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Fri, Apr. 2nd, 2010, 11:44 am
First of many, I hope

I officially have my first picture frame molding-making job! It's 176 feet, mainly Ash with a little Fir for flavor. It's only $200 but I figure I gotta start somewhere and besides, if I do it in 10 hours, which I think I can, I get my $20/hr I'm aiming for. The dude owns a frame store and used to do a lot of frame-related woodworking, so he knows what he's talking about.

I'm starting to too now. I can say things like "I need a 1/2" shank roundover bit, and is your fir all dimensioned S4S SVG or do you have rough five-quarter SVG too?" and know what I'm talking about.

I started to teach myself jointing and planing at the Campbell wood shop the other day. I need to know this so I don't have to pay other people to turn rough boards into nice square straight pieces. Unfortunately the jointer there started making a weird rattling noise after a while so we (volunteer who runs the place and myself) decided to take it out of order. Also, the planer, like everything else there, is donated so its knives aren't too sharp and the in/outfeed rollers don't grab wood all that well and need a little help. But at least I learned the basics, though I definitely need more practice on the jointer.

Oh, dude with this job says he'll buy and supply the wood, so all I'm doing is routing it to shape and sanding it. We agreed that I can be there to help turn the rough boards into usable straight stuff, so I get to learn from him too. This is good.

It's likely that I'll get another job from the photo-place person (I try not to put many names on here), but I'm waiting for her to talk to the customer and tell her that she needs me to make the moldings. That is a much bigger job, potentially. It's about the same amount of wood but I'm going to have to do all of the work, from buying the wood and jointing/planing it, to routing it and staining/waxing it.

A recurring thought I have about my dad, among others, is that his philosophy of "get the best deal on everything" reflects his lack of understanding about people and The Right Thing. Case in point is the photo place. I could get prints made elsewhere, especially online, for less than they charge, but I don't. The reason is that I want to have a good relationship with the folks there, I want to help their business, and I want them to help mine. I sent them two photos for printing at a weird size. I came in to talk about the frames and the person also showed me my photos. They were the wrong size, so she said she'd re-run them. I came back and saw them and said that I thought they were too dark (or dense, in the proper photo parlance). She agreed and reprinted them. They were fine then, but she said she wanted to show me something really snazzy. I came back later and saw what she meant. She reprinted the photos on this fancy metallic paper, which really made them "pop" much more than usual. It's a difficult effect to describe, but it really makes my photos look extra awesome.

Anyway, I asked her how much I owed her and she said that it was all on the house. That means that I got two mis-sized prints, two overly dark prints, two that were printed just fine, and two printed just fine on this fancy paper (which costs 40% more, mind you) for nothing! Two days ago I went in to pick up a different very weird-sized print (made the frame the wrong size) and pointed out that they had printed it way too big. Woman apologized and said that she would reprint it at the right size and not charge me. I'm up to around $40 in free photos now!

That sort of thing doesn't happen when you're just looking to get "the deal". I use that photo place exclusively and I get "discounts" in return. I tried a different photo place but the slides I got back from him were way too dark (er, dense) and had a lot of dust on them. Normally I give people/places a second chance but not in this case. I can shoot a roll of film only once and can't take chances with things on the development end. Besides, the other place is better in general.

I've been realizing lately that I really like meeting people and networking and that sort of thing. This is handy since I moved here recently. I've made a few friends and things are looking good.

I'm going to a Blue Scholars show tonight with two of them, which is uber awesome. Blue Scholars is one of my most favorite hip-hop groups. They're a pair of immigrants, one from Iran, the other from the Philippines, and they live in Seattle. The group name is of course a play on "blue collar" which is obvious when I listen to them. They're all about empowering the poor, immigrants, brown people, and the working class. One of my favorite lines is from their song Joe Metro. He says something about how a native American gets on the bus and later gets off and turns and smiles and says "have a good day you foreigners!"

All right, back to the router.