Portland Wood Crafter

Intersection II

 1979  Comments Off on Intersection II
Jun 182011
 

Intersection II

 

 

I like to think that there are two different kinds of people in the world.  Actually, to be more accurate, there are many different kinds of two different kinds of people in the world.  Which is kind of like saying we are all the same, or we are all different.  Like everything is either perfect, or everything is imperfect.  Personally, I like to air on the side of everything is perfectly imperfect, in a perfect world.   In a perfect world that is made imperfect by us “supreme beings”, that tend to make a perfect mess of things that would otherwise, inherently move toward a perfect balance.  Which is to say, everything here fits into the whole rather perfectly, save for us.  Humans.  Which says really nothing at all, perfectly.

So, back to many different kinds of two different kinds of people.  There are nose breathers and there are mouth breathers.  Didn’t your mother ever warn you that you’d catch flies with your yap hanging down past your privates?  There are morning bathers and there are night bathers.  Night bathers, well that’s obvious, want to wash off the collected dirt and debris left after a long day of sweat and toil, while morning bathers, well, what have you been dreaming about?  Then there are vegetarians and there are carnivores, peace lovers and war mongers, lovers and fighters, conservationists and gluttons, philanthropists and thieves, beggars and choosers, city folk and country folk, sailors and boaters, drivers and riders, politicians and anarchists (these might actually philosophically be the same), righters and wrongers (everybody comes armed with a good argument), rakers and leaf blowers (rakers becoming an endangered species, god rest their “do a job right souls”) and, among many others, finders and losers.  Of course there are any number of cross over traits that can, and will inevitably be found in all of us.  Take Robin Hood for example.  Now there must have been one conflicted soul.  Both a philanthropist and a thief,  a lover and a fighter, and a peace loving war monger, I wonder what he dreamed of.  But, as for now, I am at an intersection and I must make a choice.  Left, right, or straight ahead, or perhaps this is a multidimensional intersection and I have up and down to add into the mix, or I have the option of going ahead or back in time.  Too many choices?  That’s life.  For the purpose of this here “intersection”, I choose to focus on edgers and non edgers.

There are those, usually the man of the family, that wake up at six A.M. on a Saturday morning, have a cup of coffee, and head out to the great overgrown wilderness of their yard to tame the wilds.  Firing up the massive horse power of their gas or electric powered edgers, walk the perimeter of their yard, hacking back the creeping, meandering, concrete eating grassland.  They are obsessed with control, everything in its place and no further.  Abstract geometric patterns, unknown in nature, emerge triumphant.  These borders, like the borders between warring nations, are NOT to be crossed.  And then there are those, like myself, who, in a way, revel at the determination of the natural world, even if that natural world is some Kentucky hybrid that isn’t necessarily indigenous to the immediate environment.  We sit back on our porches and watch with reverence as natures will begins to take back what is rightfully hers.  Indeed, in a relatively short period of time, left unchecked and unedged, nature would render our advanced, squared off grid of progress, another decaying and crumbling archaeological mystery to be deciphered and pondered by future intelligence.  And that is a powerful thing.

Perhaps we are simply lazy, in my case, there can be no question about it, I don’t even like to mow my lawn.  In fact, I don’t even want a lawn.  If it can’t be eaten, or in some manner add some relevant amount of insect food, bird food, or just plain aesthetic beauty, I see no rational use in wasting precious resources feeding and watering it.  Dogs will, from time to time, eat grass.  Perhaps we should all have goats, I like goats.  Or cows, cows are easy going, kind of messy, and apparently contribute a great deal of green house gasses to the atmosphere, but they mean no harm.  The roots of the ornamental trees we plant, the climbing vines of ivies and berries, and the crawling, civilization munching rhizomes of of our graminoids, grasses, bamboo, and the like, in the end, will emerge triumphant.  And the “edgers”, forced into a corner of their own making, will cower, sputtering edger in hand, defending their futility, and I am simply defending my lazy ways yes?

