What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

A Big Red Truck

Filed under: Cars! — dave @ 2:48 pm 2007/12/20

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I want this truck soooo bad. I don’t need it. I can’t justify the cost, bargain though it is (the FOR SALE sign lists the price at $6,500). I have nowhere to park it. But I really really like it and would love to own it. Is that wrong?

It’s just a great looking truck. 1972 Chevy C/40. Dump box on the back, snowplow on the front. New paint all over the place. 72,000 or so on the odometer. It’s a little banged up here & there, especially in the box and the tailgate, but the fresh paint makes a lot of that very tolerable. Let’s see… I could quit my job and start a snow plowing service… Or I could keep my job and do snow plowing in my spare time (yeah, right!) Or I could just buy it to replace the Suzuki (that’d make the morning commute interesting!)

Sigh. For now it just sits there at the corner of 9th & Kiwanis Ave., where I drive by it twice or more a day, just making me want it. It’s for sale and everything… Yet so unreachable. It just looks like some big red Tonka toy, and I want to take it out & play with it.

Gotta get (and keep) my covet under control. This big red Tonka truck makes it tough though.

An Early Christmas Gift

Filed under: Just Stuff,The World — dave @ 11:38 pm 2007/12/16

We woke this morning to a gorgeous coating of hoarfrost on everything outside. The drive to church was really spectacular, as was the view of the city from the north-facing windows at Central. There was a heavy fog in the air which left a thick coating of light frost — almost snow — all over everything, even the cars parked outside. The frost stuck around until a little after noon when the sun came out & started to warm things up. As the frost let loose from the trees, it was like a light snowfall, but with gorgeous blue skies above!

Photos of hoarfrost can help someone who’s never seen it appreciate it a little, but the pictures don’t really do justice to it; it’s got to be experienced in person. Living in the upper-midwest can have its challenges, especially between November and March, but sights like we had this morning make the challenging times easier to take. Just seeing God’s creative touch like this is inspiring.

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Windows Rant Of The Day – Num Lock

Filed under: Computers — dave @ 4:17 pm 2007/12/15

I’m a Mac guy. I cut my teeth on Macs back in the early ’90′s, have worked in prepress since then, and with the exception of an Amstrad Word Processor and an IBM PC/XT, have had nothing but Macs at home. At work I have the distinct and dubious privilege of providing support for both Macs & PC’s on the network, and one thing about Macs that I really appreciate is that you never have to hit Num Lock to get the numerical keypad to work.

I’ve never understood why it is that some PC’s switch the Num Lock off whenever you log off, shut down or restart the machine. According to Wikipedia it’s a throwback to the dinosaurs of computerdom;

The Num Lock key exists because earlier 84-key IBM PC keyboards did not have arrows separate from the numeric keypad. Num Lock would be used to choose between the two functions. On laptop computers, Num Lock keys are used to convert part of the main keyboard to act as a (slightly skewed) numeric keypad rather than letters.

Don’t know if that’s really the case, but either way, it’s pretty lame. True, you can set up a script to force your PC to remember your preference, but why in the heck should it be so difficult to do something so simple?

The astute reader might also ask why it’s so difficult to remember to hit the key every time, and true, it’s not a big deal. But my point is that it shouldn’t be something I have to deal with at all. Like on a Mac. It’s just always on.

Sigh. Just one more reason to prefer Macs.

“What Do You Want For Christmas?”

Filed under: Family,Fun! — dave @ 11:25 pm 2007/12/13

Who, me? Oh, not much. I’m very easy to please. Here’s a list…

  • a two-car garage,
  • a couple of vehicles that don’t have acres of rust on them,
  • a MIG welder, drill press and milling machine,
  • unlimited funds and sufficient time to finish some of the unfinished projects around the house,
  • 40 pounds off my midsection,
  • a new MacBook Pro,
  • a new job,
  • hair like I had twenty years ago,
  • a river-side acreage somewhere near Sioux Falls,
  • time to read and write the way I’d like to,
  • a set of bagpipes and lessons,
  • cello lessons,
  • etc…
  • See? I really am easy to please. But man, do I hate hearing that question. Yes, there are some things I’d like to receive as gifts for Christmas, but generally when I really need something, I buy it for myself. Likewise if I really want something that isn’t too costly; for the costlier items, I bide my time for a windfall of some sort (and permission from the wife) before I buy. But the things that I’d like to have that I don’t purchase myself are also too costly to ask someone else to buy for me. Hence the reluctance to answer that question.

    Every year for Christmas with Yvonne’s family we draw names and give gifts that way, and every year I get that question, and every year I have a tough time with it. I don’t want to throw out costly suggestions and possibly oblige someone to fork out a lot of money on me (although it would be nice), but then again the last thing I need is more stuff; clutter is already an issue around our house.

    My family dispensed with the gift buying/giving/returning thing at our usually annual Thanks-Mas events years ago, and went to a White Elephant Gift Exchange. That has been a blast, with lots of gaudy not so favorites making repeat appearances year after year. I wish we could do that with Yvonne’s family too, but old traditions are hard to change.

    One other hesitation I have about the whole White Elephant thing is that it mocks Christmas in a way; the whole gift giving thing is supposedly to honor the Greatest Gift of All, Jesus Christ, who was God’s gift to us. So does giving a known rotten gift mock that tradition? I dunno; haven’t quite made up my mind on that. What I do know is that the White Elephant is a lot of fun, doesn’t require anyone to spend a ton of money, and doesn’t (always) add more stuff to my house.

    I wrote a while back about the World Vision Gift Catalog; actually, if someone is going to spend money on a gift for me, I’d actually rather have them spend it there rather than on me. Or if they really want to give me something, how about dinner with them. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy; just any old thing at your house or my house, along with an evening to converse & catch up.

