overly-packaged geiger tube
Tuesday, December 8 2015
This afternoon, I went on a firewood-gathering foray a little further south on the Stick Trail than I'd gone yesterday. Just below the trail, I felled a skeletonized Black Oak trunk that was part of a cluster of tree trunks rising from a common set of roots. It was only about four or five inches thick, and fell easily due to heart rot (and Carpenter Ant galleries) near the base. The rest of the tree seemed bone-dry, though the top ten or so feet broke off as a piece when it fell, suggesting weakness higher up. Sure enough, I found the cap of a fruiting mushroom (an unusual sight this time of year) peeking out from a woodpecker hole. The wood was nevertheless so dry that I could only strap a load weighing 96 pounds to my backpack for the walk back home.
Later this afternoon, I decided to run some errands in town so as to give Gretchen some alone-time. I loaded the dogs and headed out to 9W, stopping first at the post office to pick up an overly-packaged geiger tube I'd bought on eBay. It had been shipped from Ukraine (where they would have a big need for these), and for some reason it demanded my signature (evidently yesterday our delivery guy decided to be lazy and fill out a "sorry we missed you" ticket instead of driving into our driveway). After getting a few things at Home Depot (Lowes was completely sold out of hydronic antifreeze) and the liquor store, I drove out on Route 28 and checked to see if there were any new treasures at the Tibetan Center's thrift shop. There were indeed, but they were either ridiculous or had flaws that revealed themselves with a cursory inspection. There was, for example, a wireless keyboard/trackpad combination for a home theater computer that lacked the all-important USB dongle. And there was a device (apparently from the 1980s) for putting an overlay of text (and other graphic effects) over a television picture. I almost bought that last one, but then when I thought about it, I couldn't imagine any worthy use for such device given the available technology of our present time. It was a little after 4:00pm as I headed homeward on Dug Hill Road, and already dusk had begun. This didn't prevent me from running the dogs around a little at the West Hurley Park.
This evening I fabricated a replacement for the fold-out "third leg" holding up my recently de-proprietized Apple Cinema Display HD. The original leg had been made of a clear plastic (I suspect some form of polystyrene), and had cracked off at the screws holding it to an aluminum piece protuding from the back of the display. Someone had tried to glue it back together, but that glue had failed and, when my regluing also failed, I decided to make a replacement. This was a simple job; I found a scrap of Cor-ten steel in the garage, drilled holes along one edge so it could be attached the protruding aluminum nub, and bent it so it would form a leg without protruding too far backwards. The hardest thing about the fabrication was getting the holes to match those in the aluminum nub. Even though I had the cracked-off plastic to use as a template, my holes (drilled with a drill press) still were off by as much as a half a millimeter. So I had to make them larger, and that's not easy with standard drill bits. (This reminds me; I need a set of thin router bits designed to cut sideways.)
I used my newly-restored monitor to replace a smaller one attached to the Hackintosh I keep in on the table in the middle of the laboratory's east wall-ceiling. It took up much more room than the old one, but the place where it sits turned out to be so perfect that now I'm tempted to get a couch for the laboratory. If I had that, I'd have a great place for watching movies when Gretchen is on a multi-hour television tear.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next