The Big Think

December 16, 2004

I’m a Contributing Editor!

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 12:36 pm

I posted a description of the construction of my compound miter station over at Woodcentral’s “shop shots” section. They liked it so much they picked up my short piece and added it to their “articles” section, so now I’m a contributing editor. Cool!

In Praise of Idleness

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 9:16 am

I suspect several of my friends will enjoy this lengthy essay, in spite of the fact that the author’s conclusion takes it inexplicably into left field- discordantly using his thesis to call George Bush a fascist. Huh???

It’s been one hundred and forty years since Thoreau, who itched a full century before everyone else began to scratch, complained that the world was increasingly just “a place of business. What an infi?Ǭ?nite bustle!” he groused. “I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no Sab?Ǭ?bath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work.” Little did he know. Today the roads of commerce, paved and smoothed, reach into every nook and cranny of the republic; there is no place apart, no place where we would be shut of the drone of that damnable traffic. Today we, quite literally, live to work. And it hardly matters what kind of work we do; the process justifies the ends…

You must empty your pockets, turn them inside out, and spill out your wife and your son, the pets you hardly knew, and the days you sim?Ǭ?ply missed altogether watching the sunlight fade on the bricks across the way. You must hand over the rainy afternoons, the light on the grass, the moments of play and of simply being. You must give it up, all of it, and by your example teach your children to do the same, and then – because even this is not enough – you must train yourself to believe that this outsourcing of your life is both natural and good…

What we’re leaving behind today, at record pace, is what?Ǭ?ever belief we might once have had in the value of unstructured time: in the privilege of contemplating our lives before they are gone, in the importance of uninterrupted conversation, in the beauty of play. In the thing in itself – unmediated, leading nowhere. In the present moment.

Again I am reminded of how lucky I am to do what I love at my own pace. To indulge in hobbies I enjoy. To light out and discover at an unhurried, thoughtful pace; building a framework of knowledge that I hope is both diverse and deep. To have the freedom to follow the winds of my evolving interests. To get to the end of my life feeling that I’ve read, learned, and experienced all that I could hope for. To feel like I’m actually living my life instead of just marking time hoping I’ll somehow start to enjoy it when I retire. I’m truly blessed and often feel like I’ve lived more in my 35 years than many people do in their lifetimes.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 8:02 am

Should Tivo drop their monthly subscription fee? Engadget thinks so.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 7:05 am

I’m not usually driven to write about insurance companies, but I’ll make an exception for USAA. I was able to get access to USAA insurance when I married Erin 7+ years ago (I jokingly refer to it as my dowry). I can go on and on about how much I like this company. Their rates are among the lowest, the coverage is fantastic, and from what I hear, they answer claims quickly and efficiently (we’ve never had to make a claim, luckily- knock wood).
In fact, I always almost enjoy writing the car or house insurance check because I know what a great deal we’re getting.
Anyway, this morning I was reminded again why I like them so much. We received a dividend check in the mail from USAA in the amount of $44. It’s not much, but it represents a portion of the money that the company collected in premiums that they didn’t spend (even after the 5 hurricanes of this year). But still, $44 is $44, and when was the last time and insurance company gave you some of your money back?

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