8 of many trades, Jack of some


New Adventure time 2018

It’s 2018 ! And this year is the year of seeing new bars. . . so with a friend I’m starting to keep a list, starting May 1.  Unless otherwise noted, these are places in Kent County, Delaware. The goal (kinda) is to discover new places in Kent County. All the new places. And some old places. And also, mostly, to have fun doing it.

  1. Touchdown (May 3)
    • Ah, the old standby. It’s pretty much my regular bar. It was Thursday, which is music bingo night. It’s lively and silly and fun. . .this fine month of May is also $1.50 yuengling on happy hour. I’m thinking I will be spending a lot of happy time at the Touchdown this month. I have one or two before wandering off.
    • Ichatted with a couple of friends who were also there. Including Ms Karen, who is all in on this “lets see Kent County Bars!” endevour.   We made a list. There are like 50 bars in Kent County. Gulp
  2. Johnathan’s Landing (May 3)
    • So Johnathan’s is a golf club, but they are open to the public for a blues night every Thursday 7-10pm. Sometimes it is a touring band (with a cover charge). But this night it was a jam session night, which is no cover. At some point there were 9 musicians on stage together just rocking the joint. Way cool venue. And one of the best places for this sort of jam blues/rock I’ve ever encountered. I had a Stella. And some water. And then it was 10PM.
  3. Browns (May 3)
    • Another old standby! Blues ends at 10PM, and so I swung by Browns, another friendly place where the bartenders recognize me. I had a Jerry and Coke. Which was not the best idea. And some more water.  And talked with guys at the bar. Including an older gentleman who was a physicist in his day. But now it all about the ballroom dancing (Moose lodge on Friday!)  We talked about if it was possible to hit the state of flow in dancing. I’m skeptical, he though yes.

May 4 was kinda rough. But still, 3 bars down, 47 to go!


2016 Update, part 1

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted!  I’m still here. With this long overdue update. I apologize in advance for the length and the ramble. This is my ersatz year end wrap-up / CChristmas letter. (part 1, apparently)

I’ve had time to reflect on my life, now that I’m (semi)retired. I know what makes me happy, and that is making stuff. And having intelligent conversation with great minds.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. – attributions vary

I know that even though I’ve a awesome life, and have minimized the stressors in my world, I will still have bad days. This most foul year of 2016 has given a lot of reasons for exasperated shock and moral defeat. Some days it’s just hard to move forward. Just keep swimming, I guess.


My schedule has very little rhythm these days. I need more of that. For 8 months I’ve been careening from event to event and it’s been awesome. But a daily rhythm is missing, and I’m working to create that again. I have a plan for fixing this. But not today.

So what have I made? This and that.

I’ve made costumes and kids pjs. This included several dresses for Pennsic Wars for both me and my 5 year old. (There is more – particularly of my outfits – but I’m not going to derail this post my running around and photographing the rest)


I’ve made an arch out of foam-core with plans to up-size it out of wood. Eventually. And I helped the amazing Micheal Verdon build two “temple” structures this year – one for Transformus, and one for Catharsis on the Mall.

I spun some wool into string with a drop spindle, while I worked as a poll worker for the primary election here in Delaware. I also worked the general election, but there was little downtime during the general to get into spinning. Nearly 70% of my precinct voted in the general, so it was busy all day. <Photos pending>

There was this great sign at the polling place, which is a local middle school. I’m sure I’ll reuse this sign in the future. Like during my next “camping” adventure. Last time out my camp of 20 careened into drama land. (look! I used careen twice in one post!)


More photos from this year’s “camping”

My camping adventures (other than Pennsic, which is medieval re-enactment) are “burns”, which are Burning Man inspired events. These are hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been, but it’s a community camping event that is heavy on the art. And evolution of hippie ethos meeting silicon valley tech. I use this video to introduce friend to the flavor.  Well worth the 7 minutes of your time to watch. IMHO.

It’s been a few years since I went to Burning Man itself.  I hope to go again in 2018 as part of the temple build crew. Burns are more fun for me if I’m making something while there. There are a lot of smaller burns that are trying to capture the spirit and are typically a lot more accessible. The ones I go to are these smaller closer regional events. I have a “home burn” which is the Playa del Fuego regional in Delaware that happens twice a year.

I have a project I’ve been slowly working toward for 2 years now – part of which requires collecting of affirmations. I’ve had 3 collection activities – with help of a wonderful campmate SherieBerie (she even made this wonderful mobile affirmation donation station last time we went out). I do plan to finish out this project over the winter. Stay tuned.

Ok, there is more but I’m posting this as part 1.



More tunics

So I found in my drafts folder a write up of my recent efforts making t-tunics for medieval reenactment camping (Pennsic) we’re going to later this summer. I’ll tune it up and post it soon (ish)

I feel I was unproductive these last few days. My cousin (Hi Margit!) recently pointed out that my unproductive days are still fairly productive. Still…

Anyway, yesterday I help load up Camp infrastructure and art projects for this weekends camping. We setup this Thursday. And I added straps to the kids slippers so maybe they will stay on her feet now.

kids shoes

kids shoes

Muslin in dye bucket

Muslin in dye bucket

And I cut muslin for 3 more tunics – one for me and two for the kid. And I miscut the first one, so there was extra re-cutting involved to correct this. And cut my finger once on my new superstars Fiskars rotary cutter. Though I have to say – fabric cutting is so much easier with a rotary cutting tool than with scissors. Despite the blood.

As I type this, I’m dying 2 of the muslin cuts a nice pink/fuchsia red. About to get to the add fixer stage.

Still, feeling unproductive. Meh.

