Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silver, with golden bands

I couldn't let today pass without marking it here. Twenty five years ago today, it was really hot in what is now my back yard. About 120 guests arrived for the grand event, and soon we ran out of beer. There were balloons, and blue slacks, matching ties, and bride's maid dresses from Laura Ashley. There was a pastor named Bob, all of our relatives, and quite a few friends. The catering didn't go so well but the people being honored that day looked like a million bucks.

Every picture of me has me with my mouth open. Most of the pictures are slightly tilted because our "official photographer" who took pictures on a point and shoot camera was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Most of the good pictures are snapshots from friends.

We started mostly on time, as I recall, though it seemed that some family members rushed things a bit. The vows were sweet, though not nearly as sweet as the 25 years hence, or as my pretty young bride.

I still remember that day very fondly. We were wed where our swing set now stands.

To all of our friends and family who were there, and all of those who we met later, I would like to say thank you for being there for us and supporting us as a couple. Thank you for the interest you have shown in us and our lives.

My biggest thanks go to my wife, of course. Thanks for putting up with me, through good and bad and worse times. Thank you for sharing your life completely with me, and for believing in me even when I deeply doubted myself.

Any of us who could go back in time with the freedom to change what we didn't like would do so in a moment. I would change a lot of things - and buy Netscape too - but there are few no decisions that I have made that have that have had such a profound and positive influence on my life as the decision to marry Sharon. I can't imagine a better choice and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So friggin busy...

Well, here is one of the three tables. As of tonight they are stacked in the garage drying. This project has been much more time-consuming than I expected. Sheesh.

Monday, May 18, 2009

13 days!!

Sorry about leaving you all out of fresh flaming scroll there. I got all busy and stuff.

So we went to Cain's Crossing Renaissance Faire and that was a lot of fun. Other than that, tables, work, tables, work, tables...

And there was that TRRIBLE BAD MOVIE Greaser's Palace. Don't EVER watch it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Magical Progress Faeire Visits Bob

So I made some progress on those projects. Here is the evidence, Your Honor.
Behold, the nut case. This is how I eventually solved the difficult task of embedding a nut in the middle of a block of wood, and still being able to use the nut. I'm so clever.
Here is what it looks like before you put it together

I also glued up, cut, and chamfered the feet. I made 13 just in case something bad happens to one of them.

And then there are all the legs that the nut cases are part of. The nut case goes on the bottom of the leg. It accepts a piece of threaded rod that is glued into the foot. See?
Gluing takes LOTS of clamps. They are like stitch markers, only a lot bigger.

And that little project at work got wrapped up on Monday, an 11 hour Monday as I recall.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Briefly shrinking from greatness to blog

Having committed to three simultaneous complex projects with Actual Deadlines has me stressed. I know that I will ultimately be successful, but it's a sense of 'this is too hard' coupled with having two other projects that are also 'this is too hard'. Ugh.

Project 1 is the launch of a new product at work. In my role as manufacturing guru I find that I am increasingly relied on by the product development people to get all of the loose ends tied up; the ones that they have inadvertently created. And lots of the development work is untested, specifically the parts that will form the enclosure that the customer sees first, and an automatic door mechanism - one that I have yet to see function. Bear in mind that the first commercial shipments of this product are in about eight weeks.

Project 1a is the manufacturing cell for the product. The instrument is about 150 pounds give or take a few. So you can't really just pick it up with anything resembling the control needed to lift a quarter million dollar product. It has to be hoisted. So I designed, specified parts for, did all the metal work for, and am building a pair of workstations with an integrated gantry crane. I started assembly yesterday. Let's just say that it is challenging, even for me. Here's a picture.

Project 2 is the four benches and two tables needed for The Guild Of St George Renaissance faire troupe. I need to bring them with us when we go to Lake Tahoe on the 29th of this month. So I have four, uh three, uh two and a half weekends and some scattered evenings to get all this stuff built, and finished with stain and varnish. So far I have 2/3 of one of the 12 adjustable legs built. The glue is drying as I type. The complication is that I committed that the tables would have adjustable, folding legs. Mind you that this furniture that I am building needs to look ornate as well, to suit the presence of Her Majesty. Let's just say that it is challenging, even for me.

Project 3 is the completion of the carpentry preparations for the painting of the house. The aforementioned windows were a major part of that. There is also the completion of the installation of the trim around windows I installed in 1996, a replacement of a decrepit back door to the garage, and about 50 feet of a trim bit that makes the finishing joint between the top of the siding and the eave. When all that is done, we can paint. Let's just say that it is challenging, even for me.

And the sprinkler solenoid in the front yard failed two weeks after replacement. And the right-hand keyboard lifting clip broke. Time for a cup of tea in the mug with the girl with the beach ball size boobs. (see the broken clip?)

Once all that is done, we can remodel the kitchen.