Audio Clips

25 February 2010

Charter vs. Public

John Stossel had a short segment on the charter school vs. public school debate.

Putting Together a Home Tool Kit

This post was on one of my favorite websites, Lifehacker and I thought it was a great idea. This might actually be a cool wedding gift to put together for a newlywed couple.

Put Together a Rock Solid Home Tool Kit

A well-stocked toolbox is indispensible for DIY projects and home repairs. Use this guide to select versatile and dependable tools that will help you with a lifetime of projects.

For starters, Popular Mechanics has put together a great guide to stocking a toolbox. You can check out the list here right away or watch the video below to see Roy Berendsohn show off the contents of his well-stocked box:

The Popular Mechanics video and list do a great job covering what to put in a versatile toolbox, we're going to add a few bits of advice to round out your toolbox building skills.

Certain tools are absolutely indispensible, and you should buy them before the need to use them arises. A good multi-purpose hammer, a nice screw driver with interchangeable bits, a meaty pair of medium weight pliers, and other tools like that are handy for so many projects you should never wait around to purchase them. Other tools, like high-tension metal saws or specialty wire cutters or strippers should be purchased as needed for projects. While you use a screw driver or hammer for a huge number of projects, you use a specialty wire stripper for far fewer.

The benefit to buying tools as you need them for projects as opposed to buying a generic and cheaply made catch-all variety pack of tools—you know the kind, the $20-30 made-in-China all-in-one tool kits with dozens of unbranded and poorly made tools—is that you end up, after several projects, with tools in your tool box that are high quality and purchased as needed. It feels much better to buy a really nice wrench that gets years of service than it does to buy a bunch of cheap wrenches in a kit that just rust away at the bottom of your tool box or workbench drawer.

Since you'll be buying tools individually or in small sets, you can focus on buying well made tools. Although you might assume the best reason for buying high quality tools would be savings over time, even better than savings is dependability and safety. If you've never had a cheap drill bit snap off or a chisel fracture, you might not have considered the safety element of tool purchasing—if you always buy nice tools you'll never have to. Photo by Batega.

When you're shopping for tools, heft a variety of similar tools in your hand, and if there are any moving parts, give them a try. You don't want an adjustable wrench that rattles and wobbles or a pair of channel lock grips that don't quite seem to have the whole locking tight thing down pat. Cheap tools are manufactured with looser tolerances and they don't have that tight and snug feel that higher quality tools do. In addition to looking at tolerances and testing how the tool feels in your hand, you want to avoid novelty and over-complication. Don't buy a screw driver with a flash light built-in, a regular screw driver will last nearly until the end of time but a screw driver with a gimmick is more prone to fail. Most tool designs are timeless and don't really need to be improved upon. Shy away from bells and whistles that are just there to justify a higher price tag.

If you purchase tools when they're needed for projects and take your time to select high quality tools, you'll slowly but surely build up a home tool box that has a dependable and lifelong set of tool in it.

Have a tip for building a great tool box? Let's hear about it in the comments.

Now That California Has Solved the Budget Mess...

...we can use taxpayer money to come up with great ideas like the cuss-free week. Good thing we solved all the major problems facing us before we did this! Oh wait...

24 February 2010

Dallas Tea Party Responds to Olbermann Racist Accusation

Recently Keith Olbermann of MSNBC not-so-subtly accused Tea Partiers of being racists. Here is the Dallas Tea Party's response.

17 February 2010

Wasted Money: Census Bureau Edition

I would imagine that this won't come as a surprise to any of you, but the Census wastes millions and millions of your taxes. But why would they care? It's not their money.

16 February 2010

10 February 2010

New A&G clips

I've added a bunch of A&G clips in the list at the top of the page. Enjoy!

05 February 2010

Weird Political Ad

Wow. I just saw the strangest political ad I've seen in my life. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina is running in the Republican primary against Tom Campbell to decide who will go up against Barbara Boxer in the Senate race this year. I happen to be a little partial to Tom Campbell after listening to a live town-hall conference call and asking him a question. I was very impressed with his pragmatic stance on issues. When I saw this attack ad from Carly Fiorina I was really surprised for a couple of reasons. It seems to take Tom Campbell's positions out of context, from what little I understand of his positions. But more importantly it's possibly the most amateurish political ad I've seen. I mean it, it's juvenile and stupid. It looks like a high school journalism class came up with it. After watching it I figured that even if I didn't like Tom Campbell I would be even less impressed by his sophomoric competitor. Wow, Carly. Really a stupid ad.

Oh yeah, isn't it also a little insulting to compare your fellow Republicans (the ones whose votes you're trying to earn) to sheep. What a complete misstep. Makes me glad I'm not a Republican.

01 February 2010

High Speed Rail Boondoggle

I posted a new A&G clip above titled "A&G - CNN's Dick Uliano on High Speed Rail Boondoggle". I sometimes wonder if I'm just raising your blood pressure rather than accomplishing anything, but I figure if you don't know about this garbage then you'll keep voting for the same thieves and liars that are ripping us off.

Anyone but the incumbent!! My new rallying cry!