2024-02-13: The Work Bench

When Melissa's dad died, he left a work bench in his garage. He had always been a wood worker in the tiny back garage, and this giant workbench took up most of the modest space. The bench was 4 feet wide and 8 feet long and had been modified over the years with drawers for storage and with additional layers of plywood to cover the top as it wore down, it now weighed about 300 pounds.

My plan was to move this bench about 100 feet, down the cracked driveway and into the shop next door that I was now inheriting. I never knew why he never used this much larger adjacent space, preferring to work in the cramped chipboard-clad garage. I had no helpers that day, and that's probably why I decided to move the work bench - I love challenges like this. There was snow on the ground, so my plan was to flip the workbench flat-side-down and slide it like a giant toboggan.

I used an 8 foot long 2x4 as a lever to wedge underneath the work bench to move it along, making it nearly into the new shop until the front of the bench dug itself into the wet grass and could no longer be moved. I struggled with it long enough for the neighbor to take notice.

John moved into the house across the street around the same time we inherited the house, he was one of those neighbors you could count on for anything. Back when he worked for the big three, his forklift and flammable load caught fire with him trapped him inside. He punched his way out of the melting plexiglass cage before collapsing on the ground to be extinguished, he was in a coma for months. Together, we moved the work bench into place for me to chisel, saw and paint on for the next 7 years.

When we sold the shop, I listed the bench on facebook marketplace with the caveat "heavy, you move". The guy that showed up for it was a gym dude; beard, tattoos, huge muscles and a brand new dodge ram. I offered to help, but he just laughed and started moving the bench towards his trailer so I went back to taping up moving boxes. I checked back on him when I heard the grunting, the bench was stuck and he was now having a cigarette break and rubbing his shoulder. If John still lived here, I'm sure he would have been out to help but he downsized to a condo shortly after going skydiving in Florida. I grabbed a 2x4 and wedged it underneath the bench, levered it up over my head and watched the bench slide into the back of the trailer.

"You think you're smart?" I'm not smart, Archimedes was smart.

2024-01-13: woah now!

If you've been here before, you might remember a much fancier website being here for the past 8 years. That website used a fancy template, a content management system and a database - all to look pretty much like every other site on the internet. And at this point, who is even visiting websites anymore anyways?

I recently had some conversations with friends about what we miss about "the old internet", you know the one - where shit was weird. I could (insert meme of grandpa simpson yelling at clouds) type lots about algorithms, tracking, infinite scrolling and the monetization of our attention, but I think we all get the gist of what that rant would entail.

I've had this website since June 2000 and it started out as a blank canvas to try really fucking weird things like controlling an RC car from the internet, or live streaming the audio from my bedroom. The point of all of those things was to meet other weird people and I'm still friends with people from all over the world that I met through this website. 24 years later, the mechanisms for expression and connecting through the internet has been fully commodified, and along with that, limited.

Twitter, or whatever it is called now, limits users to 280 characters. Facebook doesn't give a fuck how long a rant is, but nudges users to not say much by keeping your text large and bold if you only type a sentence or two - or hide text completely behind a "read more.." link that nobody is ever going to click on. Does that affect how we communicate in real life? I don't know, and don't really care, but this is all just to say that I fondly remember reading complicated thoughts on LiveJournal and can't help wonder what people are actually thinking.

cut to the chase, mike

There's no chase, I just want to type html and have it appear on the internet for people to find.

I've made some pretty cool things in the last few years as well and want to show those off at some point as well, but not in a huge rush. How are you?