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Looking to Kill a Little Time With Something Offbeat? Click Here Stranger.

February 3rd, 2011 8 comments

WARNING: This post is intended to be a mildly-entertaining time waster and is not woodworking related. This is probably similar to the warning on irons that they get hot.

I’ve been fighting a cold lately (if whining about it constitutes fighting it). And while I have lacked the energy to get in the shop, I have summoned enough energy to surf the web and stumble across video of some interesting new technology (sorry, no dancing robots this time). And you should know that I did it mostly for you… I know, I’m kind of a hero (it’s a pretty low bar these days).

First up, how many times have you taken that certain TPS Report and wiped a certain part of your body with it? (rhetorical) Satisfying? Yes. A little disappointing in that the smooth paper results in more of a smear campaign? Yes.

Well, no longer does “office politics” have to be so messy thanks to an invention called the “White Goat”. Take a look at the machine that now allows you to take your boss’s printed-out emails and turn them into something that is actually useful, in one simple step!

Next up is a new safety device for bicyclers who prefer not to wear helmets (that’s me! If brain damage were permanent I would rethink it). It’s basically an air bag in a scarf that deploys when it senses imminent doom (I wish I had that in my blogging software for when I go to publish a post like this one). It also makes a bold fashion statement when deployed as seen in the picture below on the left (Definitely would work in the Spaceballs fashion line. Picture below, Right.).

The selling point for this new safety device is the videos of it in action. I might just like these videos because I like laughing at dummies making fools of themselves (e.g. Jersey Shore, US Congress, etc…).

There are three different collision tests in this video. My favorite is when he does a header over the handle bars at around the 3:30 mark. They get a little multi-angle, slo-mo replay drunk so you might want to use that slider bar to jump around.

I wonder if that scarf could be outfitted with sensors for dust or projectiles. We could then hit the shop without having to think about safety gear. Dust in the air? Boom! You’re wearing a dust mask. A piece of wood flying at your eyeball? Boom! You’re face is now covered with a shield. How about your significant other talking before being spoken to? Boom! Gagged. (probably multiple triggers for Boom! Gagged). The practical possibilities are endless.

Lastly is something that every little boy that has ever fried an ant with magnifying glass would love to have, a homemade solar death ray machine (Dear Universe, I fried ants before I understood the notion of Karma… Ohhh, and while we are talking, can you make up your mind on Pluto. Is it a planet or not? You’re really screwing with our heads down here).

Here’s to hoping that the kid that created this machine doesn’t become interested in nuclear physics… you will understand once you see his particular “scientific method” in action.

Categories: Are you an idiot? Tags:

A Brief Interview.

November 20th, 2010 9 comments

Just having a little fun… enjoy…

How to Use Kickback for Laying Out Joints

August 28th, 2010 35 comments

This is just an upfront reminder that I’ve recorded audio versions of new posts that contain “bonus features”. Just click the player above to hear the audio version of this post!

I had never experienced table saw kickback before. For those uninitiated, this occurs when the workpiece rides up on the back of the blade while being trapped against the fence. The workpiece is then literally shot back towards the operator. Consider the physics, my table saw turns at a rate of 3450 revolutions per minute. I did the calculations and that translates to a workpiece moving exactly ludicrously fast.

Until today, I have to say that I hadn’t given the notion of kickback much respect. I’ve had pieces get tossed back at the speed of slow-pitch softball and thought “hmmm… that’s not too bad… I could take that”. But the real deal is a whole different story.

I literally lost my breath when my workpiece kicked back and hit me on my right side with a thundering WHACK that must have been heard around the world. Stunned for a second, and in that instant I wondered, perhaps oddly so, if the severe impact would stop my heart. I then figured out that my heart is kind of located on the other side of my body and that it would probably be fine. Next, I feared that I had just become meat on a stick. Not until I saw my entire side in a mirror was I sure that I was not stuck like a pig.

Now, some may think this was an accident. But, I must say this is not the case… I kept losing my pin board when I went to transfer pin locations. So logically I thought “What if i had the pin locations marked on my body???” I know… your kicking yourself for not coming up with this genius idea first. My plan was brought to fruition in a mere fraction of a second. And now, transferring pin locations has never been so easy.

The other end of the board is also clearly defined on my flesh, but it includes nipple and I’m not ready to share that just yet or for free (that’s definitely premium site material).

You see that white arc on the piece of padauk that… ummm, that would be my skin cells. You can actually see the grain pattern of the piece of wood on my skin. Now I have to be mindful to not kill anyone with this sucker as clearly it would not pass the “if it does not fit, you must acquit” test.

