|Project by ebbflow||posted 02-02-2014 12:50 PM||876 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
I wanted to learn to build picture frames. I didn’t know what exactly to frame- but wanted it to be meaningful.
I got some reclaimed 1.5” x .5” poplar, found a pane of glass on the sidewalk, and busted out my long-neglected frame building tools. The frame went together pretty well. I used a 1/4” straight bit on the router for the rabbet. I went and purchased some framing mat and a lackluster mat cutting tool and tried my hand at it. What a pain. I used my drafting board with built-on straightedge to cut the glass- my first time, pretty painless. Smoothed the edges with a sanding block (use a dustmask- glass dust is nasty). Went together without incident- glass, 2 layers of matting, and some OSB I took off the back of a junk piece of furniture. I’m happy with it.
It encapsulates the moment from my Navy days that I realized I could no longer support, or even work in support of, war. I framed the admission ticket to the atomic bomb museum. My ship visited Nagasaki, Japan in spite of massive protest from local government and citizens. I was able to take liberty and I was very curious about the legacy of the United States in that city. I visited the impact site and was astonished to see the surrounding elevation was nearly 10 feet less than it was pre-bomb. Not a crater, just flat. I visited the atomic bomb museum and was really affected by the wrist watch that had stopped while on some person’s arm, at the exact moment of the impact.
I was the lead Aegis Computer Technician onboard the USS Stethem, a guided missile destroyer. The Aegis system is the core weapon system of the modern afloat Navy, and supports the launch of most shipboard munition deployments. My ship was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation in 2005 for successfully introducing the Tomahawk Block IV missile to the Navy.
Anyway, after seeing the hundreds of protestors on the shore as we entered the Port of Nagasaki, after realizing the role I was playing on a global context, and after much contemplation- I realized it wasn’t for me. I finished my remaining two years in the Navy, turned down a $70,000 re-enlistment bonus, and went on my way.
Link to Diplomatic Cable regarding USS Stethem’s visit to Nagasaki: bit.ly/1bIhaFD
(Nagasaki before/after photo is from Wikimedia Commons)
-- "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in." -Greek proverb