Thinking CNC – Curing my WTFSS

I’ve put in an order for a stepper motor and ball screw – quite excited and pleased that this online reseller (which we’ll name later) has responded. We’ll see if the experience of dealing with online merchants is any good; otherwise we’ll be continuing our walkabout across Binondo streets and alleys to find suppliers for these (and several other) key parts. Continue reading “Thinking CNC – Curing my WTFSS”

How many electrons for one Higgs?

I’ve been sitting for over an hour at these keys,

Calling to mind that snippet of prose drifting

like cirrus in the darkening Jupiter sky that was

my mind, as I fell asleep last night.



A suitable poem, or fragment of story with which

to greet you with on a certain, special day. It was not:

A Higgs particle may contain the energy of 244,593 electrons.

(A statement that meant nothing, to anyone, only 39 years ago. And, truly,

scant little to me either, except for E=mcc).



Nor was it There is life on Europa. (I repeat: There is life on Europa).

spoken in a voice with the faint traces of an accent from Guangzhou,

by Dr Tsien, from the surface of that icy satellite, as he stood there dying

millions of miles from home. `Twas Clarke that dreamed up that still oft-visited universe.


It was a snippet colored with the shades of beech bark and falling red

oak leaves, from that treeline just beyond that couple sitting by the edge of the field,

and sprinkled with flakes of snow, a view of the seasons through electronic Palantiri,

but in prose


It’s turns of phrase held the smell of coffee beans and

the clean crisp air about Mount Monserrat,

and of laundered linens, packed snug, among bags and pouches,

leather, and a faint scent of sampaguita and camomile tea


It was a longish fragment, worn of splinters by three and four years of time.

In those words were held still the memory of embraces, in farewell,

with two much loved childhood friends, and other words exchanged, and not

lightly spoken


It’s cadences hinted at all the magic things that the year had brought to light,

of exoplanets barely a pixel or more to the sight, of springtime come to desert climes;

of the marshalling of pages of thought, as bulwark against the dust of ages


Spoken, it would have described an oh so slightly overly exuberant

joy, and of affection, and described – precisely! – my abstract gratitude

for a universe rich enough to have

generated you.


Sigh. So much for the precision of the somnolent mind. Can’t even frickin parse words into a usable poem, tsk.


Milady Luthien, dearest little big sister, you rock. Maligayang Kaarawan, Charm!!

Bye, Mr Zuckerberg!

It was fun sharing with friends on your Facebook, but idiocy like this, flagging a journalist’s content posted on your network, really is a deal breaker. You folks could at least take some Jimmy Wales Wikipedia smarts and check before you lock out a journalist that I and others in my network trust, and value. Put together some kind of community-vetting system or something. Meanwhile, I’ll just be getting news direct from there, among other places I’ve discovered, and perhaps Google+.

Those are the breaks, ey? Good luck with those share prices and monetizing these networks. I guess I’ll have to find another way to share stuff with folks – such as this blog.

Thinking CNC – Bootstrapping, Costing


x y z

I’m starting this project with nothing more than an inexpensive drill press, a wood router, a Black and Decker RTX-1 and a few hand tools. This severely limits the precision of any metalforming work I can do.   This means that I’ll need to rely on precision made parts – bearings, primarily, and a ball screw and nut – and use those to create a reasonably true frame with bearing rails for a hand-cranked, single-axis feed table. Continue reading “Thinking CNC – Bootstrapping, Costing”