Tools: The New But Always Was There Theme

It’s time for change.

Writing has been a struggle for me this year. I haven’t felt like writing and even when I did write, the fun in it was hard to find.

How do I get that back? Well, for one, I think I set myself up for failure. The Fab Friday, the Maintain Monday, the Quarterly Reports were chores. Something to check off. Fun at times, but busywork at other times. I found for myself that obligated writing is usually not creative and ends up being unfulfilling. So for now those are gone (not that I did them much this year). And for two, I think I lacked a common, tangible theme that ties everything together. Actually, I think the theme has been there all along, I just never realized it. And that theme is Tools.


I love tools – especially the concept of tools. The idea that there are devices, methods, systems, et cetera that help people create and live better. Tools that take common energy and leverage it, transform it – creating something much grander, more precise, and more beautiful.

My professional experience as a mechanical engineer includes the designing and manufacturing of different types of machines – Carbon fiber prepreg converting machines and aluminum casting machines. That is where I got the taste for building tools. In my off time, I constructed a scratch built 2′ x 2′ cnc router and 275 gallon PID controlled oven. Building those brought such joy even though I don’t use them much at all. All this has led me to focus on designing and prototyping products as my day to day work.

And looking back, writing on this blog has been about discovering tools and providing tools to help myself and others create better. Just look at the homepage right hand column. There are links to written content that is meant to be used as tools.


I’ve said it before, but I believe that creating is such a critical, core component to human existence, right there next to love. Everybody needs to be creating something. And everybody needs to figure out what type of creating they are both good at and love to do. If you are lucky, you figure that out quickly, but in many cases it takes time. I knew I was passionate about building things, but I just recently honed in on the fact that I love building tools. I had to drill down. Currently, this is where I am at:

  • Creating
  • More specifically, I love to build things
  • More specifically, I love to build tools
  • More specifically, I love to build tools that allow others to create.

My recent project, Tackoma, hits on this. It’s an organizational tool. A tool that takes advantage of empty walls and creates usable, creative space where there wasn’t before. It was in this process of designing, prototyping, and marketing Tackoma that I realized this joy for building tools.

And professionally, this is where I want to be at: designing and building tools that allow others to create. Ideally, I would build a tool that allows the user to prototype or create their own devices. Or said another way, a tool that builds other tools. A 3D printer is a prime example of this. (In fact, did you know about the “self-replicating” 3D printers called the RepRap?).

What Does All This Mean?

The spirit of the blog will remain the same. As I had talked about roughly 2 years ago (wow!), there are 5 main reasons for this blog:

  • I wanted to create something new
  • I wanted to organize the ideas in my head in regards to starting a business
  • I wanted to start something public to keep me accountable
  • I wanted writing practice
  • I wanted to share what I’m learning (so that others could learn too)

But the theme will be tools. Questions like, ‘What tools have I discovered?‘, ‘What tools do I use to leverage my time, talent, and passion?‘ and ‘What tools am I working on now?‘ will be woven into the writing. Not necessarily overtly, but thematically.

Honestly though, not much will change because all this was in my writing before. I wrote this more for me. My mindset needed clarity and the hope is that this spurs me to write more. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but hopefully this realignment will create a better, more interesting writing environment. Oh, and a new website layout is cool.

11 APR 17

a;dingaiownnasfd  Iw wweaad  naadfo  I need sfdslklkn I need to get ldakklnva inokwnlk asdf wefs I need to get my writing fingers back. Ah, there we go.

Busy times! Have you seen the Tackoma Video? Well, here it is:

Kudos to Rick Baleros for filming and editing the video. Turned out pretty good if you ask me. And the feedback has been excellent. I’ve only shared with friends and family at the moment as we haven’t done any sort of marketing campaign. But there has been quite a bit of interest from people I don’t even know. That’s always a good sign.

Next up for Tackoma is putting together the Kickstarter campaign. The big test as to whether this product is something people want. I can say without any hesitation that it’s been a great help in my office. A singular place for my essential items that I need for that project for that day.

