Posts Tagged ‘Books’

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New From the Fancy Plans Press

October 6, 2009

 

IKEA's online shopping assistant said, "Just toss them on the floor."

IKEA's online shopping assistant said, "Just toss them on the floor."

Living on Pennies per Year: The Homeopathic Guide to Budgeting

Borrow This Book! The Fairly Essential Handbook for Mild Mannered Revolutionaries and Conscience-Ridden Kleptomaniacs

Strunk & White’s The Elements of Texting

So You Want to Be a Journalist: Making the Most of Your Last-Minute Major in the New Millennium

Covers such essential ground as: suing Google, suing blog hosting, suing bloggers, erecting paywalls, insulting your readers’ intelligence, cranky bitching, etc.
(Future installments may include: investigative techniques, finding reliable sources, working with your reader base, actual journalism, etc.)

Sharing is Stealing: Child-Rearing Advice from Parents in the Music Industry

  • Why every child needs their own set of toys
  • Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like writing our a check to cover performance royalties
  • Keep that radio turned down, dammit! (That check for performance royalties is coming out of your allowance, mister.)
  • Illegal downloading is “wack,” or so says relevant actress Alicia Silverstone
  • How would you like it is some came and took all of your toys and did whatever they wanted with them? I mean, you would still have your toys, but like they took an exact copy of your toys. For free. And then they enjoyed your toys themselves or shared them with their friends and didn’t even pay you for, well, not exactly taking your toys, I guess… Let me start over. You have toys that you paid for. Someone else wants to use your toys. Again, not your actual toys, but an exact copy of them and they wouldn’t have to pay for them… I mean, you paid for your toys so it’s not fair that they don’t pay for their set. People should pay for stuff because stuff costs money. Even though you don’t play with all your toys… because like every set of 14 or 15 toys only has about 1 or 2 toys that you even play with more than once… Sharing is stealing! I don’t need to explain this!

Growing Up in the Shadows: Solange Knowles in Her Own Tweets

  • someone just keeps pollinating my days…:)))))))))) and clever notes to sprinkle a little more beautimous and awesomery energy my way:)
  • Star and triangle shaped iced cubes! Why do I get a big kick out of things like this???
  • Can’t believe movie was sold out!!! Uber sad faces.
  • @xdaniel lol. I speak greatly about my hood. I love Houston lookn ass girl.

One World, One Village: The Young Person’s Guide to Co-Opting Other Cultures

  • Bob Marley’s Greatest Hits and you’re in, mon. Especially if you’re holding.
  • The keffiyeh and other essential gear for the pretentious twat
  • White boys & rap; or Eminem: groundbreaking fluke?

The Naive Tourists Guide to Staying the Fuck Out of Trouble: East Coast Edition

  • New Jersey – officially off-limits
  • Emergency plans including “Roll up the windows!” “Lock the doors!” and “Floor it!” (includes helpful tips gleaned from Bonfire of the Vanities)
  • Winning 3-card monte strategies
  • How to buy drugs without looking like a narc (for instance: “Can I possibly trouble you fellows for some narcotics?” is completely wrong and possibly deadly)

Coming soon: West Coast Edition

  • Enjoying a “Fuck wit Dre Day” on less than $40 a day
  • When a stop sign is not a stop sign: the rolling stop in 3 easy steps
  • How’s my driving? Follow up question: How’s my shooting?
  • 90mph merging strategies
  • Overpriced bullshit: the Haight-Ashbury legacy
  • Fastest driving routes to get “straight outta Compton”

Deep South Edition

  • The legal ramifications of not being “from around here”
  • Making small town corruption work for you
  • Black? Consider visiting the East Coast or West Coast instead
  • Atlanta: glittering metropolis or duded-up backwater town?
  • The sights, sounds and smells of the “Redneck Riviera”: Your guide to the Florida panhandle

