Friday, June 29, 2018

Paper Jam

I committed my first paper jam in the household printer. A simple pair of shop-grade surgical forceps made short work of what would otherwise have been a tooth-grindingly frustrating repair -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Hall

A recent visitor to this 1890 house remarked on the width of the upstairs hall. In the Fifties, halls were regarded as wasted space. When the house was new and not yet wired for electricity, the hall was a key element in heating and maintenance. Before central heating was installed, the lofty hall accumulated and distributed heat that rose from the fireplace and kitchen range during the cool months. The system of doors function as valves.

The hall also supported low-tech house cleaning. When a room was selected for a thorough going over by hand, the furniture would be moved out so the floors and windows could be wiped, polished, dusted, and swept. These days, I find it convenient to hang duvets over the staircase railing to give them a good airing. The long drop makes it easy to shake out and fold bedding. A textile that is folded after being shaken out along its full length has a bonny nap and looks distinctly more beautiful than one that is wrestled into a folded square at arms' length. A piece handled carefully over its full life span remains beautiful no matter what the state of wear -30-


More after the jump.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mt. Vernon's Kitchen

Back in the day, it was standard practice to house the kitchen in a separate building for fire safety. I would happily construct a separate kitchen if circumstances made the change practical. As it is, I cook for production on the back porch to keep food smells out of the house. Doing so eliminates huge amounts of house cleaning and saves energy.

High-tech amenities like an induction hot plate, electronic pressure cooker, and crock pot make short work of producing main dishes for a small household. A portable convection oven and small microwave in the kitchen proper make it easy to heat food for service -30-

More after the jump.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Humane Delay

I love Seattle's restored Amtrak station. A recent trip south was delayed long enough to give me a chance to study the space. The original benches, of which there are quite a few, have arms wide enough to set a cup of coffee. There is genteel daylighting adequate for studying other passengers' sense of style.

I sat next to a studious fellow who had set a hard guitar case on end in front of his knees. As time passed, I contemplated asking him to play, but couldn't quite bring myself to interrupt his reading. When the train was called, I joked about his playing, and he said he'd been thinking about it, too. Too bad, he probably could have paid for the trip.


South of the light rail tunnel exit is a carefully designed urban plaza. One of the granite boulders that furnishes it is sculpted into a lounge that has the exact lines of a traditional African reclining chair -30-

More after the jump.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Anchor

If I were to start from zero shopping for a Seattle wardrobe, I'd choose the perfect raincoat and calibrate everything else to that design. A full-time voluntary pedestrian who keeps emergency evacuation in mind, my preference is for a nondescript knee-length lightweight waterproof layer with an integral hood. It's as good in the field as it is in town. I make sure the same is true for everything else I wear. It doesn't hurt to have two copies of a key garment.


A tightly co-ordinated wardrobe saves massive amounts of time, space, and attention. I learned to dress for the weather, for who I am, and for what I will be doing. Since discovering that approach, I have wasted far less money on clothing and found myself better dressed for nearly any occasion -30-
More after the jump.