Saturday, October 30, 2010

University of Iowa vs Michigan STATE!

This is looking to be a great game ( I may have to rewrite this if it turns out different.) Last year Iowa pulled out a win in the last 2 seconds of the game to win 15 to 13 over MSU. So Michigan State is Out for REVENGE! With a current record of 8-0, And currently ranked 5th in the nation, They are bringing their A game I'm sure! However, Iowa is no slouch, and if they were able to win last years game in the last 2 seconds, there is no reason they can't pull something like that again. They are currently ranked 15 so they have a lot to gain if they can upset MSU fans again. So the sides are drawn and this looks like it might be a great match. It's not my Michigan roots that inspire me to cheer for MSU, It's the school spirit from being a former student there. MSU is one of those stories of rocky roads, soaring heights and deepest darkest valleys. I'm not usually a college ( or any sport for that matter) football fan, But watching MSU play always grabs my attention. I guess having some skin in the game ( what does that phrase even mean!?!?!) somehow manages to draw you in when you are not really expecting it. So, If you are reading this blog and you are a fan of one of the two teams, Hopefully you will check it out today. If not, If you are like me most of the time, then you may just want to watch it because there is a bit more riding on the outcome than usual. I can't wait to see how it turns out. ( Oh! And being in Iowa City, The game is on EVERYWHERE! Just like when we were in East Lansing so many years ago. )

Friday, October 29, 2010

Teaching the Cat Origami

Why not? I mean, I taught them how to roll over, sit, stay, Play dead, and beg for food. It's only natural that I show them one of my favorite hobbies. I must admit that it took a while to get them interested. You might not be able to see but Rashi ( on my lap) slept through most of the lesson. However, eventually, Red ( the shop cat) took an interest and decided to give it a go. It's not bad for his first attempt. but he needs more practice. Then again, He does have a problem with his claws tearing the paper.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ah the battle against depression....

Well it has been a rather gray day here as it has been for the most of this week. So how do you keep the blues away when the wind is strong and cold and the days are dark? Well, besides doing origami, I listen to Anime Themes. Here's one that Cheers me up and it is a great anime if you ever want some inspiration. Gurran Laggan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windy days in Iowa!

It's so windy here that there is an advisory on the HIGHWAY! The crosswinds apparently blow trucks over onto their sides. ( we have seen this not once...but twice!) All I know is that the winds are Strong enough to blow pieces of my car off! Now it might be true that the Subie is an old-ish car, but when the wind blows off cosmetic stuff that is hooked in a aerodynamically sealed. well lets just say that one takes notice. The task now is to find a way to put it back on and keep it on. The wind has not died down, so I have a while before I try anything. Cheryl suggests some epoxy that is slow to set up. I can't simply reattach it because all the plastic screws are broken. I'll keep you posted with updated pics when I figure it out. ( sorry....No Duct tape!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Origami for the Christmas Rush!

So the Christmas rush is already rearing it's crazy head and to prepare for it, I have been working on the Origami "thank you's" That accompany each package. I'm not sure the number at the moment, and some have already been sent out, but I'm thinking about 300 have been made at the time of this writing. The designs consist of a number of variations of the crane as well as the origami frog that I have become quite fond of. Cheryl has also enlisted me to make a few "large" sculptures for the walls. Although the paper was much thicker than I was used to, I think it turned out pretty cool . It is also holding it's shape well without any additional glue, tape or pins. Now Cheryl wants a whole flock of them! I must say that even though the larger, heavier paper is interesting to work with, it still is a challenge and takes considerably longer to make the design. I have to Iron the creases and there is always the danger of the thicker paper ripping from the stress of the heavy folds. I want to see how the tree frog will handle the strain heavy paper and I'm very interrested in seeing how it will look. I'll see how far I get when we get the resources to make some more. I'll also post the pics!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Mysterious case of a Dead Squirrel.

So just when I thought I was running out of things to blog about. Fate hands me a mystery that no one short of Sherlock Holmes would have found intriguing. The facts: We come home and there is a dead grey squirrel in the driveway. They mystery: How did it get there? We certainly did not run it over and our driveway is certainly not a speed trap. Was he run over by a car? As I got out i noticed that he was still in one piece. That is: he was not squished all over. So being hit by a car seemed like an unlikely scenario. Now the theories begin. There are a number of healthy squirrels running around so I'm sure it was not a sickness that came. And there was no sign of any trauma. That is: No mauling by a dog, cat or large bird could be seen. Cheryl urged me to go inside where I noticed that the clocks were all set back to 12:00. Had there been a power failure? Well Cheryl pointed out that the clock by the bed was still on the proper time. Ah well. I went back outside to show Red the shop cat the mysterious corpse. As we both looked at it ( Red tapped it a little with his paw) I noticed that it looked like his tail was "scorched. you know how it looks when hair catches on fire but does not burn completely? Well I look up and see a power line about 20 feet away and off to the left. If he had been electrocuted, he had been blown off about 20 ft! I have seen the squirrels running along that line before and they never got shocked, I began to think that it was a freak occurrence. Perhaps he just fell. When I told Cheryl of my new findings she said that she noticed several other clocks that had been reset. and remembered that the bedroom clock had a battery to prevent it from losing the time. So Now the theory was taking hold. The squirrel fried himself, got blown off the pole/wire into the middle of our driveway and temporarily disconnected the power to our house. Poor guy! But it didn't see m to effect the other squirrels. We still have plenty running around.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ever wonder why more people do not write?

