Friday, September 29, 2006

Sir Frank would be impressed

Sir Frank Whittle invented the Jet Engine in the 1930s.
As part of my engineering training in the RNZAF, I spent many hours studying how jet engines and the components that hang off them work, including rebuilding a jet engine to pass the course.
When I was working as a Aircraft Technician specializing in A4 Skyhawks, I was lucky enough to be a high power Jet Engine tester, which meant it was one of my jobs to sit in the cockpit of the recently serviced Fighter Jet and take the engine thru a test routine, which included going over 100% throttle while the jet was held back by a single (but big) chain. Slamming the throttle as fast as possible to test spool times was something I had to do - can you imagine that? It's really a difficult thing to describe, but sitting perhaps 2 meters in front of a Jet engine that is making a noise that can be best described as TERRIFYING HOWLING is extremely noisy, scary, exhilerating if not down right stupid...It sure gives some sense of importance in needing to put it together right.
Watching a jet go past in the sky is one thing, but try standing beside a jet at full noise and see what it is like. Now sit IN it......crazy.
I still think of my time working on A4s as a career highlight. That was a time I bolted out of bed to go I mean work.

Check out this ( from the BBC)

Engine on a chip drives laptops

One of the components of the gas-turbine engine
Each component is made on silicon wafers
It is one of the most hotly contested and closely watched areas of research - how to provide the most efficient energy source for the mobile devices we carry with us.

Batteries and fuel cells are established contenders to power laptops and mobile phones, but now researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a novel approach to the power conundrum - by building an engine on a chip.

Gas-turbine engines more normally power whole cities but MIT's Professor Alan Epstein was determined that miniscule versions could be used to "power a person".

Ten years on from having the brainwave, Professor Epstein believes the microengine could give batteries a run for their money, offering 10 times the power of a battery of the same weight at the same price point.

"A laptop that will run for three hours on battery charge will run for 15 to 20 years using the microengine and it should end up costing no more than current batteries," said Professor Epstein.

He believes it could be available commercially within three to five years.

Tiny scale

It has been a long road for Professor Epstein and his team of 50 other staff and students.

"When I first told people that I wanted to build a gas-turbine the size of a 50p piece they fell off their chairs laughing," he told the BBC News website.

But with the experts needed to make his vision a reality just a stone's throw from his office at MIT, it didn't take long to persuade them that he wasn't joking.

"A few days later they would call back with a way to do things and then they were hooked," he said.

So how exactly does one set about making a tiny fuel-burning engine? A compressor, a combustion chamber and a spinning turbine are all essential parts but obviously cannot be made in the conventional way on such a tiny scale.

So the team had to use etched silicon. The resulting microengine is made up of six silicon wafers piled on top of each other and bonded together.

To bring down costs, up to 100 components are made on one large wafer and cut into individual units.

The process begins with a tiny combustion chamber where fuel and air mix and burn at the melting point of steel. Turbine blades spin at 20,000 revolutions per second - 100 times faster than those in jet engines.

Fun process

Professor Alan Epstein shows off the microengine
The finished microengine fits in Prof Epstein's palm

A mini-generator produces 10 watts of power and a tiny compressor raises the pressure of air in preparation for combustion. The cooling process is managed by sending the compression air around the outside of the combustor.

Separately it has been proved that all the parts work so the challenge now is to test an integrated chip.

According to Professor Epstein, this should be done by the end of this year but it won't be easy.

Each microengine will be on a single piece of silicon so there is no margin for error. One tiny mistake in a single component would mean starting from scratch, and if anything needs to be changed, the whole design process would be back to the drawing board.

The journey so far has been "an astonishing amount of fun", said Professor Epstein, although, as with many projects, threw up surprising problems.

"What we thought was going to be hard, wasn't, and the things we hadn't thought about were the biggest problems," he told the BBC News website.

"We thought the combustor would be one of the hardest things but in fact it turned out to be the manufacturing of the bearings that was more difficult," he said.

Steam-powered laptops?

While Professor Epstein has lived and breathed his project for the last 10 years, he is aware that there is plenty of competition around.

Batteries are improving all the time, while announcements about advances in fuel-cell technology are regular and closer to commercial reality.

What technique wins out will ultimately be down to what consumers find most satisfactory.

"The users don't care about what powers their laptop. Whether it is chemistry or thermodynamics is a mere detail," he said.

