Friday, March 30, 2012

microrax cnc

If you didn't click through to watch that video the end of the last post this is the guy that is just boiling my blood.

Hey, I just whipped this fully functional thing cause it was interesting

He made his frame out of this stuff, which I'm thinking I need to get some of given the ease of making it square and LEGO'S FIT IN THE TRACKS OMG WTFBBQ.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CNC Update of sorts

So all of the parts I mentioned in this post have arrived and this weekend my Father (woodworker extraordinaire) is going to be in town so I think rather than jump into my latest time sink/money waster ie CigarBox guitar, or Charcuterie.  For the curious or deranged, you can see a tiny window into my clusterfuck of a brain over at my Beer Links Page.

I need to make sure I can locate all the pieces, but it may finally be time to fire up this tiny CNC Router and get it working.  This post from a dude that had no electronics background that just whipped up a CNC router may have been some of the genesis for getting off my ass and completing this project.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turntable Art

I saw this article on Makeblog the other day, and really enjoyed the outcome.  The art generated by the two turntables spinning and playing their record out reminds me of those sand art sculptures that where popular in the 80's.

Image via Makeblog
Anybody else have one of these Sand drawing Pendulum's as a kid?

Image via Amazon[?]


Lifehacker shared an instructable for creating a portable "boombox" a while ago and I cannot seem to shake my interest in it.  It could be as this Geekosystem article points out that the boombox was the fastest adopted gadget in the last 50 years, and that nostalgia of listening to music with your friends in High school.  Regardless of the reason, and no matter how much of a hipster looking dbag the instructable author looks like I felt like there was something particularly interesting about this build

What do you think?  It's powered by AA batteries and uses this speaker this speaker and some laser cut acrylic and cnc cut MDF held together with fitted dowels.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kids are a huge time sink

By the time we get ourselves and the boy fed and into jammies I'm always amazed that its 8:30 and he's due for the last night feeding.  All I accomplish is get dinner cooked, and sometimes dishes cleaned.

Granted there is lots of time spent hanging out, and keeping him entertained but if your mind focuses on what you accomplished (like mine) the answer is all too often nothing.  I checked on the status of the 46,600ish files I recovered and am transferring to my MIL's new computer via Windows Live Mesh and got Mad Men premier converted and ready for the wife to watch and took the trash out but seriously that is it.

How bout you?  Been getting much done lately?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Well that was a pretty solid long weekend

I don't remember the last time my wife and I accomplished less on a long weekend, or had as much fun as we did.  Non-parents won't appreciate this I'm sure so feel free to skip if you don't want to listen to me prattle on about an infant.

We took him to the pool for the first time where we met up with a friend that also has a son about the same age as Rowan for a play date.  I'm not sure that my boy was super excited about the water, but the pool was sort of cold (colder than normal any way) and there where lots of 6-10 year olds splashing about that seemed to make him nervous.  We spent most of the rest of the day with that couple, just chatting and entertaining babies.

The next day was nice enough we went to the park (sadly 54°F counts for nice here in the PNW) and played with Rowan on the swings. They had those little bucket swings for kids that are too little to swing on their own so he even got to swing on his own a little bit. Since he's a Winter baby he hasn't been outside a very often because it's been so cold this year so he just watches everything, when he gets outside. There is so much to take in when he is outside, he just stares wide eyed with his mouth open at everything swinging his head around trying to see it all. My theory is his mouth is open because he wants to put it all in there.

Finally on Sunday Rowan surprised himself and us by rolling over the other direction (it's normally 6 months before infants can roll front to back, back to front) and even though he has yet to repeat the feat, it's nice to see him tracking on developmental stuff.  He of course choose to do the hard way first (back to front) and can roll that way at will (he is on his stomach often when we pull him out of the crib in the morning), but seems to prefer the skydiver pose when on his stomach.  He's starting to get that if he extends his arms out forward he won't be rubbing his face on the floor, but the tummy time still just makes him angry something fierce.  That is about all we did on Sunday, but he is definitely going to be his fathers son and fights going to sleep as hard as he can.  We have to rock and walk and listen to Bon Iver, or The National and S. Carey.  It blows my mind the effect of a little soft alt. rock.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Super lazy

Goodness I didn't post yesterday and it's approaching noon here and I still haven't posted anything for today.  Well yesterday I was oddly busy as I helped a new sales manager get settled in and pick out a new laptop, and scrambled to purchase Backup Exec under some promotional pricing.  The wheels of industry turn very slowly in a government agency so it doesn't matter that it is more than 1/2 off the sticker price and expires today, I couldn't get the PO pushed through.  I'm off on a weekday for the first time that I can remember in a long time.  So I've been emailing around to try and get this purchase finished before the deadline.

