1. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Table legs & the symbolism of ashes

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Bakkerbaard, Sep 21, 2022.

    It's two separate questions. Just figured I didn't need to pollute the forum with separate threads.

    1. Stupid question, but I'm getting different answers if I ask google.
    What tool do you use to equalize table legs?
    Right now, I've got my character appearing on the scene with a belt sander. I'm not even entirely sure that's portable, actually, so that's the bonus question.

    The character is a master carpenter, by the way. He would know precisely what tool to use, which is why I can't rely on Google for this one. I need to know the tool that sounds the most logical. And portable. He's not in his workshop.

    2. I may have accidentally done some cool symbolism, and I wanna check if I'm guessing right. The scene itself isn't relevant here, so I'll skip right to the lyrics that came to mind because of it.
    Van Halen - Learning To See:
    Time after time we
    walk past the window
    never see the ashes on the ground

    I know the ashes by themselves symbolize letting go (of a loved one?), but do they have any specific symbolism in relation to the window?
     
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  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    There are portable handheld belt sanders. Like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Contributor Contributor

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    I'm about as amateur as woodworkers get so don't take my word for it. Also no such thing as stupid questions.

    Sanding or cutting the legs seems extreme to me. Sometimes they put a bit of hardware in to raise the short legs because you're not looking underneath anyway. Even a little screw can usually do the job if it's really out. I think being able to level the legs in a quick, clean way is how a master would do it.

    Resurfacing comes to mind if you need an excuse for Dr Wood to show up with a sander (and I'm assuming totally mangle some nasty creature). Some kind of outdoor furniture, or the sides of an outbuilding perhaps? Weather is a bitch on wood, even painted wood. Think sheds, decks, fences, patio furniture that gets left out, picnic tables, that sort of thing.

    Some people here are woodworkers if I recall, so hopefully they'll tune in.
     
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  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    Amateur here too and this was my thought as well, but using a shim is mainly when one or two legs are shorter than the others (I think). But if just one is somehow significantly longer than the other three, maybe sanding would be needed, but to me if it's so bad to be noticeable, I'd use a chisel to get the bulk of it done then use a sander. And I'd probably screw it up multiple times and end up modifying every leg so much it ends up being a kid's sized table.
     
  5. MartinM

    MartinM Banned

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    @Bakkerbaard

    Will have a stab at the second question...

    Time after time we
    Walk pass the window
    And never see the ashes on the ground
    Night after night
    Watching the sky move
    But never feel the earth spinning around

    I didn't see you fallin'
    I couldn't hear you callin'
    Born with eyes wide open
    Never learn to see

    I know the ashes by themselves symbolize letting go (of a loved one?), but do they have any specific symbolism in relation to the window?

    I think you’re wrong; until he actually sings the song. He now sees a loss, not wanting to let go at all. Time after time walk pass the window... symbolizes a repeated action over and over by the singer, but never saw the whole picture. The ashes he never ever could see no matter how many times this action was repeated because it was obscured by the window. A window only ever can give a partial picture of what’s on the other side, and not the whole scene.

    Here I’m guessing from his point of view, he couldn’t see the breaking down and eventually collapse of that relationship until it was gone. His repeated actions (like a rockstar going on the road), helps give a solid financial foundation to the relationship he thinks, but is actually killing it from an emotional aspect inside out. He cannot see it from the other persons POV, i.e., the window.

    That’s my guess....

    MartinM.
     
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  6. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Search and rescue Contributor

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    My husband is a master carpenter specializing in restoration and building furniture. All of our tables, chairs, and couches have small pieces of hardware at the base of the legs that can easily be adjusted for height. These pieces screw into the legs.

    Edited after talking to my husband: he says you can also get glides (the proper name for this hardware) that nail in. The kind he prefers are installed by drilling a hole, inserting a screw tube (that's not the right term, but I forget what the little plastic inserts are called), then screwing in the glide. To adjust, turn the glide until the furniture balances. To replace, screw it out and put in another.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  7. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Fuckin' awesome.

    I'm a big Van Halen fan and Learning To See is one of my favorites. Not once did I take the time to realize to look at it like this.
    Too busy belting along to it in the car. Well, most of it. Remembering lyrics gets hard when you get older.

    So, no real symbolism to the ashes. I'm gonna have to go through my record collection, because I've got this gnawing idea that I've heard more ashes-to-windows references. Thought I might have accidentally stumbled upon something to make me look smart.

    Now that you mention it, we have something like that on our table legs too. And the chairs. But it's mostly to stop them from wailing like a bored lion when they get moved over the floor.

    While I do appreciate the help, I can't quite use it, as it paints a better picture to have the character appear with an easily described tool. I'm trying to make it look like the hero in a western, bursting in through the saloon doors, gun at the ready.
    But with carpentry.
     
