Sassafras joined me for a visit to the Huntsville Apple store last week. Happy to replace at&t for verizon, plus a new iphone, ios7, tethering and more. Oh, in the trade, I gave up my grandfathered unlimited data with at&t.
Although this one has been in the works for months, we've done almost nothing other than these 35 benches for the Museum of Alabama - phase II for the past month. Tons more work to do. All these angles, tight specs, and pro Museum design firm (PRD) overseeing the project has helped make things more than exciting here in our typically more laid back studio atmosphere.
Can't wait to see these finished and installed. Looking like another full month before we'll be there.
After that we've got plenty more projects lined up. For now, we can't take new orders that are needed before early January.
We cross paths with David and Judy Hood, usually every couple of weeks during one of our weekly lunch visits to the Rice Box Restaurant. They are (or David is?) heading to NY to be on Letterman - Thursday or Friday. Really cool to see the world (and Letterman) - even if after all these years - appreciating our wonderful community as much as we do.
Looks like an entourage of some of our many musical genius' might be performing - probably one of the hits from the new soundtrack to the just released movie - Muscle Shoals. --What a fun time it is now for these guys and all of us in the area.
Interesting to see how the seeds that these guys planted back in the 60's and 70's seem to be sprouting everywhere we look; the movie, the music, the soundtrack, the city, the university.
After five years, one of the only shows we follow has come to an end. What a ride it's been. Last night was the last episode. And I think if it's summed up, or if the entire series is summed up in one word it would be "woodworking". Jessie could have followed a different path and found at least some degree of peace from "woodworking".
The "daydreaming" of being a woodworker (instead of . . .) kinda hit home. And, I can say from experience, it might have just worked.
The box. The beautiful little box (in his daydream) looked like wormy maple. The trim could have been walnut - obviously not sure.
Muscle Shoals - The Soundtrack. You'd probably have to be an oldie like me to come close to agreeing, but I'm crazy over this new soundtrack that was just released on ITunes today. And the Movie should be following soon behind (and it might just be even better than the soundtrack!)
Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Jimmy Cliff, Traffic, Paul Simon - and that's not even the start of it. Really amazing that all these guys and so many more recorded right here in our small community.
Available on itunes now. btw: I just found an even larger soundtrack to Muscle Shoals on Spotify.
This morning, we moved the completed tables out of the finishing room, moved these two in, and placed the first coat.
The 12' solid walnut conference table will be shipped to Master Architect Phil Kean's, this is the first of two conference tables that'll be used in their new office/showroom. We,ll spray finish 5 coats of our super earth friendly water based urethane before they are ready to ship. The top won't be attached to the legs/stretcher piece until we complete the spray finish.
The coffee table was made from perhaps the worlds largest?? sassafras tree. Joe Mcphail, friend and local arborist lost the tree to typical tree crew "topping", which kills every single tree that's topped.
Great fun finding this one this morning. It was sitting on top of the pile of raft race memorabilia in my closet, that I meant to get thru, but didn't even notice all weekend.
I believe I remember these guys "singing"? this song in the park after the race. This poem/song captures most of the "raft racers" views of the race, and the fun and the dam at the time.
Any locals remember these guys?
The slow studio has not been living up to it's moniker. We are cranking, and can't take on any more custom orders this year.
Here are a few pics of our finishing room today. It's all walnut. Huge walnut bench, walnut side table, another beautiful small modern walnut table going to Phil Kean, and a couple of walnut tabletops that haven't been sold yet.
Just received pics from our friend and international do gooder, Paul Makepeace. Paul is from Brisbon Aus, but spent several years here with IFDC. Now, I think he's based in Johannesburg, although it seems that many of his updates are from Nairobi. I suppose I can classify this blog post as one more adventure I haven't experienced yet.
