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I'm Mark van Roojen, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I mainly teach and publish in the areas of metaethics, ethics and political philosophy. I have a Metaethics textbook for Routledge that I'm currently working on coming out next Spring, but I'm working on some other stuff too. Both my teaching and research interests are covered in more depth on my philosophy page, linked in the sidebar. It includes links to most of my published papers as well as some unpublished papers, syllabi for courses I teach and other relevant stuff. I have some new things I'm working on that I talk about a bit on that section of my website, so if your interests are in philosophy have a look.
Away from work these days I spend a good deal of my spare time at my timberframe cabin in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Wyoming, featured just recently in an article on Mashable, in an article on tiny houses. It was also the subject of an interview a few years back in the New York Times's Building a Cabin in Maine blog, by Lou Ureneck on the Times website. As of January 2 2014 that section of my site is updated to fill out the page that covers 2013. I'll be adding photos from 2014 soon, including a tower project to get the solar panels higher in the air, and a project to bury the water tank to keep it from freezing in winter.
I also work on my old house, a foursquare vernacular version vaguely in Prairie style, built in 1914. We have done a lot of work on it and the Old House section of this website shows a bunch of it. Early on we added on to the space for the kitchen (the kitchen, itself an early addition, was pretty trashed when we bought it), and are trying to put in something of the sort that might have been there originally. We've also done a reconstruction of the bathroom in something like the original style of which I'm quite proud. When I say we, I really do mean we, since very little work has been hired out. Partly that's because we don't have the money and partly it is because of a bit of fanaticism for authenticity. Too much home renovation actually replaces good age appropriate materials with new materials that don't work as well, such as vinyl siding and replacement windows when repairs to what is already there would cost less and do the job. We tried to avoid that. The old house section has links to information about why replacement windows are almost always a bad way to try to save money and energy costs relative to other ways of spending the same investment of money and time.
Before we got the house and now the cabin, I spent a good deal of time doing other sorts of woodworking. Among other things, I have built acoustic and electric guitars , a workbench or two, several gift boxes, and stereo equipment cabinets, as well as a few other things I have probably forgotten. While I use some power tools and especially like old machinery, much of my woodworking is with hand tools. By this time I have quite a nice working set of hand tools (some would say a collection). I especially enjoy using older planes, saws, chisels, and other tools but I also enjoy just looking at and playing with them. As a result I have joined the Midwest Tool Collectors Association. I used to hit a lot of garage sales and flea markets to find tools, but recently I've been pretty busy and have slacked off on those endeavors.
Prior to getting the house I also spent a lot of time playing with vacuum tube guitar and hifi amplifiers. These days, aside from the hifi amps I regularly use, I haven't done much with that hobby. I still have some projects in mind, so you never know when that hobby will be resurrected. I do have jpegs of the guitars on my woodworking pages linked through the sidebar.
I've also got a page up about a small milling machine my father built before he died in 1998. He worked for many years as an engineer at Ingersoll Milling Machine Company and had hoped to use it to build models when he retired. And that page has a link to a bit of information about a model steam engine boiler he completed prior to his death. I also have links to a page about my mom who died in 2003.
Stop back as things change.
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