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completed papercraft

Monday, April 30, 2007

I completed my paper Aibo. Not a project for the faint of heart. I probably won't be tackling any such projects for a long while. This one took over my life. If imperfections due to "hand crafting" is charming, then my little Aibo is definitely charming.

Update: I looked at a variety of other papercraft out there ... this one would rank as "easy" compared to the others I came across.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am enjoying a little semi-creative fun time. Semi-creative because they're not my ideas but I can attempt them. This is a fantastic website for papercraft.

photo fun

I've been having some fun with photos too.
And no, that picture is not me but it is one of our fellow bloggers.

plywood is cut!

I finally cut my five sheets of plywood for five windows. It took all afternoon (minus the 20 minutes or so for the bottle cap tripod mentioned below). The circular saw went very well. I had installed a 24-teeth (I think) blade in it and the cuts were smooth. Some of the pieces I had to cut twice and the saw had no problems trimming off as little as 1/4 inch. I had taped on a small strip of pink paper onto the saw guide so that I could see it better and it worked well. The edge of the pink paper served as the guide marker. I don't know if the boards now work with Plylox, but I do know they fit in the window wells or whatever you call them.

The sawing was done on the piece of concrete we have for a patio; 4ft x 8ft is big to handle and I need the space. The area between the concrete and the lawn had clearance for the blade. Anyway, I mention this to explain that I was on my left knee for the sawing. I just noticed after my shower that my knee is bruised. No wonder it was starting to hurt towards the end.

I'm so out of shape. I was so tired afterwards I didn't go get the other five sheets of plywood we still need to buy--before prices go up. After all, I would have to unload those heavy unwieldy boards to the garage. I think my body is complaining from this afternoon's activities. Just measuring and cutting is not a big deal, but lugging the sheets from the garage to the back yard took effort. Ditto with lugging the pieces back to the garage. Some of the pieces were only a little smaller than the original sheet (yeah, big windows), and now I have more pieces to lug because I want to save all the parts (except for the little strips I had to cut off in adjustments). My body hurts, I'm hungry, and the house still needs cleaning. But I'm glad I was able to get something done. Oh, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL!


I made my bottle cap tripod this afternoon. It has both a 20 oz. bottle cap and a Gatorade bottle cap. Getting the hole centered was tougher than I expected. I had it marked but the bit drifted. I guess I should've hammered a nail through first to start the hole. I used super glue between the caps so that hopefully they will move as one when I go to put them on bottles. No, I wouldn't want this thing in my pocket, but it might come in handy. I got the hardware from Ace. You can get onesies and twosies there, in stead of having to buy a whole box or package. I might try this again with a Gatorade cap and stiff wires as a version of the DIY Gorillapod. Sorry the photos are fuzzy; I suppressed the flash and the camera went into a longer exposure and my hands couldn't steady for a clearer shot.

this guy is hilarious

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I was browsing for .gif and was at Mike's Free GIFS. Many of his comments accompanying the gifs were hilarious. For example:

In his horse collection, he has a gif of Trigger, Roy Roger's horse. Next to it he comments, "Are you hungry Trigger or are you stuffed. Ha Ha."

In his horse collection, he also has a sheep. He comments, "Most people don't know that sheep are just small cold horses."

great news

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Natty has great news. Won't you drop by and give her a holler?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

my adoring fans


I purchased a Canon A630 (or here) to have on the trip. It was around $200. Its price dropped due to the release of the A640. One of the A630's coolest features is the articulating screen. The A series also has the option for telephoto and wide angle lens and high-power flash. I didn't buy these accessories. I did purchase a 1GB SD card for $20.

It might mean more photos on my blog, but don't hold your breath. Blogger is not friendly to me when it comes to adding photos.

out of town

We were out of town this past weekend. It was partly to act as chauffer and partly just for leisure. Once there, the time was mostly spent resting. What exploring was done was accidental. I didn't get up on Saturday until 9:30. We didn't get out of the hotel room until around 3 p.m. The targeted eateries were all closed, hence the accidental exploration of the city while foraging for food. Then some obligatory people visits, back to the hotel, then a late night outing to go locate and drive around a landmark: a relatively new basketball stadium.

I had picked a parish for Sunday and we located it as part of our outings. Except that a double-check of my notes on Sunday morn revealed that mass was at 11 and not 12:15 as I had thought. I had picked out several parishes and had gotten the mass times mixed up. We weren't going to make 11 a.m. mass. So no problem, there were others on my list! (My travel partner, though, was most unhappy with my mistake.) We made it to noon mass at option#2 with no problems and my travel partner was most delighted with the parish.

