Cell phones

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
forgotten_aria: (Default)
[personal profile] forgotten_aria
I wouldn't mind a new cell phone. The only problem is I like small cell phones. The one I'm currently using is 4.91in x 2.41in. I also don't like apple and google screwed me over on the both nexuses, so I don't want to deal with the pixel either. I use t-mobile, so I'd need an unlock phone, most likely. This doesn't leave me with a lot of options that I've found. I'd like Android 5.0 or better, I think. I'd like a better antenna too, but it's hard to search for that.

Does anyone have a newer small phone they love that is android but not google?

Davis Square Food Tour!

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:51 pm
[personal profile] davissquaregal posting in [community profile] davis_square
I recently started a Davis Square food tour and would love help getting the word out. I love this community and was disheartened to see the many open store fronts as well as chains like bfresh enter the neighborhood. My mission is to support the Square as an entertainment destination so that people don't start thinking of Somerville as Assembly Row :)

Anyways, we'd love it if you would support our tiny company! The tour is a lot of fun! It's called Off The Beaten Path Food Tours & Experiences (www.offthebeatenpathfoodtours.com), and we are booking our first tours this weekend with Friday - Sunday tours being available.

By way of marketing, I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions. We'd love help promoting it, and we're excited to showcase awesome entrepreneurs in our backyard and sample their delicious eats. If you have a guest in town, run an AirBNB, have a niece starting at Tufts, etc. etc. it's great to learn more about the history of our neighborhood and meet some local folks doing great things.

Microscope! Not embarrassing

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:52 pm
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

Finally, assembly... and confirmation of non-embarrassing results.

Read more... )

marissafriedcj: (Default)
[personal profile] marissafriedcj posting in [community profile] davis_square
$1050 Monthly + Utilities for Large Bedroom Unit / Coin Op Washer Dryer in Building

$1050 Deposit Required by Landlord

About Your Potential Roomates:

Marissa, 29, is a chocolate connoisseur who also enjoys exercising (#RocknFitness #TeamFitBit) and following baseball. In Marissa's free time, when she has that sort of thing haha, she likes to cook, bake, as well as try out new restaurants with friends.

Ayla, 31, is a wellness educator emphasizing mindfulness and meditation. Ayla also enjoys creative writing, yoga, swimming, and nature walks. Ayla is involved with local community efforts in sustainability and government.

If You are Interested Please Let Us Know About You and Your Availability
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

There's one thing left to worry about. The left hand focus knobs are, for whatever reason, set in toward the centerline of the focus block about a quarter of an inch compared to the right. The coarse knob almost-- but won't quite-- clear the SZH's uniquely wide microscope body.

If only I had some roughly 80-mil plate with which to fashion some spacers! Oh right...

(/me fishes spacer pieces from previous adapter attempt out of the scrap aluminum pile)

OK! First I need a ring spacer to set the coarse focus knob further away from the centerline.

Done! Now, the fine focus knob needs to be set away as well.

I considered making a shaft spacer, but it will weaken the overall assembly. Instead, I heated the brass inset in the fine focus knob until the ABS softened, then pushed it in 80 mil. I did use a guide to make sure it pushed in straight and flat-- no wobbling allowed.

The fine focus also has a spring-loaded friction mechanism to add a little resistance to it drifting. One side is built into the knob, which I just moved out 80-mil. So I need an 80-mil spacer to take up the slack.

Don't worry, the hammer in the background is a specially designed precision optics hammer.

Microscope! Second service

Jul. 25th, 2017 03:49 pm
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

*THUNK*

That's more like it.

And a Micromill ain't no toy.

End of an era

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:07 pm
forgotten_aria: (Cree Dance)
[personal profile] forgotten_aria
On Friday my world of warcraft account will lapse for the first time since November 2004, shortly after this post. a little over 12 years of playing the same video game. I had already started to fatigue, only logging into to do the group content, and then my group fell apart. I'm trying to figure out if there's anything I really want to do before my account stops. And really, I might like to poke at the chromie stuff, but I'm just super bored with WoW, which is understandable.

A few years back they sent statues to anyone who had had an account, continuously, since launch, so I'm putting myself out of the running for the 20th anniversary statue. ;)

This is unlikely to give me any more free time to play other things, since Overwatch is already taking up more video game time than I would really like in my life. I've been putting off making music and other things because of various other priorities. I'm hoping I can find a good balance soon.

Due to a personality conflict, I have to pull more out of taiko again. That's also feeling like a good thing. Hopefully when the dust settles I can make an effort to do the "hard" things of making music videos and putting myself out there again.

I also haven't been to School of Honk since January and miss that (and some of the fun gigs, like the Georges island gig.)

Microscope! The lost chapter

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:11 am
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

I've set myself three requirements for the focus block graft:

  1. No modifications whatsoever to the original SZH microscope body
  2. End result has to work exactly as intended. No half-functional hacks.
  3. The end result must look professional, bordering on factory quality.

My original plan: Remove the microscope body mount from the block's dovetail, cut the ring part off, machine the remaining bit flat and add some additional bolt holes to secure it to the SZH.

