It works better if you turn the kiln ON, that's what. At first glance this is a perfectly normal shot of a kiln load. But this is the AFTER shot (or should have been) not the BEFORE shot, and I was more than a little dismayed when I opened Bertha yesterday and saw my slump load from the night before still unslumped. That was the first major disaster of the day. I looked into slumping the pieces yesterday and having Judy ship them 2-day to Philly for me so they would be here by Friday... $179.00. I don't think so. So I fell back to using pieces that I already have in Philly to fill in the gaps--which is great, but I don't know what pieces I have there after all this time. So without knowing the pieces I have to work with, we couldn't drill the holes in all the panels. We also can't use any power tools (corded, cordless or battery-operated) at the show so I called Hargrove to see how much they would charge to have union labor drill the holes for me. Once the panels are marked, drilling the 1/4" plywood (with a power drill) is nothing--Dave did one in under 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the minimum time is one hour, and the charge is $120. I don't think so. I stopped by Ace hardware on my way out of town and got a small manual hand drill. It won't be fun (for John--Todd's partner John is here to help with set-up and breakdown too so we at least have three sets of hands in the booth and his are the strongest hands), but I have my principles.
With two strikes behind me, Dave and I loaded up the minivan in the rain and I hit the road... at 1:15. The weather was not good for the entire afternoon, evening, night and early morning. It was either raining, spitting sleet or snowing the entire way. When I left Atlanta I had the germ of an idea to go straight through to Philly and arrive at 1:00 am. The germ steadily took hold and I was pretty committed by 9:00. Then about midnight I hit the REAL weather. There were cars on top of the guard rails, cars upside down, a jack-knifed semi, cars facing backwards on the freeway--most of them with their lights on and people still in them slowly getting covered by the snow. But I reasoned that it was better to make the drive with very (very) few other cars on the road than it would be to make it during the day with a lot of other cars--and yet more snow, and maybe wind too. And I arrived safe and sound by 3:00 am.
Now it's after 10:00, Bill and Elaine were first in line to unload this morning and were all done and having breakfast by 9:30. I am... awake, semi-alert, still decaffeinated and ready to have a hot shower and get to my own unloading. The hotel is... interesting. It's a little boutique hotel for weekend romantic travelers and so has no fridge, no microwave, a little bitty flat-screen tv, no dresser, no bathtub (shower only)... and single beds unless you get a room with a queen and a cot. But the beds are comfy, the room is quiet, and it was only $69 a night through Hotwire (and it's close to the convention center).
The phone has been ringing non-stop since 9:00, guess I better get to it.
A life of shows on the road is never boring.