If you were to drop by for a cup of coffee in real life – you wouldn’t be welcomed.  We’re still “hot zone” mode out here.  If you follow the virus numbers, looks like 18-million will be passed tomorrow.  And 19-million this coming week.  Thursday?

Dream Shop Progresses

Up early this morning to take advantage of the cool (<70) morning out here to rearrange the shop.  Takes time and  actual work.

A good part of Saturday was spent deciding whether to have three rows of benches or whether some variant of “L” shapes would be best.  After much walking and thinking about how I use the space, three parallel with about 3-feet of space between the rows.

Wheeled Machinery

I’ve been putting casters under some of the machines.  Step-to-lock variety.  The “dado table saw” and the retro shaper, are two.

That gives the choice to line up machines wherever convenient.  From the sidelines, a machine can be wheeled into place in about 10-seconds.  15-seconds by the time I hook up the central shop vac.

There are two halves to the shop:  The north side is the metal working dept.  Which is where the metal lathes, vertical mill, bending brake, welders and plasma gear go.  Isolated 120 and 240 V power is right outside the door.  I don’t trust fire indoors.  That’s what cutting and welding involve.

After today, the next project be bench-building on the metal side.  Followed by centralizing all of the saw and tool sharpening gear in that area.

A new platform and LED floodlight on the vertical mill is planned.  Might even pick up some additional storage space.

Still vexed by where to put 4X8 sheets of plywood.  There’s just nowhere to put big sheet goods in any shop I’ve ever seen.  Unless I build on a “lumber room” but now you’re talking money, again.

3D Printing: Glass Room?

Not sure how to tackle the 3D printer issues, either. The CNC router doesn’t need to be in “controlled air” but since a fair bit of what we’ll be printing will likely be ABS, which is stronger than PLA, the old (crappy) built-in shop vac will work as an exhaust system for ABS fumes.  This gets us to the problem of windows and a door for that area… Which?Leads to serious  scrounging on Craigslist…

Key problem in shop design is you want 8-feet (or 10-feet – more is better) front and back of each of the wood machines.  So when you figure 8 feet of in-feed and 8-feet of out-feed for a table saw, planer, bandsaw (when doing resaw work), or jointer, you begin to run out of 16-foot material spaces.

I could set the 3D printing up in my office, but that begs the question of then which ham radio gear gets sold off to make room.

Seed Lessons & New Book

My long-time friend Gaye Levy and I have started outlining a new book for the “Post-Modern Times” we’re heading into.  Some finance angles from here, some strategic Living from her site (here), but new content.

Just to throw one topic on the table:

We both had batches of seeds this year that were zero germination rates.  And this is a key thing to be aware of going into this fall/winter.

In order to germinate, seeds can’t get too hot.  And I know some of the seeds I was planting (lavender in particular – 500 seeds worth!) failed to show so much as a stem.

A little track-back:  They were planted late and in the greenhouse.  Simply got too hot, near as I can figure it.  But!  Therein is one of the most important of all home-grown food lessons.

Heat Kills Vegetable Yields

I began to sneak up on this “heat kills” when my hydroponic tomatoes in the greenhouse failed to set fruit (in good numbers) last year.  

Turns out, the right temp for most veggies is 90-95.  When you get over 100 (120 in the greenhouse without the box fan – and that’s with the doors open!) the setting of edibles walks off a cliff.

This is a HUGE deal if you need food to eat.  A key lesson since in times ahead we may ALL have to be augmenting store-bought food with stored and grown types.

Winter Grow Tables

One of the items I’m working on this weekend (once the shop design stabilizes for more than 5-minutes) is making a could of “growing tables” for up at the greenhouse and setting them up specifically for cool-weather crops.

Main way to do this?  Put in some electric seed mats.  Not too expensive and all you need is a thermometer to kick them on when the soil temp drops below (pick a temp).

We’ve also got plans for a lean-to off the recording studio where a modest swamp cooler might be able to hold highs to 85 and humid which would be OK with most lettuces. Especially the Romaine developed for hot weather growing in Israel, some years back.

The additional roof area would feed into rain barrels, too.  Which means the roof gable would come down just higher than a 55-gallon water barrel.

Heat is Dangerous

Main point:  We have a black mailbox. In the East Texas sunshine.  Might as well have our seeds put right into the microwave.  Fall and winter ordering of all critical seeds and then keep them in the fridge until used.

*(Same with batteries, too.  They like to be kept cool, so order your stocks of AA and AAA batteries when they won’t encounter more than 75, or so, on their trip from warehouse to Ure house.)

With overnight lows of 75-plus and daytime highs around 95 now, we are also not seeing fruit set by our “summer squash.”  Maybe this week with cooler weather overnight – down to 72-degrees for an overnight low.  Lots of blossoms but not setting fruit yet,

Calling all bees….bees?  Oh, BEES!!!!

Side of Woo-Woo

We’re keeping a watch on Queen Elizabeth, II – who is now 94.

Reason is one of those odd “dreams” I get every so-often.  And try to remember then as outlined in my book Psychocartography: Mapping the Human Dream.

Here’s the pertinent part of the overnight dream real adventure:

“I remember being a worker for some part of the British government.  As a female (in this dream) I did some kind of administrative/office work.

Word came down that the Queen had died and all government employees would be given 4 or 5 days of personal time to “do their grieving.”   Looking at the calendar on the wall, the numbers 7 and 8 were prominent.

Then, the most curious thing happened.  My supervisor came over and said “You’ll not really planning to take time off, are you?  That’s all for show.  Any civil servants taking time off will be considered disloyal to the Crown and will be passed-over for promotion.  The “time off” story is for external consumption, but around here, there is no time off….”

No idea where a dream like that could come from. 

DNA Antennae?

Except that I wonder sometimes if there are “dream-chain antennae” built into our DNA.

Is it possible that “junk DNA” is some kind of “soul-jumping technology” – research into which has been politely wiped from our human birthright by religions more interested in accretion of power and property?

I thought about that for a while, upon waking.

One of the useful hints for dreamwork is don’t be in a hurry to pop up out of bed in the morning.  Relax…recall your dreams.  Plan the day ahead a bit.  Then…..

Which is how I got to the reality of moving machines and shop tables around.

After coffee and a note to a friend.

Write when you get rich,