What’s left of the night’s storm

Where do we experience the voyage today? I’m not talking the cruise, or the road trip, the hotel and complimentary sweet rolls or the solid 1500 calorie breakfast at Denny’s. Probably voyageurs are as rare today as they were a century and a half ago. People back then mostly stayed close to home. Before the advent of the car, relatively few Americans ventured farther than fifty miles from their birthplace, even though a rail system existed that could take them across the continent.

We celebrate the sailors, the trappers and explorers, the people who left the comfort of their homes…


Maybe I Don’t Have To Buy This One

The list of specialized tools I will need to build a guitar is daunting. Some are more like wants than needs, but unless I want to buy pre-bent sides for my project I’m going to need a bending iron. I could buy one from Stewmac or LMI, great luthier suppliers, but after browsing through YouTube I think I got this. First and huge disclaimer: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, or in your shop. I can think of few better ways to burn down one or both. …


cut and ready for planing

Usually I scarf down pizza or chocolate cookies, but building a guitar neck can involve gluing up this particular “scarf joint” and so I grab the mahogany neck block in my wood room and start sawing. Most builders will rip the one inch thick neck blank on a band saw or a table saw, but for no good reason I’m sticking to hand tools on this build so first I score the cut lines on the blank with my marking gauge and then employ the rip side of my Suizan Japanese pull saw.


The plate joining jig

Can I resurrect a dream?

It all started with a terrible English teacher in my senior year. Everybody lauded her, the counselors, her old students; supposedly the best head start I could get on college English was to take her class. There was just one problem; I loved English class with a passion and she could and would beat any novel to death. No doubt someone finds the symbolic structure of The Scarlet Letter fascinating, worthy of a month’s intense dissection. …


A very old tool…and never used

So Very Old and Yet So New…

When I need some retail therapy I tend to look for old stuff, used stuff from Ebay. When I log in, the program immediately directs me to “vintage woodworking tools” (it knows me so well) and here I usually find projects; tools with good lineage but with some hard use or neglect that will require restoration. I had wanted a Stanley 45 for my shop. It was developed as a “seven way combination plane” to replace the stack of individual wooden molding planes that a woodworker needed to produce tongue and groove, beads, ogees and other profiles for his pieces…


Photo by Júnior Ferreira on Unsplash

How Counting on Your Fingers Has Made Math Hard

There’s usually a cultural progression in number usage. The first step has limited utility in arithmetic but is easy to learn; the integers are one, two, three and many. The next obvious step is counting on your fingers to ten, and this is where sin enters the mathematical Garden of Eden. The temptation is obvious, with ten fingers the emerging mathematician always has the most modern calculator “at hand”. This seems like a feature, not a bug.

Counting to ten feels natural but nature has played all of us who do…


Lorie Griswold

The song was “God Gave Me Music”, Sadly Dolly never heard it

Jerry Garcia first introduced me to Dolly Parton. Not in person of course, the closest I ever got to the legendary Grateful Dead guitarist was at the Family Dog venue in San Francisco, around 1970. This was the last year the Dead could play a small hall and every other time I saw them it was at a 5000 person or larger arena. No, Jerry introduced me to Dolly via a 1972 Playboy article, Grateful Dead I Have Known (Ed McClanahan) where Jerry identified her as his “favorite girl singer”.

Dolly could hardly have been farther from my musical background…


I Blame ebay

There was this antique rosewood “shipwright’s plane” on ebay, and I’m a sucker for old tools and rosewood. It was a “buy it now” sale which I managed to ignore for weeks, but then the seller dropped the price $15 and I couldn’t stop myself.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

The answer to the question seems obvious; how else would offspring get genetic contributions from both parents? This answer just raises another question; why is it important that offspring be constructed from the genetic contribution of two, usually unrelated parents? The accepted answer to this second question is that combining the genes of two unrelated parents promotes genetic diversity, which is recognized to be health and fitness enhancing both in the individual and the population.

The findings of the Human Genome Project make this answer a little more complex.

Decoding the entire genome of a few selected individuals would be…


Possible that you need to look up the definition, you obviously don't know it. I'll make it easy for you though, a fiat currency is one that is not backed up by specie (look it up), gold for example. Of course both gold and BTC are "worth" what people are willing to pay for them, their value is a function of human belief. Now gold HAS a couple of practical uses, which means that it HAS a value based in measurable reality. What would you say the practical use of BTC is? …

John Griswold

Master carpenter, watercolor artist, beat up old jock and somewhat reluctant care giver, owned by Black Lab Bo who considers two tennis balls a minimum mouthful

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