Monday, July 30, 2012

Mundane Mancave Missive

Typing Shed

(Click on image to enlarge:)

Post Script:
You'll have to accept the poor quality photos, my Lumix G1 is in the hands of The Line Writer (my grandson), and I was relegated to using Hipstamatic on the iPad2. The Man Cave didn't start out as such, it was built as a playhouse for my grandson. Then, years later, after he quit using it and I was getting a hankering for a manly retreat, I remodeled the interior with parquet tile and wood paneling. I also didn't take construction photos, as I'm usually too immersed in such a project to take on the added burden of documenting its build. So, an after-the-fact description might be in order, for those of you contemplating a typing shed of your very own.

Man Cave in Early Morning

The shed is 8 foot square in floor plan, the floor framed from 4x4 and 2x4 pressure treated lumber, secured with screw nails rather than regular nails (I always build with screws rather than nails, it makes taking it apart, if need be, much easier later), sitting on those little pyramid-shaped concrete support blocks so the wood frame won't easily rot out in the weather. The floor of the shed is sheathed in 3/4" plywood decking.

The walls are framed from 2x2 lumber and sheathed with outdoor grade textured gypsum paneling that doesn't need painting or other treatment, but is very heavy and will dull your drill bits and saws blades like crazy. The walls end up being rigid once they're sheathed, otherwise the frames are a bit flimsy.

Man Cave Time Keeping

The roof is a modest pitch, made from two frames of 2x2 lumber that meet at the top, sheathed in steel roof paneling rather than wood paneling, secured directly to the roof's 2x2 frame with those water-tight roofing screws that use rubber washers under the screw heads for watertight integrity. A lightweight roof, minus the wood decking, but strong and watertight.

Man Cave Exterior

The windows are the cheapest plastic-framed sliding windows I could find at Lowes Home Center. The interior is paneled in standard wood paneling, nailed to the 2x2 frames with finishing nails. In the spaces between the wall and ceiling frames I installed 1 inch thick foam insulation panels, easy to cut to size with a utility knife from their 4x8-foot sheets. I have yet to add the finished trim molding along the edge of the floor and ceiling; those little bits of blue tape, visible in the photo along the edge of the baseboard, mark the position of the wall studs for when I install the trim. The floor is covered in el-cheapo adhesive vinyl faux parquet floor tile, very easy to install with a utility knife, tape measure and straight edge.

Man Cave Window

The shed was wired for electricity prior to adding the interior paneling, with two outlets, one on each side wall and a lighting fixture hanging from the ceiling. The wiring terminates at an outdoor-grade electrical outlet, which is powered, via extension cord, from an outlet at the back porch of the house, using a GFCI interrupter for safety. The extension cord powering the shed hangs from a plant hook on the back porch and several tree branches prior to running down to the shed's outlet, so it isn't going to be tripped over in the dark, or get too wet in the rain. The extension cord gets disconnected and secured when not in use. I made up a small "suicide cord," a piece of Romex wire with male outlet plugs at each end, to adapt the extension cord's female socket to the shed's outdoor outlet's female sockets. The key to using this suicide cord safely is to hook it up "from load to source," and disconnect it "from source to load," a handy ditty I remember from years ago when, in the U.S. Navy, I pulled shore power cables from ship to pier.

Man Cave Decor

Interior decor comprises three outdoor patio chairs in the corners, several folding wooden portable tables, upon one of which sits a CD and radio player adjacent to the door in the remaining corner, connected to several Hi-Fi quality speakers, and a little nick-knack shelf in another corner behind one of the patio chairs. The folding tables are handy for typing upon, as I can scoot them up right against my chair, my legs tightly between the table's legs, typewriter at the ready position. There's a small oscillating fan used in the warmer months, and both windows are screened, and slide open. In the wintertime, there's enough body heat to keep the small space warm (it being insulated), plus an electric space heater can be added if needed. The overhead light is a bit of overkill, it using four 50-watt halogen bulbs, so I've taken to removing the bulbs from three of the four, leaving a single 50-watt light as illumination. Although at night, several scented candles work really well, their warm light reflecting off the light-colored wood paneling giving the space a comforting, cozy glow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hunters & Gatherers





Post Script:
The Remington Ten Forty continues to have issues with the ribbon advance in one direction, hence the faded type, and my struggles with the mechanism a handy excuse for the typographic errors, all part of the charm of typecasting.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ponderosa Cabins

Southward, Part 1

Cabin Typing

Southward, Part 2

(Typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22, photos via Lumix G1, processed in Filterstorm on iPad2)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Once Again Enchanted

The Old Taos Guest House

Once Again Enchanted

We regret not staying for another night, but have yet another destination to visit, which we hope to typecast. Typecast via Remington Ten Forty, photographed via Lumix G1, edited on iPad2.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thrift Store Blazer Trek



I should add that, once we got back home, I proceeded to do a show-and-tell of my typewriter collection. They loved the Corona 4 and Underwood Universal. The one fella I mentioned in my previous blog article ended up choosing the Olivetti Lettera 22 over the Olivetti 21, despite the 21 being in pristine shape and being a bit better of a typer; the portability factor of the Lettera 22 won him over. So, if nothing else, we can now have a two-person type-in, here in Albuquerque.

Typecast via Remington Ten Forty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012




Post Script: Kind of a mixed subject matter blog posting. A great day discovering both the Fisher Space Pen and Rite in the Rain notepads at my favorite stationary store, Pen & Pad, which I've frequented since my teen years. Then, the typewriter bone started to tingle, and I headed down to one of the repair shops to see what they had in stock, when I passed a favorite thrift store, The Indoor Flea Market, where I found this Remington Ten Forty for a good price, and it was completely functional. I did end up at the typewriter repair shop to get a fresh ribbon spooled onto the oddball-style spools (the machine was made in Holland). The old guy who runs the place knows me as the guy with all the typewriters who refuses to get any of them serviced at his shop. One of these days, he just needs to be patient.

Tomorrow, I meet up with several friends, we're planning a thrift store run in search of blazer jackets, then an afternoon photo stroll along Central Avenue, me with the Kodak Retina IIIC, and the Soviet-era Zorki IV rangefinder being loaned to one of the guys for the afternoon. This guy is also going to be the recipient of an Olivetti Lettera 22 - yes, I'm offloading one from my collection to a good home, who promises to work on his science fiction novel with it. He also thinks he now needs a Soviet-era rangefinder camera. So, it looks like I do have some influence upon the younger generation, after all. The third fella will be shooting with his iPhone 4S. A good day is expected.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Unremembered Photo





Memories are inexact simulacra, at best. The two women in the photo were on the same side of the street, for instance, rather than across the street. And reviewing the sheet of negatives reveals the film was Kodak Plus-X, rather than Ilford FP4+. Too, the context of the surrounding images and sheets of negatives in my archive binder reveals that the picture was made in Brentwood, California in August of 1993. Further proof that the hard copy of physical film is more reliable in this case than the software betwixt my ears.