Share Your World – September 11, 2017

Share Your World – September 11, 2017

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

My living conditions are comfortable so I’d opt to wait a year so I could plan what I would do with the tax free $250,000. Although it’s a lot of money I don’t believe I could call $250,000 instant retirement money.

Is it more important to love or be loved?

That’s an easy answer. I’d rather know that I am loved than to love another and have it a one way relationship. Been there, done that!

List things that represent abundance to you.

Blessings, Love, Friendship, usefulness, knowledge.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I’ve been sick since last Thursday so I can’t see anything that has inspired me this week.



Something Different

Every now and then I’ll discover artists that take a different path. These folks seem to demonstrate a depth of talent and simplicity that boggles the mind. I’ve watched the video posted below many times and never tire of watching two extremely entertaining people. I hope you enjoy it as well.


I watch all sort of woodworking videos on YouTube. I see some craftsmen working in warehouse sized shops with elaborate dust collection systems hooked to top of the line cabinet saws, router tables, thickness planers and jointers. In another lifetime, after winning a big lottery, that could be me. I’m not sure I would be happy owning all that stuff though. When you invest many thousands of dollars on your “dream” shop you kind of feel you must justify it by using it a lot.

The biggest shop I ever put together was 25-30 years ago when I lived in my Ferguson, MO home with my wife & two kids. We owned a small split level house there that had a good size basement that I turned into a complete workshop. I’m talking about a table saw and radial arm saw, floor stand drill press and a nice big router table I built myself. I owned thousands of dollars of bits and blades with every accessory on the market at that time. That was two lifetimes ago.

Fast forward 25 years and I find myself alone in a one room government housing unit measuring 10’x20′. Don’t get me wrong here, I love my little apartment! I still love my woodworking hobby as well. It’s just scaled down a bunch to fit my home.

My budget is also limited to Social Security and a small pension. You don’t qualify for one of these government housing units if you’re well off. Still I pick my battles and I budget to allow myself one new “toy” a month. Over 18 months in my present home I’ve put together a nice collection of quality tools. I’ve saved a ton of money building a lot of my own tools like workbenches, router tables and jigs and fixtures. When you have limited floor space you learn to build vertically.

My new workbench is strong, nicely sized and exactly what I need to make anything. A similarly sized store bought workbench would cost over $1500 dollars. I built mine for $80 in one day using a Japanese hand saw and a screwdriver.

When I buy tools, be they power tools or hand tools, I buy the best quality I can afford. You don’t skimp on quality when it comes to hand tools. It’s taken me 18 months to buy my 3 Lie-Nielsen hand planes, worth every penny. The same philosophy applies to measurement tools, marking tools and sharpening tools. You’ve got to understand these tools are an investment to producing quality work. What good is a cheap square that’s not square?

So my lifelong love of all things wood continues. I don’t care if I use my tools to just make lots of sawdust. It’s in the blood of every diehard woodworker after all! 🙂

Workbench – 2’x4’x36″ built with Simpson Strong-tie Workbench brackets and 2″x4″x8′ construction lumber and 3/4″ MDF top & bottom shelves.

Simpson Workbench

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table with Porter-Cable 690LR  1 3/4 HP 1/2″ bit router.

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table

DeWalt 745 Contractor’s Table Saw with 10″ Amana 50 Tooth blade and Incra 1000SE miter gauge and Miter Express Crosscut Sled(not shown)

DeWalt 745 Incra 1000SE Amana Blade

Holding A Piece Of Wood

Naked Bob

You know you’re sick when you must hold onto a small piece of wood like a pacifier just to help make it through a cold. This puppy is pretty miserable right now sitting here in my flannel bath robe waiting for someone to come through my front door and just shoot me. Living alone, I’ve discovered I don’t do sick well! I cancelled all outside activities over the past four day since I first realized I was sick. I don’t want to pass this bug to any of my senior folks so no Senior Center lunches and no church this past Sunday. I’m a hermit right now progressing through the typical stages of a head/chest cold. My Amazon Echo is having difficulty recognizing my voice lately. Speaking of my voice I actually have none right now. Mark that one in your calendar, Bob can’t talk! LOL

Laundry Day

I awoke at midnight in a pool of my own sweat. My air conditioner was running but I was still hot. I got up and made a hot cup of Lipton tea with Splenda and lemon juice, lots of lemon juice. I drank my gigantic cup as hot and fast as I could to help break up the congestion in my chest. I don’t have any Vicks Vaporub otherwise I would have smeared my chest with it and covered it with a long sleeves sweatshirt. I’m flashing back 60 years to my pre-teen days and mom’s loving care when I got sick. It’s just me now but I know what mom did to make it all better! 🙂

I may need to venture out after this day is complete to restock on tissues, cough lozenges and comfort food. Actually I’m basically down to half a dozen eggs, ham and half a dozen pieces of bread. I’ve got lots of Lipton tea bags and a brand new container of Real Lemon juice. As long as I have my hot tea, life is bearable. 🙂

Good Morning Grouch


My $125 Toolbox For $9.95

I was out shopping yesterday at my local Koopman Lumber & Hardware Store when I spotted a real bargain. They were having a sale on their rugged, heavy duty, ABS toolboxes. Now mind you I’m capable of building my own toolbox from solid wood but not for $9.95. I had to grab the store’s owner and show her the item on the shelf with the price tag hanging just below the toolbox. I couldn’t believe that $9.95 price. She checked her sale flyers and sure enough, they were selling a $125 toolbox for under $10. Sold!

