Friday, September 28, 2007

Double sided reverese painted wind chimes

Detail images of the top sections of two of my latest series of double sided painted wind chimes. The colorful designs are reverse painted on thick glass, and all the color is well sealed on the inside of the glass~ weatherproof!

I love these, and always think it's almost like two wind chimes for the price of one! Each has a fine handcrafted set of copper chimes with a beach stone clapper~ great sound!

For more information, or to purchase, click here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cool Wind Chime

I love this wind chime~ the most recent addition to my shop. I'm nuts about beach stones, so adding one into the mix is something that I like very much. Actually, there are two beach stones, since I always make a beach stone clapper, which sounds great against the copper chimes. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, click here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why I Hate (hated) My iPod

I love to read non-fiction books about all sorts of things. Recently I read one entitled ‘The Perfect Thing : How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness’ by Steven Levy. An interesting book, and it convinced me I had to get one of these things. So I did.

Sure enough: I loved my Nano... for a week. Then I hated it. Here’s why.

I haven’t been a fan of music since my teen years. I would sooner always hear a radio show or, preferable, sweet silence. Sweet silence isn’t really silence, since I have thoughts running through my mind. At some point after my teen years I realized that music interferes with that process. But I was willing, even eager, to give music another chance.

Also, the iPod book mentioned these things called podcast, and they sounded right up my alley. I guess the theory is that anyone can be a radio host, right, and so all these people make all these shows, and they are available for free. Sounded interesting, since I like talk, and I don’t have much chance to listen to the radio or television talk shows. Well, let me tell you right off that while maybe ‘anyone can make a show’, unless you enjoy a couple of morons droning on and on about nothing, most of these homemade ‘shows’ are worth considerably less than you pay for them (they are free, by the way).

So I decided to try music again. I loaded my iPod with a whole bunch of songs, set it to shuffle, and let the beat go on.

I thought this was pretty cool~ for about a week. Then it started to happen.

Then it started to happen a lot.

The ‘tunes’ would intrude on my thoughts, even without the contraption. On my daily one hour hikes I would leave the machine at home, but instead of a wonderful, peaceful moment in the forest where my own thoughts could sort through my head, some stupid refrain from some stupid song would start playing over and over in my mind. Oh yeah, baby, heading down that long and lonesome highway! There was no way to turn this noise off.

Before long, these song snippets were constantly intruding on my thoughts. Annoying! My own thoughts and ideas may be none to brilliant; but they are my thoughts, and important to me. With this line or that of some song playing on a loop in my mind, I was being robbed of my own thoughts.

I wonder how many other people have found this, and how many are bothered by it. My guess is that many people experience this, but that since they have always been listening to music, they just assume it’s normal. Believe me, if you frequently have some song snippet playing through your mind, I think you are missing out on something of real value: your own thoughts.

I was so happy to give my iPod away (aside from a little guilt-- feeling a bit like I was giving a bag of smack to some innocent kid!). It took over a month, but finally I am free of all those stupid lyrics trespassing on my thoughts. Once again, when I go on a hike, when I am working, when I am living, I am free of that noise in my head. Well, almost free. Once in a while, one of those lyrics still pops by to annoy me-- to remind me how nice it is to no longer have that stupid iPod with all its noise.

You may believe that music adds a lot to your life, and you are more than welcome to believe that. I believe it is like a drug, numbing one’s brain, interfering with thoughts that might be important to think about-- thoughts that might be more important than the sound of some guy droning on. A catchy tune? I’d sooner catch a cold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eye-Popping Exchange Rate

Most of my sales go to the USA, and even my Canadian and international buyers tend to pay in US dollars. In the past, that has been really great.

Not so long ago, for $1000 US I would get around $1600 Canadian. So it was a real sweet deal.

Yesterday for the very first time, I got less in Canadian dollars than I exchanged. Oh, how I miss the good ol' days! Combine that blow with the 300% plus increase in copper prices, and it looks like before long I will yet again have to raise my prices. Either that, or stop eating. Ouch.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Strange Days on eBay

After so many years I still can't figure out eBay auctions. Like this one. Usually, this wind chime would go for somewhere between $130 - $180 dollars, but here it is, well into the auction, and only at $31. What's with that?

On the other hand, most often I have only around 10 'Watchers' (people who use the eBay system to bookmark an auction), but for this one there are currently 46. So either all those folks are watching to have a good laugh when I get burnt, and the auction closes at a very low price, or maybe things will get interesting towards the end. I hope for the latter.