Friday, May 15, 2015

This 'N' That

Since I got the new battery in the truck I figured I ought to pick some things up while it was running, so I hit the lumber yard and the steel supplier. I picked up some 2x4's for the outfeed table on the table saw. I got the framework under the laminate piece taken care of. Next step is to get it on the saw and shim it up to the proper height and make some legs for it. I also need to measure up for the railing out front so I can get that one knocked out - that's what the steel I bought the other day is for. That shouldn't take too long to make, especially if I do a nice job of measuring it up. There's only one step, after all.

This roller stand is actually a store bought item, believe it or not. This is what Sears used to sell to support the long boards you were sending through the table saw. This was actually designed to work with my Craftsman saw. The outfeed table I'm working on will be an improvement over what I've got now but I'll still end up needing this thing for real long boards. It's amazing that there are any of these things still around.

Got a couple of peppers coming in already. I need to get myself a green house or some grow lights down the basement so I can have some peppers and tomatoes year round. The Missus bought me the book The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. The blue zones are where people live the longest. Their diet is mostly vegetarian and many of them are gardeners. I'm currently working on a couple of books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his prescription for longevity is basically fruits and veggies. He too encourages people to grow some of their own food. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, something like 40% of the bee colonies died over the past year. If we're going to have any vegetables, fruits or nuts in the future, we might have to start not only growing our own but pollinating them as well.

My brother the truck mechanic called the other day but I missed his call. He related a story to the Missus to pass along about a young guy who's working for him. Kind of goes along with a post I put up a few weeks back, "Welding, What's that?". Short version of the story goes like this: He gives the young guy something to take apart which involves spinning off a couple of brass nuts. The kid ends up rounding off the corners of the nuts without getting the thing apart. Brother asks him what tool he used and the kid shows him the open end wrench he used. Brother then asks why he didn't use the box end and didn't he take shop class in school? No shop class in school. Never heard of a box wrench. My brother wasn't raggin' on the kid. Said he's a hard worker and eager to learn. Just never heard of a box wrench before. My brother will get the kid straightened out, especially if the kid shows some effort. But what about all the rest of them?

In the Wall Street Journal was an editorial by John Glenn and Sandra Day O'Conner. The editorial praises the push for STEM but laments the lack of Civics. They're working on a solution, and I would say it looks like a good one, but now that everyone is fighting over the Common Core curriculum, maybe it's time to start fresh and look at everything from top to bottom. Having  more civics in the curriculum certainly wouldn't be a bad idea. God knows we could use a better informed citizenry. Probably wouldn't hurt to make sure every student knows which end of the hammer to hold and that a combination wrench has both an open end and a box end, and if you don't want to round off the corners of the nut, use the box end. Around my neck of the woods, probably better to have more civics and shop classes than all the Common Core algebra.

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