Louisiana Bound

We’re headed off on a road trip to Baton Rouge tomorrow morning. The car is packed and everything’s ready to go. Since it’s likely going to be a 12 hour trip, we’re waking up at 5:00am and will be on the road by 6:00am or so.

We’ll be in town there for three whole days, and will be driving back on Monday. One of our friends is from Louisiana and she’s going to be there with her boyfriend this weekend, so we’ll likely spend some time hanging out with them.

On deck for when I get back next week: I have some movies in the pipeline I’m adding to my collection, there is some post-DeLorean-build news, and 3D printing lined up.

It’s February Already?!?

Wow. I just looked and saw that it’s been about three months since I posted last. I guess a quick recap is in order of what transpired during that time.

Thanksgiving was great. I took off from December 18 through January 2 to relax and get some projects around the house done, however I was mostly bedridden that entire time as I threw out my back on the FIRST DAY off. As a result of that, and that the girls were out of state for Christmas, Cari and I did very little and postponed Christmas day for a couple of weeks. Last week I got a little bit of the flu. That’s about it.

I finally received my Bobcat Helium coin miner that I ordered in June of 2021. It’s up-and-running, but is mining slowly. I intend on replacing the stock 4 dBi antenna with an all-weather 8 dBi one that I’ll mount to the side of the house. I’m currently working on adding some movies to the library. I plan on also working on the DeLorean today, so there should be some updates on that coming soon.

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 Tested.com 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.

Storage and More

As noted before, I got the new boxes in for my nerd collectables et al. And today I’ve transferred everything into them. Behold.

The box.
The main collectibles box.
The second storage box has a bunch of lanyards, badges, and materials from cons.

This last image shows the new boxes in one of the cupboards (top right). I pulled everything out of here today and re-organized it all. I don’t have a “before” picture, but this is actually a lot better. Still not done, though. More organizing to come.

And, lastly, here’s a quick view of the state of the DeLorean.

Slinking Along

A few days of extended work hours at the day job has messed up my schedule a bit. I wasn’t able to get as many things accomplished as I had hoped, but I did make some progress. We’re back on track now, though.

I’m writing a small import utility in PowerShell with a XAML UI. The software ingests Excel files and adds entries to a database. I’m running into an odd roadblock today where the specific Commandlet that performs the import is not able to properly latch into the Excel file and read its data. I need to get this tool ready before tomorrow, so this issue is really slowing me down. I’ll be in the day job’s office all day tomorrow, so my weekend won’t see many more personal projects completed.

The wooden boxes for my geeky collection of items have arrived and they’re great. They’re raw wood (sanded, but otherwise unfinished) and, other than lining the bottoms with some felt, I’m not sure yet how to decorate and/or finish them. Will likely address this next weekend.

Also, the magazine organizers arrived and I’m already starting to put them to work. All-in-all, I’m feeling excited about the office reorg.

I also had a mobile window company come out to the house today and replace the rear window of my car. Another checkbox has been checked.

Upgrading the Treasure Chests

Keeping up with my scheduled chores/tasks/projects has been pretty easy. Toward the end of last week I did some adjusting, mainly due to two things: I underestimated the amount of downtime I needed this weekend, and I also had to adjust to accommodate Cari’s car issues, which I was able to fix on Saturday. I’m back on track now.

In the office cupboard, there are a couple of small, cardboard boxes that contain a bunch of geeky keepsakes of mine. The majority of these are various fun things from old Loot Crate boxes, but I also have convention programs and lanyards, stickers, pins, toys, things friends made, Kickstarter rewards, comics, and so on.

I’ve run out of space in the boxes and they’re bulging. So, I decided I wanted to transfer everything into new, wooden boxes, which I’m hoping will last forever. They’re also quite a bit larger – almost twice the height each. I ordered them today, so that should be a fun task for this weekend.

Speaking of boxes and organizing items, I’ve also had a bit of an overflow problem linked directly to the magazine subscriptions I mentioned the other day. Most of the magazines I read and then recycle, but one magazine (The MagPi) I want to hold onto as the issues are full of great projects that I may want to tackle one day. However, the pile that’s accumulated in said cupboard is unsightly, hard to move around and stack things on, and feels a bit unsafe (those suckers might tip over at some point). So, I ordered some magazine file holders. If this proved to be a good solution, I want to extend the system to also hold the Eaglemoss DeLorean magazines I get every month so that I can ditch the terrible binders they give out for free.

This weekend, I caught up on:

I also watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

And today, I’m reading The MagPi Issue 104 April 2021

A New Way of Organizing My Time

I go long stretches of time without a ton of structure in my personal life. Sure, I have things that I like to do, and even things that I need to do. And I’ll even go so far as to make to-do lists with dates attached. These kinds of lists can prove helpful, and even fruitful at times. But, ultimately, the majority of these chores and projects just keep getting pushed weeks, or even months, and my productivity suffers.

I’ve been only periodically acknowledging this. Weeks will go by, and I’ll keep seeing the same items on the list. In the past, I’ve been successful in combatting this by breaking my days down to 30-minute intervals and blocking out time for certain projects. I’ve not done this in years, but last week it felt like it was time for me to jump back into a highly detailed schedule.

That said, today was the first day of this new schedule and it went very well. Not only was I a lot more productive, but I literally crossed more to-dos off my list in one day that I have in two weeks. It feels great.

The list has a lot of small household projects on it for now, but soon I’ll have gotten through all of those and will be moving on to fun projects, like coding, circuit design, etc. Part of this will be more frequent blogging here too which should be a nice way for me to chronical what’s going on. And for those who care to know, you’ll be along for the ride.

As I write this, I’m about to enter the Read Magazines block of time, which is prodding me to conquer the stack of unread magazines on my desk that I never seem to find time for.

First up: The MagPi Issue 103 (March 2021).

Lots of DeLorean Work

I spent nearly six hours this weekend catching up on the DeLorean model as I was four months behind (Issues 79 – 94).

A lot of the work was done in the engine bay, the headliner of the cockpit, the electrical system, and the front and rear bumpers. The chassis and frame are now married as well. Here are some pics.