Saturday, July 25, 2020

Chipping Away

Many moons ago I got a cheap Chinese backup camera. I'm not 100% sure where it came from, I think maybe Father picked it up on sale from Princess Auto and gave it to me for xmas one year. I never installed it on Jellybean, but after I got Pedovan and moved down south I finally got around to getting it all hooked up.

Things went ok for a year or two, but eventually the cheapness showed through, in the form of the lens cover on the camera fogging from UV exposure. So after ignoring it for a while I eventually ripped it out and threw it in the trash. Money well spent, that.

However, ripping it out left a little memory behind, in the form of the glue that the screen had mounted to the dashboard with.

I ignored that for a few years too, but today I finally got around to removing it. I initially tried using some vinegar (more on this later) to soften up the glue but it was hard and crusty enough that it didn't seem to be making much headway. I switched over to chipping it off with an x-acto chisel and cleaning off the remains with vinegar, and after a bit I managed to get it looking pretty much shiny and new.


So the vinegar. Initially I'd gone onto Amazon and ordered some highly concentrated cleaning vinegar, about 45% (regular vinegar is 5%). Some of the items showed up as not being able to ship to my location, but I found a listing that seemed ok and clicked the buy button. Then a day later I got an email saying that my package was undeliverable and refunded me. Great. Thanks, California, for banning vinegar of all things.

Anyway, with the concentrated stuff out of the question I decided to pick up a jug of the normal stuff at Safeway. I headed down the cleaning aisle and found a half gallon jug of 5% cleaning vinegar for about $4. That seemed a bit pricy, so I checked the next aisle over near the condiments and wouldn't you know it but I could get a whole gallon jug of food-grade 5% vinegar for... $4. Who the hell would buy cleaning vinegar, exactly the same stuff except not guaranteed to be food-safe, for twice as much? Absurd. But, now I have vinegar so all's well that ends well I guess.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Shiny and New

Pro tip: installing pre-painted mouldings and trim doesn't mean that you don't need to paint it.

The previous owner had a different opinion, apparently. A wrong opinion. They also put a giant sticker over the HVAC vent for some reason.

Anyway, since I'm spending a lot more time in my craft room lately I decided to paint all the trim and reorganize things a little. It's much nicer in there now.

Speaking of painted things...

The painted rocks that had been left in my front yard disappeared a month or two ago. I think someone might have stolen them? Either way, a new one appeared this week.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Illuminati Confirmed

Really cleaned up on indoor projects this weekend. Possibly because outdoors is sweaty death right now. Possibly.

The second bookcase is now illuminated to match the first. I had meant to get to this a while ago, but it was almost kind of nice having the project waiting for me to complete it. Like I could go into a weekend not really knowing what to do and think to myself "well, if I can't think of anything else to do, I could do the lighting on the second bookcase", but now I'll never have that ever again.

Truly completing this task has been a terrible misjudgement on my part.

Hmm, Upgrades

A few minor upgrades around the house, stuff that's been bothering me for a while but not quite enough to fix it. Step one, the window vent latches that were broken long before I moved in:

Truly hideous. But now, much better:

Actually functional and everything. I mean, assuming I ever opened windows, which I do not. But at least they look a lot better.

Next up, I finally got around to fixing the last of the broken-mud-ring loose electrical outlets, swapping in a 2-gang modern plastic box for the old brittle bakelite.

I managed to lose a little patch of the wall texture on the upper left of the outlet thanks to a combination of the existing drywall crack and the fact that the texture is only barely attached to the drywall in the first place.

And the last one is not so much a house upgrade but still a nice incremental improvement, I got a thunderbolt dock for my work laptop:

Connects everything I need and a few things I don't with just one cable. USB, HDMI, Ethernet, Card reader. If I had a mac new enough for everything to be incorporated into a USB-C thunderbolt port I would be able to also eliminate the power cord too, but I like this old laptop so I'm ok with the small sacrifice.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Wide Open Spaces

I've been coding on the couch since lockdown started. It's comfy enough, but leaves a little bit to be desired given that I'm supposed to be working on hardware and not just software. So I ordered up a desk/workbench to put in my craft room.

The setup still needs a bit of work and tidying up. I've temporarily got my spare TV acting as a second monitor, since I haven't grabbed the one off my desk at the office yet, which will mount to the monitor arm on the right-hand side.

The overhead shelf was definitely worth springing for, though right now it's just holding a bit of clutter rather than useful test equipment. That will come in due time. It's also holding up some LED strip lights that are filling in the shadows under the shelf.

The cord going across the front of the desk to power these lights is temporary, as I'm waiting on Amazon to deliver unto me the 12-outlet 4-foot power strip that I'll be mounting under the main desk surface. Should be here on Monday.

It's a welcome improvement, though perhaps slightly less satisfying than my original plan of building it myself.

Shaves As Close As A Blade

I mean it better shave as close as a blade, it's got a blade in it.

I got tired of my Grizzly planes being a bit cantankerous so I dropped a bit more (a bunch more) coin on a Wood River no 5 1/2 plane. I have to say, the extra money is worth it, it cuts so much nicer.

I probably won't replace my other Grizzly planes just yet. Once I get a mill in my shop I'm gonna take them apart and true up all the surfaces that should be true and then they should perform just as well, but until then I can make do. The Grizzly no 7 and no 4 are performing acceptably well, the no 5 was being complete trash even after I tried to file down some of the rough machined surfaces, thus buying a 5 1/2 to replace/augment it.

It's nice to have tools that work.