Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I finished making a lamp last night. The lamp frame probably came from Ikea, but I got it off the sidewalk. It was found on the sidewalk, holes burnt in the paper lamp shade. I tried to replace the paper, but I couldn't get it to hang quite right. Then I intended to use old slides from work, stitched together with enameled wire, to make the shade. That project was being delayed indefinitely. So I brought the lamp back to Kansas with me and used my "Aunt" Helen's old slides. She took photography classes that went on tours around the world. All her old slides ended up with my parents, who had no use for them, didn't want them, but couldn't throw them out. A hole punch for tiny holes helped puncture the corners of the slides. For thread I dissected some dead ethernet cables for the wires inside. Those wires stitched together the slides into the lamp shade you see below. Some really fine wire from a HDMI cable went around in a few places to help hold it together.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dead week

Nope. It's a dead week. Nothing to post.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I made my bed

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. I think the same is true when making your bed. Still, I did a lot more than some would say is strictly necessary.

The finished product
I'd been designing a bed in my head for awhile. I intend to make one for my guest bedroom. We found out when moving this mattress to the new house that my parents didn't have an extra frame for a queen sized bed. The mattress had been inside a drained waterbed for a few years, but the waterbed wasn't coming along to the new house. We're trying to find it a home with a needy family.

Mom said that we'd have to go out and buy a new frame. "No, no, no." I replied. This whole farm is filled with scrap wood and scrap metal that people have been shoving aside for a century. Each time with the phrase "This is perfectly good. We can use it someday." And much of it does get reused. Holes are patched in grain bins with sheets of metal housed in dusty corners. Part of a huge machine that used to lift hay ended up protecting an extension cord running to my Christmas lights. But much gets left and forgotten for decades.

Back in 1951-52 there was an oil well in the middle of the section. Grandpa told them there's no way he was letting them drive out through his wheat field. But, they could drive up the cattle path. To do so, they had to clear some trees out of the way. Back then you could take your felled trees to a lumber mill and have it cut into boards. The trees came back in pieces and were shoved in the corner of a truck garage until about a month ago.

I cut them to the length that I wanted, split some in half, sanded them until they looked ... well, I was going for clean, beautiful wood like you might get from the store, but I got a lot of encouragement to leave some of the marks from the rip saw to give the bed character. So I did. Still, you can see below that by being choosy about what parts of what board that I used and generous use of a sander I was able to get some good looking, if not totally straight, boards.

I was expecting to be called home at any time, so rather than buying some bed hangers online (couldn't find them in stores) I just got some mending plates and some T brackets to hold everything together. I couldn't find nails the right size for the holes in the bracket and short enough that they wouldn't go through the board. So I got nails the right width and took a grinder to them to make them the right length.

I used a different board for the head and foot boards. I don't know it's origin, but it has been in the rafters of the shop for all of my life. The first thing I had to do was get most of the dust off. Even after a bunch of sanding there was still a lot of grey to the wood. I figured that I'd just stain it and forget it. I haven't done that yet. Maybe before I leave. The piece that ended up as the head board had a crack in it. It seemed fine until I attached the legs. Then they were wobbling. A couple of applications of wood glue in the crack seems to have fixed that issue. There was never any question whether the side boards would be solid. They're really thick.

The whole thing wobbled and tried to tear itself apart as I assembled it in my bedroom. But the moment it was set upright it firmed up. Once the box spring was on the bed suddenly became an unmovable object, fixed in place in the universe.

It was designed so that I can put holes in the tops of the bed posts and attach decorative posts later. But the lathe is giving me trouble, so that'll happen later.

I learned a lot for me to use next time I try this. Bed hangers for sure. And pegs and notches, too. Plus some decorative flourishes for the head and foot.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Links: December 18

Mystery Skulls "Ghost" given the Scooby Doo treatment.

2014 pop music mashup.

Someone needs to tell me how to listen to this. [link]

The woman who confirmed the existence of continental drift. [link]

A parent takes his kid through the evolution of video games. [link]

Christmas lights to music for a whole neighborhood.