The other marketing area I am personally pushing hard is the 3D printing aspect of this project. Once you have the channel, you can print out hooks, holders, grippers, tools, etc that can clip right into the channel. Or make your own and print them, Completely personalize your creative space.Here are a few that I’ve printed out.



Anyway, just wanted to get a simple update out there.

Fab Friday 37

Behold the Tackoma PRO36.

Above is a rendering of a 36in track with shelf and hook. Display documents or art, hang up items like headphones or keys, or shelve your phone or notebook for the next few hours.

This won’t make you creative. Sorry, you have to provide that part. But this tool gives you excellent visibility of your project. Storyboard your book or line up your drawings.

Minimalistic, yet highly functional.

Just a glimpse. That’s all I have for you at the moment.

The Going Ons

Still waiting patiently for the extrusion tooling. Once the samples come in, it’s going to be an exciting day. The task at hand is the marketing plan and marketing content. How are we going to roll this out? What will be our product offering? How can we show everything without saying anything? Who do we market to first? We need a website. We need an email list. We need to get the word out. Then we Kickstart.


  • Website Design


Check out Abstract on Netflix. The story each designer tells is inspiring. Don’t miss this.

The Adjacent Possible at Get out there and mingle!


New Acceptance album. Take me back to high school!

Fab Friday 36

“There is so much to do!!!” Those words keep bouncing around my head these days. Hence the reason I wanted one of my 2017 Three Words  to be Meditation. No matter how much I fret about the work that needs to be done, it will get done when it gets done. Worrying or thinking about the amount of work just delays things. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.

The Going Ons

Whenever I start writing on Friday, I always say to myself, “Why didn’t your write more this week??”. I don’t know. I don’t know why. There are plenty of things to write about. For instance, the provisional patent has been submitted. Woohoo!! The project is now officially patent pending and I can start rolling out what the project is all about. But that’s not all. A website has been purchased. Marketing info is being compiled. The tooling is being cut.

The hope is to launch the landing page in the next few days with a way to subscribe to an email  update and get information on the what, when, how, why, etc. Once that is available I’ll do a write up on. (Yes, the packaging write up will be available soon too.)


  • Render hi res images for the website
  • Update drawings
  • Work on prototype mounted to wall.
  • Compile website landing page


The content cupboard is bare today. Check back next week….


Eisley – I’m Only Dreaming

Hearts Like Lions – If I Never Speak Again

Fab Friday 35

Happy Friday ya’ll. Let’s get to it

The Goings On

Tooling was paid for this week. That’s pretty big news. In the upcoming weeks we should have some some actual product in our hands!

The Multi-Functional Accessory Track project has gone through a few different stages: Ideation, Research, Design, Prototyping, Redesign, Quoting, Final Design, Provision Patent, Packaging, and Tooling Purchase. Unfortunately, it’s not a linear progression moving from one stage to the next. There are a lot of blurred lines. But to be at this point in about 2 months time is pretty exciting.

Today we submit the Provisional Patent to lock in the design which means we can start our marketing phase. We still have to be careful not to reveal too much of the design since it is not entirely complex. There are people out there who are good at knocking off products before they are even sold. Just read this article about a guy who preys on kickstarter projects.

I still owe you a packaging write up. I haven’t forgot….


  • Compile rendered models of project
  • Outline sell sheets and brainstorm website layouts.


My brother recommended the Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda and it’s been a very timely read. Unintentionally, I make things complicated. This book makes you really think about how to simplify design and make it accessible.


No Promises – San Fermin single – Super stoked for their new album!

Maintain Monday 11

End/beginning of the month is a good time to maintain. Plus it’s Monday, the beginning of the week, which is doubly good. Get the chores out of the way so they don’t distract you from creative endeavors.

More so today, I need to work on my calendar and set some dates. We are meeting with the manufacturer Tuesday with March 1st as our target date for launching the first product. Between now and March 1st needs to figured out!

