What Is It With You & Aluminum Anodizing, Man?

I’ll tell you what it is with me and aluminum anodizing (man): this process slightly blows my mind. Not my whole mind, but part of it; about a third, maybe. So slightly, but not completely.

‘Cause think about it: you put aluminum stuff in a pool of the gods only know what kind of chemicals, add enough electricity to wipe out a herd of goats, and a little extra coloring sauce of some kind, and BAM! Not only is your aluminum stronger and harder than it was before, now it’s blue. Or red, or purple, or orange or yellow or green or whatever. And it’s not like you just painted it—any jerk can paint metal to make it a different color. With aluminum anodizing, you actually make the metal be a different color. With science. And electricity.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how much electricity this process requires. It probably varies by how much aluminum you’re anodizing, or how thick it is, or something like that. But it’s probably not actually enough to kill a bunch of goats. Maybe one goat, two tops. But that would be mean. Leave the poor goats alone, dang it. All they ever wanted was to chew on stuff and have their milk be made into delicious cheese. Is that so awful? Is it?!?

Okay. Rant ended. Hooray goats.

Who’re You Callin’ A Mass Flow Meter?

So, you know how sometimes you come across a word or phrase that just inherently sounds funny, and no amount of explanation or knowledge of what it actually means will cancel out the initially humorousness of the word or phrase itself? Even if I was sick, for example, and the doctor said, “I’m sorry, Kev Dog, but you’ve got rectal cancer,” I’d be so busy giggling about the doctor having said “rectal” that the “cancer” part wouldn’t even register until it literally killed me. “Oh yeah, cancer. *gaaaack*

Well, so it is with “mass flow meters.” Discovered on another of the completely random websites I come discover on one of my incessant insomniac internet inroads, this sounds too much like a certain popular “blue” phrase. (The first two words do, anyway.) Now, even though I actually took the time to peruse the site and read what mass flow meters actually are and what they do, I still can’t say that string of words with a straight face.

I actually tried it out over my Xbone headset last night whilst squaring off against my cousin Paulie on a game of Madden. For our dear ol’ Granny’s sake (and at our mothers’ behest), Paulie and I are making an effort to use less foul language around the holidays this year, so instead of my usual salty sailor speak, I called him a “mass flow meter.”

After a brief silence, during which he sacked my pixelated QB for an eight-yard loss, he barked back at me, “Who’re you callin’ a mass flow meter?” Good stuff, Paulie. Good stuff.

If Anodizing Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

So, “hard anodizing” is a thing, apparently. I came across a company’s site that touts their hard anodizing capabilities, and I naturally assumed they meant it was a difficult process. Maybe it is, I suppose, but it turns out what they meant by “hard” was that it’s physically harder than regular anodizing, like how a diamond is harder than a cheeseburger. It’s probably not that extreme a difference; just how hard regular anodizing is, I haven’t the foggiest, but it’s clearly not as hard as hard anodizing.

Despite being punch-drunk from lack of sleep, and regular drunk from copious rum, I did manage to retain some information from this site. Anodizing, you see, is the process of adding a protective coating to things made of aluminum. Color can also be added in anodizing. You know those little red or blue or green or yellow or whatever color carabiners, the little spring-loaded clippy things people use to keep their keys or other stuff on? Those are made of anodized aluminum.

You know, one of these thingamabobs.

You know, one of these thingamabobs.

Still, as usual, I prefer willful ignorance, as life is generally more amusing that way. So I’m gonna go with “hard anodizing” being the more difficult version of regular anodizing. What makes it more difficult? For one, there are rabid badgers everywhere in the facility. Two, the instructions for the anodizing machine are written in Sanskrit. Three, all workers must wear pants that are either two sizes too small or five sizes too big (their choice). Also, the anodizing plant is inside an active volcano and run by a tribe of cannibals. And the soda machine in the break room charges 85¢ a can and the only option is room-temperature Mello Yello.

THAT, my friends, is hard anodizing.

