Sherlock and Mycroft are brothers, both are exceptional but as in life, one candle outshines the other. Throughout their childhood one was always more capable, more insightful and more observing than the other. That's right, Sherlock was always second fiddle.

For those of you not familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories, allow me to shed a little light. Sherlock's brother appeared in a couple of stories and it was always mentioned that his brain was much larger that of his baby brothers. His only trouble was that he was lazy. While Sherlock would occasionally go and ask a question of him, past that he wasn't much use.

Laziness is the sapping kryptonite of potential. You can have all the potential in the world, but if your don't apply yourself, what good is it? Anyway...what was I typing? Mercy... 500 words is looking like a thousand to me right now. I think I'm just going to throw in the towel. Maybe tomorrow I'll have the desire to finish this...


Okay okay!!

Anyway. The point is simple. Sherlock was the better of the two, not because of all the potential that he had been blessed with, but because of all the tenacity that he applied to a situation. He cataloged the various dirt's of London, had exstensive knowledge of ballistics and took a painstakingly tedious amount of time investigating a crime scene. He rarely slept while on a case and was able to overcome an opiate addiction on his own. He is the pinnacle of the fictional self made man.

So exceptionalism isn't a birthright. It's a choice. Just becuase you were born with potential doesn't mean you will amount to anything. We see people throw away their lives everyday, who had buckets of potential. Potential is nothing compared to tenacity.

We make choices every day. Good ones, bad ones and benign ones fly at us all the time. We have a choice to apply ourselves or not. Tenacious people fail frequently. They fall on their faces time and time again. The difference between tenacious people and potential people is getting back up. I've heard so many sob stories in my day, "I've had it rough." or "You don't know what I've been through." or "I'm just not as exceptional as they are."

Guff! Hogwash! Malarkey!

Doing isn't easy, but it's motion. You cannot progress without motion. All the brains in the world can't make someone go if they've got no motivation. So get up, and do it.

Go. Try. Fail. Learn. Do.

Going Out on a Limb

My Colored Pencil Ring
It's official I'm an Internet woodworker now. I've learned the secret handshake and I've been accepted into the clan. I'm still an extra help assistant to the junior under secretary of new arrivals but I'm in. There are loads of very talented woodworkers who post amazing projects every week on YouTube. To even get a comment on my project from one of them feels good.  I love getting new comments and pour over them each day looking for nuggets of truth hidden inside.

"Why didn't you use loose tenons to hold that joint?"
"I've made loads of those and I prefer making them with PVA glue. Yours will probably break."
"I suppose I could..."
"Editing was a bit choppy. I preferred the video you made last week!"
"I didn't do a video last week..."

Seriously though. It's awesome. I wrote a post last August called Stalking Minotaurs. It was basically just a motivation for myself to try something new. Something hard. Something I wasn't comfortable doing. The rather juvenile analogy allowed me an excuse to post yet another Minotaur post on this site. (I think I'm up to three now Kludge Likes Minotaurs) As you know, Minotaurs and Dragons are the only fantasy animals worth your devotion...

Anyway, the point. I had one. I know I did.

Right! So then I decided to start videoing my time in the wood shop. I set up and new channel on YouTube and begun to swing quite far outside my comfort zone. In the last year I've made 50 videos. Most were flops, but a handful have actually been well received. (More so because of the project than because of the presenter or the quality of the video)

As a YouTuber I would be remiss not to take a second to also promote myself. I do geeky woodworking and I try new ideas. The point of the channel is to experiment and try. Even if that idea ends in a giant ball of fire. Ideas deserve a chance at life outside your head. Not all ideas have to work and mine go sideways quite often, but who cares. The fun is in the trying.

It feels good. It's nice to get a reward for taking a risk. Even if it's only after many failures. Risks can be scary, but if you're not willing to step out on that limb to see if it will support your weight, then you'll never get a chance to eat Jell-o for months on end as you're sitting in a dirty hospital suspended by a traction device waiting for all your broken bones to knit themselves back together....

Muffin Balls: The Manifesto

There are few things in life as frustrating as paying money for an inconvenience. Not only paying money for it but being told that it is not an inconvenience but rather a benefit. In fact you should not be resentment of this annoyance, but rather embrace it as a boon. I cannot think of a better example of this than muffin balls.

Thomas English Muffins are exquisite, but I hate them. They taste excellent and the way that the nooks and crannies fill up with warm melted butter is enough to make any mouth water for more. So why is that they cannot remove those stupid, clinging, muffin balls that shower over my counter and trickle down my clothes before wrapping up their package. Surely we cannot be expected to put up with this.

Muffin balls are inedible little shot sized cornmeal balls that are a part of the cooking process. It's an old world tradition. Just like Mr. Thomas used to make, and then send off on his antiquated horse and carriage. We are told that they are a necessary part of the cooking process, in order to keep the muffin from adhering to the pan, or conveyor belt or whatever they use in the Bimbo Bakeries factory. I get that.

Does that mean that I need 4 metric tons of these absurd rolling menaces in my package? Really!? I spend about 2 minutes over my sink each morning wiping these excess muffin balls off the rear of my bread just to save the hassle of spreading the buggers on my counter, lap and floor. Is that also an old world tradition Thomas?! Sheesh. We all know that there isn't any old Mr. Thomas cooking these anymore. It's all done by the mechanical hands of some great stainless steel beast. Can't we spend a little extra between the laser guided spatula flipper and self sealing plastic bonding station for a little tiny muffin ball broom?!


So here we are, saddled with a dilemma, of taste over tactile annoyance. Do I really need a Thomas English Muffin? Or can I go with some ball free alternative. Like bagels. Because you know, I've never seen any bagel that didn't have it's balls all cleaned off before being added to my package...