Wednesday, May 2 2007
It's nice to spend hours doing something where real measureable progress is inevitable. I'm speaking, of course, of a project undertaken in the real world. In the virtual world of programming and hardware configuration some tiny little sticking point can crop up that, as detailed in yesterday's entry, can result in literally hours being wasted with nothing to show for them. Okay, admittedly this can also happen in the real world when, for example, you plunge a drill into a wall only to discover that you've drilled through both a Romex power cable and a copper pipe full of cold water pressurized to 40 psi (this has never happened to me yet).
Today I spent hours on a real-world project that resulted in real-world results. Using mostly one by eight planks (my new favorite dimensional lumber) and two by fours that I ripped in half, I built a framework of legs for my new computer desk. I'd already built the assembly of sliding platforms for the keyboard, scanner, and two monitors.
At some point I went to Herzog's Hardware in Uptown Kingston to shop for a grape vine (I have a plan that involves domestic grape vines). The two guys working out in Herzog's greenhouse garden area were obviously Hispanic, and it turned out that Herzog's didn't have any grape vines so I got a lusciously buxom tomato plant instead. While I was there, I overheard an older woman preface a question to the Hispanic Herzog's employees this way, "You people know a lot about gardening, right?" By you people, it was clear she didn't mean Herzog's employees (any such employees in the greenhouse garden area would be expected to know a lot about gardening).
One doesn't hear the phrase "you people" in the wild much these days, although Don Imus did manage to utter it when he was supplicating about his "nappy-headed hos" remark on Al Sharpton's radio show a couple weeks ago, back before that story was erased from future history books by the Virginia Tech shooting.
An idea for a tee shirt: "Some of my best friends are you people."
My original set up from a few days ago, with the six year old CRT and the little desk Gretchen got me when we lived together in Brooklyn. The screen reading "fuck you" is not an LCD panel; it's a Buddha Board that one paints on with water. Wherever it is wet, the panel is black. Such paintings quickly evaporate, particularly when humidity is only 22% (as it has been of late). You're supposed to paint Kanji symbols on them, I suppose, but they would be out of place in this picture.
The setup some days later, with the CRT gone and the new 1680 X 1050 monitor in its new home. Julius the cat is in my chair, one of his favorite spots. (I have another chair I drag over whenever he usurps my throne.)
The new desk.
The trays all shut.
Note the things I have scattered on my desk. These are some of things I like to keep handy: antibiotic salve, athlete's foot cream, dental floss, Anbesol (a topical anesthetic for mouth complaints), and a variety of metal objects I use to clean my ears, pick my teeth, and, when the need arises, poke holes in my skin. I also keep a collection of CF cards handy, as well as a shot glass for hard liquor.
The keyboard tray out.
The keyboard and scanner tray out. Obviously there is room for expansion.
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