Archives December 2005

Big Design


I have completed the steering rack. The design is now too big to handle for my laptop. After all the recommended spec for Autodesk Inventor are:

Recommended System Requirements (includes Autodesk Vault client)
Part and assembly design (less than 1,000 parts)

  • Intel® Pentium® 4, Intel® Xeon™, or AMD Athlon processor, 2GHz or higher
  • 1 GB or more RAM        
  • 3.5 GB free disk space
  • 128 MB OpenGL-capable graphics card
Preferred System requirements (includes Autodesk Vault client)
Large assembly design (more than 1,000 parts)
  • Intel® Pentium® 4, Intel® Xeon™, or AMD Opteron™ processor, 3 GHz or higher
  • 3 GB or more RAM
  • 3.5 GB free disk space
  • 128 MB or more OpenGL-capable workstation class graphics card
My Laptop is a P3 700 with 192MB of RAM and 6 gig of storage space.


An evil space ship with a hull forged from lost Iron Chef Utensils. It's mixing bowl dough drive is powered by a modified quantum rice cooker power core.

Axel Hub


I have created an axel hub assembly. Thankfully the bearings used were matched to SKF Bearing Part Numbers. Inventor is so swar. Notice also the rod end bearing. This came from the Cbliss site in the iParts section. I have modified it so that it can be moved. It had to be separated into two parts to do this, the ball and the cup. The spline on the end of the axel is temporary. I don't have any wheels yet, nor do I have any specs or drawings to base my axel off. It's a guestimate. There is also a hole in the side of the hub body. This is to access the grub screw in the retainer ring that holds in place the axel and retains the bearings. The cup of the universal joint is also temporary. I haven't worked out any degrees of movement or the forces in place to design the drive shafts or drive couplings.





Work Story


This began as a conversation typed in WordPad about an idiotic customer. We type at the counter in WordPad or Notepad so that we can speak about a customer without them seeing. This may be for work - i.e. talking about cost prices or doing package deals, or, could quickly become something much more sinister as demonstrated here. We went paragraph for paragraph continuing the story throwing down the gauntlet to each other as we went. We even ended the universe a few times which is hard to continue on from. Since we have such godly main characters, the universe, more than likely, will be ended a few more times. It is still work in progress.

Story Follows:


And how high are his socks.

And could he be stupider?

Nay, to be more stupid would cause a vacuum so great it would suck the earth, outer planets and surrounding solar systems into it leaving only a vortex of crushed planets and dust. Entire suns would be snuffed with little effort. Time would come to a stand-still and all that is would end in an instant. Even God would be dumbfounded by the sheer raw 'vacuumy' power.

Rue it would be the end, but not for his stupidity as you may think; nay, his socks are high with nefarious purpose; for underneath laid the Shins of destruction and doomsday. Why, upon revealing one of these monstrosities, an unholy choir would begin dark Gregorian chants in an ancient tongue pertaining to peanut butter, spam and blood. An orchestra of xylophones, hewn from the bones of the still born, accompanying the chants, would render a most eerie melody.

Whence the chanting and orchestral clanging climbed to its climax, the light would be drawn from the surroundings by the sheer negative force that is the Shins! Chaotically darkening surroundings are then met by claps of thunder with flashes of green and purple lightning. Illumed by the multi-coloured flashes, the small daemon creatures would be revealed, summoned to further-expose the Shins, they would begin their arduous task. For they are the only known creatures that can withstand the apocalyptic forces about to be unleashed!

Only when the darkness has become absolute and the Shins have drawn enough light to power a city for twenty years, a great and terrible cry of "any discounts?" is uttered by the beast himself. At this moment multiple phrases of unspeakable horror are uttered such as "Do you have USB?" and followed by the ultimate fear that is "Less for cash?". With this barrage of stupidity, coupled with the power of the Shins, the world and then the universe would be torn asunder and in the next split second, compressed into a perfect bright green sphere that played the jingle from a 1980s McDonalds commercial in a perpetual loop.

Alone in the dark nothingness the man wielding the power of the Shins is left, accompanied only by a small collection of multi-coloured marbles created from universes destroyed. Dully glowing in their various colours, each emitting their own foul jingles. The mad, mad man find's no comfort in their songs as he searches for another universe to inflict his incredibly stupid vacuum on while slowly being driven further into madness by the incessant jingles of his fallen foes - the compressed universes.

Soaring through the empty void in search of distant worlds to destroy he happens on vast field of stars, a whole new galaxy some how unharmed by his rampage. At the centre of the galaxy a star burns brighter than any other as if powered by a thousand discarded batteries. Unbeknown to Shins, here was the realm of the "Battery Guy", once he had been a mortal human but the pursuit of the ultimate charge had driven him beyond the constraints of mere mortals. He sat at the centre of a great field of small torches testing every battery within reach trying to find the perfect charge. Shins, while mighty and stupid, may have met there match in this bright and almost psychotically surreal place.

Gazing out upon the vast field of torches; Battery Guy saw a deep blackening approach. Great spans of his torch field were sinking into darkness. "I hear a foul voice on the air" he muttered to himself as his battery powered, pre-amplified ears detected the jingles of a thousand fast food restaurants each calling out, pleading for him to dine and buy extra side dishes you already ordered. The swirling vortex of nothingness with multi-coloured lightning and jingling doom approached at tremendous pace smothering all that it came in contact with thick, black nothingness. Battery Guy, enraged by the culling of his glowing fields realised he was up against an awesome power of negativity. Battery Guy donned a back pack filled with the batteries that provided his favourite charges and cocked his shoulder mounted battery tester, ready to take on this foe of incredible anti-matter!

