Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Antiquated Arboreal Elf Droppings

*I was not aware that they had picked up the entire state of Illinois and dropped it out in the Pacific Northwest, but the near endless rain and unreasonably cool temps are making me think that is exactly what has happened. I would think at the very least they could have put us down on the leeward side.

*At the suggestion of the Boss, I find myself considering getting a screen door for the garage. I had dismissed the notion at first, but now I'm thinking that would be a good way for me to extend my night time work time without being devoured by mosquitoes. It could also end up being the Blue Moai Annex on balmy summer or cool fall evenings. Wouldn't be too hard to set up a table and some chairs out there (and a bar) to be able to sit around and play cards or something along those lines, either.

*It has come to my attention that The Doors are a really good group to listen to while you're cruising around in your car at night.

*I don't think that bourbon is going to become a friend of mine anytime soon. Mai tai mix and rum I may have to start buying by the case, though. Not sure what to make of Pimm's yet. I don't get much beyond an orange flavor. The Boss compared it to root beer. All I know for sure is that it disappears in ginger ale. Be that good or bad, I don't know quite yet.

*Select the desired angle on the setup jig. Check the height setting on the rolling jig. Register the chisel in the angle jig. Secure the rolling jig against the chisel and recheck the angle against the setup jig. Check the angle of the chisel for square against the body of the rolling jig. Select the proper grit stone and apply lubrication. Move the rolling jig/chisel across the stone, maintaining even pressure. After several passes, check grind line against body of chisel for square. Recheck chisel for square against body of rolling jig. Continue making passes on stone, rechecking on occasion for square. Add lubricant as necessary. When desired sharpness is achieved, remove chisel from rolling jig. Strop chisel to remove burr. Carve.

*Four days till the next FOM get together out at the Chef. Gonna sit down with Exotica59 and try to hammer out some details of my 'Ohana Experience' contest. Should be a real interesting evening, since everyone's gonna be all jazzed up about the national conference and Ohana. Me, I get to spend the week with an extra dog in the house. A snorty, hyperactive dog. Not quite a fair trade, in my book. Still, if I hade made all the plans necessary to go, the Boss would have been stuck with all four dogs by herself, which simply would not have worked on any level whatsoever. Right now, I'm mostly concerned with figuring out the proper spacing for my dosage of Chef Mai Tais. And screw being out there at any particular time. The fine FOM folks can just come collect me from the drinking area whenever it is that they happen to get there.

*Having a sagging display shelf right next to the glass display cabinets full of ceramics is something I really didn't want to see. Ever.

*Never quite made it over to the card table Saturday night, but the conversations were lively, and the beverages were nice and cold. Various illnesses and a missing babysitter took a toll on attendance, but I still greatly enjoyed the evening. Be interesting to see what happens with the next one.

*I hate it when people offer me nice sized chunks of maple wood and I have no way to get them home.

*The Boss wants to repaint her outdoor metal cafe table. Part of me is thrilled because it means it won't be pink anymore. Part of me thinks I should take it somewhere and have it media blasted before another coat of paint gets put on it. Another part of me doesn't want this becoming a project of mine, so it thinks I should keep my opinions to myself. No matter what I think, though, this would be the fourth major around-the-house project that she's lining up for the summer. Just not real sure that's a realistic number of projects for her to try and undertake in that time frame.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yogurt Marking Spring Grippers

*It's not unusual for various organizations to call my house in order to try and get me to donate to whatever cause it is that they are collecting for. The NIU alumni association called the other day, and just as an example of how hard up for cash they are, they tried to bargain me down to making a $6 donation. Yes you heard me right. $6. That may have been enough to keep the lights on in the call center for another couple of hours. But, I digress. Today, it was the NRA that was calling and looking for money. I'm fairly sure that's a first for me. Just glad they didn't show up on my doorstep. Anyway, according to them, the UN, in conjunction with Obama and Sen. Clinton, are going to outlaw any gun that fires a shot when you pull the trigger. No debate, no going through channels, no vote. They're just going to do it. And once it was done, it would be forever, like Prohibition, the Balanced Budget amendment, or being able to own slaves. Now, had I not gotten this call when I was trying to pay attention to an episode of "Lost", I think I would have been more inclined to go after their rather vague and conspiratorial claims. As it was, I was more interested in how Jack was going to respond to the latest encounter with The Others, so I let them slide with a polite, 'no, thanks'. But later on, I got to thinking and wondering what my position on gun control in general was. I came to the conclusion that I didn't really have one. Do I think your average citizen should have ready access to military grade hardware? Given the general level of ignorance in the population, I would first answer no. But on the other side, it could really serve as a useful means of population control. I can almost see it-entire neighborhoods wiped out by drone strikes because someone let their dog crap in the wrong person's yard. Halliburton would make even more money. Do you need armor piercing bullets or fully automatic weapons? I don't think so. I think our control over the government is still strong enough, and our military is spread around the world enough, that the idea of a government/military takeover of the entire country is rather unlikely right now. And if your neighborhood is that bad, you should stop spending money on guns and use it to move out instead. How many and what kinds of guns should you be allowed to have? I really have no idea. I still think a good percentage of the population should not be allowed to breed, so asking me what kinds of guns those same people should be allowed to have is not a good question for me to be answering.

*This Saturday, June 12, the Blue Moai Room will be open for cards and cocktails starting around 6:30 PM, should you be of a mind to drop in.

