Time to gather ’round the radio

maxresdefaultThe powder milk biscuits are ready. Rhubarb pie is cooling on the counter top. A bottle of ketchup is on the table. Getting ready for this week’s radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Chris Thile.

The family chatters about what to expect of the show. Jack White is on the show. Will they still have “Lives of the Cowboys” or “Guy Noir”? Will there be more music and less comedy?

The expectation is high for this family. Who listens to the radio as if it were the Super Bowl or something like that?

Cube bookshelf construction continues

OR. This is not Minecraft, but there are a lot of cubes.

Can you have too many bookshelves? Well, by request, I built two more cube bookshelves from 1″x12″ and 1″x2″ pine boards. It was a fairly simple matter to draw out the blueprint for these shelves based on the previously built cube shelves.


Managed to stain both shelves this past weekend. But as the outdoor temperatures cool, the drying time is longer. And I ran out of coffee. Plan to finish the cube shelves with a coat or two of poly.

Cube bookshelf expanded

Received a request for a cube bookshelf to fit under . . . read more ->

The final page

The final page of a sketchbook is a peculiar geography. . . read more ->

Singular possessive or plural possessive

Do people still diagram sentences?[1] Is writing still important in . . . read more ->

Afternoon walk

Somedays a walk to the river is a remedy. Amid . . . read more ->

To make a cube bookshelf


Because she asked for a bookshelf, I built one. A simple cube bookshelf was the plan. Nothing fancy. Something simple and useful. Something to fit under the window.


To begin with, I visited the local lumber shop for 1″x12″s and 1″x2″ pine boards. Also, I picked up some screws and finishing nails. Already had wood glue, left over wood stain and finish in the garage.


If I was a master craftsman, I would have made the shelf without screws and nails. Due to lack of equipment (like a proper workshop with a bunch of clamps, a router, and maybe a tenon jig) and time (the ever elusive weekend commodity), dado joint shelves were replaced with two-inch screws and Gorilla® Wood Glue. The only power tools used were a cordless drill/driver, a sander and a jig saw.


After everything was glued, screwed and sanded, wood stain was selected. The Minwax can of espresso stain was half full, and was sufficient to cover the bookshelf. The stain dried quickly, but I let it dry overnight to let it set.


Two coats of wood finish completed the project. The bookshelf was installed in our living space with a vase of roses atop it.

Request for a companion cube bookshelf arrived. More wood was purchased and cut. Request for bookshelf with a honey-colored stain finish followed. A quart of Minwax wood stain was purchased. And so on.

Best intentions


The intent was to watch the sun set and watch full, strawberry moon rise on the summer solstice.[1] But I fell asleep and awoke after 1 a.m. — cloudy, nighttime pondering of lessons in risk management.[2] A few hours later, I watch the light brighten the room[3] as I prepare for a morning walk.

[1] Bob Berman, “Summer Solstice Full Moon in June!,” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, accessed June 20, 2016 http://www.almanac.com/blog/astronomy/astronomy/summer-solstice-full-moon-june
[2] Gregory Orr, “Farther’s Song,” Academy of American Poets, accessed June 20, 2016 https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/fathers-song.
[3] Charles Simic, “Secret History,” The Writer’s Almanac, June 19, 2016, accessed June 20, 2016 http://writersalmanac.org/episodes/20160619/.

Confessions : 12


01. Monday: the yogurt was a wee bit past its edible state. I ate it anyway.
02. Tuesday: the milk was a starting to go sour. I drank it anyway.
03. Stomach produced loud gurgling disapproval for two days.
04. I threw out the milk and yogurt, and drank ginger tea all day.
05. Last week: wore mismatched socks all week. To the office.
06. No one noticed.
07. Or did not tell me.
08. I aced this silly test [link]. It felt good to earn the “A+” badge. But it also made me feel stupid that even took the quiz at all.
09. Most lunch breaks I walk through the city.
10. Or walk along River Walk.
11. Or walk to the lakefront.
12. Or sometimes find a coffeeshop and read ghazals.

Previous confessions: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Ever have one of those days


Ever have one of those days (or weeks) when you know you should have spent a few dollars to fix a small problem to avoid larger difficulty? And you did not.

Okay, maybe it is more like this.

Ever have a month so crazy busy that all the small tasks that should get done are not completed? And then the phone does not recharge overnight. Which means the alarm clock app does not wake you up. You are late for work. With a smart phone is about as dumb as a rock. And panic sets in when you realize you have to drive more than 70 miles to work without a mobile device? How are you going to make it through the day? The week?

When will the blessed power cable arrive from the magical land of Amazon?

That is when you realize, you will survive. It is just like the 90s. Completely unplugged. (Just like Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged session in New York City.)