Thursday, June 30, 2011

Not On The Football Team, I See

Violin and cello? Just add Ken Burns and a pledge drive, and you're golden, kids.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Autocoprophagy Of Mark Twain

My wife loves me and looks after me. Many and many a time I have noticed, when I wake up in the middle of the night for some reason or another, that the pillow is only gently pressed to my face.

She visits the library here in town quite a bit. It's a Carnegie library -- a wonderful thing wherever you find it. The town I live in values it highly, of course. It is rarely actively on fire when we drop by, and a solid voting quorum of the slate roofing tiles aren't on the sidewalk yet. They did hire a person, whose name is likely shrouded by the mists of near-antiquity, modesty, and an unpaid bill or two, to design an addition for the building, back when the town was still booming and the parades had more people on the sidewalk than commiserating on the floats. That addition could compete in elegance, in beauty, and in comfort with any dentist's office, but holds slightly-less-current magazines. The old, original part is built like a brick redoubt designed by a renaissance polymath: elegant but ready for battle. But new ideas like the design of the addition resemble mildew -- they get in and corrode a place from its innards, no matter how well-defended the perimeter.

As I was saying, my wife looks after me. She unwisely brought me back the Autobiography of Mark Twain from the library to read.I say unwisely, because it's nearly 750 pages, hardbound, and if I get to lifting it often enough, I may eventually become strong enough to defend myself against her nocturnal depredations, and the assaults of her housecat.

In addition to my newfound physical abilities, this titanic tome is cultivating in me a powerful  urge to seek out the editors and amassers and packrats that  produced the book. Not because I picked the thing up, no; I unwisely read the thing, too, and it makes me want to strike someone in the face, and not with an upholstered cushion, either. I realize assault and battery and eye-gouging and mayhem and attempted murder are, if not strictly illegal, at least frowned upon in literary circles, but I'm willing to sit in an electric chair by the hour as long as the mouthbreathing, windowlicking, buttsniffing, dimestore intellectuals that dug up Mark Twain's literary corpse and rifled through his pockets are forced to sit in my lap. I bet I can outlast the whole lot of them on pure spite alone.

Why, oh why was Twain's unpublished work turned over to these jackanapes to paw through like illiterate raccoons looking for rancid bits to eat? Yes, yes, I know they style themselves "The Mark Twain Project," and have devoted their mortgages, if not lives, to Twain, or at least to raiding his intellectual larder to stock their shabby ivy-stricken midden over at Berkeley.  So what. The mental contortions needed to adduce that their name and their sinecures makes them capable of understanding such a writer is like saying that a dog has ticks so the ticks should inherit the dog's estate. Haven't you drawn enough blood from the man already, you stooges? You've been carving out a living carving your initials, likely misspelled, into the outside of Twain's bier for a century. Who allowed you to climb in there with him and start carving away on the inside?

There's Twain inside this book, don't get me wrong. It's exactly, precisely what you always get from Twain. His laundry list is a Dead Sea Scroll. His lunch order is a Rosetta Stone. He has more intellectual horsepower under his fingernail after a trip to his ear than Berkeley has in a building, and that's if the building is full of janitors. At least janitors know how the world works. The buildings full of these scholars need fumigating. Lock the doors, first, from the outside.

It was easy enough, if annoying, to tread across the minefields of intellectual delirium tremens these invertebrates have made of Twain's writing, leaving their little piles of brain droppings here and there like badly behaved dogs, explaining Twain. I put on heavy shoes and plowed ahead. Then I got to page 468, the glimmer of a tear still in my eye over SLC's description of his older brother, Orion, filled with pathos and love and respect and affection and a wistful, unspoken wish that his brother wasn't doomed by his nature to miss the life Twain got by the thickness of one of Sam's famous whiskers -- and then I turned the page, and there on page 469 was text as terrible and incomprehensible as the writing on your own tombstone, delivered early: The rest of the book, almost 300 more pages, was entirely comprised of the stark, raving drivel of these toads, with only bits of Twain embedded in it like reverse carbuncles. Good God. I'll hold my nose and run through Twain's Elysian fields, keeping an eye peeled for your intellectual Beserkley cowpies the whole time, but I'm not treating myself to a one-man Easter-egg hunt in a sewage treatment plant.

