Cat-tastrophy

We have a new quartet of felines in our home from a lady who was moving and couldn’t take them with her. This choice was from my wife who heard that she would choose to put them to sleep rather than take them to the pound. I am so proud of the kindness in her soul but with this choice she has jumped across a line. She is no longer just a cat lover, she is now a crazy cat lady and it makes her very happy to be one.

One of our new cats hurt himself this week. We have a metal shelf (the kind you buy from a home improvement store for about $60) with slotted shelves that we keep our blankets and sheets on which he liked to sleep on. He was apparently jumping off and his back paw got caught in the shelf and sprained (we took him to the vet to find out and treat him). My youngest son was home when this happened and he was the rescuer of poor Bubba. I am so proud of him and feel so bad for my new furry baby so this weekend I am cutting wooden shelves to go over my metal ones to prevent any more injuries.

Autism vs. Human-ism

I have a problem with figuring out when I am being autistic and when I am just being human. The first thing that comes to mind is that I often become stuck unable to see some one else’s feelings. It’s not that I don’t want to understand their emotions, it’s just that I can’t. My wife says it makes me good at logical debate but very bad at real life discussions. I can see that but I struggle to understand how others can’t remove their emotions from a political discussion (for example) when the benefits are so extreme.

Another thing is the world around me. I walked past a sink full of dirty dishes yesterday, didn’t even think about them until I heard my wife putting them in the dish washer. Had I been more observant and thoughtful she would have been saved having to do that since she had just taken our youngest son to work and folded the laundry that day. She didn’t complain and even chatted pleasantly with me while doing it. How I wish I was more like her, having a great attitude while taking care of our home and family. Is this just being typical man or is my autism creating a blind spot for me?

Masks and Government

Can we as a people not just decide to wear masks as a kind and thoughtful gesture to those who feel better because of them? When did we loose the sense of thoughtfulness that our grandparents seemed to have?

That having been said, if you are complaining about our government not doing enough to protect us from the virus, just remember that our government was created specifically to protect the rights of it’s citizens from other governments and individuals. The only way it can protect us from natural disasters is to take away those rights. Comparing us to other countries without that moral center is like saying, “This turkey dinner doesn’t taste like a fruit salad to me.”

And to anyone who disagrees, please be civil. A logical well thought out opinion is always welcome, a reply of demagoguery or hyperbole doesn’t help anyone.

May the Lord bless and keep you all safe, even if you don’t believe in him.

And yes, I did have to spellcheck some of those big words.

Politics and Civility

When did we give up logic and effect for emotion and partisanship?  We now fight against anyone who isn’t of our political party even if we might agree with their position when put forward by one of our party’s leaders.  We oppose good ideas that come from the other side.  We tear down for the smallest infraction against our side while forgiving the true evils our side commit.

I pray that at some point we have a leader who can convince the average American to think about arguments in a logical, dispassionate way.  Someone who reminds us that our core value is freedom, not entitlement.  That we are all the same, no matter where we came from, where we were born, no matter our color, race, or background.  We must return to the belief that I am not lessened if you don’t share my views and opinions.  That we can disagree and still be friends.  And especially that when we disagree and argue we can do so with civility and respect, being mature.  Only once we can debate and argue without taking it personally will we be able to advance ideas and create a “More Perfect Union”.

A Game Cabinet, PT. 2

My next step was to cut the shelf supports from 3/4″ plywood.  I cut twelve for the sides, 1″ high and 15″ long, six for the front at 1″ high and 13 1/2″ long, and six for the back 1 1/4″ high (a lip to prevent the shelves from sliding) and 13 1/2″ long.  I sanded them all smooth to prevent splinters then painted them.

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Once they were dry I assembled the sides and top of the cabinet then attached the front and side rails for the shelves.  I put the shelves 6″ apart (I had to measure 7″ to give the space for the shelf too with some extra just to be sure).

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While my paint was drying I cut the four panels for the door.  They were 2″ wide and made of 3/4″ plywood.  The sides were 38″ long and the ends were 15 and 1/4″ inches long (to cover the edge of  the side panels).  Since I didn’t have enough wire mesh I put in a middle support 4″ wide and 11 1/4″ long.  I used some framing clamps I inherited from my father-in-law that I have thanked God for every time I needed them.  I used glue to reinforce the screws.

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After the glue dried I added two spacers for the hinges I had to allow the door to mount onto the thin sides.

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I added feet to the bottom of the cabinet.  I wanted to use casters but I didn’t have any and this was “freebe/leftover wood” project, not a go buy everything and anything project.

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I then built the shelves out of 1/4″ plywood and screen.  There were four plywood pieces 2″ wide and three metal panels to fill in the space, allowing heat to flow out.  I initially used staples and hot glue but then realized that the hot glue held very well and I didn’t need any other connectors to support the screen.  I did piece the screen together since I didn’t have enough long pieces to support the constructions but almost no body will see that (unless they read this and look for it if they visit me.)  I put the shelves in and nailed one small nail to the front support, just to help keep each one in place.

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I then attached the back door to the cabinet, same as the front, and put it in place.  My son then mounted all his video game equipment.

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Let me know if you want to see any more of my silly, projects.

