Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Aerial Photo Day

My last day of 2013 was a day off... but I went in anyway for my annual Robinson R22 helicopter ride and an aerial photo tour of the Kona Airport. It's holiday time of course and the well-heeled folk are here for warm weather celebrations in numbers once again. I counted about 51 private and leased jets on the ground today... not the largest number we've ever seen this time of year, but respectable none the less.

Happy New Year, Everyone! And good fortunes to you all in 2014!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Chocolate Bar Fiction vs. Fact

This clever little Hersey bar animated GIF on Google+ has been making the rounds lately, and it got me thinking, "How does that work?" It wasn't long after that I thought, "Why not use a little bit of AutoCAD to look into it further. So I did.

It turns out that magicians are pretty clever dudes after all! :) Like everything else they do this is a little misdirection and a lot of optical illusion.

So here's my video to show what's *really* going on!

I've probably been to too many Penn & Teller shows in Las Vegas. Now *I* want to explain how every trick is done! :)

Cat on a Rumba

I don't care how many times I watch this, I laugh at it every time.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


A short primer on the use of the ALIGN command in AutoCAD using the Autodesk Chronicle application.

Ice Cream in Istanbul

How could anyone *not* like this guy?! :) Great stuff, Mostafa!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Night Movie

Manifold from Anthony Scott Burns on Vimeo.

Always leave them wanting more. Seems to be as true here as anywhere. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Reaping for Dummies

We know here at the 2020HeinSite blog that this is the opening weekend for Part 2 of the Hobbit series, "The Desolation of Smaug". And we tried to get it for you. Honest. We did. We tried. But it was a bit pricey, and our service provider was a little wary of airing it... what with lawyer things and all. So instead we got you something else. Something shorter. Something less expensive. But just as dark. Not. We think you'll like it anyway.

Enjoy this week's Friday Night Movie anime... "Reaping for Dummies"

Reaping for Dummies from Reaping for Dummies on Vimeo.

Monday, December 2, 2013

AU 2013 Live Streaming Videos

It's Autodesk University 2013 time in Las Vegas, USA once again!... that time of year for almost 10,000 users, vendors, and others to descend on a city that never sleeps to talk all things Autodesk and high tech. If you can't be part of the crowd be sure to visit the 2013 AU Live Streaming Video page and take part from your desktop. You will find a great lineup of things there that you can see live during each day of the conference, including the Keynote, Closing sessions, and much more.

All events this year are once again being held at the palatial Venetian & Palazzo hotel convention and exhibition center. So check the schedule page above and look in during the week if you can! It will be well worth the time and bandwidth!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Something of comet ISON actually survived the trip around the sun! Yesterday during the Google+ Hangout session with NASA scientists the outcome looked bleak. In fact many of them predicted doom but justified it by saying that "comets are notoriously unpredictable". That may be... but the pictures don't lie. Something made the passage. Now it remains to be seen if anything is out there for viewing come the first few weeks of December. If so look to the same eastern skies before sunrise.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Comet ISON

Tomorrow we eat turkey (in the USA). But our sun may eat comet ISON when it makes its close approach. Will it survive? Will ISON break up? We'll see. By the way... there are actually two comets in this video. The smaller second one is comet Encke.

And for those of you in the USA traveling today to see family and loved ones... be safe and have a great holiday!

Wordless Wednesday

Something from right here close to home... Enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Play Chess... Properly

How to play chess... just watch a video and learn. What could be easier?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Night Movie

A young boy's curiosity about a bird eventually lures him to danger in, "Tuurngait". Enjoy!

Tuurngait from Tuurngait Team on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 & Windows XP Finally Divorce

If you hadn't seen this yet the following is something you may need to know:

Microsoft® has announced the discontinuation of support for Microsoft® Windows XP operating system. Since Autodesk is aware that a large number of AutoCAD users continue to use Windows XP, they have begun notifying customers about the impact to AutoCAD software products.

AutoCAD® AutoCAD® 2014 will be the final version of AutoCAD software* that will run on the Windows XP operating system. This is important if you will continue to be using a computer with XP as the operating software:
  • AutoCAD 2014 is the final release that can be installed on the Windows XP operating system.
  • AutoCAD 2014 is the final version of AutoCAD that will be supported on Windows XP. 
  • If you have a currently supported version of AutoCAD on Windows XP, Autodesk will continue supporting your AutoCAD software through the "support life" of the product (Autodesk support is limited to the most current version and previous three versions of AutoCAD software). 
AutoCAD® isn't the only program that will be affected.  All of the AutoCAD® verticals are going to be included.  So be sure to visit this page to get the full impact of the new policy.  You'll find more information there including detailed frequently asked questions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nuclear Testing

This should give us all a moment of pause. It's a graphical diary of every nuclear explosion that has been set off from the first Manhattan Project "Trinity" test in 1945 through Pakistan's tests in 1998. The only ones missing are North Korea's three alleged tests this decade. How many confirmed blasts have there been so far in total? A: 2,053.

