Not much to report in the world of Casa de la Gossa. Though under the weather, we are plugging along and moving on with our lives and our affairs. The final death-throws of my season’s work with Seawatch are almost over, and the winter chill is in the air. I’ve received most of my work-related expenses and we enjoying the windfall. Buying more wood (before we begin a cycle of winter harvest for following-years-burning), I’m upgrading my phone and bought a nice new camera for my shop. I say new, but I bought the Nikon Coolpix L120; a $500.00 camera for $100.00 used; the thing is still shiny and has that “new toy smell”. I also have a new helper for my shop, am upgrading my cellular phone, I’ve begun doing localized I.T. repair work for the area, will soon be completing my first shop commission, and have an idea in my head for a small assortment of indoor herb gardens. Please allow me to share some of the recent updates, in summary, with you in a group article.
Herb Garden Planters
I really like this system. The principle is simple enough, you recycle any 2L (half-gallon) soda bottle, we sometimes go through hundreds (sometimes thousands) of them per household, per year. Many people recycle, most North American’s don’t, and while the nickle-per-bottle can be an enticing reward for all that effort, I’m much more interested in the potential to grow plants indoors in a nice, safe form-factor and save the price of a more complicated system. These are clean, mean and green, without much work and very little work is required to make the system work effectively. I’m tempted to grow some herbs in here, build some shelves for the little guys and allow the natural light of the house to nourish them. We could all use a little light in our lives, and this little system may be an ideal method of bringing some life to an otherwise cold, bleak winter. Check the link via the pic if you’d like a perfectly wonderful article detailing the process. There’s no need for me to re-invent the wheel.
I may have mentioned before, and probably did, that among my education of more than a decade, I’ve got a two-year computer science program called Computer Support Specialist, from College of the North Atlantic, Corner Brook Campus. Well I’ve been excited to put some of that education to good use, and think I’ve finally had the chance. I’ve been responding to ad inquiries online for computer repair people in the local area, several Facebook groups have buy&sell purposes and that works out pretty well for me. I’ve fixed a few computers, but many times they are too sick for me to help, and must be euthanized. It’s a real shame.
I’m working on a few this weekend, among my many other projects, and hope to have these services complete by tomorrow. It’ll be exciting to get the ball rolling there, and maybe get a computer or two to fix each week, since I’m servicing almost 2000 people in the three towns. Great way to make some small-cash, and even better if I can trade resources. “Sure I can fix your computer, don’t suppose to can get me a load of wood and we call it square.”
Next item on the docket is the “Pirates Chest” toybox that I was commissioned to make. It measures 2′ by 2′ by 3′ long, and I’ll write a better article later to detail what went into it. Since I bought a new DSLR camera to snapshot my work, I’ll be able to photograph the process of making it at various stages and make some really nice plans for my new sales page. Every commission I make, I will do a detailed design with many pages and images, then photograph the process, and compile them into a high-detail PDF file for sale. I’m still debating a price, but considering ALL plans to be five or ten bucks, Paypal transactions and all going towards shop improvements. May also choose a charity, like the Englee Youth Centre, and donate a part of all proceeds to that cause. I’m a good guy that way. But this is the chest model I’ve drawn in Sketchup, and these are the all-brass fittings, including a spring-hinge door catch to keep the lid from falling down and breaking his little 4-year-old fingers. See what a nice guy I am?
I’ve been riffling through the list of people whom I will be considering as my new shop apprentice. I’m far from a master woodworker or anything, but I have a grand plan, and much of that plan is to take kids from the area and help them learn something constructive. I want to help give their lives structure and maybe help them earn a dollar or two by improving their own work and sense of purpose. It’s a lofty goal, and I think I’ve found a kid. He dreams of being a “carpenter”, though I think he is thinking of furniture maker or woodworker, but he’s interested, hard working, a genuine pleasure to be around and is willing to trade his blood, sweat and tears in my shop for tutoring services. It’s all good!
It’s time to retire my aging iPhone4, and I’ve become rather disenfranchised with Apple products. I am torn, at present, between the Sony Xperia Z2, LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. They are both SWEET phones, and practically bleeding edge, since the Note 4 isn’t even set to be released for another month. Both these phones ROFL-Stomp the iPhone 6, especially considering it’s newly discovered bending problem. I want a phone with lots of “real estate” on the screen, powerful enough processors to not lag-out when I’m gaming or working on data, and have a functional-enough camera to function as my initial video recorder for my shop. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages… some of the benefits, though, are so far out of my league that I can’t imagine ever having need of them… kinda rendering them moot. Basically, ANY of these three phones would be a massive improvement, and they all have their pros and cons. I’m still debating, but either way Ima have one of these bad boys on Friday.
The gentleman who lives in the area delivers mixed green and dry wood for a modest price per load. I’m ordering six more loads from him, to compliment the current mass of wood I’ve got collected now, about 2.5 cord (~ 9 cubic meters) of firewood that I’ve got in my basement drying now. By the time all is said and done I should have between 6 and 7 cord (~30 cubic meters) of wood, which ought to get me through the worst of the winter. My neighbor and I are going into the woods pretty regularly over the snowy months to harvest between 8 and 10 cord for each of us to stack up and let dry over the winter/spring/summer, and then come the first over-night ground frost we’ll get as much put in my basement as is reasonable, and stack the rest in the back of my workshop to keep warm and safe until I begin to get low inside. Wood heat is wonderful, controllable, and hella-cheap out here if you can harvest it yourself. It’s time-consuming in harvesting (fun though), and hella-messy with sap, bark, ash, sawdust, ad nausium, but we all have to do what we can to make ends meet during an economic recession and in outport communities.
I need to buy a few things, like lenses, a DC charger with rechargeable batteries, a new lens cap, but that’s minor stuff. The camera was HELLA cheap, and I now have a brilliant new toy for my shop. I’m going to build/buy a tripod and start taking some really nice photos of my mediocre work. I want to begin building simple projects and collecting high-res images to match my Google Sketch-Up renderings and detailed instructions for sale. Thinking of selling plans for a basic $10.00 whether they took me two hours to completely design, prepare, photograph and assemble, or if they took me ten. I see no reason why the learning cannot be free and the detailed plans cannot cost a very marginal amount. Now that I have a shop-camera, I can start videos once I get the DC plug, but since I cannot upload them on my existing internet connection anyway, there’s no hurry
That about sums it up for these updates… I may be going home next weekend for a few days, visiting the in-laws and my parents for a spell, taking some time away from our new home to remember our previous ones. It’ll be a nice change. I’ve got a bunch of workshop projects lined up, including a winterized cat shelter, a rodent-safe bird feeder, a shop stool, some indoor photo frame shelves, a coffee table that transforms into a desk and maybe a more detailed article on those 2 Litre planeters. I am planning an article on leadership (“Be a leader, not a boss”), one on destroying ANT problems in your home by using Boric Acid, articles on cleaning/repairing hand tools, some neat stuff on agricultural science to help those with a green thumb, and maybe even a flea market boardwalk that I’m considering.
Lots of lovely fun stuff on the way, please check back often and share this with your friends! There’s no purpose to having a soapbox if no one is there to hear the GOSSE-pel!