Ruminations

Thursday, March 19, 2009
I’ve been wondering, lately, what I might have become, had I not been ‘engineered’ to ‘shoot blanks’, so to speak. I mean I was very carefully raised with major blind spots when it came to the practical aspects of things like electronics, mechanics, etc and basically all of the fun stuff that connects the dots to make the world go round, so that I’d turn into a good little white collar drone and be a ‘board member’ instead. And here I am, umpty years later, self-taught to somewhere in the middle, doing mostly what I like to do best, but still on the shallows of the learning curves that are proving so interesting. As my .sig file says at the moment: ‘what might I have become if I knew what I was doing?’. Heh.
–As of yesterday I’ve got three videos up on Youtube of Calliopus Minimus in action. Had a few uploading problems: some Youtube bugs made them unavailable for a spell but all seems right now. I’ve sent notices of video availability to just about everyone I didn’t want to bug overly much and so far response has been good. Trying to figure out what to do next, beyond reducing size of circuitry using new boards. Guess I’ll bolt the whole thing to a piece of plywood which means making some detatchable feet for the three legs.
But the weekend hoopla¬†looms (I’d post a link but as usual Tribe is down), as does expected rain (!!) and I’m hoping I’ll be able to milk the expected crowd for a few ideas re: Short John Silver and making its lower portions less car-like with the addition of some artful camoflage. It’s the ‘artful’ part that’s got me baffled.
I expect to be called upon to do a shitload of fab work, while I try to rough out whatever it is Gothalot, Skirblah and others have concocted in their twisted brains for Playa pedal-powered transport later this year. I’m thinking the way to go is to quadcycles as four standard bike wheels are sufficiently strong to carry two bruisers and a shitload of add-ons without too much extra strengthening; i.e. extra WORK. Three wheels may look kewl but we’d have to do a fair amount of modifications to make ’em happen, up to and including making our own ginormous wheels but that would be a labor-intensive PAIN. I’d love to have ’em but I don’t want to be the guy stuck with making it happen. I’d rather be Spock than Scotty in this situation…
Meanwhile back at the ranch I’ve now got one of four workbenches absolutely spotless and it’s crying out for another challenge. Much as I’d like to clean up the other three workbenches just to blow my own mind, I honestly don’t know where I’ll find the time, let alone the space, to put all that crap away! Micrometer in hand, filing drillbits left loose on the bench is about as far as I expect to get.
And then the following weekend I’m off to Santa Barbara to hang with the So Cal branch of the family and then March 30 I’m off to WESTEC with Vern, in search of a better lathe than the one I’ve got. Well that’s not entirely true; I’m searching for a bigger lathe; something better than the Myford just ain’t in the cards.. Am thinking that as kewl as my CNC mill is, it ain’t earning its keep and even if I sell it at crashed economy prices it’ll still fetch enough to reduce some of my debts and I’ll have something left over to get a righteous lathe with a few essential accessories. Hopefully the creek don’t rise and the crops keep comin’ in for a spell and don’t ruin this wonderful dream, eh?

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