Our Organ Banks, Ourselves: The Reality of Being More Useful Dead Than Alive

The Goofus & Gallant Guide to Formal Occasions

  • Gallant prepares his remarks carefully using 3×5 cards; Goofus rambles on at length about his fascination with quote: “the surviving members of Wham!”
  • Gallant waits quietly to be introduced; Goofus kills another guest for “eyeballing” his date

Half-Full Proverbs for a Half-Empty Life (Illustrations by Half-Ass “Painter of Lite” Thomas Kincaid)

Your Inner Slut: Freeing Yourself from Moral Oppression (foreword by Tara Reid)

-CLT

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Excerpts from the Time/Life Amateur Handyman Series: 50 Craft Projects for Beginners

August 28, 2009

As part of an on-going series, we present an excerpt from Time/Life Books’ latest entry into the “Amateur Handyman” series, 50 Small Projects for Novice Handymen, a book dealing with entry-level carpentry and some other handyman basics. This volume in particular is intended to be a “quick start” guide, allowing novices to ease into woodworking and small repair jobs.

Note: due to recent changes in some federal statutes concerning protected woodlands, a large portion of the beginning instructions have been written with the help of several national lumber boards and input from various Congressional subcommittees.

Previous excerpts include:
Settling Homeowner Disputes
Holy Fuck! Water’s Not Working!: The Amateur’s Guide to Household Wiring

Your new spice rack will hold all your favorite flavorings, like Ground Bunny and Extract of Cherub

Your new spice rack will hold all your favorite flavorings, like Ground Bunny and Extract of Cherub

Project #1 – Spice Rack

Items needed:

  • 6 boards – 1/2′ x 3″ x 48″
  • Table saw
  • 3/4″ Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (optional)
  • Skill (optional)

Making a spice rack for your kitchen is one of those simple projects that anyone can do in one afternoon. In addition to the satisfaction of making something with your own hands, the spice rack will prove to be useful for the years to come.

Step 1 – Choosing Your Wood
Like most quick projects in this book, your first task will be to select the wood you would like to work with. There are a lot of variables to consider when attempting a project: tensile strength, grain, aesthetic qualities, durability, table saw blade rpm and texture.

While most woods are suitable for a spice rack, some consideration must be taken to choose the right wood for the task. When breaking down the elements involved, remember to consider each of the following: indoor/outdoor use, paint/varnish, heat/humidity, and tensile strength.

For most novices, the simplest place to start is with tensile strength. Most woods are rated on a tensile strength scale. This will allow you to gauge the “spring back” of the wood when subjected to stress or weight. Most standardized lumber mills will include a chart as put together by the National American Lumber Mills Standardization Board (NALMSB). (See also: Appendices A11 and R13.) Many popular woods such as ash or maple with fall within the ranges of A20-A40, which covers medium use woods with average “springback.”

Keep in mind that this chart will help you narrow down domestic deciduous trees only. A separate chart is maintained for domestic evergreens, which runs on a scale from L100 (softest) to M4 (hardest). This can be cross-referenced with domestic deciduous through a series of tensile calculations. A chart of some commonly used tensile calculations is included (Appendix D12). You can look at these appendices at your leisure, as we would like to keep things at a “novice” level for the time being.

In order to choose the wood best suited for this easy and fun project, begin with your table saw. The manufacturer’s die-grinding radius and maximum rpms should be listed in the product packaging or on the saw blade itself. Bear in mind that the maximum rpms will be limited to the saw’s capacity, which will be listed in the saw’s packaging or instructions. The rpm value and grind radius, when combined with the optimal tensile strength, will limit the amount of splintering or other damage to the grain, as well as to your limbs, eyes and future children, in case of a mismatch.

In order to keep this simple, we have devised (in association with NALMSB and Table and Hand Saw Manufacturers of America [THSMA]) a short equation to allow you to find your optimal tensile strength.

