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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chopping firewood

Chopping Wood Back in the early “80”s, I learned the basics from my auto shop instructor, Mr. Munro. It was an adult night class and so a rather relaxed atmosphere. He lived in Grass Valley on a few acres, so when he needed firewood, he would get a permit from the forest service and cut a tree and haul the logs home to split. He advised me to get an eight pound splitting maul, two steel wedges and a small sledge hammer. A six pound maul is too light weight, and you are more likely to break the handle with a 10. So I took his advice. At about this same time Leland asked me if I would like a load of firewood, as he was hired to cut two large eucalyptus trees and would have to dispose of the wood anyway. So I said “Sure just dump it in the driveway”. When I got home from work that night, there was a very large pile of wood uniformly cut to length varying in size from 4 to 24 inches in diameter. As I recall, it was close to two cords of wood. Eucalyptus is an added challenge because it has a twisted grain with a lot of hidden knots that keep the wood from splitting cleanly. Often times I would swing the maul and it would bounce back as though it was a rubber mallet. I had to mentally and physically concentrate every ounce of energy that I could muster into each down swing. I would hit the wood at various locations trying to get it to merely crack. Many times I would need to turn it upside down until I finally found its weak point. And then as I continued to work on that crack I would often get the maul embedded so fast that I could not extract it, and I would have to use the steel wedges, working one against the other, to open the crack and relieve the pressure on the maul. Most of the time when I drove the wedges to their full length the wood would split and I could extract the wedges, but occasionally I needed to drive them further and the sledge, being too wide to fit inside the split required using an old piece of hickory ax handle as an extension of the wedge. I worked at a desk all day writing computer programs, so I enjoyed the physical challenge of splitting the wood in the evenings after work. In fact, it was great therapy for working off aggression, frustration, and anger. It was a time for meditation and composing poems. When I finished for the evening I was a mellow piece of putty, ready to enjoy wife and babies and supper.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Self esteem

Here are some thoughts that I have gleaned from reading the bible:
Self esteem says “I am as good as you are”.
Humility says “You are as good as I am”.
Pride says “I am better than you are”.
My pride denies your self esteem.
Love is a blend of humility and self esteem, while pride stands on the outside looking in.

The one thing that disturbs me most with Christians today is that so many of them are using the words of Leviticus to support their pride, when they should be using the teachings of Jesus to improve their Love.