At this point, I’m hoping it leaves a permanent mark. How hardcore would I be then? I totally would go to woodworking shows just to lift up my shirt, nod like a bad-ass, and say “yeah… that’s an offset box joint”.

What’s a little more troubling is to think of what could have been. I could easily be blind now if that board hit me in an eye. Although I’m not completely sure that I am even vulnerable to blindness given I have not yet suffered effects from countless years of unrelenting masturbation.

What was my specific technique? First, I was in a hurry to just make a quick cut so I would have a test piece for a groove I was about to make.  This was not going to be any sort of significant shop session and thus I was, of course, exempt from having to follow any safety rules. So no safety glasses, no shirt (there’s no woodworking like naked woodworking), no dust mask or even dust collection on (yes to a push stick and splitter). Another mistake was cutting too small a piece to be safely cut on a table saw without use of a sled.

Thinking of the table saw lawsuit that the woodworking community has been following the past year, I decided to look at the crime scene with the proper perspective… what TOOL caused this injury. Then it jumped out at me… the bench dog push stick is offset to the right, pulling the body of the user to the right and inline with dangerous kickback situations. Clearly my pain and suffering is due to this poorly designed tool.

Sadly, I would not be surprised to see someone make that frivolous argument. It’s an awesome push stick and this injury is just a stupid accident wherein I not-so-proudly have to own my stupidity for it occurring.

Is This Thing On?

August 19th, 2010 5 comments

CLICK PLAYER BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO VERSION OF THIS POST

 

As many woodworkers are aware of, Matt Vanderlist over at Matt’s Basement Workshop has a cool segment called “Spoken Wood” where he features woodworking posts around the web. His twist is that the article is shared in an audio version read by the author or Matt. To my delight, one of my posts was recently featured.

Having done the audio for the particular post, it struck me that it would be nice to have a companion audio version of each new post I create on my site going forward. I have to say that I might be prone to ad-libbing (as you may notice if you were to listen to the audio version of this post). But, I assure you that whatever creative liberties I take will not detract from the integrity of the written post and will most definitely NOT feel like a corny, local radio morning show. Obviously I’m way too classy for that. Plus, I have no desire to do anything that would potentially subject myself  to humiliation.

The downside of adding this new feature is that it will no doubt be yet another reason for me to put off finishing a post. I have a veritable cornucopia  of posts just sitting in the hopper waiting to be released. The reason I’m backed up, besides my naturally retentive personality, is that I never seem to get around to taking the photos or videos intended to accompany some of them. Others, frankly,  just did not meet the mark and instead resembled more of a steaming pile of beans.  Given that, adding another to-do item to writing a post may may not be extremely prudent. I know some of you think I’m all talk but I think I can get ‘er done.

Most likely the only people to listen to the audio versions will be my friends, so I’ll probably tailor this stuff to these special people.

Categories: Are you an idiot? Tags:

A joint that was not intended to be knock-down

January 20th, 2010 6 comments

I’m writing this post with one hand and on drugs (so… a pretty standard post). No, it’s not because of a woodworking accident, thankfully. And no, it’s not because I’m “multitasking” my other hand at the moment. The reason is that while I am fairly skilled at roller-hockey I was not so skilled one day recently and ended up shattering my wrist.

As you can see from my x-rays, I am now part machine. Let me hasten to add that parts of me are still human. Before you pure humans cast me from society, I ask you… If you prick me, do I not bleed? I’ll just go ahead and answer that… yes, yes I do bleed. So please do not prick me. That really was the point of all this. I just don’t want to get pricked going forward.

Some lessons learned in regards to having your wrist in a cast:

  • It’s OK to stick stuff down the cast to itch things… but do not, I repeat DO NOT, proceed to sniff that scratching object no matter how tempted you are. There’s never a happy ending to that story.
  • It feels natural to club things. I’ve accidentally whipped the cast around and clubbed doors, a plate of food, and my face (twice). In an unrelated event, I just ordered a baby seal off eBay.
  • You must get used to placing objects between your legs, using your thighs to secure them. I even peeled a banana this way… it felt ironic. I was fairly comfortable with this technique until I was in full squat with a 2 liter soda wedged all up in there… the soda was from a pizza delivery guy who I’m going to say needs new shocks on his car. One of those moments when there’s no where to go…. nowhere to hide.
  • Your groin is not the only place to stick things to handle/manipulate them…  Armpits, teeth, and other places will allow you to administer a python-like grip depending on the item at hand and your willingness to experiment. As Clint Eastwood said  as Sergeant Highway in Heartbreak Ridge “You adapt. You overcome. You improvise“. He also said “I’m mean, nasty and tired. I eat concertina wire and piss napalm and I can put a round in a flea’s ass at 200 meters. ” other than the “tired” part, none of that really applies to me but it seems like a bad ass way to end this post.