And the quote above is something I really need to keep in mind. What problems need to be solved over the next month to make sure the launch goes smoothly? And, just as important, what are the “problems” that I’ve created that I’m wasting time on? These so called “problems” need to be identified otherwise they will take away precious time. I think it is very true, at least for me, that if I don’t have any problems to solve, I will create my own. Solving problems is very fulfilling so I am prone to creating or making up problems just so that I can “solve” them. Instead, I really need to make sure I’m solving the true problems and not made up ones.


Fab Friday 34

Packaging and shipping are almost always overlooked. Products are designed for functionality and aesthetics. But how is it going to be packaged? How will it be shipped? These questions don’t get much thought until the end. Next week I’m gonna explore this a little bit.

The Going Ons

Everything is so close to being done. Yet, it feels like nothing is complete. The product designs are pretty much done, yet we are trying to plan out what lengths to provide the track in. Shipping plays a huge part in this. Over 18″ and the price jumps up considerable. The provisional patent is 97%, but now I need to add another connector piece to the project due to shipping. We had a product name and it was good. Perch. Perch was the name. But a stroll through Office Depot revealed that the name is already used for an organizing product. Back to the drawing board. Next week this will all be done. Yes, it will be.


  • Follow up with MFG’s regarding quotes
  • Work on packaging and boxing
  • Print out connector pieces.
  • Oh, and I need a product name.


“When I first started blogging, my future wife often asked about what my goal was. The blogging seemed to double my workload while promising a 5% higher income that didn’t make any real difference in my life. It seemed a silly use of time. I tried explaining that blogging was a system, not a goal. But I never did a good job of it. I’ll try again here.

Writing is a skill that requires practice. So the first part of my system involves practicing on a regular basis. I didn’t know what I was practicing for, exactly, and that’s what makes it a system and not a goal. I was moving from a place with low odds (being an out-of-practice writer) to a place of good odds (a well-practiced write with higher visibility). The second part of my blogging system is a sort of R&D for writing. I write on a variety of topics and see which ones get the best response. I also write in different ‘voices’.  have my humorously self-depreciating voice, my angry voice, my thoughtful voice, my analytical voice, my half-crazy voice, my offensive voice, and so on. Readers do a good job of telling me what works and what doesn’t.” Scott Adams (Dilbert) in Tools of Titans pg. 263-264.

It’s a system. Boy, do I need to keep writing more. I also need to think of this space as another R&D shop. Work through some ideas to find some gold.


P.O.S – Chill Dummy

Fab Friday 33

Transition. The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

Extruding and injection molding quotes are rolling in and the launch plan is starting to take shape. Above is a picture of the “grippers” being printed for final prototypes. The design of the “sheet holding accessory track” is coming to the apex. But how do you know when you reach that point? I feel like I could tinker with the design for another few months. When do you stop the design process and transition to manufacturing? Software is easy in that sense because you can always make tweaks after the release with minimal side effects. With hardware, it’s tough to make changes. Or at least it’s costly. The minimum amount of PVC track that you can manufacture at one time is 2500 ft. Then there is the one time cost of tooling. And the four week leadtime. What if there is a design flaw? What if the angle needs to be 70deg instead 65deg? One more prototype. One more test piece.

Those are the thoughts in my head as I finish up this week. There will always be something I want to change or tweak. But it is time to let that go. Next week we are going to select our manufacture and finally make some product. I can’t wait.

The Going Ons:

  • The track design is done and provisional patent is a day or two away from being wrapped up. I’ve spent a lot of time working on the provisional patent such that I can roll it into a utility patent midway through this year (assuming the product has success). Plus, there was a lot of research to make sure we weren’t infringing on any previous patents. Once this is done, I will be very excited to share the project in it’s entirety.


  • Printing and lots of it. We are looking to get 36″-48″ of track in both black and white with the accessories (shelf, hook, end caps, etc) ready for functionality display. It just takes time. To print (4) 8″ track segments, it took 7 hours. The “gripper” for the track takes another 2 hours.
  • Business planning. Kits? Bulk components? Aluminum or PVC? Price points? Stagger product launches? With the project being bootstrapped, we will need to parlay early product profits into the next accessory that needs to be released.


