Happy post-Thanksgiving. We hope everyone was able to be with family and friends for the holiday as we were here at Las Tusas Ranch. After a splendid feast at mom’s and dad’s, we spoke by speaker phone with my sister, Mona, and her family which was a hoot. I asked if they had a web-cam capable computer at home so we could try the new Google video chat, to which Mona suggested we should be thankful they had speaker phone. Next year we’ll have the high tech holidays. Everyone sounds to be doing well. Stories were exchanged all around. One of the things I gather from the holiday chats, is I may not be as good at writing stories as I am at telling stories. I’m beginning to wonder if people are getting my gags.
Not to be discouraged, as we go into the tenth year of morning newsletters, perhaps it is time to tune my writing skill? I had wondered why no one responded to the story about driving on self perceived renewable energy resource, whale oil. When I reposted it on my website it made me laugh out loud. Not as funny as the “Lay you or Jack off” play on words that Eric sent in, but pretty good for an amateur I thought. Jackson said he got it right away when I verbally repeated the whale-oil story. What had I done wrong in writing the story? Is something in the architecture of the story is undoing the humor? Perhaps the stories are too long to to be funny. Probably, I’m interlacing too much serious content, setting the tone way too serious sounding. Of course, timing is everything. Good comics have it, I may not, which is why I can laugh at my own jokes. In my mind I know the timing.
I love humor. Comics come in all shapes and sizes, poking fun at just about anything. Many inject little moralistic lessons into their humor. Much of the humor I’ve read is ethnically charged, you know, blond jokes, and Pollack jokes, or whatever. As I’ve said over and over ,this newsletter is about to be ten years old at the same time as 2008 turns over into the new year. For myself, a new years resolution is in order. I want to learn how to write the way comedians orate. If I can use humor effectively, I believe the time I spend writing will be better served. After ten years, you’d think I be played out, obviously not, so I want to better myself, and somehow writing has become a big part of my life. We could all stand to learn how to better communicate.
On that note, let me get onto what I hope isn’t my only talent, chronicling the hippie dream.
Take a look at the glee on Nell’s son, Jona’s face. This is the definition of a person whom loves the work. I don’t have it today, but perhaps for Monday’s newsletter I’ll get a shot of the circuit breaker panel wiring. I know most of you won’t know what you are looking at, but to the mechanical and electrical maniacs here, we will see the care and thought instilled into this panel is outstanding, really it is artistic. Visible above his head are the northside overhead lights with the adjustable lenses .
Jona showed us the technique for installing the reccessed lighting “cans” as the fixtures are called. Above Kevin installs one of four along the south wall. These pictures were taken Wednesday night before the storm. Yes those are open spaces between the rafters exposing the cold night air. We had a good fire blazing in the wood stove, but by 11:30 PM when we quit for the night the chill was considerable.
Here Jona is finalizing the installation of a south side lighting can.
Another circuit finished and now turned on, the north-side overhead lights illuminate the long workbench area. There are more lighting circuits along the workbench wall which we haven’t finished installing. I don’t know, nor have I researched an idea I have for this next lighting circuit, but my rough idea is to have flexible lamps protruding from the wall above the work bench.
I am beginning to dread Thanksgiving because turkey almost always triggers a gout attack . This morning is the first painful gout attack I have had in a long time, well months anyway. I know the gout and the medication affect the way I write, so if you are still with me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Hoping I’m not painful sounding,
Yesterday, Austin and Amelia helped me install the last two and most gargantuan thermo-pane windows in the shop! Yippee! They are all in! Jose said, he will be here tomorrow to build the … Shoot now I can’t recall the name for the small opposite to the roof pitch overhang. I looked here: Construction Glossary to no avail. Anyway, we are going to add a short overhang off the peak in the front (south side.) This’ll cover up one of the last openings in the shell of the building. Oh, and yeah, you can see the place where the overhang goes in this image of the trim work around the windows.
The new piece of roof will come off the peak pointing down in the front.
Close up of the window trim, boy howdy, I am proud of this. Looks like a carpenter built it.
We ran out of the salvaged Tyvek yesterday. I think we got that Tyvek from Jose a few years ago. I’m grateful it went as far as it did. I’m scrambling about in my head imagining how to come up with more coverage, aside from going out and buying another roll, we probably don’t need a whole roll. Ah, it is a good thing there are so many fantastic aspects to this project or I think I might just lose my grip, trying to keep it all together. Though, together it is, thank goodness. Yesterday, it was beautiful for working outside, in fact the temperature was unbelievably hot for Fall. I pushed myself to finish the trim board installation, so I could go back to the house and convalesce, because the truth of the matter was, I felt like crap, and was barely holding my own against the same cold that virtually knocked Nell out of the action for the past few days. Happily, I was still standing, and somehow I did make it, and we have a heck of a lot to show for those labors.
To all of you who keep on coming back with seemingly tireless contributions, you have our undying gratitude.
What’s next after the construction of the roof peak awning-looking-thingy? Doors. I’m coming to terms with a non-existent budget. Although, the guys at Desertgate did step up on Friday and promise to help stabilize my paycheck. I am paid by the job, and with the recession, jobs have been sparse. So our thanks go out to Eric and Ron for helping to keep us going through tough times. It should come as no surprise that we’ll look at building the doors, instead of buying doors. The main entry door should be a piece of cake. We have, in our considerable stash of building materials, a large selection of doors. Perhaps, one of the doors from the old NMHU dorms, these are made from two inch thick planks of pine. We figured, they wanted the live-on-campus students to feel safe, and I’m sure they were behind these beefy doors. Anyway we salvaged a couple of dozen of those doors in a variety of widths. If one of these super-doors won’t knock the building around too much when it slams shuts in the wind, then this could be a good choice. We also have a few steel-clad solid-core doors, which might be considered overkill in the same way the dorm-doors are. I looked at the pre-hung doors at Hacienda, cheesy, and light weight, and they do come with a good size window built in. Pre-hung doors are also fairly inexpensive, as well as super-easy to install. Pre-hung, means these doors already have the trim-frame and hinges already installed. No big thing to hang a door, and this is beginning to look like the more frugal way to go.
So there it is, you just took the walking tour of Brian’s decision making process, just by reading. For a guy whom almost flunked out of college composition, many years later I have become a huge advocate. Write it down friends, I aver. Writing clears my mind of much of life’s little white noises. I am also a advocate of re-reading one’s own work before hitting send.
Please do let me know if I make any boo-boos.
We wouldn’t like to see any dangling prepositions, now would we?