Sunday, October 18, 2009

Did you know?

I changed things.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I hate Dell

I've been working with computers for a few years. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I've now seen the abomination.

I'm visiting my in laws. My father in law bought a Dell 305 All in one printer. He is not a heavy user. So I noticed the "low ink message."

With his other printer he bought a Universal Refill kit on the advice of a friend. I decided to be a nice son in law. I checked the net found someone say where in a Series 9 cartridge (black) to punch the hole. Did that and filled it.

But it still gets a low ink message.

AS I said, I've been around for a while- my first printer was a dot matrix without descenders. A firected up the search engines.

Abomination! Sign of the beast is not 666 it is 305!

Dell in it's infinite desire to boost profits and drive off repeat customers has buried a chip in the ink cartridges, You can refill to your heart's content but apparently only an act of God can undo the Satanic designs of Dell. By the way the Dell is apparently a Lexmark in sheeps' clothing so a pox on Lexmark too.

If any one knows a group of nefarious hackers with white hats who have figured out how to reset the "damn" chip I'd love to know.

I'll also mention they bury printer stuff down in the Registry as if registry wasn't already top heavy enough.

AS for me the next time I buy ANY product I'm going to think LONG AND HARD before I buy ANY Dell or Lexmark product. What Michael Dell isn't rich enough? Maybe someone can hack into his bank account and fix it so he always sees a "low money" warning! It would serve him right!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hot and humid

Last winter we would have liked a day like today. Today I might enjoy a day like some we had last winter. Funny what a difference a few months can make in the weather.

But with HVAC life is tolerable.

I had a chance this week to drop a few pounds since I wasn't cooking meals every night. I didn't. As far as I know I didn't gain any weight so that's good.

The choir party that was scheduled for tomorrow night was canceled since not enough members were available (interested?) Learned this late this after noon when I checked the choir member's email since she is not due back in town until tomorrow afternoon. So the "chef" is off the hook for the "bring something". So I have more time to clean up the homefront.

So tonight I can kick back and watch terrible tv or read a book. Or read a terrible book or watch anything other than the news.

In Buddhism there is the concept of "suffering." Amazing! Twenty five hundred years before tv they talked about suffering.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today I lost it

I decided that I needed to get another sand valve constructed. Well, the first thing to do is examine the two I'd built and get inspiration. I would also double check my method and madness.

They were gone!

I knew they were on the work bench two days ago. I knew that I was the only one who'd been near my work bench. Maybe "ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night" had snuck in. I didn't buy that idea. So I went to my drill press in the garaage. I knew I'd left my high intensity light there. I hoped. Sure enough it was there.

Years ago I learned that the best way to find small parts was with the aid of a high intensity light shining sideways across the floor.

My fear was that in the interim I'd managed to either step on or roll a desk chair over the parts and crushed them into oblivion. I also remembered that I'd wisely decided to make the pieces and leave them attached to a longer piece of wire.

I plugged in the light and a few minutes later what was lost was found.

Imagine something close to the size of the head of a pin. Actually about .025 inches on each side. That is the larger wire bent into a precise ninety degree bend. Attached to each end is a piece of .01 inch diameter brass wire. On the outside corner I've even filed in the approximate profile of the valve cap.

Yeah. That's small. And easy to lose. Now I've got two more partially finished. Soon I'll have four to lose. When they get attached to the locomotive- hopefully- they won't get lost.


Does anyone have the time?

There are times that Monk Ki goes off the ranch. One can’t sit around in total silence and know what they might be missing unless they experience what they are missing. That’s the problem with people today- they don’t know what they are missing.

“Back in the good old days the trains ran on time.” The woman on the station platform spoke to Monk Ki since he was the only person standing there with her. She didn’t look at him; she looked down the track hoping to see the headlight of the overdue train.

“Back in the good old days?” He looked at the two rails in front of him and considered asking her about duality. “Didn’t the good old days precede the days of antibiotics, central heating and cooling, transportation that brings us edible food year around?”

She glared at him as if he’d stepped in something foul. “You know what I mean.”

He didn’t but the look on her face indicated that the good old days included the time before he asked his questions.

“I guess it is a matter of perception.” He noted that the track had been recently worked on.

