Dietzgen 3162 Lead Holder & Frederick Post Pointer

I was going to title this Desk Tools 2 & 3, given the last time I wrote about lead holders I was going to initiate a short form expose series on cool things to use on your desk. But, you know how those things go.  Recently I came into possession of two drafting tools from yester-year: the Dietzgen 3162 Lead Holder and a Frederick Post Tru-Point Pencil Pointer.  I’ve linked to leadpointer.com for more detailed information.

I will say that the Dietzgen lead holder is at least slightly older than me, made from c1960s to 1985. It’s italian and a pretty cool goldenrod color. The Tru-Point Pencil Pointer is one of those awesomely complex industrial tools. It basically contains a spring loaded abrasive cone that is used to sharpen the lead. It is heavy, cast and die-cast iron, and somewhere under the layers of lead dust, looks to be a pretty cool stoplight red color. The kicker is this seems to be from the 1950s, but may damage the lead holder, so I’ll probably just use it as a display piece.

I’ll post detailed photos of these guys at a later date!

DIY SMD LED Strip Aquarium Light: 5730 White LED Tests

DIY SMD LED Strip Aquarium Light: 5730 White LED Tests

I recently made three of the eight (planned) light bars that will contain two 22″ strips of 5730 SMD LEDs and one 22″ strip of red/blue “plant growth” 5050 SMD LEDs. Each 22″ strip contains 33 LEDs, so that I have a current total of 198 white 5730 SMD LEDs rated at “6000k-6500k” and, 18 blue 5050SMD LEDs in the 440-460nm wavelength and 81 red 5050smd LEDs in the 630-660nm wavelength. This article will cover a quick comparison between a few known setups as some tweaks to my original plans. Continue reading…

DIY SMD LED Strip Aquarium Light: The Plan

DIY SMD LED Strip Aquarium Light: The Plan

I’ve decided to replace my aquariums 4x60watt daylight CFLs with an overabundance of SMD LED strip lights. The plan is daunting, expensive and probably excessive, but what projects I take on aren’t these days? In this first installment I’ll go over some of the initial set up steps I’ve taken, from plans to purchases. If you don’t leave shaking your head wondering what the hell I was thinking, I haven’t done my job.

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Retirement Portfolio Tracking with Google Spreadsheets

Retirement Portfolio Tracking with Google Spreadsheets

If by now you don’t know that I love just about everything Google, where have you been? However, tracking my investment portfolio via Google Finance is a love / hate relationship. The service frequently has bugs, is a bit ungainly and can be a pain to keep up to date. Conversely, I love many of the features such as related news articles and ESPECIALLY the performance chart.

Over the last couple of days I set out to make Google Spreadsheets work for me to make up for Finance’s shortcomings.

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Quick Tip: Google Timer

Just a quick tip out there for anyone who needs an even quicker timer solution, use Google! By searching “timer x minutes” or variations of such you can quickly call up an automatically starting timer. I find it really useful for tea timing with “timer 2 minutes 30 seconds”. You can also use it for countdowns: “timer 5pm” is useful for all those clock watchers out there!

Forgetting The Milk: Ditching RTM for TeuxDeux

I’ve been a long time paid supporter of Remember the Milk for several years, but have decided it is time to part ways. I believe I got weighed down too much in the heavy GTD features you could create (and the openness which afforded you these abilities) and it no longer was a quick and dirty way to keep track of things.

Instead of continually attempting to restructure my RTM lists to do the job for me, I will be giving TeuxDeux a try (as well as Evernote’s new reminders feature for bigger projects). Of course it too has its shortcomings (no Android app!?) but I am eager to give it a real go!
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Lifereef Filter Unboxing and Photos

One of my friends recently bought a custom built Lifereef filter for his 140 gallon tank. The filter is hand built by Jeff Turcheck (the one man crew behind Lifereef) and they are truly a work of art! My friends tank is tall tank, versus the traditional large, and Jeff did an amazing job puzzling together an amazing multi part filter, reefugium and protein skimmer, and it all fit like a charm.

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Why There Is No Flickr Alternative: Redux

A little over a month ago I gave some reasons why my failed attempts to find a flickr alternative (see Flickr Alternatives) failed in my first “Why There Is No Flickr Alternative” post. Little did I know Marissa Meyer is on a war path to turn Yahoo! around, and it looks like she is focusing in all off the right places. Despite what critics may say of her recent Tumblr purchase or of the new Flickr revamp, things are changing, and you cannot wrong her for trying to turn the company around. After all, that is her job.

But this isn’t a post to praise Meyer for her attempts. Rather, this is is a post to talk about why patience and sticking with a sinking ship can sometimes yield pleasant results.

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