Produced by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Night Movie

This week we're going into the archives... 45 yrs deep all the way back to 1968... to revisit a classic from the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. Here Johnny stars with everyone's favorite big city cop of the time, Mr. Joe Friday, aka Jack Webb, of "Dragnet" fame, in the "Copper Clapper Caper".


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pixelstick Light Painting

Have you ever tried light painting a photograph? Have you ever wanted to? If you have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in your 2013 Christmas gift budget a couple of enterprising Kickstarter guys have something that just might just take your photography, "I'd like to be able to do that", wish list to a whole new level.

Deadline for ordering now is Dec 13, 2013. Estimated delivery is May 2014. Every Kickstarter project is a risk, but I've been involved in five (5) so far and every one has delivered exactly what I expected. YMMV.

For more information be sure to visit the Kickstarter pixelstick - Light painting evolved webpage.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Geospacial Revolution

As a civil engineering student I took just about every surveying course that was offered including six weeks of summer school in the mosquito infested forests of northern Wisconsin and a 12-week stint the following summer as an instructor. About the only surveying course I can think of that I didn't take back then was one on remote sensing, and in retrospect I wish I had taken that too. I also wish I'd had the money to hang around for a master's degree after getting my B.S. because almost surely I would have continued with some branch of advanced surveying.

In the early 1970's the technologies related to remote sensing were just getting going. Photogrametry was the primary tool used at the time to determine geometric properties (elevations, locations, etc) of ground objects from aerial imagery, but it required many man hours, expensive and complex equipment with glass plates. Global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) then, given the status of computer systems, were but a dream. But it was all on the horizon and we dreamed of the possibilities... and now most all of it and more is really here.

The following series of outstanding videos done by Penn State University provide a wide range of information about how important GPS and GIS have become in our modern world and how much we depend on them in integrated ways to manage our businesses, respond to emergencies, conduct warfare, and generally improve life in so many myriad ways.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I find this stuff incredibly exciting. I hope you will too. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 28, 2013

OSU Magic

Often the best part of college football is the part never shown on television. But college students and fans at live games get to see it every week. Of course I'm talking about the halftime show performed by the home field band. And in this business there is simply no better marching band than the Ohio State University band. Some of the routines they've done over the years are legend, and if you've never seen them do their classic script "Ohio" you've missed a real treat.

This past weekend the OSU band outdid even themselves with their "Hollywood Blockbuster Show" in the middle of the Penn State game. I'm a Big Ten alum (Univ of Wisc '72) but I'm not alone in saluting this performance. Big Ten fans across the country this week are tipping their hats to the OSU band for simply being the best. You guys bring everyone else's halftime game up with every performance.

So if you didn't see them at the game last Saturday... or if they didn't show what went down on your tv... Enjoy them here anyway!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Night (Scary!) Movie

A late entry to this week's Friday Night Movie. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

To witness this would be a little shocking, to say the least. So the various reactions are priceless. Brilliant none the less.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Night Movie

More like a Friday night dance party! Anyone who knows me knows that I love dance. Always have. So I absolutely LOVE this!!! This is uninhibited happiness expressed in dance... just the way it should be.

WARNING: Some lyrics in the music may be offensive to sensitive ears.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Content Aware Fill

If you don't know what content aware fill is this won't make a lot of sense to you. But if you do know what it is you'll probably be laughing about 10 seconds into this.

Harry Potter! Frodo! Where are you?! :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Juno Earth Flyby

Lend a bit of your mass today, and with the rest of planet Earth give the Juno probe to Jupiter a slingshot assist. You are approved for an extra bowl of ice cream if that's what it takes.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Night Movie (Silent)

Tonite we'll watch a little something from the "Roaring 20's" silent film age called, "Oilfield Dodge". Before roads there were feet and horses. But there was a short period of time even after cars came along that there were still no roads. That didn't stop anyone with a car from driving however, far from it. They drove anyway... and they did it rather expertly. Try some of these maneuvers with your Leaf or Prius this weekend, then call me. I'll be loading up on stock in a towing company. :)

The secret to much of this relies on a low center of gravity, narrow gage wheels, and high ground clearance - something pretty much every vehicle owner short of a monster truck doesn't have anymore.


World Smile Day

Since 1999 the first Friday in October has been World Smile Day. This year it falls on Oct 4. Smile!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Looking Over the Fiscal Cliff

I saw something similar to this earlier today and thought it was rather clever:

The modern American, “Fiscal Cliff”, as seen from a different perspective:

Lesson #1:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Now, let’s remove 8 zeros from everything above and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Current outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total household budget cuts so far: $38.50

Got it so far? Okay, now look at the "Debt Ceiling" from the same homeowner perspective:

Lesson #2:

Assume you come home one afternoon from work/the bar/the garden club/the golf course/your typical activity and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood during the day. Your home now has sewage inside all the way to the ceiling. What do you think you should do?…

Call a contractor to bring some jacks and raise the ceilings or pumps to remove the wastewater?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I so can't wait for this... or December 2014 when it finally concludes!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chicago Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup Ring

Congrats, Hawks! Now... go get another one! Work on that starts this week! :)

NASA | IPCC Projections of Temperature and Precipitation in the 21st Century

It's far too late now to argue anymore about who may be to blame for this. It may also be almost too late to start planning for it. But denial is surely as useful as saying the sun won't rise in the morning.

Friday, September 27, 2013

End of the Tunnel

Tonight's Friday Night Movie is a short documentary film recommended by a good friend of mine who has known the narrator, Bernard, for many years. This is a side of life most of us will never know or entirely understand.

End of the Tunnel from jason samuels on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bat Dad

If you haven't already seen this... then it's about time.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Do You Really *Need* a Smartphone?

I don't own a smartphone and honestly don't feel as if I *need* one either. I have a clam shell cellphone issued to me for work purposes... but it's far from smart. It makes and receives phone calls, and can text, but that's it, and that's more than enough. The best part about it is that someone else pays the bill. Other than that it's mostly a bother.

I've been alive long enough and survived just about all of it just fine without any cell phone at all, much less a modern smartphone, so I know quite well how to find my way around, how to find out what's going on via other media, and how to communicate sans phone at all. Because of this background it turns out I actually LIKE human interaction AND being completely out of touch. I'm perfectly comfortable in my own skin and listening to nothing more than the sound of my own thoughts, so I don't need to be online 24/7, don't need constant reassurance from others, and find it can be quite nice being completely in the moment with other people without constant phone call interruptions. Given these stipulations it's probably no wonder that I happen to agree with most all of what Louis C.K. said the other night on Conan about modern smartphone "culture" and what it appears to be doing to us and especially modern youth.

Feel free to agree or disagree with me or Louis. It doesn't matter to me in the least. But ask yourself, when was the last time someone disengaged from interacting with you face to face so they could answer their phone? Did it make you wonder who was more important to them at that moment - you, or the unknown entity behind that ring? Ask yourself if it's any wonder that pedestrian accidents are up over 25% in the last few years when so many in crosswalks have their attention buried in a cellphone? And the next time you're out on a typical drive try and count how many drivers you see in other cars texting or reading a cell phone. Do cellphone rings bother you in restaurants, theaters, or in public in general? Do you really enjoy hearing those (often far too loud) telephone conversations (the one side you can hear) in public? How easy is it to ignore them?! Has any of these scenarios just made you wish telephones were just connected to wires again? Do kids seem less engaged to you today than you were with your friends when you were their age? What are the major differences between then and now?

People with iPhones will most likely wildly disagree with all this, and I'm fine with that because I've never been afraid to go against a trend or fad. I think Louis is in this camp too. Judge for yourself. Regardless... I've saved a lot of money on five (5) iPhones as of today... and counting, depending on when you may be reading this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Red Valentine

This week's Friday Night Movie is a bit mystery, a bit Romeo & Juliet, a bit film noir. Written and directed by Glenn Stewart and from Mindscape Films. Enjoy!

"The Red Valentine" -- A Mindscape Films Picture from Glenn Stewart on Vimeo.

Girls Don't Poop

It's not what you think. I'll let you know when I stop laughing...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 & AutoCAD LT 2014 Service Pack 1

Today Autodesk released Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD 2014 and AutoCAD LT 2014. This update can be applied to AutoCAD 2014 installed as a standalone application or for AutoCAD 2014 installed from the AutoCAD, Building Design, Factory Design, Infrastructure Design, Plant Design, or Product Design Suites. The update is also available for 32-bit or 64-bit applications.

AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1 can be found HERE.

The ReadMe file containing information about who should install the update and what problems are resolved by it is currently only available in English, but is available HERE.

If you run AutoCAD 2014 or LT 2014 you should download and install this update even if you haven't been experiencing problems with your software.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Official San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Time-Lapse

This may be an ultimate, "How It's Made", episode... for those who have seen that program on USA television. If your internet connection can handle it be sure and watch this at full 1080p and full screen and marvel at what has been done. The time-lapse video shows in 4 minutes what cost taxpayers roughly $6.5B over the past 5 years. As of this writing the construction is finally nearing completion.

