02/12/20: Just a quick update.  As you may be aware back in November I had part of my colon removed thanks to a malignant tumor.  Thankfully my body was cancer free after the surgery but a short course of chemotherapy was called for to prevent a reoccurrence. Unfortunately my first hip replacement for December was understandably scrubbed.  Before the cancer event I had been just able to get back into the shop (for a few days) but fifteen days in the hospital (eight of them in ICU) left my legs weakened precluding climbing the stairs down into the shop.  It has been icky as I am unable to take effective pain relief and continue to be restricted to the main floor of my home.  Add to that the chemotherapy (otherwise uneventful for the most part) has not been kind to my hip joints.  

The light at the end of the tunnel is that I am so far on track for my first hip replacement at the end of March followed by a second replacement in June.  I intend upon being back in the shop by early May up until my second replacement in June and then back again in the shop in late July.  

As my oncologist and orthopedic surgeon would agree,  I am getting my life back. Ming will be back.  You won’t believe what will be coming next.  

11/19/19: Ming-Kahuna will be closed for business until further notice.  I’ll be back.  

2/28/19:  Well, the dust has settled since October and I’m now well into the twenty-first year of Ming-Kahuna. As the two twentieth anniversary sets are well on their way to completion I’ve had an opportunity to look back and do some navel-gazing. 

Okay, it doesn’t at all seem like “just yesterday” when on that late afternoon in October 1998 I sat down at a card table in my basement to carve what would become the first Ming-Kahuna, a Pocket Model in Cuda. After that for the first years my hands ached and bled as I honed my skills. The trials and tribulations didn’t phase me as I was having too much fun, each step approached in terms of problem-solving, my strong inclination as a practicing attorney.  So many ideas and shapes sprang forth that my hands were having an epically difficult time keeping up with my head, a dangerous state of affairs when around very fast and very sharp tools.  Just when I thought I had done it all there would be a burst of creativity.  Where it all came from I know not. Even today, hundreds of shapes later, new ideas are constant. Better yet, with such a substantial body of work behind me I can bring older work up to today and combine various design elements to create entirely new shapes.  In the search for something new it is folly to ignore the past.  
So, ever onward, each tamper providing me the with thrill of the very first. When that is no longer the case I will be done. 

2/8/19: When it comes to watching TV I am most definitely a surfer.  Watching five movies at once isn’t as challenging as it sounds.  What is a challenge is moving beyond some movies when they pop up on the screen bringing the whole shebang to a screeching halt.  Here is a list of movies (and shows), to name a few, that demand my focus:

The Fifth Element
Shawshank Redemption
The Outer Limits
Lawrence of Arabia
The Blue Max
Most Bond films
The Keep
The Day the Earth Stood Still (original)
The War of the Worlds (original)
This Island Earth
Training Day
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Citizen Kane
Con Air
The Wizard of Oz
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
True Lies
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Dumb and Dumber
Schindler’s List
The Train
The Soldier of Orange
Sink the Bismarck 
Operation Crossbow
Where Eagles Dare
The Guns of Navarone
Escape From New York
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Rear Window
North by Northwest
Blade Runner
Godzilla (original true Japanese version)
Silence of the Lambs

1/17/19: As it’s winter my cigar smoking takes a most definite back seat to my pipes.  Smoking a cigar in the back deck is great fun but puffing on a ten dollar cigar in forty degree temps is somewhat of a waste.  Puffing on a briar in the comfort of my home gets the call. It’s at these times that I am re-invigorated as to the wonderful rituals of pipe smoking.

I’m pleased to say that I am in part responsible for some of that ritual through my creation of artistic pipe tools. While something as simple and handy as a finger will do I find that a handcrafted pipe tamper can add so much to the experience.  While my opinions on that are obviously far from impartial I would very strongly maintain that a finely crafted pipe deserves an equal partner in a tamper.  Going back twenty years that is probably pretty much what was in the back of my mind when I created Ming-Kahuna.

1/30/18: I have finally decided on the exact nature of the 20th anniversary set. First, there will only be one rather than two. As before, all of the set will be made from the first material of Ming, Cuda. In addition to the stand there will be three pieces; a Pocket Model, Presentation Grade, and a Stiletto pick.

11/13/18: This news feature will be expanded to include ramblings that are offered in addition to my work. All work and no play makes Art a dull boy. While I love to share all things Ming there is far more to life. About the only thing that I won’t be writing about is politics. I’ve had quite enough of that. I will be avoiding controversy at all cost. Of course opining as to who was the best Bond villain may ruffle a few feathers, but I will just have to take that risk.

So, stop back now and then if you have a mind to for a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Oh, and for the record, Donald Pleasance as Blofeld very closely followed by Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. Honorable mention goes to Telly Savalas as Blofeld.

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