[Exceptionally long (for the free side). But go ahead, take some time and relax with it… Holiday, and all.]
Today’s coffee klatch of day-traders and tool sluts is now in order!
Our usual dose of news, but then back out to our shop as the weekend enters its final hours. (Gimme a chorus of “Damn!)
Before knuckling down, there is hope.
There’s a very good article on ZDNet today proposing The four-day week will solve some of work’s biggest problems – but only if companies can adapt.
There are plenty of reasons to work the world around into a 4-10 week. Not the least of which is the environment and the hiring boost it would likely bring.
But companies – and government – rarely listen to the real customer feedback.
You see, we (citizen-victims) have long-ago let loose of the Metrics of Success in America. Government is largely reporting to Congress on a hit-or-miss. When it does, it’s another “issues-shuffle” instead of an agency-wide mission audit.
Of course, companies measure performance by other means. Such as “free cash available to common” (stock). Or, they go off in sector dominating which leads to customer disaffection.
One super-large online retailer sent two emails in the last week trying to convince me to read minority-written books.
I almost sent them a surly email, but I’ll say it here, instead.
We ONLY select reading material based on CONTENT and our own INTERESTS.
This is yet- another- symptom of Lost America which seems a worthy remembrance on this day. While “negative racism” is bad, this retailer’s wandering readership is actively sold the notion that literary racism (white-shaming) is “positive racism.”
Mainly racists would select their reading material based on race, religion, or national origin of the Author.
When my personal readings and research lead me to spend part of the weekend absorbing The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu (dandy reader), race of authors didn’t even cross my mind.
If it does yours? Get to WDH – Woke Deprogramming Help. And GTFU.
World In a Nutshell
Big doings this week over Ukraine.
First, we see the Russian media reporting the US/Corporate Cabal has failed to “rumor Putin out of office.” Russia’s Lavrov Denies Putin Is Ill. Still, it has been a delightful piece of agitprop which only serves to reinforce our view that this war is about Globalism Taking Over.
Which is odd when I think about it. Vlad Putin defending the world from (crazy and) expansionist Europe. Are we the only ones beholding the Brussell’s sprouts idea of Globalism Incarnate as a Ponzi scheme of historical proportions?
Look at maps over time and you’ll see how the megalomaniacs first acquired gently and through largely off-books negotiation has really played. What we’re seeing in Ukraine is the EU’s version of “Buy or Die.”
This is the “Die” part.
Behind the curtain, away from the EU puppeteer’s frantic movements, we also see a religious conflict of some consequence. Patriarch Kirill ‘Understands’ Ukraine Church Schism – in The Moscow Times.
Seems both sides of this conflict are nominally committed to the same 10 Commandments. How honest or robust can warring religions be? And so continues sunset for spiritual toll-takers.
Brussel’s intransigence is assured as a possible turning point in the war is reached as Russian troops entering Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. Couple this with EU members meeting to “demand” Russian energy. (Vlad’s no fool, he has Europe over a barrel.)
This will be gingerly rolled by the Corporate, Co-Opted press. Because the whole “meetings whether to join the US with oil sanctions” discussion reminds both of us “thinking people” that the high gas prices and famine coming arer all created by Slow Biden.
EUROPE has unhindered energy from Russia.
The US sanctions merely brought back crooked accounting. As a new stage of markup was added to the business model by Biden. We are led by the most dangerous teleprompter reader in America.
A Memorial, Perhaps?
Our Power-Based Future
Some holiday neurons, perhaps, in the direction of how our future is shaping up is in order. Anyone can play, though many people won’t exercise “command authority” over their own lives.
Here’s a newspaper laying the groundwork for government grants on battery storage technology. Chinese Mining Billionaire To Invest $300 Million In Zimbabwe Lithium Project.. While (thumbs to a different page of his self-published one-man newspaper)
Thus, you can see how this will roll: new variants of lithium technology are sure to follow.
But at the macro view, the same corporate drive to consume, looks to us like it will do to Zimbabwe the same way slavers did 200-years ago.
Field hands to lithium – something instructive about Global abuse of Africa if you think about it. And who made the money on the gold, diamonds, and minerals of South Africa?
Each time indigenous peoples get screwed, there’s a sales pitch trying to convince the masses it’s for their own good. Some examples? “Oh, this new labor source for plantations!” Or, perhaps in Amsterdam “This diamond business model will make us a fortune!” Right down through “Lithium batteries will save the Planet!”
Yeah, sure, you betcha.
Speaking of Climate
A not everyday story this morning will provide entertainment into the first part of the week. On the Pacific Side of Central America, we have Hurricane Agatha about to slam tourist places on the coast of Mexico.
