We had a quiet West Seattle weekend: Friends over on Friday and we all drank no small amount of great Italian wine and ate the last of our French Comte cheese. I worked around the house and in the shop (me and the lathe are friends) Saturday morning while Stamps-With-Foot nursed a touch of a hangover and snuggled with the Brodie – He didn’t complain. Sunday was lazy with Brunch at Meander’s in White Center (Go For the Chicken and Waffles!) and afternoon coffee at C&P. After coffee and reading, there was a trip to Trader Joe’s, home for left-overs, some quality hottub time, and then we finished the evening with glasses of port, sitting in front of a fire.
Posts Tagged nerdy
I hate this guy… That hate is mostly born of jealousy. I wish I had his tools, his shop, his free-time and his skill at making complex wood joints. I still hate him though.
On a recent trip to China we were north of Beijing driving from one city to another for meetings and we passed a sign in English that said “Shaolin Temple X-kilometers.” THE Shaolin Temple. You know, the home of Kung Fu and the setting for all the bad chop-suey martial arts movies that filled the Saturday mornings of my pre-pubescent youth – after cartoons and The Three Stooges aired. My co-workers were shocked that I “knew” about Shaolin (??) and made it a point for us to stop by after the meeting was over the next day so I could take it all in.
It was a huge and sprawling complex with thousands of students and visitors – very cool. Some pictures are below, but my favorite is of one of the tree trunks. The divots are from student’s fingers. They will wake up early each morning and strike the trees to toughen their digits. Some of those trees are over a hundred years old and are peppered in small round pock marks.
This weekend was busy with friends, a dinner out, St. Paddy’s Day activities, an outing to the Roller Derby (?!), and the 9th anniversary of the day that my sweet wife and I met was on Sunday. Even with all that, we still got bunches done around the house: Our under-bed dresser finished, bathroom table drawer installed (a little work on that left), wine crate storage boxes made, basement lighting installed, and the basement work bench is moving along.
The drawers for the under-bed dresser and the one for the bathroom all came from a wooden donor-dresser that my father-in-law drug home from a garage sale last summer. He paid $4 for it and it was in pretty bad shape, but it was solid wood and had potential. It was mistakenly left in the weather (plastic cover leaked) for a month before I salvaged the drawers, cut out off the top and used the sides for kitchen cabinet door panels. I re-squared the drawers, added dividers in the fall, and over the Christmas break sealed the insides (The Ruminator helped). After lots of filling and sanding and more sanding, I stained the fronts to match our bedroom furniture, then built ¾” plywood beams to hang the drawers from bed frame and used some scrap oak flooring as drawer guides/runners. The final product really looks good and is super functional. While some husbands bug their wives by filling the house with brought-home junk – I give my wife more and more and more storage and organization space.
On Sunday, I put the final coat of finish on the basement workbench top, let it dry, and then installed the three runs of aluminum t-track. Stamps-With-Foot bucked up and helped me wrestle its 200 pound beech and maple mass onto the steel base. I secured it with screws and covered the top with carpet squares while I finish the upper shelf/cabinet. I installed a outlet power strip under the main body of the topper and removed the old drawer dividers. I will soon add a plywood back with a mirror, a light under, a dedicated air supply line, install the desk drawers under the bench and mount 4 reclaimed letterpress drawers directly under the top as well. Happy with the progress so far.
I am an admitted cyber-hoarder. I have gigs and gigs of image files across 5-6 hard drives: Images of furniture, vacations, design details, machines, demotivational posters, LOL cats, etc… that I will someday get around to looking at again or using for some future unnamed and unknown project. The few times I have gone looking for something, it has taken forever to find the wanted file.
I was introduced to Pinterest and I thought that this was the solution to my hoarding problem: a cleared up hard drive, organized files, I would be able to add comments to pictures, etc… Nope. Wrong. Stupid Pinterest solved nothing. Now I save files to my hard drives AND link to Pinterest. I have said many times that I don’t use Facebook because it is the black hole of time management. Now I will “glance” at my Pinterest account and BAM!! it is 2:30 am, I have 2% battery left on my iPad, and I have been repinning pictures for seven hours. This is really cutting into the time I have allocated to plotting my scheme for world domination… Dammit!
