bookmark_borderNew Camera

After giving up on Canon four years ago, I have mostly made do with my phone’s camera for travel snapshots and project images. While the camera on my phone is reasonably capable, it lacks a few modes I used to rely on, and the shallow optical range makes it pretty bad at macro photography. I need to be able to capture high-quality pictures of braid structures, so this was becoming a problem. Searching around for compact cameras that take good macro photos, I found the Olympus OM System TG-7. I wound up finding a package deal on NewEgg that included a bunch of off-brand accessories like filters and lenses, so I didn’t even have to go into a store to buy it.

The front of the TG-7
The back of the TG-7

Look: buttons, knobs, and switches! Look: metal body for durability! Look: a real lens and a way to attach accessory lenses! Look: a way to attach a beefy wrist strap! It has built-in Bluetooth and WiFi so that I can transfer images to my phone and thence to the world without wires! It can charge over USB-C, so I don’t need more than one charging cable!

My image tests have been very pleasing so far, and the macro lenses I bought enable you to zoom in really close. It’s easy to switch modes and change settings. I can record video with it. The phone app also works as a remote monitor and shutter activator. Of course, the photos above were taken with my phone camera. Anyway, it has been a few years since I bought a new camera and I am having fun playing with the new toy.

bookmark_borderJune 21, 2024

Hey, do you remember that movie from 1999 where the characters are in a simulation and they don’t realize it? No, not that one. That one’s The Matrix. I mean the other one. No, not that one. That’s eXistenZ. I mean the other other one. I’m talking about The Thirteenth Floor.

Now, at the end of the movie there’s a newspaper on the kitchen counter, and OK, so you’re releasing your movie in 1999 you probably wouldn’t be able to predict that newspapers will be mostly dead, but you should be able to “predict” that June 21st would not be a Monday.

June 21st was a Monday in 1999, or maybe it’s a clue that… nah.

bookmark_borderAn Archery Stool for Urho

A friend of mine wanted a sturdy stool for shooting archery while seated. Another friend of mine gifted me with some surplus curly maple. I wanted to have fun making another stool, but I don’t really need more seating in the house. I love it when a plan comes together.

I glued up three pieces of the maple. then cut the round top on a band saw using my circle jig. Then, I cut the round through-mortises using a forstner bit.

From the remaining maple, I cut three legs using the band saw, then sawed off the corners to make octagonal legs. I roughed out the tenons on the band saw, then rounded them down by hand with a microplane rasp.

I rounded over the edges of the seat with a router, then all four pieces went through several stages of sanding. Once assembled, I wedged the legs in place. Then, I trimmed off the tops of the tenons using a ryoba hand saw. More sanding, then a few coats of General Finishes “Salad Bowl” finish which I wanted to try out.

21 inch tall 3-legged stool from maple
Look at that curly grain. Sweet.

bookmark_borderPublication Notice

I had a short article published in the June 2024 Braid Society Newsletter! Unfortunately, you can only access the newsletter if you are a member of the Braid Society, but you can view my submitted draft of the article, “A Braid to Make: Double-Rai Gumi“, on my web site.

I’m very honored to included in the newsletter, and it also serves as promotion for my class at Braids 2025 in Cleveland. Additionally, it is a non-technical addition to my writing portfolio, which I think is cool.