Customized, Schmustomized

So, I’ve found at least three metric craptons of random stuff on the interwebs since I started this blog. (Not that anyone has really noticed; I’m pretty sure me and my grandma are the only two people who read it. And maybe my cousin Paul, but he doesn’t count ’cause he’s a doofus.) And, in discovering all these random, Weirdohead things, I’ve noticed that many of them are “customizable.” You can get customized sneakers, customized belts, customized windbreak fences, customized wiring harnesses…Heck, I once found a company called Pneumadyne that will build a customized air manifold for you. If you were to need such a thing for some reason.

But the big question is, why? Why are so many products nowadays customizable? Whatever happened to making do with what you’ve got? Not to sound like an old, crusty, get-the-hell-off-my-lawn type, but I definitely remember a time when, if you needed something specific, and you couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for, you’d just buy the closest thing you could find and just make that SH work.

Maybe that’s part of the problem with ‘Merica today. Everybody wants every last little thing to be just exactly perfectly specifically precisely the way they want it. Nobody just buckles down and makes do anymore. Everything’s too easy-peasy and perfect and custom made to people’s stupid little hipster dipSH whims.

We need to start taking a cue from Dr. Seuss, folks: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

And how about another cue from Tim Gunn: “Make it work.”

A Revolution for Which No One Was Waiting

So, carpet, right? It’s a pain in the tuckus to have to vacuum it on the reg, but it’s certainly a lot better than mowing the lawn. Having vacuumed literally hundreds of times in my life, I can say that I’ve never so much as broken a sweat, let alone dreamed of the day when someone would spend untold thousands of dollars on research and development to make vacuuming easier.

So my question is: Just how hard do these clowns think vacuuming is?

Now, I can appreciate whatever the H-E-double-stuff-Oreo kind of technology they use to make their vacuums suck more (one of the few industries in which your product sucking is a good thing). That’s really the gist of vacuuming, after all; to suck up all the junk that’s gotten into your carpet.

But the stupid “ball” technology they put so much stock in, and the negative-eight-pounds or whatever their little handheld vacuum thingers weigh, not so much. Again, vacuuming ISN’T HARD TO BEGIN WITH. At all. So why work so dang hard to make it easier.

Some people clearly have waaay too much time on their hands, and waaay too much money to waste on stupid things like “creating the perfect vacuum.” I wish these guys would create the perfect shut the hell up instead.

Metric Or Treat

So, measuring stuff, right?!?

In my late night/early morning excursions across the World Wide Internets, I’ve come across myriad random items that are sold in an assortment of measurements. Nuts and bolts of different sizes, carpet sold by square footage, shoes, pants, heck, even pizza pies.

One thing I’ve noticed about many of these items is that they’re available in both metric and what I’ll call, for lack of a better word—and because I’m fairly certain this is the proper terminology anyway—imperial measurements. (As in inches, feet, etc., also known as English measure.) The two tend to go back and forth between having longer and shorter measurements—an inch is longer than a centimeter, but a meter is longer than a yard. However, for the products I found that are available in separate imperial and metric versions, they’re almost always using inches and centimeters or millimeters.

With that in mind (in my poor, sleep-deprived mind), I concocted a loophole—possibly a double loophole—by which one might potentially save some bucks on purchasing these items. Like many loopholes, it only really makes sense by a certain logic, and not a particularly sound one.

As a random example, let’s say one is ordering a length of plastic tubing. Now, an 8mm diameter tube is the same size as a 5/16” diameter tube, or at least close enough for government work. But, using my loophole’s loopy logic, because millimeters are smaller than inches, and therefore the 8mm tube is, by a weird, non-technical technicality, smaller than the 5/16” tube, doesn’t it seem like the metric tube should be less expensive?

Or, by the opposite, but equally loopy, logic of my double loophole, since 5/16 is considerably less than eight, shouldn’t the imperial tube be less expensive?

Neither of those arguments actually make any sense, but if spun the right way to the right tubemonger, one could potentially get oneself a discount on plastic tubing. Or, at the very least, give someone an interesting story about a crazy guy to tell his wife after work.

Please, Take Your Time. I Insist

Today’s Weirdohead entry is about a dubious item that, the way I see it, seems to be promoting convenience over safety. Normally, I’m all about convenience, because I’m generally one of the laziest people you’ll ever find. BUT, in the case of these quick connect devices, it really might be best to take the longer, less convenient route.

You see, a quick connect is a little metal or plastic devices that is used to quickly connect two pieces of tubing (it’s more than just a clever name). From what I could gather from the website upon which I found these devices, they’re quite frequently used for medical applications. In certain circumstances, sure, you need things to move quickly in a hospital—in the emergency room, for example. However, if these tubes you’re quickly connecting are going to deliver important, potentially lifesaving drugs or hemoglobin or what have you, it would probably be best to take your time connecting them so you make sure you do it right.

“This patient needs two units of plasma, stat!”

Click-bang-zoom! Quick connected. “Go for it, doc.”

“Okay, let’s get him—aw, $#!t, the tubes weren’t hooked up right.”

“But I sure did it fast.”

“That you most certainly did. He’s dead now, though.”

“Oh, well. Those tubes went together super easy, so there’s that.”

“Good point. Well done, nurse.”


Staying Warm Via Unintentional Arson

Have you ever had a 100% can’t miss, surefire, brilliant idea? And then you thought about it a little more, or did a little research on it, and discovered that not only will it totally not work, but it could also potentially create a whole heap of chaos and destruction in the process? I may not be the king of these kinds of ideas, but I’m at least an accomplished journeyman. For example:

I found a website that sells, among other similar devices, tube furnaces. The name alone was enough to catch my interest, so I read on. Turns out, some of these suckers can get up to 1700° Celsius, which is more than enough to reheat my leftovers.

I pondered these enwarmening devices and came up with what seemed a fairly ingenious idea. Because heat rises, couldn’t I get one of these tube furnaces, put it in the basement of my house (since it’s unfinished and I’m rarely down there), crank it up with its door open, and thereby heat my entire house? I mean, come on, even in the dead of winter, 1700° would be enough to keep the place nice and toasty.

However, I did a little more research and found that wood, drywall, and all the other components that make up what little there is of my basement would burst into flames if I were to introduce such high levels of heat. So, while Tubey the tube furnace would keep me warm on the coldest of winter nights, I would likely meet my demise in the ensuing inferno.

Which is too bad. That idea was this close to being awesome.