I have found that my workshop productivity goes way down in the winter/the six months of Seattle rainy season. My garage shop is small and quickly fills with material, lumber, tools, and projects. To add to the handicap of the small size, the lack of heat means that I can’t do any finish-work because of wood humidity, shrinkage/swell, and moisture. I have made do in the unfinished side of our basement for the past three winters, but I am done my wife is done with the mess and clutter and my bitching about an inadequate work area when the weather turns crappy. I need a little bit of dedicated space that I can work on the small stuff year round that doesn’t require power tools and a little bit of assembly/finish space where I can glue and clamp some projects up, a solder station, a spot to reload ammo, work on my bikes, and a clean/dry/warm space to apply stain or a hand-laid finish coat. Add to this my current want of a small metal lathe and mill and I will have the makings of a nice little hobby shop from which to launch my plans for world domination …er, I mean a spot where I can make small parts, solder, or tinker.
Anyway, instead of buying a crazy expensive cabinet bench or making do with a thin metal and partial board Home Depot bench, I have decided to build the sturdiest all-around hobby bench that I can with the funds and material I have available (~$130.00), add some really nice features (aluminum t-track, lots of drawers, removable vises, power, lights, etc…) and make it into a finished piece of furniture that I will be proud to sit at and show off to friends for the next 30+ years. To start the process off, I found a cheap older thick steel framed 6′ workbench at Second Use that I felt would make a bombproof, rock solid base. I sourced a used IKEA cutting-board counter top that I cut down to the appropriate size and then used the trimmed pieces to add thickness and rigidity (I am still going to add some angle iron). I thought about and sketched 3-9 different ways to add some shelving and some organization to the top and was still tossing around options in my head when a realized that an old buffet that my mom had just might work. I took some measurements and looked into reinforcing here and there and realized that not only would it work, but that its style would set the tone and color for the entire bench build.
I decided that the drawers to be added under the bench top needed to be narrow and at least partially match the newly planned top section, so I looked for an older desk or vanity that I could cut apart. I struck out at Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Craig’s List, but Second Use came through again and hooked me up with exactly what I needed at a decently fair price, well decent after I haggled a bit…
The current state of the build is that the bench top is 2/3 done, the desk is cut apart, the steel legs are up and in place and I am 1/4 of the way done with reinforcing the buffet/top shelving unit. I will update the build as it is completed and share some more pictures.
Finely constructed and designed buildings make me all giddy on the inside. China has exploded and there is no better evidence than that (aside from the traffic and smog…) than the amazing new buildings that you can see in the major cities there. This is my third post in a series from a recent trip to china and I could have spent almost every non-working hour looking at and taking pictures of tall buildings, temples, details, roof lines, etc…
Personality. Chinese cities and architecture have personality. The modern glass and steel structures are looming, playful, artistic and make you look up and wonder. Orbs, pyramids, square holes in the middle of the structures abound. Tucked underneath, are 1000 year old temples, ancient homes, narrow alley-like streets and a flowing tide of humanity and machines.
I “discovered” Monocle Magazine while living in Hamburg. As I was perusing my favorite bookstore there after work one day, I happened upon a new glossy – interesting title, bike wheel on the cover, quality paper, hmmm… I have a mistress and she has two wheels, so anything that is smartly bike related catches my attention. I sat down, read a little and fell in love. There were articles about bikes interspaced with design, global politics, a Japanese comic, well-designed fonts (I grow nerdier every day…), lifestyle, city profiles, travel, branding, craft and men’s accoutrements.
The premiere issue of Monocle was launched in February 2007 and the bike issue happened to be the third issue of the magazine. Monocle is headed by Tyler Brûlé, a Canadian-born journalist who also writes/wrote a good weekly editorial for the International Herald Tribune and has some serious chops as a journalist and writer: BBC, The Guardian, Stern, The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, runs a design firm, and was shot by a sniper while covering the war in Afghanistan…
One of my guilty pleasures in life is buying Monocle Magazine at a specific magazine stand near “C” concourse at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Which sounds snobby, but I am SOOO unsnobby (except for coffee and beer…). It is just happenstance that for the last couple of years, I travel through Amsterdam every couple of months and it has coincided (give or take a week or two) with the release of each new issue. On one of my recent trips to England I got to spend an off-day in London. I made it a point to detour into the Marylebone neighborhood and into the first Monocle retail store (there are now five along with podcasts, a radio show and a TV spot on Bloomburg) to buy the most current issue. The shopping experience was great: small, but well stocked store, attentive staff, my purchased was wrapped like I was in a Tokyo stationary shop, and I had missed a visit by Tyler Brûlé by 20 minutes. The Monocle HQ is close by and he apparently stops in from time to time.
