Opinion: We need an all of the above energy plan in the U.S.

Posted By on February 25, 2021

As an advocate of renewable energy, be it biofuels, hydro, solar, wind, etc for decades, I don’t understand why Americans can’t come together on a united “all inclusive” energy plan? I know a few anti-solar/wind energy types, but usually they are just pushing back against the extremist wanting to do away with all fossil fuels and nuclear. Like right WinterStormFeb2021and left politics, the loud voices seem to get all the attention.

One thing the Texas energy fiasco has taught us is that we need to be smart about preparing better for the crisis moment and extreme weather. We need a “baseline” of energy that will not fail under stress, be it what can be generated locally .. or in the case of the latest Texas situation, be connected to the national grid to protect their residents (not to mention losing so much of the wind/solar generated power).

As for the Green New Deal types out there and  “eliminating jobs with the stroke of a pen”  by President Biden or only wanting solar and wind renewable energy… let’s get real. We need domestic fossil fuel and should continue to improve efficiency and emissions. In America, we have come a long way in my lifetime, let’s not throw those gain away … AND before you assume batteries, solar panels and the like are overly clean and reliable, think in through. (short video below)

Woodworking Idea: A homemade Router Table Multi-Sled

Posted By on February 24, 2021

CopingJigAfter setting up my router for better, cleaner and easier woodworking dados last week, I started thinking about something better than using my table saw’s stock miter gauge for making “coping” style end cuts on the router table. Beside a $220 commercial Coping-Jig (left), there are hundreds of homemade plans on the Internet to do the same.

One that I liked is a multi-function  Router Table Multi-Sled and beside this one, maybe there is a better way to make one for a variety of tasks. This is not for an immediate need or must-make project … but one that I’ll mull over a while and maybe even talk over with my buddy Mark the next time I see him?

RouterTableMultiSled1RouterTableMultiSled4
RouterTableMultiSled2RouterTableMultiSled3

Is there a high quality, maintenance-free garage door and opener?

Posted By on February 23, 2021

LiftmasterGarageDoorOpener2One of the most unappreciated attributes often overlooked when dating and looking for a life partner is that of a handyman, or to be a little more politically correct, a “handyperson.”

I do know that having the Mister Fix-it gene, or is it a learned skill (???), has been one of my strong traits, but I also think after years of marriage that it is taken for granted (maybe I’m wrong)?

Anyway, I often wonder what couples and families do when they can’t diagnosis and repair things … like garage door openers when they malfunction. Oh, I’ve call the service guy to replace springs, but can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to work on and tinker with our four garage doors … not to mention the ones on our previous house.

Considering the number of repairs we have had over our lifetime, I think there is a market for higher quality garage doors and maintenance-free openers?

Music Monday: The Marshall Tucker Band – “Can’t You See”

Posted By on February 22, 2021

MarshallTuckerBandAlbumThe Marshall Tucker Band was one of my favorite groups in the 1970s and I mentioned them before. I was a big fan MTB_1973photoof modern country music as it inched towards what we know as southern rock. It really made inroads into popular music in the 1970s and had staying power unlike the trendy stuff at the time (Psychedelic rock, Disco, etc). Even today, southern rock continues to remain popular.

A friend posted a short snippet from a 1973 video on Twitter and so I searched to find the full video on YouTube. Here’s another later 1977 version of Can’t You See for this week’s Music Monday (video below the album audio, trivia tidbit and break in post).
 

  Marshall Tucker Band – “Can’t You See”

How did the Spartanburg, South Carolina band get their name?
    They "borrowed" the name "Marshall Tucker" from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space.

(more…)

Thoughts on the passing of conservative icon: Rush Limbaugh

Posted By on February 21, 2021

Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday of this past week. It wasn’t a surprise to those who have followed his health challenges and in particular a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis a year previous. He continue his radio work up until the end and left a G.O.A.T. legacy RushLimbaugh2019in conservative talk radio that will likely never be challenged. In many ways, he was the trailblazer for conservative political talk radio and education, giving voice and unifying many in middle American who felt their political views were not heard or shared by those regularly spouting their ideology from the east and west coasts.

Many conservatives on political talk platforms, be they on TV, radio, newsletters, podcasts, blogs, etc,  expressed how Rush impacted them and their careers over the past few days …  and although I don’t think of myself as a political activist, Rush Limbaugh made an impact on me and my views too.

You would be forgiven to assume I came of political age during the Ford/Carter presidencies (my high school years), but really I was too young, naïve and disinterested in politics at that point in my life – CharlieRich_packing_VW1977I was probably a late bloomer? HA!  That said, I’m thankful to have had a close high school friend (Charlie “Kamikaze” Matthews) who was political and exposed me to not just liberal politics, but his “radical Marxist views.” What was “good” is that it triggered my critical thinking … and IMHO, conservative views come out on time in that argument when it come to personal freedom, prosperous economics, safety and national security. He was the perfect liberal, since he was non-judgmental of my more conservative “growing pains” … even though I wasn’t really clear or able to defend why I held my views.

