Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome Back - A New Catharsis

It's pretty clear to anyone looking that this blog that it has sat dormant for (in web time) a near eternity. But time exists in the real world too. Perhaps a new blog is in order, but I like the Up North name, for even if I'm actually living in Kanzas and my time truly spent Up North has been limited, I still dream of relocating and maybe even gaining a legitimate accent, not one that comes out exclusively when I'm drunk.

Up North, the blog, was started as an outlet to document two weeks assisting my friend in her sculptural endeavors in Franconia Township, Minnesota in April 2009. Since then I have lived in Kansas City, Missouri - under a questionable quality of life - finally getting out in September 2010 to travel and camp in Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Right now I live at home in Eastern Kanzas (an archaic spelling from old maps, btw), and work in a large sporting goods store, saving money for the next time I destroy my domestic rut in order to actually experience something that really feels like "living."

It's the Holiday Season, the perfect time to (be able to) work 40 hours a week in a large sporting goods store. In the time returning from Up North after my last uprooting and actually securing a job - and before the days got too chilly - I was riding Blue Christmas (my 1970s Fuji 10 speed) about 80 miles a week on long pleasure rides and totally negating any of the beneficial aspects of cycling with bad dietary and other consumption choices.

Things are different working again. I'm drinking a lot less, my diet is a bit healthier and I've started using a stationary bike to keep my legs in the stress I feel they deserve (ha!). I need to quit killing myself with cigarettes. Up North may very well become a venting ground during nic fits in the near future, but for now I am hoping it can cure another nagging need.

Work 9 hours at the store, come home, 30 to 40 minutes on the bike with a techno soundtrack, shower and something to eat and I'm BORED. Aside from the week I was able to escape to the outdoors for an overnight trip, I have had this awful hunger that I have been unable to satisfy. Drink a beer, eat a snack, smoke a cig, and I'm still left with a void unfilled.

More than one person has suggested a blog, not as a prescription to fill said void, but just a general suggestion, as a compliment to my Voice and Perspective, for those who read blogs. I suppose it's appropriate enough, I know I have left many people in the dark about what's been going on in my life and when asked in casual conversation, it's hard to sum up 9 months of stuff in a quick couple of sentences while waiting in line for a drink.

In June I moved out of my apartment in KC's Northeast Neighborhood. In August I quit my job at the bowling alley. Both of those places were contributing to that aforementioned questionable quality of life, feeding a pattern of anti social behavior. I suppose now that no, not everything is fixed, but oh well, nothing's perfect.

In September, Dad and I tooled around Wisconsin for the better part of a week where fall was in full swing, leaves the color of fire and a cold rain following us everywhere we went. We stopped by Franconia to see how Alisa's piece had held up over a two summers and a winter.

Overall, it was in decent shape, sitting in the graveyard, it's chains padlocked to the gearing to keep it from driving away. Apparently Alisa hadn't even been back yet. I was glad to get some pics and to see it in one piece.

Did some good camping / hiking with Dad over the next few days and ended up in Milwaukee, where dad flew home and I headed to Riverwest to see Alisa in her (former) studio and see her new work, skillets in the shapes of the Northern Midwest states.

I got to revisit and take a crappy picture of a painting I did about 9 years ago which Alisa claims has been in her work space(s) ever since I gave it to her, which is pretty cool.

The next week was spent in the UP, in Saint Ignace, Michigan building trail for the North Country Trail Association. The North Country Trail is a National Scenic trail, meant mostly for hiking (though limited segments do allow horses, ORV / ATVs, mountain bikes) that runs from central North Dakota, through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and terminates at the New York / Vermont border.

I also visited my grandmother in Detroit, visited friends in State College, Pennsylvania and Chicago. A second leg took me Nebraska and South Dakota, where in the town of Brookings I had the most ridiculous of good times with Nate, Sarah, Lindsey, Michelle, Mario, Bender and Gretta the dog on Halloween.

Well, apparently it's also difficult to sum up several months in a blog post too... I'm not bored, but I'm tired of writing all this out. It's really not all that exciting.

It's back to the sporting goods store tomorrow. I'm feeling good about the return of the blog. Perhaps next time I'll have more photos, but if you're my FB friend, you've probably seen them all already and if you're looking at my blog there's a good chance you were invited here via FB. Good night.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weather or Not...

Okay, so here we are on party night. Things haven't been as fun lately. We're still working feverishly, though the weather is screwing with us. Today's first half was gorgeous and hot. Early in the evening the wind started comin' in wickedly from the north and some light thunder storms forced us to cover the work site and head indoors. 

