Having good reflexes is not always the greatest thing to have. I had the lovely accident this past friday of catching a copper filler rod which I was using for welding. Normally just the tip is the hottest and what one should worry about. However just as luck would have it I had managed to have a quarter heated up. So I got it and it burned!! Human flesh that burns smells almost like something burning on the stove top. I kept it under cold water which is important as it stops the burning process. Eventually the pain went away later in the evening. The wound is not too bad. A little bit of a crater and a burn line almost half the width of my hand. My story will be a wild cheetah attack mind you. Makes for a good story. Much more heroic then catching a hot copper rod.

Building things

Yesterday was back to shop work. It was very cool as we learned how to do flaring for brake lines. It was actually quite simple to do. You basically have three types, straight which is like a cone, double which is like the cone but edge are folded in on each other to make a double layer and finally there is a bubble flare which is mostly used by Chrysler. I was able to get everything on the first shot so was able to move on to other things.

And something really cool were doing is starting to build our own battery terminal puller. We basically were given schematics for the puller, then given long rods of metal and then we have to get hacksaw’s, filers, etc and cut everything to spec. It’s very cool to be actually building something from scratch. I have apparently a very good hacksaw technique. Got welding tonight so not sure if it will be MIG but worse off I help teach people for the exam.

Well now

So tonight was a bit odd. I left earlier in the afternoon as I needed a new passenger headlight as mine burnt out. Once done I headed to school as I usually do. Once I arrived at the lights near my school, I heard my name. Was totally wtf? So I looked and saw my teacher. He said the school was closed, go home since there was a bomb threat. Probably some angry little shit trying to inconvenience everyone. Totally annoying. Wastes our time, makes less time for others who need it.

So I went to my parents who had picked Lucas up. Marie joined us and had some good old pizza. Mmmmmm….

For those unaware, Netflix is finally available in Canada!!! I had downloaded it on the PS3 before leaving this afternoon but just trying it out this evening. It works very very well. No lag, no delays of any kind and I am streaming wireless. So far the initial selection is not as abundant as the US. I suppose it’s just a matter of obtaining the rights and whatnot. So far I have been catching up on Paranormal State episodes. There are some very oddball movies. Like a b movie called Monsturd. Yeah you can imagine what THAT one is about. I shit you not….ohhhhh I totally went there.

But yeah the selection is a bit odd but the service is just starting. The first month is free and then it is $7.99 a month after for unlimited movies. Definitely something to check out folks.

So yeah hopefully school is back on tomorrow. Felt kind of lost without it this evening lol

Now I am the Teacher!

Well the last two days have been welding. Getting practice done before our exam next week. We got our more appropriate metal yesterday so we started using it. I was so used to the thinner metal that I was having a tough time with the thicker metal. Kind of ironic. I was sufficiently discouraged by the end of today. So today was crunch time and it went insanely well. I pretty much had things down within the hour. One of the cool things I tried today was brazing. It consists of using a brass rod to melt over your joint which will then act as a glue of sorts. It’s pretty toxic so we needed to use our fans. This technique is not particularly used anymore. It was mostly used back in ye old days when you would get your radiator repaired in a radiator centric shop. We also started using the cutter torch and started cutting through metal. We even learned how to cut a bolt off if it ever becomes stuck and normally would not be able to be removed. The latter half of the class I spent helping teach people how to do brazing and a lap joint weld. So all in all I am very happy with the progress and much more happier with where things stand now.


As many do, I quite enjoy sandbox-style games. I had my eye on Minecraft awhile back, but never really could give it a try until now. Currently, the site (and therefore the authentication server for clients) is sort of borked by all the traffic from Penny Arcade, due to their Minecraft comic series they started last Friday. You can get the game client from the skeleton site here. It won’t come with sound or music, but you can rectify that by following the instructions here. Once the site’s back online, the game will no longer be free to play, but you can buy the game for £10, and you get it and all future updates (for life).

Also, if you’re having trouble figuring out how to get started with crafting and surviving, then either check out the Minecraft wiki article on crafting here or watch this great series of videos on YouTube here.

The Submarines – You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie

I couldn’t decide on a video for this week’s Monday Music Video, so I picked one at random from the pile of videos I have waiting in the pipeline. This one you might recognize as the “iPhone song”, which ironically enough is actually a slam against rampant commercialism. Still, it’s a fun song!

