Monday, September 30, 2019

It's an architectural problem

I watched the weekly diary video of SG Collins this morning and it was so concise I decided to dust off the old blog and post the links and transcribe it so I can refer back to it later.

For the sake of future me I'm also embedding the current event reference Collins is talking about. This is Greta.

And this is Collins. Rem acu tetigisti, Collins.

I've transcribed what Collins says (this is based on my limited training as an online transcriptionist where I was taught that it is ok to edit out extraneous conjunctions and mannerisms of spoken word irrelevant to the message.)

Greta I love, but based on some of the things that she says I think that she thinks that the people she’s talking to can do something. That they have the power to make change. A lot of people think that the politicians can fix it, or that world leaders can fix it. But I think that the problem that they’re trying to fix is kind of not something that any person can change because it’s institutionalized greed where there’s this sort of extra-corporeal creature that causes you to must-make-as-much-money-as-possible and to never do the right thing.
So I think she might think that people the people she’s talking to can make a difference. Maybe because I been around those people for all my life, or no, I’m sorry, I mean they’ve been around as long as I have, that it makes me think that she’s talking to the wrong people or she’s thinking of it the wrong way. 
If I could talk to Greta I would tell her that really the problem is an architectural one. The world is designed wrong. It’s designed accorded to nineteenth and twentieth century property principles. And I wish we could change that. Just change the way the world is designed so we wouldn’t be forced to do the things that people had to do because they were trying to sell cars and oil to us. But that’s just me. 
But millions of people are out in the street saying we want to change things. That can’t be bad. That has to be good. So I think it’s pretty splendid that we’ve got these young angry teenaged girls to tell us what for. Whether or not she’s that naive or if it’s me that’s naive? I don’t know.  — SG Collins 30 Sept 2019 

It was 7 years ago that I came up with the idea of doing a Small Year. My social isolation has allowed me to fend off that extra-corporeal creature as I've made only-as-much-money-as-necessary instead of as-much-as-possible. The farther I get from the more-money world the harder is is to make that necessary money. I can't make myself create things to suit other people's taste. I know that people are used to an overabundance of durable goods that cost less than than groceries. Mass produced imports are a boon to the must-make-as-much-money-as-possible world. I understand that a hand made item is inherently inefficient. I know there is little value in it as an item, but I still price things based on the idea that my time is worth something. Usually under $5/hr because I'm mostly selling prototypes, I'm not qualified for master level pricing. The value is in the making, which only the maker gets to enjoy. "People don't want to pay you for something if they think you enjoyed it" — Hank Green.

I price items just above what I think anybody will pay for them, yet still putting a much lower value on my time than I would get at a desk job. as a message to makers that what they are doing is worth something the rest of the world understands, dollars. I think of my Etsy shop as a place where people can go to steal my ideas as much as to buy something I made. Unlike sites that scrape my blogs or YouTubers who steal my videos, I don't mind if somebody looks at something I made and it sparks them to copy it for themself. (They just better not try to sell it.) I link to instructional videos for things I made right in the Etsy listings for people who want to make one themselves, if I was able to document it succinctly. And if somebody watches the video and think it looks too hard for them maybe they buy the thing from me and they can explain to admirers what was involved in making it, even if they didn't do it. I think that's important. But that's just me.

Maybe you'd like to buy something from my Etsy shop? Private URL registration is really expensive. I need the money.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Pine Straw Rake Review

I ordered a Yard Tuff Pine Straw Rake from Amazon. (Not sponsored, no affiliation in any way. These are available from lots of vendors.)

When UPS brought it the box was damaged but all the parts were there. Weight: 115 pounds or so. Supposed to be 90 lbs assembled. The UPS man put it on his dolly and wheeled it into my shed for me. We tore it open and checked all 24 tines were in there and he went on about his day.

The box and everything in it smelled terrible, like Harbor Freight. I unpacked all the parts out of the contaminated box and let them air out overnight. I put the tires and the gross box out in the yard.

Sockets needed for assembly
  3/4" x 2
  9/16" x 2
  7/8" x 1
  11/16" x 1
19 mm open ended wrench
(I don't have any Imperial wrenches and this was the closest I had.)
Two ratchet handles or similar

I used an impact wrench at first but it was just loud and the nylock nuts ran the battery down fast so I went to two ratchets instead.

Theres a problem with the angle brackets that the instructions say to put on after all the tines are assembled. I used the short bolts on the first part instead of long ones that would've gotten in the way of the tine assembly. So when I got to the angle brackets I had to take out 4 bolts out of tines to get the longer bolts through the holes with the heads toward the tines and the nuts on the outside. I used the open ended wrench to hold the bolt head while I tightened those nuts down. Then I put the bolts and nuts back through the tines. Seems fine, just not how the instructions say to do it.

Don't overtighten the nuts that let the rake tilt. Don't overtighten the nuts that hold the wheels on either.

I swapped out the light weight chain it came with for a heavier welded chain I had in the shed.

Most of the assembly can be done far away from the smelly tires. I scrubbed them down with Simple Green before I put them on the rake but they still reek of rubber. I just had to hold my breath and power through.

I think it's going to work just fine. I didn't find it needed extra weight like some reviews I read. My pine straw is extra long though, and my grass is pretty sparse. I can see how a really dense lawn with shortleaf straw would behave differently. I will update this review after I use it more. It's too hot and dry to do yard work right now.