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Archive for January, 2011

Farrakhan Telecaster

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Comes With a Free Bean Pie

The Telecaster clone STILL isn’t finished.

I bought some bowtie router templates (for making bowtie-shaped inlays with matching cavities), and I was going to use bowtie inlays to “tie” the new wood around the neck pocket to the rest of the guitar.

Here’s a sloppy Photoshop illustrating the idea. Ignore the piece of mahogany lying on the guitar.

I went to a guitar forum and asked people for advice. They generally thought it was a bad idea. Their answer was to create a “burst” finish which starts dark and opaque at the borders and fades to clear in the center of the guitar. The dark stuff would cover the mismatched wood by the pocket.

I checked out some videos on creating burst finishes, and I played around with some pigment and scrap, and I found that I did really bad work. For me, finishing is much harder than woodworking. So I gave the burst idea up.

Problem: the smallest bowtie inlay I can make is way too big to do what I did in the Photoshop. If you look at the little inlays above the neck, they’re maybe half an inch long. I can’t make one smaller than an inch. Too big.

I tried to make a smaller template, but it turns out there is a limit to how small you can go with a 1/8″ bit, and I’m just about there.

I decided to try a new strategy: use my inlay kit to remove the top layer of mismatched wood, and replace it with something that should be nearly indistinguishable from the guitar top.

This meant creating a new template, and that meant using acrylic on the milling machine. What a nightmare. It’s like I always say: calculus is easy; addition and subtraction are hard. To create anything on a mill, you have to do a ton of addition and subtraction in order to determine where to move the cutter. And it’s not intuitive. It’s very easy to confuse positive with negative, which results in horrible mistakes. For example, you might need to move the cutter to -0.530″ on the DRO, but you screw up and move to +0.530″, and your workpiece is ruined.

It took me half an hour to come up with a list of milling directions to produce a simple template.

When I tried to make the template, of course, the cutter grabbed the acrylic and pulled it out of the vise and broke the template. So I had to start over, sawing out more acrylic on the table saw.

The second time I milled it, I applied WD40 to prevent the cutter from grabbing, and it worked. Thank God. Finally, I have something I can use.

I still want to put some bowties on the guitar. I want two on the front and three on the back, and I want a small one in the maple inlay at the head end, with the strap pin attached to it.

It turns out the Photoshop version is not workable, because I forgot to lay the hardware out on the guitar top. The inlay to the left would be under the bridge. I plan to move it farther left, so it shows through the little window in the Bigsby. And I think I’ll get rid of the little inlays under the knobs. On the back, I want one big bowtie in the middle and two smaller ones around it. They would be on the centerline, just like the ones on the front.

I like the way bowties pull stuff together visually. A long time ago, I saw a TV show about a guy who made tables from figured stump wood, and he stuck bowties in areas where there were big cracks, so it would look like they held the tables together. I like that.

I’ve noticed something else. Plain wooden guitars look bad. I’ve seen a bunch of photos of Telecasters made from clear-finished wood with no pigment, and they look unfinished. Even acoustic guitars have rosettes and binding. A guitar needs something beyond lacquer to make it work. Some people mix the woods, using inlays and so on. Others use burst finishes or dyed finishes. You can also jazz a guitar up with a pickguard. To make a guitar look nice, you need to do one of these things. But you usually shouldn’t do more than one of them, because it will look like the guitar was made by a committee.

People have complained that I’ll cover up some figuring, but that’s not really a concern. The left inlay will be in a plain spot, and the bridge pickup hole has already done more damage than ten inlays.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. I don’t know. I do know that I’m almost certain to ruin a burst finish, and it will add days or weeks to an already interminable job. I need to get this thing done and move on.

I think the next guitar will be a hollowbody with two F-holes, a Bigsby, a quilted maple back, curly maple sides, and a spruce top. A maple top would look better, but it’s my understanding that spruce and other softwoods are best for hollowbody tops. Another possibility: figured redwood. This stuff is incredible. But I’d have to come up with a suitable wood for the back and sides, since maple would not look right.

Basically, I want to make a Gibson Blueshawk with a Telecaster body. My Blueshawk is great, but the neck is garbage because of poor Gibson quality control. A Warmoth neck (or a homemade neck) would be a thousand times better.

Anyway, it’s taking shape.

Late Request

Monday, January 24th, 2011

GO!

It’s better to be stupid than absent-minded, because people forgive the stupid.

Reader and fellow blogger Ruth sent this prayer request several days ago, and I just remembered to post it.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of you first. I just read your greens for lunch and the prayer parts made me think WHY DIDN’T you write Steve first. So here is the request. My grandson’s wife gave birth to twins, a boy and girl on Friday. She was anemic to start with and lost a lot of blood during the birth. Yesterday she had to have 1 unit, today she had to have 2 units. The doctors say it is common with twins, a twin stretched uterus doesn’t retract as well
as a single birth. My grandson was scheduled to return to his base in NC tomorrow. The Air Force has said he can stay till this is all cleared up. Please pray she stops the excessive bleeding, begins the healing and is soon able to go home. She will be staying in Louisiana where her parents and his live, so they will be able to help her with the babies and the 16 month old baby boy they already have. Also pray the stresses on the families do not become too great to bear. She had post partum depression with the first baby, pray that does not happen this time.
Thanks, I realize most bachelors do not like to do birth, labor and beyond stories. ;D
Ruth

The Spirit-Driven Life

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Back to the Mire or Forward to Power?

I’ll tell you what. I am suffering this month.

Every year, our church does a 40-day program of spiritual improvement. A lot of people fast during this time (generally not real fasting, but I guess they give up Butterfingers or something), and you can also do other stuff. Last year I prayed in tongues for an hour a day. This year, I’m going half an hour in the morning and then praying for one specific thing for half an hour, later in the day.

When I decided what I was going to do, I thought I was all set, but I found myself obligated to do one other thing. I had to agree to read The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren.

I tried to get out of it. Pastor Warren is a Baptist, and he does not believe in a separate baptism with the Holy Spirit, as charismatics do. He thinks you get the whole deal all at once, at salvation, which is very clearly not what we see in the gospels or Acts. Some people get the whole enchilada, and others (I am referring to saved Christians) undergo a second event.

