Friday, December 30, 2016
Labels: my traits
Almost a band shirt
From what I can remember, I wanted a band t-shirt -- but they didn't have any. However, Vanessa Veselka, the "brains of the outfit" (songwriter, guitarist, singer), had started her own label: Yeah, It's Rock. And she had a t-shirt for the label. And that was as close to a "band t-shirt" as I got.
That was about 1997. So, about twenty years later (yikes!), here I am living in Australia (instead of Seattle), going to the movies today with my family while wearing my Yeah, It's Rock t-shirt.
I'm not sure that I have a specific point -- except that the probability is very high that this is the only Bell-related t-shirt in Australia.
*Get one of their first two albums: A Clear Sense of Beauty is my fave, and has two songs on my "To Cover - Someday" list (and it's easy to find on Amazon); Perfect Math has the song "Already There", which is good. Cruelly, they never "went anywhere" -- so if you pick up their album you can be hipper-than-thou about a cool yet obscure Seattle band from the '90s.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Shot some footage
I had a good day today. For the last few weeks I've been wanting to shoot some footage for a future "Gye Greene and Tall Guy" music video, to accompany a song that I have in my head but haven't yet recorded.
There have been a few days where I've wanted to shoot, but for one reason or another it didn't work out.
Today it worked out.
The first scene shows me getting ready to run. Here's two examples of the unedited footage: a push shot, and some other sort of dolly shot (don't know the technical term).
BTW -- it was three in the afternoon on a sunny day -- so the black asphalt was burning my fingertips. The look of "concentration" is actually me suppressing the pain in my fingers.
The middle scene -- no footage yet -- has me running, running, running (vaguely inspired by Run, Lola, Run). I'll shoot those takes on another day.
And, here's one take of the final scene.
Note that in the actual music video, all the footage will be flipped: I'm envisioning it as me running from left to right...
One of these days I'll actually record the song; I can't edit the footage until I have the music to synch it to.
At the moment, I'm just going with whatever creative endeavor -- songwriting/recording, woodworking, video work -- I'm inspired to do at that moment.
Special thanks to The Girl for the camerawork; the tall next-door boy cousin for the dolly work and the camerawork; and The Lady's brother for traffic spotting while we shot footage while standing in the road.
The robustness of old wood
Back in late June of 2015, my church cut off substantial portions a major section of a leopard tree on the church grounds.
I grabbed a few of the larger pieces -- but because I didn't have time to slab them (by hand!) at the time, I put them in my kids' wading pool and filled it with water.
And now, late December of 2016 -- so, literally a year and a half later -- I finally slabbed the last one!
I had them soaking in water to "stop the clock" and this gave me time to slab 'em: I have a one person crosscut saw that I re-filed to rip -- but it still takes me about a half hour per slice to slab them.
I was pleased that none of them rotted. **No** splitting or checking occurred in the interim.
Here's a snapshot of the yechy-looking outside (blue garden hose for size reference)...
and the purty-looking inside (after a few swipes of sandpaper and a quick rub of oil).
Note that I scrubbed off the "pond gunk" with a wire brush prior to sawing -- leaned the log up against something for a few hours to dry, prior to sawing.
I'm just offering this experience as a data point for anyone who has a chunk of wood that they want to "put on hold" for a while.
If you don't have a wading pool, I presume an old ice chest, a dis-used garbage can, and etc. would also work.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Labelling my saws
Yeah, I know that you just sight down the teeth to tell -- but my eyes are old and weak, so I keep second-guessing myself.
My old way was that I'd write on the side of the sawblade with a permanent marker: either "RIP" or "X-C" for "cross-cut". But I didn't like the look -- and besides, after a while it would wear off.
But today I'm trying a new way: I bought five bucks of yarn -- a skein of red, and a skein of blue. "Red" is for "rip", and "cyan [blue]" is for "crosscut" (or just "not-red".
We'll see how it goes.
Yeah -- most of my saws are filed for "rip". I'll explain some other time. (And: these aren't all of my saws...) ;)
Monday, December 26, 2016
Egg in the open
Well, today is Boxing Day -- the day after Christmas -- and a public holiday in Australia. So I'm puttering around, doing various things.