Seeing the forest from the trees… in my dining room.

August 3rd, 2009 8 comments

Tomorrow an appraiser will be visiting and assessing my home for a refinance. It seems that someone has run up some serious credit card debt, possibly related to tool purchases, and needs to consolidate. Sounds pretty standard right?

Well… ummmm… I’m freaking out a bit as I just took a visual survey of my home and I can envision an appraiser torpedoing the deal if they were to lack the creative vision necessary to see past how I’ve decorated the spaces. I imagine an appraiser is accustomed to seeing a dining room with perhaps a dining room table. Mine looks like this (these pics show things in a messy state… the notice on the appraisal was short leaving me little time to get organized):

Curly Maple for dinner?

Lumber buffet.

I must say that downdraft tables have long been overlooked in the dining room. Tired of having to pick up stray chips, pretzels, and cheerios from your dining table? What about trying to round up all those elusive crumbs? These nuisances instantly go away with one touch of a “start” button.

Going with the workbench motif

Going with the workbench motif

And yes, those are horse stall mats on the floor.

I’m guessing an appraiser is also unaccustomed to seeing a kitchen like this:

IMG_3435

My spice rack. "A Dash of Stanley No. 3 sole rust makes any dish pop."

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Requisite lathe for turning potatoes into fries (I actually saw that on a DVD once).

Even the living room is more like an office with a desk and light table in the middle of the room. It’s also where I store a post drill press (intended as a functional tool for the garage one day… the gears run like butta).

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A living room? I probably should tidy up before taking pics, huh.

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Standard living room accessory

If at any point I feel like the appraiser isn’t going to look past the current design of my home I’ll be prepared to remove him from the picture assuming the appraisal company will just send another one? Or maybe I should splatter red paint along the walls of one bedroom and just explain that “this is where I take people that prevent me from getting what I want”.

An observation that I made while writing this post it that I’m down to having exactly one chair in my entire home. Playing musical chairs when friends come over is going to end rather abruptly.

*** update: As is the norm for me, I didn’t get to publish this until a few days later. So, I can also report that the appraiser arrived and upon walking into my “dining room” exclaimed “Wow! I love this place!” and repeated that in mantra-like fashion until he left…  so I may have lucked out and am encouraged that things may go forward. My nerves are much less frayed. ***

A quick thank you…

July 17th, 2009 11 comments

Some days nice things just happen (and as we know, the other 363 days what’s mostly happening is something that only a dung farmer can appreciate) and I had one of those days recently as I noticed that the kind people over at Rockler had blogrolled me. Thank you Kim for this brief lapse in judgment!

In all honesty, as each day passes, I’m just proud that the references to me out there on the web are not for something embarrassing, such as a youtube video of me being caught riding a pony completely drunk wearing only a diaper (If I wasn’t clear there, I’m the one wearing the diaper… the pony is completely drunk).

I will strive to post more on topic about woodworking. In general though, I’m just trying to have a good time here… and for me a good time is writing a post that others find amusing, then a little disturbing, and ultimately nauseating. That is the cycle of life for my standard post.

Now time to head off for the weekend and celebrate with some beverages and Rhonda (Rhonda’s my pony). Wooohoooo!

Rhonda getting ready to party

Rhonda getting ready to party

Warning: Attractive minds may cause harm

May 20th, 2009 3 comments

I had a brain MRI recently and while flipping through the pre-MRI questionnaire I had to pause when one of the questions was “do you grind metals?”

Like anyone else, on occasion I’ll grind on some metal if I’ve had one drink too many… especially if it’s particularly shiny or in the form of dancing robots (as in the video below). But nothing out of the ordinary and I wondered how this was even relevant in the first place?

On second thought I realized that they most likely meant abrasively removing metal which of course I do all the time on the grinding wheel and even most recently sharpening carving tools on a belt sander.

Wanting to get the MRI done, my eyes dart left and right, and my mind thinks “nobody knows… I can do this”. Thinking it through a little further, my brain does me the favor of envisioning my head inside a massive electromagnet with metal floating in my veins and what the resulting experience may be like.

