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Sassyhacksaws - Musings On An English Degree Blog


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Musings on an English Degree, woodworking, and home makeover DIY projects
2024-02-22 15:00
These photos are all bad. Really, I had to pull up the negatives to make sure I didn’t make a mistake while scanning these and sure enough, they are all bad. It looks like I had some w… Read More
2024-02-09 15:00
Another roll, another group of photos that I am not thrilled with 18 years after I took them. What I am finding out is that I wasn’t great about keeping my negatives in order in high s… Read More
2024-01-25 15:00
There are two groupings of photos in this roll of film. One grouping was the official assignment from my class and one grouping was a side project. The school assignment was “long expo… Read More
2024-01-11 15:00
This roll of film is far from my favorite, nearly every photo is under exposed. What’s more than that is that I didn’t like the assignments we had to complete with these photos… Read More
2023-12-28 15:00
This next roll from my high school photo archives was very under exposed. Nearly all of the photos needed to have their exposure bumped up a bit so they’d be viewable. I think a lot of… Read More
2023-12-14 15:00
In continuing to share the photos I’ve taken with my film cameras over the years, this next roll is the second one I shot in high school. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what th… Read More
2023-11-30 15:00
The photos below are the first roll of film I shot in high school photography class. If I remember correctly, the assignment was just to take a roll and figure out how to use the camera. Spe… Read More
2023-11-22 15:00
It’s that time again, isn’t it? The past year got away from me for a couple of reasons. The thirty-fifth year was definitely one for the books. Let’s recap it, shall we? Jo… Read More
2023-07-11 21:00
How long does it take to build a table and when do you really get to start counting? Does the timer start when you make the first cut or when you sit down to draft the piece? Maybe it starts… Read More
2022-12-22 21:03
Throughout the pregnancy, I kept telling my wife things like, “The baby is all mine when she gets here,” and “You’ve been carrying her for nine months, I get the next… Read More
That Was 34
2022-11-22 23:13
The 34th year of my life was emotional. I was presented with a whole host of new situations, good and bad, which I suddenly needed to cope with. Overall, my gut says that things went well wh… Read More
My Heart Cries Out
2022-02-24 23:29
My heart cries out for my people. I saw the news as it happened last night. Russia launched an unprovoked attack on my beloved Ukraine. All the reports in recent weeks pointed towards this n… Read More
2021-11-23 04:07
You know? It’s been a year. Can we just take a moment to reflect on everything that happened in the past year? This was by far the year I expected it to be. We entered year two of a gl… Read More
2021-11-20 00:29
On November 14th, 2021, I ran a marathon. For me, this was no small feat. It was four and a half months in the making and decided upon a whim. Sometime in late June, I felt the need to work… Read More
2021-07-06 22:06
Back in 2013, one of my high school friends asked if I wanted to run a half-marathon with him. He was coming out of a marriage and that meant a transformation for him. Half out of curiosity… Read More
Another Year, Another CNC
2021-04-08 21:51
You might remember about a year ago, I went through the process of retrofitting the electronics in an old Dahlgren 400EZ CNC Engraver. I bought it off of Craigslist for $50. To be honest, I… Read More
2020-11-23 04:44
Let me start by asking, did anyone have the year they thought they would? Was anyone able to find peace in the year they ended up with? Would it surprise you to hear that while I didn’… Read More
Ten Years
2020-09-17 13:30
Ten years. Let that sink in. Where were you ten years ago? What were you getting ready to do? Can you even imagine? Any given day, I couldn’t tell you without looking it up. But today… Read More
2020-06-23 17:29
For years I have wanted to have a CNC (computer numerical control) router to play with and cut fun things with. For a period of time, I thought the MaslowCNC would be my entry into the world… Read More
2020-04-30 13:00
In the Rocky Mountains, on a clear September day that I had a moment of clarity–I knew exactly what I was going to make Ellie for Christmas that year. In my mind, I had a perfect visua… Read More
2020-02-19 14:00
I wouldn’t say that I’m a New Years resolution kind of guy, but I do find it to be a convenient way to quit or start something cold turkey. The new year tends to give me a boost… Read More
2019-11-22 14:00
It’s been a while, and that has been by design. Being 30, for me, was about getting stuff done and seeing where that could take me. Being 31 was about focusing on all the things I need… Read More
Looking At 2019
2019-01-02 17:00
I was done with 2018 a while ago and wrote my thoughts about it for my birthday. I’ve spent the past month treating it like a new year and actually prepping for the new year. I like to… Read More
2018-12-26 17:00
