Tuesday, September 11, 2012


11 Years ago a tragedy struck our nation. I remember the day being that I was at work. Heard the news brought up the TV channel to watch as it continued to unfold. It still seems like absurd sick hoax. Unbelievable in its brutality that anyone could perpetrate on another. I usually avoid the news around this time because its a sad reminder that there are people capable of this. Same thing for the Oklahoma City bombing. I can't bear to view humanity capable of this. I like to think of our capability for good. I try to envision a day where people do their best to get along no matter what. Its in our nature to do both its up to us to decide which path we take for the future. Hope that everyday we wake up and remember be good to each other. Lets make that our legacy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Doing a little bit

Ok, so the temperatures lately haven't lent me much enthusiasm in working lately. For a while during July I would attempt to work in the garage at 10 pm range and the temperature was still in the high 90s F. That certainly put a damper on my daughters table I am working on right now. I almost have the framework for the table base finish planed. All the joinery is done for that part. I wish to finish soon so I can get back to turning. I have a special turning coming up I wish to get started on. I bought the exotic wood blanks already just need to start.

I think I should also start on Christmas ornaments soon as well so i can finish them before December, last year the birdhouses were difficult to finish on time. I need to start some dovetail work in my flat work so I can get some practice. I have a couple of big projects I wish to do so I can get those finished. There are a lot of need to projects maybe I can get started soon so no one will have to hear about them anymore.

I posted a video on Facebook about education. It was a video about Henry Rollins. The more I hear him speak the more I like him. What he has to say is profound. His ideas on Education were dead on accurate. The same sex marriage video he has on you tube was good as well.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

probably will just get misquote

So it looks as if "You Didn't Build that" is going to go down as one of the often misquoted statements. Just like "I invented the internet".

Even though it wasn't his intent I go the extra step to say yes you didn't build it. You were a major factor in its success but nonetheless used the infrastructure for logistics. You leveraged the education system for your own skills and were inspired by a teacher. That same education helped the people you hire acquire the skills that you utilize to make your business grow. The FAA helps maintain the air traffic so goods make it their destination on time and intact. The government projects which lead to the legislation that formed and created the internet gave businesses a closer and more direct contact with their customers. Your business lives in relative safety from fire. The business is safe from theft and degradation. Even your ability to conduct business in a fair and equal manor is something we all pay for. We pay for these to establish a firm foundation so that all can attain success. We do this so that future generations can acquire the same thing. We do this for the common good.

Despite all that there are some who, through their means from having a successful business, lobby to remove any burden of repayment of these services. I cant say this is all who do this. there are some who realize that they have success because of the group as a whole. Even if its not the whole reason for their success its at least a part. I want to tell those who appreciate that fact, that we appreciate you. For the rest take it back a notch and remember we all contribute to each others success. I feel my success even just someone who isn't an entrepreneur is partly due to you. I freely give you credit at least in part. We all succeed in part with help from everyone else.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sometimes I just have to vent...warning politics talk ignore if you wish

I will preface this rant by stating I am considered by a few to be a liberal. Now that its out there ok so what. There was a time when being a liberal wasn't such a bad thing in moderation. Neither for that matter being a conservative. In someways I believe I am a conservative. Not that I am the picture of either poster in any fashion.

Now what my gripe comes into is the name calling the denigration of ideals into an image to invoke an emotional response. This break down of intelligent discourse is a dumbing down of society. And before the Roger Ailes types start in by asking if I think Americans are dumb I am not saying that at all. To quote Men in Black;
      "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."
Blame who you wish politicians, pundents or the media but the United States is becoming a nation of name calling school children. Can't debate the issue call the opposing council a jerk. It wreaks of school children level of discourse. If you don't agree well you are a dooty head.

Seemingly Republicans are a non starter one important issue to me and that is education. Education is so important to becoming a productive member of society. But education is complicated way more complicated than we give it credit. ultimately the complexity comes down to people aren't widgets. What sets off understanding and comprehension in one person isn't what sets it off for the others in the class. Lot of factors that go into it based on the individual learning the subject. Stating that somehow its teachers fault because they are not accountable. Money is a good motivator but its not the only one. Neither is having a job that fires teachers on poor performance. Sometimes its as simple as a student later stating hey you were the best teacher I ever had. Sometimes the joy of something is its own reward. But its for nothing if the student isn't motivated to learn. The low pay long hours are for nothing if the parents don't stay involved. Republicans tend to take direct business model approaches to fixing these issues. Often times they don't work for the same reason that the markets around the world crashed, they were being supported on foundations that depended on conditions to be ideal.  In a perfect system everything works but an imperfect system falls apart. Takes creative solutions to work around the imperfections.

