Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The MoronProject

is dead. Long Live the MoronProject.

After splitting three 1 X 2s in a row last night (and BTW, they're apparently 1X2 in name only. 3/4 X 1 5/8 just doesn't flow right) I have finally admitted that I need to rethink this audio cabinet deal.

The derned things are just too thin to screw in, and so I need to come up with a new approach. I can either get thicker wood (likely to make a much heavier cabinet) or develop a different concept for putting this thing together. I suppose I need to learn some basic joinery, but there's really no place nearby to get a basic course.

I suspect book learning will have to suffice, and so I am engaging in a smaller moronproject. I'm gonna build a box. What kind of box, you ask? Heck if I know. I have a bit of wood lying about that hasn't been wasted on a screwup conceptual project, and I think it might be better purposed towards something useful.

Hence, a box. To put stuff in.

Photos may follow, or else there's a chance I'm taking up macrame. Beads are cheaper.

Sad to hear

I always liked Scotty, and I suspect he's the reason I have a thing for imitating celtic accents. Not well, perhaps, but bad imitation is the sincerest form of something.

I was glad to hear he was at Normandy - it's the kind of thing I always hope to hear about entertainment types. He risked his neck for his country, and I'm glad he had a succesful career afterwards.

I think this is the way I'll remember him best - probably around the time of Star Trek II. Not quite as overweight as in the later movies. He's got the look of a big, beefy, friendly Irish cop or fireman, and he looks like a good guy to be around.

Beam me up indeed.

Monday, July 18, 2005

We also

had friends over for dinner last night. I went after Shabbos ended (around 10 PM) and picked some herbs from our container garden - the Basil is all over the place. Stuck a turkey breast in a bag with herbs, lemon juice, and oil. Marinate, wait.

Sunday I threw it on the grill, did some corn & veggies, & hot dogs for those small people with such refined palates. Good food, pleasant conversation, and paper plates make for a lovely evening.

Brief MoronProject Update

Things are not going as swimmingly as they might, but that's why I bought cheap wood. My plan had been to countersink holes where the screws were going, then cut plugs to fill the space. That may have been a tad ambitious. The first of the three frames I attempted to build came out with more twists than Chubby Checker, and the wood basically splintered where I attempted the countersinks.


A trip to Big Orange provided replacement cheap wood, as well as a set of router bits (and a dehumidifier for the basement, but that's a separate issue). So the Official First Screw-up became the First Official Practice Piece, and I got to try the router out. I learned two things:

1) There is a steep learning curve for the router - I got a LOT of practicing to do
2) I need a MUCH better workspace. I need a workbench or something better than the extremely cheap folding worktable I bought a few years ago.

The signs of a proper MoronProject - each step requires more tools and greater expenditures of money.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The wife

sent this one to me. Now, I'm OK with weird ideas of fun. Some people like to treat their bodies like pincushions. Others want to spend every weekend drinking themselves into insensibility. Some people buy old Volvos and restore them.

I don't make an issue out of it, because everyone had a lousy childhood and needs to make up for it with silly stuff.

Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to go iron on a mountaintop? What's next? Extreme Lint Removal? Bungee recyclables separating? High-performance dish drying?

You want to climb a mountain, go ahead. You want to iron, fine. You want to combine them?


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


It's about freaking time. These dopes can out-moron™ the rest of us any day of the week.

Until last night

when I actually began work on the moronproject™. Kids in bed, another bike ride, and then off to the garage. Measure, measure again, get out the circular saw that's been sitting in the case for a year because I had no use for it, and then slice up some pine. Very satisfying, even if the circular was a bit of overkill.

I did a lousy job cutting the plywood, which is supposed to be for the shelves, but I think I still have enough. I may ask my pal who's good at this sort of thing for some advice, or my dad who knows a bit. I've decided that even if this is a complete failure, it's important to start somewhere. It's not that I desperately need a hobby, but instead of imagining moronitude (or moron-ness, as the case may be), it's time to put it into practice. I assure you that, success or failure, I will post pictures of the conclusion.

Incidentally, I'm now even more unhappy that my fershluggener high school didn't have shop class. I might have wanted to blow it off as a teenager, but I'm completely unaware of the basics and I have to learn everything for the first time now. Spilt milk, I suppose, but I suspect I could have saved a lot of money and had a lot of fun if I had been taught some of this years ago.

a sudden impulse

to begin implementing the long dormant moronproject™ part of my soul. For some time I have had the impulse to try my hand at woodworking. Not quite ready for "I'm a Lumberjack", but I figured I'd like to have some kind of shop where I could do, ya know, stuff.

I had several vague ideas for a project, but never worked up the nerve. My folks had bought me various saws, so I had a few things in hand to use, but nothing to use them on. Then Mrs. brings up the idea that she's sick of our entertainment unit, and wants to buy a new one. We have owned at least three in our marriage, and she's happy enough with the one that's taking up basement space. The problem is it has no room for my stereo equipment.

You, I'm sure, can see the dim, 25-watt moronbulb™ going off in my tiny little brain. Why buy a new cabinet made of cheap wood when I could make one from cheap wood? So I sat & doodled last week during a particularly meaningless stretch of workday, and came up with a basic plan for an audio cabinet. I did some looking for a predesigned cabinet, but found nothing to meet my needs. I really wasn't looking to store a widescreen HD plasma TV, just a few basic audio components. I just wanna store the old Victrola, OK?

So Sunday night, 45 minutes before they close, I'm off to Lowe's. The previously de-seated Odyssey was all set, and why delay a morontrip™? So I go pick up hinges, and lid props, and paint, and polyurethane, and... and... I NEED a powertool! So I got a router. Not sure how to use it, or whether it will work for this stupidity, but I got one.

