First, I’d like to send out a special thanks to my one and half year old son, Asher, who has kept up the Bar Am kinderlach tradition of not sleeping through the night. I’m shooting for the year 2013 for my first good night sleep. I hear that sleep is highly overrated, but I do have fond memories of it.
My wife and I were looking at pictures of us with our first child about eight and half years ago, and I can’t believe how young we looked. My mother just happened to mention the same thing last week, and she was kind enough to add how thin I was then too. My oldest daughter, Avi, has told me that I am the right size for my age. That’s comforting news isn’t it?! Having children really ages you, and 2010 has done a good job putting on the years on me. On the plus side, my hair has pretty much changed to a nice platnimum blonde.
A friend of mine showed me a picture of himself and stated that was him when he was younger. Upon hearing this, (I could not resist), I informed him that all photographs of him were taken when he was younger. Would you want a camera that took picture of you in the future? Not me! I still can’t figure out who that old man in the mirror is. I remember my grandmother looking at pictures of me and saying how much each photographed looked just like me! Yeah, I’ll stick to pictures of my past.
I’ve met some great people this year; in person, and on the Internet, and I’ve reconnected with people who I used to know in person, but now I only know online. Hmmmm, I used to know you, I still do, but I used to do too.
My shop has really improved too. This year I upgraded my table saw and my lathe, and added some new hand tools and turning tools to the inventory. With all my new additions, especially my Lie-Nelson #4 smoothing plane, I have given new thoughts about the security of my building. My shop is fairly secure, but I have been wondering what I could do to make it look less inviting to would be thieves. Adding another padlock on the door might be a “come here” sign, saying loud and clear, “There is something of value in here!” So how do you find the right balance? “Beware of Dog” would not work, because they would not hear any barking. I could buy a bunch of fake dog doo doo and put it around the building to make look like a dog is about, but you really need the smell for night time prowlers. My best thought so far, is to put up a sign on the door that says, “Kaplan’s Used Textbook Depository.” I’ve never heard of anyone stealing used textbooks before. That sign should detract most thieves, except for the highly cerebral types.
I got some great training this year. My turning skills have gotten better and better. Through the Baltimore Area Turners Club I got to meet and learn from Jimmy Clewes, Lyle Jamieson, Mark Sifri, and others. You would not think I learned anything today however. I pulled out a bowl I roughly shaped a number of months ago, and mounted it up on the lathe. I was just about ready to start on the inside, so I decided to sharpen up the edge of my gouge, went back to the lathe, put the tool on the tool rest, started the cut, then got a huge catch which launched the bowl out of the chuck, bounced off the wall and flew over to the opposite side of the shop. Houston, we have a problem. Great moments in rocketry all over again.
I’ve put out some good work this year and I am especially proud of my Chai-boy, and thanks to HaShem, I have had commission after commission, and more commission work is on the way. I am enrolled in the Hand Tool School, and I can already see small improvements to my work and the way I think about what I am doing.
I am also pleased with my updated website and this blog. Along with my personal woodworking journal entries, I want to write more on promoting crafts and the ideals behind the Arts & Crafts social movement. I also hope to get more guest contributors to talk about inspiration and their work. I find it interesting, that my blog got more notice when I offered a critique of the woodworking show “Rough Cut.” I guess it is true that if you want more readers to your blog you have to be out there on the edge, pushing people’s buttons. Although it was nice getting 300+ hits a day for a while, that’s not the way I want to gain readership.
Is 2010 a year I would like to do all over again? No, I have had better years. 2010 don’t let the door hit you on the way out! 2011! Come on down!