Thursday, November 1, 2007

WoodNet and Pod Casts

Progress on the cabinet is slow right now. I haven't had a chance to get into the shop & make any saw dust since Tuesday night. As the subtitle of this blog says, I'm basically a weekend warrior. And, being a father and husband, there are many weekends that I don't get to make any sawdust. So I thought I'd take a few minutes and talk about some of the things I do that are woodworking related when I can't actually make any sawdust.

I spend part of my spare time reading and replying to postings on WoodNet. Every now & then I even start a thread of my own. I don't read every single new posting on WoodNet -- the traffic is so high there that I wouldn't be able to do anything but read if I tried to read them all. But if I do see a title that interests me, I'll read it & chime in if I feel I have something to say.

I received an iPod Video for my birthday last year. As many of you know, this is a cool little gadget that lets you listen to your favorite music or watch videos pretty much whenever you want to, without having to carry around the original media. And you can buy & download music & video from Apple's iTunes store.

One of the other things that the iPod & iTunes let you do is subscribe to podcasts. These are audio and video files, published on the web, where someone shares their thoughts or information. Kind of like a cross between blogging and the radio or TV.

After I finished ripping the music off of almost every one of the CDs I own onto my hard drive and iPod, I started to subscribe to some woodworking podcasts. First I subscribed to "The Wood Whisperer", where Marc Spagnuolo does a very good job of explaining & demonstrating woodworking techniques. Then I started listening to Matt Vanderlist's "Matt's Basement Workshop" podcast. Matt's podcast is primarily an audio only podcast, but he occasionally puts together video episodes. He discusses various topics in wood working and has some interesting comments. This podcast is well worth listening to.

I have also begun watching the Woodsmith "Woodworking Online" video podcasts. These run for about an hour and have lots of great information and technique demonstrations. Each podcast is a taping of a seminar given by one of the editors of Woodsmith, ShopNotes, and Workbench magazines.

Some months ago, Marc & Matt teamed up & started a third podcast called "Wood Talk Online." This is a fun audio podcast where the guys talk about woodworking & answer listener emails & voice mails. They give good answers to the questions they receive (though I don't always agree with everything they say on certain controversial subjects) and they have a lot of fun while doing it.

Recently (like within the past couple of months), the Wood Talk Online site was turned into a collaborative blog. Marc & Matt still do their audio podcasts, but they have invited contributions from other folks to be published on the Wood Talk Online site. There are some very interesting articles published on the site & it is definitely worth a read.

Contributors to the articles on the Wood Talk Online web site include Tom Iovino, another Italian weekend wood worker originally from the North East but now transplanted, to Florida in his case. Tom has a quick & witty mind and has some interesting insights into woodworking. Also contributing on Wood Talk Online is Gail O'Rourke, who will soon be hosting her own PBS woodworking series. And you may even find other authors posted on Wood Talk Online soon!

In any event, the weather is gorgeous right now, but tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day. Hurricane Noel is apparently traveling up the east coast & is supposed to be off the shore of New York state tomorrow. We could use the rain; I just hope the storm doesn't decide to hang a left & hit us any more directly.

Provided it's just rain & some blustery winds, I'll probably be in the shop cutting birds mouth joints! See you soon!

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