Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fun and Food

I pump 60 psi into a 2 litre bottle filled halfway with water

I pull the trigger, you can just make out a column of water streaming down from the bottle as it flies into the sky.
Yes, water rockets! They went at least 60 feet up, and flew all over the property due to lack of fins and a strong wind. One is in the middle of a patch of poison oak, where I left it....Henry loved it, Max was a bit frightened.

Henry amused, Max confused.

Two in jammies, but I'm the most tired.

Our friend Yodit delivered several days worth of Injera and assorted dishes thereon, she is currently my favorite person in the world. She just called up and said "I'm bringing you some food"! The spicy hard boiled egg is my favorite!

This is a book you can buy me. His illustrations in The Circus of Dr. Lao were mindblowing when I read it in my childhood.

Shapeaholic's Workshop, all things shaper-ey.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dishwasher Fun

The handle on our Maytag dishwasher broke for the 2nd time the other day...

The above is the first handle, note how all the hinge pins sheared off...

The above is the 2nd handle. Notice the redesign with a dowel pin molded into the handle for the broken hinge pin. Unfortunately they used some tiny supports for the pin in the mold that left small holes in the plastic - which were akin to perforations and led to the handle breaking again, and the pin on the right actually pulling out (and probably getting sucked into the pump, but I haven't heard any bad noises as yet)

I laid out the bits of a piece of aluminum that weren't the handle and milled them away

This was more like machine assisted sculpting than precision machining...

I then laboriously filed away all the bits that were not a handle.

And believe it or not I made a handle that snapped into place and works great!

Felice just got back with a replacement handle from our local and wonderful appliance store. I won't install it unless the aluminum one fails. Notice this is a third design, with only one large hole for pin support (one assumes the pin was supported also in the mold at the end where it sticks out) on each side. I'll have to make a real drawing of this in case I ever have to make another one. I wish Maytag had worked out the bugs in the design before selling me the washer...

Henry has some Matzoh ball soup.

Henry hunts eggs indoors as it was hailing all day. Notice the seasonal Easter basket.

Here's a good DIY CNC site.

Who knew so many Japanese soldiers ended up in Russia? You could make a good movie out of this story.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nerdy stuff

A customer emailed needing a way to make a custom thread for some optics, so after some thought I recommended thread milling. But I can't recommend something without trying it out, can I?

A 4 flute hand tap with 3 of the cutting edges ground off to make a one flute thread mill.

A hole produced by thread milling.

So my customer will save the $200 for a custom tap, after he does some headscratching of his own....

In other nerdy news, I installed SuSE linux earlier this week. I had no real reason, except that my old PC was being neglected. I need to reinstall though as it was a dual boot and windows isn't working well after the installation...also I can't log onto the linux box from XP...Linux may be free and cool, but it's more of a pain to setup networking, as you can see here than it was in least for me, who knows nothing of the underlying mechanisms of either.
(not to be taken as an attack in Linux, which is neat and has lots of free software...)

Here is how to grind a drillbit for drilling plastic.

Here is my friendly local gun shop.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Max is One

Happy Birthday Max! 04/03/06 One Year Old.

Mmmmm, cake!

Old age and youth.

Henry has been painting his cars, I can hardly wait to start building and painting models with him!

Two happy, suspciously so, boys.

So we had a successful birthday party for Max, although all the children that attended now have various ailments which I'm assuming they contracted somewhere else. That's my story.
The house is full of mylar (the balloon that never dies) ballons, some sent by my mother, others purchased at the dollar store for, um, a dollar. The effect is somewhat like being 3 feet below the surface of a multicoloured sargasso sea, or jellyfish convention.

At the dollar store the guy ahead of me had a total purchase of $2.50. That confused me until Felice revealed that things at the dollar store can cost less than a dollar, just not more. (she now confesses that in a Cliff Claven moment she just made that up, it may not be true...)

I finally put something up on Ebay a few days ago. Why I even bought it in the first place is a mystery, but that someone has bid is a miracle. I think my description is accurate.

If you watch "Lost", this will help.

I was reminded of the Maparium a week ago, it is a wonder.

I am trying to figure out which "mini DV" camcorder to buy - if anyone has any hints about what is a good or bad brand/model, I'd love to hear about it, I'm trying to spend less than $400.

Felice stayed home from the market yesterday, although the promised rain never arrived I think we all needed a day off. This morning I fixed the door to Max and Henry's bedroom, it didn't engage the striker, so I filed the opening slightly larger using a square bastard file.

Then I started the DR mower up, and after much cursing and my determination that I did have spark, gas and air it finally roared to life. I also killed a sleepy yellowjacket, who was sitting in the shed toolbox, with a ball peen hammer. I used to feel guilty killing yellowjackets when slow moving but now I kill without compunction. We have too many in our neighborhood.

The other day while driving to the post office, I glimpsed a stray dog wandering alongside the road, as I came closer I realized that it was a stray goat! I love rural living.