Friday, February 27, 2004

So I had to attend a seminar yesterday titled, "How to deal with customers with tact". Man, I hate motivational speakers. It was more like a live infomercial to me...

This woman was talking very condescendingly at times (I mean, like we were 5 -- calling a horizontal line a "righty-lefty" line...), and was so bubbly it was fake. It seemed that everyone was buying her bullshit except for my coworker and I. Everyone in the seminar was clapping and ohhing and ahhing. It was truly sad.

So what did I learn from that crap seminar? Well, I have multiple personalities..yes, I said multiple personalities. I'm not talking about the kind in psychology, though...My work self and my non-work self. Like a Dr. Jekyll and Hyde. My work self is a disgruntled, unhappy, pissed off, overworked, underpaid, yet do the work anyways type of person. My non-work self is a creative social butterfly. Unfortunately, my work self takes up so much of my time that it impedes on the non-work self. She said that 50% of people are mismatched with their jobs..well, duh, I could have told you that!!!

So anyways, it was really lame. The second half after lunch was so boring, we were falling asleep...trying to fight it! Then it was finally over and we were so ready to blow the joint and leave all the dumbfucks that attended the seminar (the ohh'ers and ahh'ers). DUH!!!

Oh man, something so funny happened today. Or well, I heard about it today. My coworker had forwarded me an email of a screenshot that was taken yesterday morning. It was the ugly guy on our internal website - shackled in chains, and attached to the company logo. It was so fucking hilarious!!! I want to know who did it and give them a high 5!!! Hahahahaha! It was so funny! Whoo, it made my day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

It's hump day!!! well, at noon, at least half the work week will be over with =)

Well, life has been pretty boring lately..same ole, same ole...day to day, just trudging through...Work is the same. It's boring. But what can I do? At least I've been in a bit better of a mood lately, because I am optimisstic of what the future may hold for me! Doing a lot of research and planning lately.

Other that, well, I like school. I'm pretty sure I've said that before anyways. On Monday, Martha did a demo on the "build up wax" technique. I brought some design/illustration books with me so that I can start on that tonight. As for stonesetting, we had another demo for the 6 prong crown setting - it took the whole class...

I'm so tired right now...I wish I could crawl back in bed!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Well, it's Monday! At least I'm in a better mood today. Had a good, productive weekend.

I used my torch a bit, and managed to burn my hand by grabbing a hot pair of tweezers..ouch! It hurt like a bitch, but that didn't stop me. I just put a gauze over it, and continued working. It was only a minor burn anyways, just a singe, where a pink spot remains now. Did plenty of soldering and fabrication. I tried to set my flower bezel ring, but the settings are pretty bad. I had a hard time getting to the middle stone to set it, and the amethyst "petals" were smaller than the bezel cup, so all of those stones are loose. Oh well, it's just a practice piece anyways :)

In my Precious Metals II class, I formed the ring shank, split the ends to a V, then soldered the carved bezel on top. It is *huge*. I think I'll need either a 13mm or 14mm round stone to set in it. I've been looking for cabochons, but have had trouble finding one that size (and cheap!). I guess I'll have to order my gold soon, to do the ring in gold (ugh). I do want to try to make an 18kt gold chain this semester, though. Hopefully I'll have enough time. If not, I can try it out at home.

Well, I've got class tonight. I need to finish up my 6 prong crown stone setting (boring!), and probably finish up some of my cast pistacchio shells. I've got a few ideas so far. I'll probably try to invest my potpourri things too, since I have the casting grain available to cast it...

What else have I been up to? Well, trying to practice my Spanish nowadays for a hopeful South American journey! Man, it's been a while...but have a good while to practice! =)

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Lately, I've been having travelling dreams. A few nights ago, I dreamt that Sean and I was in Peru, around Macchu Picchu. There were steps and green mountains everywhere. It was extremely magical...then I had to wake up for work! Doh!

Last night, I had a dream I was in Ecuador. It was very bizarre. I was in a little cafe late at night. There was an area of the store where you could exchange money. The money was more like 8"x11" papers with print on it. I was thinking..that can't be the money! But it was an honor system..you exchange the money yourself. Anyways, I bought a strawberry shortcake (like the ones I used to make at Jason's Deli) from the cafe. Somehow in my dream, I ended up in Houston visiting my brother because he got a new 3 bed, 2 bath apartment. Very bizarre. How do I go from Ecuador to Houston??

So I found out yesterday, that if I transfer pretty much all of my Amex points over to Continental, I can get a free flight to Quito..Woohoo! So things are looking very hopeful :) Well, I have to check it out some more, to see if there is a max amount of points I can transfer and stuff. Gotta figure out when school starts as well. If I do end up doing this trip, I think I will do it on my own. So far, I've gotten great advice from the Bootsnall boards...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Well, I had a busy weekend! :)

Saturday morning, Sean woke me up at 7 so that I could see the snow. Yes, snow! It's amazing how excited I get when it snows. So I woke up, got some warm clothes on, and started playing in it :) Sean and I made a snowman, about 3 feet high? We set him out in the front yard. The dogs loved the snow, they were running around the yard so much, and eating the snow. Shadow was catching snowballs.

Needless to say, I ended up skipping class. I found out later, that only 3 people showed up anyhows, and ACC didn't open till noon. Sean and I went to Four Hands to check out their warehouse sale. It was fully of rich yuppie scum looking for cool Asian imported furniture. Well, we found a cool table but didn't commit to it. We also asked about the donut chair, and they're out getting cushions made for them. Both would look good with our bamboo floors.

We got my torch set up..woohoo! Sean got me a huge oxygen tank and a good sized propane tank. We hooked it up, did some troubleshooting, and lit a flame to test it out. I haven't used it yet for jewelry work, but may work with it tonight...

