Monday, July 7, 2014

portland, maine wind turbine game

Hey second westers far and wide.  Here's the report from a southerly part of a northerly state.
Cruftbike continues to accrue miles.  Seven each way, five days a week.  and that’s just the baseline.  Every part of the bike is at least secondhand.  I respect it, its numerous ball bearings, its sinewy cables, and its clapped-out chain.  Brakes in good shape?  Tires hard?  let’s ride.  I feel a warm optimism to know that bicycles exist in great numbers, and that their parts are plentiful and interchangeable.
IMG_1003IMG_1084  IMG_1005

they pitch out a lot of nice food in the city of Portland.  Good thing cruftbike has hauling capabilities.
dumpster treats for the fourth

At the 9-5 I make and modify some real wonky looking hunks of metal in the machine shop.  I am working with a bunch of people to make affordable, reliable wind turbines for your back yard.
here's a picture I took of one of the turbines back in March.
that's an 80 foot tall guyed tower.  way tall!  We raise and lower it with a lever arm about a third the height of the tower, some cable, and a pickup truck in first gear.  The lever is called a gin pole. I've been told that's because you drink gin on it when the job is done.

and here are some rad chunks of junk that I have a hand in.  They are experimental turbine parts, and parts of machines that make more turbine parts.
IMG_1058 IMG_1121 IMG_1148 IMG_1146IMG_1018
I got my other bike running and legal back in Boston last weekend.  Carbs cleaned, new tires, tank de-rusted (mostly).   An inline fuel filter keeps us moving.   My first good ride after the MSF course was the trip back up to Portland.  I split it between route 1, I-295, and I-95.  We got there in one piece with no hiccups.
the price for true freedom is eternal vigilance
there’s something special about tinkering with the innards of the thing that hauls you down the freeway at speeds that walking feet can’t comprehend.   
I took this picture at a Goodwill in south Portland.  it seems that cheapos on decade old ninja 250s shop at goodwill and get 80 MPG.
at goodwill.  frugal riders ride ninja 250s
Portland is pretty small compared to Boston.  It’s a short ride on either bike to get out of the city and feel like it too.
machining by day, scrounging and reading by night.  spacing and wandering on weekends.  yeah, I’d say it’s summer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Xi'an and the Terra Cotta Army

Hi Putz!
Hello from Shanghai!  As you may know I'm interning this summer in China, but i get the weekends off (kinda) to go travel.  This past weekend I went to Xi'an to see the Terra Cotta soldiers.  There are 8,000 soldiers in total to protect the dead emperor of China who's buried in a tomb near by.  The soldiers include foot soldiers, generals, and kneeling archers.  When the soldiers were found they were in pieces because the wooden roof above them had collapsed and the 5m of dirt above them crushed the soldiers.  All of the whole soldiers today have been rebuilt.  It can take a year to rebuild a soldier.  Pictures are below.
Eating Pig Feet in Shanghai

Plague explaining how a farmer found the soldiers while digging a well in 1974 and was the first to tell the government of its existence.

Tomb 1 filled with soldiers, the solders in the front have been rebuilt

Me with the soldiers 

Some of the soldiers being rebuilt, notice the details on their faces

What the soldiers looked like when they were found

The special kneeling archer soldier, the profile looks like the shape of the province where they are located 

One of the same bronze chariot and horses, its made to look like a turtle shell and carry the wealthy

Temple in the middle of Xi'an City

A road in Xi'an city, there's a lot of people in China

The kneeling archer soldiers broke less because they are short.  The remains of the wooden housing can be seen on either side of the soldier remains.  

Have a happy summer Putz!!

Nancy: Summer 2014 Updates

Here are some miscellaneous updates.

I went backpacking with Judy, James, and Marcela, and saw some ponies. It was a 5 day long trip, 40 miles, over the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

Last week I went sea kayaking out to an island at night and camped there

We built adorable robots for 6.01, but they aren't going to be using them :( sorry folks, we fell prey to murphy's law

The boat was moved to the tune of a few hundred dollars. We are still trying to get it titled and registered and work on it to finish it up so we can sail to boston harbor islands this summer with friends and go camping >__<


I've been learning diptrace and am pretty comfortable designing and ordering printed circuit boards now. Here are some tiny stepper motors that are so small you could eat them:

Here is a sneak preview of the next product I've been working on almost 24/7 for the last month for NarwhalEdu:

That's all for now. See you all around! Excited there's so much activity on the blog lately.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Taste of Italy

As some of you may know, I have recently departed Boston to fuck around for half a year before moving to the bay area like all good little software engineers end up doing. My first stop was a post-graduation trip (for Angela, just a ... I don't know. Post-whatever-the-fuck-I've-been-doing trip for me) to Italy. I've been blogging over at, but I thought I'd review some choice highlights here.

1) Dicks. So many dicks. There will be even more dicks in the future in the post on visiting Pompeii. Like literal dick windchimes with little dick arms and wings AND THEIR OWN PERSONAL SMALLER DICKS.

Yes, Putz. You will be receiving this postcard shortly at some point.

2) Angela and I found our future selves on the streets on Venice. Oops.

3) We visited a place named the Doge's palace. Angela giggled every time. No we have no idea how it's actually pronounced.

4) LITERAL BLOOD IN THE SISTINE CHAPEL. EW. Also, anxiety attacks.

5) Gelato!

6) Food in general!

7) SO MUCH Italian history knowledge. And random facts about statues.

Love you all! I've only been drunk for about 30% of this trip, so you should be proud.

Waiting to hear about all your adventures! Love,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Oil Adventures

Yay!  Finally enough motivation to blog post.   First of all, if you're reading this send me a postcard from wherever!  I collect :)  My address is at the end.

I'm back in Houston for the summer!  Spent the week before in California but that's another blog post for another time.  Last Saturday, I played a beach ultimate tournament down in Galveston with a mixed club team in Houston.  The theme was 80's throwback and so we looked awesome.  As you can see for yourself.

Then Monday was the first day of work!  After driving an hour in the morning I finally got here.   Halliburton's Headquarters is sooo much nicer than I thought it would be.  This is where I'll be working:  The Technology Center.  I'm interning in the Wireline & Perforating Product Service Line which is basically used to lower tools and measure conditions down an oil well.

But!  For all of Monday and Tuesday I spent all my time in this building across this pretty lake going through Intern Orientation which was very loooonggg and all about safety and such.  This place is the epitome of corporate America.  The dress code is pretty strict but so far I haven't had to punch anyone for my hair.  There's also a fancy cafeteria and a gym on campus!  This place isn't Google - so still have to pay for the food, but it's still a lot nicer than I was expecting....I can see why it's soo lucrative to work here...  

My evenings right now are spent trying to find people to play ultimate with.  I miss friends.  You should write and share what you're up to so I can pretend to feel some closure of distance between us. 

5555 New Territory Blvd, Apt 12108
Sugar Land, TX 77479