A few photos of Sarah and my trip to Cape Town last week end. It was fortunate that Sarah was in Johannesburg for the week with work so I went down from Nairobi and caught up with her for the weekend. we went Shark diving on the Sunday and the bay was full of Southern right Whales--great weekend
Hope you are well
Just received the first 25 scanned slides back from the local Walgreens. Although it's great to see these ole '80's pics, the quality of the results was less than impressive. Low res, washed out pics, and obviously I was/am much better looking than then. I'm seeing lots of friends in here. -- Jogging any 30+ year memories?
Looks like we'll be sending the entire lot of 250 or so slides to ScanCafe, which seems to be the scanning service getting the best reviews. If you have slide scanning experience, please share!
We packed up our first set of three benches for the exciting new Museum of Alabama project in the back of the truck yesterday and carried them to Montgomery for inspection. Vicky Lewis, the project lead Architect with the supercool Museum design group, PRD out of DC flew in for a couple of days of fast paced inspection, design, and whatever else she does to ensure that the construction of this project flows right along.
Vicky had a couple of great suggestions of rounding the top inside edge of the back to be more comfortable. And round the outside edges of each section for comfort as well.
The Museum board of directions was meeting yesterday, walked thru this stage of the entire project, and seemed quite happy with their first viewing of the benches as well as the rest of the project.
I love this project, but it's certainly out of our norm of "one of a kind" pieces of furniture. Also the quantity of 35 benches and stools is just a bit daunting (at this time). Hopefully by this time next week, after we've had a chance to move through several existing large dining table projects, I'll have a better handle (and confidence) on this one.
The Museum (this phase II) should be open well before the end of the year. As you can see, there's more than a little work to be accomplished in the mean time.
A friend was in town earlier this week, and dropped by in her Tesla. Amazed! My gosh this "car" is amazing. First, I'm not sure we should call it a car. I think it deserves it's own category. This is a "something??" on steroids. - Well, maybe it's "somethingS".
1) Beautiful work of art. Feels nothing like any car I've ever seen/felt/touched/sat. Beautiful workmanship, minimal design, none of the old "car" limitations of transmission or engine that just takes up space. It's interior and exterior should be sitting in a gallery or museum.
2) Over the top safety design throughout. Perhaps the safest "car" on the road.
3) Over the top speed. The test drive only a few blocks around town were at downtown speeds, but I could feel (from the passenger seat) that it was ready to GO.
4) Over the top technology throughout. So much I didn't see, but I felt like I was inside a beautiful huge computer starting with a touch screen display. I have serious "judgement" of the way our car makers have placed limited GPS + systems in our cars. For the most part they've been crazy expensive, but my issue is how "dated" they become within 6 months. Note; Apple's getting it right later this year when they introduce a bluetooth link from our iphone to monitors that all the car makers will be installing. This sytem, following Tesla's lead, will allow our common pc technology of auto updates to firmware.
5) Oh I forgot one. Almost seems like a byproduct of this amazing work of art. Earth friendly, and might just help ween us from our massive, gluttonous addiction of petroleum products.
I almost forgot - It's made here in USA, Fremont California. At first it sounds odd, but right in the middle of Silicon Valley makes perfect since, since it's just a huge computer.
No - it's a work of art, i mean it's a race car, a possible path from fuel (middle east) dependency. - As multi-functional as Elon Musk's super cool Swiss Army Knife!
Back to Tesla. I thought they began over $100k. This morning Google told me they begin at $65 or so. Still way too rich for my blood, but (one more) amazing thing about this "something" - if it's primarily a computer, it'll be getting much better every few months, it'll be knocked off like crazy, the knockoff's will get quite good in time, and the price will drop every few months.
One of the pics below is of it beside Linda's 13 year old Volvo, which is aging quite well. Hopefully the Volvo will hang in there for at least another couple of years, and by that time, maybe we can trade for a TESLA.
If this "something" were a car, it would have to be the best car in the world.
I just ran across this oldie. A 1980 photo of Dad and me awarding the City Police Department with funds that purchased bullet proof vests. We were shocked to hear they didn't have them. Larger cities had been using them for a few years. We had raised over $6k that year from the proceeds of the Raft Race, and we were honored to help a bit. My gosh time flies!