Sunday, December 12, 2021

When it's hot, it's hot

The forge, that is -- very hot indeed. This past Friday I organized and attended a corporate team-building event in Seattle that was very impressive. To see in today's world that 20 people could be engaged in something that didn't involve a smart phone was refreshing. I was the only one looking at my phone because I was the photographer. The history to consider of all the blacksmiths that used the various anvils in the shop was also interesting. The place is called Lawless Forge and if you are in Seattle -- it's worth scheduling a visit to make any number of interesting things out of metal. The owners and staff are very very good.















Saturday, May 22, 2021

Free Little Art Gallery ~ amusement for days

Here is something you have to see.

A good friend in San Francisco sent me a link to this originally when she read about it online. I was delighted to read and say "hey Kelley! I know that person Stacy!" Granted it has been 17 years since we saw each other in person. She used to live down in San Francisco and worked with my sister and brother-in-law.

So this past Wednesday, it was with great enthusiasm that I pulled up in front of Stacy's home in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle and the now famous FLAG (Free Little Art Gallery) that she has going since last December. You can read about it here ...

And in addition to her large art pieces in another gallery, she's contemplating another "Not-so-Free" gallery right next to this little one.

What a great concept and we had loads of laughs installing "Mona Lisa taking a selfie" in front of a DaVinci portrait. Most of this from people sending her art as well as physically putting their art in the tiny gallery. If you have art to send her, details on her website here.





me trying to capture a selfie of a selfie with Stacy at left and Annette Jannotta


Stacy about to close the door with the installation complete!


Sunday, March 14, 2021

rogue art ~ mysteries

 I read this article recently about a statue named Grace here in Bellingham.  This image below doesn't convey the size and weight as it's rather big. It was installed originally for a brief time ten years ago and went away only to reappear recently.


This reminded me of one of my favorite rogue art pieces also in 2011 June down in San Francisco. A very large baby doll was strapped supine to a boat in the bay but somehow and some point broke free and floated around the bay for awhile. This was quite the visual but the people were disturbed and it was deemed a maritime navigational hazard. So the Marin Sheriff's "Rescue One" boat went to fetch the big baby.  I recall that for some months after this ... the baby sat in a Sausalito Parking lot in the back of a truck until it faded away, like so many things. Another mystery, hard to follow.




Thursday, March 4, 2021

Behind the scenes ~ high up in the sky

It is one of the jobs you don't really think about. The person operating the tower crane at a job-site. They are way up there in the sky. There's nothing like a large group of 3 to 6-year-old children peppering you with questions to remind you that this is interesting and you want to know more. Of course then, I wanted to know more myself. One of the foremen on the job, the first month I was there said rather casually when looking up at the crane, "I couldn't do that job." Yes, but why not is what I wondered. The video here is an attempt to answer just a handful of the questions as it relates to this job. {warning, if you have acrophobia -- you might want to skip watching the video}

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hungry robots ... getting loose



This morning on NPR -- drunk robots. They were covering a story about a recent software update for iRobot's Roomba vacuum products that had some of the models "acting drunk" according to multiple customer complaints.

This got me to reminiscing of a recent time in December 2019. I was staying at a friend's home in San Francisco for the holidays while they were away. The Roomba was indeed new to me. One morning as the robot was doing the chores it was made to do, I was in the kitchen hearing a mechanical voice "complaining" in the other room. I couldn't make out all the words at first but then went over to hear "Please open the iRobot App for help." which was an error 8 apparently.

Upon closer examination, I found the robot nestled under a desk chair with what appeared to be part of one my undergarments appearing from beneath the machine. I flipped it over and had to pull out the stretchy fabric from the robot's tiny mouth. I put it back down and all was right again.

I was so amused by the incident, I managed to set up this time-lapse after that just to record the movements the next time.

Drunk and hungry -- these machines are really something to behold. The fact that the software glitch is a national news item really says something. I hope they get the problem resolved soon! 😲

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The best kind of Valentine ...

Sunflower Crane Valentine Drop complete on the WWU Bellingham job site as of last Friday around 11 AM. A group of us from BNBuilders went over on Monday to deliver fifty child size hardhats and apparently they have not come off the heads of the children all week. It was 24°F on Friday just ahead of a big snow storm with a breeze blowing that made it feel like single-digits. The weather was not enough to stop the children from coming over to see what Sunflower was up to.

And then we saw it, coming from the building in the air… tiny yellow bags fluttering in the Bellingham breeze on their way to the landing zone. Never before seen rigged to a crane in such an artistic fashion. Five wire circles containing hanging bags ~ one for each child. One teacher asked one of the children “what do you suppose is in the bags?” The immediate response from the 5-year-old was “probably some screws and stuff.”




















Friday, February 5, 2021

Topping Out ... a unique ceremony.

Today was a unique day in the project where I'm working in Bellingham. The building had what's known as the TOPPING OUT ceremony. The tradition is a long one, more can be read about it HERE.  It's when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its construction.

Because the crane has been such a keen focus of my time there and the relationship with the operator/bellman and the kids that come to wave... we came up with a unique way to "see" the ceremony. The crew rigged a GoPro to the TROLLEY to capture a unique perspective. 

The link to the video Topping Out in Bellingham.








Saturday, January 30, 2021

130 feet up on SUNFLOWER the Tower Crane

This past Monday I was able to go up to the top of Sunflower the Tower Crane. I scrambled up (albeit at a very methodical pace) what is something similar to a ships ladder but 11 stories tall. So rung by rung I kept going up the tower until I couldn’t go any further and some little steel door over my hard hat opened and I was up in the inner sanctum. I was able to interview the famous Peter to ask about his work and I really learned a lot. Anemometer, turntable, counter-jib, trolley, hook block (aka old man), bellman vs rigger, load calculations, there was so much to take in. After I got back down, my legs felt like Jell-O because of the over tensing that I did getting back down. It was all very worth it, an adult version of the jungle gym to be sure. 🏗🙏🥰 #work #inspiration #construction #towercrane BNBuilders

heading back down