tiger_spot: (sword)
Today I am thankful for my bicycle. Whoooosh!
tiger_spot: (sword)
Today I am thankful for soft cushions. There is nothing like a sofa for lounging.


May. 16th, 2014 05:53 pm
tiger_spot: (sword)
[livejournal.com profile] mrissa asks: "If you had a museum-scale art budget instead of a person-scale art budget, what kinds of things would you spend your art budget on?"

This is a great question and I have been enjoying thinking about it.

My art purchases are actually limited not so much by budget as by display space. Between the small child and my preference for visually uncluttered views, I just don't have much room for art beyond what we already have. So the first thing I would spend the budget on would be appropriately climate-controlled storage, perhaps some additional display space, and a part-time assistant to come rotate things out every month or so.

If I have additional display space I am effectively running a very small museum already, so I may as well open it up to the public. Hi, public! I will set my imaginary assistant to cataloging the collection and getting high-quality photos online, as time is available. A museum needs a more focused goal than The Museum of Stuff I Like, so I think I will focus on local contemporary artists, meaning I will go around to the various Art and Foodstuff Festivals and browse amongst them, as I am wont to do, and then I will actually buy stuff and bring it home with me, which I am not so much wont to do at this time. So it is maybe a subset of The Museum of Stuff I Like, but I think the focus will improve the collective experience.

My particular tastes in Art tend towards natural materials, organic forms, and things that hover in the fuzzy area between Art and Craft. We the museum will have really nice local-artist chairs and benches, upon which you the public will be encouraged to sit. We will have a lot of art glass, beaten metal sculptures, and smooth carved wood and stone things. We will have a special display area with magnifying glasses for pendants and teeny-tiny little sculptures. Maybe we'll have a little pretend kitchen set up with the really pretty wooden cutting boards and spoons, and the nice ceramic dishes, and like that. There will probably not be a lot of traditional paintings or photographs; my tastes in terms of things that hang on the wall tend a lot more towards mixed-media work. However, I do see some very nice large-format paintings at the Art and Foodstuff Festivals now and then, so if I've got museum-scale walls to work with I would probably wind up spending some of the budget on gloriously intense abstracts, and maybe the occasional landscape or nature close-up if it really fits with the mission. Yeah, maybe some Bay Area landscape photography every now and then, that'd work nicely. And then I would entertain myself coming up with different coherent organizing themes to fill the museum space with, that let the things on display express some kind of unifying concept without being overwhelmingly the same in style or color or mood or material.

Yay imaginary museum. Planning to haul art off to my imaginary museum may be just as much fun as planning to haul furniture and architectural details off to my imaginary castle. Hey -- I can put the imaginary museum in the imaginary castle! This explains what to do with all those extra rooms I needed to make the external scale sufficiently imposing! Huzzah!
tiger_spot: (sword)
Today I broke the zipper on my sweatshirt pocket. It is stuck closed with a handkerchief in it.

Then I smacked into a curb while parking. The tire blew up and the wheel bent. I spent the afternoon dealing with that instead of doing anything fun or useful -- now the car has one new wheel, four new tires (the rear ones were worn out and the store didn't have the existing size in stock, so the new ones are slightly bigger), and crooked steering.

The guy at the tire store said maybe I had bad luck in 2013 that needed to be used up. So I hope it's all gone now. We will start on 2014 soon.
tiger_spot: (bubbles)
My general policy, when buying baby clothes (and other baby stuff) is to get clothes I would be happy to put on either a girl or a boy. Babies are pretty gender-neutral, and I resent the attempts of society to keep them clearly labeled at all times. So I tend to buy pretty neutral things, when I can find them, and I also ignore most of the intended gendering on less-neutral things. For instance, dinosaurs are apparently supposed to be a boy thing. Nuts to that, says I. My little velociraptor can wear all the dinosaurs she wants. We have a lot of dinosaur and monster stuff, because it is super adorable.

My other policy is that if I have stuff, why not use it? We've been given some things that are girlier than I'd buy, and we've been handed down some things that are more boyish than I'd buy. I put her in both sets of things, and try to stuff down any weirdness I feel about it. My baby can explore the whole gender spectrum, darn it. (I have noticed that I feel pretty okay about any individual item of clothing, but if the outfit as a whole gets too far away from center it looks funny to me. I had her in a onesie and pants that both had feminine detailing the other day, and it didn't look quite right to me until we were heading out the door, when I added colorful socks and a jacket with a stegosaurus on it.)