Stamps-With-Foot and I worked furiously in the warm sunshine on Sunday in our yard and on the final bits of the kitchen cabinets that needed to be done. Our last tasks for the day were building cabinet drawers and priming the two base cabinets. I had my ubiquitous notebook out, to the side of where we were working, checking off tasks and referring to measurements & notes as we went. We cleaned up the tools and paint around 6:30, changed, had dinner at a local Thai place and ventured out to our new Trader Joe’s for a little grocery shopping.
I was getting ready this morning for a trip to Boeing and started looking for my notebook because I needed a phone number in it. It then hit me like a baseball bat… My notebook… got left outside… overnight!… in the Rain!! FVCK!!!! I popped out the back door like my butt was on fire, my bathrobe flapping and losing a flip-flop in the dash. Damn… It was sitting on the side of the wheel barrow and had swollen to an inch thick. I walked back to the house, with my head hung down and blotted off what water I could and checked the pages – a light of hope. I use a waterproof, indelible ink in my fountain pens, so there was only a little loss of information or smeared blotches (in spots where I used a cheap pen) where detailed notes and drawings used to be. I could have been SO MUCH worse.
While most folks would have to live with a swollen book, most folks don’t have an awesome steel and iron 1920′s book press sitting in their home office… I blotted the pages again as best I could, separated the wettest ones with wax paper sheets, and put it in the press with cardboard and a towel plotter to get out as much water as possible. I left it there for 8 hours or so and removed it before the pages started to stick together. I then carefully opened every page, sat it on its end with the covers far apart, pages fanned open, on the kitchen tile floor in front of the heater vent. Everything should be just fine… I say that with hope in my heart and my fingers crossed.
I will let it dry for a day or two and then press it again for another 24 hours or so. I might take the opportunity to press a design or my name into the cover – I update when it come out of the press.
UPDATE 4-22-12: Took the notebook out of the press and it is nice and flat. While waiting for it finish pressing I made an embossing stamp out of a scrap piece of popular. My carving chisels were taken in a recent theft, so I used a dremel tool with the diamond carver bit to scratch a simple test piece. It is a stylized version of the Arabic word IQRA. I have more or less adopted it as my own hallmark and use it to stamp my furniture, cabinets, it is on my stationary, and I have a smaller version that I use as a wax seal here and there. I decided it was fine time to mark my notebooks as well.
Stamps-With-Foot and I went to the 3rd annual Steamcon this past weekend with our hearts open and expecting to be impressed. Last year we had a ball at their western/adventurer themed event: Great costumes, a cool retail section with memorable window shopping, and lots and lots of people having a great time. This year, the theme was a “20000 Leagues Under the Sea” affair. We had HUGE hopes for some very cool costumes/props and had been looking forward to going all year.
“Expectation is often better than realization…” I am not sure what it was, but this year’s show just didn’t have the same spark. Some of the costumes were terrific, but there seemed to be fewer original ones. Don’t get me wrong, we saw some classy dresses, finely tailored suits, mechanical hands, harpoons, gvns, hats, Leather roller derby gear, big wrenches, a pet shoulder dragon, and a goldfish tank on a leash. Some serious thought and skill went into these outfits. There were just fewer kinds of them this year than there were last year. It also seemed like the event goers this year were more subdued.
The convention was held at a larger and more spacious venue, which would normally be great, but it took away from some of the intimacy of the gathering as compared to last year. We were somewhat disappointed with the retail space/offerings. It seemed to be a rehash of last year, with each vendors efforts doubled at another booth. While I appreciate the entrepreneurial sprit, some of the items for sale were not made to withstand the test of time: if one uses hot-glue on an artistic/functional creation, shit will fall off and it will be neither the latter nor the former any longer. I will say that the art displays were terrific and we picked up a couple of small things for Le Maison du Talley.
I am holding out hope for Steamcon IV. I know some people that are discussing an awesome vendor booth and Victorian Monsters is the theme – rich material for the creative set. The Steampunk crowd has a high relative population of former Goths, so I am figuring that black capes & cloaks with high collars will be coming out of hope chests everywhere. Wooden crosses and silver bullets for the initiated. More lace, bite marks, wolf references, mad scientists, mummy’s, parasols, and meerschaum pipes will be seen. Vampire hunter kits will be produced, there should be some terrific League of Extraordinary Gentleman inspired regalia and maybe the show will find a home that is equal parts convenient for participants, has the perfect ambiance, and room for running amuck.
