Archive for the work Category

And Then I Returned It.

Posted in colorado, how to, review, technology, work with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2011 by tymora42

The STIHL 171 was too heavy and did not have much in the way of vibration control so I returned it and put in the order for the 192 CE. This is not to be confused with the 192T CE. The T is an arborist’s saw designed to cut limbs from treetops and in confined spaces. It has a top handle trigger for you to operate it with one hand, but in the carving world it is less wieldly than a two handed rear trigger. They are basically the same saw with different trigger controls. One site said the T is the worst saw to loan out because people are always trying to use it one handed without much experience and end up losing arms and legs in the process. The 192 model is lightweight with intense vibration control. It was always my first choice but because most dealers do not carry it – I went with the 171. Stupid mistake. Go with your gut. It will take a little while to get it in the store for me. Of course, I have waited 3 years thus far, I can wait a week or two longer.

Advertisements

So, I Bought a Chainsaw Today

Posted in adventure, colorado, how to, technology, Uncategorized, work with tags , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by tymora42

This was not an impulse decision. I have been working with an 18″ Echo for the past 5 years chopping logs into firewood, cutting down dead trees, and clearing slash from the fallen. 3 of those I have been interested in the prospect of chainsaw carving. Still a bit timid toward the monetary embarkment of a new artistic skill, I researched the topic to death until I finally said, “This summer I am going to get me one.”

Normally saws come with a 3/8 chain on a regular bar that looks like a fish. Detailed carvings require a 1/4 chain on a bar that tapers almost to a point. To change that bar and chain requires a sprocket with a 1/4″ pitch. Not all chainsaws can be modified in that way. Eventually I decided on a STIHL model 171 because there is a STIHL certified shop in Durango and it was the least expensive for what I was doing. Originally I wanted the 192 CE arborist saw simply for the weight of it, but the top handle trigger made it difficult to maneuver. You can get them in the rear trigger for about fifty bucks more. This made the 171 over a hundred dollars cheaper for the sacrifice of a little more than 3 pounds.

Now I have two saws. Three if you count the outdated Craftsman with the equally outdated and broken oil pump. Outdated in this realm means finding a replacement part is next to impossible even with the vast resources of the all powerful internet. The Craftsman is still usable. You just have to keep manually lubing up the bar and chain after every few cuts or so.

The first two recommended projects are an eagle and a mushroom. The eagle allegedly teaches you every basic cut you would do with a carving saw. The mushroom is designed to be easy, quick, and repetitive practice without a schematic. Everyone knows what a mushroom looks like, right? There are a lot of stumps leftover from thinning the forest this summer. I have a feeling they will all become mushrooms.

Well, gotta go. I got logs to cut.

Past, Present, and Speculation of the Future of Writing Technologies

Posted in blog, books, essay, technology, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by tymora42

Writers Block by miss pupik

Standing outside for a breath before testing a writing program I am not familiar with recalls those writers who have come before with their limited technologies. I take a moment to daydream on the process of constructing novels, plays, screenplays, and even short stories in the time previous to the word processor. How easy it is for us in this new century? How easy will it become? It is no wonder why the once elite market has exploded in a variety of those dedicating their life to the craft of being a writer.

My first retrospective goes to the typewriter, the tapping out of solid words onto the page. The immediate editing process of Microsoft Word, simply hitting the delete key over the highlighted section and reconstructing the previous thought to closer perfection as the writer intends it, could not even be considered to such technology. Even when the liquid papering function was installed in the machine, it could only perform menially, a letter at a time, a punctuation mark, at most a whole word at a time, never a full sentence. Only years before this they would have to spool up the page, apply the whitener, and let it dry before they could continue the thought. Before this they would have to key the whole page over and over. Once the first draft of those thoughts were finally smashed onto paper, the real editing began. Sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs, cut and pasted into different locations of the document, are circled and arrowed with pen knowing that the entire piece must be retyped again and again until it is correct. Obsessive Compulsive editors like myself would never have made it without superior discipline. This is where the admiration of greats like Thomas Pynchon, where every word and placement has significance, must be recognized. And those like Stephen King creating volumes of work with such immensity. It is no wonder he hates the abridgment of them when every revision of a thousand page volume needs retyping after each editing. I can see the dry portion of those novels being the result of the editor self proclaiming pages as worthy for the sole reason of decreasing the workload. Did Steinbeck own a typewriter in the early years? Could he afford new ribbons and paper? This must be why Of Mice and Men is so short. What of Mellville? Jane Austen? Did they pen their works initially before consigning them to typed manuscripts? Were the walls of their rooms covered in index cards with brief character biographies, plot devices, scenery descriptions pinned into the drywall with threads of yarn connecting them to black and white photographs and illustrations like a detective movie?

