Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Pictures By The Artist In Residence

Here's another round of pictures taken by Henry, with his comments and my translations where needed...

"It's Stanley, he's sitting down. "

"Max sitting down, too. I liked that prize." (translation: I liked his surprise)

"Mommy, she's putting garbage in the garbage can. "

"It's the clouds and the sheep." (translation: horses and cows)

"Kent, not working!"

"Different." (Henry was moving a bit fast)

"Kentses hook! Because it was great. "


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Almost Halloween

That seemed an appropriate title, for the first two pictures.

Henry tries his new costume, "Crazy guy with a pull-up on his head, now give me some candy, man"

Max scares us by eating yoghurt.

Max plays a tune.

Henry rides his bike at the base of Bald Hill.

So as you can see, we keep having fun. Henry has taken some more pictures, but we haven't taken them off his camera next - that will be in the next blog post.

My new (to me) South Bend 10K lathe. Felice helped me drag it into the shop today. Not many women would do that for a man. I need to bolt it down, wire up the motor, retrieve one part that got left at Kent's, and start making chips.

The almost perfect ways, notice that the factory scraping is still almost intact. I've been wanting a lathe that didn't have much wear for a while. My Atlas 10" had a huge gouge in the ways and always turned a well as just being worn out generally. The lathe belonged to Kent's ex-father-in-law, who bought it new in 1977. He only used the lathe to make parts for his perpetual motion machines. By the way, such a device is not generally though of as possible, and his EFL did not actually make anything that worked.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs

Henry was having a "bad day" (his words) on Friday so I decided to cheer him up by digging out our old digital camera and letting him loose upon the world. Here are the results, with his dictated captions after the fact (a good reminder that children give unreliable testimony in court):

"Max!!! Maxi-mouse was playing"

"He's playing!"

"Going home...go-ing... "

"Skeleton, he didn't do anything. "

"I wanted to print pictures, it is green soda, you can't eat it"

"A garbage can, I wanted to take a picture of it because I love it. "

"Daddy, he's doing some work. "

"Kitty cat, he's sitting! "

"Me! Happy."

Sometimes all it takes to cheer a kid up is to give him new and exciting capabilities. Henry now loves to take pictures and already can turn the camera on and off. He's working on not getting a finger in front of the lens. What I find most interesting is the physical perspective - this is Henry's world, about 3 feet off the ground. The pictures also tell us that he can see dirt we don't see.

Here are some links:
Dave Watkins's Live Steam Page

This Lego robot (PDF) report by a 9th grader who will probably be a millionaire when he grows up. I was blown away by it, it is better than most adult work.

An excellent video Mindstorms NXT tutorial.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Henry started pre-school last week. He enjoys it. Tempus Fugit, blah, blah.

Max says "I can wear a soup bowl as a hat!"

"See! I don't care that it has soup in it, it still works!"

"I am one stylish dude in my soup hat!"

Henry shows a collage he made in pre-school

"I was cleverly hiding this stick behind my collage"

So life continues.

Felice started a much better blog last month, she writes more and is much funnier than I am.
It's part of her "build a buzz about me on Etsy" campaign and has paid off in two pairs of earrings being sold...

I finally spent some of the money lavished on my for my birthday. I bought the Lego Mindstorms NXT. I could lie and say I bought it for Henry and Max, but you would see right through that gossamer excuse.

The plan for today is to build the "Start Here" robot, so called because there is a box labelled "Start Here" that contains the parts for the fist simple robot. We'll see whether Henry can focus enough on it to withstand the boredom of a complex assembly.
Here is the boring Mindstorms official blog and here is another robot blog.

I spent some time last week perusing Corvallis blogs, here's one with lovely nature pictures from around the area.

Here are "Gary's Clocks", PDF downloads of wooden clock plans. Looks like another fun to build project to add to my list.

Lest you think the Continostat is no longer on my mind, I was sent a link to an Ebay auction of a Nupubest, which is a similar contraivance from the same era. I may bid on it...but not too much.

The previous week has been spent milling parts of the secret device, let's just say that 100 arrayed 1.25mm holes would be difficult to drill without a CNC mill. I have again learned a lot through practice. I'm getting closer to being happy with a "Nick will model parts in Rhino for you" page, but I plan on changing many things before I put a link from my main site. Any comments about this first draft of a site would be appreciated. I think the whisk model is terrible. I'm working on an animation of the steam engine model that will be posted as well, if I ever finish it.

Finally, has anyone visited an Ikea store and checked out this chair? It looks good, but I am loath to buy a chair without some sort of review/feedback, and our local Ikea is about 300 miles away.

That's all for now...