Trays of Stuff

I have trays of stuff.

Trays are good for organising one’s accumulations.

I could do with more trays, and have spent time trying to devise variations on a theme of trays.

I like trays.

Today, just a little while ago, I had a tray of nuts, bolts and other hardware out, because I was making a hinged doorstop.

When I was putting things away, I wondered if I’m ever going to use the casters I’ve collected.

At about the same time, I thought that a photo archive of my stuff would be an interesting artefact.

Particularly if everything was in trays.

Sort of like this.


Except that I’d have to have bigger trays for shoes, for pots & pans, maybe even for books and computers.

I don’t have any trays that big. So I’m not going to make a photo archive yet.

For now, though, here are 5 more trays:

Knackered Shredder

Three days ago one of the neighbours put some electronic gear on the street for passers-by to scavenge. It was an old Apple printer and monitor, a box of cables, and a Woolworths paper shredder. There’ve been times a shredder would have been useful, so I snagged it. The feed was jammed, so I reckoned it just needed opening and cleaning.

I took it home, plugged it in, and as expected, the spindles weren’t turning. I opened it, cleared out the paper, and sure enough, the thing started working. So I closed it back up and tested it on a piece of paper. It jammed. One one piece of paper. Hmph.

I guess that means the nylon gears have worn, or their grip on the spindles has slipped, or maybe the motor itself has lost torque. So I’ll have to explore further.


I’ve entertained visions of a hand-cranked shredder – while wondering how I might fit such a thing – and of turning into a compost cruncher – not that it would be much good at it.

There’s also the prospect of gutting it, using the motor for something else entirely.

Glorious 5th


Written Yesterday:

Today is one of the high points of the year. It’s gloriously warm and sometimes sunny out. I was up at 4:30 (GMT) with the sun, and in the garden by 5:00, pulling weeds, trimming ivy, repotting the Gaillardia, clearing a patch of ivy and debris from a corner, adding to the new compost frame I made yesterday, and napping on the inflatable sofa.

The warm, still air is slightly fragrant with jasmine and honeysuckle. The clouds moved in late morning, and there’s a hint of impending storm. Not that I expect one, just that it’s that kind of day. The boughs moving slightly, gently; the streets and gardens quiet. A timelessness. Light, but not the broad light of blazing sun. A gentle light. Everything slow, quiet; evocative rather than overt. Gorgeous.

I’ve also made glorious progress with Morcego. I’d been having problems that were all to do with Firefox. I tried viewing my demo installation with Chrome, and it was already working! Ditto Opera. So I must have a java block on Firefox somewhere. Now that’s solved, I’ve been making happy progress figuring out the XML syntax for a node map. It’s still in demo mode, so I’m not linking to it.

Brakeman Raga

This is a good time to take a break from the photo-anagram series. I say this having completed a month of photos, an currently having some difficulty finding interesting bits of roadside rubbish to photograph and give suitable shapenames, then linking them via anagrams to particular websites.

For example, the Ornaments Parvenu Squash post associates a photo of a squashed orange peel* on Oxford Road with A love that dare not speak its gnome, a newspaper story about garden ornaments. The chain of words that accomplish this are that I decided the orange looks a bit like a supernova, and a crab, so I made a variety of anagrams using those and related words, then searched on those words for interesting pages.

It so happens that the Crab Nebula is described as a remnant supernova, and one anagram of that phrase is Ornaments Parvenu. A Google search for pages with both words turns up the Independent article. The third title word – squash – also occurs in the news story. I added it to make the association even stronger. This produces something that’s nearly a Googlewhack (a single page result for two search terms).

There’s an interesting possible extension to this, which is to develop a visual googlewhack so that a particular image comes up as a result of the search words. Given that I’ve named the post Ornaments Parvenu Squash instead of Remnant Supernova Squash, I’d expect my image to show up in a search using the first phrase rather than the second. At present it doesn’t show up near the top of either one.

This photo-anagrammatics is an interesting project, combining photography with wordplay and search ranking. I’ve started to develop a skill at going out with the camera, keeping an eye on the pavement, assessing every little bit of rubbish, developing a sense of just how much rubbish there is, of what sort, and whether it provides an opportunity to think about unusual shapes. Searching for patterns, as ever.

I diversified a bit to cracked pavements, and wasn’t able to think of shapenames for every one. Those few without shapes are also without anagrams. The cracked pavement idea is one I want to continue, partly because I’d like to treat the cracks in a variety of ways. The first idea is to pour coloured chalks into the cracks, giving some colour to the experience of passers-by, but also to evoke shapes and contrasts more clearly. I’d also like to treat some cracked blocks in other ways, perhaps more subtly, by laying patterned stencils against them and cleaning away a layer of discolouration. Perhaps some sort of touring trail is in order. Perhaps I can guide people to a series of points, maybe even scrubbing bits of text into the pavements.

* I keep finding bits of orange peel on pavements near schools. Poplar Road, Oxford Road, and Forest Road routinely provide samples. For the ethnographer of the street, this counts as something.