This is important, because there are only two really important things that happen to a Christian. First, you get salvation. Second, you pray in tongues regularly over the course of your life, and God gradually makes you like him, changing your character and giving you power. If you don’t believe in the second process, you’re like a demolition expert who refuses to buy dynamite, choosing instead to claw buildings down with his toenails. Hopeless. You will never have the kind of faith the Apostles had. You will never do the “greater” things Jesus said we would do. You will be stillborn, spiritually. The crucifixion was an act of insemination, and the seed was the Holy Spirit.

I’m seeing a lot of renewed talk about this. I’ve been harping on it for over 20 years, and nobody cared. Now Robert Morris teaches it. So does Perry Stone. And the other day I decided to clean out the accumulated “It’s Supernatural” episodes on my DVR, and I found that Sid Roth had featured several guests teaching the same message.

Sid Roth is a Messianic (I left the “Jew” off to avoid exacerbating Aaron’s ulcers), and his show is about people who have tapped into the supernatural power of God. Frankly, I suspect some of his guests are frauds or just plain wrong, but some are definitely right, and the show is worth watching. Just remember, if some nut goes on the show and claims God made him a jet pack and told him to sky-write the Revelation of St. John the Divine over San Francisco, it MAY not be true.

What can I tell you? Christians see supernatural events all the time, and we are predisposed to believe in the power of God, so we are going to swallow a certain amount of garbage along with the truth. That’s how life is. If you go to enough good restaurants, sooner or later you are going to eat a booger.

Here’s a great episode you might like, if you’re wondering what tongues are all about. Click this link.

Anyway, the Holy Spirit helps individuals understand the metaphors and word plays in the Bible. The Bible is written in code, so Satan and evil men won’t get it, and it’s stirred up, so related passages may be hundreds of pages apart, and only the Holy Spirit (after the baptism with same) can unravel it for you. I’m sorry to say that Rick Warren does not have this edge, and therefore, a lot of what he says is totally wrong.

So I’m reading this awful, backward book, because I was pretty much forced to, while looking forward to the day I can throw it out. I don’t want anyone else to be misled by it, so I can’t give it away.

Jesus called certain Pharisees and Sadducees “blind guides.” He was referring to their lack of Spirit-powered revelation. They had no idea what the scriptures meant, yet they still taught. It wasn’t their fault; no one bothers to mention that. They had no hope of understanding, without God’s help. They were no worse than we are, and in many ways, they were surely superior. Still, they were blind. Modern Christians who reject the baptism with the Spirit and the power of tongues are in the same boat. They are not even slightly better off. Well, they’re better off than Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection. But other than that, no difference at all.

Pastor Warren talks a lot about goodness and hard spiritual and intellectual work. Great. That’s not what Spirit-powered Christianity–the type practiced by Jesus and the Apostles–is about. That’s what pre-Christian belief was about. Jews and Gentile believers had to rely on their own effort, by and large. Paul referred to this kind of walk as “dung.” It was great in its day, but that day is past. Our ride is here. It’s time to open the door, get in, and turn on the AC.

Dung, dung, dung. I’ll say it again. Look it up. That’s the word used in the King James Version. I didn’t make it up to be disrespectful. See for yourself. If you have a problem with it, you have a problem with Paul and with the one who sent him. The Greek word he used means “excrement” or discarded table garbage.

Rick Warren’s approach is retrogressive. Jesus died to give us power tools, and people who fight the message and power of the Spirit haven’t picked their tools up yet. There is nothing noble or admirable about wanting to do God’s work without help. The admirable thing is to give up your pride and ask for help. Don’t be like a man who drives in circles all day because he won’t open the window and ask for directions. If you insist on doing it without help, you are proud. End of story.

What if Joshua had insisted on attacking Jericho with swords instead of marching around it, glorifying God? There would be a big pile in the desert near Jericho, with thousands of Jewish skeletons under it.

Look, you can have what Spirit-unfriendly Christians have, if you want. You can get salvation and then work your behind off trying to please God, and you can remain weak and unenlightened. Then at judgment, Jesus will discount the things you thought you were doing for him, and he will call you “lawless” and a “worker of iniquity,” and he will say he never “knew” you as a husband knows a wife. You don’t need a book to get that. You already have it, if you’ve received salvation. But what if you want to receive information directly from God? What if you want to KNOW–not just believe–that you’re getting what you pray for? What if you want to physically and emotionally feel God’s presence, not just during worship, but at random moments when you’re all by yourself? What if you want all your illnesses healed? What if you want to be able to get God to send powerful spirits and human beings to help your lost loved ones enter the kingdom? If you want those things, you’re going to need to grab the plug and insert it in the receptacle. The power doesn’t flow where there is no circuit!

God’s power truly does work like electricity. You have to give it a destination, or it doesn’t move. This is why he tells us he prunes unfruitful branches. The power is supposed to flow from us into the world, generating fruit in the lives of others. If you’re not hooked up on both ends–to God and people–you’re an open circuit. A limb with a tourniquet. What happens when you put a tourniquet around a limb? It stops feeling, it becomes paralyzed, and it eventually rots and falls off. As it is on earth, so it is in the kingdom of heaven.

I’ve read up on Pastor Warren’s efforts, and it’s not pleasant news. He teams up with New Age people and unspiritual Christians, in an “inclusive” and “seeker-friendly” theology. Was Jesus “seeker-friendly”? Was he inclusive? Did he invite Buddhists to help him preach? Of course not. He welcomed SINNERS, but only on the condition that they repented. He associated with the lost, but he did not have any interest in their “wisdom”.

I believe preachers who rely on unbelievers to help their flocks are trying to simulate God’s power and blessings. The juice isn’t flowing from God, so they get counterfeit power from secular or idolatrous sources and present it and say, “Look what God has for us. All good stuff is from God, so don’t worry that we’re listening to Dr. Phil or Mehmet Oz or Oprah or whoever.” When people aren’t blessed, they like to pretend they’re blessed, or they make excuses for God, saying he doesn’t really want to bless them (so unnecessary defeat and suffering are actually righteous and productive!). If you can’t get God to heal your flock and give them peace and help them succeed in life, get Dale Carnegie and CLAIM God sent him! No, sorry, I want what the Apostles had. Keep your dung. I’ve had plenty.

I keep trying to push my way through this book, so I can put it in the trash and say, truthfully, that I read it. But it’s very tedious. It reminds me of the lifeless churches my mother used to drag me to a hundred years ago. I have been where this message leads, and God dragged me past it, over my brilliant objections. There is no possibility that I could go back, and I don’t want other people taking this path.

