Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Review of 3/4" x 2 1/4" Utility Oak Flooring

Originally submitted at Lumber Liquidators

3/4" x 2 1/4" Unfinished Solid Utility Oak Flooring What is Utility Grade?Utility grade flooring Will have defects, knots, open knots, missing tongues, machine burns, splits in the wood and short pieces (12"-8").Sold as is-no warranty, no returns, no cancellations. This product ...


Deeply Skeptical From the Start...

By YoungstownTuneUp from Columbiana, OH on 5/30/2013

 

4out of 5

Pros: Easy To Clean, Easy To Install, Attractive Finish, Beautiful Color

Cons: Some Seam Separation

Best Uses: Kitchen, Bathroom, High traffic areas

Describe Yourself: Avid Do-It-Yourselfer

BE ADVISED: Utility Grade wood claims to be sold "Per Square Foot" but it still comes bundled the same as every other 2-1/4" hardwood, in Approx. 19SqFt bundles - if you do the estimation correctly and add the additional 30% as directed on site THEN Divide that number by 19...
In example, I was flooring a bathroom and needed approx. 46SqFt coverage.. so I ordered 60SqFt of boards. the bundles arrived and I was given 3 bundles to satisfy my order, though at approx. 19SqFt per bundle, I received 3SqFt less than I actually paid for. I figured 3SqFt isn't terrible and should be covered by the over-estimation, it wasn't. I had to use some left over boards of higher quality, from a previous job.
In my case the math looked like this 46 * 1.30 = 59.8SqFt (which I rounded to 60SqFt) - The site then claimed the boards were sold "per Square Foot" so I assumed I would be covered - but the local store gave me three bundles totaling 57SqFt. The store REFUSED to split up a fourth bundle to satisfy my order, which left me short.
Now I know - if I had taken the number I came up with "60SqFt" divided that by 19 I would've seen that I would Need more than just three bundles and I would have placed my order to include a fourth bundle.
-----
All of that said, the wood itself was Very easy to work with. I have saws and a router, so I was able to cut the longer boards and recreate the tonge-&-grooved ends for better assembly.
I discarded a few boards as they were knotty and or had holes through them. Several boards were pre-marked crossways denoting how much of that one was actually usable, I used those markings as suggested cut lines and the smallest pieces were used along a wall to create the 'effect' that the flooring went all the way beneath...
Because the boards and grain patterns are wildly mismatched and do not have a consistent smooth grain pattern, I would not recommend this grade for a Family/Living room, where guests or friends may spend time visiting. However in Higher Traffic areas, like a bathroom, a child's play room or even a kitchen they are fine. The boards are still Oak, so they're plenty durable, but because of the grade/patterns I would be less concerned about any marking that may come.
All-in-all everything went together quite nicely.. I waited until now, approx. one year later, to write my review to see how the flooring would hold up.. there's been some separation, which may be as much my own fault as anything. I chose not to use any nails as anchors, so as the boards began to acclimatize a couple of the joints pulled apart, not far, no more than 1/8" but enough that I notice it.

Utility Grade installed and being sanded

thumbnail

Tags: Picture of Product, Sanding Product, Made with Product, Using Product

Utility Grade - After Clear Gloss Polyurethane

thumbnail

Tags: Polyurethaned, Using Product, Picture of Product, Made with Product

(legalese)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pride in Craftsmanship

A friend posted one of those HuffPo articles about the Seattle bridge collapse, last night...

So, I asked the question, "Am I the only one who's noticed that there are buildings in Europe that're like.. a thousand years old (give or take) that're Still Standing.. still being used... Meanwhile, here in America, where we have more regulations than people and building codes too numerous to ever actually read, and yet, our structures barely last a couple decades...?"

As tends to happen, I found myself collecting my follow-up thoughts in wordpad, so FB doesn't all of a sudden lock up and I lose everything I just spent 20 minutes three-finger typing... by the time I was done, I decided to post it, not as a comment, but on this Blog I forgot I had...




