Jul 17

Look at all of this stuff that’s about to happen

Why is this car in a snow globe? What does this have to do with education? And why are those almost-stick figures to the right so interested in it?

You’d think that if you were going to examine the oddity of a car trapped in a glass globe you would do so from a position not within its potential path of travel. Just in case the car slips its parking gear or otherwise becomes sentient and carries a grudge.

But they weren’t thinking about things like that in the 1940s. (Honestly, that there’s a rug beneath it all seems the most unsettling to me. Why a rug? I mean, aside from the artist’s need to establish dimensions here, why does this encased car need a rug? Creepy.) Anyway, the answer to some of those questions are important, no matter the decade. You can find the answers, and a few more textbook photos to glance at here. If this looks new to you, check out all of the best art from this book right here. This, of course, is part of my collection of my grandfather’s books. You can see them all as they go online right here. And I think, now with that book completed I’ll have to change gears. After the texts already assembled on the site we’ll get into serious reads on algebra and biology. And I would worry that I’m just not talented or clever enough to make fun of formulas and geometric shapes and insect macros.

But! I also have a large stack of my grandfather’s old science magazines. We’ll start diving into those next week.

I’ve been dealing with a throat thing. It’s getting better, thanks. Something irritated it on Saturday morning and now it only hurts some of the time. I expect I’ll be healed just in time for something else to happen. Just like this. I’d been fighting some sort of sinus or respiratory thing for about two weeks– probably from the accumulated dust of these books, which I’m going to deal with this weekend, I think — and that finally cleared up in time for this throat issue.

It’ll take more than that to keep a chipper person with plans down, and so here we are. There are lots of things underway. I’m working on a new mobile version of my site. I have the book section going on Tuesdays. Markers on Wenesdays. I have some cool new videos to shoot, beginning next week I hope. I’m thinking about re-working a part of my office soon, too. And I have to start riding my bike more and running again. See? So many things to do … just as soon as I can swallow without wincing.

And now back to making a delicious spaghetti dinner.

You can see more on Twitter and Instagram too.

Jul 17

I’ll soon tackle the office closet, requiring signal flares

I installed two more shelves on an office wall today. If you enjoyed yesterday’s explanation of the process you can just imagine this twice this evening. Though, this time there were four nails and only four nail holes. Also, I developed something better than the traditional tape system to mark my spots. Then I did math four times, measured twice and drove a nail.

But the first nail is never the problem, is it? When you’re hanging something that has more than one holder it is always the math related to that second nail which is a bit more tricky. The first nail will live wherever you put it and, at worst, you just have a quirky sense of style. That second one though bears a direct relationship to the first. And at that point all of your hardware better come from Mars. Or Venus. Either one, so long as they are from the same one.

The nails have to be relative, is what I’m saying. Maybe they have to be related. No, that’d be weird. Why would the second nail stick around for that? Morbid curiosity? “What just happened to my brother? Oh well, I guess I’ll just sit around and seeeeeee — ” and then suddenly that nail is driven into the wall, too.

At any rate, a slow rate really, my home office is coming along. There are only two walls that aren’t spoken for. One is dominated by a rather large bookshelf. The other features a closet door and some curiously placed electrical plate covers. It is a small room, but it has two cable outlets, and they are about four feet apart and that is in vertical distance. This was done, I can only assume, at the beginning of the wall-mounted television craze. My solution has been to cover this space with wall art.

Now, would you like to hear about the procedure I used to chop vegetables for dinner tonight?

Back to the historical markers. We just returned to this section of the site last week and I’m now showing off some of the historic sites in this new county. The original premise is still the rule. I’m riding my bike to all of the historical markers in the county. To find out all about this building right here:

You can see the complete list, here. There will be more as the weeks progressed.

Elsewhere, check me out on Twitter and over on Instagram, too.

Jul 17

This is about speed, and also the lack of that

Who is this man, and why does he look carefully calibrated to be satisfied, but not so much that you’d think him smug?

The answer will be found in a 75 year old book. And also in the book section of the site, where we formally meet the man, the myth, the legend. You can see more of that particular book here. Then, please do look at some of the other books I’ve highlighted.

