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sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

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(no subject) [Jul. 20th, 2017|08:46 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
apologies for TMI but I keep injuring myself in ways that leave scabs like Lake Baikal and within a few days the edges are all ready to be done but the center is still very strongly attached.
Maybe I need body armor.

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(no subject) [Jul. 16th, 2017|10:34 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
So let me tell you...
No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Today was my grandmother's 100th birthday party.
N was feeling awful so I did some cleaning around the house, pulled fistfuls of hair out of the tub drain and grape-sized clots out of the sink drain, and then headed down to the middle of nowhere, where my aunt and uncle live in a very expensive house in a gated community, and my grandmother lives in their basement.
She was really together. She's been getting foggy the last couple of years, but she and I got to have a couple long conversations that stayed on topic. She gets a bit aphoristic if I don't lead the conversation, but I think that's because she hangs out with my aunt way too much.
My very conservative but pleasant uncle got into another long intense conversation with my very liberal aunt (from the other side), which seems to happen every time everyone gets together. He's conservative as in his brother made a half million dollars writing Left Behind imitations and his family disowned another brother who announced he was gay but going to spend his life celibate so as to not sin. Apparently celibacy wasn't good enough. My aunt is liberal as in got a degree in Chinese history in 1970 at UC Berkeley. Again: no idea why the two of them talk so much.
I got to see my cousin's ex-wife for the first time since the divorce four years ago, as she brought their kids over to drop them off. She's looking like a tired redhed-going-grey housewife, which is an improvement over last time I saw her, when she had jet-black hair, a very short skirt, and knee-high combat boots, as part of her effort to keep the marriage together. (Which must have driven her crazy: literally her entire immediate family works for James Dobson/Focus On The Family.) She took off pretty quickly when my cousin showed up with his new girlfriend, who has jet-black hair, a very short skirt, and knee-high bright green leather boots.
anyway. Grammy was okay. We talked. I talked a bunch to my cousin's kids, who are all really cool.
I drove home and went out to the shop to start working on machining a test fixture for a new product for Mad Scientist Hut. I set up the thousand-dollar sprinkler while I was doing that. (You know those old sprinklers like tractors that drive across the lawn, following the hose? I found one in an alley, brought it home, we used it, then we had one of those springs where it's 35C and the grass is all brown and dying so I water it and the next day we get a knee deep snowstorm and while walking the compost out to the pit I managed to step on the free trash sprinkler and break one of the arms off, so I went and bought a metal lathe and fixed the free trash sprinkler, so it's the thousand dollar sprinkler, yo.)
So the sprinkler's running and I stick my head out to make sure it hasn't gotten stuck and there are three kids half-running through the yard, sobbing, which means a dog has gotten away and they are trying to catch it. This is a regular event.
Of course I join in. These kids are really young. Well, everyone less than 18 looks like they should be wearing diapers, pretty much. But I think these kids were really young since they couldn't jump off the retaining wall between my house and Ray's, and it's only a meter and change high.
We all piled through that and headed towards the church, where I saw the dog.
It's a huge german shepard. Huge. I think I could have put two of these kids on it.
I can't outrun a german shepard.
I tried, though.
And I'm a lot more canny than it, because I've caught 30-something dogs over the last few years.
It of course ran straight to the main road where all the traffic is and started running down the side of the road. I crossed the road and started running along behind/beside it, because it was definitely scared of me. That way, it wasn't going to run INTO the road.
I paralleled it until it got distracted by a smell, then got ahead of it and started moving back towards it, so it reversed course. My thought was either I'd chase it back to its kids or up the hill away from the road. We did both at various points. Eventually the three kids, two joggers, and I managed to corral it in someone's yard and one kid got her hands on its collar and we all headed back to the church.
Where we found kid number four lying in the grass making horrible noises.
She claimed she was having an asthma attack.
As a long-term asthma person, I'm pretty sure what she was having was a panic attack.
But not the time to screw around.
So I chucked it back into high gear and ran home, got the car, and drove back, at which point other family members were there, but she couldn't walk and nobody in her family had the oomph to do much about it.
I picked her up and carried her to her mom's car, and they drove off.
About ten minutes later, the first three kids showed up again. One of them had lost her cellphone in the shenanigans and they were retracing their steps.
As we were looking around my yard, another kid said "what do you have in that weird little barn?"
I said "a bunch of broken bikes."
She said "huh. Can I have one?"
I had to explain they were all 40 year old bikes, too large for her, with no wheels or seats.

Then I finished the test fixture, went grocery shopping, made dinner (Marcella Hazan's chicken breast sauteed in butter/lemon/parsley) and am just right now finishing it, sitting down while not driving for the first time since about 11AM.

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(no subject) [Jul. 12th, 2017|06:36 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Our power was out all last night, so I didn't get a chance to update anything.
And I was just starting to make an adapter so I could stick a 12v DC motor intended for electric bikes onto a cycle trainer so I can generate pedal power. Unfortunately, it takes a lathe to make the adapter.