Then leaving there to pick up our passenger, I instructed a wrong turn (I do maps and travel directions, the other party drives) and once again we were exploring a new part of the city. Unfortunately my driver was unappreciative of the scenic route, arguing instead that we should've u-turned to get back on track. Not that I didn't have the correct turn--I just didn't communicate it correctly. Yeah, make a left turn but not here; left after you've gone under the freeway. The road curves, how would I have known that the lane will end up being left turn only at THIS intersection? But soon enough at the end of the scenic route we were back on familiar terrain. In fact, it brought us to the best-priced gas stop.

We all made it back safe and sound. Thanks be to God.

split second

Indeed, life as you know it can change in a split second. An accident, a tragedy, an illness and such.

I was trying to think of a split second event that would change your life more positively, but the examples that come to mind are not split second--they're all a cumulation of effort. Even a chance meeting is not a split second.

some tech stuff

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Free operating system Ubuntu 7.04 has been released. There are many versions of Linux, but this one is most promising.

Hyfish Hydrogen fuel cell powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) took flight. (The flight one was not this colorful.)

Hitachi's terabyte hard disk drive reviewed

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is the fastest desktop CPU; now has quad core.

Nvidia releases new DirectX 10 video cards.

just checking in

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lovely day today. Taxes are done.

I met with one of my favorite Dominicans this morning. We had a nice chat. Then in the evening, I met with my spiritual director. Now that's a double feature.

Sorry to hear about the Virginia Tech tragedy. I think if I had been there, I'd have been frozen with disbelief. And had I been able to shake out of that, I don't know if I would have been able to think of the welfare of others. I think my mindset would be "every one for themselves." Of course, I desire to be able to act and think quickly in a crisis such as that, and to always consider the welfare of others first. Let's hope I will never have to find out.

God bless the people of Virginia Tech and their loved ones.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

I went to Home Depot this afternoon. I bought some sheets of plywood. Thank goodness there was someone at Home Depot who could help. This guy was the fourth one I asked. The other three wasn't quite knowledgeable. This guy knew what he was talking about, and that's very helpful. Other than that, he wasn't exactly accommodating, but that's okay

I learned two new things today: 1/2 inch plywood is marked "15/32" (that's not quite half inch now, is it?) and you need a large flat topped cart for carting the plywood sheets.

The plywood is for protecting the windows should a hurricane hit. After the close call of hurricane Rita, we figure we need to be prepared. We bought some Plylox for securing the wood last week. So today, I bought 5 sheets of plywood--that's half of what we need. I hope to get the other half soon. The Home Depot guy said that come hurricane season, we're not going to be able to find the plywood for all the money in the world. Yeah, we figured that. Also with the gasoline prices skyrocketing, I'm sure the plywood price will soon go up as well.

hmm...I just looked at my receipt; they cost more than I thought. bummer. I might have been overcharged but I don't really know. (update: Yup, they did overcharge. They charged me for 5/8 plywood instead of the 1/2 (or 15/32) that I had. After the cashier made some phone calls, I got the difference refunded.)

I was hoping they would cut the plywood for me, but they don't do that. I've a few co-workers whom I'm sure wouldn't mind lending me their tools. I just need a circular saw with the right blade and I'll cut it myself. Else I'm sure there are a few neighbors who would either lend the tools or do the cutting for me.

We're on the very far edge of the evacuation zone for a category 5 hurricane. Hence we expect most hurricanes to not really affect us. But, it's better to be prepared.

taking care of the cars

Got the tires rotated, re-balanced and pressure checked on both cars. At no charge. Discount Tires, I do love thee. Today was the first available opportunity to go take care of that.

Next weekend we'll be taking a 3-hour drive to a neighboring city. We try to ensure that the car is ready for such trips.

For engine and tranny and the like: car dealer
For tires: Discount Tires
For brakes and suspension: NTB
For alignment: ?

We used to get our tires and alignment at the same time at NTB. However, NTB alignment numbers and the dealer numbers don't seem to match. I don't know who's right. Now we get the tires from Discount Tires so we've defaulted to the dealer for alignment.

I took my car in for an oil change a few weeks back. I also asked them to check on the rough idling. They said I needed new engine mounts and quoted almost $1K for that. Ouch. I think our neighbor will be able to help with that. He has an engine hoist. He's checking the prices on parts and will get back with us, but for sure it's going to be a few hundred dollars less.

looking for Jesus

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

In today's reading, our two guys were walking to Emmaus when they are joined by Jesus. However they were prevented from recognizing him. At the breaking of the bread, they recognized him and of course were excited. So excited were they that they immediately trekked back to Jerusalem, nevermind dinner and a good night's sleep. Nevermind that they had to walk in the dark.