Speed typing champion. Who knew there was such a thing? He’s doing that on a manual typewriter, of course, and that’s very fast. On my computer, just now, I took a typing test and hit 96 words per minute. That’s faster than the average typist, the site assured me, but still rather pedestrian compared to Mr. Hossfield. And I imagine any given modern computer can have its keyboard operated faster than a classic typewriter.

Sometimes his name is spelled Hossfeld. Whichever way he spelled his family name, I like to think the typo really annoyed him.

This evening I hung a shelf. This involved a hammer, a few nails and a few more holes. Also, there was one exasperated sigh. But I put a shelf up. Now, this part isn’t the amazing part. I am no expert, but I can claim a fair mastery of the common hammer and both of its two main uses. What’s most interesting about this is that I just eyeballed it. There are empty walls and stacks of things to hang because this is a process that takes time.

Too much time, truth be told. There must be ideas, considered, forgotten, reapplied and philosophized about. Sometimes, if the first 14 stages of the process are successful, the frame sits at the base of the wall for a time, for further in-depth consideration.

Then, and only then, if you find the right item for the right patch of wall, you have to measure everything. There’s the distance from the left corner — this one most come first for some reason I don’t understand — and then from the right side. Equidistance must be preserved, or if further displays are warranted, steps must be taken to allow for an appropriate spatial relationship of multiple framed works. Then you have to figure out the height. Of course we’re not going to solve the timeless dilemma of what is truly eye level, but that’s running through your mind when you hang things. Also, does this thing need to be mounted in a stud? And is this nail the right weight?

Hanging thigs is a process, is what I’m saying.

Tonight, I just said Looks about right, and started driving nails. It was a powerful and carefree feeling. Not so much a smugness, but a satisfaction.

And then I looked beyond the window, to the other side of the room. The same wall. The asymmetrical, blank wall.

This is going to take a while.

Jul 17

Today we went global

I sat in a chair for about an hour and moved three faders up and down at the appropriate time and listened to three ladies talk about their time in town, in the state, in the country. It was a multinational show, you see. The ladies are from Zimbabwe, Mali and Mozambique. They are here, 25 in all, from 20 African nations, young leaders in a six-week academic and leadership institute called the Mandela Washington Fellowship. It is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative.

They did two shows today and we recorded one last week. They are really passionate, thoughtful people. I’m just moving faders and listening closely. They have a lot to say. I have a lot to learn.

Here they are now, in the production booth:

The composition was a deliberate choice. I didn’t say anything, it seemed right.

I think we’re in week three of their visit. I hope I get to see them a few more times while they are in town.

Meanwhile, on the site we are returning to a dormant section of the site. We’re back to checking out historical markers. I haven’t uploaded anything there in a little over year. The original premise of that subsection of the site was, and remains, that I would ride my bike to all of the historical markers in the county. Now, of course, I have an entire new county to explore. So here we are. You can find out all about why this building is important right here:

To see the complete list, go here. There will be more as the weeks progressed. Watch, as they say, this space.

Elsewhere, check me out on Twitter and over on Instagram, too.

Jul 17

This is going to seem sarcastic, but it isn’t

The Tour de France is on. I have turned on an inordinate amount of lights in the house. Chicken parm for dinner. I spent the evening sitting in my office recliner. Time of my life.

In my recliner, I was typing on a section of the site. Actually, I was thumbing through old books. And digging through a storage space for other books. I have a lot of books. These are my grandfather’s books. I’ve been flipping through them and reading them and enjoying the photographs and sharing them on the site. I have a big shelf of dusty old textbooks and agricultural reference books. I have a huge stack of magazines, and those will get included before too long. But, first, there’s the 1943 edition of Occupational Guidance:

There are seven more pictures just like that if you click the link above. (I’ll add a few more next week.) You can also see the growing collection here.

I also did some back end work on the site, but you aren’t interested in that and it is mostly just fun for me anyway. Also, much like people hold dear the goal of Inbox Zero, I have a similar goal for browser tabs. I’ve lately found it challenging to reach the goal numbers. (The goals are: four tabs on my computer, two tabs on my iPad and two tabs on my phone.) What, you don’t have goals like this?

The phone has reached two tabs. I’m down to just five tabs on my iPad. I was able to wipe a few off my computer, but there are still 10 open tabs to deal with. But I’m making progress. Time of my life.