Sunday, January 4, 2009

What A Way To Start The Year...

**I Object!
I have rarely heard anyone express joy about being summoned for jury duty and that includes me. At least the average person can use it to get a day or two off of work. Me, I have to give up part of a regular day off (to start), and I am not sure that if the case should continue, that I can spin it into paid time off of work. And then there is the potential of this becoming a multi-day or multi-week process. Whoop-te-freakin-do. The last time I got called was for a DUI case, and I was dismissed from consideration. Seems they didn't care to have someone on the jury with a strong opinion and inside medical knowledge. I'm hoping that would happen again (the dismissal part), but until I get to the courthouse tomorrow morning, I have no idea what kind of case it is. If it's some other type of case, I could just get stuck there for who knows how long. At least I have a book to read while I wait, and if I take a pad of paper, I could get some sketch work or writing done. If I end up getting selected, I could end up getting a lot of all three done, depending on how things progress.

**Maybe By Easter
My progress towards getting holiday gifts out to those intended to receive them is not moving along at a pace that could be considered in any way rapid. Bu this point in time, most of them are wrapped. All except for the one that I now cannot decide if I want to keep for myself or not. I know I should just give this one and get another for myself, but it's quite tempting to just put this one on my shelf and let it merge into the books that are already there. Not to mention the development if new ideas for things I wouldn't mind giving people. Once that insane holiday pressure is off, I can come up with all kinds of good ideas. Plus, by now, no one is expecting to get anything, which makes for more exciting gift giving. I do think I need to run out to CJ's this week and pick up a thing or two. I should also check and see if my gift certificate to Moxie is still any good.

**On The Fence Over Water
Still not sure if I want to keep the aquarium or not. If I do, I need to order $100 or so of supplies to get the thing back into decent shape. If not, I have no idea what to do. Maybe Craigslist would work. Moving a tank is no fun at any time of the year, and even more not fun during the winter. Thermal shock can just wipe out plants and fish alike. But I'm just not sure if there is any interest on my part in this particular hobby anymore. I quit subscribing to my fish magazine a couple of years ago. But, on the other hand, I still have another tank that I special ordered and never set up stored in the basement of the folks house. If I was to get rid of the 75, I guess I could throw that one in as a bonus. Then I'd have more space to display my collection, or get a bar, blah, blah, blah. Right at the moment, I just don't know for sure.

**Ooooh, Gel....
I have the recurring thought that it is never a good thing to experiment with new techniques or materials at the end of an elaborate or extensive project. That very thing has been my undoing more than once. Knowing that, I cannot explain the gel stain I bought at Menard's the other day. I have managed to stain several of my carvings, to varying degrees of success, but never with this particular product. Makes me a tad nervous. More so when I consider that the piece in question is the one I intend on donating to the Tropical TAILS auction. But then I guess that's why they say right on the back of the can to test the product on an inconspicuous area first. The whole back of this piece could be considered an inconspicuous area. I figured the gel formula would be better for all the curves and oddly shaped surfaces on the tiki, since it's made to stick, and shouldn't run off like regular stain. I have no idea how stinky it is, though. Don't want to have all those fumes wafting around in the house, but I'm not real fond of the thought of having to do all this out in the garage in the cold. Plus, since the whole thing is pine, I have to pre-treat the surface so it takes the stain evenly. This could double the stinkiness of the process. Guess I'll find out exactly where I'll be doing the work when I crack the cans open tomorrow.

**From The West, Lo, An Idea!
Dhawk has supplied me with the bones of my current pictoral effort. Still turning over the notion of doing more variations on the Jaws themes, but I think that my have to sit for a while longer until I can generate something new. For now, I'm trying to decide if I am done with all the pencil work for this piece or not. Even as I sit here and type this, ideas for variations are floating through my head. So I may just leave this one simple and put in more details and flourishes in future reworks.

**Best description of group sex EVER:"...several sticks 'whacking' one kitty." Thanks for that one Jeweltiger!

**5:1=A Lot Of Tongue?
I have found that trying to work a design out on paper before trying to carve it can be helpful. Especially when you're talking about working a piece of wood that could have been 100 years old when it was a tree. Then you have to figure that the piece of that 100 year old tree may be 20-50 years old. Between those two things, and the somewhat irreplaceable nature of these pieces, eliminating possible sources of error is a good thing. Plus, it's much easier to carry around a pencil and a piece of paper than it is to carry around a log. Aside from the panel piece I started and have yet to finish (mostly because I can't decide how to do the eyes), I have a heavy piece of square stock that has caught my attention. That is where the need to sketch to scale comes in. The height:width:depth work out to be 5:1:1, which makes for odd proportions, except maybe in tiki carvings. I'll just have to wait and see what falls out of the old brain pan.

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