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Thursday, July 14, 2016

What the fuck?!

So, I've just read about and watched the the latest video of police pulling a young man over in Fresno, for suspicion of having a rifle on his person, and carrying it in an illegal fashion. I dunno the details further in that regards, nor was there presented any history of the boy, and weather or not he was known to these officers.

What I do know is that he pulled into a gas station, rather than the side of the road, and hey I might have done that myself, just to avoid creating traffic congestion. What baffles me, is when the officers have clearly shown the measure of a threat they feel he represented by exiting their cars with guns drawn and orders to place his hands on the driver door, is why he failed to comply.

OK, I'll admit that if this was happening to me write now, my objectivity would be tossed out the window along with the heart that would have leaped from my chest by the wholly unexpected escalation of the situation. I have been pulled over by the police, and I have NEVER had guns drawn on me before. So yeah, I could see being dumbfounded by the situation, and perhaps not complying immediately to the steadily unfolding events. I'd like to think that my critical thinking mind would have finally stepped up and realized, OK...take a deep breath and listen to what they're asking you to do, and then do it if you wanna live through this.

Folks, I don't give a fuck what your attitude is towards the police, but if this ever happens to you...and you want to live, you do what ever it is they ask of you, and you answer yes sir and no sir and if anything else comes to your mind that is not asked for, you shut your fucking mouth.

Aside from pulling over, this kid failed to comply to all of the officers instructions, everything he did elevated and escalated the danger of that particular scenario. The very first thing they asked him to do, was to place his hands on the drivers side door. This is standard police procedure to insure he didn't have his hand on a gun, to safely approach the vehicle and further access if he had a gun in the truck.

He didn't do that, he opened the door, and was told that was not what they'd asked him to do. They instructed him to put both hands into the air, he held one into the air, they repeated that he show both hands. He then proceeded to exit the vehicle and walk away a few feet, he then turned around as they were asking him to put both hands into the air, again to determine what level of threat he was. He raised one hand and held his other behind his waist, just out of view and started walking towards the officers. By this time the request for him to raise both hands into the air for clarification that he was not in possession of a dangerous weapon, had been repeated multiple times. The boy failed to comply and he died as a result of that.

So this is where we arrive at the reason for this blogs subject line, "What the fuck?!" 

What the fuck are we teaching our kids today in school? I dunno, what I do know is that perhaps we need to bring back things like, critical thinking. Maybe along with a course in home economics we need to create a mandatory survival course in the event of natural disasters, terrorism, and lastly what to do if your pulled over by the police.

As a citizen in this country, acquiring a drivers license is a right of passage, and so too is your eventual encounter with law enforcement while operating your vehicle. Most of you will never experience that sort of encounter with the law while behind the wheel, but you need to know the dangers involved. This is a person authorized to stop and detain anyone they feel to be suspicious, or having broken a rule of the road. They are armed, and they approach everyone with a measure of detached aloofness that they hope will keep them aware and alive should anything bad happen that threatens their safety.

As to the officers actions, I was with them up to and including the first shots fired. I totally accepted their decision to fire, not sure I'd have done it myself but based on the events and where their own hearts were beating, I totally excepted it. Where this instance goes from an act of defense to an act of criminal negligence is where the officers failed to detain him after he fell to the ground, and then repeatedly shot him until they felt he had succumbed enough to the gunfire that he could be safely handcuffed. This again leads me back to the subject line of this blog, "What the fuck?!!"

Is there no training done with officers to show that they can respond to an event without drawing their guns? Is there no other way to detain a suspect then without the use of gunfire, or in this case the repeated use of gunfire? I know, I know, who am I to second guess what it is they do out there, these officers of the law....Wait! I know why, my taxes pay their salaries and fund their retirement benefits. If anything, my duty as a citizen is to question the actions of those people paid and sworn to protect us, these officers failed in this event, and so too did the system that trained them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 8

Well, it's been 8 weekends, an odd assortment of afternoons, and I've come to conclude a few things...

My muscles have well and truly atrophied from a lifestyle almost completely bereft of strenuous physical activity. I had a conversation with them after my afternoon shower on Saturday, I promised them protein, but only if they allowed me to move long enough to go to the store. 

With great protestation, they allowed for this one last action, and with every pothole from here to Fircrest, they provided great pains to remind me how ridiculous it was that I'd decided to build an entire house...tiny though it may be. I told them to shut up, and expect more of the same.

Saturday had started with me immediately realizing that I'd miscalculated the number of 4x4's I needed. Bother and damn! By my fresh calculations, I needed one more 10' and two more 8' lengths to complete the extensions. Seems my brain has atrophied some too, because I was short soon to be 4 sets of connection hardware. 

The day had ended reasonably well, with the longest left side extension completed. It looked pretty damn good, and I only ruined one carriage bolt in the process.

Sunday began with me trying to make more out of the $150.00 I had in my checking account. I was out of some staples...cream for coffee, and the cat food was getting dangerously low. How could I get the missing hardware for the extensions, the cream, the cat food and still make it to Friday with some money in the bank? After some hasty calculations, I was off to Friedmans, and back having spent not quite $50.

That done, I began to assemble the right front side of the extensions. I had originally planned to simply cut the 4x4's in sections to accommodate the trailers welded rail inserts, but then I wondered how hard could it be to make plunge cuts into the material? If I could do that, I would still maintain a good deal of the 4x4's integral strength. Turns out it was not easy with the tools in my possession, so earlier in the week, when I still had money...I bought yet another man toy.

Let me introduce you to my new best friend...the DeWalt 20 volt oscillating multi-tool! Oh yeah, much easier to make those plunge cuts now. :)

NOTE: Not all universal blades are...universal.

