Snail Races

...where even the winners are slow and slimy. It's all a matter of degrees, really. Reality based since 1692.

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Location: Upper Canada

Friday, August 12, 2005

the new thermocouple is go

I finally broke down and bought a new thermocouple for the used pyrometer that came with the used kiln. This has made firing possible once again, and none too soon, as the greenware inventory was outgrowing the available shelf space.

As I write, the pyrometer reads 300 C, and the ramp seems to be appropriate so far. Two full bisque loads are backed up, and those will make 4 or 5 glaze loads, yikes! Three firings and already I need a bigger kiln. At least the crazy glue worked on the broken glass over the dial.

So, anybody wanna buy some crude local pottery, nothing like this or this.

UPDATE: the thermocouple read 980 C when the kiln sitter tripped, so I'm pretty sure it is working ok. the ware came out very nice... planning some glazes with an alpine theme...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bobo's Canada

Driving back from picking up a new 4" furnace filter ($20!!!) at Home Depot, and somewhat jangled by the weekend buzz and rush of the place, I was noticing just how many of the cars around me had a bluish tint to their license plates, owing to the aftermarket covers the owners had chsen to install. I am given to understand that these are not mere protective or stylistic enhancements, but rather have the intended purpose of defeating photo-radar and toll cameras.

Then, directly ahead of me, on possibly the very strip of malls, gas bars, dollar stores, and fast food franchises most locally emblematic of the current state of our retail consumer economy, was yet another dark sedan with a misty blue cast over the navy and white of the plate numbers.

A vanity plate, in fact, that read LOOK2GOD.

Still recovering from the sensory overstimulation that is the big box building centre experience for me, I took a moment to process both of the things about that license plate.

Not only a profession of faith, but an explicit exhortation to others to join in that faith. Except that that pious and humble declaration, even given the most generous benefit of what little doubt remains in my mind about such declarations, was literally and figuratively obscured in what I can only conclude is, at best, an ethically dicey scam, or, at worst, criminally culpable evasion of the law.

What kind of person could be so blissfully unaware of the fundamental dishonesty and hypocrisy exposed in the contrast of the words and deeds of the driver ahead of me at this light? And then I noticed that there had once been a bumper sticker above and to the left of the plate. Only a corner of the vinyl sticker remained, but the ghostly image of what had once been there was still discernible in the residue. I adjusted my bifocals to gain the best possible look from that distance, and when the image became clear to me it was obvious in so many ways.

The bumpersticker had had stars and stripes on the left half, and had said "W 04".

Well, of course.

I only wonder why the sticker had been torn off - by the owner, or by a neighbour provoked to direct action by the arrant cluelessness of the owner?