There’s this notion which irritates me, to no end – and it does not matter where one finds themselves on the political spectrum, it could be left, right, up, down, sideways, statist or anarchist – it does not matter – The notion, itself, exists everywhere by too many people – that either there were No roads or structures BEFORE the Gov’t got involved or that the roads and structures were somehow made ‘better’ by said Gov’t involvement… It is simply just not realistic. Before there was any kind of Gov’t interference. Before there were codes, regulations or inspectors; there were roads, bridges and buildings… Not just in Europe as I alluded to earlier, even in this country – look at our churches.. the Old North Church in Boston, is a perfect example, this was built before the war of insurrection against the British.. And it Still stands today…

Pride in Craftsmanship…

There’s this overwhelming consensus, today that suggests people can not – and therefore never did – have PRIDE in their work, in their workmanship, in their craft.. So many today want to believe this idea that because so much has become about the bottom line, about making a profit; that corners are cut and the evil rich somehow get off on the misfortunes of others caused by those cut corners…

But those same people refuse to see that a change has been caused by the intrusive nature of Gov’t…

Where a bridge builder used to be able to build a bridge and Know that it was built well.. Now they have a mile-long checklist of regulations they have to meet, codes for what specific mixture of concrete they can use, a certain tensile strength of steel or iron – IF they’re even allowed to use steel or iron.. Today there’s a special coating that has to be sprayed on the metal that’s used because it actually causes corrosion – the corrosion seals the bolts.. It used to be the iron was laid out “hot” and the cooling process welded the bolts and rivets into the structure – and those structures lasted Longer.. But you can’t do it that way anymore…

And because of all these changes, the Cost of actually “building” ANYthing has gone UP exponentially…

Now, if you want to build something you have to have a union crew, with so many per shift, a set number of each gender, and ethnicity.. You can’t just take out your best builders, your hardest workers – you have to have all of these other people, even if all they’re doing is standing around, so long as they’re “on site” while the build is happening – and they’re getting paid for it, which adds to the cost. Not to mention all the benefits packages and retirement plans and gawd-forbid worker’s comp.. None of that existed Before Gov’t –ALL of it raised the cost.. To where, now small towns, counties, even states simply can not afford to replace these bridges.. at least not without “borrowing” money from the federal Gov’t – the same federal Gov’t who Made the regulations and codes…,and maybe they wouldn’t even need to “borrow” that money, if the federal Gov’t wasn’t taking it away from the states and the workers to begin with, but that’s a whole other thing…

Builders used to be able to build, Unencumbered by the weight of Gov’t regulations. Each structure, each brick, each project bore their signature.. It was almost a form of art. Maybe it was their art. They had pride. There was a sense of knowing that what they built, would last.. Generations later, it would still be there. That was their mark, they’re legacy. Certain builders gained a reputation and were sought out for newer more elaborate projects, because those who wanted the thing, Knew.. They Knew... This builder has pride, this builder is a master craftsman, and when they are finished, what they build will stand through time.

Now it’s about punch lists and meeting deadlines, pre-approved mixtures and statistical analysis.. and yes, it’s become about the bottom line, coming in at or under budget, because you have to pay the bills. You have to pay your workers, you have to pay for the permits, you have to pay for the inspectors you have to pay for the politicians to get the zoning approved, you have to pay the team of lawyers to read every new regulation (over 300, since 2009, added to the books) and make sure whatever you’re doing is in compliance…


Let me tell you about a bridge in my hometown of East Palestine, Ohio… About a year or so before I was born my Dad was coming home from work and at the last stop sign, where he made his left turn to come down our street, in front of him was a bridge.. This bridge had been there since the 1920’s, however by the early 1970’s, the rail cars which rolled beneath it had gotten a bit taller…my Dad told me this story so many times I often think of it like I was there, none-the-less he’s sitting at the stop sign, hears this loud crashing sound and just like that, the bridge disappeared, it just fell down..

Chrysler took a Huge hit, that year, because they’d lost an entire line of cars when one of the car haulers struck the base of the bridge and brought it down on the rest of them. Of course, my Dad being first on the scene – and never one to miss an opportunity to take pictures (and maybe a souvenir or three) - had a few shots published in the local papers along with the day-after photos…

The rail company had to pay to replace the bridge. Which they did and the new Brookdale Avenue “Modern pony truss bridge” was constructed….. The codes, regulations and other nonsense that were factored in ended with an inspector’s report stating that this was a “20 year bridge”...Twenty.... Meaning that in 1993, that bridge would no longer be deemed “safe”. It would have to be torn down and a new bridge erected in it’s place.