As the dark being Shins landed in the field, shattering thousands of small globes, Battery Guy realised this was a foe unlike any other he had encountered before. He knew that his options where few. Focusing on the batteries strapped to him, he used his power to draw them around him in a great suit of Eveready goodness. Shins, ready for this, blasted him with jingle after jingle until the suit cracked and fell away. Battery Guy was not concerned for he was merely testing his foes resolve. He knew that if it came down to it he could always use the free tackle he got when he was unlucky in fishing in some sort of entanglement trap. Shins, confused to be told this seemingly unrelated fact at the start of a pitched battle to the death, prepared himself for combat.

Shins began concentrating, shards of broken globe, torch bodies and flayed metal battery cases started rising and swirling around him until they had formed a swirling sphere of shrapnel. Shins then closed his eyes and brought his forearms to his body crossing them on his chest and screamed in an un-earthly tone: "DISCOUNT!" A blinding flash of light emitted from Shins and a thundering BOOM was heard taking Battery Guy's vision and stunning him for a number of seconds. When Battery Guy's vision recovered and the sphere of floating shrapnel had gone. Shins stood proud and threatening holding his new toy and laughing demonically. A conjured weapon! This terrible weapon was composed of melted and forged shrapnel, bound by tortured souls from the universes that were. Shins levelled the glowing scrap weapon at Battery Guy pulling the trigger with glee.

A great and terrible fear gripped Battery Guy, for he knew that it would take more than the power of the universe to deflect such a mighty blow as was about to come at him. His only hope was that it would take at least half an hour for Shins to fire as he was in the midst of a monologue in a bizarre tongue that had never been spoken before. "LESS FOR CASH" "GIVE ME A DEAL" "LESS FOR CASH". Truly it was a vicious onslaught. This, however, was nothing compared to the stench of Shins. The smell of a million warm casks of goon wafted thought the thin atmosphere of the torch fields. In such dire straights there where few options, even fewer which were actually possible. Briefly the idea of composing a jingle to counter act all the many flying about entered the Battery Guys head. He knew he had minutes rather than the hours he would require; also lacking was a creative marketing team to assist him in workshopping ideas, a white board and a small sound stage to thresh out different version until he found one he liked. He knew there was only one option left, he reached into his battery bag and clutched.....a fish.

With a shrieking tear, Battery Guy removed the thick brown butcher's paper from the fish. A mackerel! Reeling in a combination of confusion and disgust, Shins fell backward; tripped by one of the many flat batteries strewn about the land. This was Battery Guy's chance! Casually, with the mackerel to his waist, he started loading it via the gills with batteries; the life-blood of the torch fields. Your standard mackerel will take 8 'C' sized battery rounds; Battery Guy however had a custom modified mackerel with a laser sight and scope. It was also modified to take the all-powerful and highly regarded magnum 'D' sized rounds. The modified mackerel will now carry only 4 rounds because of the increased calibre. The magnum 'D' battery round delivers enough battery-power to split a planet in half! This stopping power is the reason that the Magnum 'D' is held in such high regard among the most ancient of beings. Battery Guy began his slow, menacing walk toward Shins training his mackerel on his foe. Cowering, Shins attempts to scuttle backward along the ground. Standing over Shins, Battery Guy, while gritting his teeth sneered "I'm gunna blow your face off!"

Shins knew his number was nearly up he began to throw absolutely every twisted taunt he could think of at Battery Guy hoping to merely stall for time long enough to formulate a plan of some kind. Desperately clawing the ground for batteries, Shins began to hurl dead batteries at the now towering figure before him. The batteries where merely absorbed into the already tremendous figure. Battery Guy cocked his mackerel and fired, for one second everything was silent and still, the shards of broken glass glimmered in the light and then a great blue and white light leapt from the mackerel and hurled the force of a million non memory affect NiMH D's at Shins. The impact rocked the fabric of existence. Shins was blasted back for thousands of kilometres, screaming for a better deal the whole way.

Feeling the great tremor, an ancient being was roused into consciousness. Aeons ago across multiple periods in time there was a hero. This hero existed from when Barbarians roamed searching for the secret of steel to the darkened future where Cyborgs hunted the Humans. Such a strong being, he dedicated himself to saving the day on countless occasions, even to the point of saving humanity it's self. Not content with these petty tasks this godly being set himself aloft, drifting in space. He found a dead star, tunnelled to its centre and began to slumber until called upon again when greater things than humanity were at stake. The great tremor set about with such force that it re-ignited not only the hero but the frozen star.

Deep within the bowls of the star a force began to stir. It had been know by many names when it had walked the surface of earth but had remained sealed away until it was needed for a million years or more. It slowly began to become aware of its surroundings while awaking. A hundred thousand one liners filtered through its mind and it chose what seemed like the most fitting. Slowly the vocal cords unwound and the great Austrian/Californian accent spoke for the first time in millennia, "GET OUT-DUH!" With a great thundering Arnie was reborn to end this battle that had been started so senselessly.

