A New Wood Engraving – First Proof

This is the first progress proof of a small engraving I’ve been cutting this week. There’s still much work to be done, but the composition and tone are beginning to emerge. At the moment, the grain elevator in the background appears to be thatched. That will need to be refined.

The scene is not real. It was drawn from a model that I composed with N-scale (1:160) structures – ones normally used for a model railroad.

Monotype Composition Caster Parts

Some of you who attended the ATF conference in Terra Alta, WV a few years ago may remember my presentation on the ‘Monotype’ Disaster. In short, the first caster I acquired was damaged during shipping. I’ve had it in storage ever since, with the intention of using it as a parts machine. In the mean time I obtained three additional casters – two fully functioning and another for parts. The costs of storing these large machines has finally forced my hand and I will be disassembling it and offering caster parts from the original machine. In fact, the damage to the first caster – though mortal – was restricted to a a very specific area. Most of the late-model british composition caster are in pristine condition.

If you are in need of Monotype Composition Caster parts, please contact me. I am particularly interested in trading parts for composition and display matrices, as well as wedges, stopbars, keybars and other tools of the typecasting trade.

Super Snark Sailboat

Super Snark Sailboat - Aft port view
Super Snark Sailboat - Aft port view

I just bought this sailboat, an 11′ Super Snark. I’ve wanted to learn to sail for a few years—this seemed like the perfect sailboat with which to start. It is purportedly unsinkable and very stable. The ABS clad EPS foam hull certainly seems very durable and indeed, could not possibly sink even if completely swamped.

Continue reading Super Snark Sailboat

Geotagging Nature

Every now and then—well, every spring—I get the urge to go hiking, which to me means looking for interesting, beautiful, or uncommon flora and fauna. Over the years my interests have varied among ferns, fish, insects, birds, fungi, and trees. This year it’s back to the ferns and fern allies. I recently had the idea to start recording more data about my ‘discoveries’, and with the iPhone, GPS, camera, this blog, and geotagging, I could have a bit of geek fun recording it.
Continue reading Geotagging Nature

Bass Rig

Here is my current bass rig for Smiles, Everyone, which includes:

Ampeg Bass Rig

Fender American Deluxe V bass
Humphrey modded Boss CS-3 Compressor
Electroharmonix Big Muff
MXR M-80 DI +
TC Electronic M-350 processor
Ampeg SVT3-Pro amplifier
Switches for amp mute and eq boost, M-300 bypass and tap tempo

I don’t use half of these pedals 90% of the time. Only the compressor and mute are essential. M-300 is for occasional phaser and tremolo. Big Muff is for fun.

Computers

Dan got a new MacBook Pro today. Aaron got an iPhone. Started me thinking about the computers I’ve used or owned over the years.

Prehistory

Coleco Pong – Dad had one at the little house he lived in after my parents divorced. I was maybe 8…or 9 or 10, which would be sometime 1977 – 1979.

Commodore Pet – at Heinz Semder’s import office in Brooklyn. I only really sat in front of it.

Borroughs 68000 – I took a Pascal programming course at Franklin & Marshall when I was in seventh grade. We used terminals (Honeywell or Teledyne?), but I have no idea what the OS was. Once they toured us through the Burroughs 68000 mainframe room. What a cool memory. A roomful of well organized blue refrigerator shapes. Whisking tape machines…and those massive, multiple-platter hard disk machines that were about the size of a dishwasher. Capacity? I don’t know. Each student had a chance to make a punched card—probably with our name.

Mattel Intellivision – Shared it with my step-dad for years.

Commodore Vic-20 – Dad bought this and I started learning BASIC programming. Cool sound chip, simple as it was. 1/4 audio tape storage.

Commodore 64 – My first computer. Awesome sound chip, SID. Programmed in BASIC, Logo, Pascal, broke things in 6510 assembly language. Massive external 5-1/4 floppy drive. Used GEOS for a short time before it finally fried…something in the power supply must have shorted, because when I opened it up, paths on the circuit board were warped and wavy. Melted!

Atari 1200XL – My friend Rick got this for Christmas. Best thing I did on it was write a program to make random geometric shapes. We thought they results would make great OP t-shirts.

Apple Macintosh SE – Borrowed from Casey Dixon, who would later become my wife.Apple Quadra 605 – The first computer I bought on my own.

Apple Quadra 630 - Second computer I bought.

iMac – This was Casey’s.

Apple PowerMac 8200AV

Apple iBook – Casey’s first generation iBook I think.

iMac G4 17″

Apple Powerbook G4 – One of many laptops I used at Ritter. Other machines I used there include Quadra 950 with Daystar accelerator, PowerMac 7200, PowerMac 9500, G3, G4.

Apple Powerbook G4 – 15″ Casey’s last school computer.

Apple iBook xxxx – I’m not sure which one Casey has right now.

Dell Latitude 810 – My Develisys laptop. Ah,…Microsoft Windows. Words cannot express…

iMac 24″ Intel Core Duo – No longer my current machine.