Sunday, October 29, 2006

Amazing Provision

Every now and again a friend of mine will tell me an unbelievable story about God's amazing provision in their lives. A story of prayers directly answered exactly on time, often in abundance.

My friend Basil recently told me such a story of God's grace. So here goes....

Basil was in Mobile, when he had been planning to be in Bradenton, FL for few weeks but every time he tried to go there, something came up in Mobile. He had plans to be at a conference in Kansas City , but his flight was out of Tampa(because he didnt know he would still be in Mobile). There was no way he could change the reservations to Mobile. So he rented a car and drove down (one way) to catch his flight to Kansas City.

After having a great weekend at the conference, he and his leader were sitting in the airport and the leader (who had booked the flight for Basil) wished he had booked it to take Basil back to Mobile instead of Tampa. Basil was nearly penniless and faced the choice of getting a hotel room (which he couldn't afford) after the flight or sleeping in the airport, to wait for his brother to come. And then what? Come back to Mobile? He didn't have money for that.....

So then God provided him a way.

An airline official came over the intercom and asked for anyone willing to reschedule their flight out to the next morning. Basil jumped at the chance, they were offering a free room for the night (no sleeping in the airport), the rescheduled flight(no biggy), a $400 certificate (money to get back to Mobile), and 2 free meals as well.

They put him up in the Hilton nearby, he got up in the morning got a free shuttle to the airport and got some breakfast then waited for his flight out. There was more good news when he got seated, it ended up the only open seat was in first class! He had a drink, a salad, and a light nap before the plane even got off the ground. :D

So the lesson kids, is to have just a little seed of faith, and Go. Have faith that God can get you back where he wants you, in style even. :)

This is Basil, back in Mobile after he told me this story of Amazing Provision.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What took so long?!

Ok another link I stole from Digg. This link leads to the most incredibly fun program ever, smoothteddy. Watch the demonstration video and then try the applet. They are distributing this work of genius for free, God Bless them. :]

I just wanna know...what took so long? Why has 3d always been about creating and editing every single point and line and polygon?

Drawing on a computer should have always been this way. It's genius and I guarantee you will have fun with this and be able to create something vaguely resembling what you wanted (as long as its curvy and topologically sound).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Vacuum Forming

Several years ago I was asked to help put together some costumes. As usual I never actually pulled it off. I couldn't find what kind of plastic I needed. There's lots of pages on vacuum forming, but they always seem to assume you know where to get random sheets of plastic...

Well tonight I made that particular discovery.

From this page on

Sometimes called HIPs [High-Impact Polystyrene Sheet] I've had the best luck searching for HIS [High-Impact Styrene Sheet] Below are some suggested sources.


The problem that brought this up was, I'm wondering if this is a practical way to build some new trim pieces for my car. The old pieces just arent holding up. Or maybe just use the plastic to mold more durable fiberglass bits.

Of course that would require a nearly 4ft vacuum table. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More of what I've been up to...

In June I worked on my car for nearly two weeks.

My clutch was headed out so I decided to go ahead and replace it. Unfortunately in
the final step of removal I broke the return spring of the throwout bearing. I would not suggest you do the same. Otherwise this job would have only taken a couple of days.

In the above picture there is a cordless impact wrench. That particular one was $70 from home depot (bought at 8:45 one night while working on my dad's car (home depot closes at 9)). I highly suggest you go buy one of these if you work on your car and don't have a compressor, its a true life saver!

That's the spring there, the out of focus brass colored thing..

A couple of weeks after that I finally made it out to Barry's U-Pull-It Junkyard, I had a hot tip that there was a CRX with the front fender I needed for my car.

This was the generous donor CRX.

The Recovered bumper posing on my car, right before I made out of there like a bandit! :]

Look a CRX SI!!

Barry's is a heavenly place to be for many possibilities.....

The bumper still isn't on my car. I intend to back it up with some fiberglass to reinforce it before mounting it to my car.

The week after the 4th of July Hyrum and Allie and Ian came down to Alabama to visit.

Before this visit I was frantically trying to get the projector panel working. It needed power then I would test it to see if it really worked at all, then I would build the necessary adapter cable for video. So I got all my electronics stuff out and made my work area on the dining room table....