We've got a lot to do still and today we were supposed to finish.  Were it not for the weather, it would not have been insane to suggest that we may have hit that mark.  Hopefully things clear up here in the next couple of hours.  It will probably still be miserable outside but we're just gonna have to pull it on through.  

The front wheel assembly is finally in its home, though it still needs to be bracketed in firmly after some hole drilling fun.  The crank shaft is very close to being finished. Today - and it was very exciting - we rolled the piece for the first time.  Off its jack, off the blocks, we rolled it a little and were both amazed at how smooth and easy it rolled.  If th
e weather cooperates and stamina maintains, tonight could be the night, leaving tomorrow for us to install it and pack it up.  

I've got my bike, my backpack, laptop bag and some other little odds and ends.  I am not worried about packing my stuff.  Alisa on the other hand has the better part of her studio here with her, a whole bed of a pickup.  Two electric mitre saws, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, hand saws, grinder, jig saw, two drills, lots of hand tools, lots of materials and supplies.  AND she still has to figure out how she is getting her three or four 12 foot boards of rough sawn oak out of here. 

I know I promised more pictures and I'm sorry to say I don't really have any.  My piece of shit camera eats the AAAs like crazy.  I've been here 2 weeks and have had to replace the batteries THREE TIMES, and as you can clearly witness, I haven't taken all that many pictures. Anyways, during most of the day I had dead batteries. Here's some cool ones of the rain coming in right before dark.  

More progress reports when I can, and seriously, as soon as I can take them, more pictures.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Workin' Hard on Art...Hardly Workin on Blog

Shit.  Keeping up with this bogging thing is becoming more and more difficult.  It's not as if I'm lazy - I don't think.  It's been a pretty wicked last few days.  The two weeks is just about up, yet I feel as though I have always been here.  This one and three quarters weeks has just flown by.  I'm beginning to wonder - and maybe even worry - about my abilities to function in the real world next week.

I have a feeling that I am going to spend a couple days sleeping. Maybe a day in the shower.  At this point I have just about totally given up on the concept of bathing.  The water here is extremely hard or soft - I forget which is which -  but it's so [hard/soft] that you cannot rinse the soap off your skin.  And I'm just gonnna get dirty again anyways right? There's hardly any interaction with anyone that doesn't live at the park, who do I have to impress with my hygiene?  The clerk at Tractor Supply? (oh, by the way, I now have the ability to spot a three eighths inch carriage bolt from 400 yards away). 

This picture of me up top I find utterly hilarious.  It was a couple nights ago when it was cold cold cold and the wind never ending.  It was crazy.  Has been crazy.  The other morning I was watering the trees for park work, dragging a quarter mile of garden hose from one side of the property to the other, cursing myself for wearing two pairs of pants.  Hard to move, extremely warm.  I was getting hot, and then the wind starting blowing from the north, or the east or the south or west, and fast! At times it seemed as though the wind were somehow blowing from every direction possible and that I might just be lifted in it and carried off somewhere. Luckily I had the hose to use as a tether...
We've gotten a lot of good work done in the past couple of days. Spirits were running really high after the front wheel assembly was completed.  Something was wrong though.  Our geometry was wrong apparently, or geometry just hates us.  After a day of Alisa fabricating steel brackets, me drilling holes and installing them, we discovered to our horror that we had some sort of serious structural problem.  The diagonal supports on the side of the wagon had pitched out 4 or 5 inches on each side.  I'm not sure if we totally figured out why, but we tightened some bolts that we couldn't remember tightening in the first place and tinkered with some positioning of the additional supports.  I think we got.  We pretty much lost an entire day taking the thing apart, "fixing" the problem, and then putting humpty back together again. 

Today I spent the better part of the day getting the front wheel assembly mounted on the spine of the wagon, which involved constantly jacking the wagon up and down and doing the finishing on the wood work so that it sits at its specific and delicate angle.  Alisa got all of her chains hooked up, which is a huge task.  The chains connecting the gears are for tractors, heavy duty steel that costs some $10 a foot. Also Alisa mounted her bearings for, and has a really good start on her crank shaft.  

A couple nights ago the house had a little party.  There were a few returning interns for various reasons and a house dance party was called for.  Kate, the mom of the house, had us all come up with a gladiator persona, write it down, and then put it in a hat, and we all drew.  I drew "Bolt" so I drilled some holes in my hat and inserted some hex bolts.  It looks good.  People at Tractor Supply look at me weird when I wear it.

