the butcher block!

Last night I really made some progress in terms of the butcher block that will form the top of my table. I scraped the last of the glue, sent it through the planer, routed the edges, and sanded it down a bit. More sanding is on the way. But I think it will be quite nice when all is said and done. Now I need to focus on the table legs, skirt, etc. I need to make sure the base is able to handle the top, because that mofo is HEAVY. In fact, a small team will be necessary to transport the thing. Ah well.

laminating table legs smoothing the edges


ummmm, yeah.

So, for whatever reason last night I slept a grand total of about 12 hours. Um. Yeah. 12. Weird. I only do that when sick. And I am not sick. Though I had the weirdest dreams. They were so weird that one could easily associate them with those fever-induced visions we see on TV and such. "Nightmare" may be a more apt description. Let me describe just one installment: I spent what felt like 4 hours picking out 9 perfect power-ballad records (not CDs, not tapes) and the appropriate chip accompaniment. It was like I was magically transported to 1988 where I was a nerdy high school sophomore. Weird.


the checkers form!

tabletop to cut blade
exposed grain clamping the top - back view

I finally brought in my camera for some pictures of my class project, the butcher block table. Last night, in addition to cutting and gluing the strips into their checkerboard pattern, I also made the cuts for my table legs.... on the TABLE SAW! I think the table saw falls into that category where distance makes the heart grow fonder. Well, I should say I feel better about my use of the table saw this morning. The fact is, I sort of approach it like house plant: I send it good vibes, talk to it, tell some jokes. You know, as you do.

On a side note, I've felt compelled over the last couple of months to state emphatically that peanut butter is the food of the gods. Mead? Nah. Cacao? hmmmm. Coffee? Okay, coffee is close. Give me peanut butter and coffee please. I can call it breakfast and have a fantastic start to the day! Huzzah!


Projectiles and Chunks.

I, my friends, am enrolled in a beginning woodworking class.  This is not the first time I've taken such a class.  But I think we can all agree that 1997 was awhile ago.  Anyhoo, in case you're wondering, I'm building a butcher block table.  When all is said and done, the table will be approximately 17"deep x 26"wide 34"high.  Tonight I glued the strips that will form the top together (cherry and walnut! thanks for asking!).  Next class I'll cut that into strips once again on the table saw.  That's right, Bitches! The TABLE SAW!  So I'll now offer up some fun things from that class in list form of no particular order:
  • Repeated use of the words "projectiles" and "chunks" in the same sentence (with the variant "a good chunk" thrown in for good measure)
  • I was informed of a number of places to find "exotic woods"
  • Mortise hole!  (I imagine this being used as a disparaging comment along the lines of "Dill Weed!"
  • Repeated use of the phrase "decorative fashion"... Its fun to say.  Try it.  You might like it.
  • Quick drying glue!  One is magically transported back to kindergarten with a disc of glue drying in the palm of the hand.
  • Saw dust, lumber, and the detritus of woodworking in a contained room smells good.
One last  comment on the whole process of glue.  I had to use so much glue to ensure it coated all of the surface area for all the strips I had quite a bit squeeze out.  This excess glue created the coolest collection of stalactite and stalagmite forms.  Did I mention I'm a nerd?  I tried to capture it with the cell phone as it was all I had.



and on other topics

So, I'm still in the meeting. And I have to show one photograph:

"VALID ID to purchace condoms!"

While in the BCC home town we saw lots of young people walking around with youngsters of their own. Perhaps this picture is indicative of why.... apparently when shopping at a small town local grocery outlet-type establishment one can purchase a pregnancy test but not condoms unless one is also 18 years of age and in possession of a VALID identification card.

Right. Yes.

Realistic, that abstinence-only sex education class. So, just to break things down, individuals are fully capable of driving a 2,000lbs. machine around, capable of entering the military with parents' permission, capable of attending college, but not capable of making responsible decisions regarding sex. I'm sorry, I forget... is it responsible to be pregnant at 17?

8:00pm meeting.

So, by the title, one might think that I had a 5:00pm meeting (wink wink, nudge nudge) with bottle of vodka, or some such spirit. But no. I'm sitting in an 8:00 meeting that scheduled to last another 45 minutes. Sweet. Anyway, might as well talk about last weekend while I wait for things that concern me to be discussed. To that end, last weekend I spent the 4th of July with the members of the BCC on their home turf. It was a fantastic weekend of eating and sleeping. E & C call their hometown "the place where time stops." And I think that's pretty accurate, for all manner of reasons. Anyway, some highlights: sleeping, eating, a walk through the pasture accompanied by one geriatric cat, discount grocery stores, and one fantastic fireworks display.

barber shop 7 lbs. of beans
dragonfly? small road.


a trail of raspberries and other such things

I was out yesterday picking raspberries in the BCC's backyard in the early evening sun. If you've never had a raspberry straight from the vine and still warm from the sun, may you live long enough to do so.

By way of an explanation... My brother, sister, and I spent about a week with our grandparents during our youthful summers in the tiny mill town that our dad grew up in, staying in the same house he helped his dad build. This house was perhaps 40 feet from the banks of a river essentially (and amazingly) free of dams. One of the most practiced pastimes was simply sitting in the shade watching the river go by. The trees offered sanctuary from the blazing mid-day sun that the canyon could not protect us from and the river obscured the din of everyday life that we grow so accustomed to as we go about our days. It was in my grandpa's garden, just off the side of the house, protected by a fence and aromatic rose bushes, that I fell in love with the raspberry. I have been devoted ever since.

So I was thinking about the raspberries last night, the cold mountain river, and the sweet smell of ponderosa pines; if you ever have the opportunity, shove your nose right up to the bark of a mature ponderosa pine. You'll be blown over by the heavenly scent of vanilla. Anyway, I was pondering all these things... thinking back over learning how to walk on stilts, conversations about the rise of the Chicago Bulls, the latest goings-on of Days of Our Lives (yes, my grandpa watched that), Connect Four strategies, and my enjoyment of country music. I must credit my grandparents with planting that particular seed.

As a slice of my childhood, I offer up Ray Stevens singing "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival," an example of the soundtrack into the 'big' city for various provisions not available in the tiny town.....