Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Couple O' Things

Too cold to do much of anything today. The wind started blowing last evening so we're looking at -25 windchills and maybe actual temperatures of -10 below tonight. Fortunately we didn't get much snow Monday night - three, maybe four inches is all but it's enough to cause some drifts. I think I'm going to spend most of the day either reading or down the basement cleaning up the bench and starting back on a little metal working project I started a couple of years ago.

I need to go into the college some time this week for about an hour - need to get my syllabus posted and a couple other things to be ready for next week when classes start. Looks like I'm still employed as a lab tech even though they hired a full time guy. Not sure why they would need me and him but they must have a plan. The boss said to keep on keepin' on, so that I will. It'll pay for my commuting expenses and help with the toy/tool budget so I'm not complaining. Especially since I wrote another check for my health insurance yesterday.

I talked to a young guy who's attending Purdue. Told me what he's paying for a year. He'll probably have close to $100,000 invested in a four year degree by the time he's done. He said they've shortened up the requirements, however. His program used to require 136 hours, now it's 120. Apparently they're trying to keep the cost down and get people to graduate within the four year time slot. That's a step in the right direction. The Maker Movement book mentioned people relocating to be close to a TechShop. For the price of a university education, I can see that as being an attractive alternative. Find cheap housing, take the classes you want, work in a well equipped shop and pursue your particular passion. Wouldn't work if you want to be a concert pianist, but if you want to make things might be the right way to go.

Alcoa has come up with a new process for making aluminum sheets. They can make them faster and 30% stronger with the new process. I saw it here.

I saw this in a comment here a while back. It's been a long time since I've heard anything by Country Joe McDonald and got me to thinking during this annual time of reflection. This one was from 1971, the year I got married and I turned 21.  Lots of time has past but we still haven't learned anything. Once again we've got riots in the streets, protesters carrying signs, and unrest throughout the world. I wish everything was going to be all roses and sunshine for 2015 but there's another war coming - there always is, God help us.

So here's my somewhat melancholy advice for 2015: Pay down your debt, stockpile some groceries, learn new skills, make beautiful things, plant a garden, lend a hand when you can, and hug your babies. And if you can't do that, just don't be a dumb-ass.

Stay warm.

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