So Jesus is risen. Will I recognize Jesus today? And if do, will I tell others?

note to self: music notation software

Sibelius 4 by Sibelius Software
Finale(R) 2007 by MakeMusic(R)
Igor Engraver 1.7 by Noteheads(TM)

(open source:)
LilyComp (graphical input companion to LilyPond)


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I believe that it is possible to live without profanity. I think it would be good to never utter curse words. I don't consider being able to "curse like a sailor" an achievement. Our culture has gotten used to profanity and it pops up even in casual conversation. If it's a cool thing to do, then it's about as cool as smoking. It would be a mistake to think that the foul words are harmless. On the contrary, they promote a rather careless and negative attitude.

It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one. (NAB Mt 15:11)
This is not to say that I'm immune from expressing profanities myself. I wish I had never learned to curse. I don't use foul language much; but When I do, it's from a dark place and it does nothing for my or anyone else's betterment. I hope to purge myself of this habit.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (NIV Ps 19:14)

Vista activated

Monday, April 09, 2007

I called the PC vendor last Friday about being unable to activate my copy of Vista. They called back and said to go through the telephone activation method. So I tried going the telephone route on Sunday night. No luck.

Well, duh. They probably did not install my box using the DVD they sent. It would take a very long time that way. They probably had a master copy and simply cloned the PC's they build. They could clone using Ghost and can merge partitions (for bigger drives) with Partition Magic if need be. If they didn't use the DVD they sent with the PC, then the product key wouldn't match.

Being that I had only 4 days left to activate, I had to figure out which way I was going with this. So despite it being the wee hours of the morning, I took my Vista DVD and installed a Vista "upgrade" over my Vista. After approximately an hour installing (I didn't time it), bingo, online activation went without a hitch.

Some things will have to be re-installed, but at least I can stop worrying about the PC turning into a pumpkin. Despite all this, I am in fact, enjoying the new PC.

Holy Week summary

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter to all!

We attended Chrism mass at one of my favorite parishes. Then Holy Thursday at our parish. Then Good Friday downtown. Then Easter vigil back at our parish.

I spent much of Saturday at church involved in some of the prep activities. Then I had minor duties during the vigil. The weather was cold and rainy, so the outside fire ceremonies were limited to attendance by those in procession. The light ceremony for the first part of the liturgy is not as dramatic as usual, but that's okay. Then for the second half we process to the church with our re-lit candles and as usual, that's a magical moment as we fill the darkened church with the collection of candles. Our pastor loves this.

We had 14 baptisms and 6 confirmations. Our pastor loves this too. I think it went well.

I returned for one of the Sunday masses for my second volunteer gig. The church was packed. (wonderful!) It stopped raining and the sun came out a few times, though it was still cold. Except for one glitch, I think the second gig went well also. I hope everyone was able to catch at least SOME of the excitement, joy, and "magic" of Easter.

I haven't spent much time in reflection. I don't think I did well this Lent, but God is patient. I remember watching my dog and was rather amused at his inability to resist temptation. He knew it wasn't something we'd be pleased with, but it was the natural dog thing to do, and he was rather sheepish afterwards. I gave him the obligatory chastisment, but was more amused than angry. So too, I bet Jesus is more amused than angry for my Lenten infractions.

to all

Friday, April 06, 2007

Belated most holy Triduum to all.
Early Happy Easter to all!

Vista blues

Sunday, April 01, 2007

PC Vista Blues. I accidentally clicked the button option to make Firefox my default browser. Wham-o, at next boot my modem doesn't work--it's not even correctly recognized. My ISP software goes haywire. And my DVD drive disappears. Actually, the DVD drive is correctly recognized in Device Manager but the driver can't be loaded (code 39).

I uninstalled Firefox. I think that fixed the modem problem. Firefox shall remain uninstalled.

Where might the driver exist? On the Vista DVD is my guess. Do I have a DVD drive with which to read the Vista DVD? Heck no.

After some research, the following solution worked for me regarding the missing DVD drive (posted here for those who are suffering similar blues):
Yes, it requires getting into regedit and deleting two things. In my case one was missing and so then only had one thing to delete.

My latest blues now is that I seem to be required to activate my copy of Vista. I do the online thing and typed in my key. Website says it's already been activated. Huh? My system is still telling me that I have only 11 days left to activate, after which my princess of an OS turns into a pumpkin and renders my new tool useless.

Given that the DVD drive may at times be non-operational like this, the idea of "HOWTO: Install Windows Vista from a high speed USB 2.0 Flash Drive" is now more appealing.

bible trivia

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all indicate that there were two others crucified with Jesus. But only Luke has the "good thief" story. Also, Luke didn't mention Jesus being scourged prior to crucifixion.

Have a most blessed Holy Week, all!