On building stairs and living with dignity.

Hey Darron, I never did tell you the end of the story of those stairs. As you might remember last winter I had me a hernia, that took months longer to get repaired than it should have, towards the end of that run I was actually invalided, bed to recliner, no lifting. Feeling every bit of my sixty years and reconciling myself with the end of those healthy years. Thinking that my carpentry days were behind me, which they are, but to realize I’d never build stairs again or climb walls. A proud physical man wrestles with those things. As things turn out life can be very blessed and after micro-surgery and an amazingly fast recovery I found myself with yet another reprieve and this old body’s back in shape. As for the carpentry those were just musing, I figure I can still put in a good week or so, but the thought of regular week after week no way any more. It would be stupid and self destructive. And, I’m not out looking for it either, I have a nice low key maintenance gig that’s doing me just fine.
Then out of the blue an good buddy and occasional work partner back in the day, (and a couple decades younger), calls me up and asked if I wanted to build some stairs. He’s got this house he’s framing, he doesn’t need the headache and knows I can do a nice clean sturdy job.
Now it’s one thing saying it and talking about all the cool things I once built, it’s another standing in front of the materials and the challenge, do it again old man. Every new job is a new test. Can you do it? Better not screw up, people are depending it. Can you remember all the steps? Can the back deal with it? But hell a challenge is a challenge and I never could say no to good job offers. I mean really, if they think enough of me to offer it to me, do it. Keeps 'em coming back at the most opportune moments.
I’ve found being a little scared is a good thing too, focuses one’s mind wonderfully. In any event, by and by I did the job. A silly 3/4" screw up in placing my upper ledger but I recognized it early and after a bit of self-flagellation, I figure out an easy fix, notching the top tread. As for the workmanship, such as the tight fitting angle-cut fire-blocking and other structural elements, she’s a beaut. I made the effort and achieved the goal. (take that you trash talking know-nothings)
I finally got around to pulling together some pictures, over the next couple days want to come up with some accompanying text. But that’s over at my citizenschallenge.blogspot :cheese:

For a more complete sequence Citizen's Challenge: On building stairs and integrity.

It is always good to learn you can still get things done in spite of advancing age. Great job. One of these days I’ll actually make something other than a mess in my wood shop.

That was rough notes, here’s the final product. :blank:

August 15, 2016 On building stairs, integrity and malicious slander. http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/08/building-stairs-integrity-poptech-lies.html
What's all of this about, you may ask. Well basically it's being witness to what serious professional climate scientists have had to endure for too many years now. Perhaps more than being witness, it's an example of confronting the bullshit. It's a warning and learning opportunity for younger activists and educators who want to convey climate science to the people. I myself am a great believer in the art of jujitsu, using the aggressiveness and momentum of your opponent against them. Take the momentum of their ruthlessly malicious attacks, and turn it back onto them, by spotlighting their base dishonesties, and the specific falsehoods of their distorted claims. Make teachable moments out of their attacks. Convey the importance of constructive learning. And the importance of dignity and integrity.

FYI regarding who my pops actually was

Reminiscing, made easy by the CFI algorithm.

Six years, somehow seems longer than that, a last hurrah at 60. Sad to think I couldn’t really do that job these days, unless I had a couple months, and a second pair of hands (& back) now and then. That sort of 8 hr serious production work, these days, and my body won’t stand for it anymore. Well it can try, but a couple full days of serious physical work, especially on the hot days, takes me down and out with a day or two, more or less bed ridden, semi-sick and sleeping it off. Work hang-overs, never had that before.
I did build a nice little “bed desk” for my wife recently,
and am keeping up with the firewood, etc.,
so I’m not too terrified of the ravages of aging yet. It is what it is and I didn’t waste it while I had it, so I have cool memories rather than nagging regrets. I figure when it gets too bad, there’s always a bottle of scotch and a night out in freezing temps, so that endless sleep can envelop me.

Though I guess the two little guys have given me a hell of an energy infusion and a sense of obligation to keep on keeping on. It has also seemed to impact my physical health, since they keep getting heavier and my back seems to be keeping up, which is thrilling. Though beyond family and my own satisfactory circumstances (mind you, my expectation are rather humble), the rest of reality is fairly battering, and wearing me down. The writing end has sort of imploded, my heart wonders what’s the point, still having the thoughts and nonstop musing and simply the act of working it out for myself is important, but christ the people out there sure seem damned lost on so many levels, overwhelming and hopeless in a society saturated with deadbeat apathetic sillies. Lost my momentum and so what when no one cares anyways.
So we live with our own lives, until the greater reality crashes in on our particular party. :wink:

Being in the moment and appreciating what I have in full awareness that, this too shall pass, has me embracing the good moments with all I can muster. Hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times. That said being in the moment, doesn’t preclude some happy reminiscing. :slight_smile:

PS. It’s not the job you’re doing, that’s important.

It’s how well you’re doing the job you’re doing,
that’s important!

And some more characters

Thanks be for them. :hugs:

Now if only there’d be more of 'em. :smiling_face_with_tear: