Busy Week (ending Aug 1 2015)

Maker Faire last Saturday (not previously mentioned here). I picked up a Teensy 3.1 there - it looks ridiculously powerful as a development platform, I really need to play with it. Ben Heck was there showing off a mini pinball machine that used it to good effect - might be a good first step into pinball DIY, building a little tabletop machine like that.

I spent some time dragging years worth of photos into Google Photos. I stopped around 1999 because there's no EXIF dates in those photos, so I'm manually fixing the EXIF dates going back from there. I've been trying to drop stuff into albums as well. Google Photos is pretty weak feature-wise compared to Flickr, but the totally unlimited for free option makes me think it's a pretty good backup to my family photos. Also their assistant has put together some cool and amusing animations, stylized photos, stories and panoramas. Most of them are junk but 1 in 10 is worth saving.

I installed a blocker into Chrome at work, and blocked myself from Reddit. In unrelated news, I got an above average amount of work done this week.

I took Thursday off and stripped off the roofing on the valleys over the front porch, and replaced them. They'd been leaking a bit since last fall. I found workmanship that I was not pleased with underneath, but I did not improve significantly on it because I determined that the entire roof will need replacement in about 5 years, so this repair only needs to last that long. I managed to mash my left middle finger by holding on to a 2x4 then hammering it down into a roof joist with the framing nailer. I think I hit a knot in the 2x4 or something to make it slam down that hard. It's not bad actually, pretty swollen but it only bothered me for a day or so. Still tender but not enough to hinder anything.

I did some work on the frosting extruder but it's clearly not going to get finished before Musecon. At this point I don't think I'll have ANYTHING for Musecon, apart from bringing the printer and maybe making GT badges.

I've been considering getting a new laptop. The last one I bought got given to Tom. I'm currently using one bought for Kate back when she was in high school and it's horribly slow. I don't use a laptop that much, but that's partially because my laptop is so unusable. When I go to cons, it's basically impossible to do any 3D work on it. I'll probably wind up ordering one this coming week.

On Saturday I changed the trans fluid and filter on the minivan. On the last service when I complained about the torque converter lockup not engaging properly, they added something called "friction modifier." It made the situation many times worse. I asked them to do a flush to get the stuff out of there but they really didn't want to do it, so I opted to do it myself. This was all fine except that it turns out that the gasket that comes with the new filter is horrible and I leaked out 2 or 3 quarts of fluid in a 50 mile test drive. So I wound up dropping the pan again (losing almost all the fluid) and putting the OEM gasket back in again (a much nicer gasket that was still in good shape) and it's not leaking now (or at least not much - it was POURING out before). I guess it's just as well, since you can't get all the fluid out of the trans on a pan drop I had planned on doing it twice anyway, just not in this particular way.

So anyway, quite a few more hours that was strictly called for spent on that project.

My Dremel tool has been getting bad and the last time I used it, about a week ago, I had to beat it against the wall to get it to come on, and cleaning it thoroughly inside did not help. I gave up, stripped it for parts, and went shopping. In the end I wound up buying a Harbor Freight rotary tool for $25. I'm sure it's not the highest quality, but honestly unless I spend $300 on a Foredom, it seems like they're all kind of crap. The old Dremel I scrapped was certainly no gem. It was made in the US but it had wretched bearings and mediocre build to it. I think the Harbor Freight model is probably a little better built than the 300 series Dremel I scrapped. I see on Amazon that I could have just replaced the switch in the Dremel, but it costs about as much for the part as the Harbor Freight one does, and I like the controls on the HF unit better.

I put a second 5TB drive in service. I've been moving all my stuff onto the one I put in service a few weeks back and it made me nervous to have everything in just one place. Right now I'm just manually rsyncing things (one is attached to the router, the other to the Raspberry Pi). I need to build an automatic mirroring system. Maybe I can set both up on the router with automatic mirroring. The router is much more capable than the RPi (much faster USB and processor).

I got a handful of other little 15 minute projects done recently as well. The plastic rocker panel cover on the Classic is back on. The door seal on the upstairs freezer is replaced and the massive air leak is gone there (luckily I checked eBay so I got a new seal for $35 instead of $120).
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