Thursday, July 21, 2011

Learning the Hard Way

Do your know it probably would not hurt if you took a lesson in bowl turning down at the local Woodcraft or woodworkers guild before you try one yourself.  It also seems that it is even more important that you should probably try a traditional bowl blank the first time or two.

I didn't but two broken chisels and a chewed up do it your self laminated bowl blank later, I now know those hard learned lessons.  That and a big pile of wood chips is all I got out of it. But, I learned a lesson.

I guess that is how we all learn. We learn the hard way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Working On It

My wife, kids, and grand kids like to remind me that I am always saying "Working on it."  Well they are basically right. I am always working on it. In some ways I was a multi-task before multi-tasking ever came popular. Or, is that just really just saying start all lot of projects but never finish any of them. I fear that may be more the truth.

That is one reason I make a effort to post at least once a week for I don't want this to be another start but never finish. My hopes are that when I am no longer posting it will be because I can't make my cold dead fingers  work the keyboard.

Anyway I am trying to finish more of what I start. Example: I have a wood bland made up for a bowl made from red oak and mesquite. It's mounted and ready to be put on the lathe and it sets there waiting on me for the last 4 weeks. Of course it is a 100 degrees in my garage shop. But I really don't mind sweating in fact when I post this I will be getting up and going out to replace the battery in my daughter's car. I guess I really don't have a excuse.

So hopefully I will post next week a photo of a finished red oak mesquite bowl.

One of my projects is what I call my possible bag.  A possible bag was what a mountain man of the earl;y 19th century called a bag that he carried the things he might need in a day or in a emergency situation. I would carry cloth scrap for patches, jerky or pemmican for emergency rations, and spare flint.

Today we might call it a BOB or bug out bag.but it is something I prefer to call my possible bag. But I know that I am not able to physically bug out. So for me it is a possible bag. The things I carry in my possible bag are similar to a mountain man or will be when I am finished with it. The difference is it takes into consideration of today vs early 19th century. for me right now I carry
  1. Ipad 2 w/wifi
  2. current book
  3. magazine
  4. magnifying glass
  5. small flashlight
  6. small sharpening stone
  7. lens cleaning cloth
  8. Nikon D50 w/18-55 mm lens
  9. mid-day insulin shot
  10. back up sunglasses
  11. MP3 player
  12. emergency snack for incidents of when I crash
My goal is to analysis and set-up my bag for what i and how I want. for example I want to add to my bag the following.
  • I want to add a Zaggfolio for Ipad 2. this is a protective case for the ipad that has a blue tooth keyboard that fits into a folio case  I believe that this will fill the need that I have for a keyboard that I occasionally need.
  • 10X25 or 30 monocular for use to view birds and other approaching varmints.
  • reusable water bottle
  • Nikon P7000 rangefinder digital camera to lighten the load and simplify the photo process. . This will be my next major camera purchase. based on reviews and faith in the Nikon brand.
  • spare ipad charger and cable
  • Ipad USB and smart card reader
  • also the usual tings that find there way into the bag.
Currently my bag is a large canvas messenger bag that I bought from Amazon dealer for $20 shipping included. this bag is lined with a water poof liner to protect my electronics so for now I am going to stick with this.
Review of My Ipad 32 g WiFi

I received my Ipad 2 32 gig wifi as a birthday present two weeks ago and already is has become one of my favorite electronic toys. With it I check my email. bank accounts, favorite web sites and watch movies and saved tv show while I am out.

I didn't want a 3g or 4g model because I didn't want to have the fees or tracking abilities on it. But that hasn't been a problem with the easily assessable free wifi sites.

Yesterday my son loaned me his Version 3g modem to use while waiting on him after dropping him downtown Fort Worth. But the Ipad looks for available wifi sites and found a local college wifi that was public and I used it although I was two to three blocks away. Using this site I used my netflix account to watch a movie while waiting for my son to get through with his business downtown. It downloaded the movie without lag time and like nearly all things I have done so far with instant gratification. It has satisfied the reason I had bought a Acer Net book but got tired of the usual windows BS and serious slow response time. In short though I am a newbie to Apple products this experience has made me a believer. 

Two comments to go with the Ipad.

1. I bought for the Ipad 2 a Otterbox and it has lived up to the hype and if you are going to use it outside and has a chance ot be dumped then get the otterbox. As a test I had my 9 year old grandson stand on the face cover of the Otterbox and just as advertise it came through with flying colors.

