Log in

Ignore them: they're just flesh wounds [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

(no subject) [Jul. 19th, 2016|09:56 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Yesterday my back hurt too much for a hard ride, so I went out for an easy 50 km, and it seems to have helped. Today, it was both hot -- above body temp -- and humid, but I did feel up for a hard ride so I went out with some friends for 35 km and had a nice, albeit dehydrating time. Awkward scary bit: we're riding along at the right-hand side of the road in a string, and a car passes us pretty much on the yellow line, because in this state you have to allow about a meter of clearance between car and bike, by law. A woman coming towards us slammed on her brakes and laid on her horn, because, well, not enough room. I don't really blame her: the car trying to pass us should have waited three whole seconds. But it was a bit exciting.

This evening I went to what was supposed to be an Ingress farm, that was called off on account of not enough people and too much flash flooding, so I met up with a friend and we went over to a place where the other team had one of their farms set up and blew it up. Just as we arrived and got out, a guy in a Jeep was trying to pull out of the space in which he was parked, where he had plenty of room to do so, but backed into the Honda behind him, and just kept trying to back up. Like, stopped, shifted out of reverse, shifted back into reverse, and gunned it with the Jeep hard against the Honda, and ended up pushing the Honda backwards, which was a problem because the contact point was his spare tire into the Honda's hood. We started yelling "hey, stop trying to back up!" and he looked over at us in a very confused manner, shifted into drive, and drove off.

I've spent the last couple of days trying to debug a subtle interface problem at work. I think I got it fixed today, but man what a huge pile of difficulty. I have a slow instrument on an archaic instrument bus. The instrument bus is very robust. The instrument itself doesn't have the right interface, so instead it attaches by a USB adapter. When I attempt to use the existing software framework for trying to ask the instrument if it's done and ready to return me valid data rather than junk, either the instrument or the adapter loses its mind and everything crashes, so instead I have to hard-code in timed delays and just hope they're long enough that I'm getting valid data rather than junk. Aiee.
Link8 comments|Leave a comment

sleeping dreams [Jul. 11th, 2016|08:10 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I dreamed the teenage mutant ninja turtles had hired me to help them get into shredder's castle. Without really consulting them on strategy, I built a nuclear-weapon-based shaped charge with about a half ton of copper on the front end and blew a hole 20 meters wide by about a kilometer or so deep through his castle and throne room, killing everyone inside, which wasn't exactly what they wanted. I spent a lot of the dream trying to figure out the cube root of 408, because for some reason it was important to use a cubic chunk of 408 kg of copper and I was trying to calculate the length of one side so I could make a mold for casting it. I finally decided that it was easier to take the cube root of 512, and that would be close enough.
Link15 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 8th, 2016|08:28 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I have a good friend who just lost her cat, her companion of many years, to a fairly quick-acting disease, so now she has a box of ashes.
She lives in an apartment.
What would you all do if you wanted to scatter your beloved pet's ashes somewhere? What sort of places would you choose?
Link14 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 3rd, 2016|10:26 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I made zucchini pancakes this morning. Except for the part where I pulled out a cucumber and prepared to grate it into the pancakes. Maybe that c-clamp hit me harder than I thought. Anyway, got that rectified and had delicious pancakes. A little just-ground nutmeg goes a looooong ways.
Link17 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 2nd, 2016|11:27 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
When we went to the place that fabricated railings, we got stuck in a traffic jam resulting from a fairly large truck t-boning an SUV, so everyone got shunted off onto side roads. The railing place was on one of those side roads, and getting out was a huge pain, so we went wandering and ran across Eron Johnson Antiques aka Denver Architectural Salvage. They do a fair bit of local salvage but most of the stuff they import, and my what a place.
They do have railing.
and giant marble outdoor bathtubs.
and sphynxes surrounded by railing.
and statuary with railing.
And just statuary.



Of various types and eras.