More images of the construction and information on the design is currently available in the Autodesk Gallery.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Night Movie

I've been somewhat remiss lately with putting up another FNM edition... but the wait will have been worth it as we delve into a classic Edgar Allen Poe story, one of my personal favorites, "The Tell-Tale Heart". I love the quality of animation in this and especially the dark color palette used. This is exactly the kind of animated short film I especially enjoyed back in the days when I lived in Dayton, OH, and my circle of friends all loved the "midnight movie" scene. We'd watch stuff like this until 5:00 in the morning and stagger out into daybreak on more occasions than one!

Boy... those were the days! So, without further ado, turn down the lights, set your screen full, turn up the speakers, and enjoy tonite's animated short film: "The Tell Tail Heart", from the Talking Animals on Vimeo.

The Tell-Tale Heart from Talking Animals on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Biggest of the Little

I spent a little time this morning reading an article in one of my professional magazines about the upcoming Virginia Street Bridge Replacement in Reno, NV. In the process I found this charming old video produced in about 1943 that includes a bit of history about the surrounding area and the bridge itself. It's hardly necessary to even mention the dating of the video because it becomes pretty obvious as soon as the narrator begins speaking. The short trip down memory lane that follows quickly becomes quite fun especially if you've ever visited "The Biggest Little City in the World".

Take a break and enjoy a bowl of crockpot stew history where modern engineering technology meets art and culture to produce a new chapter in Reno's Virginia Street Crossing.

Post Script: And I just love little details like this pertaining to the Artwork! What a gathering place and special moment it will create for the community! A new local icon is about to be born there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Red Bull Cranberries

The important point to note here is that no cranberries were damaged in the production of this video. :)

I just happen to be a native Wisconsin boy who has always loved cranberries... so seeing this was a real treat. Enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Burning Man 2013

As seen from a remote controlled drone. Very cool.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Parking a Cargo Jet

I've been in Honolulu training all of this past week on new software that allows us to model aircraft and design passenger loading bridges. The program runs on top of AutoCAD and I used it tonite to design and confirm a new cargo ramp parking position for a operator coming into Kona soon. It will still take me time to fully absorb all the nuances of this package, and everything we were exposed to, but it's mostly just a matter of practice. The new software is quite a bit easier to operate, has some very cool new features, and can produce simulations in 3D for certain types of equipment. Unfortunately for the project in the video above, the aircraft was not one of those where a 3D presentation could be done. Maybe next time I'll have something.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I have a strong hunch Virby would just love this too if I had paddles like those! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Asymmetrial Offset Dovetails

A popular woodworking project recently has been a Classic Step Stool designed by Tommy MacDonald and published in Fine Woodworking magazine. Tommy designed and built the project with hand cut dovetails, and a lot of builders will go this way. Years ago I spent a lot of money on a very nice Leigh D4 dovetail jig (now out of production and replaced by the new Leigh D4 Pro), that has only gotten minimal use, so I decided to take this project in a different direction by machine cutting the joints with my jig. What makes it a different kind of challenge is that the joints on a project like this are asymmetrical and to complete the tail board cuts the pieces need to be offset. Doing this by hand would be fairly "easy" if you're skilled at hand cut dovetails. Unfortunately getting skilled at hand cutting dovetails takes time and practice. Machine cut dovetails are a little less flexible in terms of design, but the final outcome can be near perfect. It's the setup that is often time consuming and sometimes equally difficult. Both methods require a degree of care to get right.

On this project I opted for the perfect fit (yeah, full disclosure, I don't have hundreds of perfectly done hand cut joints in my arsenal) so the decision to expend time on the jig setup finessing part was easy. It's also a chance to learn the procedure of cutting asymmetrical joints with the jig too... something I've never done before.

So over the last couple of nights I've been working on the layout and test fitting joints using scrap material (poplar). To cut Tommy's design on the jig requires doing the layout on a test piece, transferring it to a scrap board, and then mirroring it as carefully as possible on both the left and right sides of the jig. It becomes critically important to keep track of which piece is which when doing this, so the markings in chalk denote the right and left, and inside and outside faces of the pieces. To cut the tails on an offset I inserted a filler piece of scrap against the boards being cut. As seen in the shot above, the joints fit near perfectly, but the spacer still needs to be adjusted by about 1/16" to avoid having to trim any stock. That part will be tested with more scrap tomorrow night. In my quiet neighborhood I don't use any power tools much past about 7:30 p.m.... it helps keep the "peace" part of peace and quiet we enjoy around here. :)

The internet is filled with people who have had trouble with the Leigh dovetail jig, and one of the biggest issues seems to be tear out. Honestly I never have that trouble, but I always do two things to avoid it: First, I use a backer board when cutting pins to support the fibers behind the cuts completely. And secondly, when cutting the tails I will route from both the front and the back sides of the piece to avoid tearout. It takes a little more time but the result is worth it.