(TS [tensile strength] = Base RPM / Total RPM + Length of Cut + Die Radius * .3387)

This equation makes choosing domestic wood with the proper tensile strength a breeze. (Note: if you wish to use a more exotic wood, like mahogany, you will need to cross-reference the American tensile chart with the European tensile chart [Appendix LL166]. Keep in mind that the metric system will come into play here, meaning your cut lengths will fluctuate according to the exchange rate. For simplicity’s sake, in this example we will deal with American wood only.)

Once you have matched the tensile strength to the saw specifications, you can begin to choose your wood from those matching the 4-digit tensile number (tn) as recommended by the NALMSB. This should narrow you down to 15-20 possible matches in Domestic Deciduous.

Should you decide to go with an Evergreen, you will need to also consider heat and humidity of the area of installation. Evergreen trees will be graded, in addition to tensile strength, on water retention (Appendix R11A-1.12) and grain pattern (Appendices A44-B22[a]).

This handy chart will allow you to check the hardness of your wood.  *cough*

This handy chart will allow you to check the hardness of your wood. *cough*

Your best bet is to consider your kitchen as an altered Temperate Zone (tz). Match the TZ of your area of the country with the TZ on the next closest southwest TZ on the chart. In simpler terms, this approximates the closest indoor range value by decreasing humidity values and normalizing temperature fluctuations on a sliding scale based on published statistics and average altitude. A small amount of alchemy and other black arts also comes into play.

Most pine will match 70% of the accepted Temperate Zones. A few will allow universal installation but these are generally expensive and hard to find. You may also find that the Water Retention level will decay the originally stated Tensile Strength, thus causing a mismatch in the final project.

Another way to make some quick work of this task is to use our handy tools, just type this web address into your browser window:

http://www.timelifebooks/handyman/amateur-handyman/v-1-2009/1105554/handyman-toolsets/handyman-toolsets-c/tensile-strength-calc/toolsetcacl=ret?2224bill555.shtml

Or search Google with this string:

http://www.google.com/search?&q=-inurl%3A(htm%7Chtml%7Cphp)%20intitle%3A%22index%20of%22%20%2B%22last%20modified%22%20%2B%22parent%20directory%22%20%2Bdescription%20%2Bsize%20%2B(wma%7Cmp3)%20%22toolsetcharts%22

(Note: please type this in exactly as written. A slight error in any “##%#” value could cause some anomalies in your browser software, including an unbreakable recursive loop.)

To use our tool to determine the right wood, follow these quick steps (pulldown menus listed in bold, fields requiring entries are in italics, other required information not included):

  1. Select project number.
  2. Select tools.
  3. Select table saw.
  4. Select table saw manufacturer.
  5. Select blade size.
  6. Select blade manufacturer.
  7. Select blade grind radius.
  8. Select blade rpm.
  9. Select base rpm.
  10. Select saw rpm.
  11. Select Indoor or Outdoor.
  12. Select Temperate Zone.
  13. Select nearest adjacent Temperate Zone.
  14. Click Calculate.
  15. Roll saving throw (2d12).
  16. Take result and paste into “value#?=” field.

Now that we have our Tensile Strength value, we’ll move onto selecting from the recommended wood range.

  1. Click Wood Tensile Chart.
  2. Select Domestic or Import.
  3. Select Deciduous or Evergreen.
  4. (If deciduous) Select Fall Colors.
  5. Select Brown/Orange/Breathtaking.
  6. Select Cider or Cocoa.
  7. Enter cut length.
  8. Enter base rpm * .0334.
  9. Enter 110V or 220V.
  10. Click Calculate.
  11. Take these two values and add together.
  12. Enter this number into the “value#2?=” field.

Now that our matching wood has been selected, it’s time to purchase it:

  1. Select lumber manufacturer.
  2. Select nearest vendor within 100 miles.
  3. Select Ship or Pick Up.
  4. Click Show TS Value and Estimate

Congratulations! You’re done. Your answer will arrive by email within 2-4 business days.

