Friday, March 4, 2016

Pen Cases

The art department at the Academic Bookstore on the Ave stocks small miracles of design. At the moment, they carry two cases for writing instruments that are useful beyond their intended purpose. 

One is flexible, synthetic, and rectangular, about an inch and a half by an inch by eight. It makes a good case for glasses or the elements of the hiker's ten essentials.

The other is a cylinder of supple vinyl about the same size as the first. I carry grooming essentials in one and attach a keychain with flashlight. The case makes it easy to fish keys out of the depths of my side bag.


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More after the jump.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Scarf Cruise

Spring has me twitching for fresh color. I spent a long coffee break surfing the scarf section of The Great Big Northern European Fashion Chain. There were eight hundred choices, a rich short course in contemporary style. 


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More after the jump.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kamikaze Housekeeping

Peg Bracken nailed point of no return housekeeping when she recommended starting every odious chore on the morning of a dedicated day, working one's way through the piles, and wrapping it all up in the late afternoon. Impatience and fatigue make it easy to discard dead-end activities.

Sometimes a dedicated day turns into one or more dedicated weeks. Sometimes this approach is the only one possible. The process is like the growth of grass that displaces the old stem with a new one that grows up through the center.


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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Curse Of The Craftsman

Can does not equal should. Pick your projects. Compare the dollar value of your time (you decide) to the value of a finished task. Factor in the cost of storage (cubic inches, utilities, insurance, and administrative time) and acquisition of the odds and ends necessary to do whatever it is you're up to. Knowing that I can recycle materials into urban ore or to a thrift shop makes it simple to put aside something I might have sunk part of a day, week, or lifetime in the past.

That said, the following supplies make it easy to finish a collection of two-bit jobs that yield big dollar results, starting with archival book binding tape from the academic bookstore and film industry gaffer's tape. Neither of these products is inexpensive and each lasts a long time in an ordinary household. Foam mounting tape, archival double-sticky clear tape, industrial hook and loop tape, a hiker's featherweight multi-tool, contractor's waste bags, and a proper old-fashioned sewing kit complete with beeswax round out the tool collection.

Attention is the precious asset in shortest supply. 


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Monday, February 29, 2016

Gotcha!

Last week was dominated by a subtle sense of chaos, and I could not identify the source. Finally I realized I had assumed a weather report predicting several days of sunny weather would be accurate. It wasn't, and I spent days worrying about overdue yard work that could not be finished under the rainy circumstances.

High-tech weather reporting cedes scheduling initiative to persons or devices unknown. In Puget Sound's meteorological convergence zone, it still makes sense to start the morning assuming little except a realistic chance of rain. Forecasters used to sound like bookies. It's simpler to structure a day around potential drizzle and plan dry weather activities on a catch as catch can basis.


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More after the jump.