Friday, October 21, 2016

Now I Have Four Jobs

Five jobs, if you count making sculpture. And since I successfully completed a commission - albeit for a friend -  and have receive taxable remuneration, I think we have to include 'sculptor' as a job.

So, five jobs.

Here I was, worried about finding just one job, and now I have five. Although, one job I lose as of Dec.12th, the Bronze Casting Instructor job. But I may gain a new job in January as a Moldmaking Instructor.

I have the Welding Instructor job at Harper.
I have the Bronze Casting Instructor job at Harper*.
I am a sculptor's assistant on the weekends.
As of today, I am a part-time keyholder with Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.

Exciting times ahead. The Rockler and welding instructor jobs mesh well, as I have to learn CAD/CAM and CNC for both jobs. Rockler has CNC woodworking lathes and also has Shopbots which I must teach classes on and do demos. Harper CPT has CNC plasma cutters, CNC laser cutters, robot milling machines, robot punch machines and, well, all the cool late-20th-century automated machinery.

I'm a lucky guy.

I still make art, crafting small waxes and casting them in coffee can molds, and I will continue to do that. That all has to happen late at night. I considered joining a Hacker space called Pumping Station One (yeah, not a good name). Toured the place, plunked down $40 for a month's membership, came in a few times, and found that territories had already been carved out there, and I really didn't feel like stepping on toes or stealing thunder. It's basically summer camp for rich yuppies and geeks, with all these kinds of generally shallow and trivially crafty projects involving very expensive equipment. Plus, you had to get 'authorized' on the equipment, and the authorization sessions are at the end of the month. Pass. I cancelled my membership.

Thinking about the election season coming up, and I've decided we have entered the Uncanny Valley of American politics. I honestly can't shake the feeling that Trump is working for Hillary. She really needed a truly awful opponent to get elected, and, well, one hand washes the other. We'll see.

the village where I live is solidly Republican, and the affluent neighborhoods where I go running and hiking and biking are crystalline precipitate solid Republican. Walking around, I saw exactly one Trump and one Clinton yard sign. Compare this to 2012 where practically every house had a Romney sign, save for one Obama sign. Hmm. Maybe they are afraid of Halloween vandalism, or maybe the polls are spot on.

A friend of mine plans on writing in None Of The Above for President. I replied "No! Write in Me!" So expect at least one vote for "Me!"come Nov. 9.

I know people are worried about angry Trump supporters talking about armed revolt.

Yeah. Right. Relax.

As someone once said to me, American's lifestyle is their polity. And Americans are just a little too out-of-shape, a little too fuzzy minded, a little too soft and lazy, to engage in the sustained commitment that murdering their fellow Americans launching a revolution requires.

They all look a little too well fed and comfortable, and, frankly, stoned, to do much beyond attend a rally.

But it sure does seem like this political cycle seems a little unreal, a little to synthetic, a little too creepily-similar-but-just-not-quite to reality.

But,I guess I shouldn't be all the worried. Last night, I scanned the Coninuum, and can report that I found only the normal set of anomalies...  

Thursday, October 13, 2016


2016. Cast Bronze. approx. 5" x 10" x 3"

2016. Cast Bronze. approx. 5" x 10" x 3"

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hubris, Meet Nemesis

Because that's how it works. Wherever Hubris is, Nemesis is sure to follow.

After teaching class last night, I came home and watched The Big Short - the movie about the housing crisis and financial collapse. Actually, I worked on waxes first, until about midnight, then I watched the movie. I chose that order knowing that the movie would make me mad. It didn't. It made me sad. But I was right that I would be in no mood to work on waxes after watching it.

So, and the lesson of that movie is that almost all business is on Wall street is fraudulent and criminal, driven by greed and stupidity. The Scandinavian in me would just as soon slaughter all the those bankers (after slow torture), mount their heads on pikes throughout Manhattan, as an object lesson to other white collar criminals. The Scandinavian in me knows this would do no damn good at all, but it might make a few people feel better. I still maintain white collar crime should carry a mandatory death penalty.

In any case, the observation at the end of the movie, that the financial crisis would be blamed upon immigrants and poor people, was spot on. I look at the Crash of 2008 as not unlike WWI in Germany. The successful popular opinion - authored by the loathsome incompetent that lost the war for Germany, Erich Ludendorff - was that the military would have won the war if they had not been stabbed in the back by Jews and Commies.

This lie was successfully promulgated among the German people, and the result was WWII. So, Crash of 2008 Part Deux is coming up because the same creeps that gave us Part Un are still in charge, and have successfully promulgated the big lie that Wall street was stabbed in the back by guvmint, immigrants, and poor people. Interesting thing about that cat Ludendorff. He successfully fought a battle against Czarist Russia, Tannenberg, that probably cost Germany the war. Hubris. Followed by Nemesis.

So, given that the economy is destined to take a shit, and probably sooner rather than later means I'm in no hurry to go hide in a 40-hour-a-week, 9-to-5 stable job because it won't be there very soon. So, I work on waxes, cast them in bronze, and hustle to sell them. That's probably a different form of denial and delusion.

Hi ho.

I'm also planning on joining a open source hackerspace called Pumping Station: One. (Not thrilled about the name). I toured the facilities Sunday, saw a beautiful thing going on, noticed they lacked for a hot metal area and said I could probably get them going. The two people I talked to, one a blacksmith, the other a jeweller, practically fell over each other asking me to join. Why not? Volunteering my knowledge and skills may be just the right kind of karma I need right now. Networking and all that.

I also plan on touring Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center during their open house. And I'm trying to get together with the foundry manager at the School of the Art Institute. Networking, don't you know.

In the meantime, I'm staying up late, making waxes. I've a fridge full of people and things right now.

Vacation Snaps

Vacation Snaps

Lost Little Guy (v.1)
Lost Little Guy (v.2)

Carbuncle Racer

And I made this.

Vigantopus and Friend
Vigantopus. Sitting there late Saturday morning at 3am with a beer, starting at the thing, the following drunken narrative entered my head.

She had somehow become friends with Vigantopus. Vigantopus noticed she had no home, and kindly invited her to stay within her. The woman had just enough room inside Vigantopus to sleep in a fetal position. Vigantopus did not eat her, though she could have. As the woman slept, Vigantopus roamed the countryside, sometimes travelling scores of miles in one night. With eight limbs to move upon, the woman never felt a lurch or a sway. She would wake up and tumble out into places she had never been, not knowing where she was.