Alisa drew "American" and wore a dollar sign belt buckle and had Mong paint the word "Terrorist" on her face. Sorry, I don't have pictures.  I needed use of my hands for drinking beer (actually, I've sort of dropped the ball on the picture front in general.  We've just been working like mad and I don't think about it until it's dark out.  I'll try to get a whole slew of them tomorrow for posting soon). 

Also that night, Alisa, Patrick from Maine, park grounds manager Jonas, and I had a drunken jam session on the front porch.  It was spectacular. Alisa banged on small sculptural elements laying around, Jonas sang, I played guitar, and Patrick just inserted whatever random thing that was on his mind.  I was able to get a couple songs recorded on the hand held tape recorder patrick loaned me.  The recordings are ridiculous.  It was so windy the first "take" is mostly wind.  The second and third "takes" are collectively embarrassing and hilarious.  After a day of rest and a day of showering, I'll try to get some mp3s up here once I am home and can digitize the cassette tape.  

Okay that's all for now.  I promise more pictures soon.  There's a lot of great things to document. caio

Monday, April 20, 2009

I heart geometry

Picking up from somewheres... 

Monday now, weather is shit.  Very cool, rainy and wind that gusts up to probably 30 mph.  Last week it was sun burn and now its 2 pairs of pants and hooded in the rain shell... gotta love the midwest, eh? You betcha. 

These blogs have traditionally been done later in the day.  I've been rushing through them with the knowledge that the quicker they get done, the quicker I get to sleep.  It's  nice to do one here in the afternoon.  The weather has brought us into the warmth of the house.  We've made nice progress with what we did today, though I didn't get pictures yet, you know, cause it was raining.  Those will have to wait, the details and all.  

I've still got to pick up from where I left off with the last post.  

We spent last afternoon and evening finishing up the front wheel assembly, which we had been working on since for some 3 or 4 days.  It's been a real sonofabitch.  It looks simple enough, but it's design has sort of been constantly changing based on the availability of bearing housings that Alisa and Daniel spent a good deal of Thursday or Friday looking for. Finally everything was good on them except that there was no way to ratchet the nuts onto the four inch carriage bolts holding the bearing casings and frame together.  I had to borrow a pair of vise grips and clamp them down around the socket bit and tighten the bolts one quarter turn at a time, undoing the vise grips and repositioning them each time. 

When it was finished I maniacally ran around pushing the front wheel assembly screaming in excitement.  We were gonna get a video of it but I broke the LCD screen on my camera so I can't navigate the menu to switch it to video mode, which is a bummer.  I can still take stills though.  

The last thing we did was to begin to position these angled support beams that take the weight of the entire oil tank, etc and sends it forward which will help provide it forward motion when this thing is finished.  

We worked on that more today in the rain.  We've got it figured out after a lot of confusion.  We measured and used geometry and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't together like we wanted. Apparently six months ago when Alisa cut the boards she cut one 3 inches shorter than the other. A simple trim job was all it took.   Go geometry.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How the Time Flies

WOW. So yeah, this thing is way out of date.  I can hardly believe it's now Sunday and I haven't been able to update this thing in half a week.  It's really incredible.  The days are so short it seems. The schedule out here is wearing me down.  Manual labor in the morning coupled with 8-12 hours of arting is busier than I have been in a long while.  

I never thought of blogging being such a time consuming pain in the ass, but here I am, waving that flag ( Oh by the way, blogger or blogspot or whatever website this is, it's a total pain in the ass and I suggest starting a blog somewheres else if you're looking to start a blog.  Perhaps it's not so time consuming on other sites.  I've reached the point in my life where I have been using computers longer than I have not.  It shouldn't be so difficult to put a blog together... maybe I am doing something wrong).  

It seems like a month's worth of work has happened in the last three or four days.  An animal of routine now, the details are blurring together.  What day we did what seems completely irrelevant, but  I will try none the less to piece it together.  

THURS: In the morning Alisa dug holes for soon to be transplanted saplings and I painted a floor in an old workshop that will soon be a new gift shop / info building for the park.  Painting a concrete floor with rollers and long extension handles was a nice change of pace from the previous days' earth moving.  

Right before lunch I took off on a really nice bike ride to the county seat, Center City, some 8 miles away and back.  It was a pretty chill ride, just a straight shot on a county road with a really wide and clean shoulder.  Some gentle hills and just enough wind to make the ride there strenuous and the ride back that high gear pedaling party that makes bike riding really fun.  