Explaining Twain. Think of that. Why not send a cigar store indian out on a speaking tour to explain smoking. He stood outside the shop for a hunnerd years. He must know something about the topic by now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Electric, And Electrifying, Edwardians

Jamaica Street, Glasgow, 1901.

I can't stop looking at these movies. They're from a collection called Electric Edwardians. Two fellows, Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon, were hired by the equivalent of a circus to take movies of mundane activities in Great Britain. The promoters would then show the movies to the locals, who were mostly there just to see themselves, or people like themselves, for the sheer wonder of life captured on film. Getting amusement from the mundane to make a few quid. The ICANHASCHEEZBURGER of their day.

The films were ignored and lost for nearly a century, mouldering in a basement. They were only rediscovered because the building was going to be demolished. The British Film Institute restored them as best they could, and they've been shown as a television show, and now are available as a DVD.

I rarely watch television, read newspapers, or listen to the radio. I read books by dead persons, pretty much. I have little use for 99.9 percent of the Internet, because it's just people telling me that they can watch TV and read the newspaper harder than me. The average intellectual's head is full of tapioca. On the Intertunnel, it's rancid tapioca.

You cannot tell what's going on by what people say. You're past daft if you think you can tell what's going on by listening to a third party tell you what people say. You can only tell what's going on by looking at what people are doing.

People say they want a time machine. But then again: Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do on a rainy afternoon. They sit in mom's basement watching reruns of remakes of a crummy space opera and fantasize about what they'd do with their holodeck, if only they could live with the wonders of the future and access to the past. Unaware that this is the future, and by the way, here is the actual, unvarnished past, they'd turn the channel if this video came on -- a real life time machine.

I wouldn't. Look, there, on the screen. It's not Tutankhamun's tomb. It's Tutankhamun.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Take Another Bite Of Your Apple Economy

My father, now dead and buried, used to joke when his children left the house to play: Write if you get work!

There's nothing but the blackest residue of humor left in any gibe like that for anyone I care about. There's no joke left in nearly anything for me anymore. Decent people don't joke about cancer in a funeral home with the corpse and the family present.

I can spot no class of squalid self-interested behavior that hasn't been perfected, never mind tried, by the legions of invertebrates, possessed of no souls and negligible intellects, that lord over our affairs, great and small -- affairs they should be ashamed in their ignorance and sloth to even comment upon. They know nothing of steel and wood and earth and sweat, just the faint yellow musk of ink and paper and the weight of  the great, stolen seals of an empire gone shabby in their pockets.

Hoard gold. Amalgamate pixels. Cultivate politicians. Mine clauses. Weasel patents. Stripmine people, and sell them into a titanic servitude for them for a trifle for you; but no matter what, don't allow anyone to do anything. A whiff of perspiration on the breeze --even a hint of duty -- disturbs the International Brotherhood of Lotos-Eaters.

The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
The Lotos blows by every winding creek:
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone:
Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething free,
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world:
Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands,
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying

But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong;
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
Till they perish and they suffer--some, 'tis whisper'd--down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicks Dig Guys With Skills. You Know, Like Nunchuck Skills; Bowstaff Skills; Computer Hacking Skills; Pinstriping Skills...

They're building Royal Enfield motorcycles:
That's a very cool bike. The company was founded in England in the 1850s; they originally made sewing needles. Then came boneshakers, springs for seats for "safety bicycles," and then bicycles themselves. Then rifle parts --that's where the "Enfield" moniker came from, and their slogan for all their stuff: Made like a gun. Then came motorcycle precursors: tricycles and quadricycles with small engines. They tried making cars around the turn of the twentieth century. They looked like lightly armored personnel carriers and had eight-horsepower engines, not considered enough to mow your lawn while sitting down nowadays. They got over that urge and started making true motorcycles, and sold a bunch to the army for World War I. They had a neato one with a stretcher sidecar.

The company was a pioneer in using the saddle tank (a fuel tank that sits atop and straddles the frame) which you see the fellow in the video striping so ably. In the late forties, the company opened up a shop in Madras, India, to supply motorcycles to the Indian army.  At first they just assembled parts sent from England; they eventually made the whole thing themselves. They made one design, unchanged, for thirty straight years. England gave up manufacturing pretty much anything in the second half of the twentieth century, and started importing the bikes from India.

