Monday, April 19, 2010

The Flasher

My electronics exploits with the Funway kit from Dick smith. Now I need a magnifying glass cause the labels on the transistors are soooooo TINY!

Can't stop my consumer ways

Damn it, winters approaching and The Deal has to go and announce a sale on faux possum winter throws.

But I am in savings mode right now, plans are for a big midwinter party to celebrate Zed's (and my) big number birthdays. All up we're 80. So the big temptation is to have an 80's party. But costumes tend to freak people out, so maybe everyone can just RSVP with their favourite 80's song and I'll make a play list who knows. Just about narrowed down a venue, any last minute suggestions welcomed. Our house is far to small for the millions of people Zed knows. So where are the good venues for big birthday bashes?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Starling on Flickr hates life, and you especially.

superb starling, originally uploaded by Musicaltone.

Starling of disapproval disproves of your bird watching.

Funway Un-boxing, when do I get to solder something?!

I don't know anything about electronics and it fucking annoys me.

So in the weekend I went to Dick Smith and bought.......

Yeah, that's right. And some batteries, it says on the box that everything battery operated. I guessed AA batteries.You may think Funway is just for kids, but YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG. Its also for misguided 30 year olds who suddenly realise they've missed out on vital educations.

Here's whats in the box

Book of things to build, little bags of components, and bread board with screws. No soldering! Speaker, earpiece, resistors, a transformer, light detector, capacitors, leds, wires and shit. Oh and a connector for a 9volt battery. DOH. Luckily I have a few spares in the drawer for the smoke alarms. You also need a couple of other bits not included in the box. wire cutters, a small screw driver (Phillips) and wire strippers, or improvise with scissors, which are also good for cutting out the circuit patterns in the back of the book.

You begin by cutting out your circuit and putting it on top of the board. Then assemble the wires and components. Screws and washers are used to hold the connections together, its a little fiddly at first. But after some swearing you assemble the first circuit, a continuity detector.

Its quite a handy first project, you get to test all the provided parts to make sure they work and the run around the house seeing what conducts electricity and what doesn't. Oh the polystyrene board is really handy for sticking all your resistors in before you assemble the circuit. Keeps everything tidy and within reach. In the picture I'm shorting the circuit and you can see the LED glowing.

After that I deserved a beer.

Must Have New Infomations!

I love learning new things, that combined with my short attention span has lead to many half arsed projects in my life.

I can only go so many weeks of enduring mindless work followed by mindless after work house cleaning and TV watching. (which sometimes happens, swings and roundabouts, sometimes all I want to do is shut my brain off completely).

But when I want to hear about new things, this is place I go....

National Radio. This is the hidden gem of the nation. Honestly. No need to run to the transistor radio, you can listen online!

Music 101 on Saturday 2-5 loads of great music reviews, stuff that commercial radio wouldn't dare play is promoted on this show. Old shows are archived for you to download and listen to later. Or subscribe to the pod casts. Most radio NZ shows are availbel through itunes for free.

Media Watch. The closest thing New Zealand has to the Daily show. The past weeks news is picked apart for biased and shoddy research. Fantastic show.

Then any of the "magazine/interview" shows, like nine till noon or afternoons. Great quality guests, book reviews, media reviews, mini documentaries, current events, its all informative mind opening stuff. One of my favourite bits is This way up.

Go on have a taste - we’ve covered superstitions, the history of scrabble and monopoly, ethical tea, how deodorant works, fair trade chocolate, hitchhiking in Cuba, robot builders, jetlag, what’s in margarine, the laws of beachcombing, global butler shortages, tartan, the largest Swiss army knife, supermarket food labeling, homebrew, energy saving light bulbs, getting kitted out for the duck hunting season, the physics of toilet paper, why your urine smells funny after eating asparagus, how to buy a bra, the history of chewing gum, what makes camouflage so fashionable, using mobile phones on planes, things you’ll find on your keyboard and why people eat together……..and that’s just for starters!
The show's you find on National radio are better than anything you can find on TV. Another bonus is NO commercials.You may get the occasional promo for another National radio show but that's about it.

News. For radio news, National can't be beat. 5-7 weeknights is checkpoint. They ask probing hard questions, no namby pamby fluff.Its news how you've always dreamed it would be. And if you listen to the morning report you'll be better informed than any of you coworkers that listen to the 2 minute "news" break on ZM.

And for relaxation there's always The Arts on Sunday. 12-4 it has my favourite movie reviewer Simon Morris, and he doesn't just stink to the blockbusters. He's got a way of picking the indie classics as well. Also reviews of plays, art, sculpture, music etc etc. Again, there is nothing like this on TV. Best quality stuff, all free. Thanks New Zealand on air.........