Tag Archives: cursive writing

The ClutterStuff Shoppe!

To shop or not to shop that was the question. My wife and I just returned from a very much needed day “away from the farm.” What we had decided to do was to get away from the smokie haze of the wind drift smog and take refuge on the north shore of Lake Superior.

historic lift bridge

Everything is changing!

First of all the drive took us through some of the most beautiful areas of northern Minnesota and past some of the range cites/towns on our way to the Great Lakes. The closer we got to Duluth the cleaner and more clear the air became. The “fog” had lifted, the clouds had all begun to thin, and soon the air was pure and clean and clear. With a windless temp in low seventies the Lake emerged smooth as glass and all the troubles we had been smothered by back home receded into the darkest parts of our concious awareness! What a change! Words are not good enough to describe how we felt. If only you had been with us you would know!

Along the way other changes were obvious. Some of the old tourist trap shops were still present, but every once in a while a new one or two or three had been built and/or sprung up in the old locations since we last made the trip. The brightly colored signs, the out front displays and the many clutches of curious folks such as us were coming and going. We couldn’t decide where to stop. But once we had gone to the end of Minnesota point and back, visited with an old frined, and made our way to one of the finest restaurants in Duluth, we began to relax and make plans for the rest of the day! So much was new and so many of our favorites were still there, we had a hard time mapping out our course for the rest of the day! WOW!

What about the shops?

There are hundreds of them. All over the place. How could we do justice to the seductive invitations? Maybe its the color of the paint. Maybe the architectual style, or maybe it was simply that we had been to that shop before and we knew what to expect. We have tried a lot of them; bar food restaurants, candy stores, clothing hangouts, ice cream parlours, pie shops, hand made this or that, artisan studios, and the places of learning that peddle their fare and finished products! We even stopped at the “absolutely must do” shop, the smoked cisco favorite of the driver of our car!

The shop that beckons

Let me degress here a little bit to make a point about different retail shops as I see them. There are those who “make it” and are successful, and those who come and go like these beautiful days on the North Shore. The survivors are the ones that are here to stay and they always have been. When you go into one of them you know immediately why you are there! Maybe its polished agates, clearly handmade wrought iron, or yum delicious pie alamode. There’s no guessing, there are no hooks, there’s no opportunistic proprietor trying to sell somethinig, anything, using the language of market blab just to make a few cents on over priced “ClutterStuff” picked up somewhare or nabbed at a clearance sale of dusty imports.

When sisters love to make candy and are pasionate about it you know! It looks like candy, smells like candy, and tastes like candy! And once you’ve tried some you can’t be told otherswise and you will go back again and again to get some more! Then there are…

The ClutterStuff Shoppes!

This is a Brewery!

Since I live in metropolitan with over a million people, I am familier with shopping! I’ve been taken shopping, I’ve been made to go shopping, I’ve even exercised my perogative by going shoping by myself, for myself, and without any kind of restraint (That’s another story!).

What you see is what you get!
I want you to know that I know a great shop when I see one. I also know a “crap shop” when I get sucked into one! If you are thinking about starting a business and opening a shop then, please, oh please, don’t make a great idea turn into a cesspool or dump of cast offs! Here I must tread lightly, but let me say that in my opinion, if you have a passion and a great idea then go for it. But make sure that your shop is identifiable both within and wthout. Don’t let some fast talkng consonee talk you into making your shop look like a collection of a “pickers” dumpster! Everything in your shop should serve the underlying core business you want to pursue. If you want to sell junk then call it a “junk” store, “Grandma’s suff unlimited” or “Tools Grandpa couldn’t wear out!”

The Peace of God?
Sometimes churches are like that! You walk through the door to the sanctuary and it smells like “pot Luck.” You look at the outside marquee and you’s think the pastor’s sermons are going to be some of the biggest jokes. Seating yourself in a beautiful quiet place to search your heart and recieve peace for your soul, and what happens, the ear splitting thumping and banging of heavy metal is served up endlessly. No “Good news to be heard, only a steady flow of psycho bable designed to make you feel good and live in the delusion that “all is well.” When you leave you move away to the quiet of a noisy world wondering about the definition of “Church!” Is this a “ClutterStuff Church like to many others?

May your church be about Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now may The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding keep your hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus!



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The World is Changing, Is That Change Real?

 

Frederick A. Kogler

To anyone aware, the question of our world changing looms big! Just pause for a moment and sense your surroundings. It has to be obvious that things are different today than ever before. What’s really happening? Change is everywhere around us. It’s more than political redirection. It’s more than provincialism being replaced by globalism. Yes, it’s more than ice melting and freezing. From the simplest of perspectives one will have to agree that there is nothing the same as it used to be.

Change is all around us.

You can pick almost any activity, place, or preceding era and see that change is real. The notion that history repeats itself is passe. The “tried and the true” may have served as some sort of axiomatic benchmark in the past.  In each case, however, the fluid circumstances for experimentation and the criteria assumed to render judgements were never static. The fantasies of such notions were tolerated only because of shorter life spans and the speed with which communication took place. That’s all changed.

As I write these words I’m using a computer. From what I understand it uses assigned combinations of X’s and O’s to convey the thoughts I have. Rheinhold in his book, Tools for Thought:The History and Future of Mind-expanding Technology, Simon & Schuster 1985, writes about this while explaining the impact of micro-computers on the future(his future is our here and now).

How does change impact my life?

To answer my thematic question I’ve pondered the tools I use in my public ministry and the hobby, the turning of pens.

