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Showing posts from 2018

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Here's that repainted Iron Man helmet and glove. They're on their way to a stranger courtesy of redditgifts, the world's largest gift exchange. Sign up, it's fun! Link to Instagram

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My friend at @point.line_projects helped put together this exhibit! It's a 50-year timeline of social progress in #architecture. If you're in Hollywood, check it out, it's going on into October. Link to Instagram

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The cookie doesn't lie! The hospital I work at just broke into US News & World Reports' top ten! #goteam #wearenumber8 Link to Instagram

I repainted these Iron Man nightlights

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Tony received these two Iron Man nightlights ("light up wall art") several months ago.  Neither of us felt they fit our style, partially because they were a bit cheap looking, so he decided to sell or discard them back in June when he was decluttering.  I saw an opportunity, though, and decided to have a go at painting them before we got them out of the house.

Painting props is its own hobby and community within the hobbies/communities of cosplay, toy collecting, and replica building.  Individuals will buy toys -- frequently cheap looking toys -- and enhance the quality to that of a piece of genuine art by redoing the mediocre machine-printed details by hand.  I watch a lot of YouTube videos that touch on this.  Most relevant is Cosplay Chris, a burly Aussie who makes his living creating costumes and pop culture collectables and letting fans watch his process.  On Tested, former prop maker and nerd celebrity Adam Savage builds models as well.  And then there's Punished P…

Easy Free-Standing Sun Shade

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I finished the write-up for the sun shade I built in June.  Take a gander.
Easy Free-Standing Sun Shade [Instructables.com]

Work, Travel, Work: A busy month

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I've been busy.  Work got pretty exciting, and then I went on vacation.

The vacation was built around friends' wedding.  Since it was in Pennsylvania, I really made the most of my trip.

First, I spent two days in Pittsburgh, during which time I hung out with family: my mom, my grandmother, and my niece, as well as my aunt and sister, as much as the short time allowed.  We went to the zoo, and I watched the first episode of this amazing Turkish drama on Netflix that my grandmother is into (it's called Kurt Seyit ve Şura, you're welcome).  I also met up with two high school friend's for dinner, and in one case tennis.  It was like what a child imagines grown-up life is like.

Then, after about 48 hours of compressed bonding in Pittsburgh, I drove up to Erie with Jack, my mom, and my sister.  We biked along the beach, and hung out on the beach, and saw the new Mr. Rogers documentary, "Won't You Be My Neighbor".  I'd give it a B: it was surprisingly mi…

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#Table10 at the Schillo/Virant #wedding: represent! Link to Instagram

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I wish all my projects were this colorful #diy #craftday Link to Instagram

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Geez, I feel like I'm taking photos from this tree every month now #familiesbelongtogether #returnthechildren #icantbelieveimhashtaggingthis #abolishice


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Poor Seamus does NOT like the run-up to Fourth of July. #dog πŸŽ‰πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸŒ‹πŸ”₯🌎πŸ”₯☣


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Building an Underwater Photo Booth: Pt 1

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My current project is a collaboration with Jack to build an underwater photo booth.  It lets users take four photos with the push of a button, then uploads them to a cloud drive so folks can post pics of themselves at the pool as soon as they dry their hands off.


There are numerous great online instruction manuals for building a photo booth using a Raspberry Pi, so that part was the first which we completed, and it went pretty quickly.

The hardware consists of five key parts:
A Raspberry Pi mini computer, which runs the camera.A Raspberry Pi camera module, which is similar to the kind of camera in most cell phoneA display screen.  This is a small LCD screen that cost about $40.A display control board.  I don't fully understand that magic that makes this work, but it takes the images that the Raspberry Pi sends over an HDMI cable, and it translates them so the LCD screen can make images.A battery to power it.And a button that works through the waterproof housing. The current step h…

Designing the kennel club of tomorrow

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If you aren't aware, the process of dog breeding is controversial.  On one hand, most of us love the products of breeding: the lovable Golden Retriever, the fearsome German Shepard, the whimsical Dachshund.  Unfortunately, these breeds can only exist so long as we continue to mate two dogs of the same breed to make a litter of new breed members, and the unpleasant truth is that we know that in doing so we're promoting birth defects.  It's long past time we thought about how to improve this practice.

