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Papa Challenge and Saturday Activity

January 23, 2022 • jdonahue

The Papa Challenge is a friendly challenge to fathers to spend time with their children.

Yesterday I posted the progress of a tool design . Then I went out to the forge with my 15 and 13 year old sons. We made the tools. It was a great time to work together and impart some of what I know about forge work. I cleaned them up and painted them yellow, so they would be harder to lose in the woods. I’m wondering now if the tool should be welded where it loops back toward itself, but testing will tell. Welding might interfere with the pressure concept expressed at the link. The larger one is tapered to a point, but only on two sides. It will be used along the grain of the wood, not against it. The smaller one was a tent stake I made years ago, but haven’t used. The workmanship is a bit rough, but so are our skills. log tool While cleaning the forge, I noticed a lot of clinker/ash underneath, and remembered that I have a tail leading down to a shed; which is getting slick. So I took a box of the clinker and spread it on the trail. Works great. clinkerWhile stacking lumber earlier this week, I found this leaf skeleton, and thought it was beautiful. leaf skeleton

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Steps of Tool Design

January 22, 2022 • jdonahue

I need a tool that I can drive into a log, and pull the log from one end with a chain or cable. Usually, the tool gets pulled out, these designs are an effort to prevent that. It’s a simple stake like piece of steel that’s driven into the log with a large hammer.

In the top drawing is my first idea. The blue arrow indicates which direction the chain will pull. I quickly realized that it would pivot, and pull the stake out; as indicated by the red arrow.log tool 1 So I changed it so that the pulling force would have less leverage. It would pull more in the same direction as the chain was going, as indicated by the green arrow. It would still be almost as easy to pull out as a straight spike.log tool 2I showed it to my son, who immediately suggested driving the stake in at a back angle, so that when the chain pulls, it will cause the tool to put pressure down on the wood, which will clamp the spike part, as indicated by the red arrow, and hold it in. Great idea. log tool 3I hope to make this into an a Saturday afternoon project at the forge with my sons.

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It’s a Small World…In Sevier County TN.

January 8, 2022 • jdonahue

A few days ago, I read this terrible report of the number of deaths in Sevier County Tennessee’s only hospital. A commenter in an online thread said that if Sevier County isn’t in a riot by now, there’s not much hope for this country. Perhaps MPAU is a subset of MPAI. Most People Are Uninformed, which makes them idiots? I have spent time contemplating the thing, but that’s another topic. I posit that the people of Sevier County, where I reside, don’t know the situation.

I’ve lived in East Tennessee for almost thirty years. For most of that time I knew M.D. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to reveal his name at this time, although he was very well know in this area. I met him and his wife in a grocery store parking lot. I had a sign on the camper of my truck, it read: “Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by me”. (John 14:6) He later said that I was influential in bringing him closer to the Lord. He found out that I was a sign painter, and asked me to letter the concrete wall of the shop he was using. Inside he was using his many metal and wood working skills to make things for sale. I marveled at the Cherokee Indian theme chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It featured different metals in its design.

We met his family, and stayed in contact. Both of our families became part of the loosely associated Christians in this area who have large families, homeschool their children, and are wary of communications like television. I have eleven children, and they really took a liking to M.D. He would sometimes take my whole family out to a local restaurant, as that was difficult for me to do on my income. Even very recently, the children asked why we were having an above average meal with lots of extras when I returned from the grocery store, “Mr. D. paid me extra for that job I did, so were going to have a nice meal!” was the answer.

He never lived beyond an average blue collar lifestyle, in fact, he always rented modest quarters. He lived in Sevier County Tennessee. He had a knack for figuring out how to do a large or small job, and the ability to smoothly keep a crew working on it. I would say that was his ministry. He wanted the average guy to have a decent paying job, and there was usually one available to who ever needed one. Guys on the other side of the law, didn’t matter, they always had a shot at a decent paying job. No slacking was permitted, so it was just an opportunity, not a guarantee. More than once he gave me work when I had none other. For months after the economic crash of 2008, he had work for me.

He was not taller than most, but he was a big man. I never heard of him working out, but his wrists were as big as my knees. He could have hurt somebody very badly, but he never would. Once, I got a measure of his strength when we were in a basement of a house being remodeled. We were both using pry bars to move an old beam out of an old block wall. Somehow, my bar slipped and slid between the beam and the wall, with my hands in the narrow area, and all his force pressing against them. It all happened so fast that he didn’t have time to remove his pressure. I thought my hands would be crushed; and realized how very strong he was.

I could tell the stories of a long friendship, of the highs and lows, but I’ll save that for later. He has long had health issues. I received the news this afternoon, Friday January seventh, that he recently contracted the Covid virus, and was taken to the hospital. This information is indirect, but from reliable sources. As it was related to me, while he was there, he became agitated, and started pulling the IV lines from himself. The staff decided to put him in an induced coma, then he died, yesterday, on the 6th. As one who often relies on pattern recognition, I find this interesting in an angering way, but time will tell.

