My cousin in Idaho has a pretty decent sawmill.

If he had a chance to see this one, I suppose that he might say, “uffda”.

Uffda is a Scandinavian word that means something like “uh-oh”….or “oops”….or “shucks” or “oh, no!!” or…..

Words that cover a lot of ground are good ones to have in your vocabulary.

This guy figured out a way to get the whole box up to his backyard…..with a complex system of wheels and pulleys, I suppose.

How about that?

And, when he gets it up to his backyard, he uses it to make poplar shingles for his shed that he’s building.




And if you’re really going to launch yourself into the world of lumber production, why not dress the part?

Barefoot….with no hearing protection….shorts….

What could happen?

Maybe nothing would happen.



This looks like it could be sort of cool to have one of these….and I bet that it would probably work pretty good, too…but, like a lot of Harbor Freight stuff that I own, I suspect that there’s nicer tools out there if you’re willing to spend more money.

That’s genius, huh?

“Spend more money….and you’ll get something nicer than the Harbor Freight stuff.”



There are a kazillion videos on Facebook about bandsaw mills….homemade or store-bought.

Lot’s of folks cutting up those trees.

Check out this one….

It’s fun to see how people figure out how to do stuff.





the big one

This movie comes out on DVD on Tuesday.

Man….I love a good disaster movie.

What is it in my psyche that eats up some good CGI destruction?

The worst thing that happens to us might be a blowout at 65 miles per hour on the interstate….and that blowout is IN THE VAN!!

When you have a little child in your family again, the risk of a blowout is huge.

You can’t predict when that’s going to happen.

But nothing’s falling apart….and the highway doesn’t open to swallow us up.

It just smells kind of bad.

I am looking forward to sitting and eating some popcorn and watching the world fall apart.






I found a railroad spike on the route yesterday…..surprisingly, right on the little hill that I go up to cross over the….railroad tracks.

It was right next to the tracks!!

A spike!!

I thought that I better stop and pick it up before it pops somebody’s tire.

Looking back, it was my next thought that was the weird one.

I thought, “Man….if there’s one loose spike laying by the tracks….then surely there must be more! I’ll bet that if I walked these tracks, I’d find more of these spikes….and soon I’d be able to build a big spike collection and would probably be able to find a place to display my collection….and ….that would be kind of cool.”

Of course, my thought wasn’t that fully formed when I had it.

I multi-task….but not so clearly as that.

It’s always more of an impression than a fully formed thought.

My thoughts are a breeze….not a hurricane.

I’m a mailman…I can’t afford to let my mind wander so ….lucidly.

But….what is it in me that when I find a spike, my immediate reaction is to wonder if I couldn’t find a whole lot more spikes with just a little industry?

What do I need with a bunch of railroad spikes?

I wonder if it’s just an excuse to walk the tracks?

Nobody else uses them…no trains ever pass….and the tops of the tracks are covered with rust.

It would be a safe place to walk….if I didn’t run into any BAD HOBOES.

I don’t need a bunch of spikes…but it’s cool knowing that they’re possibly out there for the picking.

Sparrow got up with me this morning….early.

I had to use the “potty”….and Jenny said that Sparrow would probably follow me in and then want to run back to the bedroom.

It’s a blessing that me going to the potty isn’t all that fascinating….because, sure enough, when I sat down to start my ritual, she turned around and went back to the bedroom….and when that didn’t work out for her, we started to watch some Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood….when I was done in the bathroom.

Daniel Tiger is a lot more entertaining than Daddy going to the potty.

It’s raining here…and we need an activity for the day with all the kids back with us.

Maybe we could walk the tracks and find more spikes!!

And I could explain, before we started walking……”THOSE SPIKES ARE DADDY’S.”

(I need more spikes….I know that now that I’ve found one…)

“day in the life of a railroad spike” Balsam Ridge

faster than a speeding bullet….

When I woke up this morning, my mind was swirling….fast.

It was insane….at 4 o’clock in the morning, my mind was racing….neurons firing willy-nilly….fast, fast, fast.

I thought, “My gosh, I’m like that guy in the “Limitless” movie….with his mind going faster and faster….getting smarter and smarter….making all these connections and realizations and going places my brain had never gone before.