“What the hell do you mean by that Mr. Smarty pants?”

He felt his jeans. He knew he was wearing Levi’s. He’d never even heard of the brand she mentioned.

“I didn’t mean anything by it. I was explaining that you have a perception and I have a perception.

“Well my perception includes a boss that’s going to chew my ass out for coming to work late.”

Monk Ki looked at her and tried not to stare. A sailor might have the perception that she was a bit wide in the beam. Monk Ki knew better than to suggest that perception. She’d stated that her boss would “chew her ass.” His perception was the boss better have sharp teeth and lots of time. Monk Ki was positive this was not something he should vocalize.

Monk Ki looked down the track and saw a headlight sweep around the curve. He felt confident he could mention this perception. “Here comes the train.”

“It’s about time.” She tossed her empty coffee cup to the platform.

“Time. That’s an interesting concept.” She didn’t reply.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Over the edge

It would be easy to blame it on the weather. It's not. Maybe it's my diet. I doubt it.

Last night I was congratulating myself on some fairly nice domes on my N scale steam locomotive. I'd found plans for a locomotive that were published in 1956. Most of the locomotives of this class were razor blades long before I needed to shave. I took the plans ran them through Photoshop and then started measuring the plans. I set up a spreadsheet and made conversions to actual dimensions and then took those to N scale. That probably sounds like a long way around the elbow but trust me. It works. Of course the domes were .23 inches in diameter and in the neighborhood of .161 high and needed the base shaped to properly seat on the boiler but I like a challenge.

But I was sitting here looking at the plans and noted the pipes that took water from the tender and "injected" it into the boiler. When I started the process I thought no one would notice that the location and shaping of the pipes was incorrect but they were too noticeable last night. So they got cut off.

A new challenge. Tonight I spent too much time soldering small (very small) lengths of brass wire together. .12 inches and .14 inches -end to end. Hard to believe that was the easy part. I had to file the .14 piece to the correct profile of a check valve. See the edge yet?

Then I had to solder .12 to the 12 but at right angles and in the proper location to seat in holes already in the boiler. Of course I also had to bend the .12 at the correct locations to make it look like the one on the locomotive. An hour or so later (or so being the operative words) I was fitting everything before fastening with a bit of Superglue smaller than the point of a needle.

Looking at it shows that it is pretty close- not perfect- but close. But I'm now pretty sure that when modelers start doing things like this they are going over the edge.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday update

Even Shine on you crazy diamond – changes.

Subtle differences can be heard between the various recordings. The song always seems to make me pause in thought if just for a second. I think it is because deep down the song expresses loss. For me loss is a hard thing to acknowledge and an even harder thing to express. The word stoic comes to mind.

I just smiled. It’s hard to understand why we dip so far back into history- heck to Greek ancient history for labels. Stoic. Cynic. Platonic. Skeptic. And at the same instant I can’t think of the comparable in Eastern thought. That just goes to prove I have so much more to learn or unlearn.

Instead of learning I crank up my music player of choice and listen to David Gilmour.

This AM I visited with a long time friend. His mother died at 5 AM. Last week she was riding around on her scooter checking her flower beds. Change.

Speaking of changes. I continue to work on my miniature steam locomotive rebuild. Here is a photo. That dome on the left (steam dome) is .161 inches tall. And those red bands are known as “boiler bands”. I’m making the various and sundry parts. I’m just a little crazy- you ought to see real model railroad nuts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


One must make choices. I was editing an article for a newsletter.

There is no need to wonder why I made the choice to help someone with a newsletter related to model railroading. I did. I made a choice.

For the last "issue" I tried to make choices that would make someone else's writing intelligible. I made choices to correct spelling and grammar. I made choices to allow the reading audience a chance to understand. I even took out some statements that might have made a reader think the modeler was an eight year old. My thanks?

WEll it seems the author thinks I took out all of his personality. Maybe I did. How was I to know he wanted to be seen as an uneducated mediocre modeler. Stupid me. I made a choice. And now the "editor" makes another choice- in the next issue he wants to publish the same author without editing. He's making a choice.

Now I'm sitting on a choice. Do I want to have my name associated with this publication as an editor?

Guess which way I'm leaning?