I graduated high school in 1992. Even then I can remember there was one guy in town; we all called him “Crazy Larry”, because he was the only guy willing, to dangle over the side of the bridge with an arc welder, welding patches of steel over the cracks in the bottom of the structure.

It’s 2013 – the SAME bridge is still there. They’ve since put a fence along the sides, so that kids wouldn’t climb over the ledge and walk on the outsides of the side beams, like I did a hundred times when my parents weren’t around.. and so other miscreants wouldn’t throw rocks over at the new cars traveling by at a high rate of speed (which I never did…ever….unless I was double-dog dared, and then ya really have no choice…) But now you can only ‘see’ the sides of the bridge if you’re coming at it from the east or west, which there’s really no good reason why you would be – but if you did, you’d see a patchwork quilt-like array of various shades of metal which have been welded piece to piece over twenty-odd years…and I’m not even certain that any of the original structure Still Exists beneath the patches anymore…

But I still use the bridge...

Ten years ago this June 6th, I, along with my brother and sisters and several other family members followed the procession, led by my Dad, as he made his final pass through his hometown, over that very bridge.

The Federal Gov’t, however has managed to quadruple the number of regulations and building codes, since the bridge was put up in 1973.. It’s now impossible for the once-“City” now-downgraded to “Village” of East Palestine, population somewhere between 4500 and 5000 to pay for a new bridge. Not that they have to, Even though the patches may be all that’s holding it together, it still passes inspections…

BH 35884 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 08/2011)
Deck condition rating: Excellent (9 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 65.1 (out of 100)

When I was campaigning, back in 2010, I had the opportunity to sit and talk over a dinner with the County Engineer for Columbiana County, which is where East Palestine is located. He’s the one who told me about the bridge being a “20 year” installation. He’s been the county engineer since the 1950’s and he wasn’t the least bit shy about telling me all the budget problems he has to deal with on a daily basis. As well as what his limitations are, according to the various codes and other red tape ‘hoops’ he has to jump through just to get approved to do the simplest tasks…

We talked at length about the Brookdale Avenue Bridge and the several train derailments that have happened on that particular stretch of track over the years. He may’ve mentioned secretly hoping the next one takes out the old bridge, so someone else will have to pay for it’s replacement, just as it was in ’73… But the bridge just won’t fall down…

It turns out…..

Crazy Larry, one hell of a welder…


Pride in Craftsmanship.




Friday, June 29, 2012

Do We Still Have a Constitution ?

I'm writing another blog about my theory about the Constitution and it's current relevance, but in the meantime...while I was doing a little bit of research I came across this youtube clip of Judge Napolitano which I felt worthy of sharing..




Does the Government work for us, or do we work for the Government..?

What if the Constitution no longer applied..?

What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government..?

What if Congress' enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited congress but were actually used as a justification to extend congress' authority over every realm of human life..?

What if the President, meant to be an equal to Congress, has instead become a democratically-elected, term-limited monarch..?

What if the President assumed that everything he did was legal, just because he's the President..?

What if he could interrupt your regularly scheduled radio and TV programming, for a special message from him..?

What if he could declare war on his own..?

What if he could read your e-mails and your texts without a search warrant..?

What if he could Kill You without warning..?

What if Supreme Court Justices no longer looked to the Constitution to determine the Constitutionality of a law, but rather simply to what Justices who preceded them thought about it..?

What if the rights and principles guaranteed in the Constitution have been so distorted in the past 200 years as to be unrecognizable by the Founders..?

What if the 50 States were no longer sovereign entities, equals to each other and parents of the Federal Government they voluntarily Constituted...?

What if the states were mere provinces of a totally nationalized and fully centralized government..?

What if the Constitution was amended stealthily, not by Constitutional amendments duly ratified by the states, but by the constant and persistent expansion of the federal government's role in our lives..?