There’s plenty of useful stuff in the book. You should try to determine your purpose in life. You should give. You should pray. You should return your library books on time, always floss once a day, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Okay, I made that last bit up. What I’m trying to say is, the good parts are obvious to anyone who has ever opened a Bible. And they’re not valuable enough to justify drinking the rest of the brew.

What I’m presenting here is the argument that got Jesus and Stephen martyred. The ancient Jews believed they had to earn their righteousness, and Jesus came along and said they were wrong: God wanted to put us on welfare. Faith was more important than actions. Inner change would occur supernaturally, not through our effort. And we were to receive an inner Torah that superseded the animal-hide version, because it was even more alive and relevant. I would never say the written word of God is not alive, but as wonderful, as astounding, as it is, it can’t compare to having God inside you, telling you things and changing you in real time.

Christians hate this message, because they are no better than the ancient Jews. Think about it. The ancient Jews went to heaven. What? You don’t believe that? Then how did Moses and Elijah manage to appear with Jesus? What was Yom Kippur all about? Of course they went to heaven. Just like Christians. What, then, was the benefit of accepting the sacrifice of Jesus? For one thing, it enabled Gentiles to enter heaven without learning the Jewish law. For another, it paved the way for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, who had the power to make every one of us as powerful as Jesus.

Jesus said he–personally–would baptize us “with” the Holy Spirit. Look it up. He said we would get power. Look it up. I don’t make these things up.

Spirit-rejecting Christians don’t want to hear it. It sounds lazy. It sounds like we want to be spoiled, instead of working hard and proving we are worthy of God’s power and help. Well, I DO want to be spoiled. Just like Adam, before the fall. This is our natural state, when we are in God’s will. God never intended for us to be self-sufficient. How can you honestly glorify God, when you earn what you receive? If you claim you worked for it, you make God a liar.

Does it seem unfair for God to give you an inherited leg up? What about the unfairness of being pitted against billions of ancient, powerful spirits we can’t even see? Don’t you think God wants to balance that? Our enemies and their attacks come freely and in abundance. Are we, in our tiny spans and with our dim minds and weak characters, supposed to fight that on our own? Are you serious? Make me a Holy Spirit trust-fund baby, PLEASE. Doesn’t the Bible call us the “heirs” of righteousness? What do you think that means? What does an heir do to get his money? Seriously.

“Coincidentally,” I met John Bevere during the same month I was ordered to read the Warren book. John Bevere’s message is the direct opposite of Pastor Warren’s. He says it’s about GRACE, which simply means things we do not earn or deserve. He says one manifestation of grace is POWER, like the power to raise the dead. Look at the New Testament.

Who is right, Rick Warren or John Bevere? Name an Apostle who received the power to work miracles because he did lots of good stuff. Show me someone who was healed because God felt he owed it to him. On the other hand, look at Cornelius, the Roman centurion who was the first Gentile to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. What did he do to please God? Acts of faith. He prayed and gave alms. If you think giving to the poor is an ordinary “work,” you couldn’t be more wrong. It has much more to do with faith than human effort. When you give generously, unless you’re a fan of poverty, you have to believe God will take care of you and not let you regret it. Furthermore, godly giving is done at the urging of the Holy Spirit. If you give money to bums, without God’s urging, and they blow it on malt liquor and whores, you’ve actually sinned.

The sad thing is that I spend so much time with the backward book, I don’t have time to read John’s book, Extraordinary: The Life You’re Meant to Live. This is one reason I’m trying to get The Purpose-Driven Life behind me. My days are full. I don’t have time to do what I need to do AND read things I know are wrong.

Wow, what a glaring contrast. I just noticed it. I can have a life which is merely purpose-driven, just like the lives of ambitious unbelievers, or I can have the extraordinary life I was meant to live. I’m sure God had nothing to do with THAT juxtaposition. And Buddha is secretly Jesus, and socialism is a great idea that hasn’t been given a fair chance. And three is two, and trout live in trees.

The power message is very simple, when you boil it down. Get the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Pray in tongues three minutes a day, using a timer. Never stop. Eventually, you will find power in your life. Because three minutes of tongues will make all the difference? No. Because if you start with three minutes and you don’t stop, you’ll grow until you find yourself doing much, much more. It’s kind of a bait and switch, but I admit it up front. Jesus said he came in through the front door, not the window. Give him a little of what he really wants, and he will eventually take your whole life, but unlike Satan, who tempts you with addictive and destructive things, he won’t make you regret it.

Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard tree. It starts with a seed, and you water it, and it grows. A growing plant between two rocks will break the rocks open and push them aside. Prayer in tongues is the “living water” (look it up). This is the water with which you feed the kingdom, which is inside you (look it up), not in the world. Supply the water consistently, and the rocks that sit on top of you will crumble, and your righteousness will come forth as the light and your judgment (justice and restitution) as the noonday.

Or do it your way and be satisfied with the crumbs that fall from the table.

It works. It works. It works. A tree does not grow overnight, but it does grow.

In conclusion, I disrecommend The Purpose-Driven Life. Call me divisive; I don’t care. The ratio of harm to good is just too great for me to sit by idly and say nothing.

Finally Finished Buying Tools

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

No, Really

A while back, I gave up and ordered a small planer/jointer. I had had problems face-jointing wood with my planer sled. You have to use hot glue to shim the wood in place, and it’s very easy to make mistakes, and you get problems. With a jointer, you just slap the wood onto the infeed table and push.

I cancelled the order later, after I got better at using the planer. Then I placed the order again. Aggravation is cumulative.

Today it arrives. I can’t wait to see if it works. This is the last major tool purchase I will need to make in order to have what I consider to be an adequate home shop.

For woodworking, you need a drill press, a table saw, a router in a table, a handheld router, a planer, a jointer, and some sanding equipment. Otherwise, you’re feeble. Without a planer, you can’t create parallel sides on boards. Without a jointer, it’s a pain to create flat sides and perpendicular edges. Without a drill press, your holes will be all over the place. If you don’t have a router in a table, you will go insane building jigs to do precision routing. If you don’t have a handheld router, you will go insane trying to rout things you can’t see. If you don’t have sanding equipment, you might as well kill yourself. Imagine sanding things by hand.

A drum sander would be a nice thing to have, but it’s not as important as a jointer. I can create a nearly finish-ready surface with my planer in a few seconds, and the final sanding is easy with my current tools, so I can do most of the things a drum sander does, without too much grief.

