Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Move it!

The sick is not holding. Better hold on this is going to be a bumpy ride moving forward.

Things are about to start changing.

Scott - 252.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So tired of being sick.

This year is one for the record books. I got a sniffle, that rolled into a full blown Ebola like nastiness right around Turkey Day. I honestly believe that my father gave me this evil airborne life destroying virus. The trip up to my grandparents he was hacking and popping cough drops like candy. Apparently it works on a sliding scale. Anyone over the age of 40 it gives a handicap on getting over it because he was fine and well in a 4 days, me I have held onto this god forsaken death cough for 3 months. I am pretty sure that I have put on muscle due to the amount of hacking I have done. I have the lungs of a 20 year old now you should see me flex!

Anyway, this stuff really really really is getting old. I get over it just long enough to get it again. To be honest I have had at least 4 different colds this year. Each one has been a little bit different and attacked my system in different ways. None of which was any less miserable.

The Drippier:

Starts with a runny nose, then it clots up all breathing passages in the nasal region. Pressure builds up in your head the tune of around 40psi to the point the walking around feels like a 4 year old is hitting you in the head with a rubber mallet while riding on your shoulders. Transforms into a slow crawl/slide of funk into your lungs where it hides like Osama in a cave doing recon attacks on your throat. 3 sneezes on the 5 sneeze scale of nasty.

The Crud:

It hits you fast like Roy Jones Jr. without the foot work. All orifices are clogged. Nasal, throat, lungs. Filled with green phlegm. You actually feel like you are nothing but a factory for this bug and your only job is to stay upright and spread the evil minions of crud to everyone around you. This one renders you helpless and the only, I repeat only way to get any kind of reduction of pain is to sit at the bottom of your shower with the hot water on until you disgorge enough crud to pull in some life giving oxygen. 4 sneezes on the 5 sneeze scale of nasty.

The Drive by:

Now of everything here this is kind of like playing a game. This little jewel is just as evil but is over so quick your not sure you had it. Also it only lands on you on a Friday, never a workday outing for this junk. It hits you hard and is gone. Leaving you limp and withered but functional in 3 days. Maybe my system was so battle hardened from the Crud and Dripper that it dispatched this with nary a nose bleed. What a cold should have been but never was for me. 1 sneeze and 1 sneeze only!

Green Death or The Plague:

The ring leader. The king. The Captain of colds. Whatever name you put on this one it will line up to fill the shoes. It is the king of all colds, the lothario of the lungs, the Terminator of the Trachea, It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. It starts with a little itch on the back of the throat. Just enough that you think "Hum, did I scratch my throat" but not enough that you think "I am about to die!". That is how it settles in, sneaky, evil, without remorse.

From there is quietly goes about disabling your system. Unlike the Crud, Dripper, or Drive by it does not give you a heads up. It lays dormant and lays siege to your immune system. Placing its troops behind enemy lines your throat is a little scratchier but all other scouts are fine. No runny nose, no aches, no fever, no lymph node issues. Just that damn itchy throat...you must have scratched it. A day goes by and still that damn itch...but you feel fine as it waits for Friday knowing you will go out.

Sitting in the corners of you body in ambush mode it waits. Holed up in your sinus, lungs, throat, and head. Plague Commandos of pain with every biological weapon known to virus at their evil little Ribo-Nucleic Acid hearts. They wait for the perfect opening early in the morning after a good night out as you wear yourself down after a long week. The opening shot is fired and you feel your energy plummet like someone turned off the power generator at the Death Star, you might even hear that "BOOOOOOoowwwwoooooo!" sounds as it is dialed down. As you craw in bed thinking you’re just tired you turn up to air in the house to cool you down for a nice polar bear sleep session. You can't hear it us the Plague cheers as the temp drops; your body core cools down and the virus turns up the heat! You wake up 4 hours later and that child is banging away with a ball pin hammer now and as you sit up you actually feel your brains slosh in its own fluids. Slamming your frontal lobe into you skull you wince as everything on earth is in slow motion. Your ears feel like someone filled them with quick drying glue, you nasal passages have to have cement in them simply because there is no other way to describe it, and you would swear that a 12 year old bully from the 5 grade is literally sitting on your chest.

Drugs...lots of drugs are given, taken, drank, swallowed, and rubbed. You are now in the care of the only person that will even be around you in this state. That one person is in the same breathe loved and hated because you are miserable. You know they are your only hope to survive but they are the only one you can lash out at because you can't even move without unleashing a wave of pain. You now enter what I like to call the "waking coma". You have so much cold meds in you now that you become a living zombie with nothing else to do but be a battle ground for the war inside your own body. Virus vs. white blood cell, phlegm vs. cough, snot vs. sneeze....the war is on!

You wake after 3 days, battered, bruise and beaten. You wonder the house like a Ric Romero extra looking for brains. Digging up food stuffs that have been in the house for 3 years that sound pretty good seeing how you can't smell or taste them. Your effort to move is rewarded with debilitating exhaustion. You fall back into a drug induced coma with lipton chicken noodles drided to your cheek. You sleep alone because you have scared the native population away.

