” The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully. “ ~ Thomas Carlyle
"I never let my schooling interfere with my education" Mark Twain Wise words. Sometimes I think we're entering a Dark Age just at the moment when we have vastly more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before. We can look far out into space and at the tiniest of the tiny to understand our universe … Continue reading Education
Because they didn't know better, they called it "civilization," when it was part of their slavery. Tacitus, Agricola, Book 1, Paragraph 21.
Here are some good words about responsibility I would like to share from the Northwest Woodworking Studio.
I had this crazy idea about the world and how I’d like to change it today.
Hear me out.
What if folks acted as if they were responsible for their actions? That whatever they did out in the world had a pond and ripple effect? That they are not alone on their computer, on a phone, in their world, entitled to more of everything at the expense of everyone else?
It would be like working at the bench if you will allow me. Where when you screw something up you are the one who did this. You are the one who has to fix it. You can’t turn to your neighbor, the car next to you or the bike rider, big business or the government, or your sad upbringing and history and blame them for it. You have to take responsibility for who you are and where you are in…
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If it takes five times, build it five times. I feel this sentiment almost everyday. I think that means we really care about what we do.
The book that became “Chairmaker’s Notebook” began as a chat with chairmakers Peter Galbert and Curtis Buchanan. We made a plan to produce a video of Curtis building a chair that would be accompanied by a pamphlet from Peter illustrating the construction details.
But that’s not why I remember that meeting with Peter and Curtis. Instead, I am continuously struck by something Curtis said to me in that cabin in Berea, Ky. Curtis began talking about teaching woodworking.
“We’re all not as good as people think we are,” he said. “We’re all frauds.”
This was Curtis Expletive Deleted Buchanan. A guy who has more skill than 10 magazine-grade woodworkers. And he was sitting before me explaining that – like all human beings – he has insecurities…
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Learning a thing or two from the past...Part 1, 21st century Westerners are not the first to minimalize. "The things you own end up owning you." Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club There's a lot of recent talk about Minimalism as a social movement and this fits well with my personal philosophy and my interests in preindustrial … Continue reading Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival
There are so many good reasons to have a home garden, even in the city. Starting fresh in a new place means we're in for some work this spring. Although I suspect that many things have grown in this yard in the last century, other than the small plot I turned over last year, we … Continue reading It’s Food for Thought
Don't leave the kids out of the things you find important... Nota bene! The following ramble was written at three in the morning and may contain sentiment, ramblings, and a bit of opinion. I don't want this to sound preachy. What was intended as a few childhood pictures from primitive technology events ran away with … Continue reading Raised With Wilderness Skills
” You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” via Emerson says: — The Müscleheaded Blog
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch … Continue reading A Powerful and Simple Philosophy for a Good Life
“It is the best of humanity, I think, that goes out to walk. In happy hours all affairs may be wisely postponed for this. Dr. Johnson said, ‘Few men know how to take a walk,’ and it is pretty certain that Dr. Johnson was not one of those few. It is a fine art; there … Continue reading Take a Walk
Happy New Year one and all! Here's a bit of Stoic thought to help keep a perspective on reality... "Let death and exile, and all other things which appear terrible, be daily before your eyes, but death chiefly; and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything." - Epictetus Save Save
I know this is a little outside the normal material for this blog but there is very little that is normal about me anyway. I hope you can enjoy the message here. https://youtu.be/ja-n5qUNRi8
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Wise words from William Morris. This is the mantra that drives the entire vardo project. I try to keep this in mind for every thing I add and every part I build. Otherwise, isn't it just junk?
Don't Forget to Enjoy the Ride This is a re-post from last year. However, I think the message is a strong one and worth think about again. Life is short. If you're fortunate enough to live with the means and privilege and food security, consider yourself lucky. When I feel low or unhappy, I always … Continue reading Enjoy the Ride; Happy Birthday Edward Abbey
"We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." — Oscar Wilde I'm not one for New Year resolutions. However, it is a time of reflection and I'm glad for the progress I have made in decluttering my life and prioritizing what truly matters over the past few years. Maybe 2016 is … Continue reading Let Go of the Things that Do Not Matter
Here’s a nearly perfect little essay from Greg Merritt about amateur woodworking that can be applied far beyond our chosen hobby. It’s a great way to start off the New Year on a positive note.
I particularly like this line: “To build furniture you need three basic skills. You must know how to sharpen, layout accurately and then accurately cut the wood to layout. That is it. Period.”
The following is written for those of you, like myself, who are amature/hobbiest woodworkers. We just want to build things with wood and enjoy the process as well as the result.
In days gone by, when the apprentiship system was in full swing, a person knew where they stood in the hierarchy. You entered as an apprentice and worked your way up through the ranks. Crossing milestones allong the way that advanced you to the next level. Eventually working your way up until you were considered a master craftsman, or whatever similar rank, depending upon your chosen proffession. My assumption is, that as these individulas moved up in the system their attitude changed as well. Gaining both confidence and a sense of reponsibility to the profession.
That was then, this is now.
Something I have observed over the years is that amature woodworkers are almost always viewed as perpetual beginners…
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"I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like." from Wandering, Hermann Hesse
This goes against the grain of what so may of us are taught, but it says so much.