The idea of engine-powered laptops may seem outlandish but research is ongoing to put other types of engine on chips, according to Professor Epstein.

As well as millimetre-scale combustion engines, there is also the possibility of laptops powered by steam engine - which would perhaps be the ultimate collision between old and new technologies.

Link to BBC Story
Wiki about that 'Whittle' guy
Wiki about the A4 Skyhawk
Royal New Zealand Air Force
ATSI, Arizona

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Coffee Table is your Runway

This radio-controlled Carbon Butterfly airplane is the world’s lightest at merely 3.6 grams. Recently improved from a previous design, the new model is super flexible and brand-new to the market. At $300USD, it's a pricey toy, but—nearly indestructible, quiet, durable, and featuring a simple modern design—the cost's worth it.

Sporting a rugged yet elegant Carbon Fiber frame, the Carbon Butterfly is nearly indestructible. As flexible as fiberglass and strong as steel, the Carbon Butterfly can bounce back from almost anything you can throw it at.

Especially considering that most radio-controlled planes are similarly priced, but are difficult to build, noisy, and intended only for outdoor use. Plantraco is easy to use in a tiny apartment ("The coffee table is your runway!") or outside at a range up to 400 feet. You can pre-order from Plantraco or just go to their site to watch the fun living room flight demo.


Ferrari 599 Fiorano Available With iPod Dock

I am really glad this fine car now comes with an iPod dock. Now I think I might get one.

The Ferrari 599 Fiorano is now availible for purchase at dealerships worldwide. The 599 Fiorano was unveiled at this years Geneva Motor Show and was designed by Pininfarina. The car which is named after Ferrari’s test track and the engine displacement has a V12 engine similar to the one used in the Enzo which can output 612 hp. The chassis is based on the 612 hence the striking similarity. The most interesting feature is that the car will come with an iPod dock connector as standard so you will be able to plug your iPod in and listen to it on the Fiorano’s Bose speakers straight away.
Nice. Oh, that is a farking sexy car, btw.

Ferrari website

Making a watch by hand

Here is a "how to" on designing your own watch and making it. Handy. Very handy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Solaire 56 Inch Gas Grill On Refrigerated Cart

This large 56″ Solaire grill will not just churn-up enough stuff for your barbeque party but will serve your chilled beer needs too with its integrated refrigerated base cabinet. The grill is made in stainless steel and it features two ceramic infrared burners and one double-lanced ported U-burner totaling 82,500 BTU. The unit includes 18,000 BTU infrared rear burner with heavy-duty rotisserie motor, spit rod, and forks. The refrigerator features door section with adjustable shelves and two drawers with removable stainless steel food pans. The unique chill and grill unit sells for $13,699 USD.

Oh yeah. There's a Binford moment for ya.

USB everything?

This is pretty cool...Rechargeable Batteries using USB. You can charge them anywhere you have a computer.

USBcell website

Interesting 9/11 opinion

OK,OK I will try to not let conspiracy theories get too much more mention.....

A friend sent me this link to a youtube clip about a 9/11 theory. It's pretty interesting.

Here is the full 90min Documentary that clip was taken from:

Full length, High Quality 9/11 Mysteries Documentary
It's on Google video, which btw is better that you tube.

I just watched it, and I can't help thinking I wonder how long it will be before this is either blown wide apart, or's got to be one or the other, surely.

categories: [interests_][internet_][movies/TV_]

Monday, September 18, 2006

Everyone needs a spiral cellar

OK. The weekend after I make the DIY wind generator, I am going to make one of these with my Dremel. (the fact that right below truantpad is fatnazidoghatingtaiwaneseman only encourages me to pursue this...)

The Spiral Cellar system was first developed by a Frenchman, Georges Harnois, in 1978, who recognised that few modern houses had cellars, but people still wanted somewhere to store their wine.

It can keep up to 1,600 bottles in ideal storage conditions and since, like a traditional cellar, it relies on the surrounding earth for its insulation, plus an ingenious air-flow system, it requires no power to maintain its constant temperature.

Hmm, interesting. No really it is. I have always liked the idea of trap doors n shit like that. That's one problem with 20th & 21st Century buildings I find: lack of decent trapdoors.

Perhaps this is the next thing to be incorporated into the design of truantville. Would be quite handy for putting annoying visitor's children.

