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Books III

Am about halfway through Matthew B. Crawford's marvelous book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of WorkUseful words about the decline in tool use, about making and fixing and taking care of things, about the value of meaningful work and self-reliance. An extended fugue on the idea of "let me make myself useful". I love this book. [NOTE: Crawford wrote a wonderful essay for the NY Times called "The Case for Working With Your Hands". Touches on many of the same ideas as the book. Well worth a read].

The photo above shows the piping that the plumber's assistant did when he hooked up our new boiler (see Oil to Gas). Took him several days to do the work. Carefully following the schematics for the Burnham ES 2 boiler, he worked slowly, carefully, and kept a meticulously clean work space (unlike the plumbers). Was totally engaged with what he was doing and was clearly enjoying himself as he cut and sanded and soldered and wrapped. This, I think, is what Crawford is talking about. Nice job. [NOTE: I have totally forgotten this craftsman's name, although I spent hours watching him work and asking questions. He was very patient with me].

[NOTE: Originally posted January 10, 2013].

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