Sunday Afternoon And The Portage Of Tools

Today, we bring you another project which shall either be embarrassing, stupendous, or both, and possibly prove once and for all that you should think twice before admitting you know me.

We present to you, the Toolpack Rev. 1! Completed in a single Sunday afternoon of actual work and a lot of other random time of thinkage. (Including during the sermon this morning. Ahem. Sorry Pastor Warren.)

Over the past months I have been carting a growing collection of tools and other paraphernalia to work and back and have been resisting the trend among my fellow movers to buy Very Large Toolboxes (or bags) which end up being Very Heavy and Very Awkward and working best on wheels. I can usually get away with just my backpack (with lunchbox strapped on) and toolbag, but on the days when I need toolbag, drill, wrenches, books for the truck ride, first aid, *and* yummy lunchyness, I feet a distinct need for a couple extra arms. (Three if I have to bring my boots, too.)

This inspired – or at least prompted – the thought that I could probably fit it all on an old backpack frame, if I were crazy enough to try, and could find a backpack frame. After weeks of prowling curbs and checking out Goodwill I remembered Dad had one in the basement. (Thanks, Dad.) With the addition of some snazzy 1-1/4″ safety-orange webbing I snagged from the dumpster at the freight warehouse, we got us a lean, mean, tool-carrying… thing.

Now at least I can break my back eccentrically.

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Reformation Day Record

Today is the day Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg. Normally I wouldn’t post something like this, but I find it very fascinating that upon this momentous date I also hit my current record of Ninety-Five (concurrent) Firefox Tabs.

Trivial and pointless, I know, but oddly coincidental. And look, ma, no swap! I haven’t even maxed out my RAM yet… (And technically it’s 96 since I just looked up that Wikipedia link.)

Of Windchimes, Foghorns, And The Wonders Of Science

It’s been a bit windy around here the last few days, which led us, over supper last night, to ponder the age-old question: could the wind be harnessed not just for the pleasant tinklings of windchimes, but also to produce the mellifluous hoot of the glass bottle? Blowing across the bottle undoubtedly works for mere humans, so it seems it could also be possible to use nature’s breath to do the same thing, there being a lot more of it.

However, there still remain a few questions to be answered by prototyping:

  • What airspeed is required to produce sound?
  • Is it necessary to funnel/control the airflow in order to produce sound?
  • Can we sound up to a three-note chord, with each note denoting a higher windspeed?
  • What will the neighbors think?
  • And, most importantly, will it keep Mom awake at night?

We may or may not have too much time on our hands this summer… so the prototype may or may not get built.

Going for the Polls

We return for a special broadcast on the weirdness of CNN. On the front page today is a poll with the blaring healine: Most doubt Bush has plan for Iraq victory.

Initial reaction: then what in tarnation is this?

After reading the actual poll article, we find some interesting things.

(CNN) — As President Bush launched a new effort Wednesday to gain public support for the Iraq war, a new poll found most Americans do not believe he has a plan that will achieve victory.

But the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday night also found nearly six in 10 Americans said U.S. troops should not be withdrawn from Iraq until certain goals are achieved.

Just 35 percent wanted to set a specific timetable for their exit, as some critics of the war have suggested.

White House officials unveiled a 35-page plan Wednesday to achieve success in Iraq, and Bush used a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to tout what he said was progress in getting Iraqi security forces in place to protect their own country. (Full story link)

The poll conducted Wednesday does not directly reflect how Americans are reacting to Bush’s speech, because only 10 percent of the 606 adult Americans polled had seen it live and two-thirds had not even heard or read news coverage about it.

(…)

Among poll respondents, 55 percent said they did not believe Bush has a plan that will achieve victory for the United States in Iraq; 41 percent thought he did.

Bold text mine. Now, we would like to point out that the percentage of people polled who think that Bush has a plan for vicory (41%) is higher than the percentage (33%, derived from the 2/3rds figure above) who have heard coverage of President Bush’s speech Wednesday.

How can this be? Assuming that those who have not heard any news coverage (66%, the 2/3rds figure above) also have not heard of of the plan (released Wednesday), I personally would count those poll numbers to be out of date.