Snakeskin

A shed snakeskin appeared when I opened the garage door:

Snakeskin - overview
Snakeskin – overview

The skin sits atop the retaining wall next to the door, on a stone(-like) background with poor contrast: even an empty snake has good camouflage!

The exterior looks like genuine snakeskin:

Snakeskin - exterior
Snakeskin – exterior

I didn’t know the interior has an entirely different pattern:

Snakeskin - interior
Snakeskin – interior

As far as I can tell, the snake was going about its business elsewhere in the yard.

To be fair, there’s some luck involved.

Update: After Mitch nudged me, I found the (somewhat the worse for wear) snakeskin again. The head end was split, much as I described, but the tail end was intact (the snake having pulled out like a finger from a glove) and what I though was the inside of the top was the outside of the bottom, just pushed inward to form a very thin double layer.

Today I Learned … to always look closer!

Monthly Image: Wappinger Dam Gears

A walk around Wappinger Lake brought me to the old penstock controls:

Wappinger Dam - old penstock gearing - E view
Wappinger Dam – old penstock gearing – E view

Still meshed after all these years:

Wappinger Dam - old penstock gearing - SE view
Wappinger Dam – old penstock gearing – SE view

The “new” penstock intake control, a pair of utterly practical and totally non-photogenic screw drives, sits just to the left of these relics.

A night view of the penstock from some years ago:

Wappingers Falls Bridge - Pixel XL HDR - 2017-09-22
Wappingers Falls Bridge – Pixel XL HDR – 2017-09-22

It still carries water to the recently refurbished power plant downstream on the right.

Those gears will remain meshed after everything else rots away …

Fiskars Small Detail Scissors: Pivot Restaking

The pivot on the Fiskars Small Detail Scissors (the name is larger than the hardware!) in the bathroom gradually worked loose to the point where I hauled it to the Basement Shop and whacked the rivet with a concave punch:

Fiskars Small Detail Scissors - pivot restaking
Fiskars Small Detail Scissors – pivot restaking

Setting the rim of the rivet down a smidge tightened the joint wonderfully well and two oil dots smoothed the action.

I grew up using these concave punches (I have several sizes) to set finish(ing) nails, but apparently real nail punches have a nubbin in the middle to engage the little recess in the nail head which used to be common, back when finish nails arrived well-finished from the factory.

They’re not roll pin punches, either, because those have a different nubbin to support the inside of the pin.

Halogen H3 Bulb

Peering into the bulb salvaged from the Nissan fog light suggests the scuff on the lens corresponds to an impact mighty enough to disarrange the filament:

Halogen H3 bulb - 1.5 A - light
Halogen H3 bulb – 1.5 A – light

No surprise, as the car completely shattered the utility pole.

The glow draws 1.5 A from a bench supply at 1 V, just to show the filament isn’t lighting up evenly across those gaps. The bulb runs at 55 W from 12 V and would be, I’m sure, blindingly bright, although the heat concentrated in those few coils suggests it’d burn out fairly quickly.

By LED standards, though, you don’t get much light for your 1.5 W …

An underexposed version highlights the filament, just for pretty:

Halogen H3 bulb - 1.5 A - dark
Halogen H3 bulb – 1.5 A – dark

Cropped to 9:16, it’s now a desktop background.

Pileated Woodpecker vs. Stump

A pileated woodpecker devoted considerable attention to debugging the remains of a stump in our front yard:

Pileated Woodpecker - front yard stump
Pileated Woodpecker – front yard stump

It’s surely a descendant of this one, eleven years ago:

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

If you’re willing to wait a decade or so, a stump pretty much falls apart on its own, meanwhile providing habitat for critters both great and small.

Update: By popular demand, a slightly pixelated pileated woodpecker:

Pileated Woodpecker - front yard stump - pixelated
Pileated Woodpecker – front yard stump – pixelated

Tek Circuit Computer: Water Test

So the question came up: “Exactly what happens when one of those things gets wet?”

Which obviously requires an experiment:

Laminated Tek CC vs Water - start
Laminated Tek CC vs Water – start

That’s the mis-cut top deck revealing why GRBL really needs four digits after the decimal point, but, other than that, it’s perfectly representative of the genre: heavy paper, good ink, nicely laminated in plastic.

Prediction: water should seep into the paper, dissolve the ink, maybe delaminate the plastic, and generally make a mess.

Which is exactly what happens:

Laminated Tek CC vs Water - finish
Laminated Tek CC vs Water – finish

User Advisory: your shiny new Homage Tektronix Circuit Computer is not waterproof, so don’t use it in the sauna!