Monday, August 30, 2010

Bumper Sticker logic

Friday on my lunch hour walk I saw a car with the following two bumper stickers.

I felt like taking a sharpie to the reamaining blank space and adding, "ergo the driver of this car sucks."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Political Cartoons

I've always been a big fan of political cartoons. It's nothing less than genius that they can make a point so succinctly that would take me paragraphs of rambling on. Here are a few recent examples:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I saw this on one of the VW forums and thought it was funny enough to share.


DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beverage across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ’ "insert your favorite curse word"!’

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing projects.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle… It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes , trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms in the process.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

("Insert your favorite curse word") TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling, "(Insert your favorite curse word)"! ’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Many Hats

While we were off at Philmont last month many of the camps that had historical significance also had reenactors. The staff would dress in early 1900s clothing and pretend that it was actually the early 1900s. I though it was a nice touch. When we showed up to the Miranda campsite they welcomed us as if we were a band of mountain men who had just showed up for their annual rendezvous. They had tepees set up and were wearing buckskin pans and shirts. Everything added to the feeling that it really was the early 1900s.

Later on that day I was very impressed with one particular reenactor. Caleb, the same guy who welcomed us to the mountain man rendezvous, led us over to the range to shot black powder rifles. As son as we were all on site he began to instruct us. “Let’s get something straight right up front. Until know I have been wearing the hat of a historical reenactor. I also wear the hat of a certified NRA range safety officer. I will not attempt to stay in character while we handle these firearms.”

I was comforted that Caleb had his priorities in order. Sure the historical part was fun but historically they wouldn’t have likely had eye protection or ear protection. And historically I’ll bet there were a bunch more injuries than I’d be willing to accept. I later learned that all of the camp staffers were Wilderness First Responders, backcountry EMTs. Just one more hat they wear and I’m sure that they have no reservation about again abandoning their historical reenactor roles and pulling out their CB radios when that need arises.

Caleb’s judgement about when it was appropriate to wear which hat got me thinking about the many hats that I wear. Husband, father, son, brother, scout leader, Sunday school teacher, co-worker, friend, etc. etc. Sure all of these roles are important. It would be nice if there was never any time when we had to choose one over the other. But the realities of life are such that we frequently have to choose. Wisdom comes in knowing when to take off one hat in favor of another. I thank Caleb for reminding me of this.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bad Universe

So one of my favorite astronomers, yes I have more than one favorite astronomer, appears that he is getting a series based on his book and blog.

Very cool! I might have to actually get something besides broadcast TV.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Being in the Woods

I recently got back from a two week backpacking trip with Aaron and some of the guys from his scout troop. Hence the complete lack of blog posts for so long. When I got back to work I made a comment to a friend that It was taking me quite a while to remember how to do my job after being in the woods for so long. He responded, “Isn’t it interesting how little time it take you to get used to being out in the woods?” I couldn’t agree more.
Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Political Calls

Me: Hi.
Caller: Mr. Taylor?
Me: This is Michael
Caller: Mr. Taylor?
Me: How can I help you?
Caller: I’m calling on behalf of the Linda Carsten for Congress campaign. Are you aware that Carsten’s opponent , B. J Pak opposes the Arizona immigration law that…
Me: Well good for him.
Caller: Excuse me?
Me: I said “good for him”. I too disagree with the Arizona law.
Caller: Can we count on your vote for Linda Carsten in November?
Me: Well I just stated that I disagree with her position on immigration. What else do you have to persuade me?
Caller: Thank you for your time.

I guess since I frequently vote in the Republican primaries that these callers just assume that I’m going to be an easy audience when they call. I really was serious when I wanted him to tell me what else the candidate he represented had to offer.