A band saw is also very important, unless you never plan to resaw anything or make a curved cut. Band saws are extremely useful, even though the level of precision is pretty bad.

I don’t know if I made a good choice. I could have gotten a great used 8″ jointer on Craigslist, but I wanted to be able to joint 10″ boards without resorting to some kind of pathetic jury-rigged jig. And a conventional jointer would have been huge. Oddly, the machine I got is very compact and has a mobile base. You would think a 10″ jointer would be enormous, but I guess there’s a lot of leeway in the design process.

I hate to say it, but Europeans are way ahead of us when it comes to woodworking. For example, their table saws are just plain superior. And they love small jointer/planers. A Swiss company named Inca used to make one that was very, very popular and highly respected. They quit, but now many companies sell machines based on the Inca. Mine is an example. If you go to Amazon UK, you’ll see lots of jointer/planers made by well-known companies including DeWalt. It’s a proven concept, but Americans haven’t caught on.

I don’t know why Americans are losing the woodworking race. We can’t even find the right names for machines. An American planer is really a thicknesser. An American jointer is really a planer. If you search for jointer/planers on European sites, they won’t turn up, because Europeans know the difference between planing and thicknessing.

“Planing” means to create a flat plane. A planer won’t do that! Crazy. A planer creates a board with a uniform thickness, using the bottom side as a reference. If the bottom of the board is bowed, the “planed” board will be bowed. Crooked in, crooked out.

A jointer will put a flat plane on one side of a board, but it won’t get it ready for making a joint, because the thickness won’t necessarily be uniform.

To make a usable piece of wood, you have to plane one side using the jointer and then use the planer to make the other side parallel to it. Then you have something flat to hold against the jointer fence while you plane (or joint or whatever) the edges of the board. How do you get the edges parallel? I have no idea. The jointer only does one edge, and when you flip the board and do the other edge, there is no reason to expect the two edges to come out parallel. I guess I’d use the table saw, with the jointed edge against the fence.

Anyway, I look forward to getting the new machine. Sometimes buying a tool can turn 4-hour jobs into 2-hour jobs, and this is a good example of such a tool.

By the way, the milling machine has turned out to be indispensable for woodworking. It automatically does things that otherwise require jigs, rulers, clamps, glue, and prayer, not to mention considerable skill. If you do precision joinery with small parts, a small mill will be a godsend.

I’m so grateful to God for giving me the stuff I need to make use of the creativity he gave me. Creativity without tools is torment.

I hope to hear that truck pulling up shortly.

Are we There Yet?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

90%

I am finished with the major woodworking on my walnut guitar. Check this out.

It looks like the switch is not in line with the knobs, but that’s a trick of perspective. However one knob is a fraction of a millimeter out of line. That can probably be adjusted out later.

I put the knobs close together because I thought it would give me a nice custom look, and I put the switch far away in order to correct Leo Fender’s blunder. He put the switch so close to the volume knob, it’s hard to use it without changing the volume. Someone told me the knobs looked too close together, but the centers are an inch and a half apart. That’s plenty.

I’m about to do the final sanding and cleaning up. This should be pretty sweet.

Greens & Faith

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Sunday Lunch

Made me some greens today. And bacon-grease cornbread, ham hocks, and a sliced raw Vidalia. Look:

Those are collard greens. Sometimes I get hocks that are so salty they mess up the greens, so today I started boiling the hocks separately, figuring I would get some of the salt out of them before adding them to the greens. Turned out they weren’t salty at all, so this was a total waste of time. I tossed them in with the greens and let them boil down.

I followed Paula Deen’s advice and snuck a little butter into the greens. Butter has a magical quality, as I have often said, mixing and accentuating flavors like no other fat I know.

I replaced a small amount of the bacon grease in the cornbread with butter. In retrospect, I think this was a mistake. Probably better to keep all the bacon grease and add butter anyway.

This was a magnificent lunch. It would have been better if the hocks had had some meat in them. They were almost all fat. This is not a bad thing, when you’ve learned to eat the fat, but the meat is also good.

If you’re planning to do this, it’s simple. Just boil the hocks and greens together. I add salt, a small amount of pepper, and a clove of garlic. Simmer until the hocks are soft, and make sure there isn’t much liquid left in the greens. You want it thick and tasty, especially when you sop it with the cornbread.

Very nice.

I have a nice food-related testimony.

A while back, I had to quit working at my church’s cafe. I didn’t make trouble. I just left and prayed. And I felt like something was telling me, “____ and ____ won’t be around long,” referring to a couple of people who had gotten in my way. I kept praying for God to provide a godly, humble, capable MALE servant to run the cafe.

A week or so ago I learned that a highly talented guitarist who volunteers at church was running the kitchen! This guy plays flamenco like you wouldn’t believe, and he also has some experience working in a restaurant. I finally went in and talked to him today, and he told me how he was going to get the place in line, and how he was putting and end to the slack, unprofessional things that drove me nuts. It was wonderful. I had to let him know about my prayers. I had to share my testimony, so he would know he didn’t end up there accidentally.

I’m going to help him any way I can. It looks like praying for his success is a good start.

The people who made things difficult for me no longer work there full-time. So that “voice” I thought I heard was real.

I am getting great answers to prayer these days. Our church promotes 40 days of fasting at the beginning of each year, and during this time, people who don’t fast can take up other productive things. This year I’m praying in the Spirit for 30 minutes a day, and I’m also spending 30 minutes praying and exerting faith for one particular goal. That goal changes from day to day. I find I run out of stuff to pray for, so I ask people if they have anything for me to send up.

Eight days ago, my friend Alonzo said his wife needed work. She had been out of work for 2 years. Yesterday they said she had two job offers! How about that?

I believe faith is a thing, like heat or charge or mass. The author of Hebrews called it a “substance,” using the Greek work “hupostasis,” which can mean a literal foundation, like the foundation of a house. I believe it’s the fundamental substance of which the universe, natural and supernatural, is built. I think God provides it to those who pray in the Spirit, charging them up like batteries, and I believe we release it when we pray. I think it goes back to God, and he shapes it into the things for which we pray. I feel it leaving me when I pray, like water gushing out of a fire hose. I think this is what Jesus felt leaving him when the lady with the hemorrhage touched his garment.

