Learning Curve – September 4, 2019

Hello, again. Time for my (not very) regular blog update 😉

It’s been a busy week and a half since my last post. Had some fun, did some work, but not always the work I should have been doing.
I spent the better part of the week after our get-together putting the house back in order and finishing a few small projects. The long weekend was coming up, so I didn’t get up to too much, anticipating that I’d have a lot more free time to work on important things during my days off.
We get a four day weekend for Labor Day at my work, and since I’m on the midnight shift, that meant I was done on Thursday morning. To kick it off, I went to check out an electronic jazz quartet at a local bar with a couple of friends. The quartet was called Lushh, hailing from Kalamazoo, MI. They were surprisingly good, though I found the first half of their set more enjoyable than the second because they played more standards rather than their own material.
I ended the night by grabbing some beers with a friend down at my favourite watering hole, Villain’s Beastro. It kind of turned into a mutual venting session, both of us letting off some steam about different issues going on in our lives. It was great to have someone to listen to my ramblings, and I was happy to return the favour.
On Saturday, my wife and I took a trip across the border to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village on the outskirts of Detroit. It was the last weekend of a Star Trek TV and Movie props exhibit, and being a massive Trek fan, I had to see it before it left. We spent the day geeking out at all the cool Trek stuff, and then checking out the other exhibits and walking around the Village, before heading out for BBQ at our favourite chain restaurant over there, Famous Dave’s.
It was an enjoyable afternoon, but I couldn’t help but feel that the exhibits at Greenfield Village were little more than a crass and obnoxious display of wealth. For those that don’t know, the Village is pretty much an outdoor museum, displaying historic buildings that were moved from their original locations and relocated to Henry Ford’s personal back yard, most during the Great Depression. Buildings like Edison’s Laboratory and Machine Shop, and George Washington Carver’s Cabin, were dismantled and shipped piece by piece to Michigan, leaving many of the original sites, which I’m sure could have benefited from the tourist dollars those buildings would bring in, devoid of a historical landmark. The inner Socialist in me was kind of disgusted by such a self-indulgent display of riches. It seemed more a showcase of plunder than historical artifacts. Colour me Red, I guess.
Besides a trip out to the county to visit my mother, I spent most of the rest of the weekend building a rocket stove for my greenhouse, to keep it warm through the winter. A rocket stove is a primitive but highly efficient wood-burning stove that uses little fuel, produces minimal smoke but puts out a great deal of heat. It’s going to be connected to a mass heater eventually, a structure made primarily of clay and vent pipe which will store the heat and release it over several hours, keeping the inside of the greenhouse warm during the cold months. I’m pretty happy with the way the stove came out, though because it’s made of a mixture of Portland cement and vermiculite/perlite, I have to wait nearly a month before I can fire it up. If there’s too much moisture still in the concrete it’s liable to crack under the intense heat that a rocket stove will produce. Time will tell if I did it right. 🙂
The only kinda shitty thing this week is, once again, I’m feeling disappointed by a good friend, though admittedly, I’m not sure I have the right to be. Again, it’s a case of thoughtless-ness, rather than intended malice, but still, I have to admit I’m a bit butt-hurt. I’ve always considered this person to be the kind of friend I’d help bury a body for if needed, no questions asked. It’s tough coming to the realization that you’re the person in the friendship that does all the work to maintain it, and the other person doesn’t consider the relationship as important as you do. Maybe I expect too much of people and should just let things go. Maybe I shouldn’t expect other people to behave as I think I would. Maybe I should just get over it. I’m sure I will, eventually.
On the “community” front, I’m going to be slowing things down a bit by canceling one of my regular monthly events. It’s an instructional event that I’ve been organizing on and off for about the past five years or so. Back in January, after a bit of a hiatus, I resurrected the event, mostly because my partners, who do most of the actual instructing, wanted to. I was a bit hesitant to bring it back, as it is a lot of work to organize, and I didn’t want to invest in yet another monthly event, but I kind of let them cajole me into it. To be honest, with everything else going on in my life, I was kind of hoping to end the event anyway. My partners are going to try to keep it, or something similar, going, but I’m stepping back from it. I wish them well.
As far as the writing, or actually editing, that’s been a slow go. I’ve started on the first 5000-word chunk of my manuscript, hoping to cut it down to around 4000, but it’s been a bit of a slog. I have to re-familiarize myself with how to actually edit my writing, what to look for, what to cut, what to add, etc. There’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, but I’m hoping I get better at it, and that it goes quicker, farther down the line. I’m on the fourth edit of the one article I wrote, and I’m hoping to have that one finally polished up soon so I can try shopping it out.
Well, that’s it for today. Hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend.

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