Of things mechanical and stuff

So friday was a busy evening at school. Basically I got a chance to check a bunch of things off my catch up list. Started out with measuring bolts. You would think that it would be easy but even though a bolt may be the same length it may have a different thread pattern. We have a special tool that measures the thread pattern.

Then I learned how to use another instrument called a feeler gauge to measure if there is a lot of play on a piston ring. Then we used a special wire that will measure your piston bearings play. Finally I took a bearing off a differential gear. So all in all it was a busy night. It was relieving to get a lot of this done as it was stressful a bit to have all these thing to catch up on. So now all that is really left is learning our hydraulic lifts, jacking a car (though I have done this at home so) and finally machining my own battery puller.

I got my b-day gift early from my parents. Canadian Tire had a special on a 100 piece air tool set. Rather then $300 it was $99. It’s a wicked cool set as it has an air ratchet, air hammer / chisel, zip gun, impact drill and tire inflation tool. Comes with a few little accessories as well. Was definitely worth it for what you get.

I am also getting more used to using micrometers and precision calipers which is good. Measuring is a big part of a lot of what we do and I barely ever measured anything. So now the only thing I really want to get down is welding. I checked out some videos on doing certain joints so hopefully I can get things mastered this week. We don’t have a lot of time and some of the materials we have are rather iffy.

The school itself is great and we have pretty decent equipment but we also are missing quite a bit as well. For instance for welding were using a much thinner metal then we should be using. So rather then learning on the appropriate metal we are learning on a much harder material to master. You could say it is kind of a good thing to work with more complicated materials however with the time constriction it’s a bit discouraging for many to have a lot more trouble then they should. Also we tend to miss books often. But all these issues are largely administrative.

Oh and totally non school related, check out the HBO tv series that just started tonight called Boardwalk Empire. It’s about prohibition and mob life in Atlantic City. Totally awesome show.

Pulling Things

Last night was pretty awesome. Did more continuation of our shop work class which part of it was theory. That was a bit on the boring side. But we did get to pull a steering wheel from a 2000 chev cavalier. While in itself not a fantastic car we also had to disable the air bag system. That was fun considering if you forget the basics there is always the slight chance of triggering the air bag. It is also amusing that in shop work that we are starting little projects like this when we haven’t even done the basics of cars module. Since we have a bunch of classes at the same time we have to jumble our modules so we don’t all bump into each other. Tonight if all goes well we will be pulling a differential.

Sweet measuring

Measuring…measuring…measuring…You would think that measuring in itself would be simple. In mechanics though we have to use specialized measuring tools such as a precision caliper, depth rods and micrometers. I don’t think it would be so bad if we just had one system to learn however we need to do both metric and imperial systems. Obviously these days we have the tools all in digital but for the sake of school we are learning the hard way which is a good way to do things. I think the most complicated part is switching your thinking from one system to another.

Did more welding yesterday. Was mostly practicing the basics which I think I have down pretty good. I am now trying more advanced techniques like lap joints. Basically a piece of metal sits halfway on another and you have to merge them at the seam. It goes ‘ok’ if you clamp them together tight however if you let them loose then the lower metal plate sags from the heat and you can never really merge them. It’s all in technique they say so our job it to get that technique in a very short time. Our exam will basically be to do various joints and then to submit them to a break test. Basically we put them in a vice and take a hammer and pray it holds together. While most in the class are having difficulty with the basics and I am starting on more advanced things, I am putting a bit of pressure on myself. After two days of practical I am trying to ease off myself expectation wise. I did however burn two finger tips when I touched a recently torched piece. Suffice it to say it hurt big time but no bubble. Just a little well done and numb. Safety first!

So yes aside from that, my good store Canadian Tire has some wicked good specials on air tools and wrenches, etc so going to be shopping soon. Yay!!

Little bit of this, little bit of that

Well hello there! Hope all are doing well. I’m doing pretty good. For those who may not have gotten the word I spent a good part of last week in the hospital. I got me a lovely infection from a cold that my lungs couldn’t keep up. It was a difficult time as I was with Lucas on my own at the time. I don’t think I was ever that afraid. It’s one thing for you to be hurt or in danger on your own but another to have a your kid watching as your plugged to an ekg reader, while your getting an IV while wearing a mask. Suffice it to say it is eye opening. I had gotten multiple treatments to the point where my heart rate kept dancing between 80 and 120. They didn’t want to let me go at that point at risk of my heart giving out.