I also believe that the longer you pray about a thing, the more of this substance you release. Seriously. Think about the blind man Jesus healed. He didn’t just point his finger and yell, “SEE!” He had to give it several tries. God himself, in human form, had to pray for a considerable time to get this miracle done. I believe it works the same way for us. I think that’s why God included that story in the gospels. There has to be some sound reason for including a story which seems to go against the concept of a messiah so powerful he could get anything done instantly. I don’t think Jesus deliberately wasted his time. That would have been foolish and misleading.

He also prayed for a very long time in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he criticized the disciples for being too weak to pray for a solid hour. Think about it. If they had obeyed, would they have been able to go a whole hour without repeating themselves? No way. They had a very simple crisis facing them, not a long list of varying problems. I believe they were supposed to go up there and beg and thank God repeatedly, releasing faith all the while.

So I’m going half an hour at a pop.

So far, the results are consistent with my suspicions. I think the ideas I have are being given to me by God, and that he is leading me into a powerful way of praying. The correct way, probably. I sure hope so. In my own right, I am not fit to judge.

Jesus told us not to repeat ourselves like the heathens. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for the same thing over and over for 30 minutes. In fact, he told us to ask for the same things over and over, when he told the parable of the widow and the judge. I believe the repetition ban applied to mumbling prayers that aren’t heartfelt, such as canned prayers from prayer books.

There is no magic in a set of words. You don’t need to use church-sanctioned prayers written by super-holy priests that died decades ago. The faith that backs words up is what gets the job done. I believe that’s what Jesus was pointing out when he told us to avoid vain repetitions. So I think you can pray for the same thing repeatedly and get results. If I’m wrong, God has been remarkably consistent in reinforcing my error. If he keeps that up for the rest of my life, and I’m wrong, I’ll be better off than someone who was right. That would be odd.

I had an interesting conversation with another church member today. He came to me while I was standing in a dark area of the church, alone. He didn’t want to be heard. He started asking me my opinion of a preacher who visited recently. I didn’t know what he was getting at, but I was honest. I said I thought the guy was off course, and that a lot of his spiel was about himself and his own glory. I thought the guy was off into some totally unscriptural Copelandian stuff. “I rebuke this, and I command that, and I release angels.” That kind of weirdness. And my friend agreed completely.

We get preachers who seem completely nutty. They claim they “speak things into existence” and so on. They always talk a great deal about how a bunch of us are going to become millionaires. When they talk about Christians they consider models for us, those Christians are always wealthy people. The congregation laps it up. I think it’s wrong; I believe we’re supposed to be prosperous, but prosperity should be a side effect, not a cure. Jesus said to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first.

On the other hand, my friend has a negative view of preachers who talk about supernatural power a lot. I can’t agree. I’ve seen and experienced power, and I see it backed up in the Bible. I think we’re supposed to be a little bit like wizards, except that we’re under God’s authority, and we do our supernatural deeds in humility and awe, and we only do them to please and glorify God, and only at his direction. The Apostles had incredible power. Like John Bevere says, they were mistaken for gods. I think God wants us to wield his power, and I think the power is coming back into the church.

Still, it was great to learn that someone I respected had concerns similar to mine. We have both learned that churches aren’t perfect. Crooks and frauds and egomaniacs are going to show up, and often they’re going to fool people. That doesn’t mean we should leave or make trouble. We should stick around and try to fix things, unless it gets intolerable.

It seems like there are a few people in the church who are scattered around like pillars, holding the place up in maturity and faith. We run into each other by chance, and we come to recognize each other. It’s kind of disturbing that a person with my character limitations would be significantly less wacky and gullible than the bulk of the congregation, but then, God doesn’t have a lot to work with.

When my sister and I used to go to this church together, I told her that some of the best people in churches are in the pews, and now I am taking my own advice. Our pastor never says anything insane, so I think we’re on a fairly good course, and I meet a lot of phenomenal, solid people who work to keep the place running. It won’t kill me if an occasional charlatan drops by and fleeces the congregation. What am I going to do? Die? That’s the only way I’ll join a group of people who worship and serve perfectly.

I always tell people I’ll settle for an 85% church. If I think 85% of what the church teaches is right, that will do.

Stuff is definitely happening at that church and in my life. I keep meeting food people and music people. Now I’m meeting food people who are also professional musicians. What’s THAT all about? I can’t even guess. And we now have three top-flight musicians in the Armorbearers. Something is going on. This is not all coincidence. And I think Mike is going to be moving to South Florida. Another food person.

I still have 50 minutes of stuff left to do today. I’ll keep posting testimonies as they occur.

To Dust I Return

Friday, January 14th, 2011

More Junk I Could not Live Without

The addiction worsens.

When I started building my Telecaster clone, I had no idea guitar cavity covers were made from pickguard material. I decided to make one from wood. Maple, to contrast with the walnut body.

I had a new router inlay kit (recent addiction-related buy), so I used it to make a 6″ by 2″ cover about 3/16″ thick. I made the blank on the band saw, so it was a little oversized.

I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I made an acrylic template for the router. I was really disappointed in the results, because I overshot the length by three units of measure. Later, when I measured the finished cover, I realized things were not so bad, because those units were thousandths of an inch. This is how crazy I’ve gotten. I missed 6″ by three thousandths, and I feel like a failure. You can’t even see three thousandths on a ruler that reads to 1/64″.

So anyway, I had this overly thick cover, and I wanted to thickness it. But how? I have all this junk in the garage, but none of the woodworking tools were right for the job. You can’t really use the planer on something this small. The table saw could conceivably do it, if you made a weird jig and tried to resaw it, but it would likely fail. The band saw is useless for precision work; it ought to come with a sander built in.

I decided to try the sanding drum (okay, one of two sanding drums I bought) on my drill press. I got the drum at Woodcraft. It’s amazingly cool. It’s about 3″ by 1 1/4″, and the great thing about it is that it takes regular sandpaper. You cut it and cram it on there somehow. No running around town looking for overpriced sleeves in inappropriate grits.

Someone showed me a thicknessing jig at Stewart-Macdonald. It’s like a tiny router fence you put on your drill press table. You adjust the distance between the drum and the fence and run parts through. It costs $159, though. Even I am not that stupid.

I built a little fence from MDF and gave it a try. I couldn’t get it to stand square, so I sanded it, figuring it would have to end up parallel to the drum. This probably ruined the flatness of the fence, but I don’t think that matters as long as the distance between the contact points of the drum and fence are constant. Anyway, I did it, and it seemed to work.

Wow, was it slow. I ran some scrap through it like 10,000 times, and nearly nothing happened. Forget that.

