UKOUG 2009 – Distinguished Black

I am presenting since 2007. My first “appearance” was in Birmingham and as Alex Gorbachev said in one of his blog posts, this conference is special for me. Probably also due to the X-mas atmosphere outside; everything has a comfy and warm look and feel (despite the weather). From time to time, I ***SPAM*** people with a small token of “Thank You”. “Small” is actually not that true, in this case you could kill someone or something with it. Its a “thanks” for time spend to clear some stuff up for me and or supported/pushed me in taking the extra mile (despite my lack of confidence, thinking I had it not in me). Anyway…

Since 2006, my token of saying “Thank You” to some people; I give away totally useless, but also a typical Dutch traditional present. No, not stuff to smoke, also not Dutch liquorice (candy), but wooden clogs. Some of those “spammed” people even dare to show this – LOL – like Alex during his Hotsos presentation in 2008 (see: “The Latest OAK Table Member“). Holland isn’t very preserving regarding its traditions, so this is also my way of keeping it alive.

On a side note, regarding “alive”, Alex lost his clogs due to the Australian customs service, apparently they thought clogs are actually “alive” and therefore he wasn’t able to move it back from Australia to Canada… Ehhh? I wonder what is more “alive” in Australia that fits this definition…

I wanted to give Doug some clogs as well, but due to the time pressure I wasn’t able to bring some originals during the UKOUG Conference in 2008. In all I was lucky enough that year, due to the fact that I met Mario who actually wanted to meet that Doug fellow…

A good prank needs some decent preparation after all !

Doug has something with stuff that has to be “distinguished black”  and a certain degree of woman approval (see “OOW 2009 – Swag Round-up“), so an idea was born…

The making of “Distinguished Black” Clogs

There are a lot of different (painted) variations but I started out with a blank one.
Evolution: from wood towards a clog

The stuff I needed for this exercise, was a lot of coffee, time and the following…

Stuff needed (besides a lot of coffee)
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I got some raw blank clogs (you probably have to be Cary Millsap to actually make them from scratch) and painted them with “hoogglans” (DU) black.
Coffee, Sandpaper & Courage
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I did this during a week multiple times (I think 6 times total) and in between I sometimes dared to use sandpaper to make it more shiny…(if not only to get rid of the mistakes I made during my newbie attempt)

Coffee, Sandpaper & Courage
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Coffee, Sandpaper & Courage
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Coffee, Sandpaper & Courage
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Coffee, Sandpaper & Courage
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Some fiddling around with Microsoft Powerpoint and some test prints give me the “ACE” (Director) label/designation that I needed to paint, in gold, on those already very very shiny black clogs…

Creating the ACE part
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Creating the ACE part
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Creating the ACE part
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At this stage I had the following end result…

Clogs with almost finished ACE label
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Clogs with almost finished ACE label
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After some extra protective paint layers (approx. 4) and the finishing “ACE Director” (approved) sticker, I ended up with the following result…

End result - All shiny and in Distinguished Black
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Not bad for a first attempt. Now just hoping that Doug won’t travel with those clogs abroad. Someone from customs might think they are alive…

8-)