Wednesday, November 18, 2020

a minor household repair - very creative!

A text only post as I didn't think to take pictures while working. 

 My mother has a brass bed frame and some of the bolts that hold it together are loose. I will write a little about my repairs if I think I can make them clear and interesting - enough to explain my thesis, anyway. That thesis being, unskilled repair people have to be very creative indeed to solve problems they didn't understand when they arrived at the problem. 

 One part of the challenge in describing the event is also the problem with being unskilled. When I discuss 'fasteners' it is because I have no idea what the name of the actual part is. I also don't know if this name is common knowledge and to save time I will just say 'fastener' rather than describe in detail - which would also be painstaking and awkward as I lack that vocabulary as well. 

 Here is what happened. My mom's brass bed frame was coming apart at the junctures where pipe met pipe. I found the whole thing was kept together by 'headless-threaded bolts' perhaps fifteen cm long. At one end, a decorative brass globe screwed on. But inside the pipe was a fastener that had been pushed back quite deep into the pipe, far beyond what the bolt could reach. My first thought, having lived in Asia for many years, was chopsticks. Some disposable chopsticks we had at hand had a lump at one end so I pushed the stick past the fastener and pushed up on the fastened while pulling back. I think I had some success but mostly I pushed the fastener as high as it could go and it stuck in place. Then I got needle nose pliers and they were now long enough so I could pull the fastener out, learn how it worked and replace it. I threaded it on the bolt and tried it in the hole.
 But now I couldn't remove it. These fasteners went in easily but were hard to pull out. 

Alright, let me try to describe them; they were basically domes with a hole in the centre. Huh; that was easier than I had thought. You put the dome in the pipe so it was concave to the opening and it went in fairly well but was hard to pull out.  

So now I have to push the bolt, already connected via the dome-fastener to a pipe, to the main bed frame. But of course the frame post was slightly twisted so I could not just push it through. I needed to twist the main post, slide the bolt through without knocking it deeper into the pipe and fit the decorative end on. Three hands were clearly needed. 
On my third try, holding the pipe in my hand and my fingers on the bolt, I used my other hand to twist the frame post and slide it on... and succeeded! I quickly put the decorative end on and was done!
 Time to look over the rest of the bed. It seems the bed frame was three inches longer than the mattress. and the angle-iron mattress-holding part of the frame was loose where it contacted the brass.
 I cut a two-by-four into three inch lengths, then cut gaps about an inch deep into them for the bolts holding the iron to brass fit. I tried to tighten the iron frame to the brass with my fingers.
I couldn't find a wrench head the right size. So I opened a ratchet set my father had given me nearly forty years ago and used it for the first time! Thanks, Dad. 
So I was able to tighten the parts of the frame together, tighten the brass piping, and even clean under this bed for what appeared to be the first time in months. 

 Someone who knew what they were doing would have taken ten minutes, I think. They might even had pushed the dome fasteners deeper and used fresh ones as that would probably have been better time/money efficient than salvaging the original ones. 

 My creative exploration and journey took over an hour and included, among other things, balancing a flashlight on my shoulder so that the light was a eye level to look down the pipe while also holding that pipe and probing it with a chopstick. 

 And I think this is the big lesson; naïve creative work can complete a job as well as experienced-step following work but it will take a lot longer.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Writer's workspaces

 I should be looking for a house these days. I do but not as consistently as someone who could be homeless, with his whole family, in a few months should.

I don't actually know if that is why I am now interested in these images of author's desks and offices. Is this some adjacent sort of procrastination? An on-topic concern for what I will/might/should be buying in soon?

Here they are. Maybe I will add some commentary as I add photos and such.

Twitter claims this was Ursula K Le Guin's desk and workspace. A friend replied to the Tweet suggesting that this wasn't her office.  I don't know.The image came from her home but perhaps was not her office? You can tour her house here.

I will be looking at more images from that tweet by Into the Forest Deep. Somehow at that Tweet, I found a fairly large image but when I selected 'image in new tab' the result was smaller. I have gone with that image here so if you want a slightly larger one, follow the Tweet link.

Le Quin passed away two years ago so the office does not look lived in but ready to sell. I see myself as having maybe a writing space indoors or a workshop that transitions from cerebral writing and planning and drawing to more physical creative work, mostly wood carving. I would be afraid to hold a block of wood in Le Guin's space even while I love the views.

