猪猪影视

猪猪影视

Thursday, August 7, 2014

After only one wear?

Well, I did not expect this.
After only one wear, the Kevlar socks are already beginning to unravel.  I am going to try to find my Walmart receipt and exchange them for a different pair.  If this is unsuccessful, I will have to mail them to Dickies for a replacement.  As of right now, however, the Kevlar socks are out of the testing.

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

Sock balls

The first thing I noticed after washing the socks is the difference in size for each of the sock balls.  They are arranged as Hanes, industrial, and Kevlar.  One can visually see the industrial has more bulk than the Hanes.  I only hope this added bulk translates into the longevity needed to justify the price.

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sock testing

Since moving to Grand Junction, I have been going through socks like crazy.  I'm buying the same socks I did when I lived in Colorado Springs, but they just seem to wear out sooner.  In looking to upgrade my socks, I came across "industrial strength" socks and even socks with Kevlar, which is used in bulletproof vests.  The question came to my mind, then, about which sock would be the best value.  Therefore, this sock testing post was birthed.  Let me introduce you to the contenders.

Picture borrowed from Target.com without permission.
My normal socks are Hanes Premium Dry Crew bought at Target.  These usually cost me $8.99 for a pack of 6 pairs, so the cost per pair is ≈$1.50.  Made in El Salvador, these socks contain 73% cotton, 22% polyester, 3% latex, 1% nylon, and 1% spandex.

Picture borrowed from Walmart.com without permission.
These socks from Dickies are called "steel toe" industrial strength, so I wanted to give them a test.  I paid $6.27 for 2 pairs at Walmart (For those of you interested in such minutia, in June 2008, Walmart issued a press release announcing a name change from Wal-Mart to Walmart; so Walmart is now the correct spelling.), making them ≈$3.14 per pair.  They will need to last at least 2.1x as long as the Hanes in order to be a frugal purchase.  These socks have a "made in the USA" claim and contain 73% cotton, 15% nylon, 10% polyester, and 2% spandex.

Picture borrowed from Walmart.com without permission.
These socks at Walmart caught my eye:  Socks made out of Kevlar.  They claim to last 15x longer than other socks, which is actually one of the reasons I decided to do this test.  At $8.77 a pair, these are the most expensive socks in this test.  They also need to last at least 6x longer than the Hanes and 3x longer than the industrial strength.  These socks are made in the USA of 82% polyester, 11% nylon, 6% aramid (the generic name for Kevlar) and 1% spandex.

All of the socks have the same washing and drying instructions:  Warm water wash, tumble dry medium.  Therefore, they will all be washed at the same time.  I will only wear them to work, using 2 pair of Haines, 2 pair of industrial strength, and 1 pair of Kevlar each week.  That is about all I can say at this point.  I will add testing results to this post as they become available.

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

References:
"Aramid." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 31 July 2014. Web. 4 Aug. 2014.

"How to spell Walmart." Liessa. liessa.com, 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 Aug. 2014.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

. . . customize Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Now that I have a Windows 8.1 touchscreen computer, I have been wondering how to customize the start screen with my own files and folders.
This is the classic Windows 8.1 Start Screen.  The first thing I wanted to learn how to do was add my own tiles.  The folks as AskVG.com give a quite precise method that worked for me.

ADD TILES TO START SCREEN
  1. Right-click on the file or folder which you want to pin to Start Screen and select "Create shortcut" option to create a shortcut of the file.
  2. In the RUN dialog box, type %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
    This opens the "Start Menu" folder.
  3. Cut the file shortcut which you created in step 1 and paste it in "Start Menu" folder which you opened in step 2.
  4. Go to Start Screen and press "Ctrl+Tab" keys together to show "All Apps" page.
    Here you'll see the file shortcut which you created earlier.
  5. Right-click on the file shortcut and click on "Pin to Start" option.


What about the background pictures?  Microsoft actually has a concise tutorial on that at this link.  It is a two-step process:  First putting your picture in the correct folder, then pointing either your Start Screen, desktop, or lock page to said picture.  When I try it, I will write it out in more detail here.

CHANGE BACKGROUND PICTURES
  • not attempted yet


AskVG also has very simple instructions on how to change the appearance of each tile on the Start Screen, including changing the icon itself.  Unfortunately, I need an app that will convert .jpg and .gif files to .ico files.  Fortunately, there are on-line .ico converters available, such as Online-Convert.

According to Yasser, it is even easier than that.  One merely has to change the extension from .jpg to .ico in order to use it as an icon.  That turned out to be a bogus claim, as the resulting file comes back as "no icons detected."

Microsoft Paint can also be used to make icon files.  One simply resizes the picture and the background to 32 pixels, saves as a 24 bit map, and changes the extension to .ico.  This is fine if one is changing a desktop icon, but it is not adequate for making a larger tile.  I am going to have to test to see if I can use Paint to make a 270x270 icon.

While still exploring, I came across this site, which builds tiles for websites.  One simply enters some information and uploads a photo, and the site generates HTML code to include with a website.  From this site, I discovered the dimensions of Windows 8.1's tile sizes.  They are 128x128, 270x270, 270x558, and 558x558.  Using this information, I created a 270x270 pictures, uploaded it to an icon conversion site, attached it to a shortcut, and pinned the shortcut to my Start Screen.  Although it is there, the result is somewhat disappointing.  The icon appears as a very small square inside the larger 270x270 tile.

I just discovered there are many tile generating apps available from the Windows Store.  However, one is restricted from downloading these apps unless the computer is running Windows 8.1, so I will have to wait until I take my computer to school for Wi-Fi access to download these tile-generating apps.

