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July 6, 2006

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Screw loose? — Episode 2: Cliff's hack


Shortly after Episode 1 appeared yesterday afternoon the redoubtable Clifford T. Marsiglio, from the great state of Indiana, emailed me with a much niftier — and cheaper — solution to the problem.

Here's his email.

    Personally, I prefer my method of chopsticks and wood glue.

    Pop it in there, squirt some glue and wait an hour. Grab any available knife (I use my handy dandy steak knives because I don't know when the last time was that I actually ate red meat at my house) and cut it flush.

    Works perfectly for me... actually, I might have even gotten this advice on this site a few years ago. Never looked into metal shims again.

Is that beautiful or what?

Do I have the best readers on planet Earth or what?

Though I must note that Cliff's email came in at 2:32:58 ET.

Sure hope he's not goofing off on the internet while he's at work.

Nah, that's so unlike him — must've been on his lunch break.

Pretty late for a lunch break, though, at least in my neck of the woods.

But then, running all the media lab stuff for the university probably doesn't allow for a whole lot of down time during the day, so he probably gets it when he can.

Lunch, that is.

As if.


100 pairs of chopsticks — useful for a whole lot more than just fixing a hole — cost $5 here.

July 6, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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I made a great sangria the other week.

A HUGE and quickly staling champagne that has been sitting in the back of my fridge for a week or two. Bottle of cheap red wine. A few oranges, a lime and several bananas that were perilously close to going bad. Mixed with this, some Latin American soda that I generally buy on the complexity of the label so that when I have guests over, even my sugar water looks somewhat haughty (tasted like Strawberries and Antifreeze, then again my local Mexican grocer might have just stacked the auto parts in the wrong place -- it burned in a way that I know that I'll be looking for another go around).

Throw everything together with no regard to purportions and stick it in the fridge overnight, with the realization that half of its going to be gone in the next 20 minutes.

Mah garwd that was some tasty Sangr'r.

Posted by: clifyt | Jul 7, 2006 11:37:46 PM

Love the use of your punctuation marks....=)

Let's meet for an icy carafe full of Sangria...ya'll ready?

Guess we better wait 'till noon or after

Oh heck it's gotta be 5:00 somewhere?

BTW...what is this that we are commenting on? Chopsticks? Rarely use them. If we do have a lonesome pair in the house they have been used for something other than eating Chinese food. Like possibly fishing out some long lost marbles out of the bathroom sink drain that youngest thought needed to be in there for some odd reason? Try that once...you will need that drink afterwards forsure......hehehe

Posted by: Rhonda | Jul 7, 2006 9:44:12 AM

Ahh Joe, you care!

Sadly, you caught me on the one day I wasn't goofing off. Normally, I do absolutely nothing, but yesterday, I was busy watching my servers crawl to a halt as I was orchestrating the automated search of all databases, text files and spreadsheets -- 15+ years worth of research -- was free of social security numbers so that we don't run into the same problem as the VA. Sadly, back in the day, this was par for course to require students to whip this number out at a moments notice...and even though I helped ween my office away from these back in 2000, the law is such that if I don't do this boring routine check and someone happened to upload data to one of my machines, I'm responsible and as of July 1st, it is now a jailable criminal offense in Indiana if you get hacked and have not done no nevermind to be on the offensive for this. Forget the horrible OS manufacturers that cannot make a secure machine. Forget the guy that actually grabs this. Forget the idiot that asked for the information in the first place or the institution that required it for 30 years and all of a sudden acts as though those of us that do system administration as part of our duties are criminals in the making for having any knowledge of this activity.

But that is the life of a systems administrator. I'd rather be working one on one with students than stuck behind my desk with something an outsourced techie could be doing for $0.37 an hour if he had the appropriate security clearance. Gotta say, not the best use of my time, but if it means our students understand their security means more to us than getting to take lunches -- it might actually be worth it.

Some would say, this could drive a man to drink! Come to think about it, its 5:30 -- what am I still doing at work!!!

Posted by: clifyt | Jul 6, 2006 5:33:27 PM

I used chopsticks this week to remove THOUSANDS of earthworms from my french drains (not as elegant as this sounds). In the rain soaked soil, they sensed safety and entered my basement....only to die.

Earthworm perfume? Never, even by the vendors of Dirt, Tomato, and other interesting scents.


Posted by: Mb | Jul 6, 2006 2:36:59 PM

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