5 days out people from work start to wonder if you are alive. Your up and about now, but it is just a lie. You watch tv, but the only thing you remember is SHAM WOW with microban technology! after 5 hours awake. Sleeping is your life.

Day 6, you think about going back to work about the time that your feel your left lung decide it is no longer worth going on. You start to sound like a creaky door as you breathe.

Day 7 and you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your nasal passages are now open for trade. You throat is scorched earth, but passable and that damn itch is finally gone. On the other hand you feel like you have a family of sea slugs living in your lungs. They twich every now and then which causes you to cough like a 80 year old life time smoker.

Day 8...The Great Purge!

Hazmat suits have been worn by your wife/husband as they start to see the things that come out of you that Science can't identify. What was once green has change to a nice shade of bright orange. Orange, really? What the hell is going on in there? Am I going to die? Then by mid-day your back to green and expelling things that you can't even look at anymore. You body has turned the tide and is getting the job done.

Day 9 - Don't go out.

This is where I mess up. I feel great for the first time in a week and 1/2. Don't do what I do which is think I am over it and start to get my groove back on. Not a good idea because the Plague likes to hide little reserve units in your lungs just in case you tie one on or work late. WAMo right back to day 2. Sit it out, give it another 3 days for the body to really get in there and dig old Osama BenVirus out of your system or he will just get you again.

Day 12 -

Resume normal operations, keep an eye out for the a Drive by. 5 out of 5!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

So it kicked my butt.

Well that layoff over the holidays kicked my butt. I never really realised how much of a workout blowing glass is. I put in about 4 days over a 6 day period and it really put me in the hurt house. After the last two days back to back a cold/flu/you just wore yourself out thing jumped me mid day and sent me running for the comfort of my bed to get some rest.

I took about a 4 hour nap, woke up, ate, watched Lost and went back to bed. I feel better today but still a bit under the weather. I figure by tomorrow if I get a good sleep in tonight I will be right as rain. I hope. I have a plan for Hot Glass Cold Beer night at the Belmont Arts Center.

I am going to use my star optic mold from my shop to make a rather large spun out bowl. I plan to have my assistant bring me bits to run the length of the star arms to make the bowl really spin out into a sort of starfish like deal. I think I might even go so far as to put a lip wrap on it. Because I am just flat out crazy like that....crazy....CRAZY!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Blast from the past.

A fellow glassblower sent me a reminder of why I blow glass. As it happens I wrote it years ago to answer someones question about why I blow glass even if it does not make a bunch of money. Here was apparently what I had to say and I think it still rings true for me. Funny how your own words sound strange to you when they bounce back to your ears years later.

Why I do it.

The second I walk into the glass shop everything kind of stops running around in my head. How am I going to get this router and firewall to do this, this VIOP product to nanu nanu with that one, why is the ADS server giving me the finger....etc..etc..

It vanishes in the blink of an eye, and all I have to do to calm down is pull out my first gather, take it to the marver and roll away all of the weeks stress as I blow my worries into the end of a pipe and cap them off. Trapped in that little glass bit on the end of the pipe are the worries of my week, trapped in a prison of glass. My partner in crime at the glass shop shows up all smiles, happy to be there. We banter about kids, and work, and music...all while making a couple of things that don't really matter. I take it all back, they do matter because they are like little pieces of stress that I have pulled out of my soul and stuck in the glass. Each piece of glass at my house represents a moment when I was free of the world and its worries. They serve to remind me to go back, be creative, try something new, and not worry about if it is right or wrong. Someone will love whatever I pull out of that annealer. Someone will enjoy that piece of glass even if I hate it, you know why because everyone has different tastes. I smile every time someone buys a piece of my work as I watch my stress kill itself by funding its own demise.

Glass is my release. The luxury of not having to make a living off it might be the reason. As far as art or craft, everything is art for me. You have to be skilled to be a craftsman, anyone can crank out art and I am a prime example of that theory.



Monday, February 2, 2009

Ready, set, wait.

So I finally got a set of elements put into the furnace. I ran them up to 1600f for a couple of hours to sort them out a bit. It also helps to put a black oxidized coat on the elements that "they say" helps them last longer. The set I got from Duralite seems to be more robust than the original set of elements that came with the furnace. We will see how they last. When I left this morning it was at 1000f on the way up to 2125f which is the temp that I will start to charge the furnace. Should hit that sometime tomorrow around 6pm.

For those of you that want to know how to ramp up and ramp down a furnace without cracking the pot/killing it here is the skinny. In the most simple terms possible:

From room temp to 700f you ramp it up 50f per hour.

Then from 700f to 1400f you ramp it at 25f per hour. This is the critical point that glass goes though crystalization and will either expand or contract depending on if you are cooling or heating it. This is what puts that stress on the pot.

From 1400f to 2150f I ramp at 50f per hour again but once you clear 1600f you can just ramp up at full speed. At this point the glass is pretty much melted and your pot is hot enough to not care.

So looks like I will be dumping glass in the pot on Tuesday, have a melt by Wed. if I am lucky and I can crank out some work.

Light fixtures
Large Paperweight type things for business here in town

Busy bee....need to switch into a couple other projects as well....but those will come later.

Hope you guys had a great weekend.