Chirping ziggurat.

Military robot fish. [link]

What different faiths say about pets and heaven. [link]

The time shown as it's RGB color. [link]

Satire - Dick Cheney calls for ban on torture reports. [link]

Federal ban on medical marijuana ends. [link]

Friday, December 12, 2014


Seriously? It's Friday again? Didn't we just have one of these?

This is one of my sources for links. I'll let you sift the wheat from the chaff this week. [link]

Also, there's a meteor shower this weekend. [link]

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kansas Christmas

I won't be able to get back to Baltimore and do Christmas lights like I wanted to, so here's what I did at my parents' place.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Friday Links: December 4

The whole run of Busty Girl Problems/Perks Comics. [link]

Blue, in animals, isn't a dye. It's a trick. [link]

Proposed (and rejected) Mars probe. [link]

The Elf Who Lost His Hand in a Tragic Toy Factory Accident: A Christmas Miracle

Vibration experiments being used in a music video. [link]

The effects of LSD on British Marines (1964).

What happened when 3,000 pounds were given to 13 homeless people. [link]

Ibuprofin eases hurt feelings in women, but worsens it in men. [link]

A brief history of dogs going back 32,000 years to the earliest evidence of domestication. [link]

Worst. Life Hacks. Evar. [link]

The budget for a concert tour. [link]

Satire news shows actually provide more facts and do more research than "real" news shows. [link]

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Links: November 28

First photo from Philae. [link]

The "sound" of the comet Philae landed on. [link]

Friendly deer with donut on its antler.

Inside the Siberian holes. [link]

Guy who appears as his own twin in his yearbook. [link]

Odor safe litterbox. [link]

Great celebrity letters to fans. [link]

Dramatic photos from WWI. [link]

Even if a fetus qualifies as a living human the woman's rights should still prevail over those of the fetus. [link]

A melting building. [link]

When Beijing runs clean. [link]

The invention of sliced bread. [link]

Play with fluids on your computer. [link]

Cut out flip books. [link]

An honest description of A Prairie Home Companion. [link]

What it's like living in space. [link]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gandolf feeds the dog

You've probably seen a video or two of a parrot feeding dog from the counter. Well, I got an in person demonstration.

My parents have a small, fluffy dog named Hannah. To make sure they don't accidentally double feed the dog they put pre-measured amounts of food in small bowls. If the bowl is empty then someone already fed the dog.

As Gandolf was exploring the kitchen in their new house she found the tiny bowls of dog food. She started taking out the food, one piece at a time, and dropping it on the floor. Naturally, the ecstatic dog ran around gobbling up whatever she could grab. I laughed, Mom laughed, Dad laughed, and then Gandolf got bored. Enough of this "one piece at a time" crap. She grabbed the side of the tiny bowl and picked it up. She was going to dump the whole thing over the edge if Mom hadn't yelled.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Excuses. Justifications. Preoccupations.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Links: November 14

Slow week. Sorry.

What kind of lemur are you? [link]

Pictures of a planetary system being formed. [link]

We had an earthquake the other day. Here's where you look to find recent earthquakes in your area. [link]

Google AI discovers the cat and how to pick them out in video. [link]

Hatebeak - heavy metal with a parrot lead singer. [link]

I used to have a copy of this historic Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer book. [link]

You only hear about the child molesting priests who are protected by the Vatican. You never hear about the 400 that Pope Palpatine actually defrocked. [link]

Ted Cruz - a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast Co. [link]

The Amazing Randi [link]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Old drill press

This is not an terribly interesting piece of machinery outside of it's age. It's a drill press. At this point we're guessing about it's age, but other similar models by the Buffalo Forge Company make me think it was made in the 30's. Probably older.  

Some modifications have been made. The wooden disc on top was added on by persons unknown (Great Grandpa?) so that it could use the motor you see hanging on the side of the shelf. The motor is probably from the 40's. The switch is from the 19-teens. The whole thing would still work if the wiring hadn't finally given up. The drill bits are stored in the plank that the drill is hanging off of.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rotary hoe

This piece of farm machinery hasn't been used in my life. I used to think it was a soil aerator similar to what left little dirt dog turds all over the school grounds. But, as you can see in the second picture, the teeth aren't hollow, so it wouldn't work like that.

