Extremely Average #12: It aint my Faulkner

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 01-14-2010 03:47 AM 1698 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Dovetail Delusions Part 12 of Extremely Average series Part 13: Dumb Mistake »

“Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.” -William Faulkner, Novel,1930 ‘As I Lay Dying’

I enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed it a great deal, especially after I became use to the style, called stream of consciousness, with which Faulkner penned his ‘tour de force’. In just 6 weeks, while he was working a power plant, he wrote one of the great novels of the 20th century.

‘As I Stood Chiseling’, by Louis ‘The Ladies Man’ Ban, is written in a similar, yet lesser known French literary style, Stream De Merde. The hallmarks of this style involves convoluted and often pointless rambling that have little bearing on the main plot or characters. Some would argue that Ban’s chapter on the through mortise is one of the worst 73 pages in literary history, surpassed only by, Henry James Thornton’s section about weasels and their dreams in his last book, ‘Rodentia Musings’ circa 1874. All arguments aside, it is certainly agreed upon by most scholars, that his main character is less interesting than peat moss. The worst point in the Homeresque length diatribe is when he writes, “As I stood chiseling my mind began to wonder, as it often does, to thoughts, not of woodworking, but of other less important things. Would a monkey enjoy cheese? I thought to myself, and if so, would said monkey prefer a finely aged Jarlsberger or sharp cheddar…which reminds me, I haven’t sharpened my chisel in some time. I like sharpening my chisel. Why are British comedians able to make everything sound like a double entendre? How do they link any two words together and make them sound dirty, ‘How about a tug and a whistle?’ seems like something one might hear from their lips. Darn, I took too much from the side.” This ‘stream’ continued on for what seemed like a fortnight.

I would imagine that many of you are thinking the same thing of today’s blog and you would be right to do so. I considered writing my musing of minutia and telling you in great length about my through mortise cutting today. Actually, after I typed, ‘I cut a couple of through mortises today’, I had run out of material. It didn’t seem lengthy enough for a blog post, so today I am going to tell you a bit about myself.

To begin with, and in the interest of full disclosure, my blog title is not my own creation. Though I think it is funny and quite clever, the phrase was first uttered in my proximity by Bryce Miller. Bryce is a wordsmith by training and the Executive Sports Editor for the Des Moines Register. If I were to improve my writing by 1000% it would still be only half as good as the pieces he has written. (Bryce = (Brian x 10)/.5)

My friend’s fiancé had gotten a new puppy, his name was Roger. Roger was a Treeing Walker Coon Hound. They have one function in life, from 8 am until 5pm, they bark. Roger barked at leaves, at passers bye, at walnut falling from the trees in the back yard, and often just at the wind. When he was a puppy he looked like a beagle with massive feet. One day Mary was playing with Roger and stood him up and resting his two front legs over her knees. He just stood their content and resting from a long day of disturbing the neighbors. Bryce looked over and Roger and said, “You are Extremely Average.” This made me chuckle. And such is the story of how I came to name my blog. It still makes me chuckle.

I have many interests beyond woodworking. I am also an avid photographer. I sell my works through half a dozen stock photo sites. In fact, 3 of the pictures from post #5 have already had sales. I am finding that while I am improving at using hand tools for woodworking, I am also making an equal measure of improvement in lighting still life images. It is also really handy to have all those lights around so that I never have trouble seeing what I am working on.

Another interest is reading. I love books. I like buying them, I like having them neatly displayed on my bookshelves, and most of all I like reading and rereading them. When a novel is so good that it is tough to put down and the mere act of finishing it makes you sad, as there isn’t any more, that is quite a good book. I feel that way about, ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, and ‘Snow Crash’. I also felt that way about Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’, and it was 1482 pages of very small type. A good book is a good thing indeed. I am sure someone famous said that, probably with a posh British accent.

So do I have anything substantive to say on the subject of my Woodworking Journey? No. Did I receive the bundle of woodworking DVD’s and books I was expecting to find at my local office of post? No. Has this made me more bitter and angry than Rosie O’Donnell? No, that last one was a trick question, and I got it right, as it is not possible, though I am somewhat bitter. I guess I would feel better if I cut some tenons to fit through my through mortises. I think I will grab an apple and head back to the basement for some tenon cutting. Thanks for stopping in and giving me a read. I hope you weren’t too disappointed.

-- Brian Meeks,

8 comments so far

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 4330 days

#1 posted 01-14-2010 04:44 AM

Never boring, always unique, I too enjoy idle musings but my reading tends more towards fiction from King and Kuntz. Odd Thomas stories always tickle my fancy. Thanks for the story on how you got the name.
Cheers – by the way – you seem like a turner to me for some reason, I think you might enjoy the site of shrinking wood turning into a trinket or bauble. Just a thought.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#2 posted 01-14-2010 04:49 AM


You are very perceptive. I have dreams of turning into a turner. I have dozens of ideas floating around my head, but I have other goals I wish to accomplish first. I assure you that when I get my first lathe, likely a small one to begin with, it will figure prominently in my blog…assuming anyone wants to read it after today.


-- Brian Meeks,

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3437 days

#3 posted 01-14-2010 06:01 AM


Some of the things I like about this site are the occasional jokes, stories and meanderings that people throw out here. I would find it hard to believe that anyone who works with wood for any length of time does not start to find themselves turning into a part time philosopher. I think part of it is the fact that you can approach a board with menacing chisels and saws, put it on a 5 hp table saw and run it through a router, jointer, and planer. In the end, the wood is still boss and you can’t make it do anything. You can work with it, you can shape it, but each piece has its own particulars that you have to work with, that is outside of your control.

Your meanderings are a treat and I don’t think any of us feel disappointed. Please keep them coming.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4210 days

#4 posted 01-14-2010 05:30 PM

Mr. Candle,

I would like to be more enlightened by your photography skills. I have noticed them from the start, and am basically really jealous of them.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#5 posted 01-14-2010 06:24 PM


Perhaps I will do a blog post talking about how I light my photos and then process them in Photoshop. The really good photos, I might spend a couple of hours on, between shooting and processing. I am going to add that to my list of blog ideas. What do you think?

-- Brian Meeks,

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3619 days

#6 posted 01-14-2010 06:34 PM

I always approach stream-of-consciousness writing leerily. My reading lobe was permanently injured by Melville’s ramblings about “what is ‘white’?” in “Moby Dick”.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#7 posted 01-14-2010 06:36 PM

I hope that today’s drivel didn’t cause any permanent damage. I probably should have included a disclaimer. Darn.

-- Brian Meeks,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4488 days

#8 posted 01-14-2010 09:17 PM

books and photography … oh my two loves!
oh and philosophizing .. my third love … :)

Thanks for the meandering.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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