Guess Who’s Back?

The Woodcutter’s Story

A woodcutter got a job to fell eight trees per day. He purchased a sharp axe, and set off into the woods. With his axe, he started chopping the first large tree, and it fell quickly. By early afternoon, he had cut eight trees, and set off for the tavern. There he met a friend, and said, ‘I’ve got an easy job. I can fell eight trees by early afternoon, and then take it easy for the rest of the day.’ And so it went for the next few days, with afternoons spent drinking and telling tall tales. But then the friend noticed that the woodcutter started showing up a little later, looking more tired. He started to complain of the hard work, and the long days.

One day, the friend waited until it was dark, but still, the woodcutter didn’t show up at the tavern. He got a lantern
and set out for the woods, where he found his friend still chopping away at a tree. Looking around, he saw that only five trees had been felled that day. Turning to the wood cutter he asked, ‘What is the matter – why don’t you come to the tavern any more?’ The woodcutter didn’t stop to answer, but just kept on chopping. His friend noticed that very few chips were flying, and those that did, were small. So he said, ‘Why don’t you stop, and sharpen your axe? It has gotten dull, and isn’t doing a good job any more. Take it into town, and have the blacksmith sharpen it.’ The woodcutter snarled at him, ‘Can’t you see that I am way behind. I still need to cut three more trees today, and it’s already late. I don’t have time to get my axe sharpened!’

He turned, and started chopping again. The friend shook his head sadly, and set off for the tavern.

* * *

Rest: The simple concept that has often been taken for granted. How many of us have made the mistake of attempting to go the extra mile without taking a break or breather?

Well, it’s taken close to a month since my last entry (again!)… I’m sorry for my extended recluse once more. Unlike the first time that happened earlier this year, my absence was not a result of an impending catastrophe. Rather, the reason for my extended absence was due to a self-imposed 2-week break that followed the end of my exams in the first week of May.

In any case, I’ve received some well-wishing emails from some of you over the past month and I’m really grateful for everybody’s concern. And, now that I’m back, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be uploading my long-delayed post on the Don’t of Gestures on Stage within the next week, as well as my series of book reviews too!

Also in the pipeline are a series of revamps on this site, as well as a series of updates and coverage of the events I’ve worked on during my “break” (yes… I had to work too even when I’d wanted to lie low!)

Well my dear friends, I’m proud to announce that I’m fully rested, rejuvenated and… BORED! And that means I’m going to restart by channeling all my energies into resuming my blog and training work!

Watch this space for more exciting posts and material! And help spread the word too – I’ll be working on some free gifts to reward all of my loyal readers over the past 2 years!



One thought on “Guess Who’s Back?”

  1. Gary,

    Thanks for the story.

    It reminds me of the Archimedes story.

    Here is a version from wikipedia:

    “The most commonly related anecdote about Archimedes tells how he invented a method for measuring the volume of an object with an irregular shape. According to Vitruvius, a new crown in the shape of a laurel wreath had been made for King Hiero II, and Archimedes was asked to determine whether it was of solid gold, or whether silver had been added by a dishonest goldsmith.[12] Archimedes had to solve the problem without damaging the crown, so he could not melt it down in order to measure its density as a cube, which would have been the simplest solution. While taking a bath, he noticed that the level of the water rose as he got in. He realized that this effect could be used to determine the volume of the crown. For practical purposes water is incompressible [13], so the crown would displace an amount of water equal to its own volume. By dividing the weight of the crown by the volume of water displaced, its density could be obtained. The density of the crown would be lower if cheaper and less dense metals had been added. Archimedes then took to the streets naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress, crying “Eureka!” “I have found it!”

    Archimedes tried and tried to find a solution but couldn’t think of one until he took a bath.

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