Then I built a little circuit to adapt power from an ATX power supply to a cable stolen from an old keyboard.

I checked everything 4 times, but everytime I turned on the supply with everything hooked up, the power supply blipped its fan then acted dead. After I was CERTAIN that everything was hooked up right I gave up. The panel IS DEAD! After I had spent at least $50 on supplies and hookups, and the other $60 I spent on the panel...Nothing.

Then A New Hope.

When Hyrum and Allie arrived, Hyrum brought an offcast LCD monitor that he had rescued from disposal at his work. So what did we do? We took it apart! :D

Then I built a holder for it to sit over the Overhead Projector, so the projector could cast light through the LCD delivering an image to my screen.

Unfortunately, When we turned on the LCD , in spite of my efforts it was a mirror image (left to right) of what it should have been, BUT it DID display an image. Ever since I heard about this LCD projection thing I was always a bit skeptical, but now I've seen it works. But the combination of the screen being flipped and the FFL (flat flexible cable (as they call it on the lumenlab forums)) problem, which meant the top 10 percent and the left 20 percent of the image were blocked by circuit boards, and I couldn't find a video card setting/tweaker to fix the mirror flip...

So i decided to reassemble the LCD as a regular monitor. At some point in the future I WILL build a proper lumenlabs style LCD projector. But I cant yet. :P

The last thing I would like to talk about is some shelves me and Oliver salvaged from disposal. I saw these driving home one day. They were setup there outside an A/C supply place. They intended to break them down and put them in the dumpster. So I called them the next day and found out they were destined for the dump and salvaged them.

This is some serious shelving folks, I could make any kind of mount/base/structure with this stuff. I Got about 9 shelves worth. So I went ahead and set one up in my storage..

I LOVE my car, the versatility of a CRX as you can see, is incredible! :D

Oliver said it looked like a computer store in my storage....I cant see why he said that, HAHA!


Sometimes my ideas come to me all at once....
And sometimes I even draw them out....
Then a very few times I scan that drawing and post the idea on my blog :D

So, I was laying on my bed a minute ago, thinking as I have many times before how much I would just like to use the computer from right there. Then I realized that I had an LCD monitor sitting right in front of me and it began to become a possibility, if only I had a monitor arm that could reach over my bed...(or a projector...but anyways). I started thinking about the process of building a monitor arm (buying one is for people flush with cash....and who don't know how to weld :](which gives me another idea...). So I ruled out wood because I don't think its strong enough and really like using metal. So I started to think about what an arm would look like, it would need an arm with a pivot on the end, hmm sounds hard....unless.

So I hit on the idea of using the remains of discarded bikes, I would use a bottom tube for the top arm and another for the vertical mounting piece. Then I drew the whole thing up.

By the way, my other idea from above was a bumper sticker that would say.
"Buying things is for People who don't know how to weld"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I made it onto Makezine!

Check it out, I posted a little article on making a pizza sauce can furnace and then Makezine posted it on their blog. :D

Edit: Sorry I forgot to post the they are...
Makezine Blog

Thursday, August 03, 2006

4 Month Old Pictures

What have I been up to, since the last time I really posted in January?
And why haven't I posted any on the blog?
Well, Alotta things I've been meaning to blog, but haven't managed to get around to till now... (plus picture upload was broke last time I tried this post)

In April I went to Blakely Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama; then followed that mini-trip up with a real one to Sand Rock, Alabama; Birmingham and Finally to Montgomery to see MuteMath, I couldn't rent a car for the whole weekend and stay in mobile.

Here's some of the better pics :]

The two above are from sunset on the river at blakely. This was the highlight of the trip (visually at least). Unfortunately after it got dark I noticed (would be hard not to) that a couple of sites down they had an elaborate tent replete with a generator running an a/c ( yeah that's camping! ). So it was quite hard to rest, or think, or do anything other than listen to that thing run all night!!

This is the view from Rock Village, in Sand Rock, Alabama! Next time I go I have definitely gotta camp out and see what dawn looks like! (the first is facing east, the second is south, it was near sunset at the time). Sand Rock is one of my absolute favorite places (or at least..of the ones I've been to so far). This view is mezmorizing to me, it completely consumes my attention. :D Then there's the fact that to get this view REQUIRES you scramble up onto the rocks, and your right there on the edge, no safety rails or ropes, it is fully possible you could fall off. It's a good kind of exhilaration. I guess to get the long view (from the mountainside) risk is required. :)

Look someone wrote my name on the rocks. :) (not me)

This is an attempted picture of Mutemath. The camera I took this with (that I borrowed from Ashley), absolutely refuses to take a good picture at a concert.

