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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

July 2017

Monday, 31 July, 2017

The Phuddy Duddy Cruisers had their car show on Saturday. My '49 Plymouth and I were there. The Plymouth got a 2nd place in 1940 to 1949 Stock, and I took lots of pictures. I fired up the drone and did my first drone cruise through the show. You can see the results below.

It's not top flight, bit I will get better when I have my phone hooked up as a display and I get more practice flying the drone smoothly.


eSecurityPlanet.com posts stories about network security. They have a curious take on privacy, though. They will not allow web sites they consider to have "unnatural links" to link to their stories. They think this web site is "unnatural", so I have been requested to remove their links. I have done so. I urge everyone to not read any of their stories. They are now on my McDonalds list.


Many people are ignorant of how to pronounce many Linux (Lynn Ucks) related software programs or distributions. Here are some of these items, pronounced as their developers pronounce them:


Quote of the day:

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.
     Disraeli

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

The camera holder that came with my drone (and that holds the camera steady during transport) works, but it takes me 15 minutes to figure out how to use it. I figure DJI used one of those 'industrial designers' to create it. Those people are responsible for virtually all the bad industrial design in the world. I could rant about that, but I won't.

Anyway, I went on Thingiverse and looked for another camera holder. Found this one, as shown on the printer bed, just after printing. It even printed out as a single object with no support. Note that there is a hinge on the part that locks it around one of the drone legs. After you break the hinge free, it works fine.

The big attraction to this is that you can actually figure out how to use it. The big drawback is that it's the wrong size. Apparently, DJI used different sized cameras on the three Phantom 3 drone models.

I imported this model into Tinkercad and made the undersized part (the area with the hole in it) larger. It was not straightforward and the result is a bit rough, but the resized part now works fine with my DJI Phantom 3 Standard drone.


I finally got to fly my drone using my 10" Samsung tablet. Bad idea. The tablet hasn't got enough horsepower to smoothly display data from the drone's camera, so I get a series of jerky still images. I haven't looked at the video yet, but I may not have gotten any video that is really useful. I will have to get my cell phone working with the drone again so I can see better first person view (FPV) when I fly it.

Speaking of cell phone, it is down and out right now. I was carrying it at the Thunder in the Bay Show & Shine on Saturday, and dragged it out of my pocket for some reason or other. It was swelled up like a container full of shaken soft drink. When I got home, I took it apart and removed the Lithium Ion battery, which was the cause of the problem. When these batteries start outgassing, it's the prelude to an explosion or fire, so it's a good thing I removed it. I have ordered a new battery and expect it to get here by Friday.


Quote of the day:

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong - but that's the way to bet.
     Damon Runyon

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Friday, 21 July, 2017

For years now, the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers have held their annual car show in Dalton City Park, alongside the Dalton Picnic. Last year, some 'city official' closed off entry to more classic cars to the show well ahead of our stated time. We got into a big hassle with the city and, as a direct result of their officiousness, our car show for 2017 will be held on July 29th at Rathdrum High School.

For years now, the North Idaho Mineral Club has held their annual picnic on the 3rd Thursday in July at Dalton City Park. Every year, they have told us that they don't take reservations - it's on a first come, first served basis. They told us that this year, too.

In view of that, we sent one of our members to the park 2 hours in advance to hold down the pavilion for our picnic. Imagine our surprise when we were kicked out of the pavilion by a group that claimed they had a reservation for the pavilion. We called the city and the woman there claimed they did have a reservation. She went on to complain about toilet use and how they would have to start charging for that because excessive toilet paper usage! You can probably guess where this is going. Dalton Gardens has just made my MacDonalds list of places for me to stay completely away from.


I was going to use my drone at several car shows the past few weeks, but had a huge problem. The DJI Go app on my cell phone is completely broken. Every time I attempt to start the app, it dies. I uninstalled it and reloaded, but the same problem happens. So I decided to try using my Samsung tablet instead of the phone. I 3D printed a bracket for the tablet so it would fit on the drone's transmitter, and installed DJI Go on the tablet. To use the app, the tablet needs to be connected via WiFi to the transmitter. I could not do that - it refused the password, which is the same one I use on the cell phone. So a broken app on the phone and no connection on the tablet.