This past Saturday Stamps-With-Foot and I met downtown at the Seattle Center for the 14th annual Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. It has been marked on my calendar for a couple of months because I am a giant bookworm. Handling old books makes me feel all funny in a certain place in my lower abdominal region… so not attending wasn’t in the cards. The first booth we visited was one that sold sheets of illuminated volumes on vellum. There were thousands of sheets ranging in size from 3″X4″ to full folio size (~15″X17″). The hand drawn figures, uncial script, and the shinning gold accents from the 14th century made me a little dizzy and it was REALLY hard for me to not grab two armfulls and run screaming “I am John Galt!!” from the hall. Really, it crossed my mind, and only the realization of what it would mean for me when my cellmates in jail asked “What you in here for?” kept me from acting on that totally logical bibliophile impulse.
I looked over at my little wife and she had a huge smile on her face and was carefully holding a sheet from a French Book of Days bound in 1480-ish, looking at it like it held the answer to world peace. She glanced over and mouthed, “I want to have sex with it.” And THAT, ladies and gents, is why we are married.
After the first booth, the rest of the show was a little bit of a let down, but there were some truly rare and beautiful volumes – I think that I have turned Stamps-With-Foot into a collector of miniature books. We bought a couple of moderns, and looked longingly at the vellum as we left the show after a couple hours of browsing, talking to vendors, and groping hand bound book spines.
Someday I will have a phaser and a tricorder, but for now my iPad is a real close second. This baby let’s me get stuff done! The third morning that she (my white lovely has to be a girl as she is smooth, helpful, and sexy) came to live with me I hopped on first thing that morning while in my bath robe and with a cup of coffee in my hand. I got my daily news fix, sent seven e-mails to customers, corrected a drawing on my work machine via remote access, looked to see if my bus was on time, checked that week’s weather forecast, looked at the traffic on the bridge, made a quick Skype call, and for good measure updated a spreadsheet – all before that first cup of coffee was gone.
Below are the apps that I have loaded and that I have found most useful. Before loading anything, I had tried all out on others’ iPads or used the iPhone version. This is not an end all, be all review/recommendation, just a list of what I use and find really helpful. note: I am not a big gamer, but I have a couple that I will resort to on long flights.
Finally! Amazon has followed through with their promise and I can now check out books from the library on my Kindle! Oh, the cash I will now save… I have been longing for this to happen since the day I chose the Kindle over the Nook (and spent the next month worrying that i had made the wrong decision) and mostly-patiently waiting since Amazon’s initial announcement that this was in the works back in June. I have a shelf full of books that are in line waiting for my attention, but I am planning to surf over to the SPL site tomorrow at lunch and upload a book just because I can.
On a side note – though still kindle related – I recently turned 103 and for my birthday, my lovely wife presented my with an iPad2, on which I immediately loaded the Kindle app. It doesn’t have the battery life that I am now used to and my head would feel like it were clamped in a vise if I spent an 8 hour flight reading a book on it, as I prefer reading on the eInk of my Kindle2, but it will do in a pinch.
Are you old enough to remember standing in front of a wooden box in your school/neighborhood library, flipping through yellowed note cards, looking for the tittle/author of just the right book? As I sat in Mrs. Peterson’s 3rd grade classroom, learning the intricacies of the Dewey Decimal System, I would have never imagined that I would one day look back on it all with smiling nostalgia. Going to the library and thumbing through the old oak card catalog drawers – pulled out and sitting on a table – and finding titles like The Roghfort Gang, My Side of the Mountain, How to Eat Fried Worms – happy memories.
The days to the DDS and the card catalog are almost completely gone. Almost all libraries – large, small, rural, urban – have digitized their catalogs/holdings and have sold off or just thrown out their cabinets (insert look of horror). I had looked for my own case for the last 3-4 years before finding one at a decent price that fit in our home. A fine old card catalog should be de rigueur for a bookworm’s home office/living room. When I found that perfect one early this year, I may have caressed and spoke to it in soft loving tones for the first few days. I moved it right into my office, re-arranged the drawers, and mounted my book press on the top. Something was still missing though. I realized that I needed labels installed in the brass pull/placard to complete the piece. I set up a template in Visio and set the lettering to an interesting script-like font that I found at dafont. Then I had a little fun with naming the drawers from A to Z.
