Thursday, November 21, 2013

Railroad Tracks - Past, Present and Future

This article was shared with me by a friend.  Thought I'd pass it along.  It's informative, funny, and head scratching.  You'll understand why as you read on......


The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England , and English expatriates designed the U.S. Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
Why did 'they' use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular Odd wheel spacing?Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England , because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So, who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. In other words, bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, 'What horse's ass came up with this?', you may be exactly right.

Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.

Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important!

Now you know, horses' asses control almost everything...explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Protect Your Peace

Photo by Jason Naudi Photography 

“Have the clarity and courage to not enter every door and to not accept every invitation. Protect your peace.” ~ Thema Davis

Thema Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, poet, dancer, and minister. Dr. Bryant-Davis, an Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, is Past-President of the Society for the Psychology of Women. The North Carolina Arts Council named her Emerging Artist of the Year.

When I first read this quote my initial reaction was "Wow, she summed up in one sentence what others have written entire books about.  

Here's my take.  I don't know about you but saying 'No' is not always the easiest thing to do.  Following your instincts, that gut feeling, is not always simple either.  Sometimes disappointing your family and friends is ugly.  But it has to be done in order to 'Protect your peace'. 

Some of those situations are as simple as not going out on a Saturday night because you're just too tired and just want to be home because you've been working long hours all week and on the go and just have to stop, even though your friends are all gonna be there and it would be a total blast.  

Others are not so simple when you have to weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself if the risk is worth taking and at what cost to your health or livelihood.  Will the long term end result be worth that effort and risk.  

As a business person and musician there have been dozens of opportunities that were offered to me quite often over the years.  Some I took and regretted, some I didn't take and regretted.  Some I took and they turned out fabulously, the ones I didn't and now wished I had, oh well, can't go back and get a redo.

When I first decided to go into business for myself after I retired from my regular job I had no idea that it would take up this much time and this much energy. But I jumped in and said what the heck, I've got nothing to lose really.  I'm glad I did because it's been fun "energy spent and time invested".  I've met amazing people and found out so much more about myself.  It has not sucked anything out of my life, it has only enhanced it in so many ways.  

My regular job was just that, regular.  I had no ambitions to move up in the company with all the added responsibilities and time that I did not want.  I had too many other things going on in my life outside of work that meant way more to me. So when I was offered promotions, some I took because it didn't require anything life changing, others I turned down because they would have disrupted too much and infringed on my 'outside of work' life.  And to be honest, I didn't mind being a worker bee in that situation.  

In the music industry sometimes it's hard to know who to trust.  Even at the local level people will say things and make promises that are only designed for their good not yours.  I learned that the hard way.  I'm sure youth and dreams had a lot to do with those choices.  So it was, for a long time, "Once bitten, twice shy".  And I'm sure looking back now that there were legitimate and honest opportunities I missed because I didn't believe in myself and my own ability to discern fact from fiction.  But once I learned to pay attention to my gut feeling I was able to deem an event or an offer good or bad for me.  

Clarity and Courage come with time.  Once you get through all the youthful emotional characteristics of your personality and realize the world will not come to an end if you decide not to rush around all over because you don't want to miss this or that event, or take a job or band offer every time one is presented only to realize that that job sucks just as much as the last one, and heavy metal music really isn't your thing, or follow your friends off that bridge just because they're your friends (Hmmm...maybe not the best analogy LOL).  But you know what I mean.  

If you are feeling uneasy, exhausted, or feel you are missing something maybe it is your life that is un-easy, your desire to be all and do all that is making you feel exhausted, and maybe it is YOU that you are missing.

Blessings to All


- I want to thank my friend JBH for sharing this quote -  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Furniture Made From Car Parts

25 Creative Examples of Furniture Made From Car Parts

Source: ComplexMag
Talk about Up-cycling........I thought these were very cool

Furniture for the man cave LOL

Source: ComplexMag

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bangle sizing guide


This is a quick and easy process, I promise.  I've gathered up some info and taken a picture to help you through it.  Because I sell quite a few different types and sizes of bangles in my shop I thought it would be a really good idea to help you all figure out which size your lovely hands will fit.

    • Make your hand as small as possible bringing
      your thumb and little finger together. 
    • Using the tape measure (or string), measure around your hand and across your knuckles at the widest point (the tape measure should be pulled tight, not loose). Make note of the actual circumference of your hand (if you used string, make a mark where the string meets, then measure the length with your ruler to get your hand circumference). 
    • Compare your hand circumference to the bangle circumference in the below chart. 
These measurements are approximate but it gives you a good idea on where you stand as far as sizing.  I always give the circumference in my descriptions in my shop and also explain how to do this.  

Bangle Size
Diameter in inches

Diameter in mm
Circumference in inches

Circumference in mm

2-4 (XS)

2-6 (S)

2-8 (M)

2-10 (L)

2-12 (XL)

Good luck and Happy shopping.