I researched all this on Thursday on the Net, and found out how to reset the password to the factory original. When I did that, I got a solid connection with the tablet. I then downloaded new firmware for the drone and uploaded it to that device. After that, I recalibrated the compass. Everything is now working, so I can now use the drone at shows and cruises. I will do that as soon as I get a chance.


Quote of the day:

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears that this is true.
     James Cabell

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Tuesday, 18 July, 2017

Some time in the last ten months, the drone application on my phone was automagically updated. They broke it. I now cannot use the phone to view what the drone is seeing, or to control video recording from the drone. I sent DJI a message about their app abortion, but I expect no answers.

So I installed the app on my Samsung Tab 3 tablet. To mount that big 10" tablet on my transmitter, I needed a new mount for the transmitter. I downloaded one from Thingiverse and printed it. I will try to use the tablet with the transmitter, but that makes for a really big setup.


I spent the weekend at the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers' Vintage Trailer show. I enjoyed it, except for the heat. My beef stroganoff was a big hit, too. You can see pictures of the show here.


Quote of the day:

The only man who should not be judged by the company he keeps is a warden.
     Laurence J. Peter

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Wednesday, 12 July, 2017

So far this week, I have washed three cars and a teardrop trailer. They all look better, but they won't for long. The county has finally put down the coating on our road. You would think that would be good, but they put a thick layer of nasty, dusty gravel on top of it. So for a while, the road will be even worse than it was when it was just gravel. If I go faster than about 5 mph, I raise a big cloud of dust that gets all over the car.

I drove my '49 Plymouth to the Cinderella Nights cruise yesterday. I will be working on that car to get it running correctly, hopefully without doing a valve job on it. I'm going to go through the ignition system and see if new parts will help with my power problem. So I do not anticipate going to any shows with that car for a while.


The other day I was watching a 15-part serial from 1943 that someone converted into a movie and put on YouTube. It's called "The Bat Man", and it's probably the first Batman movie. Anyway, imagine my surprise when all the good guys go on a small roadtrip, dragging this behind their car.

I think this is the first time I have seen a teardrop trailer in a regular movie. At the time of filming, the first teardrop would have been about 7 years old, so that's fairly close to the start. BTW, the car is Batman's batmobile in this movie! Alfred is driving.


Quote of the day:

That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.
     Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle
     Oath of Fealty

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Friday, 7 July, 2017

I recently was introduced to the lunch pizza special at Nate's in Post Falls (corner of Mullan and Hwy 41). I was very impressed. For $5, you get a huge slice of two-topping pizza and a soft drink. The pizza is New York style, which I've not had before. Now, I love Papa Murphy's and Tara's pizza, which are both Italian-style. But this New York style is just as good. Thin crust, and the sauce is quite different. Recommended if you are in Post Falls.


It's amazing what you can do and how fast you can do it if you have some metal and an angle grinder. I whipped this up on Wednesday morning, took it down to be welded and painted it on Wednesday evening. Installed it on my '49 Plymouth on Thursday morning. The old battery clamp was eaten through in places with battery acid. This one is much sturdier and will last a long time.


Here is the latest version of my 1952 Plymouth gearshift knob. It looked much better when I printed it. I installed it in the car. I re-did the original because it was too skinny. This knob more closely compares to the car's original gearshift knob.

I also printed up a car for the car club show. It's a 2013 Dodge Charger race car.

I printed this 3/4 the size that the model file specified. It's about 6" in length and it still took 14 1/2 hours to print. The tires took another 1 1/2 hours to print.


Quote of the day:

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
     Rod Serling

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Monday, 3 July, 2017

I had to cut down over a dozen trees, but I now have my Internet connection back. No more worrying about how I will be uploading pictures for the car club web site. And I should now have my local phone working again.

Once I got my communications straightened out, I went to TinkerCad and finished work on the second version of the gearshift knob for my 1952 Plymouth. The second version is somewhat chubbier than the first. I will post a picture when I get a chance.


July is going to be a very busy month for me. To start, this Saturday I have two events to attend: a mineral club board meeting and a Linux users group meeting. That means I have to ignore the car show in Post Falls, though. I will also have a vintage trailer show, mineral club picnic, car show in Bayview and the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers car show in Rathdrum to attend this month. I'll be very busy, I guess.


Quote of the day:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
     Galileo Galilei

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother