April 20, 2005

Spatial Reasoning

Okay, let’s try this again. If nothing appears under this comment you know that I accidentally closed my browser window, and I’m probably down in the kitchen browsing the knife block.

It’s odd how our vision for ideal living conditions changes depending on our current living conditions. It’s strange that the ideal version is always diametrically opposed to whatever we find ourselves living in at the current moment.

Right now, I don’t want much. All I want to live in is a huge hangar, the size of a football field, with ceilings so high they make your neck ache. I want to live in a warehouse. I don’t care what it looks like. I just want it to be huge and dry, with more floorspace than you can imagine, and a giant bay door that nearly peels off the entire wall when it opens.

In this space I will build whatever amenities I find necessary, dividing it up with masking tape or stage props or tool sheds. Different areas of the hangar will serve as my kitchen, my bedroom, my living room, my office, my garage and my attic. Each will be separated by enough space to set off boundries between them, but not too much space to make travel between them inconvenient. In effect, my entire house will be contained in one room, but it will be the most obnoxiously huge, echoey room known to mankind. I’m thinking Astrodome, here, only with more beer and fewer restrooms.

What brings this on, you ask? Today I brought my kite gear down from the attic. I want to put the straps and fins back on my board so that I’m all set and dialed to hit the water when the wind blows. In this house, I don’t have a workbench or garage or basement or any other area to work on large projects in meatspace. So, I set up shop in the only space I have. I brought my bag of kite gear into my bedroom, threw it on my bed, and went to work.

I opened the bag and popped out my kiteboard, and quickly put the footstraps back on. The tricky part was going to be the fins, as they require that I suspend the board off something so I can brace the fin from underneath while driving a screw from above. I reasoned that I shouldn’t use my bed for this purpose, seeing as how the fins are extremely sharp (they cut through skin just fine) and my mattress is one of those inflatable deals.

Well, at least it used to be inflatable. About three days ago it started becoming a deflatable mattress, and it suddenly isn’t keeping pressure nearly as well as it has in the past. Before I only needed to repressurize it once every couple weeks, but now I need to inflate the sucker every couple hours. It’s rather miserable. I suspect that this is happening because the mattress has a three-month warranty, and it was mere days ago that I finally crossed the three-month boundary.

I mean, think about it. Your average manufacturer probably does a cost-benefit analysis of when their product is most likely to fail, and thus makes it policy to terminate warranty coverage just before that time. Same thing goes for insurance, whether it’s car or health or whatever. Insurance companies will consider the most common things that can happen and exclude them from their policy, or place the deductible just beyond their reach. Arguably, they justify this decision on purely economic grounds. Personally, in your search for morality I would argue against an economic approach.

So, I decided to set up my desk chair as a workbench, and here’s where the claustrophobia started to kick in. I pulled the chair out from under my desk, and the back legs ran into my bed. I didn’t have enough space to work with the board on the desk-side, so I turned the chair around. At 45 degrees it ran into my computer. I pulled it to the side to clear the computer and it ran into my nightstand. I jostled back and forth like this a few times, until the back of the chair ran into the desk.

Satisfied, I put the board on the chair, squeezed myself into the space between the chair and the bed, and went to work. I was three fins into the project when I realized that the screws were still salty from Baja, some starting to corrode, and that I should probably rinse them with fresh water before attaching them to the board for any length of time.

I removed the fins and collected the screws, sidled out from my cramped workspace, and on the way to the door stubbed my toe on my encyclopedia of CDs. Then I tripped on a box of jewel cases. To stay my fall I grabbed my clothing rack, the impact of which caused a number of hangars to slide off the backside. When I made it to the exit, I had to kick a pile of magazines out of the way so I could open the door.

In all honesty, I’m excited to spend the summer waiting out thunderstorms in the cavernous expanses of a backcountry tent. Come the fall, I’ll see what it will take to move into my dad’s airplane hangar. With him rebuilding a Piper Supercub and me living in there and keeping an eye on things, I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.

I mean, we’ve got a lot in common. Sometimes my dad washes engine parts in the kitchen sink and my mom hollers at him for it. Sometimes I wash fin screws in the kitchen sink and my landlady hollers at me for it.

Dane – Its a 1941 Piper J-4A not a Supercub. No one has enough money to ever justify buying a Super Cub.
Dad (At Unca Norman’s)

If you and your dad have a fallout, you can live in my garage. It has a creaky-spring-loaded bay door in in the front, AND the back (minus the spring). Perhaps you can help me build a carwash this summer. I bet the water would be good for those damned springs…

Dude, it’s a deal. A drive-thru garage sounds absolutely stellar, and besides a car wash there are any number of other business opportunities.
I’m thinking we should turn it into a toll booth, or a “living history” replica of one of those old covered bridges. Then again, I have always found the Paint ‘n’ Spray from GTA to be a great source of entrepreneurial inspiration.
My first step as an entrepreneur will be to come up with a more efficient way to write entrepreneur. I’m definitely seeing wasted E’s in there, with plenty of room for additional streamlining.

Ah ha. Yup, you’re right. I missed a tag in my last entry, which caused a cascading failure. Thanks for the heads up! It should be working, now.

Bob Davis on KSTP (their talk show host from 5 am to 9 am every day) today talked about wanting to live in a very big building so he could have all of his toys etc all around him. No wood trim or other architectural niceties, just a steel building. Are you giving him ideas?

Heh. Never underestimate the influence of the Brainside Out World Domination Concern. The meme continues to spiral out from this node!