A game cabinet

My son loves old video game systems.  He has a Wii, Game Cube (I think) an XBox 360, an XBox One, A PS1 (or two), and possibly others.  They were strewn all over the room with cords to trip on going from the boxes to the TV (that I had just mounted to the wall) and controllers across the coffee table and onto the couch and recliners.  Seeing all this and almost tripping on it a few times I decided to build a specially designed server rack for his game systems and the room’s network connections.

It was going to be build out of whatever I had lying around and designed for heat dissipation and storage, not beauty.  I thought it might be nice to post it here for you to enjoy my activities and success (and some failures).  It started with a plan:

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I do system tech support so of course I use paper torn from an old notebook to make my woodworking plans.  Yes I am over forty too.  So now you see that my cabinet is to be eighteen inches deep by forty eight inches high.  The shelves were fifteen by fifteen to give a cord path behind the boxes.

I started with a sheet of plywood, 1/4″ thick for the sides.  I cut them with my circular saw between two folding tables.

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I then sanded both sides until they were very smooth.  I then used a combination primer and white paint.

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Next I cut a top out of 3/4 plywood and then cut out the top whole for ventilation.

I then cut out some of my mesh (it was a fancy metal sheet we had covering a base to an island in our previous house that we couldn’t use in the kitchen of the new house).  I wanted to make sure that heat could escape easily from the cabinet.

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To be continued on the next blog post.

 

Where do we belong

I work in IT and frequently we are under very odd departments.  I have worked under Maintenance, Operations, Finance, and even in our own department, separate, directly under the president.  Many organizations don’t know where to put the IT department so it becomes a game of “which VP do I want to manage this” or “which VP knows them most about computers” and frequently that answer becomes finance/accounting.  This leads a corporation down a very bad path that on the surface, initially, looks very good.

When the VP of finance or CFO is placed over IT the first year or two costs go down, efficiency appears to go up, and the company seems to be functioning the same as always.  All these appear as good trends and the CEO/President is often pleased, praising the CFO and IT.  But eventually the problems show, causing issues, eventually harming the company’s productivity and bottom line.  This is due to the conflicting demands the finance department has within every company.

The best VP of Finance is excellent at cutting costs and questioning spending.  They are often, in smaller businesses, also the controller, one of his jobs is to control spending.  IT however must always purchase and expand or the company will be constricted by its ability to process data.  When the director of IT says to their boss that some item or purchase is needed, the first response of the CFO is to try and prevent the expense.  Are there cheaper options, can we do without it, can we do the job with current equipment are many of the questions that must be answered and often with a proper business case and fully defensible numbers and facts.

Many times IT looks to the future and, using experience and general industry guidelines, recommends an option that not only fits the “now” but also the tomorrow.  There aren’t numbers to prove every assumption and prediction that an experienced IT team will try to plan for so the worst happens, IT must fit their needs into the budget given by an executive who has the primary function of managing the money of the organization.  They are hamstrung and the whole business suffers.

I wish owners and CEO’s would keep their IT departments separate from other departments to give them a fighting chance to request and obtain the resources they need.  Also, please don’t put any non-finance operations under your VPoF or CFO, they have enough managing the money of the company without having to deal with anything else, especially outside their expertise.  Don’t make IT a department’s step child, give it its own home.

Vehicles

My son totaled my car.  It was an accident, he was at fault, but he’s alright.  My van didn’t make it.  I am forever thankful that he wasn’t hurt more than a bad bruise or two and I don’t complain.  I do miss my van.

I really liked the van I had, a Nissan Quest.  It was easy to drive, easy to get in, could hold 7 adults (cramped but not bad), and lots of cargo space.  It couldn’t hold a queen mattress but only by two inches or so.  It was cool in the summer and would warm up quickly when cool.  I miss it and Nissan doesn’t make the Quest any more so I guess I can’t get it back.

Moved, sort of.

I posted this on my other site, the writer’s site, but it also applies here:

I’ve moved.  I am now in NC and have begun to settle.  Our home is being worked on to add tile and new paint.  Our stuff is here but some is still in boxes, some is just in piles or in a closest, very little broke, and some is in a nether-world where we can’t find it.  Anyone who has moved can tell you much the same unless they were managing every little detail of the move directly and without distraction.

However I am not fully moved since there are still things to change/fix, put in place, throw away and fight with.  This has put a very big crimp in my writing and recording, dropping it to almost nothing.  This is due to the needs of moving still, having a new job, and just not feeling like it.  I must admin the “not feeling like it” may be a larger part of this than the others.

It’s gone.

I thought I had a good idea for a blog post today.  It happened while I was making a chicken crust pizza (very low carb pizza replacement) for lunch today so I couldn’t stop to write.  I thought it was good, I vowed to remember it, I even repeated it in my head to remember it.  You would think with all that effort I wouldn’t be writing this blog but that one, however here we are.

I don’t know if it’s just me not caring about it enough to remember (my wife might say that).  Maybe as I age I am loosing my memory, it sure seems that way to me.   But it could also be that my brain is filling up with the memories of my past.  I don’t know and even if someone told me why, I might not remember it anyhow.  Catch 22.

I used to remember everything.  I still have a large amount of useless trivia in my brain but important tasks fade into the ether.  I think my only consolation is the quote, “Ignorance is bliss.”