My mobile/remote video shooting kit is coming along. I’m happy with the new zoom lens’s range (28-80 on an ASP-C sensor, so that’s like a 45-128), but the minimum focal distance is a pain- it’s north of 6 feet, so… yeah. Not awesome, in some ways. So right now I have to carry both a 28/2.5 prime and this zoom, which is fine, but… one more thing than I wanted to carry. Anyway, the new lav mic came, so that’s great (along with some wind muffs), and I’ve finally got my ND filter set up the way I’d like. Progress, then. Still need a better tripod/rigging solution that’s packable, as this setup is clearly over the weight limit for my current Joby Gorillapod.
A basement studio shelving project is taking shape- it’ll be of the same basic vein as the others I’ve built, but somewhat less ornate. I’ll use the same hardware, and likely build the shelves the same way (3/4″ ply with a 1×2″ facing board), but instead of a mahogany finish, I’ll likely go something lighter. And less staggered/offset shelves, as this is primarily a storage solution (and doesn’t have to pull double-duty as a display system. Or could it?).
I got a new bike helmet in (as the old one was… old), and I’m pretty excited to start (slowly) gearing up for spring riding. My new rear brake rotor came, too, so that needs to go on. Maybe (gasp!) even a brand-new set of tires this season. Or a dropper post (that I’ve been talking about getting for two years and still haven’t done anything about). All that is leading to me needing/wanting to build a new backpack for hydration and cameras while riding. Someone has to have made one of those, right? And then maybe a new crankset and bb? Because those have changed, somewhat, since my square-taper unit was made.
I’ve been reading about mobile data terminals as part of my effort to further build out my space like a cyberpunk control center.
I still want a metal lathe. I know, I’ve got no good place to put it (right now), and power/noise/upkeep is an issue (along with cost and weight…), but I want one anyway.
I’m coming along on project storage- it’s rough, because I tend to have so many in-process projects, and keeping things organized and not sprawling can be a challenge. But the last several months have had me making meaningful change, so that’s good.
I’m getting ready to build another zine, and I’m hoping to kick my newsletter mailings back into high gear (they’ve been going out, just somewhat slower). Apparently I’m itching to publish again.
I’ve not made a ton of progress with most of the other projects- it’s been the holidays and cold and whatnot, so some of that’s too be expected, but I’d still like to get back into high-speed project finisher mode.
I’ve continued shooting bike-based videos- but I’ve found myself itching to teach again/more, so I thought it’d make sense to combine the two and make teaching videos about bikes. Why not, right?
To that same end: I’m thinking about re-doing/expanding my original Lord of the Flies based Tangential videos. I made those five years ago (!) and they still, apparently, generate many of the views on my channel (which I’ve just now looked up). It’s still my favorite book to teach (all these years later), but I’ve never really done a full-blown solution to teaching it online. Those original videos were meant (primarily) as a front-loading exercise to clear up in classroom time. These new videos (and whatever else) would be a more complete & comprehensive solution.
MagicLantern is pretty neat. I know I’m late to the party and all that with it, but in all fairness, I’d not had something to play with it on, so… yeah. I’m not shooting RAW yet or anything, but it’s still opening up some welcome functionality.
I got RetroPie up and running on an original Pi Zero. That’s no big accomplishment, I realize, but it’s a stepping stone to picking up a Pi 3b and overclocking it (to better play N64 and PS1 games!).
I finally got a Silicon Dust HomeRun internet enabled digital TV tuner and got it working with my instal of PLEX. That means live tv on any device in the house (nearly), and in theory means easy DVR and replay of that live TV. I don’t seem to have that bit working reliably just yet, but I think I’m an update or two behind on my PLEX install, so we’ll see if that clears up the issues.
I refinished another bike seat. You might remember the previous (first!) seat I did a few months ago, but this was a much better job. I learned a bunch on the last one, and I was able to do a much cleaner job on this round. We’ll see how it holds up, now.
I wrote a tweet.
My wife has proposed H.A.M.L.E.T as a counterpoint to STEM (it stand for History Art Music Literature Ethics and Technology). She is smarter than I am.
Let’s put aside the unfortunate typo, shall we? Actually, I relayed in a tweet something my wife does many times a day- which is to make a remarkably smart offhanded comment about something. In the two days since, it’s kind of slow-burned across twitter. It was meant as a quick jab back at the ALL STEM ALL THE TIME mentality. I’m finding that pretty toxic myself- all the stress on tech and science can (and has, I’d argue) led to technically amazing things with no moral/ethical thought. Facebook, for example. Totally amazing what they can do, and clearly without morals about doing it. Heck, twitter itself falls into that category. There’s a reason “Humanities” has the word “Human” in it, as we neglect those subjects at our own peril as a species.
I’ve been making bike riding videos over here. They’re short, to begin with (I’ve aimed for Instagram as a primary posting spot right now, and that’s capped at 60 seconds…) As much as anything, this is a way to keep pushing creatively. Like anything else, without practicing, creativity drops off, so I’m sharing my practice. If you care, they’re entirely (thus far) shot with my cell phone.
Did you know you can buy brand-new typewriter ribbons on Amazon? True story.