Long story short, I'm more than half way done with the trailer extensions, they look great, any any doubt I had about their strength, has vanished entirely.

Take a look at the left side...

...and the right side.

Back end's get done this weekend, along with some badly needed weed eating. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 7

Holy cow!

Bit of a reality check for me.... Today I remembered a few things about construction, wood is heavy, and it's very expensive.

4x6's are really heavy, especially 4x6x10's...sort of like carrying a tree or something. ;)

I spent a good deal of my night Friday trying to come up with an accurate list of everything I would need for the trailer extension, and then that spilled over to the sub floor. One final look at the trailer this morning, a few last measurements with Sterling, and we set off for Friedman's.

I love Friedman's, always have. They're a local company that truly cares about maintaining a happy workforce. They do that by paying them better than the average big box store, and by sustaining a family like work environment. It shows too, in the attitude their staff project, and the knowledge that they have for what they're selling. It makes it easier to give them the kind of money I spent today.

Here's nearly everything I'll need, sans the tar paper (still in the car), and the galvanized aluminum flashing I've yet to buy (forgot that on my list).

Thanks goes to Ursula for letting me store it in her garage. I promised her it would all be on the trailer in the next couple of weeks.

So much for building the extension this weekend, by the time we picked, purchased, paid, and brought home all the wood and matching hardware, I was exhausted. With grocery shopping still in need of being done, and some preparations for Easter Sunday needed. I called it a weekend.

Next week, we build and install the trailer extensions.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 6

OK, nothing physically has been done this weekend to the trailer, but...

I've been trying to determine how to extend the bed of the trailer, and for that extension to provide real sub floor and wall mounting strength. Saw some good ideas, thought of some real impractical ones, hemmed and hawed... I think I have a plan.

I'm going to frame two sets of extensions, one for each side. They'll be comprised of treated two by fours and four by fours, mounted with large threaded bolts that will not react with the treated lumber (no-rust), and look something like this...

I spent Saturday learning how to use SketchUp, again..., to any of you who haven't tried using this to help design your tiny house, I highly recommend it. It helps to be able to use real dimensions, and 3D imaging to get a sense of just how things need to fit together. For free software, you can't beat it.

I even went so far as to explore how the subfloor would be installed, and realized that the Tacks tiny trailer, has a lower wheel well. It's inches lower than mine, and subsequently the subfloor completely covers it. I.E. - no inside intrusion.

Mine are higher, and because I'm purposely extending the deck to gain as much indoor square footage (to allow for a narrow staircase), I will likely have some of the wheel well showing through the interior wall. I suspect that it will be very little, and that I should be able to cover much of it up.

Here's the trailer with the sub floor...

Next up...actually buying the material, building and installing the trailer extensions. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 5

Yeah, I know what many of you are thinking, "Sheesh! How many shots of the trailer do we have to endure?"

Sorry, it seems without having paid a fortune for the custom trailer I'd originally wanted, there's a bit of prep work before you can even start with the subfloor. While it doesn't seem like much has happened, I think it's coming along just fine.

So where are we at? Take a close look at this picture...

As you can see, we've removed half of the trailers deck boards. This is a procedure that seems to be universally recommended. Not sure exactly why, might have to do with moisture and ventilation, it certainly removes excess weight. This process also allowed me to get a better look at its overall construction. I found things I liked, and sadly one thing I found to be very disappointing.

On the plus side, lots of steel framing. If you pay careful attention to the picture, you'll see it's spaced every foot, down the length of the trailer. Love it!

On the bad side, the long square headed screws that they used to secure the pressure treated wood to the steel frame, were not a good choice. They were very rusty, with quite a bit of rust build up between where the wood, the frame and the screw came into contact.

I was worried about that, I'd expected a little rust from having suffered outside this winter with the small amount of rain we did get, but was not prepared for what I saw initially. Fortunately the rust was minor, and what couldn't be brushed away with my hand was easily ground away with the 4.5 inch grinder. I followed up with Rust-Oleum spray, specifically designed to attach well to rust and create a protective barrier. Needless to say, I feel much better now.

I toyed with replacing all the screws on the remaining deck boards, and still might, I'll have to check on Sterlings expert opinion.

Next great prep of the trailer prior to the actual subfloor installation, will be extending the width of the trailer, to nearly the edge of the wheel wells.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 4

Alright, I know it doesn't look like much but if you pay closer attention to the front of this picture of the trailer, you will see something...or rather not see it...

That's right..look harder...damn it! The freight stop has been removed. Cut off with my trusty 4" small grinder and only two cutting pads! Course I'm still sporting the remains of the cold I had week before, cough is not exactly going away as we arrive at spring and every thing that can is spewing pollen into the air!

I'm exhausted again, so that is it for today. Next up, gotta figure out how to remove half of the decking. Damn boards are held down with the oddest screws I've seen. They have a square shape to then, not a hex, not a star...but a darn square. Anybody recognize this and know where I can go to get the tools to remove them?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 3

Sorry folks,

I'm way behind, I've not been remiss, I've just not had anything to report. Since my last post we received a few well intentioned storms (were still in a major drought), and I've had a back condition flare up, followed by a bug that had me out for nearly two weeks.

So figure a good 6 weeks lost. I was starting to go a little loopy with all that down time, even the cats were beginning to tire of my company. Anyhow, today I was determined that I would in fact spend what ever amount of time it took to get the blasted trailer level.

A level trailer is of course the very building block of a very straight, or rather, perfectly square building. So with my newly purchased 20 ton jack, 4 very heavy concrete pilings, a collection of bricks, assorted left over scraps of lumber and my trusty level, I spent the better part of four hours getting it done.


Next on the agenda, removal of front freight safety stop, and then half of the deck boards. This is critical and must be done prior to the subfloor framing.