There has been an enormous up-tick in hacking attempts, at least on web space that I manage as well as the servers at my day job. This means that more than ever, people need to be diligent about running all security updates on their OS as well as application updates (especially plugins like Java and Flash). It also means that for web devs like myself, it’s time to bite the bullet and buy SSL certs for any websites containing multiple logins and user data. For me, this means SSGuitar.com. As of January 20th 2017 SSGuitar is completely SSL’d. I love encryption.
iFixit.com has posted their “Repair Manifesto” and it just so happens to be everything that I believe in. Why waste by throwing things out when it could just be fixed? I repair everything I can from electronics, cars, plumbing, lawn mowers, computers, musical instruments, furniture, toys…basically anything!
I am so excited, I had to share. Lit, my favorite band from the time I was about 15, is back. And they’re country. Their new song “Fast” actually just made it to #1 on CMT’s 12 pack count down!
I love wooden rulers, and even more so, wooden yard sticks. I just found out about a local company that makes them, and they even do the brass end plates that I love so much on the end of the yard sticks. I haven’t purchased one from them yet, but from the pictures on the site, they look exquisite! Check them out for yourself: skowheganwoodenrule.com
This seems to come up every now and then in conversation. I use copper pipes. Almost everyone I know is switching to running PEX due to low cost and easy installation. Here is my take on the situation.
Copper pipes have been used for hundreds of years and typically have a lifespan of 50-100 working years in domestic water situations. The only thing that brings this lifespan down is acidic water, and frozen pipes. A split copper pipe can be easily repaired though, so freezing isn’t all that bad. Plus, unfreezing copper is easy – heat it with a torch! On the downside, copper is twice as expensive as PEX. Installation of copper pipe requires a basic propane torch, solder, and flux.
PEX piping is relatively new (a few decades) and has an unknown lifespan. PEX is plastic and all plastics leach some chemical into the water. If this is a safe amount or not, I’m not sure, but I feel unsafe using it in my home. PEX is cheap, flexible, and when it freezes it typically doesn’t burst (though it can). On the downside, PEX can be chewed through by mice and rats and it can’t deal with high temperatures or UV rays (no outdoor exposure). PEX requires special tools to install.
I will gladly pay more for the copper and sweat it in myself. I like the fact it doesn’t leach chemical. I like that it looks nicer when exposed (PEX is ugly). I like that it is safe around rodents (mice and rats are commonplace on the homestead at times). And I also like that I can heat it with a torch if it freezes.
To be fair, I only redesigned an existing watch dial. The rest is all MWC. It all started with me asking a bunch of questions about their “vietnam” watch. They were very responsive and even gave me manufacturing details as far as movement type (Miyota 2035), and manufacturing location (Japan). I wasn’t sure on the 24hr design, but it was such a handsome watch that I ordered one anyway. After getting it in, I decided to do a little photoshopping to adjust it more to my liking and then shared the results with MWC. I specifically removed the 24 hour numbers, reshaped the hour indices and changed their color. They liked it so much that they decided to make it. MWC then added a pheon, making the design officially theirs, not mine. They have recognized me officially on the website though and will be sending along an official letter stating my help in the design of this watch as well. Way cool! They also sent me a couple of the watches and two of their nice zulu straps as well. What a great company. Right from the get-go they’ve been very fun talking to back and forth and a real joy to work with.
A while ago I added about 1 ounce of BB’s to the output jack of the telecaster to help offset the neck dive. I just upgraded to a 2.25 ounce weight by using washers! They are steel washers, 5/32″ ID, 7/8″ OD. 14 of them plus two similar size rubber washers, one on each end of the stack. They are rubber cemented together into a column and the cable for the output jack runs right through. I should have taken a picture or three, but I was so excited to get it together I forgot. I still have a little dive, but it’s better. I think a lighter neck and tuners will be the only real fix.
My old guitar amp doesn’t have a line in jack to allow me to mix my guitar signal with an audio source as a backing track. To remedy this, I created my own mixer. More details here: http://www.ssguitar.com/index.php?topic=4028
The short of it:
1 x small wooden box
1 x 1/8″ stereo jack
1 x 6′ stereo 1/8″ cable cut in half
4 x 200 ohm fire-resistant 1w resistors (1/8w would have worked and they don’t need to be fire-resistant, but it’s what I had)
For each channel coming from each device you put a resistor in line with the positive. So Device One’s left positive goes into a 200 ohm resistor. Device Two (amp) has it’s left positive go into another 200 ohm resistor. Both of these resistors terminate at the left positive of the headphone out jack. Do the same with the two right channels, tie the grounds all together and you’re done!