So I picked up a sweet deal of a tele. It is a late 2000′s model Squire Affinity Series Telecaster. It’s been stripped and poly’d so it has a natural finish. I already have plans for this guitar including new tuners, electronics and pick guard.
I’ve been considering removing the attached power cord from my Dean Markley K-20X amplifier and putting in its place an IEC jack with fuse. I finally did it last weekend. Not only does this allow for quick cord replacement, but also easier storage, the use of a 90 degree cord so you can put the amp closer to other devices, and it puts the fuse in an easily accessible area (back panel). The old fuse location being on the PCB was not only inconvient, but arguably unsafe (putting mains current and voltage to the PCB). The mains wiring now bypasses the PCB completely making the amp safer and easier to service.
As a side effect, I needed to relocate the power transformer to have room for the back side of the IEC jack. It is now directly under where it use to be, same mounting holes and all. This puts the transformer outside of the metal enclosure. This potentially removes some noise (though so far I haven’t noticed a difference), but as a negative, it does put the transformer in an area where it could potentially be damaged. I will be attaching a shield of some sort over it so that it cannot be damaged so easily.
I have added a shield to the transformer and some wooden brackets to the back of the amp that allow me to store a guitar cable without it falling out. Picture below.
A cardboard printer, that’s what. Now…they say it is more “green”, which I suppose the plastic displaced by the cardboard is. But what about all the printing machinery inside? PCBs, plastic gears, trays, etc all come to mind. It’s interesting none the less.
Earth911.com has a great article about things you can recycle that most people didn’t realize. But the thing that surprised me the most was crayons. Evidently there is a company that specializes in recycling old/broken crayons into new ones. Cool!
Windows XP is finally reaching it’s end of life status. Microsoft is pulling the proverbial plug on April 8th. Read more below:
Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.
As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)
If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.
Why This is Important
Without security patches from Microsoft, Windows XP is left vulnerable to many viruses, malware, trojan horses and root kit hacks. This means that not only could the computer in question stop working properly, but worse, it could appear to work normally but be tracking you and sending your personal information (banking account, credit card numbers, passwords) to a server where the data will later be sold and used for less-than-honest purposes.
What To Do
- Stop using Windows XP on or before April 8th. A new desktop running Windows 7 can be had for less than $300. Or if your computer is less than 5 years old, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 7, the software for this would cost between $100 and $150 depending on the version you get and where you purchase it.
- If you must use Windows XP, disconnect the internet from the machine
- If you must use Windows XP online, make sure you have a current antivirus software on your machine and only use the machine for non-critical use. This means no banking or online purchases.
Walking With Horses will be playing on February 8th at 7pm as part of the 2014 Brick Church concert series. Tickets are $10 at the door, children under 5 are free. All are welcome. Proceeds benefit the Church general fund.
** All Brick Church concerts are performed at 21 Cape Cod Hill Road, New Sharon Congregational Church UCC in New Sharon, Maine.
Finally someone has come up with a smart usb charger. The Powerslayer from Velvetwire automatically shuts itself off when your device is done charging so it doesn’t consume electricity while not charging. This charger is actually software driven so, in theory anyway, you could update your charger’s operating system at a later date if there were new features or bug fixes. Velvetwire is a US-based company and their products are made here in the states as well. Worth a look for $40.
Motorola was a US owned company. Google bought it 2 years ago, so it was still a US based company. Now Google has sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, making it a Chinese company. Interestingly though, the Moto X phone is still produced here in the US. It’s a great phone too, and as it has probably the highest ties to the US, I still advocate for it. I own one and am on the US Cellular network – it rocks to say the least.
I’ve been shaving since I was 15 or 16. I’m now 28 and this Christmas I learned that there is another way to shave. You don’t have to use the “normal” disposable head type razors, or expensive electrics. The “safety razor” still exists. Until Christmas, I didn’t even know what a safety razor was, I would have guessed that’s what they use to call disposables. My brother, Isaac, gifted me a safety razor and an assortment of goodies to go with it (blades, aftershave, soap, brush, etc). Well, it’s the best shave I’ve ever had. Why these safety razors went out of style years ago, I will never know. But I do know I will probably use one for the rest of my shaving life. I’ve never had as close of a shave as I do now. It doesn’t take any longer than “regular” shaving, and I feel cleaner afterward. Plus, it’s cheaper to boot!
I’ve long thought that the bazillion-blade razors were ridiculous and that an apt cut could be had with even a single cutting edge, now I know for sure. Guys, do yourself a favor and try out a safety razor – you won’t regret it.
Every winter I make a list of projects I need to do. I do this because winter is the “slow” time around here. I say this loosely as we are still quite busy. But, I have finally started to work on my list. The big things this year are electrical work and then cleaning/organization. Here’s how it’s coming along so far:
- Wire outlet for new chest freezer (had been on an extension cord) :: DONE
- Rewire basement lights so they are all on one switch instead of two :: DONE
- Wire outlet for sump pump (currently on extension cord)
- Clean/organize basement
- Clean/organize “corner cubby” in kitchen (tools, parts etc)
- Clean/organize my electronics work desk
- Clean/organize my side of the bedroom
I may also add to the list that I need to install a new light fixture in the downstairs bathroom, but not sure yet as it is less of a concern than the rest of the list right now.