ps238principal (ps238principal) wrote,

I'm a lumberjack and I'm not okay...





Image found here. I spent my afternoon truly in awe of my avatar in Minecraft. That guy must truly be an Adonis underneath that blocky exterior. The dude can take down a tree with his bare hands. Me, I spent an afternoon using a chainsaw and moving the results to the back of a pickup truck and I feel like I've spent a week on the torture rack. This lumber, mind you, was already felled and cut up into various lengths of "formerly a tree," but not the correct lengths (more on that in a moment). So, being the only person anyone knew who owns a chain saw, I was called into service and I dutifully made lots of sawdust. This was to save my wife's classroom budget a few thousand dollars.

This is what amazes me: You could, in theory, sell various lengths of unfinished tree-material to certain preschools for hundreds of dollars per log. There's an industry devoted to taking very simple items made of natural (that is, not plastic) materials for the wee ones to learn skills with, like, for example, logs. Let me state up front that (1) it's great when kiddos get to play with "real" materials. (2) Trees are awesome "real" materials, because they have rings, which you could potentially be the Lord of. (3) I'm beginning to think I could become quite wealthy taking my lathe off camping somewhere and setting up a mail-order business selling whatever halfway-smoothed out chunk of lumber I turned out to either an art gallery or a preschool. Anyway, the kiddos will have a bunch of properly-shortened (via chainsaw) logs to contain a digging area and a few others to climb on. If I hadn't run out of gas, I wanted to try making one of those chain-saw chairs (though not as good as in that clip) I remember occasionally seeing on those "Real Life Lumberjack Sculptor" shows or whatever was on A&E after it stopped showing nothing but Improv and WWII footage 24/7. Upon hearing my semi-lament, I was gifted with a log that I'm supposed to try my power tool artistry on at my leisure (though I suspect the chance to get rid of one more piece of fallen tree for nothing might have encouraged this present). If it turns out halfway-decent, you'll hear about it here. If not, I'll pretend its firewood and my trip to the ER will be a case of doctor-patient confidentiality.

So here's something that probably counts as a "first world problem" some people have. I ran across this cute animal video and made a bet with myself about what one of the top comments would be. I won the bet, as something like "turn the camera sideways" was present and being voted upwards. Maybe an intrepid phone company has already done this, and if they have, good for them, but here would be my request: Make a camera phone that shoots widescreen when you hold it like you naturally do: Vertically. It's not like flip cameras needed to be held sideways, and it's not a mystery how most people grip their phones. Maybe they could even make a digital camera setup that always shot widescreen no matter which way it was held, though I expect that would require either some mechanical bits, more expensive equipment, a loss in quality, or the consultation of a sorcerer.

I'm beginning to wonder if Facebook isn't going to find that it sort of reached critical mass for its usefulness and/or desired function a while back and reality is just now catching up? I'm not a heavy user, and with all the website retooling stuff I've fallen out of checking up on it regularly (I've not even read an article about that "timeline" thing). They had their billions-o-moneys IPO and everything, but online retailers aren't finding FB to be all that great, and it's starting to make me think of those restaurant or retail chains that are halfway decent but then go on an expansion spree that kind of makes them implode. It's almost like they're trying to remake what AOL wanted to be back in the day: The only place you'd ever go with big, shiny buttons, all of your friends, and none of that bothersome "world wide web" malarky to distract you from the next online game. I'm not saying FB is a bad thing or ruining the 'net; I'm just wondering if it hit some kind of sweet spot for social networking functionality a while back and is starting to get topheavy with corporate interests and things being grafted onto it that don't really add much to the experience. Or is it just me?

And I have another idear about new-fangled technology: Sometimes it's great when it's not working properly. This is kind of like what happened many moons ago when the pre-teen version of me found out out that if I balanced the dial on my folks' old TV set between channels 5 and 6 it would get Showtime. The setup for this involves my current PC, which isn't the most awesome box on the planet. It's a cobbled-together homebrew job in a plain case that was made to quickly replace a machine that lost its life in an electrical storm. This stopgap became a permanent fixture, even though it had one slightly irritating feature: The wires that feed the headphone jack are too close to the innards of the computer, as we forgot to run them behind some metal rather than through the spot where hard drives and power cables live. Subsequently, if I'm unable to tune it out, I can "hear" my PC chugging away at whatever it's doing. Recently, when I started recording video, I found it came in handy as I could tell if Fraps (the program used to record video game footage) was running, as it makes a distinctive purr on the edge of my hearing. I can also tell when the hard drives are pulling heavy duty, and even when my browser is experiencing a memory leak and eating up resources it shouldn't. What I'm saying is, I guess, is an app to do this sort of thing would be kind of neat, in a "I feel like a mechanic who can tell you how old your oil is by listening to the engine" kind of way. It only stinks that for me, there's no "off" button at the moment.

