Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Case For Dogs

Since early this year I promised my 10-year old nephew George that I'd help him build a small chest. I asked him what he wanted it to look like. He said "like Steve's." I said, "who's Steve?" Then George told me more about Minecraft.

In a few months I'll be 40. Not old. But old enough to start complaining about the youth of today, and their seeming addiction to video games. I don't have much room to talk. I spent a huge part of my youth in arcades like "The Gold Mine" "Alladin's Castle" and a local favorite, D.W. Dawg, a place that sold foot-long weiners up front, and in back for $5 you could play all the games you wanted, for as long as you wanted. If you're from my generation, you may still get goosebumps seeing this at the bottom of Frogger: CREDITS: 100. Arcades were and will always be vastly superior to any console game (except for maybe Pitfall on Intellivision.)

So when I finally went on to higher studies at college, I began to master such subjects as Mortal Kombat and The Addams Family (the best pinball game ever.) It didn't help that my older brother and I (we're five years apart) ended up in the same Algebra I class, and quickly deciding that if we couldn't pass it in high school, certainly the college atmosphere would not improve our chances, made haste to spend the 2 o'clock hour at the student union shooting pool, eating cheeseburgers, and dividing our short term loans between rolls of quarters and racing wheels for our hybrid bikes.

But when George showed me Minecraft, I was intrigued. It looked more like Legos than a video game. You built stuff. That did it for me. I agreed that I would help George build Steve's Minecraft Chest. But it would have to be done in style. Not some cheesy MDF cube and paint. No. Real wood, real hardware. Something that would last longer than a video game fad. More on the chest in the near future. Surprisingly, it's one of the more satisfying projects I've done.

This week, George and I put in a lot of time each evening inlaying strips of Macassar ebony sawn veneer and leveling each layer to the surrounding cherry squares. As much as I love my new toothed planing stop, I had to ditch it for these processes, for obvious reasons. Score one for the dogs.

Here's a pic of Steve (and George.) Don't wait for the image to resolve. Steve is only 8-bit.


  1. Adams Family. Best pinball game ever.

  2. Nice story and nice project Jameel. Also, looks like we have similar tastes in planes - picture seems a little "Cloudy".


  3. That chest looks amazing!
    Minecraft is the one video game my kids get nearly unlimited time with...I don't have time for it but it is incredible to hear them and their friends excitedly talk about the things they make. It's encouraging that even today, with consumption pushed so hard, there is an instinctual desire to create that shines through.

    P.s. Samurai Showdown was much better than Mortal Kombat, though I must agree about Adam's Family pinball!

  4. Original Virtua Fighter!

  5. I still like to find a good pinball machine. You just can't duplicate the physical nature of the ball rolling and then being flung by a flipper in a virtual environment.

    I also love a good foosball table.


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