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Monday, May 31, 2010

Antique Fan Progress - Day 2


By day 2, the fan was completely dis-assembled. All parts cleaned, polished & painted.
It is not perfect, but I was going for the "renewed restoration" --- I like that I tried
the maintain the vintage character while just cleaning it up a bit.

Overall, just the wiring is remaining. I have to wait for a restoration wire which adds a little
style and authenticity to this work. It is essentially "new UL wire" covered in black cotton to
appear old without the negative affects, such as house fires!

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Emerson Fan Restoration - Progress DAY 2


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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Emerson 79464-AX Fan

Ask me how I know how hard it is to remove a fan blade that is left-threaded on a shaft after nearly 70 years! Wow, this one task took me about 3 hours and countless efforts of angle, tension & perseverance. Alas, it is off and the work can finally begin --- however, I must believe that will still not be all gravy from this point forward.

Here's to intense patience & a little luck! :)

1941 Emerson Fan


Say hello to my little friend!
I picked up this working 1941 Emerson Electric Cast-Iron fan in need of dis-assembly, cleaning & restoration for only $10.00 --- Ones in good condition sell at these antique shops for well over $100, and I saw an exact version today on the same street in this antique village for $250.00!

I think I am going to clean it up, do a full overhaul on the electrical, but leave some of the vintage antique patina. The original paint is still mostly intact. It has good character & for an item that is 69 years old & should be a fun project.

Cheers to a rare deal on a true antique!
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CHAPTER 1 - "Little Pieces"

From my book entitled "A Quest for Country"

Excerpt from CHAPTER 1
"Little Pieces"

Scattered among the young loblolly pines, the coarse blades of the Bahia grass grew much taller than expected. As we approached, I noticed the worn, rusted cattle gate, which no long stood proud and strong, but gracefully weakened as if the course of time itself had eased it into its own period of retirement. The metal was now a faded shade of rusted brown, a far cry from the bold fire engine red that once protected these proud acres. Securing these symmetrical metal doors was no longer the sliding metal claps, or even a hefty chain --- it was now a purple lead line. Yes, a simple soft rope with a rather feminine twist now issued the pronouncement of border protection onto this land. What a stark contrast I pondered as I walked closer, but at least this makes accessing the land that much easier. I was relieved as I slowly and easily untied the simple rope and pressed onward onto to the remainder of this impromptu adventure.

The land was slightly rolling and mysteriously quiet. As now an intruder both in the legal & natural sense, I felt a bit of adrenaline begin to flow, but that was mild compared to my heightened awareness for potential encounters. The grass was relatively tall, nearly 18" in most areas, but still plenty high enough to obscure the deadliest reptile or native predator. There is something very instinctual about our human ability to reattain lost hunting & defensive skills when placed into the proper environments. For a moment, I allowed myself to lose track of all time, everything outside of those broken gates, my life was now here on the inside of this arena, and I had to become a seamless part of its rank-and-file.

As much as I relish in these challenges, I regret having to be responsible for others who want to accompany my quests. Constantly having to ensure that someone else doesn't misstep their path, touch the wrong plant, nor endanger their own life is not something I enjoy. However, empathy runs deep in my blood. As the stress begins to mount, I carry it upon my shoulders in silence like an assumed layer of guilt.

Stomping through the young pines, and mild underbrush we continue to traverse this intriguing and beautiful landscape. I see with a vision of what is not here, not what is. The pines, gone. The underbrush, gone. The thick tall grass, gone. All that remains are the glorious and proud hardwood trees, the mighty southern oaks. I noticed in the distance a nice simple cattle pond, as I fumble with my parcel map. I cling to this folded white paper which offers me a little reprieve both in the legal sense if I get caught for trespassing and also a good indicator of where I might be in this dense humid habitat.

I press onward, trying to orientate the map with my steps and attempting to align the invisible lines of demarcation that segment each parcel of land. This property is now divided into a multitude of various sized lots ranging from 2.2 acres up to 7.95 --- the one that has my eye is the 4.75 acre piece right in the middle with its own small pond. We continue to walk upon this old road, a dense ridge line some might say, between all of the simple farmland. It is strange to imagine now this once large proud pasture is about to become nothing more than individual country homesteads. Never again in history will this property be as it once was. Like a sea overtaking a sand castle, the evidence of its existence will forever change and this book will sadly be closed, forever.

I wish that I contained the resources in my own purse to keep all of the land intact, simply flowing as one continual landmass in lieu of the broken pieces. These little pieces of land that eventually will become its destiny saddens me for a moment. I think about someone trying to place dividers in a running stream or a stony brook, each person claiming their own portion to themselves. All of them damning the history of their steps while conveniently damming the flow of the water itself. This would never be allowed, but with land it is all different and fair game for the developers.

I get lost in my thoughts, forgetting about the serene surroundings and time, even my companion who I figured by this point is in this as much as I am, and therefore has about as much chance of leaving this place unharmed. "Yes, but so much work is still needed to be done to make this even usable", I proclaim. Trying to convince myself that it is not worth the investment to live in this glorious place, while I am truly only projecting my own frustration & discouragement for not believing it could ever be mine to own.

