The Wild Ride

Revisiting the blog world. I read my old posts in an effort to return to getting my words down on paper (digital paper?). I have been wanting to do this for a while, but it has been a wild ride in the 2 years since my last post. Aside from the known craziness that was the dumpster fire of 2020 I have been focusing on this thing we all know as Dirty Woods.

DW was supposed to be more than just “a thing” since my first step was the blog. It’s currently a CNC woodworking business more than anything else, but the real “thing” is a conglomerate of things that make up the whole DW. The contents of that conglomerate have changed a bit since the beginning and are really starting to solidify and take shape. Am I Dirty Woods? Or is Dirty Woods it’s own entity? How many licks does it take to get to the center? The world may never know.

Shortly after my last post I got that first CNC machine and began making little things. Not really knowing where it would lead, I came up with many different ideas on what I could make. A year later I had 3 machines, upgraded my work spaces, sold boxes at multiple conventions, separated from the army national guard, connected with the game community in a whole new light, started playing more tabletop games, etc. Once 2020 hit I was looking forward to a huge growth year for DW. When life throws you curve balls you either adjust or strike out. I was in a good place to adjust.

Without getting into the details of how 2020 went, I will say that we (the fam and I) have been very lucky. The fates were with us. The big guy has a plan. However you want to look at it. The past year has been very humbling in reminding me how fragile this all is. Also, teachers deserve a lot more (credit, respect, money, bear hugs) than they get. I am not good at being an e-learning guide but I made (and still am making) an effort because that’s what the kids deserve. Bottom line, I was able to pump the breaks on DW so I could spend more time focusing on the well being of the entire family.

I have a lot of work I should be doing in the shop. The unheated shop. The shop that is colder than the refrigerator. I have to put drinks away so they don’t freeze and explode on the tools. The big shiny new(ish) CNC doesn’t do well in the icy temps so instead of making more boxes I am working on the blog. I reorganized the office for finish work and shipping operations. I updated my CNC designs to be more efficient. I designed a few new products. I finished doing taxes for the year. Anything to keep the business moving forward, or at least feel like I am moving forward.

There are a lot of big things coming and I feel like I am perpetually standing at the starting line waiting for the flag to drop. DW has a table reserved at Origins Game Fair, our biggest opportunity yet, and everything is at a standstill. No pressure, but I really need to be stocking up on inventory.

There is so much I can write about. In reality the point (that I am making to myself maybe) is that this whole thing is full circle. Things I wanted to do in life when I was a teenager looking forward to adulthood are now my reality. Making things in my shop, writing, being part of the tabletop game industry, playing games, going to cons, all of it is my dream job. I don’t think I would be as successful as I am if I had started this 25 years ago and a big part of that was changing how I define success.

I am truly humbled by it all.

Thank you.

Now back to business. /end mental dump

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