And that kinda sorta works!

Unfortunately, the remaining block is not quite deep enough for the adjustment knobs to clear, nor is it tall enough to reach all four mounting holes on the back of the SZH body. That means I need to machine a spacer that would have to bolt to the mounting block, then those two pieces could mount to the dovetail and the scope.

Then I thought 'what am I doing?', chucked it, and grabbed a piece of aluminum that's actually the right size to start with.

So let's do this part again.

xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

Sadly, no Chinese manufacturer to date has cloned an SZH, but there are clones of other Olympus focus blocks.

None of these will fit as-is of course, the SZH is weird. But several look to be moddable with a little effort. So I chose a clone of a nicer Olympus coarse/fine assembly.

And now, a review of the FYSCOPE STEREO ZOOM MICROSCOPE COARSE AND FINE FOCUS ARM A4 76mm Size! Read more... )

xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

The SZH is not without its faults.

This is the focus block for an original Olympus SZH. It moves the microscope body up and down to focus on the work surface.

Read more... )

Fortnightly catch-up post

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:47 pm
dr_tectonic: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
Committee Meetings
At the Inclusivity Board meeting Wednesday before last, I volunteered for the committee that is sorting out how we communicate with city council and other entities. This resulted in a committee meeting at one member's house last Wednesday, and another one this coming week, and in me spending a chunk of this weekend writing up what we decided, and I would have said "foolishly volunteered" because it's not like I'm swimming in spare time lately, but I felt like this is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to contribute to the Board, and that getting it right matters, so here we are. (The solution: organizing our communications around the scale of the issue, and identifying whether it's a board-level, individual-level, or committee-level issue. And then impedance-matching the incoming message. Everything else follows naturally.)

Thursday Food Trucks and Gaming
The HOA has arranged for food trucks to come hang out in the parking lot near the (other) swimming pool on alternate Thursdays evenings, so Thursday of last week Jerry and I wandered over there and got teriyaki on a stick for dinner. Kinda pricey, but very tasty. Afterwards we went to Floyd's for game night and played a couple boardgames. Can't remember what the first one was called, but it was sorta like a sword-and-sorcery-themed 7 Wonders with buying cards and choosing actions instead of drafting. I liked it, but I won, and that usually helps give a favorable impression... For the second one we finally got to play Kanagawa, the Japanese mural painting game. Also fun.

Triple-R Brunch
Sunday we went to a housewarming brunch at Ray & Ron & Rich's new place, which they've been in for a while now but which I hadn't yet seen. Got a house tour. Socialized with bears, including Joe B., who I normally only see through work. (We only talked shop a little.) I was good about not eating baked goods.

Spirit Island
Having worked a long day from home on Friday and spent Saturday doing lots of wedding prep (q.v.), after the brunch on Sunday I was out of cope for actually doing anything productive, so Jerry and I played a two-player game of Spirit Island, which finally came in the mail. (I kickstarted it ages ago, and it was much-delayed in getting here.) It's a cooperative anti-colonization game, and there is a lot of game there. It solves the alpha-player/quarterbacking problem with simultaneous play and giving each player enough to manage that there's no hope of keeping track of all of it. We weren't even playing the full game and I thought it was meaty and satisfying. I enjoyed it enough that on Monday night I went over to the Nevilles' and played it with them, too. It's got a stupid amount of replay value, and I'm looking forward to exploring it.

Work
The last couple weeks have been spent fighting fires, mostly in the form of provisioning data for other people's projects so that I'm not the bottleneck. Satisfying in the sense of providing good service (sometimes getting that lovely "OMG you are amazing" feedback, when it turns out I can do in 10 minutes what would take them a day or two to do), but a little unsatisfying because I haven't even touched my main project in ages. At least I had the sense to completely punt writing a 3-page short paper for a workshop in September rather than making myself crazy trying to get it done in a day and a half.

Wedding Prep
Preparation and planning progress proceeds apace. We're in good shape, but man are there a lot of things to do. We ordered rings today! My mom had the excellent suggestion of going to the jewelry counter at Wal-Mart to find out what our ring sizes are without pressure from commissioned salespeople. (Jerry went ahead and got an inexpensive silver ring to wear while practicing.) I got some new nice dress pants without cargo pockets. (Also new socks.) We went up to NCAR last weekend and figured out how various things would fit into the actual space. We have roughed out the ceremony itself and some of our vows. We got a portable bluetooth speaker that puts out a LOT of sound, and this week the little in-line amplifier that will hopefully let us plug a mic directly into it arrived, but of course, we have to get yet another plug adapter before we can test whether it actually works... (But if not, we'll just talk loud.) We've been spending lots of time on the choreographed thing, which is coming along nicely. Oh, and of course nagging reminding stragglers to RSVP. So many things done, and yet so many still left to do! I don't know how people who haven't already been together for at least a decade manage to get married.

Baby Driver

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:20 pm
dr_tectonic: (Simon & me)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
Jerry and I saw Baby Driver this afternoon. It's good! And definitely one to see in the theater; not only are the visuals scoped for a big screen, the soundtrack matters a lot, so you want to see it in a venue with a good sound system.

