Saturday, July 21, 2012

Season's Change: March and April

SPRING comes slowly to this high valley. The landscape reveals itself to me little by little, with new surprises every day: I didn't know that was there! My Holden is the village snuggled deep into white drifts; now I'm getting glimpses of the Holden most people see. Meltwater pools in the basements of a couple of central buildings (I am told this happens every year), while the French drains along the road run deep with cheerful streams just begging to be waded in. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Balance of February

AFTER that first overwhelming week, I begin to settle into the schedule of the village... though that schedule continues to be eventful.

In the Media Archive, there's a long-awaited delivery of new laptops; though IT sets them up for me, I'm still left with a lot of audio-specific troubleshooting.  The old laptops, borrowed from other departments, ran Windows XP, Vista, and Ubuntu Oneiric; the new ones, a shiny row of Windows 7 drones, vary just enough in their audio settings that it's tricky to figure out how to get them to record at the proper levels. The best fix I can find is to reset each one individually for each recording. It's inconvenient, but it works.
In the Craft Cave, several looms run out of warp at about the same time, and I get to learn about the process of warping on. It begins with many, many reiterations of the weaver's knot (several hundred on the largest loom), tying the remnants of the old warp to the new warp. I recite the Craftinator's guiding phrase "Over all, under all, up and through" like a mantra. Once the knots are secure, the new warp must be wound on with tension, spiralled with sheets of kraft paper to keep it from entangling itself. This is a two-person job, but two staff members are not typically in the Craft Cave at the same time, so the process moves slowly until we enlist the help of our friendly neighborhood Mavericks.