Monday, December 15, 2008

New Stuff....

Well, another week has begun - and on a cold, cold note! It's been absolutely brutal out there today! I think today's high temperature was about 12 degrees F! Brrrrr!!

Did you guess what those wood things are in my last post? The second photo makes it pretty obvious. Yes, they will be blades for a small wind turbine I'll be experimenting with. I know there are commercial blades out there, and I know it's a bit of a job to make your own out of wood, but I want to try just to see if I can do it. Besides, I want to start out small, and I don't think anyone makes blades that small. I do have a lot of shaping/sanding to do, and a good deal of research to do, but I think it will be fun. I'll be posting updates as I progress (or not) with this project.

I also just signed up on Auctiva as I'm planning to open some Ebay auctions soon. I've changed the links for the "My Ebay Auctions" on my main pages. The link will take you to my Auctiva Store where you will see any auctions I have active as well as - just what I needed - another Blog!

I'll be bringing you more news soon!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Experimental Project

I started a new experimental project tonight. In the photo below, you'll see four pieces of wood - all cut and shaped alike, all 2 feet long. Got any idea what they are going to be?

I'll give you a hint with the photo below:

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'll be talking (or typing) more about it later in the week. Why are there four in the previous photo? I only need three, but I cut 4 so I'll have a spare in case of breakage (or in the highly likely event that I bung one of them up...).

This will be something I'll be experimenting with over the next few winter months. I have quite a bit more research to do, and some other bits and pieces to scrounge up. I think it will be fun, and I might just learn something - amazing as that thought may be.

More coming soon...


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Another Weekend Ends...

This was one of those rare weekends where I was actually able to relax, and recharge my batteries a little bit. It was truly refreshing. I'll hit the sack shortly, and that will be followed all too soon by the alarm going off in the morning. That's OK, though. In the current chaotic economic environment, I'm among the lucky to actually have a good job. I hope it lasts. Hopefully Mr. Obama and his administration can find a way to turn things around. We shall see.

In the meantime, I think things at work will be fairly slow until after the holidays are over. Next Friday, my employer will be catering lunch for us at 1:30, and afterwards we'll all be free to go home. So I'll get a couple hours' head start on the weekend. Then the following Friday, I hope to take the afternoon off - I still have 4 hours of "floating" holiday time. I just faxed a request this evening, so hopefully I'll get to start that weekend early, too.

Well, I'm kind of excited this evening. I haven't had a good stereo receiver since my old one shot craps last year. The old component stereo receivers with inputs for phono, tape, and auxiliary seem to have gone the way of the dinosaurs. It's all "home theater" now. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you just want a good receiver/amplifier for your turntable and tape deck, you are pretty much limited to very pricey units in the $700 and up range. But I digress....

Earlier today I was checking Ebay for receivers, and found a really nice JVC R-S5. I bid, I won, and for well under 100 bucks, it will soon be taking its place in the bare spot on my stereo shelf. It will be good to have a stereo again!

Of course, I've certainly not been without music all this time. Several months ago I ordered a nice little preamp/mixer/fader from DAK, which has been wonderful for digitizing music from all kinds of sources. I have my Pioneer turntable connected to it so I can convert all my LPs to WAV and/or MP3 files. I can also connect my cassette deck to it, as well as the output from my other computer. This works great for digitizing music from Internet sources such as my Yahoo station.

I just downloaded a PDF book last night that will hopefully get me caught up with 'modern times' as far as my website is concerned. It's all about using CSS and some of the other updated features that I just haven't had the time to learn over the past few years. Hopefully I can set aside a little time to stuff some of that into my poor, tired brain - along with all the online courses I'm working on for my job. Busy, busy, busy.

Well, enough for tonight. It's past my bedtime (again).


Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's December, and I'm Back....

Well, folks, the prodigal poster is, after a lengthy absence, back!

November has come and gone, it's now December, and another year is on its way out. At last, I think things are calming down enough that I can get back into some creative projects. I'm planning on a number of updates to the website, and a new section to be added after the first of the year.

We picked up a couple of neat old lamps on our recent trip to Arkansas. One was a real bargain, since it needed some work. I've rebuilt and rewired it, and - aside from a pair of glass shades - it's good as new. I'll be seeking shades for it this winter, so you may well encounter me in any of the antique shops in the area. Don't be surprised!

I have (as usual) a number of projects I'll be working on this winter. I'm going to be doing some experimenting with a small wind turbine, with the intent of building a larger one next summer. I have several other interesting things I'll be playing with, but that's all I'm going to say for now.

I've recently set up a webcam as one of my experimental projects. I'm using my dad's old Emachine computer as the webcam server. He's moved into an apartment, and doesn't have a lot of room, so I've been keeping both of his computers until he's ready to get back into his genealogy research. He'll probably just use one of the computers, and he likes the one I built for him better than the Emachine, so it will probably continue to serve as my webcam/security machine for now. I'll have it set up as a "Shop Cam" on weekends soon, so you can watch me working on weird stuff or rebuilding lamps in my shop. I'm also planning to add video updates from time to time as well, so be sure to drop by often.

I'm hoping I'll be able to pay more attention to this blog and website now that things are calming down a little. It's been far too static for far too long!