Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Shoes

I recently took it upon myself to make a pair of shoes.  They turned out more like moccasins, being made entirely out of leather, but they serve as decent footwear and are quite comfortable.  I first decided to make these shoes after I tried to make a pair of slippers (bottom right).  The slippers didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I learned a bit about making shoes in the process.  If you take a second to consider your feet, you'll realize how awkwardly shaped they are.  It's no simple task to make a pattern that will cover your foot and provide your piggies with a cozy place to reside.  I found a design online and adapted it to make the shoe you see above. I liked the design because it uses a single piece of leather and forms nicely around your toes.  The shoes look like they could be from the Stone Age though, so I'm probably not winning any fashion awards with this one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Life on the Lot

"So what exactly were you doing over Christmas anyways, Glenn?"  I was managing a Christmas tree lot for Mission Hills, Boy Scout Troop 104.  Let me tell you about it!

Every year, Troop 104 raises money for their scouts to go to summer camp and on outings.  They do this by organizing one large fundraiser a year instead of doing many smaller ones as some other troops do.  Many people are already familiar with Boy Scouts selling popcorn and Girl Scouts selling cookies as fundraisers; Troop 104 sells Christmas trees.

As manager of the lot, my job was to ensure that everything ran safely and smoothly.  I would arrive in the mornings to deliver cash to the register and welcome the first shift.  Typically, there would be two people working the sales shed and two on the lot, but depending on who was scheduled or available to work, this would vary slightly.  Throughout the day, I would stop by the lot making sure there was enough change in the register, the flocking equipment was working, trees were being opened and placed in water and a number of other operational duties were taken care of.  I would also fill in when people didn't show up for their shift or when extra help was needed.  At the end of the day, I would count our earnings with the treasurer and make the lot ready for the guard shift to start.

Another duty as manager was to make sure enough buckets, stands, nails, flock, and other supplies were ordered before we ran out.  I also counted, unloaded and signed off on our shipments of trees and was the go-to guy for any questions or problems that arose... and problems did arise.  This year, we faced torrential downpours that turned the lot into a muddy swamp.  After laying old carpet and digging channels for the water to drain, it still took a couple days before the lot was easily used again.  Even when problems needed to be fixed, I really enjoyed my work.  Everyone I worked with did their best and their efforts made my job a delight.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can guys and girls be friends?

Photo by CakeFace Originals

Those Who Say It Can't Be Done

Some will argue that in a guy/girl friendship, one individual will always develop romantic feelings for the other. They believe it could occur early on, or take years to surface, but eventually when those feelings emerge, the friendship must come to an end.  Often, these same people believe that for a guy/girl friendship to even begin, there must be some level of attraction in one of the individuals.

Why It's Possible

Despite what some may say, there's no reason why guys and girls can't have a truly platonic relationship.  If romantic feelings do develop, they should be addressed honestly, but those feelings don't have to end the friendship.  It ultimately depends on each person involved, and how they respond.

An acquaintance once said, "It's natural for friends to fall for each other, but what it takes is that level of maturity and responsibility to be able to understand when you shouldn't take the friendship in a romantic direction. It's one thing to be sexually attracted to a member of the opposite sex, especially your friend, but it's necessary to be able to tell when a romantic relationship would not be not be wise.

Love is an uncontrollable emotion, to try and control it, you are harboring yourself. Don't make any rash decisions, but interpret your friendship."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Boys and Guns

Boys like guns. It might be the loud report and smell of burning gunpowder, or the ability to shatter clay pigeons flying through the air, or possibly it's that guns are tools that demand a great deal of respect. For me, it's probably a combination of all these things and more.

As a kid, I was always jealous that my brother had a BB gun, and I would frequently ask to borrow it.  I ended up shooting it more than he did and would invite my friends over to shoot aluminum cans and targets taped to stacks of newspapers.  My parents wisely laid out rules for our use of the BB gun so that we would develop safe gun handling habits.  Later in Boy Scouts, I was exposed to rifle and shotgun shooting.  This presented new challenges, with moving targets and targets at much greater distances.  Naturally, I moved on to hand guns after this.  I later inherited my grandfather's .22 Winchester 68 from my uncle and began to learn about proper gun cleaning and maintenance.

I'm not a gun expert by any means, nor do I own many firearms or go shooting often, but I enjoy the hobby and am always willing to learn to shoot guns I'm less familiar with.  Firearms might seem dangerous, and indeed they can be if mistreated, but by exercising proper safety, shooting can be enjoyed by anyone.