Posted in In the Shop

3D Print PLUS Magic Marker

I tried printing this replacement keyboard key that features a microphone, finally got a good consistency by turning the heat down a bit. However, the microphone was hard to see because it’s the same color/material as the body of the key.

So I hit the surface with my trusty magic marker, now the microphone really pops.

Still, it looks odd. I have ordered some black filament and plan to contrast that with red marker, or maybe white appliance scratch repair paint if it hasn’t dried up. Stay tuned!

Posted in In the Shop

3D Print resembles Overdone Grilled Cheese

I was puzzled by the odd “puddle” base and the bubbly texture when we printed this substitute keyboard key. Then, I realized that it reminds me of the time I cooked a grilled cheese sandwich too hot and wound up with a similar situation. [expander_maker more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

UPDATE: I am new at this! The puddle base is called a “brim” and helps the object you are printing adhere to the glass for that crucial first layer. I printed one at 195 today and it turned out solid looking, unfortunately the microphone symbol on top of the key is hard to see. Perhaps I should print a “blank” key and then laser-engrave the top. [/expander_maker]

Posted in Geocaching

THE PUP geocache could use some “Deep Woods OFF”.

We recently found a geocache called “THE PUP” in Lake Stevens- in some lovely woods behind the senior center.

Teresa found a safety cone for her walking stick. The cache was on a a winding trail where it wasn’t always clear if you were on the trail or a side path. Couple that with the trees throwing off the GPS signal, it took a while to find. I was 50 feet away when Teresa let out a whoop.

If it was easier to find, and if the mosquitos weren’t so aggressive, THE PUP would get a “favorite” from us, because of the nice trail and safe location.

Posted in Back in My Day

Mt. St. Helens ash? Or just fireplace sweepings?

Today is the 39th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, May 18th 1980. I was just 20 then, and barely noticed the ash fall; I lived and worked in the gritty industrial area around Seattle’s Harbor Island. My car was always covered with gritty crap anyway. Then again, my girlfriend at the time was living in Spokane, and they had to put pantyhose over their carburetors, which was a popular car part at the time.

A whole industry sprang up overnight, many souvenirs purported to contain the oddly valuable ash. And then there were the books and VHS tapes (ask your mom).

There was the lodge caretaker who refused to be evacuated, because before his wife passed away they had vowed to never leave Spirit Lake.

Mr. Truman lived at the lodge with his 16 cats right up to the end. (Although I have it on good authority that cat 14 said “Screw this! I’m out of here!” and left the week before. Animals can sense these things.)

There was a National Geographic photographer and others who perished up there too. Mother nature always wins.

Posted in In the Shop

3D Printing is more about machine tweaking than printing

We just got a Bibo 3D printer/Laser Engraver, been trying to put it together; Ran into this poorly installed fan…

That was an easy fix, maybe the screw backed out in transit.

More concerning, we got it all put together, but it won’t power up. I took the cover off the power area (Probably frowned on). There was a wire running from the power switch to the power supply at A9, and it had broken off on the switch side. I was going to put a new connector on it and be good to go, but I would have to strip the wire a bit and it was already just too short. I think that’s why it had broken.

I could probably scrounge up a similar wire, but since it is a power supply component, I emailed Bibo and asked them for a replacement, slightly longer wire. Bibo is known for excellent customer service so I am fairly confident that they will follow up. If not, I can scrounge something up. Stay tuned!

Posted in Back in My Day

Ethyl has gas.

Used to be some gasoline had a proprietary antiknock compound in it called “Ethyl”. If I had been old enough to be a gas station attendant back then, and if someone asked for the gas with Ethyl in it, I would have been obligated to mutter “If Ethyl don’t mind!” and then spill gas on the side of their car. I saw the movie “Duel” again recently, and it reminded me.

I saw that movie when I was 13 and ever since then, my family has had to deal with me exclaiming “You can’t beat me on the grade!!” whenever driving uphill.

Posted in Mildly Interesting

What Happened to the Restless Mouse?

After about 20 years, The Restless Mouse Novelty Company is packing it in. Closing our doors. Shutting down, shutting up, and moving on.

We are selling our remaining inventory on ebay, craigslist, the local auction house, basically, whatever works.

Ideally, in a few months, there will be room in the garage for a ping-pong table, or a Ferrari.

Hopefully, Teresa won’t fill it up with gardening stuff to convert the lean-to in the back yard into a “she shed”.