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Archive for category Oddities

Turtle Teleportation: Vassar Road

As always, we knew this wouldn’t end well for the small lump just in front of the car’s rear wheel (clicky for more, albeit fuzzy, dots):

Turtle 0134 - Vassar Rd - 2018-05-20

Turtle 0134 – Vassar Rd – 2018-05-20

So I stopped to lend a hand:

Turtle 1280 - Vassar Rd - 2018-05-20

Turtle 1280 – Vassar Rd – 2018-05-20

A fumbling hand, as it turned out, on the turtle’s slippery shell:

Turtle 1364 - Vassar Rd - 2018-05-20

Turtle 1364 – Vassar Rd – 2018-05-20

A belly-up turtle in the middle of the road knows the solution to the Halting Problem.

I hoped a secluded spot under a pine tree was closer to its destination:

Turtle 1724 - Vassar Rd - 2018-05-20

Turtle 1724 – Vassar Rd – 2018-05-20

However, if the turtle is a female in search of an egg-laying site, then she and all her progeny must cross Vassar Road in the other direction to reach the Mighty Wappinger Creek.

We’ll teleport them if we see them, too …

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Multicolored Chicken Eggs

This cheerful assortment came from a friend with an assortment of happy chickens:

Multicolored chicken eggs

Multicolored chicken eggs

The lonely Medium white egg, obviously strictly from commercial, serves as a size and color reference. Most of the others weighed in the Large to Extra-Large range.

Even though none of the chickens had the digital upgrade, the morning omelet tasted just fine!

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Relic of the Empire: Pay Phone Mount

Spotted at the NSQG World of Quilts show in the WCSU O’Neill Center:

Payphone mounting plate

Payphone mounting plate

I’m mildly surprised the (apparently recent) wall reupholstering didn’t cover it up. I’m certain many students don’t recognize it.

The FCC says the US is down to 100 k pay phones from a peak of over two million; they don’t tally the number of bare wall mount plates, though.

 

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Auto-V.I.N Gauge Scam

Anybody capable of fogging a mirror knows how this scam works:

TCU 100 - Giveaway teaser

TCU 100 – Giveaway teaser

The copious fine print says you can only see the actual fine print by traveling to Arizona:

TCU 100 - Giveaway fine print

TCU 100 – Giveaway fine print

I’m nowhere near hungry enough to like the odds, even for a $100 Walmart gift card.

An Auto-V.I.N Gauge (their choice of punctuation) must improve the response rate:

TCU 100 - Auto-VIN Gauge - activated

TCU 100 – Auto-VIN Gauge – activated

Is it any surprise the numbers match?

TCU 100 - scratch-off number

TCU 100 – scratch-off number

No. No, it’s not.

The “Gauge” actually contains parts, although fewer than IMO they want you to believe:

TCU 100 - Auto-VIN Gauge - components

TCU 100 – Auto-VIN Gauge – components

It’ll serve to produce measurable current & voltage for an upcoming Squidwrench Electronics Workshop and, because it need not survive the experience, we will take considerable liberties with it.

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End of the Sienna

Although I knew the Sienna showed signs of a leaky head gasket, the exhaust system needed some attention, and a sporty used car recently put it in the shade, this still came as a surprise:

I’m trying to get a crew … together and live the demolition derby dream

By the time I arrived, the dashboard trim had vanished and the air bags were safely out:

Demolition Derby - Sienna dashboad prep

Demolition Derby – Sienna dashboad prep

Diligent application of a Harbor Freight “Professional Windshield Removal Kit” cut through the side window seals, but the rear window rested on four impossible-to-cut locating studs:

Sienna - rear window locating stud

Sienna – rear window locating stud

I managed to pry the glass off using a Gasket Scraper and considerable muttering.