Hand skills like that fellow in the video displays are always show-stoppers in any manufactory.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All The Small Things

Yesterday was National Skate Day, 2011.

June 21st is the national holiday of skateboarding, apparently, whether Hallmark knows it or not. Oh little town of Rumford Maine had their own fete in honor of four wheels and no homework. The Sun Journal was there:

Hmm. That racket in the background sounds familiar. Ah, yes, it's my fifteen-year-old son and his friends playing their first gig. The Meteor was there, too:

Lessee. He broke two strings on the first song, and had to play the rest of the day with a borrowed guitar. The PA system the event organizers supplied was a karaoke machine, so the lads had to rush home and cobble together another one on a moment's notice. The second singer was grounded and couldn't come, so The Heir had to sing everything. The other bands didn't show up, so they got asked to play all afternoon instead of an hour. No matter what happened, they kept going, and used their heads to solve their problems.

Take care of all the small things, and the big things never show up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

All The Best Things In Life Are Wood With A Little Metal

Don't know the guy. Never played one of his instruments. He has one hell of a videographer, though.

People should make things.

Yanuziello Stringed Instruments

(Our Intertunnel friend misterarthur sent that along)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yah Cayent Geht Thayah Fhum Hayyah

Everyone seemed to like my garden yesterday, so you get more pitchas; and I get to knock off early today, and accomplish a fatherly and achieve a paternalistic and break the daddified tape and so forth without much additional effort. The search for lack of additional effort required is a mark of the breed.

  So reader and writer and all-around swell guy westsoundmodern commented yesterday:
Sheesh! From the way you've described the place in the winter, I had in my minds eye a vision of standing at the north pole and turning a 360.
Okey dokey, Butch. Let's say you've got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals. You go see an abandoned house in Uppastump, Maine, Decemberish, and you look out the back window and see this:

I triple-dog-dare you to do the mental arithmetic that produces this, a year later, in your mind's eye:

Well, you know me; I deserve a Fields Medal for mental arithmetic, but that's way, way past my best shot. You need the Rainman love-child of Salvador Dali and Martha Stewart doing your mental arithmetic to get from there to here.

I hope all you dads get sommodiss in your garden today:

Pony up, mom.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Of Unearthly Delights

This is the view from our kitchen window.

We didn't do much of anything, except editing. There was all sorts of trash out there, including a big pile of the former roof. Someone had unwisely tried to grow stuff to eat next to the parking area, and also used it as a dump. We flattened that.

We're two climate zones away from knowing what grows. Everything that came out of the ground was a surprise. The lupens are just hitting their stride. There's a big white lilac bush past its flowering on the left. There's a big clump of bleeding heart. There are big ferns everywhere. Huge thistle plants take over if you don't keep after them. Lots of buttercups, daylilies, queen anne lace, and wild violets. Some sedum. There will be black-eyed susans later. There's a rambling rose bush over behind St. Francis. There is some sort of tall free-seeding phlox-looking plants everywhere around here that fill in the interstices with blue and white flowers. There's a bunch of other stuff I have no idea of.

Maine has trees, boy howdy. We've got tilia (linden, or basswood), blue spruce, a willow, birch, fir, pine, and magnificent Norway maples in our yard. The Norway maples are blood red, dark green, and light orange at the same time, which is impossible.

There's a dead spruce that an enormous pileated woodpecker is disassembling. He's as big as a toddler and as dumb as a blog writer, with much the same method -- constantly bashing his head on spots that appear rotten looking for juicy grubs, destroying the whole thing in the process.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Could Watch This All Day

Other people working, I mean. I dye tiger maple all the time. That part's boring.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Have A Love For Common Pine Boards That Surpasses All Understanding

A tour through the neighborhood Hancock lumber mill. I live in Maine now, where a mighty pine is crabgrass.

Pinus strobus. Eastern White Pine. I've written about them before.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Make Something; Of Yourself

artefact, artifact [ˈɑːtɪˌfækt]
1. something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest

What a hunger people have to produce artefacts. Right now they don't know how. They don't even know how to know how. They've been robbed of man's birthright to produce real, tangible things. They've had it drilled into their heads that producing things is destructive. But people are people, and they want it. They need it. I sense it, that longing.

