August 18th, 2003


Change in the Weather

Finally, the temperature has dropped down into the seventies, and the humidity is manageable. It was downright comfortable for sleeping last night. Yesterday it rained most of the morning and afternoon, so no biking. Just as well, because the humidity level was still awful most of the day. Saturday's ride was like pedaling through soup, but without the salty goodness.

Tom and Betsy are spending the week on vacation in a cottage down by the beach, so they stopped by with the kids yesterday to see the house. Tom hadn't seen it since he helped me move, and Betsy's never been. We watched a Jeeves and Wooster tape, and I loaned Betsy one of the boxed sets (she's a big fan of the books, but had never seen any of the episodes). We also spent a good bit of time discussing our respective computer obsessions. (Fantasy baseball for Tom, Buffistas for me, Betsy just smiles and nods at us.) Fun was had. I'll being heading down to the cottage Wednesday night for dinner.

After they took off, I did some work on the shelves. I'd gone to the Depot in the morning to pick up the rest of the maple stock that was needed, which when added to what I already had gave me 40' of 1x3. This got cut into sixteen 29½" lengths. I ripped those in half on the table saw to give the thirty-two rough blanks for the shelf facings. Then I ran the rough blanks through the planar to remove the burn marks from the saw blade, and to whittle them down to their final height of 1 1/16". This took a lot longer than I expected, because I had more than an eighth of an inch of excess material to remove, and each pass through the planar only removes about a sixty-fourth of an inch at a time. Multiply by thirty-two pieces, and it's a binary explosion! It took awaile, but they got done. I quit at that point, because it was still ridiculously humid, and since the planer flings wood shavings everywhere, a substantial percentage of them wound up stuck to me. Not nearly as much fun as usual. (I dearly love using the planer. It's simple, precise, and destructive. You gotta love a tool that uses rotating knives to do it's work.)

The next steps for the blanks are to cut a rabbet on each that the shelf blank will fit into, then round over the back edge of the facing, and finally cut a bead along the bottom edge of the front of the facing.
  • Current Mood

The Rhode Island Way is a Different Way

Ripped from the headlines in today's ProJo! (Okay, the back pages, but whatever...)

I've become convinced the the RI DOT is collectively the dumbest group of people to ever wear shoes. I've already ranted about the ramp of doom on the bike path. They've also made an absolute mess of my commute for the last two years as they build a new highway to the base (designed to handle the traffic from the proposed port that isn't going to be built anymore), and revamp the roads on the base into bizarre configurations for reasons that are still unclear. The finish date for that project is apparently *thirteen* years from now.

The latest idea being floated by these swinging geniuses has to do with Rt. 138, which runs from I-95 near the CT border to Newport. It's a meandering little road that is the main route for people from NY and CT trying to get to Newport, and it just can't handle the traffic, especially once it gets to the center of Kingston. Traffic is often backed up for miles from the center of Kingston. They can't do anything about the road to increase its capacity. Kingston is a historical district, and the buildings are right on the road. There was a proposal floated some years ago to build a by-pass north of the village and URI, but it was shot down by the NIMBY folks as being detrimental to their country living. Now those same folks are demanding that DOT do something.

What DOT ought to do is tell the NIMBYs that it's the by-pass or nothing. What they've decided to do instead is to propose replacing all the traffic lights west of Kingston with *traffic circles*! They say that the circles are traffic taming devices, to slow the cars down and more easily regulate the flow of traffic. How much frelling slower than bumper-to-bumper do they want it?!? The problem is not the speed, it's the numbers. Yes, there is back up from the lights, but the two lights in Kingston will still be there.

The worst thing about the proposal? Ten years ago, there was a traffic circle at one of the intersections in question, but DOT removed it and replaced it with a traffic light because they felt traffic circles were unsafe.

Meanwhile, RI will finally get to see "The Station" episode of CSI-Miami when it's repeated this week. The local CBS affiliate refused to air it the first time, because they worried that it would upset people affected by the fire. It's being repeated this week, and this time the affiliate is going to show it... At 1:35 in the morning... What's the point of that?

And everyone wonders why I keep Jersey plates on my truck...
  • Current Mood
    shaking my head

Special Hell...

Snagged from cofax7:

Boy bands
Circle I Limbo

Red Sox fans
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

TV Executives
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Circle VII Burning Sands

People who use their cell phone while driving
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

People who don't use serial commas
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

  • Current Music
    "Hero and Heroine" - The Strawbs