This is an odd one. Not so odd as to leave me shaking my head (like some dreams that come true. But, certainly odd enough to take note of.
I’ll begin at the (more or less) beginning.
I’m a fanatic about airplane maintenance. If our old plane is not absolutely “by-the-book” it sits on the ground until I am absolutely certain than there is nothing amiss.
Weekend before this, my lifelong friend (the retired major fellow) and I flew up to Sheppard Air Force Base where his son is learning air combat (in ever-so slightly) faster airplanes.
On the way back, we climbed up to 7,500 feet and were doing an indicated 123 MPH, but because air is thinner up there, our actual ground speed was pretty much “book:” and maybe a bit better.
The climb-out was bumpy and things didn’t settle down until over 7,000 feet – plus, being 90 on the ground at takeoff time, it was nice to be up where the outside air was showing 62-degrees.
Then I noticed it: The tachometer was showing between 2500 and 2525 RPM. It should have been reading 2600 RPM or even a tad higher than that (2650 would be expected).
The flight went smoothly, nice landing, and so forth. But I called the local mechanic to meet us last week and check things out.
We met at 10 AM as planned, taxied over to a large hangar where there was air (neither of us had brought a compressor) and we set about looking for anything out of place. But a ground run-up on the engine showed it was on the ragged edge of not making power.
We tore apart a good bit, going through a compression test (everything high 70’s (77,78,79,78) and yes, mag timing was right.
By 11:30 we had to run into town and got to the local Chinese food dispensary.
With the mechanic back at the field, (taking the prop off for more checking on things and to tighten an alternator belt a tad) we say down after the buffet line. It’s then my buddy gets this far-away look and then says to me:
“You should really call the mechanic and make sure he has your cell phone number. In case he needs to get hold of you. I think he will…”
I, of course, poo-poo’ed the idea with all kinds of objections from “rational” mind: We’re in the midst of George Tso’s chicken, fried rice, bean sprouts, and short of a nuclear exchange, there wasn’t much reason to put down my fork.
“Besides,” I told my friend, “Dan who is normally in the airport Admin office had also gone into town on errands and there’s no one to run the message out to Jeremy (the mechanic) even if I do call.”
“Well, your decision,” explained my buddy, “But I have one of my “feelings” and you really need to talk to the mechanics. He wants to talk to you…”
Keep in mind, we have been friends for 62-years and have led totally different lives, but we both have some respect for one-another’s “seeing” ability. While my background went from high school electronics wunderkind to DJ to newscaster to news director to airline VP, his had gone from seminary to college to grad school to army.
Totally different takes on things, so as I sat there munching (more been sprouts and now onto the sesame seed chicken and some broccoli beef by this point, I was wondering if this would turn into one of those World of Woo-Woo near brushes with Other.
Deep down, there was this part of me that was very quietly saying “Yeah, he’s probably right…” but I was in denial and thinking about the deserts ahead.
We paid (the $4.99 Chinese buffet here would be $9.99 in a busy northern city) and headed back out to the airport to see how the doctor was doing on the plane.
Then the phone rang.
It was Elaine, who doesn’t like nit-picking on airplanes. “Did Jeremy get hold of you? He didn’t have your cell phone, so he called the house. He ran into something or other, and needs to talk to you…Can you call him?”
12-minutes later, we were back at the airport. My friend had the good taste to only shake his finger at me once and say quietly “I told you. This kind of thing happens all the time to me…”
And that gets us to this weekend and our wrap-up discussion on the way up to the airport at Tyler, Texas at oh-dark-thirty Sunday morning.
We agree that there is something much more to this life than people generally let on. Not everyone gets to sense it, perhaps because you need to be in a quiet enough mental and physical state for the messages to come through.
But the larger point of agreement was that many people don’t actually make “the connection” to this strata of Reality. He’d summed that up in a conversation with Elaine about it earlier in the week. They’d been up late talking and he wax explaining to her about the difference between belief in something and knowing something.