Shakespeare did not have a typewriter. He jumps further backward in time to the days of quills on parchment. Notes of scratches and older versions of Midsummer Night Dream have yet to be recovered by English archaeologists. Like the zen quote about the river, one can never see the same play twice. It is constantly being rewritten as it is being performed. Lines drop. Actors ad lib. Blocking and scenery is constantly in flux to the whim of the players on stage. Surely their was a stable copy at the start and a final after the run. And I have to picture them learning their lines. Did Willie stand before them in the empty Globe Theatre running through his mix and garble of word from memory expecting them to regurgitate it after a single once over? I would like to have seen his one man show describing the first act with all of the characters and blocking and details of the scenery and pit it against the closing night for consistency. No, to construct a single line with a quill would take considerable thought before the ink every touched the surface. Taking in the scenario of a poet lingering over the page for hours on end before scribbling out a word or two gives credence to the thought that writers were lazy.

Before Email by vas0707

Now, the future is here and their will be more future tomorrow. We print one copy and xerox the rest of our novels in multiples for out writing groups to peruse. We edit. We print more. Ink is cheap and paper grows on trees. We post them on Trigger Street and The Red Room and Smashwords for user to (hopefully) read and comment. We post blogs. We podcast. We delete whole sentences at a time. We reorder paragraphs. The tacks have been removed from the walls of our study. The index cards are filed away in drawers where we can wonder what they were ever used for in the first place. Final Draft and Scrivener and Celtx organize the bodies onto virtual corkboards and sticky notes. Characters have tabs for their biographies with images and research encompassed in quick click of a button reference. We hardly even have to type anymore if we do not want. We can tell the story into a microphone and DragonNaturallySpeaking (dragonspeak) will convert the dialogue into text. Windows Journal and similar programs type out scanned handwritten documents for you.

The next great leap in writer evolution that will flood the market over the walls of the dam will be the invention of thought to text. From there it will be a short stroll into the conversion of dreams into movies. Pioneers will consume hallucinogenic drugs to record their experiences. A new Hunter Thompson will arise. Loving or being hated by a writer, if we can still call them writers, will have further consequences than they already have when they are hooked up to these experiential machines transcribing their emotions into novels.

Whole stories will be constructed in the blink of an eye, as fast as one can think them up. Is this what they thought about the video camera? We have come so far from the day when the Guttenberg Press made the scribe monk obsolete. From the days when the ancients chiseled letters into stones. Imagine the editing process of that form. We stepped over the home typesetting invention of the QWERTY keyboard, designed to be less functional than the Dvorak because the speedy keys kept sticking, to the digital manifestation of the word processor. We are now in the age of the work specific visual writing program. As much as the imaginative can prophesize, only the future can tell where we will go next. Who knows? Maybe there will be someone in the distance looking back at you for your contribution to the world and he will say, “And they had to actually write it all by hand.”

Kinetic Hula Hoop

Posted in essay, how to, hula hoop, work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by tymora42

Kinetic Hula Hoops? They don’t work. There is lots of kinetic energy rolling around in a hoop as you spin it, twirl it, trick it, and work your body to keep it going. Unfortunately, this is a difficult energy to harness. It seems like the 30lb force magnet does not get enough force to travel fast enough through the wire coils to conduct the electromagnetic energy needed to power the 5mm LEDs. The centrifugal force tends to hold the magnet in place rather than rotating it quickly around the hoop. To harness the energy I would need spikes jutting from the outside for the magnet to travel up, but this would be unsightly and cumbersome for the hooper.

I was excited to write this article once the prototype was finished and proved to be viable; however, it failed. There are many articles on how to do something that does work. There are very few that tell you how to do something that does not. This is my eHowNot. Why? Because maybe you can tell me how to fix it. It is also a warning to others who decide to embark upon this venture. There are no articles online with the tags “kinetic” or “friction powered” combined with “hula hoop.” At first I thought, “Yes! I can be the first.” A month into the design and creation made me realize why.

This was the final implementation of my design including all of the experimentation that went along with it. Learn from my mistakes. And if you find a working solution, please let me know. I would also appreciate any suggestions on improvement.

I decided upon two tubes: an inner tube with the wire coils wrapped around it and the magnet would travel inside of that one. The outer tube would be for hooping comfort with holes cut into it for 5mm LEDs and their reflective housings. I chose the LED size of 5mm because it would take the lowest amount of energy to power them. The reflective housings were to strengthen their luminescence. The magnet was a 30lb force cylindrical 1″ x 7/16″ neodymium. This was the strongest at that size that I could find. The size was important because it had to fit inside the 1/2″ inner tube and be unrestricted in the travel around the hoop. I also used a spherical 7/16″ ball bearing magnet with considerably less pull. Both were tested in a foot long piece of the inner tube with the wire coiled 750 times in a 1.5″ section. This test proved that it could power the LEDs with enough force. The spherical ones were less effective than the cylinders and the more cylinders, the less friction necessary to power the light.

