Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nut Case Control Part II

This week's tragic shooting in West Virginia, on live TV, has brought the gun controllers out again in full cry.  It ain't the guns that need control, it's the nutcases.  This shooter was a homicidal maniac.  What should have happened, probably years ago, is someone, friend, family, physician, teacher, co-worker, clergyman, someone, should have noticed the shooter was acting crazy or saying crazy things.  He should have been examined by psychiatrists, who should have identified the shooter as a dangerous nutcase, and popped him into a mental hospital.
   Obviously that didn't happen.   And the gun controllers keep yacking about guns.  It isn't guns, it's loose nut cases. 

Un selling automobiles

Been out shopping for a car.  One thing I noticed, walking thru the dealer's lots.  The model name of the car is left off the front, only appears, very small, on the trunk lid in back.  Which makes it hard to figure out what you are looking at, since the last stylist died 20 years ago and the cars all look alike.  For that matter, they leave off the maker's name too.  You gotta know the icons, the Chevy bowtie, the Honda H the Ford blue oval, the Subaru constellation and so on.   I wonder how many car buyers know them all.  I have been a car buff since childhood, and I don't know them all.  
   Compare this with the power tool business.  I'm reading about routers, and the article has a picture of a router.  The maker's name (Porter Cable) is plastered all over the tool, once on the motor, once on the base casting, and once on the baseplate.  All three names show in the photograph. 
    Teaching customers the name of your product is half the battle in marketing.  Labeling your product is a good first step. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Graphic Novels as College Reading??

A story made it onto NPR and the blogosphere about Duke University students unhappy with the contents of a reading assignment.  They were objecting to the gay marriage portrayed in the novel.  The work was described as a "graphic novel".  Which is same-same as comic book.  Since when were comic books assigned college reading assignments?  Or is it just Duke? 
   Or is it all over?  Certainly the reading assigned to my children in middle and high school varied between bad and worse.  Perhaps college is jumping on the terrible reading list bandwagon?  Certainly those decrying the decline of the liberal arts ought to look at the literature selected for college study.  Could it be that the selected literature is so bad as to drive students away? 

You can never have too many clamps

This is a small glue up.  Biggest ones need more clamps.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mortises by Router

The traditional methods of cutting mortises require fancy tools, or a lot of hand work with chisels and mallets.   Routers will cut nearly anything, but they are grabby.  Freehand router work is beyond my skills. Freehand, in my hands, the router wavers back and forth, cutting wavy lines.  I need  a guide for the router to cut straight lines.  To guide the router I fit a "template guide" aka schnozzle.   The schzozzle is big enough to pass the router bit clean thru itself, should the router bit contact the schozzle, bad things happen.  The outside of the schozzle  follows a wooden template.
This is a brass Porter Cable style template guide bushing (schozzle) mounted on my elderly Craftsman 1/4" router.  This clear acrylic base plate holding the guide bushing is shop made.  A 1/2" straight cutter pokes thru the schnozzle.   Here is the shop made template to guide the router in making a nice square mortise.
This is my shop made template.   The rectangular guide guide hole must be the size of the mortise, plus an allowance for the size of the schnozzle.  In this case the schnozzle is 0.75: in diameter covering a 0.50 inch cutter, so the template needs be 0.25 inches larger than the desired mortise size in both directions.  And, the template need be as thick as, or thicker than the schozzle is deep.  In this case I had to shim up my template to 5/8" to prevent the 5/8" schnozzle from getting stuck on the surface of the workpiece.  Rule: your template HAS to be thicker than the schnozzle is deep.  The bits of wood nailed to the template made a 1/2 plywood template thicker than the 5/8" schnozzle. 
And here is the final routed mortise.  Nice straight sidewalls, flat bottom.  I wanted a 0.50 inch deep mortise but settled for 0.47 inch, mostly because I didn't dare pull the cutter any further out of the chuck, lest it fly out and do evil things. 


That first hit. Why do addicts take it?

We have been having a sad increase in heroin addicts in NH.  I can understand how hard it can be to give it up once hooked.  The part I don't understand is why people take that first hit.  Surely every sentient creature on planet earth knows that a heroin habit is a life wrecker.  Everyone must have heard that word by now.  And they must believe it.  
  You would think that fear of sinking to the absolute muddy bottom of society, would make people resist taking that first step down the drain.  Surely they would stick with weed or booze before tossing their lives away with heroin addiction.  Apparently they do, but I don't understand why. 
   If we are to have effective public policies against heroin use, they need to focus on preventing people taking that first hit.  Unless we understand why people take that first hit, we won't be able to do much about preventing it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

CCleaner works good on Windows 8.1

CCleaner  (Crap Cleaner) has been around for a long time and is quite dependable.  I've been using it since Windows 2000.   This morning  Avast anti virus perked up and gave me the "optimize your PC" pitch.  So I tried it, and Avast reported all sorts of things to fix up, but then wanted money before it would do anything. 
   So I downloaded the latest version of CCleaner (v5.09) from File Hippo and let er rip.  Took awhile but it found and zapped 6.5 Gigs of  unneeded files.  
   I ran the registry clean feature and it found and zapped a bunch of unneeded registry keys. 
Not bad.  And, FlatBeast is noticeably more lively than before, so something good happened.