Saturday, April 28, 2012

The STB - DIY Hour

Photo From Here
After receiving the comments from The Traveling Pirate and Surly on my last post, I got to thinking about the format of The Shop Teacher Bob DIY Hour. It could just be the two guys in the boat fishing kind of deal - just doing what needs to be done with the audience following along, or maybe a little more 1950's formal magic show,  presto, change-o, and after a tap with the magic wand the restored BSA starts on the first kick.

Maybe an assistant like Nurse Goodbody on Hee Haw would spice things up, 

Photo From Here
Or maybe a biker chick
Photo From Here (NSFW)
It worked for Mechanix Illustrated
Photo From Here

Man, I've got to get back on my feet and start working again. I'm starting to go bonkers here. But if you look at the Mimi photo you'll see that the photo was by Peter Gowland. He was a pretty heavy hitter when it came to photographing pretty girls but he also had a camera of his own invention, the Gowlandflex.
Photo From Here

If you click on the link under the photo, it will take you to Peter Gowland's website. The guy made some really cool stuff and if you don't want to buy a 4x5 twin lens camera, you can buy a print. Making a camera would be a good topic for The Shop Teacher Bob DIY Hour, by the way. Maybe what I really need is for the Doc to ease up on the restrictions enough that I can get back to tinkering a little and forget all the rest of this nonsense. I'll find out Monday.  

I think it's time for a walk.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Throwing 'Em Out There

Photo From Here
Since I've been laid up I've been watching quite a bit of television. Actually, not so much watching but having it on for some background noise. When you've got tinnitus, the ringing in your ears can be pretty distracting. So here are my observations after a couple of weeks of watching television. In general:

It's not worth a damn!

It explains much of what's wrong with this country today.

Now more specifically:

ESPN, the sports network doesn't really show any sports. It's all about talking about sports. Additionally, why aren't there more baseball games on television? All those channels and thirty major league teams and you can't find a ball game on TV. Same goes for hockey. The play-off games are all over the map. It shouldn't be that hard to find a game. We're fortunate in the Chicago area to have a pretty good situation for the local teams but you still have to seek out the games because they could be on four different stations. I know there are subscription sports channels but as much as they charge you for regular service, especially when the original promise of cable was that you wouldn't have any commercials, I see no reason to pony up any extra cash.

All of the do-it-yourself shows are basically geared to the woodshop crowd. Nothing wrong with woodworking but man does not live by the table saw alone. Plus, they're all on Saturday afternoon. If a guy works five days a week, when is he going to do his chores, take the kids to the park, etc. Saturday afternoons. Great scheduling fellas.

How much of my bill goes towards financing programs like Zumba dance or Brazilian Butt Lift? Do we really need all of the infomercial crap on all the many channels? Good gracious, what a colossal waste of a resource.

Since a guy like me can't really find anything worth watching other than old movies and the occasional sports broadcast, how about a new type of do-it yourself show. The biggest demographic group is the baby boomers. Who has the disposable income? The baby boomers. So here's the pitch. Why not a show that features a guy like Shop Teacher Bob building things like I normally do. Instead of the glitzy hot rod/motorcycle shows with all the drama, how about a show that actually shows guys building things that the average knucklehead could duplicate himself with a little bit of practice and perseverance. I've built bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trailers, all kinds of stuff. It sure would have shortened up the learning curve if I could have had a little instruction. As soon as I get back on my feet I'm going to start back in on the wooden boat project. It sure would have been nice to follow along on a similar boat building project before tackling mine. I'd like to make my own longbow one of these days. It'd be nice to tune in to that episode to find a source of materials as well as a follow along how-to.

Obviously you can tell I've had too much time on my hands lately but I know that there's an untapped market out there. When I was going to college I had to give demonstration speeches in a couple of my classes. I remember showing how to synch a pair of motorcycle carbs. I made up a little wooden box with a pair of carbs bolted up to it along with handlebars, throttle and cables. If you've never done a job like that, it's really not all that tough after seeing it done once. French some headlights, lead a seam, build a bicycle, rebuild an old BSA, forge a set of fireplace tools, change the clutch on your Ford 8N. Get a few shows taped, ask for reader suggestions and the sky's the limit. 