Drum-Tight Hipster Jackets A-Go-Go

So, I recently came upon a website for a company that refers to itself (themselves?) as “coating applicators.” Through my bleary, insomniac eyes, this was misread as “coat applicators,” which made me think: Why would you need someone to apply your coat for you?

This brought to mind hipsters. Grrr…hipsters—perhaps the worst subculture in human history, they of the “ironic” rat-tails and waaaay too tight jeans. It was the jeans in particular that made this connection make sense. Or at least it made sense to me at the time. (I don’t/can’t sleep much. Have I ever mentioned that?)

With pants so frightfully tight, it stands to reason that, occasionally, a hipster may need assistance putting on those pants. And, what if a hipster wanted a matching and equally tight jacket? Like the pants, that jacket would be too small to get into on one’s own, so the assistance of coat applicators is a must.

The coat applicators arrive, probably two of them working as a team. One of them would guide the hipster through a series of yoga stretches to prepare for the ordeal to come. Meanwhile, the other coat applicator prepares a special, quick-drying, low-residue lubricant to help the hipster’s arms slide into the sleeves of his or her drum-tight coat. This lubricant must be mixed on the spot, because science. (Again, this made sense to me at the time. Now, though…maybe not so much.)

Then, with the careful use of small levers and pulleys, the coat applicators lift, twist, turn, and otherwise contort the hipster until he or she emerges, triumphantly sporting his or her stupid jacket. Getting that jacket off is his/her own problem.

Upon closer inspection and “research,” I found that these coating applicators actually do abrasion resistant coatings (or something like that—it’s fancier and tougher than paint, whatever it is) on metal parts and equipment and such. Much more useful that a putting-on-your-dopey-jacket service, but far less fun to rage-rant about. *sigh* The internet never lets me do anything fun…

Michigan Is A Privilege, Not A Right

If you read this stupid little blog of mine on the reg, you probably know how dumb I think the English language is. I tend to be more of a stickler about goofy grammar and syntax than most people, but I’m not always down on those errors (which may not necessarily be errors, technically). Sometimes they can be rather amusing.

For example, my incessant, insomniac internet excursions lead me to a site that was promoting “Michigan license restoration.” Upon reading just one little paragraph of the web page, it was obvious that they meant “drivers license,” but it made me think, “What if it was a license one needed in order to live in Michigan?” (I don’t sleep much. Stupid $#!t like that is pretty funny when you’re as tired as I usually am.)

Would kids in Michigan be allowed to be there only under their parents’ licenses? At sixteen, would they be issued a Michigan permit? Followed several months later by the nerve-wracking Michigan license test, of course. Pass said test, and you can keep living in Michigan; fail, and you’re shipped off to Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, or Canada. (Doesn’t matter which. Just get the hell outta the Wolverine State, pal.)

And, like a drivers license, there could be any number of infractions which could lead to someone losing his or her Michigan license. Buy your cherries from out of state? Forget your octopus at a Red Wings game? Just straight up hate lakes? BAM—license revoked!

The only solution, of course, is to track down someone who can administer your Michigan license restoration before you get glove-shoved down to Toledo.

Dental Masks as Fashion? Really??

So I was hanging out downtown the other day and I saw the weirdest thing. This girl was wearing, I don’t know what you would call it. A surgical mask – you know, those things people wear during flu season, or like to prevent SARS. Like those masks they wear when they’re working on your teeth at the dentist. Dental masks. Those things.

Anyway so she was just wearing this, but it was decorated to look like the mouth of a monster. Like sharp teeth, pointy tongue, etc. Is this a new trend with teenagers now? It’s really, really weird. I just don’t even know what to say about it. But, the girl who was wearing it seemed pretty happy so more power to her I guess.

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.

Tub of Electronic Components??

The other day, I was at this store that is kind of like a cross between a liquidator and a junk shop. It just has all kinds of crazy stuff. I’ve seen everything in that place from dentist chairs and iron lungs to clip-on ties, pencil gift sets, factory molded doll heads and giant barrels full of monopoly pieces. It is truly a WTF kind of store. That is, my kind of place.

