Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Just trying to be a better person

Did my half-yearly haircut.  As usual, had fun along the way with the ''transitional stages''.  Unlike most times, forgot to do the ''Before'' and ''After'' shots.  But I was looking decidedly ''Kenny Rogers''.

Anyhow:  I'm just trying to be a better person.

My name is Gye.


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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Two options for marking your items

If you're an artist, woodworker, or just someone who likes to identify things as yours, here are two options.

Both are suggested by Chris Schwarz, a woodworker who (FWIW) tries to buy from small, independent companies that treat their workers decently. So presumably these companies do the same.

The more economical option is a custom rubber stamp. See his blog entry here. You can submit a logo, drawing, or what-have-you, and they'll make you a rubber stamp.

An alternative is to get a custom metal punch -- with your name, logo, or whatever. See here. This option is more expensive -- the woodworking punch is US$160 -- but presumably it lasts a lifetime. They also have punches optimized for leatherwork, plastic, and others.


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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Two dreams

I don't usually dream about people I know -- except myself! -- but last night I had a pair of them.

The first dream:

My co-workers and I were at work, and one of my colleagues (who in the dream was in poor health and was about to take some sick leave to recover) received (at work) a large envelope in the mail, containing the application forms for a Ph.D. program in History.

(Clearly, this is pre-internet: I remember getting university application forms mailed to me; now-a-days I presume people just download the *.pdf?)

He said that he'd been thinking about getting a Ph.D. in History and becoming a History lecturer, to escape the stress at work -- but now that the envelope was in his hands, he wasn't so sure.

It wasn't clear in my dream whether he was planning to attend part-time, or full time.

Then I made a crack about "Professor ______ -- we have an urgent data request from the Pro-Vice Chancellor!"

(Underlying meaning:  This co-worker really **is** taking some time off from work, due to poor health.  So this appears to be an extension of that.)

The second dream:

In real life, The Lady plays a few "classical" instruments, but not any "rock" instruments.  None the less, in my dream she and I were a husband-wife rock duo.  One of us was electric bass, and the other was electric guitar:  it wasn't clear which.

It was about an hour before our first performance as a group.  We'd dressed up in our "performing" clothes, and we were now at the venue -- just a small club, basically a cafe.

It wasn't to be a big performance -- maybe 50-100 people -- and we were the opening act.  It was a fundraiser for some sort of "sick kids" charity.

We were hanging around out front, on the sidewalk.  It was a weekend, and a warm, sunny afternoon.

Suddenly, I realized that we hadn't actually brought our instruments:  we'd have to drive home (maybe 15 minutes away) and get them.

What's worse, I also realized that we'd never actually practiced any of the songs we'd be performing!  The songs were mine -- but I'd never showed them to her.

And -- even though they were my songs, I hadn't played some of them in (literally!) years.  I didn't remember the chords, or most of the lyrics.

The one exception would be "Only Women Should Have Guns".  But given that this was a "family" show, I didn't think it would be appropriate:  the lyrics are witty, but a little grim.  And you can't build a set on just one three-minute song.

And on a related note:  we hadn't prepared our set list.

The dream ended with me about to head back to the house to pick up our instruments, get a marker (for the set list, and to jot down the chords in the margins of the set list), my old notebooks, and a music stand.  I'd get back to the venue about a half hour before we were scheduled to play.

We'd pull it off -- no choice, except for simply cancelling -- but it would not be a smooth performance, and we'd end up looking like idiots...

(Underlying meaning:  The Lady and I have both been pretty busy at work for the last four weeks -- so we have a huge backlog of dishes, a backlog of laundry, the lawn needs mowing, the house is a mess...  So this probably drives the whole "un-prepared" theme.

I haven't had any "woodworking time" in about four weeks.  I also haven't played the guitar in about two months -- and I haven't re-visited any of my old songs in probably nine months.  So "not being able to perform my old songs, from memory" is factually correct.

"Only Women Should Have Guns" is an actual song -- and it's the only song I end up playing when I'm messing around with the guitar, because I actually remember all the lyrics.  That, and "Pretty Little Sue".  So, that's actually a two-song set:  still a little short.)


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Still waters

Still waters run deep.  Plus, they've turned into alcohol.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Being a grown-up

Kids don't realize this -- and most adults already know this:

A large part of being a grown-up is doing things you don't really want to do -- either because it needs to be done, or because someone needs you to do it.

Context, to my future self:  "OUA marking".

Also:  Lasted until 4am.  System outage scheduled for 6am -- so, pretty close.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Workbench modification

One difficulty with English-style workbenches (example at left) is that it's hard to clamp things to the surface, because the front and back edges of the benchtop are obscured by the apron:  the wide, vertically-oriented board the provides structure to the relatively thin benchtop..

This isn't an original observation:  I got it from one of Chris Schwarz's "workbenches" books, and/or one of his blogs.

My suggested work-around to this problem -- although non-traditional! -- would be to cut a series of vertically-oriented rectangles in the apron.  This would allow clamping access.

The top end of the rectangular holes would not be flush with the underside of the surface of the benchtop, but would instead be perhaps a half inch or three-fourths of an inch of remaining material (i.e. running "with the grain") hanging down below the underside of the workbench.  (The specific amount would depend on the configuration of your clamps.).  You would then clamp **through** this access hole, to the underside of the benchtop.

The reasoning -- much like with truss bridges -- is that even when you make holes in a sheet that serves a "stiffening" function, you still retain much of the strength in that direction.

I've tried out this approach on my own workbench -- and it seems to work.

Please see the photo below -- which is a poor but illustrative sketch overlaid on an outdated photo.  Specifically, the little black rectangles across the front of the workbench.

I took this photo when I first put my bench in my workshop.  Since this day, neither the workbench nor the workshop have been this tidy.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kid quote

The Girl was watching “The Sound of Music” on DVD.

At the part where Maria and The Admiral kiss for the first time, she asked, “Are they actually kissing? Or do they have special effects?”

I said, yes, they're kissing for real.

Then she asked, “Do they get paid extra for that?”