Current Republican nomination for instance wants to do away with public education and go to a voucher system. This relies on there being the same affordable access to education for everyone which is an assumption at best but more a denial of the real conditions that many Americans face. Its also ignorant of the system that is in America. If you go to an Ivy League school your chances of getting better opportunities are much better than a community college. Consider our countries system of importance similar to a monopoly. A private school system doesn't just compete for the students it competes for the prestige and conception of others. Making some schools despite the actual quality of education more likely to win over others. Meaning that the more money they can charge and the more likely the students who go there come from wealth. This is stacking the deck in the favor of those with means. It also guarantees that the less fortunate are under-educated. The system we have now isn't perfect. Its still stacked in the favor of those with means but its less so and for now that's what we have to fix. This voucher system continues the tradition but lessens the burden of taxes of rich campaign donors. Its a matter of pride that we continue to believe in education. The US used to be a leader in the world and is falling behind. An under-educated populace guarantees that we fall behind.

It comes down to what do we do about it. I'm not one to gripe without offering my suggestions. First is stop de-funding education. I am not at all saying that we should throw money at a problem but at least stop giving less for the system to work with and hope it works out either. Stop blaming teachers, you know teachers are one professional that doesn't get the same credit they used to. Over a lifetime how many students does a teacher pass through? How many did they have an impact on? Its thousands over a teachers lifetime. Thirdly get parents involved which is a herculean task these days when many parents are overworked underpaid then have to come home and be a full time parent. I'm a parent I know, there is part of me after a long day wants to just go home and give up for the day. It doesn't end there for many of us. Its come home take care of the kids make sure they get the attention they need and still take care of all the things that are needed for upkeep of the home. when i say home I mean where you live apartment house etc. Its a lot of work to do all that needs to be done around the home. Lastly is to engage the kids. Kids all learn at different paces which I learned from having two kids. Its probably a struggle to balance making sure all the kids learn the same curriculum over a year and keep all of them basically on the same time frame. Kids want to learn and they will but its an impossible balancing act to keep them going not let any fall behind.

Its a frustrating thing to keep up a positive outlook on our countries future. Most people don't have the facts or really some don't really care about the facts. All that we have is emotionally driven rhetoric without anything to base them on. Its certainly frustrated me that I get pigeon holed because I don't agree obviously on education or the way we offer debate. I state that its important that we all are educated but more importantly that we all can think and reason. Emotions and rhetoric wind up just spinning their wheels in the mud. You may not have a need to understand the whole complexity of biological evolution but should have the ability to reason that since there is more evidence that the world is millions of years old and not 6000 that it can be thought that maybe its not. That believe it or not goes a long ways to learn to remove politicians from office who don't back up what they say with facts.

thats all for this rant I have many more gripes but this has gotten way to long as it is.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

seems like its been a while

I'm terrible I know it. I need to update this more often but I don't. I'm doing this post just as a catch up post. I got into turning and it certainly took off. I became addicted to it right away. I have a 1950 Shopsmith Model 10ER which is a wonderful machine. I bought a jaw chuck and things have been easier since. I found a good deal on Teknatools website for a refurbished Teknatool G3. Picked up another set of jaws for smaller work but the chuck came with a 50mm set from the start. I mainly only use the lathe function. I also purchased a pen mandrel which Penn State Industries sells. I can mostly do everything on it.

1950 Shopsmith 10ER with pen Mandrel 

Shopsmith with Teknatool G3 scroll chuck.

First Bowl with my shopsmith since adding chuck. 

I have done some flatwork since getting the lathe. I made a bookstand in the William and Mary style for my moms birthday. The bookstand is mostly hand tool work. I cut the pieces to size on my tablesaw and lathe to turn the feet. Everything else is hand tool work. Fun project and I want to give credit to Chuck Bender for the design, work up on his blog, and magazine article.  His work on this inspired me to make one. Piece is made in walnut and has an oil and wax finish.

William and Mary Bookstand in walnut with BLO and wax finish

Also other work I have done lately;

Banana Holder for my Dad's Birthday

Chistmas Orniments I turned.