Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happily married

On June 8th, during my recent[?] trip to Seattle, my friend Elsie, who does photography (and fencing! sharp metal slashie sticks!) took a series of photos of me when I hung out with her.

This is one that I especially like.

Note the hand position. Somewhere, I have a photo of me as an eight-year-old, sitting with my hands on my thighs like this. So, it's a signature pose, I suppose.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Status report

My Guitar Cousin e-mailed me a few days ago -- which I'm just now replied to -- mentioning that he's recently purchased some mastering software, and has been going through some of our old stuff, transferring it from cassette to PC, and cleaning it up. He also asked if I'd be willing to serve as a second pair of ears. Flattered, I accepted.

He also asked how I'm doing.

I said I'm basically doing well. The whole ''moving house'' thing is a pretty big load: nothing like a household move, where you have to handle EACH SINGLE ITEM that you own, to make you realize how much STUFF ya gots.

And I'm doing the bulk of it, since The Lady is [very!] pregnant and shouldn't be lifting stuff -- plus, she has to look after The Girl I'm doing my stuff. And due to our proximity to the road, nearly every item, including the boxes that never got unpacked from the initial move to Australia, needs vacuuming before it's moved next door -- which leads to pretty large ''handling costs''.

And, little to no Dissertation work has happened the last two weeks, due to house-moving.

Ah well.

On a brighter note, I'm really looking forward to the CD of our stuff that Guitar Cousin will be sending me. He e-mailed me a pair of mp3 format snippets of what he's done with one of our garage 4-track recordings (him = guitar, vocs, songwriting; me = bass; Cpt. Crash = drums).

Wow! Even with my cheezy little walkman-style headphones -- and in mp3 format -- I could hear the difference. More highs (and upper mids?), possibly some bass, and tighter (multi-band compression?) all over. Remarkable. :)

One of my aims -- When I Finish My Dissertation -- and build the Mega-Shed, so I can set up my music gear, is to resume recording. I figure if I can just grab 2-3 hours per day on the weekend, I can record and mix 1-2 complete songs per month. Then I want to shop the "album" to a local Brisbane "indie" label.

I'm thinking that if my cousin is willing to do the mastering for me, I can toss him some small amount of money (to offset some music gear purchase?). At the very least, he'd be in the liner notes. :)


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Babies and houses

Two updates:

1) Yay! **Finally** sleeping at the new house. **Much** warmer (less drafty!) than the old house. It's winter here in Aussie-land, and getting down to 0C thru 3C at night --both indoors **and** out!

2) The Lady is pregnant. With twins. :)


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dorothy and D&D

A somewhat random thought: It would be interesting to work up Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz) and her road buddies as a Dungeons and Dragons adventuring party. Pretend that they'd lived in Oz for a few years, then decided they'd start going on adventures and chose character classes.

I'd put Dorothy as a Cleric -- she's from the Bible Belt [right?], and has good wisdom. (High charisma, too.)

The Scarecrow would be a Magic User: high Intelligence.

And the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion would both be Fighters.

**If** the Wizard came along, he could be an Illusionist.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Grandpa's tools and such (pt. 1 of 2)

Last August -- nearly a year ago -- I was in Seattle, helping to go through my paternal grandfather’s house: he had decided to move into an assisted-living place.

He did a lot of woodworking -- it was a core part of his self-identity -- so he had a lifetime’s accumulation of woodworking equipment (and a lifetime’s accumulation of wood -- largely offcuts). Although he was more of a power tool guy, he was of the generation that pre-dated economical power tools, so he had a decent stash of hand tools as well.

The clamps, handplanes, and handsaws were pretty much picked over by Grandpa’s kids -- which is fair enough, as he’s their dad. But, I was allowed to get a lot of other stuff, since everyone else's workshops were already pretty well stocked -- and my brother and I were the only ones who had a strong focus on hand tools.

My uncle took all the chisels and lathe tools. He keeps meaning to look through the chisels and let me have some, but when I mentioned it during my recent visit, he said he hasn’t thought to go through them, and at this point the box is behind other stuff in his garage. As far as the lathe tools, he says I can have one of the sets when I actually get a wood lathe.

