Fun with balloons.

Bought some helium-filled balloons for SWMBO’s birthday.  Had an interesting time getting them home in the car, then walking through the house with them.  Here’s a picture :

That smiley face is one big balloon!

OK, so day after the party we were sitting around trying to figure what to do with the balloons now that the festivities were over.  I figured why not fly them outside?  So off I took them to the back deck, and attached them to a length of telephone extension cord from the weather station sensors.  They actually soared pretty well, up to the eves trough of the house!  But any little puff of wind with blow them around, so one had to be careful to  stop them from bumping against sharp things like the eves, the shingles, bushes, and so forth.  Actually rather fun!

The only real problem was when the wind picked up to any extent whatsoever, the balloons flew horizontally  (that’s my sister-in-law flying them) :

All in all, a rather fine way to spend a sunny Sunday morning.  A fun time was had by all … but we probably should have been wearing hats.


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s …

I tried taking some pictures of the “supermoon” with my BlackBerry Bold.  Something of a failure, but it did drive home the difference between phone cameras and proper cameras.  I love the phone camera for taking quick snaps, mainly because it is almost always at hand and it’s easy to upload pictures to Twitter or email them out.  But sometimes it is simply lacking in its ability to adapt.  Taking pictures of the moon is one of those situations.  Of course, it didn’t help that I was taking it through a window.  The shots I took outside turned out much the same, but with less “splatter”.

But having said that, I rather like the effect!

Making a stand for the Playbook.

I recently got a BlackBerry Playbook, and quite like it.  However, I decided that it would be really nice to be able to prop it up on my desk.  So I looked around the shop and found a scrap of 1×2 pine, made a few measurements, and started cutting.  The first attempt had 2 notches, each a a different angle.  Cut the notches with a scrollsaw, as that was fast & easy.

After using it for a bit I found that one of the angles was the best for me.  Also found that the scrollsawed notches were a bit rough.  So I made another set, shorter (4-1/2 inches), and cut with a dado blade on the table saw.  Actually made 2 sets … figured that I may as well given the setup time involved.