It’s been a year since I’ve scrounged anything good from the woods. Then it was the foundling end table (which got improved and which Commentariat member Pat eventually dubbed “Doorway to the Sun”).
This afternoon I brought home a small heap of equally unprepossessing but potentially useful stuff I found in a newly dumped trash heap. To wit:
This is tongue-and-groove beadboard from somebody’s old house. Depression-era, I’m guessing. Probably wainscotting from a kitchen or bathroom judging by the bits of ancient wallpaper clinging to it. This small amount isn’t enough for anything by itself, but I’ve got this ceiling project …
Last summer (you may recall all too personally, given that y’all were so involved), part of my roof collapsed. The fix involved cutting away large chunks of a beadboard ceiling. Which was bad because it was a lovely old ceiling. But which was good because working from inside made the roof fix relatively inexpensive. And which was also good because it gave me the opportunity to convert a formerly flat ceiling to a vaulted (well, slightly vaulted) one.
I just didn’t have enough interesting material to cover it. Could have drywalled it. But meh. And there was still a lot of beadboard left after the teardown, even if not enough beadboard.
Right now that ceiling is just bare rafters with insulation. Eventually I’ll turn it into a patchwork of the old beadboard, modern tongue-and-groove 1x6s, trim, and whatever the heck else might fit up there. The beadboard I picked up this afternoon is a different design than what I’ve already got and will enhance the patchwork effect. Remarkably, the tongues and grooves of all the different materials I’ve assembled fit together, too. Well, mostly. They will fit whether they want to or not. :-)
There’s probably more beadboard in the heap of construction rubble. I’ll go back and look later.
It infuriates that people dump construction leftovers in the woods. Aside from the blight on the landscape, the heaps are always full of rusty nails, sharp metal edges, and broken glass. I wonder if the creeps who use the forest as their personal landfill ever give a second’s thought to the excruciating death some animal might suffer, getting an infected wound from all those spiky protrusions.
The rubble heap this beadboard came from could have been left at the real landfill for about $7.50. But noooooo. Some cretin couldn’t be bothered.
If I ran the world, people who dumped dangerous junk in the woods would have to pick it up with their teeth. Serve ‘em right. Still, for scroungers, there’s occasional gold in the rubble.
You know how last week I went off in a huff, unable to endure the stupid that blasts from the ‘Net these days like an old-fashioned Texas gusher?
Well, I decided for sanity’s sake to knit a dragon. This dragon.
Here it is on day one. That’s its head.
And. I was back online an hour after I huffed away. Sigh. Can’t win.
‘Cause this dragon, though probably only of intermediate knitting difficulty, was beyond me and right away I had to look up how to do some of the stitches. (Books tell this, too, but I left the excellent Knitting For Dummies with Joel when I left the gulch back in ought-10.)
So much for offline resolve. It’s as Ellendra noted in comments: love the peacefulness, miss the resources. The Internet: can’t live with it; can’t live without it. Now double that for anybody who makes a living on line.
But anyhow, I got my dragon done today. Here it is.
I’m thinking about giving it “fire breath” if I can find some flame-colored yarn. Could be a fun gift for a little kid.
And here it is being worn. Sorry for the blurry pic.
Not quite sure what I’ll do next to stay sane.
OMG, what if I run out of sanity-maintenance ideas?
Dog is shot twice but still stops home invasion. (H/T MR) This was a freelance home invasion. Had the thugs been wearing badges, presumably they’d have used large enough calibers to off the pesky mutt.
Was up all night feeling creaky. Not actually ill; just too sour, achy, and generally uncomfortable to sleep. Useless today. But no doubt I’ll be brilliant (or at least brilliant-er) tomorrow. Would be hard to be less brilliant.
Oscar odds. Being mostly stuck with DVDs that aren’t out yet, I’ve seen very few of these films yet; probably soon. Looking forward to The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Birdman, and Kill the Messenger (based on the tragic truth telling of Gary Webb, who fought the fedgov and the major media and lost). Did see and loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Everybody says Boyhood is going to win best picture, but the weird thing is that nobody ever says anything about it except, “Wow, they took 12 years to film it.” Anybody here seen it?
The Mountains of MIT and other images from parts east. Holy cats, people! Get with the program; it’s still 60 degrees hereabouts. What’s wrong with you guys back there?
Matt suggested in comments that the road painting I posted last night might have monsters lurking just around the bend. Actually, I’d seen that road as leading someplace cheery (with the sunrise and all). But Matt gave me an idea that my next attempt at art should be something very non-cheery.
I thought about old tombstones with long morning or evening shadows. This morning the sun wasn’t cooperating, but I got these photos. No shadows, just fog.
Not great photography, I know. But sufficient gloom to work with.
And this final photo is the one I think I’ll try to work with. No idea how to capture that mist with colored pencil or pastel. But I’ll see what I can do.
This cemetery is a place where the dogs and I frequently walk. In that final shot are two of the saddest tombstones I’ve ever seen (from a few weeks in 1902 and ’03). Definitely a haunted place, but that’s a tale for another time.
A simple explanation of what Swiss bankers just did. And a slightly more complicated one. I’m sure some of our resident money gurus will have views of their own. If you haven’t been watching, Switzerland threw the entire world into a financial tizzy yesterday. (Though IMHO, their real screwup was when they pegged their franc to the euro, not when they suddenly pulled the peg.)
“That Tree.” To help himself recover after an injury and to meet a friend’s challenge, professional photographer Mark Hirsh found 365 different ways to shoot photos of a single tree — with an iPhone — over the course of a year.
Local cranberry growers who lost their contract with Ocean Spray landed 20 pounds of their harvest on furrydoc the other day. What do you do with 20 pounds of cranberries? Furrydoc shared the bounty and instructions for drying.
I took a couple of pounds and they’re in the drier now, some unsweetened and some drizzled with honey.
I’m not so big on cranberries, but I do like the dried ones in salads and trail mixes. Good to have a few locally grown superfoods among the preps, too.
Knitting today. Not only for the soul but this time, the body, too. Ready to start cabling.
Just as soon as I find those wandering third needles.
I was surprised and gratified the other day to realize quite a few guys hereabouts had knitted or crocheted. I am at this moment wearing fingerless gloves (aka arm warmers or better yet gauntlets) I made with wool gifted to me by one of those knitting guys.
(Pattern for that particular glove here. Many others here.)
Finally, some things not so mundane
Saturday, December 13. Washington gun owners rally: We Will Not Comply with I-594. Over 6,000 already signed up.
Don’t be put off by the word “knitting.” Even if you’re not crafty (and I’m not!), even if you’re a guy who’d rather build a brick wall or try for a perfect grouping with your best rifle than (heaven forbid) knit. This is about that process common to so many things.
You know how you sometimes open a book at random looking for guidance? For some it’s the bible. For somebody else, one of those Chicken Soup things. Could be Ayn Rand or Herman Hesse. But you hope if you just open and read there’ll be a message there, just waiting for you?
I have to laugh. I just picked up Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, not because I had real interest but because it’s one of those must-read books and this is a good time. I opened near the end to a chapter about self care and the art of just being still and listening.
Then I took my old copy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience off the shelf and arbitrarily opened to a page that heralded the value of 16-hour workdays, but with the work so integrated with free time that you can barely distinguish one from the other.
Yup. And of the contradictory two, I must admit the latter appeals to me more than the former. Not, mind you, because I’m some virtuous workaholic. Far from it. I favor the latter because the former is harder.