Sister moved to a new home today

So sad, Sister moved to a new home today.

I haven’t been taking good care of my cats lately. They are well fed well loved, they just were fighting over the toilet seat (figurativly speaking). Sister wouldn’t use the litter box after Brother used it. My not taking care of them is by not cleaning the litter box daily.

So, on Freecycle, a gal asked about a cat – not a kitten – for her and her kids. She wanted a female.

She came by at 3 today with 2 small kids.

I found out why she wanted a female grown cat. The real cold weather we have been having drove the mice into her house!

I got a message on my machine at 7. Sister caught 2 mice already! Go girl!

 The last family photo.

  Brother, missing sister (NOT). I am distracting him with new toys.

He is abnormally cuddly. I mean, he usually likes sitting on my lap, but now I can’t get rid of him. Follows me around every where. I gotta keep finding the toys.

On another note, the place is now a true bachlor pad, Me, the cat, and the one remaining fish are all males.

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Homemade Oxygen Absorbers Part 1

If you caught my 2009 resolution page, one of my resolutions is to try canning my own food.
I have picked up 4 dozen canning jars, and have been just itching to put them to use.

But, being the middle of Janurary, there isn’t much besides ice and snow that is in season. I also don’t have a preassure canner.

Bummer, eh?

Not to be disuaded. Today I started an experiment.

I a trying to make DIY oxygen absorbers. These will allow me to can dry goods, such as things I use my new food dehydrator on. I know, I know, not really canning, but I can use my new (used) free jars! And anyway, they gotta make the things somehow, so why shouldn’t I give it a try?

So, on to the theory of operation.
Many commercial absorber packs list the active ingreadient as ‘iron oxide’. Ok, I know that stuff, my cars like to spontaniously break out with it all on their own. Rust.
I can make that.
The air is about 24% oxygen. Remove the oxygen, and you can create a partial vacum in a sealed jar.

So, I picked up some steel wool at the store. I know, steel isn’t supposed to rust, but I am guessing it’s cheap steel, so it’s designed not to rust in normal circumstances.

I put some in a jar. I want to see what it does. Well, I put some in 4 jars, and am trying to do 4 differnt things to get it to rust.

From left to right, steel wool in a jar, steel wool and 1 tablespoon of water in a jar. Steel wool and some table salt in a jar. Steel wool, table salt, and a tablespoon of water in a jar.

I am hoping I can get at least one of these to rust. I put all 4 jars on my radiator to warm everything up and speed up the reactions.

If none of these work very well, I think I may try heating the steel wool. I may try cooking it under the broiler at a very hot temp, hitting it with a propane torch. I would then try each of the 4 jars to see what works the best.

Once I get something to work well, I will then play with quanties of each part to see what ratios work the best for me.

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Wedding Invitations Final Decisions

I have been working hard on getting these invites done. Saturday I had gone and picked up the black paper. Last night I started cutting the tops and bottoms of the printed invites.
 Tonight, I have all the printed invites cut! YAY ME! Half of these can be bundled up, and mailed to Katie so she can put together her half.

This leads to 2 important design issues. Color, size, and style. Yeah, Yeah, I know that’s three, but I feel so much closer to being done when it’s only 2 left. But, it’s the ribbon. How to deal with the ribbon.

The choices are: Blue vs Black Ribbon, wide vs narrow, tied vs this other way my good friend Heather suggested. The tucked style, in the blue, I think looks better with a round hole rathar than the slits I did.
You all can leave a comment on what you think, but it’s Katie’s decision.

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Snow, snow, everywhere snow

So, on Saturday, we got a bit of snow. 10 inches it sounds like.
2007 Ford Escape covered in Snow Here is my truck, on Saturday. I drove in this crap! Oh, the things one will do for the perfect wedding invitations!
 Here is my handywork today. I dug my way back home for lunch. I cut a channel through this snowbank so I can walk to work without fear of being ran over by a car.

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PHP Meetup & Digital Camera Hacking

Tonight I gave a presentation for the local PHP meetup. My presentation was on creating an address hunt order for geolocation using google maps. Basically, the idea is to try different combinations of an address that comes back with a geolocation failure until you get a set of coordinates. I hope that the presentation was interesting enough to be worth the other peoples time.

One of the other members in the group had mentioned the other month about hacking a digital camera. He couldn’t solder well enough to do it though. Last month, he brought some in for me to give a try at. I have had them sitting, waiting for me to work on them. Well, last night I gave it a go. Like most things where I wait to the last minute, it’s a no-go. I can’t find my de-soldering stuff. [As I wrote that last line, I remembered exactly where it is, in my RC car tool kit]
Anyway, here is the camera, it’s one of those disposable digital cameras. What does that say about our society, disposable digital cameras? Talk about a waste of resources!
The idea for this hack, is to unsolder the flash chip daughter card, and to solder on a standard flash socket. Now you can use the camera like any other digital camera.

Being that this hack is several years old – like 5 or so, I can probably buy a better camera for less than the parts cost this guy. But, that’s not the point. The point is to hack something cool from something cheap. I also can’t find instructions online anymore of exactly how to mod this thing. All the specific pages seem to have died. I am going to give it a go anyhow. There are only so many ways I can mess it up, I am bound to get it right at some point.

Now that I remember where my tools are, I can probably give one of these cameras a go this weekend.
This kinda reminds me of a MAKE Magizine motto: If you can’t open it, you don’t own it.

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