Coming up: Step 2 – Choosing the Right Nail for the Job (25 Do’s and 500 Don’ts)

-CLT

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Fancy Plans… Book of the Month Club: Clive Cussler’s Sparta

June 19, 2009
Actual cover art TK, but should only involve changing the title and adding 8% to the cyan

Actual cover art TK, but should only involve changing the title and adding 8% to the cyan

Clive Cussler, author of over 800 novels, returns with another gripping tale of adventure on the high seas. In the latest installment of the neverending Dirk Pitt saga, Dirk finds himself on the maiden voyage of the Sparta, an experimental submarine handcrafted by eccentric billionaire, Roll Fizzlebeef.

Sparta features the steady co-writing of Paul Kemprecos, the show horse of the Cussler novel farm, which means he gets his own word processor, desk, corner office, and, should the book sell over 2.5 million copies, his choice of Cussler’s many virgin daughters. If you look carefully at the dust jacket, you can almost make out his name below the 240-point type announcing that CLIVE FUCKING CUSSLER has agreed to take credit for someone else’s work.

Here’s an excerpt:

They were sinking too fast. The intercom crackled, summoning Pitt to the bowels of the submarine.
   Pitt hustled to the engine room. Fizzlebeef and his crew were bathed in the eerie red light of the control console. Dirk inhaled the heady scent of seamen and engine oil.
   “The engine’s running too hard,” the crew chief informed him. “There’s too much pressure. The nuts are about to blow.” Dirk’s fingers traced the nuts pensively, feeling them strain from the pressure, swelling as if to meet his touch.
   “It’ll seize up completely if we don’t lubricate it.” The voice of Roll came from behind Dirk. He turned to face the captain. Fizzlebeef was a monster of a man, hard as a rock, his shirtless chest glistening with sweat.
   “Grab that lube,” he ordered, “We’ve got to get the driveshaft moving again.” Dirk handed the tube to the captain. Roll bent over the engine and shot a massive load onto the shaft. Swiftly, he began rubbing the massive shaft with both hands.
   “It’s too hot!” he declared. “I’m not sure if this will help relieve the pressure or not.” Dirk quickly knelt down and assisted Fizzlebeef, massaging oil into the underside of the exposed shaft.
   The motor began to shake. A piercing noise filled the engine room. The keening noise reached a climax. The motor shuddered heavily before exploding, showering the men with its hot, steaming load.
   The lights went out. Above them a catwalk collapsed, raining men onto the floor below.
   Dirk heard a cry from the crew chief. “Sweet Jesus. It’s so deep inside me.” Part of the shaft had come loose and penetrated the young man. He gasped loudly as Dirk gently inserted two fingers into the hole. Dirk continued to push in deeper until he reached the end of the shaft.
   Another loud gasp came from the chief. His heart had stopped.
  Quickly, Dirk located the now-limp organ and began rubbing and squeezing it. He worked slowly at first, feeling for any sign of life. As it began to pulse and stiffen, Dirk began massaging it more vigorously. The organ filled with blood and began to throb and push against Pitt’s hand. Dirk turned his attention to the other limp and prone crew members.
   He began to clear a path to the backup generator. He groped around in the dark, gathering fallen seamen with both hands and pushing them into any opening he could find. He flipped on the breaker and heard the backup engines roar to life. The craft began to rise steadily, urged on by the long strokes of the pumping pistons.
   Pitt’s relief was short-lived. The backup engines ground to a halt and the lights flickered out. Dirk felt the crushing despair and helplessness of a prisoner whose furlough has just been revoked. One instant: an escape from a death sentence aboard a watery prison. The next: being pushed to his knees by the invisible sweaty, tattooed hands of fate.
   Dirk looked at the crew and saw his fears reflected in their eyes.
   They had no choice.
   They were going down.

Wow! Intense and gripping! I’m willing to bet Cussler and his lifetime companion Kemprecos will gain an entirely new audience with this tour de force. The give-and-take between the authors is exhilarating, watching them try new angles and positions tirelessly, constantly trying to do each other one better. Until next time…

-CLT

Quick addendum: Check out this fine website for more fun with Cussler.
The Thriller in a Manila