Archive for the 'Object Awareness' Category
Looking across the runway what do I see but a fake coyote? A pawless, hunched over, not quite life-like fake coyote. I’m not sure if it was keeping the geese away but it certainly made me think twice about the iconic use of virtualized carnivorous force. Stay away from here or you might get eaten.
These fake coyotes though were not just flattened cut-outs or another $99 item stolen in less than 24 hours. They may have looked like they were coughing up a hair ball but geese and airplanes are serious business. I see from a related post here that these 3D fake coyotes “require no upkeep” and are “made of weather-resistant EVA resin, changes positions in a slight breeze and is visible from all angles.” Although the front view shot posted here looks a bit odd, an emaciated legless shell with yellow eyes. The nose also looks a little unrealistic especially compared to this premium artificial coyote nose available online for $7.99.
Continuing the thread-of-three about no blank surface left behind, leads to the topic of contraceptive crafting. The award-winning tablet dispenser shown above with it’s smooth clam-shell design and putty color is as beckoning a canvas as a skateboard deck. And yet every other issue of Juxtapoz has some up-and-coming or already-arrived talent talking fervently about their time designing skateboard decks. No one talks about how their time designing or crafting for pharmaceutical applications and how the unique form and context of the dialpak pushed them to the next level. No skulls please. No alienated rage or guitars. It can still be cool and hip.
It doesn’t even have to be floral or frilly.
Grab a sharpie and get started.
I mean how can it be that the search query for “skateboard designs” has over 19,000 results and two sponsored links while “contraceptive designs” can have 5 results and three sponsored links? Which one is really going to have a bigger impact on you over the course of your entire life? Which actually pushes your design and crafting efforts to consider themes of sexuality, reproduction, personal responsibility, perhaps love, passion, the actual chemistry of choice and other forms of rebellion than having a security guard chase you off the loading dock?
Which is not to say that skateboarding isn’t cool. It is. It’s just that it’s also cool to have an option for not getting pregnant when having sex. Admittedly it’s a small canvas, but it seems like a strategic one.
Forget lowering stress through higher levels of productivity or creating beautiful knitted items with exotic materials, let’s do(1) something useful(2) with that toilet plunger mouldering in a paper bag in the garage. If you’re like me you probably celebrated President’s Day by doing some emergency plumbing and deep unclogging of the sewage pipes. The toilet plunger may or may not have been involved in the festivities but really, keeping a loose toilet plunger around even if it’s in the garage is asking for germs, trouble or both.
First up you’ll need a gallon jug of something – in this case it’s vinegar but all you really need is something plastic that will fit your plunger.
Next you will need a box cutter or utility knife.
Of course you will also need a toilet plunger – in this case modesty requires that it be shown in the previous storage(3) thingy, that is a paper bag.
Now that you have everything, it’s time to get started. First make sure your gallon jug is empty – in my case, all that vinegar was used in the place of fabric softener. Then cut off the top of the gallon jug with the box cutter. Third and finally, place the plunger in the storage thingy and that’s it.
Simple, fast and economical. Maybe not a splendid bit of self expression but I suppose at some point I could decorate it or add a handle or make it more complicated. But not today.
1. OK for some reason the whole “stink of the link” thing from Sarah Boxer’s NYRB review of blogging has stuck with me. As an exercise, let me see if I can blog with footnotes instead. That is the links are confined to the footnotes, but, each footnote should stand on its own.
2. Useful meaning productive or helpful. But not criminal. I see that elsewhere in the blogosphere there is a note about a man attacking his stepfather with a toilet plunger handle. This is exactly the type of thing we won’t be speaking of here.
3. I see that there is something called the Sani-Plunge Janitorial which they note: “If you run a hospital or top-notch hotel, you probably have professional concerns about allowing your patrons to see an exposed toilet plunger being carried about the premises. Not only is the exposed plunger likely to be coated with disease-causing bacteria, but letting the plunger drain freely or be carried without a container, sends a clear message that cleanliness is not a top priority at your facility.”
Pretty polished looking but at $69.95 over budget for home use. There is also the black vinyl Plunger Caddy which is a more reasonable $14.95 but the “designed by maintenance engineers for maintenance engineers” slogan is confusing – I’m not a maintenance engineer so I’m not sure if this is designed for me.
We were in a tiny bar in a tiny town outside of Campina Grande in Brazil. We ordered a beer and a side of caju‘s. The bartender handed me a piece of wood. Smooth with some nicks in it. I was confused, was this to break off the top of the bottle? Then I saw the screw towards one of the piece of wood and I got it. It was a bottle opener. It was a screw.
I made a quick sketch and noted how well it worked, how minimally elegant and how it was something I could easily make. Home again I remembered the bottle opener. I thought about the kitchen bottle opener and how it was really a wine bottle opener with an opening in the end for opening bottles. Made of metal and with moving parts it’s not something I would ever try to make.
In comparison the garage bottle opener is a classic dual opener made of a single piece of metal. I found it buried in the yard a couple years ago. It’s a “Quick & Easy” bottle and can opener and even stamped with MADE IN THE U.S.A. on it. Another item I would never try to make and thinking about it it’s just a tad too short.
So I rummaged through the garage and found the screw shown at the top of the post and a piece of wood.
Then I got out my screwdriver and got to work.
It’s not too tricky just screw in the screw towards one end of the piece of wood, keeping it centered. Make sure the screw isn’t too big, say 3/4 inch with a rounded head. The piece of wood then can be roughly 6 inches long by 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch. For metric system fans let’s say a piece of wood 15 cm by 2 cm by 1.5 cm with a 2 cm screw.
That’s it. You now have a home made bottle opener.
No moving parts, no opening wine bottles, no opening cans – just a bottle opener. Now before you give it to your next guest you should probably do a little quality control. Mine worked just fine.
So much more satisfying than thwacking it on a table top or door frame or trying to follow some video directions to use a piece of paper or other on-line directions. And thinking about, the screw as bottle opener certainly is an exercise in expanding the do-it-myself range of projects, a nice instance of extreme re-use and a nice souvenir from south of the equator. I would never think of making a bottle opener, but now I have and time permitting I’ll probably etch the handle. Not sure if you can even get an American made bottle opener but this one is and it’s left over stuff from previous garage projects.
And it really is as simple as a screw.
For example if you have a work table, say in your garage (upper left in image below) that you would like to attach a bottle opener to the bottom of (upper right).
Just screw in a screw (lower left) and that’s it, built in work table with bottle opener (lower right). Never again I will I need to remember where I put the bottle opener when I’m in the middle of some project. No more fishing it out from behind stuff if I drop it. Now I know they make little built in bottle openers but a screw is so much simpler, and even works well with horizontal surfaces. And it works for picnic tables, door frames, plastic coolers and lots of other places. But that’s another post.