These always remind me of reading Tintin comics as a kid, or some of the weird Orientalist episodes of Dr. Who.

This was just packed with demons.

One room was just full of weird wooden posts, most 2-3 meters high, some higher. It was like an enormous weird forest.

Other rooms were all art deco windows.

There were all these weird mechanical things that strode the boundary between art and industry.

This is a Krupp movie projector.

Coil spring half as tall as I am.

dangerous art.

I'm not even sure what this was.

They had all these casting forms, intended for cored casting of cast iron plumbing.

front side
matching back side

I liked this combo of casting core and sink.

and this giant flywheel. I'm presuming there were two of these that were entire plates, and the sand cores were then brought together.

and clocks.
This one was about 3 meters tall.

I found this odd assemblage out in the yard. I brought part of it home.
Link46 comments|Leave a comment

Gross stuff [Jul. 2nd, 2016|10:46 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
head wounds and spider sex.Collapse )
Link18 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 2nd, 2016|05:07 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We went to look at a local place that builds custom deck railings. They're beautiful. They cost $100 per linear foot. That is roughly four times more than any of the commercial offerings, although these guys do install it. That consists of drilling a few holes and screwing it into the concrete.
I am back to thinking about doing this whole thing myself. Eight panels, four being 2.1 meters long, the other four being 1.7 meters long, and nine posts made of roughly 70mm square tubing, with feet welded on. I could do it out of aluminum for about $1200 plus my labor, or out of steel for about one third of that, but then I have to worry about it rusting. I'd get everything powder-coated, which means it'd be probably a decade before we'd have to do anything at all. If I went with aluminum it'd probably last 50 years before it needed attention.

I was welding up a weird tripod thing to train the giant morass of pumpkins taking over the front yard, but they exceed its capacity as a training apparatus. Instead we're going to run ropes up to the roof and run at least five of the plants up that way. In the process of welding up the tripod thing out of old steel that skazat gave us, I was standing in the shop and a c-clamp decided to detach itself from the wall and fall on my head. It left about a 15 cm long gash in my forehead. I may end up with a duelling scar. Gravity duelling.
Link30 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jun. 26th, 2016|11:04 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
This weekend:
Hung out a ton, although not actually enough, with elusis and her charming boyfriend.
On Thursday I power washed the deck, then acid-etched it Saturday morning and then proceeded to wash it about seven times before it was finally ready for staining. Three coats on today, with a bunch of help from manintheboat, including her doing the last layer of painting. The stuff is oil-based, or more specifically, toluene-based. Really stinky.
I just built a bunch more boards for Mad Scientist Hut, and ran them through test. So tired. I still have a bike computer to repair but I don't have the energy.
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jun. 23rd, 2016|09:53 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Colorado's version of bike to work week. I rode home on Mon, rode in on Tues, drove the other parts. Wed, I had planned to ride up to Boulder and meet friends and ride into work from there but that was going to be 85 miles round trip, and I just didn't have the energy for that. Instead I drove to Boulder and we rode in together. It was the official bike to work day, during which a lot of local places open up shop and hand out free food.
There were more cyclists in Boulder than there was food.
Tire-to-tire lines of cyclists in both directions on all the paths we went on, which was a problem when trailers were going both directions. That points out the bandwidth problem with separate-but-equal bike paths. You can fit a TON of bikes on a road alongside car traffic, but it doesn't take much to saturate a bike path.
When we were on roads, there were roughly as many bikes as cars.
That stopped in a hurry once we got out of Boulder, of course. It was still a ton of fun.

