Monday, March 30, 2015

Some reading recomendations

I never much cared for fiction. All of my reading is limited to biographies, true accounts or history. Here three of the most recent reads.
The Man without a Face. The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. If you want to learn who Vladimir Putin really is this is the book to read. It tells how a communist tenement building thug came to be a KGB paper pusher and the iron fisted megalomaniac running Russia today. A real Eye opener that sheds a big light on the events that led to his rise to power, his role in them as well as recent events in Russia and the Ukraine.

 Glock, the Rise of America's Gun is the unlikely story of how Gaston Glock an Austrian curtain rod maker and radiator repairman came to create what has become the best selling handgun in America.

Cod, a fantastic story of the fish that fueled the world economy of the 18th and 19th century and the three way trade it created between North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A simple healthy meal

Chop up a mess of cherry tomatoes . . . .
. . . some basil and some garlic . . .
. . . mix it all in a bowl with olive oil salt an pepper . . .
. . . boil up some fettuccine . . .
. . . and toss it all together . . . good for what ails you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pushing the limits of a cheap chinese end mill

My friend Jonathan Chalfant has this steady gig with a friend who makes composting toilets. They are a plastic roto-molded affair used in boats and campers. As fabricator Jon is called upon to manufacture the stainless steel hardware and on occasion modify the molds used in the roto-molding process. Modifications were once again deemed necessary so a bit of precision machining was required on one of the tank molds.
Milling the cast aluminum was not a problem but due to its dimensions fitting the mold on my cheap Chinese made end mill really was pushing the limits of its capacity. Sorting through my collection of scrap steel provided us with some 5/16 threaded rod and some C channel that got the mold suitably affixed to the bed of the mill.
The bump that made the indentation for the viewing port on the tank had been relocated and needed to be milled flat.
The Spinning carbide cuts cast aluminum like a hot knife through butter
One precision machined toilet mold

Addendum. Per popular demand here is the Airhead composting toilet ( ) made by the mold Jon had to modify. The mold we were working on was the front liquids tank. The little round viewing port needed to be lowered a half inch for better clearance of the top radius.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Not available at Dominos

Kalamata Olives, Red Bell Peppers and chicken . . .  almost as good as:
Fresh cod
A mess of chopped cilantro
Mixed in to a cup of Panko breadcrumbs with a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder and enough olive oil to wet it down a bit.
Cover the cod liberally with the bread crumb mix and pop it on to a hot non stick pan with some butter
Then in to a 500 deg F oven for about nine minutes
A quick tomato and avocado salad dressed with olive oil, white vinegar, salt pepper and garlic powder.
Behold Baked Cod, the new household favorite.

Friday, March 6, 2015

So sad.

 Or friend Ron Leblanc decided he could no longer deal with the world and took his own life last Friday.

We are all in shock. No one knows why. It makes no sense at all. It was just not him to do that.