Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ugly Hack job!

I did something extraordinary yesterday, I totally did a quick ugly hack job.

I have always wanted a light to read by above my bed so I wouldnt have to turn off my room light at night.

The light came from the upper console of a car I rescued from the dumpster while I was at Joe Bullard previously. The power supply was given to me and I bought the Erector set a coupla years ago. It took me about an hour to do it (from inception to completion), which is a new record for me, usually I have to draw everything out and have it perfect and everything. I guess it shows you can have function devoid of form. :P

Here's some pics

Friday, August 26, 2005


An eloquent description of what keeps me on the internet all the time...
Maybe not eloquent but definitely accurate.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Today in Crappy Pics

The day started by responding to crisis for Naomi, her car was overheating and leaking water. So I went out and took a look at it and attempted to fix it. I replaced a hose and two clamps, but am not 100% confident I had the problem nailed down. In the process...
"Oh there's the bleeder valve". The fabled coolant system bleeder valve which was supposed to be there but has never been found before. :P

After leaving South I went home and cut the grass, nice huh?

After cutting the grass, I started working on the actual building phase of The Spotlight Project for Ashley. I started by experimenting with bending the aluminum I planned to use for the swiveling mount, the experiment was a success. To bend the thick aluminum I mounted the piece into my vise clamp then grabbed a big piece of square tubing and torqued down on the thing.
So next i needed to figure out how much clearance a spinning QBeam Max would need. So I mocked up a model and measured the necessary values..... (yes I am the duke of Ghetto, because James is the king).

Then I transferred all this to the aluminum....
Broke out the level in an attempt to prevent my bends from being twisted.

Proceeded to make my two bends..

Then I went to the computer and used Graph Paper Printer to print out a piece of paper with 1/8th inch divisions, then used that to check my bends for being right and to layout where I needed to drill (as if it was gonna help)

Next I took on punching a good pilot then drilled two holes completely off center :/ . I have got to be missing something about drilling, other ppl's hand drilled holes come out reasonably right...

Then I continuted mutilating the project by using a bit intented for something completely other than aluminum.

Once I had done my worst the bushings more or less fit, hopefully well enough for the axles to line up....
Finally I went to Big Lots and bought this 99 cent turkey baster, but I had other plans for it than flavorful poultry. I intented to shove JB weld through it, in order to bind the pulley I bought to the motor I scavenged. It worked wonderfully, this is an aftermath picture of the setup....

And these are the pieces drying.... A good (hopefully) successful day of building :]

And now... for something completely different

Killer 7ft Spider AHHH!!!
I saw this spider in the bushes while mowing the grass, she is HUGE at least 3in long. So I got Grandma and my camera out there and snapped a few pics. When I uploaded the pictures I had no idea this was waiting for me, LOL. Gotta love unsuspecting optical effects. :D

Monday, August 22, 2005

Net Highlights

Once again mostly nabbed from the illustrious Interesting site ,with lots of great buys (ok I havent actually perused it yet, the very similar has my brother thinking of selling lotsa things on Ebay, anyone wanna front some seed money? This site features tons of tents for different purposes all built around a Yurt-like design, it also has a guide for building a twig and tarp kayak, in under four hours....

Quantum Diaries - Follow physicists from around the world as they live the World Year of Physics : You can all thank Marshall for this one and the next one.

NOVA | The Elegant Universe | A Conversation with Brian Greene | PBS This was a very well produced program that attempted to explain string theory, which attempts to explain everything else...No matter how far they probe they arent gonna find God. :P

StopIE: Help stop Internet Explorer, the worlds most popular and worst internet browser - Stop the Madness!! Use Firefox or Opera!

Firefox Extensions FAQ - The Extensions Mirror Very useful for firefox users, for those that arent, just look at all the different things it can do!

13 things that do not make sense: He's not kidding these things dont make much sense at all.

Tracker Trail - Fire From Ice - Rob Bicevskis This site revealed to me a very simple method that can be used to machine globes, something I had always wondered about. Also shows how to make fire..or something.... Network Tools, Internet Speed Test and Website Tools How fast is your internet?

Ergonomics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This is an article I always wanted to find, I am as very interested in the design of various things, especially chairs and other furniture. :P

Interestingly enough I found this site while looking for something I saw in an old popular science years ago. It was a chair that was supposedly designed using what NASA had found to be the most nuetral position (muscularly) for the body. They found this out by observing the astronauts floating around in skylab (is that the right name), particularly what position thier bodies rested in, in zero gravity. I ended up finding the flogiston chair , which is decidely less sexy than the chair I was looking for but based on the same concept.