Book 3, Chapter 1, verse 4

So sometimes, instead of being productive, you just gotta travel and explore. I’ve been out to Los Angeles for a week of feasting, dancing, touristing, bowling (can’t forget the bowling!), and reconnecting with old friends. Some highlights from this trip include La Brea Tar pits, Griffith Observatory, crawfish boil, Korean BBQ, and Malediction Society.


And then home for 3 days, then off again to Washington DC, this time with my kid in tow. We started at the Smithsonian – American History Museum. My 5 year old is obsessed with the Star Spangled Banner (the one that flew over Fort McHenry in the war of 1812.)

Her Aunt, that evening: What did you see at the museum today?

Kid: The Star Spangled Banner! It’s a big flag — and old!

Her Aunt: What else did you see besides the flag?

Kid: Holes in the flag!

And the rest of the weekend of family meals, IKEA, playing in family gardens, a friend’s birthday houseparty and a really cool hour spent at BITCAMP expo. A 100 or so college students come to Univ. of Maryland every year for a hackathon. This year was heavy on the virtual reality/oculus rift side of things. Exploring the projects was a big hit with all ages, including of course the 5 year old set.


I’m back home for a few days, then off to Richmond for another touristy trip. This being retired is exhausting.

Book 3, Chapter 1, verse 3

“I’m going to live in San Francisco when I grow up”
“Cool, can I come too?”
“Yes, if you aren’t dead”

I have reconsidered this chapter verse metaphor in titling journal posts. It more like this is the third book in a series that is my life. Book 1 was childhood & college, Book 2 was corporate employee life, now book 3 is starting. Where will it lead? How will it end??

I’m NOT going to go back and re-title earlier posts. But moving forward, this will be Book 3, chapter 1.

On to this week’s verse : it is a dull one.

I’ve been getting less done than I envisioned a few weeks ago when this book started. I’m still very much in vacation mode, recharge mode. Plus the kid was homesick from preschool 2 days that interrupted some plans.

I did join Instagram as _tinkeress_

I do have an art project list – these will eventually become posts, God willing (and the creek don’t rise):

  • BigBall
  • LED light wall
  • Pennsic garb
  • SuperDragon
  • Affirmation Collection station
  • the subsequent Affirmation cage

And the less interesting adulting list: do my taxes/networking/signing&returning termination papers/bathroom remodel/Garden control/Ceiling repairs.

I had an interesting evening yesterday. I was a DuPont scholar at University of Delaware when I went 1988-91. And the university holds a yearly reception for former distinguished scholars and current seniors. I got to mingle with these clever people, most of which are just starting the second chapter book of their lives. Interesting small talk.

And then dinner with a friend I had from my college days. It has been some years since we sat down together, so we reconnected over much more in-depth real life talk.

And finally, a friend had invited me to his 2 day house party. More interesting types there – young art sorts – some great conversations on the Philadelphia art scene. But it was late and I was winding down, my conversation reserves well tapped. I got home just in time to see the clock change to 3AM.

Chapter 4, verse 2

KID: “What does aloof mean?” . . .”What does occupied mean?”

—  —  —  —  —

MAKING/MADE: Kid’s nightgown, Goulash

READING: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

PLANNING: Did very little planning this week, just some research on garb for Pennsic Wars (August)

I feel I wasn’t very productive this week. Though I did workout every weekday (twice with a trainer), so I’m pretending exhaustion had something to do with it.

Looking back on the week

  • Monday: Made Goulash, Chainsawed down that scraggly butterfly bush in my back garden.
  • Tuesday: Got a new phone
  • Wednesday: Workout with Trainer, Set up out of office for the last time
  • Thursday: Shopped for fabric
  • Friday: Workout with Trainer, Drove to DC
  • Saturday: Visiting family, DC trip to Lightyards
  • Sunday: Gaming & Visiting in DC, Cut nightgown fabric, drove back to Dover
  • Monday: Made nightgown – she loves it!


Third Chakra Blind

A weekend ago I was at a rave. There I met a fortuneteller. She read the cards for me. “You will find a worthwhile undertaking,” she read, “It will likely bring you fortune.”

“You will find true love, a sole mate,” she continued, “It won’t be just ‘some guy’, but the real thing, a deeper relationship that you’ve ever had before.”

“But first,” she said, “First you must visualize with your third(?) chakra these things, and what you really truly want.”

But she didn’t promise me many bambinos to go with the fortune and love, as that gypsy had 23 years ago. Times change.

Chapter 4, Verse 1

KID: “Whats that in the trash?”

ME: “Bones from the chicken stock.”

KID: “Did you save me the wishbone? I want to wish for us to be mermaids. Except on Tuesday, when we are fairies.”

—  —  —  —  —

MAKING/MADE: Kid’s nightstand, chicken stock, BigBall

READING: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

PLANNING: Vacation Trip to Los Angeles (April), Wickerman Burn (June), Pennsic Wars (August)

I’m still trying to find the rhythm of life now that I’ve downshifted from the daily corporate grind. I’m attempting to move forward on some project every day. Or at least on most days – I give myself the permission to have do-nothing days.

Anyway, Monday, and I want to look back on the week.

  • Monday: Snow day – entertained kid, built legos
  • Tuesday: Sick day (me, not the kid)
  • Wednesday: Polyurethaned the nightstand, and touch-ups; Pennsic garb research
  • Thursday: Polyurethaned the nightstand – calling it done; Submitted BigBall art grant request
  • Friday: Chicken Stock; Kid was sick, so a lot of quiet nothing time
  • Saturday: Do nothing Recovery day!
  • Sunday: Sugar Cookies (with Kid); Recruiting help for BigBall from friends


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