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  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I don't know for a fact, but it seems a carpenter might use a plane or a chisel to shave off paper-thin slices. Or a big bastard file. Not sure how well those work going across the end grain though. Maybe look at some carpentry videos about leveling tables or chairs?

    I think the devices Catriona is talking about are a little more complex than the sliders you mentioned. They would each have a screw that can be adjusted.

    Like this:
    [​IMG]

    Or maybe these are the kind you were talking about? In which case my bad.
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Banned

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    @Bakkerbaard

    So, no real symbolism to the ashes. I'm gonna have to go through my record collection, because I've got this gnawing idea that I've heard more ashes-to-windows references. Thought I might have accidentally stumbled upon something to make me look smart.

    You take out of a song exactly what you want. This is just my view only. I’d disagree with you again, sorry; the ashes are a symbol. He repeatedly looks through a window and sees each time his perfect world in all its glory. The perfect partner, career success with the future so bright he’s gotta wear shades...

    What he doesn’t see on each subsequent visit, is the detail or cracks starting to develop. Small and at the edges at first, but this perfect world slowly turning to ash. The window obscures this, like the phrase Looking at the world through rose tinted glasses...

    He himself, constructed the window. He chooses selective blindness (the same way my wife says I’ve selective hearing... Lol). The lyrics (second paragraph) show in hindsight he did see this foreshadowing, everything turning to ash. Instead of doing something about it, he constructed the window so he could ignore the growing piles of ash on repeated visits...

    I’d love to hear more of your gnawing ideas with ashes to windows references through music. It does deserve a separate thread as my woodworking skills offer no added value here...!

    MartinM.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  10. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, no, the ones here are not that. But I'm probably going with a plane or something for the sake of appearance. My thinking is, if I know what it is, it's familiar enough for other people to know it. Kinda like Michael Jordan.. My knowledge of basketball is "ball goes in net", but I know damn well who Michael Jordan is. So, I'm gonna be using the Michael Jordan of woodworking tools, I guess.

    I agree with your disagreement. The ashes are a symbol in the song. I was just hoping to find out the window-ashes mean something on a broader scale, like...

    Like rose tinted glasses, indeed.
    I thought I might have had the kind of situation where you walk past a window and you see someone tapped the ashes of their cigarette on the floor and you go, "Ha ha, look. A proverb of some sort... I'm so easily entertained..."
    The scene works either way, symbolism or not. The whole reason it came to be was that the woman with the cigarette had to walk somewhere for other things to make more sense.

    So far I'm coming up empty. That might have something to do with AC/DC not being heavy on symbolism anyway.

    Nor mine. If that had been my table, it would have been wonky AF right now.

    Oh! Oh! It just hit me!
    I just quickly looked up the whole Ash Wednesday thing. Death and repentance is what the ashes mean there, which sort of works for me. I don't know why I thought the window was important, but I'm starting to become pretty convinced this was what I was thinking about. I'm sure some pretentious singer somewhere managed to cram that into a song I heard in passing.
    A further cursory google search that suddenly yielded better results than last time, provide a series of meanings to ashes, so even if I'm wrong I can still pretend I'm right. I think we solved it for now.
     
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  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Ok, now I want to look up the lyrics to the song, and listen to it on Youtube. I don't think I've ever heard it.
     
  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Sorry, I was never a big Van Hagar fan, though I loved both of them in the 70's. And I have no idea what the ashes are supposed to mean. There doesnt seem to be enough context in the song to figure it out. I don't even understand where they are, outside on the ground, inside, as if she were smoking while looking out the window? No idea. Was it in the 80's when you were expected to go outside of your own house to smoke? Or was that later? Utterly perplexed.
     
  13. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    I have no idea, and get a little depressed when questions like these come up because if I don't understand the meaning I think it's because I'm not capable of thinking deep enough. A similar thing happens with some of Shakespeare where I can understand the words literally but am not sure what's being said.

    I even went to songmeanings.com and found nothing useful on this song.

    Anyways, to me this song is like a poor man's 'Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)'.

    So to me, some of the images are about appreciating something pleasing but not seeing the things that make it possible, or the damage or danger that is caused.

    Now I don't know where the window is, if the observer is on the inside or outside, but my guess is the ashes are on the outside since it says ground and not floor.

    But, who knows. Maybe it's about people enjoying a scenic view but the streets below are dirty? Or maybe people walking past a department store window display (these used to be important, see: 'Mannequin') but ignoring some ashes or gum on the ground. I don't know, I don't get a good connection with the window and the ashes like the rest of the song.
     
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  14. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Hey you're not alone there!! When I read Shakespeare I get the Folger edition which has helpful notes and translations of some of the words and phrases on the opposite page, I see if there are any books available to help understand the play, and I watch at least one movie version if I can or a recorded play, so there's some context. It's really hard to figure out how lines are supposed to be delivered from just a dialogue script! Was he angry, calm, sad, or what when he said it?