In college I thankfully was able to solidify my assumptions with reason and a little help from thinkers and debaters like William F Buckley (we need a revival)and then came Ronald Reagan. Finally, an American leader that stood for something I believed in and wanted for our country; he was someone I could get behind and in his 8 years as president, made the USA WFB_Reagansomething we all took pride in again … it and we were working again in America! Those who didn’t live through those years probably assume it was all just good times due to the outcome … but having lived the challenges, marrying, having children and starting a business at the time, it wasn’t without its challenges.

Rush Limbaugh was part of it for me too. He was a cheerleader for conservative principles and ideals. He extinguished the doubt that might still have lingered in the back of our minds. He educated us with the “words” middle American parents needed to challenge liberals espousing central planning and bigger government. In those days, those on the left were mostly working-class Democrats … lead by RushEIBStudioprogressive thinkers and politicians who fought for better working conditions, better pay and protected jobs … not the hate-America left of today who dictate policy, kill jobs and place nearly every left-leaning cause that can only be accomplished through more government control over those Americans scrapping through the red tape and taxes to take care of their families. For the Democrats that I knew, they were pro-America and hard workers. All they knew was that Democrats fought for the worker and Republicans for the fat cats … but it was changing. The more Democrats relied on government, the less responsibility fell on the people, but they sacrificed freedom, lost jobs and paid higher taxes. Slowly, the two parties changed … and citizens either sided with being reliant on Democrats and Washington DC by voting to feed it (tax, borrow, spend) and therefore make the government even more powerful … or “tried” to restrict government (lower taxes and less spending) and take more responsibility on yourself. Of course it is never that simple … and government grew and spent no matter who we elected.

My point to semi-end this post is that I found the place I politically fit; conservatives better protect freedom, expect the Federal government to protect our nation and they value our rich history and founding principles that protects the Constitutional rights of every citizen. As I tell my son, the U.S. has never been perfect, but even a cursory study of our American history, it is clear we are always improving.  

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 

 The Preamble

I also do my best not to overly criticize those who hold different politically ideology so as long as they can be respectful of those who see things differently. RL_OughtToBeWe live in a representative democracy that respects the will of the people. We have solid founding principles and can agree with our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Regardless of political ideology, I respect those who’s goal it is to make our union more perfect and debate their points and goals. I’m thankful in America we do not do this through a dictatorship or violence, but by following our laws, vigorous debate and a free and fair vote. In getting back to the post, I’m thankful that the First Amendment gave Rush Limbaugh the freedom to speak loudly for his unwavering conservative values. As @DennisPrager commented, “He did not speak what he thought his audience wanted to hear, he spoke what he believed.”

Rest in Peace, Rush … and thank you.

  Dennis Prager’s thoughts on Rush Limbaugh (mp3) | 2/17/2021

Woodworking: Tinkering on a prototype desktop book stand

Posted By on February 20, 2021

PrototypeBookshelf210216The weather has been … well, wintery and I’ve been working on a self-designed prototype desktop bookshelf or bookstand with the thought of making a couple of them. Unfortunately desks … let alone books … are disappearing as a Future of Everything WSJ article mentioned this past year.

PrototypeBookshelfF210216The design is relatively simple in that the bottom runners have a couple dados to accept the sides and the back a couple thinner straps fit into dados in the side boards. Each will be glued and fitted with a single brass screw. I haven’t done the final sanding or finishing on the prototype yet, but wanted to test for size and slant … it works just fine and being somewhat small fits comfortably on a desk. A few years .. okay, decades ago, I would have said this is the perfect size for dictionaries, thesauruses, writing style and reference books … but now will probably be relegated to Bibles and study guides, and perhaps some current reading? If I ever start playing with design software on the computer, this might be a great first try?

WoodworkingDadoJig210214

While working on the dados for this, I made a jig that I didn’t use just for cutting 3/4” dados with a router. It works great for cross dados and is perfect for plywood, but is not appropriate for the ones I needed on this project (used the table saw … and ordered a new thin kerf FLAT Grind TableSaw blade that should arrive this weekend?)

NewBladeTableSaw

Tech Friday: Switched our iPhones to Mint Mobile to save $$$

Posted By on February 19, 2021

MintMobileReferral

Well it is official, we are both with Mint Mobile. I’ve been using them for a month now and haven’t had any issues with their service (backboned on T-Mobile I believe) … and since saving money for the same service is a no-brainer, I’ve switched Brenda’s iPhone over this month as well …  and added her to my family plan. It’s yet to be seen just how the referral discounts work, but that extra $15 isn’t really necessary to convince me this is worth the savings.

Here’s an extra $15 added to your account for switching, with this link.

It has been great to see cellphone service, speeds, devices and pricing improve since my first mobile phone in the mid-1980s. I was mounted in my company car (I was in sales) and at the time had access to a total of 3 Cellular One towers in Akron, Ohio. The service was pretty spotty and extremely expensive, but it meant that I didn’t have to drive up or get out of my car to use a payphone so often … and could even keep driving to my next appointment while using the phone. Lifechanging in the day!

I was also a beeper (pager) user and can remember what a different actually getting a SMS message on a pager made … we no longer had to call the office every time it beeped. Good memories though.

MintPlans210215

So if you are looking to save a few dollars, already own a phone you like and can live with it for another 3-months (or a year for some serious savings), give Mint Mobile a try.

(more…)

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.
My Desultory Blog