Big Bertha

Big Bertha
Circa 1940, on the streets of Rochester New York, Bertha does her work.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More From The "FLASH AND VAL SHOW"

WARNING! Every video linked to on this post has 30 seconds of irritating advertising at the beginning. The payoff is: if you watch more than one vid, you only have to sit through it once.
There he is, ladies and gentlemen, the self-described "driving force" behind that hilarious show where the idiots of precision meet the wood-butchers.
We've touched briefly on this unhappy couple earlier. Now I want to aim my rocks a little more precisely (So that they, the rocks are "right" as opposed to "wrong". You'll see).

"There probably aren't many jobs that can be reduced to rule-following and still be done well. But in many jobs there is an attempt to do just this, and the perversity of it may go unnoticed by those who design the work process."

Find the above quote here, an essay by a seriously, over-educated motorcycle mechanic.
Val, Jurgen, Alan, perversity, you sick weirdos.
First things first, though...
Making fun of stupid people, the proud tradition; A pork-pie hat?
Or did Andre the Giant find Indiana Jones' lid?
Politics: Now Flash's are pretty cut-and-dried.
Val likes Sarah Palin. Ooookay, moving right along...

In the instance of fairness, I'm first going to dump on the illustrious Mr. Hopkins, a direct descendant of a signer of The Declaration of Independence. Take that, Mr. funny-hat, art-school boy, Palin-groupie.
Anyway, you can watch clips from the show on Discovery's website.
And, on this one ("Tank Wheels"), Flash and Bill demonstrate their ignorance of one of wood-working and stone-working's oldest layout tools, the divider.
These things have been around forever.
Hell, one even makes up half of the symbol for the Masonic Order.
According to the actual photo at left, it was in even common use back when God was on the job. Looks to be one of his first few days but he obviously knows how to divide.
Headline from our left-wing weekly from a few years back:
"Bush isn't a uniter. He's a divider. He's also a protractor. And he's not a very good ruler."
Flash, Bill, go home and Google "divider". Then come back tomorrow with a 100 word essay describing the use thereof - or don't come back at all.
I just demonstrated the use of this tool to my lad yesterday in aid of his sheath-making training and it struck me: As much as this must gravel Val and his girl-friend, Jurgen, the use of a divider begins with a huge error, then merely fine-tunes it.
Exactly the way bracketing does in artillery ranging.
Perfection is never arrived at, only approximated (Read; "settled-for", "A poem is never finished, only abandoned", W. H. Auden).
"Engineer vs Builder". Whoa, what an episode.
In this clip, Flash goes head to brain-stem with Alan, the first run engineer of the show.
Alan got shit-canned early on. He broke Val's saw blade ($120 at McMaster-Carr - for a 14").
In reality I think "Art-School" was intimidated by the fact that Alan had actual engineering credentials vs a "Special Effects/Art School" resume.
Besides, Jurgen, the poster boy for Asberger's syndrome, has to be more malleable (He works for Val after all).
In the flick, Flash and Alan argue over the "best way" to lay out the steps for the first project, the siege ladder.
Alan's take is that each tread/riser combo must be measured individually so that all the numbers spit out by the software work out.
So that it is "right".
Flash has cut a template to the approximate (read: close enough) shape of the triangle formed by rise/run. Then just "walk it up" the length of the beam. Simple, huh?
My advice to Alan: Find a house under construction and bribe one of the framers to show you how to lay out a set of stairs. The question of how many 1/16ths are in .32 inches will never come up.
Okay, next up "Function Follows Form" Jurgen takes a break from driving his mouse around and "helps out".
Note to both Jurgen and Val, Go out to any building site (Maybe you guys could ride with Alan) and check out the sheeting (the plywood "skin"), especially in the odd, out-of-the-way corners around dormers and the like. You'll see lots of scrap used up.
And, all you guys, stagger your joints. You're getting a lot less shear strength out of that thing than you could be (I'm talking to people on TV now - people I saw days ago. Gettin' scary).
But, I've got to stop now.
I want a new show. "Val Gets A Real Job".
It'd be sort of like that Nicole Ritchie/Paris Hilton thing.
What a cliffhanger. Every episode, you'd be wondering if this is the one where Val finally gets thrown off the roof.
Actually, I think he rates the Porta-Potty-tip-over-with-him-inside at best.
Or just keep epoxying his lunch box to the floor.
And Val, if you'd like to adopt my patented nom de plume, feel free.
Henceforth, thou shalt be called "Art School"; Mr. & Mrs. School's little boy, Art.
There'd be less sexual ambiguity.
You know... Val and all.

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