I got more sunburn that day too.  I spent the afternoon wearing long sleeves and my duck huntin' hat with the earflaps down.    Alisa's brother, Daniel, came in that afternoon as I was putting away my bike.  He and Alisa had worked out a bit of a barter.  Daniel came to help out for a day or two and in return Alisa was to do some welding and re-attach a broken back rack on his 1973 110cc Honda ATV. 

I had never met Daniel before, though 8 years ago I slept in his childhood bedroom in Green Bay.  I remember it vividly.  It was the single most Wisconsin experience in my life.  I slept in red and black flannel sheets in a room with wood paneling surrounded by ice skates and hockey trophies.  

There's something special about getting to see someone interact with a sibling for the first time.  You can tell they have a really great relationship.  It was only a matter of moments until I picked up on the pet name he calls her, which is "eige."  I wouldn't know how to spell it. It sort of sounds like "tease."  At dinner we all made them explain this nick name. Alisa ignored our requests, but Daniel launched into this song that didn't make a bit of sense.  The song did contain the phonetic "eige," but I really have no idea how it related to Alisa or anything else what so ever.  

It was some Wisconsin thing that no matter how many nights I may sleep surrounded by hockey trophies, I will never understand.  He was fun to have around and admittedly a relief. Most of the time Daniel was around I was without anything to be working on so I had time to take care of some important little stuff like changing a bulb in our work lights, tidying up of materials and tools, and aimlessly drinking beer.  

Actually, Daniel's presence sort of gave me a much needed break, which was really nice.  That bike ride to Center City wore me out by the time I had digested dinner and I just sort of milled around the work area drinking beer and giving an extra hand where it was needed and took pictures and spent some time designing some brackets that Alisa needs to fabricate.  I don't think she liked my design, but it doesn't even matter because I got to sit down for a whole hour or so.  It was kind of amazing. 


FRI: Alisa and I were filling holes with dirt by 9:30 in the morning.  It was an absolutely beautiful morning.  We had some really great discussions while filling those holes with dirt.  One shovel at a time we really got to update each other on our respective last 7 years of existence. If we were both telling the truth, I think a lot more of her than I did and a lot less of my self. It has really got me wondering what the hell I've been doing for the last 7 years or so....

Started thinking about a series of drawings I was working on  my last week in Milwaukee, seven years ago.  Right before I left I bought some conte crayons to expound on my ideas.  They've been in a box for seven years.  I know exactly where they are.  Maybe I should start drawing again(?).   Alisa seems to think so.  She remembered the series of drawings I was working on.  She's probably the only one that saw them.  That she remembered really sort validated their existence. It was as if I couldn't remember if they really existed or were just some dream I had so long ago.  

Something about shoveling that makes me introspective.  We actually shared a lot with each other, one shovel at a time.  It was a really nice time, having spent a week together and getting into the deep stuff.  Relationships, professional aspirations (as in Alisa has professional aspirations and I... well I don't want to peg myself into a hole here, so I'll leave it at that....)

All the time we were shoveling and sharing, Daniel was dutifully carving out part of our front wheel assembly.  It was cool to do the park work and know that the art part was still happening.  He did a real nice job.   

After lunch and (I another nice bike ride) Alisa and Daniel set to fixing the Honda. It was an ordeal.  It was supposed to be two simple spot welds, but it took 4 hours and a trip to Tractor Supply.  I don't really remember what I did in this time.  I WAS doing something this time around, not just aimlessly drinking beer.  I think I was doing what Alisa has started calling "The C-Word," as in Countersinking.  I'm getting good at a drill press, let me tell ya...

Alisa and I, both utterly exhausted quit work after dinner.  I really wanted to play guitar a little and unwind from a week of hard and long work.  She did laundry and I agreed to wait to get the last of it out of the dryer when it came to that. She crashed and I sat with Patrick and we sat at the "bar" and joked about how it felt potentially more fun if we sat mimicking a real bar.  He was quick to point out how there were no women around and that killed that magic, but we drank a lot anyways, just because we could.  Instinctually, Patrick and I are both people that love to unwind our days drinking beer on a porch and we all know it's more fun with company... in that respect we make a great team. 

SAT: So hung over in the morning.  Patrick was in sort of fragile shape too.  I didn't  say much of anything to him or Alisa or anyone.  Just dragged.  Made toast or maybe I didn't.  Must have eaten something, right? Surely I did.  Alisa and I have been living on all sorts of left overs, or just making a giant patch of split peas or something that we eat all day.  Oh yeah, the fucking split peas.  I've never been so gassy. 

