Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Going to the Woodworking In America Conference... Really??

Yes, really!

I am fortunate to have married an incredible woman. She is an absolutely wonderful mother and a thoughtful and caring wife. And earlier this year, when I was presented with an opportunity to go to the WIA Conference, I didn't think twice about it because I didn't want to leave my wife home with our ~2 month old baby.

But it happened to come up in a conversation and she asked why I hadn't talked to her about attending. I listed my reasons and she poo-pooed them, saying I had a great opportunity for a unique experience and I should take it.

So I signed up!

It is just a few days before the conference now and I'm starting to get nervous. Not because I'll be leaving work a little early and rushing home to pack and then driving six hours to Cincinnati. And not because I'll be spending three days running around like a chicken with his head cut off, trying to figure out if I should be watching an instructor in awe, furiously writing down notes, or snapping pictures until the cows come home. And certainly not because I'll be attending much of the conference in unbifurcated freedom (look for me in the mocha Survival Utilikilt)!

I'm nervous about being away from my boy for so long. I wonder if I'll find the strength to leave this little guy...

... for three days.

(Before you suggest it, Skype is already out as I'm taking the netbook with me, which has our only web cam on it. Oh, but wait... my mother-in-law will be in town with HER notebook, which also has a web cam! So maybe I can still get to see him in the evenings!)

I want to try and take the momentum gained from attending the conference and use it to push myself back into doing some woodworking. With a new baby, it is difficult to find the time to make it in the shop, but I know the time is there - I just have to find it.

So if you're headed to the conference, as well, and you see a red-head in a kilt, be sure to stop him and say hi! (Hopefully it will be me, natch.)

If you're not able to make it this year, check back here after the conference - I hope to have several blogs written on my experiences there. It won't be the same as being there yourself, but it might be the next best thing!


Brander said...

I've found the trick with a baby and woodworking is to take turns with your spouse doing the bedtime thing.

I'll spend the evening with my awesome little guy, and when it's bed time I'll head down to the garage and put in an hour or two.

On other nights I take him to bed, and she gets to play her games online.

It's a tough one, I have a lot less time for woodworking, but I do still get some time.


Adam Klemann said...

It is always tough to be away and a new baby doesn't make it any easier at all. Skype does help. It's fortunate that you will be able to connect while you are away. I hope you have a great time at WIA. I hope to go next year. But I am not a red head nor do I own a kilt (or utilikilt for that matter).

Ethan said...

Badger - good advice! I'll talk to the wife about putting that into play here in the near future!

Adam - I'll do my best to write about the awesomeness of it so you can pressure the powers that be to let you attend next year!

JC said...

I hope you are enjoying being a dad (I'm sure you are). I just wanted to see if you had made any workbench progress or if woodworking is temporarily on hold for now.
Take care,

Ethan said...

Oh, boy, that's some pressure...

(I can only assume "JC" stands for the original Carpenter... I'd better get off my butt if the Son of God is reading my blog.)


All joking aside, no I haven't made any headway on my bench.

There are a lot of factors that build up to that end result, though. Hmmm... and I can't seem to figure out a way of talking about them without sounding like I'm just spouting off a list of excuses.

Mostly, I just need to develop some motivation. But before I can work on the bench, I need to finish up the workshop (lights, paint, tool storage, etc.). It all starts with one step, right?

I've said it before, but I can say it again. The time is there - I just need to dig until I can find it.

JC said...

Infinitely too many flaws here to be THAT JC. I sometimes post on here as hokiemojo (a reference to my lumberjocks handle, where I started following your blog).

Wasn't trying to put pressure on. I was just wondering whether you had just done it without blogging or if the little one was taking up more time than expected (that is my excuse and I've got another one the way).

Good luck getting the motivation going. I can't help you there. Take care!

Ethan said...

Wow, JC, you've been reading a while, then!

(JC inadvertently scoops more pressure on...)

Seriously, I need the pressure. I do have some blog ideas running around in my head; i just need to pen them out and take a few subject-supportive photos.

The opportunity for "me time" is starting to present itself. Unfortunately, the little one still isn't sleeping through the night, even at 7 months. I'd like to be able to put him down for the night at 7:30 PM (which I do) and have him sleep soundly for at least four good hours (which he doesn't).

We're almost there, but not quite.

This winter, I helped a friend get part of his new shop going. He said in return he'd help me throw some of that (now wonderfully) seasoned) southern yellow pine around and turn it into a workbench.

I do appreciate you following the blog, JC. And knowing that people wonder what's going on in my woodworking life is definitely motivation for me to pick this blog up out of the sawdust and give it a good spit-shine.