Observations #4: Growing Pains

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Blog entry by Russel posted 02-28-2008 01:34 AM 1058 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: A Real Challenge Part 4 of Observations series Part 5: What's in a Name »

HELP ! I’ve fallen and I can’t catch up!

I have been a member here at LumberJocks for a bit more than 6 months and the membership has effectively doubled since I joined. When I joined, the goal was to get to 2000 members by year end. We kinda left that one in the dust.

I tried to make it a point to look at all the projects and read all the posts. I love to read and like looking at pictures. At one time I thought I couldn’t get enough to read ... I was wrong. What I found it that there are not enough hours in the day to keep up. Particularly if I bother to go to work.

I also found that I was spending less time in the shop while spending more time reading about shops. Too much theory and not enough practice makes a rather stagnant Russel. So I decided to get off my ever increasing behind and get out and work some wood.

For those that might be interested, over the last two weekends I have spent approximately 24 hours in my shop. During that time, I have turned on my power tools for less than 4 hours. I have spent my time sanding, gluing, chiseling and sawing. My it’s been quiet lately.

But back to the point, by going out to the shop, I’ve spent less time here on LumberJocks. And while I was gone the place exploded. There are so many new projects to look at. Additionally, there are blogs and forum topics to catch up on. The volume is overwhelming.

The good in all this is that the quality of the site has not diminished with the additions. Of course, that makes falling behind all the worse. So, I plug away keeping up as much as possible. But I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing something.

Now, having said all that, the real question is what to do? Some folks can continue as they always have and not be swayed by the changes. An admirable quality that I wish I had … I never could get into the whole Zen thing. I, on the other hand, have an underlying fear that I’m going to miss something really cool.

So, am I overly obsessive? Can one be overly obsessive? How does one quench the never ending thirst? Of course, the question is rhetorical, but it seemed worth the ask.

-- Working at Woodworking

15 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3767 days

#1 posted 02-28-2008 01:41 AM

well all i do is just read the front page. i look at the newest stuff on the page. that works for me. if something is really amazing then you will most likely hear of it or someone will mention to you. trying to keep up with everything will just give you a lot of stress.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4326 days

#2 posted 02-28-2008 01:42 AM

subscribe to the print version, and try to keep up before bed, waiting for the bus, and while you’re… um… otherwise occupied and in desperate need of reading material. ;)

I’ve gone from being on top of every project to so far behind it doesn’t even matter anymore – too bad about the Zen thing (we’re born on the wrong side of the globe for that one)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4048 days

#3 posted 02-28-2008 01:47 AM

I try to dedicate one night or so a week (and then only a couple of hours) to getting caught up on things here. I look a little every day, and if something strikes me I comment on it. Sometimes I just look in passing and wait a couple of days before posting anything.

I love this place because of how easy it is to post projects, blogs, etc. It is much easier here than on other forums. In fact, now when I post a project on another forum I just throw a link in to the site here. Much easier to do it once in good form than to do it two or three times.

As far as keeping up, I just do not try. It really is a lot, especially with 2 kids, a wife, a job, and always two or three projects going. A lot of information being provided here. I hope it never goes away.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3770 days

#4 posted 02-28-2008 02:17 AM

In the words of Mario Andretti… “If you are comfortable, you are not going fast enough.”

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#5 posted 02-28-2008 02:23 AM

Hi Russell,

I know where you are coming from. With all the posts that are coming in each day it is difficult to keep up with them and do other things. This site is only going to continue to grow so it will reach a point where we simply are going to have to be selective about what we look at and comment on. I think that Debbie summarized it pretty well in one of her responses to reaching her 10000th post. She said that at one time she read everything- all the posts as well as the comments. However she simply cannot keep up anymore. With this many members I don’t think that any of us can and find time for other activities.

We can only do our best and enjoy the benefits of the site as we can work it into our schedules.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4313 days

#6 posted 02-28-2008 03:30 AM

I can’t keep track…just gave up. The first project I ever posted hardly got any comments…like two in six months…now look at this place…crazy.