From the same Tweet, Neil Gaiman's desk looks more used. I would not worry about dropping a piece of 8" X 8" in there.

Tolkien's desk is shown in that Tweet but it looks far too genteel for my liking. University dons in the UK at the time had standards, I guess. I don't care for Terry Pratchett's desk for a different kind of clutter than Gaiman's. This many screens seems, well, silly. 

I do like other aspects of the room but there is too much bare floorspace. I mean, it looks good and I might aspire to having my mess in one place only but to me, too much bare space means underusing the space.

In these tweets, Cherie Priest shows us her office. Here are two images that I shrunk slightly - to see them full size, follow the link:

I chose these two, from an excellent assortment, to show her desk and also her Murphy bed. I think that when the bed is up, there are dog beds on the floor. My own bed, which does not fold into the wall, often becomes a storage and semi-workspace. I don't know if hers does but it is available.

I like the look of this office, no idea whose, the image (again shrunk) is from a real estate company. but the wood is beautiful. I like the idea of having lots of windows but I typically have to close the blinds because the light is brighter than my computer screen.

This, less professionally arranged, is what I expect my office, at least the writing area, to look like. From.

It seems to ordinary for me. Facing a bookshelf with windows nearby would be great.
I want more of this From here:

Not quite so practical or physical but at lest some elements from this image. Probably not the firewood under my workspace but probably nearby.
Again, just a little too physical:

I life the idea of making a sort of police conspiracy board with images and text connected by yarn to help me see my stories. So I need so blank wall space I can temporarily tack up plans and brainstorming results.

I have started Inktober. I tried to draw the office I want.

What I mostly see, and already knew, is that fine detail is beyond me. I wanted a transition from more intellectual work on the left and more physical work on the right. So my computer and a poster of ideas and plans for my Nanowrimo 2020 book on the wall on the left. I didn't think I could draw a credible chair and also show stuff on the counter so no chair. We we move right, we see more drawers and shelves, a model ship, a window with a view of a tree and another empty space where I could sit close to the counter and use a saw or a drill. There is a cutting board for delicate cutting there and I am struck by how my calendar, cutting board and dark empty spaces all are similar in appearance in my drawing! There is also an island or a table or counter at the bottom of the image with my tea and camera on a tripod. It has a lot that I want but so much more detail was beyond me.

Oh, deliberately included in my photo at the top is the pencil work on easel paper where I planned my drawing.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Woodworking and designing a game for LTCH

I have seen shuffleboard made and proposed as a game for Long Term Care Homes. We had trouble finding one of reasonable price and I figured I could make one.

Even when not socially isolated by CoVID, I have always been willing to put in an hour or two outside of work on projects for work. With CoVID, I have been trapped with naught but work friends, work and family. Family is not bad but the same three people all day every day for months can become boring.

And so I have worked on making a set of eight discs and two push poles. The triangular markings on the floor I managed with masking tape. As an LTCH Enchantment Aide, I find masking tape to be as multipurpose and valuable as others find duct tape.

I had one pole finished but, even after drilling the hole first, the wood screw split the pusher in half. Dang it all! Happily, having the experience of making the first one made construction of the second one much faster.

After some basic sanding, I screwed the set on the right together far more carefully.

I probably overthought this. I made eight discs but I knew they were all only 'mostly' round and many had differently shaped bottoms. So I wanted us to be able to make different sets easily. We can play green vs blue, 1-4 vs 5-8, or A-D vs E-H. I congratulate the excellent Jordyndickson for the lettering. I made sorta round discs and she made perfect writing.

So we had two poles, one short and meant for wheelchairs and the other long for standing players, and eight discs. The discs didn't slide well so I used bee's wax and they slid much better.

Here's a handsome guy with the long pole.

Another angle on the pole and pusher (I am sure there is a better term).

In describing another recent project - the Graduation Ceremony - my employers used this phrasing:

the creative Team at The Villa Care Centre from doing something extra special for their Students. Life Enrichment Aide, Brian, along with the Residents
In this case, Jordyn is definitely part of the 'creative Team' but the residents were also involved. I was going to arrogantly put my name on the bottom of each disc but I have never been able to take more credit than I am due. So my projects will be "VC Creatives" to honour our Creative Team.

