I'm hoping to take my own photograph of the Eiffel Tower soon. I've about got my calender for the year planned out. Not sure if my traveling companions from my previous trip are going to be able to do this but I've got a serious Jones for this trip. Paris this spring isn't going to happen, but I'd take December. Never really associated Paris with snow, but I can see me strolling along the Seine with big soft snowflakes falling, ducking into a little cafe to warm up. Beats strolling down my lane to get the mail looking at the big grain elevator, that's for sure.
Turning Around America has a new project underway called Sanctuary. I first heard of Turning Around America from Doug Stowe at Wisdom of the Hands. The short version of Turning Around America is a van equipped for woodturning that has traveled around the USA spreading the gospel of hands-on education by showing kids what can be done with a wood lathe. Sanctuary is expanding this idea. Of course this takes a little cash. Check it out and see if you can't help out a little. Even if you can't, check it out. It's a great idea.
I'm teaching an Introduction To Welding course at the college this semester. Because it's an intro course we'll be covering a lot of material. Oxy-acetylene cutting and welding, stick, and MIG welding. That means yoou need equipment for all of that - goggles, safety glasses, welding helmet, gloves, etc. And you need a book. If you are planning on going into the field to make a career out of it, you would expect to spend some money on tools and a decent reference book. However, not everyone taking this course is in that position. It's required for just about everyone taking any type of Industrial Technology course, so this could be the only welding course they come across. That's where the old scab gets picked at again.
I attended night school classes for years and years. I bought books for those classes and then sold them back to the bookstore at a dime on the dollar. Sometimes I got lucky and was able to buy a used book. Sometimes I bought the book and the instructor never even used the thing. And of course, I always had to pay sales tax on the books. The politicians are always bitchin' that they want more college graduates in the state but not enoough to cut a guy a little slack with the sales tax on his book purchases. Since nothing seems to have changed over the years, the overpriced college textbook thing is still chapping my ass and I'm sure a lot of others as well.
Specifically for my Intro class, if you buy all of the recommended equipment at the bookstore, you can easily top $200.00. If you need to buy a pair of boots, that could be $100.00. Then you throw another $125.00 for the textbook that is only used for the Intro course and you end up with a pretty sizeable investment for what could be a one time deal. What's the alternative? If you wanted to know about oxy-acetylene cutting and welding, it used to be you bought The Oxy-Acetylene Handbook published by the Linde division of Union Carbide. They started printing the thing in 1943 and came out with a second edition in 1960. There's a third edition but I've never seen a copy. However, ESAB, who ended up with a lot of the Union Carbide welding equipment, has the handbook on their web site. Just click there and it's your's. If you want a CD of the handbook or some of the other material like their TIG handbook, click here. If you want a hardcopy, like a real old-fashioned book, Amazon has a few paperback versions starting at less than four bucks. If you want to see some other old info about gas welding, Knucklebuster has a PDF file of a gas welding book right here.
If it's electric arc welding books you're looking for, check out the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation. Their Procedure Handbook has been in print since 1933 and has sold something like 2 million copies. 750 pages of electric arc welding information for only $25.00. So if you're looking to learn a little something about welding and don't want to spend a ton of cash, here's a way - one free book and one cheap book that cover just about everything you need to know about oxy-acetylene, stick and MIG.