Thing is, if you hit the National Hurricane Center, you can see the case for it to “jump over onto the Caribbean side. Like so:
Once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico – perhaps in a week – then trouble might be brewing somewhere between the RGV and Tampa.
But this is not a story about weather. It’s really about Gender change.
You see, when I read Hurricane Agatha could spawn Alex, first named Atlantic storm, I just had to ask “Where is the gender-bending storm-naming convention online?
Don’t we need to pop a few billion over that way?
D.J. Ure’s musical accompaniment pick for Winnipeg audiences is Martha & the Vandellas – Heatwave – YouTube. Do Canadians ever learn to spell “heat” outside of the physics track?
Good luck chilling out this weekend: Heat Waves in the U.S.: Record high temperatures spurring cities to take action. Which, when you read it one particularly jaundiced way, reads like yet-another warning of government expansion of power – ever.
“Pull over buddy, we need to check that your vehicle’s air conditioning is set correctly…”
There’s no limit to the lust for power. Only a limit to money and how many people can be screwed at once.
Adventures of Nancy
Offered without comment: Nancy Pelosi’s husband arrested for suspected DUI Hats off to Napa, CA police for enforcing the laws.
I’ve always harbored questions about how Nancy and Hubby’s work schedule would play out. “Not tonight dear, I have a Congress.” To something like “Sure I’ll take out the trash, soon as I’m done buying California…” Anyway, such idle speculations come to close to work.
Let’s wander toward the…
ShopTalk Monday: New Tools!
When I go tool shopping, which is about every day, seems, nothing is more fund than the arrival of Santa.
Santa – being really with the times – dresses up as different people. The Mailperson, the UPS Person, and the FedEx Dude.
Here are some useful new tools. Starting with the bottle cutter:
It was $50-bucks, but I never had much luck with the manual glass cutters. But even I may be able to whittle a drinking glass from a wine bottle.
What was the first one I remember? “The Amazing Flemming Glass and bottle cutter!” Wetted abrasive and 5,000 RPMs may get me there, yet.
Yet Another Welder!
Like the oxy-acetylene rig, MIG wire, and argon-breathing TIG, plus a stick welder were not enough?
These guys are going in the $30 dollar range on eBay.
You can also buyfor $24 bucks. I have never dinked around with one of these, but it could be interesting.
If you’re after something a bit better on build quality? The original (category) welder was probably the Smith Little Torch. Which has a much nicer finish, not doubt. It all comes back to the reason for purchase, I suppose.
A related note is YesWelder has some pretty nice optics on their new wide-vision welding masks. It was $90 bucks, but the improvement in welds (for half-blind me) was noticeable.
What you’re looking for (to see welds better than most home Makers) would be something that is a: Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, True Color Highest Optical 1/1/1/1, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13″ or better. I picked this one.
Cleaning the shop. Which entails a lot of work moving machines around to more (or less) workable positions.
Usefully, Amazon had tool boxes on sale recently. I picked up a chest with four drawers because I hate pawing through shit to find the one thing I need.
One of these ended up as a workstation-specific tool chest for the 3D/CNC work area:
Serious tool note: You will notice that I have ball-end Allen wrenches in rgar drawer. If you only have the solid (chopped end) variety, do yourself a favor. HUGE difference as the tool is much for forgiving of alignment.
Part and parcel of shop cleaning is also tool labeling. I found myself doing this so that in case I keel-over some day (another way of saying careening for the nautically inept), I have been labeling everything in the shop.
Honestly, Brother makes some fair label-printers. I used to be able to remember where every tool is – and tell anyone where to find what.
Thing now – as the shop has become more populated with three of everything – Elaine can’t come over and find something on her own.
Now, while Amazon has a good assortment of thermal label markers, I would caution you that in a Texas shop, the thermal paper becomes illegible after 7-8 years.
I was going to relabel the under-bench tools (blow-molded boxes for things like the Sawz-All), but more and more the projects we’re doing evolve either to stationary or battery powered tools.
If you need time sinks to fill out the rest of the weekend, there is never a shortage of garage or “storage room” crap that could be labeled.
Maker Video of the Week
How about a complete 49 min build of an electric car from two bicycles? Check this out:
Absolutely AMAZING skills. And (in case you didn’t notice) NOT made in the U.S.A.
Again, more evidence that a country isn’t worth a crap when it forgets to work with its hands.
Survival and strong Industrial Arts seem to go hand-in-hand.
As China is teaching to all but the myopic left.
Asian markets were up 2 percent overnight. Europe is up half a percent, or so. But after the opening fray in the US tomorrow? We will be only 2-weeks from the next Fed FOMC raise. Well, unless they bend to political pressure and get things wrong once again.
Write when you’re right,