Dog breeds are defined by kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC).  These clubs hold shows where judges assess which dog looks most like the kind of dog it is supposed to be, and these winners go on to sire puppies who will carry forward the noble blood line of the breed.  The concept makes simple sense.  In order to continue having Saint Bernards, gather a bunch together, find the male and female that look the most like a classic…

Building an ROV is hard

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If you've read this blog for a while -- a long while -- you might know that I have been working on an underwater ROV on and off for more than a year.  This is another update.

The good is that last year, I had a crude body for the Remotely Operated Vehicle.  It had propellers that were hooked up to a battery and spun.  It had a microcontroller that told them when to spin.  It had a Raspberry Pi single board computer to receive instructions over a USB tether and send them to the microcontroller.  And I had a program that would read data from a joystick over a long USB cord.  I finally thought that I just about had some kind of system I could put in water and drive around with a controller.
Not so fast.
The defining feature of an underwater ROV is that it goes underwater.  Which means that the electronics need to be inside of a waterproof enclosure.  And since radio waves don't travel underwater*, there needs to be a cable that passes from the user outside of the water, into the …

My DIY How-To Guide for My Infinity War Jacket

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I finished my How-To guide describing how I made my Captain America Jacket.  I'm thrilled with the result, because my goal was to make a jacket that I could wear outside of traditional costume-appropriate situations, and it worked.  I wore the jacket to several social events last weekend, and got numerous compliments.  To my surprise, quite a few people recognized that it was a Captain America-themed jacket.  I don't know if that was inference or recognition of the costume it's based on, but I love it.

Instructables Guides:
Captain America / U.S. Agent Artificial Leather Jacket
Captain America Shield Harness & Belt

One Possible Outcome of the Korea Talks

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I have a new prediction.

I think that Kim will agree to fully denuclearize in exchange for America's complete military withdrawal from South Korea. He'll agree to periodic inspections by the UN Atomic Energy Comission in exchange for a complete end to sanctions. He'll add in programs to allow families increased ability to visit one another across borders and favorable trade opportunities between North Korea, South Korea, and China.

Trump and Bolton and company will refuse to accept any deal in which the US leaves South Korea.  South Korea, however, will see a deal too good to pass up.  South Korea will tell the US that if the US doesn't agree to the deal, South Korea is going to be forced to publicly break from the US and eject them.

The US will come to some compromise, perhaps withdraw all but 5,000 troops over 10 months, while insisting that it was their complete decision to do so.  Even so, Trump and co. will refuse to relax sanctions on North Korea and possibly …

Tony wrote a novel (and it's great!)

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Tony wrote a novel.  It's an Iron Man novel, naturally, but it's really a stellar product that stands up whether you like the comic book character or not.  It's not confined to the typical superhero genre, either.  It's a psychological thriller with science fiction elements.

archiveofourown.org/works/13791474

Check it out.  It's GOOD.

Cosplaying an Infinity War Premier in Hollywood

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Tony, Jack, myself and a bunch of other friends dressed up to see Avengers: Infinity War at the Arclight Hollywood, and it was a blast.

I started my costume six weeks ago, because I wanted to do something pretty ambitious.  I'd made a Captain America costume for Civil War in 2016, and based on the lessons I'd learned, I wanted to make this costume as a leather jacket that I could use as an actual day-to-day jacket.  I also decided that I didn't like the costume Cap wears in this new film, and so I'd ignore it completely and make something like what I thought his costume should've been.

The outcome
The final result was this jacket, a harness, and a belt.  It's made of some kind of artificial leather.


The outfit is based off the uniform a disaffected Steve Rogers adopted when he renounced his identity as Captain America in 1988.  In the movie (left, below), Captain America is wearing the costume from his previous movie, but it's distressed and darkened.  On t…