Do dreams have pixels?

Posted by on May 31st, 2020  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

My mind clicked awake at 2AM last night.  I thought I might be able to get back to sleep by creating a calming scenario…like sheep jumping over a fence. Who’s in charge here anyway? I went into the menu and chose: file > new. The sleepy part of my mind thought I could create a dream with me successfully singing my latest project: “Love Yourself”, by Justin Beiber and Ed Sheeran.

But I got stuck on the file > new  menu. What resolution should the file be? Should it be 1080p? Maybe 4K? So many questions…

We’ve been doing some really complicated projects in class recently. Our project this quarter is to build a portfolio website. It needs to be so good that it can help my students get a job. But the process is sooo complicated that I wrote a book about it,  you can buy it on Amazon.

But back to my dream. I worked on the song after class today…for hours. I must have been driving Sue crazy…obsessively finger picking the chords. Eventually I gave up when Lisa asked us if we wanted to run the stairs at our local stadium. Sue surprised me by challenging me to run them with her. She normally walks up. But there she went, running up, and I followed. We both reached the top…still alive. I couldn’t  believe how strong my 66 year old wife is. I struggled to keep up with her…and the stairs seemed endless.

There were a  dozen people in their teens and twenties running the stairs. Those kids are like electric motors. Definitely wired for 220 Volts on a 20 Amp circuit. They don’t even know the meaning of load.

Annnnd I’m back to the dream.

I discovered this song a couple weeks ago. I think it’s the hardest song I’ve ever learned. I’ve figured out how to play the lead part in the key of C, without a kapo. I still can’t sing and play lead at the same time, but I’ve got the chords and words down.

Here is the tutorial I’m following on how to finger pick the main verses:

I spent many hours studying the song before coming up with these chords. I love the way the words rush along, out of time to the music. It’s the kind of song that gets into your head. I don’t even like the words, they are a bit juvenile. But the melody and rhythm is very compelling, it just works.

F. and I climbed one day over Memorial day weekend. I was so rusty I had to cheat on South Face of Jello. My lack of gym power is making a difference. I got up Midway direct, but barely. I was terrified on the Midway step across move. I’ve had that wired for 30 years.

In other news, I was standing at the sink today and noticed that the soap dispenser bottle was looking particularly fetching. It’s your standard yellow liquid soap for washing dishes…but my artists eye saw it as a painting. I imagined mixing the colors with my palette knife and laying them down thick and juicy on the canvas, gradually building up the shape in thick layers of colored mayonnaise like oil paint.

I didn’t actually paint…but the fact that I thought…even hungered for painting, is in itself promising. I’ve been blocked since November. Doesn’t help that all the parks are closed…though that doesn’t stop my friends who are real working artists. Summer is coming in a month.

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago but have delayed posting it. Since then I’ve been climbing with F. three weekends in a row. Last weekend (yesterday) we went to Private Idaho at Index. I led Senior Citizens and Wild Turkey. He led Battered Sandwich and Istanbul. I might have been able to lead them, but was glad he stepped up to the plate. Battered would have freaked me out at the upper slab. I would have had to hang. I almost fell out on follow. It’s partly my new shoes. I don’t trust them yet. They are very aggressive and seem to have a stiffer than normal insole. I love them for crack…but don’t trust them yet on friction.

SpaceX just put two astronauts in orbit. Those guys are so brave! First US built astronaut launch in 9 years. The technology is much improved over the old space shuttle. I still remember where I was when the first one blew up. I was at JL Darling, working day shift in the bindery where they had a radio reporting on the tragedy.

Chassis Lubrication

Posted by on May 14th, 2020  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I took the studs off today on our 2010 RAV4 V6. We’ve got 120K on the Rav4 so far. It’s been a flawless Toyota. I try to do my own maintenance on our cars as much as possible, this includes brake jobs, air cleaners, oil changes, spark plugs, fuel filters, starters, radiators and rotating tires.

Some extra work I try to do when I swap out winter tires is greasing the suspension. This  involves a grease gun with a needle attachment.  On the RAV4, there are 6 rubber boots on the suspension of each of the rear wheels. Each rubber boot covers the “knees and elbows” of the moving joints that allow the wheel to flex up and down in four wheel drive mode.

Back when I was running printing presses for 28 years we were trained to lubricate any moving parts regularly with either oil or grease via a zerk fitting. Cars have many moving parts but they don’t use zerk fittings.

Long ago I asked a mechanic how to add grease to a rubber boot that covers a ball joint on the steering control arm. He showed me his grease gun with the needle attachment. You stick the needle through the back or top side of the rubber boot and inject grease until it overflows. This packs grease into the joint.

I asked him how this could be safe. You are adding holes to the rubber boot, compromising it’s integrity. He replied that water gets in there anyway…the boots aren’t completely watertight…but by injecting new grease in every six months to a year, you are extending the life of the joint. Plus, the needle hole is so small (one mm) it self seals. In point of fact, I’ve never had one suspension fail since buying my first car in 1975.

We’ve started running the stairs at a local high school. The gate is clearly marked for no trespassing, but there is a steady stream of people climbing over the gate…I mean like literally 2 people every 1o minutes.  Coming out on Friday Sue was making the big moves over the steel fence  when a government SUV with tinted windows pulled up 20 feet from the gate. Sue was like “We are so busted!” I told her to stay calm and not fall. She managed the move…maybe 3rd  class at most and hopped down. I followed and we walked away, right past the school police vehicle.

I think they put the signs up for liability sake. There were 50 people in the stadium. The entire football team was down there running drills, plus all the people running the stairs and the track and soccer drills on the astro turf. It’s lovely down there.