When I bought my first lathe, not surprisingly I was launching a lot of pieces of wood into near-orbital trajectories and getting increasingly frustrated. I think that I can still see the finger impressions in the tool handles because I was choking them so tightly. I may have even invented some new words that weren't very nice. The folks at the local Rockler's Hardware where I bought the lathe kept urging me to attend a meeting of the local turning club. My thought at the time was that I needed to get better at turning first because they wouldn't want someone as bad as me hanging around a bunch of experts. But, after a few more months of misery I decided to attend a meeting to see what they were all about. The things that I experienced were simply mind boggling. There were all these amazing things on the show and tell table. The most amazing was a wearable hat that one of the members had turned. Then the demonstrator was Jean-François Escoulen from France who demonstrated his signature thin whimsical multi-axis turnings. Before the meeting was over I had signed up to become a member. I found out about the AAW, but at that moment I wasn't interested because i mistakenly assumed it was for the "experts". A few months later I volunteered to be the newsletter editor and webmaster and was informed that I needed to be an AAW member. Suddenly, it was another revelation about all the exciting things going on in the world of woodturning. Then I heard about this new online forum that was strictly about woodturning called the AAW Forum that had started about the same time that I was bitten by the turning bug. Before I knew it, I was totally immersed in this strange new obsession. I can understand that woodturning isn't for everyone. It's a good thing that there's a wide variety of interests. Some people would rather hit a little dimpled ball with a a club or jump out of airplanes. I flew airplanes, but never understood why anyone would want to jump out of a perfectly good one. I think that I may have drifted off topic a bit. I think that we usually get the lathe (or golf clubs or parachute) that we really want and the "justification" is just salve to ease the pain in the back pocket whether it's for woodturning or something less important.