Archive for March, 2008

My better half has come to a conclusion after last night’s attempt by the power supply to crush my left pinky. Her conclusion wasn’t:

  1. You are a wonderful man beyond description
  2. You are the best thing to ever happen to me
  3. I’d die w/o you

Oh… No. No, no, no, no, not those. What was her conclusion?

That I am a klutz.


I asked her what she bases that conclusion on. So then, I will regurgitate her list and you can decide for yourself.

The Axe Incident


As I was putting up a tool rack in the garage, I placed a few masonry nails to put the rack up temporarily to be sure that was where I wanted the stuff. I liked it, and started using the sledgehammer to put the lower rack up permanently. The self-camouflaged axe, the demonically possessed axe (click the pic for the larger view) leapt from the rack, came straight down and struck me in the top of the head – note the bottom corner where it was moistened with my blood and struck bone. I had a splitting headache for days.

The Cuisinart Incident
I had just finished making a sauce for some grilled fish that I was going to serve that night. It was a roasted bell pepper and saffron sauce that I put together in the food processor. As I tipped the processor bowl up to put the sauce in a ramekin, the blade threw itself out of the processor, lunged at my ankle, and stuck the point of the blade into the bone in my ankle. That was the first time I ever had stitch one w/o novocaine.

The X-Acto Incident
I was at work, trying to cut through a small block of nylon with an X-Acto knife. The knife chewed through the block in the blink of an eye (aware of my awkward and distracted situation, no doubt) and plunged itself into my left forearm up to the handle and a little bit beyond (the knurled part hurts when you pull it out).

The Mill Incident
Threatened with the loss of my job if the intake of the veneer dryer got plugged up one more time, I was reduced to frantically trying to get some veneer out of it’s tangled spot. When one’s arm is in a machine and part of the machine decides that it wants to (slowly) go through the location where your arm is, the result is very slowly created compound fractures of the forearm.

The Gym Incident
It was a light warmup as I had benched 350 the week before and I was pumping out a higher rep set with 225 on the bar. The weak wrist from The Mill Incident (above) gave out during rep #4 and the bar and weight came screaming towards my sternum (gravity was a convenient excuse for it, obviously). At that point the cartilage in my chest zippered and there was a really cool wet ziiiiiip sound as it hit me. A long story short, my spotter/buddy/x-ray tech guy was waiting with me in the ER. He kept saying that I didn’t really mean all the nasty things I said to him while he was x-raying me. I swore I did.

Later, the doctor came in and said “Are you married?” I told him no. “How about a girlfried?” No, I said, as was truly single at the time. I asked him why. He said “I just wanted to tell you to avoid the missionary position for a while”. See? Doctors can be lead-pipe cruel, too. He KNEW it was going to make me laugh and hurt like a sonofabitch.

She also added The Broken Nose Incident (water polo),The Motorcycle Crash Incident, The Gravel Plow Incident (using my face), and The Bicycle Spill Incident(s).

UPDATE: 05/08/08

The Staplegun Incident

I managed to flip it end for end, and forget the business end is to the left, not the right. While supporting the gun from underneath (so as to avoid dangerous positioning and/or misfires) with my LEFT hand, I drove the staple home.  In this case, “home” meant to sink the staple and bottom it out in my left index finger. It is called a PowerShot for a very very good reason, mostly because the powerful emotions it elicits when it is misused. Why is it you can never find a staple remover when you really need one?

These are all perfectly understandable accidents once you realize that life is out to get you. No one gets out alive.

So… am I a klutz? Is my wife (gulp) correct?

– LK

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Gotta whine a bit today. Can’t be helped.

It all started out in the foggy mists of time, a long time back, in the murky period commonly known as “last night at 11:30pm”. As I was lifting a constant-current power supply (10A) to get ready for a copper-etching session, I did experience an Incident.

The Incident did not involve the almost-unimpeded flow of electrons through my body, so please relax. I don’t believe in electrons in any event.

The power supply has a very generous supply of windings in it. It was made back in the days when throwing 30lbs (plus change) of copper into a 19″ rack-mount housing was pretty much de rigueur for a power supply. It also seems that a 17-5/16″ cord was perfectly common-sense in those days. Cord length and proximity of support for the chassis dictated that the supply would need to, comically, be rested on the sink.