Arnie, filled with a mixture of rage and curiosity started to climb from his now re-ignited star. When he surfaced he was presented by a two hundred kilometres long trail of debris ending in glowing hot crater. Unfortunately, this trail of debris included bits of his Green Cadillac. Noticing these shards by the trail, Arnie screamed with pure rage "You Idiout!" and charged toward Shins. Shins picking himself up and moments later was confronted by a very pissed off Arnie. They began to stare each other down, sizing up their foe but something caught both their attention. It was Battery Guy! He was riding a lightning bolt as if it was mere rope. He landed delicately as though weightless. The piano man stopped playing and the barman hid behind his bar. The scene was set for a round of fisticuffs of epic proportions.

Battery Guy knew of Arnie from days long past, he had seen reports of his last great adventure commonly known as "super big boom crush your skull for I am Arnie 4, the musical". This harrowing tale of woe had seen Arnie take on the entire evil planet Doom Boom Crush, which had been taken over by space Nazis from the future. Finally after destroying all of their forces except for the evil Kernel Red Hat and his chief henchman Ultra Klink Beta. They had sadly escaped in a waiting Hydrofiol*. Knowing that the most important aspect of the Hydrofiol was that it could operate in Portuguese should the need arise. Arnie decided to seal himself in the centre of the star until he was needed.

Shins threw down the gauntlet. "Drew them on for have!!" His attempt at a blistering and scathing insult had come out garbled. Arnie, thinking through what he had just heard a number of times, looked a little confused. Shins retorted with a mighty "Hah!" desperately trying to recover. Arnie, caught further off guard, succumbed to the first barrage of punches that Shins threw. Arnie fell backward then stood, took two steps and uppercutted Shins with immeasurable rage. Shins' head was thrown back as he copped it under the chin with such force that he left the ground. Shins was thrown backward a number of metres where he landed, crashing to the ground. The ground quaked and cracked underneath him. Shins gasped, only just holding on to consciousness.

Battery Guy saw his chance and leapt at shins as he lay prone on the ground. His mackerel let loose a barrage of batteries which punched a hole through the sound barrier and hit shins in the chest. Shins screamed in pain, "It's an imaginary keyboard! I can do what I want!", and then shins fell silent. Battery Guy held his mackerel high and shouted "charge". The universe was safe for battery lovers everywhere. But not for Battery Guy himself who had angered Arnie with his antics.

Arnie initiated his interrogation routine - a routine he had called upon many times in the past. "I am going to ask you a number of questions and I want them answered immediately". "What are you doing? Zis is my star and noow it iss on fier! What are you doing! Noooo! You have re-ignited it vhyiiii?" Battery Guy, taken aback, attempted a coherent answer. "Teh shinz is teh gr34t darkn3ss". "I h4d t0 fight h1m...". "For t3h win of te][ galaxies and r34l1tyz of j0r everywhere". Arnie, never before hearing l33t spoken aloud returned fire. "Vat are you speaking?! You idioot!", "I vill not accept this garbage!" Battery Guy, offended by Arnie's "Ignorance", threw down the gauntlet... "S1r you will not s01L teh l33t" raising his mackerel to his waist ready to fire and pulled the trigger. Arnie, pre-empting this, had already set about diving to the right and landing in a commando roll, a move that had obviously been rehearsed for just such an occasion. The spray of battery missed him completely.

Battery Guy fired volley after volley of highly charged batteries at Arnie who continued to commando roll. Finally Arnie rolled into a small cottage, which, for some reason, happened to be parked in the area. Battery Guy advanced toward the house whilst reloading the mackerel. "St00pid n00b", shouted Battery Guy as he advanced up to the front door. As he reached for the door knob Arnie kicked the door open screamed "Get to da Choppa", and ran full force at Battery Guy. Battery Guy was totally unprepared for this suicide assault and promptly fell flat on his arse in shock. Arnie kicked him in the head and leapt into a nearby tree. Battery Guy fired after him but was only able to hit one of Arnie's stunt men, Dwayne Vort, who happened to be sitting at a nearby beatnik cafe smoking, and composing his latest epic, "Bang Bang Diddly".

Shoving rubble and pieces of roofing aside the Beatnik owner looked at Battery Guy and said "Who's gunna pay for all this?". Battery Guy then indicated at Arnie and said "He is, he's the one that started all this!" Arnie then shouted at shins "You are a schoolgirl compared to me!" in a streak of "randomness for no particular reason". Quietly Shins hauled himself to his feet and crept toward Arnie failing his DEX + Stealth roll by only 1, he almost made it to Arnie. Arnie however, did not fail his Perception + Awareness roll hearing Shins attempting to sneak up on him. Arnie screamed in desperation at Battery Guy - "Give meee da weapon!" Battery Guy, weighing things up for a moment, decided to assist the greater good tossing the Mackerel to Arnie. Arnie cocked the Mackerel in a fluid motion, having used this type of mackerel before and cut loose with an automatic volley of batteries mowing down Shins for the second time. Once the smoke had cleared, Battery Guy and Arnie crept cautiously up to the fallen figure of Shins. Arnie seeing Shins chest cavity contents were missing deduced that was obviously dead, he then felt the need to make a speech and turned to Battery Guy. "I feeel I haf made ze mestake, I see now my follies in aaatacking yoo Battery Guy, perhaps now ve can become friends and you can move into my star, it is very lonely being ze only godly hero in ze cosmos" to which Battery Guy replied "OMFG teh win!"

The celebrations of the defeat of shins went on for many hours at the beatnik bar after mopping up the remains of Dwayne. Arnie and Battery Guy drank passion pop and goon till the wee hours of the morning. Finally in a drunken haze Battery Guy declared that he felt bad for wrecking Arnie's green Cadillac and would buy him a new one. After much discussion a plan was drawn up to go to the planet Caddillacia where all of the universes Cadillacs are forged in crimson rivers, or green ones if the car happens to be that colour. The trip began in earnest before the cheap booze could wear off.