Sunday, we went on an 11 mile hike with the Sierra Club at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. It was a pretty small group of people, most much older than us. Everyone thought that we were still in college. Well, technically, I guess I am still in college! The guide's name was Phil, and he was trucking! It was a pretty fast paced hike, up and down. I was pooped! But it was a hellova workout for me! Something that I really needed, and damn, I'm sore now!

Yesterday I had a visit to the dentist..ack! I had my crown done and a filling. They ground my tooth to a tiny little nub, and stuck a temporary, plastic crown on top until I get the permanent one. After that, I went home and took a nap...I was exhausted. I didn't do much during the day, then had to leave for class in the late afternoon.

Class was good. Stonesetting..well, same ole story. Casting was fun. I got to cast my pistacchio shell tree. I weighed out 199.6 grams of sterling silver grain, and took it over to the welding room. Since I had a large flask and a large amount of metal, I had to use the more intimidating, large centrifuge. It took a long time for my metal to melt into liquid, and the torch started to get really really heavy. Well, I finally melted it, Martha put the flask in the centrifuge, and I had the lid in my hand, and quickly dropped it to start the centrifuge. It was pretty wild. When the centrifuge was done, my flask was stuck! So, well, we tried to heat it loose, then we tried to hammer it loose. I took part of the crucible with my casting...oops! It was a bitch to clean all the investment out, that's for sure. Took forever to do that! But all in all, it turned out pretty good. Got some bubbles from investing, but I can saw and file them off, no problem.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Whoa, it's cold today. This morning around 8-9, it started sleeting, well, little ice pellets were falling from the sky. They say it might snow tonight to tomorrow morning. Snow was already reported in Leander...that'll make for an interesting drive home today! :P

Well, on Wed night, I had my classes. I made my first tree in Casting. I got pistacchio shells to cast, and built a tree out of it. I invested it, so that I can cast it on Monday. Hope it turns out okay! I've also got some potpourri items I wanted to cast as well.

I went to AMC yesterday, and spent a little fortune on some casting grain. My pistacchio shell tree is going to take about 6.4 ounces of silver, so I had to buy some supplies. Gotta put in an order with Rio Grande so I can save some money!

I don't know if I'll have class tomorrow because of the weather, though. I'll just see how it goes. But I wouldn't mind it snowing, so I can play in it! =) Snow snow snow!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

What up? Yesterday, I ate my lunch around 3pm, and felt sick afterwards. Must be work ;) Well, I got to class and felt better.

Class was good. Before class, I snuck in the lab to solder some rings together. I'll have to file them down at home. In stonesetting, I almost finished my second 4-prong basket setting. I suck at those though. It's a bit crooked. All I have to do is finish up the prongs a bit, and zam it. Next, we're going to do a 6 prong crown setting. I also finished up a ring with gypsy settings that I had started..oh..2 semesters ago! Well, I tried to do it at home with my dremel, and one of the stones kept on popping out due to the vibrations, so I quit. I used the flex shaft at school, finished setting the 3 remaining stones, and gave it a satin finish. Looks good!

In casting, we are now working on casting organics. I started to build a tree of pistacchio shells that I am going to cast. It should be cool. I also have some things I found in potpourri that I would like to cast. But I think I'll probably have to buy more metal to cast both of these projects!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Ah, in a much better mood today! Had a good weekend.

Saturday, of course, was class. I soldered my bezel together for my Precious Metals class. It was a bit of a pain, and I ended up filling one of the holes up with solder! I'll have to take a drill to that, then! After that, I worked on some side projects - a 6 stone flower bezel set flower ring, and 2 rings out of 4 ga half round wire - for gypsy settings.

I went home, and did some more jewelry fab. I ended up sawing my finger (ouch!) when sawing a bezel. The blood was flowing..and now I've got a slit on my middle finger! I'm finally getting back into the groove of things. Designs are popping up in my head here and there. When I started school, it would take me a long time to figure out a design.

Sunday, Sean and I took the dogs and hiked the Trailhead Park trail. It was an okay hike/walk - about 2.5 miles, crossed a few streams (Shadow loved that!), but nothing major.

Well, I've resolved to get off my ass and excercise a bit. I joined the Sierra Club, because they tend to have organized hikes (and it's cheaper than the Hill Country Outdoors!). So that little hike was just a start :)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Yes yes, I've been a lazy blogger this week! Well, there's just not much new going on, and I don't want to bore everyone with my "I hate work" blog...

So anyways, what's new...Monday night, I casted my first piece - a dome ring I carved out of wax. Casting was pretty neat. I was a bit scared at first, because the torch is so damn big, huge flames, and the centrifuge is a crazy machine! I had to turn the centrifuge 3 times, which, by the second turn, was pretty hard to do! Then lock it into place. Heat the metal till it became liquidy. My teacher, Martha, took the flask out of the kiln. Heated everything up, till it was ready, then let the centrifuge go! The centrifuge is a bit intimidating, but since I now have the 1st time over with, I think it shouldn't be that bad anymore. It turned out really well. I finished up polishing the ring last night, so now it's all shiny :)

I'm not too fond of my stonesetting class. It's very tedious, and precision is the key. If you eyeball something wrong, it's going to come out lopsided...

Oh yeah, last night, Martha brought in a whole bunch of cabochons she was selling for this guy. It was awesome! The prices were fairly cheap. I ended up spending a bit over $30, but got tons of stones for that.

Philippe is not going to be there for our Saturday class, so James is going to sub. I'll be sure to have plenty of side projects lined up after I finish soldering my bezel together.