The Wood Poem

Since I’ve been posting a lot of woodworking updates, I thought I’d post a poem I wrote about wood.  Actually, it’s a list poem, so the names of the woods themselves form the bulk of the poem.  It’s best read aloud, but then again, most poetry is.

Woods
Let me start with cocobolo,
heft some rosewood,
jobillo, ebony—macassar and gaboon.
Let me smell the pungent walnut
released after deep boring.
Stand back for western red cedar,
for bloodwood, for paduak.
Ironwood, lignum vitae, hornbeam—
all too heavy for me.
From holly to poplar to sycamore to oak,
some sound like they belong.
Others—iroko, ipe, lyptus—
must be from far-off lands.
Try the exotics, the tropical woods.
Come back briefly
for big leaf maple burl,
but remember,
always end with
bubinga!

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A wood called bocote.

I made another peppermill for my dad (another belated birthday present), this time out of bocote.  That’s pronounced either “bow-coat-ee” or “buh-coat-ee”.  It’s a good wood for turning, being close-grained, though it is pretty hard.  But look at the grain!  And “bocote” is fun to say.  Maybe not as much fun as “cocobolo” or “bubinga,” but still more exciting than “oak.”  🙂

Bocote Peppermill 3 small

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Wayne’s Woodworking Update: Satinwood Peppermill and Salt Shaker

After a few days of being busy with work, I’m back to slowly updating my blog with pics of my woodworking.  My latest update is a (very) belated Christmas gift for my dad, a peppermill and salt shaker made of satinwood.  Click here for more pics.

Satinwood Salt and Pepper 2 small

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Still more woodworking–a sycamore bowl

During one of my wood-buying trips to Woodcraft, I bought a piece of sycamore, not knowing what I’d do with it.  I ended up turning a bowl, and gave it to Santina–she has it in her office at work now.

Just a word about sycamore–it’s related to maple, but isn’t as close-grained.  That means there’s a lot of tear-out when turning end grain, which you do twice per revolution on a bowl.  For those non-woodworkers out there, that means the turned bowl has some very rough spots on it, which need quite a bit of sanding.  Then I put the water-based finish on, only water will raise the grain of many woods.  That is, getting sanded wood wet will cause the wood to swell a bit along the grain pattern and the wood won’t be smooth!  The result is…more sanding!  Sanding is probably a woodworker’s least favorite activity.  At any rate, much sanding was needed in between coats of finish before this bowl was as smooth as I wanted.  The final result is:

Sycamore bowl 1 small

 

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Another woodworking update…

I’ve uploaded pics of a walnut peppermill and salt shaker I made for our friends Bruce and Laurie.  Click here for the page with pics.

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Pestle without a vessel…

No chalice from the palace or flagon with the dragon.  Instead I made an olivewood pestle, though my father-in-law has the vessels it goes with.  He inherited a couple of olivewood mortars a while ago, so I decided I’d turn an olivewood pestle for him.  Here’s a small pic (or go here).

Pestle smaller

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More Woodworking

I’ve uploaded pics of another “recent” woodworking project: a satinwood bowl for my mom.

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Woodworking Update (First of several…I hope)

I’ve been delinquent in updating my blog with poetry and especially pics of my woodworking projects.  Today I added a pic of candle holders I made for my sister…back in January.  Better late than never.  You can surf through the woodworking pages or find the candle holders here.

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Who Killed Junior Seau?

It’s been a year since NFL great Junior Seau committed suicide.  After the report that evidence of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) was found in Seau’s brain was released  in January, I wrote a poem/song titled Who Killed Junior Seau?  It was inspired by a song by Bob Dylan, Who Killed Davey Moore?, about the 1963 death of boxer Davey Moore.  It’s also written in the style of Dylan’s song, so I highly recommend reading the lyrics of Dylan’s song first, as well as listening to it if you get a chance (click here for the lyrics).  Here’s my poem:

Who Killed Junior Seau?

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not I,” said the old head coach
“My methods are beyond reproach
Don’t bring me into this discussion
He never reported a single concussion
I just game-planned to win
I didn’t commit no ugly sin
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not I,” said the football writer
“I called him a warrior and a fighter
Football’s violent, yes it’s true
but lots of other sports are too
Football is America’s Game
Don’t assign me any blame
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not us,” said the football fans
“We paid top dollar to see the man
Make some tackles, get some sacks
An’ we always kept comin’ back
Football is entertainment, what’s the fuss
Don’t go pointin’ your finger at us
Football’s part of the American Way
Boys an’ men play it every day
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No, you can’t blame us at all”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not I,” said the offensive guard
“He played like me, he played real hard
This is nothin’ but a tragedy
Don’t go pointin’ your finger at me
I was blockin’ for my backs
An’ he was tryin’ to get some sacks
Yes I hit him, yes it’s true
But that’s what I am paid to do
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not I,” said the League Commish
“That never ever was my wish
Football’s big business you know
We never wanted to see him go
I knew about the risks years ago
But Football’s big business you know
If we acted on those risks before
No one would want to play no more
If we tried to safen-up the game
Football’d be way too tame
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

“Not I,” said the man himself
As he took the magnum off the shelf
An’ pointed it at his chest
“I always tried to play me best
I always gave a hundred percent
An’ now it seems my brain has went
I’m not the man I was before
An’ I can’t take it any more
I’m hurtin’ inside, I’m tellin’ you
This is the best thing for me to do
I played so long ‘cuz I loved the game
But I’m not the only one to blame”

Who killed Junior Seau?
Why an’ what’s the reason now?

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Dr. Pitcher tells you how to vote some more

Welcome to part 2 of my “how to vote” blog posts.  I left two voting items off my last post, plus I have more to say about Mitt Romney.  Let’s start with the other stuff…

California Congressional District 15: Eric Swalwell

Swalwell’s opponent, Pete Stark, is lying about him big-time (See sfgate’s recommendation of Swalwell here).  Stark is also 81 years old—I think someone new and younger (Swalwell is 31) will better represent my concerns and needs.

Chabot-Las Positas Area Measure I: Yes

This measure is for a parcel tax to help fund the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.  It’s not a lot of money ($28 per parcel), and it would help the district in which I work a lot.

And now for Romney…

I have more reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney.  For one, he lies more than Obama does.  That is not to say Obama doesn’t lie or say misleading things—I think it’s natural for anyone trying to get re-elected to bend the truth, use cherry-picked statistics, and resort to logical fallacies.  I’m not saying it’s good, I’m just saying it’s natural.  But Romney does it more frequently and more blatantly than Obama.  So that’s another strike against the man.

More importantly, Romney stands for something that I find personally wrong, and that hurts friends of mine: he is against marriage equality—he has signed a statement against same-sex marriage.  Why should I vote for someone who won’t let a good number of my friends marry who they want?  A person should be able to choose who he or she wants to spend the rest of his or her life with.  And I refuse to support anyone who wants to legislate that away.

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