To catch you up on all-things-etherfarm, not much has happened since my last post, which was made on the day of my daughter’s birth a few years ago. In that time:
Sweet Home Chicago
The family has
escaped moved back to the Chicago area from California. It’s probably no secret to anyone who knows me well (or, actually, anyone who had a passing conversation with me) that through my fifteen years away from Chicago, I had been longing to come back for roughly 13 of those. We landed softly, and with the exception of my work travel, our life here couldn’t be better. We’re in walking distance of everything we need, live on a great street with fantastic neighbors who pepper our social calendar with block parties and progressive dinners and the like, and there are numerous options for good deep-dish pizza and Italian beef.
I had high expectations moving back to Chicago, and—incredibly—reality has exceeded all of them.
Job. Job. Job.
I’ve changed jobs. Twice. I don’t usually blog about work on etherfarm. Work stuff goes here.
Dense as Wood
My woodworking activities have largely been put on hold due to the time demands of my new job and two small kids. The need to dismantle, move and reassemble my woodshop didn’t help either. I’ve made some small things (shelves, racks, etc.) but nothing I’d point out to anyone. Some downtime and an extended period at home over these holidays, however, have allowed me to start to getting things in the woodshop back on track (more on that soon).
To compensate, I try to make as much time as I can for projects with Lost Art Press, a small publisher dedicated to texts about woodworking run by a good friend of mine. Among those projects:
- Photo illustrations and general consultation on The Anarchist’s Toolchest, a text best summarized as the book almost every woodworker wishes they had when they started in the craft. More details on my contributions to that project in an hyperbolically effusive post on the Lost Art Press Blog.
- Principal photography for a forthcoming volume on the Studley Toolchest. Yes, there is a woodworker’s toolchest made by a guy named Studley. Nyuk nyuk. But I tell you, this thing is a national treasure. I am extremely privileged not only to be one of very few people to see it in person, but to be doing so with Don Williams, the author of the book and for a few more weeks anyway, the head furniture conservator for the Smithsonian Institution. It’s a grueling but exhilarating project, and I’m honored to be a part of it. Some videos/posts on the process of documenting the chest, my approach to photographing tools in the chest, and a little background on the project and the chest.
Lost Art Press is good people.
I have eaten. A lot. Being back in Chicago is both good and bad in this regard.
Good: there is so much good food to eat.
Bad: I eat it.
Since my last post on food, I’ve got at least three food benders under my belt (literally). Don’t worry, I’ve got a post for one of those already lined up.
The Not-Swiss Family Nayar
The kids have obviously grown two-and-something years older. Ray is no longer a toddler (a large part of me thinks he skipped that phase altogether); he’s fully mobile and articulate and reads books without pictures and on good days, helps me cook, clean, and do stuff around the house. He’s interested in anything that involves lasers, robots, and photosynthesis. He still says some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, which I’ve been documenting on Twitter for a while (#rayquote). Among my favorites:
- “Right now, medicine is racing through my body on a piece of lasagna, slicing pain in two.”
- “I don’t wanna learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. I mean, what good is a bike going to be after I learn how to fly?”
- “I tried and tried until I successed.”
Anya is very much a toddler and Nara and I are being schooled hard on parenting a two year old. I can tell that Anya quotes are right around the corner. Until then, you will all have to be amazed with the following short videos:
- A scientific demonstration of Anya’s light-footedness
- Anya’s reaction to stressful situations such as a shark attack
Like I said—not much has changed. Just a reboot of practically every facet of my life except my marriage—a partnership which in just a few weeks will have started almost twelve years ago.