Also, it made horizontal lines on the wood.

Today I got an email pimping a DeWalt belt sander with an inversion stand. I thought this was the greatest thing I had ever seen! You end up with a belt sander with the belt running perpendicularly to your bench, with the movement in the vertical or horizontal direction. I had to have this! It would solve all my problems.

I started Googling around, and in a few minutes I realized I was an idiot. There’s a real tool made for this purpose, without a weird little stand. It’s called an oscillating spindle sander. And wouldn’t you know it: Ridgid makes the best one for home use, and it also does belt sanding, with a special attachment. You can literally put a belt on top of it. And it has a flat table with a miter slot, and the table TILTS.

Come on. How was I supposed to not buy that? Be serious.

I found it it’s an extremely popular tool among luthiers. I should not be surprised, with all the stuff it does.

Anyway, now I have to figure out how to make a jig that will let me thickness stuff with it.

One wise guy on a forum told me to thickness the part on the milling machine. Okay, yes, I could have done that. But that wouldn’t have made my addiction very happy. Also, it’s probably not very easy to mill stuff that’s 1/8″ thick, in a milling vise. I could try to do it with double-side tape, but it seems like a good way to fling the part at my head or get a very nonuniform thickness.

I’m going to see how the sander works. It’s still in the box.

I’m also getting a dust extractor for my tiny DeWalt 611 router. This router is wonderful, but it shoots the dust into your face like a cannon. I tried my big DeWalt the other day, with the built-in dust thing hooked up, and apart from the noise, there was no evidence it was working. I never saw a speck of dust. But when I lifted it up, the routing was done. That convinced me dust collection is a must for routers. Sadly, DeWalt doesn’t include the $5.00 extractor with the 611, and the only place where I can find it charges $9.00 for delivery.

I broke down and bought a ridiculously expensive replacement hose to run between my tools and the Shop-Vac. The regular Ridgid hose is about as flexible as a culvert, and when you hook it up to a small tool, it likes to help you steer. And it also rolls the tool off your bench and onto the garage floor. The new 10′ hose is way better, but it costs twice what it should. I’m going to look for other sources.

I was going to get a dust collector, but as time passes, it seems less and less appealing. The table saw doesn’t make much dust, and the vacuum can handle it. Dust collection doesn’t work on the band saw. The little router dust extractors are fantastic. The planer has its own fan and dust nozzle, and they work great. There is no way to put dust collection on a drill press. It’s starting to seem like there was never any point in getting a cyclone. Maybe they’re only useful for people who generate lots of dust, like commercial shops. For me, it seems like a big expense, no improvement in performance, and a great deal of plumbing work.

If I can get the cavity cover done, I’ll start sanding and finishing the guitar. We’ll see how it goes. I think it’s going to turn out very well. Next time, I’ll make my own neck and save $200.

Time to go face the dust.

Day 57 of Three-Day Guitar Build

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Holes

Here is the guitar body. I put a rout in it for the neck pickup, I routed out the control cavity, and I drilled passages that will connect both pickup cavities and the control cavity.

I just learned that the “correct” thing is to drill slantwise from the bridge pickup hole into the control area. Thank God I didn’t know that. I might have tried it and gone right through the back of the guitar. Instead I drilled down the centerline of the guitar from the neck pocket, all the way to the future location of the bridge pickup. This connects the pickup holes. Then I drilled a 7/8″ jack hole and inserted a 1/4″ bit and continued on to the bridge pickup area. That will connect the control cavity to the pickups. I’ll run the neck pickup wire through the bridge rout and into the control area, and the bridge pickup wire will go straight into the control rout.

Using routers is a nightmare. They jump and bite and act crazy. It’s just barely conceivable that their poor behavior may have some tenuous relationship to my complete lack of skill. But I doubt it.

I think I’m going to make a couple of tiny bowtie inlays from maple and stick them in the border between the light walnut inlay and the guitar body, above the neck pocket. This will make the pocket inlays look like something I did on purpose, instead of a massive screwup. Once it’s done, I’ll delete all Internet references to my mistakes and claim everything went perfectly. No one will ever know. Shhh.

For some reason, I inherited a bag of silver coins. I might inlay a couple of liberty dimes into the guitar, if I can find two from the years my parents were born.

Every choice I made added a new level of complexity to the project. Because of the rear control rout, I have to drill potentiometer and switch holes, and I have to create a walnut cover for the rout, and I have to cut a rabbet into the guitar to receive the cover. Ordinarily, you just make the hole in the front of the instrument and slap in a prefab metal cover that holds the controls.

Here is my conclusion: if you choose to make a clear-coated bookmatched Telecaster with a rear rout, you will multiply the woodworking time by about five. Seriously, I could make a solid-color body in two days.

The TV Jones pickups also added work. I had to figure out where to put them, and I had to use a special routing template. The templates I bought have holes for Fender-style pickups, but they’re useless for TV Jones jobs, which don’t even fit standard humbucker holes.

I’m hoping I won’t have to recess the Bigsby into the top, but after all the crap I’ve routed, it probably would not be a challenge. Maybe I should do it just to be a wise guy.

Sad news: I’ve learned that you can make a guitar neck using a router and a jig. This is sad, because it means I will probably go crazy and make a neck eventually. I’ve realized that fat necks work very well with electric guitars, even though they’re a horror on acoustics. I ordered a big neck from Warmoth, but I don’t think it’s as fat as the one on my amazing Burny LP clone, so I’m not totally happy.

I went nuts and ordered a jointer/planer. Then I came to my senses and cancelled the order. I improved my planer-jointing technique, and I decided to keep my money. Then I went nuts again. The planer/jointer is once again on the way. I face-jointed a couple of really squirrelly mahogany boards I stole from someone’s trash, and it was a nightmare, so the new machine started looking good again.

I got the planer working really well, apart from the problems with twisted wood. I learned how to completely eliminate snipe. I knew it was a good idea to pull up “a little” on boards as they entered and exited, but by experimenting, I have found that snipe disappears if you pull up a WHOLE LOT. You’re trying to simulate the action of the powerful rollers that hold the wood down, so you really have to apply yourself. I had been afraid that pulling up hard would drive the wood into the blades, but that doesn’t happen, because the roller closest to your hand prevents it. I guess if you have a three-foot-long board with increased leverage, you can apply too much force, but on a twenty-inch workpiece, you can pull like crazy.