    Symbolism is the same way, it's sort of a language. You need to learn about it. Maybe some people are naturals, I don't know. I mean, some of it is pretty obvious, but some definitely requires some prior study, especially if it comes from a very different time. But it's like anything else, the more you work with it the better you understand it. It's really hard for us today because we live in a time that's become completely materialistic and people don't expect any meaning undernath the surface anymore.
     
  15. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    It was never on a real album, being one of the unreleased tracks included on Best Of Both Worlds greatest hits collection. It was pretty easy to miss. because not a lot of sane people buy a greatest hits album that came out pretty much right after the last greatest hits album.
    I am not sane.

    No need. We're adults now, long past the age that we need to apologize for what we like.
    Van Roth or Van Hagar never really did anything for me. I'm a Van Halen fan.
    Even if I wasn't, I would have to be because my favourite song, Poundcake, is a Hagar song.

    Just... the other side of the window.
    A smoking while looking out the window is exactly what my character was doing.

    Yeah, but... Eddie plays this one...
    Anyway, can't say for sure I've heard that. I'll look it up when I get home tonight.

    I think it's basically to make us do what we are doing. Try to find our own meanings.
     
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  16. MartinM

    MartinM Banned

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    @Bakkerbaard

    So, this song is a favourite of mine and the lyrics seem pretty obvious…

    Lyrics

    Please allow me to introduce myself
    I'm a man of wealth and taste
    I've been around for a long, long years
    Stole million man's soul an faith

    And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
    Had his moment of doubt and pain
    Made damn sure that Pilate
    Washed his hands and sealed his fate

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game

    Stuck around St. Petersburg
    When I saw it was a time for a change
    Killed Tsar and his ministers
    Anastasia screamed in vain

    I rode a tank
    Held a general's rank
    When the blitzkrieg raged
    And the bodies stank

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
    Ah, what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

    I watched with glee
    While your kings and queens
    Fought for ten decades
    For the gods they made

    I shouted out
    Who killed the Kennedys?
    When after all
    It was you and me

    Let me please introduce myself
    I'm a man of wealth and taste
    And I laid traps for troubadours
    Who get killed before they reached Bombay

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
    But what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
    But what's confusing you
    Is just the nature of my game

    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails
    Just call me Lucifer
    'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

    So if you meet me
    Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politnesse
    Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
    But what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down

    Woo, who
    Oh yeah, get on down
    Oh yeah
    Aah yeah

    Tell me baby, what's my name?
    Tell me honey, can ya guess my name?
    Tell me baby, what's my name?
    I tell you one time, you're to blame

    What's my name
    Tell me, baby, what's my name?
    Tell me, sweetie, what's my name?

    However, you realise the Devil is only helping man’s nature along. He himself as no original thought or idea. So, if you meet him, have some courtesy. Have some sympathy and some taste. Don’t just cast out and repel him, it’s not his fault…. After all its just you and me.

    Just my thought

    MartinM.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
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  17. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Did I imply anywhere that the Devil is involved in the scene, or is this some awesome coincidence that you bring up Sympathy For The Devil?
    It's a favorite of mine too. Gets me right from line one. Please allow me to introduce myself...
    There's a sense of arrogance in it. "Yeah, I'll introduce myself, but I have strong opinions on why I shouldn't have to."

    In fact, now that I reread the lyrics, my Devil does show up at some point as a general too. But an American general. Don't know if the scene is gonna survive to the next draft, but it just got stronger. ;o)
     
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  18. MartinM

    MartinM Banned

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    the devil's in the woodwork, surely

    There's a sense of arrogance in it. "Yeah, I'll introduce myself, but I have strong opinions on why I shouldn't have to."

    Spot on, I use the Devil in my story as a well-dressed all in black, French aristocrat from the late 18th century. Luis Cypher or whatever you call him has no real power at all. He cannot force you to do anything. Moreover, it’s the change in YOUR moral compass that’s the nature of his game. The moral change feeds him via your body and soul at total opposites.

    I rode a tank
    Held a general's rank
    When the blitzkrieg raged
    And the bodies stank


    Here my impression is he offered the German High Command a quick lighting war or strike that would be over before it started. The moral loss to the German’s is it’s not “Playing Fair…”. Without warning civilians were bombed from the air, followed by artillery strikes with the Panzer divisions pushing the ground offensive. It worked too well with over whelming surrendering of prisoners the German ground forces couldn’t handle. The Tank General solves the problem by executing both military and non-military prisoners. The dead piled up, and the bodies stank…

    The German High Command didn’t fully understand what this strategy involved, or if they did, they had sold their souls for the ground they gained.

    Your American General cannot be all powerful, its not his choice. It’s just his offer…

    Please tell us more…

    MartinM.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
  19. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, my Devil is a bit more traditional. Not that he's all powerful, but he's good enough to putter about Omaha Beach and not get shot. He needed to be there to tie another story arc together, which I hesitate to explain further, because out of context it's utter shite. ;o)
     
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