Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?

And I paint tabletop gaming miniatures for funs so I am not one to shy away from small detail work as a rule but a lot of that detail work is purely technical trickery rather than filling in millions of tiny shapes.


Bwahh haaa haa haa!!!1 That’s hilarious. Wait…or were you talking about 5 year old girls? 'Cause my just about 7 year old boy only recently gained the ability to concentrate longer than a fruit fly.


I was gonna say the same thing to @SteampunkBanana. Multiple likes for that advice.

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Set them up with a bunch of Legos, see how they do. But yeah, right now I only have the girl at that age.


I was SHOCKED at the difference in the concentration my boy displays as compared to my girls.
I’d always hear they were different, but I didn’t expect those differences to be so profound.



OMG, yes, this is IT! I love those dots you wash water over - and with swear words. It is the PERFECT adult coloring book. Let’s do this!


Couple of things, besides my ongoing musical project.

My first VST instrument in C++, a test bed for some lo-fi experimentation. Naive pulse/saw oscillators, polyphonic, responds to MIDI velocity but has no envelopes, filter, anything like that. It actually sounds pretty cool for chiptunes/synthwave already. Because of GPL stuff I’m unlikely to distribute the synth, and because of laziness/priorities I probably won’t be making a UI for it.

A couple of Pebble Time watchfaces since I’m running some slow tests today at work:



(I’ve made a bunch of other watchfaces, but it’s been several months since I did so. I never got around to watch apps since I don’t feel like I actually need any beyond the basics.)


I assume you know all about this, right? I noticed it because of your (very cool) work.


Today I worked on my scooter/ebike.

I got it used for $350. It’s about three years old, runs on a 500W hub motor, and the factory specs say it does a 20mi range at around 20MPH with a 300lb useful load. It has two seats and a trunk, high and low beam headlights, blinkers, a battery meter, speedometer, and horn.

Task 1: Install Schwinn bike computer for (accurate!) digital speedometer/odometer

The bike’s speedometer on the dash between the handlebars only has a loose affiliation with reality. It doesn’t measure how fast you’re going by how quickly a wheel spins. Rather, it displays a number derived from how much power the motor is consuming or outputting, depending on whether power is being applied to it at the time. That power throughput measurement is good enough to tell you if the bike is stopped, barely moving, moving pretty quick, or full-bore. Relatively, that is, once you give it some trial time to figure out where on the dial those conditions are. But, when it reads 25MPH, you’re really going between 12MPH and 17MPH. It’s shit.

-Secure head unit to dash panel
-Run sensor wire through access panel at steering column to left front wheel fork
-Secure sensor unit to fork with triple rubber backing pads for accurate distancing
-Secure magnet with new bolt to new tapped hole in aluminum wheel frame, bend bolt to correct angle for sensor
-New button cell/Program head unit for proper wheel size/MPH/24HR.
-Testing and adjustment (Test against GPS shows it’s accurate!)

(That’s the bike computer under the key and ignition switch in the photo.)

Task 2: Install Garage Door Opener

-New button cell for opener
-Find ideal location in dash cubby, apply velcro
-Testing and adjustment

Task 3: Remove Chain

This ebike is powered by sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries and a hub motor. The pedals are only to be installed in the case that it can’t be driven home, and are not well placed, and the chain only exists for the pedals to drive the main rear axle if the hub motor won’t run. Many owners of this bike remove the chain so that it doesn’t induce drag itself and also waste energy turning an extra axle. I was on the fence about removing the chain, but the other day it jumped its sprocket and has dragged and rattled since. Now that I know it will jump the gear, and I never intend to use it, it must go…

-Attempt to find master link on chain to remove, fail.
-Bolt cutter, instant success!
-Chain guards no longer needed and looked tacky. Removed

Task 4: Create Onboard Toolkit

There is a small lockable space under the seat that used to contain the tools to install pedals. Now it’s mostly filled with a large battery, but I wanted a kit of tools that fit the bike in case I need to turn a bolt on the road…

-Turn garage upside down for elusive spare 10mm socket
-Sockets for all sizes bolt heads, good screw driver, small LED light, butane lighter, some paracord, utility knife, cloth bag for it all

Task 5: Install 5th battery for 60V

After testing this, I can report that the bike now does more like 22MPH instead of 15MPH on a flat cruise, about 10MPH instead of 5MPH when it’s working hard uphill, and about 32MPH on a big downhill instead of 24MPH. It’s a big power and speed boost. The bike now climbs a big hill near here that it couldn’t do before the upgrade.

-Already installed $200 worth (four) of new SLA 12V 22AH batteries (The new batteries look like the big black one in the photo above. The blue and white cells are the factory originals).
-Today found room inside the chassis for, and re-installed one of the original 12V 12AH SLA batteries, boosting the system from 48V to 60V.
-Lots of soldering. Big gauge wire is a PITA to solder. Deposited solder blobs with the iron, brought to tinning heat with a butane torch.
-Lots of double-checks with the meter before plugging everything back in
-Successful smoke test on first try
-Road testing (Wow!)

Task 6: Battery Protection

The main battery bay is a tight fit with battery terminals jutting toward the other batteries’ outer cases. Puncturing Sealed Lead Acid batteries is bad news, so this must be fixed. I layer the battery bay in 1/2" cut-to-fit closed-cell foam…should work.

-Pad battery bay to keep cells from destroying one another
-Also pad storage bay in seat containing a battery

Task 7: Tune Up Brakes

The added power and speed after the 60V upgrade means that the bike is not stopping quickly enough.

-Front and rear brakes are easily adjusted with large screws on the cable brake assemblies at the wheels.

It all works! These projects are scary because of the ability to do harm, but I got away with it this time.


Holy crap, finally some serious, visual progress in the kitchen

I’m calling the countertop people today!!!

[edit]. I just noticed that no cats managed to sneak into my progress pics this weekend. So here’s a bonus pic of the first one to poke his head around the new corner:


Friends of mine (with their two kids) cut and installed their own (thin) granite countertops over the course of a weekend, I kid you not! Just to let you know that it’s possible, if you balk at the countertop guy’s prices.


Doing granite yourself is a risky proposition, I’d rather pay a bit more to have someone else assume that risk. We also found a pretty reasonably priced installer with a really good stone selection.


I hear you. It would never occur to me to do it, either. They know they’re crazy, but it means a lot to them to renovate their home with their children, to show them how to do it, and to teach them pride in accomplishment. But yeah, that would be too risky for me to dare attempt!


Considering a 26" x 96" slab can run $800 easy, any mistakes in cutting or placing are simply too costly. If it were a small vanity with a vessel sink, yeah, we’d probably just do it ourselves.


I finally finished my first light plot in ____ years. I’ve lit the occasional show here and there, but this is getting back into a larger space. Out the door, whew!


“Light plot” is like the kind of plot they write for pornos, right?



At the same time, I’m think it’s good I didn’t mention I also did a hookup…


I’m presently programming a suite of tools to automate certain tasks for writers, editors, and other folks who work on large chunks of written word. Programming it in JS/HTML5.

First major JavaScript I’ve worked on in 2-3 years so I’m having to get my sea legs again. I plan to make an NW.js version when I’m a little further along for those who want to use it offline.

It’s a long term project but I’ll share once I get any one part of it far enough along to actually use.


Well, they got his back right.