Current project: repurposed tree round table

Over the weekend, I finally got around to a project I’ve been wanting to do: repurpose a tree round from the tree they cut down in front of our house earlier this spring. Plus, the round was finally dried out enough that I could 1.) move it and 2.) get the bark off in a reasonable amount of time.

The best part was Lucy and Stella (two of my three daughters) were super excited to help out!

Here are the basic steps:

  1. De-bark the tree round. I used a hammer and pry bar. Most of it came off pretty easy, although there were a few stubborn areas.

  2. Sand it down. I used a combination of fine and medium sandpaper blocks to get the round nice and smooth to the touch. Stella and Lucy were huge helps in sanding this behemoth.

  3. Once you are done sanding, wipe the round down with a wet, lint-free towel to prep it for staining.

  4. Put the legs on. This was actually sort of difficult, as the round was pretty uneven on the bottom. I did end up finding four spots that were equidistant apart and fairly centered on the bottom for support. I used Ikea Capita legs that are adjustable, so we can level the table on any surface.

  5. Stain it. I used a honey maple stain, which ended up darker than I pictured, but looks good nonetheless. Stella and Lucy helped stain the top, as well.

  6. Finish with a polyurethane. I used a fast drying clear satin polyurethane to protect the wood and give it a nice, rustic look:

I did three coats on the sides and six plus on the top, since it soaks in so much.

So pleased with how it turned out, but most of all I was glad to make something with my hands and have Lucy and Stella help out. A great experience for all of us!

Poverty and the Scarcity Mentality

Questions like What’s for dinner? and How will I make it to the end of the week?tax a crucial capacity. “Mental bandwidth,” Shafir and Mullainathan call it. “If you want to understand the poor, imagine yourself with your mind elsewhere,” they write. “Self-control feels like a challenge. You are distracted and easily perturbed. And this happens every day.” This is how scarcity — whether of time or of money — leads to unwise decisions.

There’s a key distinction though between people with busy lives and those living in poverty: You can’t take a break from poverty.

The flippant, condescending “poor people just need to pull themselves up” mentality has always bugged me. This article is a fascinating look at why that attitude is unfair and why poverty is not a simple, straightforward character or effort issue.

Trumped

I am to the point where I’m ready to dump anyone who endorses or votes for Trump.

Why such a drastic measure? Well, I will question their sanity and decency, for starters. Plain and simple, Trump is a horrible person and an even worse choice to lead our country. So much so, it threatens the future of this country — what is stands for and what I hope it to be in the future for my children.

From the Trump rally in Buffalo, NY (Photo: Chris Fritton )

I get why people want to vote for anyone besides Clinton or any of the other chump Republican candidates this cycle — people are angry with the bullshit that goes on in DC and the sense of helplessness that goes with being unheard and underserved for so long. But Trump? Really?

Before you even get into the baggage of Trump’s overcompensating, manly bullshit artist personality, you have the horrific shit-show that is his candidacy, policy, and life’s work. To name a few:

  1. Trump is a racist and a bigot .
  2. Trump is a misogynist .
  3. Trump ia a narcissist and lacks empathy.
  4. Trump’s business success is uneven at best and borderline shady at worst . OK, yeah he’s a “billionaire” (quotes, because who knows for sure) and he took his inheritance/loan/whatever you want to call it and stumbled into what he is today. Through many bankruptcies , bail outs, and horrible business ideas . Mark Cuban is 100% right… his ideas are horrible. He’s essentially a brand name, that’s it.
  5. Trump is a con-man .
  6. He’s a serial liar: 76% of his fact-checked statements are at least ‘mostly false’ or worse.
  7. He’s creating a violent monster at his rallies .
  8. Trump is a spit-balling, uninformed bullshit artist when it comes to foreign policy .

You can say it’s all a show and that he will act presidential when the time comes, but his rich legacy says otherwise.

I want a president that, at her or his best, drives us to be better people, better stewards of this planet, and better neighbors. At the very least, someone who has empathy, respect for all citizens and the global community, makes attempts to improve our country for every citizen, and works to improve our standing in the world.

Our country deserves something more than the ugly, scared, violent, hateful version of ourselves. Trump is willing to cater to those emotions and the people caught in that trap. Trump’s version of “winning” at virtually any price, isn’t worth the risk.

It isn’t worth resigning yourself to voting for him because of Hilary. It isn’t worth taking the chance on someone so self-centered, so ruthless and cunning, so willing to say anything at any moment to get what he wants, and someone so unwilling to apologize for anything — ever.

Why risk destroying our country — America as the beacon of liberty, freedom, diversity, and hope for the rest of the world?

EndOnEnd.org, now on Medium

I have a (nasty) habit of changing the CMS on my blog. WordPress, Jekyll, Anchor, Squarespace… you get the idea. Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve been digging the publishing additions to the Medium platform, so I decided to go the hosted rout and make the move.

My domain and all of my posts have been migrated to Medium and redirects should be in place, so you can read everything on EndOnEnd.og via Medium.com, their app, or any flavor of RSS app you choose. (The RSS feed address is conveniently the same as it was in WordPress, so “Hi” RSS readers, if there are any after all these years of switching!) I’m even working on getting things set up in Apple News.

Now I just need to post more often.