Parsimonious Melodies

So, my wife and I have been thrifting for furniture. We’ve been checkinCraig’s List, thrift stores, furniture stores, outlets, warehouses, friends’ basements, etcetera. We’ve run the gamut of possibilities.

So we’re in this thrift store checkin‘ out some different items, and we come across this monstrosity. It’s big, it’s old, it’s fake wood & orange/brown carpeted. Oh yea. Bring it.

We’re takin‘ a look at it, messin‘ with it, etc. We see the orange note card scotch taped to the top of one of the Formica panels, it reads: “Radio works. Phono needs cleaning. $10″

My wife and I looked at each other, Phono?” It turns out, the top Formica panels slide in both directions, one on top of the other in separate tracks to reveal: this is not just a gargantuan side table this is an old-school built in phonograph/radio! Sweet!

A Magnavox Solid State radio & phonograph. Solid state meaning that it no longer uses tubes, it uses transistors. Sassy.

I was hesitant at first to purchase such a large, vintage, potentially doesn’t work, piece of historic furniture. But, eventually, my wife convinced me, “It’s just $10.” So we snagged that beast.

Later that day, we picked up a vinyl copy of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suites 1 & 2 fro 25c. Sweet.

Lindsay and I came & picked up the monster later that day and brought it back to her folks place. We plugged it in, and sure enough, the radio rocked the kazbah. Totally old-school fake chrome dials & the vertical tuner bar. Beautiful.

Oh, and did I mention the built in vinyl album storage compartment? Awesome.

We put the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite on the phonograph and … nothing happened. The table didn’t even turn. So my father-in-law and I investigated. We found that the rubberized driving wheel was not making contact with the motor spindle. So we loosened the joint nut that was inhibiting it from getting the proper contact, and voile. Gorgeous, sweet, melodious nut-cracking rhythms floated gently from the orange & brown polyester covered speakers.

Some of the best $10 I’ve ever spent. It will be an excellent addition to our new apartment.


Constant Companions

Due to the nature of my vocation (campus chaplain of sorts), I quite often have a Bible with me. I usually have a Timbuk2 slung over my shoulder carrying my Bible, planner, and Moleskine journal. These three items are very dear to me, for organizational purposes, emotional purposes, and Truth purposes. They rarely leave me side.

I felt it necessary to photo the stack of the three together. I intentionally purchased a black slim line Bible to match my Moleskine, as well as the black planner. This creates a nice cohesive, streamlined stack of portable necessities. Delicious.

I appreciate order and organization. I also appreciate balance and imbalance. I like routine, it’s necessary in my life. But I also appreciate and instigate change, in my life and the lives of those around me. I like the mold, and I also like to break the mold. Hence purchases like skate shoes, bright blue laptop protector cases (with purple corduroy lining), and pink email templates. Chump.

I also, about 2 months ago, purchased a Moleskine 18 Month Large Hardcover Weekly Planner. Yummy. I am excited to have a photo shoot with it, post it, and blog about it’s beauty, engineering, and genius. It goes from July 2008 to December 2009, so I can use my old Week-At-A-Glance planner till december when it runs out, and start using the Moleskine planner for a whole year. I am so stoked.

I have also, just recently, converted my wife over to Moleskine. We are going to order her a Moleskine planner as well. Yep, she understands the genius. I always knew she would see the light.

Enjoy some eye candy.

Keyboards & Skate Shoes

I saw this keyboard, and I knew I had to take a photo of it, post it, and blog about it. So, here we are. It’s old. It’s vintage. It’s yellowing because of the florescent light that it has been slaving away under for so many years. And yet, there is a certain nostalgia to it, is there not?

I can just hear the springy ring of each key as I strike it sharply. “P-CHING!” “E-CHING!” I love it. I can just feel the vintage when I use it, when I type on it, when I enjoy it, when I take pleasure in it. Delicious.

I love those smooth cream/beige/off-white/old-yellowish tones. It just smacks of emo-computing. Fantastic.

I think I want to own one sometime, just because of the sound. It’s like that writer guy from ‘You’ve Got Mail’ who buys all those old type writers, because they sound great. Just like that. Beautiful.

Now the skate shoes, on the other hand, are not ‘old-school’, like the Dell QuietKey keyboard. But, they are sort of a vintage ‘throwback’, with the plaid remix, the browns, and the gum sole. But, that’s precisely what makes them so sweet.

I kept looking at them sitting on the floor by the entryway as I walked back and forth most of the morning, the other day. I just kept looking at them. Finally, I photographed what was pricking my creative senses.

I originally purchased them in one of those scary, impulsive, artistic moments. I felt that I would look cool in skate shoes. I felt that I could rock ’em, and rock ’em well. Some doubted. But that’s ok. I was a bit nervous myself.

