October 2006 Archives

Creative Outlets

A Flower Formed
A Flower Formed
Originally posted by Erik Ogan

(I'm going conveniently ignore the fact that this photo was taken on September 24th, and I haven't even picked up my camera in the intervening month, and couldn't remember if I'd processed the photos already (I had).)

A month ago, Chiara and I took a 1 day glass-blowing workshop1 at Public Glass2. I had a blast! It's something I always wanted to do, and I'm so glad to have finally tried it.

I'm also hooked. The malleable, glowing medium is completely fascinating to me. It feels wonderful just play with it. We didn't have time for true play in the workshop, but I can see some of the possibilities already.

Sure, there's some danger: burns, improperly cooled glass exploding in your face, burns, severe dehydration if you don't pay attention, burns. But proper technique and awareness go a LONG way toward mitigating the chances of all of those.

I knew at lunchtime on that first day that I wanted to take the full class. The next Glassblowing 1 class started at the end of October. With travelling, all the other brouhaha that goes with the holiday season3, and work stress I decided I couldn't really take a class that ran from the end of October until the beginning of December. I resigned myself to waiting until the new year.

...But not very well. I realized that I was very much looking forward to the class, that I could use the creative outlet, and that the class schedule fit my travel schedule perfectly.

So I jumped. Yesterday was the first class. It was all pretty much review of the workshop, but we got to practice things several times, and there was a lot less hand-holding. It's a larger class than the instructor expected, so some of the exercises and practice felt a bit rushed, but in general I'm VERY happy that I decided to do it.

Next week I blow my first (unassisted, starter) bubble. Hee!!!

EDIT: Dur! Photo is now public. *sigh*

1 Chiara found a card for Public Glass at Café Centro a few months ago, and I wanted to jump in and take the class that was starting immediately, but she wisely pointed out that the single day to dabble and see if we enjoy it before committing to a 5 week class was probably prudent, this was the first weekend workshop held since then.

2 If you have any interest in this kind of thing (and are local) I strongly recommend taking the 1-day workshop. The description on the website doesn't do it justice, it's a very condensed version of the 5-week class, so you really get a good hands-on overview of basic glass technique.

3 I only just realized that some of my perpetual trepidation over the holiday stress, and the busyness of the season probably comes from growing up with my mother's business. Mid-November to January 1st is orders of magnitude more crazy than the wedding season ever could hope to be. Huh, whaddya know about that?

I've been running Bon Echo (Firefox 2.0) for months now. I've been really happy with it. One of my favorite features is "Session Restore." (After spell-check in text boxes, something I'm using as we speak)

A while back I had the epiphany that if I force quit when upgrading, after the update, it'll ask me if I want to restore my session, and I just got a seamless upgrade! [*]

I haven't started a new session in months. I have boatloads of tabs that hold items I want to act on but haven't yet.


I guess they changed the session restore functionality between RC2 & RC3, and didn't bother to DtRT. I just started RC3, and was staring at a blank page. I just opened a bunch of my standard tabs, and tested session restore and it worked.


I'm not even sure I can guess at half of what I lost. Serves me right, I know, but still.

I thought I should warn anyone else who was similarly clever.

[*] This is also handy because having FF running for months on end seems to make the system (not FF) CPU utilization max out. It happens faster if I sleep the machine. Given this is a laptop that I take on the train, that's a bad thing.

Mud Pies


. . . I'm a bad conservationist. And a terrible ambassador.

I broke a spoke on my touring (& commuter) bike last the previous Thursday. Since I'm lazy, I haven't fixed it yet. Since I'm lazy and incredibly busy, I tried to take it to someone to do it for me (they were closed), but that's not what makes me a bad person.[*]. It just means that I spent some time this weekend (finally!) getting my Stumpjumper into a ridable state, and I've been commuting on that.

Yesterday (Thursday) morning I contemplated making up for slothish behavior earlier in the week by getting off the train in Menlo Park and riding in from there, but I wimped out, since I was going to be riding back to Palo Alto for games at Matt's house.

. . . Then fate handed me a second chance. There was a fatality in Mountain View, we were held at Menlo Park with no idication how long it would be.

I set out with the intent of riding through the Baylands & Shoreline.

Recurring Thought for the Day

Sideshow Bob:
Air show? Buzz-cut Alabamians spewing colored smoke from their whiz jets to the strains of "Rock You Like A Hurricane?" What kind of countrified rube is still impressed by that?

I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I'm a little tired of being buzzed.

Coming Up For Air (Sorta . . .)


. . . Ok, not really

[ed.: per usual, I started writing this over a week (and a half, I think) ago. I know, [info]avocado_tom, fire & forget. Unfortunately I write much too slowly for that.]

I have withdrawn again. It doesn't feel like my normal "going to ground." I went to the Massive Attack/DJ Shadow show (I could say "more later" but between us we know the liklihood of that, so let's leave it at wheeeeee!) on Friday.

Tuesday Matt, Dwight & I had a fantastic time at the Millenium Beer & Chiles Festival. The pairings were perfect, sublime, and everything I'd expect from Millenium. I also learned that:

  1. Belgain soured ales are quite tasty. They're right up my alley, and you'd think I would have tried them before. I need to find out which one came with my entrée, because it was by far my favorite beer of the evening (and they were ALL tasty)
  2. My weight-loss continues to make me a complete lightweight. I have no tolerance anymore.

Also, I did something really cool on Sunday that I will be blogging about, once I come back for more than a gasp of air before submerging again.

It's not my normal withdrawl, "going to ground." And yet . . . I haven't done more than (barely) skim LJ in weeks, I've stopped looking at Flickr, and worst of all, I've all but quit the 365 Days challenge. (I plan to pick that up again, but reset the clock)

I'd been thinking that I'd just withdrawn from my "virtual" life, and quite frankly, I wouldn't be all that upset about that. But I haven't taken a photo, I haven't really had a social engagement (except those planned in advance of this withdrawl), I haven't really done anything. It's hard enough to write this stupid little missive.

Recently I realized work may be a large contributing factor in this slump/funk. The Project From Hell™ (which was supposed to be over in July) was just extended until November. It is sucking my will to live. I may say more than that in a non-open forum. (But probably not, see above.)

I do feel a bit self-conscious whining about my work situation when so many people I know are in worse situations than I. But that doesn't change the fact that it appears to be sucking my will to live, and I need to figure out how work that out, at the current rate I will be little more than a husk by November.

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