This is actually called a rotary hoe. I've heard some people use the same term for a rototiller, but they're different machines serving different purposes. Rototillers dig much deeper and are used before planting.

When you plant crops the seeds usually end up two or three inches in the ground. The weeds, however, start growing right at the surface. The teeth of the rotary hoe just barely get into the soil. As you blast through the field with this behind your tractor it just destroys the first half inch or inch of soil and tears up the weeds while leaving your crops wondering what the fuck just happened, but otherwise fine.

Another use is for dry spells. After a long bout of no rain, the wind will kick up and start blowing away your soil. There's several ways to deal with that1. This solution is to pull the rotary hoe across the wind (i.e. if the wind comes from the north you drive east/west) and turn over the soil to bring some moisture to the surface. Then skip 2-3 rows and do it again until the whole field is covered with stripes. Not only will the moist stripes not blow away, but they'll catch much of the dust before it takes to the air.

When I was a kid, we used a springtooth for that. Maybe we'll get to that piece of machinery later. These days the farm is mostly no-till so the fields generally don't get bare enough to blow away.

You'll notice the four flat spots above the whirling teeth. You can throw weight on them if you want the teeth to sink further into the ground.

1 Another solution for preventing soil from blowing include planting wind rows. That's rows of trees similar to the one in the background of the first picture. 
These days we see a lot of people planting turnips so their leaves will protect the ground as the soybeans get ready to take off.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Links: November 7

Robotic elephant tram. [link]

Rapper 2 Chainz sampled Tom Lehrer.

Queen Elizabeth refuses to sit in the Iron Throne. [link]

Injured bird gets feather transplant. [link]


The flying car becomes reality. [link]

Big, ancient, stone circles in Jordan. [link]

The 10 most important changes in the last 1000 years. [link]

Stars and creators of a popular Iraq comedy show fear for their lives. [link]

Playing with gravity in the world's biggest vacuum chamber.

Heating oven that burns a whole tree. [link]

How dignity in death laws work. [link]

The guy who painted children with really big eyes... didn't. [link]

Reflections off the seas of Titan. [link]

NYC rat census map. [link]

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Portable hay barn

To me, this roof was a slide to play on as a kid. Before that, it was a portable hay barn. But even my dad doesn't remember it being used. What we know is that it was transported to whatever field or pasture you needed it in. You'd turn a crank to lift it in the air. If you're protecting a pile you'd just leave it there. If you had a stack of hay bales you could set the roof on top of them.

As the roof breaks down, we're discovering the trailer that was used to transport the roof. The fact that it's still there tells me that when the roof was put out there it was not meant to be a permanent situation. With some new wood it might still be a nice if rarely used trailer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Hay rake

This is a hay rake.

After cutting the alfalfa, someone comes along with this and collects it all into piles. The piles are then thrown on to a hay wagon by someone with a pitchfork. With a full load, the hay wagon pulls up beside the barn where a hatch has opened up. A track runs along the top of the barn. A large claw, similar to what you'd see grabbing stuffed animals in the claw machine at the arcade, would come along the track, out the hatch, drop down to grab the alfalfa off the hay wagon, hoist it back up, go back inside, and drop it in a pile. Later, the alfalfa would be fed to the horses and cows. Alfalfa is different from hay in that it needed more protecting from the elements. Thus, the need to get that stuff inside.

But, back to the hay rake.
Operating it was a two man job. One person would drive the tractor pulling the hay rake and another would perch on that seat in the middle of the rake to raise and lower the teeth. In the pictures above the teeth are raised. Below, you can see a foot rest and the lever being held down by a hook. Push it down and to the side to release it. When the lever comes up, the tips of the teeth drop down on the ground to collect whatever loose material you come across. Push the lever back down to drop the load, then drop the teeth again to keep going and make more piles.

