Productivity and Pancakes / by Anthony Brooks

I ALMOST didn't do my weekly blog post again. I need an alarm. OR something more extreme like a dog collar that shocks me whenever I forget to do a task? Or a higher level of maturity that includes the optional "remember to do important shit" package for no extra cost? I'll look into my options and see what I can come up with. 

My Week

So, what have I been up to? A bit more in the productivity department. I drew some more with chalk (because why not), replenished some of my art supplies, finally got a new daypack-sized backpack (my previous free one from Turin, Italy had a faulty zipper and one of the straps was almost detached and was deteriorated past the point of repair), built some things, made crepes (they call them pancakes here?) multiple times and once for dinner, redid some old things, and made plans for the future. Oh, and did I mention worked on some more freelance illustration work?!

Wandering the City

I had a few chances this week to get out and wander a bit. Partially because I needed to go pick up supplies for some projects that I'm working on and partially because being around the same people constantly drives me a bit mad and I needed some fresh air.  Monday, I went out and picked up a new bag and some things for the hostel (and walked around downtown). Tuesday, I went to the North-Eastern area of Belgrade to get some hardware and parts for a power strip of sorts that I was making, and Wednesday I walked around the area South of the hostel picking up the remainder of my supplies and some other things. Why all of the walking? I dunno about the weather elsewhere, but this past week has been AMAZING. Spring/early summer-ish weather! 

With the last blog-post in mind, I returned to Belgrade's underutilized metro station to take some photos. Unfortunately, some chubby, angry little man didn't approve of photography there and told me in Serbian that he was going to get the police if I didn't leave. Personally, I think he was mad at the impromptu picture day. It was kind of annoying as he could have easily stepped aside to avoid being in-frame, but just... didn't. In the end, I got a few shots before leaving (and I'll return for more later). 
 

Here are some photos from my walking around (and people sketching on the buses):

Artwork

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I've done a bit more with chalk and have spent a decent amount of time working on a freelance project. Having a project with specified direction is nice. Especially when the time-frame is flexible as it leaves my days open to do my own projects and a few nights open to make plans if I so choose. Plus, I have completely filled my moleskine notebook so I'm on the hunt for something comparable. Finding anything other than lined is proving a bit challenging. In regards to my freelance work, I can't show any of what I'm actually working on, so instead here's my most recent chalk drawing and a sample drawing that I sent in order to get the job. 


What Else Have I Been Doing??

Easy. I've been working on wiring in some hidden but convenient outlets in the commons area. Routing the wires where they can't be seen and outlet boxes that are out of plain sight, but still reachable is crucial to making this place into a usable workspace regardless of you're sitting. Or just a comfortable place where you can charge your phone whilst relaxing. Whichever. On top of the couch outlets, I've been working on designing a tabletop powerstrip of sorts that will blend in with the commons room table while having plenty of space for the large universal outlet adapters that guests commonly use. All while retaining the open space of the table and not getting in the way. I also wanted to disperse the charging points as previously everyone gathered around one power strip in the center of the table and it just looked... cheap and trashy? 

So I went out and bought some outlets + other misc electrical pieces/parts, took apart an old ammunition crate to use for the lumber, and got to work. As of this point in time, It's about 80% of the way complete. I have the outlets in place, the wiring finished, and the cords to power it (and spread the power to one end of the table through 2 hidden plug-ins) finished. It's fully functional at this point. Now, I need to finish enclosing the underside to avoid any wires being pulled from the sockets and exposing live ends to unsuspecting victims, sand the top to avoid splinters (and even the surface), and decide whether or not I should stain the wood to match the table itself. I'll post photos of what I have so far. 

(For those intersted (if you don't care about technical details, skip this): There's a male-male extension cord routed from the outlet, through the gap in the bench, and up the table leg to a female plug in on the underside. This allows easy unplugging when we move the table (though I would like to find another method so later volunteers don't unplug it from the table without first disconnecting it from the wall... From there, it's fairly straight-forward with the table top plugs (x6) and two more routed to the underside of the table's end. **12 gauge wire was used as well as appliance-grade plugs to avoid any fire hazards**)



I have more projects around here that I'm currently working on and I'm sure that I've forgotten something. If I remember additional details later, maybe I'll update this? For now, it's 3:17 in the morning and I need some sleep! I hope you find this at least slightly informative and if not, at least a bit entertaining. Let me know in the comment section below (or on Facebook). 


As with last time (and future times until enough is raised), feel free to click the button below and donate to help fix Dali (the super fat pug)'s eyes. He needs surgery to correct his sight and any donations are greatly appreciated. 

Thanks!

Anthony

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