She's just grown into the most girly stuff we have, so we've been bumping up against that end of the gender spectrum lately. The other day, when Andres and Cathy got home, she was wearing an all-pink outfit that is pretty much as girly as it is possible to be. (Well-constructed, though -- I actually quite like it, because it's soft and comfortable, sturdy and warm, easy to get on and off, and generally good functional baby clothes, which is not true of a lot of the girly stuff.) Cathy reacted with shock and horror, partly because of the not-gender-neutral and partly because the baby and I have the same skin tone and shouldn't wear pink because it makes us look yellow and blotchy. Andres reacted with even more shock and horror: "She can't wear that! She'll be walking soon!" What? "We'll want to take pictures! We can't take pictures in that!"

So that was interesting. I am amused that they're having more trouble with pink than I am. I mean really, you'd think of the three of us that would be most likely to bother me.


Oct. 8th, 2012 11:00 am
tiger_spot: (glare)
Before Morgan was born, we ordered a variety of wall decals to put up in her room. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the supplier, so the decals were never shipped and her walls remain bereft and artless.

I am planning to order this Mondrian-style decal to go above the dresser. I'd also like some posters for the other walls, but I'm having a hard time thinking of what exactly. I think nice big portraits of people who are good role models and also visually interesting would be perfect, but I'm not sure who that would be, other than Albert Einstein. Help me brainstorm! Who are some visually interesting positive role models, especially female ones? Bonus points if you can identify a source for large cheap portrait posters.
tiger_spot: (red river hog)
So there was sewage on my lawn.

There is not sewage on my lawn any more.

Nor are there roots in the sewer pipe, thanks to the nice fellas in the quickly-dispatched utility truck. Yay city services! Also yay plumber who said on the phone "Where outside? Hm... try calling the city, they may take care of that for you." (Non-yay for the disconnected "if you are experiencing a sewer backup, call this number," but the woman who answered the main Public Works phone got me immediately transferred to the right place so that worked out okay.)
tiger_spot: (magic)
We're having new office furniture delivered today. That means the entire contents of the office are, as of yesterday evening, dispersed about the rest of the house. The chairs are in the living room, the desks are in the garage, the drawers and filing cabinet are in the library, my computer is set up on the dining table because I have work to do this morning, the other computers are in the den, the printer is in the guest room, little piles of things out of the cabinet and off of the desks are hither and yon and everywhere, the art is folded up (well, just the sarongs, not the framed stuff) and tucked away. The shelves are over on the other side of the room, out of the way of the delivery and installation path; Andres put a heck of a gouge in the floor trying to move the smaller one without taking the books off it, but we think if we wax it it won't look too bad. We are hard on the floor anyway.

The room looks very strange without furniture in it, though not quite as strange as it did before Andres cleaned up the little dust clouds where there were computers living on the floor and the peculiar ring his chair wheels left in the middle of the room.

The benefits of the new furniture are twofold:

First, it has a lot more storage space in it than was previously available in the office. That lets us move some office-relevant things out of the den closet (and throw out a bunch of no-longer-relevant things while we're at it), freeing up space in the den to take stuff from the library, which is turning into Sputnik's room. We're also going to move the two tall bookshelves from the library into the office along the opposite wall. I think that means the shorter shelf has to come out of the office; I have no idea where we'll put it. We're also not sure what's going to happen to the comics; it's possible that after a cull there'll be space on the office shelves, but there are an awful lot of them right now. I think the shelves the comics are currently on may stay and be toy / kid book storage; they're a good height for a very short person to access. The middle shelves are adjustable, though, so I should look into whether that's considered hazardous (I can see this scenario where the shelf gets dumped and a peg holding it up gets swallowed... I don't know if that sort of shape is a choking hazard). Andres has been looking into getting some additional cabinetry installed in the garage to keep the board games all together; he's a bit frustrated by the expense of what he feels ought to be very simple storage devices.

Second, because the new desks have backs instead of being open tables, it will be easier to secure cords and cables in a visually unobtrusive non-tripping-hazard kind of way. I hope.

Anyway, this is all very exciting, and I am hoping that having written it down I can now actually get on with that productive stuff I was supposed to be doing this morning. Being in a weird spot and waiting for delivery people has kind of been throwing me off. Oh, hey -- and there is the big truck now. I shall go direct!

(Edit: False alarm. That is a different, unrelated big truck. Phooey.)
tiger_spot: (Default)
Happy new year! 2011's been pretty good overall, but I have been slammed with the head cold from hell since Wednesday. Blurrrrrgh.