And then I realized….”Whoa….my mind is racing….but it’s not any smarter than it ever was.”


Oh, well….so much for that theory.

So I got up….intending to write a blog post.

As long as my mind was racing, why not get up and take advantage of being restless?

So I cranked up the computer (it’s an older computer) and went to log in….and realized that the internet was down.

So I spent the morning doing some diagnostics….and when that didn’t work, started reading a Michael Perry book called “Visiting Tom”, which was a lot better way to spend my time than thinking I was getting any smarter…or trying to coax an un-coaxable computer to allow me to get onto the information superhighway.

It’s OK to not be a super genius.

I can always drink a lot of coffee and ponder things….fast.

If you can’t be smart….be dumb fast.

Speedy little MOE-RON.

you never see the best….until you see….


I have some pretty great friends.

I don’t see them all that often….most of them, at least….but they’re pretty great.

I guess that some of them know that I notice that.

I suppose some of them don’t.

I’ll have to do something about that.

I should let them know that they matter to me….. more often.

I was thinking the other day about people….and was thinking about how, until you choose to see the best in people, that a lot of the time you never get to see….the best in people.

Not that my efforts…or my “remembered perspective”….is the thing that makes anyone “good”….it’s just that I think that it’s hard for people to relax into their best selves until someone gives them the safety of full appreciation.

Being “appreciated” is a safe place to be.

I should do that with my own family, too.

“Full appreciation”?

I’m too tired most of the time for that kind of monkey business.

“Fond awareness” I can do….but “full appreciation” takes some effort.

And, you know, the “noticing” doesn’t really change anything, anyway.

Sometimes, it’s easy to see the best….sometimes it’s bright and shiny and enthusiastic and happy.

That’s easy when it’s like that.

Sometimes it’s harder to see.

What’s there is there….people have so much good in them all the time….sometimes swimming below the surface of what appears to be a pretty rank pond of anger and self-induced bad vibes and crummy luck.

Sometimes it’s self-induced.

A lot of the time, it’s just sad things that happened to or around us.

Some stuff is hard to carry.

It’s not like noticing is the thing that pulls any goodness to the top of the muddy water, though.

Maybe it’s just hard to see all that hidden goodness until you look with the right eyes?

I have a lot of great friends.

I see the best in them.

And that’s pretty good for me.

It’s fun to hang out with people of such good humor and greatness.

I want things to be good…so, for selfish reasons, I’m learning to see all the good….all the time.

Jenny told me, “Form follows thought.”

Maybe that’s what I’m getting at?

Awww, what the heck? We like the people who like us.

Nothing too tricky about that sentiment.

I like my friends.

Thoreau in the Jeep


I drive around in the woods…by the woods….circling the woods….all day.

We are not lacking in trees in this part of North Carolina.

Lately, I’ve been listening to Walden again….on my car stereo.

I downloaded a good version of it off of Librivox.org.

It’s a nice way to spend the day….delivering mail and listening to things that I’d heard quite a few times before.

I pick up something new every time.

I listened more carefully to this section yesterday.

It’s a pretty famous part of the book….so it may be familiar…

As I was leaving the Irishman’s roof after the rain, bending my steps again to the pond, my haste to catch pickerel, wading in retired meadows, in sloughs and bog-holes, in forlorn and savage places, appeared for an instant trivial to me who had been sent to school and college; but as I ran down the hill toward the reddening west, with the rainbow over my shoulder, and some faint tinkling sounds borne to my ear through the cleansed air, from I know not what quarter, my Good Genius seemed to say—Go fish and hunt far and wide day by day—farther and wider—and rest thee by many brooks and hearth-sides without misgiving. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may here be played. Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay. Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to farmers’ crops? That is not its errand to thee. Take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport. Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs

There are reasons that people come back to a book over and over.

That passage pretty much says it all…..”take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport….”

Man, Thoreau!! You nailed it.

That’s the kind of stuff that will free you or completely mess you up, though.

I don’t want the kids to say, “Hey….where’s Dad?” and have to get the answer that I’m in my “castle in the sky”.

If a life of quiet desperation means that everybody’s safe and dry….well, then, that’s a good trade-off.

But….but….but…..”Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay.” sounds pretty darn good and righteous somehow, too.

That would be a good thing to teach the kids…to some degree….

“Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth”!!