With all the exterior trim, lights, and mirrors gone, the Sienna was in fine race trim:

Sienna - Demo derby race trim

Sienna – Demo derby race trim

But, being no longer street-legal, it required trailering. For the record, not all huge pickup trucks have bulky guys with pot bellies behind the wheel:

Demolition Derby - Tow Vehicle Rental

Demolition Derby – Tow Vehicle Rental

A few hours later, it was in the Short Track Full Size pack at the Upperco Volunteer Fire Company’s Demolition Derby:

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby - start

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby – start

The driver required a few laps to shake off years of safe-driving indoctrination:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - running alone - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – running alone – 2018-04-28

But eventually the spirit of the thing took over:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - right crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – right crunch – 2018-04-28

We now know the transmission oil cooler sat just ahead of the left front wheel, where it was exposed to damage by a glancing collision:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - left crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – left crunch – 2018-04-28

The Sienna finished the race and made it almost all the way to the trailer before bleeding out through the ATF cooler.

The driver emerged in fine shape, although the door didn’t work nearly as well as it had fifteen minutes earlier:

Sienna - Driver exiting Van - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Driver exiting Van – 2018-04-28

A race staffer in a Bobcat aimed the carcass in the right general direction and shoved it onto the trailer for the return to base:

Sienna - Final Trailer Tiedown - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Final Trailer Tiedown – 2018-04-28

You can find shaky low-res camera action documenting the event, because video-or-it-didn’t-happen.

We piled the windows / parts / detritus into the back, a scrapper hauled it away the next morning, and that’s the end of our Sienna’s story.

Toyota sold a lot of Siennas, which means the Hot Topics list over on the right will show a need for Sienna ABS trouble codes long into the future.

In fact, the adjacent motel slot had a disconcerting sight:

Yet Another Sienna

Yet Another Sienna

I think it was a 2001 model, but …

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Zeiss Ikon Ikoflash 4

A flash gun is hard to beat for straight-up nostalgia:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - box

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – box

This Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 is in fine shape:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - front

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – front

And no more grubby than one might expect after all those decades:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - back

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – back

I distinctly remember Flash Guide Numbers:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - guide-number calculator

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – guide-number calculator

The red dial scale has the Guide Numbers (aperture × feet) and the lower black dial scale gives the lens apertures. The manual doesn’t mention the black figures above the red Guide Numbers; they’re metric Guide Number (aperture × meters), which would have been obvious back in the day.

The tidy shell slides off when you release a latch in the back:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - front - stowed

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – front – stowed

Then the reflector unfurls:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - front unfurled

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – front unfurled

Mirabile dictu, the previous owner removed the 15 V “hearing aid” battery (Eveready 504, 60 mA·h in the 504A alkaline version) before storing the flash, leaving the contacts in pristine condition:

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - CR123A test fit

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – CR123A test fit

A 3 V CR123A primary lithium cell snaps perfectly into the battery holder, which I define as a Good Omen: a dab of circuitry could turn this into self-powered and highly attractive Art. This would be one of the very few applications well-suited for the coldest blue-white LEDs.

One could adapt an A23 12 V alkaline battery (33 mA·h) to the holder, at the cost of half the capacity.

The silver shield just to the left of the battery conceals a 250 μF (!) nonpolarized capacitor.

One could build a bayonet-base (GE #5 / Press 25) adapter or poke a doodad with a 9 mm cylindrical base into the M2 bulb adapter (unrelated to my M2 printer):

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 - bulb adapter

Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – bulb adapter

Herewith, the Zeiss Ikon Ikoblitz 4 – Instruction Manual, should you need more details.

This hardware may be a progenitor of Gibson’s vat-grown Zeiss Ikon eyes.

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RF Controlled Area Warning

Spotted this at the top of a motel stairwell:

RF Controlled Area - roof access warning

RF Controlled Area – roof access warning

More detail:

RF Controlled Area - detail

RF Controlled Area – detail

The antennas face away from the hatch, so it’s not as if the RF would shear you off as you climbed through:

Hampton Inn - RF Controlled Area - cell sector antennas

Hampton Inn – RF Controlled Area – cell sector antennas

I wonder if the hatch atop Vassar Main sports a similar warning …

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