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Hi There Fraternity.

Anyone who happens to read any of my posts will know I’m a cheap poor retired plumber from Scotland, where arms are short and pockets are deep.

The reason I am writing this is that I require from some of American cousins some help in the coming months.

Now my son and his family live in the Katy district of Houston around the Cinco Ranch area and my good wife Evelyn and I spend a considerable time annoying them with visits.

We usually head out there from May to the end of August, but this year it’s Oct to end of Jan, mainly to get a free meal at thanksgiving and maybe a Christmas present. In truth my wife wanted to see your Halloween as we get loads of great photos of our grandchildren enjoying themselves.

Now here’s the down side. I can’t take my workshop with me. Most of the time I’m bored out of my skull. He lives in an affluent part of town where residents don’t do anything, every job from cutting the grass to putting up the Christmas decorations is carried out by a man in a van. It’s alien to me but accepted regime there. I feel defunct

Over the years of visiting I have built up a basic tool collection, mainly sourced from pawn shops in and around Houston, and I have included a few photos of my projects, just to keep me busy.

About 15mins drive we have a Home Depot and a Lowes. But after your seventh or eighth visit the staff start to get suspicion that you are casing the joint.

So, what I am enquiring about for any members of the forum that live in the area is any info on places to visit between Oct and Jan, whether it be hardware or lumber shops or exhibitions that will keep me out of trouble.

What I often do is visit open show houses of which there are many, just to see the building techniques adopted.

So, there it is lads any forthcoming info very much appreciated.

Now this is just a footnote to say thank you to my son Colin and his wife Clare who over the years since we retired have made us very welcome in Houston and taken us on their summer holidays to parts of America we both could only dream about.

In return when staying with them I try to carry out jobs about and around the house

The photos I have included are the builds I have completed and some of the memorable places visited while there. I’m not saying where but most of our Atlantic cousins should recognise the iconic locations

For ever grateful

Colin
Scotland and soon to be USA with my metric tape, if I get it through customs. It might be considered a weapon
 

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Premium Member
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You may have seen more of the USA than many of us. Houston is an interesting area, Texas being almost a separate country. (I think when they joined the union, they left a clause that allows them to leave, unique to Texas.) It would be nice if you could share some shop space with a forum member in the area.
 

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Doug
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Colin,

I wish I was closer, I would love to have you over. I am sneaking into your backyard next month supposedly for another meeting, but really it's to liberate another bottle of Auchentoshan. I know we have a lot of folks near Houston, and a bunch more in Louisiana. I am sure Professor Henry and Mr. Falkner would be great company to visit.

PS- if your tape measure does get confiscated, we have ones with both the "right" and the "wrong" units on them.






.
 

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Theo
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Scotland and soon to be USA with my metric tape, if I get it through customs. It might be considered a weapon
Don't be silly, they won't consider it a weapon. But it may well get confiscated anyway, some states rule that metric tape measures are illegal. Good news tho, the fine for bringing one into the country is usually only around $250 US, and only a maximum of 7 days in jail. So no problem, go ahead and bring it along.
 
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That last picture reminds me of a valley we visited in Hawaii last year. Looks like you've had a good sampling of the USA.
 

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Colin:

Looks like your past visits have been most enjoyable and productive from the project standpoint. Just don,t try to carry the tape on the plane. Snakes on planes are ok, tapes a no no. ��
 

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Looks like you've missed the Gulf Coast so far. I don't know about down there but all metric tapes are available up here. I have 2 metric only tapes. One thing I avoid is the tapes with both. Having both makes them useless.
 

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Colin, you mentioned Halloween celebrations. I am not sure what it is that you are looking for. BUT, if it is something scary...… Not far out of Houston, south down Highway 288, to Rosharon
at the highway 60 exit, is what is called the "CREEPY HOLLOW HAUNTED HOUSE". It is a fixed in place fixture and they work on it all year round.
The entry fee covers three main attractions.
Pitch Black
Dark Woods
Scary Factory
Plus several side attractions that are included in the price.

My wife Sandra and I have never been there. WE heard about it by seeing it as we drove by for several years and one of the owners was the surgeon that did a knee
replacement for Sandra last year. So since he must follow his Hippocratic Oath, ( Thou Shalt do no Harm) no one will eat you there.

They are open everyday during the month of October.

Take a moment and search them on line.


David
 

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Paul
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I believe that inches and feet were an Imperial standard from out your way, Colin. You must remember how to use those tapes. ;)

Have a nice trip, Colin.
 

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Hi There Fraternity.

So, what I am enquiring about for any members of the forum that live in the area is any info on places to visit between Oct and Jan, whether it be hardware or lumber shops or exhibitions that will keep me out of trouble.

Colin
- skipping the touristy things (NASA, Galveston, etc) which are easy to find >>>

- you for sure want to take in a Woodcraft and a Rockler store. Sadly none are out near Katy but hey, if you have all day whats to care ....

- if you and the missus are into craft stuff, probably the biggest holiday market is in Houston: The Nutcracker Market Nov 8-11. All sorts of hand made stuff <and commercial things> and its a fund raiser for the Houston Ballet.

- there are heaps of local craft fairs around the holidays with woodworking items etc. Ask Googler.

- Traders Village is always a good place to waste some time. Sort of a trash and treasure/flea market place with lots of things you probably don't need.

- I am sure that I will think of more things as quick as I press send ... sigh

- ebill
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It was murder. We changed in the 70’s as part of joining the EU and as a lecturer I was teaching apprentices whose journeymen were half and half, that is the older guys wouldn’t change over from imperial to metric and the younger did. I ended up teaching both measurements in class and every time I stated for example 18 inches I had to follow up with 450m otherwise half the class was clueless. And when I retired in 2011 I was still having to do it. What’s more it is almost impossible to buy a measuring tape in mm only. They are all imperial and mm on the same side. Makes it impossible. When I asked apprentices in the workshop to give me a dimension of a piece of pipe I often got 6 inches and 3mm long.

Colin
 

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Theo
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A nice thing about working in your own shop, you can use Imperial or metric, your choice. I grew up using Imperial, and won't even try to learn metric. In fact, on the very few times I need to convert inches to kilometers, or vice versa, my phone has a unit converter built in that will stuff like that for me.
 
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Looks like you had some great trips, Colin.

Some of the photos remind me of our trip in 2012 (soo long ago, already....).

The US is a great place to visit......
 

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