It turned out that the short pole was not very useful and we only used the long one.

Also, even with a waxed bottom the residents couldn't push the discs far enough. We experimented with other items!

The residents under my care enjoyed the game and the experimentation as did I. I think the game will work better on the other floor where there are more who are stronger.

I have shown two activities that require a lot, I mean, A LOT of preparation. And this one took a lot more effort than one game is worth. I did learn more about wood working so my education probably makes the prep valuable for that. And we may be able to use the game on my floor and elsewhere.

Still, I wanted to finish with an activity that I thought would last 20-30 minutes and has been a consistent two hour event. And with zero preparation, really. I first called it "bird watching" but only three birds flew by. It turns out that 'window watching' is a pretty good activity! We looked out the window and commented on what we saw and about the weather and more. It was a great form of comfort to have the excuse of looking out the window for any conversational lags.
I just wanted to end with a far easier to prep activity than the previous two,

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Another post on the limits of my creativity

Three projects to describe here

In the weeks leading up to Canada Day, I helped the residents of my Long Term Care Home make papier mache, uh, blobs. Most were just wrapping balloons with the paper soaking in flour water but one had some shape with four legs and a head. One failure here is that the residents often have limited mobility and could not do a lot. Mostly, we chatted while my coworker and I did the work. The residents did more of the painting afterward. The papier mache was touched up and finished by my coworker and I. I gotta say, my coworker did more, and better, painting than I. I got the job done while she got the job done well. Perhaps we complement each other.

I joked that I was going to fill the pinatas with the residents' medications but instead we went with more traditional fillings - sugar free chocolate and candy and hair clips. Okay, hair clips might not be traditional but, especially in this time of CoVID, nobody is coming in to cut the residents' hair and the clips are very useful.

Success and failure: Most of the work was done by staff rather than residents. I don't know if lower tables would help so the residents could be 'over' the activity rather than reaching forward to it.ergonomically, their positions in wheelchairs wasn't ideal. Residents were able to paint solid colours but due to palsy or other issues could not paint details well. We staff did a lot of touch up on the papier mache and then a lot of other work on them. I am still working on crafts that residents do the majority of the work. One success was in breaking them open on Canada Day. We hung two from the ceiling and gave the residents foam paddles. A well aimed blow would tear the pinata open but instead, basically a game of tetherball started with the residents batting the increasingly battered bee back and forth to each other. We will use some of the other papier mache creations and find some version of a tetherball that is heavy enough and also gentle enough when impacts occur.

The second activity in the image above was a 'graduation ceremony' for new hires at the LTC Home that missed their actual ceremonies due to CoVID. One coworker went out of her way to say she was sad that she missed her grad. So, Brian to the rescue!

I learned a few things about the young staff that missed their grads, called a few parents up and arranged a ceremony in the Home. A lot went well and a lot did not and this was a unique event; I do not expect a second chance to get it right. So that was my big problem with it; that I wasn't able to sort out all the issues and problems that could happen, that I didn't work it through in my head, or that I didn't have someone edit my ideas to point out possible problems.

Here's what happened.

I prepared the robes and everything else in secret, then sent my coworker away on an errand. In the ten minutes she was away, I cleaned out part of the dining room of all the tables and found enough residents awake to fill it up. I also hung grad decorations on the walls and prepared the computer and so on.  For clothing, I secretly changed from shorts and a Hawaiian shirt to good pants, a shirt and tie. Good stuff! First problem; in moving all those tables on the hottest day of the year to that point, I soaked through my shirt, leaving huge dark stains across my stomach and back.

We had mortarboard hats and 'grad' sashes for a previous activity and I got the grads into PPE robes in place of more traditional ones. I played Pomp and Circumstance and lead the graduates into the dining room. The ceremony went fairly well although my voice was far squeakier than I thought - listening to the recording was embarrassing. And I did not explain fully to the residents what was going on. Otherwise, it went very well. 
Very well on the third floor, that is! Our LTC Home has two floors of residents and we keep them the floors separate - even staff do not mix much. So once the third floor was done, I raced downstairs to do it again on the second. This was faster, clumsier and all round messier. In my defence, my manager who would have taken some of the tasks, was away unexpectedly.

So I say this was well thought out but not as well executed as I would like and I will not have a chance to repeat it.