My wife and I are off today and planning on taking the little one to the pool today, and a few other chores that are hard to pull off during the weekend but mostly just hanging out.  I made it to Spinning class in at least 5 months and then I slept in and made breakfast for the wife and I.

Hope everyone's Friday is pretty chill, and here is some chill music to slide into the weekend with

International version  - as always ignore the video, it's just odd.

Bon Iver - Skinny Love from Sale on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BBQ pizza

Every now and again someone somewhere creates something genius.  Thanks to Gizmodo for sharing this

And now I need that.  Pizza in the house during the winter is a no brainer, but during the summer I'm loathe to turn on that damn oven if I don't need to and realistically you could use this for bread as well.  It might be harder to control the humidity portion (several bread recipes call for a pan of water to be placed in the oven as well.)

What do you think?  I feel like a reasonable approximation of this could be mad with a piece of steel and a welder.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Old Math

Complex mathematics at it's finest.  Thanks GAS

Living Room Project

My living room has been a disaster for much longer than I'm ready to admit, so as our debt diet comes to a close I have been dreaming of a way to reduce the clutter and get my home ready for a soon to be mobile infant.

There are two ikeahackers projects that have my eye as the inspiration for how I want my room to look.  The first is a solid wall of bookcase and the second is a way to conceal stuff in that bookcase.  Here are some pictures for reference.

What do you think? It's in concept state at this point, I'm just trying out ideas, but I like the clean look of a wall to wall with a mounted TV above it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Tech guy

So my lot in life is to fix things it seems.  I don't mind, truly I think I'm pretty good at it or at least I have a mind for this type of thing.  I find I have a knack for isolating things with a/b testing to come up with a decent explanation of what is going on and a course forward to fixing it.  If my own reasoning doesn't sort it out fast enough there is always google and the wealth of information on the internet.

Here's the thing, it gets a little overwhelming.  My own hobbies aside Last weekend my Mother In Law managed to cook a computer by touching two usb cables together (seriously I wouldn't believe it unless I saw the melted usb cable myself) so I helped them procure and setup a new one.  I still have the recovery of their files from the old one to get done.  My Mom needs windows 7 (so she thinks and I don't trust the local yocals in her town to do the job without loosing all of her pictures) so that is coming down the pipe on my birthday weekend.  My wife's iPod touch won't sync her movies for some reason so I fixed that last night with a factory restore and sync from backup.  My Dad broke his ereader (for reals it's broken, looks like impact to me).  I work in I.T. so yeah sometimes just my day to day gets me ground to a pulp trying to fix 60ish needy 40+ year old children.  My Mom wants me to sell her old iPhone, and I have an old iPod touch to sell, my wife and I are trying to figure out a way to play music in the boys room in a simple manner, I have a micro-cnc router that I'm trying to build, I will be receiving my Twine in a few weeks for monitoring temperatures in a friends crawlspace to see if we can use it for barrel aging beer.  On top of all of this I really want to play MW3 and I have a 5 month old son and a wife.

Pumpkin Cranberry Sour in the keg

It's been a while since I've had beer in the keg for me to just go about drinking, so this weekend I finally got around to getting that damn Pumpkin Cranberry Sour blended it was 3 gallons Pumpkin Cranberry and 2 of the Sour pale.  At the time of the kegging, I would say it was a bit of a bust and I'm already working on what I will do the next time I try this.  First thing, way less pumpkin 12lbs is so over the top pointless I'm not sure what the hell my problem is.  Second thing I found an organic unsweetened, no preservative cranberry juice at a grocery store, it's $8 for the bottle vs $6/bag of cranberries.  I put 4 bags of cranberries in and I could only sort of see the color of the berries show up after the last addition.  Way too much money on an adjunct that is barely discernible in the finished product.  The liquid juice should have a much more noticeable effect on the outcome.
Third and final thing will be, I need to be more diligent about getting beers into secondary fermenters.  They spend way too much time on the yeast cakes picking up funk, for overall quality I need to just man up and do it.

All that said I apparently need to buy some keg lube, I will be damned if I could get a decent seal on my keg last night I tried two different lids and finally abandoned hope and grabbed the Vaseline.  It's not food grade and there is a good deal of argument as far as I can tell about the long term effects of the petroleum on the seal, but I'll be damned if I was going to bed with out CO2 on that bad boy so lack of consensus be damned!  I got seal, and I will check it again this evening to see how things are going.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What the Hell Jake?

Music video for sure, but really it's music video mangnum opus.  Jake you scary, scary bastard.  Happy weekend people.

International version as well

The Shoes 'Time To Dance' from Somesuch & Co. on Vimeo.