Anyway, so I’m there, just looking around at all the random stuff for sale. Army knives. Industrial magnets. Giant rolls of velcro. Hundreds of etched wine glasses that read, “Congratulations Jenny and Kim” (???). Army surplus berets. And finally… I kid you not, a bathtub full of wires, circuit boards, relays, switches and who knows what else, labeled with a cardboard sign saying, “Surplus Electronic Components $.99/lb. Whole tub for $200.” And, I guess, I mean, who buys that? Who buys electronic components BY THE POUND? Are they even still good? I have no idea. It was just such a WTF thing to see. I don’t even know what to say.

I Want A Planet That Dispenses Chocolate Milk And I Want It NOW!

The Year: 2525. The Place: Earth.

Our planet’s population has continued to grow, while our ability to live on other planets has not. With over 38 billion inhabitants, Earth has become more crowded than the average clown car. All those people needed somewhere to live, so every available inch of the world has been converted to living space. This leaves humanity with quite a conundrum: where will all our stuff come from?

Luckily, though humans are unable to live on other planets, we can quickly and easily travel to them via teleportation and stay there for up to 18 hours at a time, depending on the planet. Everyone on Earth with a job works on another planet, kids go to school on other planets, and all our stuff comes from other planets that have been scientifically adapted by us crafty homo sapiens to produce the things we need.

On Planet B-32, toothbrushes grown right out of the ground like grass. We no longer need cows for our milk, because Planet A&D is naught but a vast, constantly regenerating sea of homogenized skim. Planet 9V has been converted to a living lithium ion battery manufacturer, where batteries of all shapes and sizes just grow on trees, ready to be plucked…

At least, that’s the future as I see it. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it pure science fiction, an unattainable notion that could never come to fruition? Probably. But it would be a heck of a lot more fun than: A) going to a store to buy a toothbrush, gallon of milk, or batteries; or, B) buying any of those items online.

Plus, after a few hundred years, after the expense of altering the individual planets had been mitigated by selling the individual items, the planet-produced stuff would become cheaper and cheaper, and, eventually, free.

Of course, since everything would be made automagically by planets that are essentially living factories, very few people would need to have jobs. This would inevitably lead to ever-faster population increases (because what do you think are people gonna do if they don’t have to go to work *a-wink*). In turn, this would require more and more alien planets to be terraformed into battery or toothbrush or milk or whatever generators, which would require workers, which would give people “something else” to do, which would thereby slow the population increase considerably. Ultimately, a stasis would be achieved, things would level off for a bit, and the whole cycle would begin again…


Sorry to go all Stanislaw Lem-y there. I just really hate having to buy batteries for my wireless mouse.

Bready, Set, Go!

Someone who cares waaaay too much about the freshness of his or her baked goods has deciphered a “code” in the colors of bread bag twist ties (available here if you’re equally nutty or want to play along at home). According to this bread enthusiast/nutburger, bakeries use a different color twist tie for each day of the week that bread is baked (Monday = blue twist ties, Tuesday = green, etc.) By memorizing this code, one can always be sure to get the freshest possible bread from the grocery store.

While the “code” may be a real thing—and, again, according to several sources, it is—it’s pretty pointless to spend one’s time scouring the bakery rack at Ralph’s to find the most recently baked loaf of whole wheat. Bread never really stays on the shelves for long enough for it to be an issue, and, in fact, the color coded bread bag twist tie scheme was concocted to make it easier for those stocking the shelves to find the older loaves so that they can be removed.

Grocery stores don’t want to sell stale bread to their customers anymore than customers want to buy it, so that does make sense. But shuffling through fifteen loaves to find a loaf that’s at most a day fresher than the others is a huge waste of time. Clowns like this are why I hate going to the grocery store: just grab a loaf and the get the fudge out of my way!