Yesterday, despite disease, we went to a Vienna Teng concert up in Berkeley. I do like Berkeley; I wish it were closer. (Attn: earthquake gods, I mean that wistfully, please do not move either city.) It was an excellent concert. I love how differently she plays some of her songs in person; there are a few that I don't care for much on the CDs, but they're all great in concert. She did a bunch of random requests and covers this time, which was neat too.

Today we ordered new desks for the office. This has been a long drawn-out process, because there are all these options and choices and measurements and things involved. But now they are ordered, so in a few months we will have lovely matching semi-custom furniture filling up the whole office with more storage and not quite so many cables dangling in midair waiting to be yanked on / tripped over / otherwise hazardous.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Our dishwasher hasn't been draining properly. So today, [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses and I disassembled important bits of it to clean them out and see if there were any obvious clogs or broken things.

We found things we expected, like olive pits and cabbage stems and dear-god-is-that-cartilage?, and things we didn't expect, like a SIM card. From a company called TruPhone.

Please tell me: How did the SIM card get in the dishwasher? Not just in the dishwasher, but down deep in the workings of the thing, between the Foreign Object Protector and the Inlet Protector.

You may use the manual for reference, if you think it'll help.

(P.S. It drains now.)
tiger_spot: (Default)
Andres and Cathy had Tuesday off this week. They took advantage of that to take care of a bunch of things that have been lurking about the house needing to be done: They bought and hung new sheer curtains to replace the torn ones[1], found a ceiling fan light fixture to replace the chandelier in the living room, and lined up an electrician to deal with said fan, an attic fan, and the lamp post in the yard.

Yay, Andres and Cathy!

[1] I have complained before about the sheer curtains in the front window being made of gossamer and fairy spit, such that just touching them puts holes in them. It turns out that the problem is not so much delicate materials per se as having been hanging in a sunny, south-facing window for 8 years. UV is damaging stuff.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Today I set up the tent in the backyard so that we can introduce the dog to it and make sure he's generally comfortable with this new object and familiar with the basic Rules of Tent ("This is inside. Do not pee on it.") before we take him camping. So far I have learned the following things:

1. The diagrams in the tent assembly manual are misleading and not comprehensive.

2. It is possible for one person to assemble the Giant Tent of Doom, but I don't know that I'd recommend it.

3. Assembling a tent in the backyard startles the heck out of the chickens.

4. Boy, it's hot out.

5. These stakes bend really easily.

6. As it turns out, Dragon can slither through that space in the dog crate[1].

7. Teckla reacts to accessible junior chicken just exactly like one would expect (i.e., the sort of chase that ought to be scored to "Yakety Sax").

8. These color-coded buckles on the tent & rain fly are really handy.

9. Galen thinks the tent is pretty cool.

10. He shows no inclination to pee in or on it (though it is in the yard, and he is in general not all that willing to pee in the yard), but he thought maybe it would be a fun place to dig. The workings of the doggish brain are inexplicable.

11. The tent walls statically attract dog hair with a force greater than the force of gravity. This looks kind of cool but is probably going to be a pain to clean up.

12. The correct way to enter or exit the tent, according to Galen, is with a high, graceful leap over the little sill with the zipper on it.

13. The vestibule has a tendency to pull off the stakes if they are not firmly sunk into the ground. I am not willing to bother sinking stakes into the ground any more firmly than they go when I step on them when the tent is set up in the yard for dog introduction purposes.

14. The air mattress inflating pump should not be stored with the batteries in it, because one of them leaked. I have cleaned it up and think it will be okay once it dries out, but checking whether Galen has an issue with air mattresses will have to wait for another time.

[1] I moved the junior chickens outside yesterday. They're in the plastic dog crate that Galen chewed up, tucked under the coop in the shady part of the run. I covered the chewed-up bits with duct tape so nobody would get scratched, but there was still a space below the door where plastic was missing. It looked a little borderline as to whether the small chickens could fit through it, so I figured I'd give it a try and fix it later if it turned out they could. There is cardboard there now. Also yesterday, I got out all the material needed to divide the run into two parts so each set of chickens could have outside space until the little guys are big enough to be safely combined with the older chickens, then looked at how much space the dog crate takes up, how difficult it would be to arrange a temporary divider in a way that still allowed access to the crate for feeding and cleaning, and decided that the first idea I'd had, where each pair of chickens can alternate days out in the run, was in fact a fine idea.
tiger_spot: (glare)
The five things meme has come back around again!

