Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Links to stuff you probably don't care about

Ever find yourself in need of Graphing paper, or Cornell Notes paper? No, well you're boring graphing paper is where all the cool work get's done. It would be handy from time to time to be able to print some of that stuff out for my occasional (frequent) larks into science land. Now thanks to the power and awesomeness that is the internet I can! Generated Paper has a bunch of templates, but to be honest it's all about the graphing paper.

Related and also crazy in it's own right One Thing Well is a collection of single purpose scripts and applications (web or otherwise) for that nerd in your life that doesn't care for Swiss army knife programs that suck at most if not all of their functions. (It's okay Busybox, someone out there loves you).

So Generated Paper via One thing Well via Lifehacker (duh)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Everything for sale?

This page turner of an article came to me by way of a social network, so you could say that it is likely that my friends are quite a bit more highbrow then yours. You could say that, but in that same breath I would have to qualify that I believe this person also runs a Medical Marijuana dispensary so... we'll call it a draw.

The article come from The Times Literary supplement and is a sort of crituqe/book review of two books.
One is WHAT MONEY CAN’T BUY The moral limits of markets by Michael J. Sandel, the second is HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? The love of money and the case for the good life by the father son duo Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky.  It's long and wordy and would be greatly aided by you having read either book I think, but in the case of What Money Can't buy may well have saved you the effort.

In any event it's a pretty interesting bit of reading about the morality of markets and probably gives Ayn Rand and all of her adherents heart burn, which is reason enough on it's own to read it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Google Power Search

Given the amount of my day that I spend answering peoples questions by typing in the question to Google and reading them back the answer, I starting to think that Google Power Search courses should be taught to in middle school.  Perhaps with brush up courses every year for the truly dense.

So if you or someone you know could use some extra google-fu check out the power search courses.

Via Lifehacker

Make space that wasn't there.

If you've never heard of Ikea hackers you should really do yourself a favor and check it out. They have an assortment of projects people submit that takes parts from Ikea and use them differently than intended.  Sometimes it's a pretty radical transformation other times it just mixing and matching various families to get an end result that is different than how the package is marked. It can range from really easy when the families are cut with uniform dimensions and holes, to really hard when people completely free form structures using pieces from the box.

This particular post from Ikea hackers was about a built-in closet with sliding doors that transformed a fairly useless space into a closet. The end result is really polished, and what got me interested in it in the first place.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Out of sequence

So I listen to Slacker for my steaming music fix and the thing that I love the most about Slacker is that they play all of the songs, regardless of if they are filler or interludes ect.  This is strange sometimes (think any Offspring album) and amazing others.  For some reason songs disconnected from the album can strike you differently.  For example Bankrupt on Selling by Modest Mouse on Lonesome Crowded West.  I own this album and have listened to it dozens of times, but I have never noticed that song before.  It was lovely on it's own.

----Listen to it in sequence how did it strike you?

Keeping quite to achieve goals

According to this article on Lifehacker, you should keep quiet about your plans to ensure you complete them. It's an interesting theory about symbolic self-completion, basically by getting the praise for trying something you don't feel the need to actually do something. I don't have a large body of contradictory evidence, but I've told this blog and others that I was working on my mash tun false bottom, even shown it to some people and still worked on it this weekend.  I've talked about my skull carving and CNC projects, and am still working (very slowly) on those. I don't know that it's a pure 1 to 1 comparison given that all of those projects where underway before I started talking about them, but I feel like I have several personal examples that contradict these findings.

I've also followed several project build logs of others that documented their process from concept to completion with feedback, adjustments and still went onto completion. It may be that there is a specific type of person that feels like symbolic self-completion is enough feedback for them to not finish a project. One might even go so far as to call those people posers, people that want to be something, but might not have the will to actually be those people.  My lack of progress is time bankruptcy at home more so then praise being enough to sate my need to build something.

What do you think? Is there weight to this or is it more nuanced then they make it?

Monday, April 15, 2013

shovel/funnel out of a jug

There is no point to this really, but the open handle makes me think that it would be really useful to scoop and funnel grain into small containers.  I keep coming back to this image going that would be useful for beer or feeding chickens or ... really not much at all.

