Tag Archives: cartography

Signs for a Surveyor in Moab

With “the illness”, recently having a hard time getting to the post office and just finishing up lingering projects but, today I sent a couple of tender gifts off to some dear pals who lost their dad not long ago.

He was a truly legendary Utah land surveyor who knew by coordinate dang near every corner of several counties.

With that spirit, I made two “finger signs” with the ‘exact’ coordinates of the cemetery in Moab, Utah where he remains.

The wood is from old Japanese fish shipping crates or something & includes distance from one of the brother’s house to the cemetery and the other is a little smaller as that friend is a little bit more on the go so can be adjusted on the fly.

Regardless, I hope they point in the cardinal direction from wherever they are to where their dear dad named “Bing” is resting.

Now up to you postal services with all your complicated forms and customs declarations.

PS while I was out finishing, started a few more signs for what will become the second sign post here at Tsuchida cottage. Each place tells a story and I included a Moab sign of my own with a few festive cedar shavings from an unrelated fire starter project I was working on nearby.

unrelated firestarter project made from a carton, sawdust/wood shavings and soy wax

Tsuchida Station: Sign Post project (fun with cartography)

Blurb: Now that the major parts of our renovation(s) are done and we settled in, turning our attention to “improving the campsite“ with yard, garden(s) and more decorative outdoor projects including this directional sign post, with weather station on top, aligned with the compass cardinal points.

Hoping it becomes an object of interest for the neighborhood kids, as well as when friends can come visit down the road, they can make/add a sign.

If curious, measured exact distance from our front yard to a specific point (hospitals, hideout, parks, museums) notable from my rambles rather than from “city center to city center” – then figured out azimuth from the geo-coordinates.

Made a Google Earth project with candidate locations, still plenty to add in leisure times using leftover scrap wood from the construction, a bit of milk paint, and loads of memories / all mounted on a decommissioned tree from my wife the arborist. (the unadorned board in the middle-ish is showing *exact* West & East)

Combining memories, leftover floorboards, milk paint, quasi-Shodo, and various amateur cartography skills, added the first few signs today… More to come >> Will need another pole for the whole list.

Places: Current working list with latitude and longitude and compass points (is the azimuth?) denoted here – Referenced to exact special points in each of these places, often hospitals, peers, homes, hideouts and so on. More to come… Ran out of paper but still have more pencil.

If you have questions about any of the locations, feel free to ask, will eventually explain in more detail for the permanent record. Also suggestions welcome, though I probably already know :-)

Process: First i planned the location in a google earth project, figured out geo-coordinates (degrees, minutes, seconds &/or 4 decimal points out) and distance right from our front yard to a specific landmark.

screenshot of project in process – each place has a story (not surprisingly)

Then figured out the compass direction using this tool {noting someone shared this with me when i inquired months back, thanks).

i.e. 133.9833 E 34.6968 N (Tsuchida Station) to 32.6014 E 25.7401 N (Valley of Kings Egypt) is 297º25’35” on the compass

the Moab ones are a gift for some friends, Noto needed kanjj (now painted by Ryoko)
Process: cut the boards, a couple coats of “milk paint”, the the lettering (in one breath) and then clear coat, drill holes

Post (mounted in cement) has a weather station on top, also adjusted to proper cardinal points. Measures temperature, dewpoint, humidity, UV, rainfall, wind direction, barometric pressure etc., transmits to a display panel inside the parents’ house and then onto the Internet.

Note: the unfinished board about halfway up the post is pointing to “exact“ east and west

Next batch in process already, lots more places to add. Have plenty of scrap wood, a sweet little work area, and an assistant delivered in a box.

Adding a wish for peace in Ukraine from Tsuchida Station where we oppose violence and tyranny and all its forms.

A Catographer, I Considered (prose poem)

A Cartographer, I Considered

Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

Spectacled, heavy on a rosy face, hidden among stacks, drawing inventions of maps – delineating frontiers between playful apparatchik and fields where the healthy and husky scrambled games I couldn’t be bothered to learn the constructed rules of play.

Naming regions of gravel and grass in derivations of Iowa towns and possibly Balkan enclaves. Tracing roads across trucking routes and Roman ruins built to the width of chariot wheels-cemented as standards for mine entrance bringing a horse to shores, away from relations to new lives, absent from home still never known beyond memories, Serio-graphed into filtered ideals.

Yet an unsteady hand and overall disconnect, or even indifference, which led to a place to “settle” – build a house from logs, and seasoned by time, after hewn, nailed and assembled by saw blade and heavy sludge, forged by a possible cousin who always remain a stranger. The blade remains anonymous as an un-muttered pithy quote en route to cliché.

Neither did exploding suns, brilliant and fleeting, assembled in patterns, ~ shared by the patient and measured in Newtonian units – still could not muster a journey – hence gazed, but ignored as impractical, nigh impossible.

Translucent layers, super-imposed and stacked, detailing azimuths, trajectories and elevations – separating fertile valleys (though subject to floods) from talus slopes too steep but for mountain rams on the shady flank of Timpanogos. 

Dotted dashed and surveyed, specific dots explained in legend denoting assigned capitals, provincial outposts, and occasionally hamlets determined by polled populations, overseen with constructed superintendents, supported by varying address of retainers. 

Intrigued by absence of obvious order though not my task to chart. 

Instead, as per instinct, selected and committed to memory, devoid of context, thin slices of knowledge swirling in a petri vacuum – accurate as such, but irrelevant 

So i journeyed to wonder about likely motivations which took Normans, Pharaohs and troubadours beyond the point of unknown return. Capes left in wakes with dates and hard-track to fortify a quest alleged to diagram flora.

