Monday, August 31, 2015

On Space

So this weekend I kind of had a mini tantrum because I just don't have any space for me. The garage is just barely big enough for my wife's car and right now she can't even take it out of the garage (brakes are disassembled at the moment).

Even if/when she can take it out, it still needs to go back in, which means any temporary space I gain disappears when the car comes back in.

Why this matters so much now, is that I'm starting to realize that I'm burned out on video games, computers, reading. Basically, anything that requires me to sit and stare at a screen (or book) is just too much like being at work, and I'm starting to cut back on that stuff. Not that I don't still enjoy it, but I start reading in the AM when I get on the train. Then I'm at work all day. Then I come home and the kids are doing homework, my wife's working, and there's just nothing to do. My wife's doing more and more volunteer work for the school (which means lots of computer time doing data entry and also going to meetings), and the kids are growing up. There's just not a lot of "dad" time any more. 

This happens to coincide with a time in my life where I really want to "make something"... Not that I need more things, but the making of the things is what's really interesting to me right now. The "process" is more important than the "product," I guess.

Some of the stuff I want to make requires more/bigger/better tools. I can get the tools, but I literally have nowhere to put them. 

So I was talking to my wife about it. We can't make the garage bigger. We can't move -- we're here for at least the next 4 years while the girls get through high school, and honestly, I don't think I could get her to move even after that.

I could get a membership at the Techspace, which would be awesome! But it's $150/month whether you use it or not, and it's going to move soon (currently right across the highway from me, but it'll move somewhere else soon, and no guarantees the new location will be as convenient). I could try to rent a shop somewhere, but that's even more expensive and I'd still have to buy the tools, and then later, if/when I needed to stop renting a shop, I'd need to find space for the tools.

So I was joking and said if we had a bigger back yard, I'd build a shop. She didn't think it was a joke and was suddenly very supportive. "Let's go outside and measure!"
The drought here in California led us to stop watering the back lawn a while ago, and now it's just a brown wasteland (cue tumbleweed). I had entertained the idea of building a potager garden (spelling?) back there, but between my wife and me, we just don't have that big of an interest in gardening.

So, yeah, I'm now looking at maybe trying to build a small "shop" in our backyard. 

No idea if it's something I can pull off. We have a 6x12 slab there already (from 1947), but a 6' deep shop is too narrow. Maybe if we could go 10x12... Of course, she doesn't really want a bigger slab, but I think the old one is crumbling a bit and probably wouldn't work well as a shop floor anyway.
So now I'm giving it some serious consideration. Who knows? It's likely just too small, but desperate times and all that...