Lots of “The Wild Wild West” & “The Angry Beavers”

Wendy go me the complete series of The Wild Wild West television show for Christmas. It’s one of those shows, like Hogan’s Heroes, that I really liked growing up. They had a spy / steampunk thing going and I love it…always have. There’s something programmed into little boys to love secret agent gadgets, etc. Little boys don’t outgrow that, at least I didn’t.

The Wild Wild West This weekend me and the boys watched a lot of The Wild Wild West and we haven’t gotten through the first season. Unlike the 30-minute episodes of Hogan’s HeroesThe Wild Wild West has 1-hour episodes. The complete collection is (62) 1-hour episodes. Needless to say, they’ll be entertainment for us for quite a while. It’s fun to see the boys enjoy the series like I did (and still do).

The acting and some of the stunts are corny but it’s all forgivable for some unexplainable reason. It’s just good “old-fashioned” TV fun. I don’t have to flinch while watching the shows with the family. Another series I just got was the entire series of The Angry Beavers. These shows are Three Stooges type funny. Not so much intellectual, just funny.

The Angry Beaves

I’ve always wanted to buy the series but it wasn’t available for a long time. Finally, Amazon.com made it possible. We really enjoy these for simple comic relief. I think all the kids, from the oldest (in law school now), the twins (in college), to the youngest enjoy these shows. Just goofy funny; I make no apologies…

It’s a Wonderful Tradition

In our house we always—I do mean always—watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. This year we watched it on an iPad when our only television went out. Watching the movie is really my thing and everyone else has given in to my eccentricity.

The show has a lot of personal meaning to me because I watched it for the first time as a flat-broke single parent while wrapping Christmas presents late into the night (I’m a slow wrapper) on Christmas Eve. It helped me refocus on Christmas and less on self pity. I really needed that at the time…still do.

As we were watching it this year on the beautiful Retina display of the iPad, I was giving the typical narrative comparing that era to the present. As usual I’m saying things like, “That $8000 Uncle Billy lost is something like a ginormous amount of money nowadays.” Ginormous is difficult to visualize.

In order to be a little more precise I used the inflation calculator at the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate its modern value. Two values stand out to me in the movie: 1) the $8000 Uncle Billy lost, and 2) the $25,000 line of credit Sam Wainwright telegrams to George Bailey.

In today’s dollars the lost $8,000 would be $133,182.29 and the $25,000 line of credit would $416,194.64! In that light, I think we all understand why George was freaking out and contemplating suicide. Plus, the powerful statement by Sam that people—the simple, self-sacrificing little people—are worth more than money. I love that show and I’m blessed by a wonderful family to watch it with.

Wrapping Up Old and Starting New Projects

Going into this weekend I need to wrap up (start and wrap up) one of the last picture frames. All the materials and tools are ready, it’s time to just get it done already. Here’s a concept model of the frame:

Once I get that frame done I need to build the dado jig for my router. The guide bushings for it came in yesterday:

Once all that’s done I need to work on shop storage, then Wendy’s Sewing Cabinet and Clinton’s Barrister Shelves.

Twelve Days of Christmas

There are very few people I’ve encountered that know the Twelve Days of Christmas actually begins on Christmas Day. Here’s a summary of the Twelve Days of Christmas from the Wikipedia article (linked below):

The first day of Christmas is Christmas Day and each day is a feast in memory of a Saint or event associated with the Christmas season. The days are as follows:

  • Day 1, 25 December: Christmas Day.
  • Day 2, 26 December: St. Stephen’s Day. This day is mentioned in the carol “Good King Wenceslas”. Boxing Day, a non-religious banking holiday occurs on the first day following Christmas. In Ireland this day is also known as Wren Day.
  • Day 3, 27 December: Feast of saint John the Evangelist and Apostle.
  • Day 4, 28 December: The Feast of the Holy Innocents, the young male children ordered murdered in Bethlehem by King Herod, according to the Gospel of Matthew. The traditional Christmas song “The Coventry Carol” describes this event.
  • Day 5, 29 December: The feast day of Saint Thomas Becket.
  • Day 6, 30 December: The feast of the Holy Family.
  • Day 7, 31 December: The feast of Saint Sylvester. In Scotland this day is known as Hogmanay. In Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Slovenia, New Years Eve is still referred to as Silvester.
  • Day 8, 1 January: The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Before the Second Vatican Council, it was also observed as the Feast of the Holy Circumcision of Jesus.
  • Day 9, 2 January: Octave day of St. Stephen or the feast day of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen. In England, the Lichfield Martyrs are also celebrated on this day.
  • Day 10, 3 January: Feast of Saint Genevieve or the most holy name of Jesus.
  • Day 11, 4 January: The octave day of the feast of the Holy Innocents or the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint. In medieval times this was The feast of Saint Simon Stylites.
  • Day 12, 5 January: In the UK this was the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor, King of England. The rest of Europe feasted St. Julian the Hospitaller on this day. The modern church recognizes this as the feast day of St. John Neumann. The evening of the 5 January is also Twelfth Night