My final project will be built using African Mahagony. Those pieces have already been milled to size so they're waiting and ready for the dovetail jig once I'm happy with the setup. The project also requires three stretchers that I will cut and fit by hand.

More as I get further along. By the way, this test piece fit so tight and so well that it easily supported my full weight unglued and without racking.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday NIght Movie

This week an animated short from the Netherlands. And you can probably guess what that means!

Synopsis: When you find yourself running scared and running out of energy, there's only a few options left to outrun your opponent through the southern desert. Stopping at nothing, watch these two guys wear each other out and rip through boundaries hitherto unbroken. Enjoy the ride!

... and now, "Mac 'n Cheese", directed and created by four students at the Utrecht School of Arts using Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Eyeon Fusion, Pixologic Zbrush. and TVPaint (and five months of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches).

Mac 'n' Cheese from Mac 'N' Cheese on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yo Yo Wow

As a kid it was challenging enough just to make one of these things go down and not come back up sideways. So I really have no idea how anything like this is done. Here's how the current world champion handles a yo-yo. Amazing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


MIDTOWN from Drew Geraci (District 7 Media) on Vimeo.

I'm a huge fan of time lapse photography, and when it's as well done as this short film is by District 7 Media, LLC, it's a real treat. Shot over the course of 6 months and comprising over 50,000 still images, the challenges to get this completed at all were formidable. The results were well worth the effort however. Here in a a little over two short minutes is a slice of life at the heart of the city that never sleeps.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday NIght Movie

It's time to start a new series here, one I'm going to call the "Friday Night Movie" (FNM). Each Friday (or at least when I remember) look in here to see a video short that has caught my attention during the week. It will likely be something you haven't seen yet. This first installment is especially apropos given that we are just about to experience the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. If you have clear skies this weekend be sure to turn out the lights, go outside, and enjoy a bit of nature's wonder. It could be especially nice this year.

So with no further ado, please enjoy, "Borrowed Light", by Oliva Huynh.

Borrowed Light from Olivia Huynh on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Centrifuge Brain Project

Contact me if you need a good bridge. I currently have a classic one in NYC for sale. Or, if you'd like to build one of these in your backyard, detailed construction plans can be found here.

We're a little bit late to this party. This short film has already won numerous Awards.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cable Wars Again?

Every so often we (in the USA) seem to have to go down the rabbit hole above. Our cable television companies get into fights with their content providers over how much one is going to pay the other, and when they can't agree the cable delivery company simply pulls the plug. Channels like HBO, or networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, etc, just disappear from the lineup along with all their content for a while.

The cable delivery monopoly, be they Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Fox's Murdock, or others always have the upper hand because they get the signal into your house, and they get to frame the argument. Until the contract issues are settled your local news and/or favorite shows are simply yanked off the air. It's not like it used to be when everything showed up via air waves and antennae. Pay TV is here to stay. (My dad swore he'd never pay for TV. He did however.)

To quote Dennis Miller's, "I don't mean to go off on a rant here", line, I read the news about this the other day on the interweb. Then last night when I got home experienced it personally when Showtime (SHO) and a few other stations were AWOL from my channels listing along with a message about it in the onscreen guide. And today the local cable company, Oceanic Time Warner Cable (OTWC), sent me the email above. What caught my attention in particular was how that message itself was formatted! It's not very easy to read, is it?! The entire message isn't shown but trust me, it gets far more confusing further down. Yet this is on OTWC's own internet website email system!

Now you would think that if they can deliver HBO into our homes they would also be able to format an email on their own website correctly. But you'd be wrong. They can't. Their profit margins don't allow it apparently.

Meanwhile we wait for this to be resolved. I sure hope there weren't any good boxing cards on SHO this weekend because I'm missing them. And boxing is about all I watch SHO for anyway. Meanwhile, OTWC... when you get your big pay raise, hire a couple summer interns to fix your email system.

It stay broke.


Now CBS is blocking Time Warner Cable! Yes... we just read that correctly. CBS is blocking TWC. Apparently if TWC is your cable provider (mine too) all CBS content that might have been delivered to you over the interweb is now going to be withheld by CBS until the contract dispute is settled. So you can't watch them on television or on your computer. Great. Stay off long enough and I might not even care.

But will someone please tell me how this isn't CBS shooting themselves in the feet. I must be missing something.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Simpsons' Supercut

Did you ever catch a movie reference in an episode of the Simpsons? More than one? Well, there have been a LOT of them over the years. Film website, NextMovie, has discovered nearly 40 minutes of references in just the first 10 seasons of the Simpsons. And they've been on air now for 25 years!