With all due care taken to not exacerbate my neck injury, I carefully walked the supply up my body and positioned myself to place the supply on the counter. As I was easing the supply into place, the fact that it was largely being supported because it was hooked on the faucet escaped me. Slight movement towards me freed the supply and the heavy-gauge sheet metal mounting/cover plate saw it’s chance. There was a whoosh of displaced air as the supply whistled down and mangled the joint and tip of my left pinky finger against the counter.

Now, banging your finger with a hammer is one thing but applying that force along a line contact is quite another. What followed was a hideous crunching sound enhanced by exquisite pain and blood and a sudden cocktail of sensations: nausea, clammy skin, time-dilation, industrial-strength butt-puckering, and a tendency to sink to my knees (AKA “shock”). Very rapidly there was blood and swelling and I was unable to move my finger. Surely there were splintered bone fragments everywhere, requiring surgery if not amputation?

Leaving the wife and kids to their own fate, I put 2 gallons of gas in the truck ($20 was all I had) and drove myself to the hospital ER where they know me by sight and by name, and then patiently waded through the hospital’s first line of defence… bureaucracy, which is far superior to armor plating. Luckily the way had been smoothed by last week’s visit (another story).

Noting my untied shoe the nurse admonished me to be careful to not trip. I opined that tripping and breaking my nose would be the coup-de-grace, with the casual observer surmising that the two were somehow related. The humor was lost upon the ober-nurse, who is a second cousin to Nurse Ratched.

I was admitted for x-rays which were done by a lady who looked like Bob Newhart and spoke like Droopy.

An intern who looked all of 12 years old brought a packet of medieval implements of torture and the doctor followed soon after with a large needle and a sterile medical-grade bottle of muriatic acid. I surmised that this could lead to no good and conveyed my assessment to the doctor who merely grunted.

He skewered the finger near the joint and depressed the plunger while applying a great deal of force, and I swear this to God, he wiggled the needle. To my amazement and horror, my already twice-sized finger doubled in size again because of all the fluid, and swelled in a disturbing parody of advanced pregnancy.  During that process I exclaimed to Dr. Mengele “Holy SHIT! OW!” What was his rationale for this procedure? He didn’t want it to hurt while he was stitching my finger up.  Thanks Doc.

To wrap this up, no stitches were required and nothing in the finger was broken. It did, however get a brace and the ungrateful wretch of an extremity reminded me of it’s condition all night long by throbbing incessantly until 5:30AM when I fell asleep. Today it is twice it’s normal size and I cannot bend it. But it isn’t broken which means in a few days I may be able to type again. For a guy who uses the left CTRL key continually in CAD work, this is going to be frustrating.

Damn thing is still throbbing. Grrrrr.

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Spurred by Stoaty’s post in The Weasel Times and Stoat Intelligencer I had to wonder… WHY do we not have more grace in our furniture, buildings, bridges, condoms, gummi-bears, etc.? And I don’t mean “why don’t we have boobs on our furniture?” I mean art and attention to detail and perhaps more than a little bit of love of elegant lines in hand-fashioned hardware.

Now I happen to love victorian influences in design and think SteamPunk is really cool. Some people think it is passe, but I think they’re just lacking in character. Here’s an example of what I am talking about – SteamPunk Workshop

As I posted on Stoaty’s blog, a suggestion to my project manager that it would be cool to put some victorian flair into my designs resulted in “the look”. It wasn’t a good look but neither was it the look you get from your wife or from your mother during childhood. It was the look of someone whom you have just suggested that dipping kittens in muriatic acid would be fun.

Saith the Boss: Victorian elements have no place in aerospace components

All right, already. Chill. I exaggerate a bit, but the answer was still a curt “No.”

Anyway, I was just surfing aimlessly around the ‘net, hadn’t really caught a wave. I was more of a buoy on the capricious sea of information we call the web, when I ran across SteamPunk Workshop and began to get very interested in electrochemical etching. They do brass, but I don’t want a lot of particulate byproduct or for my solution to get used up, so I settled on copper plates and copper sulfate for the etchant. I now have all the elements I need to etch designs onto copper and will give it a try tomorrow. Another inspirational place was Cedric Green’s site, Green Prints – wonderful stuff there.