 

 

Chapter 6

 1979  Comments Off on Chapter 6
Jul 142011
 

Chapter 6

 

Times are tough for a woodworker.  I work six or seven days a week, and at the end of the day, still have a pile of bills stacking up next to my keyboard that, well, I just can’t pay right now.  Such is life.  But I make beautiful things that people will enjoy for the rest of their lives, or so I like to think, and though I can’t take that to the bank, I can take it to heart.  I feel good about what I do.  I wouldn’t want to call it pride, I’m not necessarily proud of what I do and indeed, pride is a slippery slope that leads to a cold and frigid wasteland, serving no one and no thing, I simply feel justified standing in my own footprint.  My footprint being the use of material that was once a living, glorious tree, and my arrogant use of power, though I am leaning evermore toward the more friendly, and dare I say more accurate, use of hand tools.  Keeps the dust factor down as well and, well, before the world there was dust, and after the world there will be dust, so during the world must there be dust too?

In less than a month, unless the powers that be find some way of manipulating voodoo economics again, our great country will default on our own deficit.  that, I find mysteriously intriguing.  So the USA is a huge, multinational corporation right?, and all corporations operate with a deficit, or so I’m told, but must have operating expenses in hand to pay the day to day expenses of staying in business, such as payroll, or they simply go “out of business’.  So we must cut costs somewhere.  Who will not get payed this month?  Hmmm, how about the politicians, how about those that got us messed up in this here mess.  And who might that be?  An old adage reminds us that, “when you point your finger, you’ve got three more fingers pointing back at you”.  Yeppers, if you bought it, and it wasn’t made here, and you buy enough of it often enough, this here trade deficit is all yours.  Of course our government supplied the necessary trade regulations, or lack there of, that fueled the mad consumerism that sent us to the  super sized outlet stores, filled with goods built in countries with inhumanly lax labor protection laws, but nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to purchase that…  CRAP.  One might consider buying less stuff, buying better stuff, buying stuff that might last a lifetime if given the respect deserving of fine craftsmanship, and last but certainly not least, one might consider buying local.  That way, we don’t line the pockets of, oh shall we say for example, the Chinese, creating this massive trade deficit that forces us to borrow money from, just for example  say, the Chinese, that allows us to give financial help to, for example, Pakistan, so they will continue to be our ally in that particular strategic corner of the world.  Dust to dust.

Borders are nonsense, cultural disparities are beautiful, and the internet brings it all home.  Communication between the many disparate peoples of this planet, this universe perhaps, this wonder filled, mysterious universe we have, by chance, found ourselves wandering through, will bring us all to the edge of salvation.  And the time is near.  Not the time of destruction, not some Holocaust of devastation, not some “second coming, first coming, or third coming”, but to the inevitable evolution of a truly profound species, us.  We WILL survive, and we will do it on our own.  Corporations will go under, banks will close, armies will disband, profiteers will try to eat their money, and governments will collapse.  WE, will live on, trees will grow, wind will blow, birds will sing, fish will swim, buffalo will roam, wolves will hunt, and the sun and the moon, will rise again.  And the dust will settle.

If you want to be a woodworker, or if you just want to work with wood, start with some small sticks, make a simple picture frame, and discover just how “unnatural”, are right angles.  Carefully cut eight 45 degree miters, you’ll know they are truly 45 degree miters only when you carefully glue one to another, the next to these two, and the forth to the proceeding three and back to the first, and somehow wind up with something that simply does not exist in nature, a square square, or a square rectangle.  And when the dust clears, you will know you are human.

Intervention I

 1979  Comments Off on Intervention I
Sep 092011
 

Intervention I

 

In two days the date will be 9/11/11, ten years after the day our world, and our country, changed forever.  The day we willingly forfeited many of our hard won freedoms in the name of “freedom”.  To call that ironic is a harsh understatement.  To call that a victory is a wild overstatement, in fact it would seem we lost that war before it even started.  And the many unanswered questions still haunt the waking hours, if not the hours of dreams, of every inquisitive, thinking person that dares ask.  Justice for the victims of 9/11 and the thousands of victims claimed in the aftermath may never be had.

