Category Archives: miscellaneous

One of My Favorite TV Shows from Way Back

Back in the day (new­ly mar­ried) the DH and I used to watch a lot of the dis­cov­ery chan­nel. One of the most charm­ing shows was The Secret Life of Machines.

rug beating for fun

Every­day items like vac­u­um clean­ers, wash­ing machines, and quartz watch­es explained by decon­struc­tion and wacky lit­tle ani­ma­tions. A lit­tle like the David Macaulay books.

The full 18 episodes of the Secret Life of Machines is now avail­able online at The Secret Life of Machines web­site. Also be sure to fol­low the link to Oth­er Hunkin Sites for more car­toony good­ness from the cre­ator.

BTW: there’s a cool site for the David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work book as well. Love those mastodons!

Opinion — Good Cop Have a Doughnut

This week­end was garage and barn tidy time. Which inevitably results in a trip to the local trans­fer sta­tion.

Load up the flatbed trail­er and hitch it up to the adven­ture truck (don’t for­get to take a dog along!) and off we go.

40 min­utes lat­er we pull onto the scale at the trans­fer sta­tion and the cheer­ful lady looks us over and says “Hey you just slid right in here didn’t you. Nice job with cov­er­ing your load.” and I’m think­ing well duh.

  • First thought- it’s the law that you have to cov­er your load and
  • Sec­ond though — yeah I know no-one else does it but I don’t feel like being that kind of ass­hole.


  • Oh, third thought com­ing up here. That state troop­er that we saw sit­ting at the cor­ner…

covered load

That’s right — tak­ing advan­tage of the first nice week­end of the year to do a lit­tle lurk­ing out­side the trans­fer sta­tion tick­et­ing the Escalade and Avalance dri­vers for uncov­ered loads.

Note that here in the pro­gres­sive Pacif­ic North­west we do not have “dumps” we have trans­fer sta­tions. Because we sure as hell aren’t keep­ing our trash here. Also note that irony of the fact that we who live in the mid­dle of nowhere must dri­ve into Kirk­land (trendy mid­town) to get rid of our junk.

Jim’s DS Box

So here’s what Jim want­ed me to make him.

A box for his Nin­ten­do.

handmade box for nintendo DS

It’s sim­i­lar to the fold­ing box. In fact it start­ed out like the fold­ing box but then I closed up the sides so that it would be eas­i­er to use the DS while it was still in the box. (Hence the drop front.) In this case the back side cor­ners are closed only by the book cloth lin­er. If I had it to make again I’d glue the side boards togeth­er.

The box is closed with a but­ton and a loop of elas­tic.

closure for blue DS box

All togeth­er not bad for some­thing I made up on the fly.

One thing that I love about drop front box­es is how they seem to be a part of what­ev­er they hold rather than just inci­den­tal to it.


A few months ago I moved some things — includ­ing the files for this blog — around on the servers. It all seemed to go just fine — until…

I upgrad­ed the word­press installs. All the old­er image links broke. Luck­i­ly I fig­ured out just how they broke. It’s tak­en a cou­ple of hours but all the images and links in the old­er posts and gallery pages should work again.

Is Google the Next Microsoft?

I was upgrad­ing Word­Press installs this morn­ing and found this in the drafts fold­er of my old blog Magpie’s Shiny Things.

Is Google the Next Microsoft

Yeah, prob­a­bly, so what?

The mar­ket demands that there be an easy, no brain­er, can’t pos­si­bly get in trou­ble for choos­ing solu­tion for the vast major­i­ty.

Tools need to be one stop shop­ping, easy stan­dard­iza­tion and all from a sin­gle source — If you buy all MSFT prod­ucts they work togeth­er (most­ly.) If you use all Google web apps they work togeth­er (not yet but Google under­stands how impor­tant this is.)

Just like in the past (and present) every­one else had to offer the abil­i­ty to read and write to the MSFT file for­mats in their appli­ca­tions every­one else on the web will have to do so the same with the new Google apps.

So Google will be the next 800 pound goril­la and the sun will con­tin­ue to rise in the east. (Unless of course MSFT gets it act togeth­er and man­ages to get Live real­ly work­ing.) And we, the mass­es, will learn that Google is not a benign grand­fa­ther­ly enti­ty that opens doors to the won­ders of the ‘net.

Not much changes, if I were writ­ing this 20 years ago the ques­tion would be Microsoft is it the next IBM.

The answer is more clear­ly yes today than it was in Sept 2007 when I wrote this.

I will be reviv­ing MST. Some­how adding my thoughts on Web Devel­op­ment to a blog meant to be read by fam­i­ly and friends who want to com­pare the state of our var­i­ous flower beds and sewing projects seems well… odd.


This pho­to of Wood­inville-Duvall Road through the Sno­qualmie val­ley was sent to Jim by Jer­ry one of the fel­lows in SVARC. The “un-offi­cial” ver­sion is that it will take 4 days to fix. We sur­mise that it’s dam­age to the road sur­face and not to the under­ly­ing bridge struc­ture because the traf­fic cam­era showed an ambu­lance cross­ing ear­li­er this morn­ing.

woodinveill-duvall road 09 jan 2009

wood­inville-duvall road 09 jan 2009

W-D road rarely clos­es due to flood­ing. Now we’ll have to wait for 124th to open. Which could be days yet.

At 11:30(ish) this morn­ing the traf­fic cam­eras on 124th (south of town) showed:

from the roundabout facing west across the valley

124th from the 203 round­about fac­ing west

from west snoqualmie valley road facing east

124th from west sno­qualmie val­ley road fac­ing east

Live cam­era cov­er­age for the mor­bid­ly nat­ur­al dis­as­ter obcessed here:

Traf­fic cam­era of W-D Road here. (It’s off-line at the moment 11:22 am)

Traf­fic cam­era of 124th (our next best hope) here fac­ing east across the val­ley and here fac­ing west.

Flood Update — and Gallery Test

We drove to town this after­noon to get the mail (Yeah, I know no way for us to get out = no way for the mail to get in.)

I got these shots of Cher­ry Val­ley and the Sno­qualmie Riv­er (from a mov­ing vehi­cle…)

<click for larg­er images>

Note that the lit­tle white peaks in the last pic­ture are the tops of a set of 6 indus­tri­al sized green­hous­es.

— —  —  —  —  — -

This is also a chance to try the Word­Press gallery plu­g­in that now comes with the vanil­la install. meh, not bad, but not great either.