Earlier this week, I was listening to Cal Newport on the Entreleadership podcast. He made some really interesting points about finding your “calling” in life. I can’t remember it fully and I’m going to butcher it but I’ll try to put it in my words. Basically, passion is overrated if you are not good at it. You won’t be happy. Find something you are legitimately good at. Something where your skills and talent are maximized. That’s when you will be satisfied. Just because you have a passion for something doesn’t mean you are good at it and it doesn’t mean you will be successful. Obviously, you have to like what you are doing. But when you are good and skilled at your job, you will enjoy it and others will enjoy it.

How about you just go and listen.


Blessings Playlist for me this morning

12 JAN 17

A little free writing to get my day going.

I’m starting with ten minutes. Ten minutes of limited edits and no formatting. I was listening to the Minimalist podcast the other day and they were talking about this app called “The Most Dangerous Writing App”. It’s basically a blank screen where you set a time limit and then start writing. If you don’t type a letter within 5 seconds everything get’s deleted. Everything.

You see, I’m a glutton for formatting and editing. It’s bad. That’s why I’m trying to spend more time just writing and less time not writing. Editing is not the problem. The problem is that I won’t start writing because I think about the editing that needs to take place. Or the formatting. Oh the formatting.

The timer is at 10 minutes for this session. The goal is to spend a few days a week free writing to get me started for the day. To get the juices going. We will see how it works, but you don’t know unless you give it a shot right?

OK, so I’m trying type a sentence to gather my thoughts. You don’t have to read this. You can always skip this type of writing if you want. I won’t hold it against you. Really, it’s meant more for me. But if you like reading, then by all means, keep reading.

Last night, I was reading more of Tools of Titans and I was reading the conversation with Laird and Reece, the professional athletes. And she was talking about, ‘Go First’. It lines up with very well with one of my three word this year “Now”. Instead of waiting for somebody initiate something, why don’t I initiate it? Here brief story, if I remember correctly was about her being at a park with her kids that really wasn’t her style. And there were two moms walking by and she thought, “Be first to smile”. And she did. And they smiled back. It’s a simple story, but it sat with me. Who cares what others are thinking or what they are doing. Be the first.

And my ten minutes is up. I managed to write 344 words. Now onto provisional patent writing

Fab Friday 32

It’s cold out! Wish there was snow, but it has been enjoyable to have this cold spell. It’s probably because I got slippers for Christmas. If they weren’t on my feet right now, I would be complaining for sure….

As for the quote above, 2016 was me sharpening the axe. 2017 will be about gathering the firewood!

The Going Ons

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve really given any update, but a lot has been transpiring. The final design of the light duty utility track project is just about complete and I have been in talks with manufacturers. In the next week or two, the trigger will be pulled and the tooling will be purchased. Exciting!

Because this project can manufactured and packaged in such a short time frame, the dispenser project has taken a back seat. It’s still extremely viable and I will be picking it back up shortly, but my focus is very much on utility track.


  • Meet with MFG rep to obtain samples and discuss design
  • Print flex material and test geometry


For Christmas, I was gifted the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. I’m really enjoying it and would recommend it to those interested. It’s great because you can jump around and read the sections that interest you the most at that time. Tips and tricks about productivity, meditation, exercise, diet, etc. I don’t have any specifics to share at the moment, but get it and read it.


Lately, I have been listening to a lot of music that I listened to over the past year (thanks Spotify for creating the list). It would be fun to do a 2016 top ten list, but I don’t want to really spend time. Bigger fish to fry, you know?

Not really any new albums these past few weeks. But this week there were some singles I really liked. Check out the following:

2017 My Three Words (Revised)

I just gonna come out and change My Three Words. This isn’t a bad omen. I just realized early on that I need a revision. There is an important word that I need to focus on this year.

