Most recent fragment:
Is there a blood pressure medication I can take that will just cover my morning commute? Most of the time, my BP is great, but then I drive to work.
Fri, 04 Oct 2013 05:56:07 -0700
2013.10.07 at 12:00am EDT
I saw this mantis in the garden recently. I think the creepiest thing about mantids is the way the turn look at you.
2013.10.04 at 9:00am EDT
sigur ros, stage ae, and the moon
at first, I wasn't sure if the band was really into performing last night, then the full moon rose over the edge of the building.
2013.09.20 at 8:00am EDT
Pitt K-9 Unit
For bonus points, later that day I saw an actual police car sharing the same illegal spot with a green minivan.
Last week, I got a zero dollar "warning" parking ticket for parking in an area that is a street sweeping zone once a month. They just wanted to remind everybody because there hasn't actually been any street sweeping in that area for more than six months. The day before I got my warning, they issued over 200 parking tickets but later voided them because after six months nobody paid attention to the signs. In general, this is no big deal to get a warning, except it means they basically walked through the neighborhood writing down the license plate number of everybody parked there.
2013.09.13 at 12:00am EDT
I must have walked past this a hundred times without noticing.
2013.09.12 at 12:00am EDT
The pair of tekkou that I posted about yesterday were a sort of prototype for the future. I knew that what I really wanted was a pair in the green hemp-linen I've been making a bunch of stuff out of lately. I'd already made a pair of kyahan from this material, so a matching pair of tekkou were necessary.
I decided the first pair were a mite small, so I enlarged the pattern a half inch. They're also lined with white linen instead of both layers being heavy. Lastly, I made eighth-panel straps instead of quarter-panel straps, just like I said I would. I'm pretty happy with the way those came out, and I think they'll be more comfortable to wear.
Here are a couple of pictures showing the outer body and the lining of the tekkou. I could have done these a slightly different way that would have made them lay flatter. maybe for the third pair.
I've also added step-by-step instructions (with pictures) for how to make tekkou like these to the Tekkou project page.
2013.08.21 at 12:00am EDT
Japanese men's upper-body clothing, in particular informal clothing like for travelling or working typically does not come down all the way to the wrist. This can leave the forearm chilly in cold weather, dirty when working, or sunburned when it's sunny. Of course the Japanese have a solution for this, and the sollution is called tekkou, which are forearm covers.
The tekkou wrap around the forearm, and extend up the back of the hand. In this common design, a loop goes around the middle finger to keep the extension from flapping around. Ties at the wrist and crook of the elbow secure the tekkou to the forearm.
This pair of tekkou is made of white linen. The body of each tekkou is actually two layers. This enabled me to finish the complex curve at the hand end of the tekkou by sewing both layers together and turning the whole thing inside out before attaching the ties.
My ties and finger loop are a bit wide. To make the ties, I started with a strip about 3.75" wide (what I call a quarter-panel width since a full panel is 15" or so wide), folded it in half lengthwise, then tucked the raw edges of the tie into the fold. I think next time I will use eighth-panel ties.
I wanted to get a pair of these done wbefore Pennsic, but I was a bit too busy with the gate to get them done. They'll be ready for winter, though, and hopefully will survive until Pennsic. Here's what they look like laid out:
2013.08.20 at 12:00am EDT
One of my most indispensible pieces of clothing is a pullover that's made out of a medium blue polarfleece. It's neutral in color, and depending on what I wear it with it can be slightly dressy or mostly casual. It's awesome for travel since it's so versatile and lightweight. I wear it so much in winter that I decided I needed another one, but rather than go buy something, I thought I might make one instead.
I used my favorite hoodie pattern, only I did a v-neck collar instead of a hood. This took a little bit of improvization, but it came out OK, if a little puffy due to the extra layers of fabric tiucked up inside the collar. I would love to say, "I can't wait for it to be cool enough for me to wear this," except I can so very wait for it to be cool enough for me to wear this.
I might make more of these. Since it's more versatile than a hoodie, I'd have more call or interest in wearing one. I don't have much call for hoodies these days, and I own more than enough as it is. I can almost always use another sweater, though.
2013.08.19 at 12:00am EDT
Last night at about 4:15am, somebody driving down our street smashed (and I mean smashed) into a neighbor's parked vehicle and drove off. The police arrived roughly one hour later (the station is about ten minutes away).
The crazy thing is that if the police had arrived faster, they would have caught the guy. He drove past the scene three times while we were all standing around. My guess is that he didn't actually know where he was. We live in one of those strange parts of Pittsburgh that can be difficult to get out of if you're not familiar with it.
Three times! I am not kidding. There were parts dragging off his car, and he had to drive with his head out the window since it must have been difficult to see out the windshield. He's kind of lucky this is a neighborhood full of mostly non-violent people, or I could have easily seen something bad happen to him. In any case, we all saw his face and took down his license plate number.
2013.08.18 at 6:50am EDT
As a 'congratulations' present to myself for actually completing the "Camp Gate" a month ago, I decided to invest in some actual Japanese tools. I bought five things total from Hida Tools in Berkeley, CA, and one of those things was this carpenter square.
The sashigane is a simple suqare with no moving parts, but the overall object has a high degree of sophistication. It's very flexible, and the eight available edges are marked off in different scales.
This is a relatively small sashigane, only about a foot long on the long leg. I wanted to be sure it would fit in my toolbox with my other tools. It should be long enough for most of my uses. This sashigane is in inches, but they are frequently available in centimeters and in sun which is the archaic Japanese unit that is about one tenth of a foot. (Really, one sun is exactly one tenth of a shaku which is about 1.091 feet or something.)
One end of the long leg is marked so you can use it as a depth gauge. This only works for holes and slots that are large enough to fit, though.
One edge is marked in kakume-inches. Kakume is a scale based on the square root of two (the length the hypotenuse of a unit isosceles right triangle), so each mark is actually about 1.414 inches. If you use this scale to measure the diameter of a log, it will tell you the largest square beam you can cut from that log. It's also often used to create proper aspect ratios in things like shoji screens. The rectangles between the kumiko crossbars are often measured in inches by kakume, so, like, 3 inches tall by 3 kakume (4.242 inches) wide.
Another edge is marked in marume-inches. Marume is a scale based on pi (which you probably know is the ratio between a circle's diameter and circumference), so each mark is actually about 3.14 inches. If you use this scale to measure the diameter of a log, it tells you the circumference of the log.
Here's how you use the sashigane when you're trying to measure in from the edge of a board. You take advantage of the flexibility to bend the long leg into a curve that you press up against the side of the board (or box in this case). This also tilts the short leg so that the inner edge presses down against the surface for accurate measurement and marking.
[Please note that these Toolsday posts are independant reviews of tools that I purchased. I do not receive any payment for doing these reviews. I did receive a discount from Hida, but it was for being a student of my teacher and these reviews were not a condition of that discount.]
2013.08.13 at 12:00am EDT
"This blogging business. LJs and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it."
All text and graphics copyright © 2013 Elliott C. Evans except where otherwise noted.