Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bob and 500 posts

   This is a notable day for a variety of small and personal reasons.

   One, this is blog number 501.  It means that I have been typing away for 500 blog entries, and the latest statistics is 61,791 visits to with an average of over 180 visits per posting.  I can remember not long ago telling my wife that each post was getting 100 visits on average, now I am expecting to get 200 a post soon.  

  For the most part I have enjoyed writing the blog and carrying you along on my wood working journey.  Last summer was tough but it appears that my back troubles have come under control, I'll never be the man I once was. (there is a good chance I wasn't ever the man I thought I once was anyway)

   Another reason it is a notable day is that I have been able to ride my motorcycle for three days in a row.  Yesterday was a longer ride but Monday and today I was able to ride for about an hour.  These rides show me that my back is okay, sort of.  I am a long way from heading off in the morning and riding all day but I have now ridden almost half as far as I did all of last season.  This is a 'good sign' for the future.

  I am laying out a slightly bigger project in my shop that I will start preparing material for tomorrow or Friday, and this morning I was out to the Seniors Centre hanging out with the wood carving guys.  My attendance has been a bit hit and miss lately but that also seems to be on track.  Getting back to routines is a good thing too.

  Last evening I dragged my lathe out and made a mess in the shop while turning a spindle from some black locust wood.  I have gathered fallen branches from the neighbourhood and from our church's yard clean up and plan to make some small pieces this summer.  I will date the projects and people can use them to note our 'winter of the fallen trees'.   Winter 2013/2014 really pounded our local trees and shrubs.  I enjoy working on the lathe and plan to do more of it in the coming months.  The shop, like the motorcycle should bring joy, and it is again.

   Over my shoulder in the photo is Bob the Penguin.  Bob is made from 2x6 lumber, and has been following me around for at least 25 years.  Bob has stood beside my favourite chair or  at the front of my classrooms when I was teaching elementary school, ( a life time ago).

  My Dad made Bob for me and my Mum painted him.  My Dad was not a hard core wood worker, most of his work was 'good enough for the cottage' carpentry, but he made lots of stuff none the less.  I have a couple of carvings he did, a couple of boxes he made, a bench and a flower box and other bits and pieces. I think he coined the title 'wood butcher' for his style of wood work working.  It is certainly what I was when I began 11 years.

 We are the sum total of our experiences. Our relationships with friends, teachers, colleagues, siblings and parents shape who we are, what we think and do in our lives. Making stuff is in my DNA, it comes from both sides of my family and I believe I am a better person for it.

  Two years ago today my Father passed away.  I am glad that he made Bob.

Ian W


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