Twelve Days of Christmas – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Never Would Have Believed It

My brother-in-law, James came up with the idea of getting my father an E-Z-Go cart. My dad is pretty conservative and, therefore, I was reluctant to believe he’d like the gift. We bought it anyway.

Happily, my brother-in-law was very correct in his belief that Dad would like the cart. It’s the most smiling I’ve seen my dad do for a long time. Here’s a picture of Dad driving the cart:


Clinton’s Book Rack

Since I gave it to him this morning I can now blog about Clinton’s Book Rack. This is a really cool modification on the Ira Griffith design found in his book from 1912, Advanced Projects in Woodwork, plate #6.

One of the features of the original design is keyed through-tenons, but Clinton isn’t a fan of the keyed tenons. I wanted to build this project for him as an accessory to a later barrister shelf project so I modified the design to fit his preference.

What’s better than being able to customize a project to fit the specific preferences of the recipient? Here’s a picture of a Book Rack as it was originally designed (right) and the modification (left):

A lot of folks have seen the modified design and, interestingly, prefer it. I like both. I’m very happy with the results and extremely happy to built for my family! Here’s on last photo of Clinton’s Book Rack:

20131225-092337.jpgMerry Christmas, son.

Wall-Mounted Workbench Mounted

Tonight we—Cole, Kyle, Corbin and me—mounted the workbench to the wall in the garage. It’s pretty great that the installation went so well. It was a lot less difficult than I expected. Only took about 30 minutes to install it.

All the instructions (from ShopNotes #14) worked perfectly. Maybe it’s suspected, but I don’t think a certain someone knows it’s a Christmas present yet. I hope he really likes it and enjoys it!

Toy Guns

Wendy wanted to give some of the boys wooden toy guns for Christmas. After I finished working on Grandma’s picture frame this morning I started working on the guns.

Me, Corbin and Cole started an assembly line construction of them. We made (8) rough cuts and (6) survived the router table. Once we got them built we decided they’d be the primary gift for the boys.

Nearly all the gifts we gave at the party were handmade and all of those were a hit. There’s something very pleasing in making and giving a gift; it’s more personal and expressive.

As simple as these little wooden guns are they end up being enjoyed and cherished for years. They tend to be the things the kids don’t want to lose. A handmade gift expresses care, live and value to children no matter how simple the gift.

Here’s a picture of the toy guns:


A Good Start

Today I had a great day visiting with Wendy’s people (family). One of the things that made it so great was the fact that I was able to express myself to some of them through things I built with my own hands.

As an introvert, I find it difficult to express myself…especially in a loving way to others. Wendy’s people (family) are warm, loving, kind people that I cherish. Those feelings I have toward them doesn’t always come across to them when we are at family functions.

Today was different. Wendy came up with many ideas for things I was able build with my own tools and hands for her certain people in her family. It connected me to them. Suddenly an introvert (me) had a connection to her family (them).

It was exciting. I enjoyed it. I want more of that. Hopefully this will be an avenue that we will be able to leverage in the future. Truly, I’m thankful of this venue.

Grandma’s Frame Completed

I stayed up late last night staining the frame so it would be ready to lacquer and wax this morning. Early this morning I applied the lacquer and BriWax. Then I buffed the wax with a random orbital car buffer.

The results of the finish are exceptional. The quarter-sawn white oak has really beautiful rays in it that change as the angle of view changes.

Wendy took a photo of the kids and I mounted it into the frame with a glass face.