I finally mounted the new Meade LX600 telescope to the newly fabricated pedestal in our observatory at work. This, just as the semester is starting and on the day of a major eclipse in North America. It looks so nice. It’s another great upgrade for the observatory. I now have just one last scope to isolate. … Read moreAstro on Eclipse Day
Waiting around for wireless data to get to my computer is frustrating. We’re all impatient. We want all the data, now! These days we consume data at rates unimaginable just a few years ago. Video downloads, video uploads, gigabyte data hosts, it’s a massive load. It’s one thing if you are using technology properly and … Read moreWhy wait?
Last winter, I bought some modern snowboard gear. New board, bindings, and boots. My old stuff was bordering on antique, 1997 era stuff. Ronen (my friend) wanted to help me enter the modern era and I took him up on that. We got some nice prices on some stuff that was good enough and I was … Read moreFancy Footwork
A couple of weeks back I went on a trip to Washington, DC. I took a ton of photos. I’ll make an attempt to put some up in the next few posts. This post is about the library. Thomas Jefferson’s library and what became the Library of Congress. This place is totally insane. From Gutenberg … Read moreTJ’s Library
I recently came across an interesting situation with pedals and I figured that this would be a good opportunity to look into some fun topics: blind bearing extraction, slide hammers, and strange bearing sizes. I have a set of Spank Spike pedals. I don’t use them regularly but will on flow trail or jump park days. They are … Read moreBlind Drivers and the Spike
One of the most important tool in a mechanics toolbox is the hammer. Yes, the hammer. Such disrespect it’s seen in its time that it rarely get’s mentioned. Today, I am sharing three important hammers in my arsenal that make a real difference to me. Two of them have been on my bench almost every … Read moreHammer Time!
Poor Maggie. She’s been through a war. Last night the dogs and I were out for a walk. Maggie tends to bring up the rear because she is so slow and old. She’s often about a third of a block behind Annie and I. At around 7:30, she got stuck under the wheel of a … Read moreDevil dog down!
Years ago, at an early Maker Faire in San Mateo, I was lucky enough to see and touch an early test mule and prototype for what is now the Lit Motors C1 vehicle. It was so cool. It had gyros and batteries and computers and sensors. It balanced on it’s own and corrected itself when … Read moreBad engineering
“Pictures came and broke your heart.” “Pictures came and broke your heart.” Isn’t that nice…and true. Looking at photos and video of ourselves riding can break our heart. The “sick whip” turns out to be a lame wiggle. The huge booter jump more of a hop. This combined with the difficulty of capturing just how … Read moreVideo killed the radio star
I have two Camelbak Maximum Gear H.A.W.G. (1100/100 cu in, older version) bags. One of them is the bag that I use bike commuting and otherwise taking to work and back. The hydration bladder is removed and that pocket is used for magazines, netbooks, or paperwork. The other is my large mountain bike bag for … Read moreZippers
I’m a fan of the WTB line of saddles. The company is local to me and they’ve been in the game since 1982. Legit. My current favorite is the Silverado. The long nose and thin line give me what I need on the trail. I can sit in comfort, hold fast, and slide forward on … Read moreRemanufacturing
I just got a Nightrider Lumina Micro 250. It’s an amazing little light. The purpose of this little lamp is to use it head mounted for night riding. I have a Nightrider Pro 1800 Race for my handlebars. I just need a crawler and a scouter. The crawler is a very low powered light that … Read moreLight bright
On Sunday, November 9th 2014, Herb Neumann died. It was cancer that took him down. He was one of the toughest guys there was but just one thing was tougher. I never met Herb in person. Over the years I learned a lot about him. He was a legend in the New Jersey/NYC area. He … Read moreHerb Neumann
My day job puts me in the Physics & Astronomy Department at San Francisco State University. I’m primarily the department machinist and engineer. I teach a class sometimes which is nice, too. Pretty much, I help make sure our instruction and research folk are happy and have great tools. It’s a great gig. I have a machine … Read moreAstro boy
On my way to work this morning I passed a television or movie film crew on 18th Street near Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. They were busy setting up so I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone about what they were specifically filming. Of course, I had to get … Read moreLimelight
Here’s something fun and useful. I love when I get to get all math-y… A long time ago (2006), I put a blurb up on my wiki. It was a re-post from long ago that I had posted onto a skateboarding message board, probably back in 1998 or so. My web site, wiki, and now … Read moreReverse engineering curves – The Sagitta
I’ve got a real problem with hipsters. They completely lack authenticity but they are also compelled to blaze this into everyone’s faces and with such arrogance hidden beneath faux irony. Everything they do seems to be for show and they suck the life out of anything that was once cool. Then, when the corpse of the … Read moreHipster pants…or something like them.