Belief, as he’s figured it, is something that comes from study, reports, and so on. The knowing part is experiential. In other words, it’s the difference between reading about heat and stoves, and resulting injuries and such (belief) versus the actual “touching” and “pain” that immediately results in the “experience.”
In the World of Woo-Woo, those who have experienced either big things (like vivid telepathic or precognitive dreams) or a more or less constant stream of small things ( of the “mechanic needs to get hold of you” ) sort, the existence of something Other than what’s obvious is undeniable and real.
But, for those who have never had contact with The Big It, there’s tons of belief and plenty of collection plates to hear reports.
Which gets me to the point that there are (when you look for them) a few books out there on this “borderland” between the organized religiosity of it all and the knowing/experiential “been there, sensed That directly.
Sunday afternoon, after catching up on some shut-eye, I went looking for a book that might cover the topic more deeply than we get into in our morning coffee-side chats. I’m a chapter into Be Still And Know: Incredible Hunches From Your Creator and it may offer some pointers.
Hard stuff, this matter of spirituality in Modern (such as they are) Times. Tons of charlatans, always a collection plate, and many times, those passing the plate are more putting toll gates up on the “stairway to heaven.”
Armed with a study of all the world’s holy books, and then a sense of inquiry that is deliberately non-judgmental, I think it is possible construct your own approach to “discovering the World of Woo-Woo” that, at least in my research to date, is something like a hybrid between video game virtual reality, the multiverse of quantum physics, the “personality focus” of the world’s great religions, and six heaping spoonful’s of “The way than can be said, in not The Way.”
You homework assignment, due Thursday, then is simply this: Of all the great books and teachings in the world, what is the one page of said book that holds (for you) the greatest insight into how the world truly IS?
A Holly-Woo Report
Meantime, the flow of WoWW reports continues. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are just enough to be noticed and to leave someone scratching there head going “Hmmm…”
Hey, George, hope your weekend has been a great one! I’m writing to report another one of these strange experiences. This bizarre event took place two weeks ago. I am employed as a steward at a restaurant in Hollywood, or Hollyweird if you prefer.
One of my many responsibilities is to replace a trash bag in the bathroom when it becomes full. In order to do this I need to use a key to remove a metal container from the wall, take out the bag, replace it with a new one, and then use the key to reattach the container. This is exactly what I did. I then brought the full garbage bag to a dumpster and continued with my myriad of other tasks.
20 minutes later or so, when I next checked to make sure the bathroom was in order, I saw that there was no trash bag in the metal container. I was absolutely stunned! The process of changing out the bag is enough of an annoyance that I clearly remembered doing it. It would be possible for someone to have ripped the bag out, but it wouldn’t have come out clean. Without using the key some plastic would inevitably have remained attached to the container. I took note that I had once again encountered the world of woo-woo, again replaced the bag, and made a note to write you.
I’m still not sure what all these things mean, but they move you in a powerful way when they happen…
Take care, Johnny
And this gets me to the really cool observation about how the World may really work: What IF these signs and portents, woo-vents, and such are constantly occurring, but just below the perception threshold of non-aware humans?
Wouldn’t that be a neat way to sort out the “players” in spiritual terms? Those who “see” the small stuff? (Disappearing/reappearing this and that’s, or in Johnny’s case, a simple disappearing something?)
Field Notes: The War On Cash
Recent topic for Peoplenomics subscribers: The macro trend to attack cash and force people into virtualized money. Subscriber Michael spied this and figures “George, this fits your zippo $$$ thesis: “3,000 different bacterial strains live on U.S. dollar bills.”
Gives a whole new context to “filthy lucre” doesn’t it?
No worries for Elaine and me: I figure it we spend it fast enough, none of the bugs will catch on here.
HHB-AAR: Gold Star Chet
First off, a HHB_AAR is short for a “Home Handy-Bastard After Action Report” and in one of his comments on the Peoplenomics side of things, subscriber Ray H had some comments on my radial arm saw adventure in last week’s column.
Picking up on this, reader Chet was generous enough to share his thoughts and experiences:
1) In support of Ray H’s comments: The photo below is of a 1976 Craftsman RA saw which I love and I utilize heavily mainly for crosscuts. Ripping can be dangerous due to a higher chance for kickback.
