General Chaos

The Dremel Killer

So, I got this nice little toy the other day, and I went and destroyed it. Not the new van, no–I’m talking about my Dremel.

The new van was sort of the cause, though. See, there’s this fence across the back of my yard…well, “fence” isn’t really the word, unless when you hear the word you think of chain link lashed to a framework of 3″ steel pipes secured with an excessive amount of concrete. It’s more like a tank trap, or some insane plumber’s apprentice’s idea of installation art than a fence.

And it’s a hazard to navigation. About all it does successfully is gouge the side panels of cars making too wide a turn into our car park, and keep the garbage truck from running over the rats who’ve dug in just behind a curb that could stop alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. It would take a bunker buster to get them out of there.

So, I decided for the safety of my new ride to take the monstrosity down. But what tool to use? My hacksaw broke while I was making a first attempt at cutting it off. So I tried the cutoff wheel on the Dremel. It barely nicked the surface.

Next came the jigsaw attachment for the Dremel, with a metal-cutting blade. It was working great, until the Dremel BURST INTO FIRE IN MY HANDS.

Needless to say, I don’t think that’s covered under the limited warranty.

Standard
General Chaos

master of disaster

master_of_disaster.jpg For the last few days, John Hiatt’s Master of Disaster has been trapped in my head. I’ve always liked Hiatt, but there’s something about this song that’s attached itself to my conciousness.

Maybe it’s because I’m often the Master of Disaster, and while I’m not tangled in my Telecaster (I play an Ibanez Artcore mostly), I’ve migrated from being an angry young man to just an angry man to an angry soon-to-be-41-year-old….”Now he’s just a mean old bastard”.

Not that anyone could really tell. I mean, I’m probably the most laid-back mean old bastard there is. It only comes out in flashes, mostly when I’m dealing with something related to work. I have never suffered fools lightly, which is a pretty bad personality trait for someone who’s essentially a mid-level project manager with no real hope of advancement without major ass-kissing.

But I digress. Besides, I’m not supposed to blog about work; it’s a corporate policy, you know, and one basically created specifically because of me. In fact, I’m personally responsible for the creation of at least three or four pages of corporate policy–a point of personal pride for a crypto-anarchist like me.

So, anyway, I don’t have much of an outlet for the rage that comes from dealing with pointy-haired bosses who change project parameters without bothering to tell me (the guy allegedly managing the projects), or changing their priorities like an infant following a reflection off some shiny object that rolled past their playpen. And there’s something in the subtext of Hiatt’s gravelly unspooling of the lyrics of this song (and the rest of the album) that somehow speaks to that untapped need to club something to a pulp with a rusty old beercan, or to throw a phone through a sliding door, or pound something flat with a hunk of old pipe. And that’s a good thing.

Right?

Standard
Family, gallagheria

I can’t believe I’m buying another minivan

Somebody shoot me.

The old Dodge Grand Caravan urban assault vehicle (well, it’s 6 years old, but it looks older) has been drawing all sorts of snide remarks from the family. My eldest son keeps talking about getting it on “Pimp My Ride”, or painting it all haze-grey and adding gun ports. My wife is embarrassed to ride in it. Even my 4-year old says she wants a new car.

Well, today, just to humor them, I stopped at a few dealerships to look at my options. I tried steering the discussion something less…vanny, like a Pacifica, or maybe a hybrid Highlander.

Well, after being reminded why we had gotten the Dodge Grand Caravan UAV in the first place, I was left with the realization that I was stuck in van-land. And with all this “employee pricing” stuff, and my political bent, we were pretty well set on going American. So, we’re going with the Chrysler Town & Country Touring. At least it’s a little more tricked out than my current ride.

But it’s still a minivan. And even though I’d come to love the old champagne Grand Caravan for all its dents and scratches, it’s gonna take a while to get to love the new one, which we need to negotiate the details on on Monday.

But the Sirius satellite radio will probably help.

Standard
Family, gallagheria

I can't believe I'm buying another minivan

Somebody shoot me.

The old Dodge Grand Caravan urban assault vehicle (well, it’s 6 years old, but it looks older) has been drawing all sorts of snide remarks from the family. My eldest son keeps talking about getting it on “Pimp My Ride”, or painting it all haze-grey and adding gun ports. My wife is embarrassed to ride in it. Even my 4-year old says she wants a new car.

Well, today, just to humor them, I stopped at a few dealerships to look at my options. I tried steering the discussion something less…vanny, like a Pacifica, or maybe a hybrid Highlander.

Well, after being reminded why we had gotten the Dodge Grand Caravan UAV in the first place, I was left with the realization that I was stuck in van-land. And with all this “employee pricing” stuff, and my political bent, we were pretty well set on going American. So, we’re going with the Chrysler Town & Country Touring. At least it’s a little more tricked out than my current ride.

But it’s still a minivan. And even though I’d come to love the old champagne Grand Caravan for all its dents and scratches, it’s gonna take a while to get to love the new one, which we need to negotiate the details on on Monday.

But the Sirius satellite radio will probably help.

Standard
Baltimore, General Chaos

the cuke-zooka (or, salad shooter)

We’ve been growing cucumbers in our back yard this year. The problem with cucumbers is, you turn your back for a minute on them and they turn into giant, orange, inedible monsters.

They do, however, make excellent rat deterrent projectiles.

Last night, I wandered into the back yard and saw…movement. Having just returned from camping for 3 days (and as a result, having a certain amount of propane readily available), and having a potato gun within reach, I took an orange cuke off the vine.

I shoved the overripe cucumber into the barrel, cutting it to size, and then used an unlit propane torch to charge the cannon. I then pointed the gun in the general direction of the rodential recreation, and pushed the barbeque igniter button.

I had forgotten how loud a report the spud gun had.

I’m not sure whether the cuke-jectile even came close to hitting a varmint, but when I looked again into the yard, motion had ceased. As I was going in my back door, my neighbor B. emerged in his shorts, looking for the source of the “bang”.

I casually came back out. “You’re wondering what that noise was?”
“Yeah, it sounded like a car crash in the alley or something.”
“That was me. I was throwing something at a rat.”
Satisfied, he went back inside.

I need to work on a cuke-gun silencer, I guess.

Standard