Friday, March 26, 2010

How did it come to this?

I'm packed. Sort of. I am sitting on the couch of the RV looking at the boxes and systainers and tool bags and electronics and wondering how did my life become so simple yet so complicated. You see the goal was to reduce my personal pocessions, fit it all into a 21 foot RV and drive around like a nomad until I found "the place" to call home. It's clear to me that that is still not the case. I have managed to get everything in but there is some stepping over and moving around that has to happen to simply get a soda from the fridge or reach into the cupboard for the bag of junk food. The piles are those things that I cannot work without but could live without.

Inventory: You have seen the photos if you are a Facebook friend. It fits into 9 boxes in the living compartment. I will be listening to these pieces rattle around until they find the settling point. Ah if only sales were better here in AZ or on the web.

Tools: The lathe fits in the underside compartment with some wood and the rubber matt I stand on to work but the stand is just not making it. It's gonna be the last thing in the door and will sit on the floor at the back door. It's just too wide at the base and will also have to find the settling point. The multi-function table and CT-mini well they have taken over the kitchen area and it's good the wheels lock on the vac. The tool bags, well it's just good that there is not going to be a passenger in that seat. Wood, I did reduce the pile of blanks but did not get to all of the green stuff. Hey it's AZ the stuff has to dry out slowly or it will split. Project supplies, all of the liquids are gone but there are little things like ornament hooks, dowels and stopper sleeves for bottle stoppers, bottles for diffuser/oil lamps, etc. While in AK at SKS I built a cabinet for the systainers but that pile has grown and I have two on the floor. Ah the love of FESTOOL and the smell of new tools.

Computer and camera bags: yeah they live on the couch bed and will be moved here and there to do what I do with them along the way. Gonna get some pictures of the lava tubes in Northern New Mexico. Gotta do FB updates when I can and then there is always mapquesting the next route to program it into the GPS. OK I'm a geek.

Along with this goes the hotel services equipment. Hoses and cords, cables and such, it's gonna fill the bathroom and the last space in the outside compartments.

So this is why I am procrastinating for the day. I have to tie down loose materials, secure for the road, ensure the shifting and rolling is minimized and then button down the rest for the long journey.

The goal for day one is to make it to Parker, CO to visit with a new friend whom I really have never met in person but who has been instrumental in the "pimping" of my wares. Pictures will be posted and I'm sure there will be a blog post about the Beast visit, no matter how short.

Nothing else is planned so it's really up in the air from there. Intention to make it to Buffalo by 1-2 April is still on track and hey if you are in Buffalo on 3 April you can watch me doing a FESTOOL Demo at the Buffalo Woodcraft. Come on in and seed the crowd giving the appropriate oooohs and wows at how well these tools work in the hands of a professional cabinet maker. (Ahem that would be me thank you very much).

So watch for updates sporadically on FB or text messages from me along the way. Happy Trails.

Oh and as far as parting shots on AZ before I go. Nope they can all just sit here and rot in their UBER conservative Tea Bag desert. Hypocrites abound out here. Racism runs rampant, and all things considered, I am not gonna miss this place at freaking all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

closed for business

This past week I have really started trying to get loose ends tied up and end the AZ experience. Most of it is mundane paperwork to cancel the business license, close up shop and push the inventory into boxes. Doing final projects, maintenance on the lathe, putting an edge on the turning tools and stuffing it all into the belly and living quarters of the RV. OK I bought a couple of tools too, but it's FESTOOL and it is massively discounted.

Tonight I got a phone call from a Prescott based wood turner who was disappointed to hear that I was leaving AZ. He had planned to invite me to do some demos in woodturning for the Prescott Area Branch of the Arizona Woodturners Association. Nothing specific, not a topic that anyone of them could not have done, just a different perspective. Now kids this is a first for me here in AZ. I have done a bottle stopper demo at the Phoenix Woodcraft, have taught classes in woodturning there too but nothing more than intermediate techniques.

I frequently take my projects into work to have a critique session with the more advanced turner, the finishing guy or the carving instructor and at times to just irritate the guy who cannot complete a successful turning project that does not involve a pen kit. Sometimes I ask the opinion of a customer who is a turner or carver and enjoy the differing opinions. Most of the time if it comes off the lathe and I am happy with the shape and the finish I will stick it into the display cabinet with a project completed by Shawn B. Riley card on the shelf next to it. Funny thing is that I think of my self as a beginner or intermediate turner. Much to my surprise I generally get some helpful comments and the occasional compliment. It's good for the ego, I get some good ideas and more fuel for experimenting with shapes or techniques.

So much to my surprise, tonight, a guy who has come into the store, has seen my projects, is generally a nice guy, and who is very enthusiastic about turning, calls me on the phone after hearing from one of his friends that I am leaving town. Wow. We talked about his health as he suffers from chronic troubles with his back and legs, talked about the Prescott wood turners, talked about what projects we are working on and finally he expressed his disappointment that he never took the opportunity to invite me up to one of the Prescott clubs meetings to have me (yep me) give a demonstration on wood turning. When I asked him what stood out in his mind about my work that would have made me the guy whom their club would benefit from my demonstration, his reply was simply "sometimes it's nice to see someone do something that they (the club members) just haven't thought of yet." These guys, who come into the store' apparently discuss the single piece lidded boxes that I turn with long finials and delicate stems. I think of them as continuing works in progress. They have visited my ETSY site and downloaded the pictures of these boxes for discussion at their meetings. WOW!

Ok so now that my ego is boosted and I have been invited to join an exclusive online woodturners group, I just might start raising my prices, make a video and be all snooty and stuff.