Workshop Cabinet (prototype)

I built a prototype of the cabinet I was thinking of using in my workshop. The design has changed based on the things I learned from this build. Below is a gallery of photos showing the build:

Workshop Cabinet (prototype)

Book Rack (Arts & Crafts) with Through Tenons

Here’s a modified design of the Arts & Crafts Book Rack. My son, Clinton, isn’t fond of the keyed tenons so I changed the design to have shorter through tenons and chamfered the ends where they protruded through the end of the rack.

Book Rack (Arts & Crafts)

Book Rack w/ Keyed Through Tenons (Arts & Crafts)

Here’s a gallery of photos showing my build of the Arts & Crafts Book Rack with keyed tenon joinery. I’ve posted some of these photos before but this is the complete set of photos.

Book Rack w/ Keyed Through Tenons (Arts & Crafts)

Feral Hamsters

It’s a herd of feral hamsters, a major herd, thundering across the yellow plains of the southern reaches of the Great Concavity in what used to be Vermont, raising dust that forms a uremic-hued cloud with somatic shapes interpretable from as far away as Boston and Montreal. … The noise of the herd is tornadic, locomotival. The expression on the hamsters’ whiskered faces is businesslike and implacable — it’s that implacable-herd expression. … With respect to a herd of this size, please exercise the sort of common sense that come to think of it would keep your thinking man out of the southwest Concavity anyway. Feral hamsters are not pets. They mean business. Wide berth advised. Carry nothing even remotely vegetablish if in the path of a feral herd.

— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Now everyone is going to get tired of me sending them quotes from Infinite Jest.

Reading “Watership Down” as an Adult

Reading Watership Down as an adult gives the book so much more meaning and depth. It’s very similar to reading the Narnia books as an adult. Now I’m in search of a high-quality binding of the book for the—future—grandchildren’s book shelf.

El-ahrairah went along the hedgerow to the wood and sat alone under a nut bush, looking out across the fields. As the light began to fail, he suddenly realized that Lord Frith was close beside him, among the leaves.

“‘Are you angry, El-ahrairah?’ asked Lord Frith.

“‘No, my lord,’ replied El-ahrairah, ‘I am not angry. But I have learned that with creatures one loves, suffering is not the only thing for which one may pity them. A rabbit who does not know when a gift has made him safe is poorer than a slug, even though he may think otherwise himself.’

“‘Wisdom is found on the desolate hillside, El-ahrairah, where none comes to feed, and the stony bank where the rabbit scratches a hole in vain.’

— Richard Adams, Watership Down: A Novel

This quote reminds me that many people—some know to me, some not—have sacrificed and I directly benefit from those sacrifices. I want to not forget that.

We Make an Idol of Truth

We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not God, but His image and idol, which we must neither love nor worship; and still less must we love or worship its opposite, namely, falsehood.

—Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

Pascal on the “Skeptics of Christianity”

[T]hey take occasion to revile the Christian religion, because they misunderstand it. They imagine that it consists simply in the worship of a God considered as great, powerful, and eternal; which is strictly deism, almost as far removed from the Christian religion as atheism, which is its exact opposite. And thence they conclude that this religion is not true, because they do not see that all things concur to the establishment of this point, that God does not manifest Himself to men with all the evidences which He could show.

But let them conclude what they will against deism, they will conclude nothing against Christian religion, which properly consists in the mystery of the Redeemer, who, uniting in Himself the two natures, human and divine, has redeemed men from the corruption of sin in order to reconcile them in His divine person of God.

The Christian religion then teaches men to hear two truths; that there is a God whom men can know, and that there is a corruption in their nature which renders them unworthy of Him. It is equally important to men to know both these points; and it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to to know his own wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it. The knowledge of one of these points gives either to the pride of philosophers, who have known God, and not their own wretchedness, or to the despair of atheists, who know their own wretchedness, but not the Redeemer.

—Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

Pascal on the “Feeble-Minded” and the Truth

The feeble-minded are people who know the truth, but only affirm it so far as consistent with there own interest. But, apart from that, they renounce it.

— Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

World Religion and True Religion

While reading John Wesley on The Sermon on the Mount Volume 2: The Standard Sermons in Modern English Volume 2, 21-33 (Standard Sermons of John Wesley) (Yeah, that’s the real title of the book) I came across the following:

It is just as impossible to satisfy the hungry soul that thirsts for the living God with worldly religion as it is to satisfy the hungry soul with what the world counts as “happiness.” The religion of the world includes only these three things:

  1. Doing no harm. That is, we must abstain from outward sin, at least from such scandalous transgressions as robbery, theft, common swearing, and drunkenness.
  2. Doing good. The religion of the world calls for us to relieve the poor and to be charitable (as it is called).
  3. Using the means of grace. This aspect of the religion of the world includes going to church and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

If people have these three marks, the world accounts them as “religious persons.”

However, will mere “religion” satisfy the soul that hungers after God? Never. Outward religion does not provide food for the soul.

Wesley always has a way of reminding me that relativity isn’t a good standard; it’s actually the absence of a standard. It’s always tempting for one to compare oneself to others and arrogantly think “I’m doing pretty well.” That’s always wrong and it doesn’t feed my soul.

Invitation to the Thirsty

Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV)
Invitation to the Thirsty

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.