Monday, September 19, 2016


So, looks like the West Supply job is a wash. I've had one trial working day two weeks ago and haven't been called back. Acquaintance of mine that works there said it took her tow months before she was hired on permanently. I can't wait two months.

So, bit of a rough patch so far, but I've been through worse. Besides, the weather has been gorgeous and I've got my health. I've been going for long bike rides to get my mind of a lack of employment, and they have been fantastic. Hey, why not go for long bike rides, as opposed to sitting and moping, or uselessly churning out resumes at the local library?

As for my health, why, it's been a year and two weeks since I had my nephrectomy, and I'm almost back to looking like Tarzan. I've not neglected exercise, my strength has improved, and I almost have a flat alligator belly... almost. Actually, I will never have a flat alligator belly again, but I've got the closest a near-sexagenarian can get without dangerous drugs and pills.

(Two meals a day helps with the slimming. Not that I lack for money, just don't find myself particularly hungry for lunch).

On the plus side, it looks like I will be adjunct faculty teaching welding for CTP division at Harper College for the last 8 week session of this semester. Speaking of which, I got a free pass through CPT to go to the IMTS2016 at McCormick Place.  IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) is a biannual tech show with the latest innovations.

When I walked in to the east hall, I saw a sea of robot arms flailing and gesturing literally almost to the horizon. This was the CAD/CAM section of the show. I also looked at metal cutting and grinding machines (things that could cut through M1A1 Abrams tanks with little difficulty), CNC mills, and well, no I didn't make it to the tooling hall. I should have but I didn't have time.

Oh, I checked out all the additive tech. 3D printers, and such. I picked up a tantalum goblet that looked like Jesus used it, and it was a good 20 lbs.

I saw a giant robot arm made by FANUC that was flipping a Porsche like a burger. I saw the world's largest horizontal mill by Toyoda that was the size of of a locomotive. I saw CNC machines that ground out a two foot Statue of Liberty, a Leaning Tower of Pisa, and some of the ugliest chrome art you have ever seen. I handed out my card to anyone that would take it, and pitched the idea of me being their corporate artist-in-residence (politely and tactfully not pointing out that their CNC art pieces were very tacky and gaudy). A guy from a Beijing company seemed fairly enthusiastic, which means their gonna steal all my stuff.

The one thing I thought about is why robot arms? I mean, it is obvious why. We are apes with arms. If we were giant crabs or ants or octopuses, we'd have robot mandibles and tentacles. But still, there must be tasks where robot tentacles or mandibles would be functionally better, but you don't see them,

I figure it's a result of being cyborg apes. (Yes, honey-bunses, we are cyborgs, going back a long, long time. A monkey with a stick is a cyborg. True, a crude one, but a cyborg nonetheless).

I figure it's a problem similar to the one shamans experience. An (imaginary) animal familiar or spirit guide. Is it an extension of the personality, or an independent ally? I remember in Norse myth, Odin had two ravens, Hugin (thought) and Munin (desire), that would fly around the world and come back  and whisper in his ear, and keep him up to date on current events. Odin always knew that Hugin would return, but sometimes worried that Munin would not. Was he worried that a part of himself would not return? Maybe.

Probably what I would worry about if I had a robot arm.

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