Video Multitasking

Printing my ink vial holder last night on the 3D printer took a lot longer than I thought it was going to, and I had to leave the office for supper midway through the print.

I didn’t want to leave the printer unsupervised lest something go wrong and I burn down the Parish Hall, so I took advantage of the OctoPrint feature that streams a view of the printer to a browser and also of the Android “split screen” feature that allows two apps to run at the same time, to watch YouTube and the 3D printer at the same time:

Screen shot from my Android phone showing a YouTube video and an OctoPrint video stream

Marlene On the Wall

I finally found a Canadian source for good quality typewriter ribbons: Toronto Typewriters. I ordered a Big 3 Combo a couple of weeks ago, and it arrived yesterday.

The “Big 3” are a black, a black/red, and a purple; I installed the purple and it’s like I have a new typewriter:

Photo of typewritten Suzanne Vega lyric snippet: Fingerprints on me from you.

That’s a line from Marlene on the Wall, by Suzanne Vega that’s always stuck with me since I first heard it:

Even if I am in love with you
All this to say, what’s it to you?
Observe the blood, the rose tattoo
Of the fingerprints on me from you

3D Printing an Ink Vial Holder

As I related in October, my friend Nene turned me on to the world of Pen Chalet fountain pen ink samples, and starting from her lovely gift of a sample of Morning Star ink, I’ve acquired a small fleet of 4 ml vials of my own.

The only downside of the tiny sample vials from Pen Chalet is that it’s hard to keep them upright: they’re top heavy, and so whether on a table or in a drawer, I find they’re forever falling over on me.

Not such a bad thing, really.

Unless I have the top off to refill a pen (fortunately this hasn’t happened yet).

I set out this afternoon to solve this problem: I used my calipers to find that the diameter of the vials is 16mm and then designed a 3D model of an “ink vial holder” in Tinkercad:

Tinkercad rendering of the ink vial holder.

I printed the model on my Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer this afternoon and the result does exactly what I set out to have it do, holding four Pen Chalet sample vials upright:

Photo of my first 3D print of a fountain pen ink vial holder.

An unintended side-effect of the design is that it also works really well for moving the vials around; it reminds me of those boards used to transport sampler flights of beer:

Photo of vial holder picked up and in my hand.

Keen-eyed readers will note that my ring finger in the photo above bears witness to accidentally touching the “hot end” of the 3D printer a few weeks ago when making an adjustment. As burns go, this one went very well and served mostly as a lesson to me to never touch the hot end of a 3D printer.

$20 $20 €20

William Denton is selling copies of a limited edition of a book version of Listening to Art.

I like his pricing:

While I have supplies, copies are available at a special price: $20 Canadian for Canadians, $20 US for Americans, and €20 for people anywhere else in the world.

At today’s exchange rate, this translates to:

  • $20 Canadian = $20 Canadian
  • $20 US = $26.53 Canadian
  • €20 = $30.47 Canadian

The result is nice even-numbered shipping that seems reasonable to Canadian, Americans and Europeans all, but that builds in an allowance for the increased shipping costs attached to each.

(For example, the Canada Post lettermail rate for a large envelope for weighing 400 g is $5.78 to Canada, $10.90 to the USA, and $21.80 to Sweden).

Euan Semple on (Loss of) Control

Euan Semple writes, in Fear, and loss of control, in part:

Life keeps on happening, without our control. We are out of control. We don’t even control our own thoughts never mind the world around us. Deep down we know this and numb ourselves to the fear it induces with mindless media, sugary food, or alcohol.

But something magical happens when we stop worrying about our lack of control. We can still take actions, we can still think thoughts, we can still affect the world around us, we just stop worrying about whether things turn out as we expect. We stop piling stress on top of the lack of knowledge of how things will end up.

Rather than inhibiting us, the acknowledgement of our total lack of control makes it easier for us to take action. We stop worrying and do stuff. We enjoy going along for the ride and worry less about where we are going. In doing so we might just get somewhere magical — again and again.

Having a partner with an incurable illness has taught me this empirically: I am someone who likes order, and predictability; snow days weird me out; I get discombobulated when my shaver gets moved to a different shelf or when I can’t find my phone charger where I left it.

Needless to say, introducing cancer into the mix rendered that way of thinking unworkable.

While I can’t make any great claims about calming down about snow days and shavers and phone chargers, I do believe I’ve gained some small amount of “grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,” and to, as Semple writes, “stop piling stress on top of the lack of knowledge of how things will end up.”

Land and Sea is Still on the Air!

Back in the day when television was still television and we all gathered around the hearth to watch CBC (the only channel we picked up on the rabbit ears), CBC’s Land and Sea was a perennial favourite (longtime readers will recall this episode about the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market that captured wee Oliver and me).

For some reason–perhaps its website, not updated since 2014–I’d assumed that the program had long ceased production. And so I was surprised to hear a piece on Mainstreet this afternoon promoting an upcoming episode about Prince Edward Island.

It turns out that Land and Sea is still very much alive, and is in its 18th season. The website is, a friendly and helpful person at CBC Communications in Halifax tells me, a vestigial one that needs re-pointing: CBC Gem is the place to find Land and Sea now, I was told. And, indeed, there are 10 seasons of back-episodes ready there for the watching.

Welcome back, Land and Sea!

CBC Land and Sea logo (from CBC Gem)

23 Notebooks Ready for Binding

It’s only once you enter the hand-cut, hand-printed, hand-folded, hand-perforated, hand-bound notebook manufacturing game that you realize why there aren’t more such notebooks in the marketplace: all that cutting, printing, folding, perforating and binding takes time. Especially when you’re doing it 23 times over.

For example, you think “each notebook will have 10 signatures, to make 20 perforated pages.” That seems simple enough. But then you realize that 23 notebooks need 230 signatures, each of which needs to be cut, folded, perforated and bound.

Fortunately, the work is relaxing, and I don’t have a supervisor on my case about making my quota for the day.

Photo of the parts for 23 notebooks ready for assembly.