Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions


A few years ago, I realized that New Year's Resolutions were a sociological setup, almost as bad as the 'You MUST Be Jolly, It's The Holidays!' setup, which leaves people who, for example, are at the anniversary of the death of a loved-one, or some other tragedy, feeling worse than otherwise just melancholy.

At that point, I made One Last Resolution; NO MORE resolutions.

It's been working amazingly well since!  No guilt, no recriminations, no nagging feeling I should be doing more to improve myself.

So be at peace, know that memory is selective, and the worst fades when left alone; take out and polish the shiny times and they'll stay bright.

People occasionally tell me to Dress For Success.  I already have success.  Now I dress for comfort and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).
That means cotton, no or very little polyester (blended), and wool for outdoors (but not around electronics or flight hardware.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thorin's World of Music: Music Video of Thorin and his Coupe DeVille Life

Thorin's World of Music: Music Video of Thorin and his Coupe DeVille Life: Singer song-writer Duane Thorin soars in his new anti-banker, populist, parody song about a man living in his Coupe de Ville because the banksters have foreclosed on his home.  (Borrows melody - as Fair Use/parody - from Randy Newman's Margaritaville)

Monday, September 27, 2010

FIX: Mounting the Battery Holders in the KX-1


Looking closer at the battery holders, I noticed that there seems to be some meat around the recesses where the screw heads rest, and decided to try embedding nuts in them.

First, I took an X-Acto knife and reamed the threads in the screw holes in the case (since they seem to already be stripped now), so that they just clear the screw threads.

A much longer 2-56 screw (as a tool) holds the nut against the recess, and I can pull _gently_ on the screw head with little pliers or a hemostat, while heating the nut with the iron (or a solder gun - briefly!) and pulling it down into the melted plastic _just_ until it is even with the surface. Set it aside and let it cool before moving. Then remove the long screw(s).

Now I can put the 2-56x3/16" screws in, with the head outside, and the end of the screw just even with the face of the nut. Put a drop of threadlocker on the inside on the nut. The thin blue liquid runs into the threads, and over some hours, sets up into a 'chewing-gum' consistency as a vibration-resistant lock, but still removable for repairs.

Find it at auto-parts stores, along with other, more aggressive, versions, coded with different colors. I'd used the blue before, to hold fans on top of EGSE racks for the Cassini mission to Saturn. You _really_ don't want a loose nut falling down into the electronics during a test of flight hardware. [Photo hpim1505]

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mounting the Battery Holders in the KX-1






Building up my second KX-1 (this one for KG6SPV) I came (again) across the little screws holding the battery holders to the aluminum case back, instantly stripping out, no matter how carefully I tried to put them in. First, I tried longer screws (2-56x3/16")and small-pattern nuts, with some blue threadlocker on the nuts outside the case, but it wasn't really elegant, as befits an Elecraft build. [Photo hpim1441, hpim1442]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Toroid Clip from a Clothespin


I've used this handy little holder for hanging onto a small toroid core, while looping the wire through it.

Essentially, start with an ordinary spring clothespin (about a buck a package at the 99c store, or even most supermarkets). Use a fresh one that hasn't lain out in the yard and started to rot; those fall apart.

I take a little X-Acto mini-miter saw and cut the angle opposite what the stock clothespin uses. I don't want to slip over a shirt on the clothesline, I want to have finger room around the tip of the jaws, with the flat holding the little core. I sand down the sawn edges with sandpaper or an emery board (away from the work area) to remove any splinters.

Now grab your core and put it into the jaws, so the center hole is mostly clear, and start counting turns, pulling each one just snug as you go. Remember, one time through the doughnut hole is one turn.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gift Card for/from GIs idea-- (part of the truth and reconciliation)

Image: Windshield view of a busy Baghdad street (or any of several exotic spots).

Willy: D'ja see the eyes on that little kid as we bounced over his parents? Thought I'd s*** myself!

Joe: Yeah! We shoulda gone back and got the little f***er. Another five, six years, he'll be wirin'-up bombs!

Friday, November 13, 2009

[In response to a post 10-12-09 at Scam.com, in Political Chat, on Health Insurance]

Other countries; thanks, Spector567, for the NationMaster links. We need to start with facts, as good and to as many decimal places as we can get them. (Reminds me of the Heinlein quote.)

I'm told PBS' Frontline recently did a special called IIRC "Sick Around The World" [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/countries/models.html], noting that among others, Taiwan has a 'Medicare-for-All' system that sounds like a good model.

It's abundantly clear that the profit motive is a lousy way to take care of our health. When HMOs first arose, there was hope that costs would be reduced by preventive care; screenings, early treatment, nutrition counseling and education and so on. Didn't happen. Denial and cancellation was much easier to do, insulated from the rage of the sick customer's survivors.

As far as immigrants, I would much rather they were all (yes, like the GB-NHS, _every_ resident) treated out of our overall tax-supported system (in a _huge_ group, spreading the costs) than not treated at all, or waiting for a crisis at the ER, where the cost is the most, and likely finding that some disease epidemic has spread because of that lack of early treatment. This is called 'enlightened self-interest'. BTW, that immigrant is paying into the tax system also, even if not into his own account (perhaps with someone else's SS#), and certainly with the most regressive of taxes, sales taxes.

Invective ("liars, filth, vermin") and obscenity (well, you know which ones) that Power-One likes to use are not the path to a reasoned discussion toward problem-solving, just the usual bully tactics the Faux Noise crowd uses to shout down a conversation. Not interested, Bully-Bait.