Tara’s Tribute: A memory box snap story.
Hi everyone, and welcome to 2017. I wanted to make a quick post to the website while it was still fresh in my mind (and while I was in a toughened mindset to do so) to feature a new video I put on my Youtube channel. In honor of my friend’s T.J. and Adrianna, and their daughter Tara, this video is intended to heighten awareness of premature pregnancy complications due to In Uterine Growth Restriction. Through a series of pictures, I also chronicle the memory box that I built for her keepsakes. This wasn’t something that I did because it’s enjoyable. In fact, it took so long to build, and subsequently make the tribute because there were times where I couldn’t hold back the tears and had to stop for a while. I kept pressing on, because it was my complete honor to do this for them and my way of sharing part of my life with her. Please take a moment to consider the story of Tara Elizabeth.
Prototype to Production: Ideas to Tangible Reality
This year at HamCom 2015, my good friend and fellow ham, Mike Malone, KD5KXF, decided to do a joint presentation on how to take a rough schematic that you’ve drawn on something like a napkin (in my case, with stain hues of cherry Fanta slushes and gas station hot dog mustard), into a tangible production run of circuit boards. In part 1, Mike takes you through the prototyping process, and in part 2, I subsequently give an overview of how to take that prototype and polish it into a run of professional looking circuit boards.
I really enjoyed presenting with Mike. Despite this being the first run of my presentation, and being nervous, and finding problems that occurred in the wireless microphone system (after the fact, of course), the presentations went pretty well. If you would like copies of the slide decks, they have been made available here. So, without further ado:
(Read more while your bacon fries….)
How to Make Mead: Part 1
It’s been a year now since I started making mead again. Since them, I’ve made 10 batches of various things for myself, as well as collaborations with a friend of mine. This weekend, to celebrate the one year anniversary of my clover honey show mead, I’m starting another batch some orange blossom honey I bulk ordered as well as beginning the bottling of my first batch. I am documenting the process where I can for use on the blog, and I am excited to introduce part 1 of the video series I am putting together. This video takes you through everything you need to know in order to make your very own first batch of mead. I tried not to be overly verbose where I could (something I am guilty of in text), and managed to cram everything from materials to fermentation in 30 minutes of video. I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for part 2 which will cover everything that happens in between fermentation and racking to a secondary container, and subsequent parts unknown that will cover the rest of the process.
Leaving Ingress: My ascendancy and decline as an agent.
After a little over two months, I’ve decided to leave Ingress. It hasn’t been that long in the scheme of things, but because of the time I’ve invested, it feels like forever. At the time of this writing, my local teammates don’t even know I’ve left the game. Out of all of the things that are going to be hard to do, I think breaking the news to them will be the toughest. I wanted to recount my experience for anyone who might wish to listen/read, and for all intents and purposes, feel like I am detoxing, withdrawing, etc, really bad. A lot of what I am writing is for my benefit, and reflection, but if you glean anything from it, I’m happy to help! Some of this is discombobulated thought. Feel free to grab your favorite bottle of spirits while you read through those parts and make a drinking game out of it.
Where to start…..ah, let’s call that “Genesis”. I’d like to preface that with a short introduction: “Hi, I’m BaconFatLabs, and I’m an addict.”
Assembling The Geek Group’s MIDI Interrupter Kit
Recently (Ok, so it’s been a while), I assembled the MIDI Interrupter Kit, available from The Geek Group here. I’ll go into more details after the jump, but in the meantime, please enjoy a time lapse video of that process along with a groovy jam before we continue, well, because what good is ANYTHING without a little bit of jam. Bread, electronics, cull lumber? Worthless without jam.
The Batmobile Pinewood Derby Car (featuring T.R.E.)
A few weeks ago, The Redneck Engineer gave me a phone call with a small project that had to be completed for his son: A Pinewood Derby car. To make things a little interesting, they had decided that it would be best served in the form of the Batmobile. I thought it was a great idea! Here’s a quick rundown of how we worked it out.
First, T.R.E. and Junior Redneck Engineer (J.R.E.) sketched out a multi-plane design with a rough idea of how they wanted it to look:
No more trippin’ (over my Jorgies)….
The holiday season is upon us. The Redneck Engineer, along with contributing Bacon Fat Labs member Scott-O (you’ll meet him soon) and several other of our mutual friends were over for our second annual after Thanksgiving Day get together. Some of you call it “Friendsgiving”. Well, we’re different (probably in a bad way) and call it “Thanksaturday”. After successfully deep frying a turkey on the driveway for the second year in a row without catching the house on fire (Thanks Zech!), and eating a fine high calorie meal that only your cardiologist and cholesterol would hate (Including Mrs. Redneck Engineer’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos), the men retreated to the garage to regale each other in the stories of days gone by as the scent of sawdust, oil, gas and cigar (not from me, yech) somewhat covered up the inevitable flatulent episode from one of us. I tripped over my parallel clamp collection as I walked out of the house.
Fast forward one week. I took advantage of the warm weather in Dallas this past Saturday (76 degrees according to the weather station) and worked in the shop/garage/lab/death trap/place where I store crap. After an 80+ hour week stuck at my desk, it was a welcome change.
For reasons that I don’t quite remember, I had a few pieces of plywood that were set to the side and ripped to 3″ wide, and I also found another piece that was ripped to 5 1/4″ wide. Shortly after that, I tripped over my collection of Jorgenson parallel clamps AGAIN that were leaning against the wall with no real place of residence.
Must. Fight. Urge. To. Put. Hole. In. Wall. With. Fist. Okay, I didn’t, but something definitely had to be done.
Simple Drill Press fence
In the course of working on the “ethernet aware digital clock”, I have identified several annoyances in my workspace that can be solved with a handy jig. One such annoyance is a drill press fence that is *not* a piece of wood and two spring clamps. Originally, I had planned to buy another drill press table with all of the bells and whistles like the one Woodpecker sells here, but I kept putting it off ever since we had a baby and, for some reason, I contracted a bad case of an Italian disease named “Mahfunzalo” at the very same time. Okay, I can’t back that up. Mahfunzalo isn’t a real disease, but I’m sure any new parent can relate.
New Project Inbound
Hey folks, I’ve had a thing or two going on, but I promise an article on my new project in the next two weeks on the ethernet aware digital clock. I’ll be giving it some woodworking flare to dress it up along with some Bacon Fat Labs original mods. Stay tuned.
In the mean time, enjoy this picture of a pound of uncured bacon and six pieces of organic squash fashioned into a tasty baby food purée. I call it, “The Duality of Man”.
Okay, so the baby food isn’t that exciting next to the bacon. This is my life. Enjoy.
What in the world is cull lumber?
In my previous article, I made a few references to “cull lumber”. There were a few people who asked me what in the world that was, so I thought it warranted a short entry and explanation.
cull/kəl/ – Verb: Select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources.
Most lumber yards and big box stores that carry lumber have a small section, usually a rack of some sort, where they display cull lumber. Cull lumber can be any number of things, such as off-cuts from other customers who “just need 3 feet of an 8 foot board because I can’t fit it in my Ford Focus.” (I don’t know what that guy’s problem was… I’ve successfully fit thirty, yes thirty, four foot boards of 2×4 and 2×6 mixed variety in my Mazda 3, which was easy, as well as a 7 foot oak clothes rack and shelf for a closet, which was not that easy.) In that scenario, the customer pays full price for this stick of lumber that the store has cut for them, but instead of throwing it away, the store will put it in the cull lumber pile. (Read more while your bacon fries….)