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

References:
"Create a Windows 8.1 tile for your site." Build My Pinned Site. Microsoft, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

"How to Change Icons and Text Labels (Names) of Start Screen Tiles in Windows 8 and 8.1?" AskVG. AskVG.com, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

"How to Pin Any File, Folder or Program Shortcut to Windows 8 Start Screen?" AskVG. AskVG.com, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Jason, Thomas. "How to change pictures into icons for folders." YouTube. YouTube, LLC, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

"See pictures on the desktop, Start, and the lock screen." Windows. Microsoft, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Yasser, Ahmed. "How to convert image file ( .JPEG) to icon file ( .ico) [Without using programs]." YouTube. YouTube, LLC, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Alternatives to mold release spray

I have been struggling with mold release spray.  No matter how I use it, I can't seem to get the resin gems out of my molds without bending them.  Therefore, I decided to look into some alternatives to mold release spray.

A thread on Cosplay.com gives a few interesting alternatives.  One user recommends coating the mold with Vaseline.  The original poster, however, said the Vaseline did not work inside a ceramic dish.  Another poster says Vaseline is too thick and leaves lines in the gems.  I might try this because I only need to get the gems out to test hardness, not to use in jewelry.

Sprays recommended by other posters include Pam, WD40, and silicone oil (available at automotive stores).  Still another poster suggests lining molds with plastic wrap, particularly Glad, when using polyester resin.  I like this suggestion because my final project should not include molds at all, so I can simply place my pieces onto a sheet of Glad.

All of the above suggestions are mirrored by other websites, including Answers.com, though eHow takes the cooking spray alternative one step further by stating regular cooking oil rubbed into the mold will act as a mold release.  As this is the simplest of the alternatives, it is the one I will probably try first.
  • Cooking oil using ??? cooking oilResults: 

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

References:
"Alternative to resin mold release? - Cosplay.com." Cosplay.com. Cosplay.com LLC, 4 July 2011. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Moore, Carolina. "Alternatives to Commercial Resin Mold Release - Crafts.Answers.com." Answers.com. Answers, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Turner, Paige. "Resin Mold Release Substitutions." eHow. Demand Media, Inc., n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

. . . patch a tear in a shoe

I don't know exactly how it happened, but while waxing the floors at work, my $13 Target shoes split open on the pinky toe side.
Since this town is so small, there are no good places {like the ARC} to get used boot-style shoes.  Therefore, I decided to try to repair these shoes by gluing a piece of leather over the crack.
I got this piece of leather from Hobby Lobby for less than $3.  {They are having a 30% off crafts this weekend, so all leather is on sale.  I'm thinking of going back and buying a bag of scraps to use as sewing machine testing.}  The first thing I learned about repairing shoes this way is to bring the shoe so I can buy a closer-matching color.
I have many glues sitting around due to my jewelry glue testing.  One of them, Beacon Glass, Metal and More®, claims to be flexible when dry, so I am going to attempt to use that one on the shoe.

The first thing I did, of course, was wash the area to be glued using Dawn dishwashing liquid; and I allowed this to air dry to the touch.
I then attempted to cut a leather patch to cover the split.  I used a pair of desk scissors.  You can see in the picture the need to get a better matching color, but I'm going to proceed anyway.

Now, the glue says to “apply evenly to surface” and “need not be applied to both surfaces.”  I got out a toothpick {left over from my universal knife block project {posted on my Facebook page before starting this blog} to use to spread the glue evenly over the back side of the leather.
While checking the patch fit, I accidentally turned over the leather patch.  As you can see in the picture above, this is less of a contrast to the shoe color and should, therefore, be less obvious.  Hence, I decided to use the wrong side of the leather as the right side of the patch.

Using a toothpick, I roughed up the surface of the shoe a little bit to assist in adhesion, then I waited for the shoe to dry.  In the meantime, I ate a bologna, cheese, and pickle sandwich and watched Dogma on DVD again.  At the first confrontation between the angels and the prophets, I used a toothpick to spread glue onto the leather {and my fingers}, flipped it over, and placed it on the shoe, using a clean toothpick to push it into the corners and crevices.
Here is the shoe with the repair.  The glue says it takes 24-72 hours to cure.  I will probably not wear this shoe again until Monday night at work, which is 42 hours away.  We shall see at that time how the repair holds up.

1 Jul 2014 Update:  When I got home from work last night, I checked the repair.  The glue had come loose on one side.  Since I need the shoes for work, I cannot do another patch attempt today.  I am going to have to wait for the weekend to get here.  I have placed another shoe repair attempt on my schedule.  Next time, I think I will use the E6000® glue and see what happens.

1 Jul 2014 Update:  Trying to repair shoe again.  This time took a jewelry file and scuffed up the surface of the shoe, in hopes of better adhesion.  I also used the E6000® glue; I then read the directions.  I was supposed to wait 2 minutes before sticking the pieces together.  Oh, well.  Live and learn, right?  So, the shoe is once again repaired and will be drying for over 72 hours before I wear it again for work.  Hopefully, the repair will work this time.  Either that, or I'm going to have to get off my cheap ass and buy another pair of work shoes.

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

!($&#*#*$&%!*#@!!

Shit.  I don't want 48-inch of separation; I want 48 inches between the flanges.  The flanges add another 2 inches, so I wanted a 46-inch separation, which means the pipe should have been cut at 42 inches.  Crap.  I wonder if they well recut the pipe.

To their credit, Lowe's re-cut all the threads for free.  We tested the threads using 2 connectors {an end cap and a coupling} to make sure they worked this time.  Next time, I am going to test the threads as the pipe is cut so I don't have to make 3 trips!

The pictures on the page appear smaller than they are.  To see them larger, simply double click on the picture.  Also, I always welcome your constructive criticism.  Click on the Comment link below next to the icon of a pencil; it may say "No" or have a number in front of it.