Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Road Rage starts at the DMV...

Alternatively titled: how I lost yet another day of sculpting to ongoing car hassles...

I'm amazingly calm for having spent 4.5hrs at the motor vehicle office in "line" today. I actually only stood in line for 20minutes... The remaining 4hrs were spent sitting next to some very interesting gentlemen. One showed me fascinating features on his cell phone after I tried to see what sort of games mine had (extremely obnoxiously noisy ones as it turns out). The other was an economics/history teacher. The time really did pass reasonably.

In the end I don't have my registration transfered however due to taxes from last century. No joke. And only $7.95 in fire-district taxes at that. For some reason they haven't shown up as an issue when I registered my last vehicle. Nor did they appear upon renewal or anything else (like maybe a letter letting me know they existed in this place I lived a decade ago). Nope. And even the motor vehicle personnel were shocked at the stodgy unwillingness of the woman at the tax office to take any sort of payment over the phone and fax the form to DMV (which they would've accepted). So yes, I got to drive back to my old region of residence to pay in person and hopefully I will succeed in registering my new (very used/old) truck tomorrow.

I even rented a car for this purpose (perhaps having to drive around unexpectedly to any additional place that turns up and pay these taxes)... in my neck of the woods you don't just pay town taxes, you pay fire taxes. I'm all for helping out the fire departments and I really respect and want them around. It would just be nice if there was a way to KNOW what you owe. I have lived in a lot of towns and districts of those since I became independent... waiting in line for nearly 5hrs is not the most productive way to learn. If anyone knows of a website that tells you of these (other than motor vehicle's magic skeleton-in-the-closet dredger-upper database), that would be some great info to pass along to everyone I know.

As for the town taxes in general.. that's a mystery to me too. I also went and paid more for my local town taxes today than my car (nearly undrivable now) is worth to most people. I did this first before even going to DMV because I knew they might object to any taxes owed but-not-yet billed... it's always a good idea to check with your tax depts before going to DMV. I know this! I am a good citizen and I got out there and did this (and have in past places of residence from the past 4-5 years too)... Anyhow, so my current town's assesor's office allows appeals 2x a year I learned. Since they have this crazy high value (and CT charges astonishingly high property tax rates).. this is actually worth my while to appeal apparently (like worth a hundred dollars to appeal!) . So I look forward to next March when I'm allowed to ask why they think my car is worth 3x the book value. In fact I may hold on to the car after I unregister it and try to sell it to the assessor...? What do you think? I mean who do you know who wants a car that can't drive far or for long without threatening to overheat, shouldn't drive up or down steep hills, and one that objects vehemently to turning left at slower speeds... If they think that's worth $5k, hey man -> take it PLEASE! lol! Heck, I'll happily sell it to them for a fraction of that....

So anyhow, I knew DMV would be at it's worst today, the shortest week for them of the year and historically known for being the worst time eva to go in there.... I really really considered trying to risk another week with the car but there's a lot going on that is worsening by the day. Some very major things need replacing and it's simply not worth it. I have a new/used truck. It's a very reliable vehicle that isn't likely to do random things with the wheels against my volition (the car's AWD function is malfunctioning along with everything else). I seriously don't want to experience what it will do on snow & ice which is in the near forcast... Since I have no option about driving to the farm no matter the weather, it's sorta shelved everything else to get this done this week since snow is on the way... nevermind the fun of having to refill coolant in minus temp wind chills... blarg!!

I spent 10-12hr days not leaving the farm these past 6 days despite the cold b/c I didn't want to drive it any unnecessary miles.. it's got that few left and cooling down the most between drives is best for it.

So yeah... I have no idea how I've lost all this studio time. I'm sorta in a time warp of stunned shock from it all really. Currently own two vehicles and am still rather hindered by the inability to travel anywhere. I rented a car for today's festivities. It's fun to drive. I *LIKE* to drive! lol! I even made a quick stop on my way to return the rental (and get a ride back to the farm from them), to do a quick shopping stint at Staples... my headset died in Sept and I haven't talked to anyone much on the phone since. ..lol! Because I'm alllllways doing stuff it seems and unless I have a headset I have to stop what I'm doing.

So here's to a glimmer of light in my future for productivity (the non-poop-shoveling kind). I spy the ability to travel (like to the art store 30min away from me - and get some paint brushes I really need to hand pick out)... the ability to gab with friends again (kinda necessary for one's sanity imo)... and safe travel in between that doesn't leave me stranded on the side of the road (cuz honestly that's like really really lame and I'm soooo getting tired of it).

