Nah, I’m living the dream. Not a kook. That headline was click bait. How’d it do?
But now that you’re here, the following is demonstrative of my thought processes in general.
So, I have a queen sized bed at the cabin that is more than ten years old. I was using the mattress on the floor and moving it around while I worked on the cabin. That was easier than setting up the bed frame.
Well, the box spring was in the loft leaning against a wall. That provided an excellent habitat for mice, as evidenced by the thick layer of happy turds they left inside said box spring.
So, since the mattress was sagging in the middle and the box spring was mouse heaven, I decided to retire the bed to the landfill.
So now I need a place to sleep. It’s spring time, so I’m using my camp hammock outside the cabin because it’s perfect sleeping weather and I can fall asleep under the stars by a campfire.
But this is not a long-term solution. I’d like something bigger to sleep in. How about a bigger hammock? I have plenty of places to mount a hammock inside the cabin and plenty of trees outside. Placement is not a problem. Some 2x4s screwed to the wall and some steel hooks and eyes, etc. and I’m all set.
So I go online looking for hammocks. There are some affordable hammocks out there that are sizable–84 inches by 59 inches. That’s a queen sized bed, pretty much.
But the quality? Unknown. They’re getting good reviews on amazon. Then I notice the materials. That’s poly rope, heavy-duty nylon cloth, and a 1×3″ wooden spreader bar between the rope and the cloth. Look at that rope that attaches to the hammock, why, that’s a clew knot. I know how to make a clew knot. I also know that 1/2″ poly rope is 59 cents a foot or less. The rope the amazon hammock is made out of looks a lot thinner than that. It costs $50.
I could make a sturdier clew knot than that. What if I just bought a canvas drop cloth and used that for the hammock bed? Hell, I can buy two and double up for strength and still come in at $20 plus the time to build this hammock.
This theoretical hammock is looking pretty good. But what about parachute material? That’s called ripstop nylon and it is available at the local surplus store, or is it? Note to self–find sources of ripstop nylon.
But back to the canvas concept. Hell, for $20 bucks and some time, I can make a mark 1 hammock and even if it doesn’t work out for my main sleeping apparatus, I can use it outside. Or better yet, I can gift it to a friend! How cool would that be?
“PJ Made me an awesome hammock. He says he can even build me a better one, but this one is great for my back yard.”
Oh, but wait, there is a problem. To make a canvas hammock, I need a sewing solution. I also need to learn how to sew. I wonder what’s on craigslist.
Oh, look, an antique singer sewing machine from the days before planned obsolescence. I’ve known people who swear by them. I’ve seen a 100-year-old singer sewing machine in operation. This one on craigslist is 50 bucks. I’ve always wanted to learn hot to sew. This is early mass-produced technology and one of those unsung inventions born of the industrial revolution that changed household life forever. Don’t even get me started on how it changed small business and created upward economic mobility for middle-class people at the turn of the 19th century.
Parts are still available for these machines in abundance. Why? Because people still use them, millions were made and they were made to last.
To prove this to myself, I spend more than an hour looking up serial numbers (because the craigslist ad has a picture of the serial) and watching people use their 100-year-old sewing machines on youtube.
So, now that the clew knot issue is settled (trivial, really) and I have a mental design for the hammock bed, it’s time to contact the person on craigslist about the sewing machine.
Ninety minutes later, the sewing machine is back at my friend’s house in his guest room. Did I mention I’m staying with a freind? Yeah. I brought a 100-year-old sewing machine to his house in my compact Prius. Good friend.
So now I have this beautiful singer model 66 “red eye” that needs tons of TLC but is guaranteed to run right with a whole bunch of sewing machine oil and possibly some powerful solvents.
But I don’t have a bed. I’m couch surfing with my writer buddy while we work on our novels. Home is five hours away. My novel will be done in about 10 days, then it’s back to the woods for the next novel.
I have a theoretical hammock, and access to amazon for replacement sewing machine parts and sewing machine oil.
As long as I have the concept, I’m just fine.