But...check out these quotes from the site. A bit of a worry:
"The cellar in the garage has been such a success, my husband has decided he'd like to install a second one in the kitchen" Jolly good, eh what?!

"Having a proper wine cellar is like a badge of honor that proves you enjoy food, drink, and the finer things in life" Too rah, old chap!
What about "Cos it's wicked man" and "It's the shit"? Oh well, guess that's what I am not in marketing.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

DIY Wind Generator

I'd really like to make one of this next weekend. Seriously.

We have a 2m x 4m balcony, so I reckon I could do it. Better not, Jack likes to hang out there so if there are blades out there chopping in the wind - well, it might end in tears. Maybe up on the roof of the building....hmmm.

From the instructables website...
Chispito Wind Generator
The Chispito Wind Generator was designed to be simple and efficient with fast and easy construction. There are no limits to what you can do with wind power. There is nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind powered generator from scrap materials. Most of the tools and materials in this manual can be found in your local hardware shop or junk pile.

Chispito Wind Generator
A really good NZ article about converting washing machines into Wind Generators
Another excellent wind generator site

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Lincoln-Kennedy Connection

Yeah, yeah, I know this is OLD, but I remembered Lincoln-Kennedy thing this last night when I was listening to online talkback Radio in NZ, and some dood was talking about the number "Eleven" in events surrounding 9/11. It is quite interesting.

Anyway, here is the Lincoln-Kennedy thing:
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

  • John F Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

  • Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

  • John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

  • The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

  • Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

  • Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

  • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

  • Both Presidents were shot in the head.

  • Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.

  • Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

  • Both were assassinated by Southerners.

  • Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

  • Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

  • Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

  • John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.

  • Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

  • Both assassins were known by their three names.

  • Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

  • Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'

  • Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln.'

  • Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.

  • Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

  • Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

  • A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.

  • A week before Kennedy was shot, he was in Marilyn Monroe.
In the interests of balance (cos that's the kind of guy EYE yam) here is an 'urban myth buster' about this.

Now check out the Eleven thing then:

I normally wouldn't link to this stuff (My Hairy Arse = 11 letters) but I sell my soul today, for all my fans out there in the name of cheap entertainment. Enjoy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Everyone needs a leather notebook

Isn't it awful when you go shopping for one thing and see something that makes what you thought you needed (read: wanted) seem like crap?

Well, yesterday we finally decided to go and have a look a buying a replacement notebook for our ailing Compaq 1500AP. It has served us actually, not that well, but it has served. From the word go, it's always overheated, randomly crashed, weighs a ton, the battery is dead and isn't really that much to look at either. A few months ago it was sitting on the arm of the couch and I was chasing Jack the dog around and round the couch....or was it him chasing me? I can't remember, but, eventually in all the excitement, someone knocked the 4 year old P.O.S off it's perch. "Ah HAAAAAA!!!!" I yelled at it. "There you go you piece of shit!". I could sense the tears of joy welling up in my eyes as I contemplated setting fire to it.

But it kept going. The screen was ok even. There were a couple of cracks on the lid, and the wireless PC card was smashed, but it still worked fine. Even the wireless did, damn it.

Anyway, the Art Director at Truantville, suggested perhaps it is time we got a new notebook (actually it was me, relentlessly mentioning it, but the "Art Director" sounds better)

So yesterday we ran the gauntlet of Laptop stores at Guang Hua Computer Market in Taipei. In the Pissing Rain.
It seemed that the best machine for what we need was the Asus W6F. Nice. Dual Core CPU, 100 GB HDD, 1 GB RAM, Super DVD Burner, Widescreen...blah, blah, blah. Here is a link to the Asus W6F details.
I say "seemed" and "was" because as we were about to leave the store, the Art Director spotted the S6.
I have to admit, if all things were equal (Namely, er, the PRICE) then I'd like to get that too, but it is almost 50% more than the W6F. But what a work of's a very high-end machine in specification but what people like Art Directors notice is not how high-end it is, but the LEATHER all over it.
I really like design master pieces, and this has to rank right up there as something pretty stunning. I just wanted to stick my nose to it and smell that leather in big deep lung fulls, but the shop was busy. Besides that, the demo had protective plastic on it. Probably just as well.
This link: Asus S6 Leather Collection, 2006 is actually pretty arty itself, nicely done in flash.
Oh shit, I just noticed they do the W6Fp-, which is a leather version of the W6....oh dear.