Make via Lifehacker

I apologize ahead of time, I have a lot of links in my drafts I'm trying to find the bottom of the rabbit hole.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And I really want to build this

Oh make and the things you show me that I don't have time to build.  Adult go karts? Yes, adult go karts that look like old timey hot rods.

So yeah, how much fun would that be?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fried Quinoa (like Fried Rice)

The other day I made a very large batch of quinoa for making this dish, and had a good deal left over so I put it in the fridge. I needed a meal idea and had chicken on hand so I looked around for recipes to use leftover quinoa and found this one.

The breakdown is really simple, if you've made fried rice it's the same.  Rice/quinoa for frying is best chilled overnight, if you cannot cook it and spread it out on cookie sheet and put it in the freezer.  The chilled starch is the secret to making amazing fried rice/quinoa at home.

Make two eggs dice and set aside
saute your protein, then the onions, garlic and ginger
add diced up eggs, quinoa, peas cook a few minutes then add soy sauce and fish sauce (I used Sesame ginger salad dressing instead)

I liked this better than fried rice, because it was lighter in texture and really packed a flavor punch.  In all I think prep and cook took about 15 minutes, so if you've got some left over quinoa this is really good.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stupid Draft folder

I have around 200 posts in it all the time.  I try to clear them out, and get down to around 150 either by deleting them or publishing them and then get distracted or bored and do something else so it just creeps back up to 200.

If I published them all I would hit an interesting milestone for this blog, almost a goal I guess but most of them are just a link to an article that I wanted to read, or a recipe or links to weight lifting forums or even just a project idea.  All of that will take work to flesh out and finish into an something even remotely interesting, and this platform is starting to show it's age next to the ease of use of products like Tumblr that really get's the platform out of the way so you can just focus on creating.  It makes it hard to come and queue up several posts because I cannot just say publish one a day at such and such time and be on my way I have to pick a date and time for each post. Add to that the cognitive burden of feeling somewhat attached to the stuff I've already written, so I check to make sure links aren't dead from time to time and repost video's that have fallen off the internet ect, and this becomes a major time suck.

Speaking of updating posts, the video that I transcribed of a talk John Cleese did fell off the net so I updated the embed link on this post.

That is all, just useless venting over drafts and a link.

Meritocracy impostor syndrome

I'm dredging up the Meritocracy business so put on your big kid pants and get ready for some more thought provoking crap. In this particular installment I thought I would cover a topic that was brought up somewhat passingly in Round 4 of the Rise of the Meritocracy, the impostor syndrome, well summarized here in comic form.

Chicken Fraud

In short you feel as though you are not as good as people have come to believe you are, and are certain that everyone will realize that you are not as skilled as you've led them to believe. A perennial favorite time waster of mine Lifehacker posted an article about how this sensation may actually be a good sign of both your competence and your intelligence.  In Rise of the Meritocracy the gifted members had no reason to doubt themselves or the spoils that they got for being better than others, every step of the way they had to prove and reprove themselves to take what they got. In effect the constant testing created a vanity and entitlement that prevented the Meritorious from really evaluating if they where in fact as smart and worthy as they believed themselves to be.

Sound familiar? I'm sure people of both political spectrums would be quick to point at one another, but I think we can find plenty of examples in business, education as well as in government.  In some ways you could almost point to the entirety of your country... but I'll leave that for bar room discussions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

File this link under awesome

So Lifehacker hit me up with a little shot in the arm about DIY Cheez-its.  Cheez-its you can make at home, yeah, never leave your fortress of solitude with cheezy goodness.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Progress of sorts

Man, my projects eat me alive.

So I'm working on power carving a wooden skull, and managed to completely burn out my black and decker rotary tool (think off brand dremel).  I still have a dremel, but I'm afraid that the tool isn't up for the task to I bought a more heavy duty rotary tool rated at 1/4 horsepower and bought a few different wood rasp tool tips to work on the details.  I was also having a hard time visualizing how the jaw connects so I bought a model skull.  All of that should be arriving today or tomorrow.  I'm not super sure of when I'm going to get back into that project, but the parts are here.