This project was about a year in the making. Last Christmas, Ellie and I had a niece and two nephews to buy for and there was another on the way and a fifth would come into the picture a lit… Read More
2018-12-19 17:00
I have dry, itchy skin. My wife has dry, itchy skin. Our dog has dry, itchy skin. Our cat, well she’s the odd one out. Every winter it is the same. I get really dry and really itchy. W… Read More
2018-12-12 17:00
I’m not professionally trained in most of the things that I do. Despite this fact, there are things I think I do exceptionally well. For example, I have never been trained to cook but… Read More
Pegboard Shelves
2018-12-05 17:00
Do you clean your stove, I mean like really, really clean your stove only to turn around ten minutes later and there’s food splattered on it and a splash of pasta sauce even though you… Read More
Holiday Decorations
2018-11-28 17:00
When it comes to holidays, I’m not much of a decorator. There’s a whole lot of effort that goes into decorations for very little payoff. Most of the time, you’re decorating… Read More
2018-11-21 17:00
This is a post I meant to save for the end of the year, as posts like this tend to be placed there. But so much about what I have to say feels better to get it out sooner than later and move… Read More
2018-11-14 17:00
At my last job I had a coworker who was the kind of person to know interesting people because she could be considered an interesting person herself. The kind of people who don’t sit in… Read More
2018-11-07 17:00
In our ongoing quest to have a finished basement, Ellie and I just reached a major milestone. The drywall in the basement has all been hung. It has been a long journey, but maybe it shouldn… Read More
Preserving And Canning
2018-10-31 16:00
I always thought my family was a bit different than the families of my friends. The traditions we kept, I just assumed they were ours. At times, I was embarrassed by them or didn’t kno… Read More
2018-10-24 16:00
We started the basement finishing project back in March, I believe. Since then, we’ve had fits and starts when it came to getting things done. Some of the reason for that is that we we… Read More
Craftsman Table Saw
2018-10-17 16:00
If I haven’t already made this clear in previous posts, I’m not a rich man. I never have been though someday I hope to be more comfortable with my finances than I am now. Because… Read More
2018-10-10 16:00
If you don’t live in Wisconsin and/or haven’t heard about it on the news, then let me tell you that we’ve been hit with a lot of rain this year. There was a stretch of a fe… Read More
2018-10-03 16:00
Sometimes projects take a while to complete. Sometimes, the simpler the project the longer it takes because you overthink the solution to the point of freezing on any sort of action. Sometim… Read More
2018-09-26 16:00
As Ellie and I speed up on our project of finishing the basement of our house, we’ve broken the process down into bite-sized chunks to help us keep moving forward. The small projects w… Read More
Workshop Air Cleaner
2018-09-19 16:00
I make a lot of things, but the thing I’m best at making is a mess. The mess can usually be justified, by me, because I have a fairly good memory of where things are in the shop. Howev… Read More
2018-09-12 16:00
When a project is too big, I have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around it. The biggest issue is where to get started or what to do next. Sometimes you think, I’ll just take care of… Read More
2018-09-05 16:00
It’s been two years since Ellie and I tied the knot. We did many things in that time and learned and grew as a couple. She is a wonderful woman who I wouldn’t wish to spend a day… Read More
ShopSmith II
2018-08-29 16:00
I like to think karma affects me. I like the concept that if you do good things, good things happen and vice versa. It keeps me honest. Sometimes the good things that happen aren’t dir… Read More
2018-08-22 16:00
I like large, complex projects. There are many facets to them and I often learn or practice a whole host of skills to complete them. Once they’re done, I have this satisfying statement… Read More
Sealing The Driveway
2018-08-15 16:00
When we bought our house, the driveway was sorely in need of an update. The blacktop was pitted and crumbling. It was clearly neglected for quite some years. I checked back on Google Street… Read More
2018-08-08 16:00
In the ongoing saga of finishing half of our basement, we’ve been making slow progress. So far, Ellie and I have bought the bulk of the materials, and we have insulated two of the room… Read More
2018-08-01 16:00
The previous owner of our house, that’s who. I guess the real question is, “Why would someone paint a sink?” That is an answer I don’t think I will ever have, but I d… Read More
2018-07-25 16:00
I have wanted a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router for years. The problem, however, is that a CNC is very expensive and only recently have they come down in price but even at that lower… Read More
2018-07-18 16:00
Do you ever think to yourself, “Well I might as well, before it’s too late”? That’s what Ellie and I thought before we started hanging the pile of drywall we bought… Read More
2018-07-11 16:00
