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Archive for April, 2012

Destructive Duo.

Update:  A good friend who I will not name but it’s Aggie has suggested a new name for Girlhead.  I am so enamored of it that I’m throwing it out there and y’all can vote but I’m 90% of the way to adopting it.  It just sounds purty.

Lemurita

Let’s take a vote – regarding Girlhead’s stage name on this blog – should we:

A) Keep it the way it is – “Girlhead”?

or

B) Change it to “Lemur Girl”?

or

C) Lemurita

****

It’s no secret that I really resonate with my daughter Lemurita, and nine is such a fun age in my opinion.  The other night we took apart the broken kitchen clock, down to the component gears, and talked about gear ratios, electromagnetics (the teensy motor), and put it back carefully to restore it to working order.  So she got to see what I’ve done all my life, which is take things apart – she still doesn’t have a clue how many things I’ve never been able to properly reassemble but I told her that even those are things you learn from.

Why fight to save an old kitchen clock?  Because the replacement Cruel Wife had is hideous.  She thinks it is “pretty”.  I think it looks like a bunch of impressionistic painters and their cats got run over by a rock crusher.

Today Lemurita came to me and said “Lemur-Dad, can we take something apart?”

Well, far be it for me to tell her “No, Lemurita, we can’t destroy anything today” when it is clearly not true.  You can destroy something every day of your life if you are gifted.  We went out to the garage to look for something to cannibalize or outright destroy.

Lemurita firmly refuses to let me anywhere near the transmission of her mom’s car even though I swear to her that we’d put it back right where we found it and even though I tell her that taking apart a CVT drive system would be the pinnacle of our lives and quite possibly the lives of three generations of Lemurs to come.  “NO!  You’d never get it back together!”  Cruel Wife came into the room and said “That’s RIGHT, Lemurita.  Don’t you pay any attention to your dad.”

Update:  After promising Lemurita that the odds were good that Cruel Wife would birth puppies if we took her transmission apart she changed her tune and insisted that NOW we be allowed to take her CVT tranny out and have our way with it.  What Lemurita does not realize is that Cruel Wife has already donated a sewing machine to our efforts.  Yes, Lemurita and Lemur-Dad are going to start taking apart a sewing machine soon.  I think it will be a blast.

I looked at the fridge in the garage and the motor was just going to be too much hassle to get to even with the Sawzall, which is the only way I will work on a fridge.  Either that or a sledgehammer.

We grabbed a hard drive I had sitting in a moldering pile of old hard drives, motherboards, and obsolete video cards.  I suppose I could have spent some time pondering if there was something still valuable on it but if it was in a pile of hard drives sitting on top of the woodburning stove, unattended and unloved, then I’m of the opinion that it probably wasn’t high-importance – and if it was… oops.

We drilled it out and cracked open the case, we studied the ultra-lightweight heads, the drive head mechanism and the magnets, and we asked ourselves why the mechanism is so stiff and the magnets so beefy (it’s all about quick crisp response).

We handed it over to Franken-Boy who did his part with the first contact (look at the platter at the 3:30 location) and promptly went back to playing Skylander.

She immediately said “What else can we take apart??”

I looked at Cruel Wife guiltily.  “I’m afraid I’ve given her the ‘Take-Apart Bug’.  I’m so sorry.

CW just looked at me and grinned.  She’s an engineer, I’m an engineer… she knows the score.

 

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Enjoy by printed date.

CW and I made some sausages and Zatarain’s™ rice and beans for dinner because we’re just plain tuckered out.  It’s salty as hell but it’s cheaper than food, so what the hell, right?

For the benefit of our health I took some mixed greens and sorted out the gooey bits that are always in the mix no matter how fresh.  If you think your source of greens is without a gooey piece in there you need to sort it a bit more.  Green salad makings are fragile.  Unless you sort that stuff you are just asking to shovel something in your mouth that is going to negatively impact the flavor and experience.

There was a tub of feta cheese in the fridge that wasn’t working too hard and I pulled it out and put it on the counter.