What if the Federal Government decided if it's own powers were proper and Constitutional..?

What if the Constitution were no longer the supreme law of the land..?

What if you needed a license from the government to speak, to assemble or to protest against the government..?

What if the government didn't like what you planned to say, so it didn't give you the license..?

What if the right to keep and bear arms only applied to the government..?

What if Posse Commatatus (the federal law that prohibits out military from occupying our streets) were no longer in effect..?

What if the government considered the military and adequate dispenser of domestic law enforcement..?

What if Cops looked and acted like troops and you couldn't distinguish the military from the police..?

What if you were not secure in your person, in your papers and in your property..?

What if federal agents could write their own search warrants, in defiance of the Constitution..?

What if the government could decide when you were, or were not entitled to a jury trial..?

What if the government could take your property whenever it wanted..?

What if the government could continue prosecuting you until it got the verdict it wanted..?

What if the government could force you to testify against yourself, simply by labeling you a domestic terrorist..?

What if the government could torture you until you said what the government wanted to hear..?

What if people running for President actually supported torture..?

What if the government tortured your children, to get to you..?

What if government judges and government lawyers intimidated juries into convicting the innocent..?

What if the government could send you to your death and your innocence meant nothing so long as the government's procedures were followed...?

What if America's prison population, the largest in the world, was a cruel and unusual way for a country to be free..?

What if half the prison population never harmed anyone, but themselves..?

What if the people had no rights - except the ones the government chose to let them have..?

What if the states had no rights ecept to do as the federal government commanded..?

What if our elected officials didn't really live among us, but instead all had their hearts and homes in Washington D.C...?

What if the government could strip you of your rights because of where your mother was, when you were born..?

What if the income tax was unconstitutional..?

What if the states were convinced to give up their representation in congress..?

What if the government tried to ban you from using a substance in your body that is older than the government itself..?

What if voting didn't mean anything anymore because both political parties stand for big government..?

What if the government could write any law, regulate any behavior or tax any event - the Constitution be damned..?

What if the government was the reason we don't have a Constitution anymore..?

What if you could love your country, but hate what the government has done to it..?

What if sometimes, to love your country you had to alter or abolish the government..?

What if Jefferson was right..?

What if that government is governs best which governs least..?

What if I'm right..?

What if the government is wrong..?

What if it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong..?

What if it is better to perish, fighting for freedom; than to live as a slave..?

What if freedom's greatest hour of danger in now..?

 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

You say 'Climate Change' I say 'Tomato'


So a friend posted a link to a Huffington Post article declaring Climate Change MUST BE 'Real' because General Motors pulled it's support from some think tank which routinely dismisses the notion...
I'm not so easily convinced.
If you feel as though you must fill your head with HuffPo drivel, here's the link to the article in question - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/general-motors-heartland-institute-climate-change_n_1391217.html
Five people 'liked' her post, complete with her description "GM is In!!!"
Then some fellow we'll simply call 'Steve' posted a comment.. which I probably shouldn't have let get to me.. but it did...  The thread went like this:

  •  Steve - I posted this same article earlier. Now its real.
    It can only be real because a corporation stated it as such.
    This reality is in a new belief category:
    Corporate Consensus Reality

  • Moi - ‎"Decided".. riiight, I'm sure all the bailout money they still haven't paid back had nothing to do with their sudden revelation... At least the 100's of auto dealers who lost their businesses can now breathe a sigh of relief...
     
  •   I especially enjoyed this passage, "Greenpeace has pressured companies to stop funding Heartland, said Kert Davies, Greenpeace's research director."
    Yep cause when I see the word "pressured" my first thought is "oh Yay!!!, They Decided, using all that free will n'stuff..."

    .......kinda like when a bookie sends a couple goons out to smack you in the kneecaps, you 'Decide' to empty your pockets...

  •  Steve - "Heartland has been spreading misinformation to confuse people."
  • Steve - Who can decode Corporate Consensus Reality?
                       Do we rely on it for assurance? Should we?

