Friday, August 20, 2010

Being Hot is Okay ...

... but there are limits. Our A/C went out earlier this week, and when the temp INSIDE our home reached 93 degrees, One Ring decided that it was time to head to a hotel. The dogs went into a kennel, various repair people were called in, and here we are, in a holding pattern, adrift with no wind in the sails, waiting for something to positive to happen. And I'm at work, waiting to go home at 11:30.

Update: One Ring just called. Looks like it may take up to a week to get the new A/C - heat pump system installed. Good news is that they're installing a window unit to keep us sane until then. We're keeping the dogs in the kennel until we can figure out how that works out.

Pirate update: With all this heat, both here and on the Treasure Coast of Florida, my thoughts have turned every now and then towards colder climates and seasons. Today, while looking at the Talk Like a Pirate Day website, I came across a link for ... wait for it ... Russian Pirates!

Some of you may know that yours truly has a fairly worthless bachelor degree in Russian Linguistics, and spent a cold Siberian winter there. Needless to say, this left a bad taste in my mouth (Think REALLY bad rum!), and sent me straight for warmer waters. But now that I've found this site - though I find I'm having trouble reading it! (It's in Russian. I suggest using Babelfish to read it.) - I may have to rethink my opinion of things Pycckii (that's as close as an English keyboard and this blog thingy can get to Cyrillic!).

Off to sweat in the heat.

Read more!

Monday, August 16, 2010

More Oceanic Crafts

We're back from Vero Beach, and there are lots of pictures and memories to talk about, not the least of which was getting to see what passed for romance back in 1715(and yes, it is related to the destruction of the Spanish treasure fleet that year!)!

But before I post more about that (I need to get the pictures off the camera, organize them, etc.), tonight was craft night again in our house, as we attempt to recover from the whirlwind trip to the treasure coast of Florida. I packed a shark tooth necklace that I had picked up in my home port a few years back. CHeap thing, except for the tooth, everything there was a sloppy third rate job. I noticed that the cord was starting to go, again, and this time super glue wasn't going to save the day. Plus One Ring panics everytime I pick the stuff up (long story). So the only thing to do was to tear it apart, replace the cheap parts, keep the spacers, and make my own beads. Oh, and restring everything on a choker that I learned how to knot thanks to this website. Awesome folks there, and easy to follow instructions. I really like the finished project, too. I was going for turquoise, but I don't think I got all that close. Oh, well. One Ring still thinks they look funky. In a good way, I believe. She seemed happy with them. So without further ado, here's the latest pirate chaplain wear for 2010:

More later, during a dull moment at work.

Read more!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Next Adventure

One Ring and I are just a few hours away from jetting off for Florida! Not Disney World this time, but something with a real pirate connection. Vero Beach (and the surrounding area) is not only a tourist spot, but the site of the famous 1715 wreck of the Spanish Treasure Fleet. Coins and relics of all kinds have been recovered from those waters, and while I don't expect to find anything during walks on the beach, we will probably be visiting a museum or two dedicated to the wrecks and recoveries. In case you didn't know, this was the same disaster that caused Sam Bellamy to give up working his low paying career as a sailor and take up piracy.

I'll post more on this later, but for now it's time to start my vacation!

Read more!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Kraken's Grip Tightens ...

Work on the Kraken desk set continued this weekend, with a brief pause taken so I could make a pair of earrings for One Ring (she needed something to match a new maternity dress). Once that was done, the beastie emerged, threatening to drag my incorrectly printed business cards down to the locker. It turns out, though, that Krakens are easily tamed, and capable of doing all sorts of office work!

I still need to complete the pen holder, and perhaps make some modifications on a stapler, but that's going to have to wait. There's plenty of craftin' to be done before class time arrives.

Here's some pictures of the business card holder.

Read more!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Better pictures of the Kraken Pens

I made the second pen last night, attempting to blend where the tentacles come out of the darkest depths and crawl towards the surface. I glazed it tonight and took some better pictures, standing both pens up against the Lovecraft stories that inspired them (along with the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, of course). I've drawn out plans for a business card and pen holders, and hope to work on them this weekend, if all goes well. I fully expect my coworkers to think that I'm one wave short of a shipwreck!


Read more!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Krakens on the Brain

After posting pictures and receiving comments about the Kraken pen on a couple of other websites, I've found myself doodling during the more boring moments at work. Much to my surprise and horror, I discovered that I've drawn the designs for an ENTIRE KRAKEN OFFICE SET!

Sounds like something from The Call of Cthulhu! Guess the "Deep Ones" are rising ...

Read more!

If You Can't Find the Kraken ... Make One!

So I've been sailing on this polymer clay sculpting kick for a few months now, to the point where I've sunk not a few dubloons into supplies and even signed up to teach a few classes starting this month. But now my love for the sea, pirates, and sea monsters has collided with my new hobby.

The odd convergence began when I was looking at designs for me boy's room. Lots of aquatic themed flotsam and jetsam, of course. Then I came across this line of decor from Disney, home of what is probably the most famous (currently, anyway) fictional pirate of all time. All at once it hit me. The Kraken ... in clay. Not the who beastie, mind you. Unlike the third rate Kraken that was shown in that cursed remake of Clash of the Titans, Disney had the right idea in keeping the baddest cephalopod ever mostly hidden underwater. In fact, you don't even see what it looks like until the third film, when it's dead, and even then it's hard to tell if it's a really big Giant Squid, monster Octopus or something else entirely.

So, thought I. I need to show tentacles and tentacles only. Add a sense of the monster coming up from the depths, ready to strike an unsuspecting ship. And, since I was working on pens anyway, Make it useful.

Maties, I give you ... The Kraken Pen!

I do, of course, have some ideas for improving the design, in particular the way the tentacles blend with the pen near the tip. I also saw how someone made a business card holder with polymer clay, and this has already got me thinking that the Kraken will have its tentacles poking around my office very soon!

I seem to have Squid and octopus on the brain. I wonder if it be terminal? : )

Read more!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Worth Repeating

Found this on the Gods Playing Poker website. Normally I don't repost their comics, but this one struck a chord with me. One of the first messages I came across that attracted me to Buddhism was a quote attributed to Siddharta himself. I liked it so much that I printed it out and framed it in my church office, where it caused quite a few double takes. It reads:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Seems to me that many of the problems we are having today, in religion, politics and cultural clashes, are due to the fact that we take others' words as absolute truth. We accept them without thinking. If someone on FOX or MSNBC or CNN says it, it must be true and I need to act accordingly. Check your brain at the door and fall in lockstep with your fellow sheep.

Doing that is easy enough, but it allows everyone else in the world to take advantage of you - heart, mind, and soul. And in taking advantage of you, they put you and your loved ones in harm's way. Even if their motives are pure, blind faith, as the Boss said in his remake of the great song War, "will only get you killed." So in that spirit, here's today's post from God's Playing Poker:

So get out there and start thinking!

Read more!