I have always felt that you don’t truly possess a house until either miscellaneous charities start sending you mounds of address labels in the hopes of a donation or until you have personal stationary with your home address. My sweet little wife has never had custom stationary and I figured that it was about time and it would give me the opportunity to spoil her a little.
Having a print shop or a high-end paper store design and print say 100 letter sheets, envelopes and thank you cards will run you about $500. Buying a hand letterpress, a couple sets of tin/lead font, paper, ink, new rollers, etc. will set you back $1000, easy. I am way too cheap and too handy to fork out that kind of dough for something I can do myself.
Stamps-With-Foot loves her puppy like the Pope loves Jesus. I thought that his handsome mug would make the perfect personal seal for her. I took a picture of him and through the voodoo of Photoshop, I made a black silhouette image – all big ears and narrow butt. I dropped that image into AutoCAD and did some arranging and formatting. I added to that her contact information in a semi-french script font that I designed a few years ago for my own letters and cards.
Quality stationary means quality paper. Instead of the white recycled paper that we use for most printing, I bought a pack of 30gram 100% cotton ivory/ecru paper and matching 100% cotton envelops. Wood pulp paper yellows and crumbles after only a few years, but cotton paper with last roughly a year per percent of cotton before showing any signs of age: 25% cotton = 25 years, 50% = 50 years and so forth. After some diligent searching, I found some indelible archival printer ink on the inter-webs for our HP and I loaded each sheet and envelope into the printer by hand. A note from my bride should be as crisp and clean for our great grand children to read as it was the day she sat down to write it with her glass dip pen and brown bulletproof ink.
She swooned a little bit when I gave it all to her
I was fortunate enough to share a seat row on a flight from Chicago to Seattle with a young female member of the hipster mafia. She had all the proper accessories: skinny-jeans, a Mac book, plaid, roughed up messenger bag, an ironic tattoo, bed-hair and of course big goofy Steve Urkel glasses that had no lenses in the frames. There were affirmative grunts to the flight attendant and 4 tiny (under 3oz for the TSA – thank you very much asshole London liquid bombers for making us all know what 3oz looks like…) bottles of hooch in Listerine containers to mix with her tomato juice. The aroma of sweat, cheap booze, and stale pot smoke lingered faintly in the background – all while the aforementioned macbook placed a cheesy 1970′s horror flick – after which she cracked open “Dont Hassel the Hoff” and read with gusto – Not making any of this up!
There was no sharing of the seat arm. No ‘excuse me’ for repeatedly bumping into me while arranging the contents of her bag or when reaching across my face and over my book for another clandestined drink mixer. Nope, I was sitting next to a late 20 something 15 year old. It was not awesome.
So this is what we have wrought? All our blog posts about nerd culture, bikes, beer snobbery, bluegrass, how amazing old vinyl is, and laments for the way things were back in the days when Kevin Bacon’s Footloose was cool and before we got real jobs working for the man. We caused this – you and I with our own smugness. Our own blathering on and on about bike polo and hot nerdy girls. Our fault.
This girl and maybe millions like her are the worker bees that will fund the twilight of SSI and try to figure out how to clean up the mess we, our parents, and our grand parents have made of things here on terra firma. We’re fucked. How in the bejesus is all that going to happen when The League of Hipster Youth is trying, this very minute, to figure out how to extend their stay in mom’s basement indefinantly so they can use “their” money for music, handmade bikes, Apple products, PBR, and primo hindukush?! Again, we’re fucked.
- More time with my children. No one ends this life with the thought – ‘Man, I should of spent more time working...’
- The Longines 2011 24hr watch. Unveiled at Basel World 2011 and is an update of the Classic Swiss Air pilots watch custom made for the airline in the 1950s. It has a half-hunter case that NEEDS a picture of my wife and kids in it.
- A great sport coat that looks as good with jeans as it does with a tie and slacks.
- For my birthday to finally arrive so that I do not feel bad about buying an iPad2. I both need and want a new computer and I figured out that I can do 95% of what I need to do on a daily basis on a pad. As soon as I can open and edit CAD file reliably, then it will be 100%. I have started lusting.
