I feel like the purpose of this weekend was to test my limits when it comes to patience, and disappointment. I’m ready for it to be over with. I didn’t have a fire last night – the tide won. I didn’t even smoke the joint I rolled while talking with Holly about how much I was looking forward to going to sit at the fire. I’m about to go do that now. I slept most of the night, and woke up around 2am to discover that the file I had left transferring, which prevented me from doing anything else with my machine (I hate you skype, you POS), had crapped out just before finishing. So, that’s a bunch of hours wasted that I could have been working.
Today, I’m either going to get some work done, or try and overdose on pot and juice. One of those is possible, I’m sure. I suppose I already did some work – I designed that house up there for James. It looks like a peace sign. I need to get together with him now to find out how to make it work. I need to add some supports to where the roofs meet, but I’m not sure where, or what type of joints to use. I thought getting to this point was going to take me 5 minutes but, I’ve been up working on this since 7am. I’m frustrated and miserable and haven’t smoked pot since yesterday afternoon sometime.
Today I did a little bit of work, discovered it might now be getting me anywhere, then went to the village with David. I got some groceries and some blunt wraps, then tried to fix my bike when we got home. I failed. I went down to the beach, did some juggling, left my juggling rocks there for someone else to find.
I went back to the beach later, and found some neat stuff. I found some shells I’ve never seen before, and met a couple hermit crabs.
And then last night to add to my weekend getting fucked, the irony involved in that, and a bee stinging my foot, I had a terrible dream about Holly. I don’t get why I’m dreaming so much these days, but it’s definitely interesting. I woke in a shitty mood, but as the day went on I felt much better. I designed part of James’ house, and tried to get a hold of him to finish it with me this afternoon, but he wasn’t around, so I’ll try again tomorrow.
Oh, and up top there is a photo of where I plan to spend my night. I found a bunch of driftwood, and a butt someone cut of a log they shouldn’t have. Made a stool, and set up a fire. Now I’m just taking to a beautiful, patient lady, then I’m hoping to get that fire lit before either the tide washes it away, or it starts to rain.
Also, I found five bucks on my way back from the beach. Hooray!
This is a mid-post I made for the log building we are working on. The joinery is much the same as timber framing, as far as layout and dimensions go, but the cutting and tolerances are much different. All the rough cuts, and even some of the finish cuts are done primarily with a chainsaw. Because the building we’re making is fairly small and basic, it has only a few mid-posts, so we decided to make them in pairs, so everyone got to do at least half of one. I paired up with a dude named Dave, from Ontario. He’s the only other Ontarian in the course, but that’s not why we paired up – we were both just ready to move to that phase at the same time. Our post was peeled by the instructor, and he also milled the two flat parallel edges, using the Wood – Mizer portable mill. Because the faces must be perfectly parallel, and because we can’t operate the mill, we just had to watch while James did the work. I did basically all the layout and we shared the cutting.
Once we had the joinery laid out and cut, we had to route a dado groove down theÂ centre line on each flat face. This is to accept a spline that connects the log in-fill stacks to the posts. After that all we had to do was cut it to length, and finish plane the sides so it looked nice.
Dave over-cut his routing, but mine was sweet. Unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture before we flipped it over.
Another neat thing we did was see a demonstration of James’ new rig he designed. Basically it cuts a huge stack of logs perfectly plumb, which makes our in-fill logs the perfect size and on the perfect plane. It’s an old setup, improved upon greatly. It took less than four minutes to cut about nine logs, perfectly plumb with each other. If we had to do this without his setup, it would have taken a lot longer, and been far less accurate. I took a video of it in action, but I won’t put it up on the youtubes until I have made sure James is okay with me doing so.
Above is proof that I rarely get things perfect the first time, but if I practice and don’t give up, I can usually achieve something I’m proud of. Starting from the right, there is my first attempt at a practice notch. Beside that (in the middle), is the third attempt, after the second went terribly wrong, terribly quick. The last one on the end is my fourth notch (technically). I was very pleased with it.
