Category Archives: Projects

Another Project Radio

These seem to gravitate towards me.  Jamie and Bryan got this for me for my birthday this year.  Man is it cool!  It has a phonograph, cassette deck AND an 8 track!  All the good stuff!

I hooked it up to Andrea’s speakers, we plugged it in and it seems to work fine.  Other than the selection switch is pretty finnickey so I need to get some electronics cleaner and clean all the contacts there.

It needs a good cleaning, but it should be a trusty radio!

Advertisements

It’s Finished

I don’t have pics of the completed project, but here’s a quick picture I snapped right after I picked it up from the upholstry shop.

I’ll get some better pictures as soon as I can.

You know I really like working on cars, but I can get frustrated.  Especially when I’m on a time crunch.  I don’t like having to have a car back together by the next day so it can be on the road.  Sadly we only drive projects around here!  Haha.

I think it turned out pretty good though.

Sorry I’ve Been Absent

It’s been busy.  I had mentioned in previous podcasts that I started playing Metroid Prime with the intention of playing it until completion.  Well the bad news is I’ve been too busy to play any of it for the past two weeks.  But then again, I haven’t really been doing any gaming at all INSTEAD of that, so it’s not like I’ve been “cheating”.  Though Andrea and I did play some Mario Kart 7 on 3DS tonight.

Other than a whole lot of travel this month.  Here’s the big project that has kept me most busy.  The vinyl top on Andrea’s car.  It hasn’t been too bad.  I just hope I’ve done everything well enough that the upholstery shop will put the top on.  My biggest fear is that I get it all prepped to go and they’ll say I didn’t do something right.  Ugh.  Let’s hope not.  Really just want to get this done!

Here’s some pics of the process.  I’m only going post a few of them on the front page, so click through to see the rest!

This is what was underneath when we took it off.

Here’s the old vinyl that was flapping in the breeze.

Uh oh. This can’t be good. Got most of the old glue sanded off. But the paint underneath is pretty flaky, so a lot of that is going to have to come off too.  But what is that drill for?

I had to drill out all the rivets holding down the trim pieces that go around the edges. Kinda apprehensive about drilling holes in an otherwise nice car. But must do what must be done. I was afraid this was going to be tedious work, but the drill chewed right through them!

Read the rest of this entry

Time for new Vinyl

I wish I were talking about records…

Actually talking about Andrea’s Cutlass.  The vinyl top on the back half of her roof has slowly been coming loose since we bought the car.  It hasn’t been too bad, then all at once it really went to crappy.  The glue just totally gave up.

She said she could hear it flapping in the wind as she was driving down the highway, so we stopped by the upholstery shop to get a quote.  It’s actually pretty reasonable if I remove the old top.  So that’s the plan.  Infact, Andrea already got most of the vinyl off!

Cutting away

The Guild Wars 2 servers were down for a couple hours, so I decided to go outside and be productive.

Man, I have cut a lot of limbs and trees around here over the past year.  I really need to find someone with a truck to help me haul ’em off.

I chopped down a tree that has been left to it’s own devices for many years.  As you can see it has become one with the fence.

Makes for a lot of waste.

And all these…

Speaking of plants, the garden is still alive, though my potatoes got nipped by a cold night.  I didn’t notice any frost, but apparently it got cold enough that the plants didn’t like it.  Onions did OK, but the potatoes sure looked better a week or two ago.  I think the might bounce back though.

And my pumpkins are just starting to sprout!

So onward we go!

 

Podcast: Terrible Segway Edition

For a lack of planning or forethought of any kind I almost liked this one.  Which is rare for this Podcast.

Topics:

  • eBay Habits
  • Severe Weather
  • Garage Sales
  • Elusive Vectrex
  • Freecycle & Projects
  • Gardening
  • Podcast Music
  • Mystery Song

Last time’s mystery song was from Animal Crossing on Gamecube!

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW HERE 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Well they say on St. Patrick’s day you’re supposed to plant your potatoes.  I got that done!  I planted those and my yellow onions, and my garden is already half full!  I think I’m going to have to tear up some more ground for the pumpkins and watermelons for sure.  Plus I still have corn to plant, and peppers, and… yeah, my garden is going to be too small I think.  And tearing up all that ground took me three days!  Haha.  Roto tillers are for wimps.

Funny story, a co-worker of  mine and I were talking and I told him that I was planting a garden.  He asked how it was going and I said pretty slow because I’m just using a spade to do all the cultivating.  He said that the local hardware store was renting tillers pretty cheap.  “I’m communing with my ancestors,” I said.

“Oh, you mean you’re cheap!” he said.

Ha ha.  Well, ya, I guess that’s no secret.  But honestly there is something pretty therapeutic about sticking the shovel in the ground and breaking through all the years of roots.  Does kind of make you think of how many years people all over the earth lived like this.  There were no part-timers to schedule, or mufflers to change.  It was a very basic way of life, and to think if my survival was penned on my gardening skills… God help me!

So afterwards I felt like I deserved a reward.  And after all it was St. Patty’s Day so…

Which I am still enjoying now.  It’s a medium dark beer, and QUITE hoppy.  Boulevard makes some great beer, and this is definitely my seasonal favorite.  Not a beer you want to sit around and drink a lot of, but a nice treat.

Now gonna kick back and relax for the rest of the evening.  Might even bust out the telescope and take a look at Venus and Jupiter!

Spring Is Here?