Last link for today, also Victorian Monocycle Please note that this predated South Park’s episode where Mr. Garrison invents a truly invasive version of the thing. This is a replica of a 1873 design.

That’s it for today, kids.

– LK

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Japanese Scientists, Origami Masters Hope to Launch Paper Airplane From Space

Yeah, too cool.

Right up until you read that there is no way to prove a damn thing because they can’t track it.


Well why the hell didn’t you just take the money and go find the best sushi house in the country and invite the neighborhood? I’d show up for that! Talk about literally throwing money away. That better be some damn fine origami paper.

Feeling a tad cynical today. Lotsa reasons, no simple answer. So enjoy a home-grown demotivator. Click it and it’ll open larger (approx 450kb).


More on Hil Clinton from Dick Morris… man is she ever scary. If I had to choose between her and eating broken glass I’d first ask if I could have ketchup with my meal. Knowing how to speak is good, as long as you know when to shut up.

Last, another Modern Mechanix: Dangerous Acids Made Safely by the Home Chemist.
Fun for the whole family. Warning kids, do not experiment on each other. The cat will work just as well.

[Note: Lemur King’s Folly does NOT endorse the use of acids on felines, so chill out.]

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Didn’t dig up much original stuff tonight, but there was something I had to mention. Heard it on BBC News Hour this morning (radio), where a gentleman was saying that there were going to be ordinances in this one area of England to get people healthier. Naturally, the rationale that it was a good idea was not only health but (wait for it) because meat and dairy as well as fats were key originators in the whole Global Warming issue.

Amazing. Now everything will be trumped by Global Warming. Even the smallest ridiculous thing can now be argued for without rebuttal because it is in the name of Saving the Planet from Global Warming. This in much the same sense as we must do silly thing “X” because – everybody say it with me now – It is for the children. Suddenly to open one’s mouth becomes akin to promoting the use of children between the ages of 7 and 10 as filler in various types of sausage, regardless of the cause, whether it be “National Protest for Mandatory Tie-dying of Nipples Week” or “Coalition of Pipefitters for Chin-Straps on Pillows”.

I say w/o rebuttal because to try to argue based on merits or rational discourse anything contrary to the dogma surrounding GloWar is to become an instant pariah. If you’re a politician you might as well announce that you have a new type of airborne leprosy. As an average citizen you might was well show up at a wedding covered in cat feces for all the acceptance you see, and even then you might see less hostility.

Picture post (click on the thumbnail) for today is a shameless plug for Weekly World News, one of my favorite rags. If you can’t believe them, who the hell can you believe anyway?

killerkitten.jpg This was a post from years ago but I’ve kept it safe ever since. Remember, the truth is out there. Somewhere I am going to dig up my issue that showcases the idiot from Oregon who tried to join the Mountain Men’s Anonymous Club. I’m not going to tell you if you don’t know. It will be a surprise and it is almost as funny as the great Whale Demolition Project conducted by ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) years ago.

That’s all for today, sorry –

– LK

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In the “Ginormous Understatement of the Decade” Award category (Master Class), first place goes to H.R. Clinton for her gaffe referring to her courage under fire, regaling us with the tale of the First-Lady-seeking sniper (and reminding us of how she couldn’t remember a damn thing in Whitewater):


“I did make a mistake in talking about it the last time, and recently,” Clinton told reporters in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. “I made a mistake. I have a different memory. That happens. I’m human. For some people that’s a revelation.” Here is the full article.

I have to argue that Hil needs to find a formulation of Desinex that will allow her to get rid of that nasty case of athlete’s tongue she’s about to come down with. But there is more… Also, if her memories regarding both this and Whitewater are anything to go by, are you sure you want a president afflicted with such a high degree of selective amnesia?

And yes, for some of us, her humanity is not a revelation, it’s still in question and I think it begs a DNA test.

In the “Best Imitation of a Sand-Buried Ostrich Head” Award category (Master Class), first place goes to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for his… uh… uhm… geez, just his overall behavior:


The city eventually agreed to pay $8.4 million to the two officers and a third former officer. Some of the charges brought against the mayor accuse him of agreeing to the settlement in an effort to keep the text messages from becoming public. Here is the full article.