Arnie happened to have a ship shaped like a used teabag which he had arrived on the sun all those centuries ago which they set off in. They where scarcely a hundred light years away when disaster struck. It seemed that shins or some other unknown party had left an unpleasant surprise for our two intrepid adventures. "Somebody set us up the bomb" Battery Guy quietly uttered in fearful surprise while beholding the monstrosity. It seemed there was a large stack of dirty socks strapped to several tons of TNT in the hold and an Orion TV/VCR Combo with the words, press play, scrawled in blood on the monitor.

Arnie and Battery Guy set about looking for the remote. It seems this cold war Orion Combo unit was completely useless without the remote. "Perhaps it's behind the lounge" uttered Battery Guy looking over his shoulder at Arnie as he searched. Arnie, seeing the opportunity presented said "I hav an idea!" and promptly turned and opened a large trunk by his side marked with various danger symbols - Arnie donned a very heavy pair of gloves made from a compound consisting of Titanium, Asbestos, Rubber and Lead with Leather buckles and gold trim. He then reached into the box and pulled out his Flammable, Biohazardous, Electrocution Serving, Explosive, Nuclear X-Ray machine. This "hand held" device could not possibly be used by any normal human, only someone of Arnie's stature could possibly wield this dangerous, yet, incredibly useful device. Arnie trained the device on the lounge and put a sequence of numbers into its glowing keypad. The ship began to shudder and lights began to flicker intermittently under the massive strain the device was putting on the ship's Tachyon based Banana Generator.

The X-Ray device began glowing, arcs of electricity sizzled over its surfaces, blood began to drip from the bottom of the device and the top caught fire. After about a minute of what could only be called "processing", the device then emitted a single low pitched beep and powered down. When Battery Guy emerged from where he was sheltering, he looked in awe at the now transparent lounge. Unfortunately, the remote wasn't hidden down the back of the lounge. "Oh, I am idiot!, ze remote is here on the coffee table!", Arnie threw the device back in the trunk and slammed it's lid. It seems that the device actually made objects permanently transparent through the use of a combination of voodoo, green carpet weaving patterns and advanced quantum theory.

Pressing the "on" button on the remote the Orion promptly started to smoke and spew bubbles from somewhere inside the casing. Finally after much struggle and a few well placed kicks the screen lit up and displayed the image of non other than Shins. "You have got the better deal, and less for cash, but all your base are belong to us!" The Orion then rose up on its chromed telescopic death legs and began to advance on Arnie and Battery Guy. Arnie swung a mighty punch at the screen which should have shattered it as it had a thousand Robots, Demons and Small Asteroids; instead, a blinding light flashed up and Arnie was pushed back, as he often seemed to when he got in fights lately. The Orion screamed a demonic scream and then rather anticlimactically turned into a small alarm clock with its read out counting down rapidly from one hundred seconds.

Arnie and Battery Guy attempted to defuse the bomb, but then, shooting a bomb at point blank range with a sawn off shotgun doesn't really count much towards defusing. The explosion ripped through the ship damaging it beyond repair and leaving Arnie and Battery Guy floating in space. Fortunately, being Godlike beings of almost unimaginable power has perks such as being impervious to the ravages of spaces unforgiving vacuum. They still, however, lacked any means of propulsion and where left drifting with nothing but a small inflatable dingy which Arnie insisted had teleportation powers, a blue esky which was missing its lid, a set of children's beach sand toys and a number of pieces of charred wreckage. Arnie reassured Battery Guy that the dingy only lacked a palm tree and a bucket of sand in order to work. A dried out stinky crab claw would also make things work.

Arnie had fashioned a device to collect small comets and space dust using his esky and some banned plastic six pack plastic wrappers that drifted by, this hung out behind the dingy on some frayed and burnt wire removed from parts of charred wreckage. A number of millennia later Battery Guy was looking a little dim with lack of charge. Arnie, after performing his regular Esky Content check spoke the words that Battery Guy waiting so long for: "Finally ve have collected enough dust to use ze teleporter! I have also manufactured a makeshift palm tree out of ze wreckage of ze lost Voyager III probe from earth which we ran into a number of years ago." Arnie scraped the collection of small comets and dust from the bottom of the esky into a yellow plastic bucket using his green plastic spade, forcing it through his orange bucket sieve. Arnie placed the plastic bucket into the bucket fuel receptacle of the makeshift palm tree and pulled on one of the more lever looking palm fronds. The teleporter began to whir.

The teleporter while an amazing piece of backyard science was far from perfect. Arnie and Battery Guy found themselves temporarily trapped in the fabric of the universe for a few minutes as Arnie attempted to recalibrate the palm tree to home in on more precise coordinates. The fabric of the universe was an odd place where up was down, left was right, and for some reason you could always get a cup of tea in less than two minutes. With a bit of delicate fine tuning and a lot of heavy bashing Arnie was able to get the device up and running again and our intrepid heroes where once again on their way. However, all did not go according to plan as our heroes were forced to take a few more detours involving alternate realities along the way.

