Category Archives: field notes

Cube bookshelf installed

Received a request for a cube bookshelf to fit under a living room window. The plan was to create two, matching cube bookshelves. The first cube bookshelf was completed back in July. I posted about it here.

The second shelf took longer to complete…

Now the bookshelves are installed.

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The next project is to design and make two vertical cube bookshelves to bookend these.

The final page

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The final page of a sketchbook is a peculiar geography. It is the end of one continent of ideas and sketches. Familiar paths mapped with notes and drawings and paintings and sketches and receipts from coffee houses and beer coasters from bars and other odd ephemera. Some pages contain recipes and calendar appointments and mailing addresses and other personal notes.

This book spans a decade. And ends with a sketch of a piano and violin concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The first pages is a crude Sharpie® marker sketch of a bus station in North Carolina.

Afternoon walk

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Somedays a walk to the river is a remedy. Amid the ruckus of urban construction projects, the drone of downtown automobile traffic, and the labor of knowledge work[1], small urban spaces provide much needed havens. I grab a sketchbook, a cup of coffee[2] and 30-minutes beside the river after an afternoon walk.

NOTES:
[1] The first time I read the term knowledge worker was in a book by Tom Peters. He may have acquired the term from Peter Drucker.
[2] There is a great coffeeshop, Colectivo, in the Third Ward near the Public Market that I like to visit.

To make a cube bookshelf

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Because she asked for a bookshelf, I built one. A simple cube bookshelf was the plan. Nothing fancy. Something simple and useful. Something to fit under the window.

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To begin with, I visited the local lumber shop for 1″x12″s and 1″x2″ pine boards. Also, I picked up some screws and finishing nails. Already had wood glue, left over wood stain and finish in the garage.

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If I was a master craftsman, I would have made the shelf without screws and nails. Due to lack of equipment (like a proper workshop with a bunch of clamps, a router, and maybe a tenon jig) and time (the ever elusive weekend commodity), dado joint shelves were replaced with two-inch screws and Gorilla® Wood Glue. The only power tools used were a cordless drill/driver, a sander and a jig saw.

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After everything was glued, screwed and sanded, wood stain was selected. The Minwax can of espresso stain was half full, and was sufficient to cover the bookshelf. The stain dried quickly, but I let it dry overnight to let it set.

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Two coats of wood finish completed the project. The bookshelf was installed in our living space with a vase of roses atop it.

Request for a companion cube bookshelf arrived. More wood was purchased and cut. Request for bookshelf with a honey-colored stain finish followed. A quart of Minwax wood stain was purchased. And so on.

Best intentions

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The intent was to watch the sun set and watch full, strawberry moon rise on the summer solstice.[1] But I fell asleep and awoke after 1 a.m. — cloudy, nighttime pondering of lessons in risk management.[2] A few hours later, I watch the light brighten the room[3] as I prepare for a morning walk.

NOTES:
[1] Bob Berman, “Summer Solstice Full Moon in June!,” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, accessed June 20, 2016 http://www.almanac.com/blog/astronomy/astronomy/summer-solstice-full-moon-june
[2] Gregory Orr, “Farther’s Song,” Academy of American Poets, accessed June 20, 2016 https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/fathers-song.
[3] Charles Simic, “Secret History,” The Writer’s Almanac, June 19, 2016, accessed June 20, 2016 http://writersalmanac.org/episodes/20160619/.

Confessions : 12

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01. Monday: the yogurt was a wee bit past its edible state. I ate it anyway.
02. Tuesday: the milk was a starting to go sour. I drank it anyway.
03. Stomach produced loud gurgling disapproval for two days.
04. I threw out the milk and yogurt, and drank ginger tea all day.
05. Last week: wore mismatched socks all week. To the office.
06. No one noticed.
07. Or did not tell me.
08. I aced this silly test [link]. It felt good to earn the “A+” badge. But it also made me feel stupid that even took the quiz at all.
09. Most lunch breaks I walk through the city.
10. Or walk along River Walk.
11. Or walk to the lakefront.
12. Or sometimes find a coffeeshop and read ghazals.

Previous confessions: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Ever have one of those days

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Ever have one of those days (or weeks) when you know you should have spent a few dollars to fix a small problem to avoid larger difficulty? And you did not.

Okay, maybe it is more like this.

Ever have a month so crazy busy that all the small tasks that should get done are not completed? And then the phone does not recharge overnight. Which means the alarm clock app does not wake you up. You are late for work. With a smart phone is about as dumb as a rock. And panic sets in when you realize you have to drive more than 70 miles to work without a mobile device? How are you going to make it through the day? The week?

When will the blessed power cable arrive from the magical land of Amazon?

That is when you realize, you will survive. It is just like the 90s. Completely unplugged. (Just like Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged session in New York City.)

Milwaukee Fog, tea latte

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It is not on the menu, but if you ask a barista for a London fog tea latte, in most cases, he or she will know how to make it.

And since Milwaukee is cloaked in dense fog, I asked the barista for London fog tea latte. He looked at me twice, smiled and said, “Yeah, I can do that.”