So it's a two man job just to make piles of alfalfa. You've got two or three more collecting your piles, and probably more at the barn controlling the horses that run the big hook on a track that I mentioned before.

Have I mentioned I love my desk job?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Again, boo,


Friday Links: October 31

I'm slacking this week, I know, but I'm getting ready for a major house renovation.

Game: Phoenotopia - A long and involved 8-bit game. Aliens are coming, your village has been kidnapped, you must solve the puzzles and beat the monsters to find the ancient weapon to save the world. [link]
This is a long game that will likely take you days to complete. When you get stuck you can watch the 10 part walkthrough here

Parrots have names.

ISS supply rocket explodes after takeoff. [link]

Adjectives are supposed to have an order. [link]
pffft, whatever.

Finally, a cat with mutant powers. [link]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RIP: Angie Morrison

My great-grandparents adopted MaryLou. I'm not sure if it was formal or how she came into their lives, but for several years she lived on the family farm and became a de facto little sister for my Dad's mother. Her husband Angie (pronounced An-gEE) passed away the other day. In memory of Angie I want to tell this story of his from WWII.
Angie came home near the end of 1946, but not before he got the scolding of his life.
He'd been in charge of the first tank sent to raid a small Bavarian town. He stopped it at the top of the hill outside town and waited for the rest to get into position.
The Americans had moved in under darkness, lights out. They planned to use the element of surprise, go in together and flush out the SS soldiers believed to be there.
As they waited in the silence, Angie's tank driver asked him to double check the running lights, to make sure they were off. Angie leaned out of the turret. He realized too late his chin strap wasn't fastened. His steel helmet clanked against the cobblestone road, echoing as it rolled toward down the hill.
Soon after, Angie noticed someone walking up with the wayward helmet. All he could make out were the white grips of the man's pistols.
I hope that isn't who I think it is, the tank driver whispered.
It was.
Who owns this helmet? Gen. George S. Patton III shouted, his voice booming. Angie's bowels turned to ice.
It's mine, he answered.
Soldier, you have woken up every damn Kraut in this town, Patton said, shoving the helmet in Angie's gut.
The teasing began as soon as Patton was out of earshot. The three men in Angie's tank wondered why he didn't ask for an autograph.
Quoted from the Casper Star Tribune. full article

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Links: October 24

A goat and rhino playing.

Douglas Adams' daughter is cute. [link]
RIP Jane, his wife, dead now 3 years. 

They Might Be Giants' "Fingertips 21 - I Walk Alone" set to Star Wars footage.

Air umbrella. [link]

Maple syrup is good for you. [link]

The number of the beast is a poor translation. [link]

Sheep don't know each other after being sheared. [link]

Building the biggest ship in the world. [link]

History of merfolk mythology. [link]

Aren't you just the cutest giant, motherfucking spider? [link]

Not the most effective way to hoist a bucket, but the most fun.

How to minimize divorce risk. [link]

The woman who should have been an Apollo astronaut. [link]

Pictures of the comet that just buzzed Mars as seen from Mars. [link]
look for the satellite, too

How a professor deals with students who think men have fewer ribs because of the Bible. [link]

An autistic boy bonds with Siri. [link]

Where did last names come from?

Plants feel and respond. [link]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Faceless man mask project

To build a better Faceless Man mask I needed to work on a head that wasn't attached to me. So, I remade my own head. I have no pictures of me casting my own head. To do that I put on a bald cap, covered it and my face and neck with Vaseline, plastered the back, more Vaseline along the edge of that, plastered the front, pulled it off in two pieces.

The cast being held together with duct tape.

The cast filled with paraffin wax. 

Sitting up... with help. 

The wax head with the plaster ripped off. 

See previous caption.

Bald cap reapplied to the wax head.

Nylon stocking over the head. It didn't come down as well as it did over my own head. 

Cotton around the nose to lose some of the features. And coated in two layers of latex. A third might have been better.

Makeup applied to the head. Hopefully the coloring evens out with time. I'll touch it up more later.

