Zoom session

Cool, cloudy, gloomy overcast day, but not so cold you can’t do anything.

The chair is almost ready for upholstery, and so I have to find some foam to rebuild the cushions, which were made of ancient springs and kapok and rough cotton batting. I don’t really want to fiddle with springs, and kapok is probably not easily found anymore, at least I’ve not run across it. I think it’s probably found its way into health food stores (a source of fiber), and I think it’s still used by dentists as a filler for root canals. That seems unlikely, but I think it might be real. When I redid the Jaguar’s seats, I used foam, which was the original padding anyway, and it’s easy enough to work with.

I was hoping to find foam at Walmart, but, nope, none there to be had. I did pick up some polyester batting and some nice cotton batting, too. That will be useful for just under the upholstery cloth. Arlene chose some nice print for the cushions, and the red color was matched to a couple areas on the print, so it should all hang together well.

I think we’ll use the old fashioned tack method to put the upholstery on. I’m not crazy about staples, despite their ease.

I had a couple of Zooms today, so it actually felt a little like work again, though they were both enjoyable. The Duke FOCUS faculty came together to plot and plan the semesters, and the general feeling is that fall 2021 will be “normal” or close to a new normal at least. I sure hope so. My Internet connection was awful. Actually it was the worst I’ve every seen while doing a Zoom, so I had little means of taking part in the exchange, much less understand everything that was going on. I was cut off twice, and it was aggrevating, especially since the plans were for fall 2021. I don’t have many requirements, when it comes right down to the business of the fall. But I would have liked to hear from my colleagues without the Zoom annoyance.

The students I had in fall 2020 were great, and their enthusiasm and perseverance through the online course was admirable. Inspiring, actually. So, the second Zoom with a student from that class was a delight. She was home in New York, I think, and I was in my study at the very end of the Spectrum cable wire in Rougemont. Zoom held up, and despite the unnatural qualities of digital conferencing, it was nice. Enjoyable to see a student again. Spectrum was crappy for the faculty meeting. I was kicked out a couple of times.

We’ve had network failures today, pretty much all day off-and-on. Google downloads for my pictures pooped out with the message: “Failed – Network error.” So that’s frustrating.

Thus far, I’ve put a week’s worth of the project onto the website, and I am realizing that 1) it’s rather hard to find the journal narratives in the website and 2) website menus could get rather cumbersome. I will probably revise the menu structure for the website and figure out some easier way to grab entries based on tags. I’m not crazy about “tag clouds” but maybe that’s an option. I’ve also thought that I might review a week’s worth of entries in a single post in part to simplify engagement with the website, which soon will have over two hundred entries. And, since the idea was to try to use the incremental, dogged, daily process of pictures and narrative as a means of discovery and revelation, a summary essay or weekly reconsideration might be useful.

I need to go back and add some tags, now that a pattern of things might have formed a bit. Tags can make a narrative, too, I’ve learned. Remember “del.icio.us”? It’s supposed to come back in 2021, I saw, though I don’t think so much as an active site. Basically a repository for access, not interaction. The information on a comeback is sketchy.

I wrote a little post on my encounter with Father Reginald Foster, formerly Latin secretary to the Pope (he serve four of ‘em). Father Reggie died on Christmas Day, possibly of Covid-19 related illness. He was 81 years old. The New York Times has a nice obituary, and my recollection is here.

Arlene and I spent some of the evening on the deck with the fire, Rosie between us. It was nice. We stayed warm and it was good to be outdoors again.