Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum

Apparently this happened back in Feb.

Can't believe I'm just now hearing about it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fair Food

I've been entirely too busy the last 2 months.  Only got 1 workout in during that time frame, but I'm turning over a new leaf (I got a workout in today).

I DID manage to make it by the Tulsa State Fair last night.

As part of the ritual, I ate as many weird foods as I could stand.

1)  I ate the greasiest, nastiest cheese curds on the face of the earth and they nearly made me sick.

2)  I ate a donut hamburger.  A glazed Krispy Kreme donut with all the hamburger stuff on it (patty, lettuce, pickle, bacon, etc.) and then topped with a maple Krispy Kreme donut.  (It was very good, but difficult to eat.  I had to smash it down to fit in my mouth. I was afraid icing was going to get in my eyebrows it was so messy.)

3)  I ate chocolate covered bacon (and it was wonderful!).  The best part about it was the excellent dark chocolate it was coated in.  It would have been great even without the bacon.  It came in a cardboard container like Chinese take-out and they kept it so cold that frosty mist came out when I opened it.  It was great!

So the next time you go to the fair, if you're not sick when you leave, you didn't do it right.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Imperial March on 16 Floppy Drives

Best use I've seen yet for old floppy drives.

And here's another one doing the same thing with only 3 drives.  I think I actually like this one better because it does so much with so little AND you can see the internals.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dukes Autotrader Mini-Movie

I had caught quick pieces of the Dukes of Hazzard Autotrader commercial(s), but I don't watch enough television that I had see it in it's entirety.

Apparently, Autotrader produced a 2 1/2 minute "mini-movie" that they split into 3 commercials.  All 3 commercials and the consolidated mini-movie are on youtube, but the mini-movie is more fun to watch and has a few more details that they cut out of the 3 commercials.

It's pretty cool.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Metal Melter

Here's another cool project utilizing an old Microwave Oven Transformer (MOT).

Actually, everything on the King of Random youtube channel is pretty much wonderful.

You should check it out.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

'68 Charger Power Steering Return Line Adapter

On my '68 Dodge Charger, as far back as I can remember, there's been a mis-match between the return port of my power steering pump and the return port on my power steering gear box.  (the LOW pressure line)  The return port on my power steering pump is about 3/4" in diameter and the return port on the power steering gearbox is about 3/8" in diameter.

I either needed a different pump (with a smaller port) or a bigger return fitting on the gearbox.

You can see the fitting on the pump in this picture.  (this pump isn't mine, but is identical)

And you can see the 2 different return fittings in this picture.  I need the fat one since I have a fat port on my pump, but my gearbox has the skinny one.

My solution up till yesterday was to put an inch long piece of 3/8" hose on the skinny fitting then a  big host over the skinny hose and clamp it down real tight on the fitting.  I've known I had power steering leak for a long time, but didn't know most of it was coming from my hose-over-a-hose solution until yesterday.

I could buy the large fitting, but I needed a quick solution to go to the Cruise-in at Fuddrucker's tuesday night, so I decided to make an adapter.

I scouted around the shop and found this old, metal fuel filter.  Sweet!  I thought it was going to be more work than this, but this thing will almost work as-is.

I happen to have a lathe, so I chucked up the filter and turned down the metal that was crimped over (just to get rid of it).  Which got me to here.

Then, popped out the filter guts.

Chucked it up again and used a file to eliminate sharp edges on the big end.

And here's the finished product in place.

I may eventually get the correct fitting for the gearbox, but for now this is working great!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Check out this fusion of man and machine.

He's color-blind, so that thing is implanted in the back of his head and allows him to hear tones that represent different colors.

Things are starting to get weird...

Video at the links below.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dip Your Car

I just found out about a new (to me) trend in car customization - Dip Your Car.

Basically, people are taking Plasi-Dip, which has historically been used to put a plastic coating on the handles of tools (like pliers), and using it to spray paint their cars.  If you get tired of the color, or don't like it, you can just peel it off and spray it a different color.

It's a pretty cool idea.

The main drawback I see is that the result is usually kind of a matte finish and, in some cases, your car winds up looking like a pencil eraser.  Some colors are worse than others about promoting this effect.  Looks to me like this process would work best for black, white, and gray.

Still, it's a cool option to have.

The clear coat on the roof of my 2000 Honda Civic is starting to separate.  I may have to sand it down and experiment...

Check out the video and link below.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Shapeways and 3D Hubs

Shapeways is like Caf├ęPress or Zazzle, only instead of producing a customized tee shirt or coffee mug that they sell for you, they 3D print your custom creation and sell it for you.

Also, see the below video from CNN Money:
Shapeways on CNN Money

And here's a link to one of my favorite things you can purchase on Shapeways.
The Theo Jansen inspired Animaris Geneticus Parvus...