I 've been working on making a false bottom for my mash tun using the base of an old keg.  I burnt through the only cut off wheel I had on hand so I had to get some more, and didn't have a spanner wrench (I've been using the ghetto pliers method of unscrewing the nut) so I got a spanner wrench and a flap wheel to smooth the whole business down when I'm done shaping it.  I'm reasonably sure I may end up back at that hardware shop to help with my stand off's or at the very least a handle for the thing.  I'm also going to need a carbide bit for all the holes I'm going to drill in this damn thing.  The cut lines are mostly marked, but I need to decide on a design for legs to hold it off the bottom of the mash tun.  I'm reasonably confident that I'm only about 4 hours from done on this project, now I just need 4 hours to work on it.

I'm also working on a CNC machine.  I've come to the conclusion that since I don't have a functioning mill or cnc to do the work on I'm going to outsource the fabrication of my motor to drive shaft couplers so I need to get out the calipers and design the part so I can get it ordered.

What about you, what things are you doing to waste your free time?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The witch is dead

It's only taking prodding, and death threats to various factions of my company but last week I finally turned off our legacy Windows NT domain. This may sound like a small feat, but our payroll system was still running on an NT machine, and I was not under any circumstance going to bring that into the current domain. So there floated a PDC, BDC and application server running that I couldn't get rid of. Anyone with experience with payroll will know the cost and complexity of payroll systems, particularly when multiple unions are involved. We have accruals and seniority rules that we have keep careful track of for scheduling and some individuals can work multiple job codes sometimes all in the same shift. It was a mess, and migrating our legacy data to a new platform was going to be a costly endeavor.

In the end the threats of bodily harm did the trick, as they did bite the bullet and migrate their data (otherwise I might have had to operate that server in perpetuity). I was a little nervous about shutting down WINS, as a few other admins that had migrated off NT said that they ended up standing up WINS servers later on. My understanding of Active directory was that it could run on just DNS.  I guess I'm out of excuses, and will have to start working on migrating our Exchange 2003 server to Exchange 2010.

This years to do projects are Exchange 2010, Active directory 2008 or 2012 (need to see if all of our clients will work on 2012), the second half of our desktop deployment and the final death of XP in our organization, a completely overhauled Backup System (new software, tape hardware and a disk2disk with deduplication), expanding the coverage of our wireless network, and working on to get our preventative maintenance/asset tracking system integrated into a different software package so I can retire that creaky piece of shit.

How's that for some IT nerd?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sad, not all that pathetic

I had a strong urge to get something accomplished on Sunday, the wife took the boy to do church things so I had the house all to myself. I was so excited about it that I was up late on Saturday trying to map out a strategy for what to work on. For those keeping score at home I have a never ending project list, but the current list goes a little something like this.

  • Finish the Mantis Micro CNC machine
  • Finish cutting the bottom of the keg off to make a false bottom for my mash tun
  • Finish Ripping Seasons of Shows for wife
  • Design, and machine or order a commemorative plaque (see finish CNC above)
  • Lacquer a painting I did on a piece of oak mount said plaque and hang somewhere in the house

Well I finished none of that.  In the process of pulling out the box that has the CNC machine in it, I came to the grim realization that I needed to clean the basement before I could even consider working on anything.  There where no surfaces to even begin working on.  In cleaning up the living room most of the mess had found it's way down to the basement, so it was time to face facts and start sorting for discard and recycle.  I have more than a passing fancy for electronics, but for some reason just keep never getting started working on it. This doesn't stop me from reading electronic's magazines, and accumulating said magazines. I have 3 years worth of Servo Magazine and have subscribed to Makezine since it launched.  I recycled the servo magazines without a second thought because I over my fleeting interest in robotics, but I wasn't quite ready to just bin the Make magazines.  I spent a little while trying to figure out if my local library would be interested in receiving them as a donation, and was somewhat thwarted in that they only accepted substantial donations (10 years or more ect) based on their website.  I reached out to a local hackerspace to see if they wanted them, and they agreed to put them in their library so I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Basically all I accomplished was to toss out some magazines, do some laundry and wipe down a large section counter top.