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November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! From now until December 31, 2008, I'm offering $2.00 off the retail price of my Laugh Lines comic book (that's about 15% off). Click here for more info and to order!

Also, I've updated the Browse the Database page. By popular request, this page is now broken up into smaller pages. So, instead of being forced to see all 171 Hemingray styles right away (quite the nightmare for those out there in cyberspace still on dial-up), now the default is 40 insulators per page. However, you also have the option to change that to 20, 60, 80, or ALL if you so desire. I've been wanting to do that for awhile! It's more work than you might think...

Another new page in the works is my Hemingray Embossing Styles page. Over the decades Hemingray insulators were embossed in a variety of different styles, and this page attempts to detail each one. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so a lot of the earlier dates probably aren't completely accurate just yet. Hopefully the other Hemingray gurus out there can help me!

October 26, 2008

At long last... the Advanced Search feature is live on the Hemingray Database! I created this feature mostly for fellow Hemingray or embossing specialists who want to search for very specific attributes. For example, let's say I want to see insulators embossed with "HEMINGRAY" that have an umbrella, sharp drip points and a blot-out. Here you go! Or how about any CD 113's with both a backwards letter AND a misspelling? Yep, it exists!

I hope this powerful search feature will be as useful to others as it is to me!

August 11, 2008

A lot has been happening lately behind the scenes! The Hemingray Database is growing more and more each week. Here are some of the new features available:

1. Pictures for each embossing. I'm beginning to add pictures of each insulator embossing from my personal collection. Each photo shows the front and back of the insulator. This is something I've wanted to do for years. Now that I finally have the technical knowledge to make it a reality, everyone gets to benefit!

2. Wanted Forms for embossings I don't have. Now if somebody has a specific embossing I'm looking for, all they have to do is click on the "Wanted" link next to the embossing and it will bring up a custom contact form. All they have to do is enter their name and email address and upload photos of the insulator they have, and that's it!

3. New Navigation Features. Now on each database page, there in addition to the "Previous" and "Next" arrows, I've also added "First" and "Last" links and also a special "Jump to CD" drop-down menu where you can go straight to the CD number of your choice! Check it out.

And that's just the beginning. I've gotten some great suggestions from fellow ICON members on how to improve the database, and I'll be working on that in the coming weeks, so keep checking back!

April 10, 2008

The new Hemingray Database is finally online!!! It's been years in the making, but it's finally here. You probably won't be able to tell a difference between the old and the new database, which is probably a good thing. :) So what's the big deal? I'll tell ya... now I'm using PHP and MySQL (a true database technology). "Whoopee", you say. "So what?"

This benefits ME so now I only have to change data (such as an embossing) in ONE place instead of several. This will save me time and guarantee the data is consistent across the web site.

This also benefits YOU, because not only will you have a more reliable resource for Hemingray insulators, but soon you'll be able to perform your own custom database searches as well! Let's say you want to find all Hemingray embossings with Sharp Drip Points... such a thing is now possible. Expect some exciting features to come! In the meantime, check out the new database in action!

January 16, 2008

Can you believe I'll be coming up on the 100th issue of Laugh Lines? I never would have thought back when I started drawing the comic in 1996 that I'd still be continuing it over 12 years later... but here I am! So now that I'm approaching 100 issues, I'm trying to get people to vote on their favorite comic! If you haven't already... go ahead and vote!

Also, I was recently contacted by Editor Dave Margulius of CollectorsWeekly.com, a web site featuring all kinds of collections. They now have a section specifically for insulators, and I was honored to be one of the "Hall of Fame" listings, along with Shaun Kotlarsky's Hemingray.net and Bill Meier's Insulators.info!

And lastly, I'm still working on developing the Golden State Insulator Club web site, and I'm also working behind the scenes here on the Hemingray Database to make it even better! More on that in the coming months.

May 4, 2007

Wow, so much has changed since my last posting. On February 17, 2007, I was married to a wonderful woman, Maggi! We had our honeymoon in Ireland (and of course I picked up some Irish insulators while I was there!)

Also, I'm very excited to hear the news that the NorCal Insulator Club and the Central & Southern Counties Insulator Club of California have joined forces at long last to form a single insulator club for the state of California: The Golden State Insulator Club!

I'm honored to be asked to continue being the club's webmaster, so look for updates over at www.goldenstateinsulatorclub.org!

And lastly, our club's annual show in Cayucos, CA is only a couple weeks away, and boy am I excited! I haven't been to an insulator show in a year, so I'm really itching to go! This year I will definitely be making it to other shows, including the Merzoian Tailgater and the Tulare show. See you all soon!!