So there's the idea. Put something like that on television and there'll be lots of geezers interested as well as a lot of the young bucks looking for some how-to. Tell all your TV producer buddies that I'm available. I can't do everything but if I can't do it, I can probably find someone who can. If I don't hear from you soon, maybe I'll figure out how to put on the Shop Teacher Bob Hour here on the blog.  In fact, if you're willing to under-wright the cost of production, we'll get started as soon as I can lift more than ten pounds. I've got all kinds of projects to work on. I'll even let you pick which one we start with. With a little bit of luck, I'll get a few of my projects done and I'll be too busy to watch TV. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


They had an opening in the rehab schedule so I got in there today. Started chuckling to myself as I was walking up. The first thing was Alice's Restaurant popped into my head: "Kid. Have you rehabilitated yourself?" and then the fact that the ashtray was on fire.

It was mostly an orientation session today but I got on the treadmill and the exercise bike for a couple of minutes each. They showed me how to hook up the heart monitor and we set some goals - reduce stress and lose a little weight. I'll be going three times per week for about six weeks. That's almost like a job, which it looks like I won't be going to until the rehab is over. I see the Dr. next week and see what he has to say about the whole deal. Hopefully I'll be able to start doing a little more besides walking up and down the driveway. I've got a few piddly things I'd like to get going on but being the model patient that I am, I need the doc's okay.

All things considered, life's good. The weather's been great, I've been getting some help around the shack and I've been able to catch up on reruns of The Rifleman and The Rockford Files.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Doing Nothing/Well

Photo From Here
I've been home for a week now and I've been doing well. I'm getting my short walks in every day like I'm supposed to and eating well. The Missus has been a tremendous help in that regard. Not much new to report when you sit around all day but I'm working on my plan of what I'm going to do as the health improves. 

The stack of reading material is growing smaller and I finished the jigsaw puzzle. Someplace around here I've got the DVD with the lessons we filmed at school so I'm going to see about getting those posted. 'Bout time I looked into a new will and the advance medical directive as well. In the past DNR always meant Department of Natural Resources - starting to take on a new meaning for me now. I'm hoping getting all this stuff done will be like taking your raincoat with you on the cloudy day - if it's there you probably won't need it. 

Looking forward to doing a little gardening. The garden pretty much went to hell last year after the barn went down but this year I should have plenty of time. I've got some peppers and cauliflower started and the rest of the seeds purchased. I'll get my tomatoes from Ag guy at school. The rhubarb is up and looking good already. Not sure if the rhubarb bread the Missus makes is low fat/sodium, but it sure is good. Same goes for the pie. Knowing her, she can adapt the recipe to make it heart health friendly, though.

Enough for now. Time for my walkies. Have a good weekend.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The "Grabber" Update

I've had a couple days at home now after the "grabber" to be able to digest everything. First thing - it's a great day to be alive. Secondly, it's good to have friends and family.

In retrospect, some of the chest problems I've been having for the last couple of years might have been angina pain. It went in reverse of what you would think, however. When I exercised I would develop some initial pain but it would disappear after I warmed up and then I felt fine. Regardless, no doubt about the heart attack pain - all the classic symptoms: pain in the chest, later up my neck and into my jaw, sweating.

The angioplasty/stent thing was smooth as glass. The Doctor and his team were all aces. They all had to get out of bed and come in to work on me. They showed up and went right to work. Might not have saved my life with their speedy response but damn sure saved my heart from a lot of damage. Skilled craftsmen - my kind of people. Actually one of the people on the team (nurse/technician?) found out I was a welding teacher and we talked a little shop after the procedure. Can't say enough good things about the bunch of them. That includes everyone else at the hospital as well.

I go see the Dr. in a couple of weeks and will find out the extent of the damage and what the future holds then. I also start rehab about the same time. In the meantime I'm in the don't lift anything heavier than ten pounds or use your left hand limbo. That is going to require a lot more work from the Missus, both doing my chores and also worrying that I'm going to over do it. I've already pledged to be a model patient but I'm a definite Type A. She doesn't need any more worries. She's lived with me for 41 years. You know that's already taken a pretty heavy toll on her.

