brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

22Feb/05Off

Gutenberg Gem: Beeton’s Book of Needlework

CrochetToday's book which crossed the Distributed Proofreader's RSS feed and caught my eye is Beeton's Book of Needlework by Isabella Beeton. It includes all sorts of cool illustrations of tatting, embroidery, and crochet.

I'm about to admit to something which will undoubtably blow some serious cool-geek points: I've actually done embroidery before, and my grandmother Francis taught me to crochet when I was probably six or seven, and I'm still pretty good at it. She did remarkable work, and made many lovely, intricate doilies and mattes in ornate pineapple patterns. Every Christmas I think I should make a bunch of crocheted snowflakes like the ones she had on her tree, most of which have long since frayed and decomposed. Someday, I'll get to it. Crocheted snowflakes always remind me of her, as does certain Polish foods, good kosher pickles, and macaroni and cheese with sliced hot dogs. Francis, you are not forgotten.

Yes, I can crochet and embroider. And knit (not as well as crocheting, but still passable well). But I don't tat. Tatting is for quiche eating wimps.

Here is a nice link with some pineapple crochet patterns to get you all started.

22Feb/05Off

Robot Motors Ordered

Windshield Wiper Motor, Retarget For Evil RoboticsWell, in an effort to push my as-yet unstarted robotics project forward, I decided to begin as I always do: by spending money! I ordered two windshield wiper motors from American Science and Surplus which I hope will do for powering my little robotic minion around. I'll have to do an evaluation of their power before I set too many more design parameters, but they should be good enough to push a fairly good sized little bot around.

Now, I need to line up some 12v batteries and a charger, dust off my ammeter, and think about a test rig.

Addendum: I found this page which details a lot of the tests you can do on motors to help establish your robots overall performance characteristics. Good stuff.

22Feb/05Off

Does everything in the world require debugging?

This morning I'm try to cross off six or seven niggly tasks that require concentration but relatively little time. I didn't bring my iPod, so I've decided to fire up xmms with some of the mp3s that I ripped last year before I discovered podcasting. And it sounds terrible! Argh! Distraction!

What's the deal? I don't remember it being this crappy. Are my speakers crappy? Bad player? Is it just bad rips? Doh! I recorded them at 96kbps for some reason, and that is apparently not good enough.

And now, that's replaced whatever I had on the top of my priority stack. Well, damnit, I'm not going to rip CDs. I'm just going to work in silence.

I'll rerip 'em tomorrow.

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