Monthly Archives: October 2005

Four hobbies in one Sunday shopping trip to the West Metro ….

1. A discussion of kilt history with 3stitches, and subsequent research, sent me to SR Harris (fabric outlet in Northwest suburbs). I bought some wool (on sale) to make a kilt in the style of c. 1800.
2. MicroCenter (computer store in Western suburbs). Bought a USB Jump Drive. Long overdue!
3. Whole Foods. Bought fresh ginger to brew a sparkling ginger mead. Having discussed mead in rhymeswithghoti‘s journal, it seems to be time for another batch of my own brew.
4. Rockler Woodworking. Another diamond sharpening stone.

Sunday Morning

We had a good morning in church–2nd week in a row. Because of Tom’s issues going to church is always an interesting (as in Chinese curse) event. Our church has always been very accepting of Tom and his problems. It is far from perfect, but that one factor goes a long way for me.

Mia and planes

Replaced the iron (blade) on my #7 (22″ long) plane with a new one from Hock Tools, one of the best aftermarket sources for plane irons. The blade was a gift from mia_mcdavid, from some time back, but with the pressures of our summer schedule I had not found the time to hone and install it. Also added a Hock chip breaker.

My best plane, a Bedrock Jack, is also a gift from mia_mcdavid. Tonight I replaced its iron and chipbreaker by the Hock equivalents, so it should be even better now :-)>

No good deed goes unpunished …..

… and two good deeds can conspire against you.

Good deed #1: I completed the woodworking phase of a project over the weekend, in which I had badly banged up two chisels–close encounters with nails. I was expecting this, and was using my rough duty chisels (intended for nasty jobs like this), but the experience was too much even for them–large ugly nicks in what was left of the edges. So I carefully reground them, using a hand grinder so as not to overheat the steel and ruin its temper. I have a very nice tool rest for the grinder so this went OK. After grinding came the honing. Some effort on a coarse oilstone, then three diamond stones of successively finer grit, and the edges looked good.

Good deed #2: This morning our son James was a little late getting ready for school. In fact, mia_mcdavid and I realized that he would not get to the bus stop on time. Not being under severe time pressure I offered to drive him to school.

So….James is taking his own sweet time. I start the car, figuring I might as well warm it up while I wait. Then I get out of the car and go into the family work room. Looking at my workbench I wonder where I had put a couple small tools. I reach out to sort a small pile of stuff. Then …. a sudden pain in my thumb. I had touched one of my newly sharpened chisels. Yes, I did put a good edge on it….. Blood starts dripping out, and I think about going inside for a bandage. I open the door to the main body of the house….

….And there is James, putting his jacket on and finally ready to go! Well I hope the cut is not too bad. So I sigh, and we go back out to the car. I start driving, then look at my thumb: Big, and growing, drop of blood there. I take him to school, occasionally sucking the blood off my thumb, and otherwise pressing it tightly against the steering wheel. James being James, he probably did not notice anything. I was wondering if I would need stitches, but the bleeding did stop about 10 minutes after I dropped off James.

Much too exciting a way to verify my sharpening technique. Tonight in the shop: Blade guards for those chisels. Trivial (scraps of leather held on by rubber bands), but definitely worth doing.

A different religion quiz

What’s your theological worldview?

The results are from a spectrum of Christian views. The quiz probably won’t make much sense if you don’t know something about Christian belief.

My top score was “Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan” with “Roman Catholic” a very close second (there was a tiebreaker question). I am OK with this.

The bottom two on my list, by a noticeable margin, were “Modern Liberal” and “Fundamentalist”. I am really pleased with this. I don’t like being pigeonholed.

“I am not a network engineer, I just play one at home.”

…. and the rest of the family depends on me.

Our internet connection died Thursday night. Swapping cables and routers (Of course I have extras lying around. Doesn’t everybody :-)> ) convinced me that the problem was the cable modem, for which I did not have a spare. Got one Friday morning and installed it that afternoon. Couldn’t get that to work, and had to call Comcast Tech support. The rep there reminded me that I had to register the modem’s MAC address with them, so I would have had to call them anyway. After taking care of that things went OK, except that I could not get the wireless connection to work. May be a hardware issue with the router there–James (#1 son) had been having trouble with that anyway. I got a non-wireless router to work, and added another 5 port switch. That way there is an ethernet connection for James. Not as convenient as wireless, but it works. May try to reestablish wireless later, but am not sure I want to deal with the security issues. For now, mia_mcdavid, James, and I have our connections back.

BTW, the Comcast Rep was very good. It helped that I knew the right things to say (having been on the other end of many such conversations).

Interesting morning at work

Our Divisional Administrator called an all-hands meeting on about one hour’s notice. Seems about 15 (out of about 100) people are being reassigned to a big high priority project. Everything else will suffer, including yesterday’s top priority projects. They will be looking for replacement staff, but that will take a while (This is the government).

I was not one of the “chosen”, for which I am feeling a mix of relief and disappointment.

Could be worse–a lot worse–in many places lately this sort of sudden meeting has been for announcing layoffs.