Sunday, February 28, 2010

Well at Least They're Done

Between real work and the IRS, I have been away from the blog for a few days. But at least the taxes part of that drain has been completed. Damn, I have my taxes finished and it is only February 28th. That has to be a 25 year record for me. The fact that I will not be lining up at the post office at 11:39 PM on April 15th is heartening. The fact that I will not be in that line to file my extension is even more uplifting.

My desk looks much like this, forms, pencils, remotes and empty Diet Coke cans are strewn about. There are probably pieces of scalp with hairs still attached somewhere in the debris.

Now I resent the amount of money the government extracts from my work. I will guarantee it did nothing to assist in that work but it takes a huge bite to blow away on stimulus etc. But, I really resent that amount of sweat and tears that the government extracts from me in making me tell it how much more money I have to send to it.

At least it is over. The forms will be filed tomorrow. The receipts will be put back into the elaborate baggie based filing system that I utilize. I'll keep them all, praying that audit does not cross the IRS lexicon. Now I can get back to working to make money to cover the check that I just wrote to the IRS. And I can get back in pursuit of that perfect hog to astound and amaze all of you.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank God for Heroes

There were three very different events in the past 2 months that provide heart lifting examples of why and how we have to help each other and rely on the individual rather than waiting for the government.

The first is the underpants bomber and the attempted destruction of a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit. In this case the government was in charge of protecting us from the threat. Passengers were screened and lists were checked. A typo in the State Department prevented the government from just doing its job. The government's effort to protect us failed. On the flight the individual hero came through. A passenger, a rugby player from the Netherlands, tackled the bomber and stopped him from completing his homicidal tasks. The hero, dubbed the "Flying Dutchman", reacted to protect himself and his fellow passengers. Individual action and individual accountability came through in the face of bureaucratic failure.

The second was the plane crash into the IRS building in Austin. Here there was no governmental failure. No one expects the government to prevent such an incident. We all expect the fire department to answer the call and to arrive on the scene as soon as possible. However there is by necessity a time between the receipt of the call and arrival on the scene. In steps the individual hero. A guy who installs windows was driving by in his truck with ladders on the truck's rack. He stopped, unloaded a ladder and proceeded to a portion of the 2nd floor of the building where people were trapped. He assisted 5 people in escaping the burning building with great personal risk and no legal responsibility. A person acting to assist fellow people in harms' way. A true hero.

And yesterday there was a third. A shooting at a school in Littleton, Colorado. Again no government failure here. And no expectation of police intervention until long after the shooting started. A teacher, at great personal risk, charged the homicidal maniac and pinned him to the ground. Another man then assisted in disarming the gunman and securing him for the police. The teacher charged a gunman who was firing a rifle at his students. He is a bona fide hero of epic proportion. He is an individual who took action, at risk of great personal harm, to protect others.

These guys are all remarkable people. Maybe the most remarkable part of it is that they were otherwise so unremarkable. They were just ordinary men who performed remarkable feats when confronted with extraordinary circumstances. They were individuals aiding other individuals because it needed to be done. Its hard to contrast their heroic acts to the actions of the three government contracted security guards at the Seattle bus station who watched a 15 year old girl attacked by a gang. Their response "it wasn't our job" to break up the fight. Where's the humanity and heroism when they're just doin' their job?

The lesson is "Thank GOD for heroes". Thanks for the individuals who believe they are responsible to help their fellow man at an individual level. And thank God that we all don't rely on the government where they're just doing their jobs.

Mr. Flannery

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Auction was HEAVY.

I attended an interesting auction yesterday. It was a design and furniture studio that was going out of business. The offices were an old auto parts building that had been remodeled into a great design studio. I think that the building would make a great one storey urban loft space. I could live there easily, but Babe would be bummed.

There was a ton of merchandise. Much of it "Turn of the Century Indonesian", that's turn-of-the-century as in 1999-2001. Lots of leather and wood and carving, but there were some old pieces and rusty pieces too.

I actually arrived at the auction before it started. (That is a very unusual happenstance for me). Of course my personal valet parking was available. (Mike and I have an ongoing discussion of this skill. I almost always park very near the auction site, even with my late arrival. I tell Mike that I used the valet parking). Today a car pulled out from a space 30 feet from the door just as I pulled up. Voila, valet parking.

There were a lot of people there and many dealers and friends. Gypsy from Gypsy Lea's was there and so was Diana from Maple Lake Antiques. (The two shops that I sell at.) But there was so much available, we didn't even come close to stepping on each other's bids.

The snow had melted enough from the south facing facade that there was even merchandise on the sidewalk. I bought the light colored leather ottoman between the chairs.

Gypsy bought this carved amoire.

I thought this carved canoe was cheap, it sold for $400 (not to me). I like the tiled bar it was sitting on, but that was a fixture and not for sale.

I did buy this 6' diameter table. It is going into my house for now.

Diana bought this old two sided sign.

There was even more cast iron outside. I ended up buying 19 cast iron panels, including 11 4'x 4' green chippy painted matching fence panels. They are going to be great for a display outside Gypsy Lea's and for somebody's garden this Spring.

These brightly painted columns are over 9 feet tall. I bought them and they are already at Gypsy's.

Gypsy bought this chandelier. We are thinking that it will look great hanging between the columns.

I was the under bidder on this gigantic bed. It sold for $880.

All in all it was a fun auction. The theme "HEAVY". Heavy wood, heavy furniture and very heavy iron.

Mr. Flannery

Update: While I was at this auction I was also bidding at another. I left an absentee bid on some locker units at Dave Miller's. I won these three units.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is it Spring Yet?

Damn!! I am ready for Spring. I have snow management problems. I have inventory management problems. I have project preparation problems. I have problems. I need some Spring. I need the warming sun. I really need some GREEN grass.

Mr. Flannery

UPDATE -- I decided that I needed to look into my archive files. Yes it will be green again, yes Spring will come, yes I'll get my taxes done. Here are photos of the green to be.

Ah, that's a little bit better.


PS - I may have overstated my dispair in the original post. Everything is OK. I just hate February.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some Views from Gypsy Lea's

I finished out the weekend by working on Sunday at Gypsy Lea's. This was the final day of our four day monthly sale. The shop was thinned out from the stock on Wednesday and I was really impressed by new settings (or older sets that I didn't notice on Wednesday evening).

I think that this photo sort of typifies our style at Gypsy Lea's. Tin, cast iron, repainted, repurposed and hatching under the chicken.

This scooter sold about 15 minutes after I snapped this photo. The scooter was cool. The display case was nice. But when they put the scooter in the case, the entire display popped. The purchaser took both the scooter and the case so he could display it that way at his house.

I bought this 1860's cherry tilt top table at an auction on Saturday. It is a true antique and has beautiful wood. I brought it in for the final day of the sale and it should be there for the sale in March.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ain't These Cool?

I traded a table for these three sections of filing cabinets. They are potentially stackable, extremely heavy and full of potential.

I am going to have to come up with some idea how to utilize them in a shabby project. It is 15* today, so its going to be a while before I can do any projects outside or in the garage. I was thinking of stacking them all together, sanding and painting them and then attaching 4 colorful bowling balls as feet under the unit. That should be good. It will only weigh about 15-20 tons. Oh my!

Mr. Flannery

BTW - I unloaded all three of these units into my storage all by myself. I am starting to believe that some day I will be found dead under some hulking piece of furniture. It will be the ultimate dancing with furniture where the furniture took the lead.

It May be Cold but at Least its Sunny

Its only -12* here on the tundra. But the doors are open at Gypsy Lea's, the Valentines are being gathered for distribution and all's well with our world.

Mr. Flannery