Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Help Your Roommates Out*

Home from college and it's summertime, the living is easy.

At least it ought to be. But sometimes it seems we're buying twice the food, taking out twice the garbage, doing twice the laundry and washing twice the dishes.

It's not supposed to be this way. Consider basic algebra: Work × 2 ÷ (workers × 2) = work ÷ workers. It should come out the same. You did get an A in algebra, didn't you?

So here are a few ideas for how you can help your roommates out:
  1. Clean up the kitchen. Wash the dishes. Put things away. Wipe the counters. Stop when the job's finished.
  2. Tend the koi pond. Clean the filter every day or two. It's not complicated but we've written up a checklist so you won't miss any steps. Clean the skimmer too — it's simple and you can do it any time.
  3. Pull weeds. Put them on the burn pile. If you're not sure what's a weed, check with Mom. Basically, if it has thorns or burrs, it's a weed. (Roses are an exception.)
  4. Post something on the blog. Brag about your accomplishments, if you have any. Post a picture of the cat — anything. Grandma and Grandpa love reading the blog. Go ahead, make their day.
  5. Mow the lawn. Any time it's shaggy and even if it's not. Mom loves a new cut lawn. She has the same attitude toward haircuts on guys.
  6. Do your own laundry. Of course you do already, but start early enough in the day that the clothes are dry, folded, and put away before bed time. Don't leave your laundry overnight.
  7. Turn in by ten o'clock. We value our rest, especially if we have to work the next day. People prowling around the house in the middle of the night tend to disturb our sleep. Old people need their sleep.
  8. Clear out now and then. It was real quiet last winter. Kind of nice, actually. Don't you have some place to go?
*Inspired by an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Call Me Gramps

tabby_kitten_thumb.jpgThis little tabby kitten, a ginger obviously, was born on Saturday about 8:20 in the evening. Nine pounds, eight ounces, nineteen and a half inches. My daughter, who stands something less than five feet tall, labored more than twenty-four hours.

To while away the time in the weeks preceeding the birth I worked in my woodshop on a little cradle boat.

cradle_boat_1_thumb.jpgThe planking is Port Orford cedar, copper riveted. The stem and stern post and knees are Douglas fir left over from building the porch for Lizzy's wedding. So are the davits.

cradle_boat_2_thumb.jpgThe keelson and gunwales are scraps of the super fine-grained fir that Bob Tewksbury used to make our windows. The breast hook and quarter knees are from the walnut tree that Bill helped me cut up.

cradle_boat_3_thumb.jpgThe transom is poplar.

The boat was designed by Warren Jordan of South Beach, Oregon, from an ad I spotted in Wooden Boat magazine while Lizzy was still a baby.

I hope the little kitten likes her craft.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bergdahl Deserves Court-Martial

However, Bret Stephens says, we are not "in time of war." We are in Time of Obama.
In Time of Obama, dereliction of duty is heroism, releasing mass murderers with American blood on their hands is a good way to start a peace process, negotiating with terrorists is not negotiating with terrorists, and exchanging senior Taliban commanders for a lone American soldier is not an incentive to take other Americans hostage but rather proof that America brings its people home.
At a minimum, Americans should demand precise answers from the administration about the circumstances of Sgt. Bergdahl's capture before he's given a hero's welcome. At a minimum, Americans also deserve to know the precise costs we have incurred before congratulating the administration for obtaining his release.

But in Time of Obama, that's not what Americans are going to get.
It's behind the pay wall. Email me, and I'll send you a link.