Caddillacia is an amazing sector of the Luxury Car quadrant. It is between the two other more popular car manufacturing quadrants called the "Cheap Jap Import Quadrant" and the quadrant almost entirely supported by sales in Australia called "Holden Commodore Manufacturing Quadrant". Battery Guy, dazzled and entranced by the rounded shapes and shininess of plastic chrome began to steer into the Cheap Jap Import Quadrant looking to buy Arnie a KIA instead. Arnie, while Battery Guy piloted urged Battery Guy to steer clear of the Cheap Jap Import Quadrant as their product looked really shiny but they broke easily and were impossible to get parts for. Realising his folly, Battery Guy headed back to Luxury Car space. During the long journey together, Arnie taught Battery Guy to fly the dingy. With his hundreds of years of practice showing, Battery Guy brought down the dingy into one of the more "budget" Cadillac dealerships. He guided the dingy down and landed with a smooth whoosh and soft landing. This dealership was situated on the edge of town near the DosBox Banditos territory. It was worth the risk of being attacked by the ruthless Banditos for the low, low prices they were offering to copse customers to purchase there.

An African American salesperson came out to greet them when they landed. He was a very large, well built man with enough Jewellery to satisfy Paris Hilton for the rest of her life. Gold everywhere, in terms of weight, he was wearing about 50kg of gold chains around his neck. He approached and questioned "What type of Cadillac do you fools want?". Arnie, not used to this sort of lingo retorted. "Vy are you callingg me fool, you have no idea who I am, yoo idiouut!". Recognising this salesperson immediately, Battery Guy set about calming down Arnie. "n00b, this is Mr. T! How could you not recognise him. He runs with the A Team for the win!". Mr. T, seeing that the dispute would come to a peaceful resolve said "Right fools, I'm Mr. T, who are you?". "I am Battery Guy, seeker of Charge, this here is Arnie the… big."

Mr. T looking genuinely concerned and getting comfortable, put one foot up on the bumper of a nearby Cadillac and started his typical and mandatory spiel: "We are trapped here in this dealership; trapped like damn fools. Those Banditos have been raiding my properties and stealing my Cadillacs. Now me and the A Team, we'd go whoop their ass, but now that we're all retired, we aren't the formidable force that we once were. I'm s'posed to be retired, I'm losing money left and right and I'm barely making enough money to make ends meet. Now I honour the fool that saves my dealership from those Banditos, hell, I'd give them one GM products from all of the Luxury car range. Now these Bandito dudes are lead by a fool called Lucky, Lucky I have DosBox. He's this fool that thinks he knows his shit about computers, hell, my momma knows more about computers than that fool! He rolls up to my dealership and he's all like: I'm taking this Cadillac and then he pulls out this cardboard box with DOS written on it. He screams out "Lucky I have DOSBox", tosses it at my feet and I pass out. That's spooky fool." Taken aback and somehow inspired, Battery Guy commits himself and Arnie, taking the quest. Arnie, also inspired begins to assure Mr. T. "Mr. T, ve are honoured to do zis for yoo. I am sorry about my behaviour. You must discover your own strength again; you could be massive and godlike like me. Ve vill get rid of zees Banditos."

So the after a few hours of growing accustomed to the surroundings of the dealership and noting places where fortifications could be improved battery guy and Arnie drew up a plan of defence and attack. The plans they had drawn up involved sentry guns, four hundred kilos of dynamite, an army of enraged wildebeests and two paper bags of nondescript size. Battery guy first took all the batteries from all the cars in the dealership and gathered them in the one place and Arnie drank all of the petrol from their tanks. Mr T Somewhat "dismayed" by the rather low key attempts at defence questioned them at length in a most tense exchange. "You fools don’t know what you doin’!" "First you come in here and give me some jibber jabber about how amazing you are even though you ain’t got no gold guns or sense and then show me this big plan you have and then totally disregard yo own plan and start drinking my gas and stealin’ my batteries". T shook his head they had power these two but they didn’t understand what kind of Banditos they where up against.

The sun was beginning to set in Caddillacia, throwing long shadows across the dealership. Fortifications in place, petrol consumed and batteries piled up - they had survived the day. According to Mr. T’s observations, it was a feat in it’s self for these two "super beings" to survive the carnage, even though no fight ensued. Arnie, on-edge and overconfident from his petrol pumping decided that he’d begin scouting the area. "I am going to scowt ze immediate area for Banditos, they could be hiding anyvere!" Battery guy, subdued and clinging to his pile of car batteries like a cat hoarding fluffy toys. He appeared totally un-phased about Arnie’s suicide mission. Eyes glazed over and glowing electric blue, it was obvious that something was amiss with battery guy, this had of course gone unnoticed by the gassed-up Arnie. Night had finally fallen and Arnie began painting himself like a zebra using his Dulux Urban Cammo Kit or D.U.C.K as the elite had coined it. So elite was this piece of kit that you need a belt sander to remove it. Arnie, seeing the lack of light in the Dealership began checking on Battery Guy. "Battery Guy, have you set up ze flood lights we discussed so ve can see ze Banditos approaching? Zis is wery tactically important!" Battery Guy just scowled. Somehow sobered up by the DUCK fumes, it was obvious now to Arnie that something was wrong with Battery Guy. Arnie continued looking at Battery Guy awaiting his answer. There was an awkward silence. Arnie opened his mouth, about to speak when something moved in the shadows, quickly Battery Guy snapped out his trance powering up a flood light and pointing it into the night. A tumble weed! It seems it was out of cue with the awkward silence scene. Disappointed, Battery Guy powered down the spot light and scowled again "FINE!" Climbing to the top of his pile he concentrated for a second. He smiled and tapped his heels together three times. Five lightning bolts leapt in different directions to somewhere near outskirts of the dealership, a number of small explosions followed as the small amounts of petrol remaining in the tanks exploded, clearly these bolts were aimed at cars. The entire dealership was now draped in a flickering orange light permeating from the outskirts. The lights in the dealership office came on and the door exploded open nearly torn from it’s hinges. "Has the fight started? What! What the hell are you fools destroying now?" Battery Guy turned to Arnie and growled "There’s your light!" Mr T looking a little confused walked over to Arnie. "Why do you two have to destroy everything? Hell, the Banditos would do less damage!" Arnie looked over at Battery Guy realising what had happened he lent in and began quietly telling Mr T his theory. "I read once in ‘Mega Being’ that battery dependant beings are of two polarities, Acid and Alkaline! Ze car batteries are Acid batteries; he has been consumed by DARK POWER! Ve must do something before he incinerates the area within a 2 kilometre radius. He is coming down; he has used up all his Acid batteries! This could be disastrous!"



