February 23rd, 2015

#4591: Well, that's not looking so good.

Copper, again. Crude oil prices are on a descending asymptote and copper is falling through the floor, and none of that means an expanding world economy.

Look: prices have remained more-or-less constant even as production was increasing. Now, suddenly, demand is falling, and the price drops because supply is constant into falling demand, which inevitably forces prices downward.

"There has been no 'recovery,'" says Karl Denninger.

Monty brings the DOOM! again and we're glad of it.

* * *

The result of the Hilary Clinton State Department's "Reset" button is a 20-megaton ICBM with Obama's name on it, literally.

Welcome to the era of "smart diplomacy". Extra emphasis on the "dip".

* * *

Crapinous day at work today, and now I've got two days off. Fuck that place.

#4592: A bit better

A bit better after a 2/3 lb hamburger at Fuddrucker's, tonight's ep of Gotham, and a little cuddling with Mrs. Fungus. I'm still highly irritated but it's decreased to managable levels now.

On to the rest of what I wanted to post!

Buzz Aldrin is the man and of course metrosexuals and hyperweenies from the coasts are not going to understand why Buzz f-ing Aldrin is made of AWESOME.

He started his career by flying jet fighters and shooting down bad guys in real wars, where the bad guys could shoot back just as effectively as we could shoot at them. He was one of the men who walked on the frigging moon which is still--sadly!--a feat unequaled by just about every other mortal man in the history of the world.

"U can't touch this", more or less. WTF, if you put Chuck Norris and Buzz Aldrin in a room, it would explode, because nothing can contain that much awesome.

...which is why the hyperweenies can't relate to him. He's beyond their comprehension; Buzz Aldrin comes from an era where people still did things, big things, difficult things, important things...and the weenies come from a world where a couple additional cents in the dividend is a big deal, and are the largest demographic in a group of people who think that there should be no more exploration of the frontiers until we've solved all our problems here on Earth.

Problems we've always had, and always will have, until and unless we evolve into something almost entirely different than human.

There isn't room in the world of the effete aristocrats for men like Buzz Aldrin, who are real honest-to-God pioneers.

* * *

Meanwhile, in my own tiny little corner of the world, I was thinking about welding today.

My welds are crap because I had no idea what I was doing. Now that I've watched some instructional videos, I have some idea of what I'm supposed to do, so the next step is to get some scrap steel and try it.

Biggest issue is my inability to run a bead. I think I ran the wire feed too fast for a given thickness, not understanding that regardless of how quickly the wire comes out it's not going to disappear or evaporate, and there will still be a puddle of molten metal there to conduct electricity if I don't move the torch head around like a conductor's baton.

One of the videos I saw starts the beginning welder with making spot welds on metal: holding the torch in one spot and simply turning it on for two seconds, then off. After that, the next exercise is making a bead across the piece (it was a hunk of 1" square tubing they were using) as straight as possible to get the right penetration etc. A couple of evenings' worth of that kind of thing and I ought to be able to get a handle on beginning welding without too much additional work.

The flux core welder is usable for metal of moderate thickness, and it's possible for an expert welder to do some really nice work with one; I just want to be able to make reasonably strong welds in mild steel tubing, because in that direction lies go kart land. I don't care what they look like as long as they hold up tolerably well.

I'd like to construct a welding table; to do that I need a piece of 1/4" plate steel perhaps 2x3', and then something to hold it about 4.5' off the ground. Clamp the ground electrode to the table, clamp the work piece to the table, weld on the piece--no problem, and then I don't have to kneel on the floor or anything.

Well, we'll get there.