3D Hubs

In a related vein, I just found out about 3D Hubs, a website that connects people who want to 3D print something with people in their area that have a 3D printer.  You just go to, put in your zip code, and a list of individuals in your area who have 3D printers comes up.  You upload a .stl file of the item you want print (which allows the website to then quote a price) and select a person to print it for you.  This is an amazingly cool idea and handy for both parties.  It allows the person with the idea to get their idea printed and allows the person with the 3D printer to put this cool piece of technology to work earning a little cash for them.

For those of you new to 3D printing and .stl files, you can download Google Sketchup for FREE from  You can use Sketchup to quickly and easily design a 3D object, save it as a .stl file, then have someone with a 3D printer use that .stl file to print the object.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Solowheel

My last post was about the Elio 3-wheeled car.

If 3 wheels seems too complicated, maybe you should try the SoloWheel.  It's similar to a Segway, but with one wheel instead of two.  It also does away with all that security-inducing handlebar nonsense.

My favorite thing about it is that it reminds me of the caveman that invented the wheel from B.C. comics.

The main website for the Solowheel is here:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Elio. 3 Wheels, 84mpg, $6800.

Very interesting.  Very inexpensive (for a new car).  Great gas mileage.

The main problem I see is that all these traits are TARGETS for the end product that haven't been met yet.  It's what they're shooting for, not what they've already done.  They're HOPING they can get the car to 84mpg and HOPING they can get the retail price down to $6800.

But it's still cool.  It looks like a Messerschmitt from World War II.

See video of the Elio at the link below.

Elio on CNNMoney

And for comparison, here's a Messerschmitt.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Cars of MakerFaireKC 2014

The KC Chuggers Model T Club had some of their cars on display at Maker Faire KC.

I love Model T's, so I'm sharing some pics.

Friday, July 4, 2014

$199 3D Printer - OneUP Classic

One of the most noteable things I saw at MakerFaireKC was the OneUP Classic.

It's a 3D printer for only $199 (in kit form).  

The cheapest 3D printer I had previously seen was the Printerbot Jr.  If memory serves me correctly, you used to be able to get the Printerbot Jr. in kit form for around $300 .  I last saw it about a year ago.  However as I search for the Printrbot Jr. now, I can't find it.  Not even on the Printrbot website.  So it looks like that's no longer an option.

With shipping to my house included, the total cost of the OneUP Classic (for me) would be $215.45.

Long live the OneUP Classic!

Check it out at

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Maker Faire KC 2014 - Solar Car

Quick update from Maker Faire Kansas City.

I saw this neat solar car cruising down the street next to Crown Center today, then when we got into Maker Faire, it was parked right out front of Union Station, so I was able to get these pictures.

There's obviously some pedals inside.  I'm not sure what they're for.  I suspect you can either A) pedal yourself back home when you run out of sunlight/battery power OR B) extend your range by pedaling to take some of the load off the motor/battery.

I saw another solar car called the TWIKE and actually talked to a guy who knew something about it.  It also had pedals.  On the TWIKEI had assumed the pedals were for "A", but the guy informed they didn't really work for :"A", they were for "B".  I didn't get to talk with anyone on the green car in these pics, so I'm not sure if the pedals are for "A", "B" or both.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

High-tech art (with a sense of humor)

This is a fun little TED talk about using technology to create whimiscal, interesting art installments that capture your attention because of some physical thing that's happening.

The whole talk is only about 8 minutes long, and the whole thing is interesting, but the part that got stuck in my head from when I first watched it a year or more ago, and the part that causes me to re-visit it now, is a few brief seconds of video showcasing a piece call "the pygmies".  In it you can see they've programmed some very rudimentary "pygmies" to hide when they hear a sound and come back out after all is quiet.

The thing that captures me so much about this is how a simple, programmed action can give such a lifelike quality to something so rudimentary.

Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Virgin Galactic's Spaceplane

Just a quick link to the latest information on Virgin Galactic's space plane.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Whizzer motorbike replica is one of my favorite websites.  Probably my most favorite website.  If someone made me pick only one site that I could ever go to again in my life, it might be Instructables.

Having said that, here is an a example of why.  This is a gorgeous replica of a 1940's model "Whizzer" motorized bicycle that some kid in Australia put together.  This a absolutely awesome and, if you watch the video, it sounds awesome, too.

I plan to build something similar (only not nearly as polished) using and antique motor and an old bike frame I have in the barn.

When I have time.  (Sigh....)

The link to the original page on (which includes the video) is here:

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Spring is here.

Look what I found in barn a few short weeks ago.

Hmm...Looks like he's eaten something recently.

Probably should have sliced him open so I could post the contents of his stomach, but I didn't.  I just took him out and cut his little head off.

BTW, for those who don't know, there are only 3 type of poisonous snakes in Oklahoma:  rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and copperheads.

