Metric Design

I’ve been trying to learn to draw in metric for the last few years. It’s not as easy as you’d think, certainly not for an American. I’m now old.  50 years old so I have been thinking in a mix of old ways and new in the United States. I am able to  change my … Read more

Graphic Violence

Toolmaking has been a theme lately. After putting time into my frame fixture tooling and my press tooling and a lingering mandrel bending project. I’m hoping to get back to some go fast shit soon. I finished the leveling base plates for my Enerpac press a while ago. They have been an awesome improvement to … Read more

The full circle

When I was a kid, one toy ruled them all, Lego. Then in the late 70s and very early 80s, when I was in the prime age for using these, we didn’t have a lot of money in the family and Lego were very expensive. Still, Lego is a toy that provide a huge dollar … Read more

Making an impact

I recently needed to remove a fussy T25 drive screw from a SRAM XX1 crank. Despite both the screw and tool looking in good shape, the tool kept camming out of play, rounding edges, and was turning into a terrible situation. I didn’t understand why this was happening but it was time for evasive action. … Read more

PVD-JD2-32 Bender Cart

This may not seem like much but it’s pretty exciting for me. Bending tubes is an important part of making things out of metal. Everyone that works with metal needs a bender of some sort or is looking to find one. I’ve had one for a long time, an old DiAcro #4 but because of … Read more

I am a critic

I am a critic. The clip below is from the Screen Junkies Honest Trailers and it got me thinking this afternoon. After a savage “Everything Wrong With:” from CinemaSins, and back and forth discussions with critics at ComicCon; Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts joined the fun with the Screen Junkies crew to help make this critique of his … Read more

Astro on Eclipse Day

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 more

$vanlife

I’m really excited about this. So is Windy. I’ve been lamenting not having a van for a while. When I was younger, I had a Chevy G20 van (1989?). It’s what I moved away from the Boston Area in. Eventually landing in the bay area after a year in Colorado. It was awesome. After a … Read more

Why we don’t draw on paper

Today, we don’t design on paper…  I was recently reminded of this topic by a message board thread. A kid wanted advice advice on drawing a frame. Countless people chimed in giving horrible advice. I often find that the less someone knows the more they will pass off their opinion as truth, while lacking any … Read more

Why wait?

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 more

Fancy Footwork

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 more

The National Air and Space Museum

In August this year, I was lucky enough to take a break from work and meet up with my father (he came up from Florida) for a week in Washington, DC. I chose that spot as it was nice to not go to Southern Florida again to spend time with my dad but also to spend … Read more

Monsta!

I like to play rough with my bikes. That’s what I have them for. I want to smash around and have a good time. Whatever it takes got get my thrill. That’s my #1 priority on the bike. I also like to take care of my bikes and have them set up well. This often … Read more

TJ’s Library

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 more

Blind Drivers and the Spike

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 more

Hammer Time!

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 more

Devil dog down!

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 more

Bad engineering

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 more

Video killed the radio star

“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 more

Zippers

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 more

Remanufacturing

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 more

Light bright

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 more

Herb Neumann

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 more

Astro boy

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 more

Limelight

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 more

Reverse engineering curves – The Sagitta

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 more

Hipster pants…or something like them.

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 more

Finishing the job right

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 more

Hollywood.

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 more