August 20, 2006

Hi everyone! Here's a quick update for you. I've started going back to college, so in an effort to raise some money I am going to be selling some of my more valuable Hemingray insulators. Check it out!

I also may need to cut back on a few insulator shows here and there, as I'm trying to save up money (and I plan to be married within a year), but I will not be dropping out of the hobby completely! I'll still be attending the annual Cayucos shows and possibly the Tulare shows... and lurking online, of course.

Laugh Lines will also continue to be posted here and published in Crown Jewels of the Wire Magazine.

See you guys in Tulare hopefully!

February 4, 2006

It's been quite awhile since my last What's New entry, so I'll bring you all up to speed. On the home front, I got a new job in October working as an I.T. guy (my ideal job), so I'm really enjoying that! I'll also be moving out on my own in a couple of months, so that's been keeping me busy as well.

On the collecting front, I gave the Central & Southern Counties Insulator Club web site (www.cscic.org) a much-needed overhaul. Check it out! I also sent out the January 2006 issue of Call of the Wire, our club's official newsletter. Also, Laugh Lines is celebrating its 10th anniversary! It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since I started drawing comics for Crown Jewels of the Wire magazine.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll see everyone at the 2006 Cayucos show, if not sooner!

August 15, 2005

With the generous permission of Bill Meier at Insulators.info and Shaun Kotlarsky at Hemingray.net, I have been able to expand the Hemingray Database to show all of Hemingray's rarer insulator styles (some that I will likely never own!) So a big thank you to Bill and Shaun for allowing me to use their photos!

In addition to the several new photos, the Hemingray Database has undergone a few improvements. You can now browse the Hemingray Database by CD and by Style.

I have also posted my 2005 Cayucos Display and Journal, which were long overdue. I'll also be attending the Merzoian Tailgater in the coming weeks. Hope to see you there!

May 2, 2005 – Happy "Birthday" Hemingray!

Today was the day Hemingray was granted the patent for drip points in 1893. Also, Shaun's Hemingray.net website has been updated, so go have a look!

On the collecting front, I've been extremely fortunate to obtain my single-most wanted Hemingray of all time: a CD 169 Type I! There are only about four or five known to the hobby. According to this article, they were a prototype produced for Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. in c.1910 as part of an experiment to come up with a new standard insulator design.

I'm also gearing up for the 2005 Cayucos show, which will be held on May 20 - 21. I will be both a dealer and an exhibitor at this show. The last time I had a display was in 2000, and this will be my first "specialty" Hemingray exhibit. Every time before has been just Hemingray products in general, but this time I will just be focusing on insulators produced by Hemingray that aren't embossed with "Hemingray" or "H.G.Co." at all. Hope to see you there!

November 17, 2004 – Current Goings On

Well, it's been awhile since my last "What's New" entry (although the rest of the web site has been updated regularly), so here's a little update. On the collecting front, I recently attended the Merzoian Tailgater and Tulare shows, and added some significant pieces to my collection (thanks largely to Dwayne Anthony's acquisition of the vast Milholland collection.) I've added journals from both of these shows to my Journals section, of course, and a couple pictures will follow soon as well.

On the web site front, perhaps you've been noticing the Hemingray Database has been growing slowly but surely. I will be continuing to build on it in the future! This is only the beginning.

And finally, the Central and Southern Counties Insulator Club of California. As you may know, I am the club's Chairman and Editor, and I am happy to announce that after a several year hiatus, the club's newsletter "The Call of the Wire" will be seeing its reintroductory issue released within the next few weeks! It will also be available online as a PDF for the first time ever, which I will be sure to link to from here.

That's all for now. Hope you all have a great holiday season! God bless.

June 1, 2004 – Hemingray.info Facelift and Overhaul

Welcome to the newly redesigned Hemingray.info version 2.1! The graphical changes from 2.0 are fairly subtle; most of the changes are "under the hood". The biggest change you'll find is the new Hemingray Database section dedicated strictly to Hemingray insulators. My web site has evolved: it's no longer just about me; it's about my specialty, Hemingray insulators. I feel this new design reflects that better.

Inside the Hemingray Database you'll find a new section in development: a fully pictured index of all of Hemingray's insulators, including mold variations, embossings, and more. This section will be the most expanded in the future. I've also added a Theses page to put forth new ideas to Hemingray specialists in the hobby.

Other updates include a new Photo of the Month page, featuring a new Hemingray insulator photo each month; a new Laugh Lines comic for June; photos and show journal posted from the recent Cayucos Show 2004; photos from the Merzoian Tailgater 2003 posted; and simplified the About section to just be an About Me page.