I took my “new” gravel bike out for it’s shakedown run today. Something like 13 miles in the hour I had (about 80% dirt/gravel, 20% pavement). Went better than I could ever hope. So much fun, and a nice change from the trail bike (and the trails I’ve been riding). Felt really good. More details on that project and bike here, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m trying to get back to the newsletter- it’s been a while since I sent one out, but it’s been hard to find the stuff I like and work up the enthusiasm required. Getting close, though, I think.
I’ve got a growing list of projects again. It’s interesting- that seems to come in waves for me. I’ll generate a pile of new ideas and projects, and then I’ll shift into executing on those projects. For those interested, I type each new project idea onto an index card, and post those to a cork board. When/if they get done, they get sorted into a index file.
I’m working on some paint projects that (might) tie into some fabric projects. Still in the testing stage (and there’s a long, long way to go).
I’ve not done a SitRep in a while, from the look of my archives. Time to make a list!
So the OBS software that I highlighted a few weeks ago is pretty rad. It’s not the most stable bit of kit when you lean on it hard, but it can do some fun stuff. I worked out some animated lower-third graphics and got those working, so that’s neat. I’ve no personal plans for this right now, but it’s good to have in my back pocket.
I’m running Spectacle on my Mac now- it’s a utility add-on that gives you hot keys to manage windows and screen real estate. So now I can mash a key combination and make a window hop to the other screen, or take up exactly half of a screen on the left side, or the top third, or whatever. Super useful for when you’re juggling lots of windows (and I often am).
As you can tell from my last few posts here, I’ve been shooting more video and making little edits from them. Mostly of my riding bikes, for now, but it’s good to be thinking about framing and shots and whatnot, as that always seems to stoke my creative problem solving in other parts of my world. It’s like lifting weights for creativity.
I’m working on a bike project outlined here. I’m getting slowed at the moment by missing some stupid little parts (shifter cable housing, electrical tape, bar tape, etc), and from having to swap the bike to a different rear wheel. Anyway.
I’ve been toying with a bit of new software- the Open Broadcaster Software package. It’s a pretty serious bit of kit, and I know I’m just scratching the surface.
Bike shock fork #1 is actually done. Well, sorta- the new seals I got aren’t exactly the same, and while they seem to be ok, time will tell. Also, the newer version of the fork I have is spec’d for 20wt shock oil- so that’s what I bought. My fork, it turns out, it spec’d for 7wt. I figure any oil is better than no oil, so I’ll see how it goes for a bit.
Planning a new audio gear rack case (so computers have one rack and audio has another).
Back to looking into camera-computer interfaces. HDMI into USB? Thunderbolt? Firewire?
Keyhole button holes are super hard to free-hand. Just FYI.
Found a jig to cut perfect circles with tools I already have- so speaker refurb project might be back on!
The new shoulder bag prototype is done. I’ve used it for about a week now, and while it’s answered some questions, it’s prompted others. I like having a good small shoulder bag again. I like the colors and textures I went with. I’m not sure I love how narrow it is. And I’m not in love with how the main access zipper moves when it’s converted into a backpack. But that’s what prototypes are for.
I’ve done a draft of a vest (waistcoat?) for myself. This is new territory for me. I’ve sewn lots of things from scratch. I’ve altered and repaired all sorts of clothing. But I’ve never made clothing from scratch. So: pattern first draft is made; I’m going to source some suitable material and sew a prototype of that. It’s one of those things I’ve wanted for a long time that I’ll never be able to convince myself to spend the sort of money required to buy a commercial version. So I’ll (eventually) make my own.
Finally figured out some organizational aspects of the studio space that should leave me with significantly more room to work in. I’m not sure it’ll ever be done (or stop evolving), but it’ll be a nice step forward.
Apple M01110 Keyboards
Apple HiFi conversions
GoogleVoice over a “real” cordless phone
Pallet blocks (machining style)
USB Embroidery Machines (and the apparently awful software that runs them)
Robust-ness of the PLEX live tv (and DVR) functionality
Vacation is over, now- so it’s time to get back to projects.
Shoulder bag v4 is officially in the works. I finished making the pattern, and I’ve cut most of the major panels. The bottom and sides are one piece, and I’ve laminated the padding and fabric together- lining will go on next. Nearly all the hardware is pulled and ready, so I should be able to make steady progress.
My shoe re-soling project is done, too. I didn’t have the amazingly heavy-duty belt sanders that cobblers use to flatten soles, so there was a lot of handwork to be done. That said, I’ve worn them a bunch since and they seem to be holding up well. I got a bit lucky, as the distressed esthetic of the shoes themselves lends well to the slightly less… perfect… finish I achieved. Regardless, they’re lovely and back in service.
The store is still there, but there’s also still nothing to actually buy in it- yet. V2 of the Chaordic Path Patch is still there and looking good, but I’m not quite there to send it off to production. Yet. YET.
Two shoe projects remain: a pair made from scratch for my wife, and a pair modified for me. I nearly had a pair to modify the other day- they were a half-size too small, and that wouldn’t do. So: still in the hunt, here. Also still looking for a better sole/midsole combo material for the scratch built pair.