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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

May 2014

Thursday, 29 May 2014

I started this blog at blogicalthoughts 12 years ago. Since then, I have posted something every day except weekends, holidays and days when I was driving long distances. I have posted a total of 5,048 messages here since 2002. After reviewing yesterday's entry, I have decided that being retired leaves me with a lot less to report on, and that I should not do that on a daily basis.

To that end, I will no longer post here every weekday, but only when something interesting happens. I hope you all are not disappointed. If you have something to say to me, you can always reach me via email. My address is michael period burton at blogicalthoughts period com.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I spent a lot of time yesterday shoveling dirt. Other than that, nothing of note went on. Today I will shovel more dirt, until I am stopped by the rain.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day. I did - exactly nothing yesterday. I will have to make up for that today, though.


 

We need to find a Linux distribution that works well with old computers with limited memory. On Saturday, I helped one of our members attempt to install Linux Mint 13 XFCE on an old Dell laptop with 384MB of memory. We were not successful. The only thing I can think of is the distro takes up too much memory. I am going to look at LXLE as an alternative. It uses minimal memory and is attractive and fast.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Friday, 23 May 2014

When I restored my 1952 Plymouth, one of the things I did was have a modern AM/FM stereo installed. This is a special radio, as it uses the original radio's controls, so when I turn the radio on, it appears that the old radio is running. In 2011 at a car show, the radio started acting up. Instead of fixing it, I decided to live with no radio. I have since changed my mind.

Last week, I went to an electronics guy in Coeur d'Alene. He told me he doesn't do car radios, but he recommended a place in Spokane. Yesterday I went over to the place and found out they don't do car radios now. They recommended a third place and I got lucky there. So now, in place of a radio, I have a big hole in my dashboard. Which means I won't be entered in the car show in Chewelah, WA this weekend. I think I'll go to the NILUG technical session instead.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My 10" rock saw has no drain plug to drain lubricant and sludge from it. Sometime last week I disassembled the saw so I could remove a lot of the sludge that has built up. I removed as much sludge as I could to a pail and let the sludge settle, then poured the mineral oil off the top back into the saw. Yesterday, I reassembled the saw and added a bit more oil, so I can now cut rocks with it again.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

I spent yesterday morning at Garwood Elementary School, teaching 4th graders about Dutch oven cooking. There was one other person to help and the Dutch oven organizer was not there (he has major health issues). We did enjoy the demo and ended up cooking four peach cobblers. When I got home, I was so tired I took a long nap. So nothing else got done yesterday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

It seems like there will only be one Dutch oven demonstration this year. Today is the day for that demonstration. It will be part of the Garwood Elementary School Rendezvous, which demos all kinds of pioneering skills. Since I haven't heard anything from the organizer apart from his initial email in March, I'm hoping everything is still on track. I will show up an hour early to get stuff set up and the coals burning.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Monday, 19 May 2014

I have spent days trying to download a huge 30.9GB bit torrent. On Friday morning, I had downloaded 29.82GB of the torrent. By Friday night, the total was still 29.82, so I decided to kill the download. I hope to be able to use the part that I have downloaded and may be able to download the section that was not yet done. I won't try downloading anything that large again, though.

It turns out that I could use 78 of the 79 files in the torrent. In order to get the 79th file, which is about 340MB, I would have to download a torrent that is 7.6GB. Not worth it, I guess.


 

I went to the Lost in the 50's cruise on Friday. There were at least three to four hundred cars involved in that, and it was pretty tiring for me. I decided not to go to the car show on Saturday. I only took two pictures at the cruise - two old cars that really caught my eye. Here is an old Pontiac from the 20's.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Yesterday was a long day. I spent half of it at a small car show and the rest of it at the mineral club meeting. I was really dragging when I got home.

The car show was at an assisted living facility next to the Walmart in Post Falls. There were 17 cars there. The show was for the benefit of the residents and was very popular. I am going to post pictures of it over on the car club web site.

The mineral club meeting is the last one before we have our show on the 7th and 8th of June. We have finalized the details and are ready to go. And I picked up a slab of wonderstone to turn into cabochons.

Today I am going to participate in the classic car cruise up at Sandpoint, then tomorrow I am going up there again for Lost in the 50's.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I cleaned up my Plymouth for the cruise-in last night. Now it looks like I had never done the cleaning. When the weather gets hot (84 today), our road turns to dust. I am going to a car show this afternoon, so I have to clean it up again. I'll be taking the teardrop trailer along with me, so I will have to clean it up, too. After the show, I will be going to a mineral club meeting.


 

This weekend, including Friday, will be very busy. There is a car cruise in Sandpoint Friday night. That is for everyone in the area, including those of us who will not be participating in the Lost in the 50's car show on Saturday. So I will be taking the Plymouth up to Sandpoint on Friday and will drive the Honda up for the car show on Saturday. I'm not participating in the show because they want entirely too much money for their entry fee and you get nothing in return.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My new lapidary polishing station works like a charm. I polished one of the obsidian teardrop cabochons I was having a problem getting a good shine on, and it came out great. I would take a picture of it, but it's just too bright outside to do that. I am going to do more polishing today.


 

On Monday, the car club folks were talking about cars they wish they still had, and I said I would like to have held on to the first real car I had, a 1963 Corvair 500. Here is a picture of it I took in the Mojave desert in 1968.

A dry lake like that is a great place to fly model airplanes, which is why I was out there.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

It was really nice yesterday for the cruise-in at the Paul Bunyon's in Hayden, so a lot of people showed up. With the temperature at about 70, they all hung around outside by the cars. Note that I am now only taking pictures of cars that I think have not shown up at the cruise-in this year.