We ate our main course and I got up to get my salad.  Greens, check.  Feta, check.  Low fat italian dressing, check.  I love a good salad, I really do, but normally we cut up a huge cucumber or get some green beans going or some such thing and don’t get them as often as I’d like.  I’m a freshness freak and the Green Goddess dressing wasn’t catching my eye so I just left it there – perhaps it would be fresher tomorrow.

Italian dressing… uh… hold on… loose cap… crusty stuff…  (sniff)… ooooh… rancid oil.  While I love me a good helping of rancid dressing it doesn’t like me.  Into the garbage it went.  Green Goddess remained in the fridge.  I wasn’t ready to face rejection there on top of the way things were going.

I should note that normally I make the salad dressing on the fly with my own balsamic, good oil, mandarin oranges, etc.  We use the inferior bottled stuff when I don’t feel like going through the effort.

Pantry raid.  Surely we had another bottle in the pantry?  Oh yes, we did.  Goody goody goody goody.  Ok, well, let’s just see how fresh the stuff is…

Okay… best by… let’s see… April 25… okay, so it’s probably just fine then so I’ll…

What???

Best by 4/25… 2002

Hey, CW!  When was the last other time we bought some balsamic and oil dressing?  Take a guess.  No, you’re off by nine years – it’s ten years to the day past it’s “Enjoy by” date.  I don’t think I’ll bother to sniff this one – that ok with you?

I know when I’m being given a hint.  Clearly a salad was not in our future.

Sure enough, looking at the horoscope:

Your sign is on the wane.  Do not buy a lottery ticket and face up to the odds that today may suck so badly that you experience negative pressure.  Avoid tattoos, pub crawls, remodeling, organ transplants (or organ donation), and enemas.  Do not eat salads or any chicken dishes for takeout chinese today.  Think about staying in bed with the covers over your head – it might not help but it can’t hurt.  Much.

****

If you ever played D&D you probably know of at least one person that made a session (or several) about as fun as a paper cut between the fingers from the full length of an 11×17 sheet.  Yes, I knew of two such people.  Married, if I recall.  Both were broken toys in my opinion by the time the last session rolled around when I finally had enough of the whacked-out drivel I kept hearing.  I might have used more tact, I’m sure, but dammit, they were PETA members and were really getting on my nerves with this fixation on their culinary superiority.

Anyway, this has gone beyond what I meant to say.  There’s always a person like that at some point in your wanderings and Cracked.com did a bang-up job describing how one such degenerating D&D scenario might go down.

****

And while we are talking about the sanctity of marriage… Not that we were, actually, but if we had been discussing the sanctity of marriage we might get on the topic of becoming an ordained minister.

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Got a call from the sitter today.  My daughter had issues at both ends – projectile from one led to explosive reaction at the other.  That is as delicately as I can put it.

Cruel Wife was leaving work at that time anyway and said “Work the extra you need to work and then come home, I’ll deal with it.”

I came in the door and gagged.

Franken-Boy was playing on the Wii, oblivious.  Cruel Wife was in the laundry.  I gagged some more.

CW came up and saw my stomach was rolling and said “Go on, get out of here.”

I leaped at the chance to go to the local CVS to get Ritz™ crackers and some Sprite™ because they just plain stay down easier.  And I figured Girlhead might have an easier time of it, too.

Guess what?  I came back in the door and was exposed to it all over again.

That time I made it to the bathroom as the nausea swelled, but… nope.  Nothing.

I have a really sensitive nose – I’m the canary in the coal mine.  Years ago I went down the street to a buddy’s store and said “Dude, did something burn up today?”

“No.”

“Well, I’m smelling something hot.”

“Can’t smell a thing.”

“Well, I’m telling you something is not right.”

“Nope.  Nothing.”

The next day I came in and he said “Dude, we had a fire last night.  Lucky the place did not burn down.”  He then led me to the spot where a cord to one of the coolers had failed and resulted in a big black section of wall.

