Dangerous words…

I walked into TAP Plastics today. The sign on the door said:

"Scrap sale, 75% off"

I gained 15 pounds of HDPE, for $8. I think I’ll go back tomorrow for a load of acrylic.

[Update: another $20, another 38 pounds of plastic (~21 HDPE, ~17 cast acrylic); I may go back again if I can find someone working there who knows what some of the mystery plastics in the scrap bin are…]

Acurite 5-in-1 Weather Station

So, someone got me one of these for my birthday, and I finally got around to building a stand for the outdoor sensor (basically an oversized tameshigiri stand made with pressure-treated lumber).

A promised feature was remote access to your data through an iOS/Android app, so I downloaded the app …and it didn’t work. Surprise! You have to:

  1. register your purchase online (and the form wouldn't let me hit Submit until I added demographic data...),
  2. plug the USB cable on the indoor sensor into a computer,
  3. download and run their PC/Mac app in the background,
  4. and leave your computer on at all times to report the data.

I have two words for that, and the first one starts with “F”.

So, delete the Mac app, delete the iPhone app, unplug the cable, and now I have a standalone weather station. Oh, well, at least it wasn’t an Internet of Things Thing that sat on my wireless and took orders from The Cloud.

Update: now that the sun is down, I can report that the backlighting on the screen is bright. I won’t be needing a nightlight downstairs any more.

Smoking The Man Pipe

Not a euphemism!

There are web sites where you can figure out the origin of your pipes, such as Logos and Markings and Pipedia, and both link to other sites where aficionados of a particular brand have gone into obsessive detail. Even that’s not enough, though, and sometimes you don’t even have a name to google. In the case of one of Dad’s pipes, just a stem mark that looked sort-of like a fish-hook.

A sharp-eyed youngster (under 40) at the local pipe shop thought it might have originally been a nearly-vertical “♂” symbol where most of the white paint filling the stamping had worn off, and careful inspection confirmed it. But searching for “male symbol pipe” is a bad idea, even with SafeSearch turned on, and I gave up after a while.

Until a few days ago, when I happened to be looking at the history of Laxey Pipe Ltd, which specialized in making African Meerschaum pipes for other companies. If you’ve seen a Peterson or Barling meer, it’s probably a Laxey, and they were located on the Isle of Man.

Sure enough, one of the sample contract pipes at the bottom of the page is Comoy’s Man Pipe, with the same distinctive bowl carving and ♂ logo as Dad’s:

Comoy's The Man Pipe
Comoy's The Man Pipe

Seasonal Sisters

Amazon Japan’s Halloween Store has a full range of theme costumes, including the always-popular Sexy Nun.

Cosplay nuns

Miko costumes come in Straight, Sexy, Sexy Anime, Sexy Maid, and Touhou (Sexy). Lots of zombies and schoolgirls, too, of course. Not that these are strictly Halloween costumes.

Dad’s Ugliest Pipe

I’ve been sorting through the (partial) collection of my father’s pipes that we found in the basement of his house. They were in an open rack, and between the oxygen and the walker he hadn’t been down there in years, so they were pretty filthy. In many cases I couldn’t read the markings until I’d scrubbed the stummels in diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, and I’m still cleaning and waxing them.

We know we haven’t found them all yet. For some people, 53 pipes would be a lot, but when the University was out for the summer, he’d often work at a local pipe shop, and the pipe cabinets he made himself would fill up a little more. Most of what we have now are those pipe-shop specials, an eclectic mix of minor labels, store brands, seconds, basket pipes, and red-headed stepchildren, and he smoked the hell out of them all. Even the one with the bowl so big I can fit my entire thumb inside.

There are a few “name” pipes in the mix. Two Savinellis, a Comoy, a GBD, a Barling, and two Ropps (including their trademark cherry-wood), and one hand-made that he must have bought in France when he was running the summer abroad program, a Pierre Morel from St. Claude.

And then there’s this, with the hand-engraved signature “E. OSG”. I swear it was rusticated by earthworms.

I’m sure there’s a story that goes with it, but it’s one we’ll never hear now.

Moa Time and Space

Because of the big power outage that we spent days cleaning up after, I decided I needed more protection at the office. Moa Metal couldn’t be everywhere at once. Until now.


Kinda want…

I have no practical use for an 18-inch-long, eight-pound, 1.25-inch hex key, but it would make an awesome paperweight and conversation-stopper.

1.25-inch allen wrench

(via Amazon Prime)

Bonus: the 1.5-inch version is two feet long and weighs fifteen pounds.

Of Mice And Men…

Boobie mousepads