 

I have finished adding the splash guard to the lapidary polishing station. It is now complete. The polishing pads came in the mail yesterday and I will mount them today. Here is the finished product (minus the actual polishing pads). That blue box behind the motor is where I mounted the motor's on/off switch. The splash pan is a worn-out baking pan from my kitchen. The splash guard is a piece of metal I got at a heating and cooling place.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Monday, 12 May 2014

I went to the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting on Saturday. There was no scheduled talk, but I helped put Linux on one of those all-in-one computers - the kind that have the motherboard and all the peripherals built in to the monitor. It seems to be a nice computer, even if it is an HP. The only problem we had was with passwords, but that was just a screwup on our part, not the machine's.


 

I have ordered polishing pads for my lapidary polishing station. I also cleaned up the electrical connections (fastened a box on the mounting board) and installed a splash pan. The only thing it needs now is a splash shield for the rest of the wheel. If I had a big tin can, I could make one, but I don't. I will go down to the local metal shop and see about getting something.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Friday, 9 May 2014

I have finished the cabochon polishing station. I took the picture while it was running, but my camera's shutter speed was so fast it looks like it's turned off.

All I need for it now is an 8" rubber backing pad and 8" felt pad and leather pad. Since the pads run wet, I will also need a shield to keep the polishing compound from flying all over the place, and a tray under the wheel for drips.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I went to the cruise-in in Rathdrum last night. It was somewhat cloudy, so there weren't as many people there as there were last week. I did get some pictures of some cars that I had not gotten before.


 

I am still working on converting an old rock saw to a polishing machine. I have all the parts for it except a new proper-sized pulley. I am in the process of putting all the wooden parts together. I have drilled a 5/8" hole in the plywood plate to be mounted on the arbor and I have verified that I can mount it with no problems. I will put together most of the pieces today, and will try to figure out what size pulley I actually need.

I may also do some more cabochons today. I have some pieces of onyx that I can shape. I haven't worked with onyx in the past, so I have no idea how well it will take a polish. I do know it is pretty soft material, though.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Here is what I came up with for the frame of my polishing station.

Both discs are exactly aligned. The larger disc (10") will have a 5/8" hole drilled in the center and will be mounted on the arbor I have. I will then run the discs up and sand them so they are balanced (I cut them out with a jigsaw). I will then mount some kind of foam backing on the smaller disc (8") and attach felt to that.

In the meantime, I will set up a plywood platform to hold the arbor and the motor. I need to do some calculations to get the proper size of pulley so the disc will run at 1,800 RPM.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A couple of years ago, I purchased a rock saw from a member of the Spokane Rock Rollers. I have never used the saw and I won't, as I have a much better saw that is the same size. I decided to take the saw apart and use the parts to build a polishing station. The old saw is a drop saw, so it has some interesting parts. The main shaft for the saw blade is a 5/8" shaft enclosed in sealed bearings with a grease fitting. It has a 3" pulley on one end and the threaded protion on the other end for the saw blade. The problem is, that threading is left-handed. I can't find a polishing plate to put on there that has left-handed threads.

After running around town trying to find a polishing plate and a larger pulley, I gave up and went home. I sat down with an old lapidary book and some of the things in the book stimulated my thought processes. I am going to use the threaded portion to hold a plywood circle which in turn will hold a smaller plywood circle using three long bolts. The smaller circle will have the polishing surface attached to it. This is harder to describe than to show. Here is a similar setup from the lapidary book I have.

This is much fancier than what I envision, but you get the general idea. This will allow me to use the shaft and motor from the old rock saw, as well as using the splash shield from that machine.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Monday, 5 May 2014

I spent the weekend at the Rose's lapidary shop, doing things to help us at the gem show next month. We put together a lot of small prizes for kids and we made display case liners for the gem and mineral displays at the show. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it took a lot of time and I got nothing else done in the last two days.


 

I ran across a problem with the Thunderbird email client. I use it to get email from about half a dozen email accounts. One of those accounts gets occasional spam. I have been unable to delete the spam from one particular spam sender. I finally accomplished this by moving the messages from the account to my main email account's trash folder. Messages there are automatically deleted when I shut down Thunderbird. I have no idea why I couldn't just delete them from the inbox.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Friday, 2 May 2014

I ended up having to get a different set of feed lines for the faucets and my plumbing problems are now solved. I will now move on to more important things, like some of the outdoor things that need to be done. I also have some mineral club things to do tomorrow and Sunday. Another busy weekend.


 

For those of you who use Firefox as your web browser, this is for you. If you have upgraded to version 29 and find that you no longer have a menu toolbar, you can get it back by right-clicking on the location bar (NOT in any text area on the bar) and checking the Menu Bar item. If you had a bookmark toolbar and it is gone, you can get it back the same way.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The cruise-in at the Paul Bunyon's in Rathdrum was the first one of the year that was well-attended. It was sunny and 70, so everyone was sitting outside and enjoying the weather and the classic cars. Mike Askew had his 1937 Studebaker out for the first time, and I got four pictures of it. The Buckin' Mustang was also premiered. It will be running at the drag races in Spokane tomorrow night.


 

I think I may finally have a handle on my plumbing problems. I got a new valve and installed it, but had a slow leak problem. This morning the leak seems to have disappeared. I will put the faucet lines on the faucet and call the project done. If it starts leaking again, I have no idea what I can do to prevent it.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"