Thursday 16 June 2011

Two Bits of Wood

You may or may not be aware that I have, once again, left the old lair (maybe you noticed that Cylinder and Miserable has taken yet another one-and-a-half-week break from posting, or maybe you didn't).  Well, this time I'm doing something a bit different for a few days, namely helping my Grandad fit a new kitchen.

A reductionist description of today's achievements: we've cut two bits of wood to size.

That's not exactly a fair summary though, as it fails to mention that the bits of wood in question are the main sections of worktop, and they've had to be fitted with millimetre precision into a room which doesn't even have properly square walls.  And there's a nice complicated joint where the two bits fit together.  And they weigh a ton or two each (figurative tons, admittedly).  And there was a whole sink in the way, which needed to be removed before we could make any further progress, and which has now become a lawn decoration.  And the router pretended to break down, which raised some doubts as to whether we'd be able to make that nice complicated joint at all.

I think every single measurement must have been double-checked, triple-checked, quadruple-checked, re-checked, cross-checked, counter-checked and generally checked-to-within-an-inch-of-its life.  Or rather, to within half a millimetre of its life.  But it all paid off, as the joint is about as tight as it could possibly have been without the use of computer-guided laser cutting tools.

No, I admit it, I didn't deploy a computer-guided laser cutting tool.  In fact, as much as this fact may shock you all: I don't even own one.  I should of course point out that this sad fact is a result of financial and logistical constraints, rather than choice on my part.  I'd quite happily have a big shiny computer-controlled laser cutting tool if you wanted to give me one.  Don't know what I'd cut with it now that the worktop has been chopped, but never mind that.

I digress.

You should have seen the amount of sawdust we generated (well, Grandad did the sawdust-generating, mostly, but I share the guilt by implication).  I can now inform you, from experience, that making a 3655mm-long cut with a 12mm router bit is a bad idea, unless you've got a pre-planned use for an Atlantic-sized ocean of powdered chipboard.

I've also attempted, and largely failed, to fix Grandad's old PC.  We formatted C and did a clean install of Windows ME (yes, yes, I know - that's just the installer disc we had available).  It's now locked itself into 16-colour VGA mode, and I can't find anything that'll let me change it to a proper colour palette or a decent resolution.  Very weird.  Never seen a computer do that before.  What's really odd is that I've tried a Ubuntu live CD on it, and that runs 24-bit colour depth perfectly well.  It's just Windows ME being strange and difficult.  Then again, maybe Open Source kicking Millennium Edition's sorry behind isn't really that odd after all...

In other news, I've finished the second draft of Megastropulodon Episode 6, and started the next phase: unsurprisingly, *drumroll* third drafts, beginning once again at the beginning with Episode 1.  I've decided to try doing this round on paper rather than just being glued to the word processor all the time, and that's involved printing out the 29-page document.  It feels much more of an achievement when you see it take the form of a huge wad of paper, compared to when it was just so many kilobytes of digital data.  Now I need to convert it from a neatly-printed wad of paper to a profusely-scribbled-on wad of paper, and tighten up the narrative yet again.  Oh joy.

I think that's all for now.  I might blog again if the DIY gets too slow and boring.

- The Colclough

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