Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Time keeps on slipping.... Happy Christmas!!

 I had planned to be a lot more diligent on the blog this year.  But that has slipped on me.  

I took on a job that was too big for the tools I have.  I couldn't get the mill to chew this without trying to jump and run out the door.  Nothing like jumping in the deep end, then having to bow out.  Ah, enforced humility.  Tasty.

I'm working another job that I was leery of at first, but after some thought, is gonna be a good first step into the world of self-employment.  Maybe.

 The shop is getting cleaner.  And that is really nice.  I have to be able to move from machine to machine easily.  That hasn't happened in a while.  I have a bit of Phil-itus, or he has some STxAR-ness....

Working on a couple lathe chuck trees.  Christmas presents...shhhhh.....

All in all, it's been interesting!


 So it's Happy Christmas time again.  Here are a couple of my favorite Christmas songs.  

Mom was pretty sure we were Cherokee, as a progenitor was married to a Cherokee maid.  Alas, it doesn't appear to be the case.  I still have a soft spot in my heart for the civilized tribes.

 This one reminds me of a few Christmas' in the past. 

Some people's kids, eh?

One other song that reminds me of brown Christmas' with the folks when I was a much younger man.  The smell of dust, the blue northers that screamed out of Kansas to visit... The weight of a quilt to keep warm in the night, the smell of snow and spit boiling off a gas heater, the moron that peed on the campfire (no, not me)...  Chopping water at the barn so the stock can drink, hauling it in two five gallon buckets... three times a day, and I don't know how many trips from the pump house to the barn....  soaking up the sun out of the wind on the south side of the barn.  Cold wind in your face that made the snot run across your cheek and into your ears...  a living snow globe, watching it fall in the circle of bright the yard light put out... the soft quiet of a snowy night... man, the memories keep coming....


Unplanned events just kept coming:  Family member hospitalized a few times early in the year; head injury; a family member's separation became a divorce; another family separation; an attempted coup at work; continuing fun from the injury (I have to be aware of weather changes, they can knock me down pretty hard now).... My favorite Aunt just went home this morning.   

 But that's life, right?  

 Not sure what to make out of the political scenery.  I've talked to a few about that, one guy in particular reminds me: "There is none so blind as he who will not see."

High points included: getting a family member sorted with the .gov medical care for the most part; surviving a head injury; and finding out what is different, better, worse after the injury; getting my dream sheet at work; finding out who my team mates are at work.  I am here to tell you, there were folks that I considered passing acquaintances at work that were really GOOD friends.  I am indebted to them for caring for me when I was down hard.  And my family that helped me through and are continuing to give aid and comfort.  



 I got a LOT of clarity this year.  

Back in the days of maps, you had to know where you were to figure out where you were going.  Orientation of the map was pretty important.  I know where I am right now more clearly than I have in the past.  The way usually presents itself if you know where you are.

 Happy Christmas, thanks for coming over to visit.  I really means a lot to me.

May God bless us, every one.


  1. It has been quite a year STxAR. Glad you feel you have some clarity - clarity is invaluable. Happy Christmas!

    1. Yes sir, I remember that outer limits intro. "We control the focus..." Well, the focus is sharp on several things that were fuzzy last year. It has been a ride.

      Thanks for being there. Thanks for the clarity that you have helped with. Your blog is thought provoking and it's helped me think some things through this year.

  2. Keep your chin up and keep your stick on the ice, STxAR.

    It's going to be tough this year on a lot of folks. Merry Christmas to you, and have a very happy New Year!

    1. Wilco Glen. I'm not one to quit. Even when I should. If you need a QRF from south Texas, give a holler. Come visit when you can... ;)

  3. I cut my first ever internal single point thread on a lathe today.
    The thread size is 1"-20, and now that the made on the spur of the moment adapter is done, the new lampshade fits on the lamp, and my wife is happier.
    The PVC pipe fitting cut wonderfully.
    Merry Christmas indeed!

    1. Well done! you've been holding out. What kind of lathe is it?

      Internal threading is really interesting. I tried and ruined a couple 2.125 x 5 tpi spindle guards. I did make a nut for a drill press once.

    2. It's the basic Grizzly 9 x 19.
      If I hadn't found a hand ground internal threading bit among my machinist Dad's stuff, I would have had to wait until I ordered a boring bar set up for internal thread cutting.
      I skipped right past all the depth of thread calculations by sneaking up on the final size, and then trying the male part after every cut.
      Of course the final cut made the jump from just a bit snug, to just a bit loose.
      I should have made a spring cut.

    3. Grinding bits, they can be tough to get right. There is nothing wrong with making it to fit. The old timers did it all that way. Keith Appleton on youtube sets his mic then cuts to fit it. Uses it like a go gauge. That is the old way. Every project is a learning experience.

      Happy Christmas!

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  5. I'm an Internet friend of the illustrious Glen Filthie.

    Merry Christmas! Keep your bedroll dry, pick up whatever you find, and remember that you never know what the shadows might hide.

    Write more, and more often.

    1. Thanks for the vist Mad Jack! Life has been throwing $&!* at me faster than I can dodge this year. I've found it best to hold things loosely, hurts less when it's ripped from my grip. Blogging has been sporadic, mostly when I pop up for air.

      "Write more, and more often" Yes sir, I'll take that, and run with it. You're welcome here anytime.

      Happy Christmas, enjoy your cocktail!

  6. Yes, it has been a pretty rough couple of months here, too. Keep your spirits up, STxAR. As the man said, endeavor to persevere. Good luck to you in your plans.

    1. Welcome to the shop! I appreciate the wish for good luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I've been slack at finding opportunities, but this year has pushed me over the edge. I'm not turning down the chances now. Perseverance is key.

      I trust your new year will be good, regardless of what the world is doing. Take care!