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sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

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(no subject) [May. 23rd, 2018|10:35 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
After the hobo crash a couple weeks ago, my back hurt pretty consistently but not very much.
On Sunday I rototilled too much of the garden, and my back hurt enough that I took Monday off work.
I felt better for a day, but today, at about noon, my back decided to upgrade to Downright Unpleasant, and by the time I got home it was Miserable. Man does it hurt, the kind of hurt that feels like someone is pouring hot water down the inside of my leg and I can't lift my foot quite right. I may end up taking tomorrow off work as well. [personal profile] threemeninaboat gave me some sort of gel tablet and now it doesn't hurt anywhere nearly as much, but I'm very dizzy. Off to bed.

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(no subject) [May. 21st, 2018|09:30 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
2018-05-21_09-28-41
This is what Monty looks like when she is at Maximum Snoring Volume. I can't believe how loudly this dog snores.

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(no subject) [May. 20th, 2018|07:55 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I've been really quiet lately because I have too much going on, and none of it is interesting enough to post about.
I did go on a nice bike ride, up the side of a mountain that I thought was just going to be fairly smooth forests, until we came out into a clearing and saw this.
2018-05-20_06-28-51

Saturday was Pokemon Community Day, and we wandered around a nearby lake catching virtual animals and watching real ones. There were some waterfowl I didn't recognize, floating in the lake and bobbing upside-down for food, but with long narrow beaks rather than the broad ones of geese and ducks. There were also a ton of cormorants.
2018-05-20_06-27-44
This always looks to me like a treasure island of some sort.
My dad used to tell us stories about a cat and dog who were inventing technology. They had a secret underground hideout and mine in an island, and I always imagined it looking like this.

I rebuilt a bbq light I got years ago to make it AC powered rather than battery powered, because while I loved having the light, the batteries had a very short lifetime. I drilled a hole in the side and soldered some wires into the plastic battery carrier, and spliced on an old cellphone charger of about the right voltage, and it works much better now.
2018-05-20_06-26-38

Today I rototilled too much of the garden and went out to dinner with [personal profile] maribou and [profile] birdmojo at a lovely place downtown.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/39928.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [May. 1st, 2018|07:33 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We went out at lunch, until we hit a little bit of rain, and turned it around and hightailed it back. We walked in the building, and about two minutes later, the hail hit. It wasn't big, like marble-sized, but it went on for about forty five minutes.
2018-05-01_07-28-54
This was beneath one of the apple trees up the street.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/39498.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [Apr. 30th, 2018|07:39 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Today was frustrating. I got called up for jury duty, showed up, and they kept me until almost noon before deciding they didn't need me. Someone on the other side in Ingress retired so now he's spending time doing stuff nobody had time to do earlier, like hiking 8 km in to a portal I've owned for almost a year and being really irritating with its possession, so on the way up to work I figured I'd ride up and recapture it for our team. I zoomed up there like I was drinking rocket fuel... and my phone wouldn't work. So I didn't get to capture it and be annoying, and instead, was annoyed. I went to work and spent the day pushing pixels around, which is increasingly annoying my sense of mortality, and just at the end of the day, my manager came in, infuriated at the software package I know better than anyone else, with a very specific problem that I couldn't rapidly answer, so I stayed late trying to figure out.

I'm looking at new(er) phones on ebay right now. Maybe one that's only five years old, rather than seven.

The subject of basic income has been coming up a lot. Alaska's version has been running for 40 years and is wildly popular, probably because it's not called universal basic income. As [personal profile] gfish points out in his recent post, using "UBI will simplify welfare and increase its efficiency!" can be code for "now we only have one target in our quest to kill economic support networks."
I have an economics question. If we give everyone $x, why won't the price of non-negotiable items like rent and food tend to rise proportionally to that?
But that kind of segues into the observation that all wealth transfers favor capitalists, if all you look at is money, not value.

After seeing a couple of articles about how the Department of Homeland Security is looking for contractors to help compile lists of journalists and bloggers "for security purposes" I started thinking that 'homeland security' wasn't really a very good name for what they're doing now, and that maybe 'stasi' would fit better, which got me to reading about the Stasi. One of the things they innovated was realizing that arresting people and torturing them was bad press, so instead they went to epic lengths to gaslight dissidents and people they even thought might be trouble: interfering with their work environments, having things ordered, delivered, and billed to the people that they didn't order, entering their houses and moving things around or substituting items with similar items, just to mess with their heads and make them doubt themselves.
This was 50 years ago. I bet security organizations have figured out even better ways to discredit opponents invisibly in the intervening time.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/39311.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [Apr. 29th, 2018|06:25 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I finally fired up the Glowforge laser cutter. It's pretty swank. This was my first trial cut. I took a calligraphy pen, drew the kanji representing "Japan" on a piece of scrap paper, had the cutter scan it, then burn it into plywood.
2018-04-29_06-22-13
It will also burn all the way through, in case I wanted to stencil, or will do its best to convert to a grayscale, so I could produce light/dark brush strokes.