The questions can only lead to suspicion, and there is enough of that to go around, even if the vast majority refuse to ask.  Questions like, how could a renegade band of tent dwelling nomads organize, infiltrate, and perpetrate such atrocities with such strategic precision?  How could our government deny knowledge of a plan to use commercial airliners as weapons?  How could they allow it to happen?  Why were all of our fighter jets sent off to “military maneuvers”, too far away to respond on that particular day?  How could a couple of untrained non pilots, that flunked out of small airplane training school perform mid air maneuvers that challenge the skills of our finest, seasoned pilots?  How can it be that, for the first time in history, not one, but two skyscrapers structurally fail and collapse due to fire?  How is it that both of them fall directly into their own footprint, a feat that takes years of planning and precise execution for demolition experts?  Why does a third building, not directly compromised by the collapse of the twin towers, also collapse into its own footprint?  Why are there so many eye witness reports of numerous explosions in the substructures of all three buildings?  With all the video surveillance footage in and around the Pentagon, why has not a single frame of a Boeing 757 zeroing in on the target been released, not even to the 9/11 commission?  How can there be virtually no confirmed pieces of that airliner in the wreckage?  Why is the hole in the side of the Pentagon too small for the nose of a 757, and where is the damage that the jet engines and wings surely would have caused?  Why was the debris from flight 93, that, according to the “official story” did a nose dive into a small hole in the middle of a field, scattered over eight miles of Pennsylvania?  How, for the first time in aviation history, can all evidence of passengers have simply evaporated, while the paper ID card of one of the “hijackers” somehow remain intact?  And, though there are far too many other unanswered questions left by the “official story” to even begin to wrap your mind around, wouldn’t you like to know why, after the the biggest homicidal crime ever perpetrated on American soil, virtually every single piece of forensic evidence from the “crime scene” was shipped off and destroyed as quickly as possible,  uninspected and never put under a microscope by the finest forensic experts the world has to offer?  And how can the American people so willingly accept a story so wrought with holes and missing pieces, and allow our Commander and Chief to march our military off to invade two sovereign nations in retaliation, one that clearly had nothing to do with 9/11?

Afghanistan bankrupt the U.S.S.R., and, like an omen of things to come, we recently lost our coveted triple A credit rating.  With millions of people in our own country suffering from hunger, lack of needed medical attention, lack of a roof over their heads, and missing so many other essentials for a healthy life, how can we justify spending two and a half trillion dollars to police nations on the other side of the world?  Call me UnAmerican for asking questions, but this is one of the basic rights we, as Americans still have, to ask important questions of our elected officials and demand complete, credible, and honest answers.  The America I grew to love as a child has been, well, ironically enough, hijacked, and is, as I write, crashing.  One thing is clear, things will never go back, things will never be the same.

Now, I guess I should try to get back to 1979, though there is nothing more important than what is happening, or not happening, right now.  And the Mayan Calendar will soon be at an end, or a new beginning.  Perhaps it will usher in an age of beauty and wonder, free from the maladies that seem to haunt us, an age we are only able to imagine, to catch a fleeting glimpse of in the cracks of our world.  One can hope.

Chapter 7

 1979  Comments Off on Chapter 7
Oct 132011
 

 

Chapter 7

 

On October 5, my friend and confidant, Chyrese, accompanied me to Occupy Portland, on a pair of vintage Schwinn cruisers sporting a pair of hand dyed batik pirate flags.  We marched with thousands through the downtown streets, chanting, cheering, and singing for the 99%.  The 99% that get what scraps are left after the 1%, sitting at the head of the table, finish their gluttonous feast.  Though it may be a bit late in coming, it is a movement that is absolutely essential in the fight for humanity.  And I found it rejuvenating

In October, 1979, I  was riding in the back of a ’64 Ford Ranchero with Jeffery and Dark Star, our new mixed breed puppy, returning from a Liberty Cap hunting expedition in Newport Oregon, an adventure turned calamitous when gale force winds turned our pup tent into a Triceratops dinosaur mother giving birth to a Buick.  It was a particularly successful and fruitful expedition.  Now, Southbound on I-5, fifty mile an hour winds, generated by the top speed of the Ranchero, tore the make shift black plastic canopy from its moorings on the bed of the small car/truck, and waving about some fifteen feet behind our ride, was threatening to slap the faces of quickly approaching motorists.  We laughed hysterically as we attempted to reel it in.  It was a particularly fruitful expedition.