I’m going to try to get the routing done today. Time to go out and buy even more piles of double-side tape, to hold stuff in place while I work.

If I can make my own necks, I may make a new guitar with headstock and body shapes that are completely original. Probably similar to a Telecaster, but with better fret access from above. I hate the Telecaster control plate. It’s inconvenient and jams the selector switch up against the volume knob. I’d probably rout from the rear again.

Wish me luck. More accurately, pray I don’t screw this up any more than I already have.

Spoiled

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Don’t Blame me; it was the Boss’s Idea

Over the weekend, my job was to drive the evangelist John Bevere around. He was speaking at my church.

Usually I don’t like hauling VIPs around. It’s boring, and they don’t pay much attention to you. You find yourself standing around at the mall while they look at shoes, or you drive their luggage places while they’re having dinner with church bigwigs. Stuff like that. But I enjoyed meeting Mr. Bevere. He was very humble, and he spoke and acknowledged my existence, even though he was busy the whole time.

Unfortunately, I got pulled over while he was in my truck. There was some kind of bizarre screwup with my registration. I had no idea it was messed up. We ended up sitting in a parking lot for fifteen minutes while a cop sorted things out and gave me a reduced fine. John was kind enough to pray.

He gave a wonderful sermon. The best guest sermon I’ve heard. It was basically the same thing I keep telling people: God wants to do it for you. He came at it from a different angle, but it’s really the same thing. Christians get saved, and then they go home and look at porn and cheat on their spouses and take drugs, and they never have any power in their lives, and they can’t change their behavior. It’s not supposed to be like that. We are supposed to have power. Eternal life is swell, but if that’s all you get, you should literally live like a psychopath until ten minutes before you die and then ask for forgiveness. The power is supposed to flow here on earth, not just in heaven.

I bought his book. I have to be honest; I think we get some preachers who are utterly full of it, and I almost never buy their stuff. I think some of them are just DVD salesmen. I don’t know if they’re unrepentant con artists who have learned to speak Christianese, or whether they’ve just got themselves fooled.

We have a recurrent guest who is supposed to be a prophet, and I don’t even want to say what my impression of him is. I got a free book by a guest, for donating to one of our church’s ministries, and it’s somewhere at the bottom of my closet, under a bunch of crap. But I bought John Bevere’s book, because I felt sure what he said came from God, and I thought he probably knew more about this message than I did.

I haven’t looked at the book yet. Watch me endorse it without reading it and then open it and find out it’s full of new age gobbledygook. I don’t think that will happen, though.

The Holy Spirit works. If you pray in tongues a lot, you will start to get revelation. The Bible will start to make sense to you. The missing pieces will show up. God never created a human being smart enough to understand it with the unaided mind. If you have a consistent habit of praying in the Spirit for long periods, God’s power and wisdom will grow in you like a tree you water and fertilize every day. Like a mustard tree, as one very smart person put it. God doesn’t want you to do it on your own. He wants to do all the heavy lifting. You just have to drop your pride and admit you’re a charity case.

When you get revelation coming to you regularly, you will find that when “brilliant” evangelists tell you things, very often, you already know them. And it helps you judge what’s worth receiving and what is just plain puke.

Revelation is part of the power God gives people here on earth. Because I had revelation, which comes by grace, I was able to judge John’s message, the subject of which was grace. That worked out pretty good.

Satan hates this message. We are conceived–literally–as potentially godlike beings when we receive salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Satan wants us to be stillborn, so we will die weak, without taking the world back from him. He tells us tongues are nonsense. He tells us Christianity is about discipline and hard work, and that we have to earn it all. He tells us it’s trashy and immature to ask God for things we don’t deserve. The truth is that God wants us to have things we don’t deserve, without earning them. Hello? That’s why he allowed himself to be nailed to a cross. Why would he buy us salvation and then refuse to buy us anything else?

God has a whole shop full of power tools waiting for each of us. How would you feel if you ran a garage and the mechanics refused to touch the air tools? Imagine it. They come to you and they say, “We’ll turn the nuts by hand because we’re not worthy of air tools.” You’d want to strangle them. They’d put your shop out of business.

People always wonder why God doesn’t fix the world. He never said he would. He created humanity to fix the world. Look it up. Read the Bible. Adam was the world’s manager. God expects us to be proactive. He doesn’t look down and see bad things happening and think, “Wow, I better fix that.” He thinks, “Someone should be praying for me to fix that. Someone should be trying to fix that and praying for my help. Someone should be using the gifts of the Spirit to fix that.”

He wants us to be in charge. He wants us to do mighty things. He wants us to have supernatural power. And he wants us to get that power by faith, not works.

The world is never going to work right until the Messianic Age. The kingdom of God is inside us. It’s not a political kingdom that will spread and rule the globe. We are not going to become a super church that cleans up the world until it’s so perfect, it’s as if Adam never sinned. But each of us is supposed to do powerful things and change as much of the world as we can. Think of the police. They don’t eradicate crime, but they don’t quit, either. They tackle the jobs they have the power to tackle, and the results, though imperfect, justify the effort. God doesn’t want the world to be perfect right now, but for reasons of his own, he wants us to battle to improve it, by putting his power inside as many people as possible.

We will never make the world right in this age, and neither will God, but we are supposed to clean it up as much as we can, and we are supposed to play offense. We can’t do it with our pathetic minds and flimsy meat bodies.

I’m still not crazy about driving evangelists around, but I’m glad I met this one. I hope his book lives up to my expectations.

Somebody Wake up Gregor Mendel

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

It’s ALIVE

I could do this all day (click to DL big animated gif).

How did Arnold get in there?

Does Anyone Remember Blogging?

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Seven Years is a Long Time to Put Off a Funeral

I see Dennis the Peasant has quit blogging.

He says political blogging has become boring, and:

Six years ago, the political blogosphere was not dominated by the money and resources of mainstream media and professional political advocacy groups. Now it is. The political blogosphere has now acquired all of the defects (and none of the virtues) of mainsteam and advocacy media. With money has come self-censorship and intellectual dishonesty.

Wow, wasn’t I here in 2007? I talked about this when Pajamas Media popped up. Let’s see. Wikipedia says that was 2004. I’m farther ahead of my time than I realized.

People like Dennis and me spelled out what would happen, and it all came true, and the lemmings and backslappers called us traitors.

