars to prove it! We had mixed results.


Some patches of paint would come off cleanly by following the directions: Apply the stripper, let it sit for about 20 minutes while misting it to keep it wet, then wipe or hose it off. Other areas needed some heavy scrubbing or pressure-washing to get the paint off. And we were stumped by areas in which the paint -- no, it's really solid deck stain, but it might as well have been paint -- would not come off at all.

Multiple treatments with stripper, scrubbing, pressure washing and rinsing were still not working.


So, we tried a quarter-sheet orbital sander. Nope.

We bought a belt sander. Better, but still not great because of nails and uneven wood surface.

What was supposed to take a week or two was stretching into a year.

We considered burning down the deck but could not imagine a way to do so without a) damaging the siding and b) attracting unwanted attention from insurance adjusters.

Eventually, at some point in the summer of 2012, we gave up. There was no way we were going to be able to get the wood to a condition in which a semi-transparent stain would work. It was impossible. We decided to give the deck one more pass with the belt sander, then the cleaner, and then a solid stain.

Short of building a new deck, this seemed like the best idea. Stain it with solid and save up for a new deck.

Even that took a lot of work, but I made a lot of progress in a few marathon sessions.




It's not perfect, but it is very, very nice. Amanda picked the colour. It still needs a thorough once-over for those "oops, missed a spot" reapplications, and apparently I need to finish some areas which can't be seen, but still need to be done.

But for now, I'm calling it finished. DONE.

Yeah, that's right ... a BABY!

The countdown is on to the third week of April, when my wife Amanda is expected to birth our first child.

I'm pretty sure everyone in the inner and middle circles have been informed. Now the news is ready for public consumption.

We're pregnant! I don't much like that saying, but I got told off when I said "my wife is expecting our first child" so I'll go with "we're pregnant."

Yes, I'm excited. No, we don't know the sex yet - ultrasound for that is November 27. Coincidentally, I'm having double-hernia surgery on November 26, so I'll be in some kind of messed-up shape and maybe a wheelchair for the ultrasound. Yeah, she's been feeling pretty crappy. No, we haven't picked names. No, we don't have the nursery started yet. Yes, I'm looking big and round.

Today we went to the doc for another prenatal visit and our first chance to hear the baby's heartbeat via Doppler Supercomputer Radar. Actually, the gadget looked like a microphone from a Fisher-Price tape deck smeared with store-brand KY Jelly, but it really worked!

And here's an isolated clip of the fetal heartbeat...



For the fellow audio nerds, I took a signal out from the headphone jack of the sonoflanger machine, via mini cable to the line-in on an old Sony Minidisc recorder. Played it back via mini cable and 1/4" adapter into line-in on Saffire LE to Audition 1.5 at 32bits. Applied moderate noise reduction in Audition.

Anyway, yup, we're knocked up. First try.

I don't expect this blog will become a daddy-blog, because after a lifetime of living far too publicly, this will be something nice to keep private.

Even so, I might end up blogging more on things tangentially-related. Like my new camera. Watch for more on the new camera.

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the...