Summer Time

Writing isn’t a summer time sport.  When the weather is warm it’s time for travels with family, being in the garden, working in my shop, walking – almost anything other than sitting at my desk writing.

I’ve got tons of things I could be writing.  The daily notes of our river trip are still on my screen.  There’s a poetry collection I’m six poems into.  There’s my novel, blog posts, and a short story concept I’d like to try (the whole story is told with book titles).

Then there was this whole dental issue that slowed me down.  I had to have gum surgery and for two weeks I could only eat soft foods and was in a bit of discomfort the first week.  Didn’t feel like doing much during that time.  I was thinking about writing about it, but what can you really say about yogurt and cottage cheese?

I guess I should be able to come up with something amusing about yogurt.  I was able to eat scrambled eggs – eggs have more humor potential than yogurt so I guess I could have written about that.  How about brushing teeth?  I had to be careful about that right after surgery.  Let me think – anything amusing happen while brushing my teeth?

humm,  I’ll have to get back to you on that. 

But it is summer and last weekend I went out to work on the irrigation system in our front yard.  That was mostly just changing a few spray heads and adjusting things.  Because of the surgery I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavy for a couple of weeks.  A spray head only weighs a few ounces so I was able to talk Heather into letting me do that.

I did write last Sunday afternoon, but all I got was a poem for my lectionary project.  It was really hard to write with all the warm air blowing around and the smell of wood wafting in from the workshop.

This last winter I wrote a lot on cold Sunday afternoons, but became dissatisfied with my desk.  I don’t like my desk.  Not enough room to spread out books I’m researching.  No bookcase within arm’s reach and I don’t have enough room for all the financial and banking records I keep up on (when I do them and am not complaining about my desk).

So I decided that I should rebuild my desk, which turned into a, “Let’s rebuild everything in the office” project.  It took me months to do the planning and I now have detailed drawings in SketchUp, a real cut list, and notes on how to build the whole thing.

When done, it will be a great desk.

Heather told me it will be my last desk, as this is the third time I’ve rebuilt it since we’ve been married.  Really?  Only three times?  Maybe I counted moving the desk as a rebuild.

Anyway, yesterday I went over to the lumber yard and filled my car with red oak plywood and two different thicknesses of solid red oak lumber.  I haven’t decided if wood is getting heavier or if I am getting weaker, but that stuff was heavy.  I used to be able to lift a 90 pound 4×8 sheet of plywood with ease – yesterday it was hard work.  Strange.

All that physical labor left me too tired to type.  I did think about all the cool things I’ll write when I finish my new desk, but didn’t take notes.  There’s no room on the desk for a notepad in any case.

I don’t really have room in my shop for all the wood I bought so it had to be rough cut and moved into the atrium.  The new desks (Heather gets a new one too), and new bookcases required four sheets of oak plywood and something like 20 million board feet of solid lumber.  Okay, maybe a little closer to 30 board feet – let just say the ten foot long boards are heavy.

I’d say one board is about 40 pounds – at least that’s what it felt like when I dropped one on my foot. Any idea how long it takes for a bruise to show up on your foot?

Speak of feet, did I mention that we took the grandkids kayaking on Lake Tahoe? It was a fun day and I managed to get a sunburn – on my feet. Just my feet.  Seriously, just my feet. That was going to be a funny blog post about how my feet hurt.

So today, being a sunny day I setup the table saw on the driveway and started doing all the basic rough cuts for the desk.  This is the basic part of woodworking, cutting big pieces of wood into little pieces (later you glue them back together to make big pieces).  Once cut smaller, the wood is easier to move around, and less dangerous to my feet.

I was thinking of skipping writing today as now both my feet and back hurt after a day on the driveway in the summer sun cutting heavy bits into lighter bits.

But I thought that I should post a little something just to say that it’s summer time and I don’t expect to write much until fall.

Till next time,

Andrew

Posted in General, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Antisocial

Last month I got a notice from WordPress saying that Facebook was going to stop allowing automatic posting of WP posts to FB profiles.  I’ve been using that feature for seven years now and at first was a little disappoint that it was going away.  WP say that I could switch to an FB page (yes, there’s a difference) and still do the auto post thing.

So I did a little thinking.

When I first setup my WP blog I also connected it to my Facebook account (now called a profile) and setup a Twitter account.  I also setup a Google Plus account.  The thinking then was that by reflecting my content to many different social media channels that I’d gain a bigger following on WordPress.

Turns out it doesn’t work that way.  People tend not to cross into different social silos.  If they follow you on Facebook, they follow you on Facebook and rarely click-through to the blog website.  Same with Twitter and Google Plus has always been a place were content goes to die.

I’ve gained the most following on WP by liking, following and commenting directly on other people’s WP blogs.

It was never my intent to create a wildly popular blog, but it’s nice to have a few followers and people who seem to enjoy what I post here.  As to the other channels – well I never understood G+ so I let that die, FB is where I communicate with family, and a few friends so I’ll manually cross-post the few things I know FB friends like and generally not worry about it.

I have never really liked Twitter and found that it’s mostly just noise of a thousand birds.  It says little to me and most times it just gives a platform to people I don’t want to hear from (note that freedom of speech works both ways – I have the right to not listen to you).  I’ve become more aware that the platform is being used by people and messages I don’t support.  In fact there is a lot of content there that violates the Twitter user guidelines and Twitter refuses to remove that content.  Remember that Twitter makes more money when more people use it, so it’s in Twitter’s interest to start and support fights, inappropriate and harmful content and other bad behavior just to keep people on the channel seeing the ads.

I’ve deleted my Twitter account.  I don’t support the company or the method of dialog it encourages.

The result is that I’ve lost about 300 WordPress followers (FB and Twitter connections added to my follower count).  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this post loses me more followers.

But this blog is selfish – it’s about how I see the world and as an outlet for my art.  If you follow me here, like my posts and take the time to comment, I deeply appreciate the time you give me and my writings.

Thank you,

Andrew

Posted in General | 82 Comments

Wednesday Woodworking – Finished Marquetry Clock

Here it is – another project finished:

Marquetry clock – marquetry on white oak

This is made from white oak and stands about 10 inches tall.  The marquetry is cut into a piece of white oak veneer.  I used a combination of knife cutting and scroll saw work to make the flowers.  I got the pattern from my marquetry club and I made a couple of changes – I added the “ground” and moved the clock from the center to be a bit off-center.

I’ll say that this is most difficult piece I’ve attempted so far and it turned out better than I’d hoped.

More marquetry as the month goes on.

If you need me – I’ll be in the shop.

Andrew

Posted in Marquetry | Tagged , | 41 Comments

Friday Wisdom – My Latest Favorite Saying

Don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

More wisdom next week,

Andrew

Posted in wisdom | Tagged , | 14 Comments