Clive "Max" Maxfield returns (sort of) with a guest blog contribution for Programmable Logic DesignLine.
The hills are alive with... well all sorts of things really ... music, sheep, rabbits ... you name it and I've seen it...
Hello there guys and gals and chaps and chappesses ... I hope you're having a wonderful day. I've been receiving all sorts of emails recently asking what I'm doing and (very kindly) saying that folks miss my "off-topic" blogs and bits in the newsletters, so Dylan kindly said that I might pen a guest blog bringing everyone up to date.
With regard to "off-topic-bits", someone recently sent me the following YouTube link, which brought a smile to my face. Honestly, this is guaranteed to brighten your day make you a happier person:
I'm the one in the center ... did you see me waving?
What? You want more? Well, do you remember that famous Monty Python sketch containing the immortal line: "Harold is that most dangerous of creatures, a clever sheep."? (Click Here to see the full script for this sketch.) Well, a few minutes as I pen these words I saw the most amazing video that ... words fail me ... you'll have to see for yourself:
And you thought that I had too much time on my hands!
As for what I'm doing ... well ... as usual I'm up to my ears in alligators fighting fires (I never metaphor I didn't like) ... there are just so many fun things to do and so little time to do them all in..
For example, I'm still playing around with my Man versus Woman Display-O-Meter project. One thing I decided I wanted for this beast was some sort of eldritch sound effects playing subtly in the background.
I have several ideas here, but the first thing I'm going to try is to build an Atmospheric Monitor that detects electrical activity in the clouds from hundreds (sometimes thousands) of miles away and converts is into whistles, squeaks, hoots, chirps, and so forth.
But where can we find the construction plans for such a beast? Well... there's an electronics and computing hobbyist magazine in the UK called EPE (Everyday Practical Electronics). This is primarily a print magazine; since November 1998, however, I have been involved in delivering the web-based version of this magazine (check out www.epemag3.com). In fact, we like to boast that we were the first web-delivered electronics and computing hobbyist magazine in the world.
The point is that we had an Atmospherics Monitor project in the April 2003 issue. I always meant to get around to building this little scamp, and the Display-O-Meter provides me with the perfect reason to do so (even if I eventually decide that the result is not what I want, I'll still have an Atmospherics Monitor (grin).
I now have all of the parts for the Atmospherics Monitor sitting on my desk ... except one. I need a Ferrite rod 200 mm long and 10 mm in diameter. This is the sort of thing you could find anywhere ten years ago ... but they are a pain to find now (unless you go to a specialist supplier). So if you happen to have one of these little scamps lying around in your "spare parts treasure chest"...
Actually, while I'm thinking about it, I also post the occasional blog on the EPE site (check out the "Is that a rabbit in your pocket, or..." piece I posted a little earlier today – just go to the Home Page and scroll down to the bottom.
Of course another of my "hobby projects du jour" is my www.TheWayThingsWere.com website. I'm happily posting stories of my youth and other folks are starting to tell their own tales.
Funnily enough, I sent the Sound Of Music link (the one at the beginning of this blog) to a friend who responded "I hate The Sound of Music ... long story!" I immediately responded: "Is this a tale that should be told on The Way Things Were?"
This led to the "I love my wife but..." story in the "Romance and Stuff" section of the site. Come on now ... you must admit that you're intrigued and are saying to yourself "By golly, I must visit that site without delay!" (grin).
In the not so distant future we're going to add a blog by yours truly and a weekly newsletter that summarizes any new stories that have been added in the preceding week ... I'll try to keep you informed (alternatively, if you care to register at The Way Things Were, then we'll send you an email letting you know when these features come online).
Last but not least, I actually have my "day job", which is freelance technical writing ... anything from ghost-written magazine articles to technical whitepapers to books ... "I'll write for food" :-)
Speaking of which, I have a PILE of work to be completed today before I can make a break for freedom, so with that I will bid you "adieu". Until next time .. have a good one!
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=99, R=266|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=297.00, A=312.92, Δ=+15.92, R=687.08|
|Note:|| I'm still trucking along...|
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for the weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.