Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eye of Horus Render

Ah, Blender. I've missed you.  Here, have an Eye of Horus SVG file to render.

Wow.  That worked whole lot more effectively than wiggling little bits of cut-out paper in front of a camera late at night.

And Mark has is getting into his Holiday Beading thing -- now that I've got the Eye in a Blender file, I can convert it to something MakerBot could print (I'll need to add little eyelets for him to string string through...)

Sigh.  It looks like I'm reverting back to my late-night-computer sessions.  Time to get back to going to bed by 9:30 (uh oh) so I can get up early in the morning to write.

Oh!  Hey!  I could add a gear to this Eye and....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Eye of Horus

I had some unexpected time so I went to the paper shop to use their paper cutter-plotter. I plugged in my Eye of Horus design.  I made a few eyes and a "St Teresa of Avila" style display frame. Unfortunately, after I got home, the large eye slipped behind a base-board heater and got a little bent.  I'm flattening it under a huge stack of books, so maybe I'll get better pictures tomorrow.

Mark insists this is a Free Mason symbol.  It's not exactly....  Well, OK, it does look like something from a Laura Croft movie.... Hmm, I was going to take this to work for my Shrine to Tea.

Oh well.  I can feel my Psychic Powers growing. That'll come in handy when I'm dealing with Graduates of the Eugene Psychic Friends Network School of Driving.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Willamette Street Archeology

 The city is altering Willamette Street.  It's part of the annual construction which turns Eugene into a giant Mille Bournes game.

 From about 1910 to 1950 (dates very approximate) there used to be a mule-drawn trolley which ran from the Willamette River up to a lumber depot or train stop somewhere along 30th street. 

 At some point the mules were replaced with an electric motor.  Eventually, the trolley topped running.  There are other parts of Eugene where you can see the old rails, but on Willamette Street, they were paved over.

 The construction uncovered a stretch of the old line.  You can see the wooden ties underneath the old rails.

 The street used to be paved with cobblestones. 

 We couldn't tell if the rail ran down the middle of the street, or only on one side.
 What was interesting to us were the layers of different paving materials used in the second half of the 1900's.

 The gravel underneath the rails and the ties reminded me of how the Romans constructed roads.

 If the rails were running up the center of the road, then half of them have already been removed.  We wondered if some of the materials were being saved for the Lane County Historical Museum.

The rails have been in the street for about sevety years.

I wondered if any sewage or drainage lines went underneath; Mark thought none did.

In some ways, it's too bad there's no more trolley.  But given how badly the traffic backs up behind the buses.....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paper Crafts for Mom

Last week I worked on a birthday gift for my Mom.

She has some souvenirs from a 1965-ish visit to Japan, and I wanted to make something that would go with them.

I was going for a kind of Edo aesthetic. Mark said I'd re-made a Parcheesi game board. I've never played Parcheesi, but a quick Google search shows me that he's right (now that I think about it, I've seen the board before; I've never played the game).

Undaunted I worked some more.  Mark said that the finished product had a Bauhaus feel to it.

And Mom likes it, which is what counts.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dreams of Late

Last night my dreams took a turn for the better, but lately I have been having a series of unpleasant dreams.  

The theme of one dream last week was "The Return of the Old Gods" meets "You Don't Know Who is in the Secret Kabal (Oh, and, everyone who could be on your side hates you)."   Part of the dream must have been inspired by "The Devil-House of the Baskervilles," because there was a dog who was conditioned by an evil alien demon.  

At one point Dr. Who was involved.  I really need to understand what the Doctor means in my dreams, because dreams with him in them usually have a feeling of smothering associated with them.  They sometimes have elements of the Labyrinth dreams--where I am usually stuck in a confining, very narrow tangle of passage ways and tunnels.

Then there was the animals dream--where what I thought was a weasel turned out to be a kind of narrow-nosed golden retriever.  It really looked like a weasel, though.  It snuck into our house, and I wasn't pleased in a "Oh great, a wild animal is in our house" kind of way.  Then the dream house--I want to say it was made up of mostly screen doors, but I might be splicing dreams together--turned into a kind of swimming pool and snakes were wriggling out of the faucets, and I wasn't pleased in a "Oh great, water snakes in the pool I'm in."  I was sure they were poisonous.   Luckily, the weasel was a snake-eating weasel.  I'm sure this dream is about my libido, but I just don't know how.

Finally, there are the Child in Peril dreams, which are straight-forward The Child is in Peril.  These usually involve New York City windows and ledges, but the latest one involved balancing along the stair railing in my parents' house.

