Love Bill Hammack
November 30, 2010
If you know me you know I’m a pretty chronic insomniac. It’s not unusual for me to go three nights with only minimal sleep (3 hours/night). After a few days I become non-functional and basically crash hard. This usually resets my body for a while and I’ll be more or less okay, then I’ll have a bad few days and the process repeats.
I’ve tried everything over the years, only drawing a firm line at any sort of medication. I’d rather put up with the lack of sleep than enter into a long term relationship with pharmaceuticals.
Anyway, after some recent back pain kept me awake for a while we figured that it was time to replace our mattress. It’s well into its second decade, has body-shaped valleys where we sleep, and tends to wobble when one of us moves (waking the other person up). Hopefully the new one will help me sleep.
So, figuring that we’ll spend more time on this thing in the next 10-15 years than on any other possession we own (save, maybe, my office chair), we went all out. We got a nice Simmons King size pillow top mattress with new 800 thread count sheets (!), down pillows, padded, upholstered headboard (which I’m making), and a wonderful damask duvet cover for the down comforter. We even got some decorative pillows and a new bed skirt. Wow, what an improvement!
I wonder if I can work from bed?
November 29, 2010
November 28, 2010
Great Scott, that thing is fast. How does he not lose it in the distance? Or in a timewarp?
November 27, 2010
The coming 3D Revolution. Ironically, I had Blender and SketchUp open when I read this.
Just found a massive discount on Restaurant.com. They’re offering 80% off their normal discount. Got a $300 of gift certificates for $26 (in $25 increments). You do have to spend at least $35 at some places (including the gift cert), but for a little over ten bucks at a single restaurant we’ll be able to have a nice dinner out at italian, mexican, and even steak places. Not bad!
The sale goes on for a few more days. Use the discount code “SAVE” in the cart.
November 26, 2010
November 24, 2010
As a sole prop I don’t worry as much about the hiring aspects, but I can attest that the overall business uncertainty in the small business world is real and is causing more anxiety about the future than you might think.
Business is the backbone of American productivity, and small businesses are the connective tissue of that backbone. The media likes to cast business owners as fabulously wealthy fatcat stereotypes because that makes it easy to get a certain philosophical viewpoint accepted. The reality, however, is that the vast majority of businesses are small shops like the ones in the videos above. We don’t have the manpower, representative voice, or even the time to devote to playing a political game. We’re too busy getting work done to fool with that kind of thing.
So the next time you hear about how businesses are run by wealthy people who are too rich and greedy to care about the “little guy”, just remember that, in most cases, businesses are the little guy. And government seems to be doing more to hurt than to help.
What does helping look like? Getting out of the way.
November 23, 2010
November 22, 2010
The following is the letter I would like to write to Bosch tools about my failed Bosch Colt PR10E router. I am having difficulty doing so because their website does not list a physical address and their automated email systems character limit is too low. I’ll keep trying, but in the mean time I would like to post it on the internet as a possible warning to anyone who is considering the purchase of a Bosch tool.
Dear Bosch tools,
I received the Colt PR10E router as a gift for Christmas 2008. Later that week in a fit of post-Christmas tool glow I used it for about thirty seconds and it abruptly stopped working. Since my wife bought it on Amazon we decided to heed the plea included in the packaging and call you directly instead of returning it to the seller. I called you and then took it to the local repair center you recommended for the warranty work. After a very long wait I finally got it back. When I asked the repair center what had gone wrong with the unit, I was told it was the “Main board” that needed replacement. Huh? I didn’t know power tools had motherboards (or “main boards”), but okay.
I brought it home, fired it up and let it run for a few minutes and it seemed to work okay. Then the weather turned hot and I didn’t work in my shop for several months.
Yesterday I went out to cut some laminate using the repaired router. It worked for about ten minutes, then abruptly quit again. It is a dead router, gone to whatever sad afterlife is reserved for unreliable tools that fail immediately. I now have a two year old Bosch router with a little over ten minutes of use on it that is a useless chunk of Bosch-colored plastic. It sits on my shop closet shelf in its brand new plastic-looking beauty taunting me with its nonworking…ness. I will continue to be disappointed in the tool only because I had the poor fortune to not need to use it until the warranty expired. It literally has zero shop scratches, dings, or even dust. A more pristine but useless tool you have not seen.
I realize that some products have issues, and I understand that stuff happens in production, and even that “authorized warranty repair” centers are not necessarily bastions of white-coated technicians bustling around saying things like “bring me an A6 Torx wrench and a bottle of graphite, STAT!”, but that doesn’t stop the fact that I’m still out of luck. Worse yet, it’s my wonderful wife who wasted her money for a gift that doesn’t work, which makes me feel even worse about Bosch tools. I mean, it’s one thing to feel taken advantage of when it’s your own money, but when your spouse gets the short end of a bad tool purchase, a guy feels angry AND helpless. And since this was my “big gift” for Christmas, I bear a special kernel of frustration toward any Bosch tool I see.
I heard a lot of good things about this little router, but in my experience it wasn’t worth the money, time, or heartache. I realize that I am outside of the normal warranty period, but I would like to respectfully request either another warranty repair (hopefully one that works this time), or, better yet, a completely new unit. I would even be willing to pay any sort of upgrade to the next higher tool in order to be assured that I don’t again fall afoul of whatever inherent design flaw might be lurking in the PR10E. When you see my little router’s complete lack of any scratches, markings, or even dust, you will understand that it has seen very, very little use. It does, however, sport a sad little tool-shaped afterlife halo.
I don’t think it earned it.
Please let me know what I can do to resolve this.
if your customer relations people ever happen to read this and would like to contact me outside of your severely limited online email forms, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at jasony3131@(REMOVEFORSPAM)yahoo.com
I’ll let you know how (or even if) they respond.
November 20, 2010
Incredibly sore after a 12 hour day building props for the upcoming show. We have another 10-12 hours tomorrow. The garage is full of enormous props and I’m really proud of them.
November 18, 2010
So crazy it just might work. (Stunt wire at 1:34)
November 17, 2010
November 16, 2010
The 1 Kilometer flip book. Great making-of video, too.