Kludge Klassic: A Sneaker Suspicion

I was sitting comfortably at my desk, earning my living, when something tickled my ankle bone. This unknown then began to work its way down between my shoe and foot towards my sole. There was only the thin cotton of my sock protecting me from this unknown thing. I looked, very calmly down at my shoe, and didn’t see anything. There could be no real doubt about it though, there is something in my shoe.

I have an unnatural fear of bugs, and while some of you will not understand, the idea of an insect in my shoe makes me uneasy. I have visions of spiders, or ear wigs burrowing down into my canvas. Making themselves at home in my cross trainer, and dining on the only available meat when the urge hits them. Add to this the fact that these shoes are on thier last leg and there is a fairly large hole in the one sneaker I'm focused on. After a slight hesitation, I shoved my finger in between the shoe and sock.

“All clear Capitan”

“Proceed to Shoecom 4”

“Captain, what about the smell?”

“Move it soldier!”

I removed my shoe. Nothing. Nada. I shook the shoe violently; I know that there is something in my shoe!

“Peter…” The Boss!

“Hey Boss” I usually call him ‘boss’ especially when startled, “I was working on that TPS report you wanted for…”

“You okay?” He questioned, eying me with a slight suspicion.

“Oh… my foot hurt…that’s all.” I said, looking as nonchalant as possible. This is a little difficult with a shoe in hand.

Once the coast was clear I attacked my right sided smelly shell with a new ferver. There was something in my shoe. I was now looking for a nylon thread, or similar lifeless explanation. I've had this happen before and I was sure I would find something to explain the uncomfortable feeling from earlier. Nothing. Nada.

I left it off for a few minutes in case whatever was in there was hiding and I would soon catch with my well honed spy skills. I waited and it waited. I waited longer and it waited longer. This worked out much the way you would expect. I decided it was ridiculous.

So I put my shoe back on. It was not more than ten minutes later when something tickled my ankle bone. There is something in my shoe!

The Practice Of Dovetails

As everyone with half a brain knows, dovetail joints are the hardest joint to make in woodworking. People with whole brains however, dispute this fact and are generally more articulate at expressing their views.

I like power tools. They're fast, reliable and make for cuts that are highly repeatable. When it comes to working with hand tools, none of those things can be said about me. I'm slow, sloppy and highly erratic. Still, I'm also stubborn and pig headed, so that makes me want to continue trying something until I get it right.

Enter in the dovetails. This is a joint that proves that you have the skills required to be a craftsman. A good clean dovetail makes people want to get up a cheer. So that's the goal. cheering crowds of people when they see my joinery. I like to set reasonable expectations on all aspects of my life.

The trouble is it's actually hard. It's really hard. I don't know what I expected it to be, but hard wasn't on the list. Tricky, challenging, fun. Right fun was on the list.

Shrug. Where do we get these ideas from anyway? You see people doing this all the time.

  • (Some random day in May) "I want to run a marathon"
    (Two minutes into marathon) "What the hell was I thinking!?"

  • (While watching DIY) "I want to repaint the kitchen. You know, liven things up"
    (On third coat with paint in your eye) "What the hell was I thinking!?"

  • (Sitting comfortably at the office) "I should learn hand dovetails"
    (45 minutes into chiseling out waste on a set of pins) "Don't I have a machine I could do this with?"

    And in fact I do...
  • Lazy Thursday Blues: Magic Eyes 4

    Lazy Thursday Blues!! It's been a while but here we go!

    Anyone reading this that recalls the 90's craze that was Magic Eyes?! We had a giant poster sided one at my school that took me days to get. I stood there for what felt like hours trying to see anything other than a pretty blue pattern smeared on a printed sheet of paper. Even worse was standing there staring at the thing while fellow students "ooed and ahhed" at the wall. It drove me mad!

    Once I finally figured it out, I felt like a treasure hunter who scored a giant pile of loot! Now, I can see them instantly. I suppose it's like riding a bike, once you conquer it, you never forget!

    Be the first to post below what you see and be the first to win at being the first...

    Three Short Months

    Three months is a long time. It funny because it doesn't feel that long but it is. Three months ago I did something kinda crazy. I went on a juice diet. I drank my breakfast lunch and dinner for 10 days. 10 days sounded like a piece of cake when I started.

  • Day 1 -"Shoot," I mused. "This is going to be nothing. I can do 10 days easy."

    I was such a fool back then.

  • Day 3 - My headaches were so bad I had to take 2 Aleve just to get through the day. "Oh well," starving Peter muttered. "It's the price of eating poorly for so long."

  • Day 5 - I ditched veggie drinks in a wild fit of rebellion. "I cannot gag down another carrot juice. I'm only juicing fruit from now on."

  • Day 7 - I was sick of drinking juice. I hated it with such venom that it couldn't be suppressed. In contrast though, I loved the results. "I hate drinking slime for lunch," I gagged. "But my pants feel pretty good!"

  • Day 10 - I had somehow convinced myself that it was all worth it. "Done! I'm down and feel great." Maybe it was the lack of calories I was ingesting...

    It's been almost three months since my first juicing diet. (Jan 8th 2012) Since I started I've lost a total of 31lbs. It's a great start, and I feel good, but I'm a big guy and still have another 30-40 lbs to go.

    So, I started another 10 day juice fast last Saturday. It's amazing how you can tend to forget how horrible something really was with just a few short months of time.

  • Day 5 - "What the hell was I thinking..."
  • Trackballs and the Promise of the Future

    Trackballs look like the future. They are sleek, odd and different. They do exactly what mice do, but do it while looking awesome. Trackballs are a vision of tomorrow. Except...

    ...they don't quite live up to that hope. They don't work any better than mice, in fact in some ways they are less useful. They tend to gum up pretty easily, and require frequent cleaning. In addition to that, they're kinda gross. Rolling your hand over nasty germs, dirt and all those dead cells from other people who might have rolled your trackball.

    But...the ball is really fun to play with. Sometime you want to take it out and just roll it in your hand. You sit there playing with it and rolling it around and start to think to yourself, "I wonder if I do that thing that the Goblin King did in Labyrinth, and roll it up and over my fingers?" You then think about David Bowie in really tight leather pants. After you force breakfast back down your throat, you grab tightly to your trackball ball and give it a try. Surprise, surprise...

    ...it drops. With a loud THUD and rolls across the ground and under a metal filing cabinet and there you are. Metal filing cabinets are NOT anything like the future. They are the past.

    They hold the relics of a part remembered memory. Those sections of your your mind that you printed out in hope of preserving knowledge. Knowledge that got edged out of your brain in desire to retain more useful information. Information like the all the dialogue in Star Wars: A New Hope, and every IP addresses of DNS servers from companies that have long since been dismantled. ( There is nothing new to be learned from a filing cabinet except what you might have already forgotten.

    So you find yourself down on all fours; face to the ground, on your dirty office floor peering under a filthy filing cabinet searching for your future. How is this anything like the promise you were offered not mere moments ago? See the overly simplified analogy? The future is like a trackball, and if you're not careful you'll find yourself stuck in the past wondering what happened to your hope.