So to add a new word, I’m going to combine Meditate and Gratitude. My quiet times will focus on gratitude such that I will be mindful of thankfulness in all my subsequent actions. This humbleness is how I want to live in 2017.

Now the word that I have added this year…


I have my product designs over 90% ready to go. Now (one of my words of 2107!) is the time to license them or manufacture them. This year is the Transition from designing to marketing.

But the word Transition goes even deeper. One issue/task that I’ve talked about previously is the loss of time during Transitions from task to task or state to state. How do you reduce the time spent in Transition? How do you wake up and get to working on stuff that matters in the shortest time possible? How do you go from Creating to Maintaining and back to Creating without losing focus? Am I spending to much time Transitioning?

Transitions need to be swift, yet effective. You want to maintain as much momentum as possible. So in everything I do, I want to remember the word Transition and make sure I’m not spending too much time in the gray or the in-between. Further more, you don’t want to spend time unnecessarily transitioning. Create for 4 hours and then Maintain for 2 hours is almost always better than Creating for 15 minutes and then Maintaining for 30 minutes and jumping back to Creating and so on.

So there you have it. Now is the time to Transition with Focus. (See what I did there? There is probably a better tagline for summing up my three words…)

2017 My Three Words

Welcome, welcome! 2017 is here and 2016 is gone. Remember Y2K? That was 17 years ago! Incredible.

I’ve never really made resolutions and so, of course, I’ve never kept resolutions.  So for 2017, I’m trying something other than resolutions. This year I will be doing something called My Three Words which I believe was started by Chris Brogan. Basically you select three words to guide you over the next 365 days, both in business and home.

Here are my three words:

  • Now
    • Do it now. Last few years have included a lot of preparation and foundation laying. This year will be the year of action. And it needs to be done now. Far too many times I say, “I will do this after I do that” and then I put the task off to a later time and date. Not this year. The time is now.
  • Meditation
    • Quiet times of reflection and focus have escaped me the past few years. I want to spend time daily in meditation and prayer to make sure my priorities are right. This needs to be a daily activity therefore it needs to be one of my three words.
  • Gratitude
    • I have an extremely blessed life. And I don’t express that enough. This year, I want to make a much better effort to express my gratitude to those around me. The more grateful you are, the less you need.

What are your three words?

Fab Friday 31

This will be the last Fab Friday of 2016 as I’m not gonna write anything new to the blog until 2017. I focusing on a few different efforts so that when the new year hits, I’m prepared to make an impact.

The Going Ons

I had a meeting with a local plastic extruder this week and got some great feedback regarding one of my projects. There is no real concerns with the profile and they can potentially meet the packaging needs as well. I’m still waiting on some more information on that end. All signs are look good. I don’t think I’ve talk about this project yet, but I’ve only been putting time into it over the past few weeks. And it has gained a lot of steam as my confidence in the project grows. Basically, it’s a light duty, wall mounted utility track. You mounted it to the wall and then you customize it with different hooks/clips/attachments/etc.

The reason project has jumped to the top of my list is that it is squarely in my wheelhouse of designing and manufacturing. It’s nothing new to me. And I believe I can launch by the end of January. That’s the biggest perk. Low up front cost, quick to market, and fully expandable. I’ve begun discussions with a friend and we are looking at teaming up on it.

There is still a lot to work out, but within a few weeks I will have something to show. I can’t wait.


We didn’t get much sleep last night. Our daughter was not feeling well at all. It carried over into the morning so we watched some cartoons before I put her down for her nap. I’m hoping to steal away a few more hours today and if I do, here is what I want to do:

  • Layout website for new product
  • Render images of design for said website
  • Fine tune business plan
  • Brainstorm naming ideas


Check this out for some motivation


You should probably be listening to some Christmas music so here are a few recommendations:



Fab Friday 30

Well, this week ended up having quite a bit of maintenance.

  • Had the furnace and heat pump serviced. The defrost isn’t working and the board on the unit needs to be replaced.
  • For the past week, my truck hasn’t wanted to start. I’m writing this from the mechanic shop while it’s being looked at.
  • Our husky’s annual checkup was on Tuesday. Clean bill of health.
  • We put up our Christmas decor at the beginning of the week.

But I was still able to make some progress on the projects.

The Going Ons

I have been talking to a few manufactures starting last week. I received a quote for a plastic injection molded part and I am waiting on an vinyl extrusion quote. All the while I’m still chipping away at the provisional patent for the dispenser.

I’ll be the first admit that I totally underestimated the patent writing process. It’s not that it is difficult. It’s just different. And I don’t want to make a mistake. Plus, as I have said before, the dispenser has been a much bigger challenge than I expected. There are ten times more interacting components that I anticipated. And I don’t have a team working on it like I would at a large company. It’s just me. Sure, I could hire out parts of it, and I will for future projects, but that takes money. My money runway is shorter than my time runway at this time.

But by the end of December, with my provisional patent filed, I should be on my way to finding a manufacturing partner.


  • Patent Writing
  • Adding item numbers to drawings


On the trip to Austin, I listened to Ignore Everybody  and 38 Other keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod. I honestly don’t remember anything about it. It could be that I tried to listen to on a plane ride with a 2yr old. So I went ahead looked up some quotes from it to see if it would jog my memory… ah yes, I found one that I liked.

“Writer’s block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. Why? If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough.”

I don’t write much any more. Sometimes I try to force myself to write. It almost always doesn’t end well.  For now, I am just waiting until I get that voice back. In the mean time, I have to devote that time to something else creative. That’s what I would like to add this quote. Don’t stop being creative. Don’t stop being productive. Make sure you are using that energy in another area. Just make sure you are using your creativeness.


This week I turned on the Ultimate Indie Playlist from Spotify and really enjoyed it. Check it out.

There is a lot of other music that I am seeing too that I’ll check out.




Fab Friday 29

December is upon us and 2016 is winding down. It’s been about 6 months since I started this venture full time and I feel like it’s finally coming to a head. I have two products that I’m writing provisional patents for right now and two other projects that I’m working with others on that are getting close to a final design. Plus there are a few other ideas that I’ve written down and will vet out in 2017.

Ideally, I would have finished one product by now and found a manufacturer to team up with, but I started out with a very complex product. I should have started with smaller projects and worked my way up to the Dispenser. I didn’t know that it would evolve from a simple mechanical dispenser to a full on automatic heated wet or dry dispenser. In hindsight, I should have saw it coming. I’m still trying to figure out my ideal design process. But I like the position I’m in right now and am going to take advantage of the multiple avenues I have in front of me.

The Going Ons

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m in sprint mode. I am working to get the provisional patents done in the next week or so. I purchased some patent writing software this week to help expedite the formatting and content of the patent. I’ll let you know how it worked out in the coming weeks and if it’s worth the cost.


Patent writing and patent reading




Childish Gambino




It was quiet here on the blog last week because my family and I spent some time in Austin, Texas this Thanksgiving. We flew back in yesterday. My cousin and his wife moved to Austin a couple of years ago and we had yet to see their new location. Plus, they welcomed their first child about 6 months ago so that was really great to see them.

Austin was cool. Bek and I ran the five mile turkey trot Thursday morning. She beat me. Again. We ate tons of great food, too. It really was a good time despite cloudy weather and half of the family, including myself, getting some sort of cold near the end of the trip. Could be allergies which I really have never dealt with, but it seems more than that.

We are headed into the homestretch and, for me, December is going to be all about the hustle. I have to make some traction before the end of the year which means I have to dedicate even more time to my current projects. Basically, my provisional patent has to be completed. That is the top goal.

But with that said, I have a few other projects that I’m chipping away at. A few other irons in the fire, if you will. The Dispenser is the main project and most of my hours are being devoted it to it. But because of that project’s complexity it is going to take quite a bit of time before a return on it is seen. Hence small projects to fill in some gaps.