As I tell CW, “The nose knows.”

The smell is not getting better.  I’m not getting used to it.

So the question I have is this:

In general, are all men wussier than women when it comes to smells, or are men just by nature given more sensitive schnozzes, or am I a total wimp?

I’m pretty sure I’m a wimp, but I’m curious about the thoughts on the other parts of the question.

****
I do work with this one machine shop all the time and have for the last 12 years or so.

So today my buddy Steel Nerves stopped by. He said a friend’s boy is autistic, too (like mine, but worse, as you’ll see). His buddy asked his son to go to the fridge and get a beer. The kid went and got it and just stood there in front of his dad as you can imagine a totally literal autistic kid would.

So the Dad says, “Don’t just stand there, throw that beer over here.”

Now, if you are the parent of an autistic kid you will understand exactly what I mean when I said my warning bells started to ring shrilly. I said “Oh, no, Steel Nerves… tell me he didn’t…”

Steel Nerves nods and says “Yup, kid hauls off and chucks that bottle as hard as he can and it hits his dad square in the center of the forehead – CRACK! He came around to tell me about it, sporting a HUGE lump dead-center of the forehead – black and blue, mostly black.”

I said “SHEEEIT, Steel Nerves! How old is the boy?”

“Sixteen. Knocked his Dad right the **** out,” and nods matter of factly.

Can you imagine how hard a sixteen year old could hurl a beer bottle at your forehead? Damn.

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A bit over a week ago I had that cold/flu/ebola thing that just kicked the everloving stuffing out of me.  I worked from home Wednesday and then returned to work the rest of the week, unable to hear a damn thing – this is not a good thing when you started life with only half your hearing in the first place, because what is left is at a premium. And then there were the headaches.  And toothaches.  And the green stuff.

After searching the web:

First try a saline spray, decongestant, or antihistamine.

I was later told that all of the above were bad and no-no-offlimitsverbotenevil.  It was explained to me that using one of those came with a high risk of tearing the fabric of space and time, possibly leading to a resurgence of Richard Simmons exercise re-runs on prime-time TV, and nobody wants that.

Staying well hydrated can keep nasal secretions flowing freely, preventing stuffiness that can harbor infection.

If staying well-hydrated were of universally huge benefit, people would not have to see the doctor ever, would they?  I drank as much coffee, tea, and Red Bull™ as I could choke down, to no effect.  Additionally, I have never been accused of being “stuffy”.

Capsaicin pepper spray is an alternative remedy showing some promise.

Take it from me, Michigan-legal pepper spray does NOTHING for your sinuses beyond making you wish you could die an instant death, so just don’t even go there.  They are full of sh*t.  There’s absolutely no promise to pepper spray beyond the one of intense agony.  Fool me once, shame on you… fool me seventeen times shame on me.  But it was worth a shot.

If symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about prescription remedies. Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections and reduce swelling in sinuses.

Yeah.  Ok.  Symptoms persisted.  The web says go see a doctor.

What’s that, Cruel Wife?  You’ve been saying that for days?  Sure you have.  I’d have noticed.

So the doc said Friday morning that it is not an ear infection.  She had to say it several times apparently because I was not looking at her the first few times.  Nope, it’s a raging nasty sinus infection.  That made sense because she had just looked up my nose and muttered something about greens and reds and:

“Yuk, gross.”

With the ink still wet on the Rx in my hand I left the office, dragging myself across the waiting room floor for the amusement of the other patients.

The doc insisted that the current disease floating around seems to snicker at Zithromax and then turn around and smack you a few more times for giving it any hassle.  Zithromax then goes and sits on the bench, wishing it could someday be in the major leagues.  Well, she didn’t say that, but I thought it.

The pill, (the color of an inflamed internal organ, interestingly) is roughly the size of an obese ping-pong ball or a hairless hamster without legs.  It appears to be covered in a leathery shell and studded with Teflon™ covered spikes to make it go down easier.

