Table surgery

You may remember my first draft of a table.  That table did NOT age well haha!  I started to get fancy and thought it would be good to pull out all the screws holding it together and pound some dowels in their place.  All-wood design sounds great, right?  Well, the problem was I didn’t actually glue all of the joints together so the table was on life support from day one.  That’s OK – we can fix it!

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I barely got the table on saw horses before the whole thing came apart, but then we could start the triage.  I glued the five top planks to the cross beam and added the front legs and two dowels per join.  Then I assembled the rest of the structure but this time with full glue coverage at each join.  After drying took the dremel to all the uneven dowels, put down a coat of Danish oil and finished with light polyurethane.  Much better!

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Rocking out in Campbell

Me and the band were down to two members, but we took to the streets anyways!  Here’s midnight busking in Campbell, CA.

Struggle – “Lung is full”

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Far Cry 2 trainer

With the recent release of Far Cry 5, I started getting interested in (what in my opinion is the best game of the series) Far Cry 2.

Modding is tough for Far Cry 2, but Gibbed published some new tools that help a lot!

Here is my interface to streamline the modding process: FarCry2_trainer.

Still the best game in the series:

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Catio

We’ve been trying to find a way to open up our patio to the cats, but we want to make sure they don’t escape!  With this goal in mind, I went overboard and created the following architectural application:

catio_sketch

Unfortunately this application was denied… (which we kind of knew would happen).

So, on to Plan B.  Instead we built a barrier on hinges, so that it can be raised only when the cats are outside.  The barrier uses 2″x3″ welded wire as the structural element and bird netting to prevent climbing.  So far so good!

 

 

 

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IPA kit pt 2

So it’s been two weeks since IPA kit pt 1 where we made the wort and started fermenting.  That means it’s time for bottling!  My first tip is to go out and buy some “craft beer bottles”.  They’ve got an extra lip on the neck of the bottle that makes seating the caps way easier.

When it comes to taking the labels off, my recommendation is HOT water with a little soap.  Soak the labels for 30 seconds and you should be able to peel them off with care.  At the end of the process we got 8 bottles – now hopefully it’s time to condition and carbonate.

 

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IPA kit pt 1

I finally made some time to set up my beer-making kit!  It’s a west coast IPA from Craft-a-Brew.  I was pretty concerned about contamination at first, but I eventually got the kitchen cleaned up and went for it.

The best part is definitely the active fermentation!  Those yeast were ready to go – also the recipe called for an extra cup of table sugar, so no reason to hold back!

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E-drums

I’ve been trying to find a good way to practice drums in my house, but drums are LOUD.  I’ve been interested in electronic drums for a long time, but never figured out how to choose which kit to buy.  Eventually I found 65 Drums on YouTube and it has been very helpful!

My main requirements were a 3-zone ride, very good hats, and $$$ as low as possible.  I ended up purchasing a used Roland TD-25 on Reverb.com.  It took me a while to get used to the kit, but it has been a big success for me.  I used to set up my acoustic kit in a nearby Caltrain parking lot whenever I wanted to practice.  It makes me tired just thinking about it, but it was good practice for quick set-up and tear-down.

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News flash: e-drums aren’t silent!  I was disturbed by how loud the tapping was!  In particular the hard rubber hi-hats and cymbals are quite loud!  Also the kick pedal makes a serious thump.

My solutions include:

  • Hi-hat – Microfiber cloth with pillow stuffing, also around the vertical position sensor
  • Kick sensor – Canvas bag with pillow stuffing and microfiber pad
  • Cymbals – foam drum mutes

Also I’m impressed by a real advantage of electronic drums – ease of recording.  With my complementary version of Ableton Lite, the USB Midi interface works great!

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What you want is the ability to record MIDI from the TD-25 while playing to a track for overdubbing.  Then you can tweak the MIDI, bounce the MIDI to the TD-25 and record audio from the TD-25.  Here’s the setup I recommend:

  • Track 1 = Midi IN/OUT from TD-25
  • Track 2 = Recorded audio IN from TD-25 playing Track 1
  • Track 3 = Overdub track

 

 

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