2 Dec 2005 mirwin   » (Master)

Component Test

I powered up my brand new 900 watt Briggs & Stratton field generator ($500 from their web site last year) last night in the dark with a flashlight. Used it to light up one 100 watt light bulb (auto garage style) and my space jam board. Got a nasty ~60 hum feed through out of the key board so I played a couple of lackadaisical scales and shut it all down.

If I had been thinking clearly, getting the most data out of the capital funds expended for feuling flight operations to collect useful engineering data, I would have plugged in my two ups's and attempted to use a multi-meter to measure something useful instead of having to restart the generator for another test data run. However, what exactly I need I am not sure. What guarantees that enough of the harmonics are being filtered out to avoid damage to my laptop even if enough get through that it is occasionally unreliable and crashes?

I guess I better backup up the data .... it has some of my partially completed scifi concepts and operational scenarios, which means somehow I have to get a net up with portable talking to one of the two other Windows machines in the house with a cd burner, before I can proceed with testing my backup power supply for local grid, automation, or robot components and processes. Which is bad because I just found out that I can get Wireless at DSL speeds for about 50 bucks/month from local member of the Oregon Rural Internet Consortium (who have grandiose plans of repeaters on every useful hilltop for {among other things} reliable beacons, bugs, and handheld communicators to allow local tourists, criminals and citizens communicate effectively with each other and the local authorities and vigilante groups.

Anyway, 2 power sources, 2 paths (2 dsl, one dialup, 3 services, might all depend on local phone company fiber ... must check on paths out of County to Portland and San Francisco or maybe Boise))2 wire protocols ... talk to cd about independent radio digital relay.

The point is that I can start designing a data processing facility that I can operate responsibly (redundant diverse power and data transmission access) at my home cottage manufacturing site in the background when it is not busy doing engineering calculations, background scientific data crunching for philanthropic or Wikiversity purposes, or running an automated or robotized microfactory ... say laser etching glass or producing turing machines parts.

Anyway, I guess I better start learning how to use EBay. A friend of mine at the local flea market is selling an antique Multimeter for seven dollars. I wanted it bad, it was similar to models used in Electrical Fundamentals; labs that I labored through burdened with foreign language teaching assistants. I squeaked through with B's by glomming onto an effective studier whose only demand for allowing my participation on his efficient lab team was informing the ladies that they were not welcome in our lab groups. This turned out to be even more costly than I anticipated later as the lady in question was gorgeous, brilliant and ended up sitting next to the two of us in Engineering Economics. She was also witty and friendly, apparently interested, in one us anyway. I had extreme fantasies about asking her out (a major reason among quite a few for refusing to apply for the Air Force Academy despite generous salaries {they pay you instead of you paying them} was I was determined to learn how to interact with girls. How one can be a valedictorian in a school with sex education and a grid iron star (selected for East West Shrine Game, cost me two week pay but since I was on Air Force ROTC scholarship at the time I had to decide it was a relatively painless decision, even though I was eager to be done with football. I had decided that for me college was about studying Aerospace Engineering, not football and not becoming a military officer. Actually that came later when I could not get a straight answer about what my obligation was and when it was finished from my freshmen CO and ROTC unit.) without learning how to talk to girls and date? I do know. Idiot savant I guess. I am still single and inept but only 45, so with any luck I still have a few years to try learning some effective social skills. In a pinch I guess I can convert to Islam from Christianity and earn an interesting afterlife .... or buy a playboy fantasy CD and devise my own sinful demise. Bible tells us that we are what we think and choose and the wages of sin and refusing to choose redemption is ultimately permanent and final death.

I think she regretted that neither my buddy or I ever overcame our shame at our shabby discrimination against her and took a chance of getting turned down by asking her out. I wonder if she has put any scratches, dents or large holes in stainless steel cubicles? I would wager she is doing well somewhere, somehow; if not now then soon; as she certainly had her act together and the talent and loving willingness to forgive necessary to take her far .... unless she got tired out or worn down by another 500 slobs like me and my criminal crony wherever she chose to pursue a professional engineering career. Tonight I think I will pray for forgiveness and ask God to reallocate some of my good fortune her way in compensation for the valuable lessons and examples she patiently lavished on me and my buddy for an entire term after we had sinned grievously against her at what had to be a difficult time breaking into the male dominated engineering field in the U.S.A. An equal opportunity society filled with equal opportunity employers. Maybe God already has and it will not cost me much to admit my guilt, accept forgiveness from Jesuses blood sacrafice on my behalf, and get on with living a joyful creative life loving God and my fellow people while I explore some immediately accessible pieces of the universe, internal and external.

Anyway, the multimeter might make me some quick cash if other engineers my age find it worthy of refurbishment and collection (or purpose a museum or gift for an engineer somewhere?), could be reutilized as breadboard components, or at worst I can get my money's worth back from the investment by using it as a case study in liquidation of assets or creation of salvage value when attempting to phase transition from one project/company to another. I think I will buy it if it is still available as it is only seven dollars and I got an extra hundred in from an unanticipated partime task helping fix a roof.

Tomorrow I have to burn some Abbiword CDs, GIMP CDs, and looking for a simpler cut paste business graphics design tool ... you know, cards, letterhead, presentation, that sort of thing. Had a customer mention his requirements. He might show up again.

Friend of mine asked me if I had bought any tools yet applicable to casting some alimunum. I incorrectly told him no. I got some serious rock grinding tools that could be used in forming optics components, various jewel and machine parts or molds for commercially viable gizmos or simple forms ... like say belt buckles or ornaments or aluminum parts interchangeable with the dollar store's tiny hot wheel buildables ... not exactly open source cars yet but given Walmarts cheap supplies of radio controlled vehicles, robots.net summaries of compenents and sources, and the fact that local stores will not give me a nickel for crushed aluminum cans (so far I have been giving the crushed ones to Dad, they accept his count when returns his recyclables) I think I might grind a couple of forms. Power up the blow torch. And do some microcasting within a few months. Maybe I can cast a quarter's worth of tot's toy parts out of those stolen nickels that Oregon's recycling laws require local venders to refund. The law was written most carefully ... actually I need to read it for myself again before I discuss the failure to remunerate with local store managers or file a complaint with the DA's office for non-compliance.

Probably easier to just cast the can into Mickel Nickels commemmorating some local sports championships and sell them for a dime apiece to the local kids and booster clubs for resale at local school functions. Expand the market volume a bit by selling similar line simultaneously to guest's fans. Maybe encrypt and lasar etch some secret public data like the bottling laws they have locked up in the local law library that nobody can use and allow local activists, saboteurs and citizens demanding their rights to read the actual law via homemade microscopes. I guess maybe I should donate some money this month to Oregon Public Broadcast Corporation ... their kiddy programs seem to be helping me remember stuff I used to know. Like how to love myself and others effectively while having fun learning something useful and potentially profitable. Maybe I am finally arriving at the future potential points I invested so much work trying to achieve recognition so somebody would give me a chance or permission.

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