Blogging is dead. Or maybe it has come back to life. Political blogs launched by genuine grassroots nobodies got big ten or eleven years ago, and they were great because they were not run by journalists, most of whom are lazy and stupid. Then Big Media noticed the blogosphere, and they started pumping money into it. We ended up with websites that were not really blogs. Chris Matthews pretends to blog. Jake Tapper. Greta Van Susteren. And they’re not the worst examples; at least they have things to say. You can probably find blog-style sites featuring Courtney Friel and and Soledad O’Brien, if you look. Cheesecake and cotton candy masquerade as entrees.

Corporations put up websites, and they force their TV meat puppets to do something meat puppets were never designed to do: write original material. Meat puppets read. They are not built to write. The circuitry is not present.

A few outsiders made it into the inner circle, and they generally became insiders. They were so excited about being recognized, and so afraid of being kicked out, they became what they originally arose to counter. Ho hum. Why read that crap? Turn on CNN, and you’ll get the same spin.

I say blogging may have come back to life, because now that we are insignificant again, blogs may become what they were intended to be: personal, truthful websites written by people who are beholden to no one.

The haves always keep the have-nots down. For a while, the have-nots did okay on the Internet. Now the haves are back in charge. The natural order of the universe has been restored.

Blogging is utterly unimportant now. Truthlaidbear should label us all microbes or maybe viruses or prions. From a global standpoint, what we do is completely worthless. It has no impact. Big Media is safe from us again. Their chosen Internet darlings (recognizable for their sheep-humbling team spirit and complete lack of talent) may get a foot in the door once in a while–they may get occasional chances to bask and kowtow in the glow of Greg Gutfeld’s stagnant, Sisyphean insignificance, or they may be mentioned very briefly on Fox–but they won’t make a living, and the rest of us are permanently locked out of the VIP room.

I don’t think we’ll see another outsider opportunity again, until bandwidth gets so cheap you can have your own hour-long Internet TV show, complete with callers and chat. Nowlive tried to do that, but it failed because there was no way to make the finances work.

Dennis made the right choice. These days, it’s all downside and no reward.

Half Axed

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Give me Another Week

The Telecaster clone is taking shape. Today the neck arrived, so I fixed the neck pocket and did the roundover rout around the body.

This thing is going to look fantastic once the Bigsby is in place. I hadn’t realized how good it would look.

BAM

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I Made It

I finally got my guitar body repaired. Arrgh.

To summarize the mess so far, I made three pairs of bookmatched walnut boards, and I glued them together like a sandwich to make a Telecaster body with a glue line down the middle. Then I shaped it into a Telecaster body, and I routed the neck pocket. In the process, I used the wrong thing (weak clamps) to secure the router templates, and I ended up with an extra-large pocket. I then had to make bookmatched walnut inlays about 0.7″ thick to fill the pocket so I could rout it again.

When I made the basic body shape, I gouged the side of the guitar at the head end, where the strap pin would be. Because this guitar will have a clear finish, I had to fix the gouge, and I could not do what Fender does. I could not use Bondo. I decided to make a maple inlay, rout a cavity around the gouge, and stick the inlay in it.

Today I made the inlay and installed it.

I found a reasonably nice piece of maple, sawed it open on the band saw, and then shaped and jointed it (on the milling machine) so the bookmatched grain on each piece would be at about a 15° angle to the grain on the other piece. This looks better than merely reflecting the patterns. I glued it together using Titebond III, and when it was solid, I face-jointed it on the mill.

After that, I had to use the table saw to cut a piece of acrylic, and I turned that into a router template by cutting it on the mill, using the DRO to get a precise rectangle (which I screwed up because of addition and subtraction errors).

When I finally had what I thought was a good template, I stuck it on a piece of scrap and tried to cut a cavity with it, and danged if the router bit didn’t jump and eat one of the corners of the template. I hadn’t realized I needed room for the bit to completely exit the wood on each pass.

When it came time to stick the template (still usable) on the guitar, I realized I was an idiot for making a bookmatched inlay, because it had a glue line which had to match the one on the guitar to within a few thousandths. Somehow, I made it work. I routed the hole, smoothed it with a file, and checked the inlay. It fit like it grew there, and the corner which was screwed up by the damaged template was clear of the guitar, where it would be carved off later.

I used an inlay kit to make the inlay and hole. This is an amazing set of tools. If I described how it works, you would not understand, but if you saw it in action, you would get it. Basically, you stick a set of bushings over a 1/8″ bit, and you center everything precisely on the router, and you make a rout for the cavity and a rout around the inlay. By removing one of the bushings, you adjust the router so the same template that made an inlay will make a hole that fits it perfectly.

I pounded the inlay into the hole, and it worked, so I pulled it out, applied Titebond III, pounded it back in, and applied a [probably superfluous] clamp. Then I sat down and hyperventilated for 20 minutes.

Not really. But the whole time I was doing this, I was waiting to make another impossible-to-predict mistake and ruin the whole project. I felt like I was running on a frozen pond in buttered shoes with a bottle of nitroglycerin in each hand.

For me, using a router is like walking in a minefield. Things are going fine, and then BAM, your project is sawdust. Preparation helps, but without experience, you are going to do stupid things you can’t anticipate.

Tomorrow, I hope to rout off the excess inlay material and then use a roundover bit to go around the edge of the entire guitar body. After some sanding.

Man, I should have made a solid-color guitar. I could have made ten of them by now.

Soon the neck and hardware will arrive. I’ll have to finish the bridge I’m making and order a Bigsby. I’ll have to grit my teeth and try to apply a finish. That will be harder than anything I’ve done yet. Paint hates me. It sits in the can plotting against me. It thinks of ways to run, or to fail to mix properly, or to make orange peel, or to just explode. Paint can do things to me that it can’t do to anyone else.

I have no problems with house paint. I can paint an apartment in four hours. I used to do that. But anything requiring a quality finish…scary.

Sometimes when I wonder how I will get this thing done, I think back to getting my physics degree. I had gotten Fs in high school math, and I didn’t really know algebra. Somehow, I did it. If I can do that, I ought to be able to make a guitar out of a cigar box and a bag of wet newspapers.

Sometimes you have to keep plowing forward, assuming the answers will come later.

I’m not thinking about Telecasters any more tonight. This was a good day. I am entitled to rest.

Why Socialism Always Fails

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Mommy Only Leaves so Many Twenties in her Purse

Conservatism is about building and growing and passing it on to future generations. Liberalism is just legalized looting.

More

Liberalism is what happens when covetousness becomes law.