I am a slob. I always have been and there have been more than a handful of people who have tried to train it out of me. Some of it has helped, but my natural state is to live in a mess of or… Read More
2018-07-04 16:00
Let’s take a few steps backward and talk about Peace Corps, it’s been a while and I’m feeling nostalgic. If we go back six years, I would be in the summer of my second year… Read More
2018-06-27 16:00
Ellie and I have a habit of grabbing things off the side of the road. I think it originally started as my own habit and it spread to her by association. In college, my most notable object fo… Read More
Arizona
2018-06-20 16:00
Ellie and I have a love affair with Arizona. We went there a few years back after we had been dating for about a year because it seemed like a good place to go in the middle of January. It w… Read More
2018-06-13 16:00
This is only the beginning. This is not a complete story. It’s a work in progress and a learning experience all in one. Aren’t the best projects always like that? We didn’t… Read More
Updating The Basement Shelving
2018-06-06 16:00
I’m particular.  I have a standard of quality. If my name is going to be tied to something, I want it to be something I’m proud of. This is a trait I developed in my twentie… Read More
The Cabin Up North
2018-05-30 16:00
In Wisconsin everyone knows someone who has a cabin up north. It’s a part of your childhood. What did you do this summer? I spent two weeks at the cabin up north. For those of us who d… Read More
2018-05-23 16:00
I think we are finally past the wintry weather in Wisconsin. At least I hope so because recently I planted the garden for the year. In one fell swoop, I put the fate of my harvest in hands o… Read More
2018-05-16 16:00
I’m not the most precise gardener. I like to let things grow their own way. Weeds happen, and I pull them as needed. But once the plants are in the ground, I do my best to keep them fr… Read More
2018-05-09 16:00
One of the many things that came up in our home inspection prior to closing on the house was that the garage was in need of some love. More specifically, the home inspector told us that it w… Read More
2018-04-25 16:00
Sometimes, things just were meant to be and you don’t question the why or the how. That’s just the way it is. When it comes to restoring a mid-century modern end table my wife fo… Read More
2018-04-18 16:00
When I bought my ShopSmith 10ER, I had only the vaguest idea of what it was and how I would use it. I knew it was old and I knew there were fanatics out there, so I figured I’d be good… Read More
2018-04-11 16:00
This project feels like it was a long time in the making, Ellie reminds me it was only about a month. A month to her I guess feels like three for me. It was roughly a month ago that Ellie sh… Read More
2018-04-04 16:00
Marley was declawed when I got her. I didn't need to make that decision, and it was a blessing in disguise. Since getting her, I've learned more about the declawing process and am torn. On o… Read More
2018-03-28 16:00
When Ellie and I lived in apartments, I did my best to grow herbs and veggies in containers. Last year, when we were looking for a house, I made sure to find a house with a space for a garde… Read More
2018-03-21 16:05
On a whim, Ellie and I bought a bunch of drywall. Sixty sheets of it to be precise. We also bought 22 boxes of laminate flooring and a sheet of melamine. We were running low on all of the ab… Read More
2018-03-10 16:00
Has it really been a year since this whole process started? According to the closing documents, it has. It’s hard to believe Ellie and I have owned a home for a whole year now and we h… Read More
2018-03-07 17:00
Since I’ve joined the rat race many years ago, I’ve collected a mass of business cards from the different jobs I’ve held. For the longest time, they seemed like such a trea… Read More
2018-02-28 17:00
Okay, I know I wrote about how I don’t think collecting trash is a great idea in my post last week about my DIY Chalkboard, but this week I have another story about someone else’… Read More
2018-02-25 15:00
I put together a shaker door build video for the Bathroom Closet Shaker Doors I built recently. This is my first attempt at filming one of my projects. Let me know what you think. If you'd l… Read More
2018-02-21 17:00
Most of the time I reject the notion that someone else’s trash could be my treasure. I need to reject this notion because if I didn’t I would have a collection of things that I d… Read More
2018-02-14 17:00
When I started the bathroom closet conversion project, I knew I needed to build a custom door for the closet and I knew I wanted to create shaker doors, but I didn't know I'd need to build t… Read More
2018-02-07 17:00
Another DIY bathroom renovation project has been taken care of. In this entry, I turned our spare shower into a closet to store all of our bathroom supplies. The post Bathroom Closet Convers… Read More
2018-02-01 23:00
There is nothing worse than a drunk argument when everybody is sober. The post On Arguments appeared first on Sassyhacksaws Read More
2018-01-31 17:00
One of the appealing features of a ShopSmith is that it can be used as a lathe. For the longest time, I had been wanting to try my hand at turning things on a lathe but didn't know anyone wh… Read More
2018-01-24 17:00
