Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to California and Busy as Usual

Saturday I finally flew back to California. Hawaii was a good time, but I was looking forward to going back to a state where I wasn't the only one with somewhere to be. I can't tell you how great it felt to get on the freeway and drive more than 45 miles per hour. I ended up taking a circuitous route all over the place just so I could enjoy going fast for a while before going back to the boat and passing out.

Sunday morning I met up with Rose and her friend Jane for breakfast. Then it was time to put in what few hours I would be able to put in for the Sea Scouts annual fundraiser. When I got there I found that they'd shrink-wrapped Rose's truck while she was at breakfast:

Oddly she blamed me for this.

Shortly after I showed up, I was stationed out at the main gate to collect parking fees. Within the first couple of hours that I was there, some of the scouts decided to dress up my car too:

The day ended pretty late and everyone headed off in their various directions. It turns out Rose was house-sitting for a friend. So, since I was already blamed for it, I decided I might as well experience the joy of shrink-wrapping Rose's truck:
Late June 002

The end result made me happy. You can tell I did it because the plastic wrap was as much as two inches thick in places. Awesome:
Late June 001

Monday was blistering hot and I was miserable trying to get anything done in the workshop. Instead I ended up running around all over the place shopping for tools and whatnot. On the way back from Santa Rosa, I ended up driving by the first sizeable brush fires I've seen this year:
Brush Fires No word on whether or not there was arson involved. Gotta love California summers.

After all of that, it was time to swing by and check on the progress of Matt's tank project:
Matt's Tank 4 More on that in a separate post.

Tuesday and Wednesday were actually cool enough to make progress in the workshop again. With the heat, I was mostly just trying to figure out how to make castings of my various parts before the resin set. This was more than a bit of a challenge.

Wednesday I finally got my carving machine up and running again and did some carving on a piece of teak for a customer down at the marina. Between my time in Hawaii and delays in procuring parts, it's almost two months since I said I'd deliver this piece. Finally having it knocked out was a great relief.

Then I went ahead and started another project that's been waiting in the "needs to be carved" queue. Ten minutes into work, the machine quit again. A bit of troubleshooting revealed that the problem is most likely a dead power converter.*

Since my frustration with Lopez** was starting to mount, I took a break from stopped fighting the laws of physics and decided to do some grinding work instead. It turns out there was a lot of dust involved:

If you look closely, you can see that I've got good reason for the respirator:
Randomness 001

When I got sick of the grinding, I got a good start on version four of the MARPAT digital desert paintjob on the helmet for my sister:
Desert Digital Phase 3 It still needs one more darker shade of brown and then it's time to paint all the black details and whatnot. I'm pretty happy with it so far.

So that's what's been keeping me busy. Apart from some quality time spent brushing out the stickers and burrs matted into the dogs' coats.

Stay tuned, more interesting posts to come...

*Time to head down to Toshi Station again and pick up some more of those.


  1. "Lopez" is the name I finally settled on for the carving machine. It seems like a good name for my robot woodworker.