a healthy criticism of everything


June 08, 2017
by: jovial_cynic

This was a request for a knight. Or rather, somebody dressed up for an SCA boffing match.

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np category: welding


June 07, 2017
by: jovial_cynic

With the release of the new Wonder Woman movie, I figured this would be an appropriate figurine to make.

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np category: welding


June 05, 2017
by: jovial_cynic
Last week, a buddy of mine asked me if I could throw together an arbor by the weekend, in time for a video shoot for Penny Palabras. Having never made one before, I told him I could absolutely get it done.

It turns out that garden arbors aren't terribly complicated. It's just the lattice that makes it seem difficult, but you can get a 2'x8' sheet of cedar lattice for about $13 at Home Depot. Cut it to length and sandwich it between a few 2x4 studs and you're good to go.

Most of the cutting was done with the miter saw and the circular saw. However, I didn't have an easy way to cut out the spots where the 2x6 horizontal pieces would go, so I did it the old fashioned way: hammer and chisel. It turned out much easier than I thought it would, and the pieces went in quite flush.

Here's a close-up shot where the 2x4s and the 2x6s come together. Without much work, it already looks pretty amazing.

To create an extra dimension to the wood, I used a router bit that I picked up for a couple of bucks at a garage sale. It's nothing fancy, but it adds quite a bit to the wood.

This is before adding a cedar-colored oil coat to the arbor. It's pretty slick how quickly this thing went up.

And here is the finished product, with cedar-colored oil, and a few extra slats on top. I sent it off to the location where it'll be used in the videos.

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np category: DIY


April 24, 2017
by: jovial_cynic
I've got a small shop at my new place in Washington. Small-ish, anyway. It's big enough for one car, a metalworking space, and a woodworking space. I've been working with wood a lot more lately, including my CNC machine, and I'm constantly trying to keep up with the sawdust and wood particles in the air. It's a mess, really. My poor Datsun 510 is constantly covered in sawdust!

I've decided to partition off a section of my shop for the woodwork by installing walls. Originally, I was going to fully frame out the walls, but my genius wife suggested doing something less permanent.

This is where the CNC machine lives. It's in the back corner of the shop to try to keep the dust it makes as far away from everything as possible. But a small shop can't avoid getting dust all over it unless you wall things off.

In addition to walling off the woodworking area, I thought that having an air filtration system installed would be a very good idea. There's no sense in drowning in sawdust. I've seen many DIY filtration designs, but I figured I'd do it the way a house fan is done: fan on one side of the area with filtered openings on the other side.

After tracing out the fan housing and building a box for support, I installed the fan on the far corner of the enclosure.

Here's another shot of it.

I used some thick clear plastic over some 2x2" studs. Because these walls aren't going to hold anything other than the plastic, I didn't need to bother with proper 2x4" studs or leave 16" (or is it 24"?) spaces between the studs. These 2x2"s are 36" apart and will do serve just fine.

Here's the installation of the filter. Pretty straight forward, but I may end up installing a second one above it. The fan is pretty powerful, and I'm concerned that there's not enough opportunity for the air to escape the room.

And here's the result. The woodworking room is fully sectioned off in the shop with all the wood tools inside. I have a few spots to seal up so the air only escapes through the filter, but I think this should work!

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np category: DIY


April 13, 2017
by: jovial_cynic

There's often an association between traditional celebrations of Easter and pagan traditions centered around fertility, spring-time, etc. Easter bunnies, eggs - none of it is biblical, but it has become a tradition that Christians participate in.

An often missed association is between Easter and the Jewish Passover celebration. It is the remembrance of the time God struck down the Egyptians who enslaved Israel with ten plagues, the 10th being the death of the firstborn in the land by way of the Destroying Angel. The only way for anyone in Egypt to be saved was to take a young unblemished lamb into the home, kill it to be eaten, but first taking a hyssop branch dipped in the lamb's blood and marking the side and top door posts of the home with that blood. By seeing the blood covering the door posts, the Destroying Angel would *pass over* the house and not enter it, sparing those inside from destruction.

Jesus' death on the cross served as an extension of that story: as the unblemished Lamb of God, his blood was shed to cover our door posts, so that when God's Destroying Angel is sent to destroy wickedness in the world, he will *pass over* those who are covered.