Jeff and I had arrived, putting good use to our thumbs, in Eugene Oregon in early October.  We were dropped off late on a Saturday, on the side of Franklin Boulevard, at the University of Oregon Campus, one block from a popular night spot.  Last I remember, that same building that housed the bar, had become a fitness salon, trading debauchery for body building, whiskey sours for bottled water, short skirts for spandex, giggles for grunts, and sweat for sweat.  Some things remain the same.  The building sat on the banks of the Mill Race, a narrow stream that ran through town, from somewhere on the outskirts of Springfield to the mighty Long Tom River.  Once, in the late sixties or early seventies, as the Mill Race was nearly crusted over by runoff from the Weyerhaeuser Mill in Springfield, some local activist lit it on fire.  It burned for days.  But in early October, in 1979, the place was a party destination, it was a dance hall, a saloon, it was a house of sin for one more night.  Its last night, by order of the OLCC, the Oregon Liqueur Commission.  Naturally, two thirsty thinking lads from the flat lands of the Midwest were drawn to the riotous cacophony, like moths to a flame, a weary gold miner to a brothel, horses to water.  These horses needed no coaxing, and the water was on fire.

Sitting there, in the entrance way, right by the front door, was Little Whirling Girl.  Months earlier, at the Great Northern Bluegrass Festival in Crandon Wisconsin, Jeff and I had encountered her, spinning up dust in the middle of the dance bowl.  I think this was the very first time I saw Jeff dance, really dance.  He got the groove and tore one of his own.  Whirling girl remembered too.  By closing time, and that took an angry police presence to bring about, we had witnessed near fornication, glass shattering competitions, boys swinging from the chandelier in their boxers, girls swinging from the chandelier in their panties, line dancing on the pool table, group puddling on the floor, fifty shot glasses lined down the bar for a group throwback, free mood enhancers of all sorts, a couple of arrests, and all the while, a little whirling girl lovin’ on both of us.  Peculiarly fruitful it was, as adventures go.

When we awoke, in a field by the University Pottery Kilns, the rain had soaked us and our gear.  Hmmm, never noticed.  We ran for the cover of the kilns, dried out a little, got coffee from some little mom and pop place, smoked, and waited for fairer weather.  When it came, we struck out for Willie’s Farm, a sort of hippie commune out in Jasper I had crashed at in early July.  We got a ride right down the driveway from the communes LSD supplier, seems they were preparing for a Purple Jesus Party.  Well, right there, in the middle of the driveway, was this old broken down Ford Ranchero, and not a soul on the place had wheels or knew how to fix them.  And in walks Jeffery, a bit of a homespun self learned mechanic.  By that afternoon we had discovered the entire drive train laying under the chassis, bolted it back in, checked the timing, gave her a quick tune up, primed the carburetor, and fired her up.  You would have thought we had cured greed or something, sprinkled some faerie dust on Willy himself and brought him back among the living.  It was a miracle, a magic carpet, and Jeffery was at the helm.  He had become an instant legend, and we were welcome for as long as we dared linger.  We were fed, housed and loved, and the fruit ripened in the orchard.

We stayed on long enough to build a kind of covered wagon on the Rachero, partake in a little Purple Jesus ritual that included most of the hippies from the Eugene Springfield area and beyond, take on a new family member by the name of Dark Star, (1/4 St. Bernard, 1/4 Pit Bull, 1/4 Doberman, 1/4 Labrador, and all Piss and Vinegar), visit Cougar Hot springs, hear the numerous accounts of the death of Willy in a dune buggy accident, play in the band, and strike out in search of magic mushrooms with Barb and Steve, the whackiest pair of self proclaimed troubadours I’ve ever met.   We found ourselves, much later, crawling around on all fours, (when possible), in a swamp, in the wind and the rain, talking to tiny elves that disguised themselves as mushrooms, trying to lure them into our little Styrofoam cups with unintelligible murmurings, and some time later, witnessed the first known natural birth of Detroit Steel by what is now, in it’s state of decomposed sludge, providing the necessary fossil fuels for her own child.  It has been a oddly successful expedition.

