On Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:44:40 -0700 (PDT), Tom Watson
Best post on here in a long time. I'm fighting health issues and I
find that just sitting on the stool in my shop is a needed escape.
"I'm not exactly burned out, but I'm a little bit scorched and there's some
I was in the shop yesterday attempting to clean, lube, and adjust a
couple of my mechanical friends. The doors were open to a warm fall
afternoon and all was well. Except for one bolt holding a wing on the
saw that did not want to cooperate. At one point I vented my
frustrations in a few dozen well chosen words when I became aware of not
being alone. I turned and saw no one. A faint rustle called me to look
down at a small dog. He looked up at me with, it seems, a look of
disgust at my lack of verbal control.
I had a deep breath, smiled, and engaged the pooch in a few minutes of
conversation. He bade me good day and was again off on his meanderings.
I picked up the offending bolt, put it in the hole, and the #($)#!
thing would still not go in. I laid it on the table, went inside and
took a warm shower.
respite from all of this bullshit.
Here, now, is 25ac in the foothills with a sweet dog, some chickens &
neighbors that are good people and far enough away that I can't see
'em coming or going and they can't see me. I draw my water from a well
and put my shit in a septic tank and carry my trash into town to dump
it when I fell like it or I run out of cans.
I bought a small tractor and my wife'll tell you "He makes the earth
move." We planted a garden and grew our own veggies - though the corn
didn't do well at all this year. We had some cherries and grapes and
humongous squash and still have some peppers and tomatoes. Joe and
Shirley have some great blueberries and we share tomatoes and eggs and
such - and recipes.
I took an old dirt floor pole barn and turned it into an 18.5 x 32'
shop and spend my time working in and on it along with the other
little projects that demand attention. We reused all the siding from
the original barn over stud walls sheathed in OSB and covered with 30#
felt and Tyvek over that - got a free roll from a construction site!).
Bought rough sawn pine to finish when we ran out of the old siding.
Wanted it to look like the old barn 'case the tax assessor came
'round. I've yet to run the 8/3 to it, but did get the 1.25" conduit
in a trench last week so I can have 40AMPS or so of 220 out there.
We have a Lowes, but we have a Shields Hardware hanging on where the
family runs it still and closes Wednesday and Sunday and noon on
Saturday and never stays open past five o'clock. They have most
anything you need on hand at prices competitive or a few pennies
higher and an attitude that Lowes can't match on its best days.
Back in 1975, if you'd asked, I would have said I wanted away from it
all, too. Then I though five acres with a long drive to a house hidden
from view would be fine - now I think fifty acres would be best. Don't
think I ever thought "society" was all it was cracked up to be.
I just cashed my first SS check and can't think of anything I'd rather
be doing than spending my last days here with my dog, my "classical"
music and tools. I have the TV 'till the bargain basement come on deal
($66 for TV, Internet & Unlimited phone) goes to "market rates - then
back to an antenna and a basic "local only" phone.
Maybe I can create a wood working project someone will find worth
auctioning off some day. For now, its mainly utilitarian stuff - a
graden cart, a bird feeder, a chicken coop, dog house, step stool for
the grand daughter, work bench, router table, and such. Going to re-do
the kitchen and bath here one of these days.
Glad I read this post - and the replies thereto. Calm is what I like.
If my back wasn't so touchy, I'd be as close to heaven as I might ever
Well said, Tom. I like my shop-time as much as anybody here.
BUT, these times require good men to come to the aid of our country.
RIGHT NOW, our country needs good men and women more than ever before.
We can't simply withdraw to our shops and ignore the problems until
after the election. By then, it could be too late.
We have to stand up, remain vigilant and informed and involved. We
have to find a way to re-channel our revulsion of politics, and to
replace politics and bi-partisan bickering with insightful leadership
and government. I'm not saying I know how, just that it needs to be
done and it's up to us to do it.
Fer Chissake's, if the Hell's Angels can get 1000's of members to give
teddy bears and toys to poor families, we ought to be able to band
together, call "Bullshit", hold our elected officials to higher
standards (recall them if we have to), and get back on track. We
can't do that from our wood shops.
We should seek solace and serenity in our wood shops, but we can't
walk out on our country.
PS: I'm NOT implying that Tom W. advocates walking out; on the
contrary, he's provoked us to think and remember the good things the
USA stands for. I'm just saying that we can't give up.
For those of you interested, Michael Moore has released a free documentary
on his efforts to get people to vote. It can be viewed online or downloaded
(about 650 megs in size).
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