Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2002 – 7:00 p.m.
I sit here and type on my PDA (yes, I have a nice keyboard for this thing). I thought I would take a few minutes to scribe a note or two for Diaryland.
The Desert that is my Yard
Like many portions of the country, we are in the middle of a bit of a dry spell… Ok, it is a downright drought. I don’t really remember the last time it rained and I haven’t mowed the lawn in about a month. The grass is, for the most part, brown. There is one exception to this and that is around the rose beds. The beds are raised which means that they drain well but it also means that any such draining goes into the grass around them. So, there is a patch of green in the middle of brown that is my yard. The problem is that since the rest of the yard is not growing, that is not the case for the area around the roses. It is quite lush and in great need of a mow job. Truth be told it would only take about 15 or 20 minutes to do it so I should just haul out the mower and do it. Ok, task #1 for Friday morning…
End of an Era
I am talking the day off this friday so I can drive down to my parents house and attend my father’s retirement party. He has been a professor at University of South Carolina for the past 32 years and he is getting out of the rat race that is academia. He has gone from the young upstart professor to one of the crowd to a recognized leader to one of the old guard to end up marginalized as the emphasis of the department changed away from his specialty. Anyway, he is glad to be out of the rat race (so he says) and not have to deal with the politics of the university. It is going to be a bit of a change to think that he will no longer have graduate students (and undergrads too) under his wing. Personally I think that is one of the things that has kept him young and in-touch with the current times. This also means that I become his advisor regarding technology. One of the first things that is on his list is a home network so he and Mom can both work on the internet at the same time. Another issue (which I hope not to get embroiled in) is the fact that my father uses Windows and my mother is a Mac user. Given that my mother is much less technically savy, this is, perhaps, not that big of a deal . We will have to see how that pans out.
the past week
As for the recent past, I have been trying to get some of the woodworking projects on my list done. I have made progress on:
Box for Francesca: The wood has been cut, planed, glued up (since I needed to make wide boards), replaned and cut to size. Next steps are to cut the dados and insets into the ends and then it will be time to actually assemble it!Look here for the article that I am using as the source for this six-board chest.
Chandelier for Briana & Alejandro: I got the crosspieces and center column cut. I had glued together some boards to make the holder cups but it appears that 3″ squares will be too small so I need to go home and measure the ones I made last time. I need to drill the hole in the middle of the cross but before I do that, I need to determine how big the screw that will connect the cross pieces to the center column needs to be. This project is based on Terafan’s Chandeliers
- My new bed: I got the wood for the new bed. More details below.
- PDA case: While I have not actually started on this project, I am looking at my existing stock of wood (since this is not very big…) I may be able to use scraps from other projects.
- Sunshade poles: I am on about the third coat of spar polyurethane on a set of 7′ pine poles that I am going to use to support my sunshade/rainfly at Pennsic. One more coat and they will be DONE! (except for inserting the metal pins on the ends)
I think that Francesca did a pretty good description of the musuem and movie on Saturday but prior to all that activity, I had already been to Gibbsonville, NC to buy wood for my bed. I had gotten up at 6am so that I could be there and back by noon for the trip to the art museum. It turns out that it only took a little longer than an hour to get there so I had plenty of time. Boy, they are nice there. I was getting soft maple and they even moved a stack of wood so that I could look at the 14′ pieces. In one case, I only needed about 8′ of a 8/4 board so they cut it down for me. They also cut the other pieces to manageable sizes and helped me load it. I was out of there in about 45 minutes! Driving back, I took the some back roads rather than the interstate the whole way. That added about 30 minutes to the trip. Good to know. Still, I got back with sufficient time to stop by the cats’ vet, get a haircut, and unload the wood before heading for the NC Musuem of Art.
Sunday morning I was scheduled to go into the office and do a transition of a server to new hardware. This is less involved (at least on sunday morning) than it sounds. Since the new server had been preconfigured during the week, it really amounted to coming in and shutting down the old server and turning on the new server. Since this is a production machine, the transition had to be during the weekly maintenance time (sunday moring 9am-12). It went very smoothly. Between the actual operation, running some test jobs to verify it was working, and writing the email to say that it was done, I was at the office for about 1.5 hours.
On my way home, I drive by the State Fairgrounds. On saturdays and sundays, they have a flea market. On a whim, I went and took a look around. Boy, there are some folk who are selling some real crap. Oh, there was some nice stuff too… but there was a lot of junk As it was, I did walk away will anything… but not because I didn’t look! Looking at some of the furniture, I reallized that I could make as good or better stuff myself. Cool! While I did not find what I was nominally looking for (old-style iron hinges), I did find some places to come back to… like the place that sell all kinds of hand and power tools.
After about 2.5 hourse of wandering around, it was home for a shower and picking some roses to take to Francesca at String Thing. I even worked on another project on the “finish these up” list… I worked on hemming the linen towels that I had woven, oh, 18 months ago?. I manage to get one done completely and another about half way. I kept having to stop and rest because my hands would start hurting or get numb. Can you say Carpel Tunnel?? ARRGGHH! [sigh]
Tonight I need to finish up the Windlore so I can get it in the mail by Friday (before the postage goes up). I worked on it last night but it appear that the latest version may have some corruption because it keeps crashing MS Publisher. Fortunately I had made a sequence of backups (for just this reason)…
Gee, if it didn’t rain at the house (it did rain late this afternoon HURRAY!), I could do my mowing around the rose beds!