Well, as you can see from the pictures, the suspension is pretty sussed. The other end will be a mirror of this end.

I need to work the axel hubs and steering into it now.





Tuesday, 27th December 2005


I have been doing a pretty crappy job of my blog lately. It really sucks arse to work in retail during the Christmas/holiday season. That 80h week just killed me. Bureaucratic bullshit spitting morons.

It was all good. Worked over the weekend so the shop was good for when my area manager came in. That was fine because I was taking the next weekend off. No show. Worked through the week too because he was *supposedly* coming later in the week. No show. Calls, tells me he's coming on the weekend. I say, I'm not on, on the weekend. He says "Yes you are.". Bullshit. Saturday morning rolls around, I am told that bigwigs will be visiting and the store must be shit-hot so they can see why my sales have improved nearly 150%. Area manager comes, says nothing, moves a bulk stack infront of my cabinets which is just stupid and the bigwigs are a no-show. Now, I've worked 80h fixing things for arseholes that don't think my store is important enough to warrant their "presence". Makes me want to really hurt them.

Then there's the other gem that my area manager came up with. We have some christmas lights left. I took the initiative, being a MANAGER to mark down the prices and have a "manager's special" on lights. I marked them down below cost in some cases, I printed a list of our stock on hand, from that data I made a list to display all the old prices and my new prices. We sold quite a few. Then, my area manager sees it. His reaction was "I'm not sure how <bigwig's name> will react to those prices..." Yeah, thanks for backing me up you tool. We are going to mark them down below cost and well below the pricing that I had displayed later if they did not sell through, why not wear the loss now and free up the space for something we will make money on! Stupidness. Why do I give a shit anyway, she can react the way she wants, it's my store, that stock needs to be cleared. It's really a simple concept. My area manager is just too scared of upper management to be of any use or support to store managers in the area.

Anyway, the DAY I had off was great, considering I spent two of my three days driving down to Ulladulla to spend ONE down there. Of course I have to work today. Because I'm cheaper being a salaried employee. Bastards.

Sunday I spent a few hours in the pool. I got to see that thing that I barely see in my basement store. What's it called, oh, that's right, the sun. So I got my vitamin A for the year. It's safe to hide away again, where bigwigs fail to venture. It was good, I did manage to unwind quite a bit, most of my bloodlust toward my area manager has subsided. Then we drove back up Monday.

I gathered my Earth Monies from all my gifts and I think I will buy a new video card. Decisions, Decisions. I have about $200 so I was thinking probably one of the Winfast NVIDIA Geforce FX 6600TD cards or their variants. I have it narrowed to two at the moment. Since I only have $200 and I don't have PCI-Express I can't get a shit-hot card. It will have to be better than my Geforce 4 MX440 that Goldy graciously gave me for nothing.


WinFast A6600 TD 256MB $235 DCLEA082 Adelong Leadtek


WinFast A6600 GT TDH 128MB $279 DCLEA069 Adelong Leadtek

"Core" powerboard failure...


Hrm.... It's suposed to look technical. I added "core" Tongue2

The core power board crapped out (read: shat a brick and ejected it's rocker switch onto the floor) over night and I am not sure what time. I will have to go over the logs. It took 20 min to get back up, I replaced it with another board. Lucky those 5 leads and 3 packs are all tidy an neatly loomed up. It was a snap. Trickiest part was lining the new powerboard up onto the screws and clipping it in. I suspect it may have a small colony of bugs living in it, judging by the brown bug crap in my poorly shot photo. Meh, it's 6:30 something in the morning, I just got up. Can't be expecting a nice shot =) There will however be nice shots if there is anything interesting inside.

In other news, I have passed 200 blog entries now! l33t!

Wednesday, 21st December 2005


Work. Too much in fact. Stupid me, scheduled the weekend off and have now been told to work it. Yay for the 10 day 80.5h week Shock!

I noticed something hillarious on my juice thismorning. I decided to try the "Fruitful Super Juice - Immune" this morning. The blurb is so over the top it's hillarious. All of the bold is in green and about 2pt bigger in bold on the actual label.

"Drink immune for an anti-oxidant-packed punch. It's delicious zingy blend of apple, pineapple and guava not only tastes super good, it's loaded with fruit juice goodness.... and let's face it, in todays world we need all the help we can get.

It might just help keep you on top of things, and we've vlended in Echinacea, plus Anti-oxidants: we think your system could celebrate the extra nourishment.

It's all good with no nasties so treat yourself well - drink Immune every day."