As we were heading out of Boulder we were on a tense bit where they're repaving, so there's a single lane, and it really is a single lane. We were hauling along but even as a construction zone it's still 45mph so cars were going faster than us, and there was not a lot of room.
But that's fine, right? It's Boulder. People expect bikes.
Until a white Subaru pulls up and honks as it is passing me and a moment later the driver yells "get off the road!"
I waved my fist and yelled "you get off the road, asshole!" and kept going.
A few minutes later I got a text, from my manager's manager. "I'm sorry I yelled at you. I was joking. I forgot you don't recognize faces."
I'm all WUT because he drives a Lexus. He said "I'm driving my wife's car today!"
He was apologetic. I was apologetic. I ride with this guy almost every day and feel kind of awkward now, and he does too.
I was talking to cyclelicious about this and he said he'd experienced something similar and he too reacted poorly to jokes of that sort.

We ended up cruising up to Boulder at a nice reasonable pace, save for the very end where we took to a packed dirt/gravel path. I love hauling along there like a maniac, going through turns just hard enough that I'm drifting the rear tire. One of my coworkers said "it looked like you were going so fast smoke was coming off your tires" because of the dust.

At lunch another coworker came by, not knowing I'd ridden (halfway) in, and asked if I wanted to go riding. Well, I didn't actually work very hard in the AM, so, sure. We went out on a nice wandery route. Near the end I said I was actually fairly tired, and quite soon thereafter he said "let's race at the finish: first one to the top of the hill!"
He did better than he expected. He's slowly increasing in speed. He's too skinny, like "send this boy to camp" skinny, and I am trying to turn him into a sprinter and hillclimber. We talked some about sprint strategy.

I calculated it would take me 40 minutes to ride back to Boulder. Usually it takes me 35 but I gave myself a little extra. Then I added twenty minutes for safety, because I was meeting people that night. Then, half an hour before that deadline I started checking the weather. "no wind, 10% chance of rain" every five minutes until about fifteen minutes before the deadline, at which point the wind and rain hit. The weather place still said no wind, despite cardboard boxes blowing down the street. They were heading _directly_ against the direction I needed to go, so I chucked everything and started riding. I was struggling to maintain half my normal average speed. Phoo.
Oh well. Got down there, drove home, showered, was done exactly when I needed to be heading out.
This collection was walking up the street just as I was about to leave.
There are five dogs in this picture. One is right behind another to the right.

Then off to a great dinner -- not as good as the one we had with elusis on Monday, but still pretty good. Enchiladas in mole sauce. Zowie.

So, today, drove to work. Coworkers tried to talk me into riding home, then riding in and meeting them for breakfast tomorrow. I just don't have the time so I bowed out. Guess which way the wind was blowing, at huge speeds, that would have pushed me home at previously undreamt-of velocity? It was goading me.

When I was driving home today I stopped for gas. Standing around thinking uffish thoughts whilst washing the windows as the gas pump chugs, and I hear this "sir?" from behind me. I turned around and there was this woman, with a ... Russian? accent, very strong, clearly struggling to find English words. She had a tight dress, giant heels, fancy makeup, like, I was tempted to look behind me to see who she was actually talking to. But no, she was talking to me. She said her car smelled hot. She had what I suspect was a right-off-the-lot Lexus. I opened the hood and looked around, checked the oil level, made sure there was water in the overflow tank, cautioned her against opening the radiator cap itself (but it didn't feel super hot) and generally said I thought the car was okay. She was almost awkwardly effusive in her gratitude. Had it been Spain I would have thought I was about to get my pockets picked. It was just slightly odd.

I got home, walked the dog, then took everything off the deck, swept it, and did half the pressure washing before we etch the concrete tomorrow and seal it on Saturday.

For dinner, on a dare, manintheboat made cauliflower lamb meatloaf.
It was fantastic.
Link22 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jun. 20th, 2016|11:03 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
elusis is visiting. In the process of cleaning up, I came across spiders downstairs. Not one, not two, but three: two that were clearly female and male, the male attempting to do what male spiders do, and a third of a different species who was clearly watching them. Cross-species voyeurism.
I got video but am not posting it here because manintheboat will probably be itchy for three days just reading the above paragraph.
Link7 comments|Leave a comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]