That would be a good thing to teach the kids….period.

Maybe that’s what I’m really shooting for?

Some weird measure of “controlled wildness”?

Thoreau is just great!

Great stuff.

“books by thoreau” Surprise

packed everything that I own….

I’ve used this video before….but it’s late and I’m flailing for a quick blog to keep my run complete….and it’s a good song…so I’ll use it again.


What state name rolls off your tongue like “Idaho”?

There should be a kazillion songs called “Idaho”….but there aren’t all that many.

I guess that if the few that I know of are this good….or as good as Josh Ritter’s song….I should be happy with the ones that I know of.

I just heard the line in this song where she sings “tell me Phaedrus….’what’s good?’ “.

I’ll have to listen to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance again….

There are a million and one places that aren’t “here” that I can fixate on…and suppose that they might be better… when I’m tired and unimaginative.

But….and here comes the broken record…the one that keeps coming around no matter how tired I am or how itchy my feet get…it’s pretty darn amazing right where I am.

It’s amazing…day in and day out…it’s amazing.

If I poke my head out the door and open my eyes, I’m going to see something pretty amazing.

And the really good thing about that is to realize that it might not be the place that is so amazing….maybe it’s the eyes that I’m looking through that let me see “the place amazing”?

I see with my brain….looking through my eyes…and if I get my head together, my brain holds the right attitude….and what I see is amazing.

I can go anywhere.

Here’s good.

I’m convinced….where my eyes and heart are….where my family is…is pretty darn amazing.

That’s a good thought to go to sleep on.

The Nicest Donald Trump Rally

I think that it’s something about the eyes.

Have you seen the Trump family portrait on the cover of People magazine?


I think that it’s something about the eyes that really bothers me.

Of course, I’d have to pay it some attention to really get to the bottom of what it is about the eyes that bothers me….but it’s there, even if I can’t put my finger on it.

I’ve heard it said that the eyes were the window to the soul…and that picture makes me wish that somebody would light a candle or something behind those eyes.

It’s pretty dark in there.

So…this rally was a reaction to that…

I think that the Trump camp felt that they better do some “damage control”….and quick.

How much more could he go to the opposite end of the spectrum than a bunch of dreadlocked warriors of love dancing around and singing a song of peace?

It’s kind of opposite of the image he usually projects….but maybe it’s time to embrace the Hawaiian Rasta camp?

Seeing him dancing around the fire….shouting, “YOU’RE FIRED!!” ….just for fun….might even change my opinion of the man.

Here’s his follow-up to this effort….

Maybe there’s a light in there after all….

Donald Trump!! I hardly knew you!!!




I was kidding around and I told Nate the other day that “IT’S FUN TO PLAY!!”

Jenny thought that was ridiculous….and funny.

I think that Jenny thinks that a lot of the things I say are somehow both…ridiculous and funny….a lot of the time.

I know that some of the stuff that I say isn’t very funny to Jenny.

Some of it is just irritating.

I joke around too much.

I can be sort of a “smartypants”.

Man….it is surely fun to play, though.

I think that when you become an adult, the way you play changes.

You don’t get out the Lego men and build a Lego world.


Actually, that doesn’t sound like very much fun to me.

It would cost money!!

I couldn’t have too much fun if I was spending a bunch of money…..unless….


Nah….even that would feel weird.

Maybe the fun is watching these guys have fun?

Oh, man.

I just thought of what would be really fun!!

Going to the new Sierra Nevada brewery…..taking the tour….sampling….and eating a bunch of duck fat fries….and then taking a cab back to the hotel and hanging out with Jenny….that’s what would be fun.

With Jenny.

While the kids played with Legos.

At home.


I read that Rod Stewart finally stopped playing soccer….something about his knees giving him problems.

We all slow down….adjust….figure out new ways to have fun….figure out new ways to play.

People get stiff as they age….no matter how much they work out and “maintain”.

But the thing that can stay pliable is our attitudes….MY ATTITUDE.

I can play….I can have fun.

I’m going to buy a soccer ball and kick it around a field with these guys….throw a frisbee more often….fly a kite.

Actually build the treehouse.

Eat some duck fat fries.

Eat some duck fat fries….then recommit to vegetarianism….after a big plate of duck fat fries.

And beer.