This is crazy.  It’s the middle of March and we’re sitting around with all the windows open in the house.  Heck at work we’ve even fired up the AC already.  We always try to hold out as long as we can at home before breaking down and turning ours on.  If this early spring is any indication though, we might not be able to hold out as long as we usually do.  I can’t remember a March day in the past that’s ever had a forecast high of 85.

Lately I’ve been talking about how I need a project to do, and something that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.  Well I think I found something.  I decided this year I’m going to plant a garden.  I’ve already started tearing up some ground in the back yard, which is some hard work, but very therapeutic I’ve found so far.  I guess it’s kinda my way of communing with past generations.  There’s so much technology everywhere I go, that it’s nice to put some effort into something so primal.  I find it interesting to think about that something I’m now doing for fun in my spare time, was a basic necessity for life 100 years ago.  Pretty sure that my ancestors knew how to cut sod a lot better than I do!

The garden will have quite a bit of diversity.  I picked up corn, onions, potatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, carrots, and even some watermelon and pumpkins!  I’m going to pick up some tomatoes later in the season too.  If you don’t count the tools I bought, all the seeds cost me a total of $15.  And that should make a LOT of produce.  I dunno what we’ll ever do with 80 onions….

Andrea is not a big vegetable fan.  I was trying to think of something I could plant that she would enjoy, and thought maybe strawberries, but she wasn’t too crazy about that.  I even saw some blueberry and raspberry bushes for sale, thought for a couple moments… then decides I wasn’t ready for something like that!

So I’ll look forward to getting at least the potatoes and onions in the ground this weekend.  I beat Super Mario 3D Land the other night, so I’m officially not working on any games right now, and might take a weekend off of gaming and focus on the rudimentary art of agriculture.  I’ll probably still sit down and write up my final thoughts on 3D Land this weekend though.  One of the best Mario Games I’ve played… since the last one, they’re all just awesome!

Restless

I’m really itching for a project of some sort.  I have some ideas, but they all would cost a fair amount of money that we don’t really have to spend.  So I’m trying to think of what I can create using pretty much stuff I already have.

One medium that comes to mind is video.  I’ve got a cheap HD camera I borrowed from work and I’ve got all the video/audio editing software already.  But I’m completely coming up empty when it comes to content.  I really enjoy watching Classic Game Room and would love to do something like that, but I don’t really want to just emulate something someone else has done already.  Though heavens knows I have enough old games to get started.

Another topic I thought of was using video to document a project build, though that puts me back into the lack of funds category.

A long term goal of mine is to get all of my vintage systems off the HDTV in the den to a more period correct setup.  Kinda like a dream setup from 1995.  Haha!  I want to make them all easy to pick up and play without having unplug wires and power adapters to get the system you want working.  Just select the system on a switcher, turn on and play.  I think I can knock that out fairly cheap, but I’m going to have to take advantage of Garage Sale season which I plan on hitting the circuit hard this year!

For now I’ll just keep the gears turning.  When I break through, hopefully it’s something I can go full blast into.  Or maybe I’ll discover something completely new and fall in love.  Who knows.

You can’t have mine… So here’s yours!

Well, a while back Dad, Carrie and Jake came up to visit and I was showing off my little speakeasy down in the basement and they were admiring my old GE Console radio.  While probably joking, they offered to buy it.  First of all I really didn’t want to sell it… and second of all they offered WAY more than it’s worth and I just can’t go about ripping off family like that.  Co-workers?  Sure!  But you gotta draw the line at being a shuckster somewhere, right?

So I had it in my mind that I’d keep my eyes peeled for something for them.  Good ol’ Trading post came through for me eventually (same place I got the Blazer… watch out)!  A guy north of town was selling this old radio.  He was asking $75, I got it for $60 and felt like I paid too much…

Here it is:

$60.00? WTF was I thinking?

It's old. And unearthed from a tomb apparently.

What a gift. Who's gonna want this crusty old junk? Even for free? The wood might make good kindling for a fire I guess.

Speaking of starting a fire!

So I’m committed at this point.  I figure worst case scenario, the radio sounded decent and if I couldn’t get it halfway respectable I’d just toss it in a corner and use it as a work bench or something.  If the record player isn’t too far gone and it cleans up okay it might turn out halfway decent.  The knobs are looking pretty ratty, and Brasso has always done me right in the past.  You have to start somewhere, right?

They won't be original with the silver trimmed knobs and all. But they look a heck of a lot nicer! At least it'll have nice knobs!

Then I start hitting the cabinet with a rag to see what’s just dirt and grime, and what is really damaged.  Then some Old English.  I’m no woodsmith so I’m not coming within 10 feet of this thing with sand paper.  I’d destroy the damn thing, so whatever is broken is going to have to stay broken.  Turns out once all the crud is scraped away, and the Old English brings some of the shine back, it’s not in too bad of shape!

Thar be shine! Haven't cleaned the speaker grills yet.

I'm starting to feel better about this project!

The most frustrating part has been the record changer.  I got a new needle no problem.  But the mechanism itself just didn’t have the gusto to run through a whole change cycle.  The old springs were weak.  And once I got it taken out to grease it, I found that one of the mounts that holds the motor on was busted, so I had to fab up some new ones out of hardware store parts.  It seems to be working now, but there were some hairy moments getting from there to here.

So without further adieu.  Here it is in action:  The 1964 RCA Victor Console Radio!