Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Brisk Walk

Took a walk through Rancho San Vicente to follow up on last week's ride. I didn't have a lot of confidence in the StreetView app working well but I thought I'd give it a fair shake and... my hesitation was well justified. The results were unusably bad. Embarrassingly bad. Like "I don't even know how this app shipped" bad.

The hike was good though. Didn't Strava the first 3 or so miles doing the short loop since I was wrestling with the StreetView failure. Dropped the camera at the van for the long loop after I'd had enough of that frustration and just continued on as a regular hike.

Gonna have a few choice words to write in the bug report for this.

Monday, June 24, 2019

A Portal to a New World

Ok maybe not really but I wanted to check out the west entrance to Rancho San Vicente OSP which isn't on Google Maps yet, and doesn't have a lot of signage on it.

The entrance is right next to Almaden Quicksilver, so if things connected well it'd only be a short bit of pavement to bridge the two and provide a dirt link over to Calero County Park and Rancho Canada del Oro OSP. That means I'd be able to mountain bike from basically my front door all the way down to RCdO with barely a few quick stretches of paved road, which is pretty cool. Of course, I'm not sure my legs would hold out very well.

Anyway, it was a fun ride. Got all the way to Cottle Rest before turning back, as I had a late start and it was a pretty hot day.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Live from a point hovering above my back

Might as well share a snapshot from a test run this afternoon.

The light/dark banding in the sky is apparently fixed with the firmware I just updated the camera with after I got back, though keeping the horizon level is going to be a challenge.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Taking photos of everything, all at once

Got the backpack mount built for my Theta S 360 camera. Used a combination of 3d printing (for the joints), inanimate carbon (fiber) rods, and socket head cap screws combined with brass threaded inserts to put it all together. (Plus some GoPro bolts for the movable joints and a 1/4-20 screw for the Theta's tripod thread)

I was originally thinking of attaching the rods to the printed bits using epoxy but at some point along the way I got the bright idea to use hot glue instead, with the thought that it would make it easier to replace some of the joint bits later if they get smashed (as they're much more likely to be a failure point than the rods). I'm not 100% convinced that it'll be strong enough to go the distance but I can always scrape them off and print new ones to epoxy into place later if it turns out to be a problem.

The CAD took maybe a day or two to do and the printing took about 1.5-ish hours per piece for the 9 pieces, printed in PETG. They could certainly be printed faster with different settings, but I've been setting up my printer lately for higher quality rather than higher speed, so I don't mind the extra wait.

I will definitely have to watch out for low hanging branches, but luckily most of the places I plan to go aren't terribly overgrown. The whole thing is pretty light even with the camera up high like this, so it's likely that I won't notice the extra weight when I'm out on a hike.

If the weather is nice I wouldn't mind giving it a test run this weekend. I guess we'll see!

Mysteries Revealed!

It's a plum tree.

Friday, June 14, 2019

It used to be wood

Some of the expansion joint whatever wood spacers in my driveway extension were looking a bit second hand, so I decided to pull them out in anticipation of replacing them with some fresh new pressure treated planks.

The termites already did most of the job for me. Good news is it made the lumber really nice and light to carry over to the trash bin.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The March of Progress

Almost forgot I snapped this Pano last week from the top of a hill near the Google campus. Lots of new buildings going up.

Brb melting

Temperature peaked at 41c this afternoon outside. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

It's so fluffy I'm gonna die

I had got some eggs to experiment with tossing them in the rice cooker at the end of its cycle while the rice was still piping hot. It worked ok the first time I tried it when I actually woke up in time to get the egg in right away, but the second time I slept in a while and the "keep warm" temperature wasn't really hot enough to cook the egg to my liking.

I still had 6 eggs to go through though, so today I decided to try making a soufflé omelette to go along with my usual oatmeal instead. It turned out pretty well and wasn't all that hard to make. It's peculiar to eat though, because it's fluffy and browned and looks like a pancake, but when you eat it it tastes savoury like an omelette.

Just an ordinary afternoon around the office

I guess summer is here, folks are starting to enjoy the warm weather.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

I Can't Drive 55

I mean I might be able to but it'll be a bit tricky. Luckily there's a shop in Palo Alto that can rebuild these, as the original part is no longer available.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

I see a white door and I want it painted white

I still plan on binning this door and replacing it with a new one, but I realize that I'm lazy enough for that to not happen any time particularly soon.

So in the mean time I don't really want to stare at how ugly the old door is, and given that I have all the materials to spruce it up, up it will be spruced.

I'm only doing the inside and sides of the door and jamb though. The reason for that is simple: the previous owners had a dog.

And yes, the back of the door looks just as chewed up as that. I'd need to do a fair amount of rebuilding to fix it, and I'm definitely not interested in going down that route when this door is itself not long for this world.

Sometimes you need to half-ass things while you're waiting on the other half of your ass.

California Fresh

Don't forget to chew your air before inhaling.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

If the toilet's rockin', don't come knockin'

Toilet in the master was a bit on the wobbly side, and had been since I moved in. I assumed it would be the classic case of a broken flange, but when I removed the toilet to examine the situation I discovered that this was not the case at all.

The flange was in great shape, so what was the issue? Digging a bit deeper...

Of course, it's not screwed down to the floor, because there is no floor there. No doubt at some point the subfloor had got a bit of rot in it and apparently they cut it out and didn't bother patching it back in properly when they redid the bathroom. Instead they filled the gap with spray-foam insulation. Brilliant.

Luckily there was a floor joist under the missing part of floor, so it was a simple matter of filling the conveniently sized 1.5 inch gap with a few bits of plywood.

That gave a solid enough base to screw the flange in, and then all that was left to do was install a new wax ring and drop the toilet back into place.

Good as new and rock-fucking-solid. Eventually I'd like to replace the flooring in here, as the laminate wood flooring is just the wrong material for the job in a wet area like this; the MDF backing soaks up water like a sponge and breaks down really quickly. I'll likely replace it with tile, but that's a job for another day.