In which I dig and sew leather and do electronics and take pictures - typical weekend really. - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 30th, 2013
10:04 am - In which I dig and sew leather and do electronics and take pictures - typical weekend really.
This weekend Dr Wheel did DIY. He removed the door to our shed, planed it, and put a slide bolt with a lock on it. This means we now have a lockable outdoor storage area. Squee! We can get the tools sorted and I can bring my shearing gear home and and and...
I am getting all domesticated and suburban and shit, aren't I? ;-/
This post is quite long. It contains stuff with photos about what I got up to, as normal. But in an attempt not to bore the pants off people who aren't interested in one or the other topics, I've separated it into bits. Check it out:
On Saturday I deemed that the pumpkins and squash Michelle gave me when I shore her sheep were suitably hardened off for planting out, so I fashioned a frame from bits of branch that I'd cut down last week, and bunged them in the ground:
I'm not convinced that those branches will be strong enough to support the fully mature plants, but they'll do for the time being. The idea is that I train them up this rather than let them sprawl along the ground. Believe it or not, that part of the garden doesn't catch the wind too badly, so we shall see.
Then I got stuck into the rocky bit round the end of the driveway. It was all overgrown like the rest of the place so it was a repeat of pull weeds, dig over, freak out at the big hairy spider, find a bit of old rebar with my knuckles, add some compost and lo! A magically-transformed ugly bit:
We have a pair of blackbirds that have claimed our front garden for their own, and they seem to like when I dig the soil over because it makes it so much easier for them to
These are lily of the valley and are supposed to be shade-lovers, but I call bullshit on exactly how much shade they are supposed to love. They got all spindly and never flowered, and that says to me that they need more sun. The place I have put them will get quite a lot more sun, but a patch of shade will fall over them through the hottest part of the day. We shall see how that works out. Also, they'll have to toughen up and withstand some wind. They got bashed around Saturday, but lilies are hard to kill so I reckon they'll be ok eventually..
And then on Sunday Dr Wheel enabled me by taking me out to the big giant Bunnings in Lyall Bay and there may have been plants and well, you know how this goes right? So another 6 metre strip got dug over. This time I remembered to take a pic of what it looked like before:
The spade shows the length of the dug-over patch, and you can see my vague arrangements for how things ought to go so I know how much to dig. This is very much a piecemeal project and 6-10 metres a week will see it done by the end of October. I hope.
Planted! I can't remember the names of everything I planted this weekend but there are livingstone daisies and verbena and some little blue spready things and gazanias and two kinds of salvia and some pink things that get quite tall and two shrubs (one pink, one white) and statice and a rosemary of the bush variety because they are unkillable, and violas and some other daisy things and in a couple of months it should be all riotously colourful and hopefully there's enough perennials in there so that it stays gardeny-looking through winter too.
*cough* And then grist came round and I dragged him out to show him and while we were out there the lady across the road complimented me on how it looked and said nobody had done anything with that garden for years. So that was nice. ;-)
And then I planted some more seeds, because it's bloody addictive, this making things grow business.
So far we have spinach, broccoli, radishes, mesclun and sugar snaps actually coming up. I had a surreptitious dig in the beans and they are also coming up but taking a bit longer because they are big and grunty. I planted more of the vegies we're likely to eat the most of, and also some trays of stock, cosmos and sweet peas because they are good things for filling in gaps in the garden and flowers are pretty.
I'm also hardening off some broccoli, tomato and spinach seedlings for planting out next weekend. I see more digging in my future.
But you can't dig all the time, right? And I have a present to finish and the birthday was last Thursday. When we left this project, the gubbins were with grist who was transferring code onto the tiny microprocessor. He brought that back at the end of the week, and so my next mission was to make a wee pouch to carry the excess wire and battery:
Not the prettiest pouch I've ever made, but serviceable:
It's actually tidier than this, because the wires are tucked in better and it's all tied on firmly so it doesn't all stick out like that. That metal bit that's sticking up is the heatsink for the voltage regulator. I thought it'd be a good idea to have this reasonably free of hindrance and away from any potentially-melty bits. The heatsink for the Brainfart gets up to 80 degrees. Hopefully this one won't, but the leftover energy from dropping the voltage is dissipated as heat, so it'll get warm.
Anyway, after that I mounted the skull on the main staff (milestone!) using hot glue and also wire through the skull and strained around nails driven into the sides of the staff. Then the whole lot got covered with leather left over from that old leather jacket, and a thong wound around to hold it firm. Halfway down the shaft of the staff there's a sticky-outy bit where a branch used to be. I decided to attach a bone spur to that to make it look more weapony:
This is a bit taken from a bone carving my Mum made years ago. She used to do it for a living and when she died she left a few behind. This one is now part of a gift from me to pombagira, and I think it's neat that one of Mum's things went in there too. ;-)
So after that there was the attaching of pre-spun bits of slubbly wool and leather thonging to make a 'mane' that would cover up the electronic gubbins. This mostly involved hot glue and being very very careful.
Top tip: when the stand on your glue gun needs putting up so you can stick it in a small space, and you've a bit of art in one hand and the glue gun in the other, it's probably a good idea to look before using your chin to tip the stand up. Otherwise you'll have a hot glue shaped burn on your chin. No reason...
Anyway, then it was done and I took pictures because that's what you do, right?
[clicky to embiggen]
It's not finished yet. My rare earth magnets haven't arrived yet (I picture them having magneted onto the side of the postie van and gone unnoticed for days) so the ring isn't made - but that's a small job of maybe one evening. Also, the eyes are flickering a bit and I suspect a loose wire on the sensor, so I'm going to recheck those and see if I can get it working a bit more consistently.
We finished up our weekend watching comedy while Dr Wheel taught himself to iron shirts. First we watched a self-edited show by Louis CK. I found him somewhat amusing with some laugh-out-loud moments, similar in style to Bill Hicks but less depressingly overwhelmed and more vaguely offensive. I like the way he uses facial expression to convey humour and also he has a relatable style, as in I found myself going "Heh, I've thought that!"
But then, we found OMG new Bill Bailey! I mean, not new new, but one I hadn't seen yet. And in the contrast comedy battle, Bill Bailey wins hands down. The man is just a walking bundle of talent, and he can be hilariously funny without having to resort to stereotype gags and I love that about him. And the musical stuff is awesome. <3 Bill Bailey.
Any weekend that includes compliments from strangers and finishing a project and partner DIY, and ends with new Bill Bailey, is a good weekend.