Save or Toss

I always run into the decision of whether to save or toss an item. Tools, especially ones that no longer give joy, or apparent service, are a real mind bender. I have carried a number with me through moves as sometimes it is hard to do a job without the tool at hand, and some carry sizeable investment costs, others…well, I am still making my mind up.

For example, I do have a 4×24 belt sander for floors and I might use it again; however, it has been 10 years, newer ones probably collect dust better and would serve me better if I went to redo floors, indeed, I may find a completely different toolset to use. It isn’t clear that keeping it in my space is worthwhile.

This square socket was in a silly set of “drivers” for portable drills that I must have picked up for something at one time. I saved them in order to wear the Phillips-head sockets out as I always need those. In addition, the set itself is small enough.

I used it today for the first time in a long time. I must have used it at one time, as I vaguely knew I had it. The handle and magnet on my rear sliding screen door needed adjusting as the screw had almost fallen out and the magnet no longer stuck without manually adjusting it. This is my only small square tool which matched up with the unusual screws used on this door. Having it saved me a trip to the hardware store and got the job done. Yes, the handle has been loose for a bit and I could not remember where this set was for the life of me, but perhaps that is more a workbench than a tool problem.

On the other hand I am ruminating about whether tools, like so many thing, can clutter up the mind and space and take away from a MAKER process. Perhaps I need to ponder what kind of putterer I have been, and what kind I will be in the future as that is always the most important question. To move thoughtfully forward.

Categorized as Cool Tool

50 Apps to Track Everything…

Our mobile phones are powerful – crazy powerful. We’re approaching a point now where our Android or iPhone is essential to our everyday lives, and attached to us almost every minute of every day.

But, we also want more control. Technology is a great way for us to analyse and optimise our lives, and with our phones by our sides, there are endless opportunities to know where we spend our time, what we’re doing, and who we’re doing it with.

App developers have known this for years, and there are now scores of apps out there ready and waiting to track everything in our lives – from the mundane to the slightly scary.

vouchercloud have compiled the top 50 apps to track EVERYTHING in your life, and there are some crackers. Take a look at the infographic below, and see if we can persuade you to track your sleeping habits, your social circle, and your everyday life.


Paper Airplane Machine Gun

From PopSci:

Sometimes, a person accomplishes something so great, so revolutionary, that all they can do is smile as wide as humanly possible and show off the thing. This paper airplane gun, crafted by a 3-D printing and paper airplane enthusiast, is such a device. Wordlessly, the operator fires a series of paper airplanes. Then, with the top of the device removed, he reveals the assembly line inside the weapon. The gun folds the paper and then shoots it out the end — at a rate of almost one a second.

Watch this ridiculous coolness below:

Top Methods from the 2013 World Aeropress Championships

I am off to try these new recipes this weekend!

These are the top 2 Aeropress methods from the 2013 World Aeropress Championships…


Jeff Verellen’s winning recipe :

17 grams coffee ground 5.75 on the uber grinder, little courser than paper filter.

Rinsed normal filter, aeropress in regular position.

50 grams of water at 83c for the bloom.
Bloom for 40s. Nicely wet all grounds and lightly agitate holding the aeropress and shaking it abit around.

Very slowly add 215 grams of water at 79c for about 30 sec

Press very gently for about 30 seconds.

Leave about 50 gram slurry in the press and discard.

Put the rest of the brew in the gob.

Extra tips for supreme brew:

Picking beans, lights out, heavies in. Too big and weird, also out.

Use a cocktail pitcher to grind in and charge up static electricity so light particles stick to the walls, try to discard them.


Wille Yli-Luoma’s 2nd place recipe :

17 grams of coffee
240 water right of boil
2 min steep with 3 stirs.

Simpler Printing Using Google Cloud Print

From Google Chrome Blog

Have you ever needed to print a boarding pass, whitepaper, or speech, and didn’t have your computer at hand? Google Cloud Print helps you print from anywhere to anywhere using any device, and we’ve recently made several improvements on that front.
First, if you have an Android smartphone or tablet, we’ve released the Cloud Print app in Google Play to make it easier to print documents and files on the go.
Second, if you work out of different offices or other public spaces like a school, you can now easily share a printer with anyone nearby, by simply publishing a link.

In addition, we’re releasing two new tools today to make it even easier to print anywhere, anytime. The first, Google Cloud Printer, makes it possible to print to any of your cloud printers from Windows applications such as Adobe Reader.

The second, Google Cloud Print Service, runs as a Windows service so administrators can easily connect existing printers to Google Cloud Print in their businesses and schools.
We’ll continue evolving Google Cloud Print to make printing simple and easy from as many devices as possible. For now, the future looks good on paper.

Portable Steel Coffee Grinder

I was in Athens, GA, home of UGA and @petebikes showed me his Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder and this is going to replace my Braun which is common but relatively less useful being neither adjustable, useful (as it heats the coffee and packs it), or manual.  Without it being manual it is useless for a bike trip!

I doubt I am going to have the same hack that is used in this picture:

The Incredible Secret Money Machine

I found this on Cool Toolsm file it under freelancing – Incredible Secret Money Machine

When I first started to get serious about making money I ran into this book written in 1978 by a hippy-hacker living in Arizona. His advice was aimed at “craft and technical” types who wanted to create a small business “doing their thing” whether that was creating ceramic pots, designing outdoor gear, or writing computer code. He talked about doing a starting up before that term was subverted by the implication that your start up would take over the world. Instead the author preached one-person self-employment that made you a living. The concept of entrepreneurism as a small-time life-style has evaporated from the culture, and now entrepreneur and start-up means “get big fast.”

That did not appeal to me then, or now. But making a living doing what I was passionate about did. I learned how to earn a self-employed living from this book, which was mostly about what not to do. (I have been self-employed now for most of my adult life.) A lot of Don Lancaster’s specific examples are now terribly dated, but his core principles still stand and are worth listening to particularly if you are starting out. (If you are already successfully self-employed this book won’t help you much.) His idea that you should aim for a business that grows organically (income > expenses), is a total life-style approach (your business is you), and is dependent on your own value-added rather than market domination is as potent as ever.

If I had to sum up this book in my own words it would be; “If you are willing to build your business on expertise, you can make a living instead of making a fortune — and occasionally the fortune comes anyway.”

Best of all, unlike any other “make-money” book I know of, this one is free. You can read the author’s PDF version of the original paper book.

— KK 

Incredible Secret Money Making Machine
Don Lancaster
PDF, Free

Available from The Guru’s Lair