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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Make Sure You Take Your Ritalin And Call The Vinyl Siding Salesman Before You Write Your Blogpost About The Mancession

“The creator, the artist, the extraordinary man, is merely the ordinary man intensified: a person whose life is sometimes lifted to a high pitch of feeling and who has the gift of making others share his excitement. The ordinary man lives by the creative spirit. He thinks in images and dreams in fantasy; he lives by poetry. Yet he seems to distrust it. He clings to the notion that a poet is a queer and incompetent creature, a daydreaming ne’er-do-well, an eccentric trying to escape the business of the everyday world, a soft and coddled soul.
Almost the opposite is true. History is the record of men who were not only poets but workers, men of action, discoverers, dreamers and doers. Sir Walter Raleigh’s exploration of Guiana and other expeditions in the New World brought him fame and envy. Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier whose gallantry on the field of battle is a deathless story. Geoffrey Chaucer, “father of English poetry,” was a diplomat and secret agent on the king’s business in Europe. John Milton was Cromwell’s fighting foreign secretary.
Nor have poets failed in labor and industry. Ben Jonson was a bricklayer. Robert Herrick was a jeweler. Robert Burns was a plowboy. William Blake designed, printed, and sold his own books. William Morris manufactured furniture. Long before he became known as the greatest American poet of his time, Robert Frost worked as a farmer, a bobbin boy in a Massachusetts mill, a shoemaker, and a teacher in country schools.”  -Louis Untermeyer

The Kitchen Chimney

Builder, in building the little house,
In every way you may please yourself;
But please please me in the kitchen chimney:
Don’t build me a chimney upon a shelf.

However far you must go for bricks,
Whatever they cost a-piece or a pound,
But me enough for a full-length chimney,
And build the chimney clear from the ground.

It’s not that I’m greatly afraid of fire,
But I never heard of a house that throve
(And I know of one that didn’t thrive)
Where the chimney started above the stove.

And I dread the ominous stain of tar
That there always is on the papered walls,
And the smell of fire drowned in rain
That there always is when the chimney’s false.

A shelf’s for a clock or vase or picture,
But I don’t see why it should have to bear
A chimney that only would serve to remind me
Of castles I used to build in air.

-Robert Frost

7 Responses

  1. I would be happy if I never had to climb those stupid aluminum ladders anymore. I don't do it enough to get used to it, and just often enough that it always seems to be hanging over my head.

    And of course, the only reason to use aluminum is if you are going so high that a fiberglass ladder of the correct height would be to heavy for a mere mortal.

    What would you say the one in the picture was, 40'? I would think you would need at least that to go 3 stories.

  2. Hi C of S- It's a 40' Industrial grade ladder. It weighs the same as a 40'fiberglass extension ladder.

    When I first started in construction, some of the contractors were still using wooden ladders. A wood 40' ladder is amazingly heavy. The round rungs were murder on your feet, too. I worked for one fellow that had a 60' wood ladder (3 each 20' sections joined). It weighed more than the building it was leaned against, usually.

  3. I used a wooden ladder to paint my parents' house, which in places extended to three stories. We borrowed the ladder from a neighbor. A story told at my father's memorial service was about the time when he called up the neighbor to borrow the ladder,and the neighbor replied, "It's at your house."

  4. When I was in college, I worked with a first-rate painting crew. THe owner landed a job painting the house of a very wealthy German family n Tuxedo Park, NY. At first, we were allowed to only paint the walls and closets. They imported German painters for all trim and windows. The Germans used circular paint brushes which they swore we superior. Anyway, we worked on that house for months on end. Once the interior was done, we were moved to the outside. I had to work on a 50-foot aluminum ladder. Let me tell you, that thing was an absolute bear and nearly impossible to control. We always needed two guys to move it. Once I was up there on it while painting eaves and shutters, it was nerve-wracking. Especially given that there was exposed rebar underneath me. Of course, we bent it all down before climbing. THe masons were furious with us. I can't imagine climbing that thing now 20 years later.

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