Fall… into the season!

When the seasons change my attitude also changes… when my attitude changes so does my wanting to connect with each new day of the season… and of course fall is my favorite season. Feeling the crisp air in the morning, warming myself to the afternoon sun and waiting to light the fire pit right before sun sets with a roll of newspaper with a sprig of dried sage roll up inside. The fires soft glow and the smell reminds me of all of my wonderful memories of fall as a child. Halloween, carving pumpkins, decorating the the house for the tricker treaters. Fall leaves, dark red and bright yellow, slowing falling to the ground with my feet able to rustle through and crunch the dried leaves. But of course this also reminds me that I only have a few more weeks left before old man winter forces us inside and time inside means a blanket to warm yourself by.

This year I am making my gifts for family and close friends… I enjoy the time in my wood work shop. It is very organic and as I feel of the grain of the wood, the smell of stain, the fresh cut being sanded down to a smooth finish I am reminded of the maker who has taught me, inspired me and had a lot of patients to help me keep all of my fingers on my hands. My mom has every year created some pretty amazing gifts, cards and blankets. So, to try and make gifts this year I have now realized how each piece, each time you assemble something, you really are putting a small bit of love and a piece of your being into each small gift.

I will share my progress of the gifts I am making after Christmas (I don’t want to give away the surprise yet!). I have been taking photos along the way, so I should have a fun story to tell and a special gift to send. This Fall has been one I hope to look back fondly on and remember the time spent in my work shop and the feeling of pride of taking on the continued tradition of making a gift.


All things good at Home!

My wife and I took a small vacation to go home to the Reno and Sparks area to visit my mom, my sister and my nieces at the beginning of March 2016 and had a great time. Going to the area I grew up and spent the most of my college years is always bitter sweet… many of the places we went as kids have closed and even the new places have been hit hard by the economics in the area.  I was glad to see the Pirate ship was still standing (not torn down to become another useless parking lot) but has been closed now for over 7 years…. a place that (from the outside) seemed like a bit of a dive was still fun with good food and drinks that made you feel like for the hour you ate and drank that you just might be a pirate!


Our first night was the famous Lounge Night… the friday night cocktail experience that everyone wants to be apart of and share in a few cocktails and talk about the inconsequential. Listening to jazzy up beat music in the back \ground and the table full of “orse’s dervesies “… My sister invited her friend and I invited a few of my friends… fun, great conversation and laughter  was had by all.


My Niece and my wife share the same birthday so it was birthday ladies picture time…


My sister with me and her best friend. (Hi Leslie!)


It was good to see my best friend from high school and the Marine Corps… it is hard to believe we are getting older and still look the same from our younger days…


Quit taking photos and order more drinks someone!



Lego Photos

LEGO BUILDS for the past 5 weeks. I am still sorting but a few of the builds are the Police boat, the wind mill and the fire station. Most are still missing 2 to 3 pieces and i add them to the build when I find them during sorting. It feels like a major accomplishment when you find the one or two bricks that complete a build!

3D DIY Printer part 4 Axis

After taking some time away from the project to think about how I was going to fabricate the X, Y and Z axis mechanical aspect, I finally rolled up my sleeves and tried out my first idea. Using the aluminum stock and a drill press I fashioned some very solid mounts for the  roller bearings and the thread stock.

Having the goal of just getting my first axis working and thus allow me to review how the assembly works, before committing to having all of them done this way ( in case there is an issue).

The frame that will hold the items I am working on in this post. (you can see the two brackets that I will be drilling into in the next picture)


Take your time… goggles are a must, use a clamp.

Drilling out the center of the beam… this will house the roller bearing.

Lining up the thread rod and checking it if it is smooth turning.


Posting the other end where the stepper motor will mount.

Top down view of the mounting hole for the roller bearing.


First idea  for mounting … which I didn’t like in case I needed to disassemble… this would be a nightmare.
a single nut hammered into the stock aluminum… seems easy!

Keeping it simple is my goal… so hammering in a single nut into the plate bracket made sense… and if needed I can adjust it.


Stepper motor with a CV axle to mitigate vibration if the motor isn’t exactly lined up.

Of course I am back to building now so i will be sure to post the next stage of the X axis. and how things are progressing. It seems like this will be a fall project as right now the weather is great for riding my old scooter.

I think once this axis is fully assembled I can experiment with the motors, the  controllers, the emergency stop and limit switches… the wiring harness will be interchangeable thus I can try each section of the harness only using the X axis. Check each electronics board will be the next post… hope to have you reading it very soon!

