Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Some simple two and three compartment elastic pocket sheaths....

Took some two inch wide black elastic and made a couple of simple pocket sheaths for my most often carried knife/tool/flashlight combinations. They keep the tools separated, compact, and relatively pocket-lint-free.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Metal Brain...

I went to Michaels Craft Store and bought a cool little tin a while ago. Had no immediate use for it so it sat for a while till I found it was pretty much the perfect size for an improved Hipster PDA.
The tin is 81mm wide, 127mm high, and 18mm deep. I guess that makes it technically something like a 3" x 5" tin (see where I am going here?)

So, after a little visualisation of what I wanted to use it for, and what tools I might need, here's what I did.
1...Cut a slot for the mini-binder-clip to pass through (Dremel and parting disk, Round file, a burnishing mop in the Dremel to smooth the edges. Since I removed a little of the plating and paint, I then painted the machined edges with clear Nail Polish to prevent corrosion.

2...Made a mini-bungy to hold the bottom of the 3x5 card down using white 1/8" elastic and a short length of 5/32" inside diameter Aluminum tubing. Crimps using an electrictal crimper-stripper hold the ends rock solid.

3...Cut some index divider cards out of 3x5 card. I reinforced the tabs with scotch tape. Corners are all rounded using an excellent paper/card "Corner-Rounder"....about $2.50, shipped from China. The same Corner-Rounder rounds all the corners on the 3x5 cards too (not strictly necessary, but aesthetically pleasing).

4...Assemble everything. The rounded corners look especially sharp as the radius matches closely the tin corner radius closely. Even the Binder Clip matches the purple stripe on the tin face!

5...Lastly, the real kicker...the 3x5 cards fit perfectly into the recess of the rolled-bottom of the tin when a small amount (18mm) is trimmed off of one long end to fit perfectly. I use the 3x5 cards that Staples sells: they are "Portrait-Ruled" on one side, blank on the other. That way I have not one, but two perfectly flat and accessible surfaces to write on at the same time....one for "Calendar", the other "Notes", or one for "To-Do" and the other for "Information"...the possibilities are endless.
Other good things with this design...it's extremely pocket-able, just a couple of millimeters larger than a 3x5 card...as a right-hander, my righthand protects the binder clip extension from any snagging on a pocket when I insert it, or, more importantly pull it out...there's ample space inside the tin for a small pen, and a Tyvek Wallet holding a few Credit Cards and some cash...or a ThumbDrive...endless choice in what's a combination of a HipsterPDA, a small wallet, a repository for small bits and pieces that you don't want to have getting crumpled in the bottom of your pocket, and a great protector of notes and sketches.
Lastly, the final pic shows how easy it is to "extract" a card from the bottom of the tin. Getting it in to the slot is very easy too...just put a slight flex in it and release.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

Home Owner's Insurance problem...

We had to put in 2 claims in the last 18 months on our homeowners insurance. First was a burst pipe the flow from which brought down the ceiling in the basement-----$5500 or so. Second was someone breaking in, stealing Barbara's Jewelry and doing damage to the floor----$9500 or so. Met Life paid both claims, but have now cancelled our policy. We can't find any other company that'll take us--clients that have been terminated by Met Life. Further NH doesn't have a State run "FairPlan" for people such as ourselves. We had both car and Home Owners Insurance through them. Only the Home Owners got cancelled. Our total record over the last 20 years is: 1 claim for $1200 on the car, 18 years ago, the above mentioned 2 claims on the house (plus a neighbor's tree fell on our house before we had Met Life---$4400 or so). Any ideas what we can do?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Writers and Note-Takers Wallets size comparison....

Here's a couple of pics of the Large and Small Wallets alongside each other. Both are very pocket-able items, but note how the small one, even with the pen attached, is still smaller than the Large Wallet in all three dimensions.

Small Note-Takers Wallet....

Just finished this, again it's very much a learning experience. This time I wanted to make a smaller wallet that contains a Moleskine extra-small Volant, a Fisher SpacePen, and about 4 Credit Cards or similar sized items. Just two separate compartments in this, compared with three in the larger wallet. The SpacePen is held via friction in its dedicated leather pen loop. I am still undecided whether to cut circular access reliefs in the external leather to ease access to the Notebook and Cards.

Large Writers/Note-Takers Wallet...

I finished making this last week. Keep in mind that I am a novice Leather-Worker, so there are several areas that could be improved, but I am happy with the end results. I wanted a way to carry a small notebook with me, and a few Credit Cards/Drivers License/small note-cards, that sort of thing. There's also just room for the odd receipt or paper slip. It has a total of three separate compartments, and the notebook is a Tops Composition: 4.5" by 3.25", 80 ruled pages. I ran tape around the edges as reinforcement. For a Pen, I can toss a Fisher Space-pen in a pocket, or attach a needlepoint Sharpie via a large Binder Clip. Note how a Binder Clip attaches and secures all the contents against loss.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Telephone # from nowhere....Bridge-related....

So, before today's session I am regaling Dan with stories about Jack Chao, specifically his penchant for always doubling after it has gone 1NT--Pass--Pass. First hand, Dan picks up something like, with them Vul: xx Kxx J7xx KQxx And of course it goes 1NT (15-17)--Pass--Pass to him. Double, says Dan, and it goes all Pass. I lead a Club, from xx (If I can find a Heart lead we even set it one more trick!!), Dummy tracks with a square-ish almost yarborough (it had the Ten-X of diamonds in it), and Declarer plays it OK for a whopping -1100. Good job I had digested Bird's book on Leads against NT, otherwise it might have been a "mere" -800 on a pedestrian diamond lead from my AQ9xx Declarer held a decent 16 count. I had a junky 14. I may have converted Dan.