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521 Posts By ben

  • Here we go

    Only a year after buying our chunk of land we are building a house. The dream we came to pursue in Vermont is finally happening, 4 years in (we had planned on 2). Vermont felt right going in, there simply could not have been a better place, better people, better circumstances to surrounds ourselves with to make it happen. These 4 years were more than necessary to make the adjustments needed for such a lifestyle change. We are extremely appreciative and in debt to everyone who helped a couple of flatlanders get acquainted with all the awesome skills we wanted to develop. To this list of skills that is so nicely summarized in the “categories” of this blog, we are adding “building”.

    house

    We spent all Winter learning how to build a house & designing it. It completely blows my mind that we live in a time where all this information is available online. I spent countless hours reading and watching videos on building techniques. Not only is information ubiquitous, so is stuff. Every specialized tool or object referenced in these videos is available to purchase online, with reviews, and unboxing videos…

    Preparations in no particular order

    • septic permit, the only paperwork/requirement
    • Sketchup design
      • extensive reviews by multiple trusted builders
    • research & acquire needed tools
      • skill saw
      • clamps
      • rip & plywood blades
      • generator
      • run generator and charge devices with it to avoid surprises
    • create guides for sawing
      • 2×6 with 22.5 angle
      • plywood 4′ & 8′
    • find cheap recovered windows & fix them up
    • visit local lumber yards to get material pricing & delivery fees
    • buy portable shower & potty
    • emptying our current house of superfluous things we’ve accumulated to get ready for downsizing
    • budgeting
    • scheduling
  • 5:30 alarm clock

    Make sure to turn the volume up, gobble gobble.

  • Duplogrifier

    I’ve been wondering for a while if I could represent a picture with Duplo pixels in a way that would do it justice.

    Introducing the Duplogrifier!

    Duplogrifier will take any JPEG and turn it into an arrangement of 2×2 Duplo bricks. Now truth be told, the answer to my original question is “no”. There are not enough colors available and it would take a obscene amount of bricks to build something visually acceptable. However it leads to some fairly cool results.

    2015-04-15: added 6 more “pixel” colors.

    You can play with it here:

  • Cool Duplo Project #28 – The Tallest Duplo Tower in the World

    While this is not the tallest Lego tower in the World, I couldn’t find a taller Duplo Tower. Hence, I hereby proclaim this to be the Tallest Duplo Tower in the World. We can advertise this fact on the town signs to attract tourism “Home of the Tallest Duplo Tower in the World”. Tourists looooooove Duplo Towers.

    We actually built 3 of them, the tallest was approximately 5.3 meters (17.4′) high and weighed close to 5kg (11lb).

    Preparation

    The OCD is strong in this scene

    IMG_3250

    IMG_3387Building

    IMG_1342

    IMG_1344

    IMG_1347

     

    IMG_1358

    Tower 01

    I bumped into it while setting up the pull string : Sorry random guy who happened to stumble upon tower apocalypse.

     

    Tower 02

    The tallest & heaviest, unfortunately the felling method of yanking a feet out with the pull string did not produce the usual result of the tower leaning to its doom. Instead its weight made it come crashing straight down.

     

    Tower 03

    The last and successful attempt at a good fell :)

    Thank you

    to the helpers and the town’s elementary school

    IMG_3421

  • Cool Duplo Project #27 – Trebuchet

    We are dangerously entering the realm of projectiles.

    IMG_3134

    I MacGyver’d a sling with rubber bands & a rubber balloon.

    IMG_3140

    I’m helping the counterweight a bit since Duplos don’t have much mass; there is definitely room for improvement in other regards, the sling release specifically. currently it takes a few trials to get a good trajectory.

    Medieval warfare? More like Medieval fun times.

  • Resilient SSH Tunnel

    #!/bin/bash
    
    tunnel_entrance_port=13306
    tunnel_end=username@re.mo.te.ip
    destination=127.0.0.1
    destination_port=3306
    
    # Use netcat to connect to tunnel entrance port. If its exit code is not zero, the tunnel needs to be brought up
    nc -w1 localhost $tunnel_entrance_port > /dev/null
    if [[ $? -ne 0 ]]; then
            echo "creating new tunnel for MySQL"
            /usr/bin/ssh -f -N -L $tunnel_entrance_port:$destination:$destination_port $tunnel_end
            if [[ $? -eq 0 ]]; then
                    echo "  tunnel to $destination through $tunnel_end created successfully"
            else
                    echo "  an error occurred creating a tunnel to $destination through $tunnel_end"
            fi
    fi
  • Cool Duplo Project – Another wheel

     

    IMG_2897

    Unexpected sillinessanother_wheel

    take 2; bends a bit but works well

    another_wheel_2