Spoilers behind the cut )

Microscope! So why an SZH?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 pm
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

I actually like my AmScope. It's not exactly precision-manufacture and god only knows what glass it uses, but it's durably made, fairly ergonomic, and works well for the price. Only one regret: The camera port is damned near useless.

For some reason, Chinese stereo scopes mostly appear to be clones of old, low- and mid-range Olympus designs. That planted the Olympus bee in my bonnet.

You've probably heard that Nikon is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make cameras. Well, Olympus is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make microscopes.

Looking for no-holds-barred top shelf stereo optics, the current top of the Olympus stereo line is the SZX12. Which is awesome and even broken surplus parts are so far out of budget it's not funny. Mostly the same for the SZX10, its slightly less featureful little brother.

But it turns out the very top of the discontinued predecessor line, the SZH10, is similar enough that it takes many of the same accessories and was every bit as good a scope. And the SZH10 was just a minor feature tweak of the earlier SZH.

And the SZH line is so gloriously 1980s. I mean, just look at this ad. It's not a stereo zoom. No, it's a *super* stereo zoom. And raytracing is involved somehow. And lightning. This here 'scope is obviously real wrath-of-god stuff.

Anyway, the rest is serendipity: There just happened to be enough cheap-ish parts on eBay to hopefully piece together a complete SZH with no major flaws.

Parts have arrived, so here we go...

Berries!!!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:35 pm
ceelove: (Default)
[personal profile] ceelove
So you know that drought we haven't had this past spring? You know how rain makes things grow? You know how I have a wild obsessive-compulsive love for berry picking? (You do now!)

This is by way of saying that I'm going berrying again tomorrow morning, having verified today that the Fells are resplendent with berries. Mostly tiny wild blueberries now, with a few black raspberries, and huckleberries soon to ripen.

Yes, you may come with me. Yes, you may ask me where I go, but understand that I suck at directions and maps, I really only know landmarks, so I'm vastly better at taking people than sending people. (If you come with me, though, understand that I wasn't kidding about that obsessive-compulsive thing: I can happily pick for hours.)

My First Superfuzzy!

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:36 am
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

At first I thought a bird hit the window. I opened it to check for casualties, and in she fluttered...

I've been waiting a long time to see a polyphemus in person. She's battered and spent, but still beautiful.

Middle Eastern food?

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:51 pm
cos: (Default)
[personal profile] cos posting in [community profile] davis_square
We were in Davis Square a couple of evenings ago when someone said they wanted Middle Eastern food. Other than Amsterdam Falafel, I couldn't think of anywhere right there. I know Sabur in Teele Sq, which is kind of Middle Eastern (and pretty fancy). Googling around didn't turn up anything else in Davis Square, though I found a Lebanese place on Mass Ave nearby which I don't remember trying. Anyone know of any Middle Eastern food in Davis Square, or others a short walk away that you like?

So Very Savory

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:15 pm
dr_tectonic: (Mister Cranky-pants)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
So I was gonna write up a rant about the Savery Savory Mushrooms water tower on Federal Blvd:



I was gonna rant about how the name is all wrong because "saver-y" is a lousy pun, and anyway it should be ordered "savory savery", and it's such a missed opportunity when they could have done "so very savory" instead, which has much better rhythm, and I was looking for a picture of it and I found the city's webpage about it and suddenly discovered that it's named for the guy who built the farm.

Mr. Charles William Savery.

Dammit! It's not lousy marketing at all, it's just a guy's name!

Which makes it a perfectly reasonable name.

Which totally torpedoes my rant. Harrumph.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
[personal profile] desireearmfeldt posting in [community profile] davis_square
Anyone else getting constant flyovers most days and (more annoying) 2-4 large, low, LOUD flyovers between 10:45 pm and midnight every night?

City of Somerville advises you to call Massport and also 311 to report your complaint: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/programs/reporting-airplane-noise

Massport politely took my complaint and promised me a written report.  311 said "people should totally call us about issues, no one ever calls us!", politely took my complaint, and said that various elected officials (including Rosetti, Capuano and some third person I'm forgetting, possibly the mayor) have been trying to get this mitigated, but not necessarily to much effect.

xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

Remember a few weeks ago when I expressed some dissatisfaction with my AmScope's picture quality?

Well, I've put another iron in the fire: Collecting parts off eBay to build a once-top-of-the-line Olympus SZH. Now waiting for more bits to start trickling in.

mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
I'm sensing a new civic engagement period underway--which I hope will persist. But it may be instructive to hear about previous periods of this as well.

Via Mike Connolly on twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeConnollyMA/status/885681479883395072

http://www.cambridgeday.com/2017/07/13/radical-gathers-activists-from-60s-today-to-look-at-the-history-and-future-of-protest/

TL,DR + Event details: Historians, 60s activists, current activists will speak to activism in our area and in their eras. "There’s one more treat in store: In addition to panel discussions, there will be a free custom ice cream flavor from Toscanini’s made in honor of the 1960s." I have no idea what 60s ice cream is.

July 29
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
lecture hall of the Cambridge Main Library
449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge

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