The final activity I have been working on that has required creativity is shuffleboard. Not the table top version with small discs you slide across a waxed surface but the larger floor one where you push larger discs with a pole. Below are some of the discs I cut from a 1 X 8 and the launcher that will soon go on the end of a pole. The discs are not done and also not all that round but that gives a few residents a job to do this week. We have two fairly able bodied residents who would otherwise have access to out of doors but because of CoVID are trapped inside. They should be able to use sand paper and smooth out these discs. The cutting and shaping on my end took nearly two hours. This is in part due to not having the best or proper tools for the job. I don't want to give so much free labour to my job but in this case, again because of CoVID, I needed something to do aside from feel lonely. This work helped me and will help residents. Time well spent!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Still Alive - that normally doesn't sound so grim!

I go through phases of frequency of blogging and usually when I return, or briefly return, to blogging, I would have a post titled, "Still alive..." In the past, and especially fifteen years ago when I was a young(er) man, that was pretty flippant and easy to write. These days, Yes, I am still alive and that means a little more than it did four months ago.

One reason I have posted less is that my work has, ironically, increased! I am now a full time worker at my Long Term Care Home and will be at least until the Covid crisis is over or under control.
I have not caught Covid and my employer has done a great job of being proactive in making safety precautions so that we have put policies in place before the government required them. For example, my workplace required me to work only at it or to stop working at it. Admirably, it also gave me more hours so that choosing it exclusively was not a financial hardship. A week or two later, the provincial government required LTCH workers to work at only one location. 

Ah. let's have a work picture:
I presume it was clear, but my residents don't naturally have blurry faces. I have just put a little effort into anonymity for them.
Anyway, most days, I have something drawn on my mask. The goggles were a spur of the moment thing because we had cut down Styrofoam cups for planters for our basil and dill.
Some creativity links:
I have some soapstone and am going to learn a little about how to carve it. Mrs Clone's Sculpture Class.
Touring the Van Gogh museum.
Some people like weird text editors. This one is write only.

Monday, March 9, 2020

A strange deep dive into Fletcher Hanks and more

One thing led to another and I found myself hunting for what I consider Hanks' weirdest image.
Oh, in finding the one I wanted, the bottom one with Leopard Women on Giant Saurians, I also found the above from another of his comics. That one reminded me a lot of Piers Anthony's Tangle Trees so I had to include it as well.
The Hanks comics came from You Shall Die By Your Own Evil, a biography of Fletcher Hanks. The man turns out to have been a bit of a monster himself. But he sure could imagine stuff!

As I wrote, I found myself looking at a version of a Tangle Tree, so I found this discussion of Beer Barrel trees on Anthony's Xanth. And learned that Xanth looks curiously like Anthony's state of Florida:

Going down a rabbit hole like this almost feels like I accomplished something today!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Recent Creative work

I have been in a silly mood - probably brought on by concern about my financial situation - and so have made stuff. Don't worry about my finances unless you want to send me some money; I'm okay.

Alright, here goes. I care for a budgie at work. I feed the bird and clean out the cage. I don't believe in fortune telling at all but I still find the idea fun. So I have been asking the bird to make predictions by pooping on labelled pages.

That was a reasonable estimate of how much snow we got.

I was making this question and misheard a coworker say she would like 'frogs' for Valentine's Day. She actually would like hugs. Still, it seems the bird agrees with her about frogs.

There are several days where I don't have a good question ready so I ask things like this.
I work at a Long Term Care Home and one resident turned 100 years old yesterday. I struggled to make a balloon sign saying "100". If you know it is for a noteworthy birthday, you can tell what it says.  I guess this picture is more of a 'this is the state of SurprisesAplenty's ability rather than creativity' image.