Alllllll righty, then! That settlement was made using taxpayer dollars. In a city of what was once 2 million people and last I heard was less than 1 million. Do you think the tax base can afford this guy?


Now kids, there’s a mighty fun website out there and you might want to go browse through it but gosh darn it, I’d have more fun scrolling through it myself in order to present you with preselected nifty-neato tidbits now and then.

This is a Modern Mechanix site dedicated to lots of experiments that you could do at home. This is in the days before bicycle helmets, mandatory seatbelts, and the passing out of condoms in school. Safety was optional! Yes, it was pre-Carter Administration and if you poked your eye out it was your own damn fault.

Here is today’s fun link – fun with Aluminum! Weird Stunts with Aluminum!

(I will post more data on the author of this site as I can because, frankly, he or she deserves a lot of kudos for this site)

Until later –

– LK

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Have people lost their MINDS? Where’s common sense?

I wonder if we’re not separated from barbarism by only two weeks like some have claimed, but considerably less in many instances.

– LK

Posted originally here: Craigslist Hoax

Oregon man’s property ransacked after Craigslist hoax

10:29 AM PDT on Monday, March 24, 2008

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — A pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned.

The ads popped up Saturday afternoon, saying the owner of a Jacksonville home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan.

But Robert Salisbury had no plans to leave. The independent contractor was at Emigrant Lake when he got a call from a woman who had stopped by his house to claim his horse.

More: Home trashed after cruel Craigslist hoax

Man accused of luring victims though Craigslist

2 arrested for ‘obvious prostitution’ on Craigslist

On his way home he stopped a truck loaded down with his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater.

“I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back,” Salisbury said. “They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did.”

The driver sped away after rebuking Salisbury. On his way home he spotted other cars filled with his belongings.

Once home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.

[LK Note: At what point is breaking out the rocksalt-loaded shotgun allowable under law?]

The trespassers, armed with printouts of the ad, tried to brush him off. “They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true,” Salisbury said. “It boggles the mind.”

Jacksonville police and Jackson County sheriff’s deputies arrived but by then several cars packed with Salisbury’s property had fled.

He turned some license plate numbers over to police.

Michelle Easley had seen the ad that claimed Salisbury’s horse had been declared abandoned by the sheriff’s department and was free to a good home.

“I can’t stand to see a horse suffer so I drove out there and got her,” Easley said. “The horse didn’t look abandoned. She is in good shape for being 32 years old.”

But it looked odd, so she left a note on Salisbury’s door explaining the ad. She then decided to call to make sure the ad was legitimate when the second similar ad appeared.

“I feel bad because I was a part of it,” Easley said. “It felt right to call the police.”

Fagan praised Easley’s honestly but said prosecution was likely for anybody caught with Salisbury’s property.

Items can be returned with no questions asked, Fagan said.

Detectives have contacted Craigslist’s legal team to try to trace the ad.

Meanwhile, Salisbury could not even relax on his porch swing.

Someone took it.

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Sorry folks. Been out for a while. Family tragedies happen and everything else has got to give. Especially blogs. I’m dedicating this to my mother, who would have loved to see some of this wild stuff in this post.

Taking it really slowly, I’m starting up again. Let’s have some fun, shall we?

The geeks out there are probably familiar with ferrofluids. You can buy them a not insignificant price, but did you know that you can make them yourself? Oh yeah… so you stick a magnet next to the container and it goes all wiggy on you and “stuff” follows the magnetic field lines (click on the image). If you follow the article you are making a colloidal suspension – that is, particles that are nanosized and are too small to fall out of solution.

Homemade Ferrofluidsferrofluid.jpg

Thanks go to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. (Chemistry) on her http://chemistry.about.com website. If you decide you want to make some read her safety warnings. Or, you could be a complete dolt and hurt yourself. Free country, I guess, but don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Next stop in the fun zone of science is the Lichtenberg Zone.

litchtenberg.jpgLichtenberg Stuff

And finally, go HERE to learn a bit about coin shrinking. Who thinks this stuff up?

