OldTools Archive

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271427 Thomas Bruce <tom.bruce.trb@g...> 2020‑07‑06 Takin' care of business
Folks:

I picked an interesting year in which to retire, and the result has been
intermittent attention to, well, everything I'm doing, which at this point
involves electronic music, rusty scrap metal, and the entire list of
household repair problems that were either being deferred until I retired
or were just waiting to pounce at the point where I had enough leisure
time.  So, since it's the first Monday of the month, I'll make a brief
commercial announcement before moving on to a long-neglected bio I promised
close to a year ago.

Here's the brief commercial announcement: I'm back in the rusty scrap metal
biz, at https://workingtools.biz.   So f
ar I have a bit over a hundred
items listed with thousands more to go -- the fact that I wasn't selling
for 15 years did not stop me from buying, thus creating a business model
that will go down in history as an experiment every bit as successful as
supply-side economics.   There is a lot more to come, and certainly if you
have wants I'd just go ahead and ask, because whatever it is, there's a
good chance it's here somewhere.   I'm also trying out some new ideas --
particularly, discounts for tools that go to nonprofits, theaters
especially, and to woodworking students -- and I can be talked into
donations of fixer-upper stuff for good causes.  No oldtools-specific for
sale list this month, because I got involved in an emergency
washing-machine repair resulting in an emergency washing-machine
replacement, and it killed the time I had available.   Oh, and for those
curious about Akbar and Jeff: fortunately for all of us, those two sharpies
moved on from operating the Tool Hut, and were last seen in the company of
Parnas, Fruman, and Giuliani in the lobby bar of that Ritz-Carlton in
Alexandria where the fate of third-world nations is decided.  Current
whereabouts are unknown.

Now, about that bio:

I started out as a child.  Shortly after that, I got a couple of degrees in
theater, and worked as a lighting designer and stage manager for a little
over a decade. As a lighting designer, I got cussed out by Miles Davis, lit
Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and did monitor mix for
Missing Persons and Bonnie Raitt. As a stage manager, I worked as a
freelancer for a number of theater and opera companies in the US —
including, among many others, the Yale Repertory Theater, the American
Repertory Theater, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and the
Miami Opera — where I worked closely with directors Alvin Epstein, Peter
Sellars, Nathaniel Merrill, and John Madden. I was the Director of Special
Technical Projects for the multi-venue Spoleto Festival USA for its first
three seasons in the US, and stage-managed premieres of a number of new
plays and operas including Jules Feiffer’s Grownups and Robert Ward‘s
disastrous Minutes ’til Midnight. I also wrangled a series of industrial
shows for Eastern Airlines and for IBM.  There is a long-standing joke
about how I've never worked for Robert Wilson, which  is probably funny
only if you're me, or Robert Wilson, but a look at the Wikipedia article on
"the ciViL WarS -- A Tree Is Best Measured When It's Down" will provide a
few cryptic clues.  Plus it sounds like it ought to involve woodworking,
somehow.

I stopped doing all that stuff, mostly, many years ago, and took up a
second career first doing computer support at the Cornell Law School;
around the time this list got started, I wrote the first Web browser for MS
Windows and was appointed to the Law School faculty.  For a long time I was
the only member who did not have a law degree.    About that same time, I
bought a house, needed some furniture, and thought I'd build it.  I ran
across Patrick Leach on the net, and then in person, bought some stuff,
found some more stuff,  and got interested not only in using tools but in
hunting them down, researching them, and then selling a few.

My main focus at Cornell was as co-director,and then sole director, of the
Legal Information Institute, the first web site to freely distribute
American statutes and regulations for free, and the 30th on the Internet. The
site now gets about 34 million unique visitors a year. In 2015, the ABA
Journal named me one of the 50 most innovative individuals in the American
legal profession. I've worked on legal information projects in the US, UK,
South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Japan, and the Seychelles. I testified
twice before Congress, spoke at the UN and the Interparliamentary Union,
and was an invited expert for the Hague Conference on Private International
Law and for the European Parliament.

That did not leave a lot of time for other stuff; a few years ago, I looked
around my shop and realized that the last thing I'd built was a crib for a
kid who had just turned 8.  I wasn't happy about that, and started building
stuff again, starting off with a run of 16 chairs for an arts complex down
on Long Island.  After that, I gradually put the shop back in shape, and
started marshaling the tools, and now... here we are.  I have more things
to build, and a lot of tools to sell, and a third or ninth career as an
electronic musician (you can read about that at tombrucemusic.space).

Boy, is that ever a bunch of long-winded nonsense.  I'll shut up and sit
down now.  it's good to be back.

t.


-- 
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
Thomas R. Bruce
tom.bruce.trb@g...
https://workingtools.biz  (for vintage wo
odworking and machinist tools)
https://tombrucemusic.space  (for elec
tronic music)
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Recent Search Bios FAQ