Hope you like it! Feel free to send me some feedback.

March 5, 2004 – Welcome Back, Ice 72! (And Keith, too!)

Well, last Saturday I met up with an old friend, fellow insulator collector Keith Auchter. It was the first time I had seen him since Cayucos 1997! It was just like old times. I went to his house near Moorpark, CA and he let me look through the insulators he was selling. I was like a kid in a candy shop! I went there looking to buy three Hemingray pieces. The trouble is, Keith is every bit as much into Hemingray embossings and mold variations as I am, so.... I ended up leaving with 21 pieces in all!

One piece in particular, I had wondered in the back of my mind if he still had it. The year was 1994, and I was a young Hemi collector looking for the best of the best. Practically any less than mint wouldn't do. So needless to say, my CD 295 Hemingray-72 in ice blue with chips, bruises and dings just had to go. I sold it to Keith at my first Cayucos show (and, of course, never saw another one since.) Now, ten years later, I was reunited with that same piece. It was as chewed up as ever, but I was too sentimentally attached to let it go a second time! So I bought it back. What did you expect? :)

November 4, 2003

Hi guys! Here's an update for y'all: I've finally got myself a full-time job! Yay! Meanwhile, on the collecting front, my dad and I attended the Merzoian Tailgater back in September, which of course was great fun! The pictures will be posted soon. In the meantime, you can read my journal if you so desire.

We also had a CSCIC club meeting at the show, and I found myself walking away with not only being the new club editor, but also Committee Chairman! I will be working with committee members Dave Hall, Craig McLaurin, and Robert Baumann. I have also since "redesigned" Dave Hall's original logo for the CSCIC. While I maintained his original layout, I basically redrew it on the computer as a digital EPS file. You can see the new logo here.

Expect the CSCIC to have new life breathed into it in the near future! We're committed to helping get this club on a roll again. I know there's a lotta collectors out here in California who need to get in on the action! Join in! </plug>

August 18, 2003

Quite a bit has happened since the last "What's New" entry in May. The Cayucos 2003 show came and went and my dad and I had a blast with our first sales table after 11 years of attending insulator shows. You can see the pictures here and, if you want, read my journal here.

Also, on the web site front, I have added a couple sections to the About Hemingray section: a complete Hemingray Spelling Errors list with some pictures of the errors from my personal collection, and a new Hemingray Database, currently just a list of most (probably not all) of the insulators produced by Hemingray. Both sections will be expanded in the future, but I figure this is a good start.

Lastly, on the collecting front, I have added a couple long-wanted pieces to my collection: a CD 132.2 Dec. Pat. in aqua, a neat Hemingray-produced Am. Tel. toll in sage green (a color I didn't know Hemingray made for this style until now), and finally a CD 155 "Made in U.A.S." Hemingray error. Of course, to see the loads of Hemingrays I'm still looking for, be sure to check out my Wanted List. Thanks!

May 2, 2003 — Hemingray.info version 2.0 is launched!

On this day 110 years ago, Hemingray was granted the patent for drip points. I have chosen today to debut my new site design, version 2.0. I have finally decided on a site design that I like. I wanted something with more brown/sepia tones in it; I think it compliments the whole general antique feel of insulators.

There's a lot of new things you'll notice about the site. For starters, I've expanded my About section to cover more than just me. Now the section includes information on my collection and Hemingrays, including a Hemingray FAQ and a list of common Hemingray insulator styles. Also new is the Journals section, a Contact Me page, and this What's New page. Not to mention I've rescanned almost all of my photos and have added dozens more. Sorry for the long wait, hope you enjoy it!

March 9, 2003 — Not your average HEMINGRRAY!

Well, this weekend I was vacationing with my dad up in Cayucos (where we have our annual insulator show in May) and we decided to take a trip up to Cambria. The first antique shop we stopped at had a bunch of insulators. They were under a bottom shelf, covered in dust bunnies and filth. And most of them were Hemingray-42's with chips. Now most people would just pass by these, but never me! :) I knealt down and examined every one, and this time it actually paid off. About the 10th insulator in, I found a "HEMINGRRAY-42" staring up at me. Some of you may remember the June 2002 issue of John MacDougald's Mac's Believe It Or Not! that featured unusual Hemingray-42's, and this one was featured among them. This new embossing error is relatively new to us Hemingray collectors. When I originally read the article, I thought "Oh great, another obscure embossing error to find!" But thanks to a little perseverance and a lot of luck, this one has found a new home! Click here to see a picture of it.

This new error is also featured in a March 3rd N.R.Woodward article.

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