My first notch was just ridiculous. I made my notch far too large, and didn’t have good control with the chainsaw. I decided it was good enough for a first attempt, and moved on to practice another.
This one went crazy! I over-cut my line accidentally, because I’m still getting use to the chainsaw, and how to use it to just braze the edge of something. I tried using the back of the bar to do most of my cutting, because I thought I would be able to control it easier. I quickly discovered that the opposite was true. The back of the bar felt more comfortable to me, but because I was trying to focus on where the back of the blade was, I lost track of what exactly the tip of the bar was doing, and then before I knew it I had buggered the entire notch up. I asked James if there was any way of correcting what I had done, but since it was a practice piece, he said to just forget it, go onto the next one, and try not to repeat the mistake.
This was my final notch. I was really proud of it. I think I did it pretty quick, and I managed to keep most of my pencil line visible, as well as having no splintering from over-cutting my score line. After I made this one, I’m much more confident with using the saw in the manor necessary to create a nicely finished notch. It’s tiring on the arms (mostly because we’re using smaller saws with no wrap around handle), but it could also be that I don’t hold the saw tight enough to my body sometimes, and then I force my arms to carry all the weight. I’m just still a little nervous around the chainsaws I guess.
Below are some photos of what I spent the rest of my day doing. Me and another guy paired up, and peeled and flat surfaced this log. It’s going to be one of the sill plates (first course), and it weighs a fucking ton. James demonstrated a few different methods of flat surfacing, and we decided to go with free-handing it. Some of the jigs take too long to set up, so we figured if we were both planing afterwards, we’d save time in the end, even if we had to plane as much as 3/4″ off.
Today we begin stacking logs to create our four generic corners, then we will cut the whole thing into quarters.
Yesterday was the first day of my log building course. It was a a good day, but I was really tired, and that seemed to make the hours drag on. In the morning we talked about some basics of log construction, and the history and evolution of not only the structures , but also the techniques and joinery uttilzed by log builders. It was pretty informative, but not really anything I didn’t already know.
We then went over our plans for the structure we’re building over the next 4 weeks. That’s is the basic “plan view” of the building above. I made it in Sketchup, and did it while James was talking about it and drawing a similar one on the blackboard. I would have just made some hand written notes to translate into Sketchup drawings later, but I completely forgot to bring a notebook, or even a fucking pen for that matter – I have a backpack with about $5000 worth of electronics in it, but it took me the better part of an hour to find a writing utensil. I plan to try and do everything in Sketchup, and the Gnome text editor, and then submit an impressive work journal at the end of the course. Not that I need to impress James – he already loves me I think! However, it would feel good for my own personal reasons to do that.
After all the classroom stuff, we quickly introduced ourselves to each other, then headed down to the workshop, where we disassembled some chainsaws, cleaned, oiled, then put them back together. Once we had a bunch of “good as new” chainsaws we went and watched as James unloaded some huge trees from the back of his boom truck, then we took lunch.
At lunch I headed over to Page’s marina to see about renting a cabin for a week when Holly comes – I would love to stay there, but I’m not sure I can afford it yet. Then I went and smoked some weed, and headed back.
After lunch we learned all about falling trees from one of the other guys taking the course. He’s been a logger in the north of Vancouver Island for over 25 years, and he’s incredibly precise with a chainsaw. He showed us all kinds of neat things, and did a few “domino” type drops, where he falls three or four of them at a time. At some point a tree got dropped on a fence, but no real damage occurred.
When I got back I called Holly, made some burgers, smoked a joint, then had a conversation with a friend who is going through some tough times right now.
Now it’s time to go wash my dirty bits, roll a joint, and throw on the rain gear. Stupid rain.
This morning the tide was lower than I’ve ever seen it. I was able to walk about a hundred feet further than normal, maybe even more. I saw all kinds of neat things I’ve never seen before, and found some cool shells for my mum. I watched some huge birds circle around my head, then found a large crab that was still alive. Normally the ones I see that were his size are usually long dead. This one was live, and let me pick him up without too much fuss. On my way back to the road access path I met a lady named Chalice. Seriously. She had a nice dog and I tried to feed a tiny crab while she wasn’t looking.
