Category Archives: A Day In The Life…

NoooooForge!

Ahh! The elusive GlowForge for which I eagerly signed up for 14 months ago has been delayed again. Now we’re talking July of 2017. DANG IT.

Having experienced the joys of product development, I can understand the delays. I’m obviously disappointed – but that’s how complicated machines come together. I respect the optimism of the GlowForge team and will take the additional time before the arrival of the GlowForge to become a software expert. By the time this monster reaches our doorway, I intend to be able to take full advantage.

One of the first projects I want to complete is the cutting and construction of a briefcase. Perhaps I should learn some basic leather working skills now so that I can achieve lasery leathery greatness more quickly. Oh the things to learn!

 

The Progression of Doughnuts

In my youth, you couldn’t convince me to go anywhere near a plain doughnut. It was Boston Cream or Lemon filled Powdered doughnuts 100%. Munchkins from Dunkin’s were mostly disappointing because, with the exception of the Jelly which as a tenuous descendant of fruit always seemed too healthy to me, none of the selections had fillings, frostings, or sprinkles.

At some point in high school I swore off the filled doughnuts in some sort of doughnut coming of age – swearing my allegiance to glazed doughnuts for the next 10 years. Chocolate glazed opened the door to honey glazed which earned its respect as I began to drink coffee. But now even a subtle glaze is often too sweet.

I firmly reside in the plain doughnut era of my life.

What’s past the plain doughnut stage? Maybe the doughnut will remain the same but I’ll find myself eating them in rocking chairs. Perhaps on front porches accompanied by purposely bitter brews. Maybe I’ll find myself complaining more about kids as I eat my old fashioned doughnut.

Maybe those kids should turn down their music.

Maybe they should get the heck off my lawn.

McMansions

I stumbled across a fascinating website about McMansions. I always thought McMansions were simply out of place huge houses built in affordable areas – like a rando 4000+ square foot house nestled in a neighborhood of ranches – but, oh my, they are so far beyond this. Take a stroll through McMansionhell.com. It’s a hilarious in-depth analysis of the design flaws of McMansions. It’s also wildly educational.

Over the past week I’ve read the entire site. As I understand it, these audacious houses built without cohesive design that suffer from cancerous extensions/additions are examples of unbridled hubris. There are fitting parallels everywhere

  1. The dude who goes to the gym and never works his legs
  2. Most people who ‘play’ guitar in college
  3. Five minute wikipedia experts

But it is even more than a prideful affront (turrets, columns, fake facades) with nothing behind it.

The website comments on how many of these houses are designed from the inside out; that the smallest of room details end up dictating the external appearance of the home. Designing with a focus on the interior is great – but this website’s author suggests that to do so at the expense of the external visage of the house is a massive error. It’s like the architect (or owner?) has a really short attention span. The house is done! WAIT! I want to squeeze in an office next to the master bedroom. OH! but I like big windows! Let’s make this one 30 feet tall! CATHEDRAL CEILINGS EVERYWHERE!

Check out the site, it’s amazing. Try this post to start.

Newscasters

Isn’t it strange how newscasters seem to talk in acutely exaggerated tones? A normal phrase turns into a bizarre collection of accents, stresses, and pauses:

“a section of main street IS ::with eyebrows:: back open for the first time since this morning’s accident but investigators still have A LOT ::dramatic pause:: to figure out.”

This research article on speech suggests “listeners interpret higher peaks associated with a mentioned item as conveying greater informational prominence.”

So it’s a trick to insinuate urgency and distinction even when the statements are actually boring and uninteresting? I can believe that.

Unfortunately, now that I hear it – I can’t stop hearing it.

Engineer

 

I was WAY older than I should have been when I learned that an “engineer” didn’t exclusively mean someone who drove trains for a living. Curiously, in the field of trains there’s a second synonym profession title: a conductor. There’s also dual meaning between train like a locomotive and train like to teach.

There’s gotta be some clever joke where an engineer and a conductor walk into a train car… but I’ve only had one cup of coffee today and can’t come up with anything clever enough.

Today’s Five Links

Here we go!

  1. RadioLab’s “Playing God” – A painful but fascinating look at the complexities behind triage – Length 1 hour
  2. Do your Job – A documentary on the Patriot’s 2014-15 season. I love witnessing the unseen professionalism behind a passion. This documentary did a great job at opening my eyes to the strategy and thought behind what, to the uninitiatied, looks fairly straightforward. Length 43 minutes
  3. Making a Guitar – More unseen professionalism behind a passion (From Sander) Length 1 hour
  4. Tsukamoto Isao – a guitarist with a unique raw style (from Kevin O) Length 4.5 minutes
  5. Brass band multitasker – Bizarre short video of a brass slapstick band (from Dad D) Length 3 minutes

NFL

The most frustrating thing about watching football: Advertisements.

The second most frustrating thing about watching football: When there’s a fumble and all the members of both teams confidently point their arms as if they had recovered the ball, long before the pile of bodies has been deconstructed.

Although I suppose it’s not that different from when I’m bowling and despite the pending fall of my ball into the gutter, I desperately twist and flail my body to will some miraculous alternative.

Baby books and the seven deadly sins

There does seem to be a strange correlation between Eric Carle baby books and the seven deadly sins. Let’s take a look:

The Grouchy Ladybug – Wrath

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Gluttony

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth – Sloth

The Greedy Python – Greed

The Tiny Seed – Pride

The Very Lonely Firefly/The Mixed-Up Chameleon – Envy

The Very Busy Spider – Lust

Actually, I think the Very Busy Spider might be about a hardworking spider that builds a beautiful web. But the other comparisons are pretty dead on.