Bar Build

Wanting to have a bar for the patio, I started with reclaimed wood from a torn down fence, some pallets and some wood dowels.

The sides I bought some pine planks… the fence posts had the slots and the wood dowels i used to pin all the 4×4 posts together. I will have to finish up the build with a counter and a few wine crates to go underneath to hold glasses and bottles. A good thick coat of polyurethane and I will be done. I was thinking I should stain it and then distressed the wood with chains and a hammer to give it an old school appearance… but I will see how the finish “clean” looks and go from there… I am sure the weather here will make this happen for me.

I will be sure to take some more photos when it is complete. I am thinking a few string of lights on it too for the patio will make it stand out.

LEGO Revival (Part 2)

So I started with the Yellow Castle, LEGO Kit # 375LEGO 375

It was easy to find the bricks and sorting helped me build the walls quickly, but now the search will be for the Knights and Guard men. IMG_0077



Here it is below about 95% complete…


I also started the the motorcycle sales and repair shop… LEGO Kit #6373… Still missing a few roof pieces, and a front door. the 2 LEGO mini figures that come with this kit I have not searched for, but I know I have them somewhere in my many bins.


Since I had started the shop I figure this little kit with the trailer for the motorcycle would be a good addition. LEGO kit #6654… and like the other builds… I have not found the driver.


The police station brought back some memories… one of the first big LEGO kits that started my collection. LEGO # 588. It still needs some work… a helicopter, the garage doors and the jail cell windows.

The Space Cruiser #487, was my first LEGOLAND Space kits… the white and red Space men are ready for an adventure. This kit I am pretty sure was given to me by my Grandmother and was when I was about 3 or 4 living in Stead Nevada.

Finding my Shadow

While in college during the week I would typically have one day off from classes that I would use to work around the house, do chores, and study, but for the most part I kept busy with the basics and never really worked out in my wood shop I had set up in the garage.

One such day off, I decided that I would work in the garage and make some cuts on the table saw, as I was always building speaker cabinets as a hobbyist in the audiophile world. This day the weather in Reno was warm and sunny, with the spring in full bloom. With the temperature still warm outside, anytime out in the garage would require I open the large bay door up and allow the soft breeze to cool my work area. With hearing protection in and my dusty goggles on, I got to work.

The desert land around our house just north of Sparks was being developed and made for some interesting run-ins with all kinds of wild things. Rabbits, field mice, snakes and plenty of bugs. These items of the wild kingdom would be searching for shelter and looking for a cool safe place, so we always were keeping an eye out for Mother Nature’s creatures.  After finishing up with my project, I turned on the radio and sat at my bench. With my heighten awareness I was not startled to hear a ruffle under my car parked on the other half of the garage. I figured that during my time with the garage door open that a rabbit had made its way into the cool and shady garage to get out of the afternoon sun. Grabbing my long broom stick and crawling down onto all four, I could get a good look to see where I needed to scoop the creature back into the wild with a gentle poke of the broom.

Looking underneath the car I could see a very small furry animal, and upon closer inspection I could see it trembling. Not wanting to hurt it I made my way closer under the car. As it slowly was scooted out from under the car it made no moves to try and escape as it was curled up into a little ball. Emerging a puppy poodle… covered in weeds and mud on his paws, he looked as if he had been on a great adventure and with wirery black and gray fur he looked bigger that he really was, being small enough to fit into both of my hands comfortably I brought him out into the day light.

Cleaning the little puppy off in the lawn with some dish soap, a plastic container and the garden hose I could tell that he could not be much more the a few months old, underweight and needing some food and water. Playful and I am sure very excited to have found someone to take care of him after his big adventure in the Nevada desert.

Not having any dog food and none of my neighbors having any pets… I decided to get some water to drink and a uncooked hot dog for the little guy to eat. He quickly devoured the hot dog and began lapping up the cool water from the small bowl. He was here to stay.

After Adrienne and I determined my first check and diagnose of the puppy being a female puppy was wrong, we were now proud adopted parents to this very tiny and very cute poodle puppy. But what to name him. He would follow me around with great excitement, as if I was going to feed him another hot dog, and my wife determined that he would be forever my shadow.  And so it was…his name would be… Shadow. Now almost 12 year has gone by since we took in our smart and kind puppy. He will always be my puppy. Shadow still runs around and prances like the first time feeding him, even if it isn’t a hot dog, but he will do the same for a treat, or if I walk in from work or if we have been out for the day, he still has his magical skill of being our “Shadow”