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(no subject) [Jul. 9th, 2017|03:30 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We went over to Old Town to visit the library, played a bit of Pokemon, and had a bit of ice cream. My main phone has died so I'm using my backup phone, which became my backup phone when the screen burnt out so it's visible in dark conditions but I can't see anything on the screen in sunlight, so it was sort of guesswork Pokemon. When we were in the library, there was a girl in there on a plastic tricycle, racing her brother across the library. Aiee.
Anyway, then we drove the Spitfire over to the grocery store, because I'd run out of eggs, potatoes, and other sundry items making breakfast. When we came out of the store there was a very small, old man trying to do something with his Lexus, which he'd obviously just rammed into the back of someone else's car, and then pulled into the parking lot beside the Spitfire to try to repair enough to drive home. The bumper was on the ground, as were some of the electronics, like the headlight module. He was trying to put the bumper cover on the hood and then attach a bungee cord from the steel subframe that had supported the bumper, up over the cover, around it, and back down to the same subframe. Of course, the result is that the bumper wants to hang from beneath the highest point at which it's attached. He clearly wasn't going to make much progress. I finally walked over, helped him hold up the bumper so he could try to attach it, and then grabbed a dropped bungee and attached it to the shock tower, well back in the engine compartment, around the bumper cover, and to the bumper steel, so it was at least held in place. He looked at it, sighed, and handed me the other bungee cord, which I did the same thing with on the other side. I hope he made it home.

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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2017|08:13 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
My poor old samsung galaxy s4 is dying. It gets quite hot, quite quickly, and then the screen goes all sorts of interesting colors and blanks, and restarting means pulling the battery. I had a previous iteration of the same phone, in which the screen got burnt over time so it's impossible to read in sunlight, so I swapped the battery, with no change. Off to ebay to find another.

Awkward time at work, when my direct manager and the manager for whom I've been doing a bunch of work had a two hour closed-door meeting at which voices were raised high enough that I could hear my name come up several times. I think they're arguing about how to allocate personnel resources.

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(no subject) [Jul. 5th, 2017|11:20 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Still here, but I have nothing interesting to report. Sorry.

Owait I did think of one thing. When I set up the CNC mill, usually I write an entire file for the mill to run, and it usually works perfectly. When I use a manual mill, I run it by hand and get something done that is reasonably close to what I intended.
But when I try to run the CNC mill by typing in numbers, I completely screw up, because I repeatedly make floating point errors. If I mean drill down 0.05 inches and instead type in 0.5 inches, boy does that make a mess. I shot a broken-off drillbit into a wall tonight from a mistake of that type. Which, by the way, is a very minor argument for operating in metric: all my mistakes are only 1/25 as big as operating in imperial. Unfortunately, the plans I'm working from right now are all imperial and sufficiently complicated I'm not up for converting them.

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(no subject) [Jul. 2nd, 2017|04:06 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
[personal profile] threemeninaboat's brakes are squeaking a lot. I was going to take off the wheels and check the brake pads and see how they were doing, right up until I realized that her fancy racing car has fancy racing car wheels with fancy racing car theft-resistant lug nuts and I have nothing that can remove them.
Anyone have any ideas how to track down a lug wrench for custom-sized-and-contoured lug nuts?
Like this: Anyone know a lug wrench that fits these?

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(no subject) [Jun. 30th, 2017|07:59 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Man, I have a lot of [really difficult question] "asking for a friend" going on in my reading list today.

This was a 200km of bicycling week (so far) and I'm kinda tired. Nobody do anything drastic, okay?

Also the space bar on my keyboard isn't working right. Bah.

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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2017|09:06 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
What's worse, when a person who has in the past acted like a normal human suddenly starts posting racist things, or when someone with an astoundingly racist user name posts normal and even informative things?

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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2017|06:45 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I went to the cardiologist this morning. She said a month of heart monitor showed nothing: my heart works fine at its normal 65bpm resting rate, and just as well during an hour of 170-190bpm bike riding. The echocardiogram showed no blockages or obstructed arteries, and no weird beats.
So it's back to the original theory, that my blood pressure drops when I stand up, and then I faint.

My manager had a somewhat awful, stressful day at work, because we have a contract worth more than 3x our total revenue the whole time we've existed, so we are desperate to make it work, but they won't really tell us what exactly they want, because it's proprietary (and they know quite well that despite all the NDA's we've signed, we're developing a similar product to sell to their competitors.) My manager is in the middle of this, and is so frustrated he can barely think. I asked "want to go for a lunchtime ride?" and he replied "I might just keep riding." It turns out that when he goes hate riding, he is *markedly* faster than he usually is. This is the guy for whom I usually end up dropping off the back of the pack to ride with him for the rest of the ride. Today I had to slow down a little to get him in my draft and back with the main group twice, and he led for a lot of the ride. He was a bundle of energy. When we got back I asked him if he'd thought about work during the ride and he sat down on the floor, then flopped back on his back, and said he couldn't even remember his name. He was still there five minutes later when I went to do something else.

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