I've never done much of anything else, myself. I am weary from it. But I can't stop.

video from: Tomfoolery and Japery

Thursday, June 09, 2011


by: Sippican Cottage

Sun's beaming in the window,
There's rumbling from the floor,
We're swinging and we're swaying
Boxes dancing out the door.

Oh how our muscles ripple,
We're making twenty knots,
We're alternating; current --
We're glowing with the watts.

Pounding down the corridors,
With Bill of Lading piles;
Our output's put the boss on ice
We're blowing out the dials.

They count the beans but can't keep up,
We're cooking with the gas;
Our arms are made from tempered steel,
Our heart is made of brass.

That brass is rolled to make a tube,
The tube is bent just so;
And if we blow that trumpet, Jack,
The girls get all aglow.

The whistle blows at five o'clock,
It's twenty-three skidoo;
The guys and gals that made that stuff,
Go out for dancing too.

They box the compass of the steps
Then swing from chandeliers;
They leave the clerks there in the lurch
Then kick it up a gear.

They pound the floor into the ground,
They swing and then they sway;
They'd drink to all their troubles,
But they've long since gone away.

They close the places late at night,
And walk home 'neath the stars;
Arm in arm, exchanging charms
One's Venus, one is Mars.

Mighty children spring from them,
To keep the flame alight;
They nurse them with acetylene,
And ultra-violet light.

They grow some whiskers when they're old,
And sit down for a spell;
Their Ercoles will take their place,
And raise a little hell.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I Write Fiction Now, Because I Want To Tell The Truth

It's a busted old town on the plains of West Texas.
The drugstore's closed down, and the river runs dry.
The semis roll through like stainless steel stallions
Goin' hard, goin' fast, goin' wild
Rollin' hard, rollin' fast, rollin' by.

And the mission still stands at the edge of the plateau.
A stone marks the graves where the old cowboys lie.
Asleep in a time, in a town just a youngster
Goin' hard, goin' fast, goin' wild
Rollin' hard, rollin' fast, rollin' by.

And the drive-in don't play no Friday night pictures.
No big silver screen to light up the sky.
Gone are the days of post-war-time lovers
Goin' hard, goin' fast, goin' wild
Rollin' hard, rollin' fast, rollin' by.

And me -- I stand here at the last fillin' station
Where the wind moans a dirge to the coyote's cry.
I jump in my car; I'm back out on the highway
Goin' hard, goin' fast, goin' wild
Rollin' hard, rollin' fast, rollin' by
Goin' hard, goin' fast, goin' wild
Rollin' hard, rollin' fast, rollin' by.

Robert Earl Keen- Rollin' By


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

This Is How I Go When I Go Like This: Painting The House

So it's 10:00 AM, Saturday morning. About 65 degrees; sunny; not much wind. I was up at 5, but didn't have the heart to roust the teen early. We have plenty of time. We're going to paint one side of our 1901 Victorian. 

We have a three-year plan to fix up the house. We're one year in and holding our own. The order of things is skewed. We have next-to-no money, so we have to concentrate on labor-intensive things, not material-intensive things first. We don't have a lot of time, either, but that's an excuse to go fast, not to avoid things. 

One of our lovely neighbors recently vinyl-sided their house, and told us about it. Vinyl siding is common here. Vinyl siding is sold as a curative, but it's a palliative. It's the medical marijuana of home improvement. You still have cancer but you don't care as much. The neighbor told us the first estimate to side their house, which is smaller than our house, was $19,000. Since I purchased my house for $24,000, this seemed less than a value. They ended up hiring a local man who charged them $11,000. If I had $11k and few months, I could renovate the entire inside and outside of my home and quadruple its value. Back when I still painted stranger's houses, I could have painted their house eight times with $19k. That's thirty-five to forty years of fresh paint on your house for the same money. A plastic winding sheet for your house seems more appetizing to the average American now, for reasons that escape me. 

It's been a while since I bought housepaint. I was astonished to find the price had roughly doubled. It was almost fifty bucks a gallon for Ben Moore Moorgard latex flat; so painting one side of my house would cost about a hunnerd, and take a day. We painted the front last year. The back needs more repairs first, the other side needs... I dunno, prayers or a missile strike or something first. I'll get to it.

