Monday, February 9, 2009

Dreams Of Waferboard Desks

Even though I had my list of things to do during my time off, I had an odd thought pop into my head that I actually followed through to completion. I decided to make a photographic record of my Hawaiian shirt collection and post it to the web. Why this was at all important to me, I have no idea. May have just been that I was feeling a bit stuck so I just needed something that I could get done in a day. Why that thing was this particular project, again, I have no idea.
Anyway, I emptied out the closet, set up the camera on it's tripod, and proceeded to take and hour and a halfs worth of pictures. It then took me another hour or so to download the images from the camera and get them all aligned and such in the computer. After all that was done, I discovered that my collection was a mere 89 shirts. Both Sheri and I had thought that number was well over 100. Still, I guess it winds up being 89 times more Hawaiian shirts than are owned by the average person. Which, most will agree, I am not.
Now that I had all these images in the computer, I had to decide where to upload them to. My original thought was to upload them to Picasa and thereby be able to append them to my blog page (which I have done, if you check out the link at the bottom of the page), but the idea of loading them onto my Facebook page was also an option. I couldn't decide which was better, so I did both. The stuff I sent to Facebook uploaded much faster, but I will be annotating the ones on Picasa more completely (as time allows). So go take a look and see how many of them you'd be scared to wear in public.
Up next, the cataloging of the tiki collection...

**Money Well Spent?
For years I have created artsy things in a variety of media while operating under the notion of using what I had at hand before investing in any specialized (and potentially expensive) equipment. All of the carvings I have done to date have been completed without any unusual tools. In the midst of starting to carve Jo's Dragon, I had the opportunity to stop by the local woodworking store on a whim, and I ended up walking out with some new toys. A diamond file, a honing guide, and a really nice 12oz carving maul are now part of my tool collection. And, as much as I hate to admit it, work has progressed at a much more rapid pace in the short amount of time I have had these new tools. The batch of blisters I had been raising on my right hand have receded to almost nothing, and I have been able to get some cutting edges on my chisels that are quite a bit truer and sharper than what I had been able to do to date. At the moment, none of my new toys have been able to take the strain out of my back, which is why I find myself in front of the computer today, instead of down in the studio making more wood chips. I will go out on a limb while crossing my fingers that I may be able to complete this project by the first part of March.

**It's Over Already??
I had last week off. I had hoped to accomplish what I had thought was a rather simple list of tasks. I hit the 50% mark on that list. The sub-zero cold snap at the start of the week really helped push me into a mini-funk that I had a hard time crawling out from under. I didn't get any momentum going, so all the plans I had kinda fizzled away. Today, it's back to work at 3 PM.

**Two of six blooms on my amaryllis have opened. Interesting that the flowers have no pistil or stamen.

**Chicken. Oh. Boy.
I very rarely drive a long way to have dinner. Much more rarely do I drive a long way to eat dinner at a chain restaurant. Much much more rarely do I drive a long way to eat dinner at a chain restaurant that has basically no vegetarian choices on the menu. Still, I had occasion to find myself in Hoffman Estates at Chili's with Eve. The food was mediocre, the service was intermittent, but the conversation was excellent. Maybe next time we could argue over some sag paneer?

**The rather bizarre contents of my dreams continue to puzzle me.

**Belated Migration
Guess now is the time to be getting out of DeKalb. The folks are heading out this week for their month long South American cruise. I am not. G'ma has been packed off to spend a month in Florida. I have not. I will be spending the month scooping the litter box and slogging through the mud/snow of a northern IL February. The extent of my tropical getaway will be one night in the ballroom at NIU in a couple of weeks.

**All Your Pawns Are Belong To Us!
I haven't played chess in a long time. Concurrently, it's been a long time since I've lost a game of chess. That streak has now come to a rather abrupt and humiliating end. I had the chance to to play what ended up being a rather brief game with Scott Koch, and old high school friend of mine. We exchanged moves by e-mail, which you would think would have given me plenty of time to devise intricate and deadly strategies. You'd think. In the end, I wound up paying so little attention to what my opponent was doing because I was focused on my own strategy, that I wound up falling victim to a rather simple mate in a rather short amount of time. Not quite the way I had hoped to make my grand and glorious reentry into the world of chess. Oh,well. When you sit down at the chess board, there are three options: you win, you lose, or you have a stalemate. I lost. I lost very quickly in a rather sucky manner. I don't really care that much either. What's fun for me is the actual playing of the game. But that being said, I do hope I can put up a bit more of a fight this time around. We are two moves into our second game. Cross your fingers for me.

**Seems odd that it's not even my Blackberry, but I am ending up learning how to use it.

**Dirty Dreams
With the rather sudden return of warmer temps and the disappearance of most of the snow, my thoughts occasionally drift over to what I hope to do in the garden this year. The breezes are occasionally warm and carry the scent of dirt, and the stores are putting away the snow shovels in favor of seed displays. More butterfly weed is in order for this year, and I really hope my hardy banana plants come back up. Redoing the plants across the front of the house will be a priority, and I think going down the side of the garage will be a nice row of Mexican sunflowers this season. Of course, the back fence will once again be dominated by my usual drifts of morning glories. Beyond that, I'm not real sure yet, but once I start wandering around Lowe's or Menard's, I'm sure all kinds of neat things will jump into my cart.

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