I couldn't help smirking and giggling all the way through... Then, one of my staff asked me what was so funny. I could barely contain myself to read it aloud to them. It was kind of a stuttered reading indispensed with laughing and snickering Big Grin! 



Found an idea diff for the buggy! But... It's $900 Wired

It was on this site which is really cool and I'm sure I will be ordering some other stuff from them!

Shopping Buggy

I have decided to start designing a small buggy to carry stuff up the stairs. I am going to slowly flesh out this brief properly as I come up with more ideas.

Design Brief:

Basic Requirements:

  • Must carry ~40kg and it’s own weight up standard incline stairs.
  • Must have facilities to hang shopping bags on or a suitable 'tray and cage' arrangement to carry and contain a load of shopping bags.
  • Will be propelled and steered electrically.
  • Will be operated remotely.
  • Buggy will carry a web server and webcam.
  • Buggy must be able to navigate standard 800mm minimum clearance hallways.
  • Must have a balance mechanism to counter-balance load while climbing stairs.
  • Buggy will be reasonably quiet.
  • 4 wheel drive (diffs) - probably not a centre diff.
  • 4 wheel steer
  • Independant Suspension
Control System:
  • Lappy.
  • 802.11b wireless.
  • 2 or 4 wheel steer modes.
  • Controller(s)
    • PWM for traction motor(s).
    • Stepper Control for steering Stepper(s).


  • Per Wheel RPM.
  • Per Motor Current.
  • Current Draw of traction motor(s).
  • Roll/Incline sensor.
  • Slip indicator.
  • Front and rear looking camera.


  • Visual Basic.
  • Display of Telemetry.
  • Allow Control of Buggy.
  • On-Screen and Physical Controller.
  • Fail-Over Controller that plugs into buggy.
  • Front and rear looking camera.


  • Propulsion
    • Traction Motor(s).
      • Probably a VW generator (doubled ended).
  • Components.
    • Modular.
    • Easy to construct using available equipment and materials.
  • Drive Train.
    • Wheels.
      • Square form pneumatic wheelbarrow wheels with keys or splines on axels (not roller bearings obviously.)
    • Power transfer
      • Front and rear quasi diff.
        • A bevel gear set from an angle grinder.
      • Universal Joints.
  • Steering.
    • Arms actuating wheel hub.
    • Stepper actuated.
    • Both Software and Manual adjustment.
  • Suspension.
    • Arms.
    • Springs.
    • Towers?
  • Brakes (Possible)
    • Motor + lever on disc?
    • Pneumatic?
    • Hydraulic?
    • Manual Handbrake?


  • Batteries
    • SLA Battery
    • Bank of smaller SLA Batteries
      • 24 volt series/parallel arrangement
  • Charging
    • AC Inlet/Built In Charger?
    • External Charger?
    • Careing for battery
      • Auto discharging etc?
      • Zapping.


  • Circuit board Dress / Wire Loom Dress
  • Modular design
    • Plug and Socket interfaces for key components.
  • Documentation of circuits!

Thursday, 08th December 2005



At the moment I am in a mood that could only be described as "the centre of a nuclear explosion". I just obliterated the cordless handset I was talking to my area manager on.

It seems this week is the anti-Tim week. Not only am I now open for incredibly stupid hours that will cost the company more in wages than they could possibly recoup in gross profit and inevariably end up pissing away my time waiting for customers to arrive in an empty store, but also, the company feels that it can throw out my possessions left in my previous store without asking.

I spoke to one of the full-timers from the store and they had said that all the *stock* was moved out of my box, that's fair enough, it’s stock I had stashed to buy later, I don't own it yet, put it back on the floor to sell or in the storeroom. They said that they didn't know where the rest went though. I called the Area Manager that "tidied" my box of stuff and asked where it's contents had ended up. The Area Manager had thrown it all out. I asked him about my Tandy sign. He said that he had thrown that out too. I then replied "You could have called me". To which he replied he was "not in the mood to call anyone after losing $18K out of that store in stolen goods".

Is that *my* fault? The answer is simply: absofuckingloutly NOT. If he was a professional, as he claims to be, he would have called regardless of his mood because he would have been able to control himself. So, my bits and pieces of my old store, sentimental, important things got thrown in the garbage without my consent. How the fuck am I going to get another Tandy sign? Steal it from another store - yeah, that won't get me in trouble; have the Area Manager in question get one made, very, very, VERY unlikely. Even if I do get another one, it wont be *my* Tandy store's Tandy sign, there will be no sentimental attachment to a copy. Why the fuck would I even be concearned if it didn't have sentimental value.

After questioning him about his heartless, ill-conceded tidy up he reminded me that the area needed to make an Extra $60K today and that I need to pull a $5K day to help this - all of this in a tone like he had done nothing wrong. Shit, that motherfucker didn’t even apologize. Fuck that. He can go fuck himself and come here and sell shit in my store, I'm not. Is he that stupid that he could not grasp the clear anger in my voice and realise that asking me to do anything for him would be stupid, and, it probably would not get done anyway?

I have no chance to achieve budget anyway. This christmas is NOT going to be the big christmas that the retail big-wigs think it's going to be. To add insult to injury he knows I have no chance at $5K in 8 hours in a god damn Tandy store. I am not helping him do anything. I'm not helping any other stores do anything either, I have enough of my own problems. Other stores that feel that can use my store as a stationary cache, fuck them, they can re-inflate their shrivelled little brains and make sure that they order stationary {bags, ticket paper etc} by themselves.