I originally wanted to purchase the Gravis Lawrence in brown pinstripe. But I couldn’t find them on sale anywhere; what a shame. I was ‘this close’. But it was probably for the best. I found these skaters on sale at Piper Lime. But, if these DC Wenning‘s (dark chocolate) crap out on me (I’ve heard the soles can separate from the shoe, if you skate in them [not me]), I’m pickin’ up the Gravis Lawrence.

*I couldn’t decide which shoe photo I liked better/best, so I had to post them both. I love the wood grain in the lower shot, but the angle with the ‘big toe’ in the other is really nice.

A Symbol of Committment

My wife, Lindsay, and I were married on June 13th, 2008. It will be three weeks as of this Friday.

I have been meaning to post some photos of our rings for sometime now, but I haven’t gotten around to it. So here they are.

We got both of them from a small local jeweler in Burlington, Vermont where I have been living for the past two years. It is called Designer’s Circle, on Church Street in downtown Burlington. I came to be pretty good friends with the owner, his wife-to-be, and this dude named Jesse. Great place. I liked it so much I brought in three of my friends to give them business.

Lindsay’s ring was designed by a husband and wife jewelry business out in San Jose, California called Eichhorn Imports, Inc. I think her name is Dotty. The crazy part about Lindsay’s ring is that Dotty herself traveled to the ruby mines to find this natural ruby, as well as the diamonds. She gets a better deal when she goes direct. (She cuts out the ‘middle man’.)

It was the first ring I looked at, ever. I had just told my parents, maybe 45 minutes before that I wanted to marry here (they were visiting me in Vermont), and my Mom was already nudging me into jewelry shops. This was the first place we stepped in, and the place we ended up. I put a down payment on it before they left for Minnesota.

As you see, there are 2 bands. The original ring had only the top band. When it came time to be married, I wanted something a little different. So I had them custom build the wedding band around the engagement ring so that it looked like the wedding band wove through the middle of the engagement ring. (What they in fact did was cut the wedding band in half, weld it on to each side of the ring, then cut the bottom of the engagement ring band, pry them apart, and reattach the bottom pieces to the cut & welded halves.) I’m sure that you can totally picture that in your head.

My ring was a different story. When Lindsay, my wife, came to Vermont to visit in April ’08, we went shoppin’ for man-rings. We searched several different jewelers in Burlington, but found nothing stunning or exciting. We wanted to find something as unique, simple, beautiful, and elegant as Lindsay’s ring, but with some man-style. No luck.

Until, we came to the Grannis Gallery on Church Street. It is more of an artists’ gallery than it is a jewelry shop, but it had a large selection of jewelry. So we checked them out and found two that I especially liked.

One was crafted by artist Namu Cho. (The one I liked was the big half round one in the upper right corner.) That cool thing about this ring, besides the way it looked, was the material and its process. It is called Damascus Steel. It’s a steel that is created through the forging/tempering process. Very cool.

The other ring that I was interested in was crafted by William Scholl. (The one I liked was the big thick one in the upper left.) Not a special crazy process or anything, just a nice design.

Lindsay and I were hoping that these rings would be in our price range after we had them sized down for my finger, and then changed the gold to 14k. Not true. They were both out of our price range, mostly due to the fact that Grannis Gallery is not a jewelry shop, it’s an art gallery. So the prices have to be higher to support the shop & the artists. I respect that, but it was a bummer for Lindsay and I. Oh yea, and the other factor was that gold is about $932 per ounce. Hoofta. When I got her ring, 1 year before, it was about $670 per ounce.

Lindsay and I weren’t able to settle on a ring before she left, after a weeks stay. So I was left deliberating, or stochastically speculating on my own. Eventually, one more morning I woke up with an idea for a ring. So I sketched it down in my trusty Moleskine journal, and made some notes about it. (I just posted that sketch, check it out below.)

The next day I took my sketch down to Designer’s Circle and chatted with Dave (the owner) about it. I was thinking that we were going to have to custom build this thing, wax mold, etcetera. Nope. Dave is the man. He told me they are about helping people get what they want without paying an arm and a leg for it. (We’ll save those for gas.)

So we ordered the stock ring from a jewelry company, and then did the custom design at the shop. Designer’s Circle has a jeweler upstairs that does all their custom work, retouching, re-tipping, buffing, polishing, etcetera. So in 4 days they had my ring built.

We went through about 7 different revisions to get the hammering, satin finish, and the scored line just right. But I really like it. In fact, its growing on me more and more. Lindsay digs it too.

Practical? Fun.

Admittedly, this is a little out of control. But I thought it merited a post. Because after all, this is stochastic. So be it.

The photo below if of my ‘office’ while I have been house sitting in Iowa.

Yes, three computers. Practical? Of course not. Fun? Pretty much.

Why not … right?

One for email, another for iTunes, and another blogs.

Lindsay (my wife) and I have been into blogging lately. Ironically, we haven’t done a lot of actual blogging, yet. It has been just been so much fun setting up the blogs, deciding colors, fonts, templates, typography, etcetera. None the less, here I am, my first post.

Very stochastic, desultory, capricious, and arbitrary. Perfect.