A homemade sawdust hood connected to a shop vac gets a least 90% of the sawdust generated and is a must in my opinion. I don’t like to swing the arm into position for angle cuts as I then have to realign the saw to get nice square cuts.
I also own one of the digital-readout RA saws which qualifies for the moniker of “Crapsman” – its not worth the gas to drive next door to get it for free!
2) I have an old AMT table saw that I paid $100 for used and have built a rolling cart.
Note that the fence is supported in the middle directly opposite the blade to minimize flexing of the fence; it also locks down at the front and back rails. What I like is the repeatability that you get when resetting the fence. Due to the two interlocking “racks” (yes I know they are plastic – but have had the fence for over 10 years with no damage to them) you can come back to the same exact position to repeat a cut. I’ve had three severe kickbacks on this machine and have added the Brett-Guard for another $500. So what started out as a cheap saw is now a little on the pricey side!
3) Made this Assembly Cart (every machine I have needs to be mobile in order to get the cars into the garage) about 10 years ago. The center section can hold the miter saw as shown, a router table, or a flat assembly insert. The slots allow me clamp work pieces down while I work on them.
4) I saved the creme-de-la-creme for last – Festools! When I first saw them at Woodcraft, I felt that the prices were unreal (actually I still do) and I wouldn’t buy them. My son, however, likes good tools and he bought this table, track, and saw. Later, I invested in the HEPA vac.
There is no chance for digit removal (when used as designed) as the blade is underneath and your hands are on top. Also, kickbacks are not possible as the track is clamped down and keeps the board from moving. Kickback could only occur if you mount or clamp something to the right of the saw that allows the board to still move.
My only problem with Festool is not being able to get the repeatable cut that an Incra fence gives, but I’m sure that the Uber Engineers at Festool are working on their own design as we speak. Now, my opinion is that if you value your health for more than $0, then the Festool prices are actually justifiable (this from a guy who buys a used table saw for $100. That third kickback on the table saw really got my attention!) The Festool system could possibly replace all my other woodworking tools which would also give me more room in the garage.
I wanted to thank you for the tips in a previous Peoplenomics issue on how draw lines on trading charts to show the Elliott Wave support and resistance lines. Also, I like your comments on how to get at the real story in a news article. Keep on keeping on!
Wow! Nice job on the tool collection, Chet – first gold star of the week.
I’ve looked at the Festool MFT/3 Multifunction Table but at $645 it’s a tad above my pay grade.
I can’t speak for all men, but I’d offer that the word “maturity” applies when a man reaches the age where instead of putting three thousand bucks on something useless like super-sized tires and pimp rims on his truck, he opts for something useful like a SawStop 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly with 52-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System, Rails and Extension Table. Now we’re talking tool.
Short $3,250 for such a saw I’d venture that one reason for the repeatability issue could be the “run-in” on the motor. With the saw turned off (and yes, say the lawyers, mention unplugged, too) if you can slide the motor shaft even a 64th of an inch (in or out) your cut reliability goes to hell in a hand basket.
My five year old Sears table saw is fine on most accounts except for the motor has maybe a 32nd of an inch of shaft slide to it. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can take your cheapo disk/belt sander [*with guide] and shave off a bit. And for long cuts (rips, especially) a pass through the jointer to take the excess off is easy enough.
Surprisingly, the second best repeatability I get is with the chop saw (combination miter saw). Likely this is because the laser guide is on the blade assembly and if there is run-in, the laser moves with it.
As time permits, I will be working on the $229 radial arm saw trying to get it adjusted perfectly, but in the meantime, the studio room now has the floor decking in and if all goes according to plans, we will get the ceiling sheetrock up this week. A couple of cool days at mid week a sheetrock jack from the rental emporium and we should be good to go.
Off to the wilds of work….more tomorrow. As much as I hate Monday, the only alternatives I can think of are becoming a Breatharian or being dead…neither of which seems to work for me just yet…
Write when you break-even