Friday, May 24, 2013

Deck tables from bowling lanes

A while back I got very excited when I walked into the local Habitat ReStore and found several pieces of old bowling lanes laying along the wall.

If you’ve never been to Habitat ReStore, it’s essentially a fundraising outlet for Habitat for Humanity, I’m assuming you know what that is. Contractors and others tearing down old homes, or simply restoring single rooms, will donate to ReStore what they are tearing out. They have a tremendous assortment of things there, old doors, light fixtures, desks, sinks, you name it.

I stop in occasionally just to see what’s new, and that’s how I stumbled upon the old lanes.

The back story here is that my family used to own a bowling alley. I pretty much grew up in one, starting from about junior high on. As a result, I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a bar, table or some other piece made from old lanes. Hence, my excitement when I saw these.

I picked out two pieces that were about the same size, roughly half the width of a lane and four feet long. I thought about buying more, and now regret that I didn’t, but these things are heavy and that’s all I really needed at the time.

It was a relatively easy process to turn them into tables for my deck. The 2 x 4 wood I used is leftover from previous projects.

The legs are made from a couple of landscaping timbers that I had decided I didn’t like in the yard anymore, well sanded down. I put wheels on one end so that it would be easy to move the pieces around; remember, I said these were heavy.

I intentionally didn’t make the lower shelf solid because I do leave these out in the open and I didn’t want rain and snow to constantly be resting there, damaging the wood. Also, I didn’t stain the wood but coated it with a marine finish, similar to what you might use on a boat to protect its surface.

Because they are the same height and length, I can use them as two separate tables, roll them together in a long line or shove them together in a square, depending on how I want to use them.

One Eyed Annie

So who is this One Eyed Annie TM person and why did I pick that name for this site?

Well, it comes from a hodgepodge of different pieces, all rolled up in a big ball and snaked out into One Eyed Annie.

The first piece is my total love and devotion to Harry Chapin and his music, something that especially developed during my college years. One of my very favorite Harry songs is Mail Order Annie. It first captured my imagination as a high school senior when the school choir director sang it for his wife during a school talent show.

It's the story of a man from the Dakota plains meeting his mail order bride when she first gets off the train. It's the story of how we imagine who our bride or groom will be, but reality often has something quite different in store for us. Funny how that happens. But, regardless of the hardships we face as couples, we can face them and overcome them together.

I like it so much we played it at our wedding. It was sung by one of my best friends from high school and his wife.

The next piece in my little One Eyed Annie tale is that my late wife's middle name was Ann. My darling daughter fits in there as well because she is named after her mother in that her middle name is also Ann. With that, I had two very real Annies in my life.

So you see, Annies have played a role somehow, someway in my life for oh so many years. As a result, beginning as far back as when my little girl was still a very little girl curled in my arms, I've had this fantasy of naming a business "Annie."

But simply "Annie's" wasn't nearly enough. As I daydreamed and fantasized about it, I knew it needed something more.

I've often dreamt of starting a restaurant, my family had operated one many years ago. Understand though, that dreaming wasn't necessarily in a real, I'm just dying to do it, kind of way. More in the, gee wouldn't it be fun if, kind of way.

I've let my imagination run, playing with the style I would convey in my restaurant. It would be something fun, something kind of punkish, something where waiters and waitresses have tattoos and purple hair, a place where a one-eyed waitress with a patch over her eye might work... One Eyed Annie.

With that, One Eyed Annie's was born.

But hold on just a minute there partner, lest you think that's the end of this story. Even as I was arriving at that name, it hadn't occurred to me how close to reality that name really is. It wasn't until a short time later that the significance of it finally slapped me upside the head.

You see, darling daughter was born with a "lazy" eye. We didn't discover it until years later and as a result she has little to no sight in that eye.... my own little One Eyed Annie. TM

30 page views

Wow... 30 page views already and I haven't even posted anything. What happens if I ever do?

Ok, stay tuned, I'll start working on my first real post now.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Yet another random idea

Just another one of my random ideas... this one might actually happen but in the meantime I'm holding this name.