Just a few unspectacular shots.
Just a few unspectacular shots.
Yesterday I hung some outdoor lights in front of the shed. I took a picture and shared it with a friend, saying “So Christmas.”
He swiftly sent this picture back to me:
Found in a giveaway box a few doors down. So groovy.
Today was D-Day: I put on the door.
It rained unexpectedly yesterday. Fortunately I had finished the roof, but I couldn’t attach the door until I’d finished the trim. It’s still not quite done, because I may need to make some changes to attach a gutter. Other things on the punch list: chicken wire on each side above the roof to keep the critters out, spray foam and silicone sealing, security bolts on the door hinges, lights on the outside, etc.
After a delay for a summer session of statistics (say it thrice) I’ve made soem progress on the shed. I built a wall and then dismantled it, reusing the wood on the other wall. Changes:
• Door moved from the north wall to the front wall. Many advantages: north wall has 1° slope, required double doors, and has a huge drop-off, requiring a deck. Now a single 3′ door can open into a space next to the stairwell, out of the way.
• Two windows, 10″ x 30″.
• 20′ wall is now two 10′ walls — way too awkward to work around and move as one big wall.
Much progress since the last post. The shed is now 9′ x 20′. The roof will be metal panels attached to the underside of the deck, and then I will build the shed up to it.
Here are three CAD views of the shed so far.
We were in San Simeon yesterday, staying at a hotel next to the ocean, when I saw this in the sky. I think it should be an album cover.
What’s happening is that the sun is out of frame in the upper left. It’s perfectly aligned with the jet contrail, creating a parallel shadow. The jet is just entering the clouds in the lower right and the shadow stretches put before it all the way to the horizon.
Doryphoros is Greek for “spear-bearer.”
The Doryphoros is a Greek statue of a soldier, much prized and copied by the Romans (one of the best examples was found in Pompeii). Sculpted by Polykleitos as part of his “canon,” it was a study in the ideal proportions of a man and is considered as a perfection of the form.
One American folk term for the Colorado potato beetle was the “ten-striped spearman.” The beetle made its way to Europe, where it was a huge pest after World War I, almost wiping out the French potato crop. (The US was accused by several countries of having purposely introducing the pest purposefully.) The French called it a doryphore, because it was once in the genus doryphora decemlineata (“ten lines”; its name is different now).
In World War II, doryphore became a French slang epithet for German soldiers, who similarly landed like a plague and ate all the potatoes. Schoolchildren were recruited to help carry out a campaign to wipe out the beetle, and carried signs saying MORT AUX DORYPHORES! which amused the French greatly.
Doryphore was also the name a a prototype combat biplane made by LACAB for the Belgian Air Force in 1934. Here’s a postcard from 1935 mentioning “Le doryphore de la pomme de terre menace l’agriculture et l’horticulture.” Clearly, the word had currency in Europe.
(Interestingly, in Russia and the Ukraine the beetle was called kolorady, and in Ukraine that name became “a derogatory term to describe pro-Russian separatists [due to the] black and orange stripes on so-called St. George’s ribbons worn by many of the separatists.”)
The English writer and diplomant Harold Nicolson (husband of Vita Sackville-West) coined the term “doryphore” in 1949:
These Colorado beetles will spent hours searching for a misprint in the Oxford English Dictionary… Although these doryphores may achieve the short delight of proving that an author has made a mistake on page 479, they will never know the slow, long pleasure of writing a large book with continuous application.
Nicolson has the first four cites in the OED, but others used it, including Herb Caen and the editors of the New Yorker (in 1950).
Anyway, after all that fun I can’t find a definitive reason someone called the beetle a spearman, or why Nicolson used the word figuratively. Were copyediting pedants really such a plague that they deserved to be compared to potato bugs or German soldiers?
A weekend project, if you redefine a weekend as Friday to Wednesday.
I spend a lot of time on our deck. If the weather is at all tolerable, I set up my computer workstation and spend the day there, looking out to the Golden Gate Bridge and watching the array of birds and critters in the back yard. The deck has a pergola that creates some shade, but we’ve always had an umbrella to make it tolerable under the bright sun directly overhead. I’ve been thinking for a while that a deck-wide shade would be much nicer than the umbrella, so I decided to buy some parts and make what’s variously called a Roman or wave shade that can slide open or closed as needed.
Of course, last-minute design modifications and unforeseen constraints changed things a bit, but I’m still happy with the result. Here’s the pergola before:
The above image before I installed the shades but after I’d “cleared” both bays: the lights in the center were moved from either side of the beam, and the lights on the right beam moved on the outside. I also cleared 30 years of nails and hooks.
Here’s my parts list (sharp viewers will note I bought more materials than I used):
First I installed the hooks in the corners and made a square of cable. The result is about 49 1/2″ wide by 20′ long. Here’s a detail:
Next I created the shades. I didn’t take a photo of the construction, but it took three of the four rolls I bought to make two 23-foot x 4-foot shades with ribs every three feet. I used zip ties to attach the ribs to the cloth, 9 on each rib — much easier than sewing.
Top is daytime, bottom is dusk. It’s not as completely protected as the umbrella provided, but I like the lack of umbrella in this space.