Among them, I reference guide notes from decades past – as vague as possible to acquire allowing white-space and risk. Packed in burlap next to a survivor’s stove and pouch of seeds and spices and an important black pencil. Only planned to go one way, impartial to return rather to chronicle the unfamiliar.

The familiar left far behind as physics might allow – exchanged possible comfort in normalcy for uncertainty contentment in ambiguity. Meandering concentric routes, devoid of patterns or ready purpose. 

Answers are easier in cliché, ergo:

“I’ll know when i get there” – 

Town to creek to roadside conundrum – I swirled each in mouth , pretending my palette featured a vocabulary to explain to unseeing why I hadn’t settled for seemingly ideal locales, situations and specific circumstance to flourish.

Eventually, after farm toil, beach frolic, rough nights in dangerous morass, leaping turrets of ruins and painful heaving, missed junctions and forgotten aims, at a campfire in a lake-forest with a khaki-scout familiarity, I stumbled through an unfavourable gale, onto the intended coast 

I mocked myself for misnamed non-discoveries, i assumed as fragrant promised lands of plenty allowed to the intrepid erstwhile accidental navigators. 

Teased over misread hieroglyphics and misappropriated meaning to stone wheels quarried a far, hauled by double-hulled craft powered by taro and current and fickle breeze.

I could no longer mock with unearned disdain, the vaunted and faulted explorers, stolen secrets leading to some anomaly errantly pro-claimed as new or proper or divine. 

Earnestly deterred, i occurred to map a universe of flesh and thought. Breath and sounds assembled into meaning. 

The crease on cheek, the measure of brow, the angle of toes, magnitude of halo surrounding chameleon eyes and the mysterious enthusiasm of all which exists between.

Thwarted, not by scenery but by shaking confessions, fumbled after a stealth crossing at an indifferent frontier town. I’d escaped to my holy land I presumed for an instant before minor catastrophe. 

Stalled at an unwelcoming inn where i laid myself bruised and bare to a lover temporarily transformed to a stranger after i let the truth languish, vanquished by the uncertainty of resolved and fear or wounding the occasionally innocent. 

She walked out vested, blithely, pithy saying “I know” unwittingly perhaps offering just enough loft to push a tattered sail across a colour-coded sea mis-named as somewhere calm. 

The explorer hides. Alone, entirely lost and surrendered to fates incomprehensible to the battered. Uncontrollable by the hostage. Yet clinging to an adrenaline determination to manufacture strength to another foray. 

Monk-like, minus faith, discipline, dogma or skill at ringing bells, relying on rice gruel and fragrant hope, the cartographer gathered charcoal, fired for unsteady hands, and a redrew boundaries to conceive an entirely new Pangea with concessions to speculate, plunder and charts assigned exclusively to only two.

daveo, Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward


Diary: Cartography, Poetry and Bus Rides

pondering amateur cartography whilst waiting for a bus

Re: Amateur Cartography

Over the wall to seitai treatment (as such, obligatory bus stop snappie for evidence) with The Weakerthans in my ears… this song “Aside”, i coulda sworn i wrote these words, just not in this order. In a notebook scribbled in a suitcase no doubt. Maybe The Neko Nekos will cover this too (i gotta learn that baritone ukulele – Also adding to list: singing, learn how to do that (although I do sing “little blue truck”)).

Ichiro doesn’t know it yet but we’re gonna make a family The Linda Lindas cover band when he’s a *lil* bit older with his Mom & me. We’ll call The Neko Nekos and try to be at least 3% as cool as the originals. Its a perfect plan. We’ll make shirts.

“Aside” by John K Samson (allegedly :))

Measure me in metered lines
And one decisive stare
The time it takes to get from here to there
My ribs that show through t-shirts
And these shoes I got for free
I’m unconsoled
I’m lonely
I am so much better than I used to be

Terrified of telephones
And shopping malls and knives
We’re drowning in the pools of other lives
Rely a bit too heavily
On alcohol and irony
Get clobbered on by courtesy
In love with love and lousy poetry

And I’m leaning on this broken fence
Between past and present tense
And I’m losing all those stupid games
That I swore I’d never play
But it almost feels okay

Circumnavigate this body
Of wonder and uncertainty
Armed with every precious failure
And amateur cartography

I breath in deep before
I spread those maps out on my bedroom floor

And I’m leaning on this broken fence
Between past and present tense
And I’m losing all those stupid games
That I swore I’d never play
But it feels okay

And I’m leaving, wave goodbye
And I’m losing but I’ll try
With the last ways left
To remember, sing
My imperfect offering

Fire it up:

Update: learned G & C on ukulele today. next, the world

Listening to Sea – Postcard #74 via video

Ship-to-shore transmissions with shortwave broadcasts from elusive listening posts, soundscapes from slow ships, and freeverse poetry about unanswered communiques, transitory conditions, arbitrary citizenships, invented geography, de-identification, and intentional disappearance.

Features music: “Dream World” by Matt Harding from NYOSSS (New York, Orem, San Sebastian, & Shanghai), plus various shortwave broadcasts of dubious origin, and sound samples from oceans (recorded by Dave and others via BBC sound archive).

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Listening to Sea – Postcard #74

Pod cover – Postcards from Gravelly Beach 74 – Listening to Sea (suez canal)

Ship-to-shore transmissions with shortwave broadcasts from elusive listening posts, soundscapes from slow ships, and freeverse poetry about unanswered communiques, transitory conditions, arbitrary citizenships, invented geography, de-identification, and intentional disappearance.

Features music: “Dream World” by Matt Harding from NYOSSS (New York, Orem, San Sebastian, & Shanghai), plus various shortwave broadcasts of dubious origin, and sound samples from oceans (recorded by Dave and others via BBC sound archive).

Tune the shortwave  receiver for: Listening to Sea – Postcard #74
(20MB, 14:50, 192k mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Listening to Sea – Postcard #74