Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15

The logical conclusion of cutesy signs ... hilarious discussion of same on Reddit here:

I dragged myself over to the new place last night and put all the large electrolytic capacitors in the "capacitor cabinet" and moved the banana boxes with Ebay stuff in them into the office. The office is now much less cluttered. I know Ken was there (wet paper towel in bathroom) but I don't know what he did. The move is going so slowly ...

About the signs above, the Reddit discussion is great, and there are even some great shitty sign ideas. As mentioned, I just about fell for the Dave Rhoten "get rich making carved signs" schtick. Mainly Dave and company want me to sign up for $9.95 a month for the rest of my life, to ask questions, discuss sign-making, buy router bits from him, etc. All great for Dave Rhoten, but without the rest of the trappings it's hard to make a thin dime doing signs.

It's the same thing as airbrush. I was a very promising airbrush artist. To give an idea, the famous photo of Lee Harvey Oswald where people are always debating whether the shadows are right, well, one day I duplicated that on a T-shirt. Freehand. And nailed it too. I did a lot of other neat stuff, but I never made back the cost of just the shirts and paint, much less the airbrush, compressor, etc. To make money airbrushing tee's you need about $50k in van or box truck and the equipment to set up a really impressive booth that you pay through the nose to set up at a fair, and of course the costs of travel, meals, etc on the road. This is why you hardly see airbrushed T-shirts any more.

But it's good that trying to do routed signs would be a financial black hole for me, because in the end the people doing well and selling signs online are using CAD/CAM systems and the signs you can buy on places like Etsy are incredibly good. But there's a huge gap in the market for hand-brush-lettered signs. It's got to be 1000:1, the ratio of those who can simply download and print out a font, and those who can take a brush and letter well. So that would be the direction to go.

And that direction makes sense in light of my theory that the best things to go into for a career are the things that have changed the least. Why anyone would want to be in a "fast changing" or "fast moving" field is now beyond me. That's how you end up being too old to hire by the age of 40.

But trumpet goes back hundreds of years and painting goes back thousands. And people will know my signs are hand-painted because they can watch me paint 'em.

Another thing I did last night was to put the Bieffe drafting table out with a "FREE" sign on it. I've wavered back and forth about it, but I have a very nice, very light, table drafting board sort of thing for smaller signs, and for the larger ones, a real traditional sign shop will have 2-3 boards leaned up against the wall with peg-holes to put pegs to put the work in progress at the desired height. It's a light and versatile way to do it.

The chicken heart curry last night was sort of a success in that it tasted great. The chicken hearts, though, were not so great. Kind of the texture of slices of hot dogs, but firmer. I think they'd work great on skewers, but for curry I want something nicer. So I put those out for the birds, and rode the bike up to Lowe's first for paper towels, then 99 Ranch where I got 3 pieces of dim sum and $40 cash back. I then got another Vietnamese pour-over coffee thing, some shrimp, basil, more curry paste, etc. to do shrimp curries.

I got all this stuff put away here and then decided to go up to Fry's and use their bathroom and then look for SD card readers. I've been through this twice now, if I don't upgrade I keep getting bugged to do it every day. And I want to keep my Windows 10 upgraded but there's been a major problem: I can't read or write to the SD cards I used with my camera. I kind of had a theory that Windows 10 probably doesn't have the driver for the built-in CD card reader on this laptop. I have an external SD card reader, I think, around here somewhere. I'm not sure if I haven't thrown it out. But, I thought, if I buy a new one it should be more up to date than the 5-year-old (maybe older) one that may or may not be in a box somewhere.

Amazingly, I asked a guy at the computer desk and he rattled out, "Aisle 57, go down to the end, they're on the right side". I replied, "Wow, thanks!". And they were right there. So I did a lot of looking around at the different ones, finally choosing an "Aluratek" one and got that and a bottle of diet Pepsi. I just plugged it in now and it works perfectly. On the package it said it was compatible with Windows up to 8. My old one is probably compatible with XP. So yeah, $15 or so well spent. 

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