What's Your New Shiny?

Digged out an old netbook (still working) for $daughter to write her book(s) on.

It is a plain win7 install, so I’ll install libreoffice for her and set up a dropbox (or something like that) account for her to save her files to (as a backup).

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Talking of cellphones… this CommitStrip hits the proverbial nail on the head.

Having said that, I will avoid all bendy screen things from now on.

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Okay, I’m really enjoying not being hungup on the need to check my stupid phone battery level 10x/day. I’ve been getting 3-4 days off a full charge, and it’s just the best feeling ever. Freedom.

I’d had enough of the stock MIUI operating system that was on it. It’s a fork of AndroidOS that works in China without any of those pesky Google Apps that they can’t use there. It had been globally generified to a multi-language version, but even that was hard to work with because the system kept interrupting me with Chinese ads for their apps.

This morning I figured out how to load TWRP on (Team Win Recovery Protocol) so that I could blow that all away and install a generic version of Android Pie. Much better now. Much more usable. I recommend this to everyone.


New kilt.


The old one was over 15 years old and while not overly worn, was a little rough. It was also a cheap, which was awesome because it was real wool. That unfortunately meant it was:

  • Really hot at time
  • Heavy (it’s a 15’ by 5’ piece of wool)
  • A pain to get wearable. Every time I wanted to wear it, I had to lay it out on the bed or the floor and hand-pleat it.

Replacement is much lighter and cheats a bit: There’s belt loops and an internal tie to help get it arranged, and the pleats are stitched in place.

Getting it fitted was hilarious in part because I showed up in the aforementioned old kilt; So I had to take that one off to try the other one one (which involved questions like, “Are you regimental?” and I was pretty much committed to a purchase or an awkward rest of the day as there’s no way to fix it afterwards. Then I had two women leaning over me to wrap me up while I was laid out on a platform in the shop as my wife looked on. Lots of confused stumbling around as I tried to get myself organized. Then they grabbed my wife and tried to get her into a skirt!

Some of the women that work at the Renn Fest shops enjoy their job way too much: These ones did, but the ones that helped get my wife into her corset a few years back seem to really enjoy putting a foot in people’s backs to get them tightened up.

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Looks like a great kilt!

(Pun intended, for those in the know).

I only recently got an actual kilt in my clan tartan: Scotweb had a special for almost 50% off, so I got a 12 oz custom made.


It is! I think I could actually get it wearable without requiring 30-45 minutes of prep plus, if I haven’t worn it for a while, research into how to pleat it. Also even though I only had it on for a couple hours at the end of the day it just felt so much lighter and easier.

Wearing a ‘proper’ great kilt for a day will, among other things, make someone so much more gracious about what a PITA it is for women who wear long skirts to use bathrooms (especially porta-potties) and such.I think I caught my great kilt on benches three times Saturday alone.

I’m working on accumulating various items in clan colors, but we have two clans (Stuart and MacGregor) and each has multiple varieties depending on if you want modern, dress, etc. All similar but just enough variety I have to decide which I want. Saw an amazing scarf while we were in Virginia but couldn’t drop the cash for it. Took a card with the website though. For later. :grin:

I’m trying to make sure my kids are proud of their roots. I identify mostly with the Scottish part of myself, being a stubborn Highlander and all. Maybe I should try and get more in touch with the laid-back Swedish part of me (which, unfortunately, will probably never overpower the Scottish/German/Irish majority combination. I’m screwed. :rofl:)

My old one is red/black and I thought it was Black Watch, but the above green/blue/black is and they know their shit, so I’ll believe them over CheapRennFestKilts or whomoever I ordered from years and years ago.

$Wife asked why I picked the (red/black) tartan and I explained that most had clan significance. As I said to her, “I didn’t want to accidentally be throwing up Scottish gang signs.”

I did find out, but not until after I purchased, that the vendor, Wolfstone, had their ‘own’ pattern that is a kind of nice blue/black design.

My family has some Scottish, we think, along with Irish and nobody knows what else. I’m totally the type to dress to blend in with the group, so doing a kilt, even for Renn Fest, is something of stepping outside my comfort zone.

I suspect I may have some Scots blood mixed with my German blood, or it may just be me…

Red/ Black may have been Royal Stewart, or Rob Roy - common “anyone wears” tartans.

The one in your recent pic is most def Black Watch… the very group that gives voice to the term “properly regimental.”

Official Registry:

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I think it was Royal Stewart. That kilt is in the laundry pile right now, but needs to wait until we have dryer rack capacity for a few days. It was a relatively cheap one I bought back in the early 00s. It’s possible I screwed up, it’s possible the place I ordered from screwed up.

The company that makes the new one actually has their ‘own’ pattern which isn’t bad. I almost wish I had gotten that one instead. My family name is so common I would need deep research to tie to anything more specific, and may descend from English or other sources anyway. We’re mutts.

I’m wishing I had a chance to hit the Renn Fest again this season to try he new one out, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening.

Well, I just bought a bunch of leather and crafting tools and $500 worth of patterns. I guess I’m getting into armouring and bag-making.

Armoured kilt with matching leather sporran?

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Yeah, because people don’t think I’m weird enough.


I got an entire woodworking workshop for $600.

I thought it was:
220 10" Table Saw
Reciprocating Saw
Drill Press
and a helping hand and some clamps.

IT was also:
Several hundred dollars in specialized jigs.
A table saw with a full contractor sized cast iron top, with a $200 after market fence.
Three routers, including one palm sized.
A Craftsman branded dremel
A cutting tool with full speed control.
6 pipe clamps, multiple c clamps.
a Scroll saw
a trailer bottom of wood, mostly 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch plywood. Nothing fancy but good scrap.
Cabinitry router bits
A Delux Incra jig.

Really almost everything but a band saw. He’s a college football coach, and he got into woodworking in the 90’s and hasn’t touched it for at least 7-8 years. So there is some surface rust, and it’s possible one or two things have locked up. It was sitting in the middle of his 8 car two story climate controlled garage all kind of piled together, I’m not sure it had moved since he moved in 7-8 years ago. There was no workshop area set up in the garage or anything. The brands are Ryobi, Craftsman, and Delta so it’s not crap and in many cases it appears he bought the best brand for the tool at the time.

Once I finish my garage wiring project (Waiting on a house to sell to fund the upgrade to 200 amp service in the house and run a line over there) then I have no excuse to not finally get all my projects rolling, this was a huge score, the friend who drove out the hour and a half to go get it at 9 at night and I are figuring new it was easily $3k.

The odd part is that there are no bits. No spare drill bits, no router bits, no extra blades. I’m assuming they are all in a box in his basement or in storage or something.


Wow! That’s a really nice haul.

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I bet you’re still way ahead even if you have to sink some decent money into quality bits and blades. #NiceHaul

I’m So far ahead I have the budget left for the little stuff. Not all at once, but it’s there.

I keep wandering in my head thinking of the things I can do now.

All of this in too of me getting an offer to work part time at a Honey bee farm. I’ve been spending 20-30 hours a week building bee keeping stuff. Basically a work what you want and also when we need you thing. Part of this job is running a table saw and a chip saw and various nai lers, so I’m getting took time in there too.


Dang! @Woodman got me all jelly!

Enjoy it!