Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Drywall going up

02.28.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Drywall going up
Drywalling stage of retail project.

Here’s a picture of the drywall going up on the storeroom in the store. Things are now really starting to move which is a good thing.

Spouse met with an expert yesterday and selected the color scheme for the rooms. We’ve decided that the theme for one room is “explore” and that the theme for the other room is “create” – hopefully, we can infuse “fun” coupled with “buy” 😉 throughout the entire store!

The painting is progressing on the exterior now as well bringing the building into harmony with the other tenant too. If only we could convince the owner of the lot next door to clean things up a bit, it would help with the overall ambiance of the space. One thing at a time I guess.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Innovation, Oddyssea

Ode to a Box Joint

02.24.12 | Permalink | 1 Comment
Basic box joint.

I’m working on a prototype for a product we’ll carry in the store. Nope, not ready to talk about the store concept or this particular product. Let’s just say that I needed to assemble a wooden box frame to help support the main components of the prototype.

Now, strictly speaking, I didn’t need to use a box joint. I could have used a butt joint or half-lap and it would have worked just fine. Look at the picture, it’s a pretty joint! It became a point of pride that I learn how to make box joints in some reasonable and repeatable way.

I tried the first time free hand at the table saw with a single blade. That didn’t work so well.

I tried the second time by sketching out the joint on the wood then using a hand saw and chisel to do the work. Not only did it take a long time, the joint looked horrible, though it did work.

Finally I broke down and purchased a stacked dado for my table saw and built a box joint jig. It worked!

There is something deeply satisfying about creating something tangible; it hits both the mental and the physical aspects of innovation. I look forward to the next time I need to make a box joint now that I know how to do it.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Framing Complete

02.23.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Framing Complete
Framing Complete

Spent time in the store this afternoon chatting with the electrician and a potential painter. The framing is now complete. Most of the vent work for the furnace has been installed and that work is nearly completed. The electrician has a bit more to go having re-wired the entire space adding needed grounding and a new electrical service.

Still have a little IT related wiring to get finished this week and the sheet rock guys may be able to get in as early as Friday, which would be divine. Once we get the rock on the wall, we’ll get some painting to happen in both rooms and have the floors to go. Couple of more weeks and we’ll be ready to take possession of the space and start outfitting the store and that’s pretty exciting!

The layout looks just like what we envisioned. It’s progressing very nicely. I’m particularly impressed with the building owner’s approach to all of this – it’s going to be a good working relationship I think. I’ll write another update when there’s something more to share.

Coastal Stuff

The Pooch Prognosis

02.22.12 | Permalink | 3 Comments
Woman in protective dog cone

I’ve gotten many questions through the back channels (why don’t you comment?) about how Gracie is doing. She’s doing very well. The drainage tubes were removed yesterday and she’s healing right up. The worst part was the first night after surgery. Poor thing was up literally all night (and I was up with her.) The good part, no cone for Gracie…

Now she’s back to her regular self wondering why she can’t go on long walks right now and generally making a nuisance of herself. We ended up canceling our family vacation this week to hang out here with her while she recovered and I think that was a good choice.

So, prognosis for a full recovery is good though the wound still looks appalling. But overall, the hound is on the mend.

Coastal Stuff, Commentary

Dogs, Irresponsible Humans, and The Law

02.17.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Dogs, Irresponsible Humans, and The Law
Gracie the dog's wound post pit bull attack

This is a tough post to write because it is full of nuance and and I’m a bit conflicted. But, I’ll try.

First the facts: Yesterday my spouse and dog were walking on San Pedro Mountain trail as we have done 1,000 times over the last decade. A man was walking 3 dogs off leash in the area (this is normal too.) As the groups passed each other, 2 of the 3 dogs associated with the man did the normal dog greeting and passed. The 3rd, viciously and without warning, attacked our dog Gracie. You can see the result in the photo.

The man apologized and inquired after the health of Gracie and stated that “this dog was mostly OK.” He then left without providing any contact information leaving my wife with an injured 80 lb dog on the trail. We took her to the vet, (thanks Dr. McKinney!) and got her treated. Fortunately she has up to date rabies vaccination so at least there’s not this worry. She is now healing though is pretty miserable with a drain in the wound and sutures.

So here’s the dilemma. Dogs want to be off leash. Gracie wants to be off leash and we frequently walk her off leash in appropriate areas like San Pedro Mountain trail. We also monitor her activity, pack a leash, carry dog waste bags, and are very careful about having her interact with humans who may not be dog people and other dogs. 99.9% of other dog owners we interact with in the community behave in a similar manner and so there is an accepted community code about how people and their dogs use the open space.

However, that 0.1% of dog owners create a real problem for everyone, dog lovers or not. When an incident like this happens I can’t help but agree with leash laws. This small % of irresponsible humans, typically young humans who own pit bulls (or other large breeds with genetic breeding for violence) and walk them without leashes or collars (seriously, I’ve seen this,) are the ones who make leash laws necessary.

I don’t believe any dog is “born bad” – human interaction and training play a big role in how a dog develops and behaves over time. But, there are genetic predispositions and sometimes it’s a mystery why things get triggered for an animal. For example, Gracie has a thing about tripods. Anything with 3 legs freaks her out so she won’t go near the object and will bark. We know this about Gracie and manage her proactively as a result around 3 legged things.

Here’s the next incident on a related subject. Disclosure, the “facts” here may be open to debate as the story was pieced together from various sources. The same trail and the piece of land it cuts through has recently transferred from the Peninsula Open Space Trust to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Which means all of the sudden that US Federal rules come into play about use. One of the consistent US Federal rules is that where dogs are allowed, they will be on leash.

Late in January a local man was walking his two lap dogs (i.e., tiny nearly dog-like things) off leash on the same path. A ranger confronted the man about walking his dogs off leash. The man was apparently belligerent stating that his dogs posed no threat to anyone or anything. The ranger then attempted to detain the man and take him into custody. The man refused to be taken into custody and insisted that the ranger give him his ticket and let him go home.

The man turned and left the scene with the ranger following (imagine a walking slow speed chase is how it was described to me) when the ranger lost patience and threatened the man that if he did not stop, a taser would be deployed to stop him. The man informed the ranger that he had a heart condition and that tasing him would pose a major health risk and asked not to be tased but still insisted upon leaving. The ranger then tased and arrested the man.

I can understand that the ranger was upset about non-compliance here, but come on. This is over walking two lap dogs without a leash in a place people have been walking their dogs without leashes for decades. Poor judgment all the way around.

On the one hand, this whole US Federal stance on dogs in a known dog area is nonsense. There is zero need for public funding to be spent policing leash laws.

On the other hand, I wish that ranger with the itchy taser finger had been on-hand to enforce the leash law on the owner of the dog that attacked Gracie yesterday.

My strong preference is for people to use common sense and good judgment about their dogs with community enforcement of the code of conduct. Having Federal employees administering such minor things seems such a waste and is so heavy-handed as to be laughable.

I’m very conflicted about this whole situation.

Here’s what I do know. When I walk on the local coastal trails I will be carrying some sort of weapon (walking stick, pepper spray, something) to use in the case of another dog attack. I will continue to walk Gracie off leash as conditions allow and will loudly confront irresponsible humans with dogs and rangers.

Most importantly, I’ll nurse Gracie back to health as best I can.

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