I have a small fire bowl that I sometimes make campfires in -- and a metal barrel that I sometimes use as a rain shield. When the fire's going and the rain hits the barrel, it hisses -- which made me think, "Hey -- I should try cooking on it."
So today I took and egg and my tiny "single fried egg" Teflon frying pan, and gave it a try. I put a square of aluminum foil over the top to keep the steam in a bit, to get the top of the egg to cook as well.
It seemed to work. Experiment: a success!!!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Wood on my desk
I sanded them smooth, oiled them, and brought them in to work. I keep them on my desk, partly to remind me of how much I enjoy woodworking (and nice wood), and partly to remind me of the considerate nature of The Lady.
Monday, December 12, 2016
I'm not "into" cars -- but occasionally I encounter one that appeals to me.
This one seemed a little "steampunk":
I also liked this personalized plate: "Feisty one".
I'm a big respecter of privacy -- but given that these license plates are on public display all the time, I'm pretty comfortable with posting these pics on my blog.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
There's a psychological term for the human tendency to impute faces into visual patterns -- but I can't be bothered to look it up.
At our church there's a tree that had its branches lopped, because it was always shedding leaves on the covered walkway: some people wanted it cut down, and other people wanted it kept -- so the compromise was to lop its branches.
The tree survived -- but now it was a shaggy sprouting at the top. To me, it looked like the tree had grown hair:
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Cymbal test at the Trading Musician in Seatle
I was reviewing a stash of old (digital) photos that Old Roommate had given to me when I last visited the U.S., and came across this video clip again.
This is footage that he shot of me in late November in 2013 at my favorite "used instrument" shop in Seattle. They had a bunch of cracked cymbals that they were surplussing at a steep discount, so I was testing a few to see which I'd take home with me to Australia.
Cymbals are made of metal, so they're kind of heavy -- so I wanted to limit which ones I took with me in my suitcase.
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Review of Earth to Echo
We had family movie night again. Technology Boy's choice, and he chose Earth to Echo from the pile.
Three best friends (middle school aged?) who live in the same neighborhood are gong to be separated, because their neighborhood is going to be bulldozed to make way for a freeway interchange. And then they have the adventure of a lifetime because they discover a little robot alien thing (this isn't a spoiler, as it's pretty obvious from the promotions for the movie).
Good family fare: if there was any swearing it was pretty low-key.
The beginning was a little slow -- but not bad. It was of the "found footage" style, so the jiggly hand-held camcorder footage made The Girl a little nauseous.
But, yeah: worth watching once. Although it's not a "must see"; more like "If you're casting about for something to watch -- why not?" :)
Review of the movie Christmas Eve
This afternoon I finished watching the movie Christmas Eve. Although Wikipedia said that it got mediocre reviews, I thought it was pretty good: not brilliant -- but certainly enjoyable, and continuously engaging throughout.
Basically, it's Christmas eve and five groups of people get stuck in elevators in New York City due to a localized power outage. It has shades of Love, Actually, in that it turns out that many of them are inter-connected across struck elevators (e.g. son and father; married couples).
There was possibly some swearing -- but I don't remember.
No memorable scenes to the extent that I'm going to run out and buy the DVD. But, yeah: worth watching.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Review of Alex and Eve
I rented the Australian-made movie Alex and Eve, which is about a guy from a Greek Orthodox family, and a gal from a Lebanese Muslim family, who meet and fall in love. It's set in Sydney, I believe.
As noted on the back of the DVD case, it's somewhat "Romeo and Juliet". I thought that the ethnic and religious depictions (and the Sydney-ish ethnic accents) seemed plausible (to the extent that I know about such things). Likewise, the difficulty of falling in love across religious and ethnic lines, when both sets of parents are first-generation immigrants and deep into their religions and cultures.
However, I thought that the final ten(?) minutes lost a lot of that, and sacrificed plausibility for a happy ending: I'm don't think that there would be any "happy ending" possible in the situation depicted in the movie. (Note: Yeah, that's kind of a spoiler. But were you really expecting a non-happy ending in a rom-com...???)
Still: a good movie. I was always engaged, and never bored.
A noticeable amount of swearing, and some talking about sex.
Very glad I rented it -- but there weren't any "memorable scenes" that I'd watch over and over -- so I won't bother buying it.