Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic History

OK I have to take an aside. Canada has just made Olympic history, and won a monumental hockey game. I am sure most Canadians paid some attention to the Olympics, but probably, like me focused on hockey. I did witness the first Canadian gold won on home soil by Alexander Bildeau. And I cried. Joannie Rochette lost her mother, won a silver and I cried. The women's hockey team scored a gold, and I cried. Why am I crying? Because we are a nation of very proud and QUIET people. The women's curling team surely felt the agony of defeat, but won a silver and I cried. Do I like or follow curling?.. Not on your life. But I saw the captain of that team give all then lose by fate... and so I cried.

And when a great Olympian like Nodar Kumaritashvili perished on a British Columbia hillside, even though he was not a Canadian, I cried.

I have talked to other numerous patriots who felt and did the same. They are not normally emotional. Like me. I am not a jock, or a sports fan of ANY sort. I sometimes watch the Stanley Cup Games (maybe the last two) only because EVERY North American gets excited by that. But I do understand that Olympians give their all. They are competing in those games because that are the BEST in their sport. And I am proud that Canada turns out some some of the BEST Olympians!

To lose by 1/1000 of a second must be devastating. To devote your life to four years of rigorous training to come in 5Th must negate everything you believe in. And yet they bounce back to try again in 4 years. They are not only physical athletes, but psychological and mental athletes as well. I applaud them all.

I hope every country's athlete's who attended this Olympiad appreciated the hospitality that Canada extended, and I hope we surpassed your expectations. I am very proud of ALL our Canadian Athletes. I am also proud that so many countries came and gave us their BEST athletes, and that their performances were ALL exceptional. Congratulations to you all. Medal or not, you are truly the epitome of human perfection. And you all demonstrated exceptional sportsmanship that will transpire to those that follow in your footsteps. Thank You.

And to the Men's Canadian Hockey team, I say THANK YOU! It IS "OUR" game. Thank you for the perfect ending. Crosby, your only rival was Paul Henderson, and you have surpassed him. Well done young man! Paul was Extraordinary, Gretzky was Great, and you... are in a league all your own. Canada will watch you closely. And hope. Thank you for that.



Monday, February 22, 2010

As Time Goes By

Time sure flies doesn't it? I have been somewhat busy in the shop, finally getting a start on those closet projects. The youngest son finally moved out so we are converting his room to a sewing/guest room. The long term plans call for a closet organizer and a Murphy bed. We got a start on the closet organizer about 3 weeks ago. For some reason it seems to be slow going.

I say "we" as the spouse has been laid off from work off and on so I have actually had an "apprentice" out there helping me. It's a good thing too because 3/4" sheets of oak veneered particle core plywood are NOT light. Next time I am going to use veneer core ply. The cutting actually went surprisingly well. I used Google Sketch Up and CutList Pro to work out the plans and the cut lists. After that came the staining using Minwax Golden Oak stain and two coats of Minwax Polyurethane Satin Finish. The staining and the finishing did not go as well as hoped. The different grain patterns in the veneer create widely different tones of stain. The poly had to be applied very thinly to avoid bubbles or "fish eyes" as they are called. I think we could have done 3 or 4 coats of poly to get the proper finish.

Of course all this has to be done in the very space limited garage. It's not ideal for a large project that's for sure. We are at the assembly stage now. I am using dowels to hold the bulk of it together. This was something that intimidated me wondering how I was ever going to get them to line up properly. A friend who is a cabinetmaker by trade suggested I try the WolfCraft Dowel Quick jig. I watched the videos online and even though I thought it looked a bit "cheap" I bought one. The price was reasonable at least at about $17.00.

If you watch the videos, they sure make it look easy. Well this is actually one product that works EXACTLY the way they say it does. Everything lined up exactly right. The dowels went in flawlessly. I LOVE things that really work! Kudos to WolfCraft! I give this jig a 10 out of 10 and HIGHLY recommend it.
Once the main section is installed I will be moving on to the drawers which will be made out of 1/2" MDF with wood fronts. The fronts will have a little twist to them, so stay tuned. And wish me luck like usual.