It looks like I'll probably be gone the remainder of the school year. I hate to leave the boys short but I really didn't plan on having this thing come on. It's interesting to note that the reason I got the job there in the first place was because the previous teacher died while on the table having heart surgery. Initially I was a little pissed about this. I exercise and have a pretty decent diet. My dad smoked and had bacon and eggs every morning for 50 years before he had his heart attack. You would of thought I could have at least made it until the age of 64 like he did. I'm not the first guy to go through this, however, and there's no sense in bitchin' about it. I'll make the best of it, change the diet and swallow all the pills I'm supposed to. I normally try and do everything myself but I'm going to have to get some help in the future. I've already received lots of offers. In fact, Coach Ernie and his son came by and tilled up the garden and cut the grass for me. I think I'm going to just put his son on retainer. There'll be lots more to do.

So I'm in good hands and as soon as I can resume work on a few things, I'll be able to start posting progress on the projects. Putting the positive spin on the whole thing, I'm able to start my summer vacation a little early and I'm going to be able to get caught up on my reading. I've got a really good support team and I feel just fine. I've got a balsa wood plane model that I've been wanting to start on and the Missus bought me a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle with a scene from Portofino, Italy to keep me busy. All things considered, I'm just ducky.

Ya'll take care now and have a good week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cardiac Event

Quick update: Came home from Open Shop the other night and had a heart attack. The Missus got me to the hospital and they put in a couple of stents. It appears that there wasn't too much damage and I'm home and feeling well. I'll update things a little more in the next couple of days.

Thanks to all who came by or called. It's good to have friends.

Friday, April 6, 2012

VW Floor

Front Pan and Heater Channel Repair
Lots of Rust - What Was I Thinking

I went over to school for a little bit today to attend to a few little odds and ends. I finished welding in the patched up heater channel and floor mount the other day but I needed some caulk to seal it up before finishing the pan. The left side of the pan gets welded to the tunnel and the right side bolts to the bottom of the body. I put a nice big, fat line of silicon along the mating surface of the pan to the body and bolted everything up snug today. Actually there are two pans - one front and one back. They have about a 3" gap in between them where the seat mount goes. I made a filler piece to bridge the gap that I'll weld in as well. I can then tack the seat mount in place and the passenger side is pretty much done. As you can see from the photo, I patched up the hole in the firewall as well. 

I'm going to try and get over there again tomorrow afternoon and get it welded up. I need to paint all the parts for the spiral staircase installation also. I made a short hand rail to mount to the wall at the top of the stairs today and got it primed. It was the last piece needed before I put paint in the gun. Maybe I can get that taken care of as well. I'm doing a 5K in the morning so I don't want to get too ambitious in the afternoon. Might have to give up my nap time.

Have a wonderful Easter. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Back to Work I Go

Photo From Here
I'm back to work this morning but it'll be a short week - start on Tuesday, finish on Thursday. I wish they were all like this one. Since the weather was so nice the last week, I got all kinds of things done around the shack. Mowed the yard a couple of times (still amazed by that), trimmed up a bunch of trees, worked on the new barn and a bunch of other piddly things. Didn't make it over to school to work on the VW or the boat but I got plenty done just the same. 

Now starts the last nine weeks of the school year and the boys will all turn stupid on me. They always act like they're in rut. Seniors will have all kinds of activities and things to get done but there'll be a few in the school who manage to get thrown out or they'll quit with just two months to go. It happens every year. They've got twelve years invested and can't stay focused or work hard enough to see it through to the end. Drives me crazy but I'll just keep pitchin'. They'll have to do the rest. Hopefully, I'll only have to go through this cycle one more time. 

So it's back to work this morning, at least for a few days. I've got another meeting Wednesday after school and another trip to Indy for the Gloves on Thursday. Only one fighter going down this week, two next week.   I've got a 5K walk on Saturday. Busy, busy as always but it'll calm down. Should be getting the table for the CNC pretty soon, then I'll have something else to occupy my free time - learning how to run that thing. I've already got some time invested there but I'll be all over it when I can actually make some parts.