Hello once again, everyone, and happy almost June. The longest day of the year is still three weeks away as I write this, and yet it’s still somewhat light outside at 10 pm here in Vancouver. I wish that meant I was being more productive with all that extra daylight, but it doesn’t actually work that way. I continue my sluggish ways in large measure.

The biggest thing that got accomplished in the past week was two fairly full days of work on the plastic recycling project. At this point the mechanical parts of the shredder are done and seem to be OK. The big work remaining is all the electrical needed to get a 3 phase motor running (in the right direction!), with all the various safety switches, and without blowing breakers all over town. As a result of those concerns — and the fact that I have never done any work with 3 phase power, and neither has the instructor I’ve been volunteering for — it’s time to get an electrician involved. And that is well outside my purview, so it’s on the instructor to make all of that happen.

Here’s a view of the shredder as it stands. Note that the hopper is not attached yet (but it is ready to go) and that hopper is a safety cover over those rather nasty blades in the shredder chamber itself. Also, please don’t look to closely at my lousy welds. I’m told you need a shade 9 welding mask when working with MIG equipment, but honestly, shade 9 is so bloody dark I cannot see a thing, even in the best of circumstances. I really need to look into that in more detail, as I suspect I will be doing more welding in the public art class in the fall, and my welds are really gross at this point. Seeing what I am doing would be a big help, and definitely let me weld more effectively.

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Another thing that finished up lately — though probably last week, actually, but I was slow to share it for unknown reasons — is that the studio downstairs is ready for use. Here’s the before and after photos. You saw the before photo a while ago:

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Now there is room to work, and I have even spent a tiny bit of time working on a small red cedar bowl. Nothing to share yet — I really need to spend serious time sharping my knives — but I will get you pictures when there is enough progress that doing so is worthwhile.

In other news, Tinkerbelle went to the vet for another follow up on her cryptococcus. She’s still fine as far as we can tell, but we don’t have any of the lab work back yet. One of these days they will tell us how much fungal organism load she’s still got, which is the best thing we have to help us know how she’s actually doing. Fungi are nasty, and she may well be on medication for the rest of her life.

And because I am on the topic of the pack and I’ve had requests for more dog pics, here they all are by the front door. Anne had just left to go get some ingredients for dinner, so everyone was eagerly awaiting her return.

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Skookie, leader of the pack. (Ignore the colour of the rug, please.)
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Tinkerbelle, 2nd in command, loudest, and cryptococcus sufferer.
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Cruzer, bottom of the ladder, and dumb as a post. A daddy’s dog!

And since I mentioned Anne, I should publicly apologize for infecting her with my disease. I mentioned I had a cold last week, and I still do, but apparently I had to share it with her. Bad move, I know, but I really didn’t mean to!

For me it’s gotten to the “constant runny nose and occasional cough” stage now. Anne’s handling it better that I did (of course) and seems to have been hit a bit less hard, but it’s still bad and her nose is running on and on as well. Conversations with locals reveal there are a lot of people getting sick for prolonged times once again, so I don’t feel so bad about coming down with this one. Where I got it I have no idea, but I am working my way through it and will get it behind me ASAP.

For those wondering, registration for the fall term is in mid or late June, so there isn’t even news about which classes I will be taking next. But rest assured this will go back to being a blog about art and art school one of these days. I promise!

I think that’s all the major news this time around, which leaves us with these things:

Harbour News

It seems the dock worker’s lockout has ended after only a few hours:

In Other News

Here are a couple of interesting things I noted this week while sick and doing nothing but surfing the net:

First, a short article about stone carving, a subject near and dear to my heart, as most of you know. Nothing earth shattering in here, but it’s nice to read stuff like this. People talk about how important representation in the media is. You know, how seeing minorities doing important things matters, particularly to minorities. It’s true, and I can say that because here’s a case where I find myself happy about seeing my own interests and skills represented. My own case is trivial, of course, but it’s nice to find that connection with those whose cases are a lot more significant than my own.

And here’s a lecture at Berkeley titled The Platform Challenge: Balancing Safety, Privacy, and Freedom. It discusses the difficulties inherent in social media platforms and what they face as they try to limit hate speech, crime, and unwanted behaviour on their systems. I’m not an expert on this, and I found it a useful overview. It’s easy to say something like “Facebook should never have let the Cambridge Analytica scandal happen” or “Twitter is just awful” but even an overview of the difficulties they face helps make it clear why the problems are hard. Yes, this one is long, and no I really don’t expect most of you will watch it, but it’s still a good resource for those who are interested in such things.

And In Conclusion

This is short and fun:

I wish you all the best. Maybe there will be something real to talk about next week. Or not.

Written by

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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