Yes, the box is made in China, as are most items of this type these days, but it is well constructed, with a lift-out top tool tray and a quick access compartment on top of the box, ideal for small items such as combination squares, pencils, an automatic center punch and much more. Inside, once you lift out that top tray, is a voluminous store area big enough for a large wood plane, hand saws, hammers, chisels, and much more. I certainly couldn’t build one for $10 so I quickly put the sale item under my arm and rung it up at the cash register. I can’t wait to load it up with my goto tools I have been taking, one at a time,  outside with every woodworking project. I kept the receipt to make sure nobody would think I stole it for that price. LOL


MintCraft Toolbox

Doing My Part

You never know when being polite and courteous will pay dividends. I’ve recently been in contact with a custom jigsaw puzzle maker located in Massachusetts. Known as Zen Art Designs this business mass produces wooden jigsaw puzzles of prints they get from custom work. They are out of my league as their minimum order is 500 puzzles. Still, I thanked the representative from Zen Art Designs and in casual conversation mentioned that I was looking to donate a few of my photographs made into puzzles to our Senior Center in Uxbridge, MA. His response shocked me. He wants to donated some leftover puzzles to our center. I gave him the contact information for our activities director, Gail, along with their phone number and email address. I let Gail know about what had transpired and put her on the lookout for that email or call. I’m excited. 🙂

Hunting For Bargains

Time I have! Retirement, a fixed income and a good computer combine to give me the incentive to shop for the best deal on any given item I order. I have an Amazon Prime account that gives me free two day shipping to my front door. Are they always the best deal out there, NO!  I’ve learned there are no free lunches in life. Amazon manages to raise their prices just enough to more than cover that free shipping.

I do start my shopping experience with Amazon to give me a baseline starting point. Where they fall short is on sales tax. Why should I need to pay sales to a state that taxes its residents for every penny they earn and then again when they spend it. Remember, I lived for ten year in Oregon that has zero sales tax on anything, ever.

So, when it came time for me to shop for a new benchtop router table I could pay Amazon $243 for a Kreg PRS2100 or I can pay Essential Hardware $208 for the same exact item delivered to my front door with no sales tax included. That’s $243 versus $208. That’s a $36 savings for NOT buying from Amazon Prime. Hmmm? Amazon loses this sale!

All you have to do to shop is type the item, a Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table into Google and read the fine print. Prices vary from $176 to a whopping $768 for the same table. Beware that $768 version! LOL My new $208 Kreg PRS2100 is in the mail.

By the way Essential Hardware is rated 5 stars by Google for customer satisfaction. They are located in Edison, NJ. I lived in New Jersey so I happen to know they have no sales tax there either. 🙂 You’ve got to shop however because is higher on some items I’ve purchased recently. They’re asking $406 for a DeWalt 745 table saw that I can buy at a dozen places online for $299 with no tax and free shipping. Don’t assume low prices on everything. Do your homework, shop!

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table

An Ominous Start

I know there will be a lot of Patriot haters out there cheering after the opening game of the NFL season for 2017. Yes, the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots dropped their game in New England last night to the Kansas City Chiefs. It will toughen our metal as we strive for yet another ring for Tom Brady & company.


First Cold of The Season

I’ve only had this cold for 24 hours and I already hate it. I woke up yesterday morning with a super scratchy sore throat which is a dead giveaway that you’re coming down with something. In my case it’s a head cold. I actually made it to the Senior Center but left before anyone else arrived for lunch. It became obvious I was highly contagious already and didn’t want to share this bug with anyone else, especially seniors. I’ve just become a mouth breather as both sides of my nose has closed up, shut down, stopped up. I’ll probably go through every facial tissue in my house before it’s over. I’ll need to make it to a store with copious supplies of tissues, cough drops and sore throat lozenges. Glad my spell checker is working overtime today! 🙂

Thank goodness I’m retired and don’t need to be anywhere soon. I’m going to hibernate until I recuperate. Down & Out – Bob, complete with red eyes!

Follow up, after 4 days of suffering. my head cold has migrated to my chest. I’m now a mouth breather. Yuk! I’m grounded until this all clears out. Watching 24 hour coverage of hurricanes is not my idea of fun! Feel too bad to care about anything right now. 😦

Bob Beard Shot 04

It’s NOT About The Gear

I’ve been a photographer since 1970. I got my start at my first duty station at Misawa Air Force Base in Misawa, Japan. I was given a roll of 35mm black & white film for free, 10,000 feet of free film. That was my beginning into photography.

Flash forward 47 years, tens of thousands of photographs, world travel and too many awards to count. What do you think the first question asked of me when I show my work? Try, “What camera do you use”? I’ve heard that same question, that same response so many times I start to lip sync it as soon as the viewer responds to my showing them my pictures. I eventually tell them what they want to know but first prefix my answer that the photographer makes the picture. The camera is but a tool to capture it. That generally prompts them to ask more questions as to what do I mean by my answer.

I explain that I could take the simplest camera in the world and hand them the camera I happen to be using at the time as we go about shooting the same scene. In the end my finished shot with a simple camera will always look better than their shot with my camera. Why? Watch the YouTube video below to get the answer.