Saturday, January 30, 2010


Sylvester is another piece where I'm using my newer glazes. I'm not too fond of the high shine but I've not figured out a method (yet) to apply a glaze that has a low sheen rather than this amount of shine. But I like the colors.

Sylvester also has a surprise inside of him. Here's looking at you, kid.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toyota Mushrooms

These guys are only about 5" high and were another experiment with new glazes. They'll go out in the garden.

As for mushrooms, lately Susan has been muttering about being a mushroom: "They think they can keep me in the dark and feed me bull%$#@ and I'll do all right."

This is in relation to the Toyota problems with stuck accelerators and the recalls they've had. She has a Toyota that has not been on the recall list (yet) but had an odd problem with the accelerator a few years ago. It only happened when she had it on cruise control so she just quit using that feature. We kept hearing more rumblings about the Toyota accelerator problems so finally she decided maybe she could let Toyota know about the possibility of a cruise control factor. She called the Toyota 1-800 number. Of course it was automated answering with no option to talk to a real person and no option related to "I think there might be another factor that could be causing problems."

So she called the local Toyota service center where she got the full mushroom treatment when she said she'd like to talk about the recent recall: "We haven't actually had any recalls, they are just Service Advisories." I dunno. If you totally stop selling your cars to isolate a problem it sure sounds like more than just an "advisory". She hung up on him. Her next car won't be a Toyota.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rubber Band Rocks

This is some experimentation I did with rubber bands wrapped around some ceramic pods I made. The bands were to be the resist for the glaze, as seen in the top of photo. Also, they were new glazes I was trying out.

The bottom of the photo shows the result: I wasn't careful enough in applying the glaze and I didn't put enough of the green glaze on. The green glaze looks red before it's fired, the dark spots in the fired piece are the color of the clay, which was Longhorn Red.

Moving along into more successful areas, I'm reading The Power of The Dog by Don Winslow. Actually, I'm listening to it as an audible book. The story is set in Mexico and the US and portrays events in the lives of narco dealers, DEA agents and assassins. It was written in 2006 but could have easily been written today. Daily newspaper headlines now seem to echo events in Winslow's book.

The latest Netflix arrivals to our house included two absolutely incredibly great movies: The Lookout and The Secret Life of Words.

Tying those last two paragraphs together is the fact that I hate it when I'm nearing the end of a good book because I don't want the story to end. I hate it when I see a movie that is so good I get so engrossed I don't even stop to make popcorn. And I find myself thinking about the movie several days later.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack

Yes, I'm back in class again and, as you can see above, I'm actually doing something. In the last few days I gathered up several odd pieces that had been bisque-fired but were waiting for a glaze. I tested some new glazes and will have results soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 Days to Lift-Off

I'm lining up my tools and packing my bag because I'm back at school on Friday! Expect incredible amounts of production from me.

Or maybe not.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm From Venus, She's From Mars

Guess what???
I can make cookies!
Oatmeal-ChocolateChip-Raisin-Walnut Cookies, to be exact.
Yes, I can so, and they taste great.

Susan gave me a lot of coaching but aside from not knowing the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon and not realizing that a cookie dough blob as big as your fist might not make a proper cookie, I did it all myself.

That's my big accomplishment for this week. School starts in 8 days and obviously I have done exactly diddley-squat. About 10 times a day I see Susan staring wistfully at the Countdown calendar and I think she has stopped speaking to me unless her teeth are clenched. She keeps starting sentences out with the words "When I get my life back...." and then just sighs.

Her big accomplishment for the week was doing some magic stuff so that we can stream unlimited Netflix movies instantly to our TV. This is real magic to me because the computer is downstairs on the north side of the house and the TV is upstairs on the south side of the house. Whatever she did involved a lot of crawling around on the floor, a trip to Office Depot for some kind of cable 50 feet long, two holes drilled in the ceiling and wires snaked through the attic. The router is now in the living room and the modem is in another room and the TV in a different room.

How does this work???? I would have helped a lot but she started ignoring me when I couldn't tell the difference between the modem and the router. Well, they are both sort of square, have wire-things coming out of them and lights that flash.

To sum it up, I bake cookies and she wires the house. Your basic gender-specific characteristics at work here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Ugly Truth

Susan responds to a previous Comment:

Yes, Robyn, he really does lie on the floor. Loud snoring enters into this scenario at times. As the sun drifts over from his left side he might throw his arm over his face, as it's too cold to pull up his shirt. I'm not even sure he ever put on shoes to start out his day. And that's a 3-day growth of beard.

School starts in 11 days and that's not too soon for me. Otherwise, there could be blood shed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Going Nowhere Fast

School starts again in 14 days. During my 6-week break so far I have accomplished:

Susan looks wistfully at the Countdown calendar every day. She has now started lecturing me: "Do SOMETHING!!! And that does NOT include lying on the floor with your T-shirt over your face."

To add insult to injury, today would have been Elvis' 75th birthday. Where is the King when you need him?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Which Is Better? 1 or 2?

Susan needed new glasses and that mean a new eye exam. She hates Progressives (they make her seasick and ruin her peripheral vision) and insists on bifocals, even though they have that dorky line across them. So off to Dr. Treadwell, who has been beaten into submission about the glasses prescriptions he has to write for her: One for reading only (close vision), so she doesn't have to do the turkey-necking while reading a newspaper. One for TV only (far vision), because she has astigmatism and we watch TV/Netflix in bed. One for both far and close vision - the bifocals - which she calls "My Date" glasses.

This time she insisted on an additional prescription for when she's at her computer. She's been using a pair of cheap drugstore glasses but kept rubbing her eyes a lot so she thought a prescription pair would help, especially because of the astigmatism. Sure enough, the eye exam told her she needed a much stronger correction in one eye and a little more in the other.

Since it was the end of the year all the glasses places were having sales so she could get two pairs for under $90. She chose to get a new pair of reading glasses and the computer glasses.

Several hours later:
Me: You've been at that computer for a hour now. How are the glasses working?
Susan: Great. But I've got a new problem.
Me: Now what?
Susan: Because I can focus better I can tell that this monitor is really lame. Everything I used to think was clear is now really crisp and I can see the resolution is so last-year. I need a new computer monitor, preferably much larger and with much better resolution.

And that's how an eye exam and two pairs of glasses could potentially cost me a lot more money. We'll see.