The celebration of Easter, for Christians, is about recognizing that the Lamb was the son of God, voluntarily laying down his life for us. And while this story could remain somber as we reflect on a senseless death, the celebration of Easter is the story of resurrection - the Lamb is raised from the dead, and encourages us to know that the work of salvation is final. We are redeemed. We are saved by the blood of the lamb.

And for that, we Praise God.

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np category: theology


March 29, 2016
by: jovial_cynic
Because I've become comfortable cutting up the Datsun 510 and welding it back together, I decided to try my hand at some panel repair.

A couple of years back, I tore apart the rear panel of my car to address a significant bondo issue. As in, there was too much of it, and it just needed to be removed. This time around, I decided to fix a portion of the rear passenger panel. This actually required a bit more work, because I had to fabricate the 510's signature lines.

Now, I could have bought a replacement panel from Futofab, and this particular piece would have only been about $100. However... I do like doing things myself and learning in the process, so... here we go.

Between my bead roller and some careful hammering, I got pretty close:

And here's the reason I needed to make that panel:

It's pretty amazing how much better this looks... and it's not even attached to the car yet. Having a straighter line makes a world of difference.

Here it is welded up. You can tell it's not perfect, but it's so much better, and I don't mind correcting the minor errors with a little bit of filler.

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np category: 510


October 03, 2015
by: jovial_cynic

SIN and SIN-OFFERING in the Old Testament are both translated from the same Hebrew word, chatta'ath. Every time in the Old Testament where the word is used, the translators needed to use context to determine whether to translate it as SIN or as SIN-OFFERING. This is odd, because we tend to define SIN as "bad thing" and SIN-OFFERING as "good thing." SIN is the offense, and the SIN-OFFERING is price paid for that offense – they appear to be opposites.

What deepens the complication is when translators disagree on the context.

Take for example the first time the Hebrew word, chatta'ath, is used. In Genesis 4, after Cain fails to offer a correct sacrifice, God speaks:

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
~ Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

The New International Version (NIV) Bible translates chatta-ath as SIN in this passage, as do many of the modern translations. When read this way, and pushed forward as doctrine, we have an image of a personal evil presence at our door, which crouches, desiring to have us, but we are instructed to rule over it.

This is a very common way of looking at the relationship between people and evil: evil is always in front of us, but we have to make good choices to stay in God's good graces. We must rule over any evil desires that present themselves.

In contrast, Young's Literal Translation renders it this way:

And Jehovah saith unto Cain, `Why hast thou displeasure? and why hath thy countenance fallen? Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it.'
~ Youngs Literal Translation 4:6-7 (YLT)

If you can get past the old-English use of “thee” and “thou,” you'll notice that the YLT translators use SIN-OFFERING instead of SIN. If you understand SIN-OFFERING to be a lamb (in a nod to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus), the image is not of an evil force that is crouching, waiting to pounce, but rather of a personal willing sacrifice, in the form of a lamb, physically waiting at Cain's door – an offering that God would accept alongside Abel's offering.

This carries such a different meaning, and provides much more grace than the SIN translation. When translated as SIN, the responsibility for maintaining God's approval lies on our shoulders. We must make good choices and rule over any temptation and sinful desire. But when translated as SIN-OFFERING, we have a picture of God Himself making a way out; the work of grace is made available at our door. God Himself provides the lamb.

So how do we reconcile the complete differences in meaning? Who is “right” in their translation?

I believe that a proper understanding comes from another way of looking at this Hebrew word. Chatta'ath perhaps should be read as “consequence of the offense.” Rendered that way, each instance of the word, whether translated as SIN or as SIN-OFFERING is quite clear: there is a consequence for disobedience. Either we carry that consequence ourselves, or the sacrifice carries it away from us.

When the New Testament says that Jesus “became sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), there's some depth to that statement that is often missed in the English. (It is important to note that the Greek text uses a word for SIN [hamartia] that can only be translated as SIN, or OFFENSE. Some translations render this as trespass. But there is no dual meaning like there is with the Hebrew chatta'ath.)

Perhaps Paul, writing this letter to the Corinthians, understood that the Hebrew scriptures described a sacrifice that was necessary to cover the consequence of Adam's disobedience, and that Jesus Himself was that sacrifice. The sacrifice on the cross described both what Jesus did as well as who he was: the covering over Adam in Genesis 3, and the appropriate offering to God in Genesis 4, both provided by God Himself and acceptable to Him.

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np category: theology