Hill would like to be president. Big deal, so would I. In fact I'd like to be absolute dictator of the world, but I'd settle for POTUS. My big disadvantage is that no one knows who I am. Her big hurdle is that everybody does.
At this point I'm giving myself a slight advantage over her.
The Maker Faire events are one of the
most fun ways to spend a weekend I've found, the only problem being
when the stuff I bring proves to be one of the most popular items
there and supervising an endless flow of kids keeps me from visiting
some of the exhibitors I personally wanted to see.
Last weekends Faire filled a large
exhibition hall at the Denver stockyards with demonstrations of
everything from Rube Goldberg robot making to high end 3-D modeling
software. There were exhibitors with fancy clothing
Laser cut doo-dads like this light switch cover
inspire other things made the same way
An exhibit of the steps involved in
custom motorcycle building
Some very fancy steampunk lamp fixtures
An exhibit of stuff produced by the
STEM students at a local school including fighting robots and pumpkin
Metal working, casting, metal cutting and engraving
Another exhibit gave everyone a chance to raid a junkyard for parts and build their own robot
And of course a chance for the kids to
take a shot at a stuffed camel
with a huge Nerf gun
This year the nerf gun featured a rifled barrel which got the kids noticeably smaller groups. This called for better sights
which the folks at Epilog Laser were kind enough to knock out right there
I also brought my can crusher and the
kids ran some 3 large bags of cans through it for me. We discovered
that when mounted horizontally, the crusher can't reliably hit a
rectangular trash can sitting directly under it. Turned vertically,
it tosses the cans about 12-15 feet giving the kids a challenge to
catch them in a bag.
A rudimentary Iron Man exoskeleton
which may find application in assisted living facilities was right
next to me but somehow I don't seem to have any good pictures. That's it behind the crusher.
There was one drawback to all this. When the nerf dart (2in dia x 12" long) hit the table holding the camel, the bang of the impact on the sounding board of the table immediately attracted every kid within 100 yards to get in line for a shot. As a result I was busy herding cats being range officer from 9 AM to 6 PM at which point I was barely able to remain standing. It also meant I missed seeing some of the exhibitors I really wanted to talk to. The Solid Works rep, for example.
Just hang in there a bit. Even better here in Colorado we can supply everything on the same day. Possibly at the same time. Remember the lyrics from Sweet Betsy From Pike, presumably Pike county Iowa and not Pikes Peak, Colorado.
Check the weather this morning before letting the dog abuse me through the 'hood. Note not only the "36 but feels like 58, and note also the freeze warning in the yellow band. At least it didn't include a hurricane, flood, and drought warning.
Held once again in the thin air at the Arapahoe county fairgrounds.
My friend Mike brought his air cannon, Kamakazi whose best launch was his second of the day on Sunday - 3,970 ft.
He was in the lead until the last two launches of the event. Sonic Gourd came out of the woodwork w/ a distance of 4,209 ft., but was immediately edged out by Big 10 Inch at 4,276 ft., leaving him w/ the 3rd Place trophy.
The JCOS school where I help out was using a rolling arm trebuchet which was pretty much completely new this year due to last years treb being pretty much self destructed on their last shot last year. The old familiar scene of the team assembling the machine for the first time on the firing line played out about like you'd expect with a couple of pieces missing and frantic efforts to fabricate them.
They got the machine assembled midway through Saturday, and tested it with minimum (180 lb) weights. The arm was supposed to fit between the deck plates about 6 ft off the ground, but the spacing of the deck plates and the width of the verge turned out to be exactly the same at 4 inches which left no room for wobble. Since there is always some wobble, the arm stuck halfway down and slightly damaged the 2 rear deck plates. By Sunday the oversights had been corrected and a first test shot got them 273 feet. This group holds the division record at 498 ft so optimism ran high. By the time they were ready for their second shot, time was running out so it would be the last. They loaded ALL the available weights ( about 1100 lb) onto the machine and let fly for a shot of 407 ft. This might have been enough to win it but the plate attaching the weight bar to the verge tore out of the verge and the verge traveled about 20 ft down range with the pumpkin. Alas this disqualified the shot. The 273 ft shot got them 3rd place. This week I'll be giving a lecture on splice plates, bolt spacing, and fastener count which should hold everything together next year.