*At the moment, it doesn't look like we're going to be able to have Belita as a houseguest. There's just something that's a bit too unpredictable in the chemistry between the four of them for me to be comfortable leaving them alone together. Last thing I want to do is end up being responsible for someone's dog getting hurt.
*I recently heard a phrase that I realized made no sense. I was reading a news blurb in the paper about someone out in California who went nuts and tried to kill a bunch of people with a sword (I will be protesting in DC for stricter sword control laws later this month). He was described as an "adult film actor". That took a while to sink in. The part where they called him an "actor" that is, not the sword part. Odd that the vicious, violent, and tragic part of the story goes right by me and I get snagged by an interesting use of language. Anyway, "adult films" were what I always called "porn", and in any of the "adult films" I may have seen over the years, it would have been a stretch of the greatest proportion to call any of the people "actors". So then I got to thinking that if you don't call them "actors", what do you call them? In this specific case, "homicidal nutjob" would be appropriate, but doesn't seem to fit the overall category. The best thing I could come up with was "performer". And I would imagine there are cases where even that term is a bit of a stretch. Of course, if there is actual stretching involved, you might be able to get away with using "contortionist".

*As much as I like the garlic and parmesan Cheez-it crackers, that taste is something that really hangs with you. Not a pleasant thing to wake up to.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buzzing Rum Dispersal Unit Tighteners

*Here's a simple truism that came to me today. Not any great world-changing flash of insight, or anything like that, but it is still something that just makes sense. Here it is: It is easier to work around being hungry than it is to work around being tired. Seems pretty straightforward. For example, while it is not recommended that you take a nap while driving down the highway, it is less not recommended that you eat a bunch of Oreos while driving down the highway. It has been proven to be decidedly difficult to multi-task while napping. So, given the choice between a nap and a cookie, I will most likely take the nap. Except for those weird daytime nap dreams that are just freaky as all get out. Those I really don't care for. Or unless it's a really good cookie.

*I really can't think of a single time when it would be a good thing to know that you cause internal bleeding in others.

*After all the trouble and expense that I went to to find cabinets to put all my board games in, I am considering re-relegating them to the closet in the studio (the games, not the cabinets), except for the few tiki related ones that I have. And the ones I really like. And any of the really pretty ones. And anything that can be played with a standard deck of playing cards. Then, I can refill all the cabinets with items from my tiki collection. I mean really, the games are already in boxes of their own (for the most part) already. At the moment, I think I'd rather have my tiki stuff somewhere I can access it easier. That would be helpful in keeping some of the rarer items intact, and if I wanted to change the things that are on display around, it would make that easier too. No more piles of cardboard boxes stuffed under the workbench. They'd be stuffed in the closet instead.

*Played M:tCG for the first time in more years than I can remember and actually ended up going 2-0.

*Ohana. Ohana Ohana Ohana. Crap. I want to go. The Boss says it's OK for me to go. But, I don't want to have to spend a small fortune to go. And I want to be teleported there and back. The notion of having to take a 2 day drive to get there doesn't sit real well with me, especially when I'd be traveling alone. OK, in theory, it could be done in one day. A 14 hour day, mind you, but it could be done. Two decades ago it wouldn't have even been a question, but now I can't much think of anything I'd willingly do for 14 hours at a stretch, much less droning endlessly down the highway. Makes my ass fall asleep just thinking about it. Haven't found anyone to team drive with either, since most FOM folks are already going to be at the national convention before they head up to Ohana. But, on the flip side, the only person I've run across who thinks I shouldn't go is me. And that makes me wonder. I don't want to not go just because I'm not real comfortable making a long distance drive by myself. That's a pretty bad reason to not go. A better reason would be the amount of money we owe to various creditors, which is something I'm still trying to total up. Anyway, I really am thinking that I will just wait until next year to go. By then, I should be an official FOM member, and I can go to the convention as well. Then I can just go ahead and make a week out of it. In the meantime, I'm kinda cooking up an idea that could help me get a bit more engaged with the local chapter. I just have to consult my stock of carvings and confer with the powers that be before I can go ahead and try and set it up. As another side bonus, this little notion would give me more impetus to get going in the studio as well.

*Had the place to myself for the weekend, and nothing really came of it. Didn't help that I had to work the whole time. And that I had to keep an eye on all the various family residences and pets. Not entirely surprising though, as my ability to NOT be able to assemble a party at a moment's notice is nearly legendary.

*Not much left of the old hospital building now but a rather large hole in the ground. I'm still surprised that they tore it down. But, anymore, it is cheaper to build something new than it is to remodel something old.

*Since I got the display cases a while back, the folding table that I took from the cottage all those years ago is just in the way. I don't want to get rid of it, since I thought it would make a nice table for the bar area, should that ever come to be. I do need to get some new casters for it, though. maybe I'll just move it out into the garage for the summer in the hope that by the time the snow starts flying again I will have obtained and basically set up the purple room.

*While thumbing through my Trader Vic's drink guide, it came to my attention that a Suffering Bastard is pretty much the same as a Mai Tai, but with some silver rum thrown in. Interesting. And potentially dangerous. Just so happens that I have some silver rum. But after last night, though, my stock of dark rum is resting at exactly zero. Got to make sure that next time around I get my hands on some better limes, too.

*Took Mai Tai Monday out of the Blue Moai Room and down the street just a bit to the neighbor's back yard. Even though the mosquitoes made a valiant attempt to make their presence felt, they were outmatched by the power of the Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiis that proved to be crowd favorites (mostly because that's all they had to choose from). Among the topics of discussion: the nature of ignorance, chickens with pantaloons, the wonder that is gin, youth versus experience, what it was about "The Pillars of the Earth" that sucked, the cyborg cultists down the street, why all the rum was gone, and Maryann's loins. All in all, quite an enjoyable evening. And we made it back home before the SWAT team showed up. Double bonus.