That stuff comes out of my budget impacting on MY bottom line, not theirs. I already haven't a piss-weak chance in hell of making budget and getting a bonus, but, if I came close and missed because of an overspend in stationary, rest asured, I would Deck the Manager that took that stationary from my store. My bonus would be $200.

This leads me to the second anti-Tim event of the week. My wife is pregnant, so we go through the usual tests and stuff without a hitch. At 20 weeks (now) we had to get an ultrasound done to identify any growth defects. We waited a whole hour and a half after our appointment time and finally go in, add to that the 30 minutes we were early.

This was of course a big problem as they had asked my Wife to drink water and have a full bladder for the ultrasound. So, she downed 4 glasses of water before we left. The problem was, she couldn’t retain all of that for the extra hour and a half that it took for the nurse to see us. Strike 1.

So, we get in there, the nurse appears to be pre-occupied, in a hurry and just generally narky. We go through the tests and she takes 50 or so pictures of different pieces of anatomy to measure and check. I’m no doctor or ultrasound operator but to me, the pictures looked pretty out of focus… Twice the nurse, over the duration of thaking the 50 or so pictures asked my Wife to empty out a bit of her bladder, and then entirely empty it. This may have been why the images weren’t clear. Strike 2.

The doctor comes in to examine some of the images. The nurse had obviously done a shit job as the doctor herself started to take a few shots because she could not see what she needed to see in the shots that the nurse took. That’s fine. The doctor finishes what she’s doing and then after a brief flick through the images gives the OK for us to leave. I think it was "It looks OK, you don’t have to wait outside for the results".

My Wife had an appointment the next day, what did we see on the report, nothing other than a long-winded explanation that, summarised, said that the baby’s nose bone might be too short and that another ultrasound would be required because the images weren’t clear enough for a proper diagnosis. This brings me to my point. If I were a doctor, I wouldn’t draw a conclusion on poor data, I would not put my name to it.

Why the fuck would she do that? Raising possible false alarm. My Wife’s on the ceiling worrying about it now, that’s just what she does and you can’t blame her for that really. If it were up to me, I would ask for another ultrasound before I drew a conclusion or provided my diagnosis.

I am a programmer and I also work on electronics – what is the rule? GIGO! Garbage In, Garbage Out. If I am working on program based around a database and all the records are crap, or if I don’t qualify my user input and don’t throw errors when inputs are incorrect I have rubbish data. If I have rubbish data, I get rubbish results. I’m working on an audio amplifier. If the pre-amplifier throws a noisy signal to the power-amp, the resulting signal and the output will me noisy wont it.

FUCKING GIGO! It's not a hard concept...

I thought doctors were supposed to be smart people. I’m sure she probably knows a lot about medicine, what about common sense?! Why not mention to us, before we leave, that the images might be too fuzzy to draw an accurate conclusion? Afraid of losing face? Fuck you, fuck your face and tell the truth. I hate people that feel that they need to sugar coat things or alter the truth in order to report results that people may not want to hear or in order to protect themselves - even both.

It’s easier and better for all if the truth is told the first time. Another work example, I manage a store. My area manager may not want to hear that I had say, a stereo stolen off the shelf. I can cover it up, it’s easy, yeah, "all the stock is here Area Manager". What if a full stock take was done by a party other than me? Who’s fucked then? Me, because I committed fraud by concealing a loss.

Back to the store manager’s perspective, wouldn’t you want your stock levels to be accurate? I know I do. Cop a bit of an upset phone call and that’s it, but everything is square, shit happens. Take it on the chin and stop being a fucking bitch, it’s more important to the business to have accurate stock levels. It’s not like I’m going to shout at the doctor for her nurse not doing a good job, in fact I’d do the opposite, I actually would appreciate the honesty.

It’s not hard. Where are the controls that prevent a doctor from fucking you around? I get fired and referred to the Police if I commit fraud in the company.

It’s not fucking fair. hissyfit

Friday, 02nd December 2005



Yummy coffee with cream! I had to use what was left before it went off... l33t! Looks like it's a brocure check today, since it wasn't completed by my minions before the other day, the brocure actually started yesterday. Hope my area manager doesn't come in and check the brochure or I am screwed. I must train my minions more so they can properly tie up a brocure in the whole DAY that I gave them. At least I have a 3 day weekend to make up for all the 6 dayers that I have done.

:wq Cool! 

The Race Is On!!!





They have found water ice on Mars! (well... under it's surface) That paves the way for more exploration and possibly even human exploration!

Image 1:
"Two strong and distinct echoes coming from the area correspond to a surface reflection and subsurface interface between two different materials. By analysis of the two echoes, the scientists were able to draw the likely scenario of a nearly pure, cold water-ice layer thicker than 1 km, overlying a deeper layer of basaltic regolith." --

Image 2, 3:
"First data include buried impact craters, probing of layered deposits at the north pole and hints of the presence of deep underground water-ice. First results reveal an almost circular structure, about 250 km in diameter, shallowly buried under the surface of the northern lowlands of the Chryse Planitia region in the mid-latitudes on Mars. The scientists have interpreted it as a buried basin of impact origin, possibly containing a thick layer of water-ice-rich material." --

How is it that important events like this aren't mentioned on the news. No, we need to know which celebrity is rooting which other celebrity in some weird love triangle or some other bullshit! Jeees, "Possible habitability on ANOTHER PLANET" gets pushed back or not mentioned at all. No, that's not important at all. Damn dissapointing. Yaaaay! Shallow, fame/material possession oriented society for teh win!!!111~~ angry

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