Anyways, Alisa and I's morning duties involved watering recently transplanted saplings.  We'd just set the hose on at the base of the tree and then lay in the sun for 10 minutes and then move the hose and repeat for 4 hours.  It was actually alright.  It was an easy morning, and I really needed it.  Alisa mentioned a bike ride and I couldn't commit to it.  I wanted to sit and play guitar.  I was burning out, in all respects.  I kept trying to talk Alisa into taking the day off work and of course she talked me out of it.  

It being the end of the week, the food stash was minimal at the house.  We made a trip to the store to get something to eat that wasn't rice.  Alisa made a keen observation about my being very tuned into comforts.  Walking into the grocery store I bee lined for two things I desperately wanted, 1) cheap chewy chocolate chip granola bars and 2) a generic premade sub sandwich.  

We also had to go to Menards for another drill bit, or some part that we were missing.  I couldn't leave the car.  I had to sit and inhale this sandwich.  It was a pretty shitty sandwich and it was all I could have wanted at that moment.  

to be continued.... 

all work and no play make jack a dull boy

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So, I had this dream just last night.  It has nothing to do with El Topo, but I had mentioned the film to Alisa the other day.  We were talking about surreal films or something like that after our bike ride and it seemed like a logical image to use to talk about dreams and the such.  

Her piece, to me, evokes some sort of Western myth or surrealism.  Her piece keeps me thinking about films like Dead Man and There Will Be Blood... in reality, it may have more to do with Greek Mythology and Norse aesthetics, but oh well, I don't have those pics on my hard drive. 

Anyways, so this dream.  It was very vivid.  Sleep lately has been potent because we haven't been getting enough it.  In the dream Alisa and I had been chosen for whatever reason to speak to an entire auditorium of high schoolers about entrepreneurship.  This doesn't really make too much sense because neither of us are really business inclined.   If one of us were though, it would probably be Alisa.  

This sentiment is expressed not only in this world, but in my dreams as well apparently.  So in the dream we meet at this huge high school in the suburbs.  It sort of feels like a John Hughes film or something.  

I am there before Alisa.  I am a fucking wreck.  I am unkempt, unshaven, unbathed, smelly, and to top it all off, the only shirt I have to wear is my Holy Fuck T-shirt (like, the dance band from Ontario).  Maybe I am hungover.  It's hard to tell, sometimes much like in real life.  

Class is in session and all the kids are out of the hallways, but you can feel that energy of young people sitting in desks, awaiting this assembly in the auditorium.  That energy is building and I am beginning to feel like they are going to heckle me and eat me alive. 

The principal introduces himself.  I try to be adult like and all, but I can't because I have a problem with him as he is this authority figure of young people and I know there's  no way young people can respect this guy.  Not with his green suit and baldness.  He sort of reminds me of P.R. Deltoid. 

He asks me if he can get me anything and I desperately need a cup of coffee.  He says sure, he'll be right back and I am waiting for ever on him when Alisa arrives.  She's of course well prepared to inform the young on the necessities of starting their own business and how to survive and strive in our wacky economy.  

She's looking at her watch.  It's go time.  Luckily Alisa is on first. As a team she will surely make that solid first impression that we desperately need.  But what will I do??? I don't have  a speech or anything.  I don't even have an idea!!! What do I know about starting a business. Nothing! I can hardly balance my fucking check book and remember to take out the trash on whatever night the trash has to be taken out, I don't even fucking know that!!! 

Much as in real life, I really admire Alisa.  She is strong and although she won't admit it or just can't see it, whatever it is, she has her shit together. I'm thinking about the kids and their innocence.  If I can't make a point about starting their own business perhaps I should make any sort of point.  My mind is trying to pick out something meaningful, something important, something that I think the kids need to hear.  

I decided to maybe try to score a drink.  Get a little buzz and to rant to the kids, more to just the boys.  Just single out the boys and ramble in a bourbon fueled tangent about the importance of RESPECT in all relationships, and especially concerning the boys and how they tend to treat the girls. Then I will turn to the girls and tell them that us boys are generally as dumb as they think we might be and that they have to take advantage of our stupidity. If  I can't make a point about entrepreneurship, I want to make a point about feminism.  