I want to build one, in particular

I want to build one which can be used as a computer chair, I also want to base subsequent workstation ideas on the same basic shape, btw a coupla my concepts can be seen at my bellsouth site (i gotta watch my bandwidth though that site has a mere 30mb PER MONTH dl rate) but here's a pic anyways....
And now for the lighter side :D

Funny: Why Women Live Longer Than Men

Fun Stuff : World's Worst Women Drivers : GopherGas

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

The Shirt Fold a shirt from a dollar bill, I am soon gonna try soon as I get a dollar bill!

eBay Motors: DETGEP Industries Gas Saving Device ! L@@K ! NO RESERVE (item 7993916387 end time Aug-23-05 14:50:17 PDT) This is the solution to our fuel problems!!

Homertage For all my Halo fans out there (you know who you are!)

Ok no more enthusiasm for today, I used up my exclamation quota.

Thanks for reading

Friday, August 19, 2005

Philoshophy, Truth, And Paradox (and a bit of "The Good" thrown in for good measure)

Mainly this is just an update in justification for having not finished any projects yet this week....

I was gonna add pictures so look for them as soon as I figure out where to put them.

Tues I finished mounting the bearings (aka engines), then yesterday me and Marshall spent alotta time walking to and from the car mounting all of that to the arm...

Then we proceeded to watch two episodes of the old Hitchhiker's Guide Tv Show, until the cd decided to not work on the last file. Which led us to complain that current OS's file managers and so on still hang on a file having a simple read error, same as on an Apple II, you'd think in 20-30yrs we could work out a way for this not to happen, and it happens in every OS I've seen too.

Today I got up in the morning and Marshall, Dorothy, Anna and I got up early and went canoeing (early for us) . Then after work tonight I proceeded to Ben's house and we talked about...paradoxes and nothing and exploding cows. Mainly about paradoxes and the nature of metaphysical vs physical.

The trebuchet isnt done and due to YET ANOTHER REDESIGN also known as Y.A.R.D. it wont be finished till december. But at least it gives me plenty of time to find a counterweight.

I am about 90-95% sure I will be going back to Joe Bullard. Probably be working there by Tues Next week. I am wondering where this leaves my very strong desire to go with Ben and company to the Highlands for labor day, I need to figure out how to present it so as to not cause a power struggle between me and John :/. Oh well... maybe with marshall gone this weekend I can write some of the other stuff in my head, but then a dozen other things are happening as well....oh well we'll see :P

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Must Finish Trebuchet!

So I have a fairly heavy problem on my mind, its about (iirc) 16in wide, 3ft High (at the very top max) and 3-4ft wide. I need a solution like yesterday for the trebuchet counterwieght, I need it fast and I need it cheap (like maybe we can manage $100 MAYBE). That is as you can probably tell a fairly bad combination. :P

I'm trying to complete this project before marshall leaves and everything looks to be lining up nicely, except for this. My current ideas for this problem involve somehow getting various scraps of metal. Including (but not limited to)

-Big Hunks of steel
-Disposed Train wheels (where?)
-Discarded large flywheels (or lots of little ones?)
-600lbs of machining filings (how to contain them?)
-Discarded big rig brakes

-Earthen Materials
-water (containing 600lbs of water moving at x mph is no easy thing)
-concrete (the easiest but also the one my team is most opposed to)

-Dangerous things
-600lb of lead acid batteries (gotta be against the law)

Then after I figure out what material and how to mount it I have to figure out how to transport it. That used to be an easy problem, but now that i lack a running pickup its not nearly so trivial. :/

Any ANY input and suggestions would be greatly welcomed.
I will try to keep a more open mind than my other teammates, if your solution has enough merit I will try to pitch it to them. :P

If the material is sufficiently cheap I may even try to weld up a box to contain it (in this kind of shape) .

Coming soon to this blog: :P
Unfufilled Potential: How computers have let us down....
I want credit for this: An idea I have long kept to myself that may soon be possible and I want to be noted as a creator so I will release it publicly...finally

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Recent Progress

I've been spending the last few days working on about 3-4 projects and hanging out with ppl I dont get to see much.

The projects I've been working on include retrofitting the trebuchet to working order, a lego electronics kit for my sister, ashley's motorized spotlight project, and what will eventually become a lathe. :]

Btw, I had that interview, but I dont think it went well enough for them to call me back. I have pretty much decided to stay in mobile and to go back to work at joe bullard and start working towards being debt free, seems the right thing to do.

I still want to construct an engineering style analysis of the situation just for kicks...if I get around to it.

Backlog of links

Oh, this is gonna be a long one....