Asus website

Conspiracy Theories continued....

I told you not to get me started....

Following on from the previous Blog, here is an interesting short video about 9/11.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

No one likes a good Conspiracy Theory more than I do. In fact, it's best you don't get me started cos it's one of those things I can talk about for hours.

Some of the more common conspiracy theories are the JFK Assasination, the Fake Moon Landing, 9-11 , The Da Vinci code, UFOs, The Iraq war etc, etc.

Ever watched "King of the Hill"? Well, the character Dale Gribble
is always obsessed by conspiracy theories. He's hilarious.

Here is a collection of Dale Gribble quotes from wikiquote:
  • "I blame the media-blamers."
  • "Hank, It's 3AM and someone invades your home. How are you going to shoot him?"
  • (watching as Bill is pecked by dale's pet falcon) "Oh, he came home."
  • "I killed eight gophers last year and a purebred Tennesse walking horse that was looking at me funny."
  • (throws a knife and hits a mannequin) "Get away from my wife or next time I'll aim for the mannequin and hit you."
  • "Boil up some Mountain Dew; it's gonna be a long night." ("Dog Dale Afternoon")
  • "I know what's wrong with it. It's a Ford. You know what they say Ford stands for don't ya? 'Fix it again, Tony'." ("Chasing Bobby")
  • (on the Hills' answering machine) "You don't know who I am, but I know where you live sex ed teacher and you better cut it out if you know what's good for you. Oh and Hank, we changed that tee off time to three o'clock." ("Square Peg")
  • "I'm the albino indian, deal with it."
  • "If you want to elect me, Dale Gribble, president of the Gun Club, running on the Save-Your-Sorry-Ass platform, say aye."
  • (to Joseph) "You're like E.T., except E.T. was a purebred alien with a heart of gold. You're only half-alien and at times can be a tad self-centered." ("Of Mice and Little Green Men")
  • "Hank, you were right! The Cubans have my mower!" ("Dog Dale Afternoon")
  • "I've taken two oaths in my life: One to the NRA, and the other to Nancy Hicks Gribble, nee Nancy Hicks. I stood in front of God and all my friends, vowing to be an honorable and truthful man. So I'm not gonna lie to you, I have felt a small, insect-like attraction for you. But my wife is the greatest woman there ever was!"
  • "... sounds like helicopters, UN helicopters". ("Pilot")
  • "That's code for U.N. commissars telling Americans what temperature it's gonna be in our outdoors. I say, let the world warm up! See what Boutros Boutros-By-Golly thinks about that! We'll grow oranges in Alaska!" ("Pilot")
  • "So it turns out I'm not the actual Dale Gribble, but a clone of him. The original Dale Gribble is a super-warrior from the year 2087. The second me, i.e. I, was created to help the first me fight the invading Mongol armies." ("The Incredible Hank")
  • "Hey, I know what's wrong with your truck. It's your quote-unquote 'pollution control'. I heard on talk radio you don't even need 'em. They're just an egghead government plot." ("Pilot")
  • "Open up your eyes, man! They're trying to control global warming! Get it? GLO-BAL!" ("Pilot")
  • "Whoa! Hold on, son! I want you to keep an open mind so you can make an informed decision! If you want, you can read a bloated government report on smoking, or go straight to the horse's mouth and get the facts from the tobacco industry." (he reads the aforementioned tobacco industry-funded report on smoking)
  • "Wingo!"
  • "Wait a minute. Every time I leave, you call John Redcorn. I know what's going on here. Your headaches are a desperate bid for my attention. But what do I do? I pawn you off on some Indian healer so I can have my Dale time at the gun club, or breeding show turtles, or on the Internet investigating unexplained phenomenona. God, I am so selfish!" ("Nancy's Boys")
  • "They wanted to see me wet my pants from fear... but they're too late!" ("Dog Dale Afternoon")
  • "Guns don't kill people. The government does!"
  • "Gentlemen, the crap has literally been scared out of me."
  • (after drinking tainted beer) "Step on it, Bill! I don't know which way it's coming out, but it's coming out!" ("Beer and Loathing")
  • (after a trampoline falls on his foot) "Aah! This is a sign that we have been playing God with Buckley's trampoline and now God is playing God with us and He's a whole lot better at it. I refuse to touch this porthole to hell!"
  • (trying to open a locked door): "This door seems to be equipped with some sort of anti-opening device."
  • (after seeing Willie Nelson knocked out): "Check his pockets for cigarettes." ("Hank's Got The Willies")
  • (after having a muffin knocked out of his hands) MY MUFFIN!!!?!?!?!?!
  • (after exhaling a puff of smoke) My throat's on fire!
  • (after Dale tells his Falcon to retrieve him a vole, and it immediately attacks Bill)"...So Bill's a vole."
  • (Seeing Hank come in with a food dish) Whatd'ya got under the foil Mr. Party Pooper, some party poop? ("A Firefighting We Will Go")
  • "I'm too pretty to go to jail!!!"
  • "S'GO!"
  • (after Hank telling him to come down from a clock tower before someone gets hurt) "Too late, I killed Shackleford! No...wait, correction, Shackleford wants a pizza. (Dog Dale Afternoon)
I even found Fahrenheit 9/11 pretty interesting, although, what is just as interesting is the amount of people that HAVEN'T watched it because "oh that movie is just a load of shit". Interesting conclusions people make without actually seeing it themselves. I must admit, Michael Moore seems to rub most people the wrong way.