I had just worn a hairnet and was next blowing up balloons for the '100' above. I put the two ideas together and made a watcher who would encourage others to work harder. I then placed half a dozen Postit notes with coworkers' names so that each day another one can be watched.
On Quora, someone asked a strange question probably about math education. I responded and included a story. Here is the link and here is the story:

Okay, science fiction time.
I gotta say this story got away from me and went places I am embarrassed about. It didn't need to be as smutty but I had a Men's Adventure and tried to repeat for satire purposes a terrible male author writing females. The story didn't need that and I have toned it down a tiny bit.
“You mean,” the sexy but intellectual Betty Jane asked, “that we have discovered an international conspiracy of math teachers who deliberately teach students to buy lottery tickets and play Bingo?” She absentmindedly smoothed her shirt over her breasts and waited for Dr Mansosmart to reply, admiring once again his physique which didn’t fit with his academic fame.
“Yes, BJ,” he replied in his rumbling, deep voice and pointed at the computer screen with his powerful arm and hand, “They have made this tax upon the stupid a dependable way to fund their schools and the sports with which they distract the students and their parents from realizing how stupid lotteries are.”
They heard a noise outside.
“Quickly,” he said, “They are outside the door. I used the laser to weld the door to the frame but it won’t hold them for long!”
“I love you,” said Betty-Jane, wanting him to know before the end.
“Yes, yes,” he replied, “I love BJ, too. I mean, I love you, BJ, too. Don’t panic. There is a duct we can fit through.”
He opened the duct cover and helped her in, admiring her wiggle. Then he closed the cover and stepped away.
The door opened and security entered the room.
“Where is she Doctor,” a guard asked.
“I took care of her,” Mansosmart said. There was a crash as the ventilation duct, obviously made to hold only air, ripped from the ceiling and crashed to the floor, killing the shapely woman inside.
“What’s this on the desk,” asked the second guard. The smiles of Guard One and Mansosmart faded as they saw the phone transmitting their conversation to Bookface, the social media app.
“Damn,” cried Mansosmart, “A hot piece like her would have thousands, even millions of followers. Now they know.” He thought for a moment, then. “You know, if everyone is listening to this, there are probably fewer people at the casino and bingo hall. I bet it is very easy to win right now.”
And as Mansosmart had predicted, the problem took care of itself as greedy, brain damaged listeners killed themselves in car crashes on their way to buy lottery tickets and play Bingo. He would never know however, as the guards, students of that very school, had shot him to speed their own travel to Everyone’s a Winner Bingo Hall.
The end.
Or is it?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Voynich appears to not be solved yet.

This Salon articles claims the Voynich book has not been solved yet.
I thought it had been. I discussed the book previously at:

  • Creativity texts
  • A few other strange books
  • A claim it had been solved From this link: It is reflected, however, in the illustrated Zodiac wheels of the Voynich manuscript; the additional ingredients can be identified by the trademark patterns on the bathing tubs, a practice of ingredient identification used by many a medieval apothecary on his albarelli (storage jars). Each Zodiac wheel in the Voynich manuscript is populated by depictions of naked female figures in the classical tradition of either bathing in hip baths or in physical exertions
  • And What is the Voynich manuscript actually describing?

From the Salon article:
t's an approximately 600-year-old mystery that continues to stump scholars, cryptographers, physicists, and computer scientists: a roughly 240-page medieval codex written in an indecipherable language, brimming with bizarre drawings of esoteric plants, naked women, and astrological symbols. Known as the Voynich manuscript, it defies classification, much less comprehension.
And yet, over the years a steady stream of researchers have stepped up with new claims to have cracked its secrets. Just last summer, an anthropologist at Foothill College in California declared that the text was a "vulgar Latin dialect" written in an obscure Roman shorthand. And earlier in the year, Gerard Cheshire, an academic at the University of Bristol, published a peer-reviewed paper in the journal Romance Studies arguing the script is a mix of languages he called "proto-Romance."
I am grateful that we still don't know. I don't expect to solve it, but I feel better knowing such a book exists. Image from The Voynich Gallery

Friday, February 7, 2020

Thinking about writing and rereading

In my last two Nanowrimo books, I wrote a lot of setting looking for a coherent story. In 2019, there was a character who needed to escape her world, spend time in ours and then return to her own, accidentally bringing someone from our world with her. Why was she in our world? I wasn't sure and hoped a good reason would appear and fit in while I wrote. So I had prepared in my mind that she

  • was or had a magical device to keep safe from others,
  • was hunting for a magic device on our world,
  • was a princess or other Chose One being kept safe.

The thing is, I hadn't picked one and so was vague about motivations and other details, instead mostly writing about travel and setting.

