Friday, February 25, 2011

Ranting: It's theraputic!

Still haven't totally kicked this bug.  I keep having my sleep interrupted by heartburn and spastic fits of coughing.  That leaves me a little bit sleep deprived, and just a little tenser the next day.  Which leads to more heartburn and more sleep deprivation...  What he have here is "unsustainable" if I can borrow that phrase.  (Actually, hippie, shut up.  I'll steal your buzzwords any time I feel like it.)  Each day is like a couple more ounces on the trigger.  And the sear is starting to get fidgety.  I might just go off.  I may even totally lose all self control and post a long rambling rant on a blog that nobody reads!  Take that, cruel world!!

So, the weatherman's been hyping everybody up about snow and cold.  Yesterday the snow finally showed up.  About 4", which is pretty good for around here.  Wet snow, which quickly compacts to ice.  I actually like driving in it.  No sarcasm, really.  I dunno if it is my Manly Sense of Invulnerability or what, but I think it is fun.  Like, what fun would it be if every single time you fired, you put it right in the middle of the X-ring?  The challenge of making the bullet go where you want is most of the fun.  Likewise with cars.  The car doing exactly what you want at all times gets kinda old.  I like sliding around on ice.  Like Brian Boitano without all the ghey costumes.  It's pretty awesome.

'Cept most everybody else in town is a moron.  They can't drive.  Fortunately(?), they're aware of their moron status and refuse to do any dang thing when there is a slight chance of snow or ice anywhere.  Which brings the whole town to a grinding halt.  More road for me, but c'mon.  Last night the University and many other public entities declared a preemptive "ice day" and told everybody to wait at least two hours before coming to work.  Well, the snow and ice were all long gone by yesterday afternoon.  But the ice fatwa had already been decreed and there's no turning back now.

Which means most of my biggest customers are ordering a whole lot of nothing and it is slow as heck in the shop.  That means I can no longer justify procrastinating on a job I really don't want to do...  There's a high-falutin' private school here with a "donor tree" where people get their names engraved on an anodized green aluminum "leaf" when the make their donations.  Yay.  Anodizing a sheet of aluminum gives it color, and also produces a gemstone-hard layer on the aluminum that's only a few molecules thick.  Engraving on it sucks.  It takes a fair bit of pressure to get the diamond bit through the anodizing but the aluminum underneath is way stinking soft so once the diamond "breaks through" it wants to go too deep.  Like trying to engrave a @*#^$ hardboiled egg.  Annoying.  But wait, there's more!  They're running out of blank leaves and need a bunch more.

A guy with a die cutter could make them in a couple minutes.  I don't have a die cutter.  And even if I did, it's pretty darned unlikely that I'd have a 1.625" x 3.5" elliptical die.  So I have to mill them out on the engraving machine.

Real milling machine at work

But I don't have one of those.

I have a little engraver that kind of thinks it is a milling machine.  It's way slower and doesn't have the liquid coolant.  Nor much for chip collection.  So now I'm flecked in little aluminum fragments and look like friggin' Ziggy Stardust.  It there is any truth to that rumor that aluminum contributes to Alzheimer's, I'm in big troub

Whoa!  What just happened?  And why am I standing in the parking lot?

Anyway.  The anodized aluminum doesn't mill worth crap.  Have you ever tried to precisely bisect... an Oreo... with a Sawz-All?  That's what I've been up against.  Hard shell and gooey middle and lots of hand filing to clean up the edges.

All so that some Lexus-driving putz can congratulate himself every time he sees his name engraved on a fake leaf.


  1. Well... I'm glad you're you and I'm me. This engraving and milling stuff sounds waaaay too damned frustrating for someone of limited patience. I shall dedicate my second beer to you... if that helps.

    I HATE driving in ice and snow, what with having done that thang in winter for about 15 years or so. It's the asshats in the FWD/AWD vehicles that scared the beejeezus out o' me... flyin' down the road without a care, until it was time to STOP. Blood was spilled a lot o' times in those circumstances, but never mine. Thank The Deity At Hand.

  2. Kill the Lexus Driver ... problem solved!

  3. Sounds like you're having a time of it. Think of it though, empty streets makes donuts easier.

  4. Inno, the very fact that you gots comments means that you iz rawng about nobody reading your blog.

    Okay, call me Captain Obviously, but I just figured I'd better point that out.

    Just in case.

    Dude! Truly sorry about the physical trial you're standing. But, makes for a dang good post.

    Yeah, I saw that y'all were getting the white crap. I actually breathed a little prayer for Oregonians everywhere. Well, really just for the Oregonians in Oregon.

    Considering my "in" with God these days, y'all will probably all die.


  5. Every things gonna be all right,
    bye and bye!

  6. LOL: coming up off I-5 on the Terwilliger off-ramp, I encountered a driver having trouble in her VW. She had chains on the rear wheels, but was just sitting halfway up the ramp, spinning. That would be because she has front-wheel drive.

    I might have stopped to help, but when you're heading uphill on ice, you've got to maintain some momentum. No point in clotting up the entire ramp over sheer idiocy.

    What Buck said about the engraving and milling.

  7. I envy you not, my Oregonian brother! Our white stuff scare was short-lived, and I for one am glad.

    As far as your milling/engraving; I don't even not envy you...I fear your twitchy sear!

    Your health is due to return, and I hope that the "snow day" does not delay the coming thereof.

  8. Matt's right. Empty streets + Snow = Automobile Magic

  9. Driving in snow and ice is indeed fun but only when you don't have to be anywhere.

    Join the 21st Century and get yourself a CNC engraver.

  10. You are not the only that enjoys driving on icy roads. I just hate the other people that are so clueless


Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.


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