Archive for June, 2013

Why I spit on the meat smoker.

June 28, 2013 Leave a comment

When I started my welding apprenticeship I worked almost exclusively in high strength and abrasion resistant steels that usually required pre/post heat treatment.  I remember asking about temperature measuring crayons on my first day and the foreman said, “spit on it.  If it sizzles, we’ll call that a 250 degree preheat and if it bounces off nicely we’ll call that 450.”

The foreman didn’t know what the term Leidenfrost Effect meant but he sure knew how to use it.  The method is more precise than you might think and it served us well.  I use it to this day when I’m welding and also when I’m worried that the smoker is getting too hot.

Categories: Uncategorized


June 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Could it be that the phytoestrogens in soy products are the reason why vegetarians are so touchy when talking about their dietary choices?

Categories: Uncategorized

Give your helpers proper credit.

June 15, 2013 Leave a comment

The guy playing the new Lone Ranger(Armie Hammer) is on The Tonight Show and I thought about giving proper credit to people who help you get your job done. In this case the name says it all: Lone Ranger.  

How far would he have gotten without Tonto?  People like a front man to represent a group effort, I think,  because it keeps things simple but the people that make the magic happen need proper credit too.  What is Tonto? Chopped liver?


Categories: Uncategorized

Re-blogged advice for you kiddies out there.

June 14, 2013 Leave a comment

The British Clayworker – November 1907

DON’T start your job until you have it well fixed in your mind, or you may get in a mess later on.

DON’T trouble the foreman with foolish questions. He has troubles of his own. Besides, you may expose your own ignorance; but

DON’T try to get along without really necessary information which the foreman may have forgotten to give you. You may guess wrong.

DON’T take time to lay out a job, and then not use the lay-out; but

DON’T rush at a job.

DON’T fail to study economy both of materials and time; both cost your employer money.

DONT miss checking all dimensions on drawing as well as model.

DON’T make a model without knowing how it is going to be moulded; nor a mould without thinking how the articles are to be made from it.

DON’T accept your first idea as to the arrangement of the mould. Think if there is not a better way.

DON’T snort when you get an unpleasant job. Do it cheerfully, and if you think your employer is rubbing it in you can leave. If you are sure he is, you had better.

DON’T pick out all the best bits for yourself when you have helpers.

DON’T despise the apprentice. He did not come simply to keep the shop clean, so let him do things. If he makes mistakes, don’t shout too much, and

DON’T forget that you had your troubles at his age.

DON’T think you know it all. There are others who know a little.

DON’T think, when you see a circle, the work must be done on the lathe. Some work is better done with a profile, and

DON’T forget that a sharp hand-saw is a good tool, and that cutting to a line is not quite a lost art.

DON’T leave your tools lying around, and expect the careful man to keep you in stock.

DON’T borrow tools, even from the apprentice, and forget to return them, and, above all,

DONT borrow when the other man is not looking.

DON T assume that any drawing is correct. Be quite sure before you begin work.

DON’T keep your place so littered up that it takes ten minutes to find a small tool.

DON’T think because you are ninety-ninth cousin to the boss that you are entitled to more privileges than anyone else.

DON’T begin late and leave early, and

DON’T do any fooling in working hours. You are paid to work, not play.

DON’T think that all the time you spend in the making shops is wasted. It depends on yourself whether it is or not.

DON’T forget to consult the man who will have to use the moulds; his suggestions may be useful, and we cannot do without him.

DON’T forget that the maker is in a good position to show you up, so

DON’T fail to consider his convenience at all times.

DON’T forget that the maker will try and throw all the blame for faulty goods on to you if he possibly can, so

DON’T leave your mistakes for others to find out: find them out for yourself, and if you do

DON’T let them go on the chance of their being overlooked. Be sure your sins will find you out, even if they do involve someone else as well.

DON’T say, “ That is near enough.”

DON’T fail to mark all pieces properly so that all may know what they are, and

DON’T forget to place marks on pieces that may easily be wrongly fitted.

DON’T forget to mark the size on the mould when several sizes of the same pattern are in existence. It saves a lot of time and mistakes.

DON’T waste time and money on unnecessary work, but

DON’T get into the way of slacking all round.

DON’T think you know more than your foreman, even if you do, and

DON’T try to keep one eye on him and the other on your work; it is very difficult to watch both.

DON’T fail to have confidence in yourself, but

DON’T think you cannot improve. Try to do better each day.

DON’T lose your head and swear when things go wrong. Other people have made a few mistakes before you began, but

DON’T expect top wages unless you turn out work promptly and properly.

– Jeff Burks

Categories: Uncategorized

Another prank.

June 11, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve shared information about workplace pranks before but here’s one from a mechanic I was reminded of today at work.  When doing repetitive assembly work I like to lay out the parts I need in the order I need them; not necessary for one or two assemblies but helpful if you’re doing more.  Anyway, here’s the prank:

A mechanic who kept a messy bench rebuilt a diesel engine and had parts and packaging strewn about throughout the process.  After the job was finished a coworker put a clean, new oil scraper ring under some garbage for the messy mechanic to find.  They let him sweat for a minute before coming clean.

Pure evil.

Categories: Uncategorized

Keep your nostalgia.

June 3, 2013 Leave a comment

The neighbour is doing his first cut of hay. I’ve heard a lot of people get nostalgic about hay production; yearning for an idyllic, bucolic setting that never really existed quite as it does in their mind.

My personal thought on hay? It looks like hot work and think I’d rather be rolling in it than making it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Over thinking it?

June 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I borrowed a flashlight from a woman yesterday; it was covered in a floral pattern.  A fellow was teasing me about the “pretty” flashlight and I wondered if his behavior was rooted in misogyny or homophobia; I believe this sort of teasing usually stems from one or the other.

Another possibility is something I’ve done myself.  I don’t believe that I’m a misogynist or homophobe but when seeing it in others I’ve used it to push their buttons.  Maybe he doesn’t really hate anybody but is just a crank.

Categories: Uncategorized