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nap season

[ Loiosh, an orange tabby, is hunkered up on my desk, to the left of the keyboard. The picture is taken from the other side, so he’s mostly blocking my monitor. He’s looking at me sadly, because I dared to dislodge him slightly. ]

This is how I’ve been getting things done most of the week, or, rather, NOT getting things done, because IF YOU WILL NOTE there is a BOYCAT right where MY ELBOW GOES.

He regrets nothing. Continue reading nap season

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antennae for everyone!

[ Loiosh, an orange tabby wearing a green harness, walks across a rough dirt parking lot. Behind him are tall radio antennae & a small green maintenance building. ]

After we got down from the lookout tower (or at least the paved area around it) I headed back to the van but the boys wanted to explore more. I really didn’t think they’d be interested in the big antennae — even I can hear/feel the hum — but they wanted to walk over there & check things out, so we did. Continue reading antennae for everyone!

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Mount Taylor

[ The view up a steep slope. There are a few evergreens in the background, but most of the trees are leafless aspens, with tall, straight white trunks. ]

Last Friday, in a fit of being entirely incapable of dealing with the world, I stuffed the boys in the van & drove up Mount Taylor.

That’s the white people name — to the Diné it’s Tsoodzil, Blue Bead or Turquoise Mountain, the southern boundary of the Diné homeland, one of the four sacred mountains.

The road is terrible, but it goes by a lot of aspens, which is nice — I’m used to seeing those in Colorado, not here! The boys were NOT pleased about the rough ride & frankly neither was I; if I’d been up there before I probably would’ve turned around, but the lure of going somewhere entirely new is strong & I persevered despite the shouting coming from the back of the van. Continue reading Mount Taylor

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stress woodworking!

(This was written on Monday but scheduled for Wednesday; who knows what’ll happen between now & then!)

So I got this new shipping label printer a couple months back, & it’s really been making shipping go a LOT more smoothly. I stuck it in the top drawer of my printer file cabinet, & it fits just fine, but the labels, when they come out, kind of curl up against the front of the drawer & I have to keep an eye on them.

[ A small label printer, about 4x4x6″, sits in an open drawer, with 4×6 labels stacked behind it. There’s a small space between the front of the printer, where the labels come out, & the front of the drawer. ]

So I decided to fix that. With power tools.

[ The front of the drawer, once black, is now grey, with some of the colour sanded away. There’s a horizontal slot cut in the drawer, pretty unevenly. ]

It doesn’t look great, but it works, & it gave me something to think about other than the possibly-impending death of democracy. Anyway once I paint it it’ll look better.

I’ve been meaning to do this one for a while, really, but wanting to NOT be at the computer, doomscrolling, made this a perfect time to finally get round to it.

I’ve also been meaning to make a proper book stand for my herbal recipes book, & putting it off because all of the ‘easy’ DIY things I found wanted me to cut wood at an angle, which I do NOT have the tools to do in any useful manner. No, not even with a mitre block, look, I can mess up a straight line when I’ve got the guide clamped in eight places, I’m TALENTED is what.

I need a table saw.

In the meantime, I faked it with mostly-straight lines, using detailed plans that involved ‘bring the book outside & hold wood up against it until something works’.

[ My book of herbal recipes sits open on a table, outside, with my hand holding a couple of short lengths of wood along the bottom edge. ]

The finished product! Or at least ‘done enough to test’.

[ The back is made from a roughly sanded piece of scrap wood, maybe an inch wider than the book on each side but shorter than the book is tall. A thin length of wood has been screwed along the bottom for the book to rest on, & an even smaller length of wood is attached to the top front of the bottom piece to hold the book in place. ]

As I’d suspected would happen, the bit at the bottom wasn’t high enough to hold the book in on its own, so I added another bit for tilting purposes.

[ There’s now another small piece of wood running along the bottom front of the book stand, causing it to tilt backwards. ]

Of course, that bit of tilt was enough to make it fall over backwards, & while I could have left it that way & depended on the wall to hold it up, I knew better.

[ A larger piece of wood, maybe an inch by an inch & running most of the width of the stand, has been attached to the back piece, but just a bit up from the bottom, so that it supports the book stand at an angle. ]

Success! Here’s a side view so you can see how it all goes together.

[ Side cross section! The tall back piece tilts slightly to the left, held in place by the piece behind it; in front, a short horizontal piece sticks out at the bottom, with matching small lengths of wood on top & on the bottom at the outer edge. ]

& it even holds the book in place! Like it’s supposed to! Seriously, this is gonna make things a LOT easier.

[ My recipe book, in place in my work table, neatly held on the book stand. It’s not falling off or anything! ]

I finished the day up by adding a couple more boards to Tyrava’s inside walls. I’m gonna run out of denim insulation soon; the stuff had better come back into stock someday.

[ One section of one of Tyrava’s inside walls; short lengths of wood fastened horizontally cover it from the bottom to a little more than halfway up, & from behind the top piece, blue denim insulation is visible. ]

I also spent some time cleaning up out front — I brought in the show shelves & stuff, which are in DESPERATE need of another coat or two of linseed oil after spending the summer out in the sun, & I’ve been slowly picking up wood & sorting it out. Anything still big enough to be used goes into Tyrava, & everything else gets stacked up for firewood.

Little steps. Plus, bonus, I didn’t have to think about huge existential things for a couple hours!