4 May 2020, Product Spinner
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since my last blog post…the world is moving fast.
Being of a mechanical mind, every time my wife and I drive by a sign-spinner on a corner of a street my mind works on ways that the sign-spinner could be on a bicycle-type of device…one that would allow the sign-spinner to relax a bit…and that would also permit people to notice and read the sign.
Take that idea a bit further and you arrive at ‘Product Spinner’. For decades I’ve contemplated creating a product spinner…a little device that sits on a countertop and that attracts attention to a product or service.
I had just finished Surfer #1 and was learning a bit about how to whittle. As the biped was nearing completion I began to contemplate what automata to use it in…and decided that now is the time for the product spinner.
The image at the right shows the effort three weeks later. The product spinner has gone together well. It’s sturdy and should be able to run for years It features, in addition to the pedaling and lever pulling biped, two product tables that rotate, and a third rotating shaft that at the moment is twirling a pennant made of blue painters tape.
As I write this blog post the product spinner (that you see pictured) lays disassembled on my workbench. It is in the process of being painted.
It is my hope that I will be able to rent this product spinner to some sort of retail establishment. My next blog post should show this automata completed.
On the world front, COVID-19 continues to impact the entire planet. In the news are whispers of some countries and states beginning to loosen restrictions in efforts to restart the economic engines. I wish good fortune to everyone as we learn how to achieve balance in this new life.
And in parting let me say that today is my 75th birthday. I feel blessed to be living in my current circumstances and to be married to Cheryl.
5 April 2020, Surfer #1 is completed
I challenged myself to a two week build…which I began 18 March. The subject was a surfer on a board. I’m pleased to report that I completed the challenge on time. No motor. I wish that I had included a motor because I really like the motion of this automata…I would like to be able to turn it on and sit back and watch it. The motion is very soothing. I’ll be creating a video soon and will post a link when completed.
The big deal in the world right now is COV!D-19 (the coronavirus). The entire planet is feeling the effects of this pandemic. Things will be different moving forward. I shudder when I consider the cost of the bailout package that Congress just passed…we don’t need more national debt…and yet I cannot imagine what I would do if I was in their shoes. A very difficult situation.
At James Coffee Studios things are sort of normal. We work from home…so continue to do so. However, business is way down. It will pick up as social distancing rules are relaxed. And trips to the store are far less frequent. We had been trying to buy local. Very difficult at this point to buy local and to support local businesses. We are purchasing many more things online now. Inevitable, I guess. In a hundred years I wonder what “local” businesses will be? Restaurants, bars, megastores, grocery stores… Many of the small businesses that are on the streets of America will be distant memories in 100 years.
25 March 2020: Isolation is Good!
Since we’ve been asked to stay home I’ve had more time to work on automata…which has been wonderful.
I am fascinated as I watch the world cope with this pandemic. It seems to me that there are two options:
- We could all simply ignore the virus and go about our lives. Some of us (probably many of us) would get sick. Some of us would die. We would overload our medical establishment. There would be pandemonium and chaos.
- We could attempt to minimize illness and death while vaccinations are being developed.
As a society, we seem to have chosen #2. In my mind, this is a wise thing. While there will be damage to the economy worldwide it seems to be the preferable method.
In my case, I’m in my studio many more hours per week and I like this.
At this time I’m working on Surfer #1. This is a “Two Week Challenge” project. I challenged myself. Bottom line…I’m appreciating this ‘quick’ automata build and hope to do more quick builds in the future. You’ve got to stay on your toes. You’ve got to think ahead. There is not a lot of time to redo things.
Anyway…try to stay healthy…as the world turns.
15 March 2020, Resetting to a “New Normal”
I’ve completed the ‘mechanical’ part of the Electric Chair #1 build and am now adding details to the ‘story’. This clock is to the left of the executioner. I envision the shelf holding a coffee cup, a black rose, and perhaps a clipboard.
I just read that the California Governor has placed everyone 65 years and older into ‘home isolation’. Wow. That means me (74). Fortunately, it’s OK. Nowhere that I really need to be. Lots of chaos out there. I’m fine staying at home. I spend most of my time working in the studio, which is great.
I’m finding this whole situation interesting. We have the benefit of speed of light International communication, and a lack of ‘practice’ with pandemics. And of course, everyone is a back seat quarterback, knowing way more about things than they really do. This will all end one day. We’ll be smarter. The next pandemic will be easier to manage. Mother Nature will be smarter too.
I listened to a radio show this morning that talked about the 2008-2009 recession causing there to be a ‘New Normal’. Things would not go back to the way that they had been. And that this pandemic will cause another new normal. Things will not be the way they have been
I’m thinking that what I will miss the most while all of this is happening are my street organ performances. Apparently I’ll not be able to perform for at least a few weeks. Too bad…my street organ music makes people happy.
Stay healthy everyone.