There are take away thoughts from this:

  1. The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” I would add or change it to “A life of regular labor and careful diet will keep the doctor away” In these times, BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT A VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL, avoid it if at all possible.
  2. What did the big man know or realize when he was tearing out the IV drips?
  3. BE INFORMED. The regular news sources are lying to you, have been for years. Remember when they said “Give us 15 days to flatten the curve” Or when they described the riots that burned cities and murdered police as “Mostly peaceful protests”? Or When they lied about a crowd chanting FJB, and said it was “Let’s go Brandon”? They lie all the time, and PLEASE don’t trust your health or any other important thing to them.
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Snow scenes 1-3-2022

January 4, 2022 • jdonahue

I’ve posted snow scenes like these online before. What Is different this time is that it was raining heavily before it snowed, and it made the snow stick  to everything better.

Here’s a Walnut tree near a few sheds: snow 1A mix of deciduous and evergreen trees: snow 2Trees along the ridge line of a pasture: snow 3High contrast patterns in a hardwood tree: snow 4More patterns in a hardwood tree: snow 5A bird feeder under a large Maple tree: snow 6Maple limbs against a black barn: snow 7Numerous trees at different distances next to a wood building made in the 1940s: snow 9Two of the same trees that are in the picture above: snow 10

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Blue Gate Keepers AND Red Gate Keepers?

January 1, 2022 • jdonahue

If you’re trying to stay informed, you know that legacy media isn’t worth watching; and that on the right are parties with ulterior motives. Many are simply vying to be an e-celeb that cashes in, while others work for the left, but put on a facade of traditional values. They’re known as gatekeepers, in this article I’ll call them blue gatekeepers. They talk about the hypocrisy of the left, or what an outrage an event is; but there are certain subjects they never talk about. They will never make any mention of the JQ, 109, or that Lincoln created a monster. That’s who I’m calling a blue gatekeeper. gatekeepre 2Is there also a red gatekeeper? I have a theory that says the left has Satan, the father of lies helping them, but that Christ left the USA in the early 1960s. So now we try to resist a clever foe, but it’s like dying the death of a thousand cuts because we don’t have help. The red gatekeeper is keenly aware of politics, will talk about the JQ, 109, or secession, and even has an appearance of Christianity, but never, ever talks about getting Christ to help us in our current struggles. Isn’t that a lot like “Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof”?

Doesn’t it make sense to find out what made Christ leave us; and work to change that? Look how many bible verses describe our situation, ones like Isaiah 59:14 ” And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” That’s SO MUCH like where we are, but the red gatekeeper won’t look for how truth fell in the street. I say the biggest lie is from Darwin, and that teaching it to children earns you the millstone award.

Our situation is not hopeless, in fact I see actual physical ways to deal with this (below); but that would be distracting from the point. The point is that our solutions have to be aimed at undoing what made Christ leave, to get His power back. If our situation looks like a curse, sounds like a curse, and walks like a curse, maybe it is one. duck vote

This is EXACTLY what you get when you look only for political solutions: Deny550

Here are some ideas about alternate education:

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Pictures From 12-18-2021

December 18, 2021 • jdonahue

These pictures are at work and home, day and night. The first two are on a mountain top where I’ve been running a sawmill. The wood is a close up of an Oak log. The bark has rotted away, as well as some of the wood. It looks like the harder parts of the wood were left standing like thousands of small fins.

wood 1

As I was leaving the mountain, I got this picture looking at distant ridges through sunlit trees.

mountain 1

I always enjoy the transformation a piece of wood goes through when varnish is applied.


Next is the full moon through a light fog and walnut tree branches.

moon mist

More branches from the same tree.

moon mist 2

Some smaller trees next to a small portable wood building made in the 1940s.

moon mist 3

Looking at the lights on the neighbor’s porch through the fog on a moonlit night.

moon mist 4

A car approaching through the same fog..

moon mist 5

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Cutting Oak Wood At the Sawmill

December 2, 2021 • jdonahue

I’m trying to go into the lumber business. We have several orders, one is for some oak timbers. Today’s first cut looked like this:oak grain


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Wrong Think?

July 17, 2021 • jdonahue

An Interesting post by Vox Day: wherein he’s telling people to be careful of what they say and think, because spoken words can have more negative and lasting effects than we realize.

For years now, I’ve had a practice I call ‘mind time’ that is easier said than done; It’s this: while doing mundane or rote tasks, concentrate on serious topics, and work my way mentally through them. A friend sent me a supplement, CoEnzyme Q10, and while I can’t speak for its long term effects, I can say it makes said mind time easier, with good results.

CoEnzyme Q10

Yesterday, while adhering transfer paper to vinyl letters, I started thinking about the right-left divide. Thoughts like “Man, if the thing blows wide open, they’re going to be in for a shock in the ferocity of the reaction. All we wanted was be left alone, to live decent lives, but no, they wouldn’t have it.”

I’ve had that thought for years, but you know what? IT’S WRONG THINKING. The truth is, evil has always sought to undermine good; the idea of being left alone is very unrealistic. So a better thought is: THEY”RE GOING TO WISH I WOULD LEAVE THEM ALONE.


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