Monday, March 29, 2010

Talking Shop

(The Mazarrati of Saws: Wenzloff & Sons, Dovetail and Carcass saws from

I've been spending my free time reading up on wood and wood working. It's been an inspiration for me to get my ass in gear and work on making our mini-barn into a small shop.

The first thing I did was purchase a JET bench tablesaw. I don't have room for anything larger, so this will have to do. I plan on building an outfeed table for it, but for now, as I get the place into the semblance of order, it's in the box.

Next I ripped out the prexisting cabinetry and counter top. There was no salvaging it. The cabinets had no back to them, allowing mice to make their homes in this thing and making storing your goods securly (from mouse dung) an impossibility. Now I am in the process of installing 1/2 plywood panels along the walls to insulate from varmints. I am using screws so I can add insulation down the line if I so choose, but right now my main concern is keeping mice at bay.

Now that I have a single wall basically done, the next step is to build my first bench. My current plan is to create a base cabinet on either side with an interior shelf in which to store my power tools and other goodies. It will not be a perfect or glorious bench, but it will get the job done. An 18th century wood workers bench would be cool and all, but right now I simply need a clean, functional location to build and repair stuff.

For the woodworker, there are two types of shops: plugged and unplugged. I've been tuning into the posts and podcasts over at Logan Cabinet Shoppe for the latter. As for a more commercial endeavor,, is a great site too.

As romantic as a traditional, hand tools only shop (for woodworking) sounds for some, for me it is impractical albeit cool. Not just because of time, I suppose, (and my general impatience) but also because non-stop handsawing and similar motions aggravate an old injury I have in my right shoulder muscles. I guess I could learn to be left-hand dominant, but that's another story.

Anyway, my hope is to use this space for projects around the house, but also to produce furniture for the home that will stand the test of time. Not the MDF shit we all have in our houses. And yes, possibly the occasional Etsy sale in my wife's shop.

I'll also have a location where I can clean the gun and meditate on the art of the warrior. But those thoughts will have to wait until a subsequent post.

Peace Out,


Friday, March 19, 2010

A Dios "Pariah"

She served me well.

I have finally parted with it, after my 3rd post. It was only a few miles short of 265k miles on the clock when I signed over the title. Can you believe that?! Wow. And I got $1600 for it, basically sight unseen. The buyer didn't even take a test drive. In a word, I got away easy.

Honestly, I think the car was about to explode. No, seriously. I have treated it well and took care of it, but with that many miles you simply never know what's going to happen next.

That said, I wish them the best. Me, I'm happy as a clam. I get to graduate to the Jeep Wrangler as my daily driver and look for a new vehicle for my lovely wife. And I no longer have the Mustang to worry about. It's crazy, but even though I was pretty confident in that car--more confident than most--it's a weight off of my shoulders. I guess subconsciously I was worried about it more than I realized.

I delivered the car just north of the District, driving through some of my olde haunts in the process. Even though I am happily bugged out to the country, I thoroughly enjoy the feeling of being in midst of D.C's non-K Street precincts. There's a pretty lively beat, even if you do have to roll up your windows. And while I took 2 buses and 2 trains to get to Vienna, the western most point on Metro orange line, I enjoyed the thrill of the adventure and the fact that I didn't have to drive to navigate through the city on my way back.

To be sure, I love country life, but it is a fitting swan song for my car to have made its final race with me through D.C. Thank you, "Pariah." You've always beens good to me...except that one time before New Year's. But it was probably for the best anyway.

Over and Out,


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Going to Seed? WTF!

You know, it's been a strange week. A really strange week. I have to ask myself if I am losing it or what. Almost.

First, my wife gets some fabric and I actually feel some sort of excitement over it. Yeah, seriously. Maybe it's due to the mad success of her Etsy shop, or just to the fact that gnomes are inherently cu..., I mean interesting.

Secondly, for the first time in my life I am excited about seeds. Garden seeds. That is, organic, heirloom garden seeds. I am barely a gardener, though I've been successful with Bonsai. But when our neatly packaged seeds arrived from Etsy, I was overcome with inexplicable glee. Not because they will serve as the basis for my anti-Obama survivalist garden, but because they are seeds qua seeds. Real seeds that offer power to individuals to feed themselves, year after year. Very cool!

Also strange is that I have firmly commmitted myself to sell my Mustang. Even though it's only a "car," this war horse has been a HUGE part of my life. When everything went to shit long before I met my wife, at the end of the day it was me and my Mustang heading off into the sunset, flipping the bird to our enemies. Defiant and stylish, this car has been a boon. I could not have asked for a better car, but now with 263k on the clock, it's time to move on and pass the torch of Black Mustangdom to someone who has the time and the cash to bring it to its proper glory.

That and the fact that we are heading for continued and even more difficult economic times. A gratis car project sounds cool and very American, but only if you have the extra cash and a home speed shop. I have neither and cannot justify the expense, when looking at all of our house/property plans. I cannot see restoring a car for 5 another years or more. I don't know if I'll even be interested in something like that. Probably, but the timing will have to be right.

The flip side of all of this is now I will be driving the Black Jeep TJ, and that my friends is a good thing.

The final element of my crazy week is the mania, which has gripped this house. I can't escape my crazy kids at any hour of the day except four in the morning and even then I am pushing it. I am waking up at 3 and 4 AM and not able to fall back asleep. I guess this is what happens when you have so much to do, but no where near enough time.

Hopefully, when Spring comes this will all change and everyone will be peacefully playing in their respective dens. But I am not counting on it. Not in the least.

Over and Out,