Today I was outside on the deck talking to Holly on Skype, when a neighbour of David’s which I had just met the day before, came and asked if I’d help him move his new washer and dryer. I said sure and went across the street to help. The guy was really nice, and had some nice dogs there with him. He started asking me about why I was on the island, and we chatted for a bit. Then a woman came out who could have been his wife, but I honestly didn’t ask. She wanted to know about my ears and tattoos, and the dude filled her in on why I was here. They asked a bunch more questions, and then suddenly the woman interrupted, and said “I’m sorry I just noticed your simian line, and I had to stop you. Can I see your hand for a moment?” I said “Sure, what the fuck is a simian line?”. It turns out it’s something I was recently discussing with Holly. I have one hand that has a line going all the way across it, instead of two lines. At first I thought, so the fuck what, I have one line instead of two, but then I did some reading about simian lines. There is some interesting facts that go with it. Here are some things I found out:
-There are most often two transverse palmar creases, a proximal one and a more distal one, neither of which extends all the way across the palm. Fusion of these two creases, an event that occurs prior to the 12th week of fetal life, creates a single crease extending horizontally across the entire palm.
-A single transverse palmar crease is present in normal people with a frequency of 0.8% on the right hand and 1.3% on the left hand whereas it is present with a frequency of 71% on the right hand and 66%% on the left hand in Down syndrome. It is therefore useful in the clinical diagnosis of Down syndrome.
-Like many minor anatomic variations, a single transverse palmar crease is associated with a number of different dysmorphic disorders, including Aarskog syndrome; de Lange syndrome; the deletion syndromes involving chromosomes 4p, 4q, 5p (cat cry syndrome), and 18q; the fetal alcohol syndrome; Seckel syndrome; Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome; the syndromes due to trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome) and trisomy 8; and Zellweger syndrome.
-The name “simian” was adopted many years ago and comes from the fact that some monkeys have only one crease in their palm.
-Approximately 4% of Caucasians have a simian line on at least one hand, and 13% of Asians will have one.
-At least fourteen chromosomal abnormalities are listed in the medical literature that have a high correlation (up to 84%) with the occurrence of a Simian Line. Down Syndrome is one of these diseases due to a chromosome abnormality.
-Dudes with simian lines are dead sexy and have huge cocks.
*** Just found this too:
-The Simian Line gives the ability to focus on one thing, absolutely, to the exclusion of all else. These people generally achieve and accomplish far more than most, developing techniques and inventions that will last for generations. They also experience far more misfortune than most, usually due to the same intensity that drives them. A truly double-edged sword.
-Males are twice as likely as females to have this condition.
-In some families there is a tendency to inherit the condition unilaterally, that is, on one hand only.
As much as I bitch about biking uphill, I love riding my bike here. Today i rode over to a restaurant called the “A” Frame. It’s an “A” Frame, called the “A” Frame. I went there to meet my friend Peter because, he had moved since I was last here, and it’s difficult to give directions on this island to anything other than the village or ferry. It turns out he was living in a place that one of the dudes who took my course last year stayed at, and I had been there a couple times to play his roommate’s drums, and smoke weed. I got a lift back to Silva Bay from some broad I smoked half a joint with, then rode my bike back to David’s, and smoked weed, and talked to Holly for four and a half hours on Skype.
Earlier in the day I took a break from drawings, and took my bike down to the water and had a smoke. I sat in the sun for a bit, then juggled some nice round rocks I found, then I made an ashtray. The ashes all blew away, but the roach and mathsticks stayed put. Until I put the roach in my pocket.
Now its almost twenty after ten, and it’s time to do some drawings!
last night I downloaded some new themes for my new sansa player (some nut job got the first one!). Jon was able to hack it for me, since I needed a windows machine to do it on, and I don’t know how to map my USB ports in Virtual Box. I found a theme by the same dude who made the theme I use most often on my PS3. He goes by the name Rev. Lcars, and he makes sweet looking Star Trek themes. This just made me love that player even more. I was stoked when I found a mock oscilloscope, but a mock PADD is so much better!