Then, WOOD. I like the smell of wood. So I got all kinds of stuff, and a whole sheet of plywood will fit in a deseated Odyssey. Cool. Home, unload, put the seats back in, collapse into bed.

So, where were we?

I don't know either. The weekend was mostly normal through the end of Saturday. Sunday was the shopping day to end shopping days. Well, for me, anyway. I loathe shopping, with the possible exception of shopping for manly man crap that I want.

We started out going to the Swedish joint we had visited last week. Mrs. settled on the piece of cheap prefab pressboard furniture she wanted. So we head out there, and naturally they had none in stock. Plus we had left the kids with neighbors so I could take the seats out & fit said swedish miracle, and our neighbors had to hit the road by 12:45. So back home we rush, and have lunch.

Off to the next stop, alone, thankfully. Foodstuffs needed, so off I go to a kosher supermarket about 20 minutes away. Why not go locally, you ask? Because the local kosher joint is lousy - not much meat in stock, and what they have doesn't look good. So I head off the other way, buy some crap, stop at Trader Joe's & Costco along the way. Home. Kids in bed, and I head out for a bike ride.

This has been my exercise lately, and it's a nice way to get away from stuff. Unlike Sugarmama, I am not seeking to outrace bullet trains, but I am looking to get off my increasingly non-skinny derriere once in a while. So I've been heading out and trying to find nice, interesting places to ride through. Sunday I headed North instead of my usual South, and I got a chance to see some nearish by neighborhoods/towns/villages/ unincorporated hamlets.

Then home, and...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yet another example

of why we need to beat these terrorist sons of bitches. They want people dead, don't care who it is, and they don't mind dying in the process. That last part is the only bit of that philosophy I agree with. Anyone reading this shares my horror, and extends sympathies to the victims of this latest mass homicide.

One note of perspective - this is yet one more battle in a very long war. The deaths and injuries today are a painful reminder of what is at stake. I for one believe we will win this in the end. I know there are people who disagree, but I believe this is a fundamental clash of cultures, and we can't afford to lose.

I don't want to leave my children a world of Islamic terror and random murder. My own approach would be non-random murder; i.e. sending as many terrorist losers to hell, where they will spend eternity with 72 virgins that look something like this. Or this. Or, if they get what they really deserve, the virgins will look like this.

This attack was bound to happen. Through effort and luck we in America have been spared more of this, but they're trying like crazy to break through. We can hope and pray they don't succeed, but there is more coming. If we truly want to make this world a better place, we have to absorb the casualties and the lessons of this battle, and apply what we've learned to the rest of the war.

May God welcome the victims, heal the injured, and comfort the survivors.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

And then

Monday was busy. We hooked up with some friends & did a kid exchange. We took theirs in the AM while they went to Big Orange, and later I dropped ours off to their house & the kiddie pool there. They invited us for dinner, & destruction. Dinner actually came first, in part. I decided to contribute sausage pepperonata, which seems to basically be sausage & peppers with a fancy name. Sauteed peppers, onions & garlic mixed with grilled kosher sausage. Cooked it & set aside. Put in our new metal flagpole bracket, replacing the snapped off plastic one (that being the stop at Lowe's on Sunday.)

Over to the friend's house for the destruction part of the day. They're very handy people, and they're redoing their downstairs bathroom. We offered to help both to be nice and because we want to learn to do more stuff on our own. So I brought gloves & goggles, and borrowed a crowbar, as did Mrs. We got to tear tile down, and my pal showed me how to drill through tile, which I had never done before. He had lots of tile free for me to disfigure, so I made some holes. I'd much rather practice in somebody else's house. And yes, I hope to participate in the reconstruction as well, so I'm not just into breaking stuff.

Anyway, it was a blast. We moved on to dinner at some point, which was delicious. The sausage was quite a bit hotter than I expected, so my sinuses were cleared out nicely. Our hosts had family over, and we had a lovely time. A bit more destruction (we found 1955 newspapers stuffed in between the wood backing and the brick on what used to be the outside of the house. Veal Cutlets, 65 cents/pound), and then kiddie meltdown and time for home and another hosing off.

The Diem was certainly Carpe'd.

Hooray for the red white and blue

for lo, it doth give us all a long weekend. Which was plenty full for me.

Some friends invited themselves over to spend shabbat, which I'm glad about. We don't get to see them that often, and when it's people I like I'm perfectly happy to have them call & invite themselves in. I don't think about having people stay with us as often as I should, so I'm glad when they pick up the slack. They also brought their adorable 1 year old, which was entertaining for all.

Our herbs are growing very nicely, so I picked a pile of basil and made a pesto-ish marinade for some chicken for friday night. I say "ish" because parmesan is a no-go for kosher chicken, so I just tossed in the basil, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper, and some lemon juice 'cause the Mrs. said to. It tasted good, so I guess it worked. We were invited out to lunch way over on the other side of town, but other than the long walk it was lovely. Finished off Saturday with a dinner invite to another friend's house in their backyard. The kids got filthy, so I hosed them down in the shower (I wouldn't normally because I usually heat the water up, which is a no-no on shabbat, but they were hideous, so I kept the temperature down.)

Sunday was a shopping day - Ikea, Targét, Lowe's, and a stop at a bagel place for lunch. I spent under $100 all told, which is a miracle. The lack of furniture purchase at the swedish joint helped a lot. I got a bike ride in, but I think that's all that happened on Sunday.

Uh oh

Janis invited everyone over, and the place is a wreck. Matzah crumbs all over the floor and I think that's a dirty pair of socks decorating the mantle.

Oh well, you invite yourself over and you take what you get. While I'm sure the blather will not meet the high standards set over at Possumblog™, it is 100% kosher. And free.

Just watch your tush - I think one of the kids poured legos on the couch.