Enjoy the super sampling above!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Worst News Graphic Ever

Dog Attack May Be The Worst News Graphic Ever - Watch More Funny Videos

Who says professional graphics are hard?! Well... maybe the producers of this news spot do.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Zombie Kitty Doodle
Own it.  :)

Oops!  Too late.  It was an original water color.  Sold out.  There are others.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Speed Riding Mont Blanc

Stunning. Beautiful. Adventurous.

I lived on Maui in the early 1970's when the first few guys flew hang gliders off the top of Haleakala (10,400 ft - 3,170 m MSL) to the sandy beaches of Makena. But all of those flights paled in comparison to what these six guys have done. I'm not even sure what to call this... paraskiing maybe?!

If you like flying, skiing, or just great views of nature's beauty, this is for you.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Autodesk Project Chronicle

I became aware of another Autodesk Labs cloud-based service tonite called "Project Chronicle", so it was worth some time experimenting with it. Hopefully this will be something they will either keep for a while or make fully available to subscription users much like Autodesk 360. Project Chronicle is a great way to create short videos like the one above.

You'll have to pardon my narration... but this was all done much like the creation of the block itself... completely on the fly!

To be able to view this full screen on the Project Chronicles website, place your cursor over the image above and click on the link in the upper left corner.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life's New Distractions

I tend to believe that avoiding these distractions is easier to accomplish by those born before the age of the internet than those born after. I'd add more, but I need to go set up my new computer now.

The irony here is that you just saw this on the internet. And it probably wasn't your reason for logging on.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

AutoCAD C3D 2014 Installed

C3D Splash Screen
Installing a program as complex as any of the Autodesk series is always filled with at least a little bit of anxiety.  It's not uncommon for something to go a little haywire... maybe a driver is missing or incompatible, maybe there was an error in the download, maybe something else went south.  Think space launch.  There are millions of lines of code just like parts in a rocket engine, and every single one has to work perfectly or there's an explosion on the launch pad.  I've had these scenarios in the past and they're no fun.

Think AutoCAD 2013.  For whatever reason it never did install and work correctly on my computer and in the end I just ignored that release for a year until 2014 came out a few months ago.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014

Yes, it's true.  My long wait for my very own copy of AutoCAD Civil 3D is finally over.  This afternoon I was granted a full license of the latest version to install and work with on my own computer(s).  The downloading is in progress as this is going to press and the hunt for good reference and learning materials will begin later in earnest.

For 3 years I asked, begged, pleaded, cajoled, made the case, provided the justification(s), you name it, to get a home use license so I could learn this program.  But it was all to no avail; the answer was always "no' or no answer at all.  In the end (today) those obfuscations and delays were no factor - I managed to get a legal copy without outside "help" at all.  Whoever said hard work isn't rewarded was all wet.  It is!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!
And worth every precious second too!

The new journey begins!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Cancer Prayer

Today is World Cancer Day.  For everyone you know who has been affected by it and for all those you don't know, please circulate this request to at least one other person:

Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer.

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it's only to one more person.  In memory of anyone you know who has been struck by cancer or is still living with it.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle... So please send this link to someone you know and Keep This Candle Going!

Monday, April 15, 2013


I'm thinking today might be a good time to file my 2012 tax return...

I couldn't have said it better:  Festivus for the stressed of us.  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tech Support

For Mom. She'll get it.

And yes, I'm laughing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Google Nose

It's the newest way to search yet... today Google announced, Google Nose!  

For more information be sure to sniff -Here-.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 - What’s New

Each new release of AutoCAD is jammed with what are supposed to be bug fixes and new features.  Some years we get more of one than the other.  Some years everything seems to go wrong, and other years it goes just about right.  As time moves on this year I'm certain we'll find things that still don't work or haven't been fixed as well as features we love.  As long as the balance isn't lopsided in the negative we should be okay.  As for myself I've been testing fairly heavily the last few days and haven't hit anything major yet.

So here are a few of the things you can look forward to in the new release:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

AutoCAD 2014

It's here!  And so far it looks good.  I'll need an object enabler for Civil 3D objects.  Those types of things generally lag the main release.  And there have been a couple minor things that didn't migrate quite the way I expected from 2012 (I never did employ the 2013 version).  But there doesn't appear to be any of the issues out of the box that the last release had.

Now to figure out what's new and play around!  More to follow as events unfold...

4 Hrs

French Beast Burgundy

As the title of this blog says, it's all about what, "....strike(s) my fancy".  So one day it might be a photog blog, woodworking, something honestly tech, or (like today), food again.  At the risk of overstating the obvious I'm not one to settle into a rut.  Ever.  So today being my one (currently) day a week off, it's become a good day to cook... or what passes for cooking around here.  To that end, this is what is on the menu: 

Oops!  Looks like a couple of bowls short!


