Monday, January 14, 2013

ShapelockTripod Redux

Normally I prefer not to follow through and, if I do, I like to make sure it isn't in any timely manner. Nobody is perfect. I've been off work during the last week. Too much time on my hands means more creating and blog posting.

Here is the set up for my creative process. You can see the 1st generation of the tripod mount in action--on top of a jar of whole wheat spaghetti. My iPhone 5 was mounted there while recording the video below.
The setup
Like me, this video isn't for everyone. It will likely be very boring. However, if you would like to see 12 minutes or less on how easy Shapelock is to use (no I don't own stock) or just how I go about doing one of my DIYs, this is the video for you. I will also accept "loves the soothing sound of Mike's voice" :)

I'll put a few highlights for casual observers:

messy counter - highlighting the filthy perils of not using a tripod
prototype "soother keeper"
I'm going back in time today. Below is a collection of Shapelock goodies from the past. In an attempt to make things easier to find, I am also adding the label/tag "maker" to any of my DIY, modding and fabrication type postings.
Also, for your dilection, I have combined all my shapelock photos into a single photo album including the one on the left (beard added to protect the innocent).

**for Dave and others who may have trouble commenting on posts. the executive summary is: log into blogger 1st or don't use desktop Safari (based on the very limited testing below).

I'm sure there are too many ways things could go wrong for me to count. I did some exploratory testing this morning. I tried Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. I only had trouble posting in Safari (mobile worked, desktop did not), but this was remedied if I logged into blogger before trying to comment. I didn't try Internet Explorer, because I don't have it. It's not an exhaustive attempt, but don't say I never did anything for you.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Shapelock Tripod

Wendy suggested I record the kids debating this week. She wants to debrief them to enhance their skill development rate. To me, it just means sore arms as I hold my phone steady for 15 minutes at a time. So, in this case, Wendy really is the "mother of invention." And she has encouraged me to combine my love of four things: Shapelock, my iPhone, photography and creating

It took me a while, but I eventually realized that I didn't need two rare-earth magnets to hold my phone in place. Now I just have a stainless steel disk on my phone attached with a really awesome two-faced tape. No the tape doesn't dry out. Yes, it's easy to remove. I suppose if you were a bit of a wimp or using a phone case already, you could just mount the disk to it. I like my phone sleek and scratchy.
Going with a shorter bolt next time
  1. Disk, Magnet and housing from Lee Valley
  2. 4" bolt - 1/4" threads
  3. Spiffy long nut - 1/4" threads
  4. Shapelock. I don't exactly know how much, but if you got the free sample from their website, you could probably make 10 or more similar projects and reuse the materials virtually endlessly.

I'm very happy with this prototype. I plan to shorten the bolt to make it balance more securely on the smallest tripod I've got, which is very nice for cooking and reading. Total cost is roughly $5. It's made more valuable by the fact that I own three tripods already and the phone goes from my belt clip to tripod to handheld in 1 second flat.
Leo made the penguin pencil holder last year
Perhaps I'll paint the assembly once I get it just how I want it. So, hopefully never.


Pretty grand title for a post. I guess I'm feeling pretty grand.
speaking of thousands... I ran into Mathemagic yesterday on G+ (which still not enough of you are using) via Keentalks. It's an hour long, so most of you are not likely to have time to enjoy it right away, if ever. The first 20 minutes are a math "magic" act. The last 40 minutes is a Q&A session (and very limited sales pitch) about how he does his thing.

I found it really inspiring. Spent the last half of my day being sighed at by my family as I ran through the house pointing at people and shouting "Give me a two digit number," and then wrinkled up my forehead, muttering to myself. This was followed with an answer and some kind and a disclaimer. "3364! I don't know if that's right, but I want applause... right now."

If you want to learn how, here is a description of the easy way to square any 2 digit number starting at 25:46 in the video. Trust me. It's fun.

A few other highlights that you won't want to miss:

Okay, more. +Elan Morgan has been writing poetry on her blog. I read one in her Schmoetry section and it inspired me to take a picture, which lead to my own depressing work of art
You are welcome for that.

This has inspired me all week.
Wendy made me a reading nook. Happiness.
Today's blog is a heads up. Our whole family is feeling better. We were in pretty rough shape over Christmas and I feel badly about it. If comfy couches, math and bad poetry don't make you feel better, I certainly don't know what will.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Winter Update 2012

I've got a lot to cover here. Let's get right to it.

One thing has dominated how our family has operated for the past 2 months. Leora's show. When last we talked spoke (for more than an instant) Leora had begun rehearsals for The Sound of Music. We knew it was going to be a stretch for her and the family. Boy, were we right. On paper, we went into the commitment with our eyes fully open. Persephone was upfront and correct about the time required. It still didn't prepare us for how draining it would be on the family.

The last couple of weeks of rehearsals were 12 hour days with a break in the middle. I would drop her off at the Ramai Arts Bldg., pick her up during a supper break, take her back to the theatre and pick her up at the end of the day. Factoring in waiting around etc... it worked out to about 90 min/day of driving/waiting. Leo missed several days of school. Then the performances actually began. She did 8 shows per week from Tuesday to Sunday. She got Monday off, which is to say that she only went to school and did homework. Her friends began observing that she wasn't quite as fun as usual. I'll second that!

Did not take this photo. Wendy would not let me bring my camera :(
Anwyn continued to work on her basketball skills and began to lament what it must be like for her cousin January to be an only child. She and Leora are so close. It really hit her hard to have her constant companion gone. Anwyn maintained better balance than the rest of us during this time. For her, Leora's absence actually meant more time for herself, so although she was lonely, she wasn't over worked. She has been  very busy doing math and, writing/editing with some of her new ACTAL classmates at Greystone.

Meanwhile, Wendy has had her work load doubled up and the people she works with have been wound as tight as a drum. Trying to divest herself of responsibilities inevitably caused more work for those around her. This is still an ongoing problem, but she is now getting some recognition and support from her supervisors.

As I told some of you, Wendy was also honoured to receive the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award. She was nominated for her years of volunteerism with Sask. Debate and Drama Associations.

In typical Wendy style, she managed to evade G.G. David Johnston when he was in Regina. Not savvy to the ways of politicians seeking photo ops, she didn't anticipate that he would send the Lieutenant Governor, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, to hunt her down to complete the presentation.

I was busy in November growing facial hair for an entire month. It was exhausting and itchy. Well, itchy anyway. I did cheat and shave early because I was asked to read books to a group of children as part of a CUPE commercial. The unenlightened in charge of the shoot thought it best if I didn't do my best pedophile impression while asking for community support. Whatever.

At the same time, Jim Drake has offered to give me some lessons in pencil drawing. In the limited time I have available I have made an effort to improve (whatever that means). Other than $50 in pencils and paper, I'm not sure what I'm accomplishing... but, it's more fun to do than I would have thought.

Now for some quick photo highlights from Christmas.

Pre-Christmas Pool

Christmas Eve

We had a great meal at James and Jamie's. Liz and I took the kids out for our usual lights tour (Wendy was sick this year). Liz paid for us to stop by the Lights Tour at the Forestry Farm.
Diakuw/James children FINALLY learn to do Christmas dishes :)

Our Christmas Day at Home

We relaxed and opened presents by ourselves.
Obligatory Christmas Socks
One of Wendy's presents... Random mirrors!
My Girls!!!
Anwyn quickly masters the "flip and spin"
I'm worrying less about teenage boys now

Boxing day with the Pollards

As usual we played Canasta, board games and ate lots of leftovers.
I goad the children into having some fun
Strange new game "casualties"
All the "Under 18's"... Absent Molly and January
Photos Here