craftsperson n00b


Caveat: There is minimal, if any, value in this post.

In my bus rides, downtimes, and occasional lunch breaks, I have been reading more anti-corporatism books.  A lot of the material is rather grim; media with passion sells. However, it’s not all for a loss. These writings motivated me back to active learning. (If there’s a collapse in the economy, skills will always have value.)

I enjoyed my weekend.

  • I organized the garage in my apartment.
    • After incessently knocking over bikes, I hung all the bikes around the perimeter.  The garage now has a bike dungeon vibe. muhaha.
    • I built a peg board, so my growing collection of tools are clumped together: general tools, bike tools, and power tools.  I built the peg board between two bikes with a work table under it.  Also, I placed a power strip on the peg board.  It’s ready for project problems!
    • I hung a 4′ fluorescent light above the work area.  The light ties into the pre-existing light switch. Yay!
    • The nice thing about this set up is that it is visual and semi-permanent.  That is, I could easily move it to another garage, apartment, cave, etc.
  • I dove back into the TV aquarium. I built a base. I bought a glass aquarium with a rounded front, to emulate a CRT. This compromised, pre-fabricated aquarium should be cheaper than getting a custom aquarium that is a few inches more ideal in height and width, and less intense as joining rounded glass in a square pattern (baby steps).  But, this required ripping out the base I just built, because it was too big, and rebuilding another base.* Then, I hacked off the top and bottom plastic paneling.  Blah, blah, blah … progress! I see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project, which I think is a jig saw, a hinge, and some black yardscaping material away from finishing.
  • I set up a separate (from the TV) 30 gallon aquarium that I found.  I want to tie the TV aquarium into what I envision a 4-cell aquaponics setup.  The TV aquarium will house the fish, which will provide fertilizer, to a wetlands cell and a hydroponic cell.  Those (edible) plant cells will then provide oxygen to the fish.  In the sustainability biz, this is called an intensive loop.
  • I trued two bike wheels from my touring travels, which included more gravel roads than I expected.  Also, I adjusted a front brake from cable wear; woo, stopping is good.

*The nice thing about a science/engineering background is low expectations for solving problems quickly.  When I truly understood an engineering method, I had often times spent at least a few hours attempting the problem a handful of times burning through a few millimeters of eraser and a few sheets of paper.  Then, I got it, and afterwards I could solve the problem in less than 10 minutes.

This weekend, I found my workspace, where imagination meets creation.  I still feel like a dumbass n00b in hardware stores and talking to bike mechanics, but when has taming an ego been easy?

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