Think good thoughts for me will ya? ;) Normally I haven't shared these stupid hoop-jumping sorta dreary real-life moments but this one takes the cake imo. That woman was something else. Thank you angry woman who adheres to those arbitrary rules for rules sake. Thank you old town fire-district tax office for taking however long it took you (it had to be over 5 years!) to process my $7.95 tax bill into a computer system so it could come back and haunt me! Enjoy your earnings there. Wow, huh?! lol!

And that's how I spend my half-days off I guess. Pretty exciting stuff. :-P

End Note / Story Conclusion From Wed:

Well I've just gotten back from the in-town trip to the local branch where everything was transfered and paid up in a matter of minutes... (ok, 20minutes but still!)

Meanwhile, apparently the car rental yesterday wasn't foolish at ALL. My car was billowing steam by the time I got home. Driving it's typical short trip to the barn, and THEN another few miles into town and back home (extra 5 total maybe?), caused her (I think of this Subaru as "Jezabelle" -sp?- fwiw!!) to spew coolant everywhere. Steam is still billowing out as I type... I think I should try to find a ride back tot he farm this afternoon with my plates in hand. I have a specific time I have to be there for the therapy program feedings. Cars. Psh. What a pita. :-/

& PS yes -> if I'd known Jezabelle would be this POed at it all I would've driven her straight over to her replacement instead. Oh well, who says cars don't have feelings! lol!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This man is MY HERO!!


I fully understand what he means about "misery" while he's working on it. lol! No seriously. It's a very strange ... obsession to want the smallest minutest detail to be perfect. I can fathom what he's doing (yes, not a typo - I can relate the weird feeling)... And I pity him!

I'm trying to fathom a doll the size of a blood cell tho... that I can't fathom. (8-o

Pass it on man. That's just incredible.

And I laughed myself silly about the bit about breathing in poor alice in wonderland.... I have lost more bitty hairs of late to light smears on my fingers and/or found them buried in the terry cloth of the towel I use as a pillow. I could see breathing one in too (course I would notice it and have a sneezing/choking fit or something).

I envy his microscope tho. That's a pretty sweet set up. Must get me one of those. Jeweler's glasses and magnifying lights distort annoyingly and are almost as hard on my eyes. I just need to look up frequently. At least with painting paint will flow off a brush faster and place itself right. Painting it is certainly easier than sculpting it... and now that's all I want to do. lol! :D

Anyhow, just sharing something I thought was totally amazing. Woohoo dude!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What the heck is taking so long!!! :D

Ok, well since I dragged him to RXR he's gotten a lot more detail... aaaaaand since I *know* people are wondering, I'll just explain some with a minor "tutorial" bent to this. I decided to go the REALLY hard route I took with the original in order to get the better hair detail that will be super crisp and lend itself to more detailed painting for the mane and tail.

I'd started at the tail in the fashion I'd done Godiva and Hazel with smooth on some epoxie and then carve and blend the detail into it.. however as I went along I realized that the carved in detail just didn't have the same effect as the rope-y mustang hair detail of the original El Embosco sculpture... sooooooooo I decided to go with giving him worms. Yes worms. lol!

If you can't imagine this, I did a mini-photo essay of it. Primarily b/c seeing the tools gives you an idea of what scale he's in (and thus why it takes so long!).

Start with a blob of expoxie the size of an asprin. Place on a very clean plastic surface (I like to use old packaging, the white and blue striped surface here is a paint brush sleeve for example).

Roll out some worms as thin as you can. Use a tool to trap em and prevent rolling back on themselves (you generally don't need too long, you need THIN)..

Dampen the area it's being added to, plop worm on, and work around until it looks nice and is "tacked" on...

You do need to "tack" it by blending the ends. THEN later, when it's hardened, I use primer and brush around to see how flowing the "hair ropes" are.... if they're flowing enough I just leave it be. Otherwise I blend in more very soft epoxie around it.

I can't even explain how time consuming it's become but I *REALLY REALLY* feel this makes him look JUST like his big brother (father?). lol! :)

A few other views;

That's a latex glove he's laying on... as if the above photos didn't give you an idea of scale.

You can click and enlarge ALL of these photos to see the mad detail even larger than life (I think even these are larger than life... his head is smaller than my thumb). This is by far my most detailed mini ever and I can't say I'll ever go this small or detailed ever again. It's SO much work. Seems worth it for all the thought I've put into him though not to cop out on those last stages.... it's fun. I have a great couple of books on tape I've been getting through lately.. ;)

Off to go tell my yahoogroup about these and give them info on price I've learned. :)