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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“Close only counts in horseshoes and global thermonuclear war”

“It's a piece of cake,” I said.

Last night, Bunny and I were watching a guilty pleasure, Design Star. One of the challenges for the 39 finalists (for the nine spots on the show) was to make a simple square wooden frame. It was amazing to watch the contestants. A few looked like they've never seen, much less worked, with a compound miter saw.

“It's harder than it looks,” said Bunny.

“Phshaw,” I said. “Five cuts at 45°. Zip zip zip, you're done.”

“See that frame right there,” she said, pointing out a wooden frame above us. “See the lower right corner?”

“Yes,” I said. Looking closely, I could tell the frame there didn't quite match up perfectly, but you had to look closely to tell.

“My brother did that, and even though he does that for a living, even he sometimes has problems.”

“Aw, it can't be that difficult.” I pointed back to the TV, where yet another one of the contestants had managed to nail the non-squared frame to the workbench. “In fact, I want to try it tomorrow.” (Bunny has a garage full of wood-working equipment)

“Tell you what,” she said. “If you get it perfect on your first try, you won't have to cut the lawn.” Normally, she cuts the lawn, but she's been recovering from a medical foot procedure.

“Sounds good to me.”


We enter the garage. Bunny selects a long 1×3. I place it on the compound miter saw. Cut flip slide cut flip slide cut flip slide cut flip slide cut done. Lay the pieces out on the floor:

[Houston, we have to mow the lawn]


“See, I told you it was harder than it looks,” said Bunny.

I align the pieces together, and it appears that I didn't quite cut them all to the exact length—maybe a variation of about a millimeter or so (about 1/32 of an inch for the metrically impaired), and that was enough to mess it up.

“Not bad for not having a jig though,” said Bunny. “And that would have been close enough to pass that challenge on the show.”

“So,” I said, looking about the garage, “where's the lawn mower?”

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