Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ode to Spirit Airlines

It has been a long time since I’ve had to use Spirit to fly anywhere. But today is my unlucky day. It started off with a kiosk that wouldn’t read my passport forcing me to stand in line behind 20 people. Then I find out that my little tiny wheeled carry on is going to cost me $50 to carryon, or $45 to check.
So lets examine the extreme idiocy of this:
1) why does it cost more for me to take it with me instead of paying you to handle it? You have just realized that given the option most people will pay the $5 then gamble that my luggage will meet me at my final destination.
2) what percentage of your customer base bring nothing with them other then a small bag that fits under the seat in front of them? I would venture to guess that you suck this fee out of 99% of you customer base – so you might as well tack is one to the ticket price up front rather then being a snake about it.

My next encounter on my voyage was to the gate, where the not unfriendly crew ran a strict and tight ship. Sort of how imagine a nun would have run her class room of school children. I was half expecting to have my hand slapped with a ruler if I didn’t have my board pass bar code up as I approach the gate. And heaven help you if you have your ID out, because it is not needed! They also mentioned that they were planning on pushing back from the gate early so you had better be there before they closed the door. I thought departure times meant something, as in “the time we are departing”, I didn’t think they could act like a dad pulling the station wagon out of the drive away ahead of the scheduled vacation start time. Hope that person that was being groped by the TSA made it and didn’t bank on the flight leaving on time… I’m not sure, I have 2 empty seats next to me.

After I made it through the gate unscathed I boarded a seemly brand new plane. The plane looks great and the seat also look brand new, although I’m willing to put money on the fact that the rows are 2″ closer then on the last plane I was on. However, these pretty new seat are missing 1 important detail. They do not recline… Not at all, not one of them. So I have to be propped at a 80 degree angle the entire flight, which it preventing me from sleeping for more the 10 minutes at a time, which in turn prompted me to write this. It is safe to say that this is one of the most uncomfortable flights I have been on in the last decade. Adding insult to injury, there is no Sky Mall catalog (or Spirit equivalent) on this flight. Part of my joy every time I fly is to see all the craziness in that book and to try and find the genius little hot dog and bun toaster. Nope, none of that, just a menu reminding you that nothing is free and that even a can of Coke will cost you $3.

So thank you for reminding me why I choose you as my last option. The only reason you got my business is that you were the only airline that had flights that fit my schedule. So do not thank me for choosing you, you were my only opinion until the day chartering my own Lear jet as an option.

So on the rating scale that I just made up in my head (from 2 thumbs up to double middle finger) I give you 1 and a half middle fingers. I would have given you 2, but you got me from point A to point B on time and without incident.

Already not looking forward to my flight home. So if you are looking for an airline for your next flight… Proceed with caution if you are considering Spirit. Just my 2 cents worth, and your mileage may vary.


Checkmate – step 4 – it all comes together

This is it, we are in the home stretch now… After the holes are drilled then you just need to shape the bodies and tops.  This is where your initial sketch and the realities of the project meet, and sometimes don’t match.  You need to be aware of the inner diameters of the holes that you just drilled so that you don’t cut areas too thin and destroy all your hard work.  I couldn’t thin the body as much as my sketch showed because of this.

While you are shaping the mills refer to your sketch for reference, it is easy to lose your place while turning.  Looking at the drawing will remind of your ultimate end design.  Once you get the mills shaped how you like them, sand them to remove all the tool marks and smooth them out.

The top of the queen had to be cut with a hand saw off the lathe, that added a bit of complexity, but I’m happy with how that turned out.  On the head of the king I left the cross round so that whatever angle you look it the cross will look the same.  I actually ended up making 2 heads for the king and having the buyer pick the one that she liked the best… just another advantage of buying custom!


At this point I would apply a finish, but since these are going to be painted I need to skip that step so that the paint will stick to the wood.  After the sanding I move on to the installation of the mechanisms.  Each mill manufacture has their own instructions for this, so follow those.  If you have made it this far then you should be able to figure that out!

Now you’re done!  Pull off the top and load it with your salt or pepper corn, push the top back on and give it a twist!   This still has an adjustable knob on the bottom (most have it on the top) for adjusting between a fine or a coarse grind.


A Cut Above The Rest

Paduak and Maple Cutting Board

Well this week it wasn’t the weather that kept me from extra time in the shop, it was being under the weather… But there is always something that can be done, so I took this time to update the website with the new butcher block cutting boards that we recently started to offer.  Check the page out here:

These cutting boards are handmade from solid hardwood.  I like to use darker woods and contrast them with the light color of maple.  I can custom make these in just about any wood or size to fit your needs and can finish them in your choice of food safe varnish or oil finish.   Each board has hand holds on the sides and an optional groove on one face.  Use the face with the groove to cut meats and the other side for vegetables, or do all your cutting on the groove side and leave the flat side as a display surface.

Walnut and Maple Cutting Board

Large Purpleheart and Maple cutting board with groove

A great gift to give the chef in your life.  If you have any questions let me know!