Monday, December 28, 2009


American Ingenuity 12 28 2009
In today’s day and age I feel that we do not have as strong a basis for a manufacturing sector. I think that boy’s growing up do not take things apart to see how they work like I used to when I was a kid. Instead they spend an inordinate amount of time playing video games which they do well into college. Studies have shown that this leads to more maladjusted children, whose relationship to peers borders on antisocial. How many children playing video games never want to share?
When I was a boy I would watch my father as he built things around the house. I have early memories of him pulling out nails from old wood and bending them out to use again. They never really got completely straight and to try and pound them into wood without bending was a form of comedic art.
My father was good at improvising and fixing things also. I had a little rubber motorcycle man that was about three inches long. His hand or a part broke. He could no longer grip the handlebars. My father took dental floss wound it around the thing and put epoxy over that. I thought that was the neatest thing ever. It was not until I got into high school that I realized how unique this was. A new friend of mine broke part of his fishing rod. I told him how to fix the ferule in this manner. He wound some line around the rod and put the epoxy on it. Then after a few days he calls me up and tells me that the epoxy didn’t dry yet. Sometimes when solving other people’s problems you do not immediately go for the easiest and most obvious answer. After awhile I asked him,”Did you mix the epoxy?” “You never told me I had to mix the epoxy.” He replied. I assumed he might have known or at least read the instructions. How many of us come to these dumbfounded realizations about other people, “How could they not have known that?”
Another thing I thought was neat from my childhood was a friend who’s father took a junker steering wheel from an automobile and replaced the handlebars on his sons bicycle with this. He drove that banana seat bicycle like a car. I was envious.
I was the envy of the neighborhood by having the only zip line in the village. My father and I ran a rope from a tree house platform about 8 feet up and bastioned it offs a couple of feet of the ground to a group of lilac trees twenty feet away. We put a pulley on the rope and when the day of playing was done I would grab hold of a rope on that pulley and glide “home” to the back door. It was a blast.
So this is another start of one of my never read blogs, this blog pertaining to American Ingenuity. It has a series of projects for sons and fathers to do that might form better father son bonds. I feel we teach best when we lead by example. We always learn something by teaching. A father should not fear this. Sometimes we miss the nail and get a sore thumb, but that is part of learning.
In order for us to compete in the world economy we have to foster these skills early on even though many have convinced us that we are fated to a service economy. A service economy, by definition to me, would have a finite life. If we can reduce our energy costs in this country through renewable energy we may become more competitive on a manufacturing scale as more resources that went to the cost of energy in a factory or plant may instead be allocated to labor costs. Thereby a person with manufacturing skills might be able to earn a living wage. This is the vision and hope that I have for this country.


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Welcome to my Blogs. My name is Thomas Murphy and I love the forest and wildlife areas of Wisconsin and would like to share my thoughts and the pictures I have taken of the natural areas of Wisconsin. Come share in my collection of what I feel to some of the finest scenes and images of the forests, lakes, rivers and marshes that Wisconsin has to offer. I like to go to pristine and secluded areas where nature resides quietly and I feel the resulting “lost” images are profoundly unique. I am usually “in the moment” when I take these pictures. When I say in the moment I mean a sense of excitement often precedes what my eye captures through the camera. I never stage these shots but seem to be in the right place and time when I shoot them. And when I transfer them from my camera and view them on my computer screen I realize a sense of surrealism that resonates with me yet again to the time they were taken and exemplify the beauty of nature. Please peruse my sites and experience the beauty of being there as I did.