Staying at a hospital is rather annoying. For one your in a bed, you don’t have a blanket and even if you manage to get one they are thin. You then have all the noises of those around you. You tend to hear everyone’s story pretty quick over a small area. I was unfortunately stuck next to an old ladies room where she had trouble…playing dumptruck. So all I heard was ow, ow, owie, ow, ow. You have to feel sorry for elderly people who have trouble but still you cannot help but feel very annoyed. By the time I would want to sleep or try to then it was my next treatment and then that speeds the system up again so cannot sleep. It is a vicious circle.

But now at home and all good. I am not doing much handiwork. I tend to tire out quickly enough though. My ticker needs a lot more rest but should bounce back soon enough. At first I was walking like an old man and eventually was able to get around. But now Lucas caught the bug I had as well as Marie so that has added an extra level of suck.

Since I missed three days of school last week I have to recoup this week so an hour extra for two days which is not bad. Basically learning to measure with micrometers and vernier. We just started welding which is good. Right now we are learning to weld with acetylene mixed with oxygen. It is tricky that is for sure. Acetylene on it’s own does not smell but they infuse the gas with a smell very much like garlic. So by the time class is over you can’t help but think you keep smelling the shit. It’s pretty rancid. I got home and was like fuck, now I really smell it but it ended up being actual garlic on the counter. Was quite funny.

Also in class, a guy was not paying attention and burned a hole in his pants and left his skin red. Acetylene mixed with oxygen can range over 3000F. Also ironically on the same fellow, his torch had a busted rubber o-ring inside so the torch backfired causing a fire to burst near his hand.Luckily he was ok but the idea is not to panic and shut down the gas valves.

So yeah that’s it for now. Ciao!


Well I passed my health, safety and halocarbon course. This means I know how to not die in a garage, how just about every fluid gives you cancer, that I will likely use the health care system in old age and how to handle air conditioning gas. So with our heating and air conditioning course coming in the next while then I will get my certification for doing A/C work. So now it is the wonderful world of shop work. I was pretty happy today as Canadian Tire had some crazy good deals on hammers, screwdrivers, etc. I got a 95 piece screwdriver set, a digital tire gauge set and two hammers (one a rubber mallet and the other a ball peen). Slowly equipping.

It’s Official: Duke Nukem Forever Coming From Gearbox

It’s alive!

From Kotaku: “2K Games has made it official. Duke Nukem Forever is alive and, well, in the hands of developer Gearbox Software, confirming our earlier reports that the Borderlands studio was helping to complete the game’s absurdly long development cycle. The publisher announced this morning in advance of PAX 2010 that Gearbox Software was on the job, picking up where developer 3D Realms left off. Gearbox plans to ship the game within the next year…”

Check Kotaku for more info.


Hey guess, just so you know that as I go along my program and pass my exams I will be able to do various things if you ever need them. Will post in occasionally as I always do and let you know what more I can handle. Of course I will be able to give good prices compared to your local garage rest assured that and obviously parts I can usually get good as I am the ultimate shopper lol

Health, Safety and Hammers

Well school is pretty intense finally. We wrapped up our introductory course and got on to shop work. So now we will be starting to work with hand tools, power tools and more fun stuff. Apparently one of our projects will be to build our own puller for a gear or whatnot. Pretty nifty. We are also wrapping up our health and safety course tonight. It is not particularly interesting mind you however there are a few noteworthy bits. We will be taking a look at air conditioning this evening. We have to pass it so we can officially be able to work on them. We get a fancy license for it. Of course it only means you can do it at the garage.

We got our tool box also which has all the standard tools we will need. It gives a good idea of what I am missing. I have quite a bit already but there is still more needed and then there are more specialized tools. Thing is we basically need to buy everything for our toolboxs by the time we graduate as in any garage you need to bring your own tools.

Speaking of tools I went to grind clean my surface so I can weld the new floor in….when….my grinder started sparking and heating to the point of non touchable. So the grinder died. Not sure what caused it but maybe it overheated and shorted with this hot weather. I have no idea. At any rate I went and got another though this time lithium battery powered. It has an interchangeable battery that I can use on other select tools from mastercraft. So that is a cool feather. Though the battery was not included. So I went to the store. Wahoo…found the battery! Oh wait, they don’t come with a charger…Ok so had to do two canadian tire stores to get a battery and a charger. Really annoying but now I am equipped!

I am also pretty beat. Pretty much it’s run around all morning cleaning and preparing dinner and studying, then school, then when I come home some more studying and then bed. It’s a pretty hardcore schedule but I think it is very worthwhile.