1/2 cup flour (or more, depending)
4 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into bite size cubes
4 tbs. olive oil (or whatever it takes ;)
2 onions, sliced (I used one white, one red)
16 button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced (or whatever makes you happy)
4 bay leaves
2 cups burgundy wine (or your favorite cooking red - Italian Tuscany here)
1 cup beef broth (I use a full can of Campbell's)
Fresh garlic, diced, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Dredge (sounds awful!) the beef cubes in the flour mixture and brown in olive oil in a medium skillet.   

2.  Place beef and all remaining ingredients in crock pot, mix thoroughly to combine.

3.  Cook on LOW for 4-6 or 3 hours on HIGH. 

I always modify a recipe, and today was no exception.  In this one I added a couple of cubed red potatoes and three sliced carrots, so by the time everything was in the crock pot it was FULL!  This will not only be my Easter dinner but should last well into the next week.  With the schedule I'm currently working it's nice to have something ready to go in the refrigerator because time feels pretty limited these days.

Oh... that bottle of Tuscany?  It didn't last long after the recipe was mixed. The food was good too!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Router Fence Completion

Woodworking doesn't pay my bills.  I have a regular gig for that.  And the hours on my regular gig have changed 180-degrees from sunshine to moonshine... as in late late show on a runway repair job that can only be done in the middle of the night.  So everything woodworking had to take a break recently while my sleep schedule adjusted.  The one thing I never do is fire up power tools when I'm tired.  At the least it can be frustrating, but worse it can be extremely dangerous.

This afternoon however I felt awake enough to get out there once again and finish the last few details of my custom router station fence.  All that was left was cutting and mounting angle braces and installing the dust collection port.  In the end I decided to use Baltic birch on the whole project, thus the 1/2" ply on the port cover instead of hardboard as originally planned.  I like this way better.

This was a small side project that followed on the router wing and lift installation.  I still have to finish my office build project and I'm hoping that some of the "downtime" on the runway job ... there are about 2 hrs a night that conceivably I can work on the office build... will give me time to finish my stand-up workstation stuff too.  This night thing will go on until at least the middle of May.  So I'm telling myself, "no more excuses!"

But truth be told I love sleeping in late.  Working nights is almost too perfect for me.  :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

4 Hrs

White Chicken Chili

I've published a Red Chicken Chili recipe in the past... so here's its cousin: White.


Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2-3#, or breasts if you like them better, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes (any Italian style is great)
1 (15 oz) can chick peas, or cut green beans, drained
1 16 oz jar medium salsa or picante sauce (flavored is often good)
Fresh garlic, diced, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste


1Cut chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt and black pepper.

2.  Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir chicken until browned.  Transfer to slow cooker, draining excess oil.  Add remaining ingredients.

3.  Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or 4 hours on HIGH. 

I made this again today for the first time in a couple of years.  It's another one of my favorites.  Some of the instructions above are completely optional.  For example, it doesn't make any difference to me if the chicken is browned or not.  I also like garlic so I load up just about all my dishes with lots of it.  The salsa sauce is another variable... I've used mango salsa and others.  The mix today is using a Southwest flavored salsa that's given everything a pretty spicy taste.  They're all good, and the variability from one to another makes each batch a little bit different.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Router Fence Update

Spent the night drilling and slot routing.  Then glued the face support to the base.  The only thing left now is to complete the triangular support blocks and dust control connection.  I did find a nice little Rigid fitting that will work perfectly for a hose connection at the back... so it's just a matter now of fabrication.  I'm also going to extend the length of the slots... somehow I cut them short! 

One minor modification I made while working on it last night was to refabricate the sliding fence section pieces out of solid hardwood... in this case poplar.  I started to think that over time the plywood might splinter and not work as well as a sacrificial part as it should... so I just rebuilt them.  Right now the ply and poplar are not quite the same thickness.  But I'll correct that with a couple passes thru the planer.

I also made a couple small stop blocks for when I might need one.  You can see one of them attached here to the vertical on the left.  Also shown are a couple of Jessem feather boards.

All the connections and dimensions worked out quite nicely, and the SketchUp design was a major contributor to all of it.  So with just a little more time it'll be done.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Custom Fence Build

Dry mock-up

Finally!  This weekend and tonight I got started on the custom router fence construction.  Everything is being built out of 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood... just about the best thing I've ever found for jigs.  This is a great project to ease myself back into the swing of things again because after a month or more of finishing work on the office build it's natural that you get a little "rusty".

The "plan"

So far I've cut all the pieces to rough dimension, milled the dados for the t-tracks and the connection between a couple of the pieces, and confirmed everything fits properly. Tomorrow night I'll do the drilling and if it doesn't get too late routing the slots. At that point all I'll have left is final assembly.


