Vintage Wakamoto Digestive Tablets

Sorting out a box of memorabilia produced a dusty bottle full of crumbled brown pills:

Vintage Wakamoto Digestive Tablets
Vintage Wakamoto Digestive Tablets

The English part of the label:

Indication: Adequate and optimal treatment for gastrointestinal disorders, malnutrition, neurasthenia, tuberculosis, bere-beri, etc. It improves the appetite and promotes health

Dose: 4-8 tablets[,] 3 times a day


My father spent several years on an all-expenses-paid trip to the South Pacific between 1943 and 1945. I have no idea what relation that bottle might have to his adventures, but the English text suggests it’s not a souvenir of those times.

Somewhat surprisingly, Wakamoto is still in business:

Strong Wakamoto Tablets - Amazon
Strong Wakamoto Tablets – Amazon

I’m sure it’s good for what ails you …

Outdoor Sign Wiring

A dentist’s office has been a-building for what seems entirely too long, but the outdoor sign finally went up. Being that type of guy, I had to take a closer look at how they wired up the LEDs:

Outdoor sign LED wiring
Outdoor sign LED wiring

That’s exactly as half-assed as it looks: unprotected PVC wires emerging from raw holes drilled into the backplate and burrowing into unsealed laser-cut acrylic loosely seated behind the white character boxes.

Everything you see is gonna be full of bugs in no time!

I’ve done similar botch jobs, but generally for my own use …

Vintage Acrylic Unwarping

Half a year ago, a stash of vintage acrylic sheets emerged from the Outer Darkness into the Shop Light:

Acrylic Stockpile
Acrylic Stockpile

That big yellowed sheet is 9 mm = 3/8 inch thick, with an inch of warp, entirely enough to keep it out of the laser cutter.

So I cleared some floor space and loaded the sheet with a collection of scrap steel sufficient to bend it the other way:

Acrylic sheet unwarping
Acrylic sheet unwarping

The main weight comes from a perfectly sized snippet of railroad rail, topped off with steel disks, angle iron, and a rugged scissors jack

The sheet didn’t touch the floor, so the weight kept stress on the plastic and it gradually flowed the other way:

Mostly unwarped acrylic sheet
Mostly unwarped acrylic sheet

The center remains 5 mm higher than the edges and, given that cold-flowing is at best an exponential process, I recently declared victory and added it to the stockpile. I’ll gnaw off small pieces for any given project, so the remaining warp won’t matter.

The rule of thumb says a CO₂ laser cutters needs 10 W per millimeter of acrylic, so my 60 W laser will be somewhat underpowered. Two or three passes should suffice and, for sure, nobody will kvetch about edge quality.

Squash Frog

Mary persuaded the squash vine to run along the top of the garden fence, where it would get good sun, stay out from underfoot, and produce what we call aerosquash:

Tree frog on squash - overview
Tree frog on squash – overview

That bright green spot is a misplaced tree frog:

Tree frog on squash - detail
Tree frog on squash – detail

Well, maybe it’s the same frog we’ve seen elsewhere; it’s hard to tell with tree frogs.

Not everything green is froglike, though:

Green stink bug on squash
Green stink bug on squash

That one got dealt with … harshly.

The Stone

Yeah, this is enough to knock your bike completely off course:

The Stone - A
The Stone – A

The black smudge matches a scuff on the right sidewall of the front tire. I think I hit it in that orientation and it pivoted clockwise while lifting the bike and shoving the tire to the left.

Another look from what was likely the right side of the shoulder:

The Stone - B
The Stone – B

I’ll give it a decent burial out back … and be glad our roles aren’t reversed!

Red Oaks Mill Eagle

We spotted a large bird on a walk to the Red Oaks Mill dam:

Red Oaks Mill Eagle - A
Red Oaks Mill Eagle – A

Despite the crappy image (Google Pixel 6a, digitally zoomed as tight as it’ll go), it’s a second-year juvenile Bald Eagle. It followed ahead of us along Rt 376, landing atop successive utility poles as we walked toward the intersection:

Red Oaks Mill Eagle - B
Red Oaks Mill Eagle – B

It sometimes perched on the (presumably) live primary wires, so a few kV of electric field doesn’t ruffle its feathers enough to worry about.

Its duties included keeping an eye on us down by the creek:

Red Oaks Mill Eagle - C
Red Oaks Mill Eagle – C

It eventually decided we needed no further supervision:

Red Oaks Mill Eagle - D
Red Oaks Mill Eagle – D

Earlier this year it swooped along our driveway and landed atop a utility pole in our yard, causing great concern among the songbirds and rodents.

Having an eagle in the neighborhood seems like a good sign …

Tree Frog Season

This year brings an abundance of tree frogs:

Tree frog - on dahlia stem
Tree frog – on dahlia stem

Despite the snappy green color, they’re Gray Treefrogs:

Tree frog - on patio step
Tree frog – on patio step

Their camouflage works better in the wild than atop a trash can lid:

Tree frog - on trash can lid
Tree frog – on trash can lid

They are much smaller than you’d expect from their voices in the night:

Tree frog - on trash can lid - thumb for scale
Tree frog – on trash can lid – thumb for scale

We think the drought brings them closer to the house in search of water, as Mary collects rainwater in the trash cans where the frogs easily walk up & down the inside surfaces.