There's the side we're doing. It's two-and-a-half stories on a wild slope inside some trees, guarded by legions of mosquitoes. I execrate everything the former owners did to the place, and the nasty blue color the place was schmeared with is right at the top of the list; right up there with the cedar shingles they wallpapered our bedroom with.

I used to build gas stations, and we'd occasionally be hired to decommission a gas station. We removed the storage tanks and dispensers and so forth, then all the signage. Then we were instructed to paint the entire place, every last surface, with a non-descript, blah, nasty blue color that would throw off any person trying to divine what kind of gasoline used to be served there by any color scheme left showing. The color was deliberately chosen to be ugly.  Our house was painted that blue color, and it drove me around the bend, every square inch of it, every time I looked at it. It's like therapy, not work, to cover it up

I'm in a hurry and must be efficient. I start at the hardest, highest spot, and do everything while I'm there. I palm sand the entire thing, caulk the seams, putty any holes, and paint the siding and the trim at the same time. You've been told by a middle-aged woman wearing too much makeup wearing an orange vest in a big warehouse that sells powerwashers that you want to powerwash your house first. No you don't.

The paint might cost fitty a gallon, but it covers in one shot, so it's worth the dough. Between all the gathering of stuff and so forth, this is all we had done by noon. LUNCH!

Momo le chat offered to fix lunch for us, but we don't have a working grill yet, so we had to settle for food my wife made instead. We spent a quiet moment in the back yard, enjoying the sunshine. Winter beats on you like a LaMotta every year, so every nice day is like a sunny Christmas:

I read the Intertunnel, and am instructed constantly that children are nothing but rude, useless drains on one's pocketbook, and pointless leeches on society and Mother Nature. I bet yours are, if you write things like that -- or would be, if you'd managed to have any children instead of playing World of Warcraft in your mom's basement until you're old enough to retire on Social Security. Mine are endlessly useful and productive and amusing.

After finishing the moles and sandwiches, we've got to get on our horse and ride. Here is a rare sighting of the author in his native habitat. Don't approach him too closely; he spooks easily and lashes out when startled:

The siding is "Providence Olive." The trim is "Montgomery White," which my son the wag calls monkey white. The accent color seen later is "Mayflower Red."

Here you can look in our bedroom windows, you pervert:

That's my office on the right. It has huge windows on the four faceted sides of it, the largest of which is five feet square. It's a fantastic place to write. I wish I knew how to write; then life would be perfect:

Here I am again. I'm desperately handsome, and poorly dressed, which is my signature look:

We decided to press on through before eating dinner, and worked until we finished at 6:30. My heir painted the masonry "Tudor Brown," and a lot of the lowest boards on the siding, which are called a water table. I'm the only person you know that knows what the lowest boards on your siding are called; so I have that going for me.

Some deranged persons have removed 9 or 10 windows from my house, and put plywood over the openings. I am not a violent man, but I'm willing to learn if I meet these people. I imagine they thought they were saving money on heat, but since the majority of the windows they removed faced south, southeast, or southwest, they ended up losing all the solar gain of the windows instead. Then they put tacky ceiling fans in every room with the money they "saved."  I'll put the windows back some day when we're rich.

The ceiling fans went to the dump on day one.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Americans Once Prized Plain Speaking

Not unintelligent. Plain.

Eisenhower required his subordinates to submit their proposals to him on one foolscap page. His detractors said that that was because he was dumb. He said that if what you're proposing is longer than that, you're obfuscating to cover your ass.

Eisenhower may have been the greatest planner and coordinator of men and materiel in US history, perhaps with the exception of his boss, George C. Marshall. He knew that somewhere, someone had to say, "I think we should invade mainland Europe by an amphibious landing in France," before all the work got done. Only a proposal that unequivocal, carefully reasoned beforehand but distilled to its essence, is worth consideration.

It's all equivocation now. In between the lying, that is.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Bahdala Bip-Pa Buh Booh Bah Bah!

If you were born nine months after 1972, Al Green was probably an associate producer.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

That's Life, That's What All The People Say

You're riding high in April,
Shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
When I'm back on top, back on top in June.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Happy Birthday Curtis Mayfield

(Curtis Mayfield, June 3rd, 1942 - December 26th 1999)

I was a child in the sixties, a teenager in the seventies. The natural trajectory for a young man in the exurbs would be to embrace rock music. I never really did.

