A grizzled hipster used that phrase to describe the risks of cognitive limitation inherent in being a clerical barnacle. Not all of Geoff’s unsolicited advice made sense, but that line has stayed with me as I hone various set-ups. What’s working at the moment is to carry essentials in my side bag and float from work top to work top as I go about my day.
NB: Deft's relationship with Flickr is hiccuping. Since the site is non-commercial, I design it for a fast read. If traffic doesn't drop noticeably, I may stay image-free, assuming readers can do their own visualizing.
“Would you pay money each month so that any idiot in the world with a dime could make a bell ring in your living room?” English novelist-composer Anthony Burgess said that in defense of the teletype in his Mediterranean retreat. A tranquil week has me appreciating the insulating value of E-mail and the answering machine. I can sustain a line of thought for considerably longer than the fruit-fly intervals of an ordinary day.
Editing thrives in solitude. Editing generates the most value from the avalanche of things and information that are now the norm in this frisky digital neighborhood.
I fear current events make this BBC quote sound flippant, but the reporter’s delivery was heartfelt. My limited experience of the culture of the Italian peninsula leaves me appreciating the fast food of Mama’s busy kitchen. Luigi Carnacina’s encyclopedic cookbook is a good resource. He notes that a pure Neapolitan pizza is layered with olive oil, sliced garlic, and little slabs of tomato pulp. The dish is lovely in spring.
Angelo Pellegrini’s Lean Years, Happy Years maps excellence and economy in the kitchen. Saturday I braised the first chard harvest in the pot I had used to grill a steak. Pellegrini’s tip gave me a fine side dish for less effort than cleaning the pot and setting up a separate recipe. The steak was a very, very good piece of meat from an old school butcher shop.
At mid-day, I like a small heavy meal. The dive of dives, Andy’s Cafe’ of blessed Capitol Hill memory is forever linked in my nervous system with cheeseburgers and late breakfast after an all-nighter. A cousin gave us a set of mint condition cafe’ china. Her pa is a grand champion picker, and I am grateful to have his blessing on my taste in table ware. If I use the stuff for every meal it brutalizes, but now and then only Andy’s atmosphere will do.
The place was a haven of the sallow introvert long before live/work became a catch phrase. The staff favored off-peak loitering regulars. First-quality bacon, bread, and coffee, a canned organic peach, inadequate lighting, a funky tablecloth, and the music of my preference allow me to recreate a vital resource in minutes.
Five generations' keeping house in Western Washington know how to get the job done. Deft Home is the fruit of thirty years’ independent research with casual scholarship, deep-time experience, and no ties to commerce.
Deft home is about doing things the easy way, doing things you won’t get tired of, doing things in little specks of time, and doing things effectively so you won’t have to do them again. It’s also about working with things you already have or have scrounged, about respecting tradition and family legacies, and about making time to enjoy your living quarters. It’s about dignity, self-reliance, and innovation. Especially, Deft Home is about respecting the basics and the labor it takes to keep them right. Hope you enjoy the site as much as I enjoy developing the material.