Chapter 8

 1979  Comments Off on Chapter 8
Oct 152013
 

Chapter 8

 

Bike Favicon png 55RMy parents afforded their children a good childhood. By Mid American 60’s standards my sister and I were well fed, we had clothes to wear, all be it not the clothes we might have chosen, we took family vacations, participated in  sports, went to movies and sporting events, and generally had normal rural Midwest children’s lives. Apart from the daunting expectations of perfection and the occasional well deserved “lickin”, we were certainly not abused. What more can a parent do to get their children off to a good start? More than that, we had fields, streams, crayfish, rock quarries, corn fields, tree houses, farms, and pretty much the run of the land, lasting all through adolescence, our stomping grounds from sun up until the sounding of the 6:00 whistle signally supper time. All long gone now, taken, rather stolen from future childhoods by urban and suburban sprawl, replaced by “McMansions”, strip malls, and video reality. Poplar Creek is still there, and accessible enough, but lacking are the trails, rafts, and forts, and any evidence really of children doing what children once did. So are virtual lives still good lives? It would seem that the children might be all right, the jury is still out on that count.

Bike Favicon png 55RDespite the hardy, healthy, rambunctious childhood I was given, somewhere around fourteen years of age I suppose I started heading south, down the path that was nearly the undoing of Pinocchio. Cigars, drink, and donkey ears. I became what must have been a parents worst nightmare. May they someday, in this world or the next should we be so lucky as to meet there, forgive me  my transgressions. And so came the end of my innocence in or around the year 1972. By 1974 and 1975 I was smokin’ the ganja, dabbling in more serious intoxicants, drinking when and where I could, carousing into the wee hours, listening to psychedelic music, and spending more and more nights away from home, all culminating in spontaneous trips to the  Upper Peninsula and finally, 1979 and the westward hitch hike from which I never really returned. The fools headlong dance from the known world, over the precipice into the world of mystery, adventure, and unknown perils and pearls, knapsack and little dog in tow. Leaving broken hearts and dashed expectations in a self indulgent wake. I honestly had no idea anyone cared that much. I have few regrets, broken hearts top the list.

Letter to C_

 1979  Comments Off on Letter to C_
Feb 282012
 

Letter to C_

 

 

The music is, for the most part, new, but is meant to compliment the artwork, though it be generated on a computer.  It is simply a compilation of some of the stuff I’ve been listening to lately.  The “art” is multiple layers of some of the images of “us” I have collected over the years, in scrapbooks and in dreams.  The deepest layers are our best kept secrets, beckoning back toward the days, be they few, when we had none.  Now all but buried by the new.  They are intended to create a tapestry, multidimensional and rich, distant and vague, and fragrant with the spices with which we have flavored the space between us.  There is far too much of that space lately, but then I’ve heard it said that space is an illusion.  And time?  Perhaps.

You are a sweet melody in a world of droning voices.  The knowledge of your friendship and love help me reach the other side of nothing when the light fades and darkness descends.  And then I plant one more footprint.  It is a long journey.  It is forever.  I have no choice other than to return your love with gratitude and yeppers, more love.  Lots of it!

Happy Birthday Charis!

Homeopathic Remedy Case

 In The Works  Comments Off on Homeopathic Remedy Case
May 122011
 
Blue Print for Red Oak Box

Red Oak Remedy Case Blue Print

All the pieces

All the Pieces

Pieces & Parts

Pieces & Parts

Pieces & Parts

Pieces & Parts

Three main assemblies

Base, box, & lid

All the Major Pieces

All the Major Pieces

Just needs hardware & finish
Over 85 pieces of wood.
Red Oak and Walnut inlays & splines
Awaiting hardware and finish

Ready for Remedies

Complete with solid Brass hardware

What's on the inside