Whittling

For those of us who want cool weapons and armor and things but cannot afford them, we have the motivation to whittle them from wood. When making weapons of this kind, it is important to use solid wood that isn’t too thin to help prevent it from breaking. This applies both to weapons being used as decoration and to those that are not. If the weapon is intended to look like it could actually be used as a weapon rather than something interesting hanging on a wall, then the limitations of the material must be taken into account. For example, one should not expect wood to slice through things as if it is metal just because the edge of the weapon has been whittled into a very fine line. It is more realistic to make a spear of club and expect the weapon to act like a spear or club. (Of course, since I only approve of these things being used as decorations, I mostly concern myself with the visual aspects apart from the overall quality.)

The process of whittling takes varying amounts of time depending on the project. Personally, it isn’t unusual for me to spend several days on a single weapon, but I’ve been able to finish in mere hours for projects that are rather small and simple. For example, if I’m whittling and putting details into a club between one and two feet long, it’ll take about half a week.

I use a variety of different knives when I work depending on what I’m doing (smaller knives for detail work and larger knives for pretty much everything else). I always have the blade of the knife facing away from me and most of the work is done by moving the knife away from me in a slightly diagonal line. The diagonal line changes direction depending on which hand I’m using to hold the knife, so if I’m using my right hand the knife goes away and to my right, and if it’s my left hand it goes away and to my left. Whatever I’m whittling stays in the same location the whole time provided that no one startles me and makes me lose my grip. Something like that happened to me once and it was annoying (minor thumb injury – no big deal, but it could’ve been worse).

It is important to choose the right wood for each project. Softer wood makes it easier to put interesting details into the project, but it also makes it easier to make a mistake. The quality of the wood is important because, for example, if insects have burrowed into the wood, it’d compromise the structural integrity of the project and make it more likely to break. Bending and cracking the wood can also accomplish this.

Naturally the quality of the wood is important for more than just weapons. It should be an essential concern regardless of the kind of project. Otherwise, you could end up whittling a piece of wooden armor that fits you perfectly, but that couldn’t be used often or at all because it is too likely to break to be reliable. Or you could make yourself an end table which eventually falls apart because it has been so thoroughly gnawed on by insects. Apart from the quality of the wood, another very important thing is to practice. Take the time to learn and practice basic skills and start improving from there. The reason people say that a lot is because it actually does help.

Some Downsides of Open Mindedness

Open minded people seem to have a habit of wandering into things they shouldn’t be dealing with. They want to look into a bunch of different things and maybe try to find some good points about each thing, or make up those good points if they don’t exist. They they go tell their friends that such-and-such a thing is nice and then their friends look into it. This starts a chain that transforms into a trend, which can overshadow or destroy the original purpose or meaning of the thing and results in the people who were into whatever it is from the beginning being very uncomfortable because they suddenly find themselves surrounded by people who don’t understand what they’re doing. Most of these new people aren’t even really into it. A lot of them started just because they wanted to be up to date on the latest fashion. Plenty of them probably don’t know its origin or meaning or whether it even means anything at all. These people end up wreaking havoc on whatever they try to absorb.

It would be much better for the people who were there from the start if the open minded people reacted to these things the way a dog reacts to a sudden loud noise from an unseen source. They should not immediately run towards it with open arms like so many reckless people do. If something new appears in their midst and it looks harmful, they should regard it as a potential threat and act with caution (this applies both to things like rabid bears and things that could potentially be commercialized – the former because bears can kill them and the latter because it could turn out to be something bad that could damage things like their social standing, health, or ability to get a job).

This is a natural reaction to something unusual. It is also quite natural to automatically HATE and FEAR something threatening, new or different, as this aids in the will to avoid potentially dangerous things. An atypical example of this is how people react when they find out that one of their relatives has gotten away with some horrible and illegal thing, it doesn’t matter if it involves death or arson or really anything specific. He hasn’t been caught yet, so they call the police, as is the only correct course of action. They don’t embrace his criminal behavior and try everything they can to cover for him. If they accept someone like that, they could be endangering themselves. The person could go psycho and cause them some harm or they could have a run-in with the law.

Another danger of the open minded lifestyle is the detrimental effect it could have on peoples’ morals. Since they are open minded, they’d be willing to listen to what a lot of people have to say. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unintelligent people in the world as well as a lot of people who lead bad lifestyles. Eventually at least one of these people is bound to make a good case for himself and then the open minded person might decide that whatever it is seems so sensible or “worth it” that he then decides to change his own lifestyle accordingly. This is all despite that changes aren’t always for the better. The way to stop giving the wrong people the opportunity to affect the lives of others is to stop being open minded. They cannot convince anyone to make any bad decisions if no one listens to them. One can live a more peaceful life and make more decisions uninterrupted if these annoyances are removed. This also applies to like-minded members of the same group in that they can go faster in one direction if they do not have to stop and listen to someone bothering them and trying to make them go in a different direction. People like that should be in a different group anyway, and, being dissidents, they shouldn’t be allowed to have a say in the group’s directions in the first place. They simply have no business being there.

The dissidents are more likely to show up if the open minded people give them an undeserved level of respect. This is because the willingness of the latter to listen helps attract people who want to be heard but shouldn’t be listened to, and then when they listen to those new people they bring misfortune upon themselves. The cycle will repeat until they stop being open minded. (As usual there is an exception: if someone proves himself worthy of respect and capable of making good decisions, then if he fits into the group they may listen to him after he has done so. Otherwise, they should continue making their own decisions. Only the GOOD role models should be trusted, and it should not be assumed that someone is a good role model worthy of being trusted and listened to until there is enough proof.) So the cessation of their open mindedness is for their own good.

Doormats

We know what they are and we know how easy it is to take advantage of them. However, moderation comes into play as usual. If they are overused, they tend to revolt and stop doing what other people want, sometimes not even taking into account the sensibility of the idea. To that I say: GOOD. It’s good to not let people walk all over you. It’s good to form your own opinions and make your own decisions and mistakes. It is also good to then take what you learn from those mistakes, take action to clean up whatever mess  you made, and try not to make those mistakes in the future. Writing someone’s name on a piece of paper in the hope that they will clean up your mess for you does not fall into that category- especially if one expects a single person to clean up a rather large mess which that person has entered and is now causing to become worse.