Last night's dream was relaxing by comparison--for much of the night I was going over my current manuscript and tweaking the text.  In waking life, someone pointed out a way I could tweak the ending, which I like, and I think I was rehearsing adding that part in.  Also, Eric WItchey spoke to the Wordos last night, and I was probably rehashing what he said.

At the end, the editing turned into registering for a convention... and the last scene involved Wonder Woman, Dracula, and a youngish Dick VanDyke as a detective chasing an evil tatoo artist.

Dracula was most likely from the post-Wordos discussion, but in the dream he was a metaphor for writing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bat Sphere with Light


I've been busy, and without much time to write in the blog.  So here are some picutres.  

Mark and Jenn were over the other night and Mark suggested putting the sphere of bats under the lampshade instead of on top of it where it's been living.  

I liked the resulting shadows.  

Mark D, however, pointed out that the paper bats next to the light bulb were awfully warm.
(He also pointed out that my bats looked like dead taxidermy bats pinned to a board.)

So I took them off. We'll have to try something with a tea light.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Tea Tech Fail

One morning last week was a comedy of errors.  I got a little behind in the routine -- this is what I get for emptying out the dishwasher, I think.  I realized that I should have made my mid-morning thermos of tea, and started the water boiling just in time to have the tea ready.  I love my thermos; it can keep a whole lot of tea warm for up to about eight hours.  And its stopcock is super -- click it open and tea pours out; click it closed and the heat stays in.  

I was about to pour the tea into my thermos, when I managed to drop the stopcock for it.  It hit the floor at the right velocity and angle to burst into pieces.  I suspect that it's designed to be modular for ease of cleaning.  I gathered the scattered plastic:  The black outer ring that screws into the thermos's neck, a black axel with a jaggy coat-tree top, and a white crown gear which is part of the click.  I should be walking out the door, but instead I'm looking around for a spring which I think should be allowing the jaggy axel to push up against the crown gear -- ballpoint pens have springs, and without them the pens wont click, so my thermos uses the same mechanism.

I get down on my hands and knees looking for the spring, but I cant find it.  It's not with the crumbs under the kitchen table, or any of the chairs.  It's not under the cabinets.  It's not under the fridge.  I look some more.  For ten minutes, all the time aware that I'm getting later and later and I've got a bunch of brewed tea and no way to take it to work.  Flustered, the fall-back action is to take fresh dry loose leaf tea to work and brew it there. 

After work, I come home and go out on the deck.  It's possible the spring jumped out onto the deck and rolled between a crack.  So I look under the deck.  Which involves a lot of limbo-wiggling through dry, pokey dirt.  It isn't there. 

Dejectedly, I put the stopcock together without the spring to see just how broken it was.  

Click-click.  And. It. Works.  Click-click.  I test it a few times and it continues to work.

I'm sure there's a metaphor in there, somewhere.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Still Life with Sky

I forced myself to get up this morning to write.  So far all I've done is make tea and look at the pre-dawn Moon, Jupiter, Sirius and Orion.  In the intervening period, the sky has grown lighter and now all I can find are the Moon and Jupiter (and Sirius if I look where I know it was a few minutes ago.

This has been the week for weddings.  Last weekend my cousin Molly got married in a Washington State Park.  This weekend my other cousin Kevin gets married in his family's vineyard.  

Now Jupiter is looking like Sirius did a half hour ago, and Sirius is a hidden blue spark twinkling above the power lines.  The Moon is a brighish sliver, which was blueish a moment ago, ad the Old Moon in Her Arms has blendied in with the pastel sky.  

The quality of the morning isn't silence, it's the small sounds in the distance.  Before the crows started calling, and the neighbor's hen decided she wanted to sound like a guy.  The whisper of semi-truck tires on the thoroughfare.  The distant thunder of a car engine.  A screen door opening, then closing.  The throb of the box fan in the house, and the flap of feathered wings.  

The sun hasn't rissen, yet; but the light in the sky jumped a notch and chased away any purples lingering in the dawn's pastels.  Now Jupiter is the hidden spark, and Sirius is an optical illusion.  

And now the birds are quiet, and the road noises are quite, and the only thing I can hear out on the deck is the quiet tap-tappnig of my keyboard and the rumble of the boxfan and 'fridge.  Surprisingly, no freight train has sounded its whistle.

I can't see -- no, wait, there's Jupiter, doing Sirius's optical illusion trick now that Sirius is done with it.  The Moon looks warmer, and there's a red tint coming up over the houses to the east.    

There isn't a cloud in the sky. I think today is going to be very warm.