Two days later I’m still kind of feeling like I’ve been eaten by ravenous wolves, improperly digested, crapped out, and re-shaped into a thing resembling a Lemur.

“Have patience!” the Medicos say.  “It usually takes (wait… what day is this? two days?) … uh, THREE days for the stuff to work.”

So much for nine days ago when I thought “Meh, this is just a wimpy little bug, life will go on and I will laugh it off! (ho ho ho ho)”  I guess you don’t always get to make that call.  My boss was out two weeks and then still has had a day here and there out sick so it could be worse, hm?

At the moment I am very very energy-less.  Feel ok for a bit, get ambitious about some big project like picking up a piece of paper on the floor, and CRASH – woozy and as listless as a Occupy America devotee.

Because of all of this I suggest very strongly that you avoid getting the currently circulating cold/flu/ebola/listeria-pox thing lest it dissolve into the green phlegm of sinus hell.  It’s not worth your time.

****

Right after the doctor visit, I picked up my new reading glasses.  Friday night I asked Girlhead “Ok, be truthful, do you think the new glasses look cool or do they just make me look old?”

She looked at me with this grin and said “No, Dad, they make you look like a GEEK.”

I did ask for honesty, and the girl is brutally honest.  Always has been.  I like that about her.  My opinion is if you don’t want the truth, don’t ask.  Or, even if you don’t like the truth, don’t blame the person you asked because… you asked.

“Yeah, but is it geeky in a good way or in a bad way?”

(Pausing to consider)  “Good, I think.”

“Well, that’s a relief.”

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Lamborghini making an SUV.

No, that is not an SUV, it is a FWIT (F***ing What Is That?).

This is like surgically altering a cat to be an alligator that is vegan.  It fails on every single level measurable to mankind.

****

William Kristol is not perfect but (a) I like him, and (b) I respect his opinion.  It’s no secret that Romney isn’t the guy I’d pick to be president but in a choice between him and Obama I’ll take Romney and dance in the streets (while still hoping for that giant asteroid strike, but still happier than I would otherwise be).

I do believe his take on what it will take to beat Obama.  Act like a president… like a LEADER.  He’s quite correct that to get down in the mud and poo-flinging trenches with the dems is a losing battle since they are much better at petty sh*t.

But if he allows the race to degenerate into name-calling and gotcha gimmicks, he could lose. Democrats are better than Republicans at the small and nasty stuff.  – William Kristol

I agree.  I have run into this firsthand with several liberals.  When you try to have an intellectual debate and they find themselves confronted with a well reasoned argument that they don’t like they storm away angrily and offended at your gall for your un-compassionate misanthropic world-view.  This happened one day at work as I discussed Global Warming with a liberal co-worker.  Every statement he uttered was a textbook bullet-point.  When he claimed that only 3% of scientists held views counter to AGW, I looked at him with utter disbelief and flat out told him that he needs to stop reading the propaganda and actually research rather than parrot off things that are completely false.  He then stormed away muttering “Well, maybe YOU don’t care about destroying your children’s world but I won’t do that to MY children.”

Hey, if he truly believes that, I can commend him on his principles and devotion to his children.  But I can also call him out for making arguments that are outlandish and supposedly are self-evident and self-supporting, needing no defense or foundation.

Update:  Climate Alarmist Calls for Burning Down Skeptic’s Homes

See the thought process there?  “Well, why not?  If they won’t listen to me, I have every right to burn down their homes.”   Lot of ego wrapped up in that broken toy.

So Romney needs to ignore every damn thing Obama says.  He needs to talk about what he will do and not once attack Obama.  He needs to be of the mindset that he can say something that cuts his opponent deeply and gives them pause about pulling such crap while staying classy and move right along to the important things.

He doesn’t have the luxury for getting bogged down in the childish antics of the buffoon that currently holds the office that I admire.  I once got to see Clinton speak and it was an honor to see the President, it was repulsive to see Clinton.  The two can co-exist.  I don’t know if I could pull it off so easily if Obama had been in that place at that time.  At least Clinton has brains.  He actually did know how to lead.  I disagreed with damn near everything he stood for but I’d take him over what we have now.