Today's post is just of the stuff I had shipped here to Aussie-land that Grandpa had made himself. I'll post pics of the tools in a few days, as another entry.

Grandpa had three beds in the house that he had made. I took this one. Of the other two, one went to one of my cousins, and the other went with Grandpa to his assisted-living place (where he sleeps in it). I'm pretty sure it's myrtlewood -- Grandpa's favorite wood, due to its figure. Also, it doesn't show up clearly in this photo, but the headboard has a lamp built in to the center -- pretty clever!

Grandpa made this lamp, as well as the round picture frames.

Here's a close-up of the same lamp, so you can better see the figure. Again, most likely myrtlewood.

Some knobs -- light-pulls, really -- that he made. (Sorry -- a bit out of focus.) Near the final stages of the clearing out of his house, I realized that the new owners would probably be replacing most of the lights (remodelling, etc.) -- and certainly wouldn't feel the attachment to the light-pulls that Grandpa made that the rest of us feel. So, with his kids' permission, I went through with a pair of scissors and snipped them all off -- replacing them with washers or nuts. Then I divided them up among the interested parties.

Two footstools that he made. The one on the right represents his earlier style of footstools: big 'n' sturdy. Then he made a bunch of stripey cutting boards. And later, he started using the stripey cutting boards as footstools -- as demonstrated by the one on the left. I think I already had two of his footstools already -- but it was good to get these ones as well.

Below are his ''stripey-style'' of cutting boards, trivets, key hooks, and a tea tray. Variations on a theme...

Got mallets? I also have a bunch of chisel handles and file handles that he made. Most of the file handles are actually **on** the files -- I'll post those pics in a later blog entry.

Under the stairs leading down to his workshop in the basement, he had maybe ten wooden totes. I grabbed the four that I liked the best: I presume other family members ''batted clean-up'' and took the remaining ones. The top-center tote has 8-track tapes -- for a sense of scale.

My grandpa built this bench -- and probably, the stepstool. My dad says that Grandpa had a can of the green speckle-y paint (which was in vogue at the time), painted one thing, and had a bunch left over. So, many different things had the same paint job. One of his kids (my uncles or aunt) got the green high chair that they'd all used as babies. Currently, the green bench is on our front porch.

A lot of bookend/book racks. Also a towel rack (from the back of the bathroom door, IIRC), a letter rack (bottom R of the photo), and a simple wooden box.

In a few days, I'll post the pics of the tools I was honoured to take home with me. Or rather, shipped home in a footlocker-sized crate.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Imported wood

From my Seattle trip, brought back some filbert and some apple, both from my parents' yard (filbert = front yard; apple = back yard). They've been kind enough to keep it in the toolshed for the last few years.

Australian Quarantine doesn't like wood with the bark still on it (hides the nasties, and makes it hard to inspect for borer holes), so I earned Galoot-points by using my Dad's hatchet -- and my Grandpa's old chopping block, which is now in my parents' back yard -- to de-bark it.

The filbert is sufficiently hard, and has an interesting grain when flatsawn, to do something interesting -- maybe a jewelry box or drawer front. The apple will probably become a handplane or handsaw handle.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Aging grandparents

This is from my recent Seattle visit:

A man who many years ago carried me, as a child, through underbrush while I was slung over his shoulder, today lost his balance while simply walking across the room -- and it took two men (me and my brother) to help him to his feet.


Monday, July 02, 2007


A somewhat random thought, while talking to The Tabulator on June 21st:

N.O.W. is a political group -- the National Organization of Women. It's fairly progressive (or radical, depending on your politics).

I had an idea for an alternative group, more moderate in their goals, called L.A.T.E.R. = Ladies Association That Evades Risk

Yeah -- I'm just a barrel of wit.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Minor geek humor

During my wild tour thru Seattle/Oregeon/etc., I spent a day over at my Guitar Cousin's.

I was telling him about something, and I used a phrase which I apparently use a lot: "And the nuisance bit was that....."

He found this hilarious: Like there was some sort of dip switch setting, or config file:

"So THAT'S the problem! Someone set the ''nuisance bit'' to ''on''....''

And now when I catch myself using that phrase, I start laughing. :)