I heard President Obama on NPR the
other day; he must have been speaking to a crowd of loyal followers.
He was going on in an adamant tone about how real and proven climate
change is. He was on the verge of frothing at the mouth. It made me
wonder about a few things: If this is so real and factual, why the
fuss? Would he be going on that way about terrorism or some other
obvious thing? I got to thinking that maybe him and his policies are
so unpopular, that he's appealing to the extreme parts of his base.
This is dangerous because desperate people do desperate things.
I probably already
mentioned the blind guys that get around by making clicking sounds.
I'm wondering how many things in my life could be improved by paying
more attention to the audible part of the task. After 20 years of
heating with firewood, I finally figured out a better way to use the
stove. I call it “carbon forward”. The name is just to get the
kids to think about the chemical process of burning. The fire often
burns down to a small pile of coals. Before, I would push these coals
into a pile in a back corner of the stove, then arrange the kindling
and other wood above that. I would blow on few times, to get a flame
going, then let it go from there. It would take awhile for the fire
to get big enough to heat the room. The stove we use has two steel
doors, each one has its own group of air inlet holes. What I do now
is to push aside any ashes that are near the door; then pull all the
glowing embers I can find forward so that they'll be right in front
of the air inlet holes of one door. If I have a lot of coals, I can
do it in front of both doors. Then I carefully stack dry small
kindling on the coals, followed by dry bigger wood, and the the
heaviest, wettest stuff on top. I close the inlet holes of the door
where the embers are not, and open wide the holes of the door where
the embers are. The minute I close the doors, the incoming air shoots
into the coals, gets very hot, burns the kindling, which lights all
the rest. I know it's working because of the jet engine sound the
fire makes just behind the inlet holes. This is the fastest way to
heat the stove that I've yet found. It's just like having an electric
blower, without the extra parts.
Another thing I've been
experimenting with is a sharpening method. I sharpen all manner of
things; I even forge my own tools that need to be sharpened. One
would have to be quite skillful to make this method work with a
knife; but a lot of the things I sharpen are flat blades, which are
part of a bigger tool (planes, scrapers, etc.). What I've noticed is
that the sharpening process makes a different sound as one changes
the angle slightly when changing from sharpening the bevel to
sharpening the blade edge. There are times when I'm sharpening, but
not looking at the stone and tool at all. I'm looking away, with my
ear toward the stone, trying to concentrate on the very beginning of
the sound change.