    That’s not asking too much, is it?

    Pushing 1,000!

    Filed under: About This Site — dave @ 12:32 am 2007/12/12

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    1,000 visitors, that is. Sometime today (or maybe tomorrow), I should cross the threshold into the four-digit realm, at least as it’s measured by Sitemeter since I first signed up in April, 2006. I should probably also note that I didn’t realize until just recently that Sitemeter allowed you to ignore visits from my own computer, so a fair number of that 1,000 is due to me checking on things. But since I added my computer to the ignore list, traffic has kept up a steady two or three a day routine.

    That may not seem like much of a milestone, given that amount of time, and especially compared to some of the busier sites that will see that kind of traffic in an hour or less. But for me on my little outta da way corner of a minor thread in the World Wide Web, 1,000 is something!

    So here’s to davintosh. The fly-over country of the World Wide Web!

    National Corn Husking Competition

    Filed under: Old Things — dave @ 12:17 am

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    I got a little taste of corn husking as a kid. Dad had his hobby farm by Shindler but not a lot of land for growing crops. What he did have was lots of connections with farmers who grew corn and would let him go through their fields to glean leftover corn that their pickers didn’t get, and many times he’d bring us kids along. Dad would hitch up his homebuilt corn wagon behind the tractor or behind a team of ponies, and we’d walk alongside through the field picking up anything we could find and pitch it against the bangboard & into the wagon. And Dad would tell us stories about how this was the way that corn was picked back in the day.

    In the days before mechanical corn pickers, entire fields were picked by hand, ear by ear. And of course there were some guys that had a real knack for doing it quickly, which developed into competitions where they’d see how much corn each could shuck in a given amount of time. Amazingly these competitions live on today. And dang it anyhow, I missed the 2007 competition which was held in nearby Dell Rapids, SD.

    Dell Rapids was also home to the somewhat famous 1938 National Corn Husking Competition, which dwarfed this year’s event. While there were only 12 competitors in 1938, the contest drew over 100,000 spectators. This year there were almost as many competitors as spectators.

    I poked around a little on the cornhusking.com site and was amazed at the results turned in by the shuckers this year; first place went to Frank Hennenfent of Illinois who picked a whopping 699 lbs. in the 30 minute Men’s Open competition. But that pales in comparison to his 2004 National win with 896 lbs. picked. The second place finishers were over 100 lbs. short of Frank’s totals. Wow!

    I don’t remember if Dad ever used one, but I have seen corn husking hooks and gloves that are used by huskers. Most involved a glove-like thing that placed a hook on the palm of the hand which helped in getting the husk off.

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    Other contrivances included nail studded leather thumb wraps that did the same thing.

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    OldTimeCornHusking.com
    CornHusking.com

    The Fletcher Aviator

    Filed under: Cars!,Fun! — dave @ 12:12 pm 2007/12/10

    I bumped into this in the classified ads at CarsOnline.com; very, very cool.

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    Asking price is $55,000, but I found another version of the ad where he’s asking $70k, so I’m thinking the price is pretty negotiable. Probably not negotiable to where I’d be able to afford it, but…

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    Here are the specs for the thing as listed in the ad. I wasn’t able to find any other info on the Fletcher Aviator through a Google Search, so could it be that this is the only one?

    Fletcher Aviator. Custom built wing tank car. Same as used as bonneville land speed car of the 50′S and 60′S. Street legal car clear title. Built in the year 2006, Has never run at bonneville. This is a custom car just for the street.

  • Complete tube chassis straight axle front end
  • Willwood brakes all four corners
  • 350 Chevy engine
  • 350 Transmission
  • 471 Blower
  • Franklin quick change rear end
  • Wheel vintique wire wheels
  • Wing tank F100 all aluminum
  • Apparently the body is made from the wing tank from an F100 Super Saber jet (photo of one mounted to the F100 here.) Too bad he didn’t keep the fins from the originals; that would’ve been a great addition! The ad also says he’s got more tanks available… If that don’t get the creative juices going…

    The Bull Pecker Cane

    Filed under: Fun!,Just Stuff — dave @ 4:24 pm 2007/12/05

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    Back in the early ’80′s I joined the South Dakota Air National Guard and went off to Basic Training, then on to technical training at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. During my six months at Keesler, one of my roommates was a Mormon guy from Utah by the name of Ira. Ira was a great friend during those months at Keesler, and had all kinds of stories to tell; one that stuck with me was about a friend or relative of his who made what were termed “bull pecker canes” (Ira’s words, not mine!) To make these canes, they would take the… um… reproductive organ of a slaughtered bull, run a steel rod down the middle (cringe), dry it, varnish it & finish it off with a fancy handle and foot.

    With some of Ira’s stories, I never knew whether to believe him or not; no difference with this one. But today while browsing around the Sportsman’s Warehouse over a long lunch, guess what I found; a rack Bull Canes made by Ross Taylor Originals in Utah. And true to Ira’s tale…

    Each of our canes, putters and jogging buddies are made from the reproductive organ of an American Buffalo or Domestic Bull. Yes, you heard it right…

    As disgusting as they sound, the canes & walking sticks I saw are very nice. They’re fairly hefty, what with the 3/8″ steel rod running through the middle (cringe) and the brass handles. Prices are up there, $120 or so for a nice cane with inlaid buffalo nickels or Indian head pennies. You can also custom-order one with your own trinkets inlaid on the shaft.

    The website says the canes are durable enough for a lifetime of use, and they look it. And I’m sure they’d be a fun conversation starter: “Nice cane! What kind of wood is that?” “Oh, it’s not wood, per se…”

    Yup, very nice canes indeed.