Tables seem to be the focus of many of the home makeover shows out right now. The trend is to prefer handmade tables that are large and stately and can seat your extended family with ease. T… Read More
2018-01-21 17:00
Because Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day is coming up soon, I thought I'd post the recipe I have for making homemade paczki. They're time consuming, but totally worth it. Freshly made batch… Read More
2018-01-16 16:27
When Ellie and I were looking for a house, one of the items I was looking for was a space to work on things. I didn't really have any criteria in mind. More or less, I figured the space woul… Read More
2018-01-02 23:00
I have been the author of unalterable evils and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness. -Dr. Victor Frankenstein The post On Fra… Read More
2017-12-20 16:56
I found one of those things I didn't realize how much I'd miss it until it was actually gone. That thing is a dishwasher. The first half of my childhood, we didn't have a dishwasher. We took… Read More
2017-12-01 23:00
If you say, "The current job I have is everything I ever wanted," life becomes just so much more straightforward." -Sataya Nadella The post On work appeared first on Sassyhacksaws Read More
2017-11-29 14:49
    Weekend hike at Governor Nelson’s State Park The post Weekend Hike appeared first on Sassyhacksaws Read More
2017-11-22 14:00
Ooh boy. This is one of those posts I knew I’d get to at some point but never really imagined it being here. The weird thing is that I knew exactly when it should be written. Today. I… Read More
2017-10-27 16:24
Sometimes home owning drags you down. You look up at the ceiling and wish you hadn’t seen the thing that needs to be fixed or you move something and find that the problem is bigger tha… Read More
2017-10-17 21:23
Do you ever come across a website that offers to make your life better and you think, “Great, but this is too good to be true”? I’ve often come across these as ambitious st… Read More
2017-09-27 21:22
A month ago I received an unpleasant piece of mail. The energy bill arrived and it was $30 more than it had been. And its graph highlighted that the price of the bill was increasing a little… Read More
Stella, The Newest Member Of Our Family
2017-09-13 17:46
Puppy. Puppy is the newest member of our family. Her name is Stella and she’s the best. We adopted her from a local rescue called Paddy’s Paws. She was born in Texas to a breeder… Read More
2017-08-29 16:35
The CODAworx beginning After two and a half years at CODAworx, I put in my two weeks notice. It did not end up being or feeling like I had imagined. I expected feelings of regret and nervous… Read More
2017-06-23 21:39
Gardening is easy when you have a plot of land to do it. For years, I was stuck container gardening. It worked, but it wasn’t perfect. Last year I even went and bought a Garden Tower b… Read More
2017-06-18 13:01
I took an unplanned hiatus. At some point in the late winter and early spring, I stopped riding the bus and I started being busy with the house. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and… Read More
2017-03-12 03:33
If you decide to buy a house, you’ll certainly think you have everything under control. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and you’ll be confident… Read More
OMG I Cannot Believe This Happened Again…
2017-03-09 02:47
Ellie and I close on our house on Friday, and it cannot come soon enough. Guess what we found in our apartment again last night. Mold. A big old pile of it. Take a look: Gross. We had the f… Read More
2017-03-02 14:45
So we are closing on the house next week and then moving in a week later. At that point, I’ll have a 6 mile bike ride to work or a 45 minute bus ride, with a transfer. I’m going… Read More
2017-03-01 23:17
Over the weekend Ellie’s cat, Tilly, decided to start playing with my wedding ring which I had left on the counter while I showered. No one was around to watch her and stop her. She pl… Read More
2017-02-28 23:13
Today is Pazcki day, which is basically a jelly donuts eaten by the Polish before Lent. I have made them before, but not for a few years. It’s a very time intensive and daunting proces… Read More
2017-02-24 03:51
I’ve never been great at making soup. I either need to follow a recipe or just give up before I start. There’s something about the free-form idea of soup that I cannot wrap my mi… Read More
2017-02-23 02:14
So apparently there is a new seasons of Chef’s Table out on Netflix. Ellie and I really love this show. It’s fascinating to see how chefs from all over the world approach fo… Read More
2017-02-22 03:24
Tonight, my creativity came easily. Tonight, I made pasta. My favorite, go-to dish which can be made in a pinch is pasta and Italian sausage. It’s one of those dishes I can put togethe… Read More
2017-02-21 04:02
I’ve been trying to decide which of the things I did today was more creative, coding or cooking. Neither of them was particularly intensive, both were creative in some way, and both ha… Read More
2017-02-19 04:56
Doug Teschner, the Country Director for Peace Corps Ukraine while I was there, had a bit of advice he offered to newly sworn-in volunteers that has stuck with me over the years. He said, if… Read More

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