I was reading the Seattle Times on my Kindle saturday morning while having my coffee and croissant and what appears before me: “Owners of the Kindle from Amazon will be able to download e-books from 11,000 U.S. libraries later this year, the company said Wednesday.” This is HUGE. The one reason that I ever even give the Nook a passing glance is because I could use it at the library. Living a few houses from my local branch has saved us some cash, but my wife mentioned last week that my e-book shopping is getting spendy. Problem solved! Man, I want to hop up from my bench, drop my oar and dance in the bilge, err I mean push away from my keyboard, leave my perfectly 5S’ed cubicle, and see the sun outside.
This is blatant plagiarism. I slipped into the Wikipedia hole for like three hours this weekend and came out on a girl’s blog that was really sad: hurt, suicide, illness… but I did find a bright spot, one might argue the only one: She had a number of “What I want Thursday” posts. They were funny and sweet and made me think a couple of times – so I am stealing the idea. Is it plagiarism if I admit the theft? Probally.
So, to follow is my inaugural go:
- Better Penmanship - My handwritting is terrible , like a seventy-five year old doctor with the shakes writing a prescription terrible.
- A fine prosperous garden - As much for my ego as for our table and pocket book
- Custom letter-press stationary - Everyone should have their own!
- A clean, tidy and simple home – La Maison du Talley is currently flooded with the clutter of half done projects, piles in the basemet destined for Goodwill, and like 20 banana boxes of crap we are storing for other people.
- To finally finish the book I am writing about living in Hamburg
- A clean shop - Projects, sawdust, bike parts, and garden tools strewn about in a rushed haphazard manner.
- For my neighbor’s pine tree to die – I have cleaned my gutters three times in 2011 and they are full AGAIN. I have serious hate for that tree.
- Peace in the Middle East – I am throwing that on in because I, like the rest of humanity, really DO want it and because I am feeling like the rest of the list is all about me and flirts with self-absorbed douchebaggery.
The wife and I have desk issues: Not problems with sharing, it that we own too damn many. I have a 1950s copy of a 1790s Federal secretary, we use an Art Nouveau drop front secretary as a liquor cabinet, her sewing desk is a ’80’s maple laminate, there is an 7X3′ drafting desk in the basement, I am currently refinishing a solid oak university desk for her office and we pay the bills on a Duncan Phyfe drop-leaf. We need another desk in the house like John Hinkley, Jr. needs an assault rifle…
For Stamps-With-Foot’s birthday, we went and perused jewelry stores, had lunch and coffee down town, window shopped for a new Persian carpet, and eventually wandering into our favorite antique market… Damn! I bought another desk. In my defense though, this is the most awsomest desk ever!! No, really. It is a solid wood 1960 build of a Norwegian/English/Swedish cabinet desk – a modern interpretation of a Moore or Wooten folding wing desk. It unfolds and slides like a fvcking Optimus Prime Transformer! The minute I saw it, I felt all funny in my lower abdominal region…
Now, to get my little bride to agree to this purchase, I had to promis to sell the Federalist secretary and a 5-drawer quarter-sawn oak dresser, but it was SOOO worth it. Additionally when I went back a couple of days later to pick up the desk, I also brought home an additional 2’ section of library card catalog. The wife was not as pleased with that surprise…
Sorry, the pictures were snapped with my cell at the shop and do not do this beauty any justice at all.
It could be worse; I could have addiction issues with heroin or gambling. Instead I am afflicted with a cookie habit and Biblophilia. I have reduced the cookie bingeing to reasonable levels – I was at Santa-level consumption during the holidays – and I have been using the library more instead of haunting bookshops and trolling Amazon. That said, the Seattle Public library bi-annual book sale always does me in. Last year, I bought a full set of 1911 Encyclopedia Britannicas and missed a complete set of Harvard Classics by 20 minutes. This year I went to buy 4 novels and see what their mountaineering/sailing lit selection was like…
Crap. I left the sale with 3 boxes and a grocery sack of books and Stamps-With-Foot left with a bag full as well. I got some GREAT stuff: a first edition (signed) of Red Sky in Mourning, a KILLER 2 volume micro print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the Ed Veisturs’ K2 book with a spotless dust jacket, some fiction I HAD to have, and a cloth bound complete Britannica Great Books set. We are now full to the brim and if one more book comes in, I will have to build some new shelves. We are planning on a large book case/Murphy-bed combo for the office, but that is years away and at this rate it will be full on the first day it goes up.