Look its my name again, on Mutemath's keyboard this time. Sweet!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Chemistry class

I always knew chemistry class had the potential to be like this...

Best free videos accross the net.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Keeping the peace

As I was growing up, sunday mornings getting ready for church were always umm Interesting. You see we had 6 ppl in my family and usually only one bathroom. And we aren't the kind of family to walk in on each other.

I was reflecting back on this yesterday and how I, always really wanted to solve this problem. The best thing I had come up with to date involved parabolic mirrors, so it wasnt terribly practical.

I think I might have it licked though...
In a bathroom with this configuration, 3-4 ppl can operate simutaneously without any interference. At least, that is, as long as someone has evacuated before the person in the shower comes out. :P

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Google in the Fire

Bellsouth (my service provider...unfortunately) recently hatched this crazy(greedy!) idea to make websites share the cost of bandwidth. Google isnt budging

For those of you that havent heard, the federal government is asking Google to hand over search records to help track sexually explicit content on the web. Google isnt budging, so far.

Google...pick your guns carefully, and stick to them!

Power Idea

So this one is so obivous and simple I should probably hold onto it....

How about a series of power strips that are controlled (on/off, maybe for individual plugs) through Buetooth!!?

Btw, Mpower Systems is looking for a person with electronic fabrication skills. If you can design a good circuit to control two power window motors with a standard analog joystick, between now and breakfast please email me.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Robot Marketplace

The Robot Marketplace

They've got some great parts/kits. I am especially eyeing the pre-slotted axles. :)


Bear with me this is a complex one....

I have been thinking about how to make computers do things alot. In particular I was thinking about whether you could call your own phone, have your computer take the call and then bark commands to your computer over the phone. Well I dont know if it would work but if it did, you would have to somehow control the computer without seeing the screen.

Then I thought about how my friend Ashley is HUGE on using the keyboard for everything, any program he finds without keyboard shortcuts he refuses to use. There often arent shortcuts for everything the program can do...

I myself find it hard to remember more than a few without spending loads of time working on it.

And then theres the CLI (command line interface) crowd. They build software that works solidly (thankfully) if you can string the commands together in the right sequence (doh!).

What if, a program had a single key, Alt, or Ctrl shortcut for EVERY function! And was built where these could be used in the command line. Then in order to give the program a GUI you would just have to map all your buttons to feed the program each key. (which is essntially what the linux guys do except the commands are more grammatic)

Then you could possibly get the phone call control working, the computer would have to work out the focus (for example when a dialog pops up), but you would be that much closer. Scripting would become that much easier as well.

You gotta remember that this is coming from a guy that doesnt really script or program that much.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2 Games

The easiest game ever created:1D- Tetris

and one of the hardest: N

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Lunch post

I was thinking as I drove home for lunch about the Matrix™ movies, and why the last two sucked so much more than the first (cause the first one really rocked).

I bet it comes down to the time they had to chew on the concepts and scripts. As in for the first one they probably had the idea years and years before they got the go ahead and funding to make it. So for years and years this movie was being ground down to the smallest details and the concepts and visuals refined, till it was incredibly well developed.

On the other hand the last two were probably on a schedule and there was stress and worry all around to get it out on time. And after it was completed..That was it..Onto making them. I think this happens ALOT in creative endeavors.

I read an article recently that lamented that so many people spend such large amounts of thier life building junk (cant remember where I read it). Junk that gets a little use, or makes us smile a little but quickly degrades and ends up in a landfill. What if those products had just a little more refinement, what if someone had taken a couple more days and thought about its flaws?

What if they had gone into farming and grown some food instead?

So if your reading this and involved in creative endeavors, just take a couple more hard looks at your creation, think about its ultimate end. Will it end up discarded, or an hierloom. Will it still be useful or enjoyable in 5yrs time?

If it isnt, then consider going into farming (we can always use more food).