****

There are some things that are just so weird that when you try to dress it up and claim that the condition needs “acceptance” I don’t even consider the notion, such as with liberalism.  Also, phantom genitalia fall under that rainbow-colored umbrella of bizzarro-ness.  Thank you, FARK.

’I sometimes wake up thinking I have a penis…’

As do many men, then they either speak to their wives or they go to work.   (Joking about the first one)

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Please do note that this is a whimsical post.  Only if I had lots of money sticking out of every orifice would I buy one for myself.  As a group gift for someone in the service – oh yeah, absolutely.

My energy comes and goes.  Did ok for the first half-day at work and then admitted defeat.  I’ll pick up more tonight after a break.  Whatever flu or cold virus this was that bit me was one mean hombre.  I cannot hear jack shit at the moment – to the point of reading everyone’s lips and even so much that I can’t hear my own footsteps in a normal stride.  Going to the doc tomorrow to make sure this isn’t something scary-bad with my ears.

So this is a shorter post, but damn is it awesome.

Friends and family of servicemen and servicewomen (AKA our Armed Forces) of these most awesome US of A, you must get them a Battle Mug™.  That is, if it isn’t over some weight or size restriction.  At least for when they’re home…

Ok, here’s their pitch:

Battle Mug starts life as a 13.5 pound solid block of 6061 T6 billet aluminum before it enters a state of the art CNC facility in Huntsville, Alabama. This facility produces specialized parts and equipment for the U.S. Department of Defense, major weapons manufacturers, NASA, and a host of other companies working at the U.S. Rocket and Space Center.

Built to military specifications, Battle Mug features a M1913 rail interface system which allows the operator to mount a standard issue M4 carry handle, tactical light, laser device, holographic sight (we call them beer goggles) or even a bayonet for close quarters, high risk operations.

Each individually serialized Battle Mug is built with the Operator in mind and features Mil-Spec Type III anodizing and a crenelated base.

A MIL Spec 8625 coating is a hard-coat anodized aluminum.  This will withstand a washing machine for about 150 years.  Tough enough to put on our weapons, it’s going to handle milk, beer, 151 rum, and av-gas about the same.

6061-T6/651 is ubiquitous… it’s like cats or $20 bills on Friday night at a pub.  But a solid block is a darn thick billet of material to start out with for a mug this size.

Putting a picatinny rail on it just makes sense.  Whether you need a laser or a flashlight attachment in order to drink properly and safely, the option is there.  I imagine a scope or a foam suppressor would work well there, too.  And an EOTech Holosight™ would make a FINE addition.

There’s just one teensy hitch… it’s pricey.  Granted you’ll never need a mug again.

Oh, and aluminum conducts heat… 150 W/m*k and that means you better drink ‘em fast unless your beer is already warm (a good dark brew this doesn’t matter so much).  And hot things won’t stay hot for long.  But dammit, it looks awesome.

If they make one out of titanium, such as Ti 6Al-4V with a thermal conductivity around 6 W/m*K… Be DAMN spendy, but once I win the lottery I’ll be contacting them to see if they’re willing to experiment.  Not sure if a Ti anodized surface (AMS 2488 Type II) would be “food safe” or not.

Shorter post, my ass.  I must be feverish again.

****

If this guy isn’t a late-stage meth addiction poster-child, I’ll eat my shorts.

****

Children are not legally able to consent or not regarding anything, much less DNA sampling.  Unless it is killing unborn children, I guess.  Yes, I know, in the state of California it is – it is in the article.

Also, suppose this is just a save-work measure, why take samples if they don’t intend to use them if they find something?

“These are interviews, not interrogations,” Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Ramos told ABCNews.com. “They are all consensual. Once it’s done, there is a mechanism in place for school administrators to notify parents.”

It’s consensual after the DNA is taken, and then we’ll ask the parents’ permission.  Yeah.

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