The last week or so I have spent DOZENS of hours on the internet, and I intend to get alotta those links and some of the ideas and thoughts about those into this blog.

Categorically.... or randomly whichever works better

Ok Most of these links come from




Thanks to Hyrum for showing me an article about this transmission. Which is what led me to digg and then that led me to makezine, that little link may be a HUGE thing in the next few * insert randomly large period of time * . Anyways about the transmission if it works as advertised it is pure genius. So this guy has this great idea and he takes it to the car companies in America and they totally blow him off. Any company that doesnt eventually change, and not just within its own bounds but in response to the world, will die, goodbye big three...

Anyways, those two sites evetually led me to some things I am gonna do. Really inexpensive CNC , I have a plan in play to beat this!

MAKE: Blog: CVS camcorder usably hacked!

What Business Can Learn from Open Source

Free, Amazing Secrets, Household Hints, Saving Money Community Forums - Welcome Page


GPX2 already linked this one but i really like it a lot

Free Online Language Courses

Nokia codes

Linux Newbie Guide by Stan, Peter and Marie Klimas

Why I Will Never Have A Girlfriend --

The Pirate Bay - The worlds largest BitTorrent tracker Worked for me

Coudal Partners Marshall and Basil get all the credit for solving this one (I helped too) only to find out Annie had solved it all by herself...quicker :P


The whispering wheel ...So what ! :/

MILITANTPLATYPUS A good Blog with losta links and updates (way more than me)

quotes | A Mountain Top

Hello, Dollar! - Question for Readers: Finance Software and "Virtual Accounts"? --Money tips never a bad thing...

BRL-CAD Home Page --The most powerful modelling softtware i would say, cant tell if its available or not and probably only in source code which doesnt help me :P

FreeCAD Homepage

QCad Screenshots

AVR Butterfly MP3

Bowden's Hobby Circuits -- your embedded Linux resource

WELCOME TO ROUNDABOUT OUTDOOR AMAZING invention, why didnt I come up with this?

David Randolph - Articles - Why should everyone mod everything? Check out his

OZ2CPU - Homebrew electronics page If I ever start building circuits this would be the site to be on

Silicon Sam's Technology Resource (SSTR) - Main Table of Contents I havent even started to tap this resource

Welcome to Dan's Workshop - a photo repository of advanced home shop projects – this ones been around for a while but he's got some really great projects, and his lost foam casting is the ONLY way to go

Parellel port output Everythin you ever wanted to know about interfacing the pc parallel port :: The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Making Your Own Pizza Pizza Possibly better than mine

DigitalCamera@101reviews » Totally Customizable Keyboard Marshall are you reading this?

Hacking A Mouse For Encoders My kinda article

Boondog Automation More CNC stuff Havent figured out the point of this yet, except maybe a wireless sign

5 Bears - Home An amazing machinist Articles about Solar energy

VGA over Cat-5 cable

Bicycle frame building for the rest of us. You can BUILD a custom bike, thats amazing

Cooking For Engineers - Test Recipes: Marshmallows Much like Good Eats.

pcd8544 based displays (serdisplib) I thought all discarded lcds were useless, i was wrong...

Surplus Stores

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Mad Physics :: Ask Mad Physics These guys are nuts, hey that gives me an idea :D

MetalGeek : Code, Metal and Cleverness: How to Bend Tubing and Pipe by Hand

Return of Tetris Shelves : Gizmodo

Speeding through video games.

Messiah Entertainment, Inc. :: Online Store “New” version of the NES

Experimental Balloon Building The name says it all

NOTE TAKING:THE CORNELL SYSTEM Need to remember this next time I step into a classroom This is a computer part trading network

9 reasons we dont do what we should find your favorite DOS game

New hydrogen generation technique announced What Can't the Israeli's figure out?

There are more...I will get to posting them eventually....

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Things could be moving.....

Thanks to Ben, I landed an interview for tommorow morning with at 8:15am O_o. So if any of you read this before then please toss up a prayer or two, a job in a computer field would be more than I had hoped for. :)

Also I applied at South today, for a A/V Technician Position.

Things could be moving......

Goals and Other Realizations

I need to make this brief because i need to goto bed

I have been working on having some overarching long term goals, and I think i have a couple figured out.

1. Achieve independence --this would be mainly in the financial realm, which would mean not having to depend on grandma for my expenses, and paying back ALL my debts..

2. Refine and position myself so that my talents can be utilized productively and profitably everyday. Particularly my talent with invention and creative problem solving.

I will flesh out current options for attaining these goals next time I post..

Thanks for reading,
Goodnight :P