What's Your New Shiny?


That’s about the same as I was seeing. The mileage was an issue for me. If I’m going to put well over a hundred thousand miles on it (maybe 200K even), I don’t want to go in with a hundred thousand already on the meter.


Will be interesting to see how the all-aluminum body holds up.


Regarding phone charge …

I just plugged my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in. It was at 17%. I unplugged it Friday morning before going to work.

I listened to music walking all the way in to work and back, both Friday and Monday. That’s an hour each way. I used it all day Saturday to do credit card sales on my data plan at a craft show. I used it on a fairly regular basis to check social media and such, as one normally does.

I’m pretty happy with that kind of performance.

I just checked the battery features and it tells me that if I switch to power saving mode (monochrome), I can get another 13 hours, and ULTRA power saving mode (restrictive data use) would stretch it to 25.




This is my new shiny that also makes me happy.

Dice tower I hacked together in about an hour and a half before my bi-weekly Pathfinder game. I stained it yesterday after the game. I need to replace the blue felt paper now, since it’s covered with stain. And I need to stain the next one before I assemble it maybe? Not sure. Or maybe I just stain the inside before assembly. Then sand and stain the outside after.

Still need to put together dice tray for it. It’s birch plywood, so it’s not the prettiest, but the wood was only $19 for a full sheet. So I can knock out a bunch of these. If I decide to sell them then even if I only charge $10 for them I’ll pay for the materials if I sell two.

I need to get better at running my table saw, I’m trading accurate cuts on big pieces for safety (In other words, when it gets hairy I’m just getting it cut however the blade wants to do it and I’m not cutting straight), but part of that is cleaning out the garage to do this crap inside the garage on the concrete pad, not on the gravel driveway in between the car and the trashcan crammed up against the garage door. That and it’s just not easy to cut a 4x8 piece of wood without a lot of preparation.

Also, after I got pissed off about not having room, I went through 3 garbage bags and a box in the garage.


Neat! I wonder how it would work if you made one out of balsa?
If you do finishing before assembly, you might have to avoid the mating surfaces, or sand them down to bare before assembly, either of which can be a tedious pain in the butt, but sometimes it’s the only way to get the interior finish done to satisfaction.
Ooh! You could try masking off the mating surfaces and painting the inside. That might look nice.

I assume that the box is for rolling dice, like the cup in Yahtzee?


Yup. A lot of people use them as it provides some randomization as they bounce down the structure. Think of it more like a drain-pipe they bounce down as opposed to the dice cup which holds them before they’re rolled out.

Some people make some nice felt-lined trays to roll in, too. Basically imagine the top of a shoe-box lined with green felt like a casino table. Just to keep dice from bouncing too far.

I’ve decided that somewhere in Las Vegas is a D&D game played by dealers who are, by habit, incredibly obsessive about die-rolling procedures…


Yes, you just drop it in the top and there are baffles inside it at 45 degree angles.

I also think it will help to use a lighter brush on stain. I used what my wife got for the bookcase I made and it’s a gel. Using something I could slap on with a paint brush might make life easier. To get it up in the nooks and crannies. I think it will also look a bit better after I poly it.


That’s the next project. I’m going to make it so the tower rests in the tray. I have another 7 feet of board to play with, this is iteration 1. I’ve been using that squidgy foam paper stuff. I’m sure it won’t have the durability, but it works for what I’m doing so far.



My Garmin ForeRunner 405 CX died a few weeks ago when I dropped it on the tile floor in the gym and it ceased taking a charge. This one has fewer bells & whistles, but does what I need from it (the old one was designed for more hardcore runners).


If I ever get lucky enough to need a dice tower again, I’ll cheat and make mine out of Legos. Lord knows there enough of them to make several in the spare pieces tubs. 8)

Besides, the thought of combining me and power tools is exceptionally scary. I have enough problems not wrecking things with just the Dremel. I’m not about to risk fingers or other body parts.


Or you could just scoot over to Geek Chic and pick one up. I’ve totally borrowed their design ideas and have a design all ready to cut out on the laser for the Magic card boxes using 3mm Baltic birch plywood.


For $85 I’d rather go to Wyrmwood Gaming.

Breaks down flat and is held together with magnets. I’ve played with these at GenCon and they are pretty freaking awesome, and the wood is beautiful.

Or, build my own for $2. I’m going to make one more like this one, and then the next will have corners cut at 45 degrees instead of just butting them together.

and BTW, Lucky! I want a laser cutter, after I get a scroll saw, chain saw, drill press, work area, and find the charger for my weed eater.


Oh, just to have the space to have good tools setup and do some work, that would be wonderful.
A decent drill press, table saw, and radial arm saw would be great, too. I once bought a jig to mount a regular hand power drill into and use it as a drill press, but it didn’t really work out - too hard to get the drill mounted stably mounted and too inconvenient to reach around and pull & lock the trigger.


I have the space, but it doesn’t have power, and it has all the crap from our old house in it still. Though I’m finally making progress there.


My PineA64 single board computer (the $29 2gig one) arrived a few weeks ago and I finally took the time last weekend to really play with it. Runs the SpigotMC Minecraft server just fine with modest tweaking, certainly responsive enough for me and the boys to play together. Haven’t touched much Linux in almost a year, so I had to re-learn some stuff, but managed to get it firewalled and SSH-enabled and whatnot so I can safely access it from afar, and (more importantly to the Siglets) play Minecraft with them from anywhere in the world. We live in the future.

(mine has the acrylic case as shown)

Edit: of course, now I need another one to actually play around with. I didn’t intend to make a Minecraft server when I ordered it…


Nice one! Our Raspberry Pi (model B) doesn’t get used for much but we’ve had all sorts of fun getting it to run RiscOS (because of course we’re gonna run RiscOS on it, without RISC there would be no ARM and Sophie Wilson wouldn’t be the second most famous female British computer technician) as well as the PiOS and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a novelty, but one we appreciate.


I documented it in vague detail (well, linked to the detailed parts) so I can do it again later when I need to.


10,000 bees.

I got the Nuc, that’s the red thing, Saturday, but it was cloudy so I just popped the cover off the entrance and ran away. Then yesterday I put my gear on, got the smoker going and transferred the five frames from inside the red box into the pretty box my wife painted. The jar in front is sugar water to help them out while they are getting established. Some people say to keep one on there all the time, but I’m kind of like I got bees to get honey, if I’m going ot feed them store bought sugar, why not just buy honey?

Likely we’ll have honey this August.


Nice! I’ve always liked the idea of bee keeping, especially with how much honey has gone up in price, but I would be an idiot to try it since I’m allergic to bee venom…