Monday, April 24, 2006

Doing time in Cabo

In Cabo this week. If you need me -- cbodell at will reach me. WIll be checking e-mail once a day or so, between margaritas....

Monday, April 17, 2006


I don't know about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, but I certainly do know that greeen semi-gloss paint is a bitch to get out from underneath my fingernails....

As you can see from the shots below, the cable car is now regulation San Francisco Cable Car green (or as close as I could get by eye-balling the color from a second rate photocopy of a picture of a cable car). Next: the red trim!

And yes, that is a Commodore PET in the bottom left of the picture. Don't ask.....

Shopping List: Welding lessons and a spray gun!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Worms on a Blog (WonB)

What's better than Snakes on a plane? How about Worms on a blog. The BlueSfeare worm is a digital art worm created by the artists at Blue Sfear with the goal of creating the largest graphics worm on the internet. As of 16 April the worm is 4.26Mb, includes 92 images and is 63.88 ft (based on 72 pixels = 1 inch). The project is realtiavly forgetable, however the art work submitted thus far contains a number of well executed and interesting graphics. Will it get big or will it fizzle???

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Max Headroom?

Actually MaxVista. Cool and inexpensive. Allows you to link up to four, network-connected PC's or laptops to create on large, single display. Don't throw away that old, barely working laptop. Recycle it as an additional display for your primary system. The MaxVista site has a cool video showing the system working across four laptops.

My brain is Wracked

"I'm racking my brian" -- we've all used it, and I confirmed today that "rack" (derived from the torture device) is the correct spelling. However, I believe in the seldom used phrase "my brain is wracked" the correct spelling of "wracked" is with the leading 'w', which means ' damage or destruction', and is related to wreck and wreak.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Color TV

Color TV. Better than black and white TV. More to see than radio.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Even more Cable Car

Continuing to make good progress on the Cable Car. Windows have all be trimmed out. Below is a view from the rear of the car looking forward.

Next and final stage is the roof. Challange is that the roof of the cable car tops out at about 13 feet. The garage ceiling is only 11 1/2 feet high....... I've resigned myself to just making the roof cuts for final assembly at the school hall. I *may* be able to cut the roof panels before shipping the who structure to school - but I'm not betting on it. Below you see the begining of the roof frame.

All those years as a kid playing with construction sets is finally paying off. See Mom and Dad - I told you that skill would come in useful one day...

Roof frame detail:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

As interesting as watching a plank warp

Quick. Catch it while there is still time. For your edification: The Pitch Drop Experiment.

In 1927 Professor Parnell heated a sample of pitch and poured it into a glass funnel with a sealed stem. Three years were allowed for the pitch to settle, and in 1930 the sealed stem was cut. From that date on the pitch has slowly dripped out of the funnel - so slowly that now, 72 years later, the eighth drop is only just about to fall.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


A stylish mix of form and function; scupture and light. Generate is also an alternative source for the Ambient Orb should ThinkGeek be out of stock.

Surrounded by Art

A very impressive project to emerge from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is CANVAS (Collaborative Advanced Navigation Virtual Art Studio). It’s a 3-screened, back-projectioned portable virtual-reality open-lab for research and teaching projects by faculty in the fine and applied arts at the University. CANVAS is a space for creating and presenting computer-assisted multi-dimensional projects. CANVAS is based on the University of Illinois' CAVE™ technology and runs on the SYZYGY grid-operating system. SYZYGY is open source and is downloadable here. It runs under windows, Linux, and MacOSX.

I want a CAVE. It should be very inexpensive. I also want a flying car. And a pony....

Slashdot Dicks

Check out the recent SF Bay Guardian article by Analee Newitz entitled SlashDot Dicks. It's mostly an "I'm a feminist and am not afraid to piss and moan about it over half a dozen paragraphs"* story, however she does conclude (quite rightly) that *any* topic on Slashdot brings out all sides of an argument. The great thing about the Slashdot moderation system is the fact that well thought out, constructive posts get modded up, while the trash gets promptly slammed down. You can always rely on Slashdot for a well argued set of points. You may not agree with all of the posts -- but you can learn a lot.

(* and no, I have nothing against feminists -- only about people that whine about any topic.....)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cable Car Update Update!

Continuing to make good progress (although "good" in this context is highly relative). Windows have been cut and trimmed. I wound up using sheets of foam insulation for the curved window trim (window cap?) - made cutting them out very easy (notwithstanding the first drawing of blood...)

You can see in the picture above that the windows trim is in place. The window caps will be glued in place.

I spray-primed the first window cap to ensure it will look OK.
Looks OK to me ;-) Tomorrow the gluing of the window caps and the cutting of windows at the rear of the cable car. Then the painting. And after the painting, the roof!

Oh, and I quit my job today. Kinda anti-climactic as there was no one in the office to accept my resignation. The lady in HR was the unlucky candidate by virtue of being the only person not on vacation this week.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cable Car Progress

The cable care frame is made from 2-inch schedule 40 irrigation pipe. Why? It's easy to work with, is almost impossible to break and comes with lots of interesting connection joints (which makes my life much easier - I know the joints will line up....)

Here we see the walls going on the frame. Since the garage where I'm constructing the car slopes, I'm "floating" the walls. They will be levelled when I install the replica in the La Entrada school hall.

Lower walls on the frame. Making progress....

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Off to

Well it's just about official (as soon as I sign the paperwork and hand in my notice...) that I'm off to On May 1 2006 or thereabouts, I become the VP Platform Operations for the world's largest on-line retail site. So yes - if the site is down or running slow you know where to complain.

Now I have the challange of getting packed, finding somewhere to live (yes -- this will be Seattle, WA based) and moving. Oh joy!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Cable Car Project

I'm now about halfway through the construction of the replica-cable car centerpiece for the upcoming La Entrada 8th Grade graduation. I'm begining to wonder, however, what the heck I do with a 3/4 size San Francisco Cable Car when the event is over? Thoughts?