A few Christmases ago, Mrs T bought me a real high quality book of the NASA photographs from some of the apollo missions. Really interesting, I can stare at that stuff for hours, and now that so many people question if the moon landing was actually real, those pics are particularly interesting to look at.
One of the fascinating things about the internet is that people with particular interests in things find it so much easier to research and collaborate with others in pursuit of "The Truth". But, there is so much crap out there also, that we are bombarded with information to the point where basically anything can be proven via sources somewhere on the web.
For example, there are several sites detailing the Fake Moon Landing, such as Cosmicapollo. I was very surprised when I was googling this stuff to find NASA themselves have a fairly decent article on the alleged Hoax also: The Great Moon Hoax

Here is a particularly convincing fake moon landing site.

The most disturbing thing I find with NASA's version of events is the fact that they left 12 perfectly functioning Hassleblad 500EL bodies AND their lenses right up there on the moon. Those things are really expensive, so right there, you've gotta think that no one in their right mind would do that. So I reckon NASA must be full of shit.

Oddly enough, whenever I was researching Conspiracy Theories today using Google, my PC would slow right down......kinda like........I am being watched. Hmmm. Other searches were fine.
(you try Googling "Hasselblad" and then "Hassleblad Moon". Check out the time difference - Maybe it's just me). Hmmm.

Wait, there is a knock at the d

Conspiracy Theory wiki
King of the Hill Official site
King of the Hill fan multi-media site
Full Moon Book
Hassleblad site
Michael Moore's site

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

That reminds me...

I was waiting to get some photos from the one-who-takes-231-shots-per-day-on-a-sony-T1 , but all she sent me was some old, random shot of herself, which I have to somehow work into the story I guess.

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be in the same town as the one-who-analyzes-friggen-bathroom-fawcets when I was in vancouver last week. She seemed pretty low key to catch up, but I know, I reckon there was some covert reaction like this when I told her I was in town:Anyway, the one-who-can-hardly-see-over-the- steering-wheel came around in a rental and took me on a tour of a couple of spots. Notably, the Cactus Club on Broadway for Calamari and some sauce that the one-who-would-probably-like-to-be-a-food-critic seemed to rave about. It did taste good actually, kinda yoghurty and garlicy with a dash of something lemony perhaps. Sounded Japanese the name, I really can't recall it. Tartare or something.
Anyway, the one-who-likes-a-bargain apparently noticed that some cocktail smoothie drink was DOUBLE the size on tuesdays (that would explain the auto pilot driving after looking at a calendar). So we each had one of those. Just one, but could have had more I reckon.

After that, the one-who-said-she'd-never-leave-604 drove me to some intersection that divides Vancouver with Burnaby. This is apparently significant. It must be, as the one-who-once-lived-on-the-better-side-of-the-intersection mentioned it twice. Or 3 times.

Anyway, the point of mentioning Burnaby, was that was where we headed, to the dark side to a fine restaurant with a fine name, called Anton's.
It's a damn popular place, even for a tuesday, and there was about an hour long queue outside. It seemed that everyone in the queue was taking photos against the sign to ease the boredom. Check out this fool:* The longer everyone waited, the hungrier everyone got, but lucky for the queue-sters there was a big glass window so it was nice to salivate and comment on the dishes being eaten 15cm away on the other side of the glass. Unlucky to get that table, I commented with jest.

