only fun to build them
Monday, January 20 2003
I've probably said this before but it bears a reprise: once I get going on a project, it becomes my life. This accounts for a certain funk that has settled over me of late. Sure, there are things left to be done in the house. But these are trivial things, and they're all things I've put off doing because of their lack of sex appeal. If I do them, then they too will be done. Then what? Will I go back to making things in Flash? Will I start rocking the free world with my electric guitar, which still wears the same strings it wore back in San Diego, for Jimmy Christ's sake?
In the meantime, a suitable distraction from end-of-housebuilding funk has been my disco ball. It revolves nicely and reliably now. Typical for such tangential projects (and all projects are tangential!) I've reached the point where I'm adding details that I never would have imagined adding at the outset. One such detail was a smaller secondary disco ball that I added today. It had been hanging downstairs, simply pinned to the bottom of a shelf. Gretchen had sweet-talked a shopkeeper into giving it to her from his/her store display. Today (with Gretchen's blessing) I gave it the life it had been born to live: I made it spin. At first I hung it from a rapidly-spinning shaft in my larger disco ball's drive system, but there it wobbled out of control and threatened to march on Washington. So then I hung it from a copper wire crossbeam stuck in the suspension chain for the disco ball such that it could go around the larger orb in geosynchronous orbit. This, however, was an ugly solution and opened up a position for counterweight that I could only fill with an aluminum hard drive disc. In the end I built another pulley from a four inch wooden disc and hung the small disco ball from that. Now it spins very slowly, but it's perfect.
Later I added a couple 60 watt spotlights mounted on arms (these had been removed from downstairs bedrooms early in the renovation process). These allow me to perfectly train lights on the spinning balls, creating the perfect light show on my sloped ceiling. In the end, though, I wonder why I bother. The beams sweeping past the edge of my field of vision distract me as I type. I don't even like light shows. It's really only fun to build them.
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