It seems like all I do lately is general updates. I keep on wanting to write about topics, but the summer has kept me busy with various projects and hobbies, that it is hard to concentrate on a single topic long enough to really gather enough to write about.
Among the topics I have been wanting to write about, are Lifestyles, Home Networking, Music/Lyrics, Lighting, Tech News, Politics, and some updates on my home and model railroad plans.
I will cover some of these topics here I suppose...
I have been learning to bend conduit! I have found that EMT (Electrical Metalic Tubing) is very easy to work with, and generally fairly cheap, so I have been really going to town at redoing my whole garage. My garage was originally done with EMT, however several shortcuts were made. For example I came across a 30 amp circuit supplied with only two 12 gauge conductors. I pulled a lot of the old installs out, and re-installed them piece by piece. I have been mostly pulling in new THHN wire where I didn't trust the old THHN wire.
I purchased a copy of the 2008 NEC, and have been working off of that for regulations to be sure I do everything to code. So far I am very proud of myself, and am having a lot of fun customizing the electrical layout in my garage to suit my needs.
I still need to stabilize the structure a little better. My neighbor mentioned being able to assist me in that regard. I do hope to get that done this summer - and it shouldn't be as hard as I initially thought. The 2nd floor of the garage will have a second wall added with some provisions for cross bracing as well. The 2nd wall will cut into the interior space by about 8 inches in each direction, however this will allow more space for insulation and EMT behind the wall. The electrical work up on the 2nd floor will wait until the framing for the wall is done for the most part. I will likely run an initial 3/4 inch conduit up to the 2nd floor into a larger pull box initially, from which i can run a couple outlets on a small liquidtite extension from the junction box to provide power for the work up there temporarily.
I wish to have a electronics workstation up there, as well as room for my model railroad. There will also be a small equipment rack and computer workstation, likely for audio production with a small studio. This is mainly because my friends and I have been tinkering away at building some noise pedals for the music industry.
I believe the model railroad, electronics lab, studio and a small ham radio site built in the garage will be all of use by anyone in the shockers ham and electronics club. That is my ideal goal anyhow.
The electrical in the house is yet another project. I plan on digging into some of that this week after finding out that several of my higher loaded branch circuits are actually running off my knob and tube circuits. Fun wow...
As for lighting, I have been getting really interested in premises lighting as of late. I have purchased some Metal Halide, and High Pressure Sodium lamps, and plan on making use of them around my property. My street is kinda dark and there have been some vehicle break-ins in the area, so I figured a nice light out front would really help with security. I want to upgrade to LED lights eventually, but right now Metal Halide / HPS lights are bright, and effective, and easy to find oh the used market at very reasonable prices. The lights inside my garage are a combination of T8 florescent lights, LED canopy lights, and Metal Halide flood lights which are used as work lights.
The HPS light I installed on my garage is quite bright. I have ordered a light baffle to insert inside it to help keep the light from blinding people. You can also see that my old Jeep is still alive and kicking. You may find references to it in older posts.
Lighting is one of my 'fetishes' if you will. Whether it be emergency vehicle lighting, or commercial facility lighting, its all the same to me. I like being able to illuminate the darkness. But at the same time I enjoy the darkness.
I am still waiting to get some fiber splice trays to terminate my multimode fiber cable between my house and my garage. That being said it hasn't stopped the security system expansion. I have a local mini DVR operating in the garage for one camera in there. Eventually that will be brought back to the house over the network, but until then, at least it is being recorded. I am converting 'all' non gaming machines to ubuntu over security concerns.
I plan on integrating a ham radio MESH network into my network. This will allow me to operate on 2 different networks. The ham radio MESH network is often considered to be a independent entity, separate from the internet. I still have much more research to do on this however, but this is my initial plan.
I was about 50% successful at growing some flowers this year. Half of the seeds I germinated grew into plants (pansys), the other seeds (impatients) didn't fair too well. I will be putting my germination equipment away until the fall when I will start to grow some plants over the winter for next year.
I have vast plants for a garden in my backyard, but I think the key to these plans is to locate a cultivator / roto-tiller. Ideally I want to make a long 2 tiered garden along the North side of my yard, with the higher tier being wild flowers, and native plants (mostly Longhorn Sumacs). This will provide a lovely natural backdrop to a lower tier which will end up being the garden where I will grow potatoes, and other easily grown vegetables.
Some other yard work I wish to do will likely require some cement work, and I imagine I should be on the lookout for a good used cement mixer.
Ahhh yes. Minecraft is back in style. This time I am running a FTB Magic Farm 2 server. It is a mod of Minecraft focused on survival and long term progression. Magic Farm 2 makes it a lot more difficult to survive, forcing you to progress slowly with a very specific progression of tools, towards various goals. The biggest at first is likely making a Mattock, which is the only tool in the game able to cultivate fields for crops. The Mattock is a Tinkers' Construct item, and it needs to be made with all Iron parts. But you cant mine Iron easily. Your first pick will be Flint based, and that will only be able to mine Copper and some softer metals.
In any case I wont spoil the surprise for anyone who wishes to try this pack out, but it is quite fun and challenging so far. The server remains the same: minecraft.roadwolf.ca
The server is set up to be kinda small, only allowing 5 people online at a time. I will be restarting the world in the next day or so, as I was just tinkering with the mods to see if I would like it or not. I do! So I will start legit this time and avoid cheating.
While the busy summer months have been distracting me from IMVU and most forms of Role-Playing on there, I still do occasionally find myself involved in conversations with friends from IMVU. In most cases these end up being advice conversations.
From what I have seen, the Lifestyle's segment of IMVU has very little in common with Real Life Lifestyles. On IMVU a lot of things seem to fall into grey areas, and the common theory is that titles are very strict in what they infer. For example, a 'mate' is supposed to only be someone you mate with in order to produce offspring. Mates are supposedly very different from a Master/slave (Dom/sub) relationship, and on IMVU if you are into D/s, and have a mate, that means very little... as a mate does not classify as a Dom or sub... just someone who exists for the purpose of mating.
This is all very odd. My advice is usually suggesting that the real world doesn't quite reflect that, and that if you are satisfied with your current partner (whether it be a Master, sub, mate, or Alpha...) then stay with them, and focus your attention on them. Stop looking around at others and giving false signals which may cause them to pursue you.
People are often also confused what polyamory means. They use it as an excuse to cheat or engage in 'multi-rp'. A kind of safe way to say 'hey, I am going to be role-playing with others, just so you know.' But polyamory is very different, and encourages full communication between all parties. Ideally you would have a primary partner, and they would also consider you their primary. Between the two of you, you agree on limits or rules regarding seeing others.
IMVU is a terrible place to really explore lifestyles. The culture on IMVU is so fucked up, and I think some of that is due to the control the administration of IMVU has over the community. They do actually regulate some terms, and what they are defined as. But it is my opinion that these people have very little RL experience themselves, and thus it turns into a kind of blind leading the blind situation.
So that has been my life in a nut shell as of recently. ~shrugs~ Not overly exciting I know. But then again, I am just an average boring guy :)