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Dingbat Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Dingbat" journal:

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August 13th, 2013
02:45 pm

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Today is mostly brought to you by phoning up total strangers and shouting, "Verdana! And you've sized it in pixels!"

(I only start sentences with conjunctions when I'm really angry (although I habitually over-parenthesise).)

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June 22nd, 2013
01:49 pm

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Mythlore
Mythlore New Lands 2

Mythlore – New Lands

The Persyrian Sea, countless leagues from Albion, is in torment, the creatures of its depths assaulting sailors, merchant and pirates alike, and vast storms wracking the islands and surrounding coastlines. The Sultan of the Sea, ruler of the White City beneath the waves, lies murdered: dead by the hand of his own daughter, but will she rise to take his place?

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd September 2013 at Candleston.

LARPers! I know you're out there. Who fancies this one?

Sand, tentacles, jellyfish!

Feasting at the first Mythlore

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June 10th, 2013
10:43 pm

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Jazz plugs
Oh Honda Jazz, how I hate your tiny little sparkplugs and their over-generous number.

Two plugs per cylinder mean that half of them are hiding down the back. As they're all buried beneath plugtop coils, none of them are exactly easy to get at.

The fronts are accessible, but the (fragile) plugtop coils are stuck in place like the distributor of a winter-rallied Mini. They have to be pried out with my claw-like walnut-cracking fingers, hopefully without pulling their tops off.

Removing the plugs needs a plug spanner with a rubber insert. Putting them back in needs a spanner without an insert, otherwise it's stuck more to the plug than the square drive. You can of course haul them out afterwards with a nose hook, but it's easier to just have two plug sockets, with and without the insert.

Now the fun starts, the back row. Give up, abandon your fingers and evolve some tentacles. You're going to need them. At least the coils probably come off, but you can forget about even being able to see the plugs. Phone the Snap-on van and order one of every sort of 3/8" drive extension and UJ they have. Did I mention that the bonnet seal and even the windscreen are in the way? I did most of this with a spiral flex drive, but it's not enough torque to break the old plugs free.

Allow an hour to do it. It won't take all that long - you either have the bars to get to the back ones, or else you don't. At least they don't need changing very often

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April 8th, 2013
06:30 pm

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Rejoice!

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January 17th, 2013
02:21 pm

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Mechanisms

For everyone with a copy of "509 Mechanisms"

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November 22nd, 2012
04:01 pm

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Open letter to Makerbot
I've just cancelled my order (and place near the front of the UK delivery queue) for a Makerbot Replicator 2 (a 3D printer).

This was partly because the R2 is PLA plastic only, rather than ABS. This gives a better print quality, but it's not without drawbacks. Secondly, (UK at least) the R2 is now becoming available but the PLA plastic isn't!

So here's the body of a letter that has just gone back to Makerbot, explaining why Ive cancelled:


* This is a marginal purchase. It's a pile of money, so I need it to be useful. It's not the cheapest printer around, but I'm concerned that it's not the best either.

* I'm concerned about PLA. The stuff biodegrades, which rules it out for some uses. The PLA I've played with so far was mechanically unimpressive, compared to printed ABS. Many things I'm interested in making would be printed as semi-finished blanks, then drilled or tapped for attachment. I really want ABS - or both! I can afford multiple heads. I can afford to down the machine for manual head swaps. A PLA-only machine though is too much of a risk.

* This machine is already delayed. There's a new machine on the way. So why not wait?

* I just don't trust the 3D print industry. Makerbot is better than the rest, but there are still awful promises being made and broken in this industry. Launching a machine though without the PLA sourcing being sorted is 'unimpressive', to say the least. I can't afford this machine without _some_ hope of it being commercially viable. I can't put business money into this machine if I think I won't be able to get the PLA to run it.

If PLA _was_ available, I'd have bought as planned.

* There's one simple way to make me buy this machine today, but Makerbot haven't addressed it (Why?). Tell me what the upgrade path is from this machine to the next machine! If I can buy a new head and convert my 2 to a 2X, then I'll be delighted to buy a 2 today and a new 2X head in the future.

And as they say in their own copy, I'm the sort of chap who already has a trebuchet.

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November 12th, 2012
08:01 pm

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Steampunk Deathstar

Just playing around with my laser cutter.

Design is by Crab at Thingiverse

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October 8th, 2012
04:11 pm

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Never Knowingly Understood
http://www.monochrom.at/hacking-the-spaces/

'Ere, John, You been at that psychogeography again?

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October 4th, 2012
06:03 pm

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol

Saturday, 24 November 2012

19:30 until 22:00

A candlelit concert of dark, atmospheric Victorian Romantic music, with lyrics by Lord Alfred Tennyson and Christina Rosetti, and music by Liza Lehmann and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Victoriana-inspired dress encouraged, but not obligatory.

Tickets are not yet available, but watch the facebook page (or here) for when they do.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Memoriam/268516959936445

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September 24th, 2012
01:51 pm

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Kitchen implements
* * *

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of. There are additions.

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, crepe makers, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, pie funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses (26 of them), tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers (mulled wine), spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets (mulled wine), healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, stand mixers, mincers, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars (three), gratin dishes, apple corers, mango stoners and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.

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