Friday, January 12, 2018

Solid Waste

A piece of shop gear I tried to discard has turned out to be the most useful, versatile, and economical piece of furniture in the house. About ten years ago I hinged together a couple of hollow-core interior doors and set them on flyweight folding plastic sawhorses to use as a sign-writing board. I propped the upper door at a slant with a pair of legally-acquired industrial grade dairy crates. I didn't need the set-up for long, and though I set the upper door flat to use for staging projects, the board and trestle soon became redundant. I set the doors out for disposal, and no one claimed them.    

They sat around for years. In idle moments I visualized ways to set them up using dairy crates as a support. Stacked one, two, or three high, the crates allow a versatile range of heights for the work surface. I used them now and then for big layout projects.

Recently I wanted to set up a workroom to look like habitable space for a holiday dinner. I discovered that resting on a monolayer of crates, the doors make a first-rate daybed. They're modular with the luxury self-inflating air mattress carried by the Great Big Hiking Co-op. Oregon Rodeo's blankets make a modular cover that suits the essentially Western character of my furnishings.

The day bed is the most comfortable rack in the house. I can open the doors, prop them on crates, and transform a single into a double bed in a minute with no heavy lifting using components I can  handle by myself. I can store the mattresses under the platform and use it as a clean, raised surface for exercise or seating. The doors can stand vertically in a corner of the room, if necessary, decorating it with their interior covering of outdated concert posters harvested from the wild. The crates hold the home improvement shop, but they could store anything-30- More after the jump.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Bin

I treated myself to a stainless steel recycling bin that has served elegantly and well. It would serve even better if I could sit on it, and better yet if it had a handle that could be pulled up for a back rest. A pair of wheels would bring the design to the perfection of a nineteenth-century parlor chair.

About twenty years ago, "The World of Interiors" featured a restoration of a traditional English canal barge, that housed and generated income for a family in a tiny space. The owner had fitted the cabin with upholstered storage cubes with backs. The cubes could seat diners or be lined up against the hull like a banquette -30-



More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Pest Control

I inadvertently shared my appreciation for the slug-killing aspect of cold weather with a woman who is seriously creeped out by these gastropods. It was not until I repeated her story of being trapped in a South Sound log cabin by a slug at each threshold that I learned the scale of the event. A witness said
the slugs in question were the literal banana slugs that fill the niche occupied by earthworms in other parts of the country.

The notion of free protein that crawls into the skillet has some, but limited appeal. The cookbook says, "Picking it up is the hard part." Early in my tenure here in Seattle, I read that slugs crawl into the prevailing wind and that they follow each other's trails. I interrupted the trails by tapping each slug with a gloved hand until it curled into a ball and then tossing it over the fence to windward. I briefly considered using a nine iron. I have not seen a large slug since that first summer. The hatchlings are bird food -30-

More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Downsize And Upgrade

My buddy Bethany nailed the essence of selling the family home in favor of a condo. The concept is close to less is more, but deeply insightful. Bethany has a knack for learning the things that can't be taught.

See Paul Hawken's "Next Economy" for details about this line of thinking -30- More after the jump.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Adaptive Reuse

A chemically neutral museum board box with reinforced metal corners has become a solid little workhorse in my storage inventory. Careful reading of the specs on the vendor's website led me to conclude that one will do for protecting textiles as well its original intended contents, photographic prints.

I use a 16x20 for a baby quilt. The 8.5x11 version moves easily from bookshelf to drawer, from scrap file to holder of awkward electronic accessories. The box is so solidly constructed it is more furniture than stationery -30- More after the jump.