Rotary Tumbler

I remember from my childhood having a Rock Tumbler[?] when I was a kid and really enjoying the idea of polished stones.  It must have been a fad in the late 80's or early 90's but for some reason I was really into it for about a month, and then the first batch came out of the tumbler and I was all, meh.  What does this all have to do with?  Well make posted a project about making a rotary tumbler from printer parts and I for some reason got all nostalgic and super excited about making one.

During the course of finding a tumbler on Amazon, and reading reviews about tumblers I remembered my own experience and am now sad that everything from my childhood must have actually been really lame.  I'm almost afraid to watch an episode of He Man or god help me The Snorks (oh shit I did just watch an episode there is not god) or any other show that I was obsessed with as a child.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Drawing Cartoon Characters

If you don't follow Gizmodo, I totally understand.  Everytime I get close to unsubscribing from the feed, they post something that just captures me and keeps me coming back.  Today's post on drawing Classic Looney Tunes characters just floored me.  Wax nostalgic or whatever, but man I love watching animators work.

Yeah Toast

So you know how they say being tired is supposed to make you more creative? Well I'm here to tell you it isn't doing shit for me, so here's some Team Fortress 2 machinima.  It's crazy stale copypasta, but I was singing it to my wife on the drive in because I had (you'll never guess this next bit).............. TOAST!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feel good Science Ted Talk

If you're a fan of mythbusters I think you will appreciate this Ted Talk by Adam Savage. Make posted a great little video for the world to see and I think most people can appreciate a little science peptalk.

DST Sucks

So I've been tired all week, and haven't really been able to figure it out.  I mean sure I worked late on Monday and have been playing video games at night, but that doesn't contribute right? (jokes people) Anyhow just like I'm blaming Canada for this piss cold weather I'm suffering though I'm going to blame my tiredness on Daylight savings time.

Gizmodo drops some knowledge on why it's pointless.  At this point I'll take anything (especially if it comes with a nap).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ST Patrick prep

Some people will be needing this little bit of info in the near future, so I thought I'd help Lifehacker and Chow get the info out there.

IT related post

Okay so it's about to get technical and ranty up in here so if you don't care for either thing piss off.

Last night my coworker and I stayed late to update an IBM Bladecenter S raid controller and upgrade the drives from 1tb drives to 2tb drives.  These drives are effectively the SAN for the blades so doubling the storage is kind of a big deal as we get ready to start adding more blades into this thing.  The trouble I had with this is the update process is really just bunch of bat files and python scripts that rely on default users that you cannot change and in typical IBM fashion it's not all built in house it just strung together oem parts glued together with code.  It was supposed to be a maintenance window of 6-8PM, but we didn't finish until 11:30pm and I have contractors in this morning (supposedly 30 minutes ago so some fuckers are about to get a phone call) all because of the kludgy as fuck nature of the update process I'm tired and cranky.

Also the SAS raid controllers on IBM bladecenters run MontaVista Linux professional version 3.1 on the Power PC platform and have a default userid and password and telnet is on by default.  For the technically inclined try to imagine what is wrong with this horrifying picture.  I can change the password, but telnet needs to be on (that's how you communicate the firmware updates ..... for serious) and I can hide the interfaces in VLAN's with ACL's which mitigates it to some degree, but I still bet this damn thing has busybox on it (it serves web pages and I think has an ssh interface) .  Anyhow the updates are done, and I'm tired but I'm rocking a 7.3tb array in one storage module bay(would be 9.1 but I assigned one drive as global hot spare) and a little shy of 2.8tb array on 15k rpm sas drives for running sql on

Monday, March 12, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson

I swear this is the next incarnation of Carl Sagan.  These two men fill my head with dreams for the future, and our place in the sky.  With just the money we spent on the largely failed next generation fighter jet $66.7 Billion could fund NASA into the next decade.  Thanks GAS for posting this, I just don't get tired of listening to this man remind us of the importance of space and what it means for our society.


I have a lot of general purpose cooking crap in my life and I don't use all of it all of the time, so when the occasion comes to use a somewhat overlooked kitchen utensil it gives me time to reflect on it's general utility.  I made a cabbage salad that had a citrus dressing so I needed to use my old fashioned juicer.  That SOB doesn't fit over the top of anything, so I ended up juicing into a bowl.  The whole thing was a mess, and left me pissed off so seeing this little thing fleet like insult to injury.  Gizmodo shared a little juice that fits into the top of a water bottle.  It may not be the best way to gather your citrus, but after not having anything that would fit my damn juicer it would be a huge improvement.

Friday, March 09, 2012

No reason

Happy Friday bitches.

Barrel aging beer

*Le sigh, I think I'm in love.