A sportsman grouping of pens

Both my Mac and my favorite pens are used for the same reason, word-processing. One process is a calculated tapping on a keyboard. The other is the disciplined art of drawing letters and numbers clearly enough to convey a message.

Consider these changes

Dramatic changes in writing have happened in a short period of time. Who would have ever thought I would be able to speak the words of this blog and have them appear on the monitor in front of me? (check out ReadingMadeEZ for more details: http://www.mpextserver.com).

I try to discipline myself to keeping current in the areas of electronic communications, politics, and the matters of religion.  A side bar to these is the impact that they might have on the aging of our world. Statistically the dramatic changes in global aging http://www.helpage.org/resources/ageing-data/global-ageing-statistics/ give an insight to the importance of each of the above as they relate to seniors throughout the world.

My wife and I belong to the cohort of “Old old”. We have, in part, committed our time, talents, and resources  to keeping up with the changing world that spins around us.

There are three categories for older adults’ ages, “young old”, “old old” and “oldest old” (Papalia et al., 2009). Young old is suggested as the age from 65 to 74; old old is suggested as the age from 75 to 84 whereas oldest old is suggested as the age of 85 and the above. https://www.ukessays.com/essays/sociology/three-categories-to-aging.php.

This blog’s thread lays the groundwork for discussions of one of Thomas Friedman’s 3 exponential changes occurring today: IT and its impact on marketing or the sharing of ideas.  Our discussion will be on how to deal with those changes. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 



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Latest Seasonal Pen

I’m not a deer hunter anymore. Instead, to make pens like this one I use the antlers that I find on my walks along deer trails, or those that are brought to me by friends. The other day I heard a person comment about the senseless killing of such magnificent creatures just to get the antlers.  I tactfully asked for permission to explain that the antlers on male deer grow new every year. They are shed and fall to the ground for the tiny creatures to consume as food. Living in Minnesota and having many friends in Wisconsin I have no trouble buying or gathering suitable antler material.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
30 cal lever action deer antler ball point

My pens are not made from unused or poached animals. The very idea goes against my nature. Instead when I receive or discover an antler I always ask where the antlers came from.  Then I clean them, size them to fit the pen kit I use, and then polish the material to produce a lasting memory or very special writing instrument. The pen pictured is a fine example of a high end sportsman’s pen.



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Cursive, Print, Pen or keyboard!

Boy did I stir up a bees’ nest! Actually, I came upon one that had already been disturbed. It stemmed from a report in our town about the school districts in our state laying aside teaching the artistic skill of writing in cursive. The big debate was over  whether to make the kids learn how to write in cursive or not. Keyboarding, printing, and when one doesn’t have a smartphone, iPad, or keyboard, maybe, if you have to ….print…but,  please, oh, please don’t make ’em master themselves and their urges and as primary grade  students learn how to write in cursive.  Why that’s tantamount to making a youth practice the piano after someone has thrown a football or baseball his or her way. Hey, maybe I stumbled on a great idea: Let’s add "cursive teachers" to piano teachers, "tap dance  and baton teachers"  and have writing recitals. What d’ya think? We could sell videos, give away smart phones or mini iPads….the possibilities are endless.

Now, I’ve taught youth in the preteen category for over 50 years and I know what it’s about when I say with regard to learning how to write, "There’s trouble in River City!" Yeah, Yeah, I know that some eager to "be on the curve" techie type is going to say: "old man, readin’, ‘riting and ‘rithm’tic when out with the hitching post." Really?, perhaps, (Why, just the other day, I saw an electric car tethered to a power outlet on a post, hmmm) just maybe, that’s part of the reason why we Americans have a hard time keeping the label, "Made in America" on the products we buy and use. Sure the kids are bright, and yes, they learn quicker that the speed of light, but, in my opinion, it seems that part of their brain is being short-circuited while they’re being under trained when tthey’re not required to learn how to write their names. Most of them can’t read the "hen scratching of their peers, much less the letters and gift cards that grandma or grandpa sends them. What happens in our family is close to "rip open the card, glance at the picture, and show me the money." It’s really simple, they act like that because they can’t read either the printed or written words that are placed before them.  "R U with me so far?"  It used to be that I would get requests to translate letters sent from Germany. It was because the recipients didn’t know the language or recognize the letters with their special markings, etc. What I’m writing about here is nothing like that. It’s far more problematic.

Let me tell you that something relative took place in a class I was teaching just yesterday. The need for translating came about because a fellow who had been ill missed class. His buddy had been kind enough to take notes for him while hie was gone.  Then it happened… the sick dude, as he was called, was given the unreadable notes for the class taken by his buddy. But the notes were worthless! Why? Because the note taker’s "printing" was so bad that the words  were unintelligible for his friend. What made it worse, and, I think proves my point, the guy who took the notes was asked to decipher his printing and he couldn’t!  He couldn’t read his own writing. Ouch!

So… I guess I’m aiding and abetting the youngsters in their misery by making a pen that has both a ballpoint with which to write on one end, and a interactive tip on the other end with which to swipe or stroke a screen. Sometimes you have to ride two horses at the same time. Which brings me to my shop project for today. I was experiencing a little problem in achieving true roundness on my pen blanks. This I determined had to do with the flex of the mandrel that they’re turned on. So, when I came upon the solution presented by one fellow turner, I thought I’d give it a try. Well sure enough it worked…in the picture you can see how I still used the mandrel, but turned only one section of the stylus pen I was making. The note taker in the story above will get the stylus/pen with which to learn and to practice learning how to write in cursive while stroking his iPad. LOL!



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