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3766 days

#7 posted 02-28-2008 04:39 AM

I have only been a member for less than a month and I already feel the way you do. I am retired and have the time, but I will have to cut back on the time I am on this site. I really enjoy keeping up, but I have other interest. Besides, I have been married for 47 years and I don’t want to mess that up. it’s like my friend, Tom, said the other day, “I think I am going to get a divorce”. “why in the world would you want to do that” I said. He said “my wife has not spoke to me in six months”. I said “Tom, you might want to give that a lot of thought, a woman like that is hard to come by”.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 3876 days

#8 posted 02-28-2008 05:35 AM

I can’t keep up anymore, lap top helps sitting in front of the TV. So many new names and faces, that much more knowledge to glean from this site. It gets better everyday.

-- Ron Central, CA

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3787 days

#9 posted 02-28-2008 05:42 AM

I was daunted the day I showed up here. Still, I never run out of something to read!

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3961 days

#10 posted 02-28-2008 05:55 AM

Hang in there, Russel, the best is yet to come.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4063 days

#11 posted 02-28-2008 06:33 AM

I hear ya Russell! I think one of the nicest parts of Lumberjocks is the buddy system. Once I know that someone consistently blows my socks off with their work or their wit, then it’s buddy list for them. Then at least I can keep up with their postings. But what if I miss the next newly appearing genius-jock!. I guess checking the pulse for bumped projects/blogs/forum postings will have to do.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4471 days

#12 posted 02-28-2008 08:30 AM

And now I feel guilty lol ;)

As Tom said “the best is yet to come”.. I’m working on few features that will make it possible to not miss the stuff that interests you most. At the moment we have the pulse and buddy system.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3938 days

#13 posted 02-28-2008 12:42 PM

Well folks it’s always nice to know I’m not alone (misery loves company). This place is worth the time. And, I don’t know if this is a blessing or payback, but the Mrs. has gotten just as addicted to GardenTenders. She used to frequently ask what I was doing (reading LJ) and mildly mention that I was a bit distracted during conversations. Now, she’s regularly on GT while I’m on LJ ... we don’t see each other much anymore. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4159 days

#14 posted 02-28-2008 03:30 PM

hahah Russel, just wait until GT is as active as LJ—and this spring, wow – what to do? Plant the gardens or read about what others are doing?? haha

My biggest smile came from the wise words of our TeenageWoodworker. I think he has life all figured out and can give us all lessons on woodworking AND on life!!
It’s not work getting stressed about.

Personally, I’ve had to adjust my strategy several times in the past few months. As I stated before, up until December I read every post and every comment (the benefits of working at my computer all day) AND the necessity of keeping up to date so i get the best of the best for the eMag each month.

Well, once that Bandsaw prize was announced, that was the end of reading every single thing. I wasn’t getting my other computer work done.
So then I suggested the “never checked” option on the Pulse (and Martin quickly obliged.. thank you thank you) and I tried just to look at these items. Well, something was missing – I enjoy the back and forth banter of discussions that happen in the comments. And, the “never checked” list was sometimes way too long to get through in a day.

Then, I decided to try the buddy list and I added some of my favourite woodworkers to my buddy list so I would be sure not to miss their postings. Well, that wasn’t working either because every day we are getting about 10 new members and when I look at everyone’s projects and read their blogs I want to add them all to the buddy list.

Where am I today? Here’s my current, almost working, strategy:
1. check any new messages on my postings (using the Pulse)
2. check any new messages on my buddies’ postings (using the Pulse)
3. go through the “never checked” postings by anyone… working through that, throughout the day. (this is a must for the eMag so I can’t let that get piled up)
4. check for “new comments” on old postings—anything that has over 4 comments must be interesting so I check those out if I have time.
5. if I’ve time to spare I’ll click on the rest of the comments one at a time.

Phew.. my eyes are sore already and I haven’t gotten past #3 yet.

and as for commenting.. sometimes I do.. and sometimes I don’t.. all depends on how pressed for time I am.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3938 days

#15 posted 02-28-2008 05:25 PM

Wow Deb, I think I’d have a hard time just keeping up with your steps! I am a big fan of the Pulse button and that’s how I determine what to read . . . but by the time I get to page 3, page 1 has changed dramatically. Oh the joys of too much stuff.

-- Working at Woodworking

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