2.  Don't get so involved with you electronic gear that you forget where you are. I became co engrossed with the  movie I almost missed the guy sneaking up on me on my blind side as I set in my car. He veered off when he saw I was aware of what he was doing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Marks of Life

Finally, let no-one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. (Galatians 6:17 NIVUK)

This was the verse that was used for the basis to our Sunday worship. Paul was taking the stance that those who questions his right to speak for Christ  has no right as he has been justified by the scars left from the life he has led for Christ.

This started me to think about the marks of life we all to some extent bear from the life we live. Does it justify our life. I like to think so.

I like to think that the marks I bear on my body and on my soul justify the respect that fellow co-workers have given me. That the marks I bear on my body and my soul justify the respect that I receive from my family and friends. For I also wish to be justified in my own home in my time. But I fear that I do not deserve it. This fear drives daily to be the best person I can be even so I know how weak I can be.

Joe McCrea in the classic 1962 western "Ride The High Country" told Randolph Scott when he was asked why didn't they take off with the gold after the mine owner had been killed they were protecting said "Because when it comes time I want to be justified in my own house".

In the end I think we all want to be found justified by the life we have lived. That we have been judged and not found wanting. Not, because we want the respect of certain people or of people in general but rather as we take that last breath and our life flash before our minds eye we know we have done our best.

Projects, Books, and Other


Just to hot to work in the shop with consistent above 100 degree days work have been put off until the temps abate int the 90 degrees in the shop. Right now the mornings have been in the lower 80's and the shop reflects this temp by mid day the temps are in the mid 90's and by afternoon in the upper 90's and that is with a fan.  I guess I am trying to justify my inactivity.

Books and reading

Started reading the Alan Furst book "Spies of the Balkans" and reading the essay and story collection of John Geirach "The Fools Paradise' (fishing and old age). Pretty good reading so far on both of them. 

Waiting in the wings are Simon Morden "Theories of Flight",  Nicholas Brisbanes "Every book it's Reader", and Douglas Preston's book "Impact".

Finished the first book in Simon Morden series "The Equation of Life". recommended by the blog "Tesla's Laptop" it proved to be as good as promised.

My Ipad 2

For my 62 birthday I received a 32 meg Ipad 2 with wifi and I have got to tell you it is fantastic. I have never been happier with this bit of technology. It filled the need I have been searching for in a portable computing device.

Does this mean I am getting rid of my 6 pound laptop? No. But now the laptop stays home and the Ipad goes everywhere with me.

That is all I have for now.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Messing around and not much else.

Well this past week has been pretty much of a washout. Combined with the heat, family garage sale and a couple of birthdays included it has been pretty hetic.

The big thing is my wife and I managed to clear out some of the detritus that clutters up our life. I think that is a good thing to periodically step back and take at look at what is working and what is not and clear it out. Of course the hard part is not buying back into the same old bull @#$% and complicating and cluttering our lives all over again.


Did I hear this past week a president you said enough is enough and finally step up and said he had no problem being a one term president but we needed as a nation to have a reality check and stop BS around. I certainly hope so. That he will be the president who speaks for the common man. That he remembered his beginnings as a neighborhood activist with Catholic Charities. Let us hope so.

There was a interesting commentary on CBS where they were commenting on why there was so much discord between the poles of what people said they wanted and the positions and stand of the currently elected republican.

The CBS talking head said that the election process skewed as to who was ultimately elected. Went on to say that the folks nominated to run were chosen in the primaries by people what were die-hards politically that attracted the uber-rich right wing christian Conservatives that did not reflect the people as a whole even the party they represented.  It was definitely thought food. Based on his statement we have the responsibility to take a active part from beginning and not wait until the die has been cast.

On A Personal Note.

That is funny as really all of it is on a personal note. But it is time for Reba to renew your insurance for another year and she and I have enter into the debate of, Do I hold off on joining her insurance package as a spouse or take a chance until June of 2012 when I am eligible for Medicare.

My position is that even with insurance which will cost for me an additional $400 a month for premiums that if you combined that with the co-pays and deducts having insurance only helps out in getting me into a hospital other than a charity ward.  Overall if I have not miscalculated figures out to be about $600 a month for health coverage. That is $600 a month we don't have. Not that we haven't spent that kind of money recently. But as a steady diet we just don't have it.

I suspect that the dilemma Reba and I find our self on is a shared one with many a family right now. The health care initiative doesn't seem to have the answers. Combined the cost of for profit health care and threats of deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid you got to wonder what to do.

Enough of that. Like I said the blog is about "just thinking it out."