Sunday before last, my Father-in-Law, the Chatty Buddha, and I trekked over to the 2011 Seattle Bicycle Expo. We got a late start, make later still by the whole Spring Forward thing. We arrived at the show a little after 3:00 (show ended at 4:00), snagged free parking, and talked the two young ladies at the door into letting us in for free! We spent some time looking at the classic bikes (Where I drooled some and my pants got a little tight), made a quick walk of the show floor, and the circled back to the booths that were most interesting: the $70 cycling Jerseys going for an end-of-show-special for $30 were particularly attractive. We picked up a couple and a conned the vendor into giving us two caps that matched the jerseys for the price of one. J
I walked through the Bamboo Getto and took a few shots, talked to the gents at Co-Motion cycles, Eben Oliver Weiss, AKA Bike Snob, gave a talk that I wanted to see, but my packed weekend schedule prevented it. He Blogged about his trip here.
Oh, if I had a hammer… As mentioned, in my heart of hearts I am just a joiner, a cabinet maker, and a carpenter. To work a hunk of dull wood from rough plank into a beautiful and useful object, used for generations, is so fulfilling to me. I sleep very peacefully after a day spent in the shop. Since I am a 21st century ape, my building interests have bloomed to include metal work, gears, bicycles, motors, hydraulics, computers, cars, motorcycles, machining, etc… While my specific skill set in most deeply rooted in wood, I can and do appreciate the accoutrements of the other trades. I have been cyber-hording pictures of planes, saws, machines, shops, tools, bike frames, blueprints, and images of amazing works of craft and skill for YEARS and finally decided to do something with them.
I have built another site (in all my unlimited free time…) that is geared toward shining a spotlight on useful, finely executed, beautiful handmade and simple machine-built objects: Little bits of our world that become more appreciated, admired, and useful with age.
The auto-complete function on my iPhone is making me crazy. I keep sending inappropriate e-mails to friends, the dog walker and now a big-wig at my company… My greatest hits include:
Since this “feature” is making me seem even more inappropriate than usual, I hopped onto in inter-webs to figure out how to turn it off. I ran smack into a site listing MANY more examples of auto-evilness. Thought I would share.
2010 wasn’t a bad year according to the crazy/obsessive spreadsheet that I use to track my daily life – It could be worse, some people spoke Meth to pass the time, I have spreadsheets. While super-nerdy, I have never shopped my derriere on the street corner for a new template or some cool calc function…
Anyway, I wasted sometime in 2010 cyber hoarding and we got sucked into a number of DVD series that hypnotized us in front of the idiot box. But, on the whole though I feel better about 2010 than I did about 2009, since I spent more than a quarter of the year rehabilitating my again repaired shoulder – the 4th time is the charm!.
Successes were: I snuggled with my cute little wife, drank great beer, had a second wedding, read a bunch of really good books, ran a good bit, cycled some (not as much as I wanted/needed to because I was lazy!), My shoulder is now stronger than before the latest accident, traveled a little (work and pleasure), got to do some serious work around and to our home. Here is how the numbers for the year shook out:
|218 Miles||127.8 Miles||139.5 Miles|
|710 Miles||1271.3 Miles||945.5 Miles|
|3 Days||7 Days||10 Days|
|31 Books||23 Books||41 Books|
|33.5 Days||32.5 Days||98 Days|
|45 Times||4 Times||33 Times|
|34021.30 Miles||26,533 Miles||61,341.3 Miles|
|0 Nights||3 Nights||8 Nights|
|310.87 Hours||204.4 Hours||0 Hours|
2011 looks like it will be a good year as well. I have some building and woodworking projects that I am really looking forward to (skin on frame Kayak, kitchen cabinets, detailed carvings…), my shoulder feels great, Snowboarding is on the schedule, I have a short list of peaks to climb, we are finally getting the basement exercise room squared away, so I will be able to train while watching DVDs (I got a SWEET Classic Warner Bros. Cartoon set for Christmas), There are a couple of cyclo-cross and road racing events planned, I have committed to finishing the first complete draft of my own book, I have a fantastic summer with the kids planned, a climbing trip with The Big-Belly Orthopedic Redneck Climbers Assn MAY be in the works for August, I will get to see the family more, and I will get to read some books that have long waited for my attention (Life in a Medieval Village, Theodore Rex, Just My Type, America’s Best Travel Writing – 2008,…) and some great new releases (Keith Richard’s Life, Carriger’s Heartless, Bryson’s At Home, The Second Book of General Ignorance, etc…). We also plan to spend the year simplifying our life and the amount of crap we have, paying down some debt, planting a HUGE garden, and generally living a lighter existence.