They were too much like me, perhaps, the arena power chorders. Aerosmith used to play in my high school gym, after all. I wouldn't change the channel if Bachman Turner Overdrive came on, (I would now) and I had a well worn copy of Frampton Comes Alive, just like everybody else, but that was about it.

There was a jukebox in the lunchroom at our public high school. It was a revelation to me after spending my grammar school years in Catholic School. The nuns would have no more brought in a juke box than a Wiccan into our lunchroom. Upon reflection, it's the nuns that got it right. It was a symptom of the profound unseriousness of the place that the public high school supplied the same soundtrack a teenager demanded in his non-school life to muddle through it.

I could probably list every single song in that jukebox, down to the most obscure, and it was over thirty years ago. Not much of it was very good. But it was generally fun and disposable, like popular entertainment should be, but rarely is, any more. There was:
Led Zeppelin
Harry Nilsson
Dr John
Rolling Stones
Eric Clapton
The Beach Boys
Moody Blues
More Led Zeppelin
Grand Funk Railroad
Elton John
Billy Paul
Billy Preston
Earth Wind and Fire
Still more Led Zeppelin
Gilbert O'Sullivan
Looking Glass
Marvin Gaye
The Rasberries...

Well, you get the picture. Nothing much recorded at La Scala. Nothing much recorded in a gospel church. Now, having enough money to put into a jukebox was a foreign concept to me. The thing would play anyway, and you'd hear everything in it no matter what, eventually. I recall the only time an insurrection against the thing was mounted, when some wisenheimer pumped a buck or two into the thing and selected "Dogs Barking Christmas Carols" 15 straight times. After about five minutes, a grim and resolute shop teacher marched over, pulled the enormous contraption away from the wall, and yanked the plug. I'm certain it's the only cheer the prickly old fellow ever heard from his charges.

This one comes back to me though, and kindly:

The man, and the topic, was a world away from me. I was unlikely to adopt his huggybear/trotsky cap or his owlish glasses. But really, to a fifteen year old, looking into a world of dead ends, who could say it better, and funkier, than Curtis Mayfield?

Ask him his dream
What does it mean?
He wouldn't know...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Good Housekeeping

It's come to my attention that things need tidying up around this here Cottage. Loose ends, frayed nerves I always say.

Actually, I never say that, except that one time in the first paragraph. Pithy, isn't it. I'm a pither.

If you're new around here, I make things. Furniture. I had a little sale yesterday. I sold five tables before noon. They're already on the FedEx truck on the way to their new owners. Thanks to everyone who bought one. Everyone that's ever bought one, now that I think of it.

I made them from trees from right down the street. I don't know why, but I get a little grin out of that. Every tree has end tables in it. You just have to let them out.

I don't have all that many tables to sell most days. I make the items for the Ready to Ship page while I'm making other furniture from Made to Order orders. I think the work I'm currently doing is turning out better than ever. I've made many dozens of these end tables, but none better:

They went to Martha's Vineyard. Pleasant customer. I made a console table for Phil the other day, too, and it turned out well. I was proud to put it in the box.

Speaking of the box, I get a lot of praise for the boxes the tables come in. I get a tickle from that, too, because I rather enjoy packaging the items. I'm not sure what people are expecting, but they seem pleasantly surprised when the items show up in one piece. My wife and I do the packaging together, and it's fun. My wife is my best friend, too. I work all alone the rest of the time.

Sippican Cottage Furniture is a national brand. I think that's a hoot, too. When I send out an email notification of a sale, the email service shows me a map of where my emails get opened. I love utilities like that.
I've sold furniture to seven or eight states more than pictured on the map, but if  North and South Dakota have any inhabitants, you can't tell by me. The email service I use is MailChimp. They are terrific, and lots of fun. My little son hangs around my desk when I have the service open because they have a chimp mascot that leaves amusing messages for you while you work. Everything about the service is charming, but still professional. That's hard to do. If you're not on our email list, but would like to be, you can sign up at the top of any page at Sippican Cottage Furniture.

I'm grateful to everyone that reads here, and those that comment, and those that link. There is no way for me to tell who's doing it, but very nice persons are actually using my Amazon search box, and I'd like to thank you,  whoever you are, for it.

I'll have a book for you to buy soon. Hope you will.