December starts tomorrow, but I’m amping it up today. Gonna be some late nights and early mornings. Weekends too. This is my sprint. Nov 30th to Dec 22nd.

Fab Friday 28

Gosh, that logo turned out big. Need some “Music for Creating”? See the Spotify playlist I created below!

The first half of the morning was spent with my dad overseeing some trees coming down. Weather is better than the first half of the week which should bode well for progress, but not for the trees.

The Going Ons:

The complexity of the Dispenser project has increased quite a bit since the initial design. But that was due to feedback and market research. It’s all doable, it is just taking more time to put it all into one, clean package. Currently there are 10 sub circuits to the design:

  1. Pressure Sensor
  2. Heat Sensor
  3. Water Motion Sensor
  4. Dispenser Motion Sensor
  5. Water Valve
  6. Dispensing Motor
  7. Air Pump Motor
  8. Heater
  9. Bottle Installed Switch
  10. Power Supply

I’ve tested each component of the Dispenser system with a degree of success. There is optimization to be had, but that’s not the goal right now. I just want to get to the point where they are all assembled together logically and efficiently. Then my provisional patent can be filed. And to think that original design that I had this summer was just going to be a mechanical version. Over the course of 3 months, I’ve incorporated enough electronics to automate the device.

And to keep myself from going crazy with a sole focus on the Dispenser, I am working on a board game as well as writing down a few other ideas I have for products. These ideas are much, much simpler than the Dispenser. Spending an hour or two here and there so that they will be ready to launch when the time is right.


  • Continue with assembling the 3D components and optimizing design.
  • Write down more descriptions of systems for provisional patent


Enjoyed this video quite a bit. Yet, it is still incredible hard to separate myself from social media. I rarely participate, but I spend time reading feeds which is quite a waste of time. How do you stop?

Quit Social Media


I have spent some time putting together my “Music for Creating” playlist over on Spotify. It’s instrumentals of all types of genres. Make sure you put it on shuffle. I went a little wild on the piano and string tribute bands near the end. I might pare that back a little bit. This will be a work in progress.

I tried to embed it but doesn’t seem to work. So here is the link in case it doesn’t work for you.

Maintain Monday 11

Well, I really shouldn’t write much about maintaining today since I didn’t do much of that. Rather I was focused on coating 3D printed parts with resin and working on some detailed modeling.

I did listen to the latest How I Built This podcast with José Andrés today. A quote from the episode stuck with me. Jose said,”If you want to be inspired, you have to be on the move.” It felt fitting with the little bit of writing I did about inspiration and motivation last week. Almost always, you have to seek out inspiration. Rarely does it drop into your lap. Keep moving. Immerse yourself in various cultures with various people. Don’t be stagnant. Try new things. Seek out inspiration.


Fab Friday 27

Happy Veterans Day! Our family is truly grateful for all those who have served. Thanks!

It was Bryn and me this morning on the hunt for a donut. We ended up at Krispy Kreme with a strawberry glazed with sprinkles and classic glazed. I didn’t get to taste the strawberry one. As you can see from the picture above, Bryn was not letting me get close to it at all.

The Going Ons

I was able to get in a little work this afternoon. I redesigned a gear because it kept slipping on the motor shaft. At first, I feared the motor torque was inadequate, but I reexamined it and the gear was just slipping. The motor will be plenty strong. I just need to print better gears.

Earlier this week, the focus was on the electronics. I have tested all the systems (motor, airpump, water valve, heater, motion detector) separately with great results. So time was spent consolidating breadboard components and cleaning up the code. Eventually I’ll need to cram it all into the dispenser housing, just working out a few more kinks before printing the large pieces.


  • Redesign gear and reprint. Then strengthen it by using an ABS cloud and coating it in a resin.


Ran across this article about being weird via my twitter feed. A good Friday read.


New Future of Forestry album Awakened to the Sound. Looking forward to it. Will probably influence me to listen to the Travel EPs which I loved.

My Spotify Release Radar said I should check Wakey Wakey Covers. Thanks Spotify! These are excellent.