Tuesday, November 24, 2009

done for awhile

I finished the latest phase of the remodel project. I've been leveling the floors in the living room. now I need a few days to recuperate and let the knots dissolve from my muscles. Working with wood is very satisfying. Building things is a manly art. There's no greater sense of accomplishment than cutting all the parts to a project and putting them together to form a seamless whole. I would like to experience that before I die. You see, I'm one of those carpenters that will cut a board twice and it will still be too short. I measure and measure again and when I finish sawing and measure it again, it's wrong. Well, I'll keep trying. They say that practice makes perfect.

quote of the day

Few of Sarah Palin's religious compatriots were shocked by her messy family life, because they've grown used to the paradoxes; some of the most socially conservative evangelical churches also have extremely high rates of teenage pregnancies, out-of-wedlock births, and divorce.---It's your ability to see beyond such things, your willing blindness to even the most hopeless-seeming circumstances, that makes you a certain kind of modern Christian, and a 21st century American.

--Hanna Rosin

Thursday, November 12, 2009

working on the house

As the years go by I don't mind growing older. I'm more at peace with myself and the world than I was years ago, and that's a good thing. But, I've been working on a remodeling project this week and I'm reminded of a few things that I miss from my younger days. I wouldn't mind having the eyes from my twenties. Using the measuring tape and level requires getting real close and using two sets of eyeglasses. Other than that I'm OK. Well, actually, I could use the stamina I had when I was younger. Back then, I started a project early in the day and sometimes worked on it until after dark. Now, I need several cups of coffee to get me started in the morning and by two o'clock in the afternoon I'm ready for a nap. Aside from those things I'm doing all right. No, there's one more thing. Having a youthful short term memory would be great. I'm spending a lot of time looking for tools that were in my hand just a moment earlier. There are probably other things I could mention but they don't come to mind right now. I'll be back later if I think of them.

Monday, November 09, 2009

what i'm reading now

In grade school we all learn that George Washington cut down a cherry tree. Then when as adults we begin to read history on our own we find that the cherry tree incident was just a legend. Richard Shenkman's book, Legend, Lies, & Cherished Myths of American History is full of information that everyone knows but just isn't true. Some of the actual facts from the back cover:

  • The story that Columbus discovered that the world was round was invented by Washington Irving.
  • The Pilgrims never lived in log cabins.
  • In Concord, Massachusetts, a third of all babies born in the twenty years before the Revolution were conceived out of wedlock.
  • Independence wasn't declared on July 4 (and the Liberty Bell was so little regarded that Philadelphia tried to sell it for scrap metal but nobody wanted it.)
  • There's no evidence that anyone died in a frontier shootout at high noon.
  • After World War II the U.S. Government concluded that Japan would have surrendered within months, even if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the day is saved

I was sitting on the front porch waiting for him when his truck careened around the corner of our dirt road in a cloud of dust while he leaned out of the truck window singing, "Here I come to save the day!" We have been using dial-up Internet for the past nine years and it has slowed to a snail's pace. Have you missed me commenting on your blogs? It was near impossible. It was a weary thing to do just to post on my own blog. I've been waiting for the price of satellite Internet to come down to an affordable level and finally the price and my frustration level met some where in the middle and I made the call.

He was quick and efficient. Up the ladder and down the ladder. In the house and out. Drilling holes, tightening bolts, stringing wire. Had there been others there when he finished I would have enlisted their help in carrying him to his truck on our shoulders singing praises while the grand kids lay rose petals in our way. I was the only one home and I don't think I could have lifted him, plus he would have thought that odd, so I sent him on his way with a simple hand shake.