Saw Sharpening


First attempt at saw sharpening. Went from doesn’t cut at all to mostly working. Used a needle-nose plier to set the teeth, instead of the proper tool (no lo tengo) but it worked.

Lesson (re)learned: a little wax goes a long way towards reducing friction.

I was surprised how straight it cut. Ripped a 3/4″ piece in half (the skinny way) and came pretty close to my line.

But until I get the saws running a little better, this task will continue to be difficult.

Python Funny

Via proofreader plus:
Oh, and here’s an easter egg for C programmers:
from __future__ import braces
  File "<ipython-input-3-2aebb3fc8ecf>", line 1
    from __future__ import braces
SyntaxError: not a chance

Awesome Soup Night


Thanks for coming everyone. Awesome soup night!  Thanks to the early birds, night hawks and gift elves!  Some spoontastic artifacts and cloth treasure were left with much thought. Someone forgot a wood trivet (or maybe just didn’t need one, in which case one is up for grabs). Some hard spirits were offered. 

Again thanks all. Nothing like ending a night amongst good friends.

Heavy snow


Saturday afternoon at Keystone. I only skied for about an hour, but there was almost 4″ on the car when I returned.

Missing Grandpa B

I was putting stuff away now that most of the work on the house is complete, and I ran across these glasses from grandpa Brinkmann. Much missed.


Oh, and for those who remember them, I got a couple of the pink diamond 50’s diner pint glasses too. One of these days when the Brown girls are over, I’ll have to see if I can talk them into a “Brown Cow” (root beer float, using chocolate ice cream).

Dovetail Practice Box

Finished off the dovetail practice box last weekend.

Lessons Learned:

  • Dovetails are hard because there is so much chiseling of end grain.
  • Patience grasshopper. Grrr.
  • Trimming up the protruding ends to match the adjacent surface is harder than it looks, especially when one end of the box is really short and it is hard to move the hand plane over only 1/2 of the surface, resulting in a ton of chipped out tails/pins. Yuck.
  • Rounding off the edges is a great way to cover up the chip-out (see above)
  • Yes, dovetails can be patched if you catch it early enough.

Thanks to David Barron for the nice dovetail guide, however, I’m glad I bought one while they were still made of wood.

Massive, Bierstadt

I didn’t make it up Mt Massive last weekend. I just wasn’t “feelin’ it”, and it was much colder and windier than I expected.

This weekend’s sneak up Mt Bierstadt (because I’m waaaay too slow to attack a mountain) was successful, but also cold and windy. Winter is on it’s way if the mountains are to be believed.

Pictures of both in the 2014 hikes album.

10 Books

Robert Howard asked for my 10 most memorable books. Here are the ones I remember the best:

  1. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein, although I think Starship Troopers was my first Heinlein, and is also good (especially since it was written as juvy fiction). But Stranger is in its own class.

  2. The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell. Again, this book, for me at least, is in a class by itself. Children of God (sequel) was also good.

  3. The Four Pillars of investing, William J  Bernstein. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton G. Malkiel covers the same material, and is the classic reference for this stuff, but I found Bernstein much less dry.

  4. So much less dry, that I also read Bernstein’s Birth of Plenty, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and really made me think about economic/political trends a bit.

  5. Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson. This is one of the first Sci-Fi authors that took it for granted that the reader was already familiar with computers, and general Sci-Fi concepts, which was refreshing. I’ve like a lot of his other stuff. This is just the first one that I read.

  6. Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins. For which, I think you need to also be listening to Maryn Cadell’s Angel Food For Thought, the whole time.

  7. The Many Colored Land, Julian May. I think I read the entire 10+ book series. One of the very few that I’ve done that with – Usually can’t get past book 3 or so in many series.

  8. The Magic of Recluse, L.E. Modesitt Jr. I really liked the philosophical ying/yang thing going on in the magic system.

  9. On a Pale Horse, Piers Anthony. Although A Spell for Chameleon is what got me started on Mr Anthony, and his many other series.

  10. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Honerable Mention

The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey. Even though this is the 3rd book in the series, it was the first one that I read, and this is the first series that I can remember where I read most of them.

Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson. Pretty dense reading for a piece of fiction.

Dune, Frank Herbert. I think this might have been the book that really got me started on science fiction. As a kid, I found a hard copy of it lying on the sidewalk one day. I think it took a couple of years before I got around to reading it.

A Fire Upon The Deep, and Marooned in Realtime, Vernor Vinge. Two very different series.  Marooned is kinda neat in that it is really a detective/mystery story in a sci-fi setting. Fire, I just liked.

The God Engines, John Scalzi. I got this recently as part of a humble (book) bundle.

And may I say, that at this point the recommendations on Good Reads is turning into a giant time suck.