Fred Clark writes at his blog, Slacktivist. One thing he discusses is The World's Worst Books. This is not a constantly changing array of books, but one single series and he has been writing about them - or wrote about them - for decades. From the beginning of the blog post You can read this entire series, for free, via the convenient Left Behind Index. The ebook collection The Anti-Christ Handbook: Volume 1 seems to have disappeared from Amazon.
From midway through the post.
Redundant exposition and logistics we always get to read word-for-word. But when two characters have a conversation about their “hopes, fears and dreams,” all we are told is that this conversation took place. We know nothing more about their hopes, fears and dreams than we did at the start of the book.
Jenkins’ rule for dialogue seems to be that every logistical matter must be discussed aloud by his characters, but anything that might reveal who those characters are ought to be left unspoken and unwritten, only summarized in the most generic terms possible.

Clark is right about the books being terrible and this criticism is also correct. And it is exactly what I do! Runaway best seller, here I come!
More seriously, according Clark, Jenkins ran a class in novel writing that actually fits with Nanowrimo, where you were to complete a full novel and be ready to sell it in 28 days. At such a pace, you might need to skip motivations during the first draft and not have time to insert them later.

My current opinion on creativity is that it has a lot to do with bravery. Once Jenkins gives a character hopes, fears and dreams, he must remember them and refer to them as the character changes. In giving a character a few hopes and fears, or in my case, a reason for spending ten years on another world, the author is limiting other events and actions. Once limited, it is hard to broaden again. It takes bravery and some trust in yourself to add those limits and expect to see them through. I don't know if I have that bravery and Jenkins doesn't seem to.

While I am insulting people who actually publish their work, let me continue with that and write about rereading stories.

Do you reread books? A recent Twitter poll had a lot of respondents saying they did and what felt like an equal number saying there were too many books out there to go back and reread.

I reread a lot and discussed that with the example of the Riddle Master of Hed series. But this and some other events got me thinking about rereading a book, but not.

The first books I read included Roger Zelazny's Dilvish the Damned stories.  These were short stories that were collected into one volume and that is how I read them. But because they came from independent short stories, each chapter had quite similar expository sections where the character was named and described as well as the magic and weapons he carried. Reading each chapter was in a sense rereading some amount of the previous one.

This was pronounced in EC Tubb's series about Earl Dumarest of Terra, This was 100+ books long but also really the same book. I guess to save time and speed the story up, a lot of details were the same in each book. From using his fists like 'blunt axes' to woman cleaning his wounds and letting their fingers hang over the bandage to sneak caresses of his muscles to using 'slowtime' to move faster than others to every story having gamblers and priests - none of these are plot points but world building or background.

In modern times, I find every Jack Reacher book to be the same book with Reacher simply solving problems by punching them.

So is there a difference between reading a book ten times and reading ten Jack Reacher books or ten Earl Dumarest books?

To keep my post instructional, if only for me, let me note that I have described some very popular books today. The Jack Reacher books sell very well and there are currently two movies out with the character. It seems that even if Reacher or Dumarest stories are repetitive, people get comfortable with that repetition. We know these powerful, dangerous men will more than survive, they will thrive despite the dangers and they will beat the hell out of their opponents. Those opponents will suffer their evil!

Lessons noted, maybe not learned, today:

  • repetition sells. It sells well. And repeating yourself is a successful tactic.
  • Another successful tactic? Punching someone, especially with fists like blunt axes.
  • Oh, and take that risk, make that limiting decision, don't just wait for it to resolve itself.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

released archive of images from Parisian museums

Museums in Paris have released 100,000 images for public use. There is a lot of English on the site but you would do well to know the names of artists you want to see and having a knowledge of French would be handy.
I don't even know what to look for there. I found this stamp which is amusing. Again, my French is dreadfully lacking; the subject matter might not be as funny.

These aren't in my coffee

Via Kottke, the Cloud Appreciation Society.

There is something about clouds, a sort of Rorschach Test or creativity prompt in the sky. In text, I use randomly chosen words to force connections and make ideas. Clouds do it for me in image form.

From Jane Stieren Lacy. Image shown here is a lower resolution than the source.

From A storm front over Deer Isle, Maine, US. © Jeffrey Boutwell
Posted on 

I must admit I prefer jagged-edged clouds that could be animal shapes. I don't see animals here.I like Lacy's cloud as one to build a castle on top of and Boutwell's could be a sky-highway. Maybe the boundary between two two magicians in battle.