About Me and My Work
My name is Jay Oyster. I go by Tergenev in many forums on the interwebs. I am no one of consequence . . . truly. I work very hard to be unobtrusive. It's almost pathological.
I'm an amateur woodworker. Professionally, I make my living in the IT industry. I spent many years working as a tech writer, writing manuals for products that you've never heard of. Now I work as a business analyst in the healthcare industry. This means that I work trying to help project managers and other managers get things done, mostly by writing up policies, procedures, and complicated project documents. If I were joining the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet, I would be on the 'B' ark.
But I was trained, at least as an undergraduate, to think like a scientist. (Physics, in particular.) And I have an artistic bent. This comes out as graphic design and a desire to design my own pieces of furniture.
But mostly what I have is opinions. I find myself unencumbered by many of the distractions and preconceptions of many North Americans, so my opinions often don't line up with them. Really. I dreamt of being a true Renaissance man when I was a young man. But Rennaissance men gain too much attention. I don't like attention. So as a middle aged one, I find myself to be mostly an odd duck. A Cassandra. A weirdo in the guise of a perfectly ordinary, if somewhat boring suburbanite. My oddness only leaks out online.
So what's up with the woodworking? I dream of making it to the 'C' ark. One of the do-ers. So I make things out of wood.
I've been actively woodworking for about twenty years. I did take woodshop back in high school, and I completed a couple of one-off projects back in the last millennium. College, work, marriage, and kids have all taken any spare time I might have, and woodworking has often taken a back seat. But I finally found my way back to the hobby.
I work out of my basement shop in Milton, Georgia, my fourth such shop in five years, so don't look to me for ideal shop setups or prideful stories of my great wood crafting environment. Of necessity, my woodworking is pragmattic. I grab what time I can, and do the work I can accomplish with limited space. In terms of tooling, my woodworking is a balance of both the power and hand tool varieties. As are many of my generation, I suspect I'm the crafting-progeny of those two great Fathers of modern American amateur woodworking: Norm Abrams and Roy Underhill.