me drawing

(no subject)

Back in October of 2012, my wife and I bought an IKEA SY sewing machine with the idea of using it to create appliance covers and wing bags for my R/C sailplanes. Before we got around to using it life happened and it got put away. Fast forward to this last weekend. The laundry bag we use to carry laundry from the garage to the bedroom ripped, and my wife proclaimed that we were going to sew up a new laundry bag that weekend. We bought some nice cloth, measured the old bag and sewed up a new one. The machine performed excellently (except for once when the thread somehow got out of the take-up lever) even going through 6 layers of cotton twill without breaking a sweat.

The second project was a cover for our blender - I completed that last night and it came out pretty good.

I've got a bunch more covers to make, and I'm really happy with my little $70 sewing machine.
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    accomplished accomplished
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me drawing

Searching for title/author or book/story

I'm attempting to find the author and title of a Science Fiction story I read a long, long time ago. It was a satirical/comedic story involving a robot that was running for public office. The biggest thing I remember is that the robot played some sort of sport (bowling comes to mind) to show that he was a "regular guy".

I'm pretty sure it was Golden Age or earlier. It's not Asimov's 'Evidence'.

whatwasthatbook hasn't come up with anything yet.

Anyone on my friend's list have a thought? Thanks!
crashing in flames

(no subject)

Went flying today for the first time this year. Each of the three planes I took had something new (or was completely new). My Radian electric sailplane had an upgraded folding propeller, my SmoothE electric sport plane had a new fuselage and servos, and I brought a brand new plane "designed" by myself and built from Dollar Tree foamboard, tape and hot glue, which I'm calling the Oogly.

The new propeller on the Radian makes it hit 200 meters altitude in 25 seconds (down from over 30 seconds on the old prop.) A hit. And the weather was fantastic - just a slight wind and thermals everywhere. In one thermal I ended up so high it took me 5 minutes of flat spinning to get back down to where I was comfortable. Each 25 second burst of power easily gave me 10-15 minutes of flying.

The SmoothE flew great, as it always has every time except the time I rekitted the previous fuselage.

The Oogly flew. It's a handful. It needs some down thrust on the motor (under power it would pitch up hard and start hanging on the prop) and I think the center of gravity is too far forward.

However, I didn't crash any of the planes, even the Oogly. Any day you come back with the same number of planes in the same number of pieces that you left with is a good day.

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me drawing

Thermal Flying

Today I took my ParkZone Radian out for a flight at the Sacramento Valley Soaring Society's field in the Yolo Grasslands Regional Park. Not very exciting, I've done it before. But today, I stuck a 808 #16 Keychain Camera under the left wing. Luckily, I did so on my first flight of the day, since that was the only time I got any thermals to speak of, but in that flight with only 30 seconds of power I got about 15 minutes of flight before I had to start the motor again. The plane has a competition altitude limiter installed that will cut the throttle at either 30 seconds or 200m altitude, whichever comes first (the notes you hear at about the 15 minute mark are the limiter re-arming when I pulled the throttle down).

Enjoy!



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me drawing

Take that, Blerch!

Today, I met one of my exercise goals - to be able to jog a full 5K distance without taking any breaks. A couple of years ago, before I started working out, a walk half that length would have been about my limit, but I've been slowly but surely improving my stamina. My philosophy is to work towards my goals without a deadline - as long as I'm consistently improving I'll let the milestones come when they may. Next goal is to jog the 5K in under 35 minutes (today I did it in 39:16 - I have run a 5K in close to 35 but that was combining fast running with walking).

As a side effect, I've lost 15 extra pounds, a couple of inches of waist and several points of blood pressure. Not too shabby.

(If you don't get the reference in the post title, the Blerch is described here).

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sad

I has a sad.

The only sport I really follow is Formula 1 racing. A large part of this is due to the announcing team on Speed TV - Bob Varsha, David Hobbes (ex F1 driver) and Steve Matchett (ex F1 mechanic.) Their laid back announcing style is a lot of fun, like watching the race with three friends.

Unfortunately, it's been announced that Speed TV will no longer carry F1, and NBC Sports has picked it up (rumors are that FOX is planning to shutter Speed TV and turn it into a baseball centered channel). A big part of what keeps me watching F1 is going away. I'm hoping that NBC Sports does a halfway decent job of coverage, but I'm not holding out high hopes.

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    disappointed disappointed
me drawing

So long, EVGA...

Strike EVGA from the list of companies I will buy products from in the future. My video card (1GB NVIDIA GTX 460 Superclocked) which I bought from them just under two years ago started glitching. I contacted them to start the RMA process since the card came with a lifetime warranty, and they asked me to check the voltages on the +12V rail from my power supply. The rail on my machine reads 12.302V idle, 12.112V under load - a perfectly decent 1.6% regulation - not fantastic, but definitely within specs. Their reply was that anything over 0.05V was a sign of a faulty power supply and could cause glitches.

0.05% is 0.4% - this is the realm of lab power supplies. I went to Anandtech and looked at their power supply reviews - the best I could find were doing 0.8-0.9% tolerance on the +12V rail, and 1.4-1.5% was much more common. Not only that, EVGA's own 1200W power supply, which is a rebadged Antec, measures in at about 1.4%.

As it turns out, it seems the problem was heat related as blowing out the card heat sink caused card temperatures to drop about 20 degrees C and the glitches to go away, but the fact that they are specifying unattainable tolerances for the power supplies to be used with their cards as a way to get out of their warranty obligations is unacceptable. Before starting the RMA process I ordered a new EVGA GTX 660Ti to replace the 460 in my machine, with the warranty replacement 460 planned to go into my wife's machine replacing her GTX 275. As it is, I will be returning the 660Ti unopened.

I sent them the following as a reply to their tech support:

"I consider your assertion that a 0.19V drop (12.302V to 12.112V) on the +12V rail under load as a sign of a faulty power supply ridiculous. This is the voltage drop when the power supply goes from supplying a low load (Windows 7 idle desktop) to a heavy load (playing a GPU intensive game.) Your stated 0.05V is a 0.4% tolerance. Checking out power supply reviews on sites such as AnandTech I found that even high-end power supplies rarely do better than 1%, and 1.5% such as my power supply displays is much more common. Even the Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W which you rebadge as the EVGA Classified SR-2 1200W Power Supply has a 1.4% change in +12V under load (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3807/antec-truepower-quattro-1200w/4) - by your own definition the power supply your own company sells is faulty.

As it turns out, the problem was apparently heat related, as after cleaning out the card's heat sink the problems seem to have gone away.

However, I feel that you were attempting to get out of your warranty obligations by blaming the problem on a perfectly operating power supply. As such, the EVGA 660Ti Superclocked that I have just ordered will be returned unopened, and I will no longer consider EVGA as a source of video cards in the future."

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