We're walking down a hallway and I'm complaining about that principal who never delivered on that cup of coffee.  There's the SRO (the School Resource Officer), the school cop, that post columbine era cop, there with his 9mm, to "hold it down" and answer any questions we might have about the D.A.R.E. program or perhaps M.A.D.D. 

"That fucking principal, that son of a bitch, he said he was gonna get me a cup of coffee," I moan.  

"Shh!," Alisa turns to me, "There's a cop right there!" 

"What? It's not like it's against the law to call somebody a SON OF A BITCH!!!"

and i wake up, horrified that i just yelled SON OF A BITCH in my sleep, at seven in the morning.  Alisa's right there and she doesn't seem to have stirred.  I must not have yelled it... 

and i'm off the hook for the whole speech to 1000 teenagers. that's cool too...


Holy cow, I'm exhausted right now. It's very springy here in minnesota. I'm currently sunburned a little bit, really starting to feel the rigorous schedule that comes with Franconia. 

The intern residents here all must participate in a daily 4-5 hours of "Park Work," Mon-Fri.  Monday was cleaning day and by 9am we were all assigned cleaning tasks around the house.  Later in the morning we loaded a dumpster with a bunch of hardened sand (a by-product of pouring metal) and a few hundred pounds of plastic sheeting that had previously been someone's sculpture.  

After a good lunch we made our trip to Tractor Supply and Menard's and got all of our hardware and the jig blade. With the new jig blade Alisa could make the decorative cuts into the diagonal support beams for the gas tank.  They turned out absolutely lovely.  Once the cuts were made and the holes drilled, it was a long afternoon of remounting the diagonal supports and hoisting the tank back in place.  Almost all of our counter sinks for the bearing bracket needed some cleaning up to accept the washers.  
Alisa was particularly tired that night and cut out around supper time. The day was cool and the night was cooler and I didn't feel like going in so I stayed out and got all those counter sinks cleaned up.  It was dark by now and I had the entire work yard all to my self listening to Munly and the Harlots as loud as the little boom box would go.  It was nice to be out there all alone for whatever reason. With the countersinks cleaned up, I tightened the bolts and gave the tank a spin.  

It moved beautifully, smoothly.  I spent some time to get some video of the tank spinning but the footage came out way too dark, so here it is instead in the daylight of the next day:

It's still not geared up (that will take a while yet, but this gives you an idea of it's spinning motion. 

Having gotten the tank mounted and the bearings et al working just as they should we cut off from the work site a little early (though it was still 11pm!) and had a few drinks to celebrate.  

The next morning at 9 again we were shoveling dirt into the Cushman, a golf cart equivalent to a dump truck. We c
arted the dirt to the other side of the park and leveled out the ground under a piece of work.  This took all morning and was tiring.  I think we loaded / unloaded and smoothed out some 6 or 7 loads of dirt.  

The day could not have been better to be working outside.  It was an absolutely gorgeous morning.  Felt so good to just wear a T-shirt and be comfortable.  Spring is hitting the North for sure.  After lunch Alisa and I went on a bike ride on some paved and unpaved trails just across the St. Croix river in Wisconsin.  It was the perfect temperature out.  Just amazing.  We broke a sweat, but were never too hot.  Spring in the midwest is certainly a fragile and short time.  It was nice to really take it all in on two wheels and shift into high gear and just fly across the pavement.  

Our afternoon of work involved mostly some more tedious work.  More countersinking, mostly.  Around 4 I was feeling the shoveling and the bike ride and had to take some time off and sit on a park bench on the river and eat a DQ ice cream cone.  

After dinner there was more tedious odds and ends for me to hammer out while Alisa started prepping her metal elements so she could fabricate brackets the next morning.  

This is wednesday now.  This morning was more shoveling, wheelbarrows and rakes. I had to go to Walmart to replace our boom box that died the other night.  We only lasted a few hours with only the radio and completely warbly played out cassette copy of REM's "Out of Time." I was afraid I was going to be arrested.  I had Alisa's credit card at Walmart and I signed her name and the clerk at wally world insisted on checking the signature.  Luckily I had studied her signature and I'd say I did a damn good job at replicating it.  

Alisa is currently fabricating metal brackets to fit the "spine" of her contraption.  I had to take most of the afternoon off to catch up on this here blog, really feeling the late nights, early mornings, manual labor and 12 hours of art making assistance.  Hopefully tonight I'll make it to bed at a decent time.  I could use the sleep for sure.  

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  If you go here you will find a flickr set with more pics of the park and our work :    

until next time...