Anyway, once inside we had a bit of fun with the staff when they asked what name the table is under. Just for kicks we said "Anton" - what a hoot, but the frau didn't see the funny side of it. Maybe she thought the name was for real or something. She took us to a special table - the one right by the window. See above *

The food was good. Gi-normous in fact. These fatties next to us had one platter each AND a starter. Good gawd, we couldn't finish one platter between us. The one-who-mustn't-eat-land-creatures-but-sea-creatures-are-ok recommended the.....seafood pasta, which actually tasted pretty good.

I remember seeing a photo somewhere of the one-who-likes-to-pose-in-a-suggestive-manner-with-innate-things outside this famous restaurant, but when I did an image google for Anton's Pasta, I didn't find that, but got a bunch of other pics that I thought I would share randomly through out this blog.

Anyway, some more driving back to the northern most suburb of Taiwan, known as Richmond B.C. and I waved goodbye to what appeared (from behind) to be a driverless car departing. freaky. ha.

Thank you to the one-who-can-eat-more-than-me-but-still-remain-0.5-of-my-weight. It was a flying visit, but glad to know I managed to out-do all those useless, less dedicated people who call themselves fans back in Taiwan.

Anton's Pasta review
Cactus Club site

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dr. Dre - mel

I was lucky enough to visit Vancouver last week for work. It's a really nice place, and it's growing on me.
We switched hotels from the last couple of visits, and the prompt calculations to the nearest pub resulted in "The Flying Beaver" coming up as the best contender.
What a find that was, turned out to be waaaay better than the Foggy Dew, but to be fair, the Dew was about 30 meters away which was nice.
The Flying Beaver is a conversion of a Flying Clubrooms or something like that. There is a dock out the front for the Beavers (yes the planes with floats) to tie up alongside.
I was a nice way to end a day of strenuous work by having a pint of Red Truck Beer (or whatever else the special was) and a nice meal of Halibat or Salmon or Big Kahuna Burger, all while watching Flying Beavers land on the river at sunset. Quite habit forming really.

Contrary to popular opinion, I didn't have much time to do anything apart from work while I was there, but this time it was my mission to try to do a tiny bit of shopping. I find clothes (that fit) damn near impossible to find in Taipei, so it's handy to buy those whenever I am in a western country. DVDs are also favorites to hunt out. This time however, the hotel was right across the road from a Rona DIY store, and next to a Costco. On the way to/from the office was another cluster of shops that had a Home Depot and a few other all in all my visits to stores consisted of:
Rona = 3 times.
Home Depot = 2 times.
Costco = 1 time.
The Future Store = 1 time.

5 visits to DIY stores in 5 days. Pretty impressive indeed.

I was thinking about checking out the electrical gadgets at the Future Store, but soon after entering I realised that living in Taiwan likened me to an eskimo going to Jamaica to buy a refrigerator.
DIY shopping was where is was at, so it really became an exercise of what CAN I fit into my check-in luggage.
I had to hold myself back in the end, but what I did leave Vancouver with was a Dremel kit. The new 10.8v 35,000 rpm cordless one. ("Corded performance, Cordless convenience" the box says). I had a "Binford" moment, and decided to get some Dremel accessories (yes they are probably available in Taiwan, but it was nice to be able to read/speak in english) I ended up with the Dremel Workstation, which is a mini drill press thing, fully adjustable for angles & depth....and a Dremel Plunge router. Oh yeah, some router bits too.
I was tempted to buy more, but thought I was getting carried away as it was so left it at that.

Now I have got to find some projects to make use of this stuff - I really could have done with a Dremel when I did the iPod charger project, as it took about an hour just to cut that hole for the rocker switch nicely. I just had a look at the Dremel website. You know you are in North America when they have a Dremel Cordless Pumpkin Carving tool.

So, a good week of therapy for me. It's nice to get away from the craziness of Taiwan now and then and feel like I am 'normal' for a while (but who am I kidding right?)

5 nights. 4 visits to the Flying Beaver, and 1 visit to a place called.....Anton's. :)

Flying Beaver
Red Truck Beer
Rona DIY
Home Depot
Dremel website
Story about a guy who made a boat in his apartment using a Dremel
Anton's Pasta Bar