By this time, I could sense a growth of silent frustration beginning to mount so I casually made some quick measurements in my head and with nearby landmarks relative to the plot map. We trekked out the path from which we entered in near silence. I had nothing else to discuss, nothing left to ponder. Resealing the past at least for now, I gently retied the purple rope as we exited the gates. I knew in my soul that these little pieces of land will bring joy to a less emotional family one day, but never more than they once meant wholly complete to nature herself.

As I touched the old gate, I spoke in silence and tried to feel the energy of this place. Perhaps, I will return. Perhaps, this land is still quietly speaking to my soul. Perhaps one of these little pieces will be a large part of my life one day.

We drove away and moment faded.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dreams of the Past ---

I woke up this morning in a confused state of mind. I had just departed a painful dream in which an ex-gf of mine was still upset with me. All of the emotions were live, not Memorex. It all seemed so real. I felt more than ever the jagged reminders of the pain that I caused some years ago now. Somehow, after all this time, I thought that I would be forgiven even remembered for something more than the last fleeting glimpses of trouble that I caused, the trauma of my recent divorce at that time.

I still feel things in the past are undone, but maybe I am just too damn stupid to live in the present or perhaps I still cannot escape the memories that haunt me for moments in which I chose not to conduct myself properly. I am not sure why the past continues to haunt my steps and reminds me of my misdeeds, my shortcomings, and ultimately my failures.

In my dream, I wasn't looking for absolution, nor pity, nor love --- just an opportunity to feel forgiven and at peace with my heart. I could still see the sadness and the mistrust in her eyes. I felt alone.

I will trust that God knows my heart. I trust that I will one day be able to walk innocently through my journeys, seeking not to recall the moments of the past. Like history, the past is not something to ignore, nor hide from --- it is something to reflect upon and to learn.

When will I ultimately be at peace?
When will I learn to forgive myself?
What was I supposed to learn from that dream?

I walk forward down the path hoping to discover these answers...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am only happy when it rains.... ;)

I sit here idle. I called my mother this morning for her day of blessed honor. I was not appreciated for my efforts, but rather chastised for not calling her earlier to discuss my plans to take her out to eat today. Apparently, raw selfishness & a side of beleaguered obligation are on the menu for me today. Perhaps, had I felt slightly more incensed, I would have said something. I decided to let the moment go, knowing that sometimes those who are blissfully ignorant of their own rudeness will eventually reap what they sow.

Then I gave thought to some recent conversations about various people inside and outside of my life. The continually chatter about their "good days" or "bad days" and their inability to cope with the reality of life itself.

I call all of that mindless bantering --- the luxury of not having to truly live.

Life is not meant to be easy, nor stress free nor pleasant at all times. We are all products of the choices we have all made at various junctures in our respective lives. Where did we lose sight of our dreams? Where did we choose not to challenge ourselves, where did fear or anger get the better of our walk? Who said that we deserve to be cheerful & to smile each day? Who said there wouldn't be rain?

Still in the midst of reality of life itself, people complain. People result to medication to get them through the day, people bitch about their shortcomings, their lack of free time, their lack of purpose, their lack of a life to be honest. Yet those same souls attract, even construct the loneliness, the fear & the burdens in their own life. They are convicted with a sentence that they themselves have judged to be congruent with their own weight in self-pity.

It is akin to a martyr complaining about how bad it is to be a martyr.
You chose the role, now play the part.

For those of us who have to work each day to provide, who have bigger & more pressing responsibilities between the time we gaze into our bathroom mirrors & pickup the kids for soccer practice, we don't have the luxury of complaining.
We have people counting on us, we have corporations employing us, we have customers depending on us. The machine doesn't stop grinding away simply because we didn't have Bavarian cream for our coffee. The fields don't stop growing because we "don't feel just right today" --- Sad, sick or lonely, you have to get the work done.

We have not only exposed our soft underbellies but our soft convictions, our soft spirits & our weak resolve.

The luxury of being soft, of being restless, overly medicated & comfortable. Too easy it has become to complain instead of construct, to bitch instead of build, to wallow instead of work, to rest without effort. The luxury of wasting time, the luxury of sitting idle watching the days go by, the luxury of popping pills to remove us from the reality of our current situations.

This is not to say that I don't get discouraged, dismayed & depressed at times dealing with the realities of life. I do, and during these moments it is hard to press on and shoulder the responsibilities, the pain and despair that comes with being a father without his children & an overburdened professional. It is hard to smile sometimes, but with cheerfulness or not, I go to work, I press onward.

Sometimes walking through the rain is normal --- but sitting in puddles waiting for it to end, complaining about your wet socks gets your nowhere.

I would hate to ponder that fact that these same soft Americans are descendants of our pioneers, our founding fathers, our crusaders that built, battled for & blazed this country with their own bare hands. They truly had some bad days, they truly knew the sense of work, the responsibility & pride of a purposeful life. All without the bitching, the bantering & need for anti-depressants.

Additionally, they didn't wait for the next bestselling book to build them up, to help them remember that life is hard, nor to give them a purpose in their life. They didn't need to be reminded that life is what you make it, that anything worth anything takes considerable effort, hard work & dedication.

Reminders are good, like highway signs keeping us pointed in right direction towards our destination. However, you actually need to be on the road to see them! So, get out there, set a goal, challenge yourself to something new & see how truly wonderful life can be... rain and all. :)

I am only happy when it rains...