The main point of a cutter is cutting things, but I think engraving things might be more useful to me. I'm currently engaged in using it to engrave LEGO bricks fairly deeply. I can then spray-paint the surface and sand it flat again, and have a nice inlay effect, that preserves a person's handwriting look. (Hm. This does imply that I now have excellent forgery skills, as this can draw in a nice dark brown color on paper.)

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/39158.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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sleeping dreams [Apr. 27th, 2018|07:37 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I dreamed: that I'd finally managed to buy one of my dream cars, a GT6.

This is a Spitfire with a hard top and a significantly bigger engine, and I think they're beautiful.

So of course when I got it there was something wrong with it, in this case with one of the front wheels, so I fixed that, and I was all "I'm going to take it for a test drive to make sure my fix worked" and [personal profile] threemeninaboat is all "Dinner is going to be ready in FIVE MINUTES. FIVE." I'm all "just around the block. I'll be right back." So I drive halfway around the block and the front tire goes flat or falls off I don't even know, and I can't turn left, so I decide I'll just drive on the dead tire to get home quickly and turn right, to go the long way around the block, and instead I'm suddenly in downtown Denver, and there are all these people milling about and running, and I see a couple of people on the ground bleeding and two guys waving pistols around.
So I run over them.
And the GT6 gets stuck on top of them because it has about enough ground clearance to straddle an apple, so now the car is stuck on them and they're going to die, so I have to get out and push the car off them.
And the door handle breaks, because I hadn't gotten around to replacing the delicate plastic door handle cams with handmade metal ones like I did in the Spitfire, when its door handle cams broke and left [profile] sparklyjules stranded inside the car, and because it's a hard top I can't just step out over the door but have to wriggle out through the window, and now I'm TOTALLY GOING TO MISS DINNER, and plus I'm increasingly worried that the two guys were libertarians with guns who were trying to shoot the person who actually shot the people on the ground so if I get out I might have to deal with that, too.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/38786.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [Apr. 25th, 2018|09:59 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
So this discombobulated mass of wiring:
2018-04-25_09-48-31
is a kiln controller. It reads a thermocouple and will let me run the burnout oven under precise temperature control, fairly precise heat-up and cool-down ramp times, handles measurement and producing a just-sufficiently-slow on/off wave pattern to the relay that controls the oven coils, and logs what it's trying to do and what the actual results are to a memory card. Right now it'll also log to a webpage I can look at, via ethernet, and can take commands either from an attached computer sending serial commands, or from a file it reads off the memory card. (and it displays what it's measuring and trying to do to the nice lcd screen.) I'd like to have this whole thing working wirelessly at some point, and be able to change the heater tuning characteristics remotely as I accumulate data, but that's still in progress. Now I can do a gradual burnout of wax molds (if my homemade oven gets hot enough) and a gradual annealing of glass beads. Man, I've needed this capability for like 18 years.
It does need more robust packaging, though. I have to turn all this into a single board, that the thermocouple amplifier and LCD solder onto. (And add buttons for the menu system, because right now I have to simulate that by sticking a wire into various points as it runs, to simulate multiple attached buttons.)
The white proto board and the potentiometer are just there to handle power distribution and contrast for the LCD. None of the chips on there do anything.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/38471.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [Apr. 24th, 2018|08:10 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I'd wanted to go on a ride at lunch. Someone from the other Ingress team hiked into a remote area and captured a strategically important portal, and I was going to zoom in there.
It was half-raining and half-snowing all day.
I just didn't have the energy to do it.
Instead, I sat around at work and battled poor release documentation, in trying to finish a project that's going to be released to the world at large. That requires fulfilling a lot of different checklists, and I feel my soul shriveling a little each time I look at another one.

Man. I was going to come up with something interesting that had happened today, but nothing's really leaping to mind. Sorry.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/38345.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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(no subject) [Apr. 22nd, 2018|10:48 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Monty has horrible sleep apnea. Sometimes I reach over and wake her up because it's been so long since she last breathed. She snores like someone sawing, but very irregularly. It's really weird to listen to.

This entry was originally posted at https://randomdreams.dreamwidth.org/38075.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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