Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Danger of Reading Old Books

I just completed my most recent book, Midnight by Dean Koontz. (While taking my dog for a jog, cooking dinner and doing a puzzle, audiobooks 3, nay-sayers 0)

I very much enjoyed the story. In fact, I half wish I hadn't read it yet so I would have something exciting on my way to Vegas this weekend... However when I got the book, I didn't realize it was written in 1989. I don't pay much attention to the dates on the fiction books I read. I find it much more necessary to check the dates on books about pop psychology or technology, such as "Googled" or "You are Not a Gadget". In these cases, I want to know if I can expect up to date technology and references or if I'm reading something that was relevant a few years ago, so I can put it in the proper perspective. It's similar to how you can gauge the approximate year of a "Law and Order" episode when the suspect uses MySpace or Facebook (or the tv'd versions of them).

It didn't jump out at me for a while. I don't want to ruin the story for you, because as I mentioned, it's worth reading. At one point one of the characters, Sam, picks up a telephone to a bunch of beeps and electronic noises and wonders if that's what one of the new modems would sound like communicating via a phone line. I realize that most people younger than me wouldn't recognize that sound, and I imagine people still living but very very older than me might not as well. I also realized that the average reader of 1989 probably wouldn't have recognized it. It was a bit like looking at old photos to read a story that played so much the fears of brand new techology twenty years ago. At the same time it made me wonder what someone, having just read that book, arriving in modern day would say about our technology.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Beach fire!

Yesterday was the last day of ceramics. For our class, we take a few of our pieces down and have a pit fire at the beach. I love interesting firing techniques, especially those in which I have the chance to be involved in every step of the process (such as Raku and Pit fires). I'm no 'in' enough in our ceramics department to be involved with loading the regular weekly bisque or glaze kilns.

Gavin and I made basically nothing but vases this semester in preparation for the wedding. As a result, the pieces for the beach fire were also vases (these will not be making an appearance at the wedding).

After throwing and trimming the pieces, they are polished. Turns out this isn't really my strong suit, but thanks to the company of some cool new people in class this year, I did a much better job of sitting still long enough to do a decent job of it. The pieces are bisque fired separately from the normal kiln fire.

Since I'm on a jobsite, I was able to scrounge up some wood which I loaded and delivered to Doheney State Beach. I didn't take my Nikon because the sand, smoke, and random chemical additives just made the risk too high in my opinion.

My wood.

I somehow failed to photograph loading the pits, but basically the pots are just staked together in the bottom. All kinds of random stuff is put in with them: seaweed, banana peels, copper wires, various copper chemical compounds, etc. The pots are protected with ceramic tile and the fire is built on top of them.


This year we had two pits and I put one of our pieces in each. The fire is kept burning for 3 hours or so and then allowed to burn out. The beach closed at nine, so we left the pieces to be picked up the following day.

The Results:



This picture really doesn't do them justice. They came out very nice. We also polished them with a smelly orange wood polish to give them a little bit of shine. If I ever get some free time, I'll consider setting up some better lighting to get some more accurate pictures of the colors on the pieces.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update: I've been busy!

I've been swamped!

Aside from work, we are also in critical wedding planning time. We had our tasting, which went AMAZINGLY, but I don't want to spoil any surprises, so I've opted to skip photos for now. (Quite a difficult decision) Everything was beautiful and tasted delightful. We have all but a few big details locked up and we are shrinking the list of to-dos almost everyday!

We also got our first official wedding present!

One of our friends from our ceramics class made this for us and we love it! He's a quite talented potter and we were both ecstatic. I was going to post a picture of our completed wedding vases, but then realized it wouldn't really be fair to put them next to our awesome new teapot! Ceramics is officially over as of tonight (technically tomorrow morning, I guess). We have a beach fire tonight, which is basically a night when we fire our pots in a big fire pit at the beach. We had a fantastic time last year. Although sadly, Gavin won't be able to make it tonight.

I've been so busy, I haven't even been able to make much progress on my ever growing to read list! I finally gave up on "Snoop" which proved to be not at all what I was expecting. Better luck next time!

I'll do my best to keep things a bit more up to date!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shoes and Puppies!

I vetoed a suggestion title for this entry of "Thanks Turtle," but I'm still going to write about my new shoes! :) I know the committee is threatening to pull my girl card, but I hate shopping for shoes. I don't mind going to a store, seeing shoes and buying them, but I HATE needing a particular shoe and going to buy them. Sadly, I've been needing a lot of shoes lately. It started with needing some new closed toe dress shoes. It seems that I am becoming more and more conservative in my dress, and these were just absolutely required. Luckily, Gavin came and the experience was not too painful. However, the process of shopping for new work boots was not nearly so smooth. Eventually, however, I ended up with shoes that I find tolerable (aka an exact replica of the boots I already own, but they are certainly not as awesome!)

As a result of winning a random bet, Gavin and I were both due some shoes. I haven't seen his yet, but I have seen mine!

Yep, they are suppose to make me more sexy with every step. I'll let you know how it goes. (Maybe).

In other news, I have a new friend!

(Her owner is pretty awesome, too!) Penny isn't quite sure of her yet, but over time I'm sure they are going to become besties! Look, it's already happening! (Sorry I sat with the sun behind my back, babies!)

I'd love to post more, but I'm about a month behind on chores and have only another 9 hours before it's back to work!

Saturday, May 1, 2010