Monday, January 31, 2011

A taste of Early Spring

Wow two days in a row that were quite nice.  I actually got out in the shop yesterday and open up the doors so that it would warm up. That was nice. But at lass it will not last. Winter still has their heavy hand in the day.

I did yesterday decide that I would never again buy a Skill Router. No matter how much I tinker with it trying to refine it's use it keeps balking and showing me who's boss. Right now it has a favourite bit and will not give it up. I think it is time to start haunting the pawn shops and flea markets and see what I can find in a way of a 1 1/2 hp router or up along the lines of a Bosch or Porter-Cable.

Well I in the spite of family I loaned my old Isuzu Pickup out to my son and he was rear ended and knocked into another so. I am mini-truck less now. It doesn't help that the insurance company looks like they are trying to bail out on paying something for it. Anything would help towards getting another old mini-truck.

By the way did I mention that the truck that hit him and knocked him forward bugged out and left the scene of the accident. I think the terminology for this situation is screwed, blued and tattooed. O well.

I have begun to work on how and what form the next mini truck will take.  I am thinking about a 4wd one . The only thing is that goes against my philosophy of keeping it simple stupid.  Of course I will probably pick one that is quirky for me. I actually leaning toward a Mitsubishi Mighty Max. They are low to the ground get reasonable good gas mileage and are built like a tank. I have had over the years 3 of them

My favorite on was a little red  90 model  I owned. It was like a little skate-board.  Combined that with the fact that you can find one for about $2500 the rest speaks for it self.  Even so I will miss the old white Isuzu PUP. So long old gal.

Reading Material

Finished reading Alan Furst "The Spies of Warsaw.".  ---Excellent is all I can say. If you like your thrillers with a taste of history then Furst is the guy to go too.

Also Finished  "Collins- The Complete Woodworker" written by the editors of Wood Magazine and published by the Smithsonian's.. Good book to have around got me to thinking about a lot of different approaches to my wood work.

Starting Stig Larrson "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".

Politics, Economy, and Life

Well, what can I say. the economy still sucks and the politicians are still playing the finger pointing game. In short expect nothing to happen.  What really blows my mind is the fact that on paper the stockbrokers and big fiance and big internationals are doing great. Profits are up. Bonus are up. So why is their no jobs no investment in the USA.

Because people the trickle down theory does not work!

Never has and never will. The Rich get richer because they sat on it and the poor or working people of this nation as usual carry the burden on our backs for what these people don't do in carrying their share of the tax burden and the government and politicians developing some backbone and saying it is time we do something about
  1. affordable housing - and I don't mean Mac-mansions
  2. universal health care - move us up to the rest of the major world players
  3. establishing a living wage - I don't mean minimum wage which is ridiculous
  4. decent public transportation
  5. investing in our environment
  6. investing in our infrastructure
  7. getting out of wars that has nothing to do with us.- If a country doesn't like their rulers then do what Egypt is doing.
  8. Education that means something. - No child left behind does nothing when it just causes kids to drop out because they are not good test takers.
These are just a few of what I talking about needing to be done.

Do I vote? Hell yes.

Because I vote to let them know that I am not happy by my vote and while it is possible to say my vote doesn't count. That the election is rigged. That all might be true but it at least I voted and I voted my beliefs . I may be a socialist in my thoughts and beliefs but it does not change the fact that I believe I am without questions right.
Liberal and Proud of it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just in passing

I was thinking about what to write about in this week blog and finally decided why have a theme this time why not just things in general.

First, I have had the opportunity of late to do how- to do articles and what more do I like than telling people what to do. After all I used to be an inspector and what more does a inspector does if it is telling people what to do. 

But I found that telling folks how to do is quite a bit different than telling people what to do.

As a inspector I would be required to tell someone his work was not in compliance. But as a how to do author I must tell them how to do it.  It is a different mindset.

Now don't get me wrong. When I was a young inspector I would often find myself inclined to tell someone how I appreciated them. Before I came to know them I didn't believe in abortion but now I see a purpose. Later as I grew older and would be meeting some of the children of the men I inspected as a youngster I found myself telling them they were prof that stupidity is genetic. For their father believed I would fall for some of the same things.

I also of late because of te cold weather found myself doing a lot of reading of magazines and books. The magazines vary from woodworking to Popular Mechanics magazine and so guess what comes in a PM issue dealing with "War On Privacy". You know that helps my love of conspiracy theories.

The newest issue of UNTE magazine deals with the destruction of the middle class in Great Britain and the US through the destruction of the Unions. Unlike the rest of Europe where Unions have significant power. It makes a interesting read.

Then there are the books I just started reading Alan Furst "Spies of Warsaw" and just got through reading Robert Greer "The Devil Hatband" these are just fun reads.

I also have been haunting Craig's list and pawn shops looking for replacement tool for my shop and looking for wood to do the project. Did you know that Rockler has Maple on sale for $4.59 a board foot. that is a good buy.

I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather where at least my little shop heater has a chance of keeping up. Meanwhile when the weather hits where my garage temps are in the 50's I have been going out and reworking the top of  the end table I had given up on. I think it may be saved.  A little time will tell.

TV sometimes surprises you with some good stuff and recently the show "The Cape" has done that. Llow budget maybe but really good acting and action scenes make it  really fun too watch much like the "The Human Target" all taken from either comic books or illustrated novels.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are We Being Held Hostage?

Yesterday I was listening to my usual NPR station morning show , "The Morning Edition" when they threw a news tidbit where a former Big Oil Executiv, John Hofmeister (former Shell Oil CEO) now representing a politcal action group devoted to energy policy,  stating that we can expect to see $5.00 a gallon oil by the end of the year.

At the time I heard this I am thinking he just using fear tactics to create a more willingess to drill in the Gulf. But I may of been wrong.

After listening and watching a little more in depth interview on NPR Energy in Review I now think he is just saying yes the price of oil will be going up but what he is more afraid of is actual shortfalls in meeting energy needs (hydrocarbons) distract us from developing alternative energy.  He has come out with a book that promotes development of alternative energy and creating a quasi-federal organization similar to the FED to oversee and implement energy policy. This Federal Energy  Commission would oversee the development of alternative energy and better management of our energy supplies (hydrocarbon and nuclear). The ideal is to prevent a company like Enron did in manipulating energy supplies to create a artificial crisis. 

Hofmeister may very well have a good ideal but he also said something also very significant.  He said that in the current political climate in Congress he does not see anything like what is needed to come out. Because of that with the shortfalls in oil productions and increase demand from the US and other countries like India and China we can expect $5 a gallon by the  end of the year.

So, are we being held hostage to allow further drilling in the Gulf. Yes!

But who is to blame? I don't think we can point fingers at responsible parties without realizing we are looking into a mirror. It was our unwillingness to give up our big gas hogs for something a little more fuel efficient. It was our unwillingness to invest in development of alternative energy. It was our unwillingness to see the need to invest in good conservation practices that has put us in this situation of being held hostage.

As Pogo has said "We have met the enemy and it is us"