Friday Wisdom – Success

In order to succeed you must learn to fail fast.

More wisdom next week,


Posted in wisdom | 4 Comments


I wrote a poem today that included this word, “hysteresis.”  Years ago I learned all about it.  At one time in my life I could have given you a two-hour lecture on the subject complete with graphs, equations, and lab exercises. 

The word is used to describe one of the properties of an electrical transformer.  We’ve all heard of transformers – all of the electronic devices you plug into an AC outlet have one.  It’s basic use is to convert one voltage to another.  The transformer in your computer takes house current at 120 or 240 volts and reduces it to the 5 and 12 volt systems used by the computer.

Yes, it is, “transformed” the voltage using the magic of electrons and magnetism.  I won’t do the whole lecture, but the simple idea is that moving electrons creates a moving magnetic field and a moving magnetic field creates moving electrons.  The wires going into the transformer are wrapped around an iron core which creates a magnetic field. The wires going out of the transformer are wrapped around the same core where the magnetic field causes electrons to flow in the wire.

By controlling the wrappings and core, engineers control the amount of voltage change.

Hysteresis is the phenomenon in which the change in voltage lags behind the change in the magnetic field.  In order to tell you what state the transformer is in now, I have to know what the last state was – I have to know the past.  When the electrons start flowing in, it’s some time period before the magnetic field builds and then another time period before electrons are flowing through to the output.

Hysteresis is phenomenon where the state of a thing lags behind the changes in the effect that caused it.

In more simple human terms, a change in a person today was likely caused by something that happened yesterday.  If we’re to understand the current state of a person, we have to understand the person’s past.

Ask yourself why you are the way your are and have to recall your past.

If something happens to you today, it will affect your tomorrow.

Of course the time period can vary.  A kind word spoken now will make you feel better as soon as your brain processes the sounds and words.  Its effect might last for hours, days, or years.

Time – electrons move fast, but people move more slowly.  While a transformer is a physical device, it is also a metaphor.  In our lives there have been many transformers.

There have been people who’ve helped us, inspired us, given us energy, hurt us …

There have been events in our lives that have been transformers – marriage, school, accidents, sun rises, sun sets …

What we read, watch, and listen to are also transformers.

What have been the people, places and things that have been sources of hysteresis for you?  What effect in your past is changing your present?

What effect do you seek today for a change in your tomorrow?



Posted in General | 20 Comments

Friday Wisdom – Nothing

Nothing lasts forever.

I am nothing.

I will last forever.

More wisdom next week,


Posted in woodworking | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Wednesday Writing Update

With the weather turning cold and wet, my art has turned towards the keyboard and away from the workshop so I’ve decided to change my Wednesday posts for a while and plan a few short writing updates instead of woodworking posts.

When the weather warms enough to get back into the workshop, I’ll pick up with shop updates.

Over a year ago I started on a poetry collection I’m calling The Lectionary Project 

This project is writing a series of poems in response to the Gospel of Matthew.  Currently I am up to poem nine out of forty-eight planned poems. At my current speed of writing on this project I expect to be done in 2024.  Stay tuned for the publication announcement.

It has been a difficult project so far.  I’ve done a lot of study and a lot of waiting for the right words to come my way.  I’ve also been very critical of my own work and haven’t been fully satisfied with all of it.  There isn’t a simple way to work through the project and I’m just moving along as I can.  I have shown an early draft to a trusted friend and received good feedback.  Last week I gave another copy to a different friend and am waiting for his reaction.

My novel is going nowhere due to lack of time to work on it.

Last year I didn’t attend any writing workshops or conferences as our river trip in Europe took all my vacation time.  This year Heather and I have fewer vacation plans and I plan to apply for a few poetry workshops.  I am hoping to find a week-long poetry workshop here in California I can attend.  Writing is lonely work and from time to time you just need to find a way to improve your craft.

I did attend one two years ago and it was a positive experience. There are three I am currently looking at.  When I find out which one I’m attending, I’ll let you know.

That’s it for this week.

If you need me – I’m at my desk,


Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | 25 Comments