Everyone Should Cultivate Manual Training

Does this mean we should neglect our intellect? Absolutely not.

In fact, the opposite. We should strive to cultivate both mind and body to become the most perfect specimen we can become, daily.

I came across this passage while reading a bit this morning from Amateur Joinery in the Home (1916) by George and Berthold Audsley and thought it would be worthwhile to share.

There is a lot of good advice here but the above sentences stuck with me while taking the morning walk. “One never knows when life or limb may depend on the expert use of the hand and ordinary tools.” This could be applied to so many facets of an interesting life and is the basis of human survival that has put us where we are for a million years.

I have been using the down time afforded us by the events of 2020 to catch up on an ever-growing list of books and articles I have been amassing for decades. When I was working in archaeology full-time, the hundreds of pages of reading most weeks necessary just to keep current pushed many other interests into side avenues. I hope you all are using your time in a way that works well for you. In the mean time, this book is available for anyone with an interest in tools and working with their hands. It may even inspire new projects.

Click here to download a pdf file of the book. Amateur Joinery in the Home.

Friends

C.S. Lewis at work.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

Wise words from a wise man. Stay safe…

Woody Guthrie’s New Year Rulin’s

New Year’s resolutions from Woody Guthrie’s notebook 1943.  It was an interesting time; the world was at war, America was coming out of an economic depression coupled with huge crop failures and sleazy bank practices, and the Guthries had made their way West to California with record numbers of displaced migrants looking for a better life.

1. Work more and better

2. Work by a schedule

3. Wash teeth if any

4. Shave

5. Take bath

6. Eat good – fruit – vegetables – milk

7. Drink very scant if any

8. Write a song a day

9.  Wear clean clothes – look good

10. Shine shoes

11. Change socks

12. Change bed clothes often

13. Read lots good books

14. Listen to radio a lot

Some are personal but most of these transfer well to anybody.  We all need improvement…

15. Learn people better

16. Keep ranch clean

17. Don’t get lonesome

18. Stay glad

19. Keep hoping machine running

20. Dream good

21. Bank all extra money

22. Save dough

23. Have company but don’t waste time

24. Send Mary and kids money

25. Play and sing good

26. Dance better

27. Help win war – Beat Fascism

28. Love Mama

29. Love Papa

30. Love Pete

31. Love everybody

32. Make up your mind

33. Wake up and fight

Science and Self-Correction

“One of the reasons for its success is is that science has a built-in, error correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition.”

 

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, p. 27

Wisdom of Dan Beard

On Loneliness

“When you feel you are sleeping on the breast of your mother, the earth, while your father, the sky, with his millions of eyes is watching over you, and that you are surrounded by your brother, the plants, the wilderness is no longer lonesome even to the solitary traveler.”

~Dan Beard

Your Rights vs. Doing the Right Thing

Chesterton, G.K.

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same
as to be right in doing it.

G.K. Chesterton

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/Three_acres_and_a_cow.JPG

Chesterton self-portrait based on the Distributist slogan “Three acres and a cow.”

I’ve had an interest in Chesterton for quite a few years now and have really enjoyed reading his philosophy.  I’m no expert, but know that I find myself in congruence with many of his thoughts.  His famous and odd novel, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare was my first real introduction beyond reading some of his more famous quotes and I suggest it for anyone as an interesting story.  It is a story of anarchists, detective work, poets, and Edwardian politics; what more do you need?  I certainly don’t agree with many of his tenets but he is a gem of a thinker for sure.

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMmY4Y2E5MTctYjFiYy00ZTE1LTkwYzUtMWU1NDRmOGRmYzc1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDUzOTQ5MjY@._V1_UY317_CR21,0,214,317_AL_.jpg

He was quite a “looker” too.

For further reading, here is an interesting article, giving a glimpse into the man and his thoughts: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/07/the-back-of-the-world

Our personal education should never end…

Thoughts on Labor – 1854

“The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get “a good job,” but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.”

Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle 1854

thoreau1

It is far easier to excel when you find something you can love to do.  The one who does what he loves will do a far better job than the one who is just putting in the time for money.

Wilderness Time – Wise Words from John Muir

Photo from The Daily Beast.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease.”John Muir (1838-1914)

The serenity of the forest. Photo from The Outdoor Project. Click the image for more information.

These thoughts are over 100 years old when the human population of the world was about 1/4 of what it is today…  We need to take heed of these thoughts more than ever.

John Muir

Dream On and March to the Beat of Your Own Drummer

Don_Quixote_16“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

donquixotereading

Take some advice from an unlikely hero, Don Quixote. 

Do your own thing… Have an adventure, go live in a cabin,

just follow your dreams…