Rattlesnake and water moccasin bites can be fatal if not treated, but copperhead bites are considered "nuisance" bites.  They're rarely deadly, the greatest danger being from allergic reaction or secondary infection.  The worst damage is usually done from the painful swelling, especially if bitten on an area that doesn't have much room to swell, like a finger.  In that case the swelling can be so severe that the flesh splits open.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CVAPA 2014

The Caney Valley Antique Power Association annual tractor show and swap meet was this last weekend.  It's a small affair, but only about an hour away from home and still a fun event.  Here are some pictures I took of the highlights (for me).

This first one is a little runabout that uses a vertical shaft lawnmower engine as it's power plant.  You can buy instructions to build these online.  I've seen several of these at various shows.

Here we have a pair of Nash Metropolitans.  Very cool, funky, tiny cars.

A 191x or 192x Chevy pickup.

And a very early moped.

"I thought you said it was a tractor show.  Where are all the tractors?"

The truth is, I'm not that interested in tractors.  I'm always more drawn to the other old, odd things at the show...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Google's Self Driving car


They're a lot further along on this than I realized.

The innovation taking place at Google is amazing!

Doorway to Hell, Turkmenistan

I just learned of this awesome thing a few days ago.


"While drilling in 1971 geologists accidentally found an underground cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of about 50-100 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn the gas. Geologists had hoped the fire would go out in a few days but it has been burning ever since. "'

This is in Darvaza, Turkmenistan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Phantom Spillway

I saw a website one time where people could upload creepy looking doors that looked like they could be a doorway to hell.  The picture above is a pretty good contender.  That or a portal to another dimension.  Maybe an entrypoint to the center of the earth.

It's actually the spillway to the Monticello Dam in Napa County, CA.

It's such a striking picture, I had to share.

Kudos to the engineers.  They win the award for "Freaky Spillway Design."


It's a sign of maturity when you can drink something awful and enjoy it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homemade Steam Engine on ebay

I spotted this engine posted on ebay under the title "Homemade Steam Engine."  What I love about this is the simplicity of the components used.  It's so rough.  It's built out of scraps.  It's almost built from junk.  There's a certain charm to that.  It shows how simply a running engine can be built.  Nothing about this engine is outside the reach of the common man if he's willing to scrounge a little bit.  That really appeals to me.

And you can see it run here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The 1971 Suzuki TS 185

I sold this 2 days ago.  It was a cool, vintage motorcycle.  Easy to start, fun to ride.  But I just didn't have anywhere to ride it.

I love things like this, but after you've had them for a while and aren't really using them and don't have the space for them (and your wife's bugging you to make room in the shop so she can do some woodworking), you realize it would be more practical to sell them.  And you realize you can get some money to buy different toys!  So farewell, blue Suzuki.  We had fun.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Paper Clip Motor

I know I just did a post on solenoid engines a couple of days ago, but I found this video and really like this little engine.

I've had it in the back of my mind for a while that I'd like to do something cool with paper clips.  Now that I've seen this, I may have to build one of these.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Redistribution of Wealth...since the 50's

In a previous post I mentioned that I was reading physicist Richard Feynman's book, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!".  In one of the stories near the end, titled "Is Electricity Fire?", he talks about a conference he was invited to in the fifties on "the ethics of equality".

He describes a speech given by a particular individual at the conference.  See if this reminds you of anyone.

"It was a good speech, and he was a very good speaker, so while it sounds crazy now, when I'm telling about it, at that time his main idea sounded completely obvious and true.  He talked about the big differences in the welfare of various countries, which cause jealousy, which leads to conflict, and now that we have atomic weapons, any war and we're doomed, so therefore the right way out is to strive for peace [is] by making sure there are no great differences from place to place, and since we have so much in the United States, we should give up nearly everything to the other countries until we're all even.  Everybody was listening to this, and we were all full of sacrificial feeling, and all thinking we ought to do this.  But I came back to my senses on the way home."
The next day, when someone else from the conference asked him about the speech, he says,

"I started to say that the idea of distributing everything evenly is based on a theory that there's only X amount of stuff in the world, that somehow we took it away from the poorer countries in the first place, and therefore we should give it back to them.  But this theory doesn't take into account the real reason for the differences between countries - that is, the development of new techniques for growing food, the development of machinery to grow food and to do other things, and the fact that all this machinery requires the concentration of capital.  It isn't the stuff, but the power to make the stuff, that is important.  But I realize now that these people were not in science; they didn't understand it.  They didn't understand technology; they didn't understand their time."
Finally he gets around to the real crux of the problem.

"There were a lot of fools at that conference -- pompous fools -- and pompous fools drive me up the wall.  Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out.  But pompous fools -- guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus --  THAT, I CANNOT STAND!  An ordinary fool isn't a faker;  an honest fool is all right.  But a dishonest fool is terrible!  And that's what I got at the conference, a  bunch of pompous fools, and I got very upset.  I'm not going to get upset like that again, so I won't participate in interdisciplinary conferences any more."

This "redistribution of wealth amongst countries" argument from the 50's sounds just like the "redistribution of wealth amongst individuals" prattle that the left ( including the President ) is trying to foist up the American people in our current day.

 It is an equally flawed idea and equally foolish.