Monday, July 28, 2014

Someone's Headed For A Hot Time In HR

     Oh, the insensitivity:
     Also, wrong abbreviation.

     (FWIW, these are delicious cookies. Among the best I have ever eaten. Tam -- no fan of sweets -- had a taste and soon after requested an entire cookie.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Retro-retro Keyboards

     This USB keyboard typewriter conversion looks to be a lot slicker than the earlier versions.

     If that doesn't suit you, how about a QWERKYWRITER?  Longer lead time, but slick as can be,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Could Have Swore I Posted Something

     Nooop.  Storm blew through at posting time, lots of lightning; I shut down and cooked breakfast instead.  (Bacon/Swiss cheese omelet.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

And Here's To Not Getting A Decent Night's Sleep

     Did not sleep well.  Did not go to sleep at all happy -- I'm not chatty at the end of the day and I am fighting with a difficult bit of editing -- and woke up less so and with an aching back, which I have capped with barely-adequate French Toast and inexplicably overstrength coffee.  Oh, and a hammering headache to go.  Can I get chips with that?

     Such is life within my narrowed horizons.  One of the reasons I'm not commenting so much on world, national or even state-level happenings is that practically none of it looks good.  Republic stumbles towards Empire and on the main stage, there are no Catos, only would-be Caesars of mildly differing stripe -- and I am told with sincere pride that this is a "choice."  Yeah, no.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here's To A Decent Night's Sleep

     ...Which I got last night for a change.  In bed by 8:30 p.m.  Awake by five, and that suits me, too, since I'll start next week "in the barrel," working two early-morning shifts as my day-shift peers and I do now, one week in three.  If I can get my hours precessed around sufficiently, it might not be as much of a burden as it usually is. 

     Still ending each day with unhappy knees and cold-packs on 'em.  This may be the new normal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Unexpected Blocks

     There they were at our neighborhood grocery, looking like some Warsaw Pact version of the famous (and very trademarked) plastic building bricks:
     Thing is, the grocer's in my neighborhood doesn't have a toy section....
     Yes, is says "Candy Blox," and they were right next to the big jars of "penny" candy.  I checked: they do interlock, weakly, and they taste okay, too -- sugar, citric acid, just like the label claims; maybe some fruit flavor.  Just the thing if you're topping a cake for someone in the grip of  Legomania™ -- although it may give Junior Structural Engineers some unrealistic expectations.

     (There's a storm coming through and the power went out -- and stayed out for five minutes! -- right as I went to add photos.  Oh, First World Problems.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Still Ouching

     But sleeping with cold-packs on my knees sure did help!  I'll have to dig out my kneepads the next time I have a project.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Oh, My Aching Knees!

     I have now completed the second set of bookshelves I'd cut and routed while on vacation. Another afternoon spent mostly crouched or kneeling over the shelves while I whittled, cut and sanded has done my knees no favors (most strikingly my "good" knee, which pops, cracks and catches in an alarmingly painful manner).

     They're sitting in one side in the living room now, adjusting to the much lower humidity, quite in the way (though not as in the way as they were in the garage -- even standing up, they featured in a conversation that included the phrase,  "I was barely able to get my car out and I don't know if I can get it back in again!" They had to move).  Having gotten them this far, I'm starting to wonder if there's enough clearance to get them around the corner to the office or stand them up once I get them there.  So it might be there's additional work in my future featuring a saw, dowel centers and drills, plus installing a crossbrace on the top section so it can become a kind of "removable hardtop."

     All this, and before I can even place it, I have to rearrange furniture in the office, empty and remove an existing set of shelves that date back to 1980 (and are slated for rebuilding and re-use elsewhere) and generally clear the decks.  It's likely to take every evening this week. I think I'd better check on that "clearance to stand them up" issue before proceeding.

     ...With that done, Step Two is to measure the wall space between the new shelves and the window frame, in order to build yet another set of shelves to fit there.  (Is there an end to my shelf-building?  Probably when I run out of walls to put them against.  I should've bought a bigger house!)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sore, Sore, Sore

     I'm sore all over from hard work.  Spent all afternoon yesterday assembling the second set of shelves I had cut and routed while on vacation.  Of course one of the uprights had warped -- slightly cupped -- and it took multiple screws per shelf to pull in the center where it (should) get a good glue bond.  Is this wise?  I don;t know, but I have done it before with good results.  As long as the glue holds, it doesn't much matter if the vertical piece develops splits, since it's bonded crosswise at every shelf.  Still to come, trimming the bottom from that side with a narrow-kerf saw and move it in about an inch: that side sits in a corner, up against trim molding.  Both uprights will have to be notched for molding-clearance at the back as well.

     But notice the construction of my shelves is such that splits along the grain are not usually a problem.  That's not how world politics work.  There is no engineering against even predictable failure and there are a lot of stress points built in.  Even as I write, Putin's bully-boys and/or "Russian-oriented separatists" (depending on who you believe -- and a third option, that he primed the pump but they are barely under control, is hardly whispered) in the Ukraine are refusing to hand over the bodies from the airliner they shot down.  Most of them were from NATO-member nations and more of that group were Dutch.  A large number of them were HIV/AIDS researchers, on their way to a conference.  ...The Netherlands may well be the single least-aggressive member nation in NATO but they pride themselves on being civilized; acting like barbarians to 'em is one of the better ways of raising ire.  And when the skinny, quiet kid who sits in the back at NATO club gets riled, what will the bigger, tougher kids in the front row do to help their pal out?  

     Maybe we're about to find out.  1914, here we come -- and without even a dead Archduke to show for it.  Likely to be some aches come of it.

Friday, July 18, 2014


     There ya go:

     Okay, the sub-rosa (for very small values of "rose") Russians in Ukraine are shooting down civilian jetliners, there's war an' politics an' destruction an' mayhem an' general unhappiness.  But I can't fix any of it; barbarians, like the poor (but way nastier) will always be with us.

     I can't fix it.  About all I can do is be decent to other folks and hope it's contagious.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bizarrely Symmetrical -- Symmetrically Bizarre

     Those are the only words that fit.  So...  I'm a fan of of Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, and when Danger Man (released on U. S. TV as Secret Agent) popped up on Amazon's streaming service, I watched an episode, since it's (somewhat -- McGoohan maintained that "John Drake" and "Number Six" were not the same man)  backstory for The Prisoner.

     Alas, at that time the release started with the second series, which ran two years after the first, and I wanted to get in at the beginning.  Last night, I discovered that the first series was now available, and in handy 25-minutes doses.

     So I watched the pilot.  Set in Italy, a bit of a gimme but not at all bad for a half-hour spy drama.  As the credits rolled, I caught the name of the location that had doubled for Italy in the various outdoors scenes: Portmeirion.

     Yes, the very same folly-built-large where the entire series of The Prisoner was set; there's only the one.  Patrick McGoohan's career as a TV spy began and ended in the very same place.