The ??? gauge copper enameled wire was wrapped 1500 times within a 2.5″ area on the final product. In one case it was wrapped 1370 because the wire broke in the middle of winding. In another case it was wrapped 2000 times for experimental purposes. I should have wrapped one 1000 times and one at 750, but I did not. When I feel like working on it once again I am sure these will be problem solving techniques I address. Both the LED leads and the ends of the wire attached to them were filed with a fingernail file to scrape any protective residue from them to ensure a sound connection. The conductivity was also tested with an ohm meter from the LED leads and the ends of the solder.

Each unit was treated as an individual circuit powered by one magnet. Two spherical magnets attached to either end of one cylinder were attempted first. The final problem I encountered in the structure was to connect the inner tube inside the outer tube’s connector piece. It was not a solid fit, so I resolved to put an assist on the cylinder magnet with the spherical magnets. To compensate for either way the hoop might be spinning, the spheres were attached to both sides. Also tried were a single ball, multiple balls, only the cylinder and two cylinders. My next trials will be the same combinations with grease on the surfaces of them.

The LEDs were secured using a nonconductive cement glue around the edges of the housing. I had no problems keeping them fastened despite much roughhousing with the tubes. They were dropped, pulled, and thrown in the name of testing and not necessarily frustration.

See? This was helpful. I found numerous new experimentation methods just by talking about it with someone to maybe make it actually work. The greasing is the prize, I think. First, I will try wrapping the magnet in wax paper like we used to do with slides in elementary school. This will keep it from getting dirty inside the seals. The other test will need to be the coiling amount and the span of the area. These will be done on a separate piece like the initial tests before doing the entire hoop. Truthfully, though, I believe it is the speed of the magnet that needs to be addressed.

Again, comments would be appreciated.

Going Dark – Good Times

Posted in adventure, blog, family, kauai, work, writing with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by tymora42

I have just recently returned from a proverbial internet communication “radio silence” due to nondisclosure acts of the highest media security that I am not at liberty to discuss any further than a notification that they were in place. People who are dear to me and new friends met along the way had their jobs on the line by a hundred key strokes of my hand. I even had a post ready to go that verbal cease and desist orders asked me nicely not to publish. Eventually, they will be, but not until the green light flashes from these sources. Even then they will be safely coded, misrepresented, and possibly guarded further by impersonating a fictitious story on my other site, Stories of the flEA.

My apologies go out to all of those neglected during this vacation, those emails to people who are letting me use their photography and artwork in my next story, which should have been published before leaving. Unfortunately, some of the permissions were not solidified before I got on the plane to Kauai as I hoped they would have been. It should be up in no less than a week since the majority of the work has already been done. Keep a lookout for it. It is about a guy who turns into a fish. There are some fascinating images involved that will be presented similarly to the MOAB: filled with genital humor article. That worked out well. I will continue to keep it going in further stories if I can and if they call for it.

My thanks go out to those who helped make my stay off-continent a wonderful one. As much as I wish I could they will henceforth remain nameless until I name them.

Working Real Hard Trying to Find a Job

Posted in blog, life, Uncategorized, work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by tymora42

In this tortured economy I am sure I am not alone in this plight. This is a message to all employers who wade through the countless resumes and online apps posted by potential new hires. This is for the Human Resources departments of the world calling references and past employers nonstop for positions needing fulfillment. This is for the Job Recruiters toiling to make ends meet for unknown people on both ends of the employment spectrum. That message is this: When the job is filled, take the notification down. Send out an email to everyone who applied that they gave it to another candidate.

The most frustrating aspect of the hunt is the unknown. Keep us informed. No news is not good news. No news is bleeding hope. No news means they might still be looking and you might still have a chance. It is the girl who never returns your phonecalls to tell you she already has a boyfriend. It is the publisher you sent the manuscript that forgot to send it back with a maybe-in-a-future-publication letter. It is an AIDS test that the lab misplaced the results.

It does not matter if you absolutely know you have no sexually transmitted diseases because your last year of partners have been yourself, you still worry. Why? It is the uncontrollable unknown. Everybody hates the uncontrollable unknown especially when commingled with desire. No matter how often we go where the wind blows us, there is still a certain bit of steering the kite or boat or whatever metaphor you think is applicable here. I knew a hippie girl once who gave her entire life to God. She probably had lice and would not take medication to get rid of it. She said, “If God wants me to have lice, then I guess I will have lice.” This is extreme animal rights activism. Lice is life. She refused to kill it. She might be okay with the uncontrollable unknown. The rest of the world is not. I had lice once or at least I thought I did. I had long beautiful hair that got chopped down to the roots with a pair of craft scissors. I put so much RID in it that it shocked the remaining follicles into thick, unmanageable spikes. I no longer cared. I did not have lice.I took whatever measures necessary to control the situation. With a job search you cannot be so proactive. You have to wait for the results that might not ever come.

So to all of those people in those positions of control, keep us informed, because it just keeps getting tougher every day.