Because it is so easy it is hard. Does that make sense? I once heard from a successful writer that the secret to writing is an iron butt! I see the genius in that statement. Writing takes time. And the other day, even thought I thought I was trucking right along, I lost 6 hours! Lost? I should say it too 6 hours to write 9 pages of dialog. Of coarse I'm not the fastest typist, however, I'm no slouch. And then you actually have to think about what you are writing. Anyway. This Playwright idea could take some time And I'm not sure I'm going to plow right though it. There are moments of inspiration that simply must get put down on paper. Perhaps in a later post, I'll give a heads up as to what I'm writing about. As for is a hint as to where it is going...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Life of a Playwrite....or play wright?

Or how ever you spell it. I could look it up but this is a blog not a term paper. My original subject is that I have been toying with the idea for some time. You see, I have tons of stories running through my brain and several I have actually written on paper. ( not published, yet! Another thing that I have very little understanding about.) November is "write your novel " month. And I finished mine two years ago. Last year was another story ( or lack of one, lack of time with Cheryl's stocking business getting off the ground. ) Anyway, I should have some free time coming up in the next few days to work on my short movie script. At least it looks like it will be short. And meant for a small target audience. In the mean time, I'll continue with my origami. I'm up to the blue frog now! Cheryl says that she is now just going to tell people that I'm an origami Artist. Now if I could only make some money from it.... I guess I have, an occasional free meal at Panera, Arbies, and Culvers. I don't really know if anyone would really want to pay for Origami otherwise. Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Monday, October 18, 2010

And the Search is Back ON!

Well once again I'm sending out those resumes and hoping to find something a little more permanent. Not having a shop anymore, carving as a career is out. However there is all that lovely ( and expensive) education that I had invested in years ago to find that perfect fish job that never seemed to materialize. Well, The search has resumed and I'm sending out the applications online. So I can only imagine how that will go. Like sending a message in a bottle and throwing it into the sea. The only reason I'm posting this is because there really is not much else going on at the moment. And I find myself 'stretching the limits' of my experience to apply for jobs outside my education. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What will a Bluegill Processing plant look like?

After touring the Blue Ribbon Fish farm processing plant, And coming from Homestead Trout farm, My first thought is that it would be rather small scale. One or two people running a machine and trimming the filet's. However, after a little research and visiting Superior Seafoods, I see I might be thinking too small! Take a look at some of these processing plants in Japan, Alaska, and Mississippi! My first thought is that the skill involved for filleting a small-ish fish like a bluegill would prove to be a hindrance for finding good labor. However, I do know ( from experience!) that after you clean about a hundred of them, you will get faster and better. I still think that a machine that could cut off the fillets would be a time saver. I'm pretty sure that you are required by law ( may be different in different states) to leave the skin on the fish so the shopper can identify the species and not get tricked into buying a cheaper fish at a higher price. ( example Some stores sold ocean perch ( $3.00/lbs) for red snapper ($7.00/lbs). With no skin on the fish to Identify it, the shopper was paying more for the cheaper fish and couldn't tell!) I have read that some people who recognize the demand for bluegills, are substituting tilapia filet's for them. ('s illegal!) ( If you can't tell....The Bluegill is on the right, tilapia on the left!) It's too bad because tilapia, although a great fish, does not taste as good as bluegills. Whatever the processing plant may look like, there will definitely be a requirement for a third party to handle it. It could be as simple as an existing fish processor retooling slightly and integrating the smaller fish into their offerings. As of right now, to the best of my knowledge, Blue Ribbon Fish farm is the only one currently doing it with farm raised bluegill.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So where does a former Artist go?

Ah yes, the same question I have been asking myself over and over after the carving business no longer became profitable. There are moments where I look forward to the "next big thing" ( probably bluegills) but in the mean time and every now and then I get this brief flare up where I ask"what if I had done this?" People say things like," you should be an artist!" And all I can say is...."thanks." I don't have the heart to tell them that I was for the past 10 years and 6 of those years it was our exclusive income. I don't intend this to be a negative, but rather I feel like I've "been there, done that, now off to the next thing." I don't know where I'll end up, but I have not shaken the addiction to business or entrepreneur. There is still some areas that I might have to explore there. In the mean time, I still have my chisels ( even though I have not been eager to get back to carving anything) and I still have my origami to occupy my time. The bringing Bluegills to the masses idea is still on a slow burner in the back of my mind and every now and then I get an idea and have to write about it. Perhaps I'll look back at this post some day and smile at my ramblings.


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