It actually looks pretty close to the plan!  :)  The square support blocks here still do need to be cut into triangles, and I need to verify the size of the vacuum insert and get a hole saw blade to cut the opening.  Keep forgetting to go by the home center to do that...

The miter slot kit is sitting on the top of the jig here.  When tightened it's made to expand and hold fast in the slot.  This is how the fence will be anchored to the table surface.  I've abandoned the idea of making a wooden "key" for the underside for now.  If this metal kit works it may be all I'll need.
 The bottom two sliding pieces need to be trimmed just a hair or so yet.  But I'll do that once I've attached the top section and have a good dimension to work from.
I've built a lot of jigs for my little "shop"over the years for a variety of uses.  Quite honestly they've all been just about as satisfying as anything else I've built.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Angst No More

Carly Rae Jepsen takes the edge off 1989's Nine Inch Nails lyrical angst in this great new mashup by pomDeterrific on SoundCloud.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Muppet Friday

This just gets better and better as it goes along. And in HD mode the colors are nothing short of pure eye candy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Router Switch Done

Router safety switch - final mount
Tonite I finally had time to finish mounting the router safety switch on the table saw the way I like it.  The first mount hanger I fabricated was too small and the material too light, but it proved the concept.  (See A Day in the Shop)  So I rebuilt it using a larger piece of steel and a thicker gage.  It was more difficult to cut, bend, and drill this way, but well worth the time and effort.  I also slathered a couple coats of paint on it to keep it from rusting.  This one doesn't budge when touched.  So it's a keeper.
Much more room for a screwdriver!
I also installed a hook on the side of the saw cabinet to hang the router and safety switch cords on.  This will keep them off the floor and out of the way.  I bought two hooks like this, one for each cord, but if just this one works I won't bother putting the other one on.  We'll see over time.
Cord hook
The only thing left to make this a fully functional router station system is to build the fence.  And that's about to happen soon.  The final coats of finish are on the tables now and they're just about ready to transport to the office.   Tonite I put a coat of wax on them and installed the mounting rails on the cpu cabinet.  All that's left is to flip the main table and install the cpu cabinet sliders on the underside and the shop will be mine again!  It'll be nice to get the truck back inside at night.
Cord hook at work
I'm not much looking forward to the installation job at the office... but that's another story for another day. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Day in the Forest

I'iwe feeding on Ohi'a luhia blossoms

I’m not a birder and have never spent time around any of them, but when I got an opportunity this weekend to go on a guided hike in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern slope of Mauna Kea I jumped at it.  This tour is specifically for viewing some of the rarest plants and animal species on earth, but especially oriented for spotting rare and endangered birds of Hawaii.  The Hakalau tour is provided by Hawaii Forest & Trail and is a long (12 hr) day from start to finish that includes 2 ½ hrs of driving one way, over 11 miles of off road meandering into the forest reserve, and roughly 4 miles of hiking with about 650 ft of elevation gain.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Vanlemtine's Day!

If I could spell I wouldn't have become an engineer.  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

NatGeo: The Last Roll of Kodachrome

You can still shoot film... but it's almost as difficult as it was at the origin of photography. And it will only get worse over time.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Day in the Shop

Finishing work started on the office build work tables last night.  My neighbor helped me hoist them up yesterday after work.  I'm starting on the undersides with a light coat of Watco oil and polyurethane satin and not get too carried away... this part of the project will never be seen.  By tomorrow they'll be ready to flip over for the real work on the exposed surfaces.  I like wipe on finishes, and this will be no exception.  Everything is cut almost 1:1 with either mineral spirits or naptha.  It means a slower build, but much easier work.

There was also time today to fabricate a mount and install the router safety switch.  The mount is nothing more than a piece of sheet metal cut in a 2"x4" rectangle, drilled to take screws, and bent to attach to the rail of the table saw.

If I had this to do again... and I might at some point... I would use the next thicker gage of steel.  The piece I used was just a little bit light.  That made it easy to drill and bend, but a little more "bendy" than I'd like it.  We'll see how it works over time.

While at the home center I also found a a hook (not shown) that looks like it might work well with a little modification to hold excess cord lengths.  It even came with Rigid orange plastic covering!  I'll figure out a way to attach it to the side of the saw somehow. More drilling steel... seems I've been doing a lot of that lately.
There was even time to spare this afternoon, so I cleaned out my messiest small parts and hardware drawer and organized a lot of the pieces into a new 22-bay small parts drawer set.  Each drawer now holds something.  I need to get a similar storage unit now for screws!  The drawer still needs help!

It was a good day out there today!  A lot got done.and it's always relaxing.

Oh, and how could I forget this today:

Gong Hey Fat Choy!