Thursday, April 17, 2014


Minor flooding of the roads
Do you ever have those days that make you question your decisions or choices? I assume that everyone does really. They are the days or times that test you, and your conviction. No, this isn't always some weighty, life decision. It can be something simple.
Sure, I have those other moments that test my life decisions all the time. Should I really have gotten out of high tech even though I hated it and it was driving me crazy? Perhaps not, but I did and I feel much better, albeit poorer, for that decision. Should we have adopted two cats a little more than four years ago? Well, two cats are probably less work than four cats, though they are small and don't take up much space and all told, don't eat that much. Should I have raced road vs. MTB last weekend? In hindsight, probably not. Racing road just frustrates me. I learned that long ago, which is why I've mostly retired from racing on the road. In a word, I'm a "poor" road racer. This past Sunday reminded me of that. I just get so caught up in having fun putting in digs that I forget about the end game. Actually, in this case I didn't forget, I had a plan and I executed upon that plan and it failed, twice.
That is a small brook, at least usually.
We make choices and then we deal with the consequences of those choices. As much as we would really like to calculate, plan for and control all of the details leading to the outcome, in most cases that is simply unrealistic. In my opinion, the best you can do is hone your skills at adapting. It is like building basically anything, you plan and do due dilegance but inevitably, there is a design flaw that you are forced to deal with. Adapt, improvise and overcome. Honestly, that is one of the best aspects of woodworking, fixing your mistakes so the end result looks intentional. Maybe I just make a lot of mistakes so I get lots of practice but I've gotten quite proficient at hiding the flaws. As often as not, I do so through accentuation of the very issue. Add a contrasting decorative spacer piece to fill the gap. Between you and I, my granite tile countertop has that exact feature and it looks pretty darn neat.
Wet but warm-ish
Maybe this is why I like the idea of building things out of scrap material. I've created a number of wooden pieces from scrap wood and old pallets. One of my favorite ever is a patchwork coffee table with walnut scrap pieces and reclaimed oak and maple from pallets, complete with the nail holes. Something from nothing if you will is much more satisfying than using pristine materials. Anyone can build a level and plumb wall with straight wood but the true craftsman can do it with twisted Home Depot junk.

Anyhow, I started this post in my head last Tuesday evening, when I was riding in the monsoon. It occured to me that it was one of those days that made me question my notion to not only continue to ride every day, but to do so outside and not indoors on a stationary trainer. There have been a number of those days in the months since last August that I have ridden outdoors each day of, which have caused me to question the decision to keep riding. That said, the hardest part is always getting going, taking the plunge if you will. Once you are in, the water is often fine, as it was this past Tuesday. I've come to value those odd days that are the most challenging to get motivated for in the first place. I suspect that this is for the simple reason that overcoming the challenge of the  day itself, is an accomplishment which we successfully completed. The rest from there is all just gravy.


Hill Junkie said...

Can relate to scrap wood projects. 25 years ago I built a table top out of scrap pieces of red oak a mill next door to where I worked would set out by the road and legs out of unknown species pallet hardwood. It is still our kitchen table today.

mkr said...

Agreed Doug. Something from nothing is always satisfying. I was looking at a bunch of scrap by a dumpster just last night during a ride.