Archive: Why this antique Ogontz Jack Plane is special to me

Posted By on November 19, 2019

JackPlane_GpaBluhmFatherI spent the weekend wasting time reorganizing, sorting and cleaning up my woodworking workshop this past weekend and realizing I have a few older “semi-collectable” tools that I really should comment on … or as Brenda says, write my notes down in a book while I can still remember things.

Now as I mentioned to my kids, I’m not planning or even think that I’m going to die anytime soon … but there are a few things that should at least be mentioned. Back in 1969, my grandfather Richard Bluhm (my mom’s dad and person I was named after), passed away before I was even 10 years old. Still I have so many fond memories of him and realized he was still one of the most important people my life. For one, he only had two girls … meaning he really didn’t have any sons to pass down the “hands-on” workshop skills or the tools that he would have enjoyed doing (before the day women “wanted” to be in and learn traditionally male roles). In short, he always had me tinkering around with him … and I was probably a pretty interested grandson.


Music Monday: Cool Change – Little River Band 1979

Posted By on November 18, 2019

In keeping with my steady diet of 1970s music for Music Monday, last week Little River Band’s Cool Change from 1979 triggered a “wish I were sailing” thought LRBCoolChangeYRch311just as it did when I was in college. I recall listening to their albums on the turntable regularly in our dorm room and off campus apartment, although don’t think I actually owned the album (probably one of my roommates)?


Anyway, the Glenn Shorrock written song popped up on Yacht Rock Radio CH 311 and figured it would be a “cool change” of season tune for the blog in mid-November.

  Cool Change – Little River Band (mp3) | 1979


Woodworking: Making a couple new clamping jigs for frames

Posted By on November 17, 2019

DewaltTriggerClampWhen it comes to clamping, I ascribe to the rule of thumb that you can never have too many clamps when woodworking. That said, I often don’t have enough when I’m working on a project … and lately it has been even worse since a few of my tools are in Florida (Condo1718 projects).

Currently I’m working on a couple small projects that require frames to be clamped and glued and I’ve never been happy with my hodgepodge methods to square up and clamp frames, WoodworkingSplineCuttingJigbe they panels, doors or just simple frames. I decided that for the upcoming project I was going to spend a little time making a few clamp jigs that should be able to hold each corner with just one trigger clamp. I’ve always liked the hole saw method for squaring up and centering clamping WoodworkingCornerFrameClampsJigpressure so decided to use it on these jigs.

Also since I don’t want to use any brads on the frames I’m making, I decided to add a small spline for alignment and added strength besides just the end to end grain gluing. So I’m making a small jig that attaches to my tendon cutting tool on my table saw to cut the spline slot. (more…)

Pretty soon we won’t need to think at all – WIRED article

Posted By on November 16, 2019

Here’s a WIRED article that made me think … although it has a misleading title line, even if that is what caught my attention and started me reading it. 

When does user-friendliness, algorithms and anticipatory artificial intelligence that is designed to help us make decisions, end up becoming "I don’t need to think at all" or eventually sap our free-will to think, plan and make decisions?  

Call me old, but I don’t want too much more of this “helping” me in my life.


How the Dumb Design of a WWII Plane Led to the Macintosh

At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.

The B-17 Flying Fortress rolled off the drawing board and onto the runway in a mere 12 months, just in time to become the fearsome workhorse of the US Air Force during World War II. Its astounding toughness made pilots adore it: The B-17 could roar through angry squalls of shrapnel and bullets, emerging pockmarked but still airworthy. It was a symbol of American ingenuity, held aloft by four engines, bristling with a dozen machine guns.

Imagine being a pilot of that mighty plane. You know your primary enemy—the Germans and Japanese in your gunsights. But you have another enemy that you can’t see, and it strikes at the most baffling times. Say you’re easing in for another routine landing. You reach down to deploy your landing gear. Suddenly, you hear the scream of metal tearing into the tarmac. You’re rag-dolling around the cockpit while your plane skitters across the runway. A thought flickers across your mind about the gunners below and the other crew: "Whatever has happened to them now, it’s my fault." When your plane finally lurches to a halt, you wonder to yourself: "How on earth did my plane just crash when everything was going fine? What have I done?"

For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. And it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Air Force finally resolved to figure out what had happened.

To do that, the Air Force called upon a young psychologist at the Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Paul Fitts was a handsome man with a soft Tennessee drawl, analytically minded but with a shiny wave of Brylcreemed hair, Elvis-like, which projected a certain suave nonconformity. Decades later, he’d become known as one of the Air Force’s great minds, the person tasked with hardest, weirdest problems—such as figuring out why people saw UFOs.

Read more at WIRED (also archived below)


TechFriday: When shopping online isn’t quite right #humor

Posted By on November 15, 2019

CRCCorrosionSpray AceGoogleShopping_CRCHumor

While looking to purchase a can of the highly regarded CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor, the shipping can sometimes become an eye opener. Perhaps Amazon Prime shipping is a good thing? (let’s hope this is an Ace HardwareGoogle Shopping glitch?)


The final season 4 of The Man In The High Castle airs 11/15/2019

Posted By on November 14, 2019

Not often, but once in a while there is a television series that hooks both Brenda and me. When “binge-watching” started in earnest, a decade or so ago, itManInHighCastle_PrimeVideoS4 was Jericho for us (although we Tivo-ed it weekly), then 24 (although in 2009 we watch DVDs pre-streaming), and then one of our favorites, FX Networks The Americans. Finally, we are currently hooked on Phillip K Dick’s book to television series called The Man in the High Castle. Ok, so we watch Stranger Things too … but we got a late start with that series.

Anyway, on Friday 11/15/2019 begins the highly anticipated season 4 (at least for us) and hopeful conclusion that will the resistance movement succeed in gaining back the United States from the Nazis and Japanese (as the storyline goes, the Germans and Japanese won World War Two and split control of the country as they continued on the verge of nuclear war into the 1960s – oh, there are also “different” realities and travelers who know and move back and forth between worlds. Very interesting.

So if you need a new “very well done series,” watch the now four season of Man In The High Castle on Amazon Prime.

My one and a half armed brother heads for surgery #TBT

Posted By on November 14, 2019

I probably shouldn’t make a joke about my brother Ron going in for a surgical repair to his shoulder on Friday, but since he was the one joking with me about how he has felt like a “one and a half armed man” since summer, I continue the joke.

Hopefully, he will “slice” (ouch!) right through surgery and quickly recover, but one should never take surgery lightly. His shoulder repair (besides a little smoothing clean up of the socket) is to rework a groove for a tendon that will not stay in place and causes him significant pain. Since he really hasn’t been able to use his arm, there really isn’t an option besides surgery. Likely the most difficult part will be the rehab of his shoulder when he gets home — I’ll see how that is going over Thanksgiving when we are together.

I’ll be praying for you tomorrow Ron … oh, and here’s a Throwback Thursday #TBT photo of you in the tub a few years ago!  😊  

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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