I was glad to hear that a good time was had by everyone at Bashcon this year, though my "friends" in attendance saw fit to torture me by sending me photos of what I was missing at the Old Pancake House. I'm beginning to see a certain captain's point about technology, though the threat is my stomach taking my body hostage and forcing it to drive a long distance to satisfy its lusts for powdered sugar atop breakfasty goodness. I mean gaming... yeah, that's it... :)

Just in case I'm absconded with for reasons listed above, I'd better get to the linkin':

- Happy Presidents Day (U.S.)! Here's your 34-foot tower of books about President Abraham Lincoln, and you'll need to read at least 1/3 of them for the report due in two weeks, which is worth half of your grade this semester.
- John Cleese responds to your futile comments & questions left on Monty Python YouTube videos.
- I refuse to try Nutella, not because I think it might be bad, but because I already have enough addictions which probably have already somehow doomed me to a poor end. But my wife's a fan, so I thought I'd pass this concept on.
- Pirates haven't featured here for a while, so here's Black Sails, a turn-based strategy game where you command a fleet of pirate ships to... well, plunder and shoot things with your cannons, pretty much.
- If you ever clawed back your life from the Civilization franchise, you might not want to read about their coming expansion, Gods and Kings. Not only has religion returned to the game, you can now craft your own.
- I've always found airplane graveyards iconic, but tank graveyards are pretty cool, too.
- Maybe alcoholism would decline if there was more a of a challenge to it. Like, say, drinking the world's hottest chili vodka before you could have anything else?
- Forget "hair in a can." Now you can rely on hair in a tattoo gun.
- A cute sci-fi point-n-click is to be had in Alien's Quest. Try to escape the clutches of the men in black at Area 51 with the help of a small pal and lots of useful objects.
- Not-so-cute sci-fi is to be had in the new Mass Effect 3 trailer. That makes two kids (if you include the demo) that have given their virtual lives to make you want to play the game. Also, I think the super-leap at the bad guy cut-away thing is pretty much done, now.
- Actress Judi Dench is going blind due to macular degeneration but doesn't plan to give up acting.
- A Community send-up of Doctor Who is going to become a web series. Now if they can orchestrate a crossover with Doctor Horrible, the internet will have fulfilled its purpose.
- If you're nostalgic for Baulder's Gate, here's how to mod the first game to play "inside" the second one. Like you were going to do anything important, anyway... :)
- And we end with Next, Please. It's a game set in another testing laboratory (I think) and you can turn copies of yourself into blocks so other copies can selfishly make their escape.
Tags: bashcon, chainsaws, computers, facebook, wood
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  • 16 comments

kevinbunny

February 20 2012, 10:19:43 UTC 2 years ago

Ah, Nutella.

Yes, it is *dangerously* addictive. That being said, you can't *quite* do a 1:1 swap with peanut butter. The Venn diagram has about 50% overlap. Sure, it'll still be tasty, but you'll find certain things are good with PB, and certain things are good with Nutella. It seems to lend itself VERY well to fruits and veggies. Think that celery and PB is good? Try with Nutella. Apple slices? Orgasmic. The local crepe place makes a banana-Nutella crepe that comes complete with a side order of angelic choir.

missychacha

February 20 2012, 13:28:51 UTC 2 years ago

I have a recipe around here for nutella bites, kinda like no bake cookies in ball form.

hybrid_xisha

February 21 2012, 01:13:51 UTC 2 years ago

Nutella makes a great cupcake filling too! I first ate a Nutella-centered cupcake just recently, but I've heard the praises sung for years.

ps238principal

February 22 2012, 06:50:53 UTC 2 years ago

This is how the end will come, not with a bang, but with an irresistible filling. :)

hybrid_xisha

February 22 2012, 07:37:20 UTC 2 years ago

Preeetty much this!