So without further hesitation I do what I have to do and quickly grab the nurse… she’s offended… I figured what did I have to lose? My metal-laden melon is about to explode so I might as well get a cheap thrill first (plus, in all the educational videos I’ve ever watched the nurse always seems receptive). Anyways, it turns out I can still do the MRI if a head x-ray called “orbits” comes up clean which it does so I’m green-lighted.

Since I’m claustrophobic my anxiety level was already on the high side as I know my head is going to be strapped down and my body inserted into a tiny canal (I almost made a phallic analogy here but I realized I would represent the huge penis in it). The technician gave me some blinders to wear which really helped… have to say though, after being harnessed in and blinders put on I was waiting for someone to feed me an apple out of the palm of their hand as I felt like a horse being broken. I just went with it and whinnied whenever I felt nervous, which is to say every moment.

While inside the machine, I wondered how large a metal particle needs to be in order to be spotted on the orbits x-ray? I mean I use 15 micron silicon carbide belts on the sander which make super fine metal dust. Are particles smaller than the resolution of the orbits scan not going to be pulled through vein walls and into my virginal gray matter? In theory, my heart was beating during the MRI so couldn’t have some of these particles decided to take the road trip from the lungs to the brain during the scan?? I guess getting answers to these questions would have been prudent before doing the MRI.

Trust is both a wonderful and dangerous thing. I guess there was no damage done, although I have noticed that I now tend to face polar north when standing idly.

In the end, I survived the MRI and the results come back negative which was rather deflating… I was so hopeful that they would finally confirm the existence of a brain after all these years. Oh well, time to go oil my joints (a reference to the brainless Tin Man, not a euphemism for self-pleasure (this time)).

Note:  certain artisitic freedoms were taken in this post and it should be noted that no robots or nurses were actually inappropriately grabbed or grinded upon.

Necessity out, stupidity in, as mother of invention.

April 7th, 2009 Comments off

One day not that long ago I found myself with the task of mounting an under-cabinet light fixture. Simple enough. Or maybe not… as I examine the fixture I see it mounts by sliding sideways over mounting screws. Unfortunately the light fixture is exactly as long as the space under this cabinet and thus has no room to slide. So without pause for any thoughts that would extend beyond my mid-brain, I ask myself the obvious… What would McGyver do? Easy… magnets.

Moments later, via assistance of a forstner bit, magnets, and CA glue the job was completed with minimal casualties. I quickly put the fixture up, flip the switch while exclaiming “let there be light!”, and revel in my brilliant ingenuity. Lastly, I check how I would replace the bulb and as I take the bulb out I see a clear view of the mounting holes. I find that interesting.

Before taking the, at this point, optional step of adding screws I explore other potential uses and applications that this groundbreaking use of magnets may yield, including cures for diseases, military weaponry, etc. While none of that panned out, I did find that it allows easy and convenient storage access to keys, canned soup, and knives. Clearly, the potential for such an invention is limitless. I may have to patent this novel notion of magnets holding junk. Disclaimer: if you have no sense of aesthetics, live in California, and actually implement my invention, I take no responsibility for subsequent injury due to falling knives and cans of soup.

Soup for the belly

Hanging my beans with bacon.

Additional evidence that I should never have children

Additional evidence that I should never have children

What other McGyver-type ingenuity have I attempted? well, since I’ve mastered magnetism, it made sense to switch over to lasers. I played a little bit with using a leveling laser as an aide for identifying high spots when hand jointing a board. I think the idea may actually hold some merit and would have pursued it further if I hadn’t been distracted by a shiny object elsewhere in the shop that day.

I believe this technique may be particularly handy when jointing in the dark (probably how cave men jointed boards at night before fire was discovered). Operational note: While it’s interesting to observe the angle at which the laser bounces off your jointer, I recommend changing your observation angle if and when you feel your retinas tingling.

ET Fingers

ET Fingers

With lasers embedded in practically every woodworking tool these days, I’m waiting for the first hand plane with one embedded into the toe casting (maybe in a fore or jointer plane) and at least obviate the need for winding sticks. Come on Lee Valley get on this… I’m sure Rob will cut me in for half??? If nothing else, it should provide for one of your April 1 tool releases.

-As you may have noticed, I refer to Rob Lee of Lee Valley in this post in a familiar way. To be clear, we haven’t necessarily hung out for an extensive period of time (which is to say that I’ve never met/talked/communicated with him in any way). I, however, choose to believe that all tool manufacturers are my good buddies and that they make tools just for me (Freud understands me)… Yo John E! How’s it hanging Tom L?!? A little creepy? Perhaps… and while I know that they make drugs to remedy this, I just gotta be me on this one.

Categories: Are you an idiot? Tags: