Archive for June, 2017

I’m Lovin’ It

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Serve me Cold Decaf at Your Peril

The Terror of McDonald’s is at it again.

I have written about my annoying problems at McDonald’s. When I forget to get breakfast food, I end up filling the gap with McMuffins, and then I run into the Perplexing Wall of McDonald’s Incompetence. Chick-fil-A manages to get minimum wage employees to treat customers like royalty, but McDonald’s can’t get them to brew fresh coffee every half an hour or give you what you ordered.

As you will see if you read earlier posts, I found my bad experiences at McDonald’s to have deeper meaning than one would expect. I believe God told me it was a bad idea to drink caffeine, and because McDonald’s employees kept drugging me with regular coffee (because it’s just too hard to keep decaf on hand), I had nights when I didn’t sleep well. I wrote about a day when I felt crabby and irritable because McDonald’s had dosed me.

Today a friend called and asked if he could come over for prayer. I still had not gotten my breakfast supplies together, so I went to Mickey D’s before his visit. There was no one at the register. A girl sauntered by, thumbing her smartphone. She stood at the register, texting. I asked her if she was taking my order, and she said “no” and went about her business. I decided to try again. I asked her if ANYONE was taking my order.

She walked over to a place where she could see into the kitchen, and she started yelling at “Areli,” who was busy in the back doing something the first girl didn’t approve of. She kept saying, “Really, Areli? Really?” Eventually, Areli emerged and took my order, and I went home. I didn’t give anyone a hard time. Not even the classic Miami woman who came in and tried to get in front of me while I was waiting for Areli.

The store was cleaner than usual. Strange.

My friend was hungry when I picked him up, so we went by the same McDonald’s. Areli took his order, and I stood back and waited. A neatly dressed man came up and asked if I had been waited on. I said I was just waiting, and I expected him to place an order.

He approached me again, and I said I was waiting for my friend. “And waiting…and waiting.” To my surprise, he started apologizing and told me he was the owner.

This explained the sudden cleanliness.

I felt like I had an audience with President Trump. I started delivering my laundry list of complaints. No fresh decaf, mainly. I told him the story of Areli and the smartphone. I wasn’t trying to get kids fired. I was trying to let a businessman know what was happening to his investment, and I was hoping some day I might get some decent coffee.

I told him nothing happened when I commented on the McDonald’s websites, and he said that stuff takes forever to get to the owners.

My friend stood and took all this in. We had been talking about the slack attitude of the employees on the way to the store. After we left, he started talking about the obvious way God was favoring me.

Does this mean everything is fixed at the local McDonald’s? I don’t know, but it definitely means I can’t go back for at least a month. Not unless I want boogers in my food.

I don’t feel bad for the kids. They needed to have their butts kicked. A good lecture will make them better employees, and it will result in their making more money later in life. Or it will weed out the hopeless; the stubborn mules who drag everyone else down.

It was a very strange experience. It made me realize I had never been in a really clean McDonald’s before, and that I had never seen a McDonald’s owner who gave a crap.

I thought it was an interesting experience, so here it is for your enjoyment.

Today I bought food, so I’m all set for the next two weeks or so. By then, maybe Areli will have forgiven me.

McDonald’s Drugs Customers

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Cocoa is the New Coffee

I don’t want to encourage anyone in error, but I believe the Mormons are right about one thing: caffeine is bad news.

God gave me a strong habit of daily prayer in tongues, and the more I did it, the less caffeine I was able to tolerate. I suppose that makes sense. Caffeine is a drug, and we use drugs to compensate for a lack of blessings. If you’re in line with God’s will, you won’t need drugs to get you out of bed in the morning or get you through the workday.

It’s funny how used we have gotten to taking this powerful drug. It’s as if it’s completely normal to get up in the morning and pour yourself full of something that speeds up your heart rate, jacks up your alertness, raises your blood pressure, and increases your ability to focus. Speed and cocaine do the same things, only better, and no one thinks it’s normal to start the day with several lines of blow.

It’s also funny that people don’t see caffeine as a powerful drug. Eat a tablespoon of instant coffee and see if it’s powerful or not. It will have you climbing the walls. You can overdose on caffeine. People have done it.

Every so often, I go to McDonald’s and get McMuffins to take home. I run out of the stuff I usually eat for breakfast. Problem: the McDonald’s kids don’t make decaf.

McDonald’s doesn’t care about decaf. It’s an afterthought. They don’t police their employees to make sure they have fresh decaf ready all the time. When you order decaf at McDonald’s, you will almost always get it one of three ways: 1. hot and stale and smelling like cat pee, 2. cold and stale, or 3. not decaf. It’s virtually impossible to get real, fresh decaf unless you ask for it and wait a long time for it.

The kids don’t care. They think you can’t tell the difference between decaf and regular. They just want you out of their hair. They’ll give you whatever looks like decaf just to make you shut up. They give me regular coffee all the time. Complaining to the kids doesn’t help, because McDonald’s employees don’t care at all about the quality of their work. Complaining to corporate doesn’t work, because McDonald’s only cares if a franchise makes money on the whole. They’re not going to go in and knock heads just because a few of their customers can’t get a decent beverage.

People who run McDonald’s stores don’t hang around keeping an eye on things. They buy franchises because they want money machines they don’t have to supervise. If you want an owner who cares about your happiness, you’ll have to go to Chick-fil-A, where you will be treated like visiting royalty every time.

There are no Chick-fil-As near me.

Yesterday the McDonald’s kids drugged me again. I was complaining about the perpetual decaf issues. They give you hot food, and then they tell you to wait for decaf to brew. Then you have cold food. They could tell I was not happy, so they drugged me.

I was suspicious, because the fresh “decaf” came out as soon as I complained, but I figured I would be okay. If it was regular, I would take two Benadryls to help me sleep.

I knew something was wrong after I drank the coffee, because I felt too good afterward. I was full of energy and caffeine euphoria. After that, I got what you always get when a stimulant wears off. I was cranky and somewhat depressed. I felt bad for hours.

I went to the corporate website and complained, but I knew I was wasting my time. From now on, I’ll have cocoa, and I’ll make it myself. Coffee makes McDonald’s a lot of money, because it’s practically free to make, but they’ll have to get by without my coffee money.

It’s weird, because all the other restaurants manage to serve people decaf. Denny’s never gets it wrong. The local deli never gets it wrong. Never. It’s not that hard to get right.

Cocoa contains a miniscule amount of caffeine, plus a chemical called theobromine which does not cause caffeine problems. Good enough. And the milk is good for my bones. I drink it every day anyway.

A long time ago, God gave me this: “Caffeine destroys peace.” Yesterday helped me understand how right he is. I was annoyed about things that shouldn’t have annoyed me at all. I was annoyed about being annoyed. I didn’t want it. I fought it. I didn’t want to be cross with innocent people.

I thought about the millions of people in this county who chug Cuban coffee all day. This is espresso with so much sugar it makes it thick. No one even pretends it’s a beverage. It’s just a drug. They sell it in tiny cups that hold about an ounce. Drink it, and get back to installing rain gutters. That’s the Miami way. And Miami is an extremely hostile city. People here are angry all the time.

I wonder how much of America’s anger and violence can be attributed to caffeine and nicotine (another stimulant). When the drugs are working, all is well, but the crash always comes, and then your patience and cheer evaporate.

I gave up cigars because the tiny amount of nicotine I inhaled started keeping me awake at night, and because I felt God wanted me to stop smoking them. I wonder what life is like for addicts who smoke 30 cancer sticks a day, inhaling as deeply as possible to satisfy a burning desire for nicotine. Smokers can be irritable and hard to deal with even when things are going well, and God help you if you’re around one when he can’t get his fix. My mother used to grab butts out of the car ashtray and unroll them to keep her going until she could get to the store.

I would hate to have a drug dependence that started to make me angry at people every 45 minutes.

Before Jesus, people who believed in God were concerned about what they said and did. External things. They couldn’t do much about their inner selves. Jesus demanded more. He wants us to change so the things that well up inside us aren’t black and toxic. Under the old system, it was okay to have a spring of filth inside you as long as you sat on it and restrained it. That’s not how Christianity works. Because we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to change our roots. We can change our insides so the evil doesn’t rise up in us in the first place.

Pre-Christian Judaism will help you not to have sex with your neighbor’s wife, but it won’t keep you from thinking about it. Holy-Spirit-led Christianity will help you hate the thought of it.

I thought about things like this while caffeine had me in its grip.

TV is full of lying preachers who tell us to give them money in order to get God to fix our finances. It’s a crock. It makes people poorer. But the New Testament does provide perfect financial advice, and here it is: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” That’s a promise, from God itself. Either it’s true, or God is a liar.

Christians don’t know the Holy Spirit, because there is no one–no person of national prominence–who can teach us about him. I’m sure there are lots of obscure people dispending good advice, but there is not ONE SINGLE well-known preacher who can be trusted. The Pope knows nothing at all; he’s a garden variety socialist. Billy Graham is a nice guy, but he’s not that helpful. Rick Warren teaches pride and self-salvation. The money preachers are just pigs.

We don’t know the Holy Spirit, so we live like pre-Christian Jews. We try to fix ourselves, and we work on external things. We don’t have much confidence in inner change.

If you want things to go well in your life, you’re supposed to be focusing on building his kingdom, and as Jesus said, that kingdom is inside you. The kingdom isn’t a giant, money-stuffed church. It’s not a nation with laws taken from the Bible. It’s God, ruling inside a clean vessel. You have to be a place in which God is comfortable. You have to be a little tabernacle or Ark of the Covenant.

I thought about lust yesterday. Steve Munsey, who knows as much about God as a baboon, says it’s okay to look at women as long as you don’t touch. Jesus said that looking on a woman with lust was inward adultery. In the past, I believed what Munsey believes, so I got in the habit of fantasizing about women. I had a disturbing realization yesterday. I would not want to go anywhere near a porn theater, but I had turned my own mind into one, and I expected God to be comfortable there. How about that?

Here is what Paul said:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

When I take stimulants, I invite things like anger and cruelty. Of course God dislikes stimulants! God doesn’t want to live on the set of the Jerry Springer show! How could I not have known this?

God’s truths are obvious. As soon as you understand one, you wonder why you didn’t see it sooner.

Last night I thought about the reappearance of Jesus. After the crucifixion, he appeared to the disciples and spent a long time with them, explaining things to them. They knew Jesus. They had traveled with him and worked with him. But when he reappeared, they had no idea who he was. It was as if they were Lois Lane and he was Superman with Clark Kent’s magical glasses. They thought some stranger was talking to them. Then he allowed them to recognize him, and they were shocked to see who their new companion was.

That’s how Christianity works. The truth is obvious and simple, but we can’t see it because we are supernaturally blinded and deafened. When God takes away the barriers, his truth is so plain it’s bewildering.

Lately I have been focusing on inner change more than ever, and it has paid off in natural rewards. I have more time to do what I want. My business affairs take up very little of my time. Problems pop up, and when I prepare to handle them, they disappear, or I find out someone else is taking care of them. Surely this is Jesus, adding “all these things” to me. It has to be true, because it’s what he promised.

It’s a disturbing process in some ways. I don’t know what it’s like to live a truly humble and honest life. I know how to be proud, and I know how to be defeated and full of self-loathing; those things are easy. Now I have to be humble yet untroubled and confident of my future.

I am not a person who is worthy of respect. No one who knew my worst thoughts would respect me. It’s not pleasant to have God remind me of this, but on the other hand, it’s the key to relief. The Bible says God fights the proud (including those who are in denial), and he helps those who have broken hearts and contrite spirits. Help is what I want. A little painful introspection is a small price to pay.

Pride is like a goalkeeper who keeps God from helping us, and humility is a key that opens the door to God. There is always symmetry in the supernatural

I feel bad about what I am and what I have wasted, but my situation is understandable. When I was young, I had absolutely no one to teach me, and that is still true. There isn’t one preacher on earth I care to listen to. I haven’t seen a single one who is even close to right. If they knew what worked, they would be focusing on it and giving practical instructions for making it happen, and they do not do that. I recognize God’s voice, as he said I would. I recognize an imitation.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit. If I had to rely on human beings, I would be as good as damned. We are as filthy and treacherous as rats. At best, we are ignorant. The Holy Spirit knows everything, and he is one hundred percent trustworthy and loyal.

If you rely on drugs, my advice is to go to God and find out why you need them. Something is amiss,and if you admit that, you can find the answer.

I’m going to get used to cocoa. I don’t want to have any more days like yesterday.

Driven to Excellence

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Nothing is Ever Simple

Some topics are so complicated, you can never be truly sure you understand them. A man could spend two lifetimes studying such a topic and never reach a solid conclusion. Of course, I am thinking of this principle mainly in connection with buying screwdrivers.

There is a Youtube guy who calls himself AvE, and he is a good resource for tool info. He seems to be brilliant and highly informed. I don’t know what his qualifications are. He doesn’t build much of anything (suspicious), but he does evaluate tools a lot. His big problem is that he has the mind of an 8-year-old boy. I don’t mean an ordinary 8-year-old boy. I mean the one who used to come to school with pornography and cigarettes. The one who pinched the good-looking teachers.

AvE cannot stop gushing filthy, juvenile remarks. When I watch his videos, I grit my teeth and wait for them to end. It’s a hailstorm of infantile filth. I’m embarrassed for him, and I’m just plain grossed out. That’s really something, considering what a filthy sense of humor I used to have. I could watch vintage Andrew Dice Clay without cringing, but AvE is on his own level.

I don’t know what “AvE” means. Maybe it’s his initials. “Augustus von Ehrmantraut.”

Anyhow, he put up a very informative video (to which I will not link) about screwdrivers, and I learned a lot from watching it. Then I took two showers and sprayed my TV with Febreze.

When I first bought tools for myself, I bought Craftsman. The best, right? Everyone loves Craftsman. Wow, was I wrong. Some of their stuff is good, and some is not. The screwdrivers are easy to round off. But that’s okay, because they have a lifetime warranty, right? No; it is not okay. Do you really want to drive back and forth to Sears for the rest of your life, especially when it’s going out of business? Do you want to live with the knowledge that your screwdrivers WILL fail over and over? It’s not that hard to buy screwdrivers that will not fail during your lifetime or even your grandson’s lifetime.

Also, what if you get your crap replaced? Say you have a screw that won’t turn, it eats your screwdriver, and you get a new screwdriver. What’s going to happen when you try again? It will eat the second screwdriver. Not only will you have to replace tools; you’ll have to work around tough (or not so tough) jobs in order to avoid boogering the replacements. I gave up on Craftsman.

Later on, I built a nice collection of Klein Tools drivers. Klein makes tools for electricians. The drivers I got had plastic handles with rubber covers. Problem: when you get certain solvents on them (gasoline, at least), the covers seem to start to melt. It’s like using a screwdriver with uncured silicone sealant on it. And guess what? They’re not insulated. So Klein makes screwdrivers people think will work well for electrical jobs…without insulating them. Their insulated line costs more.

Kleins are nice and hard, and they have thoughtful features, but those dissolving handles are not good, and I once came very close to touching a 240V wire with one. It might not have protected me. What am I paying for, then? Electrical tools that don’t work for electrical jobs, which also don’t work for automotive jobs where gasoline may be present.

Incidentally, real insulated screwdrivers have insulated shanks. People often touch the shanks of their screwdrivers while using them, and shanks are conductive. Think about that when you play with electricity.

I watched AvE’s tawdry, sleazy video (filth commencement within 3 seconds of the start) while I was searching for information, and like a lot of people, he heartily endorsed Snap-On. Thing is, Snap-On tools are a giant ripoff, even if they ARE good. You have to be a sucker to buy a substantial number of them at anything close to retail prices. Amazon has a set of 8 screwdrivers for $200. That’s incredibly stupid; I don’t care if they get up and sing and dance for you. Snap-On tools are like Chanel purses for men. The quality is there, but we buy them to feed our egos and feel validated. For many Snap-On customers, these tools are not to be used. They are to be cleaned and sorted and stored in overpriced Snap-On boxes. Then they sit and look at them, while they use Craftsman tools. The Snap-On box is like the second living room with plastic on the furniture.

I continued looking around and asking questions, and I came up with a few things that seemed to get good recommendations pretty consistently.

1. Felo wood handle screwdrivers. Don’t laugh. Wood screwdrivers may look old-fashioned, but think of all the high-end woodworking tools that have wood handles. These drivers have shanks that go all the way to the ends of the handles. The steel is exposed so you can hit them with hammers and drive them into dirty screws. They have weird leather inserts around the steel. They have hex bolsters on the shanks, so you can turn them with wrenches. And they’re German. The Germans love good tools. You can get the basic 5-driver set for about $28. That’s a steal.

Snap-On has a special program where you’re allowed to smell a screwdriver for $28.

They also have a new service where you get to stand behind the truck and watch the salesman sit behind a pane of glass and slowly turn a stubborn panhead screw. Then the blind starts coming down, and you have to insert a $5 bill for three more minutes.

I’m sorry, but you have to be a real dupe to fall for Snap-On. Even if you’re a billionaire, there should be some limitations to your willingness to let people cheat you. I will gladly pay $12,000 for a good lathe, and I have paid $200 for really nice pants, but I won’t pay $25 for an incredible screwdriver even if it cures warts, repels vampires, and predicts the future.

2. Wera Chiseldrivers. German again. These have synthetic handles. They are very heavily built. Like the Felos, they have full-length shanks, and you can turn them with wrenches. The name “Chiseldriver” tells you how upset the company will be if you hit one of these with a hammer. These screwdrivers are really ugly, but hey, your hand covers the handle. A set of six runs $43, and it comes with a rack, which is a typically subtle Teutonic hint. You WILL pick up your tools. Schweinhund.

3. Wiha insulated [German] screwdrivers. Wiha makes a lot of neat things. I love their precision screwdrivers. I have heard their hex keys (which I have) will deform before Bondhus hex keys will, but the screwdrivers have been well received by most people. Their insulated drivers are certified to 1000VAC/1500VDC. That ought to keep me alive a while longer. And they’re not too expensive. You can get a set for about $7/driver.

I feel like picking up some Felos for motorcycle work. Kleins are flat unacceptable for these jobs. Wiha insulated drivers sound like a must, because Kleins are not fit for electrical work either. For Fifty bucks, I can stop risking my life unnecessarily.

I’m starting to wonder what the Kleins are good for. Guess I can stop buying them.

Getting into tools is a funny process. You start in order to get your questions answered and your problems solved, and then you end up with more questions and problems. But at least they’re not doofus questions and problems. Instead of striving from a position of failure and ignorance, you strive from a position of some authority and success. I’m not trying to figure out which crappy Craftsman screwdriver is best. I’m trying to figure out which fantastic German screwdriver is best, and all of the choices are good.

If you don’t care about tools, go get some Huskys from Home Depot. They will let you down a few times during your life, but you will get over it. If you care, get German and never worry about buying new drivers again. If you give your tools names like “HELLDRIVER” and stage make-believe plays where they have tool adventures and you do all the voices for them, buy Snap-On and maybe some Thorazine. That’s how I see it. I don’t know a whole lot, so I may be wrong, but taking my advice is probably marginally better than guessing.

I am glad I was alive to write this. Those Kleins nearly got me.

The Snark of the Beast

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

TDS Penetrates Better Than Liquid Wrench

Trump Derangement Syndrome gets worse and worse, and it works its way into every area of life.

I belong to a number of forums, and I subscribe to a bunch of Youtube channels. I have a lot of interests. Last night I saw a link to a Youtube video by a person who runs a forum I belonged to, and I took a look.

Like many forums, the forum he runs has a politics ban. Nonetheless, he started his video with footage of Trump making an off-the-cuff proposal about an idea which involved the use of certain technology. That technology lay within the area of expertise of the forum proprietor (he claims), and he proceeded to sneer at Trump and “debunk” his plan.

Mind you, Trump did not say he had a serious plan, or that he was sure it would work. He just mentioned an idea, and he issued a disclaimer, saying it was just an idea, and that his own expertise lay elsewhere.

Maybe the idea was not sound. I don’t know. It was probably something one of Trump’s friends tossed out over dinner. It wasn’t a formal plan. Anyway, Mr. Forum was pretty nasty in his “debunking,” and to make matters worse, he’s a foreigner. He wants Americans to use his forum and help him make money on Youtube, but he feels entitled to insult our president and butt into our internal affairs. And we’re not allowed to respond, because that would be political.

On the forum, I complained that his video made me feel unwelcome, and I suggested it was possible to debunk ideas without taking a nasty tone. Mr. Forum criticized me and deleted my account. By that time, I had destroyed all of my posts, and I was looking for the button that would flush my account. Anyone who looks at threads in which I participated will be very confused, because I deleted most of my stuff, and the rest was replaced with a short non-sequiturial quote from a popular book.

What he did was very bad business. Let’s face it; Americans are a big force in the marketplace. We can pretend Internet forum proprietors support themselves off attention from people from backward places like India and Morocco, but they don’t. The vast majority of his supporters come from the US and Europe. In all likelihood, around half of the Americans who feed his family are conservative. If I’m offended by his rudeness, others are, too. In fact, I’m not the only one who left the forum. And he needs us. We don’t need him. There are tons of forums out there. Besides, if I feel like it, I can start a new account under a new name, I can use well-known methods to escape IP address detection, and I can ask all the questions I want. Then I can delete my new account and the content I posted. I didn’t lose access to his forum, but he lost my support.

I quit watching the news a long time ago. I don’t submit to the presence of left-wing nuts voluntarily. I don’t go to political forums. I would never put a Trump sign in my yard or wear a Trump shirt, because I don’t want to be the victim of petty crimes. I read books and watch Youtube to get away from the hate. Now the hate is following me into new venues.

I wasn’t rude. I didn’t call anyone names. I was very polite, at least until I used Mr. Forum’s own phrasing to quit his forum. I was treated very rudely, without provocation, by a person who needs my business.

On a supernatural level, this is a symptom of the darkness that is creeping over our nation. There used to be walls that held it back, but we dropped our walls when we turned away from God, and now spirits and people who are against God have more access to us than ever. They can come into our businesses and shut them down. They can take your children away if they don’t like the way you’re raising them. If you send your kids to school with Oreos in their lunchboxes, they may have the temerity to confiscate their food and send you nasty notes.

It’s going to get worse. Property rights will disappear. Liberties that are deeply personal will disappear. We are already losing the right to speak freely, but here is what’s worse: we are losing the right to refuse to speak as we are told. You can be fired from certain jobs for refusing to call a man a woman, or for refusing to call a sexually confused person “them” or “ze.”

That’s really something. God respects free will; he preferred creating hell to abolishing our ability to govern ourselves. Satan is different. God doesn’t want robotic children, but Satan is happy to take them. Until he can get our hearts and minds, he will settle for our bodies and tongues.

That is a long stretch from Internet forum intrusions, but it all comes from the same battle plan. The hate is coming at us from all directions now, around the clock.

How do you think Obama got the power to force us to buy insurance, not to drive cars or run businesses, but simply to live? That was a supernatural defeat. The law was not on his side, and neither was the public. Miraculously, we still ended up with a bizarre new government compulsion. When crazy things happen, look for a supernatural cause.

Man, I’m glad I’m moving to a conservative area full of Christians. I don’t want to deal with the children of darkness every single day. I’m aware that I’m climbing on a coffee table in a basement which is quickly flooding, but it will be better than standing on the floor with the water around my neck.

Here is what bothers me: what percentage of future persecution targets are aware of the threat? How many take it seriously? How many are preparing? It’s hard to develop a relationship with God and gain his protection when the freaks and flakes are at the door to drag you off to your undignified end. It takes time to get to know God.

The smart Jews got out of Germany before the Nuremberg Laws were passed. We know what happened to the rest.

You can’t escape to a safer country. The US is the end of the road. When the US is gone, there will be nowhere to move to. But you can move to better areas in America and prosper longer, and you can get into the shelter of God’s protection.

Look how used to persecution we are. We’re not marching in the streets when homosexuals close businesses. We barely respond when celebrities joke about killing the president. A lunatic leftist just tried to assassinate an entire pack of GOP congressmen, and he hit one and shot three other people. The outrage was muted, to say the least. There are more people protesting Michael Brown’s justified shooting, which happened years ago, than the DC ambush.

A funny thing happens when you get used to mistreatment. It increases. You focus on shutting out the unpleasantness, not resisting or preparing.

I am all about getting poisonous people out of my life. I snip ties to abusers and bad influences the way other people snip their nose hairs. I do it instantly and usually without warning, and I never go back. I forgive. From a distance.

No one wants to turn into a pillar of salt!

I was thinking about friendships last night. I remembered some things my mother told me. She did not originate them, but she was wise to repeat them. She said, “People are no damn good,” which is also what the Bible says, and she said, “If you have one real friend, you are very lucky.” I make friends easily, but I don’t have a lot of casual friends. I don’t respect people who think they have a lot of friends. If you think you have a lot of friends, you’re gullible or you’re selling out. You’re a friendship slut.

To me, there are two types of friends. There are real friends, and then there are people you enjoy hanging out with. If you can’t call a person at three in the morning to come give you a jump start, that person is not your friend.

I thought about people my dad knows. He has an ex-partner named Rufus (perhaps not his real name). Rufus is very greedy and shallow, and he has a cruel streak. Rufus married a shallow but attractive lady named Isabel, and then a very good-looking woman named Gertrude (not) joined the firm. Gertrude is a nice person, but she is not deep. First thing you know, Rufus and Gertrude are married, and Isabel is out in the cold with a greatly reduced standard of living. Then one day word got out that Rufus was sleeping with Donna the receptionist, and Rufus was divorcing Gertrude. Here is the excuse people said he gave: Gertrude stopped going to the gym. Is it true? Wouldn’t surprise me. They got back together in the end.

Back around 1982, my dad bought a boat in partnership with Rufus and Rufus’s “friend,” Jim. I should have known something was fishy. My dad never spent money on such things when I was a kid. We never had a real vacation. He did not support expensive activities for his kids. We didn’t have much in the way of toys. I think Rufus manipulated my dad in order to get himself a big boat and only pay for a third of it. He also got him to buy a third of a luxury waterfront condo.

Later on, Rufus got my dad and Jim to invest in another boat, which was eight feet longer. At some point, Rufus wanted to make a big expenditure on the boat. My dad said he was game, but he said he wondered about Jim. According to my dad, Rufus said, “Jim’s stupid. He’ll do whatever I want.” My dad thought that was funny, and it was, but if Rufus said things like that about Jim, what was he saying about my dad?

I don’t feel bad for Jim, whose real name is Jim. He really disliked me. He was rude to me from the first time he met me, and for some reason, my dad never defended me. Jim loved to start conversations by accusing me of things. For example, he accused me of failing to properly tie down the dinghy they kept on the front of the boat. It eventually came through the boat’s windshield in a high sea. I’m sure this is not relevant, but Jim had a not-wholesome-looking teenage boy who was almost certainly capable of believing a rubber bungee cord (yes) could hold down a 500-pound boat. Unlike me (I lived out of state), he knew how to run the davit and lower the dinghy into the water.

In those days, I was not much of a Christian, so I put Jim in his place in front of people without hesitation. Jim was mentally slow, but he had a Dunning-Kruger thing going on. He was convinced he was smarter than I was, but he was never right about anything, so when we conversed, things went poorly for him. No matter how many times he got stung, he never learned not to provoke Happy Fun Ball. He always expected to come out on top.

Here’s a funny thing: Rufus and his wife voted my dad out of the firm, after my dad made him a partner at an early age and helped make him rich. They then sued him unsuccessfully (In terms of ability, Rufus << my dad.) over a client that went with my dad. After all that, they maintained a practice of inviting him to their Christmas party every year, which they held on his birthday. And he went! Even when I invited him to celebrate with my friends and me instead. I never went with him. I was offended that they had the gall to invite me. And thanks for taking him away from his son on his birthday. This is what friendship is, to many people. In all likelihood, Rufus has never had a friend. People find him entertaining and funny, but they laugh at him, not with him. When people talk about him, they don't have anything nice to say. I have never heard anyone say they liked him or that they admired anything about him, but I've heard people make fun of him a great deal. When I was young, I was not all that sensitive to contempt and abuse, because I was raised with it. The older I get, the less willing I am to tolerate it. The price I put on my company says a lot about me. I like being alone or with a few people I know to be decent and sincere. I don't get lonely, but subjecting myself to the presence of the Rufuses of this world would be unbearable. I don't miss the people I've cut off. I am relieved they're gone. I feel good about abandoning a snippy Internet forum owner who doesn't appreciate my patronage. I feel good about my reclusive ways. One day God will take me from the earth very abruptly, and the experience will be similar. The screeching and fighting will be in a far off place while I look forward to better things. It seems like I am becoming a person who is easier to kill than to assimilate. I have no problem with that. Be careful who you hang around with, and don't cast your pearls before swine. That's what I say. It would be hilarious if Trump put his plan to work and turned it into a yuge success. I might just visit the forum to see what people had to say.

Goodbye to the King of Swing?

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

The Name Kennedy is Always Associated With Trouble

Wow. Can this be true? The AP says Justice Anthony Kennedy may retire. Kennedy is the Ginsburg of the sane (conservative) wing of the court. He is the farthest left. If we get rid of him, it will be a giant step forward for Christians and conservatives.

It would be much better if one of the Red Sisters hit the road, but Ginsburg appears to be immortal, and young justices do not quit.

Kennedy is the swing vote. By that I mean he is sort of a traitor. He’s conservative in name only. He was appointed by a conservative president (Reagan), and he has proven unreliable. On many occasions, he has helped leftists hinder and corrupt our country by voting with the Supreme Court Soviet Bloc. One wonders how much better off we would be had Reagan chosen someone else.

Actually, Reagan did choose someone else. Two someone elses. The second choice was not all that inspiring, but the first would have been a tremendous blessing to our nation. I am referring to Robert Bork. Bork was a dream justice for Christans and conservatives. He was slandered and reviled during the confirmation process, and the Senate rejected him 58-42. Terrible. If you want to find out how prescient Bork was, and how he would have fought the wave of perpetual offense and entitlement that is sweeping our nation, read his book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. If Ginsburg read it, I have no doubt that her head would burst into flames.

We will probably be stuck with four Marxists on the court until Ginsburg packs it in, but getting rid of Kennedy will be like getting rid of half a Ginsburg, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s a big victory.

I get annoyed with “centrist” voters, because they are ignorant and self-righteous. They are unquestionably the least-informed voters among us. They say dumb things like, “I vote for the man, not the party.” Insane. A president IS a party. His VP may be able to swing Senate votes, he appoints all sorts of cabinet heads and executive officials, and he appoints every single federal judge.

Say you vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, because you are under the astounding delusion that Trump is morally inferior to Clinton. Say Clinton wins. While you feel smug and superior driving your Mercury Marquis back to your corn farm in Iowa or your dude ranch in Montana, Clinton prepares to appoint hordes of slimy leftist extremists who are itching to destroy everything you believe in, take what you have, and persecute everyone who looks like you or shares your religious convictions.

In the aftermath, you would almost certainly be dumb enough to be surprised to see your government turn against you and your loved ones. This is the curse of the ignorant centrist. They’re like Jews who believe in appeasing terrorists. Always shocked when bitter fruit start dropping from the tree they fertilized with their security.

There are smart liberals and smart conservatives. Swing voters are generally fools, at least when it comes to politics. When you live in Wisconsin and most people around you are orderly, kind, and hard-working, it’s easy to fall under the delusion that the rest of the country is in the same situation, and that conservative policies are not needed to keep the looters and freaks at bay. It’s a very selfish delusion. People in South Florida, New York, California, Illinois, Philadelphia, D.C., Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other looter strongholds need a strong hand in the federal government to keep life from turning into a Terry Gilliam movie.

Because we managed to get Trump into the White House, we can look forward to at least 3-1/2 more years of conservative judicial choices. If God helps us, we will lose Ginsburg, and we will find ourselves with a 6-3 majority in 2020. Maybe we’ll lose some of the nuts in the 9th Circuit. That would be very helpful in slowing the rise in persecution of Christians, Jews, white people, heterosexuals, and men.

I don’t see Ginsburg or Breyer quitting voluntarily while Trump is in office. Unlike our witless, ignorant “moderate” voters, Ginsburg and Breyer are very aware of the importance of the political composition of the federal courts. I guarantee you, they lay awake all night after Trump was elected, while happy swing voters in Minnesota snoozed in their safe, fluffy beds like overfed steers.

Trump has turned out to be a bizarre and provocative president, and he has demonstrated a surprising inability to think before he tweets, but he is not going to make bad judicial choices. Too many qualified people have been making lists for too many years. Those lists were ready and waiting for any conservative candidate who made it into the Oval Office. We won’t get a new Ginsburg, and we probably won’t have to deal with another Kennedy. The stakes are too high, and so is awareness. The kingmakers have done their best to weed out the turncoats.

In the end, leftists will win. It’s sad to see conservatives crowing about controlling the federal government and many gubernatorial offices, because they forget that Hillary won the popular vote. They forget that even so-called Repubican lawmakers are doing their best to see to it that millions of Mexicans and Salvadorans get citizenship. Illegal aliens do not care at all about America. They only care about getting Tia Marta shipped over from Michoacan. They will eventually tip the scales and make it impossible for a Republican to be elected to any office higher than meter maid. Even with our majorities, we are busy trying to cut our own throats so Marxists won’t have to.

When the house of cards comes down, do you think our leftist rulers will forget the voices that crowed loudest at their distress? They will not. They will see us the same way they saw the innocent children of Czar Nicholas, when they murdered them in their parents’ arms. Looters love revenge, even when they’re the ones who have done wrong.

It’s fun to be Donald Trump in 2017. I would not want to be Donald Trump or anyone in his family in 2037. I would not want to be a Palin, a Nugent, a Coulter, or a Limbaugh. The Cambodian death ditches and Soviet Gulags are on their way to America. Purges are coming, and records are being kept in anticipation of the cleansing. The Internet is a trove of evidence for the prosecution.

Liberal rage is like a compressed spring, and Trump and the conceited, foolish conservatives who gloat and antagonize leftists are compressing that spring and putting new energy into it. One day that energy will be released on us, just as serf hate was released on the Russian nobility and the hatred of successful Cubans was released in Che Guevara’s torture rooms and at the execution wall he and his pal Ernest Hemingway viewed over drinks for purposes of satisfying light entertainment.

Leftists own the future, up until the Tribulation, but the temporary political victories we’re having now give us a little time to prepare. We can get right with God and move out of cities. We can put his kingdom and his righteousness first and get his help moving in our lives.

Jesus said the time before his return would be tough on women who were nursing. He was speaking prophetically about churches full of Christians who are spiritual babies. The soft and undeveloped will have more problems as persecution mounts. The closer you are to God, the more he helps you. If you love the world, God will sit back and watch while you waste your time crying out for the world to help you. He will let you and your children be martyred, and if you think that’s a lie, consider the Holocaust.

Move away from the looter strongholds. Develop a prayer life. Make confession and prayer for inner change your big priorities. Or do whatever you want and then blame God when he doesn’t defend you and your children. Free will is a hardened anvil on which a lot of swords are broken.

Go, Kennedy, go. It won’t solve all our problems, but it’s a blessing I will not disdain.

Hammer Time

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017


I am tired.

I just got done assembling my new planishing hammer, which is a tool I did not need until Harbor Freight put it on sale. After that, I needed it. Real bad.

I shelled out about $68 for a stand, a planishing hammer frame, a control pedal, several anvils, and an air hammer. Put it all together, and you get a thing that can turn a flat piece of metal into a dog dish in 10 or 15 minutes. Can’t touch it anywhere else for under $185.

For a long time, I’ve wanted an English wheel and a planishing hammer. I can weld stuff, sort of, and I can cut stuff, but making flat stuff into curved stuff…can’t do that. I am also unable to turn flat stuff into stuff with neat corners, such as boxes. I need a finger brake.

Harbor Freight sells a lot of real junk, but here and there, they score. Their 20-ton press is okay, so I got one. I’ve seen excellent Harbor Freight screwdrivers that were a lot tougher than Craftsmans. The planishing hammer gets mixed reviews, but most people agree it does function. Some complain about the air hammer wearing out in a hurry. My private suspicion: no one told them to oil it.

Just a guess.

I don’t have much interest in using a planishing hammer right now. I would have preferred to leave it in the box and take it out after the move to northern Florida. The problem with that is that Harbor Freight tools have to be assembled and operated before you can be sure you want to keep them. That’s true of any tool, but it’s really, seriously true of Harbor Freight tools. You never know which parts will be missing or which vital component won’t fit even after you hit it with a big hammer.

Harbor Freight does not provide the bolts to attach the planishing hammer to the stand. That seems petty of them. I dug out some bolts of my own, and in doing so, I saw one of the great truths of the tool hobby in action.

A while back I dismantled a treadmill to get free steel and a motor. I had to take out some sturdy bolts with nice black locknuts. They have been lying around the garage for several months. The other day, I threw one of the four bolts out. Guess what I needed today? Four matching bolts.

As soon as you throw a piece of junk out, it will become vital to your survival. It never fails. If you have a piece of junk in your garage, and you can’t remember why you kept it, throw it out. Tomorrow, you will remember, and you’ll have to spend at least fifty bucks to replace it.

The planishing hammer is attached to the stand with three bolts.

I think tomorrow I’ll fire it up. I have some crappy aluminum sheet. I just want to see if the hammer functions and hits the work where it’s supposed to. If the air hammer isn’t aligned with the anvil, you get half-moons instead of round hammer dents.

Once I know it works, I’ll probably put it back in the boxes.

Then the next day I’ll need to use it.

The planishing hammer looks very nice. I was shocked. Everything lines up. The steel is heavy. I don’t think American manufacturing is ever coming back, except in my garage. The Chinese are getting too good.

I was hoping I could eventually make a motorcycle fender or two with the planishing hammer, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I believe the English wheel is more appropriate. But Harbor Freight hasn’t put those on sale.

I looked around on the web to find out where I could get a cheap English wheel. For some reason, you never see used ones on Ebay any more. I feel so stupid for passing them by in years past.

Guess what I found out? Harbor Freight’s English wheel gets fantastic reviews. Who’d have thunk it? As I understand it, they used to make a crappy one, and then a couple of years back they modified it, and now everyone loves it. I checked the usual list of Chinese suspects. Grizzly. Eastwood. Harbor Freight came out on top. Big surprise.

Real men shape metal with mallets and hammers, using high-tech accessories like stumps and bags of sand. I am not interested in that. I’ve seen people using the planishing hammer and English wheel, and their experience looked a lot more appealing than pounding a stump.

It would be nice to have an anvil, though. A lot of sheet metal doodads get dented, and it would be convenient to be able to tap dents out on an anvil. It’s not the same as wearing yourself out, planishing flat metal and turning it into ashtrays and hubcaps. It’s quick.

I just saw a video of a guy using an air hammer to beat a bend out of 1/8″ metal with an air hammer. His name is Kevin Caron. He makes a lot of welding videos. He had a sculpture component that needed to be beaten into line, and he got out the air hammer and went to the anvil. Whacked it right out. Neat.

Getting an anvil should be easy, right? I mean, they’re cheap. They’re just lumps of steel.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. How wrong you are. A good anvil costs hundreds of dollars. Don’t ask me why.

I read that some anvils are made of cast iron. You couldn’t get me near one of those. Cast iron breaks, and when you break a metal object with a hammer, little bits of it can fly off like bullets. I saw one go through my cousin’s jeans, into his skin, and a couple of inches upward after it hit his shin bone. Well, I didn’t actually see it. I saw him fall on the ground for no apparent reason, complaining about the pain in his leg.

Real anvils have hardened steel tops.

In other news, I’m about to make a strop. This is a sort of leather whetstone. You take a piece of cowhide, glue it to a board, and impregnate it with an abrasive such as chromium oxide. I got the leather and the abrasive, and I’m about to make the wood part.

You can make a plain old rectangle for the base of your strop, but I wanted to put a handle on mine, so I am thinking I’ll carve one out. Problem: I would have to make convex curves with radiused corners. I can do that with a coping saw and a rasp, but that’s the caveman way. I would rather use a spokeshave. This is a weird little plane that whittles wood. You can take a square object like a two-by-two and turn it into a rounded object like a club or an axe handle.

Naturally, I ordered a couple of spokeshaves. This is what I do. I am waiting for them now. I got a flat-bottomed one (Stanley 151) for relatively straight things, and I got one with a round bottom (Stanley 51R) for concave curves. The 51R is what I’ll need for the strop. I’ll still need the coping saw, but I’ll be finishing the strop off by cutting, not by filing.

I could have just made a rectangular base, but if you’re going to be a tool guy, be a tool guy. That’s what I say.

Just don’t get bogged down with stumps and sand bags.

I learned interesting things about chromium oxide. You can get it cheap from China and Russia, but you don’t want to do that. The particles are too big. you want sub-micron particles. I got a product made by Formax, a company I already knew of because I had bought its abrasive belt grease. It would have been cool to get a pound for under ten bucks from overseas, but the particles would have been huge, and big particles mean big scratches.

I’m sorry if my life is too cool for you. I wish everyone could have a planishing hammer.

I feel my strength coming back. Time to talk to Marvin and Maynard. Maybe I’ll post a photo if I planish anything.

Planet of the Living Dead

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Life as it Really is

Yesterday I had a bizarre experience.

I was just about to go to bed, and before shutting the PC down, I got a wild hair and decided to look up some people I used to know. When I was a kid growing up in Tampa, two twins lived next door to me. They were my best friends. One was serious and a little crabby, and the other was friendly and easygoing.

They have an aluminum company now. Their dad built it. I believe he’s still alive. One of them is active on Facebook, and the other–the friendlier one–is nowhere to be found.

The serious one is Trumpophobic. He is furious about Trump’s very existence. You know the pattern. It’s a form of psychosis which defies reason. He posts angry messages about our beleaguered chief executive.

Not surprising. He’s Jewish. If you’re Jewish and you can cast stones from the safe shelter of America, you are obligated to hate President Trump. Jews in Israel, where bombs land from time to time, like him a lot better. Obama was the worst enemy they ever had in the White House.

I Googled the house where we lived, and I looked at it in Google Street View. Funniest thing…my blood ran cold. I felt chills. All the darkness of my childhood rose back up inside me, like ice water in a glass.

It was a nice little house in a neighborhood full of fairly nice people. It should have been a good place to live.

It occurred to me that there must be people who look at photos of their childhood homes and feel warmth and longing. I wondered what that was like. To me, the Google shot was like a police photo of the scene of a massacre. It was a little like looking at photos of the World Trade Center.

If it had been a hut in Somalia, I would not have felt the same darkness. If you have kids in a hut, the kids don’t expect a lot. Any good thing that happens is gravy. But this was a house in middle-class America. We were healthy. My parents were educated. We did not lack money. Things should have been better. What I saw were missed opportunities. I saw gold spun into straw. I saw waste. Having something good and having it turn to filth is worse than not having anything at all.

It was all unnecessary. Normal parents spend money on their kids. They like their kids. They get involved with their schooling and activities. Their kids aren’t afraid of them. There is no reason why my sister and I could not have grown up like that.

When I think of that house, I think of violence. I think of waking up in the night and seeing snakes and yard-long centipedes crawling on the beds, walls, and ceiling. I remember having nightmares every night.

It’s so strange, the things we do to each other for no good reason at all.

When the devil owns a house, and the people who inhabit it don’t know enough to fight him, it’s tough for a kid to live in it. My mother was on my side, and that was about it. She was all I had. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the knowledge or tools to fix things. She had a rotten life, and she died young.

I just realized I could go to a real estate site and look at photos of the inside of the house, so I did. It does not feel good at all. I remember where certain things happened.

I don’t know why I’m writing about this. I don’t think it will help anyone. What am I going to say? “Be a good parent so you don’t destroy your kids”? The only people who would listen are people who are already making an effort.

No one but me is responsible for any problems I have now. Still, I can’t help being stung by the waste and needless destruction.

Before I got on the web and looked up my friends and the house, I watched a documentary about New York. It was created by Ric Burns, the brother of Ken Burns.

The show was interesting. New York is an interesting place, even if you would not want to live there. But it was also disturbing. The people they chose to interview were very different from me. They were writers and academics who appeared to be heavy-duty leftists. If they’re not, their success in New York is a miracle. The likelihood is so small it can be discounted out of hand.

New York is a symbol of worldly success. Whatever its faults may be, New York is a place where many things are done as well as they can be. Want to study the sciences or technology? They have Columbia University. Like the arts? They have the Met, the Guggenheim, Juilliard, Carnegie Hall, and God knows how many other places where you can indulge your desires. New York has top-notch food, clothing…everything.

It’s a place where I would be as welcome as streptococcus in a beaker full of white blood cells. I know! I lived there for about four years.

Imagine me trying to be accepted or even employed in New York. I criticize homosexuality. I believe God created the world. I think feminism is a curse. I believe in accountability. I am against the disenfranchisement of white males and the mindless promotion of minority leftists who have less merit. I think global warming is probably a socialist construct intended to weaken America. I carry a gun when I go to the grocery store.

I could be the smartest, most capable person on earth, and I would still be unable to make it up there. We’re talking about a milieu in which people are fired openly for their religious beliefs, even when they don’t intrude on their job performance.

I felt very alienated. I could never befriend the people I saw on camera. Their Trumpophobia would put a veil of red over their eyes.

Today I was watching a TV show I had recorded, and one of the characters was balding, saggy, and grey. I thought how odd it was that he went on performing his job as though aging, decrepitude, and death were completely normal and acceptable. He wasn’t self-conscious at all. It occurred to me that we have learned to accept some truly terrible things. We don’t even notice them.

Imagine Adam sitting around with Eve and seeing a man with thinning hair, stooped posture, wrinkles, and a gut shuffle by. They would have been horrified. They would have asked God what was wrong with him. Before the curse, death and decay were unknown on earth.

Then I thought about other things I had seen in life or on screens. I have seen films and shows about disasters; some real and some fictional. I’ve seen damaged people wandering around prior to receiving medical care. I’ve seen post-apocalyptic movies in which people with radiation sickness went about their lives as though it were not remarkable to have a tooth or a fingernail fall out during a conversation.

I realized the earth is like a post-apocalyptic movie or a disaster movie. We go about our business in varying states of failure, disease, deterioration, and sorrow. We think nothing of it. When we see people who are worse off, it seems odd that they could be used to their problems, but we’re no different. It’s just a question of degree. On my street, you would have to be young and in top physical shape in order to get attention for your condition. In Auschwitz, you would just need to be fat enough so your ribs couldn’t be seen through your shirt. If you were forty pounds underweight but you could still stand and walk, you would be considered normal.

A long time ago, God told me two things: “The world is a death camp,” and, “The world is a ghetto.” We’re too used to it. We think a life under bearable curses is a life of blessing.

I didn’t have a good childhood, but there was no reason I should have. This is not a planet where people thrive without clinging to God. My problems were obvious, but other people, who I envied later in life, had problems that were worse and yet harder to perceive. If I grew up with neglect and abuse, other people grew up with love, success, and health but never got to know God. I’m certainly better off than they are. Their well-being is temporary, and it keeps them convinced they don’t need God.

The people who are truly blessed are the ones who were raised, from infancy, to know God. Everyone else has sham blessings at best.

People who claim to have visited hell talk about tormented creatures with no flesh, living in pits, burned and eaten by chewing worms. They say hell stinks. What must it be like to leave heaven and visit earth, though? Not that different. You leave a place with no death, sorrow, disagreement, cruelty, loneliness, disease, danger, or failure, and you come to a place where we have words like “hemicorporectomy.” That’s an operation in which your lower body is amputated just below the waist. It has happened often enough to make it necessary for us to coin a word for it.

This is not a good place. It’s a disaster. The universe is built in levels, and we are on the first level above hell. We live, literally, on hell’s roof. There is no worse place to be, save hell itself.

Getting attached to this place or having unrealistic expectations of it is a huge mistake. I feel bad for billionaires and celebrities who squirm and struggle to preserve their youth and extend their time here. The wrinkles will get them all. Who would buy a poster with a photo of Racquel Welch wearing a bikini, at her current age?

This is just a place to meet God, be improved by him, and be rescued by him. That’s all it’s worth. God says he is going to destroy it with fire and rebuild it. Makes perfect sense to me. Used diapers have to be washed.

If you don’t know God, all the success you think you have here is excrement, and it will be burned off in flames later. There are no Academy Awards in hell. There are no TV cameras. There are no yachts. There are no private jets.

It’s interesting to think of it this way.

My life keeps getting better, but my perception of life on earth, generally, deteriorates like the portrait of Dorian Gray. There is nothing here to hold onto.

Maybe I’m bumming people out. I’m not sad or depressed at all. Just a little more sober than usual.

Writers write about what moves them. Maybe you have to take the good with the bad.

Have a good Tuesday.

A Man’s Home is God’s Castle

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Serve the Bums With Eviction Papers

Time to talk more about God.

Recently I wrote about my bizarre experience with a new supernatural tool. I tried casting things out of myself, in silence. I didn’t say anything aloud. I had no reason to think it would work. I had always been taught that only God can hear our thoughts, so how could a spirit hear me if I cast something out silently? Why should I expect it to obey?

Here is the startling result: my life has changed tremendously. I have so much more self-control, I’m like a different person. I am less lazy. I have fewer issues with sexual temptation. I eat less. I feel better. I have more energy.

I don’t know what to think about it.

It’s always easy to criticize people for their faults. I should know, because I do it all the time. Sometimes it’s appropriate. There are a lot of people out there who just don’t care, or who prefer to do evil. But many human beings fight their character issues every day and fail, and it’s not right to ignore that and treat all of them as if they weren’t trying.

I have fought my faults ever since I realized I had them. I’ve tried to make myself eat less, work harder, have a more positive outlook, and so on. I’ve fought lust and covetousness and everything else. Fighting in my own strength has not been a total waste of time, but it hasn’t worked very well. I have to have sympathy for other people who can’t change themselves. We have strong enemies who work against us. It’s your fault if you’re a mess, but it’s also the fault of other beings who work against God in you, and you need to defeat them as well as yourself.

Any honest person who isn’t completely deluded can relate to what I’m talking about. Diet, exercise, get yourself in shape, and then get fat again and stay that way for five years. Clean up your house, keep it neat for two months, and then fall back into laziness. Set up a homework schedule, stick to it for three weeks, and then go back to watching reruns of Spongebob while high. People are like springs. We can stretch and bend ourselves, but often, we snap back to our original shapes.

The Bible uses a word that means “bend” to describe iniquity. An iniquity is a habit. A person who has a bad habit is like a tree that is bent in a certain direction. We even say a person with a habit has a bent.

When you fight a bad habit, you fight your flesh, and you fight spirits and people that want that habit to remain strong. No wonder we usually fail. We’re outnumbered.

If you can close the door to the spirits and people who work to keep you weak and corrupted, it only makes sense that you will improve. It’s like driving the illegal aliens out of the country so they have to stop voting in our elections.

For a long time, I’ve known that God can remove bad habits without any help from us. He has delivered me from a couple of things instantaneously. I ended up relapsing, but the deliverance was real and supernatural. It’s the correct type of relief to seek. God intended us to receive it instead of working our way out of our messes. The Bible clearly says Jesus bore our iniquities on the cross, not just our sins. But we love pride, so we prefer to use our own puny tools. We take the same hills over and over, because the enemy takes them back repeatedly. You can’t conquer the country if you spend the entire war fighting over one small objective. God wants us to have everything, not just a little corner where we can barricade ourselves in and wait for death. We can’t have complete victory unless we let him do the fighting.

Spirits bring baggage with them. If you accept sin and iniquity, you accept disease, divorce, poverty, mental illness, defeat, and every type of misfortune. Spirits are not good guests. It’s not enough to addict you to heroin or overeating or gossip. They have to trash the place. They have to defecate on the floors and eat the studs. If you can fumigate the house with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can end all that. If not, how can you claim to be surprised when you get bad news? How can you ask, “Why me?” Of course, you.

Churches will never promote this. The churches that believe in the Holy Spirit think Christianity is just a way to get your greed satisfied. The churches that deny the Holy Spirit have no tools and no weapons; they are in love with self-righteousness and therefore weakness. If you want this, you will have to get it directly from God.

Find out what’s wrong with you, confess it to God, and cast it out. You have to be honest. God isn’t going to fix a problem you pretend not to have. Luckily for you, he will even help you with honesty. Ask for it. Cast things out. Pray in tongues. Focus on his kingdom and righteousness, not money and other superficial things.

I feel like someone who is getting over a fever. Sometimes it’s as if the fever has broken. I feel peace. I have fewer destructive thoughts and urges. I am less childish. Then the fever comes back. I get angry, or I feel the pull of gluttony or lust or laziness. Then I remember to use my weapons, and the fever goes away again. I’m not Jesus. I am not a great person all the time. But my base level of evil is not what it was a year ago, and I keep improving. And my good periods are better and longer than they used to be.

If you can rule yourself, the world can’t rule you. You will be the head and not the tail. If you’re not in charge in your own body and mind, you can’t expect a lot of help from God. He wants to live in us, and he doesn’t want to move into a crackhouse where he has one vote along with a bunch of depraved bums and addicts. You will ask him for stupid things, and he will deny your requests, because to grant them will be to serve the demons and the flesh that made you ask.

God is not going to serve the devil. If you serve the devil, God can’t serve you.

If this stops working, I’ll come back and say so, but it has been a while now, and things keep getting better.

I hope God will help you focus on the right things and find his power and help. We were never supposed to be at the mercy of the world, especially inside ourselves.

Putting Very Little of my Money Where my Mouth is

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Can This $15 Plane Fly?

I did the unthinkable. No, I didn’t buy an “I’m with her” T-shirt made with child labor in a factory in Shenzhen. I bought and fettled a Harbor Freight plane.

If you read my last post, you know my pet peeve machinery has been in top gear over the way woodworking snobs discourage noobs from buying inexpensive tools. As an example of the destructive propagandizing, they try to convince everyone that there is not just a need, but a necessity to buy wood planes that cost hundreds of dollars each. They want people to believe that an expensive plane won’t just make woodworking more fun; it will enable you to produce better work. That’s crazy. Any plane that works correctly will produce perfect work in the hands of a skilled person, and the best plane on the planet will produce garbage in the hands of a radiologist who does woodworking for an hour a month and tries to compensate by spending on tools.

I saw a video in which an aspiring young woodworking guru compared three planes: a new Veritas ($300+), and old Stanley ($40 range), and a new Harbor Freight plane (vicinity of $10). He concluded that the Harbor Freight plane was not worth it at any price. He spent over 20 hours fettling it, and he replaced the iron with an old Stanley instead of fixing it.

On Friday, I happened to notice that Harbor Freight had a great tool on clearance. They are selling their planishing hammer and stand for $68. That’s the after-20%-coupon price. This is a screeching, wailing, blazing, epic deal. The same tool costs $185 at Northern Tool, and other companies charge a lot more. I had to buy a planishing hammer. I don’t need one, but I hoped to have one eventually, and a chance like this was not likely to come around in the foreseeable future. Even if I decided not to keep it, I could sell it for over a hundred bucks on Craigslist.

I went to Harbor Freight yesterday and got myself a planishing hammer, and while I was there, I picked up a Windsor Design plane. I love that name. Harbor Freight is always coming up with Caucausian-sounding brand names.Come on, guys. Just call it Feng Wing Wah or whatever the real name is. No one cares. I grabbed a plane without looking inside the box, and off I went. It was a number 33, which is different from the number 4 the Youtube guy fixed, but I hadn’t paid close attention to the video, so I bought it anyway. They didn’t have a 4, so it was the best I could have done.

At home, I opened the box and discovered I had a used plane! Some poor sap had put it together and used it to make wood powder. The blade was so dull, it wouldn’t make shavings. He did a little scraping, got powder on the plane, gave up, and returned his new tool to the store. He will probably never try planing again. Or he’ll mortgage his casa and buy Veritas.


I took a look at the only two things I could easily fix: the iron and the sole.

The iron of the plane had been ground with some sort of hideous 40-grit blade-destroying machine. There was a tiny sharp bit at one end of the edge, and there were pretty horrendous scratches on both sides.

I colored about an inch of the flat side of the iron with a blue Sharpie and then put it down on an extra-coarse diamond stone and moved it around. The ink came off on one corner, and it also started to wear down in a round area about an inch and a quarter away. Most of the blue area didn’t touch the stone. Bad!

After that I did something stupid. I got some window cleaner (to make the grinding go better), and I squirted the stone. I put the iron on it and started grinding the blue away. It was very slow work, because even an extra-coarse diamond stone is pretty fine. Eventually, I put 100-grit sandpaper on the stone (so the stone’s surface would be a guide), and I made better progress. I should have used something even coarser, but I didn’t have it.

The iron turned out to be S-shaped. If you were to hold an iron like that with the cutting edge facing you, you would see an S-shaped curve. Well, you wouldn’t actually see it, because it was only off by a few thousandths, but that’s the idea. I would say that if I had ground the blade with sandpaper from the start instead of using the stone, I would have flattened it out and removed enough of the scratches to make it functional in maybe 20 minutes. As it was, I would say I went maybe 30-45, not including breaks. If you did the same job with 60-grit paper, like a smart person, you would probably be done in 15 minutes.

I sharpened the blade with diamond stones, not Japanese water stones or laser stones from NASA or whatever other ridiculous, unnecessary gear the tool snobs like. The people who made furniture for the czars of Russian didn’t have water stones. Far as I know. A tool can’t actually tell what you use to get it sharp. I’m sure water stones are great, but I don’t need the hassle of snowflake stones I have to keep in an aquarium.

The plane did not cut very well. Maybe I had it adjusted badly, but I hadn’t fixed the sole, so I decided to flatten the sole and see if that helped.

Again, I used the wrong thing. I inked the sole with the Sharpie and taped 100-grit paper to my band saw table. I put the plane on the paper and gave it two hundred strokes at a time, and before too long, it was nearly free of ink. I didn’t get it perfect, because I was tired of plane fettling.

I put my razor-sharp Chinese iron in my $15 plane and tried it. It cut just fine. There is absolutely no doubt about it. You could use this plane to do excellent work. You would need six or seven sheets of sandpaper and some method of sharpening it, but it would be a usable plane when you were done fixing it, and the quality of the work you would do with it would be exactly the same as the quality of the work you would do with a $700 plane. You would be the limiting factor.

Take that, snobs.

I should also add that the steel in the iron seems perfectly good. Even if you get a soft one, you can be a man and harden and temper it yourself. A lot of people do those things. If you get a misshaped iron, you can anneal it to make it easier to work on, fix it with a file, and then harden and temper it again.

Now let me backpedal.

I would not buy another one of these planes, except maybe to use as a scrub plane. The dual-screw adjustment mechanism is a pain to use. Note: I am not saying it doesn’t work. It works as well as any iron-adjustment gadget out there. I’m saying you will have to fiddle with it in order to get it where you want it. With a Stanley, you twiddle one cooperative knob and bump a little lever, and you’re done. With a Veritas or Lie-Nielsen, I assume you have your valet text the company and they send a slave to adjust it.

You should be able to get a good working Stanley delivered to your house for $45, especially if you don’t mind buying ugly ones or the ones made after, say, 1960. Even though it’s a better tool than the Windsor Design, it will probably need to have its sole flattened, and you will definitely have to work on the blade, but in all likelihood, the plane will take less work than a Chinese job, and when you’re done, it will be easier to adjust. Also, it will still be worth whatever you paid for it, whereas the Harbor Freight plane’s value drops to about two bucks as soon as you buy it.

Supposedly, older Craftsman planes were made by Stanley, and they cost less.

I don’t know what to do with this plane now. I don’t think I’ll ever use it for smoothing (its intended purpose). I hate to turn a good smooth plane into a scrub plane, though. I may do a little machining and improve it. I could improve the adjustment cutouts in the iron. I could also make new adjustment nuts. The ones that come with it are not designed well, and they’re too narrow.

Maybe I’ll advertise it on Craigslist as a Harbor Freight plane that has already been fixed. I could get my fifteen bucks back. No, not fifteen. Maybe ten?

This plane would be good for teaching kids about planes. If you had 20 kids in a class, and you wanted them to learn how to set bad planes up, you could get each one a Harbor Freight plane and show them how to fix it. After that, they would be able to fix any plane.

By the way, Harbor Freight has another smooth plane. They sell a #4 and a block plane together, for $14.99. I think you have to buy them online, which kills the deal. But it has a conventional adjusting apparatus.

More Opinions About Shows I Don’t Watch

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Somewhere Rachel Marsden is Smiling

It’s humbling to admit it, but I was wrong. I mean when I said I was wrong about Tucker Carlson. I was actually right. The first time. And I’m man enough to admit it.

I said Tucker Carlson was not the right choice to replace Bill O’Reilly. Carlson has an unassailable track record of not winning. His shows haven’t done well in the past, and I felt there was no reason to expect better things in the future. When you read The Racing Form, you don’t pick a horse that has never won, unless you see him smoking meth before a race. And bow ties aren’t for normal men. They’re for guys who sell popcorn.

In the early days of Carlson’s tenure, he did surprisingly well, elating his mom Gretchen and leading me to conclude that I had been wrong. That has changed. Now his audience is smaller than the bizarre group of people who turn up to hear Rachel Maddow screech. O’Reilly averaged about 4 million viewers per night, and Carlson has lost 20% of those wallets. I mean viewers.

Maddow is the Alex Jones of cable news. She never met a leftist nutbar conspiracy she didn’t like. Carlson, for all his faults, is kind of a journalist. You would think he would do better than she does. But he’s bringing up the rear, consistently.

Eric Bolling would have been better. He’s smart. Same goes for Jeanine Pirro. Judge Pirro is probably the closest thing we have to a female O’Reilly. Instead, Fox looked in the fridge and chose the leftover pot roast that had been sitting in the back for several years. Crazy.

Stuart Varney! Is he dead? He would have been good.

To make up for being wrong about being wrong, I will point out that I was right about Megyn Kelly. Her departure hurt her, hurt NBC, and didn’t hurt Fox. Kelly’s star appeal has been exposed as an illusion, NBC is paying a boatload of money to someone who can’t bring the butts, and Fox is muddling along with Five Minus Beckel, which is ahead of Anderson Vanderbilt, also known as Gloria Cooper.

The odd thing here is that I find these stories interesting even though I never watch the news.

Maybe I’m wrong (for real)! After all, as a non-viewer, I base my judgment of the Fox heads on old information. Well, except for Carlson. I watched a few Youtube clips of him at his new job. I think I’m right, though.

I don’t think Kelly will last. She does a perfectly fine job, by the low standards of broadcast journalists, but she is not a big talent. She’s no Bill O’Reilly. Without Fox to propel her, she won’t recover and prosper in a liberal shark tank, in front of confused liberal viewers. NBC will eventually promote her downward into a less-damaging and more obscure role. Then she’ll turn into Deborah Norville. Maybe she’ll suddenly realize she wants to “devote more time to her family.” Then come the infomercials. “Wow, George, your grill really does KNOCK OUT the fat!”

Carlson will stay right where he is, for at least a couple more years. He’s doing too well to fire and not well enough to keep for the long haul. It would be great news for Fox if he showed up to work naked and told his producers he needed time off to build a second home on Venus. That way, they could start over, and Carlson would become a viable successor to Alex Jones. As it is, they’ll have to wait until tuning in at eight and seeing the wrong guy gets to be too much.

Who will Fox hire when Tucker’s time is up? Tough call. I would guess…Martha MacCallum. Someone who has been around forever and is clearly not up to the job. A rusty tool from a very familiar box, just like Carlson. Or how about Bret Baier? A solid journalist who doesn’t have the weight to anchor a show.

Maybe they could go full-bore alt-right. They could have Ted Nugent, killing and dressing a chicken on his desk. Or they could just tape a laser-printed photo of Andrew Breitbart (PBUH) on the wall behind the chair and have Jesse Watters pretend to be his voice.

Whoever it is, it will probably be a bad choice. I don’t think I’ll have to say I’m wrong about that.

Bernie Sanders Encouraged his Followers to Threaten Republicans

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Send him Representative Scalise’s Hospital Bills

Sometimes I’m more right than I thought I was!

I said America would become an unsafe place for Christians and conservatives. I didn’t check to see what liberals were saying and doing. It was just common sense and the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know Bernie Sanders was encouraging the violence! I just found out. He seems like a harmless Fozzie Bear of a burnt-out socialist, but here is what he said to Rachel Maddow:

Republicans historically had their town meetings. Thirty or 50 of their friends would show up, and they talked about cutting the deficit and cutting Social Security and Medicare, and everybody would applaud, but now you’ve seen people coming and saying, “If you do this, my wife is going to die and I’m not going to let you do that”. You’re seeing members of Congress, Republicans, having to sneak out the back door or claim “I’m worried about my safety, I can’t even hold a town meeting.” That’s our goal.

I got that from a leftist website. Check it out yourself.

You think we’re going to pull together and stop the violence? Okay. Believe what makes you happy.

Ignorance is Better Than Disinformation

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

A Hand Plane Should not Cost Seven Thousand Dollars

I think I’ll write about something insignificant today, instead of confronting the sudden confirmation of my predictions of increased violence toward Christians and conservatives. I hope Representative Scalise gets better soon. Expect the violence to spread in the coming months.

I predicted something else, years ago. I said TV and the Internet would eventually be the same thing, along with phones and faxes. My prediction has come true. That doesn’t make me a genius or a prophet. It just means I saw something which was very obvious, while most other people weren’t looking for it.

I am just about done with TV. I record a number of cable shows, but I only watch two things on television (the medium, not the machine): Better Call Saul and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When I hear about other shows these days, it’s like hearing about the Kardashians. Sometimes t’s a little disgusting (because the values the shows promote are so trashy), and sometimes when other adults recommend shows to me, I feel like toddlers are trying to get me to sit down and watch Finding Nemo.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a great example of a toddler show. It’s extremely silly; it jumped the shark before it ever aired. The premises of the episodes are laughable, even by TV standards. The characters are as shallow as copier paper and as disposable as dirty diapers. It’s about as mindless as entertainment gets. I enjoy the humor and explosions, though.

Youtube covers my “need” for video entertainment these days. I watch math and physics videos, and I watch videos about tools. Woodworking, machining, fabrication, and so on.

A lot of people are trying to make money on Youtube. It can be done. It’s a bad idea for conservatives and Christians, because we will eventually be excluded from anything resembling social media, and a lot of people will lose their “jobs” overnight, with no legal recourse to recover them. I don’t recommend it to anyone who believes in God, but people are doing it.

Unfortunately, the lure of easy exposure draws folks who really don’t know what they’re doing. That includes me, but I admit I don’t know what I’m doing, so I think I can be excused. People create logos, and they put a little theme music together, and the first thing you know, they have videos and playlists in which they spread misinformation while looking pretty professional.

Over the last few days, I’ve been watching woodworking videos, and I’ve watched a few about hand planes.

The hand plane arena is surprisingly complicated. Hand tools have fallen out of favor among real tradesmen, so big manufacturers aren’t working very hard to make good hand planes. You can’t get a decent plane at Home Depot; they don’t bother stocking them. You have to buy an old plane, or you have to spend a ton on a cork sniffer product like a Veritas or a Lie-Nielsen.

Now I have to explain cork sniffing. It’s a term which is commonly used by musicians, in relation to expensive guitars, amps, tubes, and so on. I apply it more broadly.

Imagine you’re a woman, and a guy takes you on a dinner date. The waiter brings a bottle of wine and opens it. He pours a small amount in the man’s glass, and he offers him the cork. The man smells the cork and says, “Smells good.” Then he drinks the sample and says, “Do you have anything dryer?”, and he makes the waiter take it back.

That’s cork sniffing.

Waiters and sommeliers pour samples and present corks not to see if you like the wine but to allow you to confirm that it’s not ruined. Wine can react with corks, and when it does, it tastes bad. You should taste the wine and look at the cork to see if all is well. If so, you own a bottle of wine. You are not supposed to send the wine back because you don’t like that particular wine.

In broader usage, a cork sniffer is a person who pretends to be incredibly sophisticated and drives people crazy worrying about nuances that probably don’t really exist.

Think of high end audio. There are people who will pay two hundred or even thirty thousand dollars for one pair of cables to connect a record player to an amplifier. They don’t know anything about science or engineering. They claim they can hear things the rest of us can’t, even though most of them are old men who can’t hear anything above middle C on the piano. They will pay for special rocks to put under their stereos. They will even tell you that you can’t wear an electronic watch in the same room with your stereo while you listen. They will believe absolutely anything. They don’t just sniff the cork. They chop it up and freebase it.

I should add that I just learned another reason why sommeliers present corks: in the old days, wines were counterfeited and labels rotted with age, so vintners printed their names on the undersides of corks. People looked at the corks to make sure they weren’t getting ripped off.

I am not a wine person, so I don’t know a whole lot about it.

Woodworking is full of cork sniffers, mostly because hobbyists have taken over. Hobbyists don’t understand the needs of professionals who know what they’re doing. Professionals don’t want $800 hand drills; they want stuff that works. If you go to a shop that produces heirloom-quality furniture, you won’t see cork sniffer tools. You’ll see plywood benches and Chinese machinery. Doesn’t matter to insecure hobbyists. The cork addicts have taken over the forums, and what they say goes. They really push expensive tools.

Cork Sniffer Magazine, Creator Unknown

I’ll bet you can pay $2000 for a hand plane. Let me check.

I must apologize. I was wrong. You can pay $7400 for one hand plane. Specifically, a Karl Holtey A13 Smoothing Plane. If you buy one of these, you are mentally incompetent. There is no refuting it.

Last night, I watched a video by a young man who is promoting himself as a woodworking expert. He compared three planes. The first was an old Stanley #4. The second was a Harbor Freight smoothing plane that costs something like ten bucks. The third was a Veritas plane. Veritas makes very nice tools that are only VERY expensive, not Karl Holtey NASA-Budget-During-the-Cold-War expensive. A Veritas smooth plane costs $232 if you get the special cork sniffer magic alloy blade.

First thing…he doesn’t know Stanley planes. I don’t either, but I know things he doesn’t know. He said his plane was a “Stanley Bedrock.” Stanley Bedrock planes are highly prized collector’s items, and they cost a ton of money. You can’t really use one in your shop, unless you like destroying investments. He had an ordinary Stanley. And he bought the wrong version (I did this,too.) He got one with friction-reducing grooves in the sole. These grooves beat up your wood if you cut at an angle across a corner. They’re probably okay on long planes, but any plane you might want to turn should have a smooth bottom.

Second thing…he claimed the Stanley had a gigantic hidden cost because it took hours to fix. He spent so much time on it, he felt the real cost of the plane was close to that of the Veritas. He stripped the paint. He refinished the wood and the metal. He did a lot of stuff only a cork sniffer would do. You don’t need to paint a plane to make it work.

He should have taken about an hour to flatten the plane’s sole and clean up the blade and so on. He feels his time is worth $15 per hour, so add $15 to the cost of the plane, if you really want to count those beans. Anything beyond that is gilding the lily.

Third thing…he claimed the Harbor Freight plane had a hidden cost of over $300 because he took over 20 hours to fix it. That’s just nuts.

Nearly every plane needs to have the bottom flattened and the blade sharpened. The Harbor Freight plane needed more than that. It had a soft blade which would not take an edge and hold it, and he said (not endorsing his claim) the plane had a fundamental alignment issue that could not be fixed. He drove to a flea market and bought a Stanley blade for the plane. He worked around the alignment defect. That’s not how it’s done.

Here is another guy using a Harbor Freight plane. He paid ten dollars. He spent two hours working on the plane. It works very well. Hmm…what happened?

Here is the answer: the first guy doesn’t know tools. He isn’t ready to teach other people.

I’ll explain what he should have done.

1. Harbor Freight tools need to be exchanged (or modified) a good percentage of the time. People who know tools (people who are qualified to make instruction videos) know this. It’s part of the game. When you buy a Harbor Freight tool, you examine it as soon as you can, and you keep doing exchanges until you get a good one. If possible, you examine it in the store. The video guy should have exchanged his plane when he found out the blade and machining were bad.

2. Knowledgeable people know you can harden steel with a hand torch and oil. He should know this. He should have returned the plane, but barring that, he should have hardened the blade. That would have been a neat tip for other people.

You can get a new plane that costs under $20 to do perfect work. I don’t recommend it, but no one will be able to look at the things you build and tell you what your plane cost. Not even his Holteyness Karl Holtey.

I feel like buying a Harbor Freight plane and turning it into a scrub plane, but I’m afraid that if I get it working, I’ll feel like it’s too good to be a scrub plane, and then I’ll have to get another one. And then I’ll feel like that one is too good to be a scrub plane.

The cork sniffers are a real problem. When a new guy shows up at a forum and asks what kind of plane he should buy, they will say you should get Lie-Nielsen or Veritas if at all possible, but that a Stanley will do “acceptable work.” That’s completely wrong! First of all, a Stanley won’t do work at all; the man does the work, and the tool is just the instrument. It has no skill. Second, a Stanley will do FANTASTIC work. It will work as well as any plane on the planet. Set it up right and develop some skill, and it will beat a Lie-Nielsen in the hands of a cork sniffer who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I admit, I have two Veritas tools. I had given up trying to find a used router plane at a good price, and someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Also, I wanted to try their dovetail saw, so I got myself one. They make great stuff that works with little or no fettling. But old tools would work just as well.

I sniffed a little cork there. I will wear the scarlet “C.”

Think about this: the palace at Versailles is full of astounding wooden creations. It’s full of furniture, doors, panels…you name it. This stuff is exquisite. What kind of tools did the builders use? Wooden planes and carbon steel saws. They used foot-powered lathes. They used crap, in other words. If the cork sniffers had been in charge, the Bourbons would not have been able to afford tools. They would have bought a mobile or “manufactured” palace with IKEA furniture.

Marie Antoinette’s Apartment at Versailles: not Built with Cork Sniffer Tools

When I started learning about planes, I found a #4 Stanley in my dad’s garage. A tradesman probably left it at his house by accident. It was junk. It was probably made in the late Seventies, long after Stanley’s salad days. It had plastic handles. It had a big cratered area on the sole because someone had left it in or near water.

For fun, I flattened the sole, fixed the blade and chip breaker, and oiled and loosened the adjustments. When I tried to use it, I was flabbergasted. I have some real vintage Stanleys, and this thing is just as good. It’s a joy to use. It’s annoying, because I wanted to buy a vintage #4.

People told me to turn it into a scrub plane. Why? I have a phenomenal #4 smoothing plane that cost me nothing. It could probably even plane corks.

I still “need” a few more planes. I’m torn between the pleasure of collecting nice vintage planes and the joy of turning garbage planes into top-notch tools. Given the cost of garbage planes, I could do both.

There is a big tool-using movement in America, and it seems like cork sniffers and hipsters are messing it up. People think it’s cool to use tools, and it is, but being seen using tools badly with your hipster beard and sustainable micro-financed socks does not amount to providing quality instruction. If you want to learn about tools on Youtube, find an old white guy (male by birth, not choice) who wears a Dickies shirt and thinks hair gel makes you gay. That’s the guy who knows which brand of chrome oxide to use and how to get a stuck arbor out of your Super Chuck without marring it.

I think I’ll post a few videos featuring people who actually get things done. You might enjoy them.

Lock Your Doors and Wash Your Walls

Monday, June 12th, 2017

You Get the Kind of Guests You Ask For

Doctrine is confusing. I know I’m stating the obvious.

In the early days of Christianity, we were taught by people who knew God personally, and their teachings were very solid. They believed in the baptism with the Holy Spirit, prayer in tongues, and the gifts of the Spirit, so God was able to teach them directly. Satan managed to get the church to reject the Holy Spirit and murder those who knew him, and after that point, we had to get by with false teachings from proud ignoramuses like Augustine. The older churches were taken over by fools and liars who made up theories that were largely based on paganism, and Christians lost their direct connection to God’s teaching. We ended up worshiping “saints” and trying to turn Mary–a sinful woman, like every other woman–into a sort of co-God. Hundreds of millions of Christians pray to Mary and the “saints,” as though they were God himself.

“It works,” they say. Yes, and so does voodoo.

God managed to give me a strong habit of praying in tongues, and through that, he has given me a lot of revelation. He has undone a lot of the damage the fabulists did. He helped me understand that the prosperity gospel was a lie straight from the mouth of Satan. He showed me that the ridiculous doctrine of pleasing him through hard work was based on pride, and that it actually cuts off his help and forces him to work against us.

From time to time, God gives me a new weapon, or at least a weapon that seems new to me. Sometimes I’m not sure whether I should accept these things. I take a while to become convinced they came from the right source. I can’t ask a knowledgeable, Holy-Spirit-led teacher, because there are no people like that. If there are, I have never met one. I’ve met a lot of people who wanted money and free work, however.

Here’s a piece of doctrine I’ve been thinking about lately. We are taught that only God can read minds. We are told that other spirits can’t hear our thoughts. Is that true? I think it is. We are familiar with occultists and “psychics” who pretend to read minds, but there are a lot of ways to fake that, and there is no reason a spirit can’t put a thought in your mind and then tell it to someone else. Also, a clever old spirit should be good at guessing.

Even if spirits can’t read our minds, I have no doubt that they can speak into our minds. That’s a different thing. Plenty of people have been possessed or temporarily entered by spirits that spoke through them. I don’t see any reason why a spirit assisting a clairvoyant couldn’t speak into your mind and then speak the same information to the clairvoyant.

I’ve been thinking about this because I’ve been using a new tool lately. I’ll explain how it works. Say I have a thought or urge I don’t want. Maybe it’s gluttony. Maybe it’s lust or laziness. Silently, in my mind, I’ll say something like, “In the name of Jesus, I cast out lust.” Sure enough, I get relief. It’s as though there is a spirit of lust inside me that can hear me.

When I started doing this, I began wondering if other spirits could hear my thoughts. Maybe they can; I don’t know everything. My best guess, though, is that they can’t. I think my own mind and flesh hear my commands, and they respect my God-given authority and shut off their compliance with spirits that are trying to influence me.

The 127th psalm says that children are like arrows in a man’s quiver, and it says they will speak with the enemy in the gate. What does that mean?

A man is like a walled city. In ancient times, cities normally wanted walls. People were barbaric, and they overran each other’s towns and raped and murdered and stole. Cities had gates. In Israel, the city gate was a place of authority. Powerful people sat there, and the gate was where deals were made and legal judgments were handed down. It was also a place where enemies were turned away. They came to the cities, and the city authorities spoke to them in the gates and sent them packing.

These days, our walls are generally down. We are like Jerusalem after it was sacked by the Babylonians. We are like America, with obnoxioius aliens stomping across our borders and doing whatever they will, sneering at us in the process. We don’t care about God. We think our Sixties values are brilliant and original. We don’t pray. We exalt ourselves. We wallow in pride, greed, lust, and sexual perversion. We don’t make any effort to avoid the sins that give nasty people and spirits power over us. Instead, we work hard to bring them in and enthrone them. We fornicate like crazy. We revile. We use drugs. We blaspheme. We love evil and cruelty.

Evil spirits are like flies, which is why the Bible calls the devil the lord of flies and the lord of feces. Flies are attracted to corruption and filth. They go where they can get a good meal. We open our windows and smear our walls with excrement, and in the process, we invited spirits in to rule us. They make us sick. They deceive us. They transform us into little copies of our real father, Satan.

I believe you can turn a spirit away at the gate. That’s what I believe I’m doing.

I used to believe my thoughts were just fine, and that I was allowed to think what I wanted, as long as I restrained my actions or did what I wanted and then asked for forgiveness. That’s not how it works. Your thoughts matter. The Holy Spirit is clean, and he wants to live in you. He’s not going to linger in a place which is like a filthy toilet overflowing with fermenting urine and poop. It’s not okay to stare at women and fantasize about them. It’s not okay to savor thoughts of anger, cruelty, and revenge. It’s not okay to obsess on possessions or money you want. It’s not okay to sit and think about fattening food you want to eat.

When you go along with evil thoughts and desires, you give control to spirits that hate you. You’re like a snotty, know-it-all girl who chooses a pimp over her parents.

Think of the problems biblical figures had. They participated in their own destruction. Adam and Eve invited Satan to take their planet by listening to him. The Jews repeatedly invited destruction and murder by turning to false gods. Saul added to his curses by consulting a medium. Solomon was a disgraceful failure who let pagan women turn him to idolatry, and after he died, his kingdom was torn in two.

Dealing with spirits is like dealing with vampires. One of the rules of vampire mythology is that a vampire can’t come in your house unless you invite him. We invite spirits all day and all night, and then we complain to God when we get cancer or our businesses or marriages fail. We choose Satan as our father, and then when he does exactly what we know he’ll do, we go to God and pretend he’s our father, and we ask for “justice.” Justice is actually what we’ve already received. We’re really asking for mercy and a handout. We’re asking God to enable us.

I believe I’m speaking to the enemy in the gate. My body is a gate. My senses are gates. My mind is a gate. Spirits that are used to my obedience and enthusiasm come to me, expecting the welcome they have usually received in the past. Now I turn them away. That’s what I’m doing when I say I cast things out. Maybe they can’t hear me, but they know they’ve been rejected with authority.

If you think this is crazy, try it yourself. If you have a strong habit of prayer in tongues, you will have the faith to make it work. You have to be repentant, and you have to be a seeker of God’s presence. You can’t expect it to work if you’re doing it on the way to a whorehouse or a bar. Be realistic. But it does work. It has made a very big change in my life.

You have to know what you’re fighting. Satan has convinced us that many sins aren’t sins. He wants us to think that as long as we’re nice, we’re not sinning. Here’s a list of some things to look out for: pride, dishonesty, excuses, malice, fear of other people, general cowardice, gossip, laziness, envy, gluttony, unbelief, and worry. If you don’t think unbelief is sin, how can you explain the fact that God punished biblical figures who doubted him?

It’s very important to keep looking for things that are wrong with you. The world teaches us that “shaming” is bad. It teaches us that we’re supposed to be proud and defiant. We’re supposed to be proud of fat, proud of of slutty behavior and clothing, proud of our accomplishments, our beauty, our money, our sexual perversions…wrong! So wrong. Self-criticism is self-diagnosis. If you don’t tell God you have a problem, he probably won’t fix it. Nobody with any common sense goes to a doctor and pretends to be well.

Why is it important to be fixed? Isn’t it okay to remain as you are and then ask forgiveness and go to heaven?

If you don’t get cleaned up, you will suffer in this life. You will have no authority. You will not be able to cast out disease or speak defeat to your enemies and problems. Here is how Paul put it:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The “kingdom of God” isn’t heaven. It’s God’s power and authority inside you. It’s what defeated Israel’s enemies when the Ark of the Covenant was with them. You are supposed to be a little ark, with God’s presence inside you. God will not live in a pile of used diapers.

The early Christians got miracles and revelation. Most of us don’t. Why should we? We’re Satan’s children, not God’s. God respects our choice to let Satan raise us and care for us. Would you go to your neighbor’s house and make sure the kids brushed their teeth?

The more I learn about God, the more evil I see in myself. I was raised in complete ignorance, filth, and rebellion. My parents knew nothing. The neighbors knew nothing. Preachers knew nothing. I had no wisdom whatsoever. There was no one to teach me. And I thought I knew everything. Ignorance is bad, but thinking you know the truth already is worse. It keeps the truth from entering in.

It’s amazing that God hasn’t given up on me. It’s not like he needs me. I have been proud, unclean, dishonest, cruel, cowardly, lazy…you name it. I rewarded his love and help with the ugliest kind of abuse. It’s as if I had been raised by pigs. God could have let me go to hell and replaced me with someone else, and it would have been absolutely righteous of him.

The world has gone completely nuts. It’s as if a giant tank of feces under the ground had burst, and it’s rising all around us. We are surrounded by nudity, anger, blasphemy, cruelty, arrogance, violence, greed, female rebellion, hatred of masculinity, sexual deviation, and love of evil. The cleaner I get inside, the more I want to get away from the world. It’s as if I’m a boat that has been bailed out, and I’m floating on the sea of excrement.

Things are going to get worse. We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. If you’re spiritually weak, you are going to be submerged in the cesspool. It won’t matter if you go to mass and pray to Mary ten times a day. It won’t help if you give half of your income to Benny Hinn. You have to know God personally and be transformed internally. The whole country is going to look a lot like a Black Lives Matter/Antifa rally. People who believe in God will be beaten, raped, and murdered, and no one will help them. If you’re not preparing yourself, you will drown. Trump won’t save you.

You need someone on your side. If you want God to be on your side, you have to be on his. He won’t help you just because you exist. He already allowed himself to be tortured to death for you. You can’t keep asking for more.

If anything I say helps you, let me know. It would be nice if I were used to accomplish a few useful things before I am excused from this miserable planet.

Yesterday was Arbor Day

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

A Boring Story

I’m writing because I’m tired. I figure if I write, I will be able to tell myself I’m doing something productive while I’m really resting.

Today I will tell you about my adventure with the boring head. Not the Indian boring head with integral R8 shank which I got from Grizzly. The US-made Flynn boring head I got off Ebay for seventy bucks.

The Indian boring head works fine. Boring heads are very simple, so bad ones work just as well as good ones. I wanted a nice one because nice ones are more pleasant to use. Also, they’re nice.

The Indian boring head has a jerky action which I have been unable to fix, and it’s just generally not elegant.

Criterion is the name everyone thinks of when they think about boring heads. Criterion makes very good boring heads, and they cost a lot of money (for no reason I can discern). I’ll go look up a price. A 3″ boring head will run you $582 at MSC. That’s a ton of money for something with about ten parts. I tried to find a good price on a used Criterion, but even the used prices are bad.

When it comes to machine tools, name and price are related. A well-known product may sell for more than a product of equal or better quality which is not as well known. It’s like Steinway and pianos. Steinways are not the best, but they bring good money. Name is a very big deal in the used machine tool business.

I found a neat used boring head made by the Flynn company. As far as I know, it’s as good as a Criterion. The seller wanted $70, which is a lot better than I would expect to do on a Criterion. It looked good in the photos. It appeared to have wear from banging around in a drawer with other stuff, but little no wear consistent with use. I bought it.

Problem: the boring head had a funny arbor on it. It was a 5/8″ shank 2″ long, with a thread inside the top end, and there was a mysterious taper down by the boring head itself. “No problem,” I thought, “I will modify it or remove it.”

When the boring head arrived, it resisted all sorts of removal schemes. I even filled the inside of the boring head with a combination of ATF and acetone, which is supposed to be better than Kroil at loosening threads. I got nowhere with it. Even professional machinists had no answers. That’s disturbing, because you will find a good answer in this very blog post if you keep reading.

I considered cutting the arbor flange off or at least reducing it to nearly nothing. I thought the friction between the flange and the boring head might be holding things in place. No one else suggested this, so I decided not to take a chance.

The taper was a little over an inch long. I knew it was okay to run a 1/2″ drill chuck with a short 1/2″ straight shank, so I wondered if I could get away with cutting the taper and turning it into a 3/4″ stub about an inch long. Machinists assured me it would work. That surprised me, but I figured they knew what they were doing.

A 1/2″ shank would have been more convenient, because a 1/2″ collet will accept a lot of tools that are very useful, and it’s a good idea to try to get new tools fit that size collet. It results in less time spent changing collets. I didn’t trust a 1/2″ shank and collet to stand up to boring torque, so I went for 3/4″.

Chucking the boring head in the lathe was a pain. It has lots of features on it, so you don’t want to just slam it in a lathe chuck and tighten down on fragile things you paid good money for. You have to chuck it carefully. Also, I didn’t want the hardened jaws on my 4-jaw chuck to bite into it and mar it.

The best ways to hold an object you don’t want to mar are to use soft jaws or pie jaws. Soft jaws are steel jaws that have not been hardened. You pop off your hardened upper jaws, and you put the soft jaws in their places. Then you cut the jaws to fit your part. If you’re holding a 2″ tube, you bore the jaws out to roughly 2″. You have to put something inside the jaws while you bore them to push them out and hold them in place. You end up with jaws that touch the part with a lot of material instead of three or four small jaw points. Of course, the contact area is limited by the width of the jaws, which are the same size as hard jaws.

Pie jaws are big aluminum jaws that screw to your bottom jaws. They form a 3-slice “pie” when installed. You bore them out just like soft jaws, I believe. Anyway, they cover 60 degrees each, so when you bore them to fit a part, they contact nearly the whole circumference.

I am too lazy to use soft jaws or pie jaws. Also, I only have one set of soft jaws, and they’re too pretty to actually use.

I found a neat tip: aluminum tape. This is real duct tape, unlike the rubbery cheap stuff no one should ever use on ducts. It’s made from aluminum foil. You can get it at Home Depot. You put a piece on each of your hardened jaws, and it helps keep the tips from biting into your work.

There were other problems with chucking the part. If you look at the photos, you will see that the arbor had a flange that screwed up against the boring head. I assumed this flange (and the shank) were concentric with the boring head body, because that’s how machinists do things. It’s sloppy to make cutting tools with arbors that aren’t concentric with them.

When I tried to indicate the part in my 4-jaw chuck, it was impossible to get the arbor flange, the shank, and the body of the boring head lined up at the same time. It’s normal to have to do some work to get two ends of an object indicated, but this time it was impossible. Finally, I put the boring head in my mill with a 5/8″ collet, and I measured it. The arbor flange was not concentric with the boring head, and neither was the shank.

I guess this makes sense. A boring head uses a cutting point which is offset from the spindle axis, so you don’t need the arbor to be concentric with the body. Still, it’s a strange way for a quality manufacturer to make a tool.

Realizing I was up against it, I decided to indicate the face of the boring head, which was virtually certain to be square with the sides of the body. I indicated the face as well as possible, and I indicated the sides to within a few thousandths. Good enough. Indicating the face made sure the shank I was about to turn would not be angled with respect to the body of the boring head. That made me feel good, although it wouldn’t affect the performance of the tool.

I ended up cutting the shank down to a 3/4″ stub an inch long. Now I’m happy. But wait! There’s more!

After I did all this work, someone told me he had removed shanks by cutting the arbor flanges down to a thickness of a few thousandths. He said he then unscrewed them with his fingers. Removing the flange pressure took away the friction that held them in place.


Anyway, here is a photo of my new shank. I think it will work.

I don’t know for sure that I got a good result, but there are a lot of good tips in this blog post. Boring heads aren’t concentric with their shanks or arbors. Use soft jaws or pie jaws to chuck delicate round parts. Aluminum tape prevents marring. A short shank will work fine with a 3″ boring head. ATF and acetone make a top-notch penetrating oil which is dirt cheap (Some people add lard.) Finally, if you want that arbor out of your boring head, take the flange off.

We’ll see whether my shank works or not. Now that I know how to remove it, I don’t care.

One good thing about the short shank is that the boring head will not take up much vertical room on the mill. Boring heads with bars installed can be very long, and that can result in the machinist having to crank the mill’s knee up and down a lot, and in some situations it can make it impossible to use the boring head.

That’s the story. If you see a nice boring head with a funny arbor on Ebay, don’t be afraid to buy it. Now you know how to get that shank out.

Meet Wallace

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

My Emotional Support Rattlesnake

Today, as always, I am watching America disintegrate. The topic that has my attention at the moment: emotional support animals.

Have you noticed that you can’t go into a store or restaurant now without running into someone walking a dog? Over the last few months, these people have gotten my attention. It seems their numbers have increased rapidly. The dogs wear little vests, like the ones real service animals wear. They must be highly trained animals which provide essential help to disabled people, right?


For under a hundred bucks, you can get your dog, cat, snake, owl, lemur, wombat, tarantula, or alligator snapping turtle certified as an emotional support animal. After that, many cowardly business owners will bow to you when you bring your pet–that’s what it really is–into places like the hardware store or the movies. You can get your certification over the phone. You can buy an emotional support dog vest from Amazon: LOOK.

One lady in the reviews describes her ESD as “a 70 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix who is easily excitable around people.” Great. See anything wrong with that?

This is so crazy, even our left-leaning mental health establishment is voicing disapproval.

Is it so bad if animals get to go where we go? Am I an animal hater or what? Actually, it IS bad, and I’m not an animal hater. Emotional support animals (and their owners) have no training. They are not held to cleanliness standards. They bite. They poop on stuff.

Today I read about a couple of animals that pooped on airplanes. DISCLAIMER: Marv (my African grey parrot) has done this many times, but he was in a pet carrier, and no one pretended he was performing a vital service.

One animal, a dog, took two aisle dumps in a single flight. People got sick to their stomachs. What could be better than being trapped in a small space with one of the most fragrant types of poop on the planet? Another animal, a pig, relieved itself on the floor and got itself and its owner thrown off the plane before it took off. Have you ever been around pig manure? The smell really carries. It’s not a wholesome, farmy smell like horse or cow manure smell. It’s funky and gross.

If you didn’t have the straight poop (sorry) on emotional support animals when you got up this morning, now you do. It’s a scam that permits selfish people to abuse the rest of us. Snowflakes who can’t find anything else to complain about are now entitled to make us share restaurant seats with creatures that lick their anuses.

This is good information to have. The other day I saw a scam dog at Home Depot, and I nearly ran a cart over its tail. I thought it wasn’t a big deal, because an educated service dog wouldn’t lunge at me if I hurt it. Now I know that dog wasn’t educated at all. I almost provoked a big German shepherd which probably had as much training and restraint as Charlie Sheen. You and I are informed now, so we can avoid being bitten, pawed, and peed on.

Look how crazy we’ve gotten. We can’t even count on eating our meals in areas free of dog crap.

This is what Americans are becoming. Today it is completely possible that you will see a grown “man” wearing a baby’s romper, sitting in a restaurant, working on a coloring book, with a vicious emotional support rottweiler straining to break its leash and eat the waiters. And anyone complaining about such sorry spectacles risks being treated like Josef Mengele after a sighting at a B’nai Brith luncheon.

Normal people run from nuts and brats now, and it’s going to get worse.

The airlines are trying to limit the insanity. They require “patients” to get current letters from mental health professionals, listing their mental illnesses and stating the need for a llama or penguin or whatever. Of course, a lot of crazy people and crooks have medical degrees, as any savvy Percocet addict can tell you. It won’t be hard for determined, imperious snowflakes to get their documentation.

If I were a seeing-eye dog, I would be really miffed about this. These amateurs will reflect very badly on real service dogs.

Life is no longer permitted to provide any type of inconvenience or unpleasantness, unless of course you’re a Christian, a male, white, straight, or conservative. We get all sorts of unpleasantness. We are not allowed to own bakeries, for example. It’s open season on us, but God forbid you should ask a “medical marijuana” enthusiast not to light up in front of your kids at a park. Not being allowed to get high in a park could be traumatic, so shut up and go home, normal people.

I shouldn’t make fun of medical marijuana. It’s very hard to get a prescription. You have to make a phone call and tell a doctor you’ve never met that you have a headache.

I want an aggressive emotional support chimp that smokes medical marijuana in my safe space with me. Oh, wait. I can’t have a safe space. I’m an old white guy. I’m not supposed to be safe, because any consideration or help I receive is “white privilege.” I’m supposed to be mistreated, because it makes up for the way I microaggress everyone around me simply by existing.

Honest to God, I wish we could all be transported to December of 1941 and experience real problems for a few days, just so the snowflakes would have a frame of reference. They have no idea what a problem looks like, so they try to fabricate them, and they don’t do a very good job. If a white man makes a taco, it is not a problem. If your ball python has to fly in the luggage hold, it is not a problem. The Spanish Flu of 1918…that was a problem. Polio was a problem. The Civil War was a problem. Compare and contrast and see if you can spot the difference between these challenges and the pain of having your high school history teacher tell you to stop showing the boys your nipples.

Now I’m off on another tangent. It seems like every third news story I see is about some mom who “shut down” a teacher or principal who asked her daughter to quit dressing like a slut.

Jeff Lebowski was wrong. The bums won!

The world (mainly America) is nuts right now. It won’t be long before it’s insufferable. I’d fake my death and move somewhere safe, but there is no such place.

Russia. I keep forgetting Russia. I don’t know if I can handle their weather, though. They wouldn’t take me, anyway. Unlike the US, other countries require you to prove you will be an asset before you can move in.

Be careful where you step in restaurants, and make sure you stay at least two yards away from emotional support dogs. You should probably start cooking at home more. Let’s face it: we should start doing everything at home more.

I’m really stressed, so I’m going to stop. I need relief. I wonder if I can get a chiropractor to give me prescription heroin.