A good friend of mine, Dale Lewis, has been going through a tough spell medically, so me and some friends are trying to raise some money to get him a mobility scooter through GoFundMe. Please take a moment to read Dale’s story and donate if you can. If you can’t donate, please help us spread the word. Thank you!

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten back into buying and reading comic books. One of the roadblocks that I had before was time. And that was two-fold as it takes time every week to get in the car, drive over to the local comic book store and pick up your subscriptions, then haul it all back home. As much as I want to support local businesses, I found that Midtown Comics in New York was able to ship out subscriptions monthly. So, I started getting my books through them and have had a great experience so far.

The other facet was having to find the time to read the books. I’m slowly getting better at this and hope to get caught up soon on all the books I’ve been buying over the past six months. I did get a chance to visit the local stores a bit in early May for the Free Comic Book Day event. While I did get several free books, I also took advantage of some sales that got me good discounts of trade paperbacks, back issues, and even a full set of 1990 Marvel Universe Series I cards, complete with holograms. Here’s a list of all of the cards in the set, and here’s a list of all of my comics.

Those of you who’ve been reading these blog entries over the past couple of years know that I’ve been building a model of the DeLorean from Back to the Future. The subscription service would allow you to build out the car with a new, weekly parts kit (that were actually delivered monthly, so you’d get four kits at a time). In total, there were 159 weekly parts kits (a.k.a. Issues) that, once complete, would not only give you the famous time machine model, but also a bunch of other great little extras.

Well, back in the summer of 2022, EagleMoss, the manufacturer and distributor of the kits, files for Administration in the UK, which is akin to filing for Bankruptcy in the US. The last kit/Issue I received was 154, leaving me five kits behind. Luckily, Fanhome (De Agostini Publishing) seems to have purchased EagleMoss since last year and recently they emailed me telling me I could complete my model. Today, kit/Issue 155 showed up. Can’t wait to finish everything off.

Issue No. 155 illustrates the parts needed to attach the 1885 time circuits to the hood of the DeLorean.
Issue No. 155 parts include straps, bands, and buckles to affix the 1885 time circuits to the hood of the DeLorean.

I’ve got a few minor projects to complete today, and afterward I’ll be working on getting my 3D printer up-and-running again.

A Needed Break

I took Thursday and Friday off this past week to have a long, four-day weekend. And for the first time in quite a while, I went into this break with very little planned. Resting, consuming entertainment, and generally clearing my mind were the top priorities. So as I write this in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, I feel like this was a successful break.

But, that doesn’t mean that I did nothing. As we slide into the cooler fall weather, I’ve had a hankerin’ for some goulash the last few weeks. It had been so long since I made it, I dug around the internet to find a recipe, and stumbled across this one (original link at the bottom of the page). I made a double batch and have been eating it every day.

I did a couple of small projects around the house too. I fixed a broken vertical blind blade and re-hung it, I also hung up two wrought iron art pieces in our bedroom. And this morning I trimmed the palm tree and the two oak trees in the front yard.

And, of course I spent some time assembling the DeLorean. I was able to get caught up with Issues 111 thru 118, which all deal with the nuclear reactor on the back of the car. Here are some photos.

The nuclear reactor plate assembled with parts from Issues 111 thru 118.
A close-up of the reactor. Mr. Fusion will eventually sit on top of the clear disc.
A view from the opposite side showing the wiring, hoses, and miscellaneous reactor parts.
The reactor plate sitting on the car.
Another close-up of the reactor plate sitting on the car.

The rest of the day will be devoted to doing some testing on the 3D printer.

TinyTV and Weekend Plans

Cari is away in Miami for the weekend and I have a bunch of little household projects I want to complete.

Out in the yard, I need to replace the old garden hoses and sprayers, pull some weeds, apply lawn fertilizer, and trim the palm tree and Bird of Paradise in the front yard.

In the garage, I have a few tool holders to hang and need to recycle some old rotors and a car battery.

