Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

They’re all good days!

Posted by joeabbott on December 27, 2013

I was going to title this post “another good day”, but realized I probably used that title before and, yes, I’ve been having a lot of good days recently! The specter of returning to work is looming … after next week I go back … but this holiday has been outstandingly enjoyable and yesterday was a perfect day!

I got up early, 7AM, and had some breakfast … it was reheated breakfast from our Christmas meal, but that was fine: when else can you get pancakes, eggs with cheese and diced ham, and a strip or two of bacon all in under a minute with no prep work and darned few dishes? Hard to beat the ease; hard to beat the deliciousness!

After that, we both headed to a local Target store to look over their holiday clearance section. We didn’t rush in, wait in line, or push around … just milled in after breakfast, looked over what was remaining (yes, by the time we got there, folks with two carts each were loading SUVs and heading home), and picked up a few nice things. We got tags for next year’s packages, we got a modest decoration or two, we got an item or two for others we’ll have fun giving next year. In all, it was a modest shopping trip that started the day with time with Suzy. Like breakfast, hard to beat.

imageBut, she headed out before I got through the line to purchase things, and while she headed to work, I drove home.

imageOnce home and with the car unloaded, I started sanding down the long, 12’ horizontal panels. The faces that will be showing are getting the most attention, but I’m making sure I don’t have glue-blobs or other stray features that will keep the panels from laying flat. With that out of the way, I then headed upstairs to create a set of steps needed to cut the grooves and dadoes in my panels. I need to make sure I have dimensions locked in, need to make sure I know which slots are cut to the edge and which stop early, and then I wanted to make sure I had a plan for what to cut first. Back at Boeing, all machining operations required a step-by-step set of instructions to accompany the task; I’m doing that now just to make sure I don’t miss a cut or make another error. Double checking myself.

About then I noticed that my brother-in-law, Stevie, was online and playing Borderlands 2. I was sure he wanted my help so I jumped onto the Xbox and started playing with him! I had a lot of fun but I ran a little long and needed to stop abruptly so I could run out to lunch with Suzy!

Yup, she was working but had enough time in the day to consider a lunch date with me! We went to a small restaurant … not sure if you’d call it a dive, but it’s modest and in an industrial part of town, and 100% delicious! It’s called Coliman and they serve a Mexican meal that’s outstanding. I would have licked the plate if that weren’t considered impolite. Just an outstandingly delicious meal.

imageOn the way home I dropped by the local Rockler and talked wood glue. I was concerned about gluing up panels in the garage and they confirmed that the glue had a 45° set temp and Seattle has been very uncooperative in the temperature department lately: we’re in the 30s most days and may spike to 43° or so. I needed to get the panels inside.

After I got home, I started gluing up the panels for the vertical walls of the cabinet. They’re double-thick 3/4” plywood, so I’m applying thin layers of wood glue and giving them the clamps! I have three sets of cauls I’m using to ensure that panels are glued up proper, then I apply a couple more to keep them square and provide extra clamping pressure at the edges. I let them take a set for a couple hours before removing the clamps and then bringing the panels inside to finish curing. Then I clamp up the next set.

While waiting for the glue to set, I started looking at end-of-year sort of activities and came across my picture situation. While I thought I hadn’t taken many pictures this year, I have about 22GB of images in my archive! That’s a lot of snapping! The archive includes images from others during highlight events (my mother’s parachuting birthday, my hiking trip with the guys) and videos that I snapped, but it seems like a usual year. I’ll make these available to Suzy who will curate them into our 2013 photo book … something she’s done for a couple years and I LOVE it. Hard to imagine a better way to revisit the past year than having a highlight reel of pictures at your fingertips.

But, before long, Suzy got home, we suited up, and headed to the gym for an hour of cardio on the bikes. It’s a good routine and while I felt like ducking out yesterday, we went and I’m the better for it!

I got help from Suzy to bring in one of the long 12’ panels and we found that it was just a touch longer (maybe a quarter inch … but an obvious quarter inch!) than the other, so it was well worth the effort. Glad I hadn’t started cutting the slots and dadoes yet! I’ll even those two out before we take additional steps.

And with that, it was time to show and hit the hay. I got the book Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society by Bill Bryson and started reading that. As with all Bryson books, it’s a joy to read; and with all my before-bed-reading, I got just a few pages in before I set it aside and rested my head.

Yesterday, like most of the days I’ve been having recently, was a good day. Hope you’re having good days, too!


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