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It's been a crummy week. Oh, it's been very productive on the woodworking writing front, but there've been a couple disappointments and a sad family pet thing. I need to get away.

You can call it what you will: being down, the "blues," bummed-out, sometimes even just plain bored, whatever. But when I get that way for whatever reason there are a couple things I rely on to either pick me up or take my mind off of it.

Diving into whatever book I'm reading and not coming up for hours is one way, popping a random episode of "Star Trek" into the DVD player is another, finding something new in one of my hundreds of cookbooks and taking over the kitchen still another. A nice, sweaty hour or two doing yard work sometimes suffices, as does a couple hours on one of the local hiking trails. I love driving in the countryside with no particular destination and that used to be a good way, too, but not these days of $4-plus gas.

Then, of course, there's the shop. The shop is a pleasant place at any time, and when the mood is down then that's often the perfect place to bring it up again. I've got a lot of writing work to do and don't really have the luxury of shop time, but I think this weekend I may actually take a day off work. I don't know how other writers work, but it's seven-days-a-week for me and I rarely take a day off. I think this weekend, after I've cleared the most essential deadline-related stuff off my plate that I'll say the heck with everything else and go out there.

Naturally, I'm smart enough to know not to mess around much with the power tools when my mind's distracted, so you won't be hearing a lot of noise coming from there. But there's a lot I've been wanting to do like a full organizing of my router bits, redoing a lumber rack that's needed attention for months, and doing a comprehensive inventory on supplies/materials.

Please don't post any sympathy comments. I won't read them, and in fact I'll request the Webmaster not to post them. That's not what this is about.

What it's about is once again confirming the power of the shop as a positive influence in my life – and I'll bet yours, too – when it's needed most.

Till next time,


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