Inside there are some pieces of iron artwork I need to hang, as well as some normal chores such as laundry.

And, if I can get all of those things done, I have some work to do on the DeLorean and some more organization to do in the office.

I recently saw a YouTube video from Norman Chan of reviewing the TinyTV from TinyCircuits. Instantly, I needed (and ordered) one. It arrived a few days ago and I spent some time painting it and putting it together. Here’s a quick video.

And some before and after pictures:

This is the printed “case” right out of the box.
The front. Painted and assembled.
The back.
With the remote.

A New Year

I feel lucky that all of the craziness that began in 2020 has barely affected me and Cari. What’s missed the most is hanging out with friends, both near and far, and not being with them during the holidays. Other than that, every once in a while I get the craving to go out to a restaurant. We have not eaten out since the pandemic started, and that’s not really an issue with online ordering as it is these days.

I’m also not blinded by the fact that an arbitrary number on a piece of paper now says it’s a different year and things will be different. Sure, I’m hopeful that maybe things will be much more normal by the end of 2021, but I fear that the narrow-mindedness of people who think that everything bad died with the turn of the calendar will once again push us into a heavily quarantined state. The beginnings of which is already being felt in California.

With all that said, I’m being positive of what the future holds.

I finally got the 3D printer dialed in and can print some really great tolerances. I decided to begin an overdue project of printing divided inserts for my Akro-Mils parts organizers in the office. Over the years they’ve become disorganized and, frankly, I’m wasting space in them.

A standard drawer with a six-compartment divider.
How I’m labeling what’s in the bins.
The bin removed from the drawer.
More bins printing.

I spent some time getting some other things done today too. I recently bought a Chamberlain Home Hub and hooked that up to the garage doors so I can now remotely check to see if I left them open, and even use Siri to raise and lower the doors.

I also started power washing the lanai and the patio furniture. You can see in the picture below that it was pretty dirty. There’s still some more work to do tomorrow, but it’s looking really good.

Four plus years of dirt built up here. Need to power wash this floor yearly, me thinks.
Nice, clean furniture.

Add to library: Trolls World Tour

Happy Holidays

I think it’s starting to sound cliche to say that I’ve been very busy in my day job lately, which is why I have been posting regularly. But, I’m gonna say it anyway. Over the past couple of months I’ve been able to re-build how my department works. As a result, projects are getting completed quicker and the team is getting happier as they see see their efforts bear fruit. I think we’re on a great track for 2021.

I’ve been experimenting with creating a schedule for my free time. I have so many interests and things I need to complete that, if I don’t organize and strucutre, the time will get wasted. For me, the approach to this will be identifying the things I need to do (projects), scheduling them, and then fitting in things I want to do around that. I’ll post more on this as I get closer to figuring it all out.

I currently have a backlog of 28 issues (7 months) of the DeLorean model subscription. This stems from an offer I received from Eaglemoss where, if I bought six months at once, I’d get a 25% discount. Since I was going to be getting these months anyway, it made complete sense to save a little money and do this. Well, the downside is making the time to actually assemble the car now (see previous paragraph). Once that big box showed up and I opened it and inventoried the issues, I knew I had a task ahead of me. And since then another month arrived! I need to prioritize this, for sure.

The podcast Unsubscribe button has been utilized heavily today. This was the natural progression of the unsubscribing I did from YouTube channels back in July. I cleaned house of everything that I don’t really need to be listening to. Currently, this is what I’ve decided I want to hear (in no particular order):

That’s it? Yep, that’s it. I felt like there was way too much time being spent on listneing to podcasts. With both a 45-55 minute drive into the office and a 45-55 minute drive home, you’d be right in thinking that I have a lot of time to listen to podcasts. And I do. But, with all of the re-organizing I’ve been doing in Q4 of 2020, I’ve realized that I’m spending too much time consuming and not enough time making or creating. Part of creating and problem solving is having time to think and get your thoughts in order. Even after trimming down my list to these four, I still have a little over five hours of podcasts to listen to weekly, on average, which will fill about three days of commuting. Now I can spend the rest of my commute thinking.