Anonymous

February 20 2012, 13:12:38 UTC 2 years ago

The Baldur's Gate series was excellent, and I had most of the various add-ons and supplements for them at the time; I think I will drag them out of hiding and do this mod. It's time my kids see some quality D&D PC gaming. Hmm... this pretty much requires me to pull out Planescape: Torment as well. Oh God, and then Neverwinter Nights...

ps238principal

February 22 2012, 06:49:56 UTC 2 years ago

Every day I thank my lucky stars that some of my favorite games are unplayable because I don't have a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive anymore.

I do occasionally take out the code wheel and translate something into Dethek, though.

merseine

February 20 2012, 13:56:17 UTC 2 years ago

Or is it just me?

It's not just you. Really.

Anonymous

February 20 2012, 18:38:54 UTC 2 years ago

No, it's not just you. The facey-booky thing was nice for a while, but the most recent changes mean I'm not seeing all the posts I want to even though I thought I'd clicked all the things I needed to; in addition I'm also seeing stuff I've got no interest in and can't comment on even if I wanted to. And I haven't even gotten stuck with the hateful timeline "feature" yet! It was a handy way to keep up with friends I don't see that often, but since I'm not getting the variety of posts I used to I'm having a hard time figuring out what the point of it really is. I wonder if it's punishment for not being a valuable enough target audience for advertisers...

Kay

Anonymous

February 20 2012, 14:08:06 UTC 2 years ago

Being an adonis doesn't really mean you are Herakles or Hercules. It means you are just very handsome and maybe even a bit narcissistic :).

Anonymous

February 20 2012, 18:01:50 UTC 2 years ago

Chainsaw chairs: No. Those are logs. I saw a *real* chainsaw chair made in seconds at a demo once - chair with four legs and a back. Only problem was, it was doll sized; the space between the chair legs was exactly the width of the chainsaw blade. It was constructed upside down thusly: Square off the top of the log; make four vertical cuts crosshatched the length of the chair legs; put the saw in *endwise* to cut off the center square and two of the side rectangles, then from the other angle to get the other two side rectangles; (at this point there are 4 posts sticking up) horizontal cut to define the top of the seat, vertical cut to define the front of the chair back, horizontal cut to cut the chair back away from the log. The chair was given to my little sister, as the cutest little girl in attendance at the time, and dolls sat on it for years.

Facebook: I'd go further than you did; I am disturbed by the way it becomes a separate little sub-Internet, in a way that goes back to the crippling limitations of Compuserve / BBS / pre-Internet days. I see clubs and teams using a Facebook page as their website, which means that only Facebook users can check events and schedule. I wish people understood how much information and privacy they're giving away by using it this way.

ps238principal

February 22 2012, 06:54:45 UTC 2 years ago

I saw a clip with some guys that had a row of chairs like you describe. I figure they had to be skilled, strong, and have blades that were sharpened... let's just say "recently" and leave my maintenance routines to scholars.

I also envy the skill of those who have done some of the scroll and band saw demos I've seen on YouTube. If they were samurai (go with me on this), they'd swing a sword at a block of wood in a series of blurred strokes, and when they stopped, they'd blow on it and as the chunks of pine fell away, a dragon statue would be all that was left.

lincolnkw

February 20 2012, 23:59:51 UTC 2 years ago

Quick question for you, PS238 collections, is volume 9 the one that issue 49 is in and the ensuing chapters that went collection only? or does it end with 49? Must order if it is!

ps238principal

February 22 2012, 06:57:59 UTC 2 years ago

Yes, it is. Issues 50 and 51 (or what would have been 50 and 51) are in volume 9.

Anonymous

February 21 2012, 13:22:20 UTC 2 years ago

Perfect breakfast drink—a screwdriver made with 100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka—guaranteed to wake you up far more effectively than that wimpy coffee you've been drinking!

ps238principal

February 22 2012, 06:57:24 UTC 2 years ago

Depending on how one's metabolism works, the time gained in not oversleeping might be lost on a trip to the bathroom. Though I'm hoping medical science is working on a solution. :)

I had a bloody mary made with Dave's Insanity sauce and some form of pepper vodka once. I like hot stuff, but I think the contest between the brain's endorphin production and the effects of the alcohol are what would interest most imbibers.