The question now is whether I can peel it off this and on to my head as is, or if I have to slit open the back, put it on, and wear a wig.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pear tree - year 2

My pear tree after 1 year. No pears, yet.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Links: October 17

6 minute film about a neon bender. [link]
No, it's not some anime thing.

Fire chasing beetles. [link]

The potato people are taking our jobs! [link]

The most certain way of curing hiccups. Gloves recommended. [link]
See also [link]

The cost of raising Calvin. [link]

The design history of the Michelin Man. [link]

A 5 year old gets reassured about his worries about the Voyager probe getting hurt or lost. [link]

Who wins the scene? A breakdown of the shots of a scene in Silence of the Lambs.

Don Hertzfeldt's opening to The Simpsons. [link]
Don't get the gag? [link]

How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway. [link]

What? Really? Birth control decreases teen pregnancy?! WOW! <----Sarcasm [link]

Spiders use electrostatic repulsion to fly. [link]

What if California's draught lasts another 70 years? [link]

Guy makes film of a tiny planet. [link]

Most useless objects ever. [link]

Filming guitar strings with an iPhone. [link]

Nobel prize awarded for a microscope resolution enhancement. [link]

Getting through airport security may be tough. [link]

Getting to know the girl shot by the Taliban as she recovers and sees the world. [link]

Alzheimer's Disease developed in a petri dish. [link]

How Minecraft encourages reading. [link]

The problems experienced by the first person to go on a space walk. [link]

Animal family photos. [link]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More kids doing construction

Another week of kids doing construction at my house.

More or less random curves being cut on a bandsaw.

A roof for a ... turtle house? I cut the notches in the roof for the walls to sit in. He did the rest. 

Having made one box with my scrap wood, he came back with his own wood for the sides of this box.

Same box, lid open. You can see wood putty in holes and seams.
I had a picture of the box painted white, but my phone denies it's existence.

Not pictured: Kids soldering Larson Scanner kits.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Links: October 10

Obscure and complicated easter egg for Fallout: New Vegas.

Robot Octopus. [link]

Using the Leidenfrost Effect and specially cut grooves to make water run uphill. And then build an awesome water maze. [link]

Baltimore woman locks a cop in her basement and gets away with it. [link]

Planets in binary star systems are rare. But here's one they're already calling Tattooine. [link]

A genetic mutation that heightens HIV resistance. It has Norse origins and may have been selected for due to smallpox. [link]

Comcast calls employer of complaining customer and gets him fired. [link]

You can fry japanese maple leafs for snacks. [link]

Detroit even loses money on parking tickets. [link]

The most Australian pig ever, drinks 18 beers and started a fight with a cow. [link]

Most people with addictions grow out of them with time. [link]

The benefits of being polite protesters. [link]

How a custom puzzle maker works.

Microsoft has some interesting smart covers for their tablets. [link]

Underwhelming Lovecraft. [link]

Dancing traffic light.

Combination locks can work backwards, too.

Japanese Maple Leaves can be fried and eaten. [link]

Monday, October 06, 2014

Weekend projects

This weekend I ended up working on other people's projects.

I had made a cast of my head for a project and some of them saw me working with it. One kid wanted one of his own. I put him off for a bit, but he came back Saturday still wanting it. So I agreed. I don't have early pictures, but here's how it turned out.

I put a bald cap on him, slathered his face and neck in Vaseline, and used up the rest of the plastered bandages I'd picked up at Michael's as well as some supplemental plaster just to fill all the holes in the fabric. Then I showed him how to spray paint in such a way that he maintains control. Lots of long, light strokes and shields and masks to control where it goes. We did cut eye and mouth holes, eventually.

While working on that, another kid came along looking for some lumber. I checked with his father before letting him in my house. What started as a lumber grab soon became a full bike ramp building project.

Luckily, the kid had some experience with power tools. I still hovered and showed him some new tricks, but he did most of the cuts. Some of the other kids got to cut some, once I was convinced they could handle it safely. After the table saw, we got out the nail gun to put it all together. Good news/bad news, the kid now is pretty good at clearing jammed nails safely.

