Today’s pic is a goblin that won’t get posted to the Goblin catalog – a 9mm filter variation done for a request from a German friend. It’s another fat, gnarly little beastie, and I thought it should at least get its picture posted somewhere to be enjoyed, even if not to the catalog. Working a 9mm filter tenon into that short horn stem turned out to be a real challenge, since the stem tapered too much to allow a very deep tenon insertion. I ended up solving the problem by adding a horn band/extension section to properly grip the 9mm tenon. Filter pipes are odd ducks – I can count on my fingers the number that I have ever made, and they often seem to present new challenges to make them work. Stylistically, though, the goblins are perfect for filters, with their really “fat by design” shanks, at least in most cases.
I think I will continue making goblins. They’ve been a blast, and I see no reason to confine them strictly to the Halloween season when I could be enjoying myself year-round with them. I guess it will mostly be a matter of how well they continue to sell, since the market for fat green pipes with claws can’t be that large… or so I would think?
Next up are some special orders – horns, bulldogs, monster pokers… Except for the Goblins, the site will probably stay fairly quiet except for the occasional LB posting. We have a couple of cool mortas in stock, so I’m happy on that count. I’m currently in talks with a Chinese distributor to represent my pipes on the Asian market, so odds are good that the web catalogs may be going quieter than usual.
In other news, I type this today from Ubuntu, not XP. In past experiences, I’ve found Linux to be more of a curious oddity than an actual useful desktop tool, so I approached the latest Ubuntu distrib with some skepticism, but I’ve been pleasantly startled by… god forbid I say this, because I’ll get mobbed by Linux enthusiasts… just how much it has become a real OS instead of a tinkerer’s toybox. It identified all my hardware on install, with no problems. MP3 player plug-ins pop up on the desktop, as do camera cards. The printer prints. It’s weird. This isn’t the Red Hat Linux that I tried switching over to in 2000.
More and more, I’ve been moving my business work to open source software wherever possible, not from cheapness but for the sake of longevity and practicality – I think I’ve reached my limit of tolerance for the MS path of continual bloat, forced upgrade$$, abandoned older file formats, etc. We’ll see how it goes. I already used open source for the bulk of my daily work (Open Office, AbiWord, Kompozer, Picasa) so the only crucial move-breaker looks to be Photoshop. Ugh, I’m going to have to deal with Gimpshop… Time will tell.