To round out the news, I was able to (FINALLY!) get around to properly calibrating my 3D printer yesterday. I’ve had several small projects I want to bang out, but parts weren’t fitting properly. Now they are. So, I’m going to be firing that up now.

Added to the video library since last post:

Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays, my friends!

Preparing for 2021

I’ve decided to focus on deep cleaning, organizing, and purging inventory in the studio. I’m halting all of my own projects until this is complete, with the hopes I can resume everything again on Jan 1st.

To that end, about a month ago I started planning out drawer organizers using foam core boards held together with hot glue. Yesterday, I was able to complete two of them.

Combination of foam boards and custom 3-D printed holders (left side).

There are still two more drawers in that credenza, and eight drawers in my main desk pedestals that need to be done. I hope to be able to do two drawers per week.

I also took the time to completely empty off my desk (computer monitors, charging stations, etc.) and dusted and wiped everything down. I rearranged and relocated a lot of things on the desktop to a point where I could deploy my new MOTU M2 which I’ll be using in the future for some video projects.

This lead to the DeLorean going up on top of the cupboards in it’s display case. I’ll leave it up there most of the time and only pull it down when new parts come it.

And, lastly, been keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Eta.

Tropical Storm Eta – Sunday, November 8, 2020 1:00pm EST Advisory 33A.

Movies added to library: Angel Has Fallen
Read: AARP The Magazine, October/November 2020

Studio Organizing

Cleaning up and organizing the studio has been a high priority this weekend. It’s started with some smaller projects like going through the literally cleaning, week’s mail, going over finances, and ripping movies. It’s now progressed into making forward movement on some small projects and looking at the space here and organizing.

I heard Adam Savage recently reiterate a saying has: “drawers are where things go to die.” And I would agree. But he reminded me that there’s a particularly interesting way to organize drawers to prevent that, which is to build an insert with custom dividers out of foam-core.

With that in mind, I started looking at all the drawers in the studio and now have it on the docket to properly organize, and subsequently clean out, the drawers. This will include organizing some items, such as spare external and internal hard drives, into caddies, which I currently have printing on the Ender.

I also purchased an online course called Fusion 360 for Makers by the guys at I Like to Make Stuff. I spent a few hours yesterday plowing through the first six chapters and it’s great. I’m hoping to spend more time on it today.

Anyway, next up is working on the DeLorean.



A few days ago, I attempted to upgrade my Ender 3 3D printer from the stock motherboard from Creality to a new revision of the board. The original one doesn’t have a bootloader or the ability to easily flash the firmware, but a newer rev does. So back in October of 2019 I picked up a v1.1.5 board (mine was v1.1.4) and finally installed it this past weekend.

After installing it, I realized the printer’s Z-axis was “broken”, in that the carriage with the nozzle/extruder would go up but not come down. I did a bunch of troubleshooting and thought it was the new board. So, I ordered another board, but this time, decided to upgrade to a 32-bit processor and move from the Arduino-based platform from Creality. So, I got a BigTree Tech SKR Mini E3 v2.0.

That arrived last night and I installed it, and the Z axis still didn’t work right. So, I started troubleshooting and found out it was actually the JTS connector on the cable for the Z limiter switch. I built and entirely new cable from scratch, and, voila! Fixed. Tonight I’m going to add new springs to the bed levelling system, and then I should be able to do a print with the new system.

Flower Planter

The planter is finished. This past weekend, I spent a grand total of about 5 hours in the garage cutting, sanding, and assembling. Here’s what it started like:

The front yard flower planter, in raw-board form.

And it evolved into this:

It’s about 8′ 7″ long, 12″ wide, and 12″ tall.

Oh, and I think I forgot to show what the drill bit holders look like hanging on the peg board in the garage, so here’s a picture of that.