so long Isaac

August 28th, 2009

so long Isaac, originally uploaded by Aiko ,Thomas and Isaac.

It was a good try but it’s not going to work. The Pyrenees rescue of Indianapolis has one too many requirements for me to abide by and not willing to negotiate.
Thomas and I are back to the two of us, at least for a while.
I hope he finds a loving home.

Meet the new boy in town

August 18th, 2009

Meet the new boy in town, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

He’s a rescue dog and part Golden and part Pyrenees.
His name is going to be Isaac after the famous writer Isaac Asimov.
now 7 weeks old.
He’s going to join us on august 29 -2009

I feel the muscles in my hands aching

July 8th, 2009

I feel the muscles in my hands aching, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

but i’m very happy to be able to restore a house back to how it was designed.
The notched of roof lines are very difficult to do But they are instrumental for the design of the house.
The architect -some 80 years ago – knew what he was doing. The size and shape of the roof construction was meant to carry this slate. 27.5 feet at the bottom, 17 feet from gutter to ridge, the notch is 6 x 5 feet on the diagonal.
It has a 12/12 pitch (which means a 45 degree angle)
17 feet up with an exposure of 8.5 inches means 26 rows up. He – the architect- probably wanted to square out the pattern and above all: facilitate the slaters, so they wouldn’t get into problems.
Sometimes I had the feeling that my new nails were sinking in an original nail hole, put there by the first slaters.

independence day

July 4th, 2009

independence day, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

Tomorrow I’ll celebrate my first true Independence day. Sorry Beatrix (queen of Holland), you lost one.
My new flag is called Stars and Stripes. I wasn’t so much in love with kingdoms anyway.
My Friesian flag is proudly hanging underneath as a display of my heritage.
(Thomas is unmoved by all this, he’s more interested if there are any more biscuits in this photo session.)


June 24th, 2009


Originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas

old footage of a cabinet I made about 18 years ago

Sorry about the quality. It’s the only document of this cabinet I have.

Made out of walnut, finished with Tung oil.The glass panes have bevelled edges.

The cabinet ended up hanging on a wall. The mirror is removable for hanging.

“citizen slater aiko”

June 12th, 2009

"citizen slater aiko", originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

The slate project is in full swing. Battered by tunderstorms it’s not going too fast but we are making progress with the job as well as learning. It’s something I always wanted to do once in my life and here it is!. I consider this trade as a form of art. Working with a natural product like slate takes negotiating, patience and concentration.
The mechanics of roofing are relatively simple: water always goes down (Isaac Newton can attest to that :)) so you have to abide by certain rules to make the house water proof. But for the rest it’s your feel of balance where to place the different colours.
It’s also hard work. That stuff weighs a lot and I carry it up by myself.
The weight is approximately a 1000 pounds per square.(one square equals 100 square foot) This roof is about 11 squares.

photo courtesy of Nancy, alias customer #4 who came to visit the worksite.
The hammer I use is a multifunctional tool: hammer in the copper nails, punch holes in the slate and slice off (resize the slate) when needed.

after 2 weeks

June 7th, 2009

DSC_2062, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

It’s now june 7. Two weeks after the drift. I made a visual record of how things are developing:

you can see this at my flickr photostream:

On june 2, the Office of the Indiana State Chemist came to visit. Take samples and photos of the damage of the “suspected” drift.

the day before, I had asked the farmer what he had used that day:

Scepter, Roundup (powermax) and “agrisolutions 2,4-DL V4.

No word when they’ll come with a result. It might be october or even december of this year.

sometime I wish I could go there

May 29th, 2009

sometime I wish I could go there, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

Things are not looking to good at the doghouse. We got another case of spray drift and a possible case of vapour drift mitigation. The chemicals used seem to be even more toxic as last years.
I’m sorry, I have not been commenting on your photos or responding to e mails lately.
I hope you all understand.
I’ll try later to update.
Thanks. Thomas and Aiko

drift and bokeh

May 25th, 2009

drift and bokeh, originally uploaded by Aiko and Thomas.

To whom it may concern,

On friday may 22 – 2009 the field west of my property was sprayed with 2-4-D and roundup mixture.
The farmer (Myron Cragun) called me at 7.40 am to tell me that they were going to spray and he would start closest to my fence line and work himself back into the west.
(apparently he had called Steve Acton (owner of the field) too.
I complied with the spray because at that time winds were very calm or even non existent.
Shortly after that the farmers son started spraying one row next to my fenceline and then disappeared into the far end of the field.
I thought he would make short work and take advantage of the moment. But not.
Shortly after nine he had not come back to spray more rows.
Then I had to go to visit a customer and run to the hardware store to get supplies for my work.
After eleven I came back to see him still spraying (about third row off my fence) and stopping frequently (maybe to get stones out of the way or so).
By that time the wind had picked up and was coming from the west in gusts. Thus: blowing my way. Also the temperature was climbing fast and it must have been already 85 degrees.
I called my neighbor Richard Delaschmidt and asked him to come over to give me advice whether I should try and stop the spraying or not.
By the time Richard arrived ,it was already too late to do anything: tThe tractor came by one more time (one row off my fence) and went to the field across the road.
I would argue that If the farmer had pushed on with his plan, he would have been at least half way the field when the wind started picking up and no harm would have been done.
While standing next to my van, we could smell the herbicides after the tractor passed us.

Today: monday 25, I fear that spray drifted again over my land. Already a lot of plants and trees – close to the fence line and some farther away – are showing distress, although it is at this time impossible to tell that this is caused by the new spray or that it is residue roundup from the spray drift last year in july.

Aiko vanhulsen
may 25 2009

thank you, all my friends

April 23rd, 2009

thank you, all my friends

Would you know my name

If I saw you in heaven?

Would you feel the same

If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong and carry on

cause I know I dont belong here in heaven…

Would you hold my hand

If I saw you in heaven?

Would you help me stand

If I saw you in heaven?

Ill find my way through night and day

cause I know I just cant stay here in heaven…

Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees

Time can break your heart, have you begging please…begging please

Beyond the door theres peace Im sure

And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven…

(erick Clapton)