"Let's make 2011 a creative and crafty year. I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They in turn must post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011."

Who's in?

(Me being me, you will probably get your thing sooner if you leave me an idea-sparking word, phrase, or image.)
tiger_spot: (sword)
There's a black-and-white photograph in our living room of a woman wearing a poncho with her hair in two braids. In our previous apartment, it was on the top of a bookshelf, near the window. In our current house, it is on the shelf between the dining table and the hallway. (Here is a rather blurry scan for those of you who would like to play along at home or confirm that you are thinking of the correct photo -- sorry about the quality; I didn't want to take it out of the frame.)

People who have seen this photograph, please answer the following poll:

[Poll #1618913]

The correct answer will be posted in the comments.
tiger_spot: (Magritte)
[livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses and I went out kite-flying this afternoon. We haven't done that in a long time -- since before we moved! -- and the last time I flew my good stunt kite it was damaged. I ordered parts to repair it, and repaired it, but didn't get a chance to try out the repair before all the house-hunting rainy-season packing-and-moving dog-training stuff happened.

But today was nice, so we decided to go fly the kite. Step one: find the kite. We checked the logical places. Not there. We checked the slightly less logical but still reasonable places. Not there. We checked the entire garage, all the closets, under the beds and the futon, and the attic. Three times. No kite. Where the hell is my kite? Checked the shed, checked all the shelves in all the closets, checked behind all the doors and in all the corners. Looked behind all the large furniture with any size of gap behind it. No kite.

I begin to suspect it somehow did not make the move. Did you help us move? Have you ever been in my house? Do you remember seeing a kite? It's about 5 feet long, very skinny, in a black fabric case. The case might have been inside two white poster tubes taped together (we moved it from Pittsburgh like that for extra protection, and hung on to the poster tubes but may or may not have used them again).

After giving up the search, we went kite-flying anyway, using the second auxiliary kite I ordered when I ordered the repair stuff. This was its first flight, and it turns out to be quite a nice little kite too. It's one of the parachute style, so it packs down tiny and requires no real assembly. It needs a little stiffer breeze than my proper kite, but there was enough wind for it today. It's quite gentle and easy to fly -- less responsive than the other kite, but that makes it harder to slam into the ground at high speed. We had a nice time with it.

But it's not my real kite. I want my real kite. :(
tiger_spot: (Magritte)
My computer is in bad, bad, not-booting shape.

I have not been able to fix it, and am out of ideas that do not involve purchasing new hard drives. (It boots partway, then freezes after the Windows XP loading screen. Reinstalling Windows didn't help.)

Conveniently, I have already been issued the work laptop I need for this business trip I'll be off on most of next week. So I can get gmail and LJ comments. But my regular e-mail is going to go unchecked for some time here, if you've sent anything you want me to see.

I am very, very grumpy.
tiger_spot: (Default)
This afternoon at work we had an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party.

There was a raffle.

I have a flamingo now.

Should it live here at work, and get thought balloons pinned to the wall above it and entertaining costumes on appropriate holidays, or should it come home and live in the chicken coop?

[Poll #1558091]

Also, what should I do with these rabbit ears? (They do not fit the flamingo, but they do fit me.)
tiger_spot: (magic)
In Hawaii, we bought this artwork that turned out to be just a tiny bit too big to fit in our large suitcase -- it was the same length, and the same width, but the suitcase has rounded corners and the art does not. So we bought a slightly bigger suitcase at Sears to take it home in.

At the airport, we found that the handle on the suitcase wouldn't extend, which made it a pain to haul around. When we got home and unpacked, we discovered that one of the tubes that the handle extends into had a dent in it, so the handle couldn't fit past that point. We had the receipt and the suitcase had a 10-year warranty, so Cathy took it to the local Sears to see what they could do for us.

They didn't have the same model of suitcase, so they couldn't replace it. They gave us our money back instead. Great! We didn't really want another suitcase anyway. In fact, because the tax rates in California and Hawaii are different, their system actually resulted in our getting back more money than we had spent. We wound up renting a suitcase for just the time we needed it for -5 dollars. Whoo!
tiger_spot: (Default)
A little while back I ordered a copy of Jo Walton's Lifelode. It arrived today!

And then [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses turned up. He got me a present! It's Lifelode! It arrived today!

I am charmed and amused.
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