Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Old Art but A New Endeavor

It seems just a short time ago when Rachel would sit in the back seat of Tammy's Saturn, too small to safely sit up front as Tammy would chauffeur her to wherever she needed to be. I'd taxi her at times but Tammy did most of it. She's so much more independent now that she's able to get herself around and I'm not just talking within a few mile radius of home. She drove out to St Paul Excel Center last Tuesday night to meet up with her bff Camille for the John Mayer concert. Not all that long ago we'd have probably not allowed her to drive there on her own but we're changing. When I was her age I was in boot-camp in the Navy so that thought helps me keep things in perspective.

I was out the door before she got up for school the next morning so I texted her to see how the show was. She had a blast and didn't get home until just before midnight so she took the first hour off school. The senior-slide continues but her grades are holding up.

She was tasked with coming up with a design for tickets for her school's Sadie Hawkins dance. She's always been very creative and I've said for years that I could see her working for an advertising agency although that's not what she wants.

I don't know at what point our work as parents is done but I think she's pretty much the person she's going to go out into the world as and I know for certain the world will be a better place because of her.

I spent a good part of last week putting the finishing touches on a website for Keith's shop. It was necessary to take the domain down from their current host company and get it moved over to the GoDaddy servers where I've got my sites hosted. I'm glad to have the job finished. There's still a bit more work left to do but the bulk of it is pretty much done. I'm using Google Analytics in the background to see what's driving traffic to the site and I hope to eventually get it indexed with Google toward the top for local searches. Check out some of his shop's work; here's a link.  If you're in the greater metropolitan area of the Twin Cities please consider giving them your business; oh, and you can become a fan of the shop on Facebook and help spread the word.

We've been in a thawing period here for at least the last week and it's more than welcome but it's surprising how much snow is left yet. With high temps forecast to be in the mid 40's for next week it should take a nice chunk out of what remains. I was able to get out on my bike several times this week and managed a real nice 65 mile effort Friday under a cloudless sky with temps in the mid 30's. My plan was to do the Hampton loop, about 41 miles but less than a mile into my ride I quickly scrapped that idea.

I always try and set a mileage goal for the year and this year I'm leaning toward 5500 to 6000 miles out on the roads. I'll have considerably less projects around the home to distract me than I had last summer so it shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish.

But then maybe not.

I say that because Tammy and I may have found a new distraction (like we need one).

We had our introductory glass blowing class with Jackson at Foci studios in Minneapolis yesterday and we both came away wanting to do more of it. Tammy went first while I watched. We didn't actually blow glass but we did get to gather a bunch of glass on the end of a gathering rod from the furnaces and manipulate it at the bench into a paper weight. The project takes you through the most basic steps of working the glass into a shape while creating some designs within the glass through the use of color chips and tools.

Jackson cautioned us early on that one of the biggest mistakes people make is in touching the rod too close to the glass where it will easily burn you. Fortunately we were able to avoid that mistake. You're pretty aware of what you're working with but I suppose some people become too preoccupied with other aspects of what they're doing and forget.

Our pieces are slowly cooling in a kiln (annealing) and won't be ready until Tuesday. We'll pick them up one night this week and at the same time look at seeing where our schedules might allow us to fit in our first real classes. For a while our plans have been to wait until we retire before getting involved with this but I was mentioning to Tammy how nice it would be to already be somewhat proficient at it by the time we retire. We'll see.

Video of Tammy and video of myself at Foci.

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