Shears and Snips

  • The “good” titanium plated scissors I was using for cutting fabric were not shaped well for trimming the seam allowance on flat felled seams.  Since I expect to be doing quite a few of those, I looked at the store for a better pair.  I splurged and bought a small pair of knife edge dressmaker’s shears made by Gingher.  Wow!  The difference is night and day.  They cut through fabric like butter, and they operate very smoothly.  I will plan to get a larger pair, and those older scissors can move to my desk drawer for cutting paper.  They also make a nice set of knife edge thread snips.  The ones I have by Fiskars cut very roughly, and their design does nothing to keep the blades together, which means they frequently fail to cut the thread.
  • I just replaced both of the strut/spring/mount assemblies in the front of my car.  This has solved the groaning noise that occurred in the front whenever I would drive across the curb at the end of my driveway, though now I can hear the back doing it a little still.  I’ll get those later.  While I was in there, I noticed one of the CV boots was cracked and spewing grease around in the wheel well, so I replaced the CV axle on that side.  After that, the alignment was so bad that I could hear the tires squealing while simply driving straight, and it was a bit of a battle to keep the car moving in a straight line.  However, I’m finished replacing steering and suspension components in the front, so I had an alignment done and bought some new tires.  I splurged for Michelin Defender tires, not because I think the car is worth it, but because I don’t want to experience unnecessary traction problems in snow or rain.  I took the car to Dobbs for both of these things, and they tried to screw me with some outrageously high add-on fee to do the alignment right.  I declined, and now I have an in-spec but not ideal alignment.  I need to look into ways I can do my own alignment measurements.
  • I need to start making more of an effort about my appearance when I go to the auto parts store.  The manager there is rather cute, and also maybe kind of close to my age.
  • After the car repairs were complete, I tried a sewing technique for the first time called machine darning on a hole in my work pants.  One of the presser feet that came with the assortment I bought is for darning and freehand embroidery.  Singer has a nice video tutorial for each presser foot they sell.  I now have a nice red patch on my blue jeans where the hole used to be.
  • I have started watching The OA, and it really is quite good.  From the people who have raved about it, I was expecting something emotionally intense.  Instead, what’s good about it, aside from the mystery, is the realism that is depicted.  Real people with real life challenges connecting together in a way that is directly applicable to real life.  In that sense, it is inspiring.
  • I have purchased a Zoom F4 digital recorder.  This is the first really great, purpose-built audio recorder I’ve owned for filmmaking.  The H4n is a huge step up from the audio capabilities of any DSLR, but it is nevertheless a cheap consumer recorder made for musicians, with a clunky user-interface, mediocre preamps, and a form-factor that is awkward for filmmaking.  The Roland R-26 was a significant improvement in quality and user-interface, but still in the awkward form-factor.  The F4 has very high quality preamps, has tons of great features specifically tailored for filmmaking, and it’s in the traditional form-factor used in the field by professional film sound recordists.  And it seems really rugged.  All this for a very reasonable price.  I wish Zoom had made this years ago.  I am quite eager to use it on a film project.
  • Kim Harrison’s The Turn arrived today.  I shall be starting it just as soon as I post this.