The plan for next year is to reassemble the machine about a month before
the event and sort out all the weak spots before setting up at the
event. EX: dropping 1200 lb requires more than 3 bolts out near the end
of the verge to keep the parts together. The bracket was whipped
together the day before the event and absolutely NOTHING was actually
tested in advance.
Exception: I tested the Microlaminate verge before cutting the taper in
it using the E value supplied by the manufacturer (2,000,000). Then I
calculated the actual E value based on the deflections I got
(1,000,000), then calculated the actual allowable taper we could use.
Then added half an inch. That part worked.
L to R: The SCA brought 4 trebs and assured us that the old ways were best, Acme Catapults used about 20 garage door springs and made some impressive throws, over 2000 ft as I recall, and Pluto, essentially 2 trebs on one arm and about 3000 lb of concrete, turned in its usual impressive performance. Alas I don't have numbers for them.
The centrifugal machine on the far end had some teething problems and was not run. Too bad, they had an aircraft turbine to power it up. So there's my days at the range. How was yours?
Second to the Democratic Senators who
were the face of the Democratic party during the hearings and made it
crystal clear who Judge Ks enemies were. After all one can learn
about as much about a man from his enemies as one can from his
Thirdly, if any doubt remained, I'd
like to add the boys and girls of Antifa for providing the
anti-social behavior up to and including the death threats to the
congressmen, their spouses, their friends, and their children. We now
fully understand that behind the collegiality of the hearings there
is an army of kneecappers ready and willing to commit violence
against our elected representatives.
Fourthly the various witnesses provided
by the Dems who got up there and forthrightly showed us that there
are an unlimited number of the party faithful who are willing to risk
charges of perjury, witness tampering, and suborning of perjury and
the associated time in the Federal Clink, to take one (or more) for
the team. Suggestion: Next time don't use Hollywood horror movie
writers to prepare your scripts. They come across as a bit over the
NOTE 1: If you think the Donks have
learned anything from this, just wait. If Notorious RBG should
shuffle off the mortal coil on Trumps watch, the use of nuclear
weapons will not be off the table. Kim Jong-Un could probably sell
one to Antifa for delivery in Mexico with shipping up to the
Note 2: If you think Roe v Wade has
anything at all to do with this, be advised that the Donks don't
really care if you live or die. After all you vote for them either
way. Just watch the gun control laws that now come up for review.
Armed, mad, taxpayers are the lefts worst nightmare.
Overall gun sales thru October came in pretty flat with no mass shootings or big political setbacks in the news. I suppose a lot of people are waiting to see how the Kavanaugh nomination fares, and to a lesser extent, the mid-terms.
As of right now, Judge K seems like a pretty secure bet.
Speculation abounds as to what might happen if the GOP loses the House with the latest being Impeachment proceedings beginning Jan 22 next year against the Judge and with that presumed success, a move on the President.
Winning the House would make the attempt possible, but you need super majorities in both houses to make anything stick and it may already be dawning on even the party faithful that the reputation of the Dems is currently on a par with some of the more violent inmates of selected state institutions. OTOH as has been observed, no one ever went broke underestimating the tastes or intelligence of the American public.
Quit watching the news and pop on over to the Punkin Chunkin event held in the thin air of Aurora CO at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. If you happen to be in town, it's on the south side of Quincy Ave, just East of E470 and is well marked. They'll want a few bucks for parking, but that's about it. Look for the Dead Ent, which is my schools entry.
Tomorrow and Sunday, 9 to 4.
Next weekend is the Denver Maker Faire featuring everything from simple crafts to fighting robots, to a full scale B-25 built by trade school students. No, it doesn't fly, but it makes up for that with noise and your kids can climb up and sit in the pilot, bombardiers, or turret gunners seats. Denver stockyards coliseum on the North side of I-70, Saturday and Sunday. Bring kids, they'll love it.
OK there are a couple of things on the ballot this year which probably deserve to pass. Initiative 109 promises to do much needed road repair without hitting us with a big tax increase. One can hope.
Items X and Y promise new and improved gerrymandering. They're one of those things where the Stupid party and the Evil party get together to do something that's both evil and stupid which is called bipartisanship. Might help, might not but it seems like it shouldn't make it any worse.
Here's a sticker that should get you through most elections. You should never have to take it off from one election to the next. Click to get the full size, print it out on landscape and tape it to your back window.