The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Fire Drill

There was a fire drill today at The Ft. Lauderdale Office of The Corporation. It had been announced ahead of time via email and came with a multipage document, outlining not only the evacuation plans, but who was doing what and where to meet (about half a block away).

So I was expecting something like:

[Main lights cut off. The entire Ft. Lauderdale Office of The Corporation is bathed in dim red emergency light.] AROOOOOOOOOOOGA! AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGA!

The intercom system blares to life.] “ATTENTION! ATTENTION! THIS IS A FIRE DRILL! PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING!”

“Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!”

“Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!”

“Run! Move, you maggots!”

“ATTENTION! ATTENTION! THE BUILDING'S SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE HAS BEEN INITIATED! PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING! THIS BUILDING WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN THREE MINUTES!”

“South office section clear!”

“North office section clear!”

“What's up with the central office section?”

“Run!”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Status! What's the status of the central office section? Report!”

“ATTENTION! ATTENTION! THE BUILDING WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN TWO MINUTES!”

“Status!”

“Central office section clear!”

“ATTENTION! ATTENTION! PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING!”

“Keep going!”

“Civilians have cleared the building, sir!”

“Keep going!”

“TEN … NINE … EIGHT … SEVEN …”

“Do we have everyone?”

“I'm counting!”

“Do we have everyone?”

“Yes!”

“TWO … ONE! HAD THIS BEEN AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY, THE BUILDING YOU HAVE JUST EVACUATED WOULD HAVE EXPLODED IN A HUGE FIREBALL AND ANYBODY WITHIN ONE HUNDRED YARDS WOULD BE DEAD! HAVE A NICE DAY!” [Unseen by the civillians, since they're all outside, the lighting resumes to normal inside the building.]

But alas, no. That was not the fire drill we experienced. It was more like:

“Attention. This is a fire drill. Please leave the buliding using the stairwell. That is all.”

“Oh, I guess we leave the office now.”

“Lunch?”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A very good reason not to speed

It was impressive when the Mythbusters rammed a 650mph rocketsled into a car, but let's face it, in our day-to-day lives I doubt we'll be involved in a head-on collision with a rocketsled. Or anything moving at 650mph. But a collision at 120mph? (link via Instapundit)

Wow.

And not in a good way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A nice way to start the day

I always leave my SirusXM car radio set to the Jazz station. But for some reason this morning, it was set to the 90s station, and they happened to be playing Siouxsie and the Banshees Kiss Them For Me. It was a cool blast from my college days, and a nice way to start the morning.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The box.

Two additional coats of tung oil, a few hinges and a latch, and I have a finished wooden box.

[Yeah, the top is about a millimeter off from the bottom. Sigh.] [But the back is nicely aligned.  Woot!]

The whole purpose of the box was to have a place to both store and use my dice for the twice-monthly session of D&D.

[Just a small sample of my dice collection]

There was always the risk of a die rolling off the table and bouncing arond the floor, only to end up under the couch. Now though, I have a place to safely roll my dice.

On reflection, I think making an enclosed box and then cutting it open is the better way to go. The top and bottom of my box don't quite line up and I think it's due to making each half separately. Also, while I would like for the sides to be thinner, I doubt I could make it any thinner and still use the hinges and latch. As it was, even with the smallest screws I could find (3/8″), you can still just feel the screws just coming through the wood underneath the felt. I also think I would have preferred to use miter joints rather than butt joints. Perhaps next time.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Did an intentional truth slip past the corporate lawyers?

I used to log out of Facebook once I finished with the site because I realized they could track me with all the “Like” buttons on plenty of pages not on Facebook. But then I realized that was stupid, they can track me anyway through existing cookies, and even if I were to delete all Facebook cookies after logging out they could still track me via IP address (not that they do—in fact, I don't know if they do or not, but they could!).

I still log out though. Cargo cultish I know, but it makes me feel better, even when intellectually, I know it doesn't do a thing.

Which is why I found this ad so disturbing. Imagine that last line reading “we just did … and no, I don't mean for likes.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Felt and Tung Oil

I was looking at my box today, concerned at just how bad it looked. But I was amazed at just how good it looked once I sanded the exterior (the interior will be covered in felt, so I didn't really see the need to sand the interior).

[It doesn't look half bad, if I say so myself.]

One tip when cutting felt—use a sharp blade. The sharper, the better. Then it was time to glue the felt to the interior of the box, which I did outside since I was using a spray adhesive.

[Wax paper to keep the felt off the asphalt, and a scrap piece of wood to keep the wax paper on the asphalt.]

I was not sure which approach I shoud take—either spray the felt and apply it to the box, or spray the inside of the box and apply the felt. So I tried both methods. For one half of the box, I sprayed the felt, and, well, spray adhesive is very sticky stuff. It got all over my fingers as I tried to maneuver the felt into place (for the record—I did the sides first, then the bottom). So for the other half of the box, I sprayed the interior of the box with glue, and that went everywhere. Then there was trying to position the felt into the wood perfectly the first time, least it immediately stick in some half-cocked position.

I'm not sure how I could have done it with less mess. I don't recommend either way, or rather, pick your poison when gluing felt.

But I got decent results.

[What you can't see is the green-stained fingers of my left hand glued into a large clump.]

Then it was on to finishing the box. Finishing oil, that is. Tung Oil Finish.

Bunny first handed me some latex gloves to protect my hands from the tung oil. She then handed me some old socks to use to rub the finish into the wood.

[The box before I started.] [You can see how the tung oil finish really brings out the woodgrain.]

Previous two images courtesy of Bunny (as one hand was covered with a latex glove, and the other with a latex glove and a sock—there is no way I could operate an iPhone).

[All finished with the finish.]

Now all that's left waiting for the tung oil finish to dry, apply another coat or two, and finally add the hinges and latch.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Glue, glue, glue, glue, lots of glue.

First thing today, finish up gluing the sides for the other half of the box.

[If this looks remarkedly like the sides of the other half, it's because it is.  No sense taking a picture that will look remarkedly like this one when I can just reuse this one.]

That done, I “dry fit” the pieces to see approximately what the box will end up looking like.

[Remarkably like this.  Amazing how that works.]

I also wanted the two halves to be the same, so the box would lay flat when open.

[The insides look a bit rough, but that's okay—I'll be adding felt to hide the crimes, so to speak.]

When gluing up the sides, I went to the pain of matching up the wood grain as best as possible so that when the box was closed, it would look decent. I think I did a good enough job at that, especially since that was a last minute thought as I was arranging the sides for gluing.

I'm also planning on making the grain of the top and bottom flow as well:

[Not like anyone will ever notice this detail unless I point it out.]

So now it's just a matter of gluing the top and botton onto the sides of the box.

[Once this piece is done, I'll do the other one, which again, will look remarkably like this.]

Between glue-ups, Bunny and I headed out to Lowes Home Improvement Store, as we both needed to pick up some hardware for the projects we're working on. In my case, that's home hinges and a latch of some kind. For such a simple task, it took a unreasonably long time to find the appropriate hardware for the job. The hinges were fairly easy, but finding replacement brass screws short enough so they wouldn't poke through the other side was tough (the packet of hinges came with screws about ½″ long—a bit too long for the width of the wood I'm using). Harder to find was an appropriate latch for the box. Most of them were just too large to use, and even the one I eventually bought, while it will fit, one side will extend up past the edge of the box.

But they're brass and they should look decent on the box.

Tomorrow, it's felt, felt, felt, and oh, did I mention the felt?

Obligatory Picture

[Don't hate me for my sock monkey headphones.]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2015 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.

Listed on BlogShares