This last picture is a crew of kids helping him take the ramp home. It was well tested before he took it home. It holds up well.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Friday Links: October 3

Thermal imaging for the iPad. [link]

The Chubbchubbs short cartoon.

City population replaced with dolls. [link]

But Mexico went one creepier. [link]

Surge is coming back through Amazon.com on a trial basis. [link]

All footage of the 10th Doctor running edited together. [link]

Dolphins doing drugs. [link]

The ABCs of Hand Tools.

How a bean becomes a fart. [link]

TED video on mental illness in animals and it's treatment. [link]

Corporate death penalty. [link]

Two days to move 11,500 miles of track 3 inches. [link]

Testing the limits of a building hardening agent.

Stronger nano-tubes give us another step towards space elevators. [link]

The CIA Starbucks. [link]

ISIS and American Christians have a common interest - ban evolution in schools. [link]

Bill Murray on Letterman in the very early days. [link]

3 girls win Google's Global Science Competition with a way to speed germination of some cereal grains and increase their growth rate. [link]

Kansas proves that the Conservative utopia is an economic and cultural disaster. [link]
Kansas repeatedly votes a couple of Republican Governors and then a Democrat when the Republicans become too insane to vote any other way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Neighbor kids learning checkers on a board I made with another kid.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Faceless man - round 2

I tried a different way to make faceless makeup. It uses a bald cap, nylon stocking, liquid latex, and flesh colored makeup. I put some cotton on either side of the nose make the nose less defined. I'll use more next time I do this. The discoloration on the front is where I didn't put the latex on enough to close the holes in the stocking so I could see and breathe.

I did slather my eyebrows and beard stubble with Vaseline to make sure the latex didn't stick. It worked fairly well. I pulled the mask away from my face after the third layer of latex and before putting the make-up on. Even with the Vaseline there was some pulling, but nothing painful.

Problems: This looks pretty good from the front, but from other angles there's a problem. I fixed some of it by taking pictures and patching them up blind. But, really, I needed a cast of my head to work on or some volunteer to help me beyond a certain point. Or wear a wig.

And I may need to do the neck first, when I can still see reasonably well. I gotta hide the band around my neck.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Links: September 25

Russian Winnie Pooh.

A special breed of dog that just turned a spit. [link]

30000 year old virus is largest one ever discovered. [link]

Dust from the Sahara causes a carbon sink in the Bahamas. [link]

A mission to save a  Soviet satellite in 1985. [link]

The long rift between Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. [link]

Frogs and an iPad.

Live webcast of the radio station played at and for NASA. [link]

India has something going into Mars orbit next week. [link]

Reliability of contraceptions over time. [link]

Dancing spiders and the beat they're dancing to.

Artificial sweeteners mess with the intestinal flora of mice. [link]

The new insulting term for ISIS/ISIL. [link]

18 kinds of people who comment on recipe posts. [link]

Adult playground. [link]
no, not that kind of adult playground.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Links: September 19

My garage was here a minute ago.

Johnny Carson can't keep a straight face.

A breed of fish that doesn't live in the water. [link]

Ghostly gifs. [link]

The wild cattle of Hawaii. [link]

Men being raped in the military. [link]

Aztec Batman. [link]

99 Luftballons played on balloons.

Goodnight, Iron Man. [link]

Doctor Who Dodecahedron. [link]

"In the Mood" on ukuleles.

What kind of messed up upbringing is this?

Why America refrigerates it's eggs when most of the world doesn't. [link]

Creepy and sweet. Same coin, different sides. [link]

"5 Things I Learned as a Sex Slave" [link]

An Iraqi girl tells of her escape from ISIS sex trade. [link]

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Links: September 12

A car design you normally only see in Europe is finally going to make an appearance in America. [link]

First peek into hidden chambers in the Great Pyramid of Giza. [link]

Stockbrokers really are worse than psychopaths. [link]

This is interesting, but how are they getting electricity from the algae. [link]

The horror of SpiderDog.