Wireless charging

In a general sense I'm interested in seeing inductive charging in devices particularly entertainment devices.  The ability to lay a device down and have it charge for the next time I want to use it and not have to fuss with the cord to make sure it is charged up (I'm looking at you Barnes and Noble Nook Color).  These devices (phones, iPads or other tablets) are powerful and great to use for consumption of media, the instant on and ready to go nature makes them preferable to other devices (like netbooks) for quick access to information.  The trouble with wireless charging is it typically has to be built in by the manufacturer, which is why I'm excited for this Duracell powermat card.  It offers a retrofit option for devices you already own and gives manufactures a way to do what they do and let the customer make the choice on what inductive charging solution fits their needs best.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Gentlemen rant about the iPad

Yeah that about sums it up

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Sour Raspberry Ale

So the tiny side experiment I spoke of here just got bottled.  You hear that V, one down!

I really need to work on my thought process for these types of things in the future.  I had 1/2 a gallon of sour and 1/2 a gallon of raspberry ale, so it's going to be fairly sour and took the ale's abv% from 8.8% down to 6% and I'm very concerned about the carbonation levels.  I left the sour sitting in the carboy with a cap on for 3 or so days and it was all I could do to loosen the cap, and when I did get it loose the beer exploded out!  I left double the normal headroom, and only used swingtop bottles so that will hopefully help contain the pressure, but the blend needs to be like 25% or so.  I will give until Sunday to carbonate up and then I'm going to put in in the fridge at very low temps to try and crash the yeast out and keep it from going too crazy.  As it is, I got too much oxygen in there so the yeast is going to come back with a vengence and a blended final gravity of 1.008 there is still a decent amount of sugar for that Lambic blend to work on.

The taste was really nice at blending, but once the other flavors get a chance to work on this in the bottle it isn't going to be nearly as balanced as it was right now.  The funk was there, but muted and the raspberry was very prominent in the flavor the color was a creamy red, and really nice to look at.  I'm glad that I didn't figure out hop utilization beforehand and the ale ended up as bitter as it was given that I blended with an unhopped sour.  In the future, I will definitely dry hop the small sours just to give it some aromatic qualities.  And my final though goes out to the Mad Fermentationist, I have to disagree on the smackpacks not being enough.  I fermented a 1.040 unboild wort with just six drops the liquid Wyeast Belgian Lambic Blend (3278) aka the dregs from my Sour for blending and it took it down int he 1.005 FG range in less than optimal conditions (ie I fermented in a growler with no airlock with the second wash of grains that stayed in my cooler overnight)

P.S. might be handy for others too, but I needed a weighted average calculator for figuring out my blended abv%.  This one did the trick

Well isn't this guy a happy fellow

GAS posted this little gem.  If a little doom and gloom is what you need to start the day off right this dude has you covered.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

App Inventor free for all

So yeah, I wrote about app inventor a little while ago, and have even gotten as serious as installing ubuntu on a laptop so that I could get started with it and, lo and behold Make let me know it's open for all!

So basically all excuses for making android apps has been removed, go check it out and let me know if you make anything amazing!

Monday, March 05, 2012


When I was in college there was a little hole in the wall Cajun place up the street from the campus called From the Bayou.  The food was pretty amazing for being right next to a college, and the flavors where just not what you would expect to find in the northwest.  Between the great flavors and the fact that my (now wife) and I had our first date there, well southern cooking has a soft spot in my heart.  They had a lovely chicken and andouille sausage gumbo that is still the best I've ever had.  We had the good fortune to get our rehearsal dinner catered by them, but sadly the restaurant has since gone out of business and I still miss having gumbo every now and again.

I'm working off of this recipe from NewOrleanscuisine because it has the things I can identify as what was in the gumbo I loved, and I felt like he had some great tips on both the roux and the rice.  It was good, but I got scared near the end of the roux and started adding broth.  My advice is go into making roux with the knowledge that you may have to throw it out and ride that train as close to burnt as you dare.

Friday, March 02, 2012

This right here is a post about drugs

Versed (Midazolam) is a terrifying drug, you don't remember anything information goes in you're a human being and react the way you would normally you just won't remember anything that happens to you.  Memory inhibitor - terrifying.  People think it's funny, because you ask the same question over and over again as your brain tries to process what is going on around you.  It freaks me out a lot, and I know I've been administered this drug a few times for surgeries and it freaks me out that they can inhibit my mind so easily.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Recycle jeans

So Gizmodo posted this video a while ago about a special run of recycled denim jeans.  I'm confused why more recycling of denim isn't going on, if there is a "cost effective" manner for doing this I would think that it would be preferable to the trouble of new cotton from the field to be processed.