  • Moi - Seems to me, there's been plenty of misinformation from both sides. And not much in the way of factual evidence.
    I choose not to rely on any consensus opinon... I form my own. Occassionally I'm wrong, usually I'm not. This feels more like t
    he latter. A lot of hot air designed to make richer a handfull of individuals under the guise of a 'cause' which is neither provable or unprovable based on the amount of  time relevant information has been collected.
    Perhaps designed soley to drive manufacturing industry from this country to force volumes of people to become more and more dependent on the state.. or merely to improve stock portfolios by enlarging companies which exist outside of our borders, where none of the regulations we have are even recognized.
    The way I see it, the climate has always been changing, sometimes it's warm at odd times of the year. Sometimes it's unseasonably cold... sometimes similar patterns repeat a couple years in a row and then change dramatically the next...
    Seems just as likely that the calendar we use is 'off'...Last I heard there were no markers in space, no points to verify precisely how long it takes the earth to travel around the sun.. could it be that the path is different each time..? ever tried drawing a cicle fifty times without a compass..? it's not easy to follow the same line, can be quite time consuming... sometimes your circles look more like eggs... isn't it just as likely the earth's path changes, even if only slightly, with each revolution..? a slight wobble here, a deviation there... a few thousand years later and suddenly people start noticing inconsistencies...
    Seems to me, distance from the sun could just as easily explain the so-called 'ice age'... just as much as droughts, Seems to me, there are any number of reasonable, rational.. if not logical, theories... but that's all they are.. theories. None yet, more provable than another....
    So, no... I'm not sold on any consensus.


  • ....As of the time of this posting, there have been no further comments or repudiations. No challenges to my comments.. no disagreements to my offerings... Let's see if that changes overnight, shall we..?

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Still Don't Understand What Ron Paul is Trying to Say...

    So Ron Paul's on Greta earlier.. Three times she asked him the same question - three times he went off on one of his typical monlogues about what he would have done in 1953... Which had absolutely NOTHING to do with the question asked... Finally she tried to rephrase it.. and still he couldn't comprehend the question - or perhaps he really is as obtuse as it seems...

    This is why I can't host a talk show.

    The question was simple even in the hypothetical: "you're the president, and immediately you're faced with three developing situations; Israel is on the verge of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities; The US Embassy in Syria has been evacuated; and Egypt is holding several US Citizens captive - what do you do?"

    Three times he rolled out his version of historical references from the US involvement in Iran in the 1950's to the US "propping up" a dictator in Egypt, blah blah blah - none of which is relevent, right now.  In this moment there are three things about to happen or happening, What Do You Do NOW???

    After he failed to answer Three times - and the reason I couldn't be a host - I would be compelled to rephaze the question, something like this..

    "Dr. Paul.. You are a doctor... a patient comes to you with an STD. Do you stand in front of that patient for 20 minutes listing all of the things they shouldn't have done?? Do you go on and on about how you wouldn't have gone to that club, how you wouldn't have worn that outfit, how you wouldn't have had sex with the other individual... Or do you shut up and write the prescription for penicilin..???... Well Doctor, the Planet has an STD - it's called 'Radical Islam' - what is your prescription?"

    Answer the Question!

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    New For Me

    So I did it.. I created a blog.. yay.

    This is probably where I'll post my random thoughts on a multitude of interests, whether it be personal experiences, politics or music.. probably some car stuff as well...

    I had a blog on MySpace - but who uses myspace anymore..?  I certainly don't. It used to be pretty cool, but then my account became over-run with friends who were only friends because we all played the Mobsters app.. which got old, pretty quick, for me.

    I'll probably transfer some of those blogs into this one, if I can remember my password - yes it's been that long since I've even logged in.

    The "other" reasons for wanting a blog of my own, is a result of spending a reasonable amount of time responding to various posts on facebook or newsgroup threads - Only to have the posts deleted and my thoughts lost, because (in my humble pinion) they created an indefensible position for the original poster... Or, having only the first couple lines read, the rest ignored, then being charged with saying many different things which I didn't - sometimes being accused of not considering certain information, even though I cite the exact same examples, after the first paragraph...

    I decided, I'd rather catalog my thoughts, here, if only because I really hate having to repeat myself, LOL

    Perhaps someone will come along who finds these things interesting.. we shall see...