Friday Wisdom – Plumbers

You never see a plumber bite his nails.

Plumbers are always tired because their job is draining.

When I was young I thought about becoming a plumber.  Turns out it just a pipe dream.

I was going to replace the faucet myself, but decided I couldn’t handle it.

The plumber was able to retire early – he was flushed with success.

Why was the plumber depressed? His career was going down the toilet.

What’s a plumbers favorite vegetable? Leeks.

How many plumbers does it take to change a light bulb? None – that’s a job for an electrician …

Editor’s note: I do my best to write (or steal) the best jokes I can, but I never remember what topics I’ve covered or what jokes I’ve already told so it’s likely some of these have been repeated here before.  If you have a subject you’d like me to joke about leave it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

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Wednesday Woodworking – From the Junk Pile

The weather here is still warm and looks like we’ll have a couple of more weeks of warm days so I’m doing as much outside work as I can.  I’ve finished the bulk of the demolition I’m going to do this year and have started working through the junk pile to build what I can out of the scrap.  The wood I got isn’t very good and sadly about half will have to go to the landfill.

But there is enough to build a few useful things.  Heather used some wood to make planter boxes and I’m making some square ones for her.  We also put together a potting table for her.  From the 2x4s I’m making some much needed sawhorses and I hope to get a small work bench out of the deal.

Here’s some pictures of what’s be built.

These are planter boxes that Heather made from the junk pile.

This is a little potting table for Heather. Just the right height for her to sit at.

The first completed square planter. Heather already has chard in it.

Here are five square planter boxes in progress. Yup, two still need some assembly.

And finally here is the main working/junk area:

This is a stack of 2x4s that I’ve removed all the nails and screws from. They’re waiting to be made into more sawhorses. The cardboard boxes are waiting for room in the recycle bin. Oops, looks like I forgot to sweep up my work area.

I don’t really know how much more woodworking weather I’ve got left, but I plan to get as much done as I can.

When I’m forced indoors, I’ve got my new sewing machine to keep me productive.


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Weather here in Reno is different than my old home.  It takes a bit of getting used to.  The desert is more extreme in temperature and there’s a lot more wind.  One of the local TV stations has a weather report titled, “Where’s my trashcan?” Which measures wind speed with a graphic of how far down the street your trashcan will be blown.

It can get windy here and it can get cold.  I’ve also been told that – what’s that stuff, called? You know the white stuff that falls from the sky … Snow, yeah that was it. I’ve been told that it could snow here.

Back in San Jose it rarely snowed.  Last time I remember snow there was in 1976.  Although it would snow on the mountain peaks during very cold storms.  Even then I was tempted to move to warmer climates.  I’ve long said, “If you can see snow, you’re too close.”

But now I live in a place where I’ve seen actual snow on the ground where people live.  We were visiting in January when I saw that.  Now I face the reality that it might snow here while I am actually living here.  Okay, that’s not likely to happen for a few months, but one needs to get ready for such things.  Me, I take a long time to get ready for stuff.

When I was a kid, I had a retired uncle who lived in Oregon.  We saw him twice a year, once in the fall when he and his wife drove their trailer to Arizona for the winter.  Then in the spring they’d drive back for summer in Oregon and would stop in San Jose to visit.

Seemed like a good plan to me – moving to a warmer place when it snows.  I’d consider it, but I think the cats would object and Heather wouldn’t be to keen on the idea either.  The thought of me driving a truck and towing a trailer should frighten most sane drivers.

So, instead I’m just doing the get-ready-for-winter-coming fast.  Back in San Jose, winter (or the wet season) started around Thanksgiving and might last till early March.  Here I’m told to expect freezing temps anytime in the next two weeks and for it to start warming up by May.

Which brings me to why I have a brand new sewing machine.  Two reasons really – I’d really like to get into quilting and I won’t have a heated woodworking shop this winter.

I do have this really cool theory about quilting and marquetry where I believe that many traditional patterns can be expressed in both fabric and wood, but this post isn’t about that.

One of the things we liked about this house we bought is that it has a large shed that at first looked like I could convert into a heated workshop for my marquetry.  It has windows and electricity.  Sadly it also has a number of building issues, like the fact that water runs through the shed.  Not around it, or over it, but through it.  We noticed this during a thunderstorm a couple of months ago.

Have I mentioned that thunderstorms are kind of cool to watch and we rarely got them in San Jose?

Anyway, turns out the foundation and siding on the shed side were done incorrectly and the thing just isn’t suited for conversion to a shop space.  It would likely cost more to fix it than just build a new one.

Did someone say build a new workshop?  Yes, we did.  There’s enough land here that I could build a larger workshop with better water protection, power and heating.  That’s the good part.  Bad part is that I’ll need a building permit, engineering plans and a contractor to build it.

We’re talking like six months at best before that can happen.  Possibly longer.

I do have one bay on our garage to do some woodworking in.  Heating that might be possible for some projects and I’ll be using it until I have something better.

Which brings me back to the sewing machine and this winter.  I have some specific projects in mind that involve both a fabric and wood component.  With my very own machine in my nice warm room, I hope to get through a couple of fabric projects and then when the weather warms or my temperature controlled workshop is ready I can start on the wooden component of the project.

In between quilting projects I’ll also have the fun and frustration of getting that fancy woodworking paradise built.

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Friday Wisdom – Airplanes

Always keep your number of takeoffs equal to your number of landings.

A good landing is anyone you can walk away from.  A great landing is when they can use the plane again.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.

The two most useless things to a pilot: The sky above you and 30 seconds ago.

A pilot’s favorite day is Flyday.

Just remember that the silver lining you see in that cloud, could be another airplane flying right at you.

Two wrongs don’t might a right, but two wings make an airplane.

I wanted to buy an airplane, but they told me I couldn’t keep the hanger.

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