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Cruising down the highways of the internet, and the back roads, and the alleys, the sewers, and LO! Yes, even the bowels of the net, one can glean nuggets of the informational type that possess great value.

For instance, armed with new information I can raid the medicine chests of others to aid my hamster while on travel for business:

AVIATION: Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano and Diego A. Golombek of Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina, for their discovery that Viagra aids jetlag recovery in hamsters.

hoviagra.jpg +hamster.jpg


I can now sleep better at night, knowing that the suffering of my hamster has been banished, never to return.

In another article, those of us who speak Japanese and Dutch backwards are suddenly gifted with a great burdensome load of guilt as well as a confused rat:

LINGUISTICS: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.
REFERENCE: “Effects of Backward Speech and Speaker Variability in Language Discrimination by Rats,” Juan M. Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, vol. 31, no. 1, January 2005, pp 95-100


Lest you, Constant Companion, feel that small furry animals are being given too much attention (sorry Weasel) let us look at our feathered brethren:

ORNITHOLOGY: Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don’t get headaches.


Admit it… you were worried to tears about this, weren’t you?

In more research that could bring the world to a screeching halt…

ACOUSTICS: D. Lynn Halpern (of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Brandeis University, and Northwestern University), Randolph Blake (of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University) and James Hillenbrand (of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University) for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
REFERENCE: “Psychoacoustics of a Chilling Sound,” D. Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake and James Hillenbrand, Perception and Psychophysics, vol. 39,1986, pp. 77-80.

clintonhillary954.jpg I didn’t have a picture of fingernails on a blackboard, but this is pretty much the same thing…

Oh, to be mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence… For the curious, these examples were gleaned from the IgNobel Prize Awards. Look ’em up.

– LK

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Now, seein’ as how I grew up in the NorthWest and lived for a time just two cities away from Pasco (three cities are mushed into one, really – the Tri-Cities) I had to post this. I am of the opinion that you have to elect to be this stupid. It can come natural but those who are gifted practice diligently and aspire to things that the rest of us can only shudder at.

This, Gentle Reader, is the account of one of those people.

PASCO, Wash. — What happened to faking a cough?

Sheriff’s detectives in Washington state say a man had his friend shoot him in the shoulder so he wouldn’t have to go to work.

When he first spoke with deputies, Daniel Kuch told them he’d been the victim of a drive-by shooting while he was jogging Thursday.

But detectives told KONA radio that Kuch later acknowledged that he asked his friend to shoot him so he could get some time off work and avoid a drug test.

The friend has been arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment. Kuch is expected to be charged with false reporting.

Detectives declined to say where Kuch works, or whether he still has a job. It wasn’t known if he had obtained a lawyer.

Courtesy of FoxNews – Fox Story Here…

Ok, friends, wasn’t that fun! No, really, I guess it wasn’t but it’s fun to mock someone else for a change isn’t it?

Speaking of electing to be stupid – or is it “being elected to be stupid”? I present to you: Mackhack Amadgenjad… no… Moachmoog Agardencad… oh hell… the Iranian President:


Here he is pictured proudly saying “Iran is the number one power in the world“.


<crickets chirp>

the superpower

<crickets chirp disinterestedly>


<sound of miniature folding chair falling to the floor as the last cricket books out of there>

the superpower… we ARE… we ARE!

Sadly, most of the Iranian people are just plain ordinary people and one gets the impression they wish their president would close his mouth for a spell. You can read the sorry account of his drivel here: Amadinejad Drivel Here on Fox News

Next I’d like to direct you to a person who is a large presence (IMHO) in the blogworld and the latest post that quite well illustrates what we’ve all seen – yes, there is bias in media. Wait, I know, you’re all saying “We KNOW that, you dolt!” But here’s the fun part – when it is the media engaging in Liberal Cannibalism – eating their own! The Ace of Spades HQ illustrates it beautifully.

Before you go, here’s a little something to get the conspiracy-theory nuts whipped into a froth.
Jets, Fuel, and What Damage They Do to Targets
Note that it’s the fuel, not really the aircraft that does the share of the damage. An aircraft is strong, but not usually THAT strong. Just look at the video. Concreted is strongeder-er-er.

Enough – quit reading this blog and go enjoy this beautiful above-freezing Saturday.

– LK

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