Video of a volcano exploding. [link]

Marc Maron chatting with Robin Williams. [link]
This is how Gandolf found out Robin Williams was dead. She was upset. "No way. No good. What? What? What?"

Light brought to a stop. [link]

The man with 3 legs, 4 feet, 16 toes, and 2 genitals. [link]

Jupiter used to be much larger. [link]

What dessert is your state known for? [link]

How to call in sick for minor illnesses. [link]

Light spitting fish. [link]

Jack the Ripper identified by DNA. [link]

Hit men who specialize in getting Jewish women divorces. [link]

Pictures of California's drought. [link]

That's not a telescope. THIS is a telescope! [link]

The first stand-up comic. The racist everyone looked up to. [link]

Going into yourself. [link]
People who have seen me programming report seeing the same thing. 

Pictures of a hitchhiking genet. [link]

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

faceless makeup experiment

My makeup fell to the side for a bit as I worked on my aquaponics system and assembling my Christmas light controller (more on that some other time). So here's something I threw on last night. This was experimental. I'd seen someone else do it, but I knew there'd be kinks to work out. So I did one that would be incomplete just to see how it went.

First, I need to get contacts before I do this again. I could see out, but the world was a blur.
If I could see better, I think I could have put on the tape better. That is, with less wrinkles.
I should have put cotton balls over my right eye just to add structure to that side. Some of the issues with the wrinkling was due to that eye socket collapsing.
I put most of the tape on vertically. A few horizontal pieces would have helped with the structure and the wrinkles
I might just want to put nylon stockings over my head and put latex on that.
I can see out of that tiny slit, but I'm going to need nasal breathing tubes or something so I can close up the mouth.

I've heard some talk about sanding latex. I need to figure out how.

masking tape with one layer of latex

more layers of latex and my friend

6(?) layers of latex?

with makeup in poor lighting

dang. Better lighting doesn't help

longer shot

Monday, September 08, 2014

Fiddling with acylic

Last week I posted about the fish tank that I patched up. Didn't read it all? I don't blame you. I blathered on for pages. The plan was to make it a small aquaponic system. I could cheap out and put a plastic tub on top... in fact that's what I did do, eventually. But before I resorted to the tub I had a dream. I wanted a custom made tank that fit perfectly over the aquarium and was decorative as well as functional. After all, I'm putting this in my front window for anyone to look at. I'm making a museum piece... out of a ugly, patched fish tank... perhaps not my best idea. Today I want to tell you what I did, where I succeeded, and where I went wrong.

There's my design. It sits on top of the aquarium with 3/4" legs hanging over the ends to keep it from slipping. The long edges hang over the front and back of the tank by about an inch each way. The gap at one end was where the automatic feeder would fit and hoses would come out.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but the corners of the long ends isn't square. It's rounded. Back in college I was shown how to use this strip heater to soften plexiglass so it could be shaped into a small picture holder. That stuck with me and I've been wondering for years if I could do the same thing with a heat gun. Turns out you can.

The trick is to control where the heat goes. You want only a narrow band heated. I accomplished this by putting aluminum foil over the plexiglass with only a millimeter or two exposed between sheets. I used masking tape to hold the foil in place, but put the tape on unheated side so it wouldn't melt or catch fire or something.

only a mm or two exposed.

I clamped the plexiglass to a bench, slowly waved a heat gun back and forth over the gap, and gently lifted on the unclamped side. After a few minutes I was able to lift the loose end further and further until it was at a right angle. The outside of the curve had the same arc as the edge of a quarter.

At a right angle.
The second curve didn't go quite as well. It wasn't bad. But it didn't curve as smoothly. There were flat spots. I think I rushed things. Since the first corner went so well I got cocky and lifted with too much pressure. The plexiglass bent, but wasn't as soft as I might have liked.

If I were doing it again, I'd have a dowel rod handy to wrap the plexiglass around to make a nice curve.

The ends were cut out with a band saw. It was all sealed up with silicone aquarium sealer.