Website/General Updates: 6/12/2017

I’ve been doing some more work on the website, primarily finishing up the Kewanee Boiler section and toying with some different design ideas.The Kewanee Boiler section was finally finished on May 31. You can view the freshly-updated section here. Believe it or not, this was the first time I decided to spend the extra time and use divs in the design on this site.

I have started working on a section dedicated to another (albeit new) interest of mine – the Grumman LLV. I actually noticed that there is a (great) lack of information (especially in one place) about these vehicles, so my goal is to fill that gap. I’m also working with Peter Luckham, the webmaster of the Kubvan website, on designing that section and getting his feedback and such, especially on info pertaining to the Kubvan or Kurbwatt. (The Grumman Kubvan and Kurbwatt was the “spiritual successor” to the LLV, and they too were somewhat utilized by the postal service.)

On the Grumman LLV section is a new site navigation system I created that I’m looking for feedback on. It uses primarily large icons – rather than text – to link to sections. I’ve seen that on some other websites this is a common thing. While it looks cool, I’m concerned about space. You can see it for yourself here.

ThinkPad T420 Update

It’s been over three weeks since the T420 got a new hard drive and I got stuff moved off the old drive. Everything has been working flawlessly, as you’d expect. My next update planned for this machine is to update the battery to one that has a bigger capacity and will last longer than 3 hours in operation.

I’m also going to have to purchase the T420 a new wireless mouse. While when I don’t have a mouse handy I use the TrackPoint, I use a mouse when I can. However, my current mouse (a Logitech wireless mouse) is tired and old – it’s seen near continious use for nearly seven years. My second mouse (a Logitech M-185 wireless mouse), now found “dead” in a junk drawer, only lasted a couple months. It worked well at first, but become frustrating to use as the battery would become loose. Folded aluminum foil was my last hope for fixing it, but when that trick didn’t work – it was declared dead.

I’ve found some that look tempting that I’m going to consider trying.

Pinnacle Update

The 1981 Free Spirit Pinnacle is pretty much in the same condition it has been for the last couple months; un-rideable due to two flat tires and bad (very bad) brakes.

Last fall, the front tire went flat after I hit a nail in the road. The nail was large enough (larger than an ordinary nail) to shred the tube and finish off the tire casing (although the tire was beyond repair, as it had a sidewall hole where the tube was bubbled out. The tire was/is going to be replaced.)

Then this spring, while inflating the rear tire to its normal pressure to make sure it wasn’t entirely flat, the valve stem came clean off the tube with very little effort as I was removing the pump’s head. Right now, both tires are flatter than a pancake.

The brakes, however, means the bike couldn’t be rode even if the tires were good. Both brakes are completely worn out. The rear brakes are down to the metal, but the front brakes barely have any padding left. They don’t stop the bike, and that has meant a couple “close calls” with some cars in the past. On one case I was not able to stop at the stop sign and ended up going through the intersection. Therefore, it’s not safe to ride until the brake pads are replaced.

Thankfully, these are “minor” things that can be repaired with some money and a couple hours of TLC. I’m disputing whether or not to take the bike to a shop for a complete tune-up, as nothing has been oiled or lubricated in a few years.

Moving Update and Job Search

As I mentioned in my last update, my family is moving soon. While it has been nearly a month since I graduated, we’re still trying to find a place. So I’m trying to get website updates completed before that can happen.

Along with moving is the difficulty of trying to find a new job. I’ve been without a job since I left my former job earlier this Spring due to personal reasons. Since then, I’ve had a lot more time to work on the website (hence, all the new updates.)

Sadly, I’m running out of funds saved. However, more importantly, I want to get a job to make money and support myself, as well as get back on my feet. So, over the past two months I’ve been searching for a job, ideally in the place we’re moving to.

I’ve put about 1,000 miles on the Buick Century driving backwards and forth to interviews and inquiring about jobs in the area we’re moving to. Thankfully, I found a resource in that area that can help find me a temporary job (until I move to college this fall), and can (in the future) help me find a career doing what I enjoy doing. (Even though I’d like to work in CIS now if possible.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been tired a lot lately due to the stress of trying to find a new job as well as helping in packing, finding a new house to move to, and “mapping out” my goals for next couple months.

The Buick was also in a minor fender-bender while in the area we’re moving to, while looking for places we were going to look at. Ironically, the wreck happened right in front the house we were going to look at. Thankfully, the damage was minor (paint and a broken headlight assembly, all though it still works.)