There are right ways of doing a job and wrong. People talk about this a lot but somehow few really stick to it. Recently, while trying to solve some gearing issues, I ordered a custom chainring from Warhawk Industries. I wanted to get a 32t and 34t ring in 80BCD. I ordered the part with 2.5 … Read moreFinishing the job right
This was super cool. May 1st, 2013. 7:30am. I’m riding my motorcycle to work the nicest way I know how. Marin back roads and twisties. Getting from Fairfax to the Golden Gate Bridge is awesome. Bolinas/Fairfax (BoFax) Rd. to Ridgecrest Blvd. to Panoramic Hwy. to Rt. 1. People take long vacations to ride these kinds … Read moreHollywood.
On my holiday Europe trip and skating around Paris on Christmas Day, I ended up at the base of the Eiffel Tower with it a bit too crowded to hike up the stairs to the top as I had planned. I was chilling out on the Pont d’lena Bridge across from the tower watching people … Read moreThree-card Monte
While in Paris, France recently (xmas eve, 2012) and skating up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées toward the Arc de Triomphe, I came across the Toyota concept store. This is one of the most important retail locations on earth so this store is selling the brand ‘Toyota’, not specific cars. They set up their own little museum culminating with their hybrid technology ala Prius and … Read moreToyota!
I made this handy tool a while back. A Spreader Bar. It works very well. This bar was intended for hanging from the ceiling and suspending from or in-line on the ground connecting hands and feet. It’s a little long for some uses but will cover a very many. It’s 5 feet long, only weighs … Read moreThe spreader bar
The other day, I was having a conversation via Facebook with an old friend, Dave. We were talking about something having to do with his new bicycle. This and that. At some point, he flashes a picture on the message saying “Hey! look.” I was blown away. A world from so long ago… It was … Read moreOld school.
I had a little sewing party in my kitchen on Friday night. I had two things to do; fix the strap on my messenger bag and make a neat dog leash thing. I was derailed from completing the strap as my ‘unsticher’ tool broke. So I put more energy into the leash. It was to … Read moreTactical dog leash
Here’s something fun. Looking into making this little project. An odd form of bling. What is it? The guessing will begin!
I made a neat little spider chuck. It’s for machining the bolt of the 308AR for accuracy. A spider chuck allows me to locate the bolt exactly according to the several features that I decide are important regardless of the shape of the part. Since these parts are forged and then machined in very elaborate … Read moreItsy bitsy spider chuck
This is a quick little thing. Most folks have seen this before but it’s nice to remember. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMYK_color_model A fun project to get working correctly in Ai. Give it a try. Obviously, I had to convert the CMYK colors to RGB for this demonstration to be seen on a light emitting source.
I absolutely love trigonometry. It’s how we come to understand circles and curves. I work at the Physics & Astronomy Department at San Francisco State University. Every semester a few students will express their unease, confusion, and problem doing trigonometric work. Over the years, it’s been shown that, all of them, have never been given … Read moreTrigonometry
Thinking about this today. What about the area under the curve with regard to shock rate? Should the area be similar for differerent types of bikes? The shape can change, the duration and the magnitude but will in the end the area be similar? I’m going to think a bit about this… Here’s the curves … Read moreThe Area Under The Curve.
Cheap stems are rad. They do just fine holding the handlebar in place and come in many sizes. Most are even lightweight. What’s the problem? Tolerances. Most cheap stems are cast or use cast parts in a weldement. These parts have deviations that cause a problem. The issue is that the bottom side of the … Read moreMaking a dollar out of fifteen cents.