Friday, March 14, 2014

Wallpaper


Photo courtesy Flickr


Lunch with a couple of scribes brought chuckles over an impatient comment about the format of a wedding invitation. We agreed that it was tempting simply to send one out with a return window envelope, like a monthly utility bill.

Now and then I consider papering the front hall with dollar bills, spraying a large OK? on one wall, and then simply living as I please in the rest of the place.

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More after the jump.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Tackle Box


Photo courtesy Flickr

Forty years ago I trotted to a local fisheries supply with a gear list from a local commercial art school. I found a cunning safety yellow floating tackle box that was modular for 81/2 x 11 paper, two inches deep, and fitted with 81/2 x 2 inch compartments. It was ideal for holding pens and drawing tools. High-tech for its time, the box cost twice as much as bulkier models fitted with hinged trays. Buying it left me feeling unbearably clever.

The clever feeling has subsided, but the box has not. It has been at my right hand ever since I carried it home. Periodic purges of unused gear and supplies have left the box holding much the same inventory as day one, but with added kit from all the usual household handy-demands. 

A car mechanic once told me that he grew wary when a job applicant showed up toting a brand new tool box. My skills may still impress very few, but the tool kit won’t betray.

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More after the jump.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Aftertaste


Photo courtesy Flickr

There’s good taste and bad taste, and then there’s aftertaste.

When it comes to taste in general, I’m pretty clueless, especially about good taste. Though I appreciate the proper and the classical, and Richard Gump’s Good Taste Costs No More was one of the manuals that formed my sensibilities, I cannot deny the sheer fun of the pop surreal.

“Ghastly good taste” rings a bell or two, although I’m not well-oriented in that area. A few episodes of Keeping Up Appearances were enough to remind me when to lift a pinkie and when to leave well enough alone. All in all, simple preference should be enough to justify a choice. Miss Manners’ writings on etiquette are useful, hilarious orientation.

Aftertaste is another matter. I realized some months ago that certain foods lingered more pleasantly on the palate than others. I suppose, too, that certain experiences and certain music leave the same responses. Casual observation brings me to conclude that junk food sends me running, or thinking I ought to run, for the toothbrush. 

Innovation is always dicey. Picasso’s observation that “the ones who come after you can make it pretty” has been a genuine comfort over the years. 

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More after the jump.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuning A House


Photo courtesy Flickr

Here's what works for me.

Treat the place like a traditional California hacienda: designate the floor with the most direct access to the street as the production floor. Declare the other story or stories as private and social space. It doesn’t hurt to separate production and service kitchens as well.

Use the least promising room on each floor for storage. Corral small furnishings into flap-lid bins and set them on epoxy or chrome coated adjustable wire shelving on heavy castors. Segregate un- or seldom-used furniture in the storage room.

Center your inventory around the mountaineers’ ten essentials: tool (knife), fire source (butane lighter), water (purification tablets), food (energy bar), clothing (garbage bag), shelter (sunscreen), medicine (soap, bandage, needle and dental floss), orientation (pinch light, map), communication (whistle, hard wax crayon),  and transportation (walking shoes). Carry the ten all the time and use larger versions as the core of the household.

Follow navy supply practice in provisioning: buy three of each staple. When one is used up, replace the replacement.

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More after the jump.

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Mowing


Photo courtesy Flickr

Saturday’s first pass over the sward initiated a welcome reset of this small landscape and the interior it surrounds. Neighboring development has radically altered patterns of sun and shade. An hour’s fresh air and light exercise generated answers to how to best to respond to living in a new urban location without having had to house hunt or pack.

The native plants seem happier than ever. ‘Makes sense-they’re all forest beings to begin with, and their new shade just improves the water supply. Me, I could do with a little more solar, but that’s the life.

All the parking strip needed to look fresh and adequate was litter patrol and a fast pass with the mower. Getting to the grass this time of year guarantees a dense and deeply rooted turf. 

I edited the front of the house for space and light, evicting a couple of funky pieces of furniture. Simplifying inventory shaved yet more seconds off vacuuming time. Putting the machine on an extension cord saved another couple of minutes.

One can always learn. The stripped interiors of commerce serve the ground floor of a private house just as well as they do public accommodation. There’s plenty of room for chachkes behind glass in the study upstairs.

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More after the jump.