First, the caveat:
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about woodworking, trying to make sense of what it is that has always drawn me to it. I’m notorious for over-thinking, overanalyzing and basically spending too much energy navel-gazing. This blog is intended to get some of it out of my head. I’ll be glib, sarcastic and flippant in my other posts. Who knows how this one will turn out. It may be a train wreck, so reader beware! If navel-gazing doesn’t hold any appeal or distraction for you, move on. If you’re allergic to estrogen, move away quickly.
My own personal rules are to not to spend more than 30 minutes on any one post. I can correct a mistake if I catch it right away, but can’t go back. If I post it, I can’t edit or delete. I tend to edit things to death and have been known to delete my posts before it’s too late. (If you’re reading this Monte – you caught me)
If anything resonates with you, feel free to chime in.
931pm A bit earlier than my usual ramblings. The kids are asleep, and my husband is watching sports with a large glass of beer. I should be good for 30 minutes.
I was on LJ today looking at shop photos. I went back and read some threads about tool organization and drooled over some pictures. I love things to be organized. I love lists, and knowing where things are, being punctual and I do have a fondness for labels. I guess that makes me label-retentive. That penchant isn’t obvious if you look at my shop photos, but life happens, and I do realize that not everyone shares my, ummm, passion? problem?
I’m stuck and I’m only 4 minutes in. Why was I writing about labels again?
Ah yes, the word label was on my mind today because it occurred to me that labels are both a blessing and a curse.
It used to be that you could label someone and it wouldn’t cause social outcry. “Do you know Bill, the tall black guy? Or Rose, the large lady.” Labels change over the years. Now we’re stuck in a society where we sometimes mumble and stutter our way through social situations. We’ve lost the comfort of our known labels. When someone introduces me to their ‘partner’, I no longer can delve into my mental filing cabinet and pull out an image or description. Maybe I need re-usable labels?
The media made labelling equivalent to evil-doing when it was used by police for ‘profiling’. Gee, if I got bit by a poodle 6 times in a row, I’d probably flinch when I saw a poodle. We all profile. It’s just not polite to talk about it. Show me three teenagers with their pants half way to their knees, huddled together on a street corner, and I’d probably choose to walk on the other side of the street. Yes, they could be exchanging prayer cards, or perhaps comparing SAT scores but my mental label maker prints out something altogether different.
When I used to travel a lot for work, I’d know how organized an office was or wasn’t as soon as I saw the labels, or lack thereof.
Need batteries? Those would be in the cupboard labelled ‘batteries and chargers’ Need pens? In the cupboard labelled ‘office supplies’. Far better than opening sixteen cupboards to find what you’re looking for. Where is Betty’s desk? Hers would be the one with the name plate that says Betty Lastname. See how great labels can be?
When talking to my 13 year old daughter one day, I told her that I still remembered which girls had certain labels when I was her age. (You know the ones I’m talking about, admit it.) The long lecture ended with something about her never dating until she’s 28.
Back to woodworking. I’m still a newby to the craft/skill/obsession/hobby so I really don’t know how much or little the labels have changed. I presume if someone is writing about a table saw, that the image I have is pretty accurate. Sandpaper is not open to much interpretation. Sure there are a plethora (nerd word)of types, but the function and the name are the same. There’s a comfort in labels that we all understand. Of course we could talk about name brands as labels, but I can never remember how to spell Lie Nielson. Or is it Neilson. Whichever, I don’t own any, so it’s a moot point. I’m pretty sure that sawdust in Korea is much like sawdust in Eastern Canada or Australia. If I mention that the shelves are made of wood, we seem to all agree here that it is material from a tree.
My dream shop someday will have drawers and cupboard with no labels on the outside. That’s because when you open each drawer or cupboard, there will be smaller bins or compartments with clearly legible labels. Andy, one of my LJ buddies, uses masking tape and a sharpie. It works for him, but I still think he needs a label maker for Christmas. (And he RIPS the tape too, gasp!)
10:13, and I may have officially stalled. Because writers don’t actually ‘write’ much any more, am I suffering from “typer’s block”? Or is it “keyboarding cramp”?
I have not been in my shop much at all in the past few weeks, and I’m itching to get back to building my workbench. Of course, there are some jigs in the queue for me to build, and you can be dang straight that they’ll be labelled in someway so that years from now, when I pick up the piece of MDF with graduated holes and a fence, I’ll know what the heck it was for.
When my kids each started taking the school bus, they took one bus in the morning and a different one in afternoon. I wondered how those poor kindergarden teacher could get them all to the right busses. My solution was to put a transparent luggage tag on their bookbags. One side was labelled with the morning bus info, the other side was a different colour and